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Showing posts from March, 2010

Spring

Warm weather, beautiful birdsongs, fragrant flowers--spring is here! Spring is a happy season, full of life and beauty and hope. It is no wonder that so many significant events have happened during spring.
Passover and Easter: Both of these holidays--one Jewish, the other Christian--celebrate Christ's Atonement and Resurrection, the most important parts of the plan of salvation. Also, it was on Passover that Christ instituted the sacrament before His death. [For more information on the relation of these two holidays, read this talk by then Elder Howard W. Hunter.]
Joseph Smith's First Vision: Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son amid Their wondrous creations in the spring of 1820, during the country's Second Great Awakening (a religious revival).
The Restoration of the Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized and established on April 6, 1830. The timing also coincides with Easter, and for symbolic reasons: Christ's church was dea…

"Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples"

Friday evening I went to the temple with a friend. I had not gone in a long while, and I forgot the incredible peace I always feel there. I want to return soon to feel it again. But I don't have to wait until I attend the temple to feel that joy. There is another place where I can feel it every day: my home.

"Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where the Lord may visit. Only the home can compare with temples in sacredness" (True to the Faith, 170). "There exists a righteous unity between the temple and the home," Elder Stevenson reminded us in General Conference April 2009. "Understanding the eternal nature of the temple will draw you to your family; understanding the eternal nature of the family will draw you to the temple."
The purpose of the temple is to provide saving ordinances, all of which lead to the ultimate ordinance of uniting families. The home, the place of family growing and gathering, should be a tut…

Visiting and Home Teaching

Ah, yes, everyone's favorite topic of guilt. And we have good reason to be guilty: visiting/home teaching results in more blessings than we realize, and when we do not do it we deny ourselves and others these blessings.
Foremost, we learn more about the gospel from preparing the message and sharing our insights. We are supposed to discuss the message and edify one another. I think too often we do not give this part of the visit as much focus as needed.
We provide or receive service by being or having a constant support system.
We make friends! This is my favorite blessing of visiting/home teaching. It's fun getting to know others and becoming close to some of them.
Also, the relationships we create strengthen the ward as a whole. If everyone were friends, there would be less drama, gossip, hate, and offenses. We would be unified and feel loved and cared about.
We learn to be selfless by serving and we increase our spirituality by praying for those we teach. We grow closer to the …

"I Will Give unto This Last, Even As unto Thee"

Often after being around people who have been righteous and valiant their entire lives, I feel like scum and I wonder how in the world Heavenly Father loves me just as much as He loves them. My justice-oriented mind doesn't understand the mercy of the Atonement and the unconditional love of the Savior. It's unbelievable that someone who has sinned so greatly can repent and receive eternal life. I know such thoughts are from Satan (see the post "Love Thyself" and this Ensign article), but I still allow myself to believe them.

Then I try to remember this New Testament parable: Matthew 20:1-16. What matters is not when I began to work in the vineyard, but that I am there working. Whether I have been like Nephi or like Alma the Younger, I will still receive the same celestial reward. That knowledge gives me comfort and the courage to strive for exaltation.
Sharing Time: What scripture story or passage inspires you to aim for a heavenly goal?

Amazing

Every day the same realization hits me as if brand new: the human body is amazing. It is amazing how our bodies work; it is amazing what our bodies can do; it is amazing how much we know about the human body and how to care for it.
Recently, the Winter Olympics has reminded me of this most amazing of Heavenly Father's creations. The speed, agility, balance, flexibility, strength, endurance, and precision the activities require our bodies can fulfill. And we take great pleasure in doing them.
There is so much our bodies can do, physically and mentally. How can anyone call it an accidental result of evolution? Only Someone amazing could create something so amazing that can do things so amazing. Even daily and normal functions are amazing: eating, sleeping, laughing, crying, hugging, walking, breathing, growing, thinking. Even bodies that cannot do these things are still amazing because of the things they can do, even if it is just staying alive.
We should never take our bodies for gr…