Thursday, August 31, 2000

Doctrine and Covenants 11:8

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be done unto you; and, if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation."
Doctrine and Covenants 11:8


I thought that this was fascinating.  and true, of course. :)  Whatever we are looking for, we'll find.  It's like anytime you move to a new place.  You find what you are looking for.  If we are looking for a grocery store, we'll find one... but even if we pass a pet store on the way, we ignore it... until it's time to go fish shopping. :)  If we are looking for a bar, we'll find one.  If we are looking for a church, we'll find one.  No matter where it is, we can find good or bad, depending on what we are concentrating on in our lives.  And God will be in our lives to the extent that we desire him to be.  If we keep saying, hey, come over and listen to this... and hey... come over and let me tell you how cool my day was, and hey... come over, and let me read you this story I wrote... then he'll come, and listen, and hang out with you.  And when you ask him about life and ideas, he'll talk to you about them.  But if we keep saying... hey, thanks for the offer, but I have other plans... and you know, that sounds like good advice, but I think I can handle it... then he'll wait until you invite him in.  He's not going to break into your living room and try to talk to you while you turn up the TV and are studiously trying to ignore him.  He'll keep knocking until you let him in.  If we desire almost anything, we'll get it.  But we'll never find lasting happiness anywhere but with God.
It's kind of funny when people complain that God never lets them have any fun... and we believe it.  we seriously believe sometimes that sin is fun or happy... when it is neither.  It can imitate fun and happiness for a while... but underneath is misery and boredom when the thrills don't last.  God can show you fun, and happiness, and a better time than you can find anywhere else.  Man is that he might have JOY... joy is joy, not harp-playing boredom.  really. :)  If we desire to be the means of doing much good, we will be... :)  And if we desire to have loads of fun, we will.  Ask God to show you the fun and the joy that is all around you... and, as long as you are seriously open to it... prepare to be amazed. :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

3 Nephi 13:11, 14

"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
...
For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
3 Nephi 13:11, 14


So, along the theme of how we can influence each other for good... forgiveness.  Not just physical debts, but I think any kind of debt applies.  And when we can let go of whatever it is that we have against them... an IOU, a past mistake, anger... whatever it is, then our Father will also forgive us of those same things in our own lives.  When we learn to offer mercy, then we are sure to receive it.  It's one of our lessons in this life... in learning to become like God, we need to learn to love and forgive.  We need to learn to not be angry when he gives someone that has wronged us another chance.  We need to open our hearts and heal where we have hurt... to build those bridges that have been burned. :)  Every single person in this world needs love and forgiveness, and a true chance to try again.  Even if you can't be around them, you can pray for them, pray that they will learn, and change... just as we all need to learn and change to be restored to God's presence.  If we can treat others as we would like to be treated, then we will get closer to Heaven every day.

Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Proverbs 17:17-18

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend."
Proverbs 17:17-18


I thought that this was a cool scripture, and goes along with something that we have been talking about lately (or that *I* have been talking about at least) ... about how we need to help each other in this life.  I think that this scripture is awesome in portraying how we can offer confidence and solidity to people.  Treating people like they are cool... (which they ARE, by the way...) helps them to relax and be genuine.  Even when our friends are going through tough things, or when they make mistakes... we love them for who they are, and who they are capable of becoming.  And we do all that we can to help them see that vision and reach for it, and they do the same for us.  I think that a lot of times we choose either independence or dependence... both of which are things that we need to learn.  we need to learn who we are and how much power we have within ourselves, and learn to trust ourselves to figure things out and to live by what we believe.  we need to learn how utterly dependent we are upon God.  But we also need to learn interdependence.  that we are all dependent upon each other for so many things... and that other people are dependent upon us.  That it is a system that we are a part of... that we are never completely alone or out of the system.  Everything that we do and say and think makes a difference to the whole.  Loving each other and lifting each other matters... and it matters a lot more than how much money we are making, or whether we get to that appointment on time today.  other people are part of that system, and therefore... part of who we are.  We affect each other immeasurably.

