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Continuing Revelation

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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sacrament Challenge

Take out a sheet of paper and write on it "what does the sacrament mean to me?"
Take a scripture a day and write down your thoughts.

The purpose is to have a better more prepared for experience during the sacrament on Sunday.

Day 1
Matthew 26
 The chapter opens on a woman who came in with expensive oils and anointed the Savior. Then it speaks of Judas and his treacherous act of betrayal. The Savior sends the apostles to to find a place where they may celebrate the Passover.  Then the scene shifts to Gethsemane. 

In just the first 16 verses two very distinct things happen. The woman who anointed the Savior had so much respect for him brought her finest ointments to treat to the master. The apostles did not understand what she had done. On a first glance one might have the same reaction as the apostles. But think about where her heart was. Her heart was centered on serving one whom she held in high regard. One who would change the world. She was being a humble servant. Her heart was centered on following the master.
Just a few short verses latter we see how a little bit of pride gets in the way and changes the heart of one who knew the gospel teachings. Judas Iscariot had witnessed the miracles wrought by Jesus. Yet, with greed in his heart he accepted payment of thirty pieces of silver. His heart was set on worldly things. He wanted marterial wealth rather than eternal blessings.

So, then that begs the question...where does your heart lie?

I love how the Savior offer the sacrament and then asks the brethren to go with him to Gethsemane. In verse 38 he is weighed down with sorrow. He asks them to watch with him. I wonder what they were thinking in that moment. I wonder how I would respond. I wonder if they really understood the gravity of the time. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

The canoe trip of life - Lessons from the River

Put a fat unfit middle aged man in the middle of canoe give him a paddle and that creates the makings of some great stories. If nothing else a very interesting visual and the start to a billon jokes. But that's where the story starts. 

I purpose that life is like a canoe trip. It starts with the planning. The leader says let's go on a short trip. Everyone gets really excited. Summer is coming the water will be warm enough. It will show us how we need to improve. But most important...experience will be gained. 

So, the day of the event arrives. The boys are excited, the adults are excited. Leaders and experienced adults show up to take the inexperienced down life's river. So, we have a little instruction, take a few pictures and then it is time to get in the boats. Yes, canoes come in all sizes but we put the big guys in the skinny canoes just to get more of a laugh. 

The canoes are loaded and then are launched into the river. There is always going to be a learning curve especially when there is a fat guy in the boat learning to balance and paddle at the same time. With a experienced lake canoe driver...( driving a canoe on a lake is different than navigating a river.) So, both the guide and the fat guy are learning together. 

There are times when no matter what is done the canoe is going to drift every way but where the desired area is. During these times a little patience is required to get canoe to go where it is needed. And sometimes there is that sneaker current that catches the canoes  off guard and the balance that the fat guy had mastered falters and the canoe tips causing the unbalanced to jump off the boat. It is during these times that one should remember to just keep calm. The water is scary but manageable. All that is needed is a hand to make it to shore. At this point although cold and wet it is important to get back in the boat. Keep going down the river. 

Recognize, that when we loose our balance and end up out of the boat consequences are going to happen. We can make choices that will help us. However, we can not choose our consequences to  our actions. If we get out of the boat we are going to be wet. If we are not wearing safety gear tragedy is learking near. No, matter the consequence of our actions...we can always get back in the boat and start the process of getting dry and fixing broken equipment. 

Eventually, there will come a time when we come around the final bend and it's time to beach the vessel. There is a sense of accomplishment. A recognition that leaders are helpful. Even when sometimes we may not want them near. One recognizes that the river has had twists and turns, gone fast and slow. Overall, it allowed stories to be shared, friendships to be made, Experience to be had and the fat man to realize that there is more to life than what he has allowed inside his little bubble. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Recognizing The Hand Of The Lord - Part 1

This is a very broad topic. On the surface it may seem very simple however upon a in depth study the topic is like a hydra dragon. Once one question is answered the query developes more questions.

How exactly does the Lord bare his hand in your life? Have you ever stopped to ponder how much the Lord is already apart of your life? How much more could he be in your life? In primary the song is sung:
Whenever I touch a velvet rose, or look at the blue blue sky, whenever I feel the rain on my face or the wind as it rushes by.  All of these things help us to know that Heavenly Father loves and knows each one of us on a very personal level.

2nd Nephi 1:5-6; 10:22
Nephi discribes that the Lord leads his people where he needs them. There will be trials that test the  faith of those who choose to follow the Master. However, along with those trials come the sweet blessings and promises directly from the Father.  The Father knows what we need, when we need it. The job of the individual is to recognize where these blessings come from. Once they recognize the hand of God working in their lives they are able to then ask for guidance, assistance and the comfort that only comes from the heavens.

Some of the ways that one is able to recognize the hand of the Lord is in doing good. The other is to seek after the examples of those who would be our leaders. Both, are broad ambiguous statements to be sure. Grab your scriptures and let's create two scripture chains.

Doing Good
Ezra 8:22
When seeking God, He longs to bless. He is a safety net that will bring peace if it is sought for. If when one is about their daily activity they just need to look inward. Why are they doing what they are. Is the activity being performed leading to bless their lives or build the kingdom of God. If not the anger of the Father is kindled and the individual is subject to his power and wrath.

Romans 8:28
Everything that is done should be with one goal in mind. That is, to lead all men back to the Father. Are the thoughts being entertained leading those around you to be a little better. All things work for Good, as one works to serve the Father.

Doctrine & Covenants 6:13
When engaged in service to and around one another it brings to fruition the blessing of eternal life. The great blessing of living with the Father is ours when the seeds of faith are allowed to blossom.

Doctrine & Covenants 90:24
The seeds of the faith are Searching Dilligently, Praying Always, Believeing, Walking up rightly remembering our covenants. Searching is always looking to the scriptures, studying the words of the current prophets, taking the time to ponder in your heart the thoughts that come form this great process. Always ask questions. Take your heart to our Heavenly Father. It may be hard to swallow but the answers that come may not be the things that want to be heard. Sometimes understanding does not come all at once. It is during these times that a true test of faith comes.

1 Nephi 17:1-3
One way that one can reach out to see and recognize the hand of God is to recognize that the trials come. The reaction to that trial is where the Holy Ghost is manifest. There is where faith is exercised. In the trial comes the blessing as well. Heaven will send the comforter as one is keeping their end of the bargain.

2Nephi 1:5-6
Great promises flow when covenants are kept. It is when the individual learns to recognize that the Lord is in charge that real blessings and truths are revealed.

Ether 12:41
Each one of us have examples that can be looked to. The savior is the ultimate example to pattern ones life after. God has blessed the world with living prophets and apostles who share with us his mind and will for our day. They offer a great way to cultivate a relationship with the father.

Doctrine & Covenants 88:63
When the individual turns his heart to the Father and earnestly reaches out to him; then the Father reaches back and the relationship truly begins to be a two way street.

Each night what blessing it is to evaluate and ponder on the day's events. As this is done you will see just how much the hand of God has been working in YOUR life.