Friday, January 31, 2014

The Lord is Displeased with Ephraim

Today I read Hosea 12 and I can honestly say I am very glad that the Lord is not talking to me in this chapter.  He is not pleased with Ephraim and is not shy about showing it.  I do not know the history of Hosea but I think he must have lived after Israel split into the two factions with the 10 tribes in the northern kingdom and Judah and Dan I think it was, in the southern kingdom in Jerusalem.  Hosea's prophecies all seem to do with Ephraim and does not really seem to focus on any of the other tribes.  That seems curious to me.  I don't know why that is and wonder why the Lord would have Hosea focus so heavily on that 1 tribe?  Perhaps that is Hosea's tribe?  I'm not really sure.  Whatever the reason, it is clear that the Lord is NOT pleased with Ephraim at this point in time, not at all.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

His Arms Are Outstretched Still

Today I read Hosea 11 where the Lord tells the Israelites that He still loves them and that He will not destroy them.  I wonder if the Israelites realized just how significant that was?  I mean to hear for several chapters how bad you have been, and then to be told that despite all that He loves you still and that His arms are still outstretched and He has not forsaken you.  I am reminded of the prodigal son, who did not know his father would welcome him back but chose to return anyway.  It was only once he was back that he realized he could have returned all along and his father would have loved him.  Sometimes we think we can't repent because how can God forgive us after what we have done?  We forget that Christ has suffered for everything we have or will ever do and so there is nothing that can't be repented of.  It is a comforting thought that if we mess up we can return, but it is by no means a license to purposefully sin.  How selfish would that be?  To purposefully cause the Savior pain like that?  I can't even imagine such selfishness.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Tempt the Lord?

Today I read Hosea 10 where the Lord reminds Israel that they have made their own bed, or as He put it, plowed their own field.  He reminds them that they did not have a king as a way to set themselves apart from the other nations, however they begged and begged to have a king so He relented.  The story of the Israelites as well as the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon have certainly taught me not to tempt the Lord.  The Lord knows everything there is to know, He can certainly tell us the best course of action for each one of us.  If we will but listen, we will not be sorry.  It's only when we tempt the Lord and force Him to relent to our impetuous nature that we end up doing things we regret.  Just like teenagers who refuse to listen to the wisdom of their parents who have done this before and know the pitfalls that are out there, Heavenly Father can help us navigate the treacherous world if we will allow Him to help us and not tempt Him with our desires and things we think we want.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

God Shakes Up Israel

Today I read Hosea 9 where the Lord tells Israel that everything is not all right.  At first glance this looks a little strange until you think about it.  How often have you been going along thinking everything is good and ok?  It's not until something comes along t shake things up that we realize we were not doing ok or doing what we are supposed to be doing.  It's rare that God would do this shaking up Himself.  I would imagine that most of the time He just allows us to have the consequences of our own actions shake us up.  And most of us have many natural consequences since we are not exactly the most on track as a people.  We are constantly facing temptations, fortunately, it is what we do with those temptations that matter, not that we have them.  Satan tries to make us think that just because we have temptations we are unworthy, but this is a falsehood.  Everyone, even our beloved prophet have temptations.  It's what we do in response to them that is important.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Act on the Light You Have

Today I read Hosea 8 and as I was reading, I wondered if some of the people of the time thought they were doing the right thing.  I mean, where there people that didn't know any better because they had been taught inappropriately by their leaders?  People in the time of Jesus Christ had trouble recognizing Him because the pharisees had so perverted the law and the doctrine that they didn't even recognize their own Savior.  It would be very similar to my wife describing me to my daughter completely incorrectly.  My daughter would then never recognize me.  Now, the Holy Ghost was still testifying of truth to the people when the Savior was there, of this I am pretty certain.  The story of the two disciples speaking with Jesus after His resurrection when they talk about their hearts burning within them as they walked and talked shows this fact.  So not all the blame can be placed on the leaders, the people have enough blame to go around also.  In the end, we are all responsible for ourselves to act on the light and knowledge that we do have.  The people of Hosea's day are no different.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ephraim Will Be Scattered

