Saturday, December 31, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 19:12, 21, 23

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 19:12, 21, 23
"And thou shalt set bound unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish.
And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it."

I try to likely the scriptures to my day, so as I read this chapter of the Lord coming to mount Sinai I pondered on how this is today. I know mountains are a reference to the temples. What are the bounds I am not to touch? I though of the quiet little temple recommend desk that none can pass in the temple without being worthy. That is the bounds set today. Maybe people don't physically die today if they go unworthy, but they most certainly will spiritually die.

Where Moses stood was the Holy of Holies. I have often wondered what the Holy of Holies looks like in the temple. I would love to just peek inside the door. I guess as this verse says I have wanted to gaze. I know where it is in the Salt Lake Temple. I have sat and looked on those doors and wondered, but I cannot even bring myself to go close and touch the door. After reading this I think that is a very wise thing for me not to do.

There is a photograph of the Holy of Holies taken in the early 1900's and released by the church in the book "The House of the Lord" by Elder James E. Talmage. It was in response to a blackmail attempt made against the church when someone snuck in during renovations and took photographs. The church in response took their own photos and released them. Now there are open houses and photographs taken prior to temple dedication so all that wish to know can see. 

The Holy of Holies in the Salt Lake Temple

Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has stated that "hidden away in the central part of the temple is the Holy of Holies, where the President of the Church may retire when burdened down with heavy decisions to seek an interview with Him whose Church it is. The prophet holds the keys, the spiritual keys and the very literal key to this one door in that sacred edifice."

Just like in the Salt Lake Temple every temple around the world has a Holy of Holies. It would not be the Lord's house without one. The locations and size vary, but I know they are there. After pondering on these things I am not so curious to go see them. I am totally filled to know they are there. 

Day 644

Friday, December 30, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 18:17, 19, 23

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 18:17, 19, 23
"And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace."

In this chapter Moses' father in law Jethro comes to him, bringing Moses' wife and children with him. Jethro hears all that God has done for Israel, bringing them out of Egypt. He makes a burnt offering and sacrifice to God. Then Moses, Aaron, and all the elders of Israel eat bread together with Jethro. 

The next day Jethro witnesses Moses sitting from morning to evening to judge the people. He inquires why Moses is doing this alone. Moses replies because the people are inquiring of God. Then Jethro tells him this isn't good, he is going to wear himself out. He advises Moses to teach the ordinances and laws. Then choose worthy men to be rulers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They would judge the smaller matters and bring the greater matters to Moses. 

I can see this same principle in the church today. Does the prophet ever take counsel from others? Absolutely! But, the key is what Jethro said with his advice "If thou shall do this thing, and God command thee so." The confirmation of what to do is ultimately up to the Lord. The decision would be between God and his prophet. After the command is given from God then the people follow. They don't press for their will to be done in a matter.

I see the organization of the church in this. How once this is setup then instead of going to the prophet on every matter, we need to go to those chosen men over us, as ordained by God. If they deem it a greater matter for a prophet then it is their place to do so. I sit in amazement of those that think they can tell the prophet what needs to be done, when it isn't their calling or place to do so. Then when they feel he didn't listen to them, because he didn't do as they said, they consider him a fallen prophet. When men think they are wise they are foolish. What peace there would be in the church if we only followed as we should. 

Day 643

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 17:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 17:11-12
"And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."

I pondered on how I raise my arm in support of the prophet each conference time. I sustain him and support him as do many others. I thought about how when we don't support him Israel falters. When we turn our back on his counsel and advice we will not prosper. Aaron and Hur may have kept Moses arms lifted but their arms were lifted in doing so too. I help support the moving forth of God's work on the earth when I sustain the prophet. 

Day 642

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 16:2, 8

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 16:2, 8 
"And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
And Moses said, This shall be, when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord."

