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Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Message To The World:Joseph Called of God

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A Message To The World: Joseph Called of God
What do you do when you do not understand something? Most people ask questions and base opinions and actions on the answers to those questions. That is exactly what Joseph Smith Jr did nearly two centuries ago. The answer to his question is still changing hearts and minds today.  With the religious climate at an all time high; Joseph wanted to know which church to join. Message to the world is a testimony of the events of the prophets life, His family, his love, his Heavenly Father, His ministry told in prose.  Joseph was a student of the Bible.  While studying he was told that if you need wisdom ask. In response to Joseph’s question God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy. That event caused the boy to start on a journey that would lead him from upstate New York to Kirkland, Ohio to Missouri and then finally his martyrdom in Carthage, Illinois. His life was dedicated to serving his God. That in turn led the man to serve his fellowman. People would Travel great distance to be able to come and see. His invitation always the same. Come and Follow Jesus Christ. His passion was centered in serving and teaching all that would listen to his message.  A Message To The World!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Stay on the Boat

God Has To Laugh
Every day when I start a new
I think what is there to do.
A list of tasks from A-Z flood my mind.
There is so much to do
and not enough time
at least that’s how I see it.
So I stopped to ask,
Help for priority, help for the Mundane,
help for the little guy
I forgot his name.
Help for the guidance needed.
Not once have I asked for what priority God had
Not listening for the ease of the day
that would cast a ray
On all the things that I need to do and say.
Prayers, yes it’s true is a talk with God.
Part of praying is stopping long enough
for all of the days actions to be understood

Elder Ballard in his 2014 October conference address said “ Given the challenges we all face today, how do we stay on the Old Ship Zion?
Here is how. We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives--not just once but regularly. Alma asked, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren [and sisters], if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”

I would like to address four things that we have to hold on to while the Old ship Zion is pitching in the waters of life.
1)we must follow the living Prophets and Apostles
2)We must have a working knowledge of the Plan of Salvation
3) We must realize that we are apart of an Eternal Family
4) We must learn to find the Holy Sabbath a delight

Who can we follow? That's a hard question. Especially when there are many who are shouting for and biding for our attention. Many give up floundering. Content to just doing their own thing. These people are lost.
The people of Zeniff eager to find the land of their inheritance went out only to run into the Lamanites. They gave up half of all they had eventually loosing all they had to lamenites. They thought their people had perished and became subject to the Lamenites. They were not paying attention to the prophets or their leaders.
There is someone that we can look to, to bring us to safety. That person is the prophet of the Lord.
President Russell M Nelson  has been prepared for our day. Like many that have come before him they were to guide their people through the torrent of worldly wisdom. He speaks for our day and time to bring us to safety.The heavens are not closed.
The Father loves and expects much from us. We need a leader who has a knowledge of and experience with listening to and applying the will of the father. The scriptures have taught that "surely the Lord God will do nothing, save he will reveal his secret to his servants the prophet. (Amos 3:7)" The prophet speaks with the Father.
With that knowledge then... that we have a leader. Someone who is willing to guide us through the storm. We have to then choose to follow him. No one is going to make us choose to follow him.
Just like everything in the gospel of Jesus Christ we are free to choose.
Christ told us that he would take care of us. As long as we are willing to follow him (2nd Nephi 2:27-29). The part of the individual is following the prophet.
When others have wandered from the path and jumped off the old ship Zion it is so important for us to help them back aboard. Give a hand of encouragement. Repentance is possible through the gracious gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Take the opportunity to share your testimony  every chance you can. Invite others to recognize the loftiness and pride of the worldly wisdom that is all around them. Be willing to share your testimony of how the Gospel has changed your life. Be able to offer examples of how your testimony of the prophet and following  his example has led you to come to know more of your Savior, Jesus Christ.
This is truly the work of the master. Bringing others to the knowledge of the Savior. Helping others back when they have fallen short. Ours is not to judge. It is but to be a help in facilitating our Heavenly Father in rescuing some of his children.
2nd  having an understanding of the plan of salvation is a crucial hand old to keeping on the Old Ship Zion.
Everywhere we go there are evidences of our heavenly father. From things so very small, to things huge Jesus Christ is found in it all. We just need to learn to recognize him. It is vital to learn to focus on the things of the spirit. The learning that is needed can be found by asking yourself a series of questions.
Who am I?
Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
Who am I suppose to be through the grace of the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ?
Knowing the answers to these simple questions allows us to answer all the other questions that come during this thing called life.
 What are my goals?
What do I focus on?
How do I view the world?
What really matters to me?
Everything that we do has to in one way or another lead us to the Master. This life is a time for us to prepare to meet God. Alma taught that we are here in a probationary state that we may learn and grow. The Savior taught that we must come unto him. Cast on him our every care and find shelter in within his embrace.
What are your goals?
Everyone should set at least a few spiritual and temporal goals. Having goals creates an atmosphere of learning. Your willing to try new things. Seeking to better yourself and your following the example of Jesus Christ. Your always striving. You are always growing in an effort to attain those goals you have set.
Each person is  different. As such  your goals may not be the same as mine. The important thing is that you have them!
It is so important that you set them high and self inspect often to make certain that you are on the road to attaining yours and the Father’s aspirations for you.
Ask yourself, what do I focus on? What in the world excites me? What is it that gets my attention. Am I easily distracted from what I am doing?If so it is time to recognize it and discipline yourself. Focusing your attention is a huge asset to your family. Easily finding the ability to make the important decisions when it is time to make them!
How you view the world tells alot about what you care about. Recognizing the hand of the father in all things helps to see the greatness all around us. The strength of the oceans to the gentle breeze show us the hand of the father. All good things come from the father. Moroni tells us that all good things lead us to the Savior of the world, even Jesus Christ.
What matters most? Everything hinges on this question. If you are involved in something and you don't want to be you are not going to give one hundred percent. On the other hand if you recognize what you want and attack it you will accomplish so much more. As long as you are doing your best striving to live the gospel to the best of your ability. That is all that is being asked of you !!!

