Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 11:9-10

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 11:9-10
"And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.
Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased."

The children of Israel are tired of eating manna for so long that they begin to complain. I recalled my recent lesson in complaining. Sunday we had a Stake Women's Fireside, a musical parable of The Ten Virgins. It was a performance I have wanted to see for a very long time. I was tired after church that morning, so I decided to take a nap. The fireside was at 5:30 pm, so I set my alarm for 5:00 pm giving me 1.5 hrs to sleep. Surely I wouldn't sleep that long. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was sound asleep. Next thing I knew I woke up without hearing any alarm. I looked towards the clock and it was 5:34 pm. How did I miss that alarm? I knew the spirit had woken me, but as I rushed to get to the church at the end of the street I chided the spirit, "Why couldn't you have awoken me at least in time to be there before it started?" In fact I was a little mad that it hadn't. All the while thinking to myself I really should be grateful the spirit woke me at all. I was totally conflicted.

I walked in late with the presentation already started. The only seat was in the very back, behind a very tall head. I spent a lot of time focusing on my distractions. What did I miss? This is hard I can't see. It took a while for my soul to calm down. I actually closed my eyes to listen to the words and songs to stop the noises in my head. That made things a little better. It was a beautiful presentation.

Afterwards talking with friends I found out I came in just as it started. So I really didn't miss much. I then came home to read my scriptures and something wasn't right. I couldn't focus on what I was reading. Then I thought of my chiding the spirit for what I had considered not waking me in time. I had to stop and admit how wrong I was in what I had done. I needed to express my gratitude to the Lord, for he did actually wake me in time. Left on my own I could have slept through the night and missed the whole thing. Hadn't I learned by now his timing is better than my own, and he will take care of me? It is only with the spirit of gratitude, for what the Lord has blessed me with, that I can be ready to receive more. With that spirit now I was ready to read and ponder the scriptures, and put oil in my lamp. 

Day 703

Monday, February 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 10:4, 34, 36

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 10:4, 34, 36
"And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.
And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.
And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel."

This chapter made me think of general conference and the gathering of saints. I may not hear trumpets but I thrill at the opening music played right before a conference session begins. I may not see a cloud resting over me, but I certainly watch conference in the cloud via the internet. The pillar of fire is the spirit of God that rests upon me as I sit at the feet of His prophet and apostles, and listen to His voice. The glory of the Lord is once again upon the earth. There is much to rejoice. I'm getting excited already for the April conference to begin.  

Day 702

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 9:8

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 9:8
"And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you."

The phrase "Stand still" made me pause to ponder on it. I also read the footnotes for this verse.

"In case of difficulty respecting doctrine or principle, if there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the minds of the council, the president may inquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation."
(Doctrine & Covenants 102:23)

I tried to define standing still. It makes me think of waiting. I would be waiting to know the mind of the Lord. It made me think of how I get answers to personal gospel questions. I know the answer will come when I am ready to understand. I just wait, or stand still. I find it best to never force having an answer right now. Then in the normal course of reading the scriptures or other church related materials I stumble upon the answer. I think having the question first prepared me to see something I would have totally overlooked otherwise. I find the answer usually comes within a couple days of when the question first came into my mind. I really, really love these moments of finding hidden treasures of knowledge. I receive when I'm ready to understand. I am given the question to make me ready to receive. It is a marvelous cycle of spiritual growth. 

Day 701

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 8:19

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 8:19
"And I have given the Levites as gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary."

The words "that there be no plague among the children of Israel" made me think of one a signs of the last days, plagues. I pondered on the temple and the blessings I have received from attending. I remember after being so ill and unable to hardly do anything I started to go to the temple. At first I went in a wheelchair, then a walker, now with a cane. I could feel myself become stronger after each trip. Slowly I recovered and I knew that I was being blessed and strengthened for temple service. I have experienced physical, mental and spiritually healing through temple attendance. I guess I hadn't thought until now about it protecting me from the coming plagues. This made me do some scripture chasing. 

"Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
(Psalms 91:10-11)

"And Araunah said, Wherefore is my Lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people."
(Samuel 24:21)

"And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles
(Revelations 15:6)

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
(Revelation 18:4)

"Nevertheless, Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her.
But if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.
Nevertheless, let it be read this once to her ears, that I, the Lord, have accepted of her offering; and if she sin no more none of these things shall come upon her;"
(Doctrine & Covenants 97:25-27)

"And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
That the cry of the saints, and the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.
Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen."
(Doctrine & Covenants 87:6-8)

I think of a plague as being an epidemic, covering large numbers of people. It would appear among the faithful covenant keeping saints the number affected will be few, if not at all. I sat and thought about how many temples now dot the earth. How they are there to bless the saints that walk inside their doors. How not only are they spiritually made stronger to endure these days, there is a physical protection over them. I am sure there are many more blessings for active temple attendance than I am even aware of. As each year passes I have heard more and more emphasis on temple attendance. With the increase in temples being built all saints can obtain that blessing. There will come a time when not only is temple attendance vital to us spiritually it will also be to us physically. Maybe it already is? Did not temple attendance heal my depression so long ago? Is depression not an epidemic in our land? There is so much to ponder on this matter. All I know is that the call to stand in holy places is vital to my eternal exaltation, and peace and protection upon this earth. 

Day 700

Friday, February 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 7:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 7:11-12
"And the Lord said unto Moses, They shall offer their offering, each prince on his day, for the dedicating of the altar.
And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah:"

There are twelves days of offering and each prince from a tribe of Israel makes his offerings. The whole book of Numbers is dealing with the counting and order of things. I wrote down the order of each tribe's day. I could see no particular pattern. It didn't go by birth order at all. Yet, I have a feeling that it meant something. The only thing I could determine was the importance of Judah coming first, since this is the line that my Savior, Jesus Christ would come through. 

Day 699

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 6:24-27

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 6:24-27
"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them."

These are such sweet comforting words and truly do give peace. For some reason they made me think of apostolic blessings. I suppose this might fit one. The words came from the Lord to his prophet Moses, then to Aaron and his sons, in turn to bless the children of Israel.  I have been present when a few apostles have given apostolic blessings. I went in search of those that are recorded and spent time reading them. It was joyous to my heart. 

Day 698

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 5:29-31

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 5:29-31
"This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;
Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.
Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity."

This chapter appears to be speaking of adultery. The wronged party needed to give an offering to the priest for his wife because of his jealousy. I remembered a discussion I had at work many years ago. I worked the graveyard shift at a call center and we would talk about the most random stuff at times. I was on a call so I missed most of the conversation but when I got off the phone I was asked what I would do if my spouse cheated on me. Would I automatically divorce him?

My reply was it depended on his attitude. If he had a repentant heart or not. If he was repenting of the sin and wanted to make things work then I would forgive. So, no I would not divorce for adultery. I then found out I was the only one in the group with that opinion. It had not occurred to any of them to consider the person's attitude and forgiveness. They were all for revenge for being wronged. With this verse I can see the sin of jealousy on the side of the wronged party. It is every bit an iniquity on their end. Jealousy would include an unforgiving heart. It confirmed my opinion on the matter stated so long ago. I would not let another person's sin, cause me to sin too.

Day 697

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 4:3, 47

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 4:3, 47
"From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation."

Some variation of this verse is mentioned seven times in this chapter. There must be something about being thirty. I read the footnote. 

"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli," (Luke 2:23)

It appears to be a type and shadow of when the Savior would also begin his ministry. I thought about when I was thirty. I was recovering from my near-death experience. It was a birthday I thought I would never see. I think I needed to be thirty to go through that. Wise enough to be an adult with some experience, but young enough to still be moldable. Of course, I wasn't called to a ministry, but I can see the wisdom of beginning service to the Lord at that age. 

It makes me think about a discussion I had during family scripture reading with my son in his thirties. We were talking about how some people say they feel inside like they are still a teenager or young adult. We all agreed we don't feel that way at all. At the time I couldn't figure out what age I felt like. I just felt like me. Thinking on it now I think I'm stuck at thirty on the inside, but getting smarter as the years go by.