Monday, August 28, 2000

Hebrews 10:24-25

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Hebrews 10:24-25


I like this.  My visiting teachers came over yesterday and we had a great talk about applying the gospel to our lives.  It didn't really start out as that topic, but that's what it turned into. :)  So often we see the gospel and our lives as separate things, when they are actually one and the same.  The gospel is how to live... not just what to do on Sunday.  This scripture talks about how we should be interacting with other people.  We should be inspiring each other to do great things... to love each other, to exercise God's power for the benefit of all humanity.  Cain asked "Am I my brother's keeper?" and he thought it was rhetorical.  But in fact, we are keepers of each other... we need to keep each other in righteousness and happiness.  We need to challenge and exhort each other to good and eternally focused choices.  The scriptures tell us to speak one to another concerning the welfare of our souls.  We should think about it, and talk to each other about it... make the gospel part of your daily conversation and thought, not just something you get a dose of once a week.  Neal A Maxwell tells us that we are each other's clinical experience... that our interactions and decisions regarding other people are part of our test.  We are in this together, and need to help each other succeed.  It’s not cheating, it's teamwork. :)
I also want to make it very clear that I am not talking about judging.  Helping each other succeed is not at all about condemnation or self-righteousness.  It’s not about silly distinctions about how *exactly* you should keep the sabbath day holy... or how you should pay 'extra' tithing for 'extra' blessings... it's about helping each other towards happiness and peace... and excitement and interest... and everything that God stands for.  It's allowing people to make their own decisions, and loving them no matter what... and being honest with them about how YOUR soul is doing.  We're all in the same boat.  Instead of arguing over who is rowing more, let's row *together* and stop going around in circles.

Sunday, August 27, 2000

Habakkuk 2:14

"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
Habakkuk 2:14


Cool cool cool, don't you think?  Think about knowledge covering us, way over our heads, until we are swimming in it, and everyone around us is swimming in it... and we are breathing it, and soaking it up like sunshine... and think, everyone at that point will know God, and we'll all have a topic of conversation if we meet each other on the street. :)  Knowledge will be filling all those spaces between our molecules. :)  Very cool.  Let's go and get a taste today. :)

Saturday, August 26, 2000

3 Nephi 9:22

"Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.  Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved."
3 Nephi 9:22


On the children theme again.  God often talks about becoming as a little child.  And, as we talked about before... they are a lot cooler than we sometimes realize.  The thing is, if we can get ourselves to realize that we ARE children... compared to God, we really don't know much, and we really do need his guidance and teachings every day, so that we don't spiritually run out into the street and get hit by the proverbial Mack Truck. :)  If we can stop trusting our own 3-year old logic, assuming that whatever we want is good for us... then we might have an easier time becoming as a little child. :)  God is a pretty good dad, and if we can trust him, and if we listen to what he says... we'll not only be a lot safer and happier, we'll also grow up to be a lot better people... with the power and wisdom to make better decisions and to learn incredible things.

Friday, August 25, 2000

John 8:29

"And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."
John 8:29


I like this scripture... I guess a long time ago, when I first read it, I thought that it was kind of mean of God to leave us alone, ever.  Now I look at it differently.  First of all, this life is a test.  and sometimes, we have to face things without our parents... learn to stand up on our own.  And secondly... it isn't like he is that far away.  We make the choice to do things or go places sometimes where the spirit can't follow... where God doesn't want to be, and so we go alone.  But it's our choice whether to have God beside us or not, and he is never more than a prayer away.  We have to remember who we are, children of God.  and we have to try not to get ourselves into scary situations.  of course, when we do... and we do way too often, he is always there to help us escape.  He just isn't there to encourage our participation. :)  We can't have it both ways... we can't have sin and true happiness... we can't serve God and Satan.  We all eventually have to choose.  So, today... let's choose to hang out with God.  It's a pretty simple choice. :)

Thursday, August 24, 2000

3 Nephi 26:14, 16

"And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than he had revealed unto the people; and he loosed their tongues that they could utter.
...
Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them."
3 Nephi 26:14, 16


These scriptures have always fascinated me.  Children are an amazing thing, and it is so interesting to think that, instead of not having anything to say except "I'm hungry" or "I'm uncomfortable" that they have *everything* to say... that, if they had their tongues loosed that they could tell us all about God and the universe.  The whole veil-being-drawn-over-our-premortal-memories thing bugs me.  :)  I want to be able to know who I was, and how it relates to who I am... I want to understand everything. :)  Of course, I have learned a little patience in that respect... but here are all of these people, and babies are telling them all about the premortal world, and unimaginable things... things so cool they weren't allowed to write about them. :)  Amazing.  And maybe we shouldn't ever assume that children are ignorant.  They probably know a lot more than we think... there are so many things in this life that are so much cooler than they seem... including ourselves probably most of the time.  There is that Godly spirit inside us all, that communicates with God so easily... if we can just relax and let our spiritual side out.  Let's listen to God.  And also to children whenever we have a chance... maybe we'll learn something. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2000

