Richard Alger

Personal Online Journal

Monday, January 09, 2017

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Because of Him

Because of Him, healing of broken hearts is possible. He is the light where no other light can shine. He is Hope. He is Love. He came as a helpless child. Approachable by every class. He knows your darkest moments. He has felt the deepest, longest pains. Of every soul that has ever or will ever live.

He took it all on. We accepted it as if he had committed every sin. He bore every burden.

He died. And raised himself up again. Because of him, I will live again. And so will you. And every soul who has ever been born.

Because of him, he has sent angels and prophets and neighbors and friends to tell you. Yes you reading this now. To tell you that there is hope. That all can be healed.

You can choose to believe.

Because of him, prophets are on earth today. Scripture is revealed anew.

Because of him, you are hearing the message of hope, the good news. What will you do with it?  Will you turn to Him? Will you give away all your sins. Will you forgive?

Notice how you feel. If the light is not brighter in you. If your mind is not clearer. Accept the light, the warmth. Choose to turn to God and live.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Born to Give Me Second Birth

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, second verse

1. Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th'angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!

2. Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Ris'n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Pliant and Flexible versus Stubborn and Unyielding

A dream of Lucy Mack Smith in her own words
I thought that I stood in a large and beautiful meadow, which lay a short distance from the house in which we lived, and that everything around me wore an aspect of peculiar pleasantness. The first thing that attracted my special attention in this magnificent meadow, was a very pure and clear stream of water, which ran through the midst of it; and as I traced this stream, I discovered two trees standing upon its margin, both of which were on the same side of the stream. These trees were very beautiful, they were well proportioned, and towered with majesty beauty to a great height. Their branches, which added to their symmetry and glory, commenced near the top, and spread themselves in luxurious grandeur around. I gazed upon them with wonder and admiration; and after beholding them a short time, I saw one of them was surrounded with a bright belt, that shone like burnished gold, but far more brilliantly. Presently, a gentle breeze passed by, and the tree encircled with this golden zone, bent gracefully before the wind, and waved its beautiful branches in the light air. As the wind increased, this tree assumed the most lively and animated appearance, and seemed to express in its motions, the utmost joy and happiness. If it had been an intelligent creature, it could not have conveyed, by the power of language, the idea of joy and gratitude so perfectly as it did; and even the stream that rolled beneath it, shared, apparently, every sensation felt by the tree, for, as the branches danced over the stream, it would swell gently, then recede again with a motion as soft as the breathing of an infant, but as lively as the dancing of a sunbeam. The belt also partook of the same influence, and as it moved in unison with the motion of the stream and of the tree, it increased continually in refulgence and magnitude, until it became exceedingly glorious.  
I turned my eyes upon its fellow, which stood opposite; but it was not surrounded with the belt of light as the former, and it stood erect and fixed as a pillar of marble. No matter how strong the wind blew over it, not a leaf was stirred, not a bough was bent; but obstinately stiff it stood, scorning alike the zephyr's breath, or the power of the mighty storm.  
I wondered at what I saw, and said in my heart, What can be the meaning of all this? And the interpretation given me was,that these personated my husband and his oldest brother, Jesse Smith; that the stubborn and unyielding tree was like Jesse; that the other, more pliant and flexible, was like Joseph, my husband; that the breath of heaven, which passed over them, was the pure and undefiled gospel of the Son of God, which gospel Jesse would always resist, but which Joseph, when he was more advanced in life would hear and receive with his whole heart, and rejoice therein; and unto him would be added intelligence, happiness, glory, and everlasting life.
(Smith, Lucy. Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations (1912) (Kindle Locations 621-641). Kindle Edition.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

O How Great the Plan of Our God!

"My beloved brothers and sisters, my dear friends, does it not fill our hearts and minds with wonder and awe to contemplate the great plan of happiness our Heavenly Father has prepared for us?" ("O How Great the Plan of Our God!", Dieter F. Uctdorf, Oct 2016)

Monday, November 14, 2016

I Choose to Believe

Following is a post I wrote in a FB Group for my LDS Mission in Australia.

I have not read everyone's story about their experience with the church. Here is mine.

I have always loved church. I do not remember a time in my youth that I did not know it was true. My biggest difficulty is choosing to believe that I could be true to the church. That I choose to believe that Jesus can do in my life what I believe he can do in the life of everyone else.

There was a period several years ago when I looked more closely at history and doctrine of the church that had become much more readily available because of the Internet. I had a ward member choose to leave the church. I did not understand why. I had several, long phone conversations with him. Here is more from that experience.

After spending some time looking inside and considering what I want I came to this. This life had not given me many concrete, completely proven truths. I believe is it designed to be that way. I think we are given opportunities to believe or not to.

I believe that we get what we truly want. If we want rich, close relationships with family and friends we get that. If we choose fear and anxiety it comes along as well. Now I get that there are exceptions to this. Chemical imbalances in our brains. Struggles that we did not seem to choose to take on.

I choose to believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I choose to believe. I want the truths that they teach to be true. I choose to live as if they are. I have felt many, many times how my life is blessed by living by the principles taught at church.

I recognize that there are imperfect people at the founding of the church up to the present time. In high and in local callings. I am one of those imperfect ones.

I love the church. I love the family and friend connections I have because of my association in it. I believe that the church is still undergoing a restoration. That the most bitter branches are being cut off to make room for the sweet fruit. I want to be a part of that process.

I loved the talk Elder Ballard gave earlier this year. I hope it will help many young people navigate their own spiritual journeys safely.

I look forward to hearing how y'all are doing.

I've Got my Mind Set on You

What would be possible if everyone worked for "the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold... Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God"?
(D&C 82:15-20)

What Our Priesthood Keys Can and Cannot Do

Ultimately, all keys of the priesthood are held by the Lord Jesus Christ, whose priesthood it is. He is the one who determines what keys are delegated to mortals and how those keys will be used. We are accustomed to thinking that all keys of the priesthood were conferred on Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple, but the scripture states that all that was conferred there were “the keys of this dispensation” (D&C 110:16). At general conference many years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball reminded us that there are other priesthood keys that have not been given to man on the earth, including the keys of creation and resurrection. 
The divine nature of the limitations put upon the exercise of priesthood keys explains an essential contrast between decisions on matters of Church administration and decisions affecting the priesthood. The First Presidency and the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who preside over the Church, are empowered to make many decisions affecting Church policies and procedures—matters such as the location of Church buildings and the ages for missionary service. But even though these presiding authorities hold and exercise all of the keys delegated to men in this dispensation, they are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.
("The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood", Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apr 2014)
See also "Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women", Gospel Topic Essays