I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Gospel Message Day 310

Jesus - Teacher, Part 3

An important thing to remember is that we must always teach with the Spirit. Even the Savior taught with the Spirit, because it is the Spirit which testifies to the listener if what the teacher teaches is true. We read His teachings in the scriptures. We hear His teachings for today through His prophets and apostles. And the teachings through those sources still require the Spirit to testify to us if the words we read and hear are true. It is the Spirit's role to testify of the Savior and of Gospel truths.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gospel Message Day 309

Jesus - Teacher, Part 2

I wrote the Day #, and immediately thought of the LDS hymn with the same #. And it goes perfectly with the topic.

  1. 1. As sisters in Zion, we'll all work together;
    The blessings of God on our labors we'll seek.
    We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
    We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.
  2. 2. The errand of angels is given to women;
    And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
    To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
    To cheer and to bless in humanity's name.
  3. 3. How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,
    If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
    Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition
    Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

We sang this often at BYU. So often that I had it memorized probably after one year at school. Overall it is a song about service. Yet I believe that was a huge way in which Christ taught--by serving them. Because it showed forth honest, sincere love for that person, and a sincere desire for that person's best interests (hence the inclination to teach).

This also made met think of the hymn just before that, #308.
  1. As I have loved you,
    Love one another.
    This new commandment:
    Love one another.
    By this shall men know
    Ye are my disciples,
    If ye have love
    One to another.
The most important part of Jesus' role as a teacher was that He loved those He taught. (Which happened to be everyone.) Love is a vital element to have if one is to teach. Love for what one is teaching, and especially love for those whom one is teaching.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gospel Message Day 308

Jesus - Teacher

As soon as Jesus knew His mission in life, He was teaching. The first instance we see of this in the New Testament was when He was 12 years old. I often wonder what He taught in the succeeding 18 years before what we know of His 3-year ministry. And I often think how amazing it would have been to sit at the Savior's feet and hear Him teach. I look forward to having that opportunity one day.

Gospel Message Day 307

Eternal Families, Again

Been a bit late, and I don't feel ready to start a new topic. I have a feeling the next few days will be like that, with all the family in town. I want to spend as much time with them as I can, especially as I still have to work this week. But I think that's what one does when they love their family but live too far away--they want to spend as much time as they can making more memories to hold on to the months or years in between the next time together. Some would say that we have eternity to make those memories and have time to talk. But I don't want to get to the other side only to find strangers. I want to greet and be greeted by my best friends. So I'm going to do what I can, how I can, as I can, when I can to improve and strengthen my eternal relationships on this side of the veil.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gospel Message Day 306

Random Thoughts

It has been a day full of much:

Sorrow at how much we do and will miss such an amazing daughter of God.

Joy in our testimony of the resurrection (and so much more).

Peace and healing through Christ's Atonement.

Happiness to know that families are forever, because there is a great reunion on one side of the veil, and anticipation on our side to be with the others when our turn comes.

Contentment to know that we are in God's hands--all is well and will continue to be well.

Nostalgia from remembering the life of a woman who has blessed so many of us.

Resolve to want to be more like her and more like our Savior.

I have been impressed that I should sing this song for my special music number in a couple of weeks. Though I'm still coming to memorize the words, I feel that the message would be very apt to share right now.

 I also need to share the song that has been in my head, which is sung in the Lamb of God oratorio right after Christ is resurrected. It seems fitting as well.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gospel Message Day 305

Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 5

I feel haven't touched as much on personal responsibility, except for the occasional how it applies to work. The two are very interconnected, but I just don't feel I've said enough yet. To me, personal responsibility incorporates accountability. We have things we are responsible for in this life. All of those things could probably tie back to work some how. I'm responsible for my own salvation. I'm also responsible for my health, taking care of my body, helping my ancestors by working on family history, helping the dead by doing temple work, taking care of my finances, caring for my home, working on being the best I can be, trying to be more Christlike, searching for and preparing for my eternal companion, preparing to be a wife and a mother, for helping to take care of the Earth we've been blessed with. The list could go on and on.

To be Christlike and to be a member of His Church gives me many responsibilities:

"willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death" (Mosiah 18:8-9).

