Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Male Teachers

To all the few and far between male teachers out there, do not underestimate the influence you have on the young men of today.  Many of them come from broken, unharmonious, or verbally, emotionally, or even physically abusive homes.  There is a great lack for modeling of how to be a dad in this world.  When you have the chance to be a positive influence for a young man, do it.  The role of "teacher" is one of the most prized yet most undervalued positions in the world today.

Tonight my son told me when he grows up, he wants to be like his Social Studies teacher, Mr. Barry.  In my opinion, that is a loss for his father, and a win for his teacher.  For what it's worth, step up to the plate, men, and be men, not assholes.  Your kids deserve better.  If you don't know how to be a man, find a real one and emulate him.  

The Direction of Faith

Quote by a friend, Matt Crockett, which he wrote as directed by Holy Spirit, with Praise & Glory to God:
"You either have faith that God exists or you have faith that He does not exist. Either way, both are an act of faith. One unto life and salvation and the other unto misery and damnation. It is a choice to believe, as it is a choice to believe He does not exist, both are beliefs founded on faith. Which belief wins? Whichever belief you feed."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Enjoy Baptism

There is a new website, called Born of Water.

I agree with the doctrine of Christ, found in 3 Nephi 11.  It is simple.

When Christ came to the Nephites resurrected, he taught them His doctrine quite quickly.  It was one of the first things He did.

To baptize more or less than what He taught is contrary to His doctrine.

The words of the prayer in 3 Nephi 11 ought to be used.

"And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."  

When I was 8 years old, my awesome dad baptized me.  He rocks.  He used the words in D&C 20:73.  It reads,

"...Having been comissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

The original Articles and Covenants, as written in the Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations Vol. 1, read thus: 

"And the way of Baptism is to be ministered in the foll owing manner unto all those who Repent whosoever being  called of God & having authority given them of Jesus Christ  shall go down into the water with them & shall say calling  them by name having authority given me of Jesus Christ I  baptize thee in the name of Jesus Christ the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Ghost amen then Shall he immerse them  in the water & come forth again out of the water" 
Where and why was the wording changed from "authority" to "commissioned"?  I have no idea, nor do I even care to know.  Somewhere between the original words and what we have now, the words of the ordinance have been changed.  This calls to mind an interesting warning from Isaiah.

"The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.  The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left."  - Isaiah 24:4-6
I don't think we can begin to understand the significance of changing an ordinance.  If an ordinance is to call us to remembrance of Christ, and we adapt it to suit our whims and pleasures, new definitions, or new adaptations, is it of any worth?  This logic is the reason we are so strict to complete temple ordinances with such exactness.  Exactness is a principle we ought to take note of.

If your baptism fell under adapted, changed words, is it of any worth?  Ought it to be repeated, using the words Christ directed us to use?  He said that more or less than this is evil.  Was my first baptism by my dad sufficient?  I don't think Jesus is trying to demonize anyone, however the strength of the words is exact.  He is illustrating how important exactness is.  By ignoring it, we are un-exact, sloppy, and slothful.

In aiming to follow with exactness, I believe Christ in His mercy has brought to light the incorrectness of our ordinance, through those with eyes to see.  There are those who have earnestly sought authority from God, and upon receiving heavenly confirmation, are offering to baptize using the words commanded by Christ.  We ought to obey.

I have experienced baptism three times in my life.  Each time was awesome!  I will likely experience more, as I believe this is something we ought to do as often as needed.  We practice faith throughout our lives, and offer daily acts of it.  We practice repentance throughout our lives as well.  Once and done is not enough.  Until I find direction from Christ that it is a sin to repeat baptism, I will likely continue to practice it, exactly as I do with faith, repentance, and receiving the Holy Ghost in my life.  The Jews practice Mikvah, or routine immersion in water.  Christ practiced that, as he fulfilled each detail of the law of Moses.  The Book of Mormon illustrates account after account of rebaptism, we just need eyes to see.

If you would like to experiment to observe the fruits, feel free to utilize this website to find someone close to you who would be happy to volunteer to assist in helping you fulfill this commandment.  I am certain it blesses those who receive, as well as those who stand to perform the ordinance.

May the Lord God bless you with increased LOVE as you consider receiving baptism throughout your life!  May you observe the most delicious fruit from it as well.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weight of the World

Have you ever felt the weight of the world?  

Yesterday in Relief Society, the lesson was on President Benson's talk on Pride.  Beware of Pride. The teacher highlighted a scripture, found in Ezekiel 16:49-50.

"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  
And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."
Our fabulous teacher highlighted the verse for its application to the lesson, namely the featuring of pride.  The other points were an afterthought.  The iniquity of the city of Sodom was pride, as well as other things.

The teacher read the list, took a breath at this part of the verse, and then began into the next verse.

This was the part she omitted: "Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

Is taking care of the poor and needy such an afterthought that it doesn't even make it into the list of latter-day abominations?  It is an afterthought!  In fact, a no thought.

