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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Eugene England on Recognizing a Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Members of the church are counseled to obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. How does one know when they have a testimony?

The best way to answer this question is to ask those who’ve received a testimony, to describe it.

Eugene England wrote a book titled Converted to Christ Through the Book of Mormon. Following are five examples from his book that will help us recognize what a testimony of the Book of Mormon is like.

Example 1

Throughout my life I had said my prayers regularly and I believed in God. But I guess I had just said my prayers without expecting answers, especially not tangible answers, because I couldn’t imagine how my prayer would be answered. I was afraid I wouldn’t recognize it. One evening when I was home alone, I went to my room to read the Book of Mormon. I knelt down by my bed and asked our Father in Heaven to please let me know, in a way that I would understand, if the Book of Mormon is true, and if so, I would also know the Church is true, and I would be baptized. I promised Him that I would change my life and be obedient to the teachings of the gospel. And if it wasn’t true, I also wanted to know, because the opposition was very obvious to me. I could see only black and white-there was no gray. I knew the answer would change my life. Continue reading

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Writing and Commenting in the Bloggernacle

Good, better, and best are terms that can be used to describe the relative worth of competing choices. The one thing they have in common is the fact that a favorable outcome can be expected from each. However, the outcomes are not of equal value. All of us come to forks in the road of life where we have choices to make. Often, the most difficult part is deciding what is good, better, or best as we consider the choices before us.

Elder Dallin Oaks has taught:

As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best.” Ensign, Nov 2007, 104-8.

Sometimes it is difficult to know the “best” choice to make at a fork in the road while traveling the path of life. Who, and when to marry, which career path to choose, what educational path to pursue, which college to attend, can be such choices. Continue reading

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It’s Not Wise to Think of Heavenly Father as a Mortal, Fallen Man, Like We Are

I read something from my journal this morning that I thought some readers might relate to. It’s very personal, but I decided to share it.

In June 2011, I was driving to the book store to see what new books were available. On the way, I reflected on the many blessings the Lord has granted to me. As I did, I felt sorrow enter into my heart. I felt bad about my lack of progress in becoming the man I would like to be in the eyes of the Lord. As I drove, I said to Heavenly Father, I’m sorry that I haven’t been more useful to your work. You must have many followers who are a lot more intelligent and capable than I am. I wish I could be like them, you must derive a great deal more pleasure from them than an anxious and annoying person like me.

When I arrived at the bookstore, I browsed through the latest LDS selections. As I picked up a book titled, Walking on Water, by Michael Wilcox, I asked Heavenly Father if there was a message in this book He would like me to see. I randomly opened to page 164 and read the following.

 “Sometimes I say to God—as I strive for perfection—…’Father, don’t give up on me. I’m trying. Don’t let me fail. Please don’t get discouraged.’ I’m always directed by the Spirit to the words of Isaiah when he wrote, ‘[God] shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth’ (Isaiah 42:4). Then I hear the Lord say, ‘Michael, if I’m not going to be discouraged until the whole world is a place of righteousness and judgment, do you think I’m going to be discouraged with you, when you want so badly to please me and to conquer yourself? I don’t get discouraged, Discouragement is not part of my character, I am not impatient. I am never anxious. I do not give up. Keep trying.'”

 It meant a lot to me. It was like a note from Heavenly Father in answer to my prayer. It taught me not to think of Heavenly Father as a mortal, fallen man. He doesn’t get discouraged or give up like a fallen, mortal man or woman. Continue reading

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Ministering Angels In the Flesh—Do You Know One?

I think the following account is a powerful reminder of the choices that some valiant spirits took upon themselves in pre-mortality—by taking on hard life assignments.

Look around your circle of friends and extended family. Is there someone you know that is like the lady described by her Stake President in the following story? Maybe it even describes you.

Carlfred Broderick, One Flesh, One Heart: Putting Celestial Love into Your Temple Marriage, 50-53.

Saviors on Mount Zion

“The term ‘savior on Mount Zion’ is ordinarily reserved for those engaged in vicarious work for the dead. Truly, Saints who selflessly devote themselves to genealogical and temple work deserve the title. They perform Christlike service in lovingly opening the gates of exaltation to others who without their work would not have that opportunity. Continue reading

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