Each of us who have covenanted with the Lord through baptism has these responsibilities. And we are each responsible for how we will carry them out. They cannot be done by others and us not have to worry about them. No one else can take over our part, and no one else can make up for us if we don't do our part. We are accountable and personally responsible for how we fulfill our part of the covenant we have made. Taking care of ourselves helps us better take care of others. Having the Gospel in our lives gives us the responsibility to share it with as many as we can. With each added degree of knowledge, we are given more responsibility with what we will do with that knowledge. How we will use it, what we do with it, how we will let it affect and change us, and how we will use it to make the world better and build the Lord's kingdom.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Gospel Message Day 304

Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 4

In the LDS scriptures' topical guide, under work, I really like the "see also" topics:

See also Duty ; Example ; Good Works ; Idleness ; Industry ; Initiative ; Labor ; Laziness ; Priesthood, Magnifying Callings within ; Service ; Skill ; Welfare ; Work, Value of ; Workmanship ; Works

I like that example is in there. We are seen, whether or works be good or bad. Let us hope to be good examples of worthy and worthwhile work. Antonyms listed are idleness and laziness. So for our work to be good and productive, we can't waste around and do nothing. And we shouldn't be satisfied with doing a little here and a little there. Good, productive, worthwhile work is a full-hearted, completely concerted effort that continues to last. It may be used in service of others. It may take skill, or is a good way to build up skills. It often helps to have the Priesthood as part of it, as the work can be strengthened and reach in ways that we could not do on our own.

Sometimes, when I am bogged down with life and its many responsibilities at my job and at church and at home, I feel weary. So tired. All I want is a break. Rejuvenation. Renewing and restoring one's mental, emotional, physical, and other energies is crucial to keep the work going and keep it being good and effective. We just need to be sure that we don't get comfortable and stick around in the relaxing, renewing period. Take a breather. "Pay yourself first." Then get back out there and put your shoulder to the wheel of life.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Gospel Message Day 303

Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 3

Work is an important principle in the Gospel. We do not believe in getting something for nothing. We must work to earn any reward or better result of any kind. To be forgiven, we must go through the work of repentance. To enjoy peace of mind in upcoming, unforeseen trials, we have to put forth the work to prepare ourselves in all ways. Food storage doesn't just show up. We work to save it up. Blessings from tithing and fast offerings come only after we make the effort to pay them. A house becomes clean only after we have cleaned it. A testimony only grows if we make the effort to build it. Our calling is only magnified if we do our utmost within it. We are, however, blessed when we work, for when we give our all the Lord will add His part--which is much greater and more effective than our all. And thus together we are able to achieve wondrous things.

Too many people in this day have a sense of entitlement. They believe they deserve this or that just by being them. They don't see that they must work to deserve something. No one is entitled to anything. We have rights (which are not always given). But even those rights must be fought and worked for. Its a patriotic month, when we often are reminded that freedom isn't free. It has a price. It is every man's right to be free. But they are not entitled to it. They are to fight for and protect their freedoms.

We also cannot expect to gain a reward from someone else doing our work for us, hence the personal responsibility. For one, where is the growth for us if we shirk our work? For another, why should we deserve to be rewarded for what we have not done for ourself? We take responsibility for what our share of the load in life is to be, to take care of our own tasks and duties.

Now service is entirely different. Service is assisting someone in their life's work load. But it is not taking over all and doing it for them. If a sister in the ward has a baby, we offer meals and childcare and maybe even some house care until the parents are ready to take over these tasks again. Our serving others does not mean those people can just sit back and do nothing for themselves because we are taking care of it. We reach out. We help. We lift. We inspire. We give hope. But we do so with the intent and desire that those we serve will soon be back on their feet and able to take care of themselves. Even better, that they can reach a point when they can help lift another as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gospel Message Day 302

Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 2

Well, I'm fighting a headache. Have been all day. I don't feel like writing much as sleep is begging for me. But it does put me in mind of something related to the topic. The last two days, I have felt very far from wanting to work. Emotions and aforementioned head. I think that is the true test of one's personal responsibility at least where work is concerned--continuing to do so when your mind or your heart or your health are just not as in to it, because you know it is not about you but those you serve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gospel Message Day 301

