Monday, May 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2
"And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me."

Gideon's army was 32,000 strong as it was coming up to battle against the Midianites. Then the Lord tells Gideon to reduce their numbers. For that large of an army would tempt them to say they did it of themselves. In the end there was only a tithe of 300 men remaining. In the end they succeeded. I pondered on how they succeeded by relying on the Lord. I reflected on various scripture stories of the weak being made strong. I also thought of the times I have plead to the Lord to give me strength that was not my own, in order to accomplish what was needful. Then I was strengthen to do things I was otherwise not physically able to. I have also seen help come to assist in answer to my prayer.

I reflected on a time when I was given strength that lasted over several days. When the days job was done I would make it to my car and drive home. Then complete exhaustion would hit me, and I could barely walk into the house. I was left physically drained, and in terrible pain. Yet the next day somehow I could do it all over again. The miracle of it all left me in amazement. I knew the only reason I was given the strength beyond my own was simply to assist another in greater need. I would be crippled in pain at home, but in their home I had a strength and energy that was not my own.  I knew I had experienced a miracle because I trusted the Lord to help me do what was required in order to serve him. I have come to learn that when I put my trust in the Lord, and give it my all to serve him, he will make me strong enough to finish the task.

The thought now occurs to me, maybe that's why my physically strength has been reduced. Simply so the Lord could show me what wonderful things he can do for me, when I serve him.

Day 793

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10
"And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice."

I pondered on the connection between not obeying the Lord and  fear. I would not fear other people's gods or them if I only feared the Lord. Which means to reverence the Lord and serve only him. Having fear is my first sign I am straying from what I need to do. Obeying the Lord has only brought peace. I have found over time that when I start to have fear or panic, that something is amiss in my life. Once I draw back to the Lord the fear leaves me and peace fills my heart. I can be in the middle of sore trials or during times when I should be happy, and found it matters not the circumstance. The root of fear is always the same.

Day 792

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3
"Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel."

This verse made me think of Doctrine & Covenants 25:12

"For my soul deligheth in the song of the heart; ye, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

I love to sing the hymns at church. I am trying so hard to memorize them. I remember a story told me long ago of prisoners of war that  would sit for hours trying to recall scriptures or hymns from their memory. It would bring them comfort and peace. Just last Sunday as I was singing the hymns that story came to my mind, and once again tonight. I want to never be left without access to my scriptures or my hymns. No one could ever take them from me if I have treasured them up in my heart and mind. Even if I became blind and deaf I would find comfort in hearing them in my mind and recalling all these sweet words. I know the Lord loves the hymns, they are like prayers to him. That is the music I wish to sing.

Day 791

Friday, May 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh."

I did a little research to understand how Deborah was called a prophetess. From this chapter I figured she was some type of judge, because people came to her for judgment. I then read this in the March 2014 Ensign article "Faith and Fortitude Women of the Old Testament".

We read in Judges 2:7 that “the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua.” However, the Israelites then began to forget the Lord, and the next 200 years were characterized by periods of apostasy and repentance. During this time, individuals known as judges, chosen either by the Lord or by the people, served to deliver the Israelites from their ever-present enemies.

Deborah was one of these judges, the only woman recorded in scripture to serve in this capacity. She was a prophetess, judge, and deliverer. In her role as prophetess, Deborah did not hold the priesthood or possess ecclesiastical keys but enjoyed the gift of prophecy in a more general sense (see Revelation 19:10).

Deborah and the Israelite captain Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites and then sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord (see Judges 4–5). Deborah’s courage and faith inspired the Israelites so that they enjoyed a 40-year period of peace."

So it appears that during a period of apostasy the people chose Deborah for their judge. She obviously was a righteous woman. She prophesized that a women, later identified as Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, would be the one to kill Sisera. I pondered on how during periods of apostasy it may not mean everyone has apostatized. With her being selected it reminded me of how in the Book of Mormon I have examples of righteous, faithful men chosen to lead the people. Even thought the people were in apostasy they selected Mormon to be a chief captain at the tender age of 16.

I knew there was a scripture in the Book of Mormon that mentioned that they chose their chief captains because they were righteous men. I couldn't find it, but I did find this in Jarom 1:7

"And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance."

I find it rather interesting that during periods of apostasy people will still strive to have righteous people be their leaders. Doesn't mean it always happen, but people still look for them. In this case the people selected Deborah. I'm sure they could see in her great wisdom to judge them, even if they didn't recognize where the source of that wisdom came from.

Day 790

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 3:1, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 3:1, 4
"Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canann;
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses."

Why were not all the nations driven out of the land Israel was to inherit? It was so the Lord could prove them. To see if they could leave alone these other nations and not worship their gods. What did the children of Israel do? They let their children marry into the other nations, then they served their gods. Soon they forgot the Lord and war broke out again.

This all made me think of the quote "Be in the world but not of the world", which is shortened from Jesus great Intercessory Prayer in John 17:11, 14-15.

"And now I am no more in the word, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil."

That's just part. I sat and read the whole Intercessory prayer and wept. What beautiful promises if I do not become part of the world. Oh, to have such depths of humility as the Savior prayed to the Father. All that he did to bless me. How small a price it is for me to stay out of the world, and how great the benefits. I do like the side I am on. The only pain I have is seeing those that were once not part of the world join it.

Day 789

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 2:12, 17, 19

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 2:12, 17, 19
"And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger."
And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord, but they did not so.
And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."

I have seen all of this happening right now before my eyes. I see people wanting easy wealth and supposed happiness, all they have to do is think positive and by the "law of attraction" it will come to them. They have come to accept the "other gods" around them. The scriptures and prophets have never taught such things. In time they "cease not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way", and forget the Lord.  Seeking their own will and not God's will in their life. These "other gods" teach to become full of pride, and for them to become a god unto themselves.

"And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;"  (Judges 2:20)

I would not want the Lord's anger hot against me, but I know if I begin to worship "other gods" this is exactly what will happen. It grieves my heart to see the elect being deceived. How careful I need to be to not follow. The bible contains the Lord's warnings and he continues to warn through living prophets today. If he has not taught a doctrine or law through his prophets then it is not of him. It is very simple, the Lord does not twist his scriptures and reveal truths through those that do not worship him. The gospel is pure and there is harmony and consistency in all the Lord teaches. The Lord is very clear about what his laws are, and that knowledge brings peace to my heart. How grateful I am for the scriptures and living prophets to help guide my way.

Day 788

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 1:1-2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 1:1-2
"Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand."

In the chapter not all the cities are taken, The Canaanites remain in parts of the land. I wondered why?  What I think I am seeing is that when Judah went with a tribe to fight those in the land, they were successful. When the tribe went on their own they were not. What I pondered on is that even if I am told of the Lord to do something, if I don't do it in the manner he has said then it will come to naught. I must rely on the Lord for everything. Man's understanding is foolishness.

