Monday, February 16, 2015

Fear, Anger, Hate and Suffering

I recently gave a talk in church that was based on a talk called Living the Gospel Joyfully and while I was speaking the Lord in my mind asked me to compare the blessings that Lord attempts to give to a proverb from Star Wars; Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering.

While giving this talk it came to me that when we put up our umbrella to resist the rain of blessings or the sunshine of the light of Christ shine upon us. The turn around is that when we see others get the blessings of heaven and our own sins blind us from seeing our own blessings we are quick to become fearful. Has God forgotten me? Am I worthy of no blessing at all? Our own ambitions and hesitancy keeps us from pressing in a good direction that would lead us to strengthen our faith and regain our blessings through repentance and the charity of God; we go down a path of witch many have not returned. As children of God we know all to well that the proverb of the Jedi ring true but there was no alternate so that we could avoid this path so I propose this one...

Faith leads to Trust, Trust leads to Charity, Charity leads to Happiness. I know that it might seem cheesy by making a mirror of this age old movie quote but I think that seeing its opposite opens our eyes so that we can see both the good and the evil paths and make our new choices with what we have learned.

When we are quick to judge because we decide to look at the blessings of others over what is on the other side of the scale that they are called to balance, we fail to realize the blessings we have in conjunction with our own blessings. Let us remember to have faith so that we might build upon that over fear. Lets hope that we do not listen to our fear and short comings over our faith and inner power that God has given us both to grow with and share. We have the makings of greatness in us, let us bear one another's burdens and show the strength of the Lord.

Image is found here.

Come Clean

Dedicated to my friend Doc Thompson, Skip LaCombe and all the gang at the Morning Blaze.

I have listened to a great guy and the zany show that started out the Doc Thompson show and was later turned to Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe. When I first started the guys introduced me to new rules that you could live your life by and one of those rules is rule #3 Come Clean.

I am not certain but I believe that Doc and Skip would appreciate the scripture reference of my faith that says...

The Lord wants us to, as Doc says, come clean. That means to be honest in our dealing with our fellow men and with our maker. We as a race of beings spend too much time hiding our motives that they become our new identity and the truth then becomes irrelevant. Doc has on more then one occasion pointed out that although some 'preach' one thing they do another thing. Not because they might mean well but that the message is more important then the messenger. Such 'messages' if not cut clear and concise can be bleached with a blurry and poisonous undertone that overcomes the fruit of the message. The sudden need to put a clause to our message to exempt some or condition others becomes more important then what we have said.

Thankfully the Lord Jesus in his ministry was very clear to call for faith on the the Master, repentance and obedience to the commandments that our Father and God has given to us so that we might return to Him. Because we exercise obedience, we will be able to come with clean hands and a pure heart free of the sins of the world.

I am grateful to Skip and Doc for making this rule a big part of their morning show and being a clear example to what a follower of Christ should be in in deed and in thought and though this post is short I want to say that I am grateful for the message and want to pass it along.  

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Living the Gospel Joyfully

This week has been an exciting one. One filled with birthdays, super-bowls and a calling from the ward leaders mainly doing a talk in church on a talk by Utdorf that he have to the sisters in the Relief Society conference the week before General Conference. The Ward leadership have taken this time to do a bit of role reversal in that we were asked to read talks from conferences that we were not in attendance.

When General Conference has come around in the past I have tweeted about it. The excitement of a communal view of the conference has been exciting. I was not aware that the woman's conference might of not got the same attention as the general conference got. Perhaps I assumed too much when I thought that the women and the leadership would be talking about women in or and the priesthood. Who would of thought (without reading the conference) that there would be a talk that could really help us all... guilty as charged.

Now getting to the subject at hand. President Utdorf's talk first starts about how he appreciative about the women in his life. The role of mother, daughter, sister etc. mean a lot to this fellow that has given a lot of credit to women in his life. To that credit, I add my own kudos to the wife, sisters, aunts, my only birthday girl, and mother and grand-mothers that have blessed my life with a ray of hope and sunshine when I needed it. Truly I have been blessed by the better half of the world.

Among some of the things that the apostle points out to the sisters (that we could take a note brethren) is that we should be diligent about keeping the commandments because as he said “The promised blessings of God to the faithful are glorious and inspiring. Among them are “thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths”. And it takes more then a spiritual birth certificate or a “Child of God Membership Card” to quality for the incomprehensible blessings.” the strong point that the apostle made at this pint was that we must gain a willingness to obey the commandments that the Lord gives us and that we must walk the path of discipleship if we are even to start on the path of righteousness. He even points that strait is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to salvation.

One other thing that the apostle pointed out is that he was sure that “God knows what we don't”, meaning that the one that knows the whole plan and our part of the plan should know how we can improve the outcome and being obedient to His commandments. “In other words” continues the apostle, “He not only knows what is best for you; he also anxiously wants you to choose what is best for you.” Than said the man, “Should not we cherish the light posts he gives that guide us through the darkness and the trials of mortality? They mark the way back to our heavenly home!”

His greatest paragraph in his talk comes down to talking about the invisible vault of blessings and makes some kind of a 'Precious' that God would hold from his children but then turns it around and says that its like a rainfall that those that have sin in their life are using an umbrella and keeping themselves from the very thing that our Father really really wants us to have.

So then he brings it back around. Its not just doing our callings to complete them but seek a means to bless our brothers and sisters every day. This probation and we only have this one time to show Him that our Saviors sacrifice and example are truly part of our daily lives. We must realize that there is all types of testimonies and Saints in our lives and being actively involved in their lives will greatly enrich our own. Remember that “there is no sign on the door that says that your testimony must be this tall to enter”. Were that the case a lot of us (including me at times) would not be allowed in. Our lives are not a ride but it sure feels like one at times. Let us not condemn others for their ride when our own becomes slow because of our blessings. Let us bless others so that their ride can become bearable at times. We must do our best to bless others so that your own light will shine with our brother and sisters instead of in spite of our own.

So with now said let me finish my talk with the very words of an apostle of Jesus Christ has said by saying this....

Your testimony of the living Son of God and His restored church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may not come as quickly as you desire, but I promise you this; if you do your part, it will come.

He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become.
More than you could ever imagine, He wants you to achieve your destiny—to return to your heavenly home in honor.
I testify that the way to accomplish this is to place selfish desires and unworthy ambitions on the altar of sacrifice and service. [Brothers and ] Sisters, trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ; keep His laws and commandments. In other words—live the gospel joyful.
It is my prayer that you will experience a renewed and an expanded measure of the beautiful love of God in your lives; that you will find the faith, determination, and commitment to learn God’s commandments, treasure them in your hearts, and live the gospel joyful.
I promise that as you do so, you will discover your best self—your real self. You will discover what it truly means to be a daughter of the everlasting God, the Lord of all righteousness. Of this I testify and leave you my blessing as an Apostle of the Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Image is found here.