Pray for America

As a student of the scriptures, I am worried about what I see taking place in the world. I am particularly concerned about America.

Others are concerned too. In April of this year I read this headline:

AUSTRALIA CALLS WORLD TO PRAY & FAST FOR 7 DAYS FOR USA

It is abundantly clear that American’s are renouncing their Christian roots. To measure this, all that one needs to do is consider what is popular on TV, the movies, and trends in fashion. But even more telling and concerning is this weeks supreme court’s 5 to 4 ruling on marriage.

When I first heard about the decision, a scripture from Mosiah 29 came to mind: Continue reading

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Testimony—Three Kinds: Hoping, Believing, Knowing

The mystery of Godliness, how great it is” (D&C 19:10). This verse of scripture infers that the rational mind of man cannot find God in the usual ways.

By the power of the rational mind man has conquered the air, sea, and space, but not the mystery of Godliness. This mystery can only be discovered by God revealing Himself—by revelation.

…no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. Jacob 4:8

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?  even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 Continue reading

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One Part Faith, Twelve Parts Doubt—A Recipe to Reduce Faith and Increase Doubt

Faith and doubt are topics that make up much of what is written in the Bloggernacle. I got to thinking the other day about the ratio of post and comments in the Bloggernacle that feed faith or doubt. I don’t know what the actual ratio is, but I came up with 1 to 12. It seems to me that for every post and comment that builds faith there are 12 that fuel doubt.

There is a lot of anti-Mormon material on the internet, and there is also a great deal of doubter material as well. Anti-Mormon material, as a rule, is presented by non-members and doubter material is produced by church members, many who appear to be active members who hold positions of influence in their Wards and Stakes. Doubter post may be more damaging to faith than anti-mormon disinformation. 

An anti-mormon, according to Jeff Lindsey is “the activists who attack the Church in a way intended to generate misunderstanding, fear, and shock … [someone who] strives to stir up anger toward the Church and relies on misinformation or half-truths, … especially when they do it for a living”.

I would describe a doubter-mormon as one whose post and comments nudge out faith and bump open the door to doubt on topics in church history and doctrine that are difficult to explain. Topics like the priesthood ban, the Book of Abraham, and polygamy, to name a few. Continue reading

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Is America in Peril?

I admit—I’ve developed a pessimistic view of America’s future in recent years. When the twin towers went down on 9-11-2001, I was amazed at the way American’s responded. Everywhere I looked people were flying our flag; in their cars, houses, and businesses. When President Bush went before congress for a televised speech it was a God touched moment. I felt it, as did many others.

Peggy Noonan, wrote:

“I find myself thinking in mystical terms of President Bush’s speech to Congress and the country, and I know from conversations with many people that I am not alone. It seemed to me a God-touched moment and a God-touched speech…” (God is Back, Friday, September 28, 2001, Wall Street Journal).

We were united for a moment, but then, we quickly forgot. When I saw this occurring I started to be discouraged. And then I observed an era of discord sweep over America as we sought to confront our enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq. Continue reading

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Spending (Quality) Time with the Lord

Spending Time with the Lord

Spending time with the Lord is a worthy goal. Spending quality time with the Lord is even better. 

Relationships are built in many ways, but “time” is a primary ingredient in each. Time to relationships, is like water to a flower, no matter what else we do right, without water a flower won’t grow.

If we want to know our Father in Heaven there are things we can do to draw near to him. It is a matter of making time for him.  Here is a short list of proven ways:

1. Prayer Continue reading

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What Glory Am I Being Quickened By?

My goal as a blogger is to write about those things that will help each of us draw nearer to the lord. The Lord has said, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.”

With that scripture in mind I would like to discuss the following question:

What Glory Am I Being Quickened By: a Portion of the  Terrestrial or Celestial Glory?

They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened. Continue reading

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Weightier Matters of the Gospel

A story is told about a life insurance agent who neglected to secure life insurance for his own family. He died in a car accident, and to the surprise of all who knew him, left his family uninsured. He had helped other families realize the security that life insurance provides, but left his family to endure crushing debt, heartache, and questions.