Day 787

Monday, May 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 24:15

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 24:15
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

I pondered on how every day I do not choose to serve the Lord is one step closer into Satan's grasp. I cannot straddle the fence. I am either with him or against him. The conscience decision needs to be to choose the Lord and serve him all the days of my life.

Day 786

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 23:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 23:6
"Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;"

I pondered on if I felt courageous for keeping the commandments. I simply don't. When I was younger and there was peer pressure it was harder, and probably took more courage to do what was right. I reflected on a time when it took all my courage to stand up for my beliefs, but I learned after doing what was needed it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I gained a lot from that experience which I have shared with others to give them strength. Today I don't feel it takes courage at all to do what is right. I guess because I really don't care what others think about me. Their opinions are only that, their opinions and they have no baring on me. Just like what they do has no baring on me. There must be a physical and spiritually maturity that has taken place. I am grateful for both happening at the same time.

Day 785

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 22:25-27

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 22:25-27
"For the Lord hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the Lord: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the Lord.
Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice:
But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord."

The tribe of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh inherited land on the opposite side of the Jordan. This meant they were also farther away from the tabernacle in order to worship.  To remember the Lord they built an altar. At first the other children of Israel thought they had left the Lord, and were not worshiping God. Probably afraid they had gone to worship false idols. After they inquired as to its meaning they were pleased.

What this made me sit and ponder on is how I don't always know why a person does what they do. You cannot assume the worst when you don't understand. It is best to seek understanding first directly from them. Then counsel can be given if needed, or understanding will come. This story is a great example of that.

Day 784

Friday, May 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 21:43-45

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 21:43-45
"And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
And the Lord gave the rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.
There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass."

This just made me cry for Israel. How long had they wandered and now they came to rest. All that God had said had come to pass. I reflected on how when one trial is over, there is a moment of peace. Then the next lesson of life comes, and the cycle begins. Through it all the one constant is, the Lord will be with me, if I am with him.

Day 783

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 20:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 20:2-3
"Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out of you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood."

I pondered on the whole city of refuge for the slayer that kills by accident. Giving protection from the avenger of blood. I pictured what it must have been like to accidentally cause someone's death. I've know people that experienced a child running out in front of their car and killing them. The turmoil and guilt they felt over such a thing. They were definitely innocent. Yet in the law of Moses taking a life would mean your life. Someone in the family of the deceased had the right to avenge their blood. I thought about how they also would stone a person back then for picking up sticks on the sabbath day. What is the difference in this case about taking the person's life?

I think the difference is their innocence. The protection was given to a person that was innocent, so their life would not be shed. If the law of Moses was to point to the ultimate sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ, then the only innocent life to be shed was his. Not only would he protect the innocent, he would protect the avenger from shedding the innocent blood too. I reflected on how just and merciful that was.

Day 782

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 19:49-50

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 19:49-50
"When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
According to the word of the Lord they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein."

As I was reading this chapter full of places and names I know nothing about, these thoughts kept running through my mind. "I know nothing about these places. They mean nothing to me. How is this important to me?"  Then I saw that it wasn't, it was important to them. Just like the place I call home is important to me. Even the prophet Joshua needed a place to call home, and he was given such a place. I searched the scriptures for any more mention of Joshua's inheritance Timnath-serah. I found only one reference in Joshua 24:30. This was the place he was buried, his final resting place.

Day 781

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 18:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 18:1
"And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them."

One of the definitions of subdued is "to bring (land) under cultivation". It made me sit and ponder on how I have seen land around the temples flourish and bloom, and populations build up when they are there. There was hardly anything here in American Fork when our temple was first built. Since then the area has grown. I sat and pondered on how Israel probably experienced the same thing when their tabernacle that served as a temple found a resting place.

Day 780

Monday, May 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 17:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 17:14-15
"And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto?
And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee."

This made me smile. I could not help but think of "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.."
(Luke 12:38 and Doctrine & Covenants 82:3)

Day 779

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 16:9

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 16:9
"And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages."

I like the imagery of Ephraim and Manasseh both sons of Joseph inheritances coming together. I think it is a foreshadow of what was to come for them. Ephraim becomes so large it is spilling over the walls of another tribe, even his brothers.

Day 778

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 15:18-19

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 15:18-19
"And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs."

The scripture of giving good gifts came to my mind while reading this. I ended up looking up several verses on "good gifts".

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11)

"And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ." (Moroni 10:18)

"Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;" (Doctrine & Covenants 46:8)

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

Just like a parent knows how to give good gifts to his children, the gifts my Heavenly Father gives are even greater. He does want to bless me. It is for me to remember why they were given.

I pondered on how I have all that is needful in my life. I wondered if I was afraid of having more than is needful? The greatest challenge is to not loose sight of why the blessings would come.

Day 777

Friday, May 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 14:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 14:10
"And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, that I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said."

These are the words of Caleb the faithful spy of Numbers 13-14. Who along with Joshua were the only ones to give a good report of the land they are now possessing. The Lord promised that all the children of Israel of that generation would wander and die and not possess the land, except them for their faithfulness. Now 45 years later Caleb comes to claim his blessing. He is 85 years old and as strong as he was at the age of 40 when this event happened. The Lord has preserved him for this day. He is still to drive out those in his promised land, but he is faithful and the Lord has made him strong enough to do so.

All this made me think about my patriarchal blessing and the promises given me 41 years ago. Almost as long as Caleb's promised blessing. I had the desire to search for what promises I have not claimed. I felt like Caleb I could now approach the Lord and ask for them. It gave me much to ponder on. I looked at things with new eyes. I found so many wonderful promises.  I marvel at how the words of my blessing fit me at age of 15, and yet still at 55. I could see all my blessings in various stages of fruition.

My patriarchal blessing is very long, it's 2 1/2 typed legal pages in length. It has become very fragile with all the handling over the years. I transcribed it many years ago into my RootsMagic program, and later carried it on my cell phone using the app. That is where I have been reading it from.  I felt impressed to compare my transcription to the original and found  I missed transcribing three whole paragraphs. I counted 10 blessings in those paragraphs alone. It just made me cry. By missing these blessings I was not claiming all the Lord had blessed me with. That is the message I was to receive reading the scriptures today.

Day 776

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 13:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 13:1
"Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the Lord said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed."

Joshua becomes old and stricken in years and yet his call as a prophet is not done. There was still much for him to do. It made me sit and ponder on our prophet Thomas S. Monson now in his advancing years. God does not call a prophet home to his rest until he has completed what he needed to do. I pray every day that President Monson will have the strength needed to carry out his work. I am sure it has to be hard on a prophet when they have become old and frail. It is the prayers of the saints that help sustain them. I am sure Israel was praying for Joshua at this time too.

