Tag Archives: scriptures

Influenced By the Holy Scriptures

A young couple talked in Sacrament Meeting at church today about the 8th Article of Faith:

“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

She talked about the Bible, how we got it, and why it is important.  She mentioned a quote by one of the General Authorities saying that the Bible is a miracle, and is a great blessing not only to us but that many people have learned from it and improved their lives.  They have led very good lives as they did their best to follow the teachings found in it.  She also pointed out that though we learn about Jesus from all our scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price), it is from the Bible that we learn about Jesus’ mortal life here on the earth, the things He taught, the things He did, etc.

He first brought up the Eskimos.  He said they have many words for “snow”.  There’s snow you use for water, snow you use for building igloos, snow you don’t walk on, and so forth.  Then he said that he thinks of the phrase “search the scriptures” in a similar fashion.  There are many ways to search the scriptures:

  • Memorize – he doesn’t always have time to ponder the scriptures as he is reading them, but has found that when he memorizes a scripture it can pop into his mind later and he has time to dwell on it and think about it.
  • Read – as he reads the scriptures through he sees the storylines unfold.  He read in the Book of Mormon about Alma, and the sons of Mosiah, etc.  He reached Alma 31 where all these great men decided to serve a mission together to teach the gospel to the Lamanites, their enemies.  He was very excited and wanted to continue reading to see what they would teach, etc.  He said it is the ultimate dream!  I totally agreed with him.  I, too, love to share this greatest gift of the gospel whenever I can.  I loved serving a mission when I was a young adult!
  • Study by topic – when he studied about the sacrament, he read in the Bible about where Jesus introduced the sacrament to His disciples, the Last Supper.  Jesus told His disciples to remember, every time that they partook of the sacrament, that He is always with them.
  • Chapter Headings – He said you can read just the chapter headings as they give a pretty good overview of the chapter.  Then you can delve further into the chapter if you find one of particular interest.
  • Watch for parables – he loves to find the parables, or stories, in what he is studying.  Then later he might find another scripture that helps explain a parable even more.  He read in the Bible the story of the judge and the woman who wanted something from him and kept asking and asking until she finally received it.  He didn’t think too much about it, but later when he read where Jesus asked, “What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, wilt he give him a stone?…If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:9, 11) and thought about how great God is and what great gifts He gives to those who ask.
  • Write the stories – writing down the stories and things you learn from the scriptures helps them stick with you better and can help you understand them more.  You can pick up similarities in them, and inspiration can come.
  • Inspiration – sometimes a scripture really hits you when you read it.  It can come to your mind often to help you in your life.  Proverbs 3:5-6 did this for him.  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
  • Use the dictionary – you find additional insights and meaning as you look up words in the dictionary.  For instance, redeem also means take something bad and make it good again.  This is a great example of what Jesus does for us as The Redeemer.

It was a very inspirational meeting, and an excellent example of why I go to church every Sunday.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings so much additional light into my life.  I love the scriptures and learning more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Many of the examples given today are things I have felt in my own life.  Hearing about them again reminds me of my own testimony-building experiences and helps me draw closer to God, and to others.

Is it any wonder that Mormons go to church every week?


Dealing With Stress In Whatever Form

Yesterday I mentioned being reminded that fasting and prayer are excellent sources of strength when you are feeling stressed out.  This brings additional help and guidance from Heavenly Father, additional spiritual power and blessings!

There was also a powerful scripture that was used in Primary on Sunday.

Alma 7:11-12, “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
When you think about it, this covers a lot of areas!  Jesus suffered all things, so He knows what we are going through.  He suffered not only for the sins of all mankind (and womankind 🙂 ) but also for all our pain and sorrows.  He does know how we feel.  And He knows how to comfort and help us.
For Him to do that all we have to do is turn to Him.  Ask Heavenly Father for help.  Explain what is going on, how we feel, and ask for His help.  He will send His Spirit to comfort us and to enlighten us to see the path we should follow.  He sorrows when we are sorrowful.  He longs to bless and lift us.  He has given us so many blessings.  Thinking of them, counting our blessings, will also ease our burden and help us through life.
If we have done something wrong (sinned) we repent.  Confess them and forsake them.  Try to do better.  Treat others as we should.  Believe in God and Jesus Christ.  Do what is right.
Pray for guidance to handle whatever is stressing us at the moment.  There is light at the end of the tunnel. 
And, as the scriptures say, “It came to pass”, not “it came to stay”.  This too shall pass.  We can be happy again!  🙂

25 Days of Christ – Day 12

Christ came to live on the earth to show us how to live.  His life and teachings are recorded in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.  The Old Testament records God’s dealings with the people long ago.  Have you ever wondered if He didn’t teach others also?  Could He be God and have only given us that much information to go on?

These are great questions!  And, as you may now realize, God is our loving Father in Heaven.  In fact, that is the name He asks us to call Him by – Father.