As followers of Christ we can have the security that a vibrant testimony provides. But like the insurance agent we can neglect the weightier matters of the gospel to our spiritual undoing. President Monson addressing this concern said:

Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.

We can rely on the faith and testimony of others only so long. Eventually we must have our own strong and deeply placed foundation, or we will be unable to withstand the storms of life, which will come. “How Firm a Foundation,” Ensign, Nov 2006. Continue reading

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Plateauing Faith—Thoughts on Fighting Spiritual Boredom, Apathy, and Apostasy

Plateauing: to reach a state or level of little or no growth or decline, esp. to stop increasing or progressing; remain at a stable level of achievement; level off.

Reaching a plateau in any aspect of our life is better than never having done so. Think about it. Reaching a plateau means one has achieved something of worth. It could mean you’re at the pinnacle, the zenith of something meaningful. However, the word laurels and the phrase “don’t rest on your laurels” comes to mind. 

In other words, it can be “boring” to reach a plateau. When it comes to matters of faith how does one know if he/she has plateaued and what can be done, if we have?

First, are you bored? Is the thrill you once experienced attending church and serving in your calling dissipating or a distance memory? If so, then you have probably reached a plateau in your church life.

The remedy might be to tackle a new challenge. The best place to kickstart your plateauing faith is to take an inventory of your laurels. If you’re know for your intellectual laurels, but lack and equivalent degree of spirituality then, it might be time to plow that field. If the reverse is true, then maybe its time to read and study those things you’ve always thought about, but left on the shelf. Continue reading

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Am I Utilizing the Things the Lord has Given Me so that I can Receive a Celestial Inheritance?

When I contemplate all that I have been given by the Lord and then reflect on what I am doing with it, I have to confess I am concerned for my eternal well-being. Something I read the other day heightened this concern. In a conference talk given by Marion G. Romney about the requirements of receiving a celestial body at the time of our resurrection, and the laws we must obey to attain to such a body, he said:

“Obedience to this law is a prerequisite to resurrection with a celestial body. Great will be the glory of those who attain it, and sad indeed will be those who do not attain it. The Prophet Joseph Smith, in remarks at a funeral, said that ‘the disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection would be indescribably dreadful’. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints, 6:51.) Ensign, May 1975, p. 85.

I don’t know if trepidation should be our reaction to reading this, but I have to admit that is how I respond. I want to receive those things that Heavenly Father has made available to me and you. I desire to attain to a resurrection with a celestial body and enter into the Celestial Kingdom as a joint heir with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Often I look around me and attempt to detect the barriers that exist in my life and in our culture that impedes my receiving an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom. There are many. However, the atonement, the Holy Ghost, living prophets, the scriptures, and repentance are gifts from the Lord to help us identify and conquer the barriers, obstacles, and pitfalls before us. Surely, these gifts are more than enough to subdue the enemies of our soul and to win our crown, that is, if we utilize them. Therein lies the challenge, ask yourself, as I have, “Am I utilizing the things the Lord has given me so that I can receive a celestial inheritance? Continue reading

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My Testimony of Jesus Christ—Our Advocate with the Father

I bear testimony of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. All those things we read about them in the scripture are true. I’ve received a witness of this fact. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, our Advocate with the Father.

I can bear testimony of Jesus Christ based on my own personal experiences, from my own book of scripture as it were. It gives me great joy to ponder and reflect upon the blessings the Lord has, in his condescension’s, brought to pass in my life.

As a boy, I’d learned at church that if you were born in the covenant you were the elect of God. I wasn’t born into the covenant, my mother was inactive and my father wasn’t a member of the church, so I concluded I wasn’t elect.

I loved my mother and father with and overflowing love and it tore me up inside to experience the pain that came to my family when my parents divorced, so based on what I’d  learned at church I assumed in the honesty of my heart I must have messed up real bad in the pre-existents or else my prayers for my family would have been answered differentlyI stopped attending church. I was in the 8th grade. Continue reading

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