Today I read Hosea 7 where the Lord tells the Israelites that Ephraim will be spread out through the people of the world, or strangers, as God puts it in the chapter.  I sometimes wonder why the tribe of Ephraim is the one that is prevalent in the world.  I'm sure it probably has to do with the blessing that Jacob gave to Ephraim, Joseph's son.  But you would think that of all the members in the church who have received their patriarchal blessings that there would at least be some who are of other tribes.  It's just one other of those questions that I will some day know the answer to.  Whatever the reason, I wonder what the Ephraimites thought when they were told this.  Did they believe it?  Did they scoff at what surely seemed to them just one more foolish prophecy from a would be prophet?  What did they think when they realized the truth of such things?  Were they repentant?  Did they sorrow?  I wonder if we will ever know in this life?  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Like the Morning Fog, It is Gone By Afternoon

Today I read Hosea 6 and I really like the imagery that God uses in this chapter as He laments the house of Ephraim and Judah.  He states that their righteousness is like the morning fog.  It is gone by afternoon.  I thought that was both very apt and good imagery.  We all know by now that ancient Israel was not good at keeping the commandments.  I can imagine God sitting there wondering what He was to try and do in order to get them to wise up and do a He asked of them.  It must be very like a school teacher trying to figure out how to reach a set of troublesome students that did not want to learn and do everything they can to disrupt the class.  The difference though is that God knows perfectly well what He would need to do in order to get them to repent and do what is right.  But He will never violate agency and will always allow us to make our choices, even if they are very poor choices.  Until tomorrow.

What Helps You Overcome Sin?

Today I read Hosea 5 and somedays reading the scriptures feels like the movie Groundhog day.  I feel like I am reading the same things over and over again.  This chapter is another explanation of why they are being punished.  I can't really fault the Lord, after all, the ancient Israelites seemed to be slow learners.  I mean it's one thing if a child keeps making the same mistake, they don't know any better.  But to have a full grown adult keep turning back to their sins, like a dog returns to his vomit as the scriptures state, is almost incomprehensible.  However, having once been addicted to sin myself once upon a time, I can understand how hard it can be to break out of its clutches once it has you.  In my case it was only the love of a good woman that helped me truly thrust off the shackles of sin.  Everyone needs to find their own motivation and what will help them.  It is different for every person, but it's always there.  You just have to be willing to search it out.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Listen When God Speaks

Today I read Hosea 4 where the Lord tells the Israelites of their sins.  I remember thinking this when I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants that I would not want my sins broadcast to the whole world like that.  But it would be nice to have the Lord tell me who to avoid when I am deciding on my friends.  I wonder if when God talks to His prophets like this and tells them that His people are sinning if some of the people wake up and make changes in their lives?  Probably not, but perhaps for some of them it is the wake up call that they need.  I know I would listen up if I knew God was talking directly to me.  That's why I always study General Conference talks, because I know that they are messages meant for me.  We should all listen up when God speaks.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Lord Gives Israel a Sign

Today I read Hosea 3 where the Lord tells Hosea to pay a harlot to abide with him as a sign.  Some of the Lord's signs and what He asks His prophets to do is really weird.  Perhaps they make sense to the people of the time and they are perfect examples to them.  But to me sitting here in 2014 they just seem strange.  But I am glad that even if the analogy is strange, God never stopped talking to His people and never stopped warning them.  It is wonderful to see and know that He always takes care of us.  He will never leave us alone or destitute.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

People Want To Know It's Ok to Sin

Today I read Hosea 2 where the Lord tells Hosea of the abominations of the Israelites and His people.  You would think, that if you were an Israelite, that perhaps there is something to all these various people who are coming around and saying the exact same thing.  I mean it's one thing to have one person come around and say that they are wicked and need to repent or the Lord will destroy you, but to have dozens of men saying the exact same thing?  The idea is out of the mouth of two or three witnesses right?  I just don't understand why people would not listen.  Actually I do understand.  When people are in sin and they are happy with being in sin, they don't want to be told that they are wrong.  All you have to do is look at today's culture especially when it comes to homosexuality.  People only want to be told they can do whatever they want and God is ok with it, which of course is a lie.  But it is what they want to hear.  For some reason, even in sin, we want the approval of others.  People sure can be funny at times.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hosea is Chosen by the Lord