Day 775

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 12:6-7

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 12:6-7
"Them did Moses the servant of the Lord and the children of Israel smite: and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions;"

In this chapter it speaks of 31 different kings that Israel conquers. What struck me in these verses is that Moses and Joshua never made themselves kings in their place. The land that was conquered was divided up as an inheritance to the children of Israel. If they were men of war and wanted to conquer other lands this is not what they would have done. I pondered on how the children of Israel's King was their God, and not a man.

Day 774

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 11:15, 20, 23

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 11:15, 20, 23
"As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.
For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them as the Lord commanded Moses.
So Joshua took the whole land, according to all the Lord said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war."

What I pondered on was the difference between Moses and Joshua as prophets. In the bible dictionary it says under Joshua, "He is the highest type of the devout warrior."  They both had separate roles to play. Just like I see with prophets today.

Joshua continued the work the Lord had commanded of Moses. I pondered on how Moses was taken before these great battles would take place. That wasn't his mission, it was Joshua's. The Lord calls his prophets for a specific time and purpose. Though their roles may be different the commandments of the Lord did not change. One prophet of God will support another prophet of God. Things are just added upon.

Day 773

Monday, May 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 10:12-13

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 10:12-13
"Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."

In order to have time to finish the battle with his enemies Joshua asks the Lord to make the sun stand still, and stay the moon. It made me think of how the Lord is hastening his work and shortening the days for the sake of his very elect.

"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."  (Matthew 24:22)

With not as many real hours in the day now, I have struggled to finish all that needs to be done. I have wished at times I could make the sun stand still. For now, I realize I must choose my priorities and do the most important things first. I have felt the Lord is testing me to see if I can judge what really matters. All I am capable of doing in a day is putting Him first. As the other areas of my past life fade away I can see I am the better for it. As time presses in to accomplish what is needful I will stop and evaluate did I put him first? Have I worked on my family history? Have I gone visiting teaching? If I add those in my busy schedule the minutes will stretch longer as it is needed. I have witnessed miracle happen when time seems to stand still. I have also seen time jump. I know as Joshua I'm not in control of this the Lord is.  He is doing what is needful to protect me.

The other thing I noted in this verse was the mention of the book of Jasher. I followed the footnotes and found three sections to follow:

Scriptures, Lost
Scriptures to Come Forth
Bible Dictionary -  Lost Books

There are references to at least 15 lost books mentioned in the bible alone. That is more than what the Book of Mormon mentions as lost books. There were other writings too that were mentioned so I'm really not sure of the total count we know that are lost. It made me wonder, what is lost that we don't even know about right now?  I sat and pondered on this for a while.

I would love to read the book of Jasher and all these lost books. I would also love to read the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon and the rest of John's prophesies in Revelations that were sealed too.

"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."
(Revelation 10:4, 11)

As I sat and thought on this, I saw the irony of the hastening of time I reflected on earlier. I would have to ask God to make the sun stand still so I could read all the lost books and sealed portions when they are made available. I struggle now to read what I do have, and then that's not even taking into consideration having studied, pondered and understood it. I have so much to still do with what I have already been given, it really should be enough. Funny that just tonight in family scriptures my husband commented that tomorrow we will finish the last chapter in Acts. We remarked on how quickly you get through the scriptures even with doing only one chapter a day. Slow and steady does help accomplish the goal. It's just if I got new scriptures I would want to feast on it all right then.

Day 772

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 9:14

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 9:14
"And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord."

Not surprisingly the fame of Israel's God reaches the areas around them. Some of the kings come together in order to fight Joshua and Israel. The inhabitants of Gibeon decided to be "wilily" (craftily, with cunning) and pretend to be ambassadors from a far off country. They come with old shoes, clothes, empty wine bottles and moldy dry bread. All to appear to have come from a far distance. They ask Israel to enter into a covenant or treaty with them to let them live.

Joshua makes peace with them, and all the princes of the congregation swear to let them live. Then they find out that they were deceived. They made an oath with the neighbors they would have destroyed from the land. Now they couldn't go back on their oath and all the people murmur against the princes. Then it is decided to make them bondmen, hewer of wood and drawers of water.

I pondered on how Israel was deceived. What went wrong?  It was when they didn't stop to take counsel of the Lord. They should not have relied upon their own understanding. In prayer the Lord would have told them if something was amiss. What a great lesson.

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
(Alma 37:37)

"For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him"
(Doctrine & Covenants 3:4)

Day 771

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 8:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 8:2
"And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it."

When Israel took Jericho they were not to take of the spoils. Every man and women, young and old, the ox, sheep and ass, all were to be killed. The silver, gold, vessels of brass and iron were to be consecrated to the Lord for his treasury. Achan of the tribe of Judah did what was accursed and kept some gold and silver to himself. This was why Israel was defeated and fled the first time they went up to Ai. Now that Achan and his household were destroyed Israel was told to go up to Ai again.

I found it interesting that this time they are to keep the cattle. They are also told how to ambush them. Interesting that the act of men fleeing before Ai before was used to defeat them this time. So the earlier failure wasn't really a failure. I thought about how many men's lives were saved with these two separate events of taking Ai. I pondered on how I have seen my defeats turn into great blessings in the end.

I felt impressed to read this verse.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for it they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
(Ether 12:27)

Then I went back and replaced the word weak(ness) to failure(s). It was very enlightening to see how it applied to what Israel just went through. I have also experienced this in my life. There are no failures if I use them to be taught of the Lord.

Day 770

Friday, May 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 7:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 7:7
"And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore has thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!"

Israel is beaten by the people of Ai. Then Joshua rent his clothes, fell with his face to the earth before the ark of the covenant, with dust upon his head, and cries this verse.

I pondered on this, I cannot tell exactly which way Joshua is speaking. It sounds like he's saying "God, why did you do this to us?"

The Lord does answer and tells him it is because Israel had sinned by transgressing his covenant against taking any of the accursed things in Jericho.  So what got me to thinking were the words "Why did God do this to us?"  Should I not say "What have I done to offend thee?"  I have learned the problem is never God, it's me. God's ways are always just, I just might not understand them at the moment. He will teach me if I humble myself before him.

Day 769

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 6:5, 27

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 6:5, 27
"And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country."

The Lord instructions them on how to take the city of Jericho. The men or war are to silently march around the city once six days in a row. They are to march with the ark of the covenant and seven priests are to blow seven trumpets of rams' horn continually as they do so. Then on the seventh day, they proceed to march seven times around the city. Then on the seventh time around Joshua tells the people to shout; for the lord hath given you the city. When the people shouted with a great shout and the trumpets blew, the wall of the city of Jericho fell down flat. Then men went in and took the city.

