Search

Match: all search words
           any search words

Blogs

(Page 7 of 7)   « Prev  3  4  5  6  
7
  
Next »
What can you say about his grace, mercy and love? Superlatives fall short.

Wanting his children to have it all and be our best, our Heavenly Father created and then sent us to earth where peace and affliction, good and evil, as well as joy and sorrow would create an environment where, with obedience to his commandments that could happen.

As a perfect being, he is perfectly just. The law of justice requires that a punishment be meted out for each infraction. Knowing that we cannot be our best with disobedience hanging over our heads and being perfectly merciful as well, he came up with a plan that would circumvent the effects of justice. He lovingly sent his Only Begotten Son in the flesh, Jesus-Christ to suffer the punishment of our disobedience. Only he could do so as the demands of justice would never have claim on him thanks to his perfect obedience. The laws of mercy state that by repenting and forsaking the sin, mercy could fulfill the laws of justice - making it so we don't have our sins or their effects hanging eternally over our heads and keeping us from becoming our best.

He sent angels to proclaim the gospel through prophets and patiently resent them again and again as each nation, tongue and people have, sooner or later, rejected this message of peace and happiness - preferring to live by our "wisdom".

He is omniscient, omnipotent and the God of the Universe and yet he asks that we call him simply by "Father". He is so aware of us and our needs that each hair of our head is counted. He has a body of flesh and bone and we are made in his image.

How did I get so lucky to know these things about my Heavenly Father?

Brian R. Bradshaw

Oh, How I Long for This Day

 A poem by Emanuel Francis Zevallos Guerra
    
     One day, I'll ask a class why we preach the Gospel to our fellow man,
     Then all the children and young adults will simultaneously raise their hand,
     One day we will all visually see the light of Christ and segregation will be no more,
     In this final dispensation, in one single day, millions of testimonies will be born,
     We'll all look outside as He arrives in supernal glory!
     Just as our Prophet predicted in his talks on biblical non-fiction stories,
     The Son of Man and his twelve disciples come from the gleaming clouds,
     Traffic comes to a screeching halt, as we hear as thunder "All Saints Stand Proud!!"

There are those who lived righteously who won't run to the churches to repent,
     Others stand in line waiting to show our life book, that He may judge what it meant.
Others, how I've pondered and prayed for those that run for these sanctuaries,
     Waiting last minute to live the gospel and ignored the knocks of those missionaries.
I see a day where Baptisms are as numerous as the birth of children on this earth,
     And the majority knows the soul and how God sees our worth,
Where fun is redefined as attaining and extending the Gospel of our Lord,
     Where all Latter-day Saints will uphold their spiritual sword.

How glorious the priesthood miracles will be, like showers of Jehovah's love,
     When Jesus, introduced by his Angel Moroni, all angels will sing from above,
Then the Angels together sing almost intolerably loud,
     The Proud Gentile ears begin to burn and feel compelled to praise and bow,
We will all see the hills flattened, Satan loosed, and people begin to flee,
     How Beautiful is the Merciful Jesus as he still hears our plea!
How exciting the day when millions preach what is contained in Joseph Smith Jr.'s vision,
     How gracefully we will volunteer to fulfill Gods will in a steady hand of precision.
 
I know Jesus will be on the right hand of God as he smiles,
     The Saints will stop waiting, for we've known this information for a while,
I will pray because I know in my heart we will be alive to see this,
     Hold Fast to our Gospel and spread it, so everyone can gain what they have truly missed.
Our Lord will hug us saying, "I'm finally here to stay!"
     May we hold fast to the Rod of Iron, Oh how I long for this day!

One of the few things that I miss about primary is singing time. The Elders quorum pretends to sing a hymn before our lesson each week, but it's just not the same. The passion that children naturally have is missing.

Music is a powerful medium. No other form of communication has more power over our emotions, or our actions. I believe there can be no substitute for good music. After all, it is from a song that I learned early on where to put my trust.

Like our musical tastes, our testimonies can vary widely. No two testimonies are the same. God speaks to each of us as individuals. I love that. My Father knows me, and how best to teach me so that I will truly learn. Ultimately, I am who I am because of my Savior. The Rock of my Redeemer.

That's all that really matters. If we build on that solid foundation, we will never fall. No matter what winds come, or how many floods rage. If we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we will stand strong.

