Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nothing is Impossible with God

Today I read Psalms 113 and the last verse caught my attention, "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children".  The thing that stands out to me when I read that is nothing is impossible to the Lord, absolutely nothing.  The scriptures are full of women who were barren suddenly conceiving.  Perhaps the most miraculous is Sarah, the wife of Abraham who had already passed menopause.  Yes it is amazing that a barren woman can conceive but I have seen that in modern day times due to the miracle of science and medicine.  But I have never heard of a woman conceiving through normal means and carrying a child to full term after already having gone through menopause.  Nothing is impossible with the Lord.  He is the master over life and death and all in between.  If we ask it of the Lord and it does not interfere with His plan for us and will not do us harm, then He will give it to us or allow it to happen.  Nothing is impossible with God.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Delight in the Commandments

Today I read Psalms 109 - 112 and the phrase I liked was blessed is the man...that delighteth greatly in His commandments.  We have talked about this before now that the commandments are not meant to be restrictive but rather to free us from the bonds of sin.  If we want to have the best life possible, the happiest life, the life most free from drama, from sickness, from heartbreak, from every bad thing this world has to offer, then the commandments are our guidelines to such a life.  I personally want the best life I can have in this experience here on the earth and God, who knows everything, tells me this is the way to achieve that goal.  So I will live a lifestyle that God has suggested, I will put His words to the test and try His way of living, or rather I have done so.  The good news is, I don't need to try the other lifestyle to know it is not for me.  I have ample evidence all around me of what that path leads to.  The way I feel even contemplating such a lifestyle is enough to make me want to flee in horror.  No, a life of living the commandments is what I want.  It is what I choose, not for want of receiving a blessing, but because it leads to what I want out of my existence.  A life with my wife, in the presence of my Father in Heaven!  Until tomorrow.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Vain is the Help of Man

Today I read Psalms 108 and I was struck by the phrase, vain is the help of man.  How true that is.  Without the Gospel of Jesus Christ to guide us, mankind is so disjointed and lost.  I have a friend that went to a marriage counselor that was not LDS and it ruined their marriage worse than it already was.  This counselor put ideas in my friends heads that didn't exist and created problems in their attempts to "help".  And from what I have been told by others, that is a pretty common thing.  The wisdom of man is nothing and is as substantial as cloth in a furnace.  It doesn't stand up to adversity.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that gets us through the tough times and helps us become better men and women which is what will change the world for the better.  As the saying goes the world takes the man out of the slums, the Gospel will take the slums out of the man who will then change his own environment.  The bottom line is, if there is ever a discrepancy between the world and God, side with God, always!  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Praise God for His Goodness

Today I read Psalms 107 and I was struck by the Psalms lament that if only people would praise God for His goodness.  At first this seems like a silly statement, of all the things to praise God for, wouldn't people praise Him for His righteousness and goodness?  But as I thought about it, no, we don't.  When we praise God or think about Him, we thank Him for things He has done.  Now on the surface this may seem like the same, and at times it is the same, however do we stop to thank Him for His wonderful Spirit that we feel at times?  I know I do in church when I have felt the Spirit, but I don't do it outside of the church and the temple.  Shame on me!  God is good no matter where I am and if I don't feel His Spirit or presence everywhere that is my fault, not His!  Do we praise God when things turn out better than they could have, even though the result is not what we desired?  It can always be worse.  God loves us and really wants us to be happy.  He knows what will make us truly happy, much better than we know ourselves.  We should thank Him for His willingness to let us suffer and have trials.  To love us enough to let us grow.  We need to have a relationship with our God, our Father of our spirits, like we do with a loving Father here on the earth.  We respect and love our fathers here, how much more so should we love our Father in Heaven?  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Avoiding Modern Day Idol Worship

Today I read Psalms 106 where the Psalmist continues his musing on the history of the Israelites and God's treatment of them.  I was struck how the Israelites mixed with the heathen when they crossed over into Israel and got lost in idol worship.  This to me seems ridiculous.  To bow down to a graven image when you KNOW that your God is real and gives miracle after miracle is just downright dumb.  However, as soon as I thought this, I thought about President Spencer W. Kimball's talk about modern day idol worship and how anything that takes us away from worshiping God is an idol.  In our day and age I see several idols among Americans including in no particular order: sports, video games, movies or TV, cars, consumerism or shopping and yard work.  I have noticed that these particular activities tend to become all consuming to people. 

