Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 11:11

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 11:11
"For, behold, it is I that speak; behold, I am the light which shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee."

This chapter is revelation given through Joseph Smith to his brother Hyrum. As I was reading it I could hear the Lord's voice and just felt such gratitude for the Doctrine and Covenants. It is full of revelation directly from the Lord. If I was to highlight all the passages spoken by Christ it would cover the whole book. What an amazing set of scriptures this is. Christ himself is directing the restoration of his gospel in this the last dispensation in time. He is teaching his prophet and those around him the manner in which the gospel will the taken to the world in preparation of his second coming. He is establishing his church and preparing his people to meet him. The thought of it is so amazing, it is simply glorious. My heart is full.

Day 430

Monday, May 30, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 10:37

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 10:37
"But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter."

I had a hard day, three separate things grieved my heart. After the first two past I asked my husband if he wanted to go to the movies. I never go, but I wanted to see "The Abolitionist", and taking a break sounded good. I had no idea this movie would also break my heart and make me grieve. At one point in the movie seeing such pure evil and harm done to children I thought to myself  "I don't want to live on this earth any more. It's just so wicked. I just want to get off now." That was a statement on my level of grief and mourning over wickedness, not a condition of depression for me.

In the movie after successfully rescuing some children from the sex traffickers a man says rather surprised "They didn't look like bad people." Timothy Ballard replies "They never do, they never look like bad guys." Those words rang in my head all the way home. When I sat to read this verse tonight the words "you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous"  grabbed my heart and I knew it was something I needed to ponder over. 

What am I told to do about this matter? "Hold your peace." I asked myself what did that mean? I think its not telling me to be silent or shut up, after all Joseph continued working after being told this. I think its telling me to treasure the peace and the good I know inside me. Be patient and wait on the Lord and he will reveal the wicked hearts of men in time. He can also soften those hearts and work repentance, as in the case with Martin Harris and those lost 116 pages. He can work things to a greater good. I think I just have to be strong and hold on, to that iron rod, and just never let go. Don't give up there is work still to do. I can have peace on the inside even though I weep for what I have been seeing going on around me. Knowing the Lord is in charge has brought my heart comfort and peace tonight.

Day 429

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 9:7-9

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 9:7-9
"Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. 
But it it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me."

This chapter was written after Oliver Cowdery's failed attempt to translate the Book of Mormon. His act of failure has blessed millions. Simply because this revelation was given as a result. It has been my anchor in making so many decisions in life. I truly have had that stupor of thought when the thing that I ask is wrong. I have also felt a burning in my bosom when the answer is correct. Having both experiences have been necessary for me to learn. It has helped me grow more confident in the answers God gives me.

The more I have learned to study the matter out in my mind before I go to the Lord, the quicker the resolutions have come. Studying is not doubting its part of a necessary process to learn and understand the will of God. It truly is amazing how inspiration comes during those periods. Not only do I now move forward in faith that it is God's will, but I also have the wisdom that goes along with it.

The other thing I have learned from Oliver's experience is there truly are never any failures. The Lord gives me learning experiences. I have in the past been rather shaken when the answer I knew God gave me turns out in supposed failure. It has caused all types of doubt in myself and the Lord. It isn't until I learned His wisdom is greater than mine, he had something else to teach me. I see what I called a failure lead to a better way down the road. That the experience brings things together in a way it never would have happened otherwise. His ways are not my ways, and the path he has me walk blesses me in the end. Failures are just another way to grow. Failures can be blessings in disguise in the end. I am so grateful Oliver failed.

Day 428

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 8:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 8:2-3
"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground."

I sat and pondered on this, and realized I have always felt revelation in my heart and mind. The spirit tells me something is right in my heart and then pure intelligence awakens my mind.  They are connected and never witnessed separately. At least I could never recall a time when I did not feel both together. The joining of both confirms truth. I wonder if this is part of the law of witnesses? 

I also thought about how powerful revelation is. That the great prophet Moses went through the same process when saving the children of Israel, as I did understanding needful things in raising my children. God really isn't a respecter of persons if he gives the same gift to his children to fulfill their roles of stewardship upon the earth.

