Monday, November 30, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Mosiah 2:21-22

Today's Favorite Verse: Mosiah 2:21-22
"I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending yo breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another - I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you."

King Benjamin has gathered his people to give them his final words before turning the kingdom over to his son Mosiah. At one point he mentions how his "whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak". I could just picture this frail old beloved king in such great humility speaking to the people he loved. I could feel that it was an overpowering experience. I saw just a tiny taste of it this last conference when President Thomas S. Monson's strength began to fail him while speaking. The message means all the more when you know it took everything out of them to give it to you.

I could tell that King Benjamin was a humble man. He even worked to support himself so his people didn't need to support him. His words are so full of love and humility. This verse shows how he knew he could never repay the Lord for all he has done for him. This made me weep for it is so true. I can never repay the Lord for all he has done. The price of keeping his commandments is so small, especially when they are a pleasure to keep. I can never repay my debt to him. Yet, even with all this he still blesses me. The thought of it is overpowering. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Mosiah 1:3, 5

Today's Favorite Verse: Mosiah 1:3, 5
"And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God. 
I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct."

King Benjamin is speaking to his sons. He knows from his own experience the power the scriptures have in their life. He witnessed what had happened to the Mulekites and the Lamanites without them. As I pondered on these verses I could not help but realize how the Book of Mormon acts as a key that unlocks the mysteries in the other scriptures for me. I love the Bible but would not understand it if I could not cross reference it to what is found in the Book of Mormon. What greater light and knowledge having two witnesses to God's word has given me. With both set of scriptures the fullness of the gospel, the mysteries of the kingdom are revealed. 

As I reflected on this I recalled some articles I had read where ministers from other religions have begun to teach the Book of Mormon to their congregations. They did not need to be Mormons to read and appreciate how it speaks of Christ, and the plan of salvation. I went back and found one video "A New Day for the Book of Mormon" that addressed this subject. Even though there are university professors, scholars and theologians that speak in it, its the Baptist Ministers story that touches my heart. If you love God this book will touch your heart as it witnesses of Christ and all he has done for us.

If you would like a personal copy I would love to send one to you. If your into digital copies you can read or download it on

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: The Words of Mormon 1:3, 5, 7

Today's Favorite Verse: The Words of Mormon 1:3, 5, 7 
And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this King Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also may of the words of Nephi.
Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.
And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will."

In the middle of reading the story of the Nephites and Lamanites all of a sudden we come to the Words of Mormon. This is where the ending of the whole book is revealed. Mormon was the second to last Nephite prophet that lived hundred of years after the resurrected Christ appeared to them in America. Mormon has now abridged the records of the Nephites. That is where the Book of Mormon gets it name, because Mormon was the one to compile the whole book together for our day. 

Mormon is seeing the final destruction of his people. He now leaves the gold plates in the charge of his son Moroni. Moroni then witnesses the entire destruction of the people, and becomes the soul remaining Nephite. He finishes the last part of the Book of Mormon and buries it in the Hill Cumorah about 421 AD. In 1823, three years after Joseph Smith's experience in the sacred grove, Moroni appears as an angel to him. He shows Joseph where the gold plates are buried in vision, then later meets him there. Joseph is told to return each year to this same spot to receive instruction from Moroni, in preparation of him receiving the plates. After four years Joseph finally receives charge of the plates and begins the translation of the ancient Nephite record.

Even with all that preparation Joseph had some lessons to learn. There is an unfortunate experience of the loss (theft) of the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon transcript. Joseph loses the ability to translate the records with Moroni taking the gold plates back for several months. When the plates are returned to Joseph he is told to not translate again those first 116 pages. For evil men had plans to change what was already written to disprove the work. The small plates of Nephi cover what was lost. Now we understand the wise purpose of Mormon adding the small plates of Nephi into the records he has abridged.

I love seeing how the Lord knows the end from the beginning. How he told Nephi to even make those small separate plates in the beginning. Then he tells Mormon to include them with the abridgment, even though it repeats what he already wrote. How many hundreds of years later the actions of two separate men living hundreds of years apart insure my ability to have these precious revelations. I am so eternally grateful for all of them, and the parts they played.

