Friday, September 30, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 133:53, 62

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 133:53, 62
"In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old;
And unto him that repenteth and sanctifieth himself before the Lord shall be given eternal life.

Amazing chapter giving more concerning the Savior's Second Coming. As I read I could see these events in my mind. In this verse I could see the Savior in Gethsemane and how he experienced my every affliction. He took not only my sin, but all my grief and pain upon him there. I marveled that He even knows what it felt like to have my tooth pulled today. He truly does know me. How much greater I need to know him. I could see the angel that came and comforted Him in Gethsemane as he suffered for my pain. How many times have angels comforted me I wonder? I am sure far more times that I am even aware. How many times has he carried me? Every day of my life that I have let him. I pray I will let him carry me the rest of my days on this earth. For in his arms is where I want to stay. 

Day 552

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 132:8

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 132:8
"Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion."

I had to ponder on the running of Christ's Church on the earth and the running of government by man. What a stark contrast that is. We have confusion in a proportion I have never witnessed before in my life. All I can say is the way man is acting is not of God. How grateful I am to belong to His church and how it anchors my soul for the order that is found there. My heart feels for people that have no God or church in their life. I cannot comprehend how it must feel to have no order but only feel confusion at this time. I do not know what I would do if I could not stand in Holy Places.

Day 551

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 131:5

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 131:5
"The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood."

The following quote from Joseph Smith sheds further light on this subject. 

"After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands)...then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shall be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saint, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 150.)

I didn't come to realize what this verse implied until after my marriage. I was young and still very foolish. I prayed that I would receive this great blessing, and let me tell you all hell broke loose in my life. It was to the point I cried, enough I don't want it. I left the matter alone. Years past and I thought I was spiritually stronger and more prepared and I asked for this again, and all hell broke loose in my life. I left the matter alone. Years go by and I think I'm ready. I'm stronger and can weather whatever test he gives me now. I ask again and all hell breaks loose, but this time I realized the problem was me.

It was time to get really real with myself. I was asking for this great blessing because I actually didn't believe. I wanted such a witness so I would see with my own eyes that Jesus was really real. I was prideful and asking for such a thing was the greatest example of my offense. I repented and sought only to learn of Him. I began to read and really ponder over the scriptures and tried to be faithful to what I was learning. I found out how imperfect I really am, how much I need his atonement. What a great price he has paid for me. I realized how weak I am, and I would never have found him if I tried to carry my burdens on my own. It made perfect sense why all hell had broke loose in my life earlier. I had not learned to walk beside him, and let him carry me. Today I know my Savior and seeing him in the flesh or not will make no difference. He is so very real to me.

Day 550

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 130:7-9

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 130:7-9
"But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, future, and are continually before the Lord.
The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. 
This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ's."

Today is my temple day and while I was sitting in an endowment session my mind wandered over the beauties of this earth. Then I thought of all the places I have never seen and probably will never get to. I had a sadness come over me as I always do when I think of such things. There is so much beauty in this earth and I would love to appreciate all of God's creation, but I know I will never have the money to travel and go there. I shall leave this earth and never have the chance in my body to know what it feels like to see a volcano, travel upon the vast ocean, or look down the grand canyon. Will the end times destruction erase the man made attractions I have never seen, like the Eiffel Tower or Disneyland? There is so much beauty on this earth and I know I will miss it. I recalled somewhere in the scriptures the earth being turned into glass and the thought made me sad to not see mountains, hills, streams and all that green. I even thought about little children born in abject poverty that never witnessed even the amount of beauty I have seen. I already felt bad, now I felt even worse for them. 

While I sat thinking about this a thought came to me "God doesn't take away, he gives you more." I didn't understand how glass could be more beautiful than the beauties of this earth. Then as my habit, after the session I went into the celestial room to settle in a favor chair and read my scriptures. What do you know, this chapter talked about the very thing my mind had been wondering on. That was no coincident, the spirit seems to like to teach me things this way. I learned the place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummin, a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things in their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before him. One day I can live in such a place. I thought if my God can have anything he wants and he wants that, then it must be far better than what I have. 

