Ah, sublime music from Plácido Domingo, the Piano Guys, and a choir of children who look like they are wearing cupcake wrappers.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Parable of the Pit
10 months ago
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.Scoot chose these verses for us this week, and they are so appropriate. It has been pretty dark outside here. The sun will be up for maybe nine hours today, and thick rainclouds dim its influence. But, as John wrote, "God is light," and we can always have His light within us.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7
Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20It seems like we're seeing more of this sort of thing all the time. "But if we walk in the light," by searching the scriptures to learn God's will and do it, "we have fellowship one with another"--we can support and comfort each other in doing what's right--"and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." We all need that, don't we?
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live . . . Isaiah 55:3
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. 2 Nephi 31:10
Blessed is the man that resisteth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (JST James 1:12)
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;
And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;Rollo chose Moroni 10:9 for our pondering this week, but we couldn't stop there. While each of these gifts of the Spirit is amazing on its own, they are meant to all go together.
And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;
And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;
And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;
And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.
And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.
And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.
And that ye be not deceived seek earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given. (D&C 46:8)Why are they given? So that we can avoid being deceived, and "that all may be profited thereby."(D&C 46:12) The coveting prohibited in the Old Testament is a selfish thing, enmity toward our neighbors who have cooler stuff than we do. Desiring a spiritual gift for the purpose of blessing our neighbors is a righteous desire, and will be rewarded.
For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. (D&C 46:11)We each have at least one spiritual gift, and we need to learn what it is and how to use it to bless others. We can receive other gifts when we need them for specific callings we receive or situations we encounter. In all cases, we need to put forth some effort, to develop, practice and use our gifts, or we may lose them.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—I think charity encompasses all the other gifts. With charity, we will really want to benefit all, and we'll know how to do it. We will share our gifts, and appreciate the gifts of others without envy. The Lord has such great things in store for us. Let's use the tools He has given us, and seek for more!
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.(Moroni 7:46-48)
"Tycho, listen to me," she said with a smile. "Talking to people and knowing where to go are the most important jobs a captain has." (Hunt for the Hydra, 198)
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:12Scoot chose this verse for our consideration this week. It is a very hopeful message, and I'm glad he did. I decided to take a look at the context.
I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people . . . for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Hebrews 8:10-11How can we get to know the Lord? It takes study and faith, but also action, as Jesus taught the Jews:
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:17We have to keep the commandments to gain a witness that they are divine. And as we do, our own divine nature will develop, and we will come to know and be more like Him. The reward of knowing God is amazing:
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3If we are working hard to obey and know God, and his laws are written in our hearts, we will easily recognize when we mess up. We'll have the faith to repent, to trust Christ to help us do better. Then, surely, He will be "merciful to [our] unrighteousness," and prepare us for life eternal.
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Moses 1:39The Caterpillar chose this verse for us to ponder this week. He has studied it in Seminary this year, and he quoted it in a strong testimony last Sunday. It made a big impression on me when I went to Seminary, too. It shows that not only do our lives have purpose, but our lives are God's purpose.
Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength. Doctrine and Covenants 11:20By doing that, we also show our love for the Lord:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15It is a privilege to have been a small part of God's work in bringing four people into mortal life, which is required before immortality and eternal life. I'm trying to teach them to do their work, too, so we can enjoy eternal life together.
“So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization. . . . When our minds are filled with uplifting thoughts and images, when we ‘always remember him,’ there is no room left for filth and trash."--Devin G. DurrantFor our family's ponderizing enjoyment this week, Dandelionslayer selected Psalm 46, and highlighted some passages for our focus:
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Isn't that comforting? God is in charge. If we follow Him, we need not fear. When I read verse 8, I wondered how desolations could be reassuring, but verse 9 made it plain: He will destroy violence, and save the meek. Wonderful!
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee . . . naked, and clothed thee?
. . . And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:37-40