Personal Online Journal

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bonds of Anguish, Bonds of Love

Years ago I read Bonds of Anguish, Bonds of Love. A 1995 Manuscript by C. Terry Warner.  I learned invaluable life lessons from it.

I have decided to read it again. Here is a quote that I really love from the beginning of chapter 1.
There are two different ways of being a person. One of these precedes the change of heart, and the other follows it. The first is fearful, anxious, resentful, and alienated from other people; the second, open resonant with others, buoyant, straightforward, and secure.

To the extent that we live the second way, we care about others. We do not see them merely in terms of our own interests, as helping or hindering us. They are real to us; we are as sensitive to their feelings and hopes and needs as we are to our own.

Here is the the published book that came from the manuscript, "Bonds that Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Make us thy true under-shepherds"

To those who aspire to be true under-shepherds.

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd, LDS Hymn 221

1. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the sheep of his fold;
Dear is the love that he gives them,
Dearer than silver or gold.
Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are his “other” lost sheep;
Over the mountains he follows,
Over the waters so deep.

Out in the desert they wander,
Hungry and helpless and cold;
Off to the rescue he hastens, (4th verse) we’ll hasten,
Bringing them back to the fold.

2. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the lambs of his fold;
Some from the pastures are straying,
Hungry and helpless and cold.
See, the Good Shepherd is seeking,
Seeking the lambs that are lost,
Bringing them in with rejoicing,
Saved at such infinite cost.

3. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the “ninety and nine”;
Dear are the sheep that have wandered
Out in the desert to pine.
Hark! he is earnestly calling,
Tenderly pleading today:
“Will you not seek for my lost ones,
Off from my shelter astray?”

4. Green are the pastures inviting;
Sweet are the waters and still.
Lord, we will answer thee gladly,
“Yes, blessed Master, we will!
Make us thy true under-shepherds;
Give us a love that is deep.
Send us out into the desert,
Seeking thy wandering sheep.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Learn, Act, Share

Learn, act and share are the three words that sum up the Duty to God program in my church.

1. I learn what God considers my duty to Him.
2. I humbly accept these duties and begin to act to fulfill them.
3. I share the challenges I have had when I have fallen short. I share the blessings I have received when I am successful.

Rinse and repeat +infinity.  What greater recipe is there?  It points to a fullness of joy and progress and Life Eternal.

"The proud are easily offended and hold grudges"

From Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride” Apr, 1989
Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride. 
Contention in our families drives the Spirit of the Lord away. It also drives many of our family members away. Contention ranges from a hostile spoken word to worldwide conflicts. The scriptures tell us that “only by pride cometh contention.” (Prov. 13:10; see also Prov. 28:25.) 
The scriptures testify that the proud are easily offended and hold grudges. (See 1 Ne. 16:1–3.) They withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings.

Pride is the universal sin, the great vice. Yes, pride is the universal sin, the great vice.
I am amazed at how universally applicable this principle is.  Pride, as defined in the scriptures, is the root of all sin.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Perfection in our Church Leaders

Do we expect too much perfection in our leaders?

One of my church leaders, one I trust and love, made a technical error about the scriptures. He talked about how Nephi went and got ore and melted it to make a new, metal bow to get food for his family. In reality, Nephi made a bow out of wood (1 Ne 16:23). Yet this man went on to teach a great lesson about having earnest prayer and not letting ourselves say unmeaningful, repeated prayers.

So what is the greater truth?  A detail about Nephi's bow and arrow story or persuading each other to have meaningful communication with God?

Another leader of mine made a scriptural mistake. He said that Mosiah was 13 years old when he began to reign as king. Mosiah 6:4 says he began to reign in his "thirtieth" year. He was making the point that the Lord does not regard age when calling his servants. He sometimes calls them when they are very young. What he was teaching is correct, look at Samuel, David, Mormon or Joseph Smith.

These two experiences have caused me to think about the nature of our church leaders. We do not have our  leaders professionally trained to be our leaders. They come from all walks of life. What is more important, a leader that will not make technical mistakes about the scriptures? Or leaders that will not make mistakes about the central, spiritual principles of the doctrine of Christ and its main offshoots?

I will go with the latter. Mormons are about changing the heart and soul and hands and mind of humankind.  Leaders that are imperfect perhaps are more approachable. Perhaps their weaknesses are stumbling blocks to the learned.  I will stand with the good leaders of my church any day. I love them. They have my heart, my mind and my shoulders.