Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Wicked Are Cast Off

Today I read Isaiah 27 and I was struck by the similarities to Jacob 5, the Allegory of the Olive Trees.  Isaiah mentions that when the bough withers it is cast off into the fire.  For those familiar with Jacob 5, this is a clear allusion to apostasy and the destruction of those that will not repent.  It's sad to think of those that won't repent and how the only way they will learn is to be destroyed, but the Lord will not allow His people to be destroyed without cause.  And He will not allow it to happen without His permission.  Now, if we don't follow the commandments and do what is right, then we are in danger of destruction ourselves, but Heavenly Father will fight our battles for us if we are righteous.  We just have to trust in Him.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Counsel with the Lord at all Times

Today I read Isaiah 26 and it was one of those chapters I had to read twice because I really wasn't getting anything out of it.  However on my second reading I cam across a couple of verses that stood out to me.  Isaiah talked about how a woman who is pregnant will cry out when her pains arrive.  The verse ahead of that one was telling also, how when the people's trouble arrived they poured out their hearts during their chastening.  It is easy to turn to the Lord when times are hard.  That is when we feel we need Heavenly Father the most.  However, what is infinitely harder for most people, is to stay true and faithful when things are going well.  When things are easy for us, do we still speak to Heavenly Father on a consistent basis?  Do we still turn to Him with our tough choices to make sure we are following His plan for us?  I think some of us do, but not all, not by a long shot.  And I don't think that is pleasing unto Him.  We need to counsel with Him at all times.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Are you Really Looking Forward to the Second Coming?

Today I read Isaiah 25 and I was thinking about the line every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ.  This came to my mind because in this chapter it too talks about people saying "this is our God" who we have waited for.  I meet lots of religious people in my life but I wonder how many of them are truly anxiously waiting for the Lord to return.  If they were really honest with themselves, not many I suspect.  Sadly, I think a lot of Latter-day Saints fall into that category as well.  We need to repent and become as a little child, humble and submissive.  When we become humble and submissive, that is when we desire to repent and become like God is.  We have to let our will be swallowed up in His.  It is not easy to do, but it is worth it!  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Today I read Isaiah 24 talking about the people breaking their covenants.  A week or so ago I was talking with my home teaching companion about how a person's word used to mean something.  How the Nephites and Lamanites, despite being bitter enemies, would trust each other when their word was given.  But as Isaiah foresaw, that is not the case anymore.  Now it is to the point where if it is not in writing, it can't be trusted and no one believes you.  It is really sad that some people go through life with absolutely no regard for other people, who they might be hurting.  They only care about themselves and getting ahead.  Their focus is on the here and now, not on things of an eternal nature.  While I think we should enjoy our lives now and strive to be happy, we do that best when we remember that this life is only temporary.  When we realize that, we understand that money is not everything and physical comforts are nice, but not a necessity.  When we realize that we will stand before God and have to justify our lives to him one day, then keeping our word seems a lot more attractive an option.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Understanding Isaiah

Today I read Isaiah 23 which is a prophesy about the fall of Tyre.  It is interesting to read the poetry of Isaiah and how they turn to hire, which I take to mean hiring mercenaries to fight their battles for them.  Isaiah's prose is very poetic and I think that is why some people have such a hard time understanding him and why Nephi states that if you don't have a learning of the Jews it is hard to understand him.  That is why if you are not a member of the house of Israel raised in the 700's B.C. the only way to truly understand Isaiah is to have the Spirit about you.  Heavenly Father will help you understanding what it is you need to learn when reading Isaiah.  Just read with the Spirit and you will know what Heavenly Father needs you to know.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Savior was the Nail in the Sure Place for Israel