Day 427

Friday, May 27, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 7:1-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 7:1-3
"And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.
And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.
And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shall tarry until I come in my glory, and shall prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people. 

I'm going to quote the header of this chapter too, because I found it very interesting.

"Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself."

This answered the question that theologians have had for centuries concerning John 21:22-23. Did Jesus promise John the beloved, that he would not taste death? I feel resolved that this section of the Doctrine and Covenants answers the matter. He was permitted to tarry and would remain on the earth until Christ came again. John never died.

What interested me in the header is the mention that this was a translation through the Urim and Thummim, (the same instrument used to translate the Book of Mormon) of a piece of parchment that was written by John and hid up. So I had to wonder how did they get this piece of parchment and where is it now? I don't know. Does it really matter the answer?

What I know is the spirit tells me this chapter and what it contains is true. I have no doubt of it. I would be curious to see this parchment, but I don't need to. The spirit testifies to me what is true, not artifacts. In fact I feel quit sure I'm not suppose to see it. That the time is not yet for it to be revealed. I think its with the rest of John's record that he was to seal up until he would testify again of the end time prophecies given him. I can feel them just waiting. It just feels really close. Its almost like I'm holding my breath.

Day 426

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 6:36

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 6:36
"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

I know when I keep my thoughts centered in Christ I have no fear. Though the world is getting darker and crazier it appears as if it were a dream. When I instead focus on myself and how I can make things work, I become overwhelmed with fear and doubt. Things look dark and impossible. The Lord truly does know the thoughts and intent of my heart and rewards me accordingly. The key is to keep my thoughts focused on the Lord. He knows how to calm my heart and bring me peace. When that peace makes no sense to the world. It is the only sure way to know which direction to go.

Day 425

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 5:4

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 5:4
"And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished."

This verse made me go back to the last chapter in the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10 and review the different gifts by the spirit we can have. 

Teach the word of wisdom
Teach the word of knowledge
Exceedingly great faith
Gift of healing
Work mighty miracles
Prophesy concerning all things
Beholding of angels and ministering spirits
All kinds of tongues
Interpretation of languages and divers kinds of tongues

As I have gone over this list and other scripture verses on gifts of the spirit, I have often wondered if anyone has ever possessed all of them. With this verse in the Doctrine & Covenants I realized yes, someone could, but probably not all a once. God gives spiritual gifts as they are needed for the work he would have us do. 

Moroni 10:17 "And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will."

Day 424

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 4:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 4:3
"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;"

It's taken me many years to come to the realization I don't need a church calling to serve God. If I only have the desire to serve God, simply because I love him, he will tell me what he would have me do. These personal individual assignments have brought joy into my life. It's working one on one with the Lord in lifting my brothers and sisters that has built a relationship with him, that nothing else can do. Church callings are important and vital to his kingdom, but secret service has been life changing for me. 

Day 423

Monday, May 23, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 3:1, 3, 7-8

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 3:1, 3, 7-8
"The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.
Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;
For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words - 
Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble."

The chapter contains revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith after losing the 116 pages of manuscript from the first part of the Book of Mormon. Joseph lost the power to translate and the gold plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from him. He needed a season to repent, before the gift to translate and plates were restored to him.

The important lesson was to have Joseph and us, learn to put our trust in the Lord. God's ways cannot be frustrated, only mans. He will be with us in every trouble. The Lord had prepared away to recover from those lost 116 pages. Over 1400 years earlier he had Mormon add the small plates of Nephi, that told the most precious parts of those stories, to the gold plates. Those records could replace what was lost.

As I pondered on this I reviewed so many times I have seen the hand of God in my life. When I have been blessed by following the counsel he has given me, and when I have suffered because I have not. I have learned how important it is to trust God's plan, even when I don't know what that plan is. He has prepared a way if I will just follow him. I have been amazed at the miracles the Lord can perform if I let him.