Today I read Hosea 1 where the Lord commands Hosea to take a wife and tells him what to name his children as signs.  I've often wondered what it must be like to be a prophet and have open dialog with the Lord like that.  I remember as a missionary my prayers were full of faith and I had a great relationship with God, but I don't remember Him ever talking back to me in the same manner.  God would always respond to me and answer me in various ways.  But I never heard the voice of God.  I honestly think it would freak me out if I was alone and heard a random voice talking to me.  I suppose you would get used to it rather quickly, but at first I would probably jump out of my skin.  I wonder if it was that way for the prophets?  I suspect it was but anything becomes regular if repeated enough so I bet they got used to it pretty quickly.  I want to be that way too, and fortunately it's just a matter of doing what's right and living the Gospel.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daniel's Vision Ends

Today I read Daniel 11 and 12 where Daniel's vision continues.  As I was reading I was struck by some of the language and I know that most visions the prophet is shown the events and they come up with the wording to write it down on their own.  But I couldn't help wonder as I was reading these chapters if Daniel was given the words to say.  For example he states in one verse that news from the north troubles a king.  What would that even look like in a vision?  I assume Daniel can hear as well as see in this vision and most likely given the give of tongues, at least temporarily, to understand what is being said.  I just cannot help but wonder again, what must it be like to be shown something in vision.  I think if I ever was shown something in a vision, I would prefer to have a guide like Nephi did, to help me understand and make sure that I was correctly understanding what I was seeing.  I think it would probably be a little scary too.  So it would be a comfort to have someone to share it with.  But I most likely will never have a vision of my own so I don't have much to worry about.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daniel Sees the Savior

Today I read Daniel 10 where Daniel sees the Savior in a vision.  What a wonderful treat that is!  I am very envious of Daniel and those who have seen the Savior of the world in this life.  It is possible for everyone to have this highest of honors, if they live appropriately.  Joseph Smith taught that it is possible to receive the second comforter, which is Jesus Christ, and have your calling and election made sure.  To do so however, one must live the kind of life the Savior would live if He were here on the earth today.  It is up to us what kind of life we want to lead.  We don't have to participate in the filth and horror that surrounds us.  We can choose a better way.  It is a choice that is made each and every day by the things we choose to spend our time on.  I can see it happening in my life.  Things that used to be so important to me, as I grow closer to the Spirit, are growing less and less important.  I still enjoy them on occasion, but I find I would rather search the scriptures, or listen to General Conference talks instead.  My very nature is changing, and I am very happy about that!  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daniel is Shown Yet Another Vision

Today I read Daniel 9 where he is shown yet another vision, this one appears to me based on what is being shown him and the dates given him, seems to be about the final destruction of Israel by Rome in 70 A.D.  It makes me wonder why Daniel is being shown all these visions and if the people who live in the time frames that he was shown paid attention to the prophecies that concerned them.  I suspect that some did and some didn't.  After all, how many people pay attention to the prophecies that have to do with right now?  Not nearly enough that's for sure.  I suspect that it was the same back then.  Some listened and took precautions, but most did not.  I wonder if Heavenly Father is saddened by this fact or resigned to it?  Perhaps neither.  He does know everything from the beginning to the end so He already knows who is going to believe and who won't.  I would imagine that the main feeling He has towards His children through is sadness.  Let's make sure we are not contributing to His sadness.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Daniel is Shown Another Vision

Today I read Daniel 8 where Daniel sees another vision, this one about kingdoms of the earth.  As I was reading this, I thought to myself that it would be really neat and cool if someone in these kingdoms that were talked about read this prophecy at some point and it was useful to them.  I would like to know such things.  I think that would be interesting to see the other half of the story, the people that the prophecy is meant for and how they received it.  I wonder if the prophets who received these visions and then recorded them for others were shown in vision the people using the prophecy?  I suspect not.  But then again, the prophet's job is just to record what they are shown.  It's up to others to use it appropriately.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daniel Sees a Vision

Today I read Daniel 7 where Daniel is given a vision of some beasts that represent kingdoms of the last days.  I honestly don't know why Daniel was given this vision.  It really doesn't give us any insight other than kingdoms will arise and some will destroy, which we already knew.  Maybe that was new knowledge at the time.  I really don't know.  I think it is interesting though that Daniel sees Adam, the Ancient of Days in a vision prevailing over the beasts.  To me it seems clear that the church will prevail over the world and the devil.  Perhaps Daniel just needed that reassurance.  I'm not sure.  It must have some purpose for us to know about though since Daniel was shown the vision for our benefit.  If the Lord wants me to know, He will let me know.  Of that I am certain.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Daniel in the Lion's Den