Now, you may notice that one of those activities, yard work, is actually a good healthy activity.  However, there are many who take it to extremes and turn a virtue into a vice and can become idol worship if it keeps us from doing the Lord's work in the right way.  It is so easy to fall into that trap and we have to make sure when it comes time to do the work of the Lord, we have to put aside whatever things we are doing, be they good or otherwise, and focus on the Lord's work.  That is the most important.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

God Will Help Us Succeed

Today I read Psalms 104 - 105 which recounts the dealings of the Lord with the house of Israel.  The Psalmist recounts the plagues of Egypt and how the Lord has taken care of Israel and her people all this time.  It is a comfort to know that God, who is mindful of even the sparrows that fall down, cares for us and listens to our prayers.  He knows us by name and loves us each individually.  He wants us to be successful in what we are doing and will help us achieve our righteous goals.  We talked  yesterday how He wants to forgive us, similarly He wants to help us succeed and be happy.  It is what makes Him happy!  All we have to do is reach out to Him.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Lord's Mercy is Everlasting

Today I read Psalms 103 where the Psalmist states that the mercy of the Lord is everlasting to those that fear Him.  I've found that in reference to God, fear and reverence are synonymous.  God's mercy is open to all of us.  Yesterday in Elder's Quorum we talked about how God not only can forgive us, but He wants to forgive us.  We can sometimes fall into the trap that God is this stern figure that is upset with us because we cannot live up to His expectations.  But He really is our Father and He is standing there with His hand outstretched, ready to help us as we sink into the quagmire of sin, all we have to do is reach out and take it.  His greatest wish is for each and every one of us to return to live with Him.  I am quite sure it saddens Him greatly when we choose a different path just like it would sadden me if one day my daughter fell into sin.  But He loves us enough to let us choose for ourselves.  He truly is merciful.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Lord Regard the Prayer of the Destitute

Today I read Psalms 98 - 102 and I was struck when the Psalmist said that the Lord hears the prayer of the destitute.  It is not really a new concept in our day and age, especially for Latter-day Saints who teach our toddlers to pray, but at the time it was a new concept.  If you need proof of this, just look at Alma 32 - 34 where Alma and Amulek are teaching the poor and destitute of the Zoramites.  One of the things they teach them is that they can pray anywhere and the Lord will hear them.  Clearly this was a new doctrine for them.  They were certainly under the impression that they could only pray at the synagogue and that they had to pray the same prayer as everybody else.  But as all Latter-day Saints know, God will hear our prayer no matter where we are, and will always answer our prayer.  It is very comforting and good to know indeed.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hate Evil

Today I read Psalms 93 - 97 and was struck by the phrase, "ye that love the Lord, hate evil".  It took me a moment or two to re-read it and make sure I understood that it was a command and not just a statement of fact.  We read other places in the scriptures that God cannot stand sin in the least degree of allowance.  If we one day hope to be as He is, we too need to not only avoid evil, but not even tolerate its presence.  We need to make sure that we hate evil as the Psalmist wrote.  I am there in some regard.  I can't stand how Americans all seem to drink alcohol, it sickens me.  I could do better in other areas though, I am not as offended by foul language as I ought to be.  But as I study the scriptures and make sure that I do what is right, little by little the Lord changes my very nature until I one day will be like He is.  And it starts with hating evil in all its forms.  We each make it there one day at a time as we endure to the end.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, June 21, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

