Womanhood & Mothers

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My sentiment today is on the beauties of womanhood and motherhood, as well as the irreplaceable roles they play.

Womanhood is the great nurturer and softener in the world we live. They are the first to find beauty, give a helping hand without judgement, and believe that goodness is found in all things.

Mothers are brave, protectors of their little lambs, and guiders and feeders of the Lord’s sheep on all fronts. Women reach out to bless the lost, the awkward, lonely or misguided. They minister with the same tenderness and power as the Savior.

It is a privilege to be a woman and mother. Joseph Smith taught in one of the first meetings of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, that they were to “live up to [their] privilege.” With that encouragement as a foundation, sisters in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been taught to live up to their divine potential by fulfilling God’s purposes for them. As they come to understand who they really are—God’s daughters, with an innate capacity to love and nurture—they reach their potential as holy women. With charity in their hearts, they fulfill the purposes of Relief Society: to increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help those in need.

A woman’s true beauty is found and seen, in the loving service of others, as she lives for the divinity she is. Her beauty and peace will emanate, and be shown as the greatest beauty of all God’s workmanship.

Equally important, is the role women play for their husbands. A mother and wife gives great blessing to their spouses, and equally to their boys, who eventually become men.

Without a mother, a child knows not of the love of a divine parentage, and of their role as a son or daughter of God.

A mother is the sublime creation, and expression of mercy and forgiveness. A mother loves much, and echoes the cry of forgiveness from our Savior’s heart.

Now I want to read a poem about beauty, as it relates to the stewardship of our bodies, as well as in the service of others, and the one we serve. It is called Image.

Image

One special place,
Within each person’s face,
Says they know who they are,
More than any other.

It’s not just in their smile,
Or their pretty style,
But in their eyes,
Where this knowledge resides.

When the veil of forgetting is removed,
By feelings of true love from above,
All things in life have direction,
And move towards eternal progression.

Through the lens of wisdom they see,
That the kingdom of God is the key,
Which opens the door to peace,
Aiding the traveler to be free.

Life has great purpose and joy,
For they no longer grope at the wall.
As warriors they fight the beast,
And with valor conquer all.

Throughout seasons of fashion,
They hold to the standards of the wise,
Holding up the divine light with delight,
And always striving to do the right.

When this is done, then spirit, mind,
And body are in their proper place,
And true joy and peace will emanate,
From this person’s bright and enlivened face.

 

Adam and Eve, and Us

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Adam and Eve were in a state of innocence when their bodies had been created, and they then put in them and brought to life. This is similar to a child as they are born. Innocent, without fully understanding the difference between right and wrong, because they do not comprehend it in it’s fullness of understanding.

It is for this reason that children, until they reach the age of eight years old, when science has determined that a child’s brain and development has reached a certain maturity of state, in which they are fully accountable for the actions they commit, that they are considered by the Lord accountable, and ready for baptism.

Jesus Christ, through His atonement, has made provision for children, as also Adam and Eve, when they were not fully accountable, by covering their sin(s) personally, so that they were OK to move forward, without having to repent of something they did not fully comprehend or understand. This is why Adam and Eve’s action against the Father’s will is called a transgression, rather than a sin. It was not until Adam and Eve had later fully gained understanding after the fall, that they needed repentance of sins and baptism.

Some individuals will never need baptism and repentance, because of a handicap or disability which stays with them until they pass from this life, and that’s also a part of God’s plan for that individual.

Transgressions, by virtue of a lack of understanding, do not need repentance, because they are fully covered by the Lord, but there are still consequenses, as in the case of Adam and Eve introducing sin and death into the world through partaking of the forbidden fruit. Sins do need repentance, and there are also still consequences, even after repentance, such as in the case of a young couple who engage in pre-marital sexual relations, and fully repent, but bring a child of God into the world.

God does make all things good, as in the case of any sin, transgression or misdeed. For had Adam and Eve not partaken of the forbidden fruit, their bodies would not have changed in a way to ever die, and return back into the presence of God after being cast out. They also could not have had children, as their bodies previous to the fall could not have children. Also, a child born out of wedlock, can bring great blessing to the world, and those around them.