1 Corinthians 6:7

"Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another.  Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"
1 Corinthians 6:7


Wow, this scripture was so interesting.  I was considering a different scripture on the same page, but this one kind of jumped out and I had to use it... so, let's talk.  One of the worst things for me is if I feel like someone is taking advantage of my ignorance.  Like the other day I bought 4 brand new tires for my car... :)  Probably didn't *really* need them, but the guy said they were really beat up . . . you know the story.  So, afterward I was really sensitive to people's comments, worried that I had been "ripped off."  One of my friends at work recently wrote a letter to the Better Business Bureau about a _new_ car she just bought, where they removed some of the "extras" from the car, but left them on the sticker and charged her for them.  I don't know how many Court shows are on TV, but there are a bunch.  And people sue each other left and right.  That's icky, but are we supposed to let people get away with ripping us off?  I think that this scripture is saying yes.  So, I am thinking about it, and I can't imagine that this would be true in *every* case.  I mean... domestic violence is scary, and you should NEVER put up with the mistreatment of children.  However... I do think that if we took this scripture to heart, let go of some of the pride... how much less crowded would our courts be?  Even if the guy at the tire shop lied to me bold-face, and I could prove it in court... I can afford the tires, and it's okay.  Think about what our doubt and fear of others does to *us* ... it makes us mistrustful of others, it encourages us to assume people are guilty until proven innocent.  Another friend at work told us that she knows an "honest" mechanic, and it was surprising to us... that's an oxymoron in our society.  It turns us into an us against "them" mode... assuming that all politicians are crooked, all car salesmen are liars... we could go farther into ethnic slurs and gender assumptions.  Perhaps it is better to be vulnerable to some lying, some cheating, some theft... so that we can see people in the best light.  When we come across people who take advantage of this... in many cases, we could let it go.  They are going to have to deal with God too... and even pray for them.  I think they could use all the help they can get.  Also, it's another thing about inclusion and exclusion.  Even people who cheat us are our brothers and sisters.  If my brother stole $200 from me, I'd let him have it... he probably needs it. :) And I'd pray for him, that he would just ask for it the next time, and not feel like he needs to take.  But if a drunk guy on the street took $200 from me, what would I do?  Would I do differently?  He is my brother too.  Maybe we need it pounded into our head that we aren't separate from "those people" ... that every time we interact with anyone, that person is a member of our family... and should be treated as such.  If you would talk something out with your brother or nephew, why call the cops on someone just because it isn't a member of your family?  Are there alternative ways to resolve things, even though they are more difficult?  I obviously don't know all the answers, but something to think about on this fine morning. :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Doctrine and Covenants 115:5

"Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations"
Doctrine and Covenants 115:5


I was sitting in Sunday School the other day, and we were talking about a quote that we often hear, the one that goes "You have been held in reserve" ... and basically says that the strongest spirits are here on Earth in the last days.  And a girl in the back asked... and the question seemed to be one of incredible importance to her, because her lower lip was quivering a little as she asked it... whether that quote meant members of the church only, or everyone on earth.  I was mightily surprised when some of the people seemed to be of the opinion that the quote was for church members only, and I expressed strongly... to the apparent relief of the girl in the back, that we are *all* strong and powerful spirits, everyone on earth... that we have an incredible potential, that it is up to each of us to fulfil that... and one of the reasons that we have such an obligation to share the truth with other people, and to set an example of love, goodness, inclusion... and everything else that God stands for.  The church is not a country club... if anything, it is way more like Alcoholics Anonymous.  We admit we are addicted to sin, and we come before God for help to overcome ourselves.  We don't turn people away... as addicts ourselves, how hypocritical would that be?  But the church is more than AA, because AA takes us to recovery... but not beyond.  In God's treatment plan, we acknowledge our tendency to sin, but know that we can develop a tendency to goodness. :)  We know that after recovery, it is a lot more than achieving a "normal" life... it is reaching for the stars... and grasping them.  We still walk "one day at a time" ... but we know someday there will be no time. :)  It's like an ex-convict here in America.  When we send someone to prison, we don't expect them to become a better person or to be "cured" ... we expect them to become more hardened, and so we are scared of ex-cons, and it is really hard for them to obtain jobs or a chance at changing their lives.  In the church God says to us, as convicts... yes, I know that you have done bad things, and that is why you are meeting here together, to learn to overcome those tendencies within yourself... so let's work on that.  but God doesn't label us as ex-cons, instead he tells us that we are his children, that we need to overcome our problems, be healed... and our prison term past will be erased, and we can still become the president of the United States, or absolutely anything that we want to be.  He won't hold our pasts against us, and we are free to learn to fly and walk on water and learn calculus (yeah, I am bad at math)... :)  anything. :)
So, this is long... but just remember today... go out and be anything, as long as it is good.  We can overcome anything... we can do anything... because God is our father, and he loves us and will help us to succeed.

