Sunday, April 22, 2018

His Spirit to Be with You - By President Henry B. Eyring

His Spirit to Be with You - By President Henry B. Eyring Highlights

Reading His Spirit to Be with You - By President Henry B. Eyring in Voice Dream

My hope today is to increase your desire and your ability to receive the Holy Ghost.

Background image by: James Ratelet

To have the Spirit sent to us, we must “always remember” the Savior and “keep his commandments” (D&C 20:77).

The respectful guide that day motioned with his hand and said to us, “Come, see an empty tomb.”

We stooped to enter. We saw a stone bench against a wall. But into my mind came another picture, as real as what we saw that day. It was of Mary, who was left by the Apostles at the tomb. That is what the Spirit let me see and even hear in my mind, as clearly as if I had been there:

I have prayed to be allowed to feel something of what Mary felt at the tomb and what two other disciples felt on the road to Emmaus as they walked with the resurrected Savior, thinking Him a visitor to Jerusalem:

“But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

“And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

“And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:29–32).

More precious than a memory of events is the memory of the Holy Ghost touching our hearts and His continuing affirmation of truth. More precious than seeing with our eyes or remembering words spoken and read is recalling the feelings that accompanied the quiet voice of the Spirit.

Background image by: Joe Davies

“Receive the Holy Ghost.” At that moment you and I have the assurance He will be sent. But our obligation is to choose to open our hearts to receive the ministration of the Spirit over a lifetime.

The Prophet Joseph set an example for us of how to receive continual spiritual direction and comfort through the Holy Ghost.

The first choice he made was to be humble before God.

The second was to pray with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The third was to obey exactly. Obedience may mean to move quickly. It may mean to prepare. Or it may mean to wait in patience for further inspiration.

And the fourth is to pray to know the needs and hearts of others and how to help them for the Lord. 

Inspiration will help us minister to others for the Lord.

Great ministers have qualified for the Holy Ghost as a nearly constant companion. And they have qualified for the gift of charity, which is the pure love of Christ. Those gifts have grown in them as they have used them in serving out of love for the Lord.

The way in which prayer, inspiration, and love of the Lord work together in our service is described for me perfectly in these words:

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:14–21).

I bear testimony that the Father and the Son are sending the Holy Ghost to all who have that gift, ask for that blessing, and seek to be worthy of it. Neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost force Themselves into our lives. We are free to choose. 

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

I pray with all my heart that you will hear the voice of the Spirit, which is sent to you so generously. And I pray that you will open your heart always to receive Him. If you ask with real intent and with faith in Jesus Christ for inspiration, you will receive it in the Lord’s way and in His time.

He has placed you in the way of other children of God to serve them for Him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Faith and Seeing God

I have been thinking a lot about faith and it’s role in being ushered into the presence of the Lord. Let’s start by looking at a few scriptures. 

Hebrews 11:3-6 
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Very interesting choice of words. “That things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” So, if the worlds were made physically through and by spiritual means, we too need to start creating our lives through and by spiritual means.

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

First of all, let’s be clear that it was his faith that made the difference in his offer than that of Cains. Two important things come up next and the first is, “by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” defines “witness” as a verb: “to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception” and as a noun: “an individual who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing; a beholder, spectator, or eyewitness.” Now, hold that thought and let’s look at the next part of the sentence that will give us a clue as to who he witnessed or saw or was in the presence of. “God testifying of his gifts.” So, Abel was a witness of God and God also testified to him of his gifts. Really powerful. I wonder what his gifts were. Here is a possible one, and that is the gift of eternal life. Very likely, Abel received his calling and election made sure and was an eyewitness to the glories of the eternities. I would not doubt if He was shown all things, like Adam, Noah, Moses, and "even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them. …” (Teachings, p. 149.). Speaking of his gifts, “and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Interesting choice of words again. I am going to take a stab at this. First he is authorized by God to speak, who else is authorized to speak for God or testify of God, you guessed it, prophets. I would guess that Abel is one of the noble and great ones that Abraham saw and likely one of the great prophets who testify of God to many nations, tongues, and people; even a great servant or ambassador of Christ.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Enoch is always known for being translated which is a holy and high status, but what happened “before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Not a testimony, but “this testimony,” which is the testimony of which Paul is talking about and that is of those who overcame while in the flesh. 

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

So, there is faith, and belief that God is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” And how does he reward them, by having them be a witness of Christ and appearing unto them and empowering them to be an even greater servant for God.

Hebrews 11:27
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Who is invisible to the world? Christ, who is mightier than the king, even all the kings.

I will close this post with some words from John Pontius's book, Journey to the Veil.

“As this year draws to thundering conclusion and we prepare to walk away from the struggles and strains of 2010, I want to have the record show that I have seen and I do know that there are great things, glorious things, divine gifts, and heavenly manifestations that are ours to claim. I am not guessing or hoping. These are things that I know. The Lord of Salvation stands ready, delighting in our importuning pleas to part the veil and invite Him to dwell with us.