I sat and pondered on so many things. Putting myself in the shoes of all the different characters. I wondered if I would believe that it was possible for the city walls to fall down like that simply from marching, trumpets blaring and people shouting. I sure hope I would. I guess I can't know that unless I am faced with something so incredible. So far, all I have had to have faith in is small things for me. I guess faith starts with small things first.

Then I thought about the people in the city. Would I tremble and quake to know the children of Israel were outside the city walls? How would I feel to see this curious event happen six days in a row? I know from Rahab's earlier words the people were already afraid of the God of Israel. Man, I would just want to leave the city. I know Israel's God could do anything. I found it interesting I could feel more assurance of the power of Israel's God as one being conquered, than thinking as a children of Israel. I have no idea what that means.

I wondered if the people of Jericho grew tired of seeing men marching around their city for six days?  Did they begin to laugh or mock at the sight? When things changed on the seventh day did they feel terror or dread? They didn't know what the plan was, they were only watching the events from inside the safety of their walls.

I pondered on Joshua, the prophet. What great shoes he had to fill after Moses. With the Lord cutting off the waters of the Jordan for the children of Israel to pass, and now the walls of Jericho falling down, I can see how the fame of Joshua would be noised around the country. I pictured what it would be like to hear this news. It made me think of the folk spiritual "The Battle of Jericho". I had to sit and listen to it. I couldn't help but think of how many generations the fame of this event has been passed down. Of course, reading the bible tells the story, but those with no faith have usually heard this song.

Day 768

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 5:13-14

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 5:13-14
"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: an Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?"

At first I misread this and thought Joshua worshiped the angel. But then when he said "What saith my lord unto his servant?" I saw that he wasn't. He knew the angel would speak the words of Christ. That is where his heart was. It made me sit and ponder on what I would do if I saw an angel. Would I worship the angel or the message I know he brought from the Lord's lips? An angel of God can only speak the words of Christ, so if an angel were to have me worship the angel then I know if wouldn't be of God.

I felt impressed to go back and look at a recorded event that happened 100 years ago this year in another faith, that actually didn't sit right with me, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong when I heard it. I read some quotes given from the apparition.

Now I understand what didn't sit right with me. The apparition was wanting people to worship them and not Christ. Anything that comes and does not testify of the divinity of Christ and worship only him, is not of him. Reading this event again and seeing it in these eyes just left me a little horrified. That was not a religious event, it had all the hallmarks of a satanic one. Satan absolutely can quote scriptures, he can tell of coming events, and he can show great signs and wonders, to make people worship him, and not Christ.

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24)

"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Revelations 16:14)

The only way back to the presence of the Father is through Jesus Christ. Anything that teaches a different path is not of the Father.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

Day 767

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 4:24

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 4:24
"That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mightly: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever."

Today I pondered on what it means to "fear the Lord".

I know I must fear the Lord, but yet at the same time Satan will motive by fear. So how do I reconcile what fear is?

The bible dictionary tells me, Fear can have two meanings:
(1) to fear God is to feel reverence and awe for Him and to obey His commandments
(2) to fear man, mortal dangers, pain, and evil is to be afraid of such things and to dread them.

I went through a scriptures looking up all the verses for "fear the Lord" and pondered on what they meant. These are some of my favorites.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:10)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)

"Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield." (Psalm 115:11)

"Bless the Lord, O house of Levi: ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord."  (Psalm 135:20)

"Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the see of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel."  (Psalm 22:23)

"Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:5)

"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil." (Proverbs 3:7)

"And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul." ("Deuteronomy 10:12)

"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." (Job 28:28)

"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Revelation 14:7)

"And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us." (Alma 36:7)

"But it is they who do not fear me; neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil - yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center." (Doctrine & Covenants 10:56)

"And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: (Isaiah 11:2-3)

From pondering these over I think before I can love the Lord I must fear him. I must come to know His power and glory. All shall fear the Lord, the righteous and the wicked. The difference is in how I come to love, trust and reverence Him. As I keep his commandments he will reveal himself to me. His power and glory that will make men tremble will instead impart to me wisdom, knowledge, protection, and grace. I will come to understand I am as the dust of the earth beneath him. He is omnipotent, yet he loves me. I won't fall to the earth for fear of him, it will be to reverence Him.

In this chapter the fear of the Lord is to understand God's power.

Day 766

Monday, May 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 3:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 3:3
"And they commanded the people saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it."

I could visualize Israel following the ark as I read this. I knew it had meaning for me. Then I saw it. The ark of the covenant was the earthly dwelling place of Jehovah. Where His spirit would reside. It was treated with great reverence. The Lord would speak from the mercy seat to guide and direct the prophet of the church. We have that still today. I must follow the ark or the prophet. If the church moves forward, so must I. If I dig my heels in and don't move in the direction they are being lead, then I have moved away from the Lord, even though I didn't go anywhere. The council of the prophet is a living thing. It is moving forward to accomplish God's work upon the earth. I remove from my place to follow the will of the Lord. It doesn't stay put to suit me. "Go after it" means I must ever be striving to do the will of the Lord.

Day 765

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 2:9, 11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 2:9, 11-12
"And she said unto the men, I know the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
And as soon as we had heard these things our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that you will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token:"

Joshua sends our two men to secretly spy out the land of Jericho. They enter the city and stay at the house of a harlot named Rahab. Even though she would have been considered a sinner and unbeliever I can see what a good heart she has. I can see how the hand of God prepared Israel's enemies by making their hearts fail them. Yet, Rahab takes a different course she fears their God, which means she believes in their God. She has faith that their God can do all things. I pondered on how the ways of the Lord prepares not only his people, but also our enemies, for whatever purpose they must serve. I love how Rahab saves these men by letting them down the wall with a cord, and they promise to protect her and her family for what she has done for them. I had to jump ahead and read all about Rahab, and where she is also mentioned in the scriptures. I just love her.

"By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace" (Hebrew 11:31)

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and has sent them out another way? (James 2:25)

I pondered on what a perfect example she is of demonstrating your faith by your actions. Even though she may have not yet realized she believed in God, her actions showed that she did. Is that not the way I have to be, show my faith by my works. As I do as the spirit guides me my faith increases. I have no doubt the spirit impressed on Rahab the need to protect and save these men. For doing so she and her family were blessed.

Day 764

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 1:9

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 1:9
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."

This verse made me think of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's April 2017 LDS Conference address "Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear". What a joy to sit and listen to this talk again. So many glorious scriptures references inside it. So many pieces fit. The pure love of Christ, faith, hope and charity casts out fear. I live in a time where peace has been taken from this earth and yet I have peace, and a joy that passes all understanding. Everyday as I sit and read my scriptures, the words of Christ come alive, and I am made alive in Christ. This brings peace to my soul. The fear that doubt, sin, and the adversary brings is dispersed, for it cannot reside where the light of Christ reigns. My strength is in Christ, how can I even say I have courage for it all comes from him.