I cannot help but ponder on how even my tiny life here on earth may have an effect on some unknown person's life in the future. Will a kind word that lifts another have a ripple effect for the generations? I may not ever see the end from the beginning, but I know when the spirit impresses on me the will of the Lord, I must do it. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Omni 1:14

Today's Favorite Verse: Omni 1:14
"And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews."

This chapter holds the key to how so many groups of people appear in the remainder of the Book of Mormon. There are five different writers mentioned in this one chapter, which make up 4 generations. One generation had two brothers as writers. It covers about 200 years of history.

King Mosiah was warned by the Lord to flee out of the land of Nephi and into the wilderness. This is where they discover the people of Zarahemla, which are the descendants of Mulek. They came out of Jerusalem at the time Zedekiah, the king of Judah, was carried captive into Babylon. They actually arrived in America not long after the Nephites did. Yet they had not met until this time. 

When the Mulekites left Jerusalem they did not bring any records or scriptures with them. Their language had become corrupted. They had lost their knowledge of God. This verse shows how important the scriptures are to a civilization. The joy they must have felt to have these things restored to them. No wonder with these two groups of people united together, even with the Mulekites larger in number, and this being their land, they decided to make King Mosiah the king over all the people. 

From the Mulekites we found out about the Jaredites that came to this land at the time of the tower of Babel. The Mulekites had found Coriantumr the last surviving Jaredite and their records. Something we later learn King Mosiah being a seer is able to interpret them.

As I was pondering on these various groups of people and their coming and going I could not help but think about the Lamanites. Who have they met that also came to this land? Did they join up with those that crossed the Bering Strait and off the Asian continent? How many races of people are mixed together in the Native American Indians? This country truly is a melting pot of people. Yet the whole of it is reserved for those that worship the one true God. That is the key for any people to posses and prosper on this land.

Day 244 Tami Fitzgerald Harris

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jarom 1:11

Today's Favorite Verse: Jarom 1:11
"Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them."

Jarom is the son of Enos, son of Jacob, son of Lehi and a brother of Nephi. He is writing only 15 verses because his father Enos had commanded him to kept their genealogy. As I read his words I felt that he was a very spiritual man. He was exceeding humble when he says "For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me." This is not a man of pride, but of honor. I can't wait to sit and talk to Jarom and learn more of his story.

Jarom also says "And there are many among us who have many revelations...have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith."  I see the key to them having the spirit by these words "They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict."

He says their kings and leaders are mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord. I learned because of this they were able to withstand the Lamanites that came up to them in battle. They also became exceedingly rich and prospered. They had their pains because of the Lamanites hatred towards them, but I also think these were amazing spiritual times to those who loved the Lord.

As I pondered on this verse the part that stuck out to me was "look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was." This was 361 B.C. and the Savior had not been born yet or atoned for their sins, yet they were living as if he already had. I pondered on how my life would be different if I lived my life as if I had already seen the Lord. Would I behave differently? Would it not give me even greater faith to act as if what I already want has already happened? The spirit has been telling me for a while I needed to behave in this manner. Now I think I see the pattern here in the scriptures. There is a process of coming to Christ and this is part of it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Enos 1:27

Today's Favorite Verse: Enos 1:27
"And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen."

The chapter is about Enos, son of Jacob, gaining a remission of his sins. He prays all the day long and the voice of the Lord visits him. Once he receives forgiveness for his sins he seeks in prayer blessings for his people and his enemies. Multiple times the Lord speaks to him until his soul is at rest. 

Enos then tells how he labored to preach the gospel the remainder of his days. Then when he is old and about to die he testifies of the joy he knows is to come. The pleasure it will bring to stand before the Lord and to see his face. How special to have that witness before you die that you know where you are going.

As I pondered on this I realized that regardless of hearing the Lords voice or not, a person would know within their soul how they would feel if they were to stand before the Lord today. That is something I have to keep as an internal check for myself. It is an excellent thing to ponder on during the sacrament. It is impossible to lie to myself on my own standing before the Lord. I am so grateful that repentance is always there, just like it was for Enos. It's never to late to be forgiven and make things right with the Lord. No one has to stay in a state that would make them fear and tremble to face the Lord. With true repentance comes a knowledge of the joy it will bring to see the Lord.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 7:13-14

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 7:13-14
"And it came to pass that he said unto me: Show me a sign by this power of the Holy Ghost, in the which ye know so much.
And I said unto him: What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the thing which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny it, because thou art of the devil. Neverthless, not my will be done; but if God shall smite thee, let that be a sign unto thee that he has power, both in heaven and in earth; and also, that Christ shall come. And thy will, O Lord, be done, and not mine."