Today I read Psalms 91 - 92 and I really enjoyed the phrase that David leads off chapter 92 with.  He states that it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.  It reminds me of several recent General Conference talks about saying prayers where all we do is give thanks to the Lord.  I have tried that in the past and it can be quite a challenge.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that it blessed my life, although it probably did and I didn't know it, but it is nice to take time out of our day to remind ourselves what God has done for us and what we have to be thankful for.  Just like the hymn, Count your Blessings, you will be surprised what the Lord has done for you.  It never hurts to be thankful, as a matter of fact, it could hurt to be ungrateful!  The scriptures state that against none is God's wrath kindled save those who confess not His hand in all things.  Ingratitude is one of the few sins that we are told the consequences.  Plus it feels good to say thank you and saying thanks to Heavenly Father is probably the best thing you can ever do!  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wait on the Lord's Time

Today I read Psalms 90 where David states that a thousand years are as yesterday to God.  And truly it is.  It is no wonder that God tells us things are but a small moment or that He knows the end from the beginning.  I have always been taught that time is a concept here on the earth.  That God gave Adam time as a reference point but that He himself does not use time like we do.  The best thing we can do it pray for understanding the way that God sees it so that we can be patient and wait on Him.  At times it can be hard, we want to be in control and do things for ourselves.  I wanted to be married very badly for many years and was told to be patient and that marriage was being withheld for a reason.  At the time I had never even thought that it might be because my future wife was too young to be married.  But wait I did and I am glad I did.  I could not imagine a better companion than my wonderful wife and if I had not listened to Him and waited on His time, it would never have happened.  If we trust in Him, we will never go wrong.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Death Comes to Us All

Today I read Psalms 86 - 89 and I was struck by the phrase "what man liveth that shall not see death?".  Death is a universal concept, it comes to us all.  And yet we are all granted a reprieve from it through the grace and mercy of Christ.  That knowledge comforts me that I will live again and that I will see my loved ones again, but I am still terrified that I might lose my family for a time while I remain here on the earth.  I am not scared for them, because I know what happens to the righteous after death, but rather I am worried for me.  My wife is my rock and my reason for living and getting up and going to work each day.  My daughter is the bright ray of sunshine to my days that I didn't know was missing until she came along.  I don't think I could bear it if I had to say goodbye to them here in mortality until I saw them again in the next life.  I literally have nightmares about it.  But I know that God is good and will never give us more than we can handle.  If He decides it is necessary to call them home then it will be to my benefit, no matter how hard it will be.  I just pray everyday, that it is not necessary and that we will all enjoy mortality together for many, many more years.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Even God Gets Angry

Today I read Psalm 85 and it is a comfort that even the Lord gets angry.  David asks that God turn His anger away from the people and lead them to salvation.  When I look at the evil in the world and the way that some people are abused and used it makes me angry.  Especially when it happens to innocent children.  Few things get me more riled up than to see a child being mistreated by someone.  Jesus stated that anyone who offends a little child, it would be better that they never had been born and I believe that is because God will hold all of us responsible for how we treated those put into our care, and God cares about women and children a great deal.  Men were given the Priesthood in order to bless the lives of the women and children put into their care and I firmly believe each man will have to give an accountability of how he cared for and treated the women and children in his life.  And if he comes up short, he will face the anger of God, and I don't know about you, but I do not want to face an angry God!  Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Choose Righteousness Over Wickedness

Today I read Psalms 83 and 84 and it never fails to warm my heart to see others being righteous.  David states that he would rather be a doorkeeper with the righteous than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.  I have the same feeling.  I would rather be a righteous pauper than a wicked prince.  Righteousness is its own reward.  As I have mentioned before, Elder Bednar taught that the reward for living the commandments are more commandments.  I read an article in the June 2013 where President Kimball reminded us that we can inherit all the Father hath if we are righteous.  Why would we trade an inheritance for everything God has for a mere mess of pottage, or a chest of gold as the case may be?  We have the potential to become God, why would we give it up?  We shouldn't.  But we each have to decide for ourselves if it is what we want.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

