Sunday, July 27, 2014
Today I was racking my brain with what the Lord wanted me to write about. For hours I thought about how rough my week was and how I had prayed and prayed to have a solution to the problems that I had had this week thinking that the blog post would be about perseverance or something like that. I was sure that it would be about me me me…. I was wrong.
At church I was given the opportunity to have such great speakers especially one missionary that spoke with such power and vigor that the spirit couldn't be denied. I thought, ‘well this was great and now we are done. There will be no need to have the other two lessons as this missionary has summed it all.’ Again I was told by the Spirit, ‘you are not writing about this’. Really? Wow! Then what?
I had a prompting on Saturday of the spirit of one of my ancestors to go and start finding my father’s family. I went to the genealogy class today and though that the work had already been done and there was nothing for me. I was intrigued and loved the class and thought I’d take a moment to see the website familysearch.org and I was certain that I would see the whole family. Man I was wrong. There is a feature that shows all of your family in a circle and half of it would be mom and the other would be dad; my dad’s half of the pie was GONE! I knew that there was some members of the family that had done the work and I could even recall from memory my dad’s genealogy up to the fifth generation but on this website it didn't exist.
As I listened to the class, I head how you could put photos and stories of your family in the site and I realized that my family story had only half been told. The stories of the roofer that had raised a family in PA or the German soldier from WW1 that had left his home country to raise his children in the States only to be a soldier of WW2 was not told. These and several more had never been told and their songs never sung except in my home.
Such anticipation and excitement changed my view of how I was going to tell my story and show that there was more than a story of a simple coal roofer’s grandson who took time to recreate his history for all to see. I know that I have had a great story. The shock and surprise that I can create in story and fable is, in fact, what genealogy is all about. My son asks me about the stories of our family and what he has accomplished. He wants to know of the metals and honors that men have given to our fathers and mothers; he wants the stories of their courage and tenacity; he wants their greatness to rub off on him. I’m no soldier; I am a son and great-grandson of one. I’m no roofer but I am a grandson of one. My mother’s family already knew the importance of the stories of the family and created a book (about 300 pages) of the family that she came from and I need to see if I can do the same with what my father’s family has done.
What does that mean for you? Do you remember what Uncle Owen told Luke? He told his nephew that his father was a miner on a space frigate; turns out that the secrets were always there if he let the Force guide him. Are we letting the Spirit guide us and show us the secrets and great discoveries that await us or are we hoping that the spirits of our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts, no matter how far away they are from us be lost or forgotten because of our negligence. I thought myself the matter closed but no longer. I aim to do some work so that they will not be lost. Please do the same.
Image is from here.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Lord, give me the ability to fit the task and forgive me for asking the task to fit my ability.
I am certain that this is a simple prayer that could be given by every saint if they knew what we were going to be asked to do. Reflecting on that phrase or proverb I have come to realize today that I have been asking for a career that fit my ability and not the other way around. Not because I am prideful (though I am sure that I am) or that I was not suited for other jobs. I just had slipped into a shallow pool of thinking fearing that I could not swim or that the sharks of my mind would kill me in the water. I realize that for a moment I have become as Peter and have begun to sink into the water because I relied too much on the strong arm of others and my faith was not sufficient.
All too often we saints have been brought to a new learning and understanding of the gospel and the way that we approach the new knowledge can be much like a primitive man approaches fire; either it’s with faith and courage or fear and anger. The examples that we go through in our lives reflect that in our willingness to go forward with faith or run like hell away from it. David faced his Goliath upfront and direct because he had faith and not with a sword or battle tactics swimming in his head. Our jobs or responsibilities should be faced with the same faith of David. Instead of saying why, say why not? Moses led with a speech impediment; I can work in communications (or whatever my job is in the moment) with my lack because the Lord will lead the way and direct me (and my career) in the way that I should go.
Nephi liked the scriptures a lot and would often apply them to himself. He wanted to use the example in such a way that he could do the Lords will and do it as others had done it. For those that fail to see how the Lord could help us in our jobs and careers, we must remember that God inspired men to create the world that we enjoy. There is no technical data or complex skill that he doesn't already have a full and complete understanding and He likes sharing. Sometimes my prayer would be ‘Lord, help me help my stupid self.’ I need to change that to ‘Lord, teach me to meet and exceed the needs of my task so that I can do it in the future and remember the experience’. Brigham lead saints across a country untamed and established a territory; Joseph read and translated a book when he didn’t know how to read it;
I am certain that the Lord can help each and every one of us in our own personal struggles. Just have to have faith, pray and apply yourself to the task. ‘Put your shoulder to the wheel, push along’, says the song. We get nowhere if we sit and ask the Lord direction but are not willing to get a compass and our shoes dirty. We must remember also that they that are with us outnumber those that are against us; just do your best and the Lord will help you fill the gaps.
Image is from here.
Image is from here.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
All week I have been pondering about the reference of Baptism of Fire and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It came from a reference that a fellow saint made when he put out a question “What is your thoughts on Baptism of Fire?”. Naturally I have a response but I do not know why that stuck with me all week. Even when we took time discussing baptism at church I could not help it but realize that I didn’t have a clue; in that moment I had become as a little child and was again working on understanding the gospel of Christ. So at this time I would like to show you what I have learned and how limited my knowledge of the subject is.
A fellow at church made a point while discussing it at priesthood meeting that when a surgeon finishes operating on a person or animal (let’s not leave out veterinarians), when they are finished their instruments are cleaned again for further use. This is not a mere washing of the outside with water but put through intense heat to insure that it is clean and can be used for the next person or beast. I reflected on that and said within myself that perhaps this too is necessary for our souls. Along with the outside of the soul being washed and renewed through the baptism and sacrament, we go through a refiners fire to be a vessel of the Lords; a Baptism of Fire.
A few months ago it was shown to me that the two sacrament prayers are distinctly different from one another. The speaker told us that one prayer was for those who could wholly keep the higher law while the second was for those of us that when we couldn't keep the higher law would then be blessed by the lesser law. Many of the saints are blessed to have the baptism of water and are clean and declared a member of the Lords church but fail to keep their second estate or baptism through exercising faith and renewing their covenants. Though they are still saints they have their issues and cannot have the spirit of fire with them to teach them new things and bring new things to their understanding. I forget that the Lord is smart and uses fail safe processes to insure that his children have a means to come back to him. I forget that there is two parts to baptism, two parts to sacrament. He (the Lord) repeats for both redundancy and clarity. He has taught through his servants that prophets that we can repent and that as long as we are alive that we can return to him through prayer and fasting. Nothing can stop that.
I am certain that now I am rambling so I will close. I thank God that he is my teacher and that plain and simple truths have been revealed to me and my brethren and sisters; that our teacher is not giving us a pass by making life simple just because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Father really cares about my success here and I am grateful for it and though it is hard at times I am better for it. Have a great week and I will post soon again.
Refer to Loren C. Dunn’s talk for more insight on the subject.
Comical image is from Mormon Cartoonist