What I hadn't recalled earlie was the part about the past, present and future continually before the Lord. I felt like I was being told, "See you won't miss anything. You will see far more than what the time of your life existence could have ever shown you. It will be presented in such away that will be more real than what is possible now. The poor among the earth that follow Christ will obtain celestial glory. It isn't less, it's more. When you loose your life for Christ's sake the return is a hundred fold." I know to some the sadness over not being able to travel may seem trivial to them. But, this experience has brought me such comfort and peace over the whole matter.

Day 549

Monday, September 26, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 129:1-2, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 129:1-2, 4
"There are two kinds of being in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones - 
Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.
When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you."

I think this is such an important chapter. It explains how to detect between heavenly messengers, and the devil as an angel of light.  I think this information is vital for the world. How much misery could have been avoided through the ages, if people would have known to test any being that appeared to them, saying they have a message from God. 

"These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God."
1. An angel is a resurrected personage with a body of flesh and bones. If you ask to shake hands with them, they will do so. You will feel that they are of flesh and bones.
2. A spirit is a just men made perfect but not resurrected. They are only spirit and do not have a body of flesh and bones. If you ask to shake hands with them they will not move, but will deliver their message. That is because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive. 
3. The devil as an angel of light, has no body. If you ask to shake hands he will offer to shake hands and you will feel nothing. That is the way to know you are being deceived.

I think it rather creepy the thought of feeling nothing. It would make me feel scared and afraid. But, when I think upon it, fear only comes from Satan. That would be all he would be capable of doing to me, if I let him. God would never leave me alone in Satan's presence, if I plead in the name of Christ to rescue me. Satan would have to depart. I do think with this knowledge the experience would be so brief that the fear would never enter, because of my faith in Christ. The thought of this gives me comfort and peace.

I have often thought of how in the Book of Mormon angels appeared to men, prior to Christ's birth and death. I cannot help but think we will see the same thing prior to his second coming. I am told that even the very elect could be deceived. I would think there has to be a reason why we were given these instructions for our day.  I believe the knowledge of how to test any being, saying they are a messenger from God, is going to be vital for us. 

Day 548

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 128:19

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 128:19
"Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!"

This chapter is an epistle from the Prophet Joseph Smith to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, containing further directions on baptisms for the dead. He is being pursued by his enemies and still in hiding. He says the subject of baptism for the dead "seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest." As I was reading this I could not help but think of Moroni being in a similar position. He was having to hide from his enemies that sought to take his life, but what is pressing upon his mind is leaving a record for us. Does that not tell you where their hearts lie.

There are 25 verses, all so beautiful and powerful. So full of instructions and explanations. I had a hard time settling on only one. I could see inside the verses what Joseph learned at the start of his journey as a prophet has come full circle. The restoration is complete. All the keys have now been divinely restored. He is now putting the pieces together. The difference between Joseph and Moroni are the later saw the end of his civilization. He was writing to a further day, which is to all of us. Joseph knows the church and its people will go on. That rock will only continue to roll forth. There is a great work for us to do. This day truly is one to rejoice with gladness. I am so grateful I live at this time. 

Day 547

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 127:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 127:1
"Forasmuch as the Lord has revealed unto me that my enemies, both in Missouri and this State, were again in the pursuit of me; and inasmuch as they pursue me without a cause, and have not the least shadow or coloring of justice or right on their side in the getting up of their prosecutions against me; and inasmuch as their pretensions are all founded in falsehood of the blackest dye, I have thought it expedient and wisdom in me to leave the place for a short season, for my own safety and the safety of this people. I would say to all those with whom I have business, that I have left my affairs with agents and clerks who will transact all business in a prompt and proper manner, and will see that all my debts are canceled in due time, by turning out property, or otherwise, as the case may require, or as the circumstances may admit of. When I learn that the storm is fully blown over, then I will return to you again."