Monday, August 21, 2000

Psalms 27:14

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."
Psalms 27:14


Some words of encouragement from the scriptures this morning. :)  A good message.  Hang in there, and be patient... don't give up or give in.  The Lord will make you strong enough to handle all of it... even today. :)  Sometimes the biggest test of our faith and strength is in trusting the *Lord's* timing... he knows exactly when we have reached the point that we can't handle it anymore.  He knows exactly when to answer our prayers and when to grant us blessings.  His timing rarely coincides with our timing... but *he* has it right... just consider, even though I know how tempting it is to believe that we have the timing of our lives down perfectly, and we know how strong we are... just think about it for a minute... maybe God knows that we are stronger than we think.  Maybe God knows of an even better possibility.  God is leading us to glory and joy and perfection.  Maybe we would settle for something less... but if we are patient, and trust God, and refuse to give up... we'll get to a better place than we could ever imagine for ourselves.  I promise. :)  God is *that* cool. :)

Sunday, August 20, 2000

Ecclesiastes 3:15

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."
Ecclesiastes 3:15


This scripture seems to be saying... the past is the present, the future has already happened, and God requireth the past.  So, hmm... what does that mean?  That life is a cyclical thing, and there have been other earths and other judgments?  That, really, time is all before us and we have the ability to change the past, present and future by our choices?  That who we are now, today, matters more than anything?  That I still can't picture things without time? :)  I'm thinking about that last part... God requireth that which is past.  Maybe that means that God wants us to resolve our pasts.  Repentance is kind of a time cheat anyway... God says that when we repent that our sins are washed away and he remembers them no more.  And, since God knows everything, ever, that means that they effectively don't exist.  Repentance doesn't need to leave scars... it can leave us completely new and whole... able to start again.  Who we have been and who we will be all adds up into one thing... us.  And we still get to choose that, even if time turns out to not exist.  And maybe the lesson here is to worry about now, and not other moments that we can't touch.  Let's be dedicated to God *now* ... let's be clean *now* ... let's stop planning repentance or change in our lives and delaying things to the far future.  No need for a time machine... just a different perspective. :)

Saturday, August 19, 2000

Isaiah 30:26

"Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound."
Isaiah 30:26


I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and here it is hot, hot, hot.  Over 100 almost every day for 4 months in a row.  Just think what it would be like if the sun was magnified sevenfold.  Yikers.  I suppose if it was just light it would be okay... but I'm kind of imagining heat coming along with it.  But hey... here's the good news.  However things work out, the Lord will heal us and bind the breach of his people… that sounds like we'll still be alive, healthy, and everyone who follows God will be united.  No more factions and fighting.  Amazing.  Probably worth a little warm weather. :)

Friday, August 18, 2000

3 Nephi 23:1

"And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things.  Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah."
3 Nephi 23:1


Cool stuff. :)  So, we should read some Isaiah today, eh?  I think it is cool when God gives us clues about what to read, and what to study.  I mean... all the scriptures are before us, and we have the opportunity to search them and know them... but he is nice to us, and points out some of the passages that are going to be on the test, you know? :)  So, the Isaiah passages before this verse especially I would think contain some good stuff (part of chapter 20, and all of 21 and 22).  And then, Isaiah in general.  I always think of Isaiah and Revelations as kind of the same... they both are hard to understand at times... but they both also contain some amazing truths as we work to uncover them. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2000