The fall was meant to happen, so that God’s great plan of happiness could continue, and children could leave pre-earth life, come to earth and be tested, learn and grow, and have all the necessary earthly experiences required, to eventually become like Him in the eternities, even as a child can eventually become like his Father or Mother.

So the Atonement was not sent or made to fix an unforseen accident by Adam and Eve, in there being a forbidden tree in the first place, but rather, earth life and the fall are part of God’s plan from the beginning, in which our Savior had prepared for and accepted His role, to come and do what only He could do, and help us become clean, new, grow and perpetually become as our Heavenly Father or Mother someday.

The Assassination of the Early Apostles

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Jesus Christ

(Whose Hebrew name is spelled Yehoshua, meaning, Yes Father, I will): Was burdened in the garden of Gethsemane, with those burdens caused by those who hurt their fellow man, thus first taking the pains and afflictions of those who had been hurt, and abused by their oppressors.

Later, when in Roman rule and interrogation, He was striped, with His body still covered in His blood, and mockingly re-robed in a scarlet robe, symbolizing kingly reign. Next, He was again mocked with an earthly crown of thorns, wherein His blood was shed through His head, in which He drained out our impure thoughts, as part of His continuing atonement.

Then, He was again unencumbered, and scourged, with a multi-faceted woven whip, enclosing flint and bone, wherein He took the beating for us, in which we deserved the penalty, for our demerits.

Next, He was made to carry His cross beam up hill, from the streets of Jerusalem, to Calvary, which among the mockers, there was found a mourner among the few, who stepped forward to carry His cross, when our dear Christ stumbled, symbolizing our part to take, when we see others suffer and struggle in life.

Then, the dear Christ was fastened to the Cross, in sacred covenant, symbolizing Jesus Christ giving his life for the Church.

After He hung for some time, seeing that he had not died, they attempted to administer bile and vinegar, a poisonous mixture intended to kill. This mixture would have also deadened or numbed some of the pain He was experiencing, which was not appropriate.

After this was unsuccessful, they pierced a Roman spear through His side, in which all of the bitterness, built up from still experiencing and performing the atonement and work of salvation, was drained from Him. Again, our pains and bitterness were relieved from our bowels, through His atoning mercy. This still did not kill Him.

Three hours later, His Father, then allowed His Son to feel the entire weight of self existence, there on His own, withholding divine support, so as to complete His mission.

Three minutes later, the Christ voluntarily sent up His Spirit to The Father, with the words, “It is finished, Father, receive my Spirit.”

This is significant, because He was the only one, who could voluntarily leave His body. He was also the only one, who could then bless through healing, perfecting, and then voluntarily re-enter His body. This process is known as a sacred ordinance, or the resurrection.

Peter

Was crucified upside down, on an upside cross, because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died (according to early church tradition).

James

(The brother of Jesus): Who was the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was chased, and then pushed over the southeast pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, where he refused to deny his faith in Christ. He survived the hundred foot drop, and when the on-watching Romans discovered that he had survived the fall, they beat him to death with a “fuller’s” club. This was the same pinnacle where the Spirit (or Arc Angel), had taken Jesus, after which came the tempter.

John

Faced martyrdom, when he was thrown into a huge basin of boiling oil, during a wave of preaching in Rome. He was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the prison mines on the  island of Patmos. While there, he wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation. After John was translated (into a form in which he could not be killed) John returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey.

Matthew

Was wounded by a sword, and suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia.

Mark

Was killed in Alexandria, Egypt, by being tied, put into a chariot, pushed out, being dragged by horses through the streets, until he was dead.

Luke

Was hung in Greece, because of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

Other Apostles

(Whose names are found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles): Were likewise killed by Roman influence and reign.

This finally gave way for the new order to begin. Namely the Roman Catholic.

This is not to say that there is no good in this church today. There are good and negative influences in any multitude of people, whether combined under religious affect or not. Everywhere you go, you will experience good and hard, but with God, all can and will be made right.

In 1 Nephi 13:32 we read:

32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.