I could not help but as I read this to think of what is happening in various cities in our nation. Safety and peace has been taken from us. One never knows where troubles may begin. I had only said to my family within the last 24 hours that if riots happened here, over some perceived offense or crimes, I would leave my home until it blew over. I would not stay as things burned around me. My home does not mean that much to me. I have so much to get prepared to be able to do that. Even just the storms we have had in the past couple days has reminded me again of wanting to digitize my life and have everything stored on an external hard drive. I could leave and have the most important records with me, my genealogy. I am so very tired tonight having run around all day doing good things and learning much. I can tell the Lord is trying to tell me something and I'm trying to put it together like a big jigsaw puzzle. There is no panic or stress over things. I know things will fall into place, line upon line, as I work each piece that is handed to me. We live in the most interesting and puzzling of times. I know like the Prophet Joseph Smith, if I remain faithful and listen to the council of the prophet, the spirit will be my guide in all things that are needful.

Day 546

Friday, September 23, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 126:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 126:1
"Dear and well-beloved brother, Brigham Young, verily thus saith the Lord unto you: My servant Brigham, it is no more required at your hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is acceptable to me."

This took place July 9, 1841 when Brigham Young was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In times past he had served missions aboard proclaiming the gospel. Now that he has been found worthy of the Lord, in being faithful in doing the Father's will, he is told that offering is acceptable. You can now stay home and care for your family. I don't think Brigham had any idea what was to come. That he would be called to lead the church, following the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. For now he was needed in Nauvoo. He needed the opportunity to be next to the prophet to learn from him. This was a period of preparation. I thought how interesting it is when I have periods of peace in my life,  I am actually being given the opportunity to learn, in preparation for what is to come. Maybe that's why the Lord encourages us to always be learning. It makes us ready for what is to come.

Day 545

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 125:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 125:3
"Let them build up a city unto my name upon the land opposite the city of Nauvoo, and let the name of Zarahemla be named upon it."

Zarahemla was an ancient capital city of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. The Lord said land opposite from the Nauvoo temple was to be given this same name. This would be across the Mississippi and into Iowa. I remember over a year ago, maybe two, hearing about Wayne May, a member of the LDS Church and publisher of the Ancient American Magazine having found what looked like a ancient temple site on the land the prophet was told to call Zarahemla. Could that be the real Zarahemla?  I know they secured the purchase of that land and were going to begin archaeological excavation of the site.  If it proved to be THE Zarahemla temple site it would be one of the biggest archaeologic finds in history. I have no idea how that project is going and any outcomes they are seeing. 

What I sat and pondered on was how it really doesn't matter to me the outcome. I already know the Book of Mormon is true. That the Prophet Joseph Smith did indeed translate it from ancient records. What bares witness to me of this fact is the Spirit, not any physical evidence. Confirmation by the Spirit is all I need.  

Day 544

For those that are curious you can follow this link for information on the Zarahemla, Iowa Archeological Excavation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 124:31 & 33

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 124:31 & 33
"But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me,
For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;"

When the ordinance of baptism for the dead was restored, the saints standing as proxy for their deceased family members, were baptized in the Mississippi River. This was only allowed in their poverty. They were to build another temple, in which would be a baptismal font for the performing of this ordinance and others. What I pondered on was how they were told they would have sufficient time to do this. Little did they know how literal that was. The Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered before the Nauvoo Temple was completed. The saints continued their labor to complete the temple. They needed all the saving ordinances prior to being driven west by the mobs. The Nauvoo temple ran around the clock performing these saving ordinances as the saints began to leave. 

I went through many thoughts. I have a project I am working on that I feel no panic over. I know I will have sufficient time to get it done, if I am diligent at working at it. I feel no concern that I need to run faster than I am able. In fact as I was reflecting on this the thought came, that if I ever did need to pick up the pace, I'm sure the Lord would tell me. Now I see that is exactly what he did to the saints before they needed to complete what was asked of them. I cannot know the future. I cannot think my project of the same sense of urgency. What I can know is when the Lord says you have sufficient time he means it.  If I ever need to pick up the pace I'm sure he will make me strong enough to do so. 