Isaiah 48:10

"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."
Isaiah 48:10


This is good... not really that fun, but really good.  I know that in my life, I wouldn't learn some lessons unless I had to learn them the hard way... others I can learn through observation or reading, thankfully. :)  But seriously, I think that hard things offer so much learning packed into a small space.  I remember times when my life was miserable... and how much I learned from that.  Through the hardest things in my life I have learned the most important lessons... how much I need God in my life... that I am stronger than the emptiness... that I need to stop running away.  Maybe those lessons were easy ones for you, and other ones you learned through hardship... but there are some powerful lessons there, custom-made for us, from God.  And, yes... there are more to come.  Bad things happen to good people because good people have a lot to learn.  Sometimes hardships come because of our own choices, sometimes because of someone else's choices... but no matter why or where, God teaches through those experiences.  Let’s learn.  :)  Let’s get it... find out what there is to be gleaned from these experiences, and grow.  Sometimes the greatest lessons of the past can be seen when we compare who we are now with who we used to be... what have we learned?  Where have we grown?  Wouldn't the old you have her mind blown seeing where you are and what you are aiming at now? :)  Take advantage of the discomforts in life... because until we leave our comfort zone, we can't expand it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Doctrine and Covenants 29:3

"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore ye receive these things; but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you."
Doctrine and Covenants 29:3


God is cool... he is so forgiving and good to us, even when we are really resistant to learning and growing up into the radiant powerful beings that we can be.  He offers forgiveness unto each of us, this minute.  If we can make the commitment to change, he can transform the things that haunt us into positive learning experiences... lives and relationships can be healed and renewed.  Prayers will be answered.  The desires of our hearts granted.  We just have to face in the right direction, and focus on our goal... our Father.

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Revelation 10:6

"And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:"
Revelation 10:6


I’ve always thought that this was mind-boggling.  I mean... time.  we eat it for breakfast in the morning, and live on it every minute (see??) of the day... I have a good friend who says "timing is everything" and it really is, in so many ways... in this life.  Are our imaginations big enough to imagine life without time?  Where there is no beginning or ending, but everything is before us?  I mean... we were talking about walking on the water.  I can imagine that... I can get my mind around the concept... but no time?  Especially in American culture, we are tied to the clock.  Some cultures are a little more relaxed, and maybe they are closer to understanding this concept.  The closest I get is when I think about repentance, and the way that my life has gone, and I feel like in some ways, what I do now actually has power to affect the past... to change it in a way.  That God has power to erase things completely.  My mind can almost get there... that who I am is a decision, and that the past and the future (see, I wouldn't even think these words if I really had it) are all part of now, who I am, who I was, who I will be, that is a decision I make in this moment.  Hmm.  I don't have it... but maybe it is one reason that we have to work through the past... because in a way, it is still before us, still us.  And until we come to terms with the entire picture, then we can't change it.

Monday, August 14, 2000

Doctrine and Covenants 101:16

"Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God."
Doctrine and Covenants 101:16


I get dramatic sometimes with God... maybe you do too.  I get on my knees (unless I am in the car of course) and I cry to him... Father, everything is going *wrong* ... my life is falling apart, please help it go *right* ... things like that, pleading for certain things in my life... voids to be filled.  But this scripture tells us to calm down a little... and think.  God is in control, right?  What if things seem to be going wrong, when they are actually going right?  Maybe your life will improve through this turn of events.  Looking back on my life, at my most hyper and desperate times... I can see that God did know what he was doing, and I didn't.  I might not always like it, but when I can be still and remember that God knows what is best... then I have a lot more hope for a positive outcome.  Every time my life falls apart, a better life falls into place.  God really does want us to be happy... and he'll get us there, if we can trust him a little. :)

Sunday, August 13, 2000

Matthew 14:25

"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."
Matthew 14:25


I like this story... this scripture especially, just to show us the possibilities.  Christ could walk on water.  We are to walk in his footsteps... do as he did. :)  We have the potential to walk on water as well.  Maybe we have a lot of other things to learn first... but just think of all the cool stuff we are going to learn eventually. :)  And think of the power of faith.  Unfortunately, we teach doubt every day... doubt that we can change the world.  Doubt that we can change our lives.  Doubt that our hearts can be changed.  But all these things we can do... and more.  We can walk on water.  We can learn to do all kinds of things that seem kind of science fiction right now... and we can change ourselves on the inside too.  No matter how hard it seems, we *can* do it.  We just have to make the decision, commit to doing the small things every day to keep the spirit in our lives... and God does the hard work.  It can and does happen every day.  We can walk on water.  We can change the world.  We can change ourselves.  Let's believe it.  And do it.