Day 696

Monday, February 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 3:9, 15

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 3:9, 15
"And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.
Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them."

What appears to be happening in this chapter is the Lord set aside the Levites to administer service in the priesthood. Instead of the firstborn of every household being given. I'm sure that was much easier to say your of this lineage this is where you serve. The firstborn for all the tribes were counted and their number was greater than the number of Levites. So redemption money was paid to Aaron to redeem those not serving. So now all is equal.

What I sat and pondered on is why count a male child a month old and upward? What service could a one month old give being called to serve in the priesthood?

This made me think of John the Baptist and when he was ordained to the priesthood. 

"For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power."  (Doctrine & Covenants 84:28)

I guess there is no age requirement on when the Lord can call someone. I might think of a deacon being 12 years old, but truly it can be totally up to the Lord when he calls them. In reality they were all called to this before they were even born.

This sent me on a scripture chase and I read about foreordination. It is spoken of in every set of scriptures. 

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)

"Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," (2 Timothy 1:9)

"And this is the manner after which they were ordained - being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceeding great faith, are called with a holy calling yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such." (Alma 13:3)

"And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born." (Abraham 3:23)

Day 695

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 2:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 2:2
"Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch."

As I read the number of men in each of the tribes of Israel I could not help but be impressed with how many descendants there were for each of the son's of Israel. I'm not sure how many generations this has been, but obviously they have kept track of the lineage they came through. What an amazing genealogical record this would be. Today I only know what line I come through by my patriarchal blessing. I did take note that the reference point for where they gathered is the tabernacle. Which is the house of the Lord. To stand a far off but about, would mean you would still see it in the distance. They must have looked upon it. Is that not the same thing my family needs to do today.

Day 694

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 1:2-4

Today's Favorite Verse: Numbers 1:2-4
"Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;
From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.
And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers."

To me this sounds like the census. I was just working on my family history today and rejoiced over what I found in the US Federal and State Census records. I was finally able to determine which child belonged to which of my great-grandfather's wives. Though some of these records sadly determine how many men there are to go to war, what is left as a result blessed untold generations. I sat and pondered on how God has inspired men to record all types of things that have blessed me in my genealogical efforts. There is a wise purpose in his plans.

Day 693

Friday, February 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 27:32-33

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 27:32-33
"And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.
He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed."

In my mind I pictured the shepherd numbering his sheep. Putting them in a fold and allowing only one at a time to pass out. All the while dipping his colored rod on the tenth sheep to pass. Thereby marking the lamb to be tithed. Whichever came out as the tenth was the Lord's. I sat and thought about the illiterate, unable to count to ten. How would they know which was the tenth? Then I looked at my hands. My own hands show me what is ten. I had never looked at them that way. Even a little child can match with a finger and know one of something belongs to the Lord. 

I pondered on the animals coming out of the fold at will. What absolute faith it took, that what came as the tenth would be the Lord's. If it was your favorite or prize sheep it did not matter, it was the Lord's. I sat and thought how this is similar to how I pay my tithing. After getting paid my wages I sit and balance my checkbook. Before paying any bills I count the tenth of my income and pay my tithing first. Then relying on celestial bookkeeping I pay the remainder of my bills. During lean times it has been tempting to wait on paying my tithing so a bill could be paid. I have since learned to not even look at the bills before paying tithing, so the temptation is not even there. It really is having faith that whatever comes out of the fold next will be as the Lord wanted, and a way will be prepared.

In college I received my degree in Accounting and the Lord's method is far superior. I gave my method the name celestial bookkeeping, because it follows heaven's law of paying tithes first. After I pay the Lord's tithe I know somehow, as a wise steward, I will have sufficient for my needs, even when there are more bills to be paid than money on hand. Through the spirit my mind will open up and I will see the way to shuffle things, coming to a solution that meets our family's needs and my creditors. I have witnessed true miracles which makes me absolutely love being the celestial bookkeeper of my home. The whole act is holy when dedicated to the Lord. I love paying the bills and witnessing the promise blessings. He never fails me, I have sufficient for my needs when I pay the Lord first.