This is a story of the first anti-Christ in the Book of Mormon named Sherem. He is a learned man with much flattery and he is turning people away from believing that there will ever be a Christ to come. He seeks out Jacob to challenge him. Jacob says that the spirit of the Lord poured into his soul, and he is did confound Sherem in all his words.  I would have loved to have heard those powerful words.

Yet, Sherem then makes the great mistake of asking for a sign. I can just hear the mocking tone of his voice to Jacob saying "In which ye know so much". Jacob replies that he will not tempt God to show him a sign. It will only be by God's will if he is to be smitten. No sooner does he say that then Sherem falls to the earth. He is nourished for 3 days. Then he calls to the people to be gathered together, which he then denied the things he had taught them of there being no Christ. He confesses the Christ, the power of the Holy Ghost and the ministering of angels. He is afraid he committed the unpardonable sin for lying to God, and denying the Christ. Then he dies. Once he dies peace and the love of God is restored into the land.

What have I learned? That staying humble and open to the spirit will allow the Lord to fight our battles. The spirit will give me the words to confound my enemies. I also learned that you never mock or tempt God. The sign you ask for will be given to the damnation of your soul. The only sign God gives those that mock him will be to demonstrate his great power by effecting their physical body. That way it is personally undeniable to them. 

When I sat and pondered on that I realized that the witness of the spirit to a believer is to their physical bodies too. It can come as thoughts, feelings, impressions, it can be stronger as a burning in the bosom, or deep sense of comfort and peace. I just can't list all the ways a believer feels the spirit. But, as I thought about it, it makes perfect sense that God would use the physical body of the unbeliever that tempts him in such a powerful way. The problem is that effect will remain with them for life, for God will not be mocked. I think Jacob is right for not wanting to be found guilty of tempting God either, just to show Sherem a sign. Jacob wasn't mocking God but you don't tempt him either. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 6:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 6:6
"Yea, today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; for why will ye die?"

The death spoken here is a spiritual death. That is so much worse than physical death ever can be. I paused to ponder on if I have ever hardened my heart against God. I honestly can't think of a time. I know I have sinned but I have always know the fault was mine. Not anything I was angry at God over. I guess whenever you love sin more than you love God, you have hardened your heart. A hardened heart must sneak up on you making you unaware.

I have seen people have great light and knowledge of God and turn their back on him. Sometimes it has appeared as if overnight. It was so shocking to experience that change. There is no joy or happiness, even though they think they are free to do as they please. I do not wish to ever join their ranks. It makes me sick to think of losing my relationship with the Lord. The loss would be so much greater having come to know him. I need him so.

I also sat and pondered on how we can enter into the Lords rest during our lifetime, and also experience spiritual death here to. Those are two very opposite and extreme positions. Where then are the people in the middle? I could picture a crowd of people being split down the middle. The only difference was which way they were facing. You are either heading towards the Lord or away from him. All those facing towards him will have eternal life. If you are facing away darkness will claim you. I don't know where that physical dividing line is, but I know it exists in people hearts. I think that's why some people overnight can appear to give up everything. It's because you never know what's in a person's heart.

I must protect my heart its where the spirit dwells. The need is so great to have the spirit reside there always. May I never harden my heart against God and let a liar take up residence there. I can't imagine what it would be like to be in darkness. It is simply something I never want to understand.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 5:25

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 5:25
"And he said unto the servant: Look hither and behold the last. Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground; and I have nourished it this long time, and only a part of the tree hath brought forth tame fruit, and the other part of the tree hath brought forth wild fruit; behold, I have nourished this tree like unto the others"

Every time I read the Book of Mormon I dread this one part in Jacob, which is Zenos' allegory of the tame and wild olive trees. I don't like having attitudes like this so I fervently prayed about it. I told the Lord how hard this chapter was for me, it is 77 verses long. I'm not a gardener or a fruit tree keeper. I just don't understand it. I asked that my eyes might be open to understand something. That I would find a love for this allegory.

