Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Neither Do I Condemn Thee: Mercy Begets Mercy

As I'm pushing myself to read my scriptures more it's amazing the things that jump out at me.

I'm trying to read a chapter from each of the Standard Works daily (so four chapters - but seeings how short the Doctrine and Covenants is...not sure how long that would last unless I re-read them).

Anyways, my favorite chapter in the scriptures is John Chapter 8 which is loaded loaded loaded with doctrine and insight into our Savior.  It's the chapter where the woman is caught in adultery is brought before him in the temple and he says that he doesn't condemn her and tells her to go and sin no more.

Mercy...came about because of mercy
As I read the beginning of Matthew about Mary's pregnancy outside of marriage, under the law of Moses she could have faced a very grim fate. 

And yet....Joseph wasn't willing to have her killed by stoning or accuse her of adultery publicly but was simply wanting to separate himself from her privately and let her be.

I hadn't thought that he was like the savior in this instance in John 8 when he didn't condemn the woman.  Mary hadn't committed adultery but Joseph had no reason to believe any other explanation and yet....he wasn't wanting to set her up for what was going to be an ugly fate under the law.

(Like father, like son).

I suppose if we think about it, had Joseph had that fate carried out immediately we wouldn't have had a savior because his mother would have been killed.  So in some sense, Christ owes his life to his mortal father's mercy, and the woman taken in adultery also owed her salvation as well to Joseph's mercy.  Heck....even Joseph's own forgiveness and salvation came because of his own temperance.

Amazing how some things seem to pay themselves forward eternally. 

Also amazing to me though is how often heavenly father has to operate outside the rules...and assure people like Joseph that what's happening really is of him.  Seems to happen quite a bit in the scriptures. 

Just musing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Authority to Speak

There's a phenomenon in America regarding the "authority" to speak on a lot of topics.

Unless you're a certain race, religion or sexual orientation - in the mainstream media most of the time you aren't considered to have any credibility or authority on a lot of issues in our world.

As I've watched this phenomenon unfold and spread - basically silencing a lot of voices for right in our world - I've noticed that some who are of the "approved" sexual orientation, race or religion who speak up in favor of gospel principles....have been finding themselves shouted down, threatened, mobbed.

It occurred to me that in time however, the only ones who are going to have the authority to speak - let alone credibility - on gospel principles are going to be those who are washed clean and are under the covenant in the gospel.

The Lord isn't going to have those who are unclean be his mouthpieces for  him or doing his work or pretending to anymore.   The days of those who draw near to him with their lips but their hearts are far from him, and those who preach for doctrines the commandments of men having a form of godliness but who deny the powers thereof....are over....

Just a thought.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Allowing the Lord to Work

In a life of turmoil, much of life has been spent in prayer, I've wondered about God so often as
Joseph did in prison: where art thou?

I've always thought of God working some miracle by instantly fixing things and sending angels and....VOILA!  The problem is fixed.

At least....that's happened more than a few times, but not as often as I would like.

I'm learning what it means to be patient in tribulation.

Not how it works....
While the Lord stands ever ready to bless and lift us up out of affliction, it's a hard pill to swallow to remember that this life is a life designed to afflict us deliberately with tribulations - both great and small.

I've had enough experiences to believe that the Lord hears and remembers all of our prayers but that some prayers we just have to give him time to work.

Some of the things we ask for aren't as simple as wiping up a glass of spilled milk.  Very often we don't even understand what it is we are asking for or praying for or the magnitude of the things we desire (Matthew 20:22).

Like a small child who asks for something they REALLY want from the store but who has no concept of bills, money, responsibility, time to get to the store, we have to realize that the things we ask for aren't always so straightforward as we might think.  We have to remember that the Lord has to balance a multitude of things that we just don't comprehend before sometimes the simplest of blessings can be given.   And he does.