Day 543

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 123:1, 10, 17

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 123:1, 10, 17
"And again, we would suggest for your consideration the propriety of all the saints gathering up a knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon them by the people of this State;
Which dark and blackening deeds are enough to make hell itself shudder, and to stand aghast and pale, and the hands of the very devil to tremble and palsy.
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

The early saints of the church suffered so much persecution, death and loss of property and this chapter describes some of it. Then they are told to gather statements and affidavits from those effected by these crimes. Search out the names of those that committed them if they can. Gather all the libelous publications, etc. and then present them to the heads of the government. This would be our last effort which is enjoined on us by our Heavenly Father, before we can fully and completely claim the promise that he would call them forth from their hiding places. I take that to mean do all we can legally, and when that fails it is left in the hands of the Lord. I wouldn't want to be left in the Lord's hands to be punished. That punishment would be far worse than anything a government can do. I wonder if that is why they did ultimately fail in this matter for redress. The punishment the devilish deserved was held in reserve by the Lord.

I had so many thoughts reading this chapter. I knew the LDS Church has the largest collection of anti-Mormon literature in the world. Literature written with the intent to persecute and destroy the Church. It's stored in the Church History Library. I had thought that rather odd when I first learned of it. This material is exactly what I've been counseled not to read. This chapter explains that we are to gather this material up, giving the type and how, basically from every source. So not only have we been commanded to keep a history of the Church, we are to also keep a history of those that persecute the Church. I think I know which collection I would want my name to be in. 

After all the persecution they are told to be cheerful in doing all in their power. I would think that a council of protection so their hearts do not become bitter. That can happen when you see those that committed crimes against you appear to go unpunished. After doing all, they are to stand still, I would think let the matter drop and know with assurance God will take care of the matter. I know what was asked had to be extremely hard, but I cannot help but think how easy it could be for a righteous person to lose their exaltation through bitterness and the desire for revenge. We need to leave matters in God's hands because his judgments are just. We are given this council to not canker our own souls. If Satan cannot destroy you one way, he can certainly try to destroy you in another. We just cannot afford to have him win any type of victory over us. Learning to stand still and leaving things to the Lord will bless our souls.

Day 542

Monday, September 19, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 122:8

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 122:8
"The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"

This chapter is the Lord still speaking to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Liberty Jail. He gave him a rather terrifying list of things that could happen to him. Then tells him "Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"

I just had to sit and ponder on what that meant. Is it saying do you think you are so good that these things can't hurt you? Do you think your better than Christ and will escape them?  What does that mean? That I have to suffer too?  Then I saw that the Son of Man descended below them all. He submitted to the Father's will. Joseph also had to submit to the Father's will. That none of us are exempt. Even our Savior Jesus Christ perfect, without sin. 

Later the Lord tells him "Fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." To me that would be the comfort part. Whatever you go through in doing the Father's will, he will be with you. You are never alone through all of this. With God all things are possible. With God by our side the experiences we go through, our trials, is something that will last through the eternities. 

Day 541

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 121:45-46

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 121:45-46
"Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy specter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever."

The first part of this chapter just makes me weep. The Prophet Joseph Smith and several companions have been held in prison at the Liberty Jail for several months.  Not only is he and his companions suffering, but he is powerless to help the saints being persecuted, driven and killed by the mobs. I can just hear the prophet's mournful cry "O God, where art thou?"

Then the Lord speaks "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;" When I sit and think upon this it is so true. In the scheme of the eternities all that I go through on this earth, is just a brief moment. How I learn to rely on the Lord here, echoes for the eternities.

The Lord tells him what will happen to those that fight against God and his saints. I would not want to be in their shoes. Yet, I see in his warning things that I have needed to be careful of, and still do. I do love how the Lord gives the prophet not only comfort and peace, but hope of what is to come. He tells them how to rise above their enemies with charity, the pure love of Christ. He promises the Holy Ghost as a constant companion.

