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Few nights ago, while searching Youtube for a video “If You Could Hie to Kolob” (hymn 284), I came across a very lively discussion in the comments section of the video. As the norm in Youtube regarding these video comments, it rarely talks about the video, and as the norm in the world, there are few who behave (in my opinion) hostile toward the Church and the beliefs stated by many Latter-day Saints who watched the video, and the teachings of the Lord that we have been blessed with in our lives.

I do not know this person, nor do I know or seek to understand the reasoning behind these individuals’ argument or manner of speech, but I noticed that as few of our members who are commenting on the same thread reply or try to defend their belief (which to a certain point was justified, we need to defend our faith), seemed to only add fuel to the fire. These individual who commented crudely did not come with the intent to enjoy the video or to exchange opinion and views, he/she came with intent to aggravate, with both mind and heart closed to any other opinion than his/her own.

I believe that when we found ourselves in a similar situation, we do not need to retaliate, or give in to anger.

If we choose to do so, bear our testimony with a sincere faith and love, for it is the Lord’s commandment that we love our fellow men, even unto ourselves. Pray for the promptings of the Spirit, that our words may touch and edify. Do not try to rely on our knowledge nor strength, for only the Holy Ghost can touch his/her heart. What great joy will be to have become an instrument in the hand of the Lord to proclaim His truth.

If this method seems to only provoke angrier responses, and the person has clearly closed his/her ears, heart and mind to any truth or promptings, then simply walk away.

This is not a debate contest where in which the winner receives a special trophy for convincing the other party of their beliefs. Remember that the Spirit of Contention is not of the Lord. Walking away does not prove him/her right and your belief to be wrong, nor does it imply defeat in any kind, for it takes a stronger will to walk away than give in to temptation to stay and aggravate matter further.

Another part of the discussion that caught my interest was a Youtube user ‘calivideoguy’ who claimed that he was a missionary who left the church 18 months into his mission because he “could no longer follow the teachings of Joseph Smith or believe that he is a prophet of the Lord.”

The account is now closed so I could not get more information on him, but unlike the other user who came with the intent to argue, this user seemed to have real arguments and a sincere purpose to warn us, he claimed that he still believes and follows Christ, and loves his Mormon brethren, he just does not believe in Joseph Smith and the Church.

He claimed that Joseph is a false prophet, he mentioned that Joseph has failed the test in Deut 18: 20-22 which says:

20. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the ord which the Lord hath not spoken?
22. When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, But the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

To support his claim, he supplied D&C 84: 1-5 in which the Lord had revealed through his prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders that a temple would be build in that generation, even in the appointed temple lot in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, a lot dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.

Calivideoguy argued that because the temple was not built in the aforementioned lot, during the specified generation, then Joseph Smith has failed the test as mentioned in Deuteronomy, and thus he could not be inspired of the Lord, which makes him a liar, and the gospel in which Joseph has claimed and testified to be the Restored Gospel of Christ was nothing more than his own teachings.

Now I never claimed to be a scriptures expert, as a matter of fact, I have not been vigilant and diligent in my daily scripture study, something I must work with everyday. But if each prophet must be tested with the test in Deuteronomy, the same test Calivideoguy claimed that Joseph has failed, he actually aced with flying colors.

The proof I will supply you is the revelation that Joseph Smith the Prophet received on December 25, 1832. A revelation and prophecy of war contained merely 3 chapters after the one mentioned above. D&C 87 prophesied a war between the Northern States and the Southern States, and ‘after many days, slaves will rise up against their masters’.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds similar to the American Civil War between the Union (Northern States) and the Confederate (Southern States), a war that took place during 1861–1865, almost 30 years after Joseph received the revelation we now know as Doctrine and Covenants 87.

As I mentioned, calivideoguy’s account is now closed in Youtube, so I did not have the opportunity to ask him of his opinion regarding this matter.

I could be wrong, he could be wrong, both of us could be terribly wrong, but one thing I know for certain, the Lord could not be wrong. It is stated in the Title Page of the Book of Mormon that:

“And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”

I know that Joseph Smith, Jun., was appointed by God himself to bring about His restored Gospel on earth, he was charged with bringing about the glorious work of the Lord. But I also do know that he is human, he has made mistakes, God had openly reprimanded him, and Joseph shared this with us in the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Prophets are not excluded from the weaknesses of the flesh, sometimes they do err, and it is our right and responsibility to ponder the words of our prophets, just as we ponder the scriptures to know the truth of the message given to us.