When I had my Social Security Disability Review last year I knew the issues I had when I first received disability were not what my issues were today. As I filled out my paperwork the spirit was so strong that I needed to be completely honest, even if it meant I would lose my disability. I didn't know how I would survive financially, or physically having to try and work full time. But, the spirit told me "Be honest, and He will bless you." I was honest, and Ioss my disability. Yet I look back now six months from that event, and can tell you the Lord blessed me beyond measure. There are so many areas of my life that have improved because of being honest, and trusting the Lord. Yes, it's hard when you don't know how you will survive. But, if you trust the Lord you will not only survive the time of trouble, but will blossom. All the Lord ever wants to do is bless us, if we let him.

Day 422

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 2:1-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 2:1-3
"Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming."

On the evening of September 21, 1823 the angel Moroni appeared at the bedside of a then 17 year old Joseph Smith. This is part of the message he was given. It differs some from the promise in Malachi 4:5-6. This prophecy was fulfilled, in that Elijah did come and restore the Priesthood keys of sealing, the power to bind and validate in the heavens all ordinances performed on the earth. These blessings are available for the living and vicariously for the dead. This event happened in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836.

I know this is an often quoted verse for doing family history work. Something so very dear to my heart. Last night I got caught up in it and didn't go to bed until 2:30 this the morning. I could have spent the whole night researching, I had no need to sleep when I stopped. I only did so because I knew I must in order to not fall asleep in church today. It's interesting how the mind can come so alive at night to make family connections. I can understand how Moroni came to Joseph Smith and spend the whole of the night speaking to him of such things.
As I ponder the turning of hearts I cannot help but also think about our priesthood fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, even father Adam. If our hearts are not turned to the promises made to them, at the great and dreadful day of the Lord, then the earth would be utterly wasted. I can spend all my days working on family history and have it mean absolutely nothing to me in the end, if my heart is not turned to the Lord. The great work of family history has an end goal of getting me into the temple to do those saving ordinances for my kindred dead. It is there that I will learn of the great priesthood blessings and understand where my heart needs to be turned. 

Day 421

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 1:37-38

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 1:37-38
"Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice of by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

The Lord cannot lie, for every prophecy he has ever uttered will come to pass. I know its up to me to know of his prophecies, and what is to come. The best way to do that is to read the scriptures and ponder them myself. I still don't like to read other people's books about the scriptures. I have no guarantee that they did not twist the meaning. I thrill in reading the scriptures myself and hearing the Lord's voice in them. Through the spirit I will know if my understanding is true. General Conference talks are modern day scriptures and I enjoy reading what the prophets and apostles have said. I am so blessed to have access to all these scriptures and words of the prophets. What a blessed time I live in. What a blessing technology is in helping me have accesses to all of God's words. The ability to search and cross reference verses means even someone like me can can study the word of God. I just feel so blessed.

Day 420

Friday, May 20, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants Introduction

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants Introduction
"The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well-being and their everlasting salvation."

"The book of Doctrine and Covenants is one of the standard works of the Church in company with the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price. However, the Doctrine and Covenants is unique because it is not a translation of an ancient document, but is of modern origin and was given of God through His chosen prophets for the restoration of His holy work and the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth in these days. In the revelations, one hears the tender but firm voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking anew in the dispensation of the fulness of times; and the work that is initiated herein is preparatory to His Second Coming, in fulfillment of and in concert with the words of all the holy prophets since the world began"

"In the revelations, the doctrines of the gospel are set forth with explanations about such fundamental matters as the nature of the Godhead, the origin of man, the reality of Satan, the purpose of mortality, the necessity for obedience, the need for repentance, the workings of the Holy Spirit, the ordinances and performances that pertain to salvation, the destiny of the earth, the future conditions of man after the Resurrection and the Judgment, the eternity of the marriage relationship, and the eternal nature of the family. Likewise, the gradual unfolding of the administrative structure of the Church is shown with the calling of bishops, the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Seventy and the establishment of other presiding offices and quorums. Finally, the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ - His divinity, His majesty, His perfection, His love, and His redeeming power - makes this book of great value to the human family and "worth to the Church the riches of the whole Earth".

