Personal Online Journal

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"You'll never rise higher in all your lives"

I agree with this
"Behold how great is your calling” (D&C 112:33). How great is your calling! You are not sent here to take pictures. You are not sent here to play. You are sent here to find and teach. That's our opportunity, our challenge, and our responsibility. You'll never rise higher in all your lives than you will do while you are in the mission field. That may sound like a strange thing. I said that once in Argentina many years ago, and about ten years later I received a letter from a young man who said, "When I was on a mission in Argentina, you came there and you put a hex on me. I haven't been able to lift it. I have been no good ever since. I failed in school, I failed in my work, I failed in my marriage." I didn't put a hex on him. I simply told him that he would never stand taller, never rise higher, than while in the service of the Lord, and his subsequent life demonstrated that.

This is the great day of your opportunity to establish within yourselves habits of work that will bless you throughout your lives. Said the Lord, "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you." (D&C 88:67.) If you concentrate on the work of the Lord, if you give it everything you have, your whole body shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you. Gone will be the darkness of sin. Gone will be the darkness of laziness. Gone will be all of these negative things. That's the word of the Lord to you and to me.
(Belgium Brussels Missionary Meeting, June 12, 1996) As quoted in (Gordon B. Hinckley, The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997, p. 362)
And this
If we want to keep the Spirit, we must work.

There is no greater exhilaration or satisfaction than to know, after a hard day of work, that we have done our best.

I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.

We must not give Satan an opportunity to discourage us. Here again, work is the answer. Missionary work brings joy, optimism, and happiness. The Lord has given us a key by which we can overcome discouragement:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30; italics added.)

In the Savior’s time, the purpose of a yoke was to get oxen pulling together in a united effort. Our Savior has a great cause to move forward. He has asked all of us to be equally yoked together to move His cause forward. It requires not only a united effort; it requires complete dependence on Him. As He said to His early Apostles, “Without me ye can do nothing.”

Our work will be light and easy to bear if we will depend on the Lord and work.
(Ezra Taft Benson, “Keys to Successful Member-Missionary Work,” Ensign, Sep 1990, 2)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Mathematics of the Infinite and Eternal

On the way home from Utah, my wife and I listened to a new album from Kenneth Cope, "All About You". As I listened to the song "Him, and Him Alone", I thought of my calculus classes at Ricks college my freshman year.
How could I think it's mine to merit
Or speak of my share in it
This saving work he wrought alone
I've been a fool to believe I'd earn it
Or suppose I could deserve it
By words and deeds I'd call my own
From this day on
I know I'm saved by Him alone
Comparisons between the infinite and the finite is comparing apples to oranges. Anything that has bounds turns to zero when compared to something that goes on and on. How can my compassion compare to His when my compassion ends with my impatience? Also consider that any compassion I have comes from His grace. All that I have, all that I am comes from God. Anything divine in me comes from Him.

There is another hand. He has said that we are saved by grace after all that we can do, 2 Nephi 25:23. What is all I can do, when compared to His payment for my sin? Amulek said, "there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world", Alma 34:12 (see also 2 Nephi 9:7). If I choose not to accept his sacrifice, He will not force it upon me.
Nephi taught, “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.” (2 Nephi 33:1; emphasis added) Elder David A. Bednar noted the use of the word unto: “Please notice how the power of the Spirit carries the message unto but not necessarily into the heart. … Ultimately, … the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter.” Seek Learning by Faith (Gerald N. Lund, "Opening Our Hearts")
So here is the paradox. God requires that I allow Him into my heart. That I excercise my faith unto repentance. That I allow Him to change my heart from carnal to spiritual. He requires all that I can do. Yet this effort, is insignificant when compared to the saving power He offers. I am saved by Him alone because of this comparison. Yet my effort is not insignificant. If I do not strengthen my faith by my prayers, and good works His saving power is limited.

I believe God will save us from any sin we allow Him to. Be that anger, greed or complacence or impatience. He wants every joy to be ours. If I follow Him, if I ask for His help, He will continue to save me from the sin in me. I will live happily in the uplifting of others around me. By living my life as He would if He lived it. Each day, that is the challenge. To willingly give away my own desire, to do His instead and gain the rewards.

Update 2015-03-12
This article seems to jive with what I believe and seems to explain it from another angle. \
"The Salvation Equation"