Today I read Isaiah 22 and I am struck that people who read the scriptures during the time of Christ could miss the reference to His crucifixion.  To me it seems obvious when it started talking about the nail in the sure place and that nail being removed.  Of course, I also have the gift of hindsight.  I know that once the Savior was crucified, the Jews were maltreated and scattered by all the nations.  I wonder what the Pharisees thought at the time when they decided to crucify the Savior?  Did they even for a moment wonder what fate would then have in store for them after knowing this chapter so well?  They were the scriptorians of the age after all.  Sadly though, I bet they did not even realize it until they passed onto the other side and learned the truth of who Jesus was.  Sad indeed.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Be a Beacon of Righteousness

Today I read Isaiah 21 and I might be misinterpreting the verse but I really liked verse 14 that talked about giving water to those that thirst and preventing with bread those that fled.  To me this sounds like a situation where the city, or land, of this people, preventing being destroyed, like all the other nations mentioned in this verse, by being righteous and taking care of those around them.  It sounded to me like when the Lord said that the prayers of the righteous were preventing the entire cities destruction.  The Lord takes pity on the righteous time and time again.  He spares the wicked because He does not want to destroy the righteous along with them.  We are taught to "stand ye in holy places" but any place can be a holy place if we make it one.  Be the beacon of righteousness that staves off the destruction.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice

Today I read Isaiah 20 which was a prophecy about the destruction of Egypt by Assyria.  As I read it I could not help but wonder if the people of the time took the warning seriously.  I then had to wonder if future generations, when reading over old general conference messages, would wonder if we as a people heeded our prophet's warnings to get our food storage up and to get out of debt.  It seems to me that a prophet is loved and revered until he gives counsel that people don't want to hear.  Then he needs to mind his own business.  President George Albert Smith had the same thought when Utah voted to repeal the prohibition act.  It is really sad that we don't heed our prophets warnings better.  But then again, it makes me wonder, what counsel has President Monson given that I am not heeding?  Perhaps I need to go back and listen again.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Prophesying the Highly Unlikely

Today I read Isaiah 19 where Isaiah talks about how the Lord will smite Egypt but afterwards Egypt will be healed and will become allies with Assyria.  This made me think about how things must have been in the old days, when there wasn't almost unrestricted passage between countries.  What must a prophecy have sounded like to the people of the day?  To have it prophesied that such great nations would be allies?  Probably about as absurd as it would have sounded in 1988 that the Berlin wall would fall in a year!  I was old enough to be shocked when my mother told me that the wall had come down.  I'm sure my parents thought they would never see the day.  This strikes me as the norm for prophecies.  I think they are purposefully miraculous sounding so the Lord can show His great works to His people and reward their faith.  I could be wrong however.  Maybe I'll ask Him one day, when I meet Him.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

These are Had So Far in Advance

Today I read Isaiah 18 and I have to say sometimes I feel like Alma's son Corianton.  Alma states that Corianton marvels at the fact that knowledge of the Atonement is known so far in advance.  Sometimes I too marvel that some things seem to be known so far in advance.  This chapter is about the latter day gathering of Israel in the United States, specifically in Utah.  At least that is how I have always interpreted the scriptures about raising an ensign to the nations.  I also can't help but wonder if prophets like Isaiah inquired to know what they learned like Nephi, or if they were just chosen to see it and commanded to write it, like John the beloved.  The chapter where Isaiah is chosen to be a prophet certainly makes it seem like he volunteered for the job.  But it doesn't answer the question of whether or not the prophet asked to see what they saw, especially those who see the latter days. 

I do believe that God gave prophets visions of the future of the house of Israel to give those people hope.  They may not have understood it at the time, but perhaps as they were being carried away by the conquering Assyrians they took comfort in knowing that one day their descendants would be restored to their former glory.  I know I would have taken comfort in that thought, and if there is one thing I have learned about Heavenly Father is that He delights in comforting His children.  We are certainly left to choose for ourselves what we want and all He desires is our happiness.  So it is no true surprise to me that these things are known so far in advance.  God wants there to be no secret so we can repent and turn to Him.  Let's not disappoint Him.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lord Will Punish Those That Despoil Israel