As I begin to read the Doctrine and Covenants I felt it important to go over the introduction. These three paragraphs stood out to me as the very reason it is consider sacred scripture to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This scripture is not only instructions from the Lord on how to establish His church once again upon the earth, but to prepare us for His Second Coming. It is not just for members of the LDS faith but important for the whole world. God still speaks to man today. The warning voice of his prophet will be there to help us prepare for the Lord's second coming.  I am very excited to be reading and pondering over the Doctrine and Covenants again. I always learn something new with each reading. I cannot wait to see what I learn next.

418 days ago my sister-in-law Tami Harris challenged me to post for seven days my favorite scripture verse on Facebook. Little did we know where that would lead. All this time I have been tagging her on my posts. With the completion of the Book of Mormon this practice will end. I do not wish to take over her Facebook wall forever. She has her own amazing blog "Chaplain Tami's Spot" with posts that her friends need to see and enjoy. The timing to change what we are doing just fits now. I will however continue to share my favorite scripture verse until the spirit tells me it is enough.

Day 419

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 10:3-5

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 10:3-5
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

As I read this final chapter in the Book of Mormon a terrible thunderstorm is taking place. It sets my mood even more to read these final parting words of Moroni. He bids farewell to soon go to rest in the paradise of God. Is he injured, or ill I wonder? Someday I want to know how he faired all alone. It's now 421 AD and he is sealing up the records for a future day - my day. Each parting word is a treasure. I wish I could write a little something about each precious verse. How I love the Book of Mormon. It is my anchor and helps me understand all the words of Christ throughout all scriptures.

I know they are true, because they testify of Jesus Christ. It is only through the Holy Ghost that I have a testimony of the truthfulness of these things. I pray you have had a taste of my love for this set of scriptures as I have read it over the past 238 days. I pray you will take up Moroni's challenge to read, ponder and pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. If you really want to know you will receive an answer. If someone as simple as I can receive a witness by the Holy Spirit to the truthfulness of this book, then I know you will get an answer too. All you have to do is ask God in faith with a sincere desire to know. Through the power of the Holy Ghost you will know the truth of all things.

I do not let a day go by without reading from the Book of Mormon. While I am reading from other sets of scriptures I will cross reference to at least one Book of Mormon verse. That way I always have my anchor in place. I thrill to see the harmony and consistency in all the holy scriptures. The Book of Mormon is the cornerstone on which they all rest. 

Next, I begin the Doctrine and Covenants, scripture written in my day, the dispensation of the fullness of time. The heavens are open and God speaks to living prophets once again. The fullness of His gospel has been restored and is once again upon the earth. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon opened that dispensation and I am so grateful for it. We are not alone. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 9:24-25

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 9:24-25
"And if it so be that they perish, we know that many of our brethren have deserted over unto the Lamanites, and many more will also desert over unto them; wherefore, write somewhat a few things, if thou art spared and I shall perish and not see thee; but I trust that I may see thee soon; for I have sacred records that I would deliver up unto thee.
My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever."

This is the 2nd to last chapter in the Book of Mormon. Tomorrow I finish it. In this chapter Moroni records the last epistle his father Mormon sent to him. I know he did see his father one last time because he did get those sacred records. In this epistle Mormon records how depraved the people had become. It is horrible and to much. Prior to reading this I had been on Facebook reading the news of the day. I was crying over how depraved and immoral people were becoming. I had asked myself what can I do when I see such wickedness being accepted in the world. My answer was to go read my scriptures, to bring me peace.

As I read my heart hurt to see that it can and will get only worse in the end. Yet the last words of Mormon to "rest in your mind forever" the things of Christ, tells me this is the only way I will get through the days I live in. I have to keep my eye on Christ and walk in his direction. I think it only normal for God's people to grieve over the wickedness of men. We need to continue to do all in our power so the sins of others do not fall upon us, and they have the opportunity to repent. These are more of the words of Mormon to his son.