Saturday, August 12, 2000

Hebrews 10:35-36

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."
Hebrews 10:35-36


This is a cool scripture... we need to have confidence in God that he will do what he says he will.  Sometimes we do what God says and we look around and the people that are doing bad stuff seem a lot more happy and content than we are... or the promised blessings don't come immediately.  But, remember... this life is a test, and we have to pass it.  We have to do God's will and then not abandon it immediately if something else looks temporarily more fun.  Patience is part of the package... just like a child, when his parents teach him to read and write and walk and talk... and he can't do things exactly like a grown-up immediately.  Learning takes time, and so do the blessings of God.  He is mindful of us always, wanting to reward us for the smallest efforts... but he needs to give us things at the right time, and in the right way... and HE knows the timing best... we don't.  So, do good... and trust God.  He will give us the desires of our hearts, and bless us beyond imagining... if we can be patient and remember who we are for a little while. :)

Friday, August 11, 2000

Isaiah 46:4

"And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."
Isaiah 46:4


Hoar hairs mean gray hair... and I think that this is cool, because it shows God's devotion to us, not just in a moment, but throughout our lives... teaching us, guiding us... helping us become more than we are now.  Staying with us throughout the entire test, not just popping in at critical junctures.  He is our father, not a puppet master.  And, when we are in danger, he fights our battles, and saves us.  We never walk through life alone.

Thursday, August 10, 2000

2 Peter 3:17-18

"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen."
2 Peter 3:17-18


This is cool... an appropriate warning I think, reminding us that no matter how solid we are in reaching towards heaven... if we stop growing, stop reaching, we can lose our balance and fall.  And just like none of us want to go back and re-live elementary school... we don't want to fall and have to climb back up those rungs that we have already ascended.  Sometimes it happens, and we get to know certain sections of the path very very well... but there is so much more to see, so much farther to go... let's not stay in one place just because of familiarity.  Let's move onward, growing in grace and in our knowledge of God.  He'll always help us find our way.

Wednesday, August 9, 2000

John 10:10

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
John 10:10


This is a great scripture, and I think that it says a lot about our lives here.  Christ is talking about being the good shepherd here, and the difference between himself and the thief... presumably Satan.  So, this is very interesting.  The thief only comes to kill and destroy... there is no other point to the paths that he offers.  He wants to mislead and hurt us.  And Christ is there giving his life to help us to live, and enjoy life.  Too often we think that we are making a choice between what we want and what God wants... but we're little kids on this earth.  We don't understand the eternal consequences of some of these things... so what it really ends up being is a choice of whether we take the ice cream cone that the kidnapper is offering us, or whether we continue home and have dinner with the family.  Now, it's true... maybe in our hearts, we really DO want ice cream now, and not dinner.  But, hello... it's a KIDNAPPER okay?  And Dad has plenty of ice cream in the freezer that we can eat after we finish dinner.  The delay might be annoying, since we are little kids... and the ice cream looks great.  but don't get stolen away.  bad things will happen.  Trust God.  Believe that you will have everything you could ever want and be happier than you've ever imagined... that's what he wants for you.  Don't believe the lies of someone who is trying to destroy you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Helaman 5:40-41

"And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?
And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you."
Helaman 5:40-41


Hi. :)  I was reading this morning and came across this scripture, and I thought it would be a good one for today.  These Lamanites were in prison and had a physical cloud of darkness over them... but I figure that sometimes we have the same thing going on spiritually... and that the same things will work to get us out of it. :)  And the steps are simple, and although the actual implementation can take a lot of effort... when the darkness is gone, and you can see clearly again, you realize that unrestricted vision is worth all of the work, and more, that it took to get there.  So, the steps... repent, pray, faith.  and prayer *precedes* the faith in this case... and I think actually in a lot of cases.  Even if you don't know for sure if anyone is listening, having the faith to get on your knees and find out... to talk to God and see if he answers you... that is a big step.  Sometimes it takes a lot of practice to hear what God has to say... but it's worth it.  And really... to have the darkness out of our lives?  That's worth an experiment in prayer, isn't it?