Imagine for a moment that a family is getting ready to send their child off to college.  What happens?  They prepare their child for the journey, ensuring accommodations are acquired, necessities packed, directions given, and big hugs exchanged before he leaves.  Is that all?

Would the family simply wait for their child to return, feeling they had done everything necessary to assure his success?  Would they simply “hope for the best” for him, never reaching out to him to see how he is doing?

Not likely!  And, as Christ says in Matthew 7:9-11: “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

What does this tell you about your Father in Heaven?  Obviously He carefully prepared us, His children, for our journey into mortality.  He planned it so that every child is given a father and a mother, a family.  He sent us with His Godly characteristics and attributes.  He provided scriptures to give us rules and direction in our lives.  Is that all He did?  Did He then sit back and “hope for the best”?

No.  From the beginning Father in Heaven set up a plan to bless every one of His children.  He taught the gospel, including His Plan of Happiness, to them from the beginning.  “And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.  And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.”  Moses 5:4-5.

Heavenly Father knew that we would not always obey the rules, that we would be selfish, make poor choices and suffer the consequences, that we would even stop believing in Him.  So His plan included sending prophets to His children, prophets who would follow Christ, receive His teachings, and share them with the people.  The prophets wrote the words they received, such as what is in the Bible.

Heavenly Father also sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live on the earth and give His children the perfect example of how to live.  But Christ was not just sent to the Jews.  “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”  John 10:16.  Who were these other sheep?

In the Book of Mormon we read the beautiful story of Christ visiting the people on the American Continent after His resurrection.  3 Nephi 15:21 records His words to them, “And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

And in 3 Nephi 16:1 He further explains, “And verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister.”  Heavenly Father does not forget about His children!  He seeks to bless every one of them.  He sent His Son to visit many of them.  And He does not stop speaking to man.

Today He continues to guide His children through a prophet.  We also have Christ’s teachings in modern-day in the Doctrine and Covenants.  And we hear from the prophet and the 12 apostles regularly as they lead and guide Christ’s church on the earth today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our loving Father continues to care about and bless His children, seeking to help us as we journey through life and work our way back home to Him.  🙂

25 Days of Christ – Day 4

So, if death is the end of life, why does it matter whether we grow and progress in life or not?

Of course, as we have reviewed in our 24 Days of Christ, birth was not the beginning of life!  So why would death be the end?

Again Christ is our example.  He came to earth to show us the way to live, then died on the cross.  But on the 3rd day he rose from the dead!

Mark 16:1, 5-6 explains, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him….And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.  And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”

And later when Jesus showed himself to his apostles, He said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39.

“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”  Acts 4:33.

Rather than death being the end, it is but a door we pass through to continue to progress throughout the eternities.  And the spirit and the body will be reunited, never to be separated again.

The scriptures testify of the resurrection:

  • “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.  And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves” Ezekiel 37:12-13.
  • “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction” Hosea 13:14.
  • “We shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” Romans 6:5.
  • “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life” John 11:25.
  • “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22.

What a wonderful message!  What great joy!  Christ was resurrected and He lives.  And we will all have the same blessing!

Reading My Father’s Scriptures

I picked up my father’s scriptures and gently thumbed through the pages.  He is gone and I saw them sitting on the shelf.

There was his name in faded, gold, capital letters on both books.  One, the Bible, King James version (my favorite too).  The other, the triple combination of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.  Together these are the scriptures I have learned since my youth, studied as I grew, and loved all my life.

There are some bookmarks in them.  A card with the Old Testament chronology on it, several small pink slips of paper with scriptures and page numbers written on them in green or red ink – 3 Nephi 18:19-20 443, D&C 1:30 pg 3, D&C 88:14, 15, 16 166, and Moses 3:17 [no page number] – and a white slip, Moroni 10:32 531.

I notice a couple small paper clips on select pages, one holds a slip of paper with the generations from Adam to “Methusela oldest man” written in pencil for a lesson he taught sometime in his life.

Searching a little further I see scripture passages underlined, often in red, sometimes in green [funny, I use red, and blue 🙂 ], and sections where there is a red X at the beginning of a passage and then a / at the end, i.e. D&C 9:3-14 “Be patient, my son, for it is wisdom in me…you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”

As I see the little markings throughout the scriptures, I can almost picture him studying a lesson that he will be teaching, marking a passage he heard in a class, or underlining a verse that touched his soul as he studied the scriptures on his own or with my mother.  It warms my heart to read these passages and feel the love and power of God come through to me also as I read them once more, this time realizing that they had special meaning to my father.

I find myself pondering not only on these things that were obviously important to my father, but contemplating also other things that were important to him as evidenced by the way things were left when he passed away, particularly in the garage where things were cleaned off (though now a bit dusty) before being put into the section where they belonged, painting, gardening, electrical, hand tools, power tools, the old radio we always stored in the basement, etc.

And I can’t help but wonder if everything was exactly as he wanted it, or if, like me, some things are simply where they were put down “for now”.  What will people think they know about me by the state of my possessions when I pass on?

Think I’ll go through some of them right now…