God Judgeth Among the Gods

Today I read Psalms 80 - 82 and I was stuck how David says God judgeth among the gods.  It would seem that in the days of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, it was understood that we had the potential to become like God is.  It appears that this is knowledge that was lost in the apostasy.  Now a days the only people I know of who actively believe they can become like God is, are Latter-day Saints.  There are other religions who believe they can become like God, but don't recognize that is what they are believing, like Buddhism.  But only Latter-day Saints have an understanding of what comes after this life and gives me any kind of answer other than we go to heaven or hell.  No one can seem to tell me what happens once we get to heaven or hell.  Latter-day Saints are the only ones that have an answer for what happens next.  We continue on, line upon line until we become as God is.  It is a great thing to strive for.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

We Will Show Our Praise of God Forever

Today I read Psalms 79 where David tells God that we will show forth our praise of God forever.  I wonder if when the men of old were writing the scriptures if they really understood that their words would be immortalized for all time and untold generations would read them?  I daresay that Solomon didn't when he penned Song of Solomon!  But surely the prophets of old knew their words would be had by all mankind?  I know the prophets of the Book of Mormon did, as they were told that they were writing for the remnants of the House of Israel, especially the Lamanites.  What would it be like to have your words praising God being read by people thousands of years later?  I wonder if like Isaiah, Nephi, Moroni and others David saw our day and knew that people would have his words and that they would bring people closer to Christ?  That is my ultimate goal of writing this blog is that someone will read my thoughts and it will bring someone to God.  I hope and pray that it does.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Miracles Become Commonplace

Today I read Psalms 70 - 78.  I was struck by the recounting of Moses and the Children of Israel in the wilderness.  I am always struck by how a people as a whole could see so many miracles in their lives and still turn away from God.  However, as I have said here before, we each of us see miracles happen in our lives and take them for granted.  When we are surrounded by the miraculous, it can become mundane, or so I have been told.  I think this is the case.  When I was first married, my wife was the most wonderful person I had ever met and she brought light and joy into my life.  But I find as time goes on, I have a tendency to take her presence for granted.  If I can take the most important person in my life for granted, isn't it possible that I can take the influence of the Holy Spirit in my life for granted?  Most certainly I can and I daresay even miracles would become commonplace after a while.  So we can't judge the Israelites too harshly.  We don't know how we would react in the same situations.  Judge not unrighteous judgements the scriptures warn us.  Wise words indeed.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fasting Qualifies for Blessings

Today I read Psalms 64 - 69 and I was struck how David states he chastened his soul with fasting.  I will freely admit that I have never really felt the power of fasting in my life.  I have not found it overly useful in my life.  Now, the issue could be my own.  I may not be fasting appropriately.  But the scriptures state that there is strength to be found in fasting and it can even work miracles.  There is also the idea that fasting will give us mastery over our physical bodies.  We qualify for blessings when we make sacrifices.  Heavenly Father blesses us because He loves us but according to the scriptures, we have to obey the principles to qualify for those blessings.  And we are told that through fasting we will be blessed by God and gain knowledge.  So the idea is if we want to be blessed and receive the benefits of fasting, we have to fast appropriately.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Predisposed to Righteousness

Today I read Psalms 63 and a phrase stood out to me, "my soul followeth hard after thee".  It got me thinking, are some people predisposed to righteousness and others to wickedness?  I know that we each of us have our weakness and so it is easier to obey some commandments than others, but do we have people that it is easier to be righteous for them than it is for others too?  I personally really enjoy living a righteous life.  I look around me and see how America is drowning in a sea of alcohol and smut and it sickens me.  Now is that conditioning or was I predisposed to feel that way? 

