Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1 Corinthians 14:26

"How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."
1 Corinthians 14:26

Paul is talking about people in church here... everyone has an interpretation, or something that they love and care about to contribute to the worship service, but he advises that all things should be done in an edifying way. And that hit me today as I was reading, I guess because things have been kind of stressful lately, and I think when we get stressed, it is easy to do things in a non-edifying way. Not just in church, but everywhere. We all still have things to contribute to the conversation or to the solution, wherever we are... school, work, home... but God asks us to try to do all of it in an edifying way, remembering the people around us, and even if the circumstances are stressing us out, bending over backwards to lift other people up and not tear them down. Today, I am going to try to remember this, and I invite you to as well. Let's not blame other people for our problems, or focus on the negative, but wherever we are, and whatever our circumstances, let's find the good and do what we can to edify and lift. :) After all, that's the idea, right? To build a better world, to become better ourselves, and to help our brothers and sisters come unto Christ. Sometimes we look at ourselves and realize that we aren't really being those Zion people... so let's get back on track. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Doctrine and Covenants 98:1-3 -- On the Positive Side of Afflictions

"Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;
Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.
Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord."
Doctrine and Covenants 98:1-3


I like God's perspective on adversity. Sometimes we are so in-the-moment that we forget to step back and get some perspective, and see that whatever is happening in our lives isn't the whole picture. This life is essentially coursework in learning who we are and becoming better, and those obstacles and adversities that we run into are not designed to crush us, but to make us stronger, or wiser, or more compassionate. This verse says it very well... "all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good." That's pretty amazing, if we can see past the immediate worry and pain. No matter what is happening today in our lives, let's take God's advice... to not fear, and to be patient. Whatever happens, even if in the short term it seems unendurable and crushing, if we hang in there and endure it, and work on learning from it, we'll learn and grow and come out the other side even better than before.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Matthew 25:45

"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."
Matthew 25:45


The verse without the "not" in it is a lot more popular, probably because it seems more positive, and we can think about being rewarded for our good deeds... if we do good things for people in need, then God recognizes that as a good thing that helped him personally. His work is to help us all, and so we are in effect supporting him through supporting the people around us. :) ... This verse reminds us that we need to do those good things in the first place though. If we see someone in need and refuse to help, even though we have the opportunity and means, then God recognizes that as a missed opportunity on our parts, and again, takes it personally... in essence, we refused to help God. Today, let's work on being more aware of the people around us, and as we see their needs, let's do all we can to help them. This not only helps God in his work, but helps us to learn compassion and love. Building Zion isn't just about a place or a set of beliefs... it is about all of us as people, as a community, working to live together and support each other. We need to learn those things before we can be a part of that kind of ideal society.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Doctrine and Covenants 98:11

"And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God."
Doctrine and Covenants 98:11


I like the mixture of instructions in this verse. We're supposed to forsake all evil, cleave to all good, and live by God's word. :) It's a cool balance. I think of forsaking all evil, and sometimes that leaves us a hole where we used to have something, and we aren't sure how to fill that space in a positive way. But if we cleave to all good, and follow that up with talking to God about it and reading his word, then we have a lot more support and a better chance of success. If we're trying to live by God's word, sometimes we come to places in our lives where we aren't sure what God wants us to do... but forsaking all evil and cleaving to all good helps us to know how to act when God asks us to learn to walk on our own. Today, let's walk away from evil, fill our lives up with good, and remember to include God in our decisions and talk to him about our concerns.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Revelation 21:4

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Revelation 21:4


Wow. This is amazing. :) I know that we need all of these things in our lives now, in order to learn, and choose, and become who we're meant to be... but isn't it incredible to imagine a life without those things? No tears, no death, no pain. It's hard to imagine, but also surpassingly cool. And you have to consider it from God's perspective too... that finally, even though he has had to allow his children to learn some hard lessons... finally, in the end, he is going to be able to wipe away all our tears, to make *everything* alright. As our father, I can imagine that will be amazingly joyful for him as well. :) Today, let's remember that this is our future--that further on in the story everything gets better, and not lose hope now. Let's live and hope and love, looking forward to and trusting that God knows what he is doing, and learning the lessons that we can only learn in a world where pain and sorrow and death are possible... but uplifted knowing that all of these things are temporary. Someday our father will lift us up, wipe away our tears, and save us from them all. Knowing the future helps, sometimes. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Doctrine and Covenants 6:34

"Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."
Doctrine and Covenants 6:34


I really like the message of confidence and peace in this verse. Seems like we're always looking for that inner core of calm and confidence that only God can grant us, and it seems so easy to lose and to start feeling worried or uncertain about so many things. And he tells us here that we don't need to fear. We should go on doing good, making the world a little bit better a little bit at a time. And even if everything combines against us, we have God on our side, and God wins against everything else. Today, let's let some of that background confidence and peace that God offers us soak in and remember that no matter what, with God things are going to be okay. And if things are going to be okay, we don't have to fear or escape... we can focus on doing as God asks, and do good... making the world a better place through our actions. :)

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