Third hand hold to keep us on the Old Ship Zion comes within the family.  The greatest opportunities for growth in this life are found with the walls of own homes. The family is where so many firsts are experienced. In the family is where sweet special memories are formed and eternal relationships are forged.

A few years ago during  FHE (Family Home Evening) I had been thinking a lot about the Proclamation on the family.

So I had everyone, spell the word family as an acronym

F (fart was the first choice) Forever Families. Families can be together forever. All of us are apart of an                                      eternal family. We are able to learn much from one another as we recognize that relationship with one another.

A Apply or Application We talked about applying what we learn. Internalize the lessons make them apart of our daily lives. study it out,  learn all you can and then put it to action.

M Marriage Recognize where and when it is appropriate to start a family. Marriage between a man and a woman is part of the plan. We are to work together and teach together and raise a family in unity an a desire to all return home.

I  Insurance, we might have stretched this a little. but the idea here is that we do those little things that insure us returning to our father. Reading our scriptures, Praying, FHE, going to church. These things build a safe haven from the outside world.

L Live, Laugh,LOVE memories that is where it is all at. Daily creating a atmosphere that will bring us closer together. I think it is so true that laughing provides for strong bonds. The greatest example of love is the Savior. If as a family we can learn about him and build our lives around him and his example we will come to be able to  love our neighbors that much easier.

Y Youth, You : In the family you are defined. Your character is molded and formed. Your values are created.

The family is the greatest and biggest piece to our fathers plan.