"And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for it we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." (Moroni 9:6)

So as I ended pondering on these verses the words of the song "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" played in my mind. There are so many good people that don't accept the wickedness happening in the world today. It is for their sake that there is much work to do. Light will attract light, many are searching and need the light of Christ that brings peace to his children. I need to focus on the good and get to work preserving and carrying on God's work on this earth. God is not done with his people. These are the words that bring joy to my heart.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 8:15-16, 19

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 8:15-16, 19
"For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.
Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.
Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy."

I cannot help but think of the parents of small children that grieved for their little babies that died before being christened or baptized. What joy must fill their hearts to know their children were alive in Christ and had no need for baptism. They are covered by the mercy of the Lord. 

The corrupt practice of infant baptism began at the ending of the Nephite nation. When they were ripe for destruction. This wicked practice began again during the apostasy, when man was again capable of saying an infant was sinful and could not enter heaven because they died before baptism. This was a man made doctrine and has no bases is the Church of Christ.

As wicked as the practice of infant baptism is, I cannot help but think of the good that came from this. Not that something that didn't need to saved was, but that the act caused the life of a child to be recorded. Sometimes these church records are the only recording of the life of a child that died, or the parents for an adult. These records have blessed me in my genealogy efforts. I love how God finds a way to bless his children despite man's efforts to pervert them. A far greater blessing awaited these children and their parents, that this information would be used for the eternities. These families were meant to be forever. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 7:45, 47-48

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 7:45, 47-48
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

I fall so short on charity, yet it is the greatest desire of my heart to have it. I have a hard time memorizing scriptures but each characteristic of charity is embedded in my brain. When I am not kind, or am provoked these words echo in my heart. I don't nearly pray for charity often enough. I don't know why I don't, but it seems I only do when I realize how far from having charity I have become. When I see the need to repent because I was not kind.

I know if I have not charity I am nothing, a very worthless servant. I am a mouth with no heart. My lack of charity fills me with self-absorption and pride. I have no hope of knowing and recognizing my Savior, when I am not filled with his pure love. If I have not the pure love of Christ, then I am not like him. I want "to be like him", and know him. How grateful I am that prayers for charity are answered so quickly by the Father. He so freely sets my heart straight, when I desire to have charity once again. I just wished I prayed for it more often, and not only when I have felt compelled to by my lack of it. I can see pondering on this has made me realize I need to pray for this good gift more often, before I am compelled. It's a lot like prayers for humility.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 6:4

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 6:4
"And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith."

The Lord numbereth his sheep and they all matter to him. How else could he leave the ninety and nine to go after the one sheep that had wondered? He had to know how many should be there. From the early days of the church we have been told the importance of keeping records. One record is the membership of His church. Those that enter into the baptismal covenant are counted. I like to think of home and visiting teaching as the role by which members are remembered and nourished, watched over and prayed for, and taught the word of God. It is one of the most important responsibilities as a member of Christ's church has to watch over his sheep. This is how we strengthen each other.

As Moroni was thinking over the loss of his people, did he wonder if home or visiting teaching would have made a difference? That it may have keep people from turning their backs on the Lord. This is probably the same message he is trying to warn us of today. I grieve as I see a wave of sisters in my ward simply say "I no longer want to be a visiting teacher". They are abandoning the order the Lord setup to feed his sheep, sometimes I wonder how we can get them all feed. Who do I ask to carry your load, that it might break their backs. Those that faithfully serve as home or visiting teachers will be cherished by the Lord and be strengthened. Yet, I grieve for what I see happening.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 5:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 5:2
"O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen."

Every Sunday I hear this sacrament prayer and get to sit in silence with my own thoughts remembering my Savior. I cherish this time, and its never long enough. Even now the thought of it makes me cry. The partaking of the sacrament renews me. It's almost like I have a weeks worth of spirit in me to get me through to the next week. I need this renewal or I weaken spiritually. I have often pondered on this and wondered if the sanctified bread and water I partake of actually physically changes my body. That while I am internalizing it and pondering on the Lord this combined act effects my soul. What is a soul? Its the union of the body and spirit they are joined together. I have no value out of taking a piece of bread, or slipping water, if I do not ponder on the Lord in my soul while doing so. Through this renewal I have the promise of the Spirit to always be with me. That is exactly what I seek. That is the gift I am grateful for.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 4:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 4:3
"O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen."