Would not the Spirit and the peace it brings, especially in our trials and grief, be exactly what the saints needed at this time? Showing charity in the midst of our afflictions, brings back the humanity in our lives. It refines us and we can rise above what is going on around us. It turns our heart to God and brings a peace and protection that nothing else can. Our world needs more charity. I need more charity.

Day 540

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 120:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 120:1
"Verily, thus saith the Lord, the time is now come, that it shall be disposed of by a council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the bishop and his council, and by my high council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord, Even so. Amen."

There is only one verse in this chapter and this isn't much to go by. It made me appreciate the section header with its explanation. "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, making known the disposition of the properties tithed as named in the preceding revelation, section 119."

When I think on that I could see the wisdom in naming a council to distribute the tithes. I would imagine either all or a majority needed to be in agreement in a council. That would ensure the action taken would not only be pleasing to the Lord, but his will in the matter. I would also think it removes the risk of one man doing things for his own benefit or greed. Which would be an temptation Satan would seek to inflict if the responsibility was left to one man. I though upon all the different counselors and councils the church has and now needful they are. I am so grateful for the order the Lord has established in His Church.

Day 539

Friday, September 16, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 119:1-4

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 119:1-4
Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion,
For the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church.
And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord."

This revelation was given to Joseph Smith after he inquired of the Lord on how much tithing was required. Before that the saints had lived the law of consecration and stewardship of property. As I pondered on this I saw that what was required before paying one-tenth tithing was the giving of all our surplus property. That isn't something I was ever asked to do. I wondered why we don't do that anymore?

Then I read what the surplus was for. It for building the House of the Lord, laying the foundation of Zion, and the paying of debts. Well the foundation has already been laid now. Temples are dotting the earth, and the church has paid all its debts and has a surplus. That would be why it is no longer required of us. I remembered back when younger how it was required of us to provide part of the funds for our chapel when it was built. It was a lot of hours and hard work as a ward to raise that money. There was even a building fund allotment per family. Now those are no longer required. It is the blessing of many faithful saints paying their tithing, that takes care of all the needs of the church. I had such a sense of gratitude for the saints prior to me and their sacrifices. How they helped lay a foundation that blessed the lives of those that followed. 

Day 538

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 118:1, 6

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 118:1, 6
"Verily, thus saith the Lord: Let a conference be held immediately; let the Twelve be organized; and let men be appointed to supply the place of those who are fallen.
Let my servant John Taylor, and also my servant John E. Page, and also my servant Wilford Woodruff, and also my servant Willard Richards, be appointed to fill the places of those who have fallen, and be officially notified of the appointment."

The mention of apostles that had fallen intrigued me. I had to find a list of the apostles and the times they received their calls. I saw quite a number of them that were excommunicated for apostasy in the early days of the church. Interestingly, never was it a majority of them in a state of apostasy at once. That would be in keeping with the promise that the majority of the twelve would never lead us astray. Some of those that apostatized did repent and came back, but their line in seniority was changed. I wondered how an apostle could apostatize? Then I thought of the Savior's apostle Judas that betrayed him. As I was ready to sit in judgement of their apostasy I felt so ashamed. I cannot know their hearts. I cannot know what hardships they endured or the trials that they faced. I cannot know what their apostasy meant to those that remained. Two future prophets, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, moved up in their seniority as others were removed. All of this had a purpose and a plan. Judgement is left to the Lord. 

Day 537

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 117:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 117:2-3
"Let them awake, and arise, and come forth, and not tarry, for I, the Lord, command it.
Therefore, if they tarry it shall not be well with them."

This revelation was received July 8, 1838. The Lord was speaking to William Marks and Newel K. Whitney. Telling them to settle up their business speedily and before he sends again the snows upon the earth. They were to leave Kirtland and go to Zion. What struck me is how they were told not only what to do and given sufficient time to be done, but if they didn't follow this command it would not be well with them. It made me think of impressions I have had and the blessings I have received when I follow them. Then when I didn't follow those impression things did not go well for me. It is always better to do as the Lord tells you. To rely on the Lord means putting my faith in his timing. He knows far better than I what is best.