President Hinckley said "While tithing is paid with money, more importantly it is paid with faith."  The paying of tithing has blessed me with greater faith in the Lord.

Day 692

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 26:12

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 26:12
"And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people."

The chapter speaks of the temporal and spiritual blessings that come to those that keep God's commandments. It also speaks of the punishment to those that disobey the Lord and do not repent. I picked this verse to rest my soul on. This is such a beautiful loving verse, full of so much promise. I can just picture God walking among his people. I want to sleep tonight thinking of walking with God, and being called his. 

Day 691

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 25:35-37

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 25:35-37
"And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase."

As I'm reading this chapter on the Sabbath year and the 50th Jubilee year and releasing people from their debt or bondage I wondered how that would be helpful to anyone that made a loan to them. The borrower would only turn around later and have their debt removed and you wouldn't get your money back. Then with the matter of usury, I could not understand how someone would lend and not get interest back. What would be the incentive to lend to someone? Then with these verses I realized this is pertaining to the poor or a family member. It is in these conditions that you do not require usury on what you lend to them. Now that is compassionate. Not profiting of the backs of the poor fits, and settles this whole matter in my mind. Paying interest on a loan is not a bad thing. It is the profiting off of the poor that needed one to exist that is.

Day 690

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 24:16

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 24:16
"And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death."

An Israelitish woman named Shelomith had a son that blasphemed the name of the Lord. They put him under guard until the mind of the Lord was showed to Moses. The chapter then tells the horror of being stoned to death over this sin. I sat for a few moments thinking "Why did this need to be done?" Then I saw it. Was this sin of blasphemy not used against Christ himself? Did not the Jewish leaders falsely accuse him of blasphemy, and condemn to death as this law commanded? The Savior knew the role he would play, and the very law he gave them made those that knew him not, use it against him. Before his death he gave the higher law to replace this. I just wept for the Lord was setting up his own death in giving this law, which he himself, as the Son of God was innocent of breaking. 

Day 689

Monday, February 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 23:32

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 23:32
"It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath."

The word celebrate has a footnote, meaning observe. I pondered on the difference. Celebrate sounds more joyful. I reflected on observing the Sabbath and how I really need to celebrate it. God rested from his labors on the Sabbath after the creating the heavens and earth, and man. Would I have not had incredible joy at the conclusion of such a wondrous gift for me? I reflected back on President Russell M. Nelson's conference talk "The Sabbath is a Delight" and searched for the word "Joy". It was there three times. 

Sabbath will lead to joy and rejoicing.
That thy joy may be full.
Can bring immense joy.

I pondered on how for the past several months on Fast Sunday I have been fasting for joy. I don't really know why I have been doing that. I think it began because one Fast Sunday I didn't know what to dedicate my fast to. Then it came to me, to fast for joy and for the love of my Savior. Instead of looking for a want, I could offer my gratitude. It has been such a marvelous experience I have simply continued the practice. The spirit has been so strong during these fasts. I think it's time to move this into each Sabbath. To reflect more upon the joy and rejoicing part of the Sabbath. What I was rejoicing for in heaven I need to rejoice for now. I believe not only will the spirit remain my constant companion, but I will always be filled with joy in doing so. 

Day 688

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 22:3-4

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 22:3-4
"Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.
What man soever of the see of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose see goeth from him;"

This made me think of taking the sacrament. I do so to become clean so the spirit can always be with me. I though about the cost of taking it unworthily, having my soul cut off from his presence. Total oppose effect of what is desired. There are some sins that prevent the taking of the sacrament until the repentance process is complete. It is far better to repent and not take the sacrament unworthily then to do so as a lie. What is at sake is my soul. The sin just became even greater. I pondered on how true repentance makes us clean again. No matter when I start I'm back on the road home again.

Day 687

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 21:6, 17, 23

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 21:6, 17, 23
"They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.
Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
Only he shall not go into the veil, or come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them."

