Friday, July 31, 2015
Jesus - Teacher, Part 3
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Jesus - Teacher, Part 2
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.
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
Jesus - Teacher
Eternal Families, Again
Monday, July 27, 2015
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
Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 5
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
Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 4
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
Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 3
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
Work and Personal Responsibility, Part 2
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
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.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Work and Personal Responsibility
Monday, July 20, 2015
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Sacrament, Part 3
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Sacrament, Part 2
Bread (our promise; His 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 promise; His 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
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
The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times, Part 3
First, there is our 6th Article of Faith:
We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets,pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
What the name of the Church should be was talked of in 3 Nephi 27:7-9:
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:
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times, Part 2
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times
Monday, July 13, 2015
Jesus - Creator, Part 3
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
Gratitude - Revisited
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
Jesus - Creator, Part 2
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
Doctrine & Covenants 88:6-13
In this we read a testimony of Joseph Smith concerning the Savior--beautiful words full of power and surety.
Doctrine & Covenants 76: 19-24
Friday, July 10, 2015
Jesus - Creator
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
Death of Christ
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
Lord's Covenant People, Part 2
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:
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
Lord's Covenant People