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Showing posts from August, 2009

Pray Always

Last week I shared powerful scriptures to remember when faced with temptation. However, the devil is very powerful as well. We need a lot more tools than just a scripture to defeat him. The most powerful tool available to us is prayer. Brigham Young said, “Prayer keeps a man from sin. Sin keeps a man from prayer.”

Prayer keeps a man from sin The Lord admonishes throughout the scriptures to pray always to avoid sin: “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38)“Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:5)“Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation” (D&C 20:33)“Pray always, lest ye enter into temptation and lose your reward” (D&C 31:12)“Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or i…

"Go, and Sin No More"

There are many examples throughout the scriptures of people experiencing a change of heart and completely repenting of their sins. Others show loyalty to God in the face of evil. The most amazing thing about these people is their attitude toward sin:
Joseph: “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
Christ: “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them.” (D&C 20:22)
Nephi: “Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?” (2 Nephi 4:31)
Jacob: “Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness” (2 Nephi 9:49)
King Benjamin’s people: “the Spirit . . . has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” (Mosiah 5:2)
High priests: “they . . . could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence” (Alma 13:12)
King Lamoni’s people: “their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil” (Alma 19:33)
King Lamoni’s father: “Yea,…


Often when we discuss controversial topics and deep doctrine, all we reap are vastly differing opinions and interpretations, criticisms of others’ ideas, and overall confusion. Such discussions do nothing to aid our testimonies of the gospel, only bringing out doubts and questions.

I strongly believe in focusing on the basics of the gospel. Without a very firm foundation in “the first principles and ordinances of the gospel” (Article of Faith 4), we cannot have a strong testimony of higher doctrine. We must first start with the ABC blocks of the gospel and build “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30) for deeper understandings.
Just like babies, we must start with milk before we get meat (See 1 Corinthians 3:2, D&C 19:22). Timothy further clarified, “For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have th…

Small and Simple Things

The final act of becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We may constantly have the Spirit with us if we are worthy, a blessing made manifest through warnings, guidance, comfort, and peace. While we often focus on these more important blessings, we must not forget the Holy Spirit's whisperings about small things, which show that Heavenly Father cares about the little daily happenings in our lives. These whisperings are in fact tender mercies of the Lord.

They come as feelings or distinct thoughts about something we should or should not do, and we may or may not understand why. Although not following these whisperings does not result in major consequences, they often make the day go smoother and serve as reminders that Heavenly Father loves us. I have been reminded of His love a number of times:
One morning a few weeks ago, I was loading up the dishwasher for a wash cycle. As I shut the door I had the impression to…

Tender Mercies

In General Conference April 2005, Elder David A. Bednar gave a talk entitled “The Tender Mercies of the Lord.” He chose this topic because of a tender mercy he experienced the conference six months earlier in which he was newly sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Bednar emphasized throughout his talk that “the Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings” (100).

I can testify that this statement is true. I went to the public library recently to search for Harry Potter 3 and an Agatha Christie novel, but to no avail. I was extremely frustrated and felt like I had wasted my time. Before leaving, we went to the little used bookstore in the library. I looked through the bookcases and saw the mystery section. Lo and behold, what did I find? Two copies of And Then There Were None! I…