Thus we see that Nephi, a prophet from The Book of Mormon, was shown in vision the formation of the Catholic Church, and the means in which they kept back the most plain and precious parts of the gospel, as were originally taught in the Holy Bible.

Before they were forced to let the Bible go to the public, by the work of the early reformers and martyrs, they had altered much of the Holy Bible, including Revelation 22:18, which reads:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

A more correct translation would read something like this:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, for if any man shall alter or change these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

The Lord needed to restore His true church again, with its fullness.

We read in Doctrine & Coventants section 1:17-23 the following:

17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—

19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—

20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;

21 That faith also might increase in the earth;

22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;

23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

This shows us that the Lord has indeed restored His original gospel upon the earth, which was lost, and we have the living oracles, or prophets and apostles again upon the earth, with the Lord’s holy priesthood power and authority, to perform all the sacred ordinances, such as baptism, and confirmation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and all the other necessary priesthood ordinances and performances.

Relationships, Meeting In The Middle

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The cosmos…

Newton’s law – Every action, has an equal and opposite reaction. (Paraphrased by: Shane R. Brown)

Every action causes another action or reaction. A negative action can cause another negative reaction, or a negative action can set in motion and positive action or response. We get to choose what we do, and how we act.

Particles, elements… What we all have in common.

  • Who are we?

We are all entities. Yes, individual forms with varying traits, but each, not surprisingly, with the same capacity and force, as all other entities. So, what else are we?

We are not only beings of energy, light and understanding, but also, beings of emotional feeling. Yes, we are more than just chemical reactors, but more like agents made to act for ourselves. We all have the ability to choose.

In this sphere, on and in which we dwell, we have other entities all around us, namely, other humans. What we do does effect each other, and always will, through our thoughts, deeds, efforts and feelings.

  • Why relationships?

Another more devious question to counter would be, why not, right?

Because we are all equal in entity, we humans need to understand, that continuing to treat each other with equality is best.

When practiced, it is also found to be the easiest, healthiest, and most productive way to interact. Truly the most rewarding way to accomplish life itself. The aid and help of others also fulfills an undeniable need for emotional reciprocation.

This is why we should give our all, 100%. Yet, because we are separate entities, this preferred giving, also means meeting each other in the middle. When we meet in connection between each other, by giving our parts of 100%, then true exchange can be given, as we meet in the middle.

In this way, we continue in mutual enjoyment, and are giving equally to our relationships.

Ta-da!

May we all strive to meet each other in the middle, thus failing to undermine ourselves, and eventually society as a whole.

Clarity, a Clarion Call

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The scriptures teach explicitly what it takes to stand solid on unshifting ground. To be built upon the rock of Christ, and not fall when the devil and his kingdom falls.

The Book of Mormon is especially clear when it outlines the foibles and problems of our day, and then affirms the only way to safely guide us home.

What I find most interesting, is how clearly it defines the state and conditions of the world today, as it was written for our day, by prophets who foresaw our time, and were specifically called to minister for our day.

As this book of scripture only goes to strengthen the testimony of the Bible, and helps clarify some of its teachings (commonly misunderstood without it), it is especially important for us.

Not only does it outline truth, but it also testifies that the true church which Christ originally established, has been again brought forth and established in our day.

In 1820, a young farm boy at the age of 14, was called to restore Christ’s church, by means of asking a question through prayer, about which Christian church he should join. His prompting to ask, came from a verse in The Holy Bible.

While he prayed, in answer to his prayer, he had a visitation in a grove of trees near his small home, of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

They told him many things, and that he had a work to do. Later, an angel sent from God came by his bedside, and told him about an ancient record, which was written by prophets over the course of about 1,000 years on the American continent. It was concealed on an upper hillside, not a far distance from his homestead.

This record was then translated by this young man, by means of heavenly aid, into English. Eventually, through this young man, the Lord set up and established His church again, calling upon this young man to be the church’s first prophet, and restorer of His gospel upon the earth in 1830.