As one of the 4-fold missions of the Church, I found its omission in the discussion startling.

I sat there, hoping we would come back to this point.  I waited for someone else to highlight it too.  I even raised my hand at one point, but the teacher didn't see it and was steadily moving on, so I put it back down.  (I've already made a few too many waves of late, so didn't feel like starting another soapbox.)  This day I was not up for a heated heart in a potentially heated discussion.  I think my heart died a little.

WHEN will it be acknowledged a SIN that we refuse to STRENGTHEN the HAND of the POOR and NEEDY?  When will it not be a burden, but a pleasure?

There are so many extravagances in this country.  So many expectations, and taken-for-granteds.  I heard the sisters jump on board in despising pride, yet we walk in it.  We swim in it.  We boast of it!

I posted the following in my Ward Facebook page last week.

Brothers and Sisters, I want to thank _____ ______ for drawing this to my attention today. I hope no one minds me sharing some thoughts about the message she shared.

The cause of the Christians in the Middle East has been heavy on my heart since the start of the new year, when a friend asked me to pray for Baghdad as ISIS was pressing near. I have had my head in the sand politically for a long time, and have simply believed all I could do was pray for these people. _____ shared a link where as individuals we can mark what we personally can do, (at this point it is specifically in pressing the government), together to remove the restrictions for CHRISTIAN refugees. This page gathers our info for how we can commit to help. The Church has committed up to $1 million in donations to this crisis, but it is currently foreign aid only. Currently the US is only open to Syrian refugees, so there is little we can do at home beyond prayer. However the US gov't will NOT justify bringing in Christians. These are our brothers and sisters, and this is not a partisan issue. It is a true humanitarian crisis.

Will you please prayerfully consider what your family would be willing to do to help? I personally would be happy to volunteer any funds relegated to our social activities, ward parties, scouting activities, etc, but I am just one member out of hundreds. Would you be willing to ask that our ward activity funds be offered in service as food, shelter, raiment for these souls? How about our Holiday Dinner funds? We have shown very easily how well we can put together a pot luck for Linger Longer. Can we together voice our support of donation of resources, whatever we may have?

I believe the heavens are watching, truly, to see if we are willing to respond. While there are several organizations I have seen cropping up, asking for donations, I appreciate that this one is not just interested in money, but tangible service, opening of homes, and true agape in the pure love of Christ. I share this here because as a ward family I believe we can do this with greater strength together than separately. I hope the fact that Glenn Beck is a political activist does not repel anyone from considering this opportunity. Last night he spoke in the Brandon, FL, Stake, regarding this opportunity. I hope and pray the message spreads. If you prefer another organization to consider, please, by all means, share some links.

We are on the cusp of the 4th blood moon in a tetrad of blood moons over Jewish holy days. I believe these are signs, just as the scriptures alert. We are being warned. Today marks the Jewish New Year, which Christ would have celebrated the end of the Schmitah, or 7th year, the year of rest. This evening marks the start of a Jubilee year. It is a big, big deal. May we celebrate, please, and remember what Jesus was truly about. Mosiah 3-4.

Thank you, _______, for sharing this.
Would you like to see the follow up comments?  Here is the first, after I tagged the Bishop's wife.

"I appreciate the need for donating to worthy causes. As with anything, each person and family can elect to help. I would caution on expecting the local ward to donate funds. The church has a humanitarian arm where they do what they can and feel is best in the situation. The local funds are set aside for the care of the local members. I don’t know the exact process, but I doubt there are ever excess funds; what is remaining off of events and projects is often put to the members in need. I know that in our hearts we would like to care for those overseas, but the local ward funds are probably not the way to go. This isn’t a commentary on the need or validity of this project. I just doubt that the ward can donate official funds."

[Ironically, since posting that post last week, Glenn Beck's audience has donated over SEVEN MILLION dollars.  The LDS Church, with its vast resources and reach of over 14 million members, has indiscriminately donated aprox $1.2 million, back in 2012. I have no idea what the total is as of today, however the Deseret News updated their article on 9/14/15 and it circulated as if it were fresh, although written back in 2012. ]

So carry on with your iPhone 6s.  Carry on with your new SUVs and competitive soccer leagues.  Carry on with your Linger Longers, your paper plates and plastic cups (with cupboards full of china and glassware), carry on with your scout badges, your craft parties, your ward budgets designated to buy plastic tablecloths and centerpieces for the chili cookoffs.  Carry on with the corn and mashed potatoes for holiday dinners and the lights and utilities for buildings and temples and shopping malls and billboards and ad campaigns on YouTube.  Carry on with the HeartSell, the paid actors, the MormonMessages, the iPads for missionaries, the General Authority stipends and vacations, the Follow the Prophet, the All is Well in Zion!  Carry on, carry on, carry on!!!

Among the