Today I read Daniel 6 which is the famous story of Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den.  As I was reading this chapter today the thought occurred to me.  Was God honoring Daniel’s faith by keeping him safe from the lions, or Darius’ faith?  I ask that because as Daniel was being taken into the lion’s den, Darius told Daniel that his, Daniel’s, God would protect him.  That is great faith!  Darius spent the night in fasting, and I’m sure prayer, to God in order to secure the safety of Daniel.  Now, I’m sure Daniel was doing some heavy duty praying too, however, I think the Lord chose to spare Daniel not because of his own faith, but rather because of the faith Darius was showing and the good Darius would be able to do in all of his kingdom with that faith.  How many people were brought to the knowledge of the truth because Darius was converted?  We know from the Book of Mormon that the Lord will allow the blood of innocents to be spilt as a testimony against the wicked.  So the only thing that makes this story unique is that more good was done by sparing Daniel, than would have been accomplished if God had allowed him to become a martyr.
I also find it sad, and strange that Darius would punish not just the men who had conspired against Daniel, but he also fed their wives and their children to the lion’s den.  I mean if I were to go out today and rob a bank, get caught and sent to jail, they would not throw my wife and daughter in with me!  So why would Darius do such a thing?  I honestly don’t know why he would do that.  Similarly in the Book of Mormon Amulek states their just law would not condemn a man’s brother in place of the man that committed the crime.  It seems like an overly harsh and cruel thing to do and I’m honestly surprised that Daniel did not put a stop to it.  It seems to me that there is more to the story that we will find out someday I think.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Learn From Other's Mistakes

Today I read Daniel 5 where Nebuchadnezzar's son makes poor choices and the Lord takes his kingdom away.  It is sad really to see so many people not learn from other's mistakes, they seem to always make their own.  I have always tried to watch those around me, especially those closest to me, to see what they do.  If they get good results from what they do, then I try and emulate them, but far too often, I see them do things they should not be doing and so they end up with results that are less than pleasant.  My brothers growing up did not make good choices.  As a result, I avoided a lot of heartache and pitfalls that could have hindered me in my growing up because I had examples of what to avoid.  I had plenty of good examples too, but sadly it seems most of the examples I had from friends and some family, was what to avoid.  I am glad I learned from them though and did not have to discover for myself just how bad some mistakes can be.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Nebuchadnezzar is Compelled to Be Humble

Today I read Daniel 4 where King Nebuchadnezzar is shown a vision of himself being cast down and losing his mind and thinking he is an animal.  He thinks he is an animal for seven years and then finally he regains his sanity and praises God before he dies.  God will have a humble people or they will be compelled to be humble!  It is a shame that so many people try the patience of God and force Him to take steps and compel them to be humble.  I wonder why we as mankind have such a hard time doing the right thing? 

I know it all comes down to the natural man, but you would think that when we are shown so many signs and wonders that we would be more prone to do what is right.  Of course, we only need to look at Laman and Lemuel to know that such thinking is faulty.  For some people, no matter what is done to them, they just will not change themselves and so God has to step in and change them.  I guess we just have to make sure that we are not compelled to be humble.  Because it does not seem fun at all!  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Signs and Wonders Do Not Convert

Today I read Daniel 3 where Nebuchadnezzar creates his image of gold and demands that everyone worship it.  As all familiar with the story knows, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego refuse and are thrown into a furnace a fire.  A furnace so hot, that the poor men who put the 3 Israelites inside of it, died.  Heavenly Father chose to reward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego's faith and saved them from the furnace. 

I have often wondered why the Lord saved those three, why did He reward their faith when so many others were martyred?  I believe it has to do with their deliverance becoming a testimony against Nebuchadnezzar.  That man was given many opportunities to repent and become a better man.  He was given sign after sign by God through Daniel and the others, but despite proclaiming that their God was the greatest, he never repented nor did he change his ways at all.  He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. 