The fourth handhold keeping us on the Old Ship Zion is Sabbath day observance
Elder Ballard taught “All of us are blessed when the Sabbath is filled with love for the Lord at home and at church. When our children are taught in the ways of the Lord, they learn to feel and to respond to His Spirit. We will all desire to attend each Sunday to partake of the sacrament when we feel the Spirit of the Lord. And all, young and old, who are carrying heavy burdens will feel the spiritual uplift and comfort that comes from a Sabbath day of devoted contemplation of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
When the Sabbath day is observed we are showing our love for the Father and Son. Christ taught us that “If ye Love me keep my commandments.” Just a few verses more he calls us his Friend if ye do whatsoever I have commanded. We make covenants that start us out on this path. Keeping the Commandments allows us to be exalted.
Sabbath day observance is a hard thing for me. Separating out the day from the rest of the week. The church has become apart of  who I am. If I am not at work I am doing something during the day like scripture study, driving kids to mutual activities, visiting someone in the ward. Everyday there is something that keeps Heavenly Father front and center. So, how should one single out the day?
Creating an atmosphere in the home on the Sabbath like one was at the temple could help to make a attitude of reverence and admiration for the Savior. Being in the temple working or worshipping allows for a different perspective. In the temple we are reverent, quiet. The phone is not at arms reach notifying one of the recent news events. The latest sale that Disney had before raising its prices for its new park attractions.  Placing all the cares of the day in the rear view. That can be a monumental task. However, allowing the things of God to be first for one day will change the smallest wave that challenges and heartaches cause. The whole observance requires what may seem as sacrifice at first. But opens a whole new perspective, a new higher view that offers sweet assistance and maybe even more proficient.
Placing the sweet special feeling of the temple within the home offers a blessing of security.

Conclude with testimony

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Flashlight parable

The common everyday flash light has a handle, A switch ,a light bulb, a power source, a housing for the light bulb. It is a simple thing really. A tool that brings light to a room to provide the opportunity for every person that looks upon its rays the ability to find great sources of power. The flashlight opens up a new world of color and information.

That common Flashlight is like each one of us.

The Handle
Each individual stands alone as a empty flashlight handle. We go through this life and are individually affected by the experiences that we live through. Some are cared for, used and meet their purpose. Others are battered, scared and torn. Some are dirty from use. Some clean and polished. However, they all have one thing in common they are a tool. A instrument in the hands of the user.

The Power Source
Each light requires a power source to give off the Energy that will illuminate the dark of night. Our source of power that our Heavenly Father has given us is the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ promised us that he would not leave us comfort less. He said “but the comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the father will send in my name he shall teach you all things and bring to your rememberance   whatsoever thing I have said unto you. The Holy Ghost is the power source. He is the power to see, Hear, gain knowledge and develope an abiding faith and hope in the Savior Jesus Christ.

The Switch
To utilize that power source the switch must be placed in the on position. The switch engages the power allowing the instrument to begin to work inside The individual. That switch is a course of daily searching and diligently studying the scriptures. The scriptures lighten our minds. Reading, then doing the mind and will of God begins the journey of allowing the power source to work within the individual.

The Light Bulb
The light bulb itself is illuminated when one is able to discern between good, better and best. The person is able to share what has become a part of them. Testimony is borne of the love of God to his children. Questions are asked and answered; on the Lords timetable. This is done that all may be able to be taught on their level the blessing of living and loving as the Father loves.

The Housing For the Light Bulb
The blessing of the power illumination of the bulb has to be constantly nourished. Without the housing applied to flashlight the bulb if placed in just the right place with the right amount of pressure will for a time illuminate the bulb. However once the pressure is released the light turns off and is cold. The light must be held in place with constant nourishment. Yes the primary answers. Personal prayer, read the scriptures personally and with the family. What a blessing!

The prayer today is that everyone will realize that they are an instrument in the hands of the master. Each one of us has the ability to help others turn on their switch and shed the light of the gospel in a dark and scary world. The individual has a mandate to learn and apply lessons from the best books. Then seek to be taught from others. Everything that is experienced during this life has a lesson.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Zion People

Becoming a Zion people gives pause to the mind. What does that mean? Who will be there? Where do I fit in there? Will I be there?