Today I read Isaiah 17 where Isaiah prophesied the destruction of Israel but then states that the Lord will punish those that despoil Israel.  At first this might seem strange but if you think about it, it's no different than Judas and Pilate.  If not for them, Jesus would not have been killed.  And yet we all know that the Savior had to die to perform the Atonement, it was necessary.  However, just because it was necessary does not excuse Pilate from condemning the Savior to death, nor Judas for betraying Him.  We all have our own choices to make.  Just because the Lord uses the wicked to punish His people when they are not righteous, does not make the wicked acts less wicked.  We all have our agency and will be held accountable for our actions.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Loss of Life Over Ideas

Today I read Isaiah 16 where Moab appeals to Israel for help and Judah declines.  It always has made me wonder how the affairs of so many people are decided by so few.  I remember growing up that the Russians were the enemy.  They were the bad guys.  This entirely because of the Cold War.  And yet when I was 9 years old, the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended.  Now I have a close friend who is married to a wonderful German girl and another friend the used to be married to a Russian girl.  We are no longer enemies.  And I have to wonder, were we ever really enemies?

Often times, wars are fought over the disagreements of just a few individuals.  The kings, presidents, prime ministers or leaders or nations disagree over something and as a result thousands, perhaps even millions of people die.  Is the idea that is causing all of this really worth so many lives?  The Cold War was fought over Communism vs. Capitalism.  Personally, Communism will never work because it is not voluntary and it is not universal among the nations that tried it.  So, are ideas worth so much generational hatred and destruction and loss of life?  I doubt Heavenly Father would think so.  I personally don't think so.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Importance of All Chapters in the Scriptures

Today I read Isaiah 15, we skipped chapters 2 - 14 because they are exactly as they appear in 2 Nephi and we have already read and provided thoughts on those chapters.  Chapter 15 of Isaiah is a lament about the destruction of Moab.  While reading this I couldn't help but wonder why the people who compiled the Bible did not glean some of the books, like Isaiah, that have nothing to do with our day and time, but almost immediately after thinking that, I am glad they did not.  For one thing, I would not trust a man, unless inspired, to tell me which parts of a book of scripture are important, or relevant to me.  So while this chapter may have nothing to do with me, the fact that it is included gives me comfort and helps me to realize that it is all important and I am glad it was included.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet

Today I read Isaiah 1.  Nephi remarks that Isaiah is plain to those who are learned in the ways of the Jews.  He says that he delights in the words of Isaiah, but that his children and people have a hard time with it because they are not learned in the ways of the Jews.  I can understand their hardship, it is hard to understand Isaiah at times, he seems to bounce around a lot, even in chapters like this first one, there seems to be no commonality between what he is talking about.  Although based on the very first verse, I think this first chapter is a composite of several prophecies that Isaiah gave over the years.

It is clear that Isaiah understood the Atonement and how it worked.  He states that although our sins will be as scarlet, they can become as white as snow.  This is of course accomplished through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  If we really repent and forsake our sins, we can become clean and our sins can be wiped away.  When this happens, it is as if we never made the sins in the first place.  We will remember them still and I think that is a good thing, it reminds us not to commit them again, we remember how we felt and that should be a deterrent, it is never fun to have the Spirit leave us.  It is to be avoided if possible.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fear God and Keep His Commandments

Today I read Ecclesiastes 10 - 12 and I liked the phrase at the very end of chapter 12, "Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man".  This is what we are required to do by our Heavenly Father.  When we obey His commandments and give Him the love and respect He asks for and deserves, we will become better men and women.  But we have talked about this many times in the past and I don't wish to repeat myself so what I have said will suffice.