I have heard people talk about how their entire life they felt like something was missing inside of them until they found the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Typically such people try everything to fill the void and nothing works, not sin of various kinds, not other religions.  Only righteousness and the Gospel of life fill it.  So to answer my own question I think there are those people predisposed to righteousness and if so I guess the opposite would be true also.  There are those that are predisposed to wickedness for some reason.  I think I definitely fall into the former group though.  I certainly have my weakness and challenges, however it has always been easy to follow most of the commandments, and a joy to do so.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Don't Ask for More than You can Handle

Today I read Psalms 59 - 62.  The statement that I liked was "if riches increase, set not your heart upon them".  I have never been a well to do man when it comes to riches of the world and I have often wondered why that is.  As I have grown older and increased in wisdom and gospel knowledge, I have come to understand that very few people can navigate the choppy waters that is wealth.  Money is just as hard a trial for most of us to handle as is the Law of Chastity or Word of Wisdom.  As Brigham Young is reported as saying once, his biggest fear would be that the members of the church would gain wealth and lose their testimonies.  I am paraphrasing of course.  But the idea that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a testimony is wealth is hard to accept until you think about the times in your life when you turned to God or felt you needed His help the most.  Was it when things were going your way, or when a calamity had just struck?  Most likely it was when things were at their worst.  Most of us would not turn to God if we were wealthy, it is a trial we could not handle, and God has promised that He will never give us a trial that we can't handle, so we should not pester Him about it.  We should be happy with our own trials and not wish for those we are not prepared for.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Evil is a Learned Behavior

Today I read Psalms 57 - 58 where David seems to imply that bad people are bad from the start, that they are born that way.  I don't agree.  According to revelation, all children are innocent before God until 8 years old.  If that is true, then surely all men and women are born innocent and wickedness is a learned trait.  Children are like sponges, they soak up everything that is around them.  Just today my daughter came into my room and wanted to say a prayer, when I asked her if she wanted to say it she promptly closed her eyes, folded her arms and started saying a prayer.  Among the deluge of words I could not understand I clearly heard her say, bless grandfather, meemaw, grandpa, and g-ma, something I always say in her night time prayers with her.  At 2 years old she had picked up that I pray for our family.  Now, if I were someone who beat up other people, or stole things or generally was wicked, what do you think she would have learned by 2 years old?  She would have imitated what she had picked up from me.  But anyone who needs to know that babies are innocent need only to look at a brand new baby and the innocence in their eyes and face as they look around at this new world.  No, evil is not born, it is a learned behavior, no question about it!  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Natural Man Tears Down Others

Today I read Psalms 56 where David talks about his enemies.  It made me think, why as humans when we dislike ourselves and our own predicaments do we tear down those who we perceive to be better than us?  Why does the natural man seek to destroy instead of create?  It's sad really, there is so much good in all of us.  When we see a brand new little baby, do we one day wonder what he or she will one day create?  Do we think that one day they might be the reason another human being hates their life because of our child?  I know when I look at my daughter, so full of life and loving to learn new things, I only have high hopes for her and am trying to instill in her the values of the Latter-day Saints and the Savior so that she will live a good life.  I want her to build up those around her and focus on the positive that she finds in others, not the negative.  It would be such a better world if we were more willing to talk out our problems and ask for help as opposed to internalizing it and coming to hate ourselves and trying to transfer it onto others.  Sadly though that takes a conscious choice that many of us just aren't willing to make.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cast Your Burdens On the Lord

Today I read Psalms 55 where David tells us to cast our burdens on the Lord and He will sustain us.  We are told over and over again in the scriptures that we should cast our burdens on the Lord, but no one ever tells us how exactly we are to cast our burdens on the Lord.  Although David gives us a hint in this chapter.  He tells us that he prayed morning noon and night and the Lord heard him.  In order to cast our burdens on the Lord we have to understand the Lord and know Him.  This requires work on our part, reading the scriptures, saying our prayers, making and keeping sacred covenants.  The more we live our lives in accordance with correct principles, the more He will assist and help us.  As we grow closer to Him and what He asks of us, He will help us shoulder our burdens so that they seem lighter and not so oppressive. 