What is This Thing That Men Call Death

I'm pausing from the current topic, because another wants to be addressed. My very dear aunt passed away last night. All of my memories of her had her full of life, energy, love, joy, and fun--for the people around her and for life in general. I know that when people pass we tend to say the more positive things about them and let the ill ones go. A glorification if you will. But I know of no ill things about her. She was all that is good and lovely in the world. A very, very precious soul and person--and I will miss her a great deal. I have loved that the last 15 years of my life allowed me to be geographically closer to her than I was growing up, because it enabled me to get to know her more and to create more memories. I am grateful for that time, because she was very much worth knowing and having in one's life.

I have been crying off and on all day. Out of happiness that her pain is over. At the joy of knowing she is reunited with her dad and two of her sons. From the peace that families are forever and this is not over. We're just all separated from her until it is our turn to join her on the other side of the veil. But I have had many, many tears because it seems so unfathomable that I won't get to see her again in this life. That I won't get any more hugs. She won't bring her gooseberry pie to Thanksgiving. Her laugh will not be heard at our gatherings. Her sense of humor and fun won't add to the joy of get togethers. Her protection, light-hearted attitude, and reassurance won't be there to shield me from the frustrating remarks directed at me by a senior member. Most deaths affect me because of my being left behind, and no longer having them a part of my life. Yet there is always comfort that helps assuage the tears, because I know it isn't over. There is more to come, for certain on the other side of the veil, but also that her influence will continue to be felt on this side as well.

She was an amazing aunt, and I hope that I can be for my "niephews" what she has been for me.

Our wonderful President Hinckley penned these words when he was still on Earth. They seem appropriate today.

1. What is this thing that men call death
This quiet passing in the night?
’Tis not the end but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.
2. O God, touch Thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.
3. There is no death, but only change,
With recompense for vict’ry won.
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gospel Message Day 300

Work and Personal Responsibility

Wow, where to begin. It's late. And I'm sure much can be said on this topic. The only way I know to begin is to simply state that my parents were diligent in teaching their children to have a strong, happy work ethic and that has greatly blessed our lives. Most of us have been able to sustain ourselves and our families. And we have been able to find work that brings us a sense of accomplishment and healthy pride. We find joy and reward for the labors we perform.  And we feel that we fully deserve our emotional, mental, and financial rewards and payments because we give our full efforts in our work.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gospel Message Day 299

Sacrament, Part 4

Sweet, recently departed Elder Perry spoke of the Sacrament in General Conference 4 years ago. I thought I would quote from his talk.

"It is remarkable that even through the dark periods of apostasy, this pattern of Sabbath day worship and the sacrament continued to be practiced in many forms.
When the gospel was restored, Peter, James, and John, three of the Apostles who first received the sacrament from the Savior, appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Under their direction, the priesthood authority necessary to administer the sacrament to the members of the Church was restored.8"
I've never thought about the Restoration of the Priesthood in that way. But I like the full circle of those who first received the sacrament being the means to bring it back to our dispensation.
I also love this very succinct statement: 
"Partaking of the sacrament is the center of our Sabbath day observance." 
Elder Perry ties together Sacrament and Sabbath day, as they are inseparable. 
"...by the clothing we encourage [our children] to wear and the activities we plan, we help them prepare for the sacrament and enjoy its blessings throughout the day."
I love that he points out how what we wear and what we do helps us in the preparation as well as the partaking of the sacrament, and that it is not just during the ordinance but for all the Sabbath day.
And things we can do during the sacrament I've put in bold in Elder Perry's quote from Elder Ballard"
"Elder Melvin J. Ballard has suggested, “We want every Latter-day Saint to come to the sacrament table because it is the place for self-investigation, for self-inspection, where we may learn to rectify our course and to make right our own lives, bringing ourselves into harmony with the teachings of the Church and with our brethren and sisters.”12
As we worthily partake of the sacrament, we witness that we are willing to take the Savior’s name upon us and keep His commandments and do always remember Him, that we may have His Spirit to be with us. In this way the covenant of our baptism is renewed. The Lord assured His disciples, “As oft as ye do this ye will remember this hour that I was with you.”13"