I pondered on how speaking ill of my church leaders, those called of God to their positions, is actually murmuring against the Lord. The children of Israel may have appeared to be murmuring again Moses and Aaron, but the Lord saw it another way. They were murmuring against those chosen of the Lord and anointed to act in his name. They were His representatives here on the earth. To murmur against them was to offend God just the same. How serious it is to murmur against the Lord's anointed. That has the earmarks of apostasy.     

Day 641

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 15:13, 17

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 15:13, 17
"Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in they strength unto thy holy habitation.
Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established."

As I sat in the celestial room of the temple reading this, I realized the same work is happening today. As the Lord gathered in the children of Israel in Moses time, he does the same in my day. No wonder Moses appeared in the Kirtland Temple to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836. Which was both Easter Sunday and the Jewish Passover. He came to restore the keys of the gathering.

"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north."
(Doctrine & Covenants 110:11)

The gathering is to ultimately lead to temple blessings for all of God's children. This is where Moses and Israel were headed. This is where those gathered today are headed. God's people are a temple covenant people.

Day 640

Monday, December 26, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 14:14

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 14:14
"The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

The children of Israel are complaining against Moses for taking them out of Egypt and now the armies of Pharaoh are coming upon them. I see major complaining and a lack of faith on their end. It's really easy to see myself in that comparison. I have done much complaining in my life. When I have learned to "hold my peace" and rely on the Lord, I have been overwhelmed at the battles he has fought for me. I have found the more I come to know the Lord the easier it is to trust him, and not speak against him. I think that is the problem the children of Israel were having, they hadn't come to know Him yet. I pondered on how many amazing miracles Israel had seen up to this point, yet they still didn't understand how God works. Seeing miracles didn't give them the faith to trust Him. I realized I have actually been very blessed, to be given the opportunity to come to know the Lord, without having miracles that could overshadow my faith, but have only confirmed my faith. 

Day 639

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 13:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 13:3
"And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten."

Today is a special day, where I am remembering the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love that Christmas day fell on the Sabbath this year. When I thought about the Israelites being told to remember the day they were delivered from Egypt, I had to sit and ponder on that word - Remember. It is reflected in so many areas of the gospel. There are so many ways to call in Remembrance what the Lord has done for me. I am grateful for traditions and the ability to remember. Quiet reflections on the past, put things in perspective for the future. It helps me steer my course in the right direction. Making sure I am facing towards the Lord. 

Day 638

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas from the Zamora Family

Merry Christmas
From the Zamora Family
William, Renee, Philip & Garrett

May the gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's birth
bring peace and joy into your life.
He is the greatest Gift ever given.

To view our family Christmas Card visit:

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 12:3, 6-7, 13

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 12:3, 6-7, 13
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

As I read this I pondered on the exactness of what the Israelites were told to do. Every step of preparation was covered. What day to take the lamb, when to kill it, how to do it, how to mark the door posts with the blood. When to be in their homes, who to eat with, what to wear, how to prepare their food, what to do with the left overs. Everything is there to be followed with exactness. This was to physically preserve their lives. The angel of death would recognize them and pass them by. 

At first looking at this I couldn't help but think how nutty that would have sounded to anyone that didn't believe Moses was a prophet. How can blood across my door post keep me alive? That does sound rather absurd. All the exact things needing to be done sound very controlling and a waste of time. 

Then I thought of my home and all I have been counseled and commanded to do by the prophets. Family and personal scripture reading and prayer, family home evening, keeping the Sabbath day holy. Standing in holy places and making my home one such place. I thought about the signs and tokens I have, the shield and protection over me. They are here when I am here. I thought about the blessings of the word of wisdom and the promise to have the destroying angel pass me by. 

To the outside world they may all sound incredibly foolish. I would be honored to be found such a fool, if a destroying angel ever has to pass me by. Right now the spiritual blessings living such a life is the greatest gift I have been given. If I remain faithful spiritual death will pass me by. Doing as the prophet counsels is just as important now as it was in the time of Moses. 

Day 637

Friday, December 23, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 11:1, 5, 7

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 11:1, 5, 7
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.
And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."

