Sunday, February 23, 2014

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ


Image is located here

I have seen some recent pictures of Muslims display their religion by praying on set times or dates in very public places and I wondered if I am that courageous. I could excuse that political correctness chastises my use of God in public places but those same hypocrites allow others to praise Allah. 

So I wondered if it was me and I had created in myself a false fear of what the Atheists and Muslims were going to say if I prayed at a Wendy's or alone in a hotel with no one to look upon me save God himself. Is faith or Christianity slowly being eradicated by law or social stigma? I knew that Alma was brought to the same forefront when he was confronted by the priests of Noah a second time and they at the time had political clout. Are we under the similar spiritual punches in the gut or are we doing it to ourselves because we have surrendered our power to something imaginary (that could end up the law if we are not careful)? 

Thinking of this I have made some effort to counter the effects by praying more in public. Sure I do not utter a word to reverence others faith (or lack thereof) but I pour my heart out to my make so that I like Alma can be heard in my heart. I pray that even the action of a prayer like jester doesn't become against the like Alma's story. 

Have a great day and as Alma said "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you."

Do you want to meet Jesus?

A couple of weeks ago friends and I who had been playing games and laughing, everything was normal till one of them had got serious by asking me and another LDS fellow of mine a serious question. Do you want to meet Jesus?

At first we were a bit taken back and the room had got quiet; said my friend continuing his thought, "Because everyone seems to want to meet Jesus".

My LDS friend (I'll call him Tim) and I almost simultaneously said no. This other friend of mine (we'll call him Charlie) was surprised. "Why?” Charlie followed up. We then took an hour explaining that our innocence of faith would be removed and we would then be living by knowledge and the weight that would bear. 

We then explained that it’s like when you are learning about the flowers when you were five. Mom took you to a field and said "Child this is a flower". You would hold it and admire the color and laugh and run holding the flower. Then sometime later would go to school and learn about the flower and the science of its cellular structure and the way that it gains food. Now you could deny photosynthesis because you have never seen it or felt it. Once you have learned it you can say whatever you want. Discovery and learning continues.

Now compare that to meeting Jesus. Meeting God's son has a great weight. Once you have gone down this road you can never go back. I suppose that you could deny that you ever saw him to his face but let’s face it; I think that God would hold us accountable for that. See the difference of walking by faith and walking by knowledge is that one has a greater level of reward and damnation. Those that walk by faith would gain a little here and there and if they slipped they could then just get up and continue while those that walked by knowledge if they fell the gravity of the fall would weigh them terribly and getting back up would be longer and harder.

I think of that moment and realize that I could possibly not be ready to meet God. It’s an awkward revelation. Here I thought that there was nothing to fear and like a child I was stunned by the experience. I know that God will be on his throne and with countless courses of angels but what happens when he comes to your face and says 'Hi'. Do I fall to my knees and beg never to behold his face again. Beg him to leave because I am an unworthy person to be in such glory. Do I weep for joy? Really, what do I do? 

What would you do? I know that there will come a day that you will meet the Messiah but what will you do? It’s something to think about this week.

The Message for You

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I love how so many times I have gone to church and I got that message that was just for me and even though I was just a visitor so no one knew me (well I had been there the week before so some of them knew me) but the message while sitting in the foyer it seemed was just for me.

One of the speakers began talking about the meek. Now I had some limited understanding of the meek mainly that they would inherit the earth. This sister though thought of a new way of putting it and presented a thought that told us that perhaps that God in his infinite wisdom had in fact changed our course so that we would always find happiness in His choice (a choice that was not clear or direct; something that we would enjoy as well, as his children). As I was sitting in the foyer it hit me. When I was young I wanted so badly to be a church leader and felt put off because I was always the student and when the opportunity arose to be something of a leader I would again be put in situations that called for my other talents in a new direction. For instance, when I was a missionary, I wanted to be a leader of some kind but I didn't develop fast enough through my experience and I probably would of been a poor leader. During that time I was very upset with the leadership and God because as a man-child I thought I was prepared but a missionary that could just spit out scripture and not with the spirit was not ready to be a leader. Perhaps President knew that and on the same breath he new that (through the spirit) that I was not good with change so he kept me in only three areas my whole mission.

I have wondered sometimes if I have been a stubborn child to God and in fact have been compelled to be meek because I want to be obedient but I cant get over my thick skull. Its like being compelled to be humble (and perhaps they are more related then I think).

I know that I am not humble nor meek enough to be a leader some days. It shows in my work effort. I want to be the boss but forget that with great power comes great responsibility. In my life I have been steward of several cars that I have crashed in fender benders and I forgot I had responsibility over that too so I am not sure if I truly know power and responsibility. I also know very little of sacrifice as God has been generous with giving of his substance (yes that means I am a full tithe payer). While I am gone from my wife and four children for months at a time (no I am not a soldier) I am blessed to be in this wonderful country and I am not more then a thousand miles from home and if ever it was needed the company would be willing to fly me for an emergency (as they have done once or twice).

I honestly believe that this has been a great training ground for understanding sacrifice and compelled humility as I spend nights alone and the only human contact is those hands that I shake sparsely. I have also been privileged to know some great people and traveled across this whole land seeing 47 states in the Union. Something that I am certain that most will not be able to say in their lifetime. I have learned about myself in a way that perhaps I would of never have.

So am I one of the meek? Perhaps. My struggles have been alone and worded only to my wife and this blog. I have found that I must challenge myself in a new and different way so that I can find my purpose (and I am certain that its not just working 60 hours a week). Is that what the meek do. They take what they have and push themselves to be something that they were meant to be? I wonder.

A few weeks (perhaps it was months) Glenn Beck extended a challenge that was similar. What was our purpose and to whom were we going to make a difference? He said that we were not made to do a 9 to 5 job and then die but to rise above that and be something. I believe that he was talking about Nielsen Mandela when he was talking about it and while I detest with every fiber of my being the putrid thought of communism and all its forms and the poison that it does to the good minds of men, women and children I could not help appreciate that Glenn was pointing that Nielsen found his purpose and seized the day; made his life his own.

All of us need to find our moment and recognize our humility, see what we are made of and the experiences that we have been in and make our lives our own.

That's my lesson to you.