Personal Online Journal

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Come Unto Christ

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. (Moroni 10:32)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Indianapolis Interfaith Fireside with Stephen Webb and Alonzo Gaskill

I love interfaith connections I wish I could have been there.

Indianapolis Interfaith Fireside with Stephen Webb and Alonzo Gaskill

Most Typically, Revelations are Conclusions and not Explanations

From a FB Post by David A. Bednar
We should remember that most typically revelations are “conclusions” and not “explanations.” When we receive revelation for ourselves, we discover what God would have us do. He rarely provides a reason for why we should do what was revealed. Rather, He trusts us to be obedient to the revelation He has given us.
I also like this from Henry B. Eyring
You can pray to know His will, and with the honest desire to do whatever He asks you to do, you will receive an answer. ("You Are Not Alone in the Work", Henry B. Eyring, Oct 2015) 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What is the "Rest of the Lord"?

The Guide to the Scriptures says,
The enjoyment of peace and freedom from worry and turmoil. The Lord has promised such rest to his faithful followers during this life. He has also prepared a place of rest for them in the next life.

Of the rest of the Lord, President Joseph F. Smith said,

To my mind, it means entering into the knowledge and love of God, having faith in his purpose and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we are right, and that we are not hunting for something else, we are not disturbed by every wind of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who lie in wait to deceive. We know of the doctrine that it is of God, and we do not ask any questions of anybody about it; they are welcome to their opinions, to their ideas and to their vagaries. The man who has reached that degree of faith in God that all doubt and fear have been cast from him, he has entered into ‘God’s rest’ (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 56, Quoted in "Rest unto Your Souls", Per G. Malm, Oct 2010).
Joseph Smith said
Let us here observe, that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, the idea that He actually exists.  
Secondly, a correct idea of His character, perfections, and attributes.  
Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to His will. 
(Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, 3:2-5)
I can know that I am living a life that is according to God's will without having a knowledge God does exist. I can believe in God. I can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. I can align my life with morals, with ethics. I can live with integrity to my word, my covenants.

None of this requires me knowing that God lives. I can believe. I can step out in faith. I can have the rest of the Lord as I remain inside integrity.

The paradox is that for me to live a life I love, and to live it powerfully, I will want more than I am. I want possibilities outside of my realm of reality. I want my integrity to be bigger. As I create my possibilities, I create breakdowns between my word and my reality. I am outside of integrity.

This is good news. It means there is an opportunity for growth. My reality grows to meet my new word. To be inside of a bigger integrity.

The key is to get really, really good at restoring integrity. Be open, be brave, be in action, be at peace.

Be in the Lord's rest.

I Choose to Believe Because I Choose to Believe

What works for me is to be clear on what I know for sure and what I believe.

What I know for sure has gotten smaller and I have become more at peace with being uncertain. Uncertainty is another side of faith.

With everything cleared away, after considering everything, I choose to believe in the restored gospel. I choose to believe because I choose to believe. I choose it of my own free will and choice.

I claim this privilege and allow all men the same privilege, be they Mormon, theist or atheist.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Remembering in the Way God Intends

What is God's intention?, "actually engage in the battle itself". Be on the court of my life and out of the stands.

Here is the scripture I picked for this week to ponderize.

Helaman 5:6
Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.

engage in the battle itself

("Remember and Perish Not", Marlin K. Jensen, Apr 2007)

Monday, October 05, 2015

I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

Of all my experience of the General Conference this fall, the singing of "How Firm a Foundation" touched me deepest. President Uchtdorf announced that we were going to sing verses 1, 2, 3 and 7. I was curious as to why to include the 7th. As I sang the last lines of that verse, I broke down. I heard the promise that God will not forsake me, never, never no never!

1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

2. In ev'ry condition--in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea--
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Daring Greatly

Unholy Addiction is an episode of  This Is Life with Lisa Ling.
It's a community many might not associate with addiction - the Mormon Church. For years the Mormon Church has struggled to help those who are addicted to painkillers and other drugs.

What stood out to me was the factor that secrecy played in creating the addictions. I am also present to the trap we can fall into by surrendering to what the word addiction might be creating in us. Dallin Oaks recently wrote that:
It is helpful to focus on four different levels of involvement with pornography: (1) inadvertent exposure, (2) occasional use, (3) intensive use, and (4) compulsive use (addiction).

Being willing to be vulnerable means being willing to give up our masks, the ones we picked up earlier in life. It is a paradox to think that being vulnerable will give us strength. I believe it to be true. Being vulnerable to my wife means being willing to be honest with her. When I feel weak. When I lose faith. When I want to push her away. I can tell her so I don't put up barriers so we can be as one. Brene Brown is giving me insight into vulnerability and its bane, shame. I am learning to be shame resilient.

I have also been learning how embracing paradoxes can make breakthroughs available to me. Falling to Heaven is teaching me to make my load light by taking on me the yoke of the Savior Jesus Christ. That if I am to find my life, I am to lose it in the service of God.

Life is good. My marriage is growing vibrantly, I am planting the seeds of transformation in my career. Bring it on.