The sacrament is special to me. It's like getting baptized all over again, as I renew my covenants with the Lord. I promised to take upon his name and always remember him, and keep his commandments. As the sacrament is passed I will reflect on how I did that week keeping up my end of the bargin. I can repent and start a fresh. I am grateful for that blessing. In return I feel the Spirit wth me, it blesses my life. I am forever in the Lord's debt for all that he has done for me.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 3:3-4

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 3:3-4
"In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher) to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.
And after this manner did they obtain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which was in them."

I am so grateful that there is organization to the Lord's church to make sure his ordinances remain available to his children. As the Lord laid hands upon his apostles heads those keys to act in his name were given to them. Moroni saw our day and knew that the Lord's apostles would return and confirm the priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Since that time those ordinances have continued by the laying on of hands and saying those words. It will never again be taken from the earth. The power of the priesthood needs to be here otherwise his saints would not survive. Otherwise the gift of the Holy Ghost could not be given to bless them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 2:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 2:2-3
"And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles.
Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of his first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost."

This reminds me of the second article of faith. "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

When I was just eight years old I received after baptism the laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. This chapter tells how it is to be done by those in authority. The key is having that priesthood authority to give this sacred gift. This has been the greatest blessing in my life. I know Moroni knew this was the greatest gift we could have to get us through the trials of our lives. I'm sure the spirit told him all things, even how to continue to protect himself from discovery by the Lamanites that would seek his life. What a comfort the gift of the Holy Ghost must have been to him at this time. I know it is through the spirit I obtain peace. I know that as I am worthy the spirit can be my constance compaion. This is the continual object of my life to remain worthy of the gift I have already been given. To never offend the spirit so it will flee or stay away. I need it as my constant companion.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 1:1, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: Moroni 1:1, 4
Now I, Moroni, after having made and end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.
Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord."

I can't even imagine what is must have been like for Moroni. Hiding from the Lamanites because they will seek your life, if they find that you are still alive. Yet, still working on your charge to care and safe guard the golden plates. To record the last of your civilization with what will benefit the descendants of the very people that wiped out your race. How he must have gone over what is in the pages of this record. How precious the space must have been. The words he will give us in these last chapters have to mean a lot. I will take that into consideration as I read the last ten chapters of this book. How faithful he was, how he indeed endured to the end. Even when there was no one left to know if he did or not.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Ether 15:6, 19, 22, 28

Today's Favorite Verse: Ether 15:6, 19, 22, 28
"And it came to pass that the people repented not of their iniquity; and the people of Coriantumr were stirred up to anger against the people of Shiz; and the people of Shiz were stirred up to anger against the people of Coriantumr; wherefore, the people of Shiz did give battle unto the people of Coriantumr.
But behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle.
And when the night came they were drunken with anger, even as a man who is drunken with wine; and they slept again upon their swords.
And it came to pass that when the men of Coriantumr had received sufficient strength that they could walk, they were about to flee for their lives; but behold, Shiz arose, and also his men, and he swore in his wrath that he would slay Coriantumr or he would perish by the sword.

This is the last chapter of Ether and it just makes me ill. Such needless waste of life. After two million of Coriantumr's men, plus their wives and children were killed he remembers the words of Ether and began to repent of the evil he had done. Two million isn't the total number of people killed in this battle, that's just the men. Not knowing an average of children each man had, using today's averages it could have been 7 million or more people. This is only Coriantumr's side, there may have been the same number on Shiz's side. I would think a king pretty hard hearted to have to see over 7 million people killed, before you begin to feel some remorse, and want to repent.