While pondering the thought came to me if I have the spirit to always be with me, then Christ will be with me too. That is how "the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." I had never thought of it that way before.

Day 763

Friday, April 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 34:5, 8, 10

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 34:5, 8, 10
"So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.
And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,"

I wasn't there when Moses died, but I shed tears today reading of his death. I have now concluded the book of Deuteronomy and finished the Torah (The Law). The first five books of the Old Testament ascribed to Moses - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, comprising  "The Law of Moses". How I love Moses for all his words have taught me.

I pondered on how the mosaic law, would not be fulfilled until the death and resurrection of my Savior, Jesus Christ. How different the stories to come would be, if the children of Israel obeyed the laws that were given them. They would have been prepared to receive their King. A prophet greater than Moses, the very Lord, whom Moses spoke face to face. One day I shall stand before my Savior and speak with Him face to face. I want my story to be different, keeping the commandments will help me know my King.

Day 762

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 33:13, 16

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 33:13, 16
"And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,
And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren."

Moses blessed the children of Israel. He pronounces blessings on each of the twelve tribes. I pondered on the blessing Joseph received. These verses are only part. What stands out to me "blessed of the Lord be his land", and "him that was separated from his brethren". The fulfillment of this took place when Lehi left Jerusalem with his family, and was joined by Ishmael and his family. Together the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh of Joseph's line, came to their promised land. The land in which I live. Where I find the "precious things of the lasting hills". Moses blessing was the same blessing Jacob gave Joseph too.

"Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:"  (Genesis 49:22

How grateful I am for the Book of Mormon and how I can read of the "stick of Joseph". Today as I read the bible the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph are one in my hand.

"Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."  (Ezekiel 37:16, 19)

I have come to find as I am reading the Bible that I need to also read from the Book of Mormon daily. I do not know how to describe it, but it's like a light or energy that allows inspiration to come through to lighten the eyes of my understanding.

Day 761

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 32:37-38, 43

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 32:37-38, 43
"And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,
Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people."

I pondered on the ability of a false god to "rise up and help you, and be your protection". That is totally impossible. Satan only leads one deeper into hell. There is no protection or help that will come from him, or any arm of flesh.

Yet when I worship the Lord my God his arm will always be there to help lift me up. He will shield me from the fiery darts of the adversary. He is merciful, loving and kind. To worship the true God I am blessed beyond measure.

Day 760

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 31:6, 8

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
"Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."

Rejoice! It is all I could think of as I read these two verses. What courage it gives me to know the Lord is before me, in all that I do in his name. In His name is my strength. I felt impressed to just sit and listen to hymns sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The first that I had to find was "Rejoice, the Lord is King!". What a feast! I truly rejoiced in my Lord this day. Jesus Christ, is my Savior, Lord and King. He does not fail me. May I never fail him.

As I continued to feast on all these hymns I found a true treasure. "If the Way Be Full of Trial, Weary Not".  I thought how fitting this would be for someone in the midst of trial or grief, to know Jesus will never forsake them. His arm is ever around them. Then it occurred to me I was listening to this on the 18th anniversary of my mother's death. How different I feel today then the day she slipped into the eternities. What a tender mercy of the Lord that he allowed her to be with me in the temple this morning. I had a taste of the joyous greeting to come. The words of this song brought tears of joy in remembering this day. It filled my soul with such a sweet spirit of peace, and strength. I wept in gratitude, for the Lord knows how to strengthen me, even when I'm not weary or afraid.

"If the Way Be Full of Trial, Weary Not"

If the way be full of trial, weary not;
If it’s one of sore denial, weary not;
If it now be one of weeping,
There will come a joyous greeting,
When the harvest we are reaping, weary not.
Do not weary by the way,
Whatever be thy lot;
There awaits a brighter day,
To all, to all who weary not.

If the way be one of sorrow, weary not;
Happiness will be the morrow, weary not.
Here we suffer tribulation;
Here we must endure temptation;
But there’ll come a great salvation. Weary not.
Oh, Do not weary by the way,
Whatever be thy lot;
There awaits a brighter day,
To all, to all who weary not.

If misfortunes overtake us, weary not;
Jesus never will forsake us, weary not.
He will leave us never, never;
From his love there’s naught can sever;
Glory to the Lamb forever, weary not.
Do not weary by the way,
Whatever be thy lot;
There awaits a brighter day,
To all, to all who weary not.

Day 759

Monday, April 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 30:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 30:2
"And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;"

The word "return" made me stop and ponder. I cannot return to the Lord unless I do it with all my heart and soul. I also cannot give the Lord my heart and soul unless I have returned to him. What am I returning from?

"And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." (1 Samuel 7:3)

I am forsaking anything that took me away from the Lord. Any strange gods, false teachings, and anything that breaks the commandments. To come to the Lord I must give him my whole heart and soul, and serve only him. It can't be a half way effort, to truly come to him.

Day 758

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 29:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 29:14-15
"Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:"

I sat and pondered on how this verse applies to me. I wasn't there that day, but the covenants that were made, I would one day make too. This is why I must liken the scriptures to myself. All the words of God apply to me.

Day 757

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 28:63

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 28:63
"And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiple you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it."

This chapter starts with all these lovely blessings that God's holy people will be blessed with for keeping his commandments. Then it follows with the cursing if they stray from his commandments. It was rather to terrifying to contemplate. This made me think of the scriptures referring to a two-edged sword.

"Behold, I am God; give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my word. (Doctrine & Covenants 12:2)

He can divide asunder my enemies but just as quickly swing that sword back at me if I forsake him. I think I know which side of that sword I want to be on. I want to be worthy of His promised blessings, and having him fight my battles for me.

Day 756

Friday, April 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 27:18

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 27:18
"Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen."

The other day as I was reading Deuteronomy 24 I pondered on how I would not be punished for another person's sins. Today I thought about how I am cursed if I do cause others to sin. When a person is at their spiritual weakest they may not see when another presents them with false doctrine, causing them to stumble. The person that cause them to stumble will have that on their head. It would also be required of the person who stumbled to account for their sins. So there are two things here with the scriptures. Don't cause others to be misled, and stay spiritually strong so others cannot lead me astray.

Day 755

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 26:16

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 26:16
"This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul."

I love this. This made me ponder on how I'm not just to keep the commandments, but do it will all my heart and my soul. I have seen over the years how keeping the commandments have changed for me. I looked upon them as restrictions and bondage. Now they bring peace to my heart, reverence and love for God. I have gratitude for how they bless my life, and the protection they bring. There has been a change of heart and attitude in keeping the commandments. It's almost like keeping them seemed dead inside without my heart in them. What an interesting observation I wasn't even aware of until now.

Day 754

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 25:5-6

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 25:5-6
"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel."