My prayers were answered in an amazing way. The verse I quoted is where my eyes were opened. I saw that the tree with both tame and wild fruit were the Nephites and Lamanites, on this American continent. I thrilled being able to finally see them. Jacob had said in the previous chapter how hard it was for them to write on the gold plates. That only things which where precious were included. He took so much effort to write down Zenos' allegory, I just knew my attitude of wanting to skip over it was wrong. That it had to be important.

Once this key was unlocked for me I could understand what this chapter was talking about. It's long there's a lot. I love Zenos' allegory of the tame and wild olive trees. It's beautiful. In fact I read it over twice. I see my day, how the Lord is preparing his church and people for the final gathering. It also speaks on the millennial reign and battle. There are so many wonderful gems in it.

One part that stood out to me was when the Master (Heaven Father) asked the servant (Jesus Christ) "Who has corrupted my vineyard?" The Savior replies "Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard."  I understood it immediately, that the downfall was pride. Satan is an enemy to God, but it is the pride of man that lets him have any effect. Ultimately man is accountable for his own sins. So who is at fault? it is us and our pride. It was thrilling to read the footnote and have it confirmed that it was speaking of pride. No wonder President Ezra Taft Benson's talk on Pride means so much to me. It is the major downfall of mankind.  It is the greatest thing I struggle with. I know it will be the torn in my side until the day I die. I have to constantly guard against it. Yes, there is great counsel in the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, and I love it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 4:8

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 4:8
"Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God."

This verse reminded me of discussion we had in family scripture reading the other day. How you can receive personal revelation,  understanding some gospel principle on a new and deeper level, and then when you want to share it, its the same words everyone has used before. Yet, you understand it differently. There is a lot of repetition in the scriptures its up to us to discover what they mean.

I have heard people say, and I used to too, that the temple endowment was boring. You heard the same thing over and over and it would put you to sleep. It wasn't until I started going to the temple every week with reading the scriptures daily, that my understanding and experience changed. I needed to hear the endowment over and over until I knew it by heart, before the spirit could speak to me. There is an entire question and answer session that instructs you on a whole different level. I will never understand it all and that really is the exciting part. You know its not just the words you are hearing, its what they mean that is revealed to you. It really is a humbling experience to receive such a gift. It keeps me coming back for more.

The scriptures are the same way. The more I read the scriptures the more I begin to understand. The stories are interconnected. It is only when I read them over and over that I start to build that highway of understanding. I had to lay a foundation with the words before I could smooth out the surface and move from place to place. Then when I understand something on a different level I find myself back to saying the same words everyone else says. It's such a personal journey and its one I'm so happy I am traveling on. I love reading the scriptures and that love only grows deeper the more that I read them. I love how they speak to me individually. They also act like a touch stone on how i am doing spiritually. When they stop speaking to me I know things are not right in my life. They are my compass and guide leading me back to Christ.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 3:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 3:10
"Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them; and also, remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your heads at the last day."

This verse made me ponder on how much I will be accountable for when I stand before the judgment bar of God. Not only will I account for my sins, but I will account for the sins of my children if I lead them astray because of my actions. I am also sure that I would be accountable for anyone that I caused to lose their faith and sin because of my words or bad example. The thought of that grieves my heart. I do not want that to happen.

I want to say I taught my children right. That I was an example of enduring to the end. That I was faithful all my days. That I was clean because of the miracle of forgiveness, and taught them the way. I want to stand next to the ones I witnessed join his church and feel my Saviors love. Hoping for that later type of judgment keeps me focused on the good I need to do.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 2:29

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 2:29
"Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes."

I pondered on why the Lord would curse this land for my sake. I read the footnotes and read about the blessing on this land, which is now the United States of America. Ether described it best.

Ether 2:12 "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall posses it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written."

So there is a covenant on this land that we must serve Jesus Christ. We do have a long history of being a Christian nation. I know nations cannot be punished in the next life but only in this one. Only people can be punished for their sins in the next life. The land holds the body of people living upon it. When the land is cursed it will effect everyone living there. Cursing the land is a way for the people to stop and think about what has brought bondage and captivity upon them. It will bring them to a remembrance of the Lord, when they would not be humble by themselves.