The next book in our reading is the Song of Solomon.  However, I will not be reading or sharing any thoughts on this book.  Joseph Smith was told through revelation that the Song of Solomon is not an inspired work of scripture, or in other words, it was written by man, not by God and as such will not be read by me.  I read it once and have no desire to do so again.  So we will skip it and go straight to Isaiah tomorrow.  Given that so many chapters of Isaiah are word for word copied by Nephi in the Book of Mormon, when we come to one, I will remark that it is in the Book of Mormon and since I have already shared my thoughts on that chapter we will skip over to the ones that are not in the Book of Mormon.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Live Dog is Better than a Dead Lion

Today I read Ecclesiastes 9 and I was struck by the phrase a live dog is better than a dead lion.  It reminded me a lot of the idea that this life is the time to prepare to meet God which Amulek taught in the Book of Mormon.  When we are alive in this life, we have the opportunity to change and choose who we want to be, who we want to become.  When we are dead, it is much harder to change.  I am not sure why, but for some reason not having a body makes it that much harder to change our habits.  We are still able to change, that is my understanding of the scriptures and what has been taught, but it has always been explained to me that it is almost impossible to do without our body.  And we don't get our body back until after the judgment.  That means that this is our chance to become who we want to be in the next life.  If we work with God and ask for His help, we can make the changes we want to and can become a better person.  We make our choice each and every day by the way we choose to our lives and the way we spend our time.  Each of us have the same opportunities to choose and one day we will explain our actions to Him who created us.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Man, or Woman, can Escape Judgment

Today I read Ecclesiastes 8 and the main thing I got out of it was to be righteous.  The main theme of the scriptures if I do say so myself.  It talked a lot about the wicked and how in the end they will not escape the judgment of God.  It sometimes feels as though the wicked people of the world are getting away with committing sin and living a carefree lifestyle, but they will pay for their sins.  Such men, and women, have no claim on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  They have rejected His Atoning Sacrifice and as such will have to pay the price for their own sins, which caused Jesus Himself to bleed from every pore.  The natural man in me says that is too small a price to pay for some for the horror and wickedness they have brought on this world.  But according to Alma the Younger the way he described his sins when he thought of standing before God makes it sound absolutely horrifying and the worst feeling in the universe. 

God knows each one of us and He knows which of us would repent if we knew the truth.  He knows which people are committing sin because they are trying to find something, anything, to fill in the emptiness they feel in their lives as they search for the Gospel.  However, I personally believe that these people are not the hard core criminals but I could be wrong.  Only God knows our innermost selves, the place we lock up and keep hidden for no one to see but God and maybe our spouse.  We will be judged when we stand before Him who created us and how we face Him will determine more than anything our final place.  What kind of person we are here is our choice and will determine where we go after this.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Good Name

Today I read Ecclesiastes 7 and was struck by the very first phrase, a good name is better than ointment.  In this day and age that might not make much sense to people but there was a time, not too long ago even, when a person's word meant something.  It used to be that even a promise made to an enemy was kept no matter what, even if if cost one their life.  We know that ancient China and Japan had a high sense of honor and they would die to keep it intact, but it wasn't just Asia that felt this way.  In our own history, American's used to keep their word to each other without the need of contracts and signed paperwork.  My parents raised me to keep my word and to not break a promise and I used to think that was the way everyone was.  I soon found out though that unfortunately that is not the case and most people think nothing of lying and cheating their friends and family members to get ahead.  It's sad that we have come to such a state as a culture and as a world.  Heavenly Father is not pleased by such actions at all.  As Latter-day Saints we need to stand as a beacon to the world of righteousness and honesty.  Set an example of a better way of life and lead the way for others to follow.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spend Your Time on Things of Eternal Value

Today I read Ecclesiastes 6 and I was reminded of Jacob 2 from the Book of Mormon.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God, Jacob taught the Nephites.  The point of Ecclesiastes 6 is that unless a man is good, all his wealth, power and everything else he may do, is good for nothing.  If we don't do as the Lord has asked of us first, then everything else we might do or accomplish is pointless and will fade away.  We need to focus our time and energy on that which has eternal value.  The Savior taught as much during His lifetime also stating to not focus on things that moth can corrupt or thieves might break in and steal.  We each of us have our agency, but it behooves us to spend our time and our energy on that which is righteous.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rejoice in the Labor