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gospel Message Day 298

Sacrament, Part 3

I love that the sacrament takes some time. As the bread and then the water are passed to every single member congregated together, we have the time to think, reflect, reaffirm, and re-commit. Over the years I have used the time to re-read the sacrament hymn, to better understand the words, message, and testimony. I think back over my week to analyze how I have acted. If I remember actions that were not Christlike, I take this time to repent and to re-commit to doing and being better. This is also one of the few benefits of being single with no kids--I have no distractions during the sacrament. The time is all mine to really delve in to my reflection and repentance. It is a great blessing for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gospel Message Day 297

Sacrament, Part 2

The sacrament is a covenant to remember. There are two very sacred prayers said, one for the bread and the other for the wine (now we use water because we know it is pure). They are both similar, but with a couple of differences. Every week we hear these prayers in the Ordinance of the Sacrament. Every week we are reminded of what we are promising our Father. Every week we are assured of what He promised us if we are faithful in keeping this covenant.

Bread (our promiseHis promise):
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

Water (our promiseHis promise):
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gospel Message Day 296


The sacrament is a sacred ordinance intended for us to covenant to remember our Savior, always. We are blessed and privileged that this is an ordinance we get to partake of almost every week (minus 4 times in the year for Stake and General Conferences). I may have "a scary good memory" as described by my friends. But even I forget things. LOTS of things. And I need frequent reminders. Because as humans we need repetition and reminding. And our wise Heavenly Father and loving Elder Brother know that. So the sacrament was established to be taken each week to help us remember what and whom we promised to remember.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gospel Message Day 295

The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times, Part 3

Scriptures time!

First, there is our 6th Article of Faith:
We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets,pastorsteachersevangelists, and so forth.

What the name of the Church should be was talked of in 3 Nephi 27:7-9:
Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.
Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name
The name of the Church in our time was given in Doctrine & Covenants 115:4:
For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-daySaints.

In our day many have believed that "Mormons" are presumptuous to call themselves Saints. For one (as seen in the previous scripture), it is a part of our name. For another, it is how we are live. The Bible Dictionary (in the LDS edition of the scriptures) defines Saint as:
The word saint is a translation of a Greek word also rendered “holy,” the fundamental idea being that of consecration or separation for a sacred purpose; but since what was set apart for God must be without blemish, the word came to mean “free from blemish,” whether physical or moral. In the New Testament the saints are all those who by baptism have entered into the Christian covenant 

When we are baptized in the Church, we are accepting the Savior and His Gospel, and covenanting with Him. In turn, we are washed clean, and thus we start over again, free from blemish. So, it isn't that as Saints we're saying we are free from blemish. But after our baptism, we are striving to keep our lives free from blemish, which often requires repentance and accessing the Atonement to bring our lives back to that point.

And it isn't just us now. They were called saints in the former Church, as seen in Ephesians 2:19-20:
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gospel Message Day 294

The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times, Part 2

We speak of the Church in ancient times, and we usually think of what was over in Jerusalem, which spread to the various places that Paul wrote his epistles to (Corinth, etc). But, unless you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and believe in in the Book of Mormon, that is it. Those who believe in the Book of Mormon believe that the resurrected Savior visited the ancient Americas. While there, He established the Church among them as well. And the Church lasted in the Americas for 200 years, whereas it only made it 70 on the other side of the ocean before it became apostate and truths were lost or changed. Eventually the Lord removed His authority, His power, and the Priesthood from the Earth, waiting to restore them until the world was ready and able to receive them again. The Lord promised He would restore them, and He has kept His promise. I marvel at the connection I can have with such long ago saints--that we come together to try to heal and build each other up while working to become more like Christ.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gospel Message Day 293

The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times

By former times, that would mean "ancient." Or the time when Christ actually walked the Earth. Some times I don't really think about the fact that the Savior established His Church while He was on Earth. He called apostles, priests, teachers. There were prophets. Christ Himself was the chief cornerstone, and the Head of His Church. I see this organization in my time, with the same Head of the Church being my Savior. I love that the Church I belong to is not only patterned after the one Christ established in His time, but was established by Him in our time as well.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gospel Message Day 292

Jesus - Creator, Part 3

Another scripture to share. Someone shared it in Sunday School yesterday, and I felt I needed to include it in this topic. Especially as I only shared scriptures from the Doctrine & Covenants.

