Personal Online Journal

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Challenge to Become

In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something. (Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become" Oct 2000)

I have a good friend that has become agnostic. One of the teachings of my church that keeps me here is the teaching of becoming. Becoming more like my Father in Heaven. I believe that I can overcome the mortal in me through Jesus Christ, his son. I can repent of my sins and be forgiven. I can be more. Evolve, if you will. To be like God. To obtain and retain the attributes of Jesus.

I have to say that my conversations with my agnostic friend are engaging. There is nothing that is off the table. Whether God exists. The unseen parts of the world.

I choose to believe because of the good I have seen in the scriptures and those who have become more like God by following them and the living prophets.

Are there mistakes in organized religion? Yes. More than mistakes. War and other disaster. I see these results as the twisting of pure religion, undefiled.

I have seen evidence of twisting in my own religion. There remains in it the authority of God. This authority allows us to covenant with God. A promise from those authorized to act in the name of God. These covenants help us to work towards sanctification.

This life is as a dark glass. We are not meant to know all things with surety. But we know enough. To recognize and follow the truth as we are presented with it. As we do, the light will grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Balanced Life

This passage keeps coming back to me from King Benjamin's final sermon.
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. (Mosiah 4:27)
And this quote from "Have No Regrets" Richard G. Scott. CES Fireside, September 1999.
Have you noticed that when you have determined to accomplish a very important task, many other good ideas for other things to do seem to come to your mind? If they are allowed to interfere, they will distract you from the more important objective. I have found help by writing down those thoughts as they come, promising myself that as soon as I finish the important task, I will attend to them in priority. That practice helps me stay focused on those matters which are essential. 
I believe there are times in your life when, because of your righteousness and your determination to do what is right, Satan will not be able to deflect you into serious transgression. He will switch then to the strategy of placing before you a banquet of good and worthwhile things to do, meant to distract you from those that are the most important and essential to accomplish in your life. 
Fortunately, as you pray for guidance, the Holy Ghost will help you identify those matters that are vital and necessary to accomplish above others. That means that at times you may have to set aside things that would be worthwhile and enjoyable to pursue--for those that are most vitally important for that period of your life.
A balanced life is where I am in between doing too little good and trying to do more than I have strength. Diligence is the key and not being distracted by lesser goods.

Friday, October 11, 2013

All My Strength

His father watched for a while, then came to his son and said, “You need to use all your strength to move a rock this large.”
The boy responded, “I have used all my strength!”
His father corrected him: “No you haven’t. You haven’t had my help yet!”
They then bent down together and moved the rock easily. 
("Drawing Closer to God" Elder Terence M. Vinson, Oct 2013)
This quote from Conference reminds me that all my strength includes those around me that willingly offer their strength to me in doing good. I can call on them and they will happily give their effort and heart and soul to my cause. And me to them.

Maybe this is what the Savior was referring to when he said, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matt 17:21) We must draw our will to His through prayer and fasting. Tap into power beyond our our own. Then we can cast out the demons in our lives.

It also means that we take the following kind of oath.
Art thou a brother or brethren? I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless, in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen. (D&C 88:133)

The Law of Chastity Is Not Changing

The Law of Chastity Is Not Changing. Jeffrey Thayne. Oct 2013

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Responding to Heresy and Apostasy

A great post on Responding to Heresy and Apostasy.  I think it perfectly captures what I think the spirit of President Uchtdorf's Saturday address.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I am a Mormon and I have questions

I am a Mormon and I have questions

I posted this article on Facebook and it generated a dynamic of comments among some of my friends that caused me to write this.

The fact that there will always be people that are willing to share their doubts publicly is a genie that is out of his box and cannot be put back in. We are responsible as parents and stewards of others to arm them with the ability to navigate the Internet age where the imagination of nearly every heart is public.

I have questions but that does not mean I share them with anyone. Why pull up the vegetable plants just to see if the roots are growing well? Some investigations can be destructive. We live in this life looking through a glass darkly 1. We do not know things with complete certainty.

Except there are whisperings of the Spirit of God that reaches beyond reason and facts. We must use all tools available to us including facts and reason. There is the ineffable though that whispers to my soul of the Good I see and have experienced. I hope to teach that to my children.