I remember when I was a missionary I was saying around 10 prayers a day, perhaps more.  I was growing very close to the Spirit.  It was so easy to be good because I was certainly in the world but not of the world.  I was shunning everything that could possibly distract me.  As such, I found it easy to pray and talk with Heavenly Father and I found myself pouring out my heart to Him.  I would tell Him all about my day and how frustrated I was at whatever was bothering me at the time.  I would ask for help and then I would go on with my day or go to sleep.  I often found that when I woke up the next day, what was bothering me did not seem so oppressive any more.  I was able to go just a little bit further.  By praying and pouring out my heart and soul to God, I was casting my burdens at His feet.  He then was picking them up so I didn't have to.  He was helping me in the best possible way.  It is a skill that all of us need to learn if we are to avoid the trap of despair and self pity.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Only a Fool Disbelieves in God

Today I read Psalms 52 and 53 and the phrase that stood out to me is, "the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God".  In the Book of Mormon Alma confronts the anti-Christ Korihor, who denies that there is a God.  Alma then asks Korihor where is his proof that there is no God because Alma has everything as proof in God.  It is really bizarre to me that some people will not believe in God.  What is the purpose of not believing?  It is said that the greatest trick the devil has is to convince mankind that he does not exist.  If that is the greatest trick then the one immediately behind it is to convince mankind that God does not exist.  And I agree with David, only a fool does not believe in God, I mean what is there to look forward to?  How depressing is it to think that this is all there is? 

This world can be pretty amazing but if you look at the awful things that humans do to one another, it can be a pretty terrible place too.  I will freely admit that some days the only thing that keeps me going is the fact that this life is NOT all there is and that God will punish the wicked and that something better is waiting for me if I live the commandments and change who I am.  I agree with Alma, everything testifies to me that there is a God.  Not only that, but we have lots of witnesses from history, literally in the hundreds perhaps even the thousands, and those are just the ones we know about!  Why would disbelieve so many, even if I didn't have a testimony?  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

David Had a Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit

Today I read Psalm 46 - 51, most of which were pretty similar to the other Psalms.  However, I enjoyed chapter 51.  I thought it was really neat how the prophets of old understood that the Lord does not delight in burnt offerings but rather wants a broken heart and a contrite spirit from each of us.  David understood what few others in Jerusalem seemed to understand.  The Law of Moses does not save man.  It only serves to point the people of Israel to the Savior of mankind who would in fact save man.  It is a broken heart and a contrite spirit that will save us.  That is because a broken heart and contrite spirit keep us humble and repentant and turn us towards the Lord.  It is only by becoming humble and repenting of our sins that we can be saved and become like God.  I had not remembered that there were Old Testament prophets that understood about a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  It makes me smile for some reason.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Treat Women with Dignity

Today I read Psalms 42 - 45 which more or less all talk about the same things we have been talking about so far.  However a phrase stood out to me in chapter 45, Hearken O' daughter and consider and incline thine ear.  He speaks of the beauty of women and fine clothes afterwards, but it makes me wonder about women and how we treat them.  Jacob in the Book of Mormon teaches us that the Lord delights in the chastity of women, but it is quite clear that our culture does not.  We are a culture, in America, that delights in the debasing of women, the sexualizing of their bodies, the degrading of them as people and the list goes on and on. 