These verses made me ponder on the need to hold a temple recommend, or be worthy to hold one, in order to work for the church or attend a church college. I also thought upon the need for the priest that blesses the sacrament, and the deacons that pass it, how they must be clean. Those that work in the temple and attend the temple must all be temple worthy and have a current recommend. No where do I see an outward blemish, like being blind, flat nosed, brokenhanded or scabbed causing someone to be considered unworthy. The blemish today is on the inside where no one can see. God alone can see the blemishes. I alone will know if I am clean or if I mock God. What a higher law that is to live. 

Day 686

Friday, February 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 20:23-24, 26

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 20:23-24, 26
"And ye shall not walk in the manner of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.
But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.
And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine."

This chapter was similar to Leviticus 18. The difference was for the perversions mentioned it gives the penalty for the sins. It was either death or becoming childless. It was all rather depressing. As I read these I kept seeing in my mind Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount. Yes, there is love there for our enemies, but also even higher laws to live. 

Maybe it is no longer an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But sin will always pay its price. I do not recall the Savior ever saying there would be no curse on the land when a nation has defiled it. I shudder to think that as my nation grows darker and more perverse the protection of not having our land inherited by another looms over us. There is a covenant on the land that I live, we must worship God, or be wiped off, Inheriting, possession and being kept separated and not cast out all pertain to remaining righteous. I sorrow in my heart for those that feel I should love you in your sins, when your sins leave us all in a precarious state. The greatest act of love is to share God's word so you will forsake them.

Day 685

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 19:9-10

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 19:9-10
"And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of they vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God."

This reminded me of the story of Ruth gleaning the field of Boaz. I didn't realize that this practice came from this commandment. While reading this my first impression was "I have no field for someone to glean." I remembered my project of cleaning out my house of things not being used. Like this chapter they were sitting in the corners of my field. I had thought of selling my items, but then I decided to simply give to those that needed it instead. What joy it gave me as I began to free myself from the bondage I was under, and bless the lives of others instead. Now I see I have items a plenty in my home I am sure the poor and the stranger can glean from. I have important business to attend to. Spring cannot come quick enough.

Day 684

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 18:24-25

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 18:24-25
"Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
And the land is defiled; therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants."

The chapter lists a variety of deviant sexual sins and the judgment that will come upon such a land. What I pondered on was how these sins are upon the earth today. They are either already accepted or growing in acceptance. Indeed some sins have been legalized as the law of the land, flaunted and rejoiced over. It covers not just one land or nation, it is upon the whole earth. I pondered on how the earth is now defiled. The judgement spoken of justifies the whole earth being swept clean at the Lord's coming. It truly will be a great and terrible day. I mourn for what is to become of them, for they could have been such beautiful people.

Day 683

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 17:7-9

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 17:7-9
"And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.
And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice,
And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the Lord; even that man shall be cut off from among his people."

I was following the footnotes on these verses and came to Doctrine and Covenants 132:9 "Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?" Then in verses 14-15 I read.

"Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory."

Interestingly, during family scripture study we happened to venture onto the topic of marrying outside of the faith, or not having a temple marriage. I was of the opinion it was far better to not marry at all than to do that. For you are giving up the opportunity for an eternal companion in the next life. I knew this was in the scriptures, and all I could do was roughly quote from memory these verses. Now here it is! It amazes me when I am looking for something I soon stumble upon the very thing through regular scripture study. I love seeing how answers to questions come.

The connection between a stranger among you, and being cut off, makes totally sense when I see it in the light of marrying outside of the faith. To give up a temple marriage for something of this world, has eternal implications. 

Day 682

Monday, February 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 16:1, 34

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 16:1, 34
"And the Lord spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the Lord, and died;
And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses."

The Lord has Aaron came into the holy place and perform specific acts in order to atone for his sins and the sins of his family, and the sins of all of Israel. As I went through these acts I wept. I could feel how broken heart Aaron must have felt. How serving the Lord would have healed his soul and comforted him. I know going to the temple when I grieve has done this for me. What a loving thing the Lord did for Aaron. No wonder this is called the Day of Atonement.