I know I had to learn the cause and effect of sin in my life.  When my funds were so limited I chose to hold back the Lord's tithing in order to buy what I considered necessities of life. I justified my needs before the Lords' commandments. I didn't have the faith or trust in this law. As a result I became in so much financial bondage. I learned It is a hole you cannot dig out of on your own. Learning to have faith to pay my tithing has brought more blessings than money to me. That cause and effect of paying vs not paying tithing has taught me well. I cannot afford to not pay my tithing. I cannot afford to not keep the commandments.

I think then that the cursing on the land gives its people the opportunity to turn their hearts back to God. That is such a timely message for my day. As a nation we are in a bondage and captivity of our own making. It only seems to get worse as I see our nation become less of a God fearing nation. The one cursing I do not see is a captivity from other nations. As I watch the news that seems right at our doorstep. It doesn't mean it has to happen. We just need to turn out hearts back to God as a nation. I would love to shout that from the rooftops. But, all I am is one, but I will do my part. I will serve the God of this land, for I love him. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 1:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Jacob 1:7
"Wherefore, we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in this wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness."

I pondered on how entering into the Lord's rest is not only obtained after we die. It is something to be sought after and obtained in this life. It is the greatest blessing God can give us. The children of Israel could not obtain it because they erred in their hearts and did not want to know him. They were made to wander in the wilderness, until that generation passed away. I pondered on what "entering into his rest" means.

I read all the footnotes and scriptures references. I found it interesting on how many references talked about wars. It was all going on in the background while God's people entered into his rest. If ever there is a time people need to enter into his rest is now. This verse seemed especially fitting to me, given what is happening with terrorist right now.

Psalms 37: 7 "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."

I know it is possible to enter into his rest, if I turn away from the world and its philosophies and only come unto Christ. The key is to purge myself of all the false traditions of my fathers, and the learned men of the world that want to corrupt the ways of the Lord. I do not imagine for a moment rest means I'm sitting on my butt doing nothing. It means I have that peace that passes understand in the midst of battles. I do have that even with all the horrible thing I see. I know that God is there and he comforts me. But there is more that comes with entering into his rest.

Isaiah 11:2 "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord."

This world needs people that have entered into the rest of the Lord, It is only with the inspiration of the spirit that we will have the wisdom to make the right decisions for our nations and its people. Never has the need for wise men that counsel with the Lord been greater.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 33:4

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 33:4
"And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal."

I'm always sad to leave 2nd Nephi because I know Nephi will soon die. The last few chapters of 2nd Nephi mean the most to me. I cannot wait one day to finally meet him. For I know one day I will. For he says he knows that those that do no believe his words will stand face to face with him at the judgment bar. They will know that God commanded him to write these things and these words will condemn them at the last day.

I can't imagine that only the wicked will get a chance to stand next to Nephi. I want a chance to stand face to face with him and thank the Father for the words he gave Nephi. For I know that they testify of Christ. It has changed my life, and means everything to me. The lessons taught from Nephi's example have helped me learn to endure to the end, and want to continue to do so. Everything that Nephi has spoken has persuaded me to do good. I will forever be grateful for him. He was a prophet of God.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 32:8

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 32:8
"And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray."

I have learned to love to pray. It wasn't always so. If a teacher in class wanted someone to say the prayer, I would not make eye contact and silently wish to myself, "Don't pick me." At home I would try to get out of saying the prayer, and say its so and so's turn, or I wasn't in the mood. Sometimes it was hard to get anyone in the family to say the prayer because everyone had a reason why they didn't want to. It felt like a chore no one wanted to do, myself included. 

Then one day I decided that I was wrong and those feelings needed to change. I wanted instead to be grateful that I had an opportunity to pray. I wanted to be able to say thank you for letting me say the prayer, or I'm honored to do so. I needed to learn to love saying personal and public prayers. I needed a change of heart. I started by joining in prayers in the temple. Then I started by offering to say the prayer at home. In fact every day I immediately offered to say one of the prayers for family scripture reading. Whenever I read or heard of someone facing a trial I would stop and immediately say a prayer for them. Not just saying I would on Facebook or passingly mention that I would and often forget to. I found the only way you learn to love to pray is to pray more. I am praying all the time.