This made me think of the story in the New Testament when the Sadducees question Jesus on who of seven brothers would have the first dead brothers wife in the resurrection, if all in turn married her and none of them raised up seed for him. Christ answered that they erred because they knew not the scriptures or the power of God. When they rise from the dead they neither marry or are given in marriage but are angels which are in heaven. The real question for the Sadducees is they didn't believe in a resurrection, angels or spirits. They did not believe in immortality and it's so telling that this is the very question they ask Christ, seeing that they didn't believe in it in the first place. This made me ponder on how those that don't believe in God can question my faith or beliefs, wanting answers on strange things, yet the true question they have is totally something else.

When my daughter was apostatizing from the church she told me she had binders full of questions. I knew all she had done was gone out to the internet and found every anti-mormon question out there that could be found. They were not even her questions. They were traps like the Sadducees tried to do to Christ. I said bring me those binders and let me look at them. I will try to answer them for you. I really didn't want to see them, but I knew that the questions weren't really the issue. But, from reading them I would know what very basic question of the gospel was really the root of the issue. Its like studying a tower of sticks and knowing that pulling just one it would make the whole tower collapse. Sadly for her she never brought me the binders full of questions. I think she knew deep down inside she didn't want to get the answers because the questions wasn't the church it was her. For myself I am glad I didn't have to read Satan's inspired writings that would have only sought to darken my mind. Though I do wish I knew what basic principle of the gospel really was the root of her issue. I think that is why I feel so driven to go very, very basic in the gospel for this is the foundation that needs to be strengthened and made firm and sure, that no tower of sticks can come tumbling down.

Day 753

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 24:16

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 24:16
"The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin."

This made me think of the 2nd Article of Faith.
"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

I thought about how everyone is accountable for their own sins at judgment day. That is such a relief, I would not want to be accountable for another person's sins. I have enough of my own to account for. I am grateful that the Savior's atonement overcame original sin so I could be born into this world and not be punished for Adam's transgression. I was born innocent and can act for myself, and be cursed or redeemed depending on my choices and adhering to God's commandments. I alone am responsible for my actions.  I pondered on how a loving and just God would set things up this way.

Day 752

Monday, April 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 23:24-25

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 23:24-25
"When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.
When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn."

Ah! I found it! In the New Testament in Matthew, Mark and Luke I read the same story that has always puzzled me.

"At the time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples where an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat." (Matthew 12:1)

The Pharisees saw this and said they were doing what wasn't lawful on the sabbath day. The implication being they weren't suppose to be picking corn on the sabbath. I always wondered why wasn't this considered stealing corn, regardless of it being the sabbath day?  Now I find the law. It was ok to go into a field or vineyard and eat your fill when you were hungry. Stealing would be picking it and storing it up for yourself. I knew Jesus and the apostle wouldn't steal, knowing the law helps me understand the custom and scriptures better.

Day 751

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 22:22

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 22:22
"If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel."

As I was reading this chapter I could see how there appears to be laws for every situation. Laws that we don't completely follow today. More so it's the punishments that we don't follow. So many of them the result is death. It's so unforgiving. This made me ponder on Christ atonement and what an absolute blessing and gift it is to me. I can repent and be forgiven. That my sins don't bring upon an immediate sentence of death. I am just so grateful for what my Savior has done for me.

Day 750

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 21:18, 20-21

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 21:18, 20-21
"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear."

This chapter had some serious punishment. I think this one topped it all for me. To see parents turn their child over to be stoned to death for being rebellious. I thought how could they do that? I also reflected that it is a good thing we don't practice this today, because there is so little respect for parents or people in authority in our society, there wouldn't be many children left. Then I realized this had something to do with the fifth command to honor our father and mother. This commandment has not been done a way with. There is implication today for me in this. Then the story of the prodigal son came to my mind. I sat and read it and then watched "The Prodigal Son" video in the "The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos" by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The part of the son coming to himself and returning home touched my heart.

"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." (Luke 15:20)

I understood now why that father had compassion and ran to his son, while he was a great ways off. If he hadn't done that the elders of the city could have stoned him to death. For he was a glutton and a drunkard with his riotous living, and had not honored his mother and father. Under the mosaic law he was worthy of death.

So I reflected on this act of stoning, and turning the child over to the elders of the church. I felt impressed to look at the elders of the church as representing Christ. I have experienced turning a rebellious child over to the Lord, and this fits.  Though my child may have spiritual died, I needed to turn them over to the Lord for his keeping. I have left them in his hands to do as he see's fit. He knows what they must past through in order to "come to themselves".  For I know they will have no desire to see me until they have been made clean. Then I can run to them and throw our arms around them and kiss them, and rejoice. Until that day the Lord has sustained and carried me, and replaced my sorrow with peace in this matter.

Day 749

Today I Lost One Ring

On a very busy day I suddenly noticed my engagement ring was gone. It had become too big since losing weight. It would just twirl on my finger and was very easy to come off, yet I kept wearing it. It was a treasured family heirloom that belonged to my grandmother and mother and was passed onto me when I became engaged. I loved it for how it connected me to these special women. Our family prayed if it be the Lord's will that it would be found. I retraced my steps but couldn't find it. I thought it was either gone for good, or would someday appear while cleaning. I was sad but not upset. Out of all of my possessions that was what meant the most to me. If that had to be taken from me, then it was what had to be.
I felt impressed to try on my wedding band that I had not been able to wear since my first child was born. (He will be 34 next month.) I just never spent the money to have it resized. I was amazed to see it now fit. I was happy with the simplicity of wearing just a single wedding band. A special thank you to my husband William Zamora for going the extra mile and looking in the bottom of our outside trash can for my engagement ring. He was the means that God answered our humble prayers, and returned the ring to me. I have put it up for safe keeping where my wedding band used to be. I will get the engagement ring resized after I finish losing more weight. Right now the wedding band, my husband bought me years ago, is being enjoyed as it should be. Today I lost one ring, and now two have been returned to me. I am so blessed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 20:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 20:3
"And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;"

I pondered on how it's not just a battle, as in a war, this is speaking of. During family scripture reading we happened to be talking about hard things each of us were facing or dealing with. How they required courage to do the Lord's will, and as the spirit was directing. The hardest thing is the desire to not offend another, especially now that people are so quick to be offended. We had talked about how the desire to help others in the long run needs to be our focus. With love for their best interest we can do hard things, and place the outcome in the Lord's hands. When we know we have done our best and as the Lord directs, it does bring the courage needed to face the tasks.

Day 748

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 19:15

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 19:15
"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."

I have always been fascinated by the law of witnesses. Tonight I thought on a different aspect of it. I have come to realize that when the spirit speaks to me, revealing mysteries I never understood before, with ideas that were not my own. It isn't long before I will stumble upon other witnesses to those same thoughts and impressions. I have come to see that I never have an original thought when the spirit teaches me something. I will always find confirmation on what I was taught. Its just that the thought was new to me. The spirit speaks the words of Christ and these are eternal principles, it only stands to reason what I've learned others have learned before me.

