Sunday, May 20, 2018

Am I a Child of God? - By Elder Brian K. Taylor

Am I a Child of God? - By Elder Brian K. Taylor Highlights

Reading Am I a Child of God? - By Elder Brian K. Taylor in Voice Dream

President Boyd K. Packer’s words are plain and precious: “You are a child of God. He is the father of your spirit. Spiritually you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. Fix that truth in your mind and hold to it. However many generations in your mortal ancestry, no matter what race or people you represent, the pedigree of your spirit can be written on a single line. You are a child of God!”4

“When you … see our Father,” Brigham Young described, “you will see a being with whom you have long been acquainted, and he will receive you into his arms, and you will be ready to fall into his embrace and kiss him.”5

When asked, “How can we help those struggling with [a personal challenge]?” an Apostle of the Lord instructed, “Teach them their identity and their purpose.”11

“The Most Powerful Knowledge I Possess”

These powerful truths were life-changing for my friend Jen,12 who as a teenager caused a serious car accident. Though her physical trauma was severe, she felt exquisite pain because the other driver lost her life. “Someone lost their mom, and it was my fault,” she says. Jen, who just days before stood and recited, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us,”13 now questioned, “How could He love me?”

“The physical suffering passed,” she says, “but I didn’t think I would ever heal from the emotional and spiritual wounds.”

In order to survive, Jen hid her feelings deeply, becoming distant and numb. After a year, when she was finally able to talk about the accident, an inspired counselor invited her to write the phrase “I am a child of God” and say it 10 times daily.

“Writing the words was easy,” she recalls, “but I couldn’t speak them. … That made it real, and I didn’t really believe God wanted me as His child. I would curl up and cry.”

After several months, Jen was finally able to complete the task every day. “I poured out my whole soul,” she says, “pleading with God. … Then I began to believe the words.” This belief allowed the Savior to begin mending her wounded soul. The Book of Mormon brought comfort and courage in His Atonement.14

“Christ felt my pains, my sorrows, my guilt,” Jen concludes. “I felt God’s pure love and had never experienced anything so powerful! Knowing I am a child of God is the most powerful knowledge I possess!”

President Russell M. Nelson testified, “Something powerful happens when a child of God seeks to know more about Him and His Beloved Son.”

Christ’s every word and deed reveals the true nature of God and our relationship to Him.

Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “With blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought—His Father. ‘Abba,’ He cried, ‘Papa.’”

Joseph retired to pray.

“I kneeled down,” he later wrote, “and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. …

“… I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head. …

“… I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—[Joseph,] This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”22

As we follow the examples of the Savior and the Prophet Joseph in earnestly seeking God, we will come to understand in a very real way, as Jen did, that our Father knows us by name, that we are His children

To mothers, especially young mothers, who often feel overwhelmed and underwater while striving to raise “a sin-resistant generation,”23 never underestimate your central role in God’s plan. In stressful moments—perhaps when you are chasing little ones and a charred smell from the kitchen informs you that your lovingly prepared dinner is now a burnt offering—know that God sanctifies your most difficult days.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee,”25 He peacefully reassures. We honor you as you fulfill the hope of Sister Joy D. Jones, who stated, “Our children deserve to understand their divine identity.”26

I invite each of us to seek God and His Beloved Son.

open the Book of Mormon, and you will come to know that “[God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so].”32

Coming to know our Father changes everything, especially our hearts, as His gentle Spirit confirms our true identity and great worth in His sight.33 God walks with us along the covenant path as we seek Him through prayerful pleadings, scriptural searchings, and obedient strivings.

Gratefully, I testify that I have come to know God, my Father, and bear witness of the perfections, attributes, and “excellency of [His] character.”38

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Well of water springing up into everlasting life

John 4:14
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

We are so blessed to have the words of our Lord and Master. Do we treasure them up in our minds and have our actions reflect His? We can all do more to help bring ourselves and others to the waters of living water and thus obtain eternal life. Join us on this spiritual crusade and “let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” 3 Nephi 12:16

Background image by Dan

Sunday, May 6, 2018

I will fear no evil

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Background image by: David Ruddock

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Obedience - Blessings flow

“Obedience allows God’s blessings to flow without constraint. Russell M Nelson

  I simply love this quote. Isn’t that what we want anyway, blessings from God? We now know what we must do, and that is to be obedient to His words. 

Background image by: David Ruddock

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How long will you choose darkness

Helaman 13:29
O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?

This is a question that we should all ask ourselves, “Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?” We are all at different levels on our journey to God, but regardless of who you are or where you are at, we can all embrace more light than we previously are. Let us ponder these words and decide today to make some much needed changes to embrace more light.

To what end do we want more light, because it brings more and more happiness and joy. 

Alma 41:8-10
8 Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.
9 And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.
10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

As you see “wickedness never was happiness” and so you see that we must choose light rather than darkness to be truly happy. 

“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” CS Lewis


Join me in embracing more light and finding happiness and joy in this life and the next.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

See the Lord and Know That He Is

"I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil and to know more than man knows.  A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord's face and know that He is."  (Ensign, March 1980)

Pres. Spencer W. Kimball

What a powerful quote. This is my greatest desire, to gather more and more light unto myself until I at last will the mercifully brought into The presence of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to bathe his feet with my tears and express my love and gratitude for and to Him. Oh, what a glorious day!! We now have the steps to achieve such a glorious experience, “a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God” and in time when we have enough light we will be privileged to KNOW THAT HE IS!! 

Come join me on this spiritual crusade to Christ!!

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