I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God to guide us in this latter days. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, amen.

I am re-reading the Book of Mormon and have some questions, perhaps someone can respond. While reading of Nephi leaving the middle east and coming to this continent I began to wonder....where in a timeline does the Book of Mormon fit in with the Old Testament and the New Testament? Nephi speaks of Moses, Abraham and Isaiah so he must have lived after them but when? Is the Book of Mormon in between the two books overlapping to end after the New Testament? Also, when God tells Nephi His great and glorious plan of Jesus Christ being born to a virgin, preaching and being put to death with the salvation of the resurrection to unfold, why does He share that with Nephi and not any of the Old Testament Prophets (not in the language used in Nephi at least)?   I am not questioning as in not believing but questioning in trying to have a good understanding of the Book of Mormon and an answer to those who question me. Please respond and I will keep reading. Thanks.

Small and Simple Things

My kids are small right now.  L started kindergarten a few months ago, E and I are having preschool at home, and R turned one in August.  I'm having my first glimpse of what life will be like as school and friends are going to become more of an influence on my little ones who are growing bigger.  As a mother my heart aches a little bit when I think of them being tempted and making mistakes.  Not just grabbing the toy away from my little sister mistakes.  Mistakes I wish I had not made.  I want to keep them safe here at home.  We live in a decent area here, but even so the school is not the best and I prayed and prayed about homeschooling my children.  I'm not exactly the homeschool type, but I would try if it meant it would keep my littles safe a little longer.  But the Lord directed me not to try that right now.  I'm not sure why.  It could be that L is a very social little lady and needs that help.  So I just pray and hope and try to have faith.  And do all of those small and simple things that hopefully will make great things come to pass. 

Blogging

I have tried to follow the prophets and when Elder Ballard spoke of helping the Church move the missionary work forward by using blogs, etc., I did just that and so I have been working for a couple of years or so on this blog. Hope that you enjoy it. I have such a strong testimony of the gospel and wanted to share my feelings and thoughts.

opportunities

This morning I was given the opportunity to bear my testimony and strengthen it by speaking it outloud, again.  My neighbor is struggling with whether to move by her parents in Colorado or stay in California with her daughter. There are pro's and con's to both but as we spoke I asked her " Do you pray?" She said she did and I said I have found that there are signs from God that direct us once we place our burden in His hands. 

I told her my story, that I left Florida with no place to live after losing my home and all my worldly possessions and moved to California in full faith that God would direct my path.  Living in motels and a rental car my money was dwindling and time running out.  I even called shelters, preparing for the worst and praying all the time for the courage to follow the will of God and the knowledge to know His will. In the shelter I would have to separate from my son because he was an adult male and they housed men and women separately plus I would have to give up my dog, at least temporarily.  My heart hurt with the thought of having to do that but I prayed for the willingness to accept the direction He would show me. Literally, on the last day and last dollar, an apartment opened up and we found a place for all of us to stay together. 

That night, sleeping on the floor of an empty apartment with only clothes from the two suitcases we brought with us as blankets,we thanked God on our knees, grateful for a roof over our heads and the ability to stay together as a family.  A year and a half later with the help of our Ward Bishop we have everything we need, and I am grateful enough still to remember, and share this testimony with others.

Answered prayer

This morning I was struggling with a creeping despair that I recognized as depression.  For weeks now I have felt sad, weepy and worthless going about my daily tasks without thinking or feeling very much of anything except emptiness.  I felt the prompting of the spirit in my mind as I thought "you have to stop this and turn it around."  I knew this feeling....the still, small voice that has guided me to victory before.  I also knew how to turn it around. 

I went to my bedroom and reached for my scriptures...but my eye caught the most recent copy of the Ensign and I opened it to the article "Truth & Lies".  It spoke of despair, discouragement, despondency and depression as the lies that Satan uses to separate us from Heavenly Father and the joy that He wants for us in this world. I wept and released all the pain I had been holding inside, trying to toughen it out, as I recognized once again how God works in my life in spite of me.  I prayed that He would lighten my spirit and let me focus on the gratitude I have for so many things and let go of the petty defeats that had slowly crept upon me, entangling me in the grasp of Satan. 