I have a matter I am working on right now. I know what I need to do and I am working on this every day. I don't have a deadline, but I know I cannot tarry over this. I don't feel I need to panic or do more than I am able. The Lord knows the timing and if I am diligent there will be time and enough to spare and all will go well. I am amazed how the ways are opening up and how inspiration is coming along the way. 

Day 536

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 116:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 116:1
"Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet."

This is the only verse in the chapter. I just sat and pondered on what it would be like to be in Adam-ondi-Ahman when Adam returns. I had to listen to the hymn "Adam-ondi-Ahman" which was sung at the Kirtland Temple Dedication, as I pondered. All I succeeded in doing was becoming incredibly homesick. I'm not for sure on what, but that is all I can describe it as. The only time I've even been homesick is when I was visiting my daughter in California and missed going to the temple three weeks in a row. I wasn't homesick for my family back in Utah, I talked to them everyday and did scriptures with them over the phone. I was homesick for the House of the Lord. I finally had to simply go to the temple to get better. Funny thing is today I was at the temple, it was a lovely session. So I have no idea what has made me homesick pondering on Adam-ondi-Ahman. Maybe it just made me homesick for heaven. I know in my near-death experience I came to understand how Adam could be called the Ancient of Days. Maybe things are to close to the surface in this verse and song.

Day 535

Monday, September 12, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 115:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 115:6
"And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth."

This verse made me think of the preppers I have seen that are looking for safe places to be when hard times come. They are stock piling food and guns, trying to stand totally independent. I realized how foolish that was, because no place will be safe, only Zion and her stakes. It made me think of meeting twice a year with my stake for conference. Not everyone in the stake comes, simply because they feel it's a day off from church. Myself, I feel it's one of the best days for church. The talks are so amazing, and I am feed spiritually. Being feed spiritually strengthens me and helps build my defense from the troubles of the world. I feel I can rest and there is safety among the saints. Even as a child I loved it when we traveled an hour to our stake conferences. Coming home from stake conference I just felt different, there was a renewal. I also feel that same way when LDS General Conference happens twice a year. This time of year is even more special to me, for I sit at the feet of the prophet and the apostles and feast upon their words. What more can I ask for? I just had to sit and think how blessed I am for the Stakes of Zion and how one of the gathering places is just down my road. 

Day 534

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 114:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 114:2
"For verily thus saith the Lord, that inasmuch as there are those among you who deny my name, others shall be planted in their stead and receive their bishopric. Amen."

If there is ever anything to keep me humble about a calling it is this. If I don't serve in a manner pleasing to the Lord I can simply be replaced. The Lord's work will not be frustrated and there are always others to be blessed. I am reminded of this every time I enter and leave the temple. I see people coming and going at will. As I leave there are people coming to take my place in serving there. Yes, I was needed, but if I don't chose to serve someone else will come and receive those blessings from that service. The only one that suffers is me.

Day 533

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 113: 1-2

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 113: 1-2
Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?
Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ."

The section headers says "Answers to certain questions on the writings of Isaiah, given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at or near Far West, Missouri, March 1828."

As I read this chapter there were various questions on the 11th chapter of Isaiah. I actually wondered "How is this not like people playing with the ouija board or doing a seance, trying to get answers to questions?" I actually felt bad wondering that. I knew this wasn't anything like that, but my mind still had to ponder it. As I went back to these verses I realized here was the answer. The difference is these answers testified of Christ. If the source of the information was Satan they would never testify of Christ. It would be counter to what Satan is capable of doing. It testifies that the true source of the information was from Christ himself. I find it so interesting sometime what questions the spirit puts into my mind to ponder on. The questions given me by the spirit always come with the answer if pondered on it. I'm sure Joseph Smith had been given through the spirit the questions he needed to ask in this chapter too.