As parents of daughters, if we are ever going to change this trend we have to teach our children how to respect women and treat them as the sacred daughters of God that they are.  Because they certainly won't get that message from the world.  It is perhaps even more important that we teach our sons this lesson than to teach our daughters, for while it is important that our daughters respect themselves and demand respect from others, I firmly believe all men will be asked by our Heavenly Father when they meet Him how they treated His daughters.  Women are special, sacred daughters of Him who is on High and they should be treated with respect and dignity.  Anything else will result in very unpleasant conversations with our Creator.  Let's not put ourselves in that situation and in fact let's help change how the world treats women all together by treating them better ourselves!  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Consider the Poor

Today I read Psalms 41 where David states that blessed are those who consider the poor.  In the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price we are told that the people of Zion had 2 qualities.  They were one in heart and there were no poor among them.  Now some might foolishly read that statement and think that everyone in Zion had the same amount of wealth or the same high paying job and they would be wrong.  The only way for there to be no poor among a people, is for the people to care for the poor as they would for themselves.  To take care of the poor we need to first be on the look out for them.  We need to treat them with kindness.  We can also give generously to fast offering funds to take care of those in our ward and stake.  The bishop has been given keys and is entitled to revelation to help those in his ward or branch that need assistance.  And the way he gets the funds to do that is through fast offerings and other donations the ward makes.  We can all contribute even if just a little bit and the Lord expects us to. 

Just last General Conference President Monson asked us all to contribute to the general missionary fund as we can to help assist those that would like to serve a mission by might not be able to afford it.  All of these methods are assisting the poor.  I believe that the Lord will ask us what we have done when we see Him again to assist those who needed it that He put into our path.  We'd better have a good answer.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Commandments are Written on Our Hearts

Today I read Psalms 40 where David is speaking to the Lord.  One particular phrase stood out to me.  He said that he delights to do His will and that God's law is written upon his heart.  This is exactly how each of us needs to be.  If we want to become like God is, then we need to have His law written upon our heart.  We need to make living the commandments a joy.  We have all heard teenagers whine and state how the commandments stop them from doing what they want to and from having any fun.  This is not the attitude to have.  If we want to become like God is, then we need to have an attitude that the commandments are a blessing that help us become more like God and live them with gladness in our hearts.  As the brethren have said, the blessing of living the commandments is having more commandments, because they change us little by little and help us become more like He is, until we don't need the commandments any longer, rather we have become them.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Words Cannot Change Us

Today I read Psalm 38 - 39.  David asks the Lord to help him bridle his tongue.  As many have said before me, the tongue is the most offensive part of the body, or in other words, that which comes out of the man defiles him.  Our words have great power.  We have the ability to heal or to hurt with our words.  To build up, or to tear down.  It is a hard thing to steel ourselves against the words of others.  All too often we let the opinions of others rule how we think of ourselves.  I am reminded of Star Trek the series.  There is an episode where they meet up with Abraham Lincoln and he calls Lt. Uhura an unkind word and immediately apologizes for it saying he didn't wish to offend.  Lt. Uhura then replies that she is not offended and that people in her time have learned not to fear words.  What a wonderful world it would be if we could all learn not to fear words. 

How often do we let ourselves get entangled in an unpleasant situation because we don't want to be called an unkind word or we stand up for ourselves because we don't want to be thought of in a certain manner.  The only being whose opinion of us matters in the end is that of Heavenly Father.  We need to make sure He thinks well of us, because that means we are doing what is right.  And I promise you that He will only use appropriate words to describe us.  Otherwise we must steel ourselves to the unkind words of the adversary.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Just Keep Trying

Today I read Psalms 33 - 37 all of which talk about the glory of God and how wonderful He is in various ways.  Several things stood out to me in chapter 37, however the phrase that really caught my eye was when David said that a little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of the wicked.  It reminds me of the story of the widows mite.  Our intention is everything.  We can do all manner of righteous deeds but if we do it for the wrong reasons, it doesn't do us any good.  This is a concept we have talked about before and is not new.  But as the Savior has taught us, repetition is the key to learning and if we are going to become better men and women than we are today, we have to repeat those righteous actions over and over again.  It is very rare that we will get it right the first time.  But the Lord will always be there to lift us up and to help us become better.  All we have to do is keep trying.  Until tomorrow.