After doing all this and learning to love to pray, I noticed that my family was still arguing about who's turn it was for scripture prayers or blessings on the food. No on was happy about saying the prayer. Sometimes I would say both the opening and closing prayer simply so they wouldn't argue. One night I had enough, I knew the spirit was being offended. I asked them how they would like to have someone in their hearing say they didn't want to talk to them and then turn around and talk to them? You really wouldn't want to listen to a thing they said. Well how did they think Heavenly Father felt about talking to us when we were arguing about who would be made to speak with him. I wouldn't want to listen to anything you had to say either. It was something none of them had ever thought about and they took it to heart.

Since then the offering to say the prayer has changed in our home. And with it the whole feeling during the prayer has changed. The spirit is so powerful and strong. The prayers are not so rote but are becoming more heartfelt. Now I can see in this verse that when we don't feel like praying it really is an evil spirit that is trying so hard to get us to not want to. I didn't fully realized that before. I learned this lesson and experienced the difference before totally understanding who was the source of the problem. How can you pray to Heavenly Father when your listening to an evil spirit telling you not to. I am so very grateful the true spirit has helped me learn to love to pray. I'm grateful it has instructed my whole family to experience this change of heart.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 31:20

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 31:20
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father. Ye shall have eternal life."

I pondered on what it means to "endure to the end". I used to think it was a hard thing, just holding on while I got through the hard parts of life and not losing my testimony. I did a lot of waiting things out, and was pretty miserable during it. But, the more I suffered the more deserving I thought I would be of a reward. I have since learned this isn't what that means.

As I am feasting on the scriptures I am coming to find that the enduring part is the better part. It is that whole journey where I am gaining a personal relationship with my Savior. I am learning to work in  partnership with him as I go through trials. I find He will carry all the emotional things for me, so I can have a clear mind to listen to the spirit, and see the course or solution in front of me. I am finding that after I overcome a trial I am in a better position than before it started. When the hard times come I am starting to feel some excitement about where this journey is taking me. There is already a brightness of hope that all things will work for my good in the end. This brings me peace.

As I am learning to endure the Lord's way, my testimony has become stronger and my roots are becoming anchored deeper in the gospel plan. I can picture that as becoming steadfast in Christ. I am learning to love and trust God that he knows best what will make me grow. I know trials are not punishments they really are blessings that help me reach a potential I didn't know I was capable of. I used to think of how I deserved a reward for my suffering. Now I can only think of how much my Savior has done for me and I could never repay my debt to him. I have such a deep love and gratitude for both the Father and the Son. I only want to please them so I can live with them someday. That love is helping me to love others.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 30:10

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 30:10
"For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire."

Have I ever seen a division among people. There is great wickedness in the world today. Evil is raging in the hearts of men. Though while the days events have been disturbing, I have felt a disconnect from it. I have felt like a stranger on the outsider looking in. For all that has gone on around me my peace has not been destroyed. It is not that I do not mourn and sorrow for the pain of others, or that I'm past feeling. For to love is to mourn when bad things happen to others.

Today I have been asking myself what am I feeling? Then I understood, I am not part of this world. To leave the world behind you, you must come to Christ. Only then is there peace, even in the midst of terrible things. I must keep in mind that even though there is a division between good and evil going on, and our world is descending into chaos, the important thing is to stand on the Lord's side. The Prince of Peace is the only source of comfort.

I'm sure I get things wrong, but I am ever trying to repent. Trying to be honest of heart. I just keep walking towards Christ. Then I am spared. Maybe it won't always be by physical means. I am sure good people have been caught in the cross hairs of evil, and died. What the Lord is sparing me from is the fear, terror, panic, anxiety, despair, and hopelessness that only being part of the world can bring. The father of all lies can only leave me with those feelings. Yes, even during trying times I am spared and I have found peace. How I wish I could share my peace with you.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 29:12-13

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 29:12-13
"For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews."

I love this chapter. It is totally speaking of our day. I have heard the words in verse three "the Gentiles shall say A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible and there cannot be any more Bible."  The Lord responds in verse nine "And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever." The Lord continues to say how he will speak to the Jews and the Nephites, the lost tribes and all the nations of the earth. How these words will all run together.

The records of the Jews is the Bible. The record of the Nephites (tribe of Joseph) is the Book of Mormon. The record for the whole earth I think is talking about the revelations that came after the restoration of the gospel. The Doctrine and Covenants, conference talks and messages from the First Presidency and apostles. These are written for our day, for the whole world. Now the part that fascinates me is the records of the lost tribes of Israel. That I know are coming. I just hope I live to see that day.

