Ripening in Iniquity?

The Book of Mormon uses the term “ripening” to describe what happens to a righteous people when they begin to forget God and turn to wickedness.    

For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.  Helaman 5:2

Those who believe the Book of Mormon to be the revealed word of God are concerned that  this great Gentile nation, the promised land—America, is in peril.  

As a nation, are we at a tipping point, are those who choose evil more numerous than those who choose good? 

I don’t know the answer to this question with certainty, but as I take in the daily news, and consider T.V. and movie entertainment, I worry. When I turn my attention to the political landscape and listen to the discourse of our nations appointed and elected leaders, I cringe. Continue reading

Posted in Trials | Leave a comment

Quickened by a Portion of the Celestial, Terrestrial, or Telestial Glory

My goal is to write about those things that will help each of us draw nearer to the lord. The Lord said, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” With that purpose in mind I would like to explore the following scripture.

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.

Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. Continue reading

Posted in Things of the Spirit | Leave a comment

Are You Blown Away by Church History?

I remember when I first became aware of the challenging aspects of church history, the Mountain Meadows massacre, details of polygamy, problems with the Book of Abraham, multiple accounts of the first vision, and etc. I felt doubt stirring in my mind and heart. It was painful, but short lived. I’ll explain more about this later. 

On reflection, I realized I had made some assumptions about the church, and church leaders that turned out to be flat wrong. I had assumed the Lord’s appearing to Joseph Smith meant the Lord was there 24/7 guiding the restoration. Consequently there could be no imperfections in the establishment of the church, or in the lives of those who carried the work forward, therefore church history should be uncomplicated and without error, blemish, or mistakes. 

Apparently, I’m not the only church member to have put former day church leaders and church members on a high pedestal. Today, I wonder why I entertained such notions.

I was a student of the scriptures and understood the difficulties the Savior had with His hand picked apostles. The Book of Mormon’s first family, Lehi, his wife Sariah, and their children certainly couldn’t have contributed to my naive ideal. They were a prophet lead dysfunctional family. Continue reading

Posted in Doubt, LDS Church History | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Unanswered Prayers

Since coming to the internet over ten ago, I’ve read many post and comments where writers relate that they are active members, keep the commandments well enough to maintain a temple recommend, read the Book of Mormon, prayed about it, and still haven’t received a witness of its truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost as promised.

Here is an example of one brother stating his frustration:

I have been in the Church my whole life for 40+ years. I served a mission. I married in the temple. I have served in numerous callings. I have always had a temple recommend with all that that implies. I have probably read the Book of Mormon at least 15 times, including in at least 2 languages. I have followed Moroni’s promise probably at least 100 times, with all sincerity. Yet, at the end of it all, I have never received an answer that it is true… Yet, probably out of inertia and a hope that someday I will get an answer, I persist in the journey and am still “active”.

I’ve been troubled by these “testimonies”. The Lord has given us the scriptures to help us deal with the issues we encounter in life. When I turn to the scripture looking for possible answers, I find the following. Please add to my list anything that helps you understand this issue. Continue reading

Posted in Book of Mormon, Prayer, Precepts of Men, Testimony of the Book of Mormon | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions?

My goal as a blogger is to write about those things that will help each of us draw nearer to the lord. The Lord said, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” With that image in mind I would like to discuss the following scripture.

And Elijah…said, How long halt ye between two opinions?  if the LORD be God, follow him… 1 Kings 18:21

Halting between two opinions, or being double minded (James 1:8) is part of the makeup of the natural man.  To one degree or another each of us struggles with it. Laman and Lamuel, Nephite’s older brothers, provide numerous examples of this undesirable quality. They would cycle from obedience to rebellion over and over again until the Lord finally warned Nephi to depart from them.

The Book of Mormon also provides a counter example, showing those who were firm in their faith, and “would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin”. Using the descendants of the vacillating Laman and Lamuel, the Book of Mormon gives an account of the Lamanities who were converted by the four sons of Mosiah. Of those converts the record says: “once they were converted unto the Lord, they never did fall away” (Alma 23:6-7). Continue reading

Posted in Repentance | Leave a comment

Recognizing Answers To Prayer

The purpose of prayer is to access things of the spirit. We are repeatedly taught in the scripture that the Lord will answer our prayers. Receiving and recognizing answers to our prayers is the topic of this post.