In answering prayers....sometimes they are going to be answered in a lifetime, or even beyond the veil (like a family accepting the gospel).  Sometimes we aren't ever going to be around to see them fulfilled (Like the bully who we want to feel sorry for their bullying).  Sometimes a bunch of other things have to happen before they can come to pass (getting our dream job).  Other times answering them just wouldn't be in our best interests because he has something even better in mind (some careers I've wanted just never worked out)
"If I just want it sincerely and badly enough...that's all it takes....."
.  I've heard it said that if God ever wanted to punish mankind, all he would have to do is answer his prayers - and if your prayers are as selfish as mine and I bet we're not too different - that really might not be the best thing for anyone.

So what have I learned?

Allow the Lord to work.

Trust him that he know what he's doing.

And learn my part. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Giving as a Sign of Gratitude

In looking over the topical guide on thanksgiving today....

I never realized that a sign of thanks was giving something for what was received.

Nor did I realize that fasting was a celebration or a form of rejoicing.

Maybe someday my spiritual maturity will be such but at this present place in my life fasting seems kinda....tiring.  I tend to rejoice more after it's over.

At any rate....to give thanks at one point literally meant to make an offering, a sacrifice....now it makes me think that perhaps just saying "Thank you" or praying in gratitude might not be enough but I should re-invest my blessings so I can show gratitude by blessing others and maybe....I might become a profitable servant someday.

Just a thought. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Spiritual Suicide In Mortality

We all know what suicide is.

Most of us will never commit suicide and will finish our lives to the end God has decreed us

However, when we think of how we can remove ourselves from life mortally....by not tending to our covenants, not showing up to the temple, not going to church, not fulfilling callings....etc.....this is a type of spiritual suicide similar to ending our own mortal lives.   We've removed ourselves from the life God has given us.

Just as we are no longer there mortally if we end our lives, we can be no longer there spiritually and end our spiritual lives and influence....

Just a thought.

GO LIVE LIFE! ABUNDANTLY!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Your Way, My Way

Elder Oaks, while I was on my mission, gave us a guideline he uses to know when he is following the spirit: when the answers from the holy ghost aren't what he thinks they should be or are different than what he personally wants (obviously this doesn't apply all the time to everything....you have to use some common sense...).

Anyways, one thing I've learned is that the Lord's ways aren't man's ways.

I thought tonight that I wished that they were, but then the spirit whispered that I wouldn't have any more blessings and things wouldn't work the way they need to.

Anyways, that's just my thought for the day.

A.N.

Monday, November 21, 2016

"It's Like A Sympohony"



This arrangement here has been changing my life since I first saw it.

Many of my clients are literally "The Damned."  Many have committed unforgivable sins and sins they can't ever repent from and never will, many many face a future damned for eternity.

Many people ask how can I work with them?

They are here for their own experiences just like me.

Many are my teachers in this life. 

And many more are going to be heirs of the celestial kingdom.

But really we are ALL children of our Heavenly Father - and we really are creating something here and eternally - with many kingdoms, but we all needed this experience, eternally.

Every person you meet, is creating their own story and is the main character in their own story, and a supporting character in millions of others for the duration of an entire mortal existence.....

And yet we spend so much time wondering "Who am I?" "Why am I here?"

We're us!!!!!

That's who we are and why!

No, really.....that's who and why.

Each moment in life is like a note in the score, but only the conductor - our Older Brother Jesus Christ can see everything and how it all goes together.

Some parts of the symphony are sad, some are happy, some are triumphant, some slow, some fast, some loud, some soft.

Some players are very brief only there for a moment, others spend a lot of time on the stage.

Some play very minor roles that impact  very deeply everyone around them, others have parts that others listen to and take their cues from.

Some have a part that's a crowning moment to a movement, and some provide the background accompaniment for a movement.  

Everyone plays a piece....

But it's the true connoisseur and aficionado of music who can appreciate every piece, part and person in the symphony, and....I want to be that.

I don't want to miss anything in anyone around me......and I fear how much I have missed.  I'm awakening to my part like the song says.

But that's just me.

Life really is a symphony.

You're in here.....one of these lines is yours....or another one.....