We are not much different really.  We keep getting chance after chance to change our ways and become better men and women, but we generally don't take them.  Or if we do, they are not a permanent change.  We might change our ways for a little while, after the initial awe and wonder of what we experienced, most of us then revert back to our old habits and ways.  This is why God does not try and convert with signs.  A sign does not change hearts and does not make us different men and women.  Rather the change must start with our own desire, then after we have become converted, then we will receive signs if desired.  That is the natural order of things for true conversion.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Daniel Interprets Dreams

Today I read Daniel 2 where the Lord shows Daniel King Nebuchadnezzar's dream and the interpretation.  It is really interesting to me that in the days before Jesus came people put such great stock in dreams.  Perhaps it is this very reason that God used them to communicate with mankind at that time.  These days we really don't put much stock in our dreams and I can see how a dream sent from Heavenly Father might be passed off as nothing more than a dream.  It makes me wonder if dreams sent from God are clear and easily discerned as coming from Him?  We don't hear many stories of Latter-day Prophets or Saints getting communications from God this way.  Perhaps the Saints keep such visions sacred as we all should, or if God just communicates in different ways to us?  We'll know some day, that's for sure.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Daniel Eats Healthy

Today I read Daniel 1 where the king of Persia, Nebuchadnezzar, attacks Israel and carries off captive Daniel and his friends.  They are brought to the palace of the king and Nebuchadnezzar orders then to have a portion of his meat and his wine for 3 years.  Daniel asks to have foods other than meat and to not have wine.  He works out a deal with the chief eunuch of the palace to let them have the food Daniel requested for 10 days and then to see if they were healthier than the other children, which of course they were.

This story is, rightly so, considered to be a story about following the Word of Wisdom.  Daniel desire to eat his meat sparingly and to eat the foods that God has said is good for man.  Heavenly Father has taught us that we should eat meat sparingly and that we should eat grains, vegetables and fruits rather than indulge in fatty foods.  Heavenly Father has promised us in this age that if we eat the right foods we will have stores of wisdom and health.  This is proved with Daniel and his friends.  When we eat healthy, our bodies react appropriately.  Our minds are clear, we think faster and easier.  We can  have more energy, etc.  We should take Daniel's story as a success story and follow in his footsteps.

I remember when the Atkins diet first gained in popularity.  I was 22 years old and living with some friends out in Fresno, California.  The mother, father and daughter all decided to try this diet.  After a few days they quit it stating that they were not feeling very healthy or happy on it.  They also cited Daniel and how this diet is exactly the kind of diet he avoided.  And they were right.  Eating nothing but meat and no vegetables is not a good thing.  We can each of us have a testimony of this on our own if we desire.  All we have to do is try it out on our own and see the difference for ourselves.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Dead Sea Will Be Healed

Today I read Ezekiel 45 - 48 where the Lord continues to show Ezekiel His plans for the Israelites.  These chapters include lands to be portioned out to the various tribes as well as the ordinances of the temple.  All very important.  The cool part of this section though, is chapter 47 where Ezekiel is shown that the Dead Sea will be healed.  This prophecy has always intrigued me.  Why heal the Dead Sea at all?  It is a wonderful way to prove you are God and to have a prophecy fulfilled for sure, but is there another reason?  There are times that the Lord will do things to prove who He is, His conversation with Moses on Mount Sinai comes to mind, but most of the time, He has a purpose when He performs miracles like this.  It's very cool to think about honestly, but I don't know why it will happen.  I'm sure I will find out some day.  Tomorrow we start the book of Daniel and new ground for me.  I have never read beyond the book of Ezekiel before.  I have read the book of Jonah and Malachi, but that is all.  I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Old Testament.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ezekiel Shown the Measurements of the Temple

Today I read Ezekiel 40 - 44 where the Lord shows Ezekiel the future temple in New Jerusalem and the ordinances to be performed there.  I read all of these chapters together as most of them are measurements of the temple, which will be extremely valuable when it comes time to build it.  The people given the task of building it will know exactly how big to make it and how big to make each room, each arch way, etc.  It contains no doctrine that I can find but is of immeasurable worth to those who will need to build the temple.  It is a very good thing we have it.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Aftermath of the Battle of Gog and Magog

Today I read Ezekiel 39 where the Lord continues His prophecy against Gog and Magog.  This is the chapter that states after the battle that Israel will spend 7 months burying all the dead people.  I can't even fathom that.  I mean spending 6 days a week, 8 hours a day most likely, dozens if not hundreds of people helping, that is a staggering amount of dead people!  I mean it's not exactly a task you would put on the back burner and be lackadaisical about. 