The wind blows every day. Let us all shore up our foundations.

Last Saturday I was giving a tour at the Conference Center and a man visiting from another area of the country asked me, after briefly discussing how the church was organized, what we did when we didn’t like our Bishop.  He said, “Do you vote him out or do you just move to another congregation?”  He was very serious and we talked about the church.

 

He had genuine interest about some of the things in the church.  He wanted to know about the Book of Mormon.  He had the idea that it was the same as the Bible and that there was not a lot of difference.  I gave him a short explanation of the Book of Mormon.  As we walked through the exhibit of Arnold Friberg’s Book of Mormon pictures, we talked about Apostles and Prophets living today. 

 

As the tour ended, I asked him, “If what I have told you is true, do you want to find out for yourself?”  He answered in the affirmative. 

 

He said, “I think I can get a Book of Mormon from one of my Mormon friends.”  I told him to do that and that it would probably knock their socks off.  We both laughed.  He then said an interesting thing.  “I don’t think they are 100% Mormon’s.”  “They don’t do everything they are supposed to do.”  Then he said, “Maybe I’ll just go over to Temple Square and fill out one of the cards.  They said I could get one delivered for free.”

 

This week I have been thinking about Les Miserables. My life is nothing like the French revolution, but I find myself identifying with most of the characters in this story (admit it, we all have a little Thenardier in us). Like Valjean I have asked, "who am I?"

In all honesty, I have a fairly good idea of who I am. The real question is, "who can I become?" "What is it that I am supposed to do with my life?

I know my divine heritage. The general authorities continually remind us that we are children of God. Unlimited potential and all that. While I am grateful for the relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father, I find that it provides little comfort as I struggle to find my niche in this life.

What I want will never come. I want someone to tell me what to do. What to study, where to work, who to date... The problem is that there is no one right answer. It's that agency thing all over again.  

God may be the gardener, but it is up to me to decide which garden I am going to grow in. I haven't found the right garden yet. However, I do know that my Father in Heaven wants me to be happy. When I find the right place, He will help me to grow into who I am supposed to be.

Asphalt Mothering

I learned a great lesson on mothering for Mother's Day. Everyone let me have a nap this afternoon and I had a dream that my daughter Leslie and I were out riding bikes. I hit a pothole (typical) with a start and woke myself up. Trying to pull myself out of the post-nap-grog, I suggested to Leslie that we go practice her bike riding. She received a bike for her 4th birthday but with two little brothers having come along since then, she hasn't learned yet.  Now we are on summer age 7. We've changed flat tires and adjusted seats. We've removed the training wheels. The weather has been frigid all spring. But today, well, today Mom had a nap, a dream, sunny weather and a sunny disposition to go with it.
THE MIRACLE OCCURRED!!
Back to the cool mothering lesson I learned. I tried something different with her today. Usually I run behind her on the sidewalk and try to keep her from steering into the grass every two seconds and hopping off, then starting over, etc. Today we ventured into new territory--an entire empty development loop just north of our house. Half a mile of newly paved road in a loop with nary a car or a house. I started her in the dead middle of the road. The first few attempts were a little rough, but exciting because she finally had room to ride into the S curve and correct her balance on the push off. She SSSd all over the street, sometimes doing circles. BUT SHE STAYED ON. By the time we got to the back side of the loop, she was going in a straight line, and was officially riding her bike, stopping and starting with no problems. All this time 'staying between the lines' was holding her back! She needed enough room to balance out and correct herself for her to learn how to do it. I think sometimes I impose too many restrictions as a mother. My kids need a little room to learn.  Luckily, the Lord also placed us on this earth, to give us a little asphalt to put our tires to.  Hopefully we can figure it out and come back to him with just a few scraped knees!

Growing up I always thought I was being punished by not being able to do anything on Sundays.  As an adult, I feel like it's a real blessing to not have to do anything on Sundays.  I don't feel like I have to clean the house or do wash, shop or do yardwork.  I feel like Sunday is a day I can relax and rejuvenate and get myself ready for the week ahead.  I can visit friends and family and not feel like I have to get back to something.  I love to go to church and feel the spirit and learn from others.  It is so uplifting for me and makes my whole week go better.  It's hard to explain this concept to someone who doesn't believe how rejuvenating it can be.  But try it and you'll see for yourself what a blessing it is to have one day each week that is different from every other day of the week.  I would love to hear your comments about Sundays.
Yesterday, my brother was taken to the emergency room with stroke-like symptoms.  When I received the call, my first thought was to make sure he received a priesthood blessing.  My father and I met at the hospital and were able to give him a blessing. My brother is fine now and did not, it turned out, have a stroke.  But this experience started me thinking about just how blessed we are.

