Friday, December 3, 2010

Helaman 6-7

Quote "Every [convert] needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with the 'good word of God.' It is our duty and opportunity to provide these things."

~President Gordon B. Hinckley

Question "What kind of friend are you to converts, members who are new to your ward, or the less-active? What things do you do to nourish others with the word of the Lord?"

I love this quote by Pres. Hinckley. I think many converts can feel overwhelmed when they join the church because a lot of times they are given a calling right away, and they are like "whoa, I just joined this church, I don't know what I'm doing, or how to do this job". But it is through serving in the church that you develop your testimony, and learn that we are all just humble beings trying the best we can, and even those that are born and raised in the church feel inadequate for their callings at times.

As far as befriending new members, I think for me, it is a case by case basis. Not because I don't feel it is important to welcome all new members, but because in all honesty, I am not going to be the difference for every person that comes to church. There is a lot of diversity in every ward, and that is important because everyone needs friends, and everyone clicks with certain people. So, I personally don't feel pressure that as soon as I see someone new to rush up and introduce myself....I will eventually sit by them, or see them somewhere, and then I will talk to them. I like it to feel natural, I don't like that forced friendship feeling. But that is just me. In any case, following your promptings by the spirit is what is going to make the difference. If I feel prompted, I try to act. The Lord knows better than I do what and who will make the difference for each one of His children.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Helaman 4-5

Quote "We have an increasing number who have been convinced, through the Book of Mormon, that Jesus is the Christ. Now we need an increasing number who will use the Book of Mormon to become committed to Christ. We need to be convinced and committed."

~President Ezra Taft Benson

Question "What are some things you can do to build upon the sure foundation?"

Building a sure foundation requires faith, repentance, and a desire to do God's will. The best way to build upon it is to do the work that we've been asked to do, read our scriptures, say our prayers, preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, go to church, pay our tithing, love our neighbors as ourselves, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees, be willing to do what the Lord asks us to do, and not seek after the things of the world.

The more I read the Book of Mormon, the more my testimony of Jesus Christ is strengthened. The more I learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more I realize how little I know, and have even a greater desire to know more. I can't even imagine the faith that Nephi and Lehi had in today's reading, to have those amazing things happen to them. Today's world is just as evil, however, the deliverers of the message are not cast into prison just for trying to teach their beliefs. But if a similar situation could happen today, it would be interesting to see how many people would stop their selfish lifestyles, and repent.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Helaman 1-3

Quote "If Satan can succeed in creating in us the pastime of arguing, quarreling, and contention, it is easier for him to bind us with heavier sins which can destroy our eternal lives."

~Elder Marvin J. Ashton

Question "How can you avoid contention in your family and other relationships?"
I think, even though it sounds cheesy, is to live by the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I know that when I really stop and think about what I am doing, and how I am treating others, I think about whether or not I would want to be treated that way. The other things are, of course, prayer, scripture study, and going to church, and just trying to be righteous overall. It is more difficult to be harsh and mean, and have contention when you are trying your best to invite the Spirit of God to guide you in your life.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alma 62-63

Quote "These people all had basically the same experience. The war was the same length for all people; yet out of the same experience some were hardened and some were softened.

What made the difference?

It was what they thought of God and his Son."

~C. Max Caldwell

Question "When you experience trials, do you feel your heart is hardened or softened? What can you do to improve your thoughts of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? How do you think this will help to soften your heart?"

I am human, so of course I don't enjoy going through trials, and when the trial first starts, or maybe after it lingers for a while, I'm sure I complain, way too much. However, I do have a very strong testimony that the Lord's will needs to be done, not mine. He allows all kinds of suffering, illnesses, and other hardships, but in essence, it is for our own good. We have free agency to choose, and we have learning opportunities at every turn in this life. If He just made everything be easy, and good for us all of the time, our free-agency would cease to exist, and we would be as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, not knowing good from evil, and we would never appreciate these precious gifts....especially the Atonement. The only way for us to truly appreciate the Atonement of Jesus Christ is to go through trials, so that we can see, that our trial, in comparison to Christ's, is so minute, and that HE KNOWS what we are going through. He is the only one that really knows what each and every person is suffering with, and going through, and the only way to have comfort and support in our trials, is to lean on Him.

We've had many many trials in our family, and there have been times that I'm not sure if I'll be able to forgive, but through God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. He can and does take bad things, and make good come from them. Trials also bring compassion to us. When you go through something hard, then see someone else going through it, you feel compassion for them.

It is hard to understand sometimes why we are faced with a certain trial, but reading the scriptures, and praying can really help us through them....whether it is for answers and understanding, or just comfort and patience. The Lord's ways are not our ways, and that is a hard thing to accept sometimes, but that is just the way it is. We can fight all we want against the Lord.....but it will profit us NOTHING!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alma 60-61

Quote "When you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what it is? It could be remember ...our greatest need is to remember."

~President Spencer W. Kimball

Quote "Satan wants us to be slow to remember what we have received and heard. He wants us to minimize and even forget the quiet witnesses of the Spirit that have told us who we really are."

~Sister Susan L. Warner

Question "What helps you to not forget the spiritual experiences you've had?"

I know that the correct answer here is keeping a journal, and I wish I could say it was my answer. I have been horrible at keeping a journal. I need to be better at keeping a journal. I just talk about my experiences, and hope that I remember them, but that is not the best way to always remember.

I love the epistles back and forth between Moroni, and Pahoran, because they are so joyous in each others righteousness. They encourage each other to stay righteous and faithful. They delight in the safety of each other, and in their freedoms, and liberties, and blessings from God. I know I've said it a couple of times before, but this part of the Book of Mormon is just my favorite!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Alma 57-59

Quote "He whose name this church bears has promised the He will be in our midst, lead us along, go before us, and even fight our battles. He has further counseled, 'Be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart...that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy' (D&C 98:14)."

~Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Question "How can the Lord help you overcome fear?"

Fear is the opposite of faith....and yet I personally fear many things through my worldly eyes. But, when I look at things through my spiritual eyes, I realize that we should not fear. Fear does not come from the Lord, and considering that He is more powerful than all, if we are keeping His commandments, and our covenants, we don't need to fear, because He will help us in all things.

I was just talking to my daughter this morning, she was asking me what it would be like when she dies. After talking to her about it, I asked her why she wanted to know, and she replied that she was scared of dying. I remember being scared of dying when I was little, and my kids are scared of lots of different things, and having me as a mother, probably doesn't help that. However, I am trying to set a better example for my kids, and am constantly telling them that if you are keeping the commandments, and living as righteously as you can, that you don't need to be afraid.

I just think that it is something that you have to have your own life experiences with, and that the Lord works with all of His children in different ways. There are many of His children that are fearful, and they will be strengthened according to their desires, and experiences, and depending on what is necessary for their missions here on earth.

I can see in this reading why the Nephites might be fearful of the Lamanites, because their hatred was so strong, and they just kept attacking, and attacking them, every chance they got. I'm sure that was difficult for the Nephites. Yet, the majority of them chose to be faithful, and not let fear overtake them. They chose to trust in the Lord, and the Lord helped them because of their obedience and faithfulness.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Get Back on Schedule

If you are up to date with your reading, take time to study: Alma 42