And then the other half of this prophecy is that the Israelites will burn the weapons of war for 7 years!  Now, before today, even though I have read this chapter before, I had assumed that there was going to be a great big bon fire that everyone would toss the weapons onto and watch them burn and there would be so many weapons that it would take 7 years to burn up all the weapons.  However, after today's reading I now think that the Israelites will use the weapons of war as fuel for their fires instead of trees.  The Lord says that they will burn up the bows and bucklers and will not cut down any trees for seven years.  This makes a lot more sense than my original idea of it taking seven years to burn all the weapons.  It still doesn't make much sense to me though, if this is the battle before the Second Coming, why are they using wooden weapons?  Why would they not be using guns and explosives?  I'm sure it will all make sense in the end.  I personally try to focus more on the doctrine than on prophecies like this.  The doctrine is far more useful to me now and as long as I am clean and living the commandments, I will be just fine when the Lord comes again.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Battle of Gog and Magog

Today I read Ezekiel 38 where the Lord shows Ezekiel a vision of the battle of Gog and Magog.  Most people are fascinated with this battle because it will usher in the Second Coming of the Lord.  I read somewhere that Gog and Magog are where Iraq and Iran now are, although I have no idea how anyone would know that.  Perhaps Joseph Smith saw it in a vision or a revelation, I really don't know.  What I do know though is that no one will be able to miss this battle and so all the naysayers and people talking about the rapture coming don't understand the Bible and its prophecies.  But the Bible tells us of this too, it tells us not to believe people who say Christ is in the desert of "lo here" or "lo there".  No one knows the hour of the Second Coming except God.  Anyone who isn't the prophet of the Lord and tells you otherwise is mistaken.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ezekiel Shown the Book of Mormon Would Come Forth

Today I read Ezekiel 37 where the Lord takes Ezekiel and gives him a vision.  It's a rather strange vision of a field of bones that the Lord tells him to prophesy will get skin and flesh.  The 2nd half of the chapter is very familiar to most Latter-day Saints who went to seminary.  It is a scripture mastery where the Lord tells Ezekiel that He will have two books of scripture and they will be used as one.  I'm not sure what the rest of the world thinks of this scripture, but Latter-day Saints believe that this is a prophecy about the Book of Mormon and the Bible being used together. 

It's not secret that I love the Book of Mormon.  From a doctrinal perspective, there is no comparison to the Book of Mormon.  It is clear, no way to misunderstand it, and it is so easy to feel the Spirit while reading it.  If I could convince every Christian to read it I would in a heartbeat.  It would make the world such a better place.  Even if those who read it did not become a Latter-day Saint, there is no way you can read this book with real intent and not be changed by it. 

Of course there are other ways to grow closer to Heavenly Father and understand His doctrine, but none are more effective than reading the Book of Mormon.  I've had more spiritual experiences reading the Book of Mormon, than with anything else I have ever done in my life.  I can't say enough good things about it.  I'm glad that Ezekiel got to know it was coming and I'm sure he was filled with joy and happiness to know that it would come forth one day and spread the good news of the Gospel to all the earth!  I sure would have been!  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Israelites are Very Concerned with Where They Live

Today I read Ezekiel 36 where the Lord talks about Israel being restored to their lands.  This is a very popular topic in the Old Testament I have found.  The Israelite culture seems very concerned with land and inheritances.  Different cultures have different values I suppose.  To me it does not matter where I live so long as I have my family with me, but to other people, it is important where they live.  They don't feel they are home unless they are on the land of their ancestors.  And it's not just the Israelites who feel this way, other cultures around the world are very concerned with their ancestral lands too.  It would be interesting to see if perhaps those other cultures that are so concerned with land and inheritance have some of the ten tribes in them.  I suppose it's another one of those things I'll find out one day.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Lord Gives Extra Chances

Today I read Ezekiel 35 where the Lord explains to other nations how He will destroy them because of how they have treated Israel, His chosen people.  I definitely understand this mentality.  It's much the same as when I am talking to my 3 year old calmly explaining why she is being punished, how she made her own choices and had the opportunity to change what she was doing.  She does not always make wise choices, nor does she change the behavior when told to.  Adults are no different and will often continue to make wrong choices even when told exactly what to change.  Just like I love my daughter and will give her chance after chance, the Lord will give the His people more chances than justice requires because He loves them.  It's nice to know for when we make mistakes, but some days I wish He was a little less merciful with the wicked.  I guess I should be grateful He loves them enough to let them change.  Until tomorrow.