Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Their joy was full

While the sons of Lehi were in Jerusalem obtaining the brass plates, Sariah was full of worry. In her mind, her sons had died in the wilderness. Her mourning process had already begun when her sons returned healthy and unharmed.

Lehi's efforts to comfort Sariah were inadequate. Though he assured her that their sons would return to them, she was not convinced. Still, worried as she was, she stayed with her husband and attempted to be comforted by his assurances.

No parent should ever have to endure the thoughts, worries and doubts that Sariah endured. Those feelings are only understood by those who have been called to experience tragedy, and by God himself.

For reasons known only to the Lord, many people are called upon to suffer through this trial. Children young and old are called home at the time and place appointed to them. Parents are left behind to wonder and to mourn.

Sariah was blessed enough to have her sons returned to her, dispelling the gloom that had fallen over her heart. Many parents are not so lucky.

“And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold their joy was full, and my mother was comforted.” (1 Nephi 5:7)

This experience served to strengthen Sariah's testimony of her husband as a prophet. The Lord needed Sariah to see that He was protecting her sons.

The experience of losing a child could come to any home at any time, just as Sariah thought it had come to hers.

Too much is taken for granted. Too often, time is wasted.

Upon the return of their sons, Lehi and Sariah were comforted and “their joy was full”. Spend each day full of joy. Families should spend time together, work together, play together, cry together.

Put down the phone, close the laptop, turn off the TV. Joy is not found in those things. Joy is in the little people in your home, joy is in their smiles, their hugs, the games they invent, their successes.

It is too easy to spend time doing something that won't bring joy. Stop it. Let your joy be full.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

He is Mightier

Finding balance in life is not an easy task. Whether it be the family/work balance, the loving/strict balance or any other balance, finding the right mix is difficult.

What about the faith/works balance?

James teaches that both faith and works are necessary, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17)

True faith will be followed by works of good, and works of good will yield an increase in faith.

Still, far too often, too much emphasis is placed on works alone. The idea that children of God are left to themselves is preposterous.

How often is it said or understood that God will only bless His children after they do all they can do? Or that God will only answer a prayer after the person offering has exhausted all their possible options?

The scripture that this idea comes from follows, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)

The scripture doesn't say that blessings will be withheld from you at all. It says nothing about prayers or trials. It is simply speaking of salvation, which is a gift no matter how you look at it.

The blessings needed during daily life and while trying to strike the proper faith/works balance are not out of reach. From the Bible Dictionary under the topic of prayer, “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.”

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that the Lord requires more of His children than He really does.

As Nephi and his brothers approached Jerusalem under the direction of the angel, Nephi spoke to his brothers, “Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even his tens of thousands?” (1 Nephi 4:1)

The Lord is mightier than any problem that might be encountered in mortality. He is willing to give many blessings to His children if they will simply ask.

When it comes to finding the faith/works balance, do good things, but the bulk of the balance should go to faith.

There is no reason that any person should feel the need to carry the burden or figure out a solution alone. God is willing, God is able, God is mightier.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A hard thing

“And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.” (1 Nephi 3:5)

The Lord has given commandments, principles and doctrines to bless the lives of His children. His expectations are clear and the standards set for His children are straight forward. Still, many of His children find it difficult to follow the commandments.

The way of the gospel was never intended to be easy, however, it is also not hard.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)

The Lord's real test for His children is to see just how willing they are to align their lives with His will. When someone is willing to submit themselves to the will of God, their life becomes easier. Not because they stop encountering trials, but because they have perspective when the trials come.

The Lord was trying to teach this perspective to Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants section 122, “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (Doctrineand Covenants 122:7-8)

The Lord knows that His children will encounter difficult trials, His hope for them is that they will learn from the trial and grow closer to Him because of the trial. If the children of God are willing to live righteous lives, He will help them.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The burden of Christ is light. He offers to give rest to those who are heavy laden.

The things the Lord requires of His people can seem hard when the proper perspective is not in place. Trials are meant to build people, shape people and bless people. The Lord does not require hard things, His children make things hard.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

He did visit me

There are decisions that people are called on to make that will define them for the rest of their lives.

Nephi faced many of these life defining decisions. In his times of decision, he relied on his testimony to strengthen him. In 1 Nephi 2 we see the seeds of Nephi's testimony begin to grow.

Any person with older siblings knows that the younger siblings look up to the older brothers or sisters, and in many cases imitate them.

Nephi's older brothers were not good examples to their younger brother. They were prideful, they did not support their father, they murmured against their parents.

It is clear that Nephi witnessed their behavior because he wrote about it often. After seeing his brothers rebuked by Lehi, Nephi decided to learn for himself whether his father was crazy.

“And if came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.” (1 Nephi 2:16)

It would have been easy for Nephi to fall in line with his brothers. He could have easily complained, whined and been disobedient.

Nephi made a life defining choice. He chose to trust his father and ask Heavenly Father if Lehi was speaking the truth. Because of his willingness to believe and his desire to know, Nephi was visited of the Lord and came to know the truth.

The Lord is willing to “visit” those who are willing to listen and act. It may be a question of the gospel, or a personal trial. The Lord knows his children and will visit them when they are ready to receive his guidance.

Whatever the trial be: Desire to know, Pray to Know, Trust the answer you receive and act on it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Knowing Truth

“And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.” (1 Nephi 1:3)

Does knowing something make it true?

Not always. Some of the most hurtful situations in life come from what people suppose to be true about others.

Consider the source of the knowledge. How could Nephi know that what he was writing was true?

Jesus taught an important lesson about knowing truth when he addressed Peter, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17)

To know something through the power of the spirit and the gift of revelation is to truly know truth.

The world will try to convince any who will listen that revelation does not occur and that the spirit is nothing more than good feelings.

Revelation does occur for any who seek it. The Lord gave a promise through His prophet Moroni, “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5)

Nephi knew that the record he would make was true because he was humble enough to listen to the Spirit.

Anyone can know the truth regarding spiritual manners if they are willing to seek the guidance of the Lord and trust that He is willing to teach them.

The most important thing to remember about truth is that once truth has been revealed, it is expected to be followed.

Seek truth, come to know truth through revelation, and lastly, live truth.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Podcast coming this week!

For those of you who enjoy listening to uplifting things, this announcement if for you. Starting this week, The Book of Mormon Moment will become available as a podcast!.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Petroglyphs predating known area Native American tribes found in Pocatello, Idaho

(example of early petroglyph)

As construction for a new overpass was underway, a collection of petroglyphs were discovered in Pocatello, Idaho.

The area is rich with Native American history, so the discovery comes as no huge surprise. What is interesting to note however is that these petroglyphs predate the tribes that were known to inhabit the area.

The question becomes then, how old are the glyphs and who put them there?

Is there a possible connection to Book of Mormon times?

Only time and study will tell what the glyphs mean, and perhaps how long they have been there.

Truth is, it is entirely possible that the glyphs were left by an earlier group who inhabited the area, or by a group who was passing through. Until it is proven beyond a doubt that they are not connected to Book of Mormon people, there is always the possibility that they are, and that is pretty cool.

This link to the local news site has some information about protections being placed on the petroglyphs, but not a lot of information on the glyphs themselves.