About 20 years ago I thought I had heard about them being found. I was serving at a family history center and the director came in looking out of sorts. He had just come back from a meeting in Salt Lake. He told me he had learned of a large collections of records that the Russian government had asked the church to microfilm. They were found in caves along the Caspian Sea. They were so fragile that when the Russians attempted to open these records they would disintegrate. They contacted The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their expertise in preserving and microfilming records. The arrangement was for the church to retain a copy of these records. There were so many records they were taken out by the truck loads. The church was in the process at that time of filming these records, and what they were finding was a history and genealogy of the lost tribes. This man was really in shock as he related to me what he had learned. I felt it to my core these were the records. I have waited the past 20 years to learn any further news of these records but haven't.

Regardless if the records I heard about 20 years ago are truly them or not, I know somewhere the records of the lost tribes exist. Someday they will be restored to us, before the Lord's second coming. Someday I will read them and hold them and love them as I do all the scriptures I have today. I will continue to treasure and ponder and pray over the ones I have today. So when that day comes, that more records are given, I will thrill in the harmony and consistency of the Lord, as he speaks to his people. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 28:8

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Nephi 28:8
"And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God - he will justify in committing a little sin, yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God."

Can I just say I'm tired. I'm so very tired of reading articles on the latest round of problems people are having with my church. I'm tired of hearing people wanting to change the way things run. I'm tired of people wanting to call sin good and those that don't agree with them are evil. If they don't get their way they are leaving. I'm just plain tired of it all. My mind has peace in all matters of my church and more so the words of the prophet and the apostles. I know they speak for the Lord Jesus Christ. To me the issue people are continuing to fight about is not an issue for me. 

I read this chapter and my first thought was I don't even want to talk about this subject. I'm just to tired. Regardless this verse just stood out to me, so I began to read all the footnotes. What an amazing journey. 

Eat - Isaiah 22:13 "And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die."

Merry - Worldiness - I had no idea the word Merry meant partaking in the things of the world.

Justify - Mormon 8:31 "Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity."

It really caught my eye that people are saying that the Lord will uphold what they say, and not the other way around. Who's will are they after?

Sin - Malachi 2:17 - "Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?"

I think I can understand why the Lord is getting weary. You either hear about people wanting to call evil good, or people waiting for everyone to be destroyed. I'm just tied of them both.

Lie - D&C 10:25 "Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him."
Moses 4:4 "And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice."

Lying, deceiving and trying to catch people so you can destroy them helps you dig a pit. It's really interesting who ends up in that pit.

Pit - Job 6:27 "Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend."
Proverbs 26:27 "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."
1 Nephi 14:3 "And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell - yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end."
1 Nephi 22:14 "And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it."
D&C 109: 25 "That no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself.

This is not a pretty site. I wish no man to fall into the very pit he dug for himself. Yet, that is the cause and effect of this behavior. The only thing that will stop it is to repent. At any time the Lord's arms are outstretched waiting to save you, but he will not, cannot save you in your sins.

No - Alma 30:17 - "And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; there every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime."

I know the philosophy of man right now is to say God loves you no matter what you do. But, the great deception is that he will allow you to live with him in your sins. What are all these warnings about if he will just accept you as you are? The whole part about his love is that he will always forgive when we repent.

There is a movement going on where very badly deceived people are going to "massively" give up their membership to the church. Just because they want to believe what they want to believe. I fear for them. Satan is digging a very big pit for them. I witnessed my daughter give up her membership to the church a couple years ago. When you do that your baptism and the gift of the holy ghost are taken from you. She went through 3 suicide attempts in a couple of months. It is horrible what happens to a person when the spirit is withdrawn. You cannot walk on neutral ground giving up your membership in the church. To tell you otherwise is to deceive you. People are digging a very big pit for themselves right now and the only one going to land in it is themselves. I mourn for the blindness that has come over them. I mourn for what is to come. 

I know today I am tired. I can only imagine how tired the angels in heaven are. How tired my Savior Jesus Christ is. How tired our Eternal Father in Heaven is. When will it be enough? I think we are just at the beginning. I have a feeling that as people leave and the Lord's church is cleansed, amazing things will begin to take place for the saint. I just need to stand on the right side of all issues. These are the days I am longing for.