Personal Online Journal

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"I am able to make you holy"

I discovered "I am able to make you holy" (D&C 60:7) on one of the pages before The Holy Secret starts. My wife and I are looking forward to reading it together. We loved The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes. It changed my perception of some of the choices I make.

Christ truly is mighty to save.

Studied and Taught

"Studied and taught" stood out to me as I listened to Mosiah recently. Abinadi used it to describe the focus of the wicked priests and King Noah on iniquity.
And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives. (Mosiah 13:11)

I teach my children more by what I do than what I say. Last Sunday our High Councilor told a story. He was doing yard work in his back yard with his little son. He wanted to turn on his sprinkler but the switch for it was on the other side of the lawn. He explained carefully to his son to stay by the house and he would be right back. That way his son would not get wet. Even though he was sure his son understood him, he followed his dad to the sprinkler switch.

Sometimes our kids may not fully understand the consequences when we instruct them with words. Or perhaps our kids love us so much, they want to be with us so they follow. To be sure little children and older and adult children easily see an example. When dad loses his temper while getting the kids ready for church, what is the lesson most impressed on their mind that day? Or perhaps dad has a good day. In spite of the chaos he feels while eating dinner and conducting scripture study, he keeps his cool. He appropriately disciplines his children in a way they feel respected.

He goes the whole evening
governing by kindness and never by force,
All cheering and bright, like the sun in its course;
Obedience will spring from each child with a bound,
And brotherhood flourish the household around

That was a little poetry. We have watched Disney's Movie Enchanted twice so far this week. My wife enchanted me long ago towards happy musicals. "That's How You Know" is a great example of a fun musical number we love. My wife is rubbing off on me.

I can replace taught in the scripture with practiced. If I go my whole life incrementally improving. If I persist in doing good. Be determined in changing my nature by partnering with my Master. My nature will be changed. My hope that I can live the gospel of Jesus Christ will increase. I am gradually gaining "an actual knowledge that the course of life which [I am] pursuing, is according to [God's] will" (Lectures of Faith 3:2-3). I can become a "man who receiveth salvation"

There is a calculus that occurs in my life whether I want it to or not. I eventually get what I want. The trick is to choose that which will bring lasting happiness instead of only immediate pleasure. If I keep practicing good and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I will prevail. He is mighty to save. He has said, "I am able to make you holy" (D&C 60:7) *

Update Feb 2015
This passage brought the lesson of this post back to my mind.
Matt 7:22-23 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
It does not matter what works I do in the name of the Lord if I am studying, teaching, practicing and working iniquity. The spirit will guide me in knowing what that is. I should focus on listening to those whisperings with the intention of following it. Even if it is a stretch for me to do it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My best effort to that which is most important

This idea keeps coming back to me. I am filled with inspiration, energy and talent when I put my best effort towards that which is most important. This is the essence of seeking the Lord early Proverbs 8:17.

For me lately it means doing first in the day the most important things. Feasting upon the Word. Sometimes keeping the radio off as I drive to work so I can consider the day. Attacking the most difficult tasks at work first while I am fresh.

When I am on a roll I may get distracted. I must be determined to accomplish very important tasks.

Strength I Want and Peace I Need

There is something about the songs on Cherie Call's album, He Gives Flowers To Everyone.
Because there's strength I want and there's peace I need
In the words I say, in the things I read
From the clothes I wear to the place I choose to sleep
Everything goes back to these promises I keep
I feel strength in these words. Power to overcome. That power comes from choosing to preserve my connection to God. He always is faithful to the promises He makes me. When I choose to keep turning towards him, His blessings activate. I have faith in God because I have come to learn He is always good. I want His strength in my life. I need His peace to balance the chaos I experience.

So what is it He asks of me? He asks me to promise to never sin again. Is that possible? Yes it is. Yet He is also merciful allowing me to renew my baptismal covenant each week. That brings me to a favorite scripture, "let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Cheerfully do. It is a mouthful. He only requires the best we can give. And then returns blessings an hundredfold. The strength I show God is by the promises I keep. It is by calling on His name that I can have the strength to keep my covenants. Then rising and doing all the lies in my power.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Come Along

My wife found a great hymn some time ago as she sat down to play our piano. It is #244 in the LDS Hymnal, Come Along, Come Along.
Let us govern by kindness and never by force,
All cheering and bright, like the sun in its course;
Obedience will spring from each heart with a bound,
And brotherhood flourish the wide world around.
Leading by persuasion is very effective. The rest of the verses are also good and its tune is cheerful.

Monday, March 17, 2008

‘Yes, but I am clean—I am clean!’

Today I was reading a technical article on the divide between the idealists who want strict compliance from the applications and the pragmatists who want to ensure the ease of use for older applications. It reminded me of this story of Joseph F. Smith quoted by Gordon B Hinckley.
“I was very much oppressed [when I was] on a mission. I was almost naked and entirely friendless, except [for] the friendship of a poor, benighted … people. I felt as if I was so debased in my condition of poverty, lack of intelligence and knowledge, just a boy, that I hardly dared look a … man in the face.

“While in that condition I dreamed [one night] that I was on a journey, and I was impressed that I ought to hurry—hurry with all my might, for fear I might be too late. I rushed on my way as fast as I possibly could, and I was only conscious of having just a little bundle, a handkerchief with a small bundle wrapped in it. I did not realize … what it was, when I was hurrying as fast as I could; but finally I came to a wonderful mansion. … I thought I knew that was my destination. As I passed towards it, as fast as I could, I saw a notice [which read B-A-T-H], ‘Bath.’ I turned aside quickly and went into the bath and washed myself clean. I opened up this little bundle that I had, and there was [some] white, clean [clothing], a thing I had not seen for a long time, because the people I was with did not think very much of making things exceedingly clean. But my [clothing was] clean, and I put [it] on. Then I rushed to what appeared to be a great opening, or door. I knocked and the door opened, and the man who stood there was the Prophet Joseph Smith. He looked at me a little reprovingly, and the first words he said: ‘Joseph, you are late.’ Yet I took confidence and [replied]:

“‘Yes, but I am clean—I am clean!’"
God is in His heaven where no unclean thing can come. So he offers His Son as the mediator between justice and mercy. I am grateful that God allows a way for me to be reconciled to His standards.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pay It Forward

Because of the miracle of Clean Films I watched Pay It Forward. When looking up a reference to the film, I noticed a foundation developed by the author of the book "to bring the message from her novel to classrooms across the country"

This movie came to my mind as I listened to Mosiah chapter 4 this morning. It was in this chapter that I first came to learn of the principle of pay it forward. When Jesus rescues me from the consequences of my sin he does not ask that I pay it back. He asks me to pay it forward.

"this is the man who receiveth salvation"

On my way into work I listened to Mosiah chapter 4. When I got to verse 7 my mind turned to the few men and women that I know personally that fit this description. I thought of my father and my father-in-law, then their wives. These are the caliber of my family. Are they perfect? No. Have the collective years, months and days they have on earth qualified them to meet the standard Mosiah describes. I think so. Does that exclude them from the possibility of really messing up? No, but according to the character they have demonstrated, they will not. That is the nature and stability of a saved person. Thanks and Glory be to God.
My friends and my brethren, my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you.
5 For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—
6 I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—
7 I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
8 And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.