As part of Christ’s church’s restoration, the priesthood authority was restored, which gives the power and authorizes the use and practices of the saving ordinances, such as baptism and the receiving of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Just as the Lord authorized His servants the prophets and apostles to speak and have it recorded in holy writ through the scriptures, today, every 6 months we hear from our modern day prophets, apostles and women leaders, who have their words written and shared before the world to have use therefrom.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is wholly upon the earth today, acceptable of Him who is the head thereof. He will manifest the truth of this work to you, as you seek with real intent, and study it out in your heart and mind. Anyone who asks in sincere faith can receive an answer from God to know it’s truthfulness. Consider this verse from The Book of Mormon:

Moroni 10:3-5

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things (meaning The Book of Mormon), if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Yes, the kingdom of the Lord is at work among us, here, now, and you can be a part of it. I would ask you, as does Moroni, the prophet who made the above request and promise, that you would look into this church of Christ, namely, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here are two links to look at in your search for the truth of these things.

The church’s official website:

https://www.lds.org/

The church’s official site about meeting members of the church:

https://www.mormon.org/

Thank you and God bless!

Fasting, a Renewing and Focused Approach

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As I have the opportunity to fast for members of my family, I am reminded of at least three reasons why fasting and prayer are more efficacious than normal prayer. For one, as we are obedient to something that is a challenge, the Lord has more room to bless us. While we go without food or drink, we are driven to consider our need, and in this, Christ is the resource of our aid, not food or drink.

As we come unto Him for our spiritual and physical help, we open up the door to greater communion and unity. Because of our submission to the Spirit, our wills are more aligned to His, because we recognize and honor Him as our sustainer and law giver. We promise to do His will and yield ourselves unto Him.

Another reason to consider, is when I am struggling to get through and keep my fast, the actual suffering itself, with the persons or situations in mind, will experience a relief of their suffering, as the trials they are experiencing, are then transfered with love, onto the one(s) fasting for their relief.

The difference is, that because the faster is drawing unto the Lord, it is the Lord, who takes the pain and burden, for the faster(s) can lay the burden on Christ, and He will carry the faster, burdens and recipient of the blessings. If someone is in need of extra help, and may struggle to turn to the Lord, or just has a peculiarly difficult trial, we can be the means of relief and blessing for them, and Christ will do His part.

Because of this, it is a communal effort, in which loved ones combine, to cover an ailment or trial of the one or many, to give them the strength and aid to make it through. In other words, it is a labor of love.

Patience, an Enabling Virtue

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I have studied and pondered what I might next portray in this testimony blog, and desire to impart knowledge as it relates to my recent experience with patience.

In my schooling, both academic and spiritual, attending a school under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or a church school, I have been well pleased. I have found that this school does not separate the educational learning model of faith and academics. They are combined under the principle that all true learning, whether spiritual or academic, is taught through the Holy Ghost. For truly everything physically created was first spiritually created, and all things have spiritual import.

Indeed, only the truth will and can be taught by the Holy Ghost. There are precepts taught by man’s learning and understanding, which are not true or correct, but under the umbrella of learning through the Holy Ghost, only truth is taught, and under this influence, truth can be discerned from error, and one can avoid being deceived.

It is in my spiritual studies as of late, which I have come to learn and ponder much about the subject of patience.

Only using the scriptures and the words of the prophets to give insights to this topic, and that which I have studied in this my schooling of recent undertaking, I will attempt to share with you, feelings and findings, which I hope you will enjoy and find useful.

President Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said in a recent general conference talk, “…patience will transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels.” How, “…patience means staying with something until the end; delaying instant gratification for future blessings; it means reigning in anger, and holding back an unkind word. It means submitting to all things which the Lord sees fit to inflict upon us…”.

Truly patience is a virtue that will help us acquire all the other Christ-like virtues we so desperately need. Although it is such a high and refining trait, I know that by seeking to obtain this spiritual gift, we will be greatly blessed. In the pursuit of this goal, I know that my ability to bless my family will be enhanced, and I will experience greater peace and joy.

In this journey over the next few years, I will be a faithful father, son and husband, pressing ever onward, toward this most glorious goal, of all that our Father in Heaven has for us. To be as a son can be, even as his Father.

May we all seek to improve ourselves, and do so with the greater exercise of patience.