I KNOW my Savior lives, I KNOW He loves me and died for me and wants me to be happy, joyful and free.  And I am, once I let go and let God.  Later today I pondered on the fact that God always, always answers my prayers when given from my heart. And I am grateful I am never alone and by listening to the small, still voice I was able to "turn it around" and move forward.

I had an interesting experience the other day as I was working on a project in my parent’s yard.  They had a basketball standard on the driveway that had been there for years and was no longer in use since my siblings and I have all grown up now.  The project was both easy and hard.  As I was working I related my experience to the Gospel.  I began by getting a sledge hammer and bashing away at the cement around the bottom of the post.  The cement began to chip away and crack, but all this was exhausting and I thought to myself that I couldn't do it alone.  I then went in search of something else to help me get the cemented post out of the ground.  I found a tow rope and hooked it up to the back of my truck and pulled the cemented post right out of the ground.
So it is with our sins and repentance.  When we decide we want to repent we start out on our own "chipping away pieces" until we realize that we can't do it on our own.  I personally don't always use what is available to me and try to do it on my own.  The Savior is right there waiting to help me pull my sins out.  Just like my story before about pulling the cemented post out my truck was right there waiting all I had to do was put the keys in, hook it up to the post and pull it out.  The Savior is waiting to help us all we have to do is ask and the Lord will help us and heal us.

The Lord's will...

Why is it so hard to truly submit to the Lords will?

For the past day and a half I have been wondering if I really have control of my life or is "everything" in the Lords Hands? There has been so much talk lately about "the secret of Attraction" and how we attract the things we want and need to us.

I have had a hard time with this belief system because I wonder if it makes us feel like we are too much in control? But I wonder, How much control do we have? If the Lord knows best, should I surrender all "control"? But doesn't he want us to learn and grow and make decisions on our own?

Often I find myself wanting something that for some reason is out of reach and yet I have a hard time giving up that desire for what I want, for what I think is "best" for my family. I think if it's meant to be then things will work out, but then again, we know that things aren't always easy and we have to fight for them! Ugh! My mind just goes in circles!!! Why must we want something that we can't have or shouldn't have?

Life is such a learning curve!

Kristen

The older that I get, the more I find I have a need to be out in the sun.  My kids call me a sun worshiper.  I’m not sure that it’s true, but I do have this need to get my sun fix.  During the summer, I go to the pool every day that I can so I can swim a few laps, but more importantly, so I can sit in the sun for a few minutes. I go through withdrawals in fall when the pool closes, but at least I can eat lunch outside and it’s usually sunny on my walks. 

 

Winter and spring make it a little harder for me—but with the right clothes I can get out for a walk and try to catch some rays.  Oh, it’s amazing how much more I appreciate those few minutes of sun when the weather has been bleak. During those dark, cloudy days, I have a need to keep pictures of sun-filled days on the desk top of my computer, just so I can remember how the sun feels.

 

I love to go to church each Sunday, I’m not sure why, but I just feel better when I go.  The more I learn about Christ, the more I want to try and be a better person.  During those dark, cloudy struggles that I periodically experience, just knowing that Christ is there to help me gives me hope and keeps me going.  Words can not come close to describing my gratefulness and love to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for the grace and mercy He extends each time I fall short.  I love Jesus Christ—I guess you can just call me a “Son” worshiper!

How do we react to our children's mistakes? 

Tonight over dinner the subject came up of how to deal with a child when they have made a bad decision. One mother stated that she knows she over reacts to things but says that to her things are very "black and white." On the other hand her husband said that when faced with a situation he tries to find a way to turn it into a learning opportunity.

I must say I agree with the latter. Our children need to know when they have done something wrong and face any consequences from those choices, but we also need to loving show them the right way. We have to TEACH them during those times.

We might feel like yelling and punishing the crime, but does our Father in Heaven do that to us? Or does he show patience and lets us learn from our mistakes? Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done and probably will ever do. It pushes me to grow in ways I never would have without my children.

What an important task our Father has given us! We must do all in our power to do it right!
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