Day 747

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 18:10, 14, 21-22

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 18:10, 14, 21-22
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."

The phrase "observer of times" really struck me. What was that exactly? I searched the scriptures and these two verses are the only reference to that phrase. My gut told me it was astrology or stargazing, articles on confirmed that was so. This was something that stood out to me in yesterday's chapter when it talked about worshipping the sun, moon or heavens. I have to say one of the worst experiences I ever had was attending a LDS themed but not LDS Church sanctioned conference. I attended a standing room only class by a man that taught about the times and seasons, and signs of the last days. The class description didn't tell me he would be connecting them into astrology. It was the first time I ever heard an LDS member talk about the signs of the Zodiac, and try to make it fit into the gospel.

I was never so agitated in my life, my whole body was trembling. I knew I was hearing a man teaching priestcrafts. I wanted out, but I was stuck in the middle of a very crowded long row, and I couldn't get out. It was just the worst feeling having to witness what I witnessed in that room. I saw the very elect being deceived, and I didn't want to be one of them. Afterwards there were huge lines of people waiting to buy his book. The scene made me physically ill.  In relating this story to others I have chosen to never mention the presenter's name. That is because I had never heard anything about him until that class. All I knew was my impressions and what if I was wrong about this man.

I happened to relate this experience to a dear friend of mine and she said "Renee, who was this person?"  Just hearing her ask me that left me with the impression I needed to answer her.  I said you have probably never heard of him but this is his name. She said "Renee, he's in my ward!"  Yes, there is something very wrong with this man. We have to watch him, and never let him alone with the youth for fear he will start to teach these things. He also has firesides in his home which we have to stop him from advertising. It was an amazing experience to me that the one person I confide in could give confirmation on a man I knew nothing about. I only had to hear him speak. Yet, I witnessed hundreds in that room devouring every word he spoke. The spirit was watching out for me that day.

I often think of those obsessed with the signs of the last days and how they soon follow into strange paths. That is because they miss the mark and the point of what the signs lead to, and the spiritual preparation that needs to come. Even Laman and Lemuel are a prime example. In hearing their father Lehi's vision of the tree of life what they chose to focus on was the signs of the last days. They missed the mark of what the whole point of the vision was, and the warning it had for them. The preparation I need is to be like Nephi, and taught by the spirit. Nothing will leave me unaware if I have the spirit as my constant guide.

It's been several years now since I had this experience. I found it very interesting when I pondered the last two verses of this chapter. How would I know the words that the Lord had not spoken?  Simply if what they say doesn't come to pass. I sat and thought about all the signs, blood moons and alignments of stars I had heard mentioned, and the time frames they were to happen. Implying some great events would take place. You know what, nothing happened. I am always hearing of new theories on this subject. I will no longer listen to any of them. It simply is not the way the Lord works.

Yes, Jewish holidays have actually been important days for LDS events, but no one going into those events thought of something special happening that day. They were not looking to the calendar or stars to tell them these things. They were just going about the Father's business. Just like the apostles didn't understand how all that the Savior did during his life fulfilled prophecy until after his death and resurrection. The important thing is always to look towards Christ and not the signs. Treasure up the scriptures and the hour or moment they are fulfilled I will know by the spirit it has happened. The living prophet will guide me, and not lead me astray.

Day 746

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 17:3, 5

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 17:3, 5
"And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die."

I thought about how we don't stone people any more for going after "other gods". The Savior taught a higher law, and fulfilled the law of Moses. Yet, this was still a type and shadow of something for my day. The pains people suffer for worshiping false gods is a spiritual death. So interesting that worshiping the heavenly bodies and constellations are a part of this warning. To much star gazing for signs cannot be a good thing, for we could miss the mark. The emphasis needed is to look towards Christ with the spirit as my guide, otherwise I could become lost.

I pondered on what it means to serve other gods. I think it would not only be a practice you would be guilty of, but you would bring others to these false gods too. Leading others astray can have eternal ramifications.

The other thing that can happen to a person that teaches false doctrine that leads others astray, is excommunication from the church. Then all the blessings you have received will be removed. Your baptism and temple ordinances become void. This chapter did talk about having an inquiry and witnesses before passing judgment of death. Maybe excommunication is really what this is pointing to in my day. Not only have they spiritually died. The saving ordinances are gone now too.

Day 745

Monday, April 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 16:17

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 16:17
"Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee."

I think I give as I should, but there is so much more I would love to give. Though I know it's foolish to give and go into debt.

This made me think of Mosiah 4:24-25
"And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received."

Yet, I pondered on the poor widow that cast in two mites and the Lord said it was more, than all they that cast in the treasury. "She of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." What is the balance for my life? I think I must be guided by the spirit. It will tell me wither I gave a good gift. And if I wish to give more than I am able I would do as found in Mosiah, in my heart wish I could give more. It can never be bad to wish I had given more. The Lord will know my heart.

Day 744

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 15:11

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 15:11
"For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land."

This is a subject that has touched my heart of late. I searched the scriptures for all the references of the poor and read them. I paused at the story in Luke 16 of a certain rich man.

"And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full or sores,
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores."

It goes on to tell that the beggar dies and is carried by angels into the bosom of Abraham. The rich man dies and goes to hell. I thought about how this rich man did more than some people around me would do. He let the beggar sit outside his gate. In my local news, no one wants a homeless shelter anywhere near their neighborhoods, much less sitting outside their house. I pondered on where would such behavior leave us?

The poor will always be among us. There has to be a reason for that. I think there are lessons for both of us to learn. One thing I could see in my searching is there is no excuse for not helping them. As I sat and reflected on what I could do, I realized today is Fast Sunday, being more generous with my fast offering is a start.

Day 743

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 14:22

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 14:22
"Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year."

I noticed this mention of tithing did not promise more, just that the field would continue to produce year after year. That really is an incredible promise.  As I sat and pondered on paying tithing, I see how much I have been blessed. Every year I have been able to take care of what needs to be taken care of. I have produced sufficient for my needs and for my family.

I have often reflected on if I would want wealth or sufficient for my needs as promised. I have found the later has been the greater promise. I used to get upset that as soon as a little money would come my way something would break, or need to be replaced, and take it all from me. I could never get ahead.  It's taken time to realize the Lord blessed me to have the money for my needs in the first place. He has taken care of me. What lessons I have learned because of this. The wealth he gives untold is through the spirit. This is by far the greatest of blessings that money cannot buy. These are the windows of heaven that are open until my cup overflows. I have been blessed.