As I have been reading the stories of Moses I have wondered over how long of a period of time did this all take place? In prior readings I've thought everything came in rapid succession. Now I feel there was more space between these events. There was time for Pharaoh's heart to be softened and hardened. He was given time to keep his promise or not.

When I read the part "shall not a dog move his tongue" I thought of the "prophecy" three different people have oddly mentioned to me recently. That there will be immense destruction in Missouri preceding the Second Coming, so extensive that "not a yellow dog will be left to wag his tail". Each person thought it was an event to still come. I thought it had taken place during the Civil War. Tonight these thoughts made me stop and pickup an internet chase to find my references. I went all around in circles. Found some good stuff, and some contradictory things. Found a lot of things that simply wasted good scripture study time. 

The conclusion I came to is, I have no answer on a yellow dog prophecy. Nor to be honest do I really care to guess. My search made me lose all interest in finding an answer on that. What I do know is clarification only comes through a living prophet. The Lord always gave Moses the specifics of what plagues were coming, and how best to prepare for and survive them. Being obedient to a living prophet brings blessings. I believe there was time between the events to prepare the people for what was to come. In this chapter Moses is given what was to be the last plague they must endure. I could see a pattern in the plague with all the firstborn dying. It was a similitude of God's own first born son dying for our sins. Some will completely pass His gift of the atonement by and suffer as he did.

The protection that separated the Egyptians and Israel was clear for all to see. I think there is a pattern to how God speaks to his people. If I treasure up His words I will be prepared to recognize a prophet's warning voice and not be deceived.   

Day 636

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 10:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 10:2
"And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord."

I was just reading an article and watching a video made with Elder Ronald A. Rasband. It is the "Special Witnesses of Christ" series, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is making. He related a story of his pioneer ancestors that were in the Willie Handcart Company. Hearing this and then reading this verse made me wonder how many generations have told the story of Moses over the thousands of years? The stories of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies have been retold often in the past 160 years since the event. What strength they give me and I do not even descendant from them. I sat in appreciation of the scriptures and the story of Moses. I have learned much from reading this account. Much that I have not even written. I am so grateful for the scriptures and how it emphases the role of family in our lives. How connected we are. How the suffering of one person or people can strengthen untold generations. Witnessing their devotion to the Lord makes me desire to do the same. The bible and all the scriptures relate the story of families. We come to know there is one Father over us all. 

Day 635

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 9:27-28, 34-35

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 9:27-28, 34-35
"And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 
Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken to Moses."

Moses continues to go before Pharaoh asking that the children of Israel be let go. Plaques come and Pharaoh agrees to let them go, once it stops, he hardens his heart and denies them the right to leave.

I cannot help but think of the times I have done the same thing. I was a fair weather Christian. I would cry to the Lord when I suffered, then when I had relief I went back to my own ways. It took many, many cycles before I realized there had to be a better way. Only through these experiences could I see God's hand in all that I went through. I had to learn His way was better than my own. I can now see the mercy in God allowing me to suffer. If I hadn't gone through all these things I would have never found Him.

Day 634

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 8:27-28

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 8:27-28
"We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us.
And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me."

Pharaoh multiple times in this chapter agrees to let the children of Israel go if Moses only takes away the current plague. Then when the pestilence is gone Pharaoh hardens his heart and won't let them go. I realized that all this time Moses has been asking to simply go and worship the Lord and they were coming back afterwards. Then he asks to go three days journey out. Pharaoh answers is that they not go very far. What Pharaoh wanted was to keep them in bondage forever. He was trying to keep them connected to him, and retain power over them. 

What ultimately needed to happen was the total release of the Israelites from the bondage of the Egyptians. This would not be possible unless the children of Israel were completely removed from any connection to Pharaoh. I could see how similar this is to sin. I can't just leave it for a little bit and come back. I can't just break things off for a few days. The break to remove myself from the bondage of sin has to be complete. No connection to the former master must remain. What the children of Israel were given, due to Pharaoh's delayed permission to leave, was the opportunity for a complete release. A greater blessing. Greater blessings come when I remove myself completely from the sin, and never look back.