Today I read Ecclesiastes 5 and I found a phrase at the very end of the chapter interesting.  The phrase was "rejoice in his labor".  I have never been a person who can say I enjoy going to work.  I don't look forward to it and I certainly don't wake up excited that it is a work day.  However I also do not wake up dreading the fact that I have to go to work, work just is.  It's something I have to do in order to survive and provide for my family.  Now, my wife states that she has had jobs in her past that she really enjoyed going to and looked forward to going to work.  She takes pleasure and pride in a job well done.  I typically don't take a lot of pleasure in work, especially physical labor.  But perhaps I should.  Perhaps I should really take pleasure in a job well done.  I imagine Heavenly Father takes pleasure in His creations and His children.  His work, and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  I do find satisfaction in a job well done and enjoy succeeding at work, but I don't think it's quite the same things as rejoicing in ones work.  Perhaps I should pray for the ability to do so.  Maybe I would find work not just a necessity.  Who knows?  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Better a Wise Child than an Old and Foolish King

Today I read Ecclesiastes 4 and liked the phrase better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished.  We have spoken before that it takes real love to discipline a child or another person.  I know it is hard to listen to my child call my name in desperation to avoid her mother's punishment, but it is the right thing to do when she has been willfully bad, otherwise there is no learning.  People need correcting or there is no way to improve and become a better person.  The reason a foolish king is worse off than a child is because no one corrects the king and so he will not improve at all.  The best thing a leader can do for him or herself, is to keep around someone who will tell them the absolute truth without shading it and keep them on the wise path.  A friend who corrects should be more treasured than a sycophant who will do our every whim.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Law of the Harvest

Today I read Ecclesiastes 3 and the first part of the chapter talks about the concept that there is a time for everything and a season for everything.  It made me think of the law of the harvest.  When I was in college I had a religion professor talk about the law of the harvest and how it is dangerous to try and reap before you sow.  Now that does not make much sense unless you realize it is not referring to actually farming, but rather life.  Credit cards for example.  Credit cards are a classic example of trying to reap before you sow.  Purchasing something without having the money and then paying it back when you do have the money is like going out into your field and reaping the wheat before you have planted it.  It makes no sense and is against the law of nature.  The reason credit card companies do this is because they make a lot of money off of us on the life of the loan they give us. 

But it's not just credit card companies that defy the law of the harvest.  It's any get rich quick scheme or lose weight scheme or anything that will give you a desired result without you having to work for it.  Even worthy pursuits like gaining Gospel knowledge or understanding of the scriptures.  We have to put in the time and the effort to understand it and not try and cheat the process.  In the end we are only cheating ourselves.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Avoid Loud Laughter

Today I read Ecclesiastes 2 and I was thinking about the first two verses about laughter and mirth.  A few weeks ago I was thinking about the covenant to avoid loud laughter and trying to do some research on it.  Surprisingly, in all of the gospel library on the LDS website, there is nothing really about loud laughter, what it is and how it differentiates from regular laughter.  In speaking with others, I have been told that it means to laugh in inappropriate places and too loudly.  But can the volume of ones laughter really be a sin?  I don't think so.

But there are many things that are inappropriate to laugh at.  When I was a missionary, my companion and I were driving down the street one day and we saw a young man on the ground on his face with papers in the air all around him and on the ground.  He had clearly tripped and fallen down.  My companion started laughing and I scolded him telling him that someone else's misfortune is not something to find humor in.  This is what I think of when I think of loud laughter.  I think it has to do with finding humor in the right things.  When someone has trouble in life, it is not a thing to find funny.  But a good clean joke can bring joy into people's lives.  I do think that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor, but I do not think He finds enjoyment or mirth in other people's unhappiness.  I think He finds humor in the appropriate ways and places.  As always, we should model ourselves after Him.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Leave the World a Better Place