Coriantumr writes an epistle to Shiz saying he would give up his kingdom for the lives of his people. In return Shiz writes Coriantumr and says he needs to give himself up, so Shiz can kill him with his sword, in order to spare the lives of his people. With that Coriantumr's people are so stirred up with anger they begin to prepare for battle. It takes four years to gather every man, women and child on the land together. I can't even imagine how many millions of people that had to have been. I guess it shows Coriantumr's repentance was based on getting his way and not giving up his life for his people. If he was repentant he could have been slain and probably been redeemed. It is then the two sides fight to the death until Coriantumr is the last man standing. Just like Ether prophesied would happen, if he didn't repent.  An entire race of people are gone, and that just breaks my heart.

As I studied this chapter I wanted to see what would drive people to do that. I picked out every verse that recorded their motivation. It all boils down to anger. With anger the Spirit of the Lord ceases to strive with them. They are so hard hearted and blind, they are willing to all die, because they are so full of wrath and anger. Common sense and reason are beyond them. Even Coriantumr at one point wanted to repent but anger had too great of a control, and he was lost to it. I guess with anger you no longer see the need to repent. This is the message that Ether and Moroni felt were so important to tell us in our day. It is that anger will destroy our nation. That is exactly the place our nation is at today. Anger it driving the people and blindness surrounds them. The decisions and choices we make with anger lead to destruction. That just makes me ill. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Ether 14:1-2

Today's Favorite Verse: Ether 14:1-2
"And now there began to be a great curse upon all the land because of the iniquity of the people, in which, if a man should lay his tool or his sword upon his shelf, or upon the place whither he would keep it, behold, upon the morrow, he could not find it, so great was the curse upon the land.
Wherefore every man did cleave unto that which was his own, with his hands, and would not borrow neither would he lend; and every man kept the hilt of his sword in his right hand, in the defence of his property and his own life and of his wives and children."

There are three times the curse upon the land, of not being able to retain your riches, happens in the Book of Mormon. It happens prior to the Savior's appearance after his resurrection. The wicked are then destroyed at his coming. The next time its reported is prior to the finally battle when the Lamanites destroy the Nephites, in the time of Mormon and Moroni. The last mention is prior to the Jaredite civilization being destroyed. 

Those that have their hearts set upon riches will not be able to retain them. Yet there is a promise for the righteous that hid them up unto the Lord. Those will not be taken. The reason their riches are retained is because their hearts are not set upon them, but desire them only to serve the Lord. 

I pondered on the time of Joseph Smith, the people had honor and didn't typically go around and steal people's things. That must have been such a hard thing for people to picture happening when they first read the Book of Mormon. Gone are the days when you could leave your doors unlocked. Today theft is so common that I could discuss the loss of personal items with anyone. When you forget something behind and mention you left your phone or wallet in a public place, everyone will tell you it's probably gone by now. It is so common of an occurrence that we take it for granted. Yet, this is a symptom of the state of wickedness we as a people are in. The worse it becomes the riper we are for destruction. 

I have actually prayed that the Lord will protect things of value we have had to leave in the open. I do believe the Lord can make the eyes of the wicked not see things hidden in plain sight. I will pray that those items will not be seen or made desirable to them. Not to long ago a sister in the ward had her coat stolen. After hearing about this sad occurrence my son left my iPad at church. An iPad is much more valuable than a coat and more likely to be stolen. He went back to look for it and soon realized it was gone. We then told him to report it lost to the Bishopric so if they heard of anyone finding it they would get it back to us.

All the time he was looking I prayed to the Lord that he would protect it from the eyes of those tempted to steal it. I didn't want anyone to commit a sin by being tempted. I needed it for work beta testing our genealogy app, yet accepted if it was His will if I got it back. Then I just had peace, and the week went by without any word. The next Sunday morning we got a phone call. The Bishop in the other ward had found it laying on a table after church the week before. He put it in his office for safe keeping. That Sunday morning he asked the other Bishops if they knew of anyone that had lost an IPad. So that is how It came home to us. I was so grateful the Lord let me have it back, so I could continue my work. That the only eyes that saw it were a good man. The curse is again upon our land, but I am so grateful the Lord has a promise that he will protect the righteous that hid things up to him.