Day 532

Friday, September 9, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 112:20, 24-26

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 112:20, 24-26
"Whosoever receiveth my word receiveth me, and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent, who I have made counselors for my name's sake unto you.
Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord."

As I read this chapter I could not stop from thinking about those that have stood up during LDS General Conference, multiple times, and apposed the sustaining of the Prophet, First Presidency and Twelve Apostles. How can one say they are a member of Christ's Church yet appose those He has chosen to lead it? Anytime we speak out in opposition to them, we break our covenants. Serious reflection needs to be made on where one stands. Asking myself if I were taking up residence in the great and spacious building would be a very good start. Before the earth is cleansed the Lord will cleanse from within, his own church. Would He feel any need to cleanse me from it? Right now if I felt any need to censor the prophet or apostles I would be shaking in my boots. They would not wrong, it would only be me. In rejecting them, I would be rejecting the Lord himself.

Day 531

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 111:5

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 111:5
"Concern not yourself about your debts, for I will give you power to pay them."

I know this isn't to say get in all the debt you want and don't worry about the payment. The Lord councils not to get into debt with our enemies. So I think when debt is acquired after all I could do, I can turn to the Lord for help. He can provide the inspiration and means for me to repay them. That would seem to be why he said "I will give YOU power to pay them". In faith follow him. Take the concern and the worry, that constant talking in my head out, placing them at the Lord's feet to carry that burden for me. Then with trust in the Lord, my mind is free to hear the promptings by the spirit in the direction or course needed to solve the matter. In faith the way to get out of debt will open up. 

Day 530

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 110:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 110:7
"For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house."

On June 7, 2015 the Payson Temple was dedicated. Two days later on June 9, 2015 it opened for the performing of ordinances. I went to the second endowment session held there that day. I didn't realize there was a special session right before mine. While in that session a feeling swept over me and I knew my Savior Jesus Christ was in His House. That all His ordinances were taking place and he accepted the operation of His temple. I knew His spirit emanated from a particular point inside the temple. If I could have followed that spiritual impression, I knew I could have walked the halls until I found the door he was standing behind. The only thing that kept me from doing that very thing was honor. I was in His House, doing redeeming work for the dead, and I would not leave in the middle of it. For he was accepting the operation of the very thing I was doing. I didn't need to see Him, I already knew he was there. It was witness enough.

Afterwards I marveled at the experience. I had assumed the Lord would have come to accept his temple at the dedication of it. I wondered was there doctrine of his coming to the temple shortly after its dedication, to accept the operation of it? My heart reasoned, that to accept it he needed to witness the running of it, in a manner pleasing to him. There had been quiet confusion the whole time I was there that day. The temple workers were new and didn't know little details, like assigning lockers, directing seating, or where to put temple cards. The ordinance I went through prior to the endowment session was done by a new temple worker. She needed to say the few words exactly and it was nearly an impossible task for her. She had a sister by her side helping with her training. Literally she attempted to say those words 20 times. Each time making a single mistake, only to start over again. The more it happened the greater the spirit grew in our little room. She was trying with all her heart to do it right. We could wait. It was an amazing experience I cherish to this day. 

I knew from my experience the Lord did not expect perfection on our first tries. He accepted our hearts willing to be perfect and trying until it was right. Yes, I could understand why He found acceptable what these inexperienced temple workers and new patrons were doing. The ordinances were correct in the end, their hearts were pure. All they wanted to do was act in a manner pleasing to him.

As I pondered over where to find the doctrine of the Lord coming to accept the operation of His temple, this verse was it. The Kirtland Temple was dedicated on March 27, 1836, and he came to accept it days later on April 3, 1836.

Day 529

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 109:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 109:7
"And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith;"

So hard to pick a favorite verse. This is the dedicatory prayer on the Kirtland Temple. So much to ponder and think about. I found so many things that pertain to our worship there that I cannot begin to discuss. 