Just as beginning tomorrow we must train our fingers to write “2011,” let us begin tomorrow to train our hearts to believe. Let us make this year our year of knowing, of parting the veil, and of kneeling at his feet. Let us make this the greatest year in our history, because it is the year when we invited Christ to return— not so much to cleanse the whole world, but to cleanse our souls, and to redeem us back into His presence, into that very real world of divine things seen presently by faith alone.

That will make it the greatest year indeed.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

The cost of exaltation and obedience

“The cost of exultation his obedience, and the cost of obedience is whatever it takes to teach us to hear the voice that we must obey.“ John Pontius

Wow, what an amazing quote. I simply love John Pontius, he is such a powerful writer and I feel the spirit so strong as I read his words. If we want to be exalted, we have got to learn to obey the voice of Christ in our hearts, and in order for us to obey we need to learn how to distinguish the voices in our mind and then obey the voice of Christ. 

Background image by: Carsten Frenzl

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Greater Obedience = Greater Faith

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment of faith” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 264). 

I simply love this quote. Years ago, after reading the book, “Kolobs Theorem,” I was praying about what attracts the Light and glory of God unto us and the spirit taught me that it was through our faith. Later when Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls.“ I took this to the Lord asking if I had misunderstood my previous prompting. The Lord then taught me that they are both true and that obedience is the proof or witness of your faith.

As I read this quote, I thought of the analogy of school and that the test proves or is a witness of the mastery of that material. Once someone masters that material they move onto the next chapter or greater knowledge. This same concept applies to faith and obedience, as we acquire faith as a gift from God and through obedience we show forth mastery of that portion of faith, the Lord then bestows greater faith. As we master that level of faith and prove it by obedience, then the Lord bestows even greater faith, and this continues on and on to greater and greater levels of faith, which at every level we gather greater and greater amounts of light and glory unto us. 

Lead image background by: Christian Mu

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Personal integrity is chiseled into place most often by adversity and challenges

"He understood that personal integrity is chiseled into place most often by adversity and challenges. All of us struggle daily with things that do not go as planned, that speak of heartache, disappointment, and failure. We cannot let ourselves be defined by them." Ronald A. Rasband

What a great quote. Next time we go through adversity and challenges, let us remember that we are being shaped and chiseled into a more polished character with even greater integrity.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Orson F. Whitney sees Christ in the Garden

Reading An Apostles Dream of the Savior Suffering for Us in Gethsemane That Will Deepen Your Understanding of the Atonement  LDS LivingArticle in Voice Dream

The following is an account by Orson F. Whitney published in the Improvement Era in January 1926.

One night I dreamed—if dream it may be called—that I was in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony. I saw Him as plainly as I see this congregation. I stood behind a tree in the foreground, where I could see without being seen. Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, He passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed. It was the same prayer with which we are all familiar: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” ([see] Matthew 26:36–44; Mark 14:32–41; Luke 22:42).

As He prayed the tears streamed down His face, which was toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I wept also, out of pure sympathy with His great sorrow. My whole heart went out to Him. I loved Him with all my soul and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else.

Presently He arose and walked to where the Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least suggestion of anger or scolding, asked them if they could not watch with Him one hour. There He was, with the weight of the world’s sin upon His shoulders, with the pangs of every man, woman, and child shooting through His sensitive soul—and they could not watch with Him one poor hour!

Returning to His place, He prayed again and then went back and found them again sleeping. Again He awoke them, admonished them, and returned and prayed as before. Three times this happened, until I was perfectly familiar with His appearance—face, form, and movements. He was of noble stature and of majestic mien—not at all the weak, effeminate being that some painters have portrayed—a very God among men, yet as meek and lowly as a little child.

All at once the circumstance seemed to change, the scene remaining just the same. Instead of before, it was after the Crucifixion, and the Savior, with those three Apostles, now stood together in a group at my left. They were about to depart and ascend into heaven. I could endure it no longer. I ran out from behind the tree, fell at His feet, clasped Him around the knees, and begged Him to take me with Him.

I shall never forget the kind and gentle manner in which He stooped and raised me up and embraced me. It was so vivid, so real, that I felt the very warmth of His bosom against which I rested. Then He said: “No, my son; these have finished their work, and they may go with me, but you must stay and finish yours.” Still I clung to Him. Gazing up into His face—for He was taller than I—I besought Him most earnestly: “Well, promise me that I will come to You at the last.” He smiled sweetly and tenderly and replied: “That will depend entirely upon yourself.” I awoke with a sob in my throat, and it was morning.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Live a Consecrated Life

A few weeks ago Elder Holland came to Tennessee. We had the privilege of hearing from him on Friday and on Sunday. It was an AMAZING weekend! The spirit was felt, by so many, and it had a lasting effect on our lives. The Friday night meeting was a question and answer session. Someone stood up and asked “What is the most important thing we can do to create Zion here in Tennessee?” Many many heads turned instantly to their neighbor with the same whispering that my husband and I exchanged, “Wow, great question!”