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10)

Day 742

Friday, April 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 13:1-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 13:1-3
"If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou has not known, and let us serve them;
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of the prophet, or the dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

I know there is a prophet of God upon the earth. He holds the priesthood keys and receives revelation. He speaks the will of my Father in Heaven and serves only him. What struck me in this verse is how "other gods" have prophets and dreamers too. That they can give signs and wonders that do come to pass. That these "other gods" will have you serve them too. Who are these "other gods'? I believe they are just Satan deceiving people in various forms. I know there are two powers on the earth. The priesthood power of God the Father, and that Satan has a priesthood power too. The one you tap into will become your master.

God the Father allows the power of Satan to be upon this earth in order for me to be tested. The God I love with all my heart and soul is the one that I follow. It's pretty important I get this right.

I read the bible dictionary on Satan or the Devil. It lead me to Revelations 13. I looked upon it with new eyes. Satan has an impressive amount of power, among them are the power to heal, perform miracles and to create. His miracles are meant to deceive, and blasphemy God, and destroy the saints. From his words he will appear like a lamb, meaning Christ, and deceive the very elect. Everything he does will teach me to no longer love the Lord my God with all my heart.

If Satan is the great deceiver who would he teach me to love? It would have to be myself. If he can get me to have pride and faith in myself, then I will no longer humble myself before God. I would no longer put God the Father first, and seek to do his will. Satan would teach to do my own will, and he would give me the power to attract it to me. If my first love is myself, and the power I gain from self, then soon I will no longer feel I need to humble myself and turn to my Savior Jesus Christ. For if the power was inside me to save or create, why would I need a Savior. I think the first thing he would have to take is my faith in Christ, and replace it with faith in me. I think this is the great litmus test. Who have I put my faith in? For there will be heart me also.

Day 741

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 12:30

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 12:30
"Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee, and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise."

One of the first things Israel is told to do when they enter the promised land is to destroy all the Canaanite gods, their alters, pillars, and groves. To take down their graven images and the names of them out of the place. They are told were to find them, in the high mountains, upon the hills and under every green tree.

I pondered on how they are told how to identify these false gods, and then told not to inquire after them. The warning appears to be you will see them, but don't understand them. It made me think of how I can see or identify things that are going after false gods, the occult, and priestcrafts and my first impression is to step away. Don't touch, get out of that gathering, close that webpage. I have seen the elect go chasing after them and being burned from their experiences. I think there is so much wisdom in identifying false gods, but not studying how evil worships itself, and its power to create. This is a wisdom of the world I do not need to know. To understand how they served their gods opens me to the influence of Satan to instruct. I do not need him whispering in my mind. This is a counsel for the ages.

Day 740

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 11:8

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 11:8
"Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and posses the land, whither ye go to possess it;"

I pondered on how keeping the commandments doesn't always mean I will receive material wealth. In fact I can see what a blessing it has been to me not to have wealth. I would not have learned so many great lessons if I had had them. The ability to think outside of the box, due to the lack of wealth, has been a great gift.

I pondered on what it meant to posses the land. It made me think of projects I have undertaken. How I have been blessed, because the spirit inspired me on how to manage them. The blessing of keeping the commandments is to have the spirit to always be with me. Through that spirit I been taught wisdom to do things that I was once incapable of doing. Not once but many, many times.  I have seen these things become my strengths. So possessing the land means to me any endeavor I undertake with the spirit as my guide. With the spirit I am made strong to do what needs to be accomplished.

Day 739

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 10:9, 20

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 10:9, 20
"Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, according as the Lord thy God promised him.
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name."

I was rather feeling a little sorry for myself. I was seeing and hearing others joyfully sharing about their travels and events they have attended. This is my sorrow, a desire to go and see things but never have the time or money to do so. I was feeling rather down, and tried very hard to cheer myself. I want to have joy for the blessings others have, and not sorrow on hearing their fortunes. They are good people and deserve all the blessings they receive. I would not want it, if it took it away from them.

Then I read this about the Levites. They received no inheritance while the other children of Israel did. Did some of them sit there like me and look at what others had and feel some sorrow?  I'm sure they did. The Lord was their inheritance, but he was also an inheritance available to the other children of Israel. Did some just get more than others? Then I pondered on my relationship with the Lord, how special that was to me. If that was to be dimmed so I could have "more" would I even want it? My answer would be no. I think I'm actually getting what I was promised before I even came here to earth. It was what mattered to me then, and what I wanted most while here. For me to have the shinny things, that bring me sorrow to look upon now, would probably bring me sorry later. Everyone has their temptations and they are not all the same. I have to trust that a wise and loving God knows what is best for me. I know in the end all things will be compensated for.

As I sat and pondered on my blessings I realized I have taken a trip that very few people ever have. It is a trip that money cannot buy. I visited the spirit world during my near-death experience. I have seen things that people that have traveled the globe would given everything to see.  What I saw and learned, and where I now stand is worth everything. What I sorrowed over would only cheapen it. I have been truly blessed beyond measure. How could I have forgotten what the Lord has done for me. What a gift that in my sorrow and pondering I now can put these two things together. I will turn to the trip I did take, that only comes by special invitation. I would not change a thing. I am so grateful to have pondered on these things today. I have found peace.

Day 738

Monday, April 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 9:4

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 9:4
"Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee."

I pondered what they were doing wrong. To think I deserve anything because of my righteousness, would take incredible pride and an absolute lack of humility. Sorta like when you think your humble, and that shows your immediately not any more. I pictured in my mind a totally holier than thou attitude. I can be as righteous as I want and that doesn't force anyone to lose their place. Losing your place, land or possession was totally the doing of the wickedness of the people there. The attitude that was needed was God is in charge and I am just an instrument in his hands.

One of the most important reasons they were to possess this land was because God had promised it to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I think what God is telling them is have a humble heart and turn to me. In all things acknowledge my hand in preserving your life, and having you prosper. God will have a tried and tested people, he can just as well take you out of where he just put you. This made me think about Job.

This also made me think of Elder Renlund's talk "Our Good Shepherd" in LDS General Conference on Saturday. He related the story of the Pharisee and the publican. This scripture stuck out to me.

"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:14)

There is much to be careful about when a person thinks they are more righteous than another. All kinds of alarms should go off that I'm in dangerous territory.

Day 736

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 8:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 8:2
"And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord they God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no."

I pondered on how this verse gives the answer to the question "Why do bad things happen to good people?"  God needs a proven people, and this is how he proves what is in their hearts. I have known hard days, but if it was not for them I would have never come to know the Lord. Enduring to the end is the best part of this earth existence. It is how I come to know my Savior. I would not change a thing.

Day 736

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 7:6-7

Today's Favorite Verse: Deuteronomy 7:6-7
"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people."

This made me think of Ether 12:27
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I will give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for it they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I pondered on how God loves the underdog, and to fight our battles when we turn to him. That to me makes me feel very, very special, and extremely humbled.  

Day 735