What a privilege it is to belong to the church and have access to the restored priesthood of Jesus Christ, the authority to call down blessings, knowledge and power from heaven, according to the Lord's will, to bless the lives of our family, loved ones, and all humankind.  The priesthood is real.  I have personally experienced so many instances where knowledge and power have been given to ordinary, humble people through the priesthood -- not only through priesthood blessings, but also as they were given priesthood leadership responsibilities in the church. 

I have learned over the years that the blessings of the priesthood are available to everyone: male or female; member of the church or not; married or single.  Those of us who hold the priesthood have a heavy duty to be worthy and to use it to bless the lives of everyone.  I cannot bless myself with the priesthood.  If I need a blessing or counsel, I must turn to a righteous priesthood holder just like any other person.  I can only use my priesthood to bless the lives of others.  Priesthood is all about duty and service to others, following the pattern instigated by Jesus Christ himself when he first gave the priesthood to his disciples in Jerusalem.

I'm so grateful for the priesthood and the blessing it is for our family and loved ones.
This is a question I've contemplated a lot lately.  Why is it so hard to do the easy things?  My friend and I recently ran a marathon.  It was the first time for both of us.  From the beginning of the training we set a goal to lose 10 lbs.  You would think that would be easy since we were training for a marathon.  Well, it wasn't as easy as it seems.  Neither of us achieved our goal of losing 10 lbs.  We did both, however, achieve our goal of finishing the marathon.

So this past weekend the same friend and I went hiking and we were discussing this very topic.  I told her, "10 lbs....how easy is that, and yet we couldn't do it.  Not even 1 lb. a week."  And she made a great analogy to the church.  She said that the hard things for us to do in the church are actually the easiest things.  For example, if the prophet got up in General Conference and told us it was time to move to Zion, we'd probably do it. (Assuming we have a testimony of the prophet).  Yet, we have been told over and over to read our scriptures daily and pray and go to the temple. How many of us don't do this or at the very least don't even make it a priority?  Things that really aren't that difficult but can seem quite hard and daunting at times.  But it's the small things that will really help us to grow and build our testimonies.

The Mantle of a Prophet

As we experienced the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley and the sustaining of Thomas S. Monson as the new president and prophet of the church, it has been interesting to watch the mantle shift from one man to the other.  President Hinckley was so much like the Savior in his attributes.  He taught us to be kinder to one another, to stand a little taller, to work harder to be better members, and, most of all, to root our faith and hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  My 19-year-old son, who was in the MTC at the time, summed up the collective feelings of the members when he wrote this feelings upon learning of Pres. Hinckley's passing:

"On Sunday night, we watched "Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration."  I love that movie!  It means so much more to me now that I am out here getting prepared to completely serve the Lord for the next two years.  After the movie was over, one of the counselors in the MTC Presidency walked up to the pulpit and started talking to us.  And that's when I found out the news about President Hinckley.  I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.  It was a shock to everyone.  After that, we sang "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet."  It was sad, but I am happy for him.  He is the only prophet I have really known.  He was an amazing man!  I want so much more now, to be the best missionary I can be."
That's what President Hinckley did, he made all of us want to be better.  I think that is how Jesus made people feel, too. 

And now, we have a new prophet and it is interesting to observe how those feelings of love and respect that we had for President Hinckley are transferring to President Monson as the Mantle of Prophet settles on him.  As I stood and raised my hand to sustain him as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, I felt a powerful witness in my soul that he is the Lord's prophet.  In his first public conference address President Monson said that "the sweetest experience in all this life is to feel [the Lord's] promptings."  And I again felt the Spirit testify of his calling.  What a blessing it is to have a living prophet, to lead us and guide us in these troubled times. 

(Page 7 of 7)   « Prev  3  4  5  6  
7
  
Next »
No blogs found.

No popular articles found.