Today I read Ecclesiastes 1 and I was struck by the idea that nothing we do really has any lasting benefit.  The author makes the point that generations come and generations go, so what does a man's labor profit?  At first this statement can appear depressing and more than a little defeatist.  I mean if nothing we do really matters, why bother doing it?  While I do in fact believe that as far as the earth is concerned nothing we really do matters, the earth will be here and fix itself, I do believe that we have an obligation to leave the world better than we found it for our children.  Heavenly Father is very interested in how we spend our time while here on the earth.  If we did not spend our time being productive we will have a hard time explaining that to our God.  And ask anyone who has ever witnessed someone on their death bed, they almost always wish they had spent more time with family.  That is why I spend almost all day everyday except for when I am at work, with my three year old daughter.  That is where I need to be, by her side having a good time and teaching her the things she needs to know.  If I do nothing else right in this life, I will mold my little girl into a wonderful woman who loves the Lord and respects herself.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to Be, or Marry, a Virtuous Woman

Today I read Proverbs 31 which deals almost entirely with the attributes of a virtuous woman.  At first I was a little confused about this, but the first verse tells us that this proverb is a mother's advice to her son.  It is the duty of all parents to teach their children what kind of woman they want to marry or what kind of woman they need to be.  This is most effectively done by showing them how their mother treats their father.  Children will learn almost all their traits from how their parents act.  They might remember what their parents say, but they will absolutely remember how their parents behaved.  There is a phrase that I have heard before that states 'I can't hear what you are saying because your actions are too loud'.  Meaning of course that actions are always louder than words and if our actions are not consistent with what we are saying, our children will call us on it.  And they will absolutely follow our actions as opposed to our words if they are not consistent with each other.  In order to make sure they find a virtuous woman, we need to make sure we either are a virtuous woman or we marry one.  We also need to treat our spouses with respect and love.  This is the way to properly train up our children.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Hate that I Like That

Today I read Proverbs 30 and I was struck by the reference to all the ways we can sin and do that which is wrong.  Humans all excel in one aspect, our ability to rationalize, or lie to ourselves.  This chapter mentions that the adulteress eats and wipes her mouth and says she has not sinned.  This is a common malady among people.  All too often we sin and then seek to justify our behavior by saying that the commandment in question does not apply to us.  We are the exception.  We can still be righteous even with this stain on our character, which is actually true, but it is harder to repent each time we commit the sin.  But the Atonement is all encompassing and we can in fact be forgiven, and more importantly, change.  It is hard to change. 

We first have to want to change, even when we don't want it.  This might sound strange unless you have experienced it for yourself.  Addicts have a love and hate relationship with their addiction.  If you are addicted to alcohol for example, you like to drink it.  You like the way you feel when you get drunk.  But you don't like that fact that you like it.  Those addicted to pornography probably love sex and like, or maybe even love, to look at other people naked or having sex.  And yet, even though they enjoy this, they can want and even desire to change.  The natural man wants to continue on with the pleasurable behavior.  But the Spirit inside each of us that remembers our Heavenly home, prompts us to change.  If we desire it strongly enough, and include Heavenly Father, we can then overcome that natural man and the feelings of desire and joy we feel at such inappropriate behaviors.  So it is very possible to like something but not like the fact that you like it.  The Atonement can even help with this.  We have to involve Heavenly Father in our struggle and He can make all the difference.  He will help us when our desire is true.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Parents Should Rear Their Children in Righteousness and Love

Today I read Proverbs 29 and was struck by the phrase a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.  Strangely enough, just yesterday in Elders Quorum meeting we were talking about children and what the father brings to the home.  One of the elders talked about his own experience growing up without a father and how he had to look to other men he knew to try and piece together what a man was and how a man behaved.  When a child is left without correction and direction, he/she is left to their own devices to try and figure out for themselves what is the right way to behave.  And as anyone who has been around children knows, a child is not wise enough to make their own decisions.  They will make choices entirely on the here and now, and not give any thought to the future.  This is why teenagers clash with their parents.  Parents have been down that road before and know the consequences of choices made today.  Sadly, almost no child/teenager listens and has to figure out for themselves that their parents actually knew what they were talking about.  The times may be different, and there may be more challenges, but parents really do know how to help their children navigate the harsh waters of childhood to adulthood.  If only children/teenagers were smart enough to listen.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wealth Corrupts