Monday, August 7, 2000

3 Nephi 18:25

"And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation."
3 Nephi 18:25


I like this scripture because it is all about inclusion.  Christ invites all people to come unto him.  Once on my mission we brought an investigator to church who was very poor and didn't have a nice dress to wear, and I was so disheartened when one of the Relief Society sisters came up and told her that her clothing was unacceptable.  The bishop was very nice to her but later asked us why we always tracted out the poor areas.  Things like that aren't cool.  A person's worth isn't dependent on clothing or money.  The church is not an exclusive country club.  We are here to save souls, to show people the joy that we have found, and help them to feel the same joy.  The people in the church definitely aren't perfect... but God is perfect, and his gospel works... for ALL people.  As children of God, we need to set an example of inclusion... inviting all to come unto Christ and partake of his love and goodness.  And we need to set an example for each other within the church as well, remembering that it is God's plan of happiness... offered to everyone, not just a few of us.  Membership doesn't make us "better" than anyone else.

Sunday, August 6, 2000

Doctrine and Covenants 100:15

"Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church."
Doctrine and Covenants 100:15


This scripture struck me today... probably because I have been thinking about wholeness... not being one person in one situation, but being the same person always. :)  And how does everything fit together... for instance:  in my patriarchal blessing it says that I will have a "happy and contented" life.  And then, later in the same paragraph, it says that I will have an "exciting and interesting" life.  so... how do contentment and excitement go together (and I definitely believe they can) and then the whole fun theme that I have been working on at work... people think that work can't be fun, and unfortunately I think most people feel the same about the gospel... that it's all about rules and limits and not *really* about "man is that he might have joy."
So anyway, hopefully that made sense to someone.  This scripture seems to pull everything together for me in a way.  Saying that all things work together for good... the contentment part, the excitement part... the part we experience at church, the part we experience at work... the part we experience in relationships with all the people around us.  and that, if we are trying to walk the path, that it will all fit together... and work towards perfecting and purifying the church as well.  Because we'll be there, perfecting and purifying ourselves within it... building a community of whole people who realize that our "normal" selves and our "church" selves are the same people... who can worship God every day wherever we are, as well as in church every week.  That the gospel *is* fun, and everything that you want it to be... that perfection isn't boring and full of limits... but it's *everything* ... with enough wisdom to deal with it all.

Saturday, August 5, 2000

Romans 12:9

"Let love be without dissimulation.  Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."
Romans 12:9


This is cool... the footnote tells us that "without dissimulation" means sincere... real.  I like that.  Let love be real. :)  Don't pretend to like people... learn to really like them.  Be in the moment with people instead of thinking about all the things that you have to get done.  The more sincere we are in our love, the more sincere others will be with us... and don't we want our relationships to be real? :)  Even with God I think sometimes we act or talk without thinking... and he patiently waits for us to be real with him.  There are a lot of people that we miss in the course of a day though... we say "hey, how are you?" without waiting for an answer, or really wanting one.  We have entire conversations with people and afterward can't remember a bit of it because we were concentrating on something else.  Try really being present with the people you run into today... see if it makes a difference.  I think we miss a lot of cool things because we aren't paying attention.  And then the second part... hold onto good stuff, don't like the bad stuff.  Pretty plain.  And remember, we can tell.  Sometimes it takes some conscious thought though... which is another reason that we should be present in the situation... learning from people, examining ourselves... and always looking at our bad-o-meters... like radiation sensors.  if it starts to turns colors, you should get out of there fast. :)

Friday, August 4, 2000

Isaiah 45:22

"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
Isaiah 45:22


I thought this was pretty cool... pretty bold. :)  But then, God can BE bold... you know, he's God.  :)  Anyway, I thought it might be good to remember today that God is there, and there is no-one else to look to for our salvation.  We can't do it ourselves... our friends can't do it for us... not our parents or our romantic interests.  Just him.  Maybe we should talk to him about it... think about it ourselves.  What does being saved mean?  Is it something we want? (you know... eternity... happiness... not to sway you or anything) :)  If so, how do we go about looking unto God?  How do we trust in him and not in ourselves or other tactile earthly things?  Something to think about today... :)