The question needs to be asked what is Zion? It is God’s kingdom on earth. In the last days when the dust settles the only people that will reside there are the holy people of God. Those that followed Christ. There will be many from all faith backgrounds there. Many that chose to live the best that they could.
This group of people are and will be defended by the Savior, even Jesus Christ. Isaiah 4:5 there will be a defense for all that enter in mount Zion. What a powerful thought. The people of the earth can call on and receive divine help on a daily even a minute by minute basis if needed. The knowledge, that one can glean from the Father, is there for the taking. At any moment that any person on earth needs help all that is required is that they ask for that help.  Ours is to Ask, then to Act, and Expect to Recieve.
To be a Zion people it is to put faith and trust in a loving Heavenly Father. He knows the individual and the need. He will not however intercede until the attribute of humility is excersised. Faith is placed in him and hope builds within to carry a burning to the heart of the alter of God the Father.
Isaiah further explains in 29:8 that the things of God must have a place within our hearts. For one to seek to serve they must be willing to change. Change from a carnally minded man to one that seeks the mind and will of the Father.
A Zion people communicate with our Heavenly Father. Isaiah 30:19 speaks of the Father seeking to bless our lives. He really hears and answers prayers.
The only constant in the lives of all that have lived and will yet is God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.  People come and go from our lives. Some my stay but a brief moment. Others will linger. However, the fact is all of us eventually will go our own way. It is of utmost import that all recognize that the only constant in their lives is the Father and the Son.
That knowledge offers us the opportunity to plant in our hearts the gospel of Jesus Christ. People will seek out the true joy that only comes from the constant relationship with the spirit. Through building a relationship with and talking too God each can and will be a Zion people.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Chief Priests and Pilate

Pilate posed an interesting question to the chief priests. "He asked them should I crucify your king?" Spiritually this said a lot about how the leadership of the day interpreted the scriptures. They understood things so literally; and yet wanted to understand things figuratively as well. They replied to Pilate "we have no king but Caesar" 
In that line they thought that they were showing their allegiance to the state. They did not want to be committing a act of treason. They were taking what pilate said at face value. Isn't there more to that question that Pilate asked? Isn't there a hidden meaning behind it? What can we learn from that statement? 
There's definitely more to the question. Figuratively speaking Pilate is testing their will. Pilate knows that Jesus is innocent. Pilate knows the hearts of the chief priests. Although even more troubling is with that knowledge Christ is still sent to Golgotha. 
The every day disciple of Jesus Christ can also ask  Pilate's question. The question measures  exactly how one feels about Jesus Christ? Many questions are answered by where people put themselves on that spectrum. Are you willing to listen to the spirit? Do you except the atonement? 
Yes, it's true that the chief priests were so harden in  their hearts. They could not bring themselves to believe that Jesus was the Christ the Messiah. They could not disapprove him. So they had to kill him by false pretense. They were threatened by the Carpenter. Jesus was drawing crowds to him by the thousands. So, they had to put an end to him. The hymn comes to mind "Whose on the Lord side too, now is the time to show" it's important to recognize where to stand when picking sides. Where exactly do you stand? Where exactly is your heart? Are you willing like the chief priests to deny the Christ?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wisdom Scripture Chain

Matthew 10:16
Jacob 6:12
Alma 18:16
Alma 48:11-17
Mormon 9:28
Doctrine & Covenants 111:11

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sacrament Challenge Day 2

3 Nephi 18
Christ invites the reader to a sacrament meeting. As people arrive they are greeted and invited to be seated. Christ authorizes the sacrament to be prepared. A thought comes to mind,what should one be doing while waiting for the sacrament to be blessed and passed? Thoughts are to be centered on the reason for the attendance. Preparing mentally for that opportunity. 

Then as the bread is passed, Christ tells us that we are baring our testimony to the Father that we will always remember him. In turn there is a blessing that we will have the spirit to be with us. Water is been passed to the apostles and then to the multitude. That represents our willingness to keep the Commandments. That we are humble enough to repent. That leads to being willing to utilize the atonement and remember the great lasting sacrifice of the master. 

Nephi records that if we are willing to do these things that were built on the sure foundation. However, if we vary from being obedient and penitent then we are on shaky sandy ground.

Partaking of the sacrament one realizes that he must always watch and pray. Meaning, that we have to always be vigilant. Avoiding temptations that the adversary throws away. We have to be willing to stand up for truth and righteousness. We have to recognize the true light that comes from following the ultimate example, Jesus Christ.

A word of caution about the sacrament, it must be taken worthily. The person partaking of the sacrament must be willing to recognize that it is a honor and not a right. 

Christ knows us and he knows how to give us what we need. That is the beauty of the atonement. We must be willing to accept his wonderfully amazing sacrifice.