Then Elder Holland stood and gave the most profound, yet simple, answer, “Living a consecrated life.” We all instantly felt the Spirits confirmation of truth.  That Spirit continued to work in our hearts as he expounded on that thought.

Background image by: Hilton Chen

Many members of my ward share the same thoughts and feelings about the meeting. It left us with the desire to create Zion in our homes. It was a powerful and non-forgettable weekend, that continues to carry on in the hearts of the saints.

Yet, I made another observation. I asked an individual, after the weekend, if he enjoyed it and how he felt. The reply was, “Honestly, I didn’t really get much from it. It didn’t do anything for me. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was on my phone. I was just kinda bored.” Now those might not have been the exact words, but the take away was.... one person can think a meeting was boring and pointless, while another might think it was powerful and life changing. The decision is ours. It’s all about whether or not we go with our hearts and minds focused, willing and ready to be taught. We must enter meetings and classes with a prayer in our hearts for the spirit to teach us .

Since this weekend, my family has taken on the challenge to build our own Zion temple in our home, brick by brick (line upon line concept). We are currently working on the brick of obedience.
I asked my girls why obedience is the first law of heaven (as Pres. Hinckley has said). They didn’t know. And I realized I didn’t know how to answer either.

So we opened the scriptures together and started reading scriptures about obedience. We found several neat scriptures that led to great discussions, my favorite being Alma 3: 26-27. It reads, “And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.
For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy; therefore let it be according to the truth. And thus endeth the fifth year of the reign of the judges.

Our ultimate goal is to become like God. He wants us to have all that He has. As we obey we can receive more (wages) of what He has to offer. Through our obedience we receive more, little by little, until we one day reach our ultimate goal.

That is the answer my girls and I came up with together. I really enjoyed the opportunity to turn to the scriptures for answers, WITH my children.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Accomplishing the Impossible

Today we are doing a special fast for my brother, Don, and his flight against this aggressive cancer (GBM). Combine your faith with ours and fast with us!! I wanted to create a mobile screen wallpaper for my iPhone and iPad and these are what I came up with. Please save this picture to your lock screen to help focus your prayers and faith on Don's behalf. 

This saying came from a quote I wrote about a week ago. This reminded me so much of Don and it sums up his faith and his attitude. Go read that post of you haven't yet.... Ok, everyone just go read it again. 😀

iPad mobile wallpaper:

Friday, April 6, 2018

Precious Gifts from God - By President M. Russell Ballard

Precious Gifts from God - By President M. Russell Ballard Highlights

Reading Precious Gifts from God - By President M. Russell Ballard in Voice Dream

The Lord has said:

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his [meaning the President of the Church] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them … ;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.”3

Given the reality of our human weaknesses and shortcomings, how do we move forward in supporting and sustaining each other? It begins with faith—real, sincere faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in the Savior is the first principle of the doctrine and gospel of Christ.

I then remembered Jesus’s teachings: “For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”5

Brothers and sisters, life can be filled with faith, joy, happiness, hope, and love when we exercise the smallest amount of real faith in Christ—even a mustard seed of faith.

Elder George A. Smith remembered some advice the Prophet Joseph Smith gave to him: “He told me I should never get discouraged, whatever difficulties might surround me. If I was sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia and all the Rocky Mountains piled on top of me, I ought not to be discouraged but hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage and I should come out on the top of the heap at last.”6

Paul’s declaration: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Background image by: Paul

The power of the Sabbath day is to experience in church and at home the delight, the joy, and the warmth of feeling the Spirit of the Lord without any kind of distraction.

Too many allow themselves to almost live online with their smart devices—screens illuminating their faces day and night and earbuds in their ears blocking out the still, small voice of the Spirit. If we do not find time to unplug, we may miss opportunities to hear the voice of Him who said, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Remember the gift of the Sabbath day.

Partaking of the sacrament and renewing our covenants is a sign by us to the Lord that we do always remember Him. His Atonement is a gracious gift from God.

Many opportunities to serve are informal—without assignment—and come as we reach out to others we meet in life’s journey.

Service opens a window by which we understand the life and ministry of Christ. He came to serve, as the scriptures teach, “even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Jesus, “who went about doing good.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our most precious of all gifts from God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Nephi captured the importance of our Savior when he declared, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”13 We must keep Christ as the center of our lives at all times and in all places.

let us remember that Christ is supreme. He is the righteous Judge, our faithful Advocate, our blessed Redeemer, the Good Shepherd, the promised Messiah, a true Friend, and much, much more. He is indeed a very precious gift to us from our Father.

This is the Church in action! This is pure religion! This is the gospel in its true sense as we succor, lift, and strengthen those in spiritual and temporal need! Doing so requires us to visit them and to assist them,16 that their testimonies of faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement will be anchored in their hearts.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

He became like the Father

“In that spirit realm of light and glory he advanced and progressed and became like the Father in power and might and dominion. He was and is the Great Jehovah.“ The Moral Messiah volume one: from Bethlehem to Calvary