3 Nephi 9:15 -
Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

All things. It astounds the mind to think of all the things there could possibly be that were created. Our Lord is most capable, but I don't think He did it alone. Not that He couldn't. But I think He wanted all of us to be a part of creating the world we would live on, and be tested on. I think (and this is not doctrine) that He wanted us to feel a stronger connection to the world. To have deeper meanings and joys with certain creations--able to find the beauty in them more easily than we do in other things. My friend had a teacher who once suggested they had a part in a creation, and she is sure she helped to create dolphins because she loves them so much. I've often wondered what I helped with, which things I love so much here. Seahorses? Turtles? Roses? I'll never know in this life, but it doesn't fully matter to me--as I find the greatest joy and fulfillment in the beauty of landscapes, clouds, rainbows, various weather, and more.

While I may speculate on our role in the creation, I do not speculate in the fact that we had one. For  it is backed up by the scripture in the Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 3:24 -
And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gospel Message Day 291

Gratitude - Revisited

After the last couple of weeks, I have had my head put back on straight. I have so much to be grateful for, and I am ashamed of the petty worries and concerns I've been fretting over the last month or more. Thus I have chosen to focus outside of myself--to look outward. It's how the Savior lived, it's how I should.

So I've been trying to seek out more ways to serve to show my gratitude for all the Lord has blessed me with, and to share it with God's other children. Today I went to a service project I enjoy. I found myself going to "the background"--over the years I think that's where I'm most comfortable because I have often found myself there. (Possibly hiding from a video crew, too....) But today I was able to do the second 1/2 of the service, which I've never been able to before because of choir obligations. The second part truly is the best, because it immediately brings everything back in to perspective and focus. On my way home, I had to sing a prayer to my Father, because I have never felt this song to be more true and fitting and applicable and right.

But two other songs also came to mind this evening as I think on tonight and very much look forward to next week's service project.

First, there is this hymn arrangement which I first sang in Junior High choir:

Then there is, of course, Josh's fabulous song. I wish I could post my own music video of it. But copyright for his song, etc. So this will have to do. (Someone else posting it!)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gospel Message Day 290

Jesus - Creator, Part 2

I think on this topic, and scriptures come to mind. There are, of course, the Genesis scriptures. But there are passages in other books of scripture that refer to this topic. I have always loved the Doctrine and Covenants. It is full of revelations, and often they are written as they were received. As Christ is the one who gave these revelations (mostly to Joseph Smith), they are Him speaking. When we read "I" and "me" and "myself," those mean our very Savior Himself. I love reading His direct words.

Doctrine & Covenants 38:3 
I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me.

Doctrine & Covenants 29:31
For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal—

Doctrine & Covenants 117:6-7
For have I not the fowls of heaven, and also the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the mountains? Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?
Therefore, will I not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in abundance? saith the Lord.

Isn't that one fabulous? A reassurance that if our Redeemer is powerful enough to create the Earth and all things on, above and beneath it, then He has the power to take care of us and to bless us.
Doctrine & Covenants 88:6-13
He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
 10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
 11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
 12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
 13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

In this we read a testimony of Joseph Smith concerning the Savior--beautiful words full of power and surety.
Doctrine & Covenants 76: 19-24
And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.
And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gospel Message Day 289

Jesus - Creator

Our Savior has many titles, each reflecting one of the roles He had/has. So when we call Him Creator, it's because He created the Earth. Heavenly Father was the orchestrator of the Plan, which included the Earth's creation, but Jesus was the one who executed the Creation. He brought us down to help Him form the seas, and the mountains, and the valleys, and the plants, and the flowers, and the animals. After each day, He reported to our Father what work was done. And our Father, each day, praised the work that it was well.

That is the extremely simplified version of the Creation story. One has to only truly and fully look around them at the wonders the world possesses to know that the Creation was an intricate, detailed work of love for each of us and for our Father.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gospel Message Day 288

Death of Christ

We in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tend to talk more about the Atonement and the Resurrection of Christ than the event in the middle of the two--His death. I know I've spoken of all 3 during this year-long challenge. But I probably didn't focus as much on the death. We do not generally focus on His death, because we find such great healing, hope, promise, and joy in His Atonement and His Resurrection.