Thursday, August 3, 2000

Doctrine and Covenants 123:13

"Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven--"
Doctrine and Covenants 123:13


This is interesting for a lot of reasons.  First, it is talking about the abuse that the early church members suffered at the hands of the mob that drove them out of many states (if anyone on the list doesn't know, there was an extermination order issued by one of the state governors, saying that it was legal to kill Mormons... yikes.  It was officially repealed about 10 years ago I think).  So, it is talking about collecting evidence and going through legal channels to solve problems.  But it is also talking about more than that.  This section also gets into the fact that many people are waiting for the truth, they just don't know where to find it, and so that is another reason that we should make the truth well-known.  Not just for the purpose of reclaiming stolen things, but in bringing spiritual truth to others.  We've talked about light before... and I think that this is interesting in just a light/dark kind of a way.  Kind of like cleaning the refrigerator, eh?  When we pull everything out of the back of the fridge, out of the darkness of the interior and see what it really looks like in the light... the good things and the bad things are pretty clear.  In the light, with the good and the bad side by side, it isn't too hard to judge.  This is good, this is moldy.  If we're afraid of bringing something into the light... why?  Are we afraid of seeing what is really there?  Are we afraid that we are going to have to throw away the things that smell really bad?  Even though eating them is killing us, too often we refuse to look at things before we ingest them.... books, movies, habits... thoughts.  Someone gets their kicks by walking into the pantry and feeling around in the dark to decide what to eat.  We think... hey, they're cool... I want to do that. :)  So, a bunch of us are in there eating expired prunes and moldy banana bread.  It’s daring, it's exciting... but why?  So many things in our lives are easier to figure out than we expect, if we bring them into the light, actually examine what we are doing.  We can do this in a lot of ways.  Talk to God about things, write in our journals... talk to people who have some light... who will tell us the truth and aren't just going to say what we want to hear.  Don't die gnawing on a fuzzy expired pop-tart.  Take the floodlight in there and clean it out.

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Hebrews 12:5-7

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?"
Hebrews 12:5-7


Back on the kid theme... I think we need to be reminded a lot that we are children, and that we aren't all-wise and all-knowing... especially about ourselves.  We have *so* much to learn, and the people around us have something to teach us... and maybe we have something to teach them as well.  But, we make mistakes.  We’re just little kids, and it's really expected... and God, our father... is SO cool to us, and completely forgiving of the little kid mistakes that we make.  But, we do have to learn... we have to grow and start recognizing that some things are good, and some things are bad... and we have to learn to trust dad, because he does know which way is up, even if we don't very well.  If we go too near the stove, our father would be remiss if he didn't challenge our direction.  If we start sticking a fork into the electrical outlet, he's going to tell us what is up... if we are determined to destroy ourselves, I’m sure we'll manage to do it, but if we expect it to happen without God warning us, and trying to help us learn, we're crazy.  Even when we are trying to make ourselves spiritually blind and deaf, God finds a way to communicate to us... maybe through someone else, maybe our own mind in a split second of wonder.  The thing is... chastening is good, not bad.  It saves us from some huge mistakes sometimes... and helps us learn.  It is necessary to our spiritual salvation, and personally... I am SO glad that God sends me warnings when I am not listening to him and about to do something REALLY stupid.  I'm not saying it is fun to realize how stupid you are, or how close to the cliff you have come or that you almost killed yourself... but what a great Father for teaching us, and warning us to correct our path before we are completely destroyed.

Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Romans 12:21

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:21


This is cool.  I think that it is interesting that many times I find myself assuming that I am powerless to change things, when in reality... I can.  Just as in this scripture, sometimes we sit on the sidewalk in a big city with thousands of people milling around and we wonder how we can make a difference... one among so many.  But instead of letting that overwhelm us... we can see it from God's perspective.  he gives us, as individuals, power to change the world.  we just have to believe in it, and not give the world power to overwhelm us.  When we believe and have confidence in who we are, and what we can do... then we can accomplish anything.  So, today... instead of letting the world get to you... get to the world.  Start infusing some good into everything around you.  Try some guerilla warfare, and shoot happiness at people when they aren't looking.  Don't ever believe that you can't make a difference in the world... in the day.  Remember that God is with us. :)

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