Today I read Proverbs 28 and I really liked the phrase that he who hasteth to be rich has an evil eye.  To me the meaning is clear, if our focus is on getting rich, then we have we are focusing on the wrong things.  It is not a bad thing to be rich, if we can handle it, most of us can't.  It's like power, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely the old saying goes.  So it is with wealth.  A poor man is a very different creature than a rich man.  Wealth is a disease that has no cure.  There are people in this world that earn millions of dollars annually and yet feel they don't have enough money.  It makes those of us that struggle to make ends meet sick.  But the reason those wealthy individuals don't have enough money is because they are living beyond their means.  No matter how much money one has, we have to make sure we are living within our means and not over extending ourselves.  When we are out of debt and don't owe anyone in this world anything it is a wonderful feeling.  It is one that all of us should strive for.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend

Today I read Proverbs 27 which contained many snippets of wisdom.  I found one in particular very funny, it said that a continuous dripping on a rainy day and a contention women are alike.  This made me laugh because to me, a continuous dripping is more annoying than anything else and so the way I read it is, a contentious woman is annoying.  I don't think that is what is meant, but that is how I read it at first.  Very humorous.

On a more serious note however, the part of the chapter that stayed with me is the phrase, faithful are the wounds of a friend.  On the surface this does not seem to make sense, however when you think about it its meaning becomes clear.  Imagine you had a problem, something that you were not aware of and would be potentially embarrassing to you, wouldn't a true friend tell you about it, even if it was painful and might hurt your feelings?  This is how I read this verse.  You might be wounded by a friend at times, but it is out of love and loyalty.  Yes it can hurt and be painful and we want to make sure it is something that will truly benefit the person before we bring it up.  But if it is something that will come out anyway and it is better to come out in private as opposed to in public, it is better to come from a true friend.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Avoid Talebearing

Today I read Proverbs 26 and I was struck by the warning against talebearers.  It talked about how a talebearer causes wounds and causes strife.  All my life I have been warned against gossip and spreading rumors.  About how hurtful they can be and how it causes unwanted anguish and can lead to problems among people, especially teenagers.  It always breaks my heart to see a life cut short because of a lack of self worth and bullying.  When we spread tales we can literally ruin lives.  That is why the brethren tell us to avoid spreading rumors and tales, it really can cause wounds.  When we don't respect other people and try to see the best in them, but instead exploit all that is wrong with them, we are not doing as the Savior would have us do.  Each of us needs to build up those around us, not tear down as talebears or gossipers do.  And if you aren't sure it is gossip, just ask yourself if the person in question would be pleased to hear you tell the story in their presence.  It the answer is no, you are probably gossiping!  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Treat Your Enemies with Kindness

Today I read Proverbs 25 and I liked the phrase that stated to feed your enemy when he is hungry and to give him drink if he is thirsty.  In other words, do good to them that hate you and spitefully use you.  It is strange in this day and age to think of the average person as having an enemy.  Perhaps it does happen, but it seems very strange to me.  However, I do have people that don't treat me very well all the time. 

Not too long ago at work I had an employee that was not very friendly and very much had a victim mentality.  There was one night where it came to a head and the employee got upset and tried to get me involved in a shouting match.  I was able to keep my cool barely and we did not leave on good terms.  Later I was talking with a peer at work about this employee, a fellow Christian but not a Latter-day Saint and we talked about how he too had challenges with this employee.  One of us, I cannot remember who, reminded us both that Jesus said we are to pray for those that do not treat us properly.  After that conversation I started including this employee in my prayers and that I can find a way to work with her and help her at work.  Since that time, I have changed my attitude to treat her better and I have noticed a significant improvement in our working relationship. 

Now, I am not saying that by treating others with kindness we are going to win them all over to our way of thinking.  That most likely will not happen, but it will certainly make you a better person and cause people to want to be around you and want to become like you are, because they will see that you are different.  And that is the way we all want to be, different from the world, and more like the Savior.  Until tomorrow.