But His death was a very vital part of His work and purpose on Earth. It also overlapped with the Atonement, since on the cross He suffered through all the pain and agony that He did in Gethsemane. And there are other things related to His death that are important for us to know and to remember.

*The events that led up to His death show just how unjust his trial and sentence were. He was innocent. His death couldn't have been more wrong, despicable, or tragic.

*The actual events of His death fulfilled prophecy. Such as no bones being broken. Crucified people typically had their legs broken. But this was not the case for our Savior.

*His death was not a quick, painless one. Now was it a quick, painful one. It was a very long, agonizing method of killing him, full of pain. There was no backing out of it once in it. And there was even more time (after all of that time during Gethsemane and the trials, etc) for Christ to remember why He was hanging on that cross, and for whom He was there. Each of us was present during His death, for I believe we were on His mind as He suffered for us.

*I think the most important thing to remember--Christ was the one who had the power over His death. He only died when He gave up the ghost. He could have held on to His spirit as long as He wanted. He was born part-God, and had the ability to hold on to His immortality. He let go when He knew His work was finished, and because He knew that His death was a part of that work.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gospel Message Day 287

Lord's Covenant People, Part 2

I will be honest--I need more help with this. It's a topic I know of. And I believe in it. But I don't know how to talk about it. Or how to put it in my own words. All I know to say is that a covenant is a 2-way promise between a person (or group of people) and the Lord. The Lord promises blessings which will be fulfilled if we are obedient to His commandments.

But as for the people, not really sure what to say. So I'm going to look at the Gospel Principles manual, the chapter on this topic, and see if it gives my mind more ideas. And today I will probably add quotes from the manual.

"The people who covenant with the Lord and with whom the Lord makes covenants are known as the Lord’s covenant people. Members of the Church are part of the Lord’s covenant people."

The manual points out that we make more than one kind of covenant. Baptism is a covenant. So is the sacrament. All of the temple ordinances are us making covenants with Heavenly Father.

The manual continues to mention that the Lord has made particular covenants with groups of people. I think that's where my confusion of what to say comes from. I hear the phrase "Lord's covenant people" and I immediately think about a group of people, like the Israelites. The manual refers to the Abrahamic covenant:
"Because of Abraham’s righteousness, the Lord made a covenant with him and his descendants.
The Lord promised Abraham that he would have numberless descendants. He promised that all of them would be entitled to receive the gospel, the blessings of the priesthood, and all of the ordinances of exaltation. These descendants, through the power of the priesthood, would carry the gospel to all nations. Through them, all the families of the earth would be blessed (see Abraham 2:11). God further promised that if they were righteous He would establish His covenant with all generations of Abraham’s children (see Genesis 17:4–8)."
Then there is, of course, the members of the Church. Considering the covenants I mentioned before, that would definitely make LDS Church members a covenant-keeping people.

So what I'm learning is that the Lord's covenant people means, basically, anyone who covenants with the Lord. But I think more importantly, it is anyone who is diligently trying to keep those covenants.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gospel Message Day 286

Lord's Covenant People

Wow. What a topic to draw. I have only one idea right now how to begin this. I saw the topic and immediately thought of the scriptures I read over and over again in the Book of Mormon when the Lord talks about them being His covenant people. I know there is more than that, and I hope it will come to me in the next day or two.

  • 3 Nephi 20:29

  • And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.

      • Mormon 7:10

        • And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant; and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.
          • 3 Nephi 21:4

            For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel;
          • We tend to think of the covenant people as the Jews. Those of the House of Israel. But this scripture reminds us that people can be adopted in to the House of Israel. The inhabitants of the ancient Americas are a branch of the House of Israel, and one of the covenants the Lord made with them was that if they were righteous, they would be blessed and prosper in the land. With members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being adopted into the House of Israel, the covenant holds true for us, too--if we are obedient and keep God's commandments, then we will be blessed and prosper in this wonderful land.