I did settle on this verse because as I read it I pictured myself in the celestial room coming out of an endowment session. The first thing I do is look to see if one of my four favorite places to sit is available and then go there. Next to each is a table with a set of scriptures. I love to read my scriptures right after coming out of an endowment session. Sitting in the peace and beauty of the room. With the first rays of the morning sun coming in just fills my soul. There is no better place to read and ponder the scriptures than right there. Usually I read my chapter for the day. Occasionally I will read more about what I learned or wondered about during the endowment session. After I am done most people have left the celestial room and I pretty much have it to myself. That is when I sit in quiet prayer. My soul is feed and now I am ready to face the world. 

This verse I picked I usually hear it used in context to reading good books. I have even been given titles for some of the best ones. Yes, they are great but I realized for the first time the best books the Lord is meaning are His. Repeatedly, I am told in His house to read His scriptures. Then as I sit in the celestial room the only ones there are His books, contained in the scriptures. I know there are other great books, but really the one best of all is the scriptures. As I ponder on this I could see that each set of scriptures are made up of different books. I counted all of them making up the standard works and there are 85 different books. I have a choice between 85 different books inside the scriptures to learn more about my Savior, and the wisdom and light he wishes to give me. That is a lot of great books to chose from.

Day 528

Monday, September 5, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 108:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 108:7
"Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.

The chapter header says "This section was received at the request of Lyman Sherman, who had previously been ordained a seventy and who had come to the Prophet with a request for a revelation to make known his duty."

I had to think how cool is that to just go ask the Prophet to request a revelation so you could know your duty. It's not like I could go do that right now. There would not be enough hours in the day for the prophet to do that for everyone. Then as I read this I see what he was told applies to me too. In fact as I read the scriptures I know my duty more fully. I have long felt I don't need a calling in the church to simply serve the Lord. Of course, I would never take over another person's calling because there is order in things. I just mean service can and should be offered wherever I see a need. I think it even greater qualifies for being unseen and not doing things for the praise of man. Then greater blessings can come. 

Day 527

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 107:18-20

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 107:18-20
"The power and authority of the higher, of Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church - 
To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.
The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments."

I just had to ponder on how blessed I am to live at this time. The priesthood is restored and the heavens are open once again. This whole chapter speaks of the order of the Priesthood, their duties and responsibilities. I am so grateful for the Lord's direction in this matter. There is no confusion. The blessings of the priesthood keys on the earth are unspeakable.

This chapter even speaks of Adam and the gathering three years before his death in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. Where he gave his last blessing, and being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation. This was written in the book of Enoch. Now that is a book I would love to read someday. Probably best when I'm on the other side of the veil. I wonder if I actually have read it? The city of Enoch was translated and taken up to God. I wonder if I saw them there before I came to earth? Funny how the mind can wonder about things as you ponder on the beauty of the gospel plan and all that has been and is yet to be. You know what, I wouldn't live in any other time. The blessings of this day are just so great. I also like the fact I don't know every little detail of what is going to happen in the future. I love having faith that it will all work out for my good in the end, if I keep walking with Christ.

Day 526

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: D&C 106:4-5

Today's Favorite Verse: Doctrine & Covenants 106:4-5
"And again, verily I say unto you, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it overtaketh the world as a thief in the night - 
Therefore, gird up your loins, that you may be the children of light, and that day shall not overtake you as a thief."

Gird up your loins, in other words get to work, prepare for battle. I sat and pondered on how as I serve the Lord the spirit speaks to me. I learn far more studying and reading with a purpose to share, then just for my own edification. I think that would be the same way the children of light would not be surprised at the Lord's coming. They would know the signs and make preparations, even when they don't know all the reasons why. That is because the spirit instructs them.

I know locking myself away and reading all the materials on the last days and viewing all the YouTube videos on it, won't get me very far. In fact I would probably just become down right weird. But, serving the Lord with full purpose of heart, learning of him and sharing the gospel opens the windows of heaven. The light needed to know what the scriptures says will come in their hour of need. This is my faith, because I know this is the course I am told to take. Forsake man's learning, and get to work, only in the service of my God. 

Day 525