Like many of you reading this post, I have had many prayers answered.[1] Therefore, I am familiar with the workings of the spirit. It takes time and experience to grow in our ability to recognize answers. Based on my experiences, most prayers are answered by the subtle workings of the spirit.[2] However, these soft, delicate answers can be misinterpreted.[3] The solution to this problem is to cry unto the Lord for help, asking to know his will and avoid mistakes. Notice the use of the word “cry”[4]. If you think that crying unto the Lord is a little over the top, then I suggest you read more carefully from the scriptures. The scriptures portray the prophets frequenting “crying unto the Lord” to gain answers to their prayers.

I believe the Lord is anxious to answer our prayers and to teach us of His ways, however, we are required to obey the law upon which blessings are predicated.

There are many ways to improve our ability to receive and recognize answers to our prayers. I would like to offer the following ideas that I believe are essential to opening the channels of communication between ourselves and Heavenly Father. Continue reading

Posted in Prayer | Leave a comment

Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Savior of the World, A Personal Friend

Click here for the Table of Contents 

At this Easter season, I desire to testify of the Saviors Friendship and goodness to me, a struggling soul. I do so with the hope that others will be inspired to further their friendship. And if a friendship doesn’t yet exist, I hope that you’ll have the desire to establish one right away. 

As a Mormon, my intended audience, those who I think of when I write, are members of the Mormon church.

Many years ago, the Lord left the ninety and nine and reclaimed me. I was lost and He found me. As a result, I am a witness of His tender mercies and I hope to help others who can be lifted by my witness.

The Savior is a friend of mine.The Savior refers to His followers as friends (D&C 50:41, D&C 84:63, John 15:14-15). I am a follower, therefore I think it’s reasonable to call Himmy Friend. I hope that all of us feel the same way. Continue reading

Posted in Book: Alive in Christ, Jesus Christ | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blessings and Cursings

When church members make covenants, it means something. Keeping covenants brings blessings, trifling with or not keeping covenants can result in cursings.

The following is from a book written by Blaine M. Yorgason, I Need Thee Every Hour, pages 106-110. Highlighting is mine.

Blessings and Cursings

Perhaps if we clearly understood the nature of sin, we would be more anxious to have it purged from our souls and left in the wake of our increasing spirituality. To do that, however, we must also understand the nature of blessings and curses, and the relationship between the two.

Brigham Young declared, “There is one principle I would like to have the Latter-day Saints perfectly understand-that is, of blessings and cursings” (Journal of Discourses, 18:262). Continue reading

Posted in Definition of Words and Terms | Leave a comment

Using the Book of Mormon to Commune with God

My goal as a blogger is to write about those things that will help each of us draw nearer to the lord. The Lord said, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” With that image in mind I would like to discuss a few thoughts on the Book of Mormon.

At the end of this post is a link to an incredible experience that I hope you will take the time to read.

The Book of Mormon is a gift from God to aid us on our mortal journey. It is a gift with a promise. Those who have received a testimony of the Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Ghost know what I mean.

Not only can we receive a testimony by the power of God regarding the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, we can employee this book of scripture to refresh our testimony throughout our lives. The Book of Mormon has a spirit about it. This means we can draw nearer to God just by reading from it. I think this is true with any of the books in our standard works, but the Book of Mormon stands preeminent. Continue reading

Posted in Example of Faith | Leave a comment

What was God? What was praying, she asked?

A North Korean husband pleads to his wife “You need to pray to God. Pray to him and ask him to bring you safely to me. If you do, he will hear your prayer.”

His wife, Song, upon hearing this asked questions, “What was God? What was praying? He explained that God lives in the sky and asking him for the things we need most is called praying. It was odd, she thought, but Song trusted her husband and promised to do it.”

Deseret News published a very interesting story about the courage and faith of a North Korean couple. I thought I would pass it on to you. As you probably know, North Korea is a repressive communist country. Liberty and freedom, something many in the West take for granted, is absent in North Korea. Song didn’t even know what the word God and prayer meant. How she and her husband learned about God and prayer is an inspiring read.

Click here to read the article.  Continue reading

Posted in Example of Faith, Prayer, Trials | Leave a comment