Day 633

Monday, December 19, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 7:4-5

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 7:4-5
"But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them."

I had never thought about how my trials might actually be a witness to others of the hand of God. Even more so when we have suffered through the same events. They have been able to see how God delivers his people and works miracles to bless their lives. Even when there appears to be no miracle that spares suffering, the believer is blessed with comfort and peace, while they are without. I have seen this contrast when I have past through events with people that have turned their back on God. I know their anguish and lack of peace. I had just never thought of the witness involved here. God is still saying to them, I am the Lord. He is doing everything possible to have them turn back to him and repent, before judgment must come. He never gives up on us. I have learned so much from my trials. Sometimes I have fared well and sometimes I have faltered. What type of witness have I given to others? There is much to think about after reading these verses.

Day 632

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 6:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 6:7
"And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians."

I sat and pondered on how once I knew the Lord would carry my burdens, and physically felt that happen. There was no doubt that only the Lord had done it. To feel that power has changed my life. I have no doubt of the reality of God.

Day 631

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 5:8, 13, 22-23

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 5:8, 13, 22-23
"And the tale of bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.
And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither has thou delivered thy people at all."

I sat and pondered on Moses question to the Lord. I could hear distinctly the words "To prepare my people to meet me." I sat and pondered how time is hastening. Satan is doing everything is his power to stop us from worshiping our God. How difficult it is to find the time to do the things the Lord has asked of me. I am just like the children of Israel trying to make bricks without straw and deliver nothing less. God will try and test his people before they are prepared to meet him. This period softens the heart to the point that it can change, and be born again. Some will curse God and die a spiritual death. Instead if I turn to Him with a broken heart I will be healed. He will make my burdens light. I will be found worthy to stand before my King. 

Day 630

Friday, December 16, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 4:15-16

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 4:15-16
"And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God."

As I was reading this I thought of my dear prophet, President Thomas S. Monson in his advancing years. How he can only address us in conference now for a very short time. I have heard general authorities reference how he is preserving his strength in his advancing years. When I see him I know that, that is true.

The Lord has provided for his prophets when they are physically unable to speak all the words required. Moses was slow of speech and Aaron his brother was called to be his mouth piece. I see it today that President Monson has two counselors and twelve apostles that can act as his mouth piece. They can carry the words of the Lord spoke to a living prophet, to the saints for him. What a beautiful and marvelous plan this is. We are never left unable to hear the words of a living prophet. May God bless President Monson.

Day 629

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 3:5

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 3:5
"And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."

I want to stand in holy places. The holiest of place for me is the House of the Lord, His Holy Temples. Every time I am there I am reminded of this verse. I love the action and the symbolism. I am told "stand ye in holy places, and be not moved". I sat and pondered on this and realized, every place I stand could be holy, if I remove the dust of the world from me. Dust is so small you cannot see it. It's only when there is a lot of it together can you notice it on a person or a thing. I thought on how becoming clean and free from dust would take constant effort. It's like my furniture. I can dust and the very next morning see dust once again. Removing dust and the things of the world is an effort that can never stop. It takes constant action like prayer, studying the scriptures, taking the sacrament, repenting, and striving to keep the commandments. Dust can be so tiny that the natural eye cannot see it. It would take spiritual eyes to see it and remove it. I need spiritual eyes.

Day 628

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 2:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 2:10
"And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water."

As I read this story of Moses and how he came to be raised in the courts of Pharaoh, I see God's hand in it. There was a purpose and plan to have Moses in the right place, and gain the right experiences. I will never be a Moses, but I know there has been and will continue to be doors that will open up to me, as the time is right in my life for them.

