Personal Online Journal

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To be Healed

Just before the Savior appeared to Lehites of ancient America, he spoke from the heavens. There had been destruction because the people as a whole had rejected Him. They had cast out the righteous from among them. They had destroyed their government with their organized crime. Those who had not been killed listened to the voice of the Lord. This passage stood out to me.
O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? 3 Nephi 9:13
I have been spared many times in my life. I continue to remain in this life. I have a chance today to more perfectly live my life according to the joy the Lord has.

This verse reminds me that I can never be worthy before the Lord on my own. I need His mercy. He immediately grants it to me as I do my best to follow Him. As I return to Him, repent of my sins, and as I am converted I am healed by Him.

I have felt His sweet healing. I need it again today and each day. He is as close as our hearts are willing. My we turn our hearts and be healed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"conformity the day the Red Sea opened"

Our bishop chose the message from A Prayer for the Children by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland for our fifth Sunday lesson in August.
Parents simply cannot flirt with skepticism or cynicism, then be surprised when their children expand that flirtation into full-blown romance. If in matters of faith and belief children are at risk of being swept downstream by this intellectual current or that cultural rapid, we as their parents must be more certain than ever to hold to anchored, unmistakable moorings clearly recognizable to those of our own household. It won’t help anyone if we go over the edge with them, explaining through the roar of the falls all the way down that we really did know the Church was true and that the keys of the priesthood really were lodged there but we just didn’t want to stifle anyone’s freedom to think otherwise. No, we can hardly expect the children to get to shore safely if the parents don’t seem to know where to anchor their own boat. Isaiah once used a variation on such imagery when he said of unbelievers, “[Their] tacklings are loosed; they could not . . . strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail.” Isaiah 33:23
Nephi-like, might we ask ourselves what our children know? From us? Personally? Do our children know that we love the scriptures? Do they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life? Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer? Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love? Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more than an obligatory first-Sunday-of-the-month hardship? Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create? Do those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face—and fall at the feet—of His Only Begotten Son? I pray that they know this.
This talk reminds me of a story my dad often told me. His grandma lived next door to him as a teenager. One day as he was visiting with her she asked him if he had a testimony. He responded in a somewhat affirmative. She said to him that until he had a testimony of his very own. She wanted him to know that she knew.

I am beginning to carry this tradition on to my children. There are many things I do not know. At the root of it all, I know my parents love me. They have been good examples of what a disciple of Jesus is. Because of their model, I wanted to know for myself. I know that as I have practiced the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have overflowed with happiness. My mind is clear. I am confident in all my doings. In short I have come to know as I know day from night that God lives (Mor 7:15). Jesus is His Son and my personal Savior. Joseph Smith was his prophet. Thomas S. Monson is his prophet today.

My knowledge comes from doing His will (John 7:17). Trying the word He has given me. The fruits of exercising my faith have been the proof. I hope to live my testimony by being increasingly constant in following the promptings I seek from Him.

Elder Holland related, "Elder Neal Maxwell once said to me in a hallway conversation, 'There didn’t seem to be any problem with conformity the day the Red Sea opened.' " I hope to by humble and reduce my need to be humbled as Israel was. To lead my children to the source so they need not look elsewhere for their thirst.