Day 681

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 15:10-11, 31

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 15:10-11, 31
"And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even:and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them."

This chapter covers people with a discharge and other types of uncleanness. I couldn't help it, as I read that they would become unclean by simply sitting on or touching something someone unclean contacted, I hear myself as a child saying "Mom, he's touching me!"  When I didn't want to sit by or touch my brother because he had boy germs. I remember with my friends thinking someone had cooties and you would catch it simply by touching something they touched. Totally, totally childish. Is it possible the Lord was treating them as children because they were being childish?

I could see merit in staying clean and washing yourself. I thought of the advancement in surgery and the survival rates from it simply by using clean instruments. I knew there was more to this so I read the chapter again and then read all the footnotes. I found this:

"Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time." (Moses 6:57)

This made me ponder on the words of the Savior after his resurrection and appearance to the Nephites.

"And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not."  (3 Nephi 9:19-20)

So this law was the outward acts to be determined clean or unclean. Then making sacrifice or thanks when you were clean. Being unclean is how I am in the inside. What I offer the Lord is a broken heart and contrite spirit and I am made clean. I believe the law of Moses was preparing them to live this.

Day 680

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 14:28

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 14:28
"And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering:

I struggled with the symbolism I knew I was reading. I knew it was there but I didn't know what it meant. I knew the act of taking two birds and killing one over running water, and then dipping the other bird in it meant something. I knew the sprinkling of the blood, the oil, the shaving of the hair meant something, but wasn't all coming together. I read this very long chapter several times. Then I read all the footnotes. Then I found Doctrine & Covenants 124:39.

"Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name."

My heart knew this is something I won't understand unless I am in the temple. I need to do an initiatory session. I love doing endowments, I spend the greatest amount of time in the temple there. I must not ignore all the ordinances. They all fit together. It is through all the ordinances that I understand the mysteries of God.

Day 679

Friday, February 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 13:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 13:2-3
"When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:
And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean."

This chapter deals with the priest identifying someone with leprosy. Great detail is given on how to make that determination. The length of time to check the skin again. How the person is to be dealt with that is unclean. When they can be considered clean or unclean. In all these details I notice it never tells them now to cure them or heal them. Why is that I wondered?

First, I notice they are priests. They have the Aaronic priesthood, not the Melchizedek priesthood. It is the higher Melchizedek priesthood that administers to the sick or the afflicted. The priests appear to be performing a role of the Aaronic priesthood, watching over the congregation. That is why they are examining and identifying by the instructions given them those clean or unclean. They are performing outward ordinances. With what the Aaronic priesthood gives them all they can do is control the spreading of such a dreaded disease as leprosy.

As I read this I kept seeing in my mind the Savior going about healing the lepers. The people long understood the role the priest could play in helping them. The only way they were healed is if it went away on its own. How much greater then it was to see Jesus actually heal them. Afterwards telling them to go and show themselves to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded. That would have been an amazing thing to witness. This also made me ponder on the role of the lesser and the high priesthoods. How grateful I am that the Melchizedek priesthood is once again upon the earth.

Day 678

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 12:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Leviticus 12:7
"Who shall offer it before the Lord, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is a law for her that hath born a male or a female."

I really had to sit and ponder on this. I didn't understand why just because a women had a baby and bleed she had to be considered unclean. Why an offering and atonement had to be made? I decided I needed to think about how I felt after having a baby. I was rather crazy. Life was crazy, everything was turned upside down and 24/7 my life was focused on this baby that I adored and would have fought to the death to protect. 

Being left alone and having no responsibility other than my child would have been a blessing. It would have given me some much needed peace. Would it not have been merciful to the women, instead of a punishment. With that in mind would the offering made afterwards been in thanks for this child. For that matter wouldn't this be also covering the emotional burdens the Lord's atonement promises to carry for me. I can see this now not as a punishment for my sex, but a loving God blessing and honoring my womanhood. 

Day 677