Day 627

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 1:16-17, 20

Today's Favorite Verse: Exodus 1:16-17, 20
"And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty"

Pharaoh asked a very hard thing of the midwives to kill the Hebrew male children. It may have been according to the king's law, but morally wrong. The part where the "midwives feared God" more really struck me after the discussion we just had in family scripture reading. We talked about how things can be legal or socially acceptable, but morally against God's laws. How the choice always has to be to stand with God and his laws, regardless of what is politically correct.

In this chapter the midwives did not kill the male Hebrew children and for this the midwives and the people are blessed. That is such an example to me in the course I need to follow. Hard things can be asked of me, but morally I need to always follow God's laws. Just because something is legal, doesn't make it right.

Day 626

Monday, December 12, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 50:19-21

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 50:19-21
"And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them."

Jacob dies and Joseph has him embalmed. Then he seeks permission of Pharaoh to leave and bury his father in the land of Canaan. With a great company all the sons of Israel, Pharaoh's servants and the elders of the land of Egypt travel to bury Jacob. Once mourning is done they return back to the land of Egypt. With the realization that their father is now dead, the brothers are afraid that Joseph will hate them, and return all the evil that they had done to him.

I find Joseph's words to his brothers so full of love and forgiveness. I pondered on how with a forgiving heart I can see God's wisdom in all that has transpired in my life. That is such a tender mercy. I pondered on how the casting of blame is running rampant today. Casting the blame for the ills in our life upon someone else, only leads to blindness. Casting blame and trying to return evil simply destroys us. We can no longer see the hand of God in our lives. We would lose any bit of charity within us. We would be moving further away from Christ. There would be no joy.

Day 625

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 49:22, 26

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 49:22, 26
Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.
The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren."

Jacob blesses each of his sons and tells them what shall befall them in the last days. Each of the twelve tribes of Israel have a role to play. These two blessings of Joseph mean the most to me. It speaks of his descendant Lehi leaving Jerusalem and crossing the ocean and coming to the Americas. There a righteous nation inherited this promise land. They were separate from their brethren when Christ same to his "other sheep" after his resurrection. 

Through Joseph's son Ephraim come priesthood blessings in the last days. I can see these "everlasting hills" outside my window. From here missionaries are sent throughout the world. Temple blessings are restored once again upon the earth. In the tops of the mountain stands his holy temples. It means the world to me. This prophesy has blessed my life. 

Day 624

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 48:14, 18-19

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 48:14, 18-19
"And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."

Jacob is in his old in age blind. He tells Joseph that he is adopting his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Then he wishes to bless them. Joseph guided his sons according to the birthright under Jacob's hands. Manasseh the eldest was under the right hand and Ephraim the youngest under the left. Then Israel crosses his arms and places the birthright blessing on Ephraim's head. When the attempt was made to correct this, Jacob said he knew it. He knew what he was doing.

I sat and pondered on what difference did it really make who received the blessing? The individual sons would be long gone before all would be fulfilled. Couldn't God just as easily have given that blessing to one or the other? Then I saw how unique we all are in the sight of God. That God knows us and we will come through the lineage he has determined is the best place for us. My patriarchal blessing tells me I am of the tribe of Ephraim. There was a purpose for why I am, where I am. That is totally humbling. 

Day 623

Friday, December 9, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 47:15-16

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 47:15-16
"And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for money faileth.
And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail."

This chapter is talking about the great famine in the land that Pharaoh's dream had warned of. Joseph had received the interpretation that it would last seven years. I figure this chapter is at least in year four, maybe five. 

These verses really jumped out at me. The money system failed due to the famine. It cemented my impressions I've had on food storage and preparedness. I have never thought it wise to store up gold or silver as many people proclaim. You cannot eat it. What was tradable?  Other food items - namely their animals. The people could have eaten their animals to survive, but what they wanted more than anything was grain. That is what was life sustaining for them. Joseph had stored up all grains during times of plenty to preserve life. This is what people wanted and needed. That is what can be bartered and traded for. This is how the Lord provides for his people for the day of want. There is so much to ponder on and learn from in this chapter on the subject of preparedness.  

Day 622

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 46:29-30

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 46:29-30
"And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive."

I can only imagine how long "a good while" would have been for Joseph to weep upon Jacob's neck. To picture it, just makes me weep. When Israel says "Now let me die" I could totally understand it. All a parent wants to know is that their children are alive and well. But, I think it's even more than that, it's that Joseph is still faithful to the Lord. To have all my children around me, and know they love the Lord would make me satisfied with life. I would die happy. My life would be complete

Day 621

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 45:5, 7-8

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 45:5, 7-8
"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."

I love this chapter. I just weep as Joseph and his brother weep together at their reunion. I love how Joseph acknowledges the hand of God in all that happened in his life. That there is purpose and meaning to everything we pass through. I reflected on my own life, how much I have gained from so much that I have lost. I would not change a thing. God has compensated in ways I never dreamed. I see Joseph would not change a thing. What has happened is so much greater than himself.  

Day 620

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 44:32-34

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 44:32-34
"For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.
Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.
For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father."

As I read these words Judah spoke to Joseph, regarding taking the place and paying the price for Benjamin's supposed sin, I could not help but think of my Savior, Jesus Christ saying the same. So fitting that Christ came through Judah's line. It just makes me weep.

Day 619

Monday, December 5, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 43:29-31

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 43:29-31
"And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread."

In a way I can't understand this story. Joseph obviously has tender feelings towards his brothers. Yet, he doesn't want them to know yet who he is. What is he doing?  He is testing them. I cannot help but think of how Heavenly Father must feel towards his children. How all he wants to do is embrace us and give us good things, yet we are here to be tried and tested before we can come back into his presence. 

Day 618

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 42:8 24

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 42:8 24
"And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes."

I read these two verses and it makes me weep. How Joseph must have felt to see his brothers. I imagine he had very tender feelings. Even more so that they bowed down to him like he had seen many years ago in his dream. He knows the meaning of the dream, and he was in a position to save their lives. I can see that Joseph had forgiven his brother's for their actions long ago. The feeling of fear that comes over the brothers shows that they had not repented of their sins. It is foremost in their minds the wrong they have done to Joseph as hard things are asked of them. This story emphasis the importance of repentance and forgiveness to me.

Day 617

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 41:4-5, 25, 32

Today's Favorite Verse: Genesis 41:4-5, 25, 32
And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kind did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

I had so many thoughts, and so many verses I marked, in this chapter of 57 verses. So hard to pick just one verse or one theme. I finally settled on what it means to me. For I am told to liken the scriptures to myself.

I have been experiencing a first sleep and second sleep. I know it is of God and not insomnia. What peace I feel when I awake, ponder on the things of God, and then go back to sleep. I saw in Pharaoh the first and second sleep. I have not been awoken by dreams during this time frame, but I feel like I am being prepared for one. I will only have it when I am ready. I thought about my last dream many months ago and what an answer to pray it was. It was not well for a family member, but it settled my heart on the matter and comforted me.

In this chapter I noted that Joseph said Pharaoh's dream being doubled to him twice is because it was established by God and would come about shortly. I also see the pattern of asking if there is more after receiving anything from God. The example being Pharaoh went back to sleep after the first dream. It wasn't until morning when he awoke that his soul was troubled.

The other thing I pondered on was Pharaoh receiving the dream and not Joseph who was the dreamer. Pharaoh received a dream for what he had stewardship over. He was over all of Egypt, all the lives of the people depended upon him. I know whatever dream I have that comes it will only be for what I have stewardship over. Which most likely is myself.

I am reminded of Acts 2:17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."

I believe that all of this is happening, but they are for the individuals, drawing them closer to God and unto Christ. Dreams are only for the stewardship we have over. Things that come for the world at large come from God's chosen prophet. I really have no desire to read other people's dreams. Joseph of Egypt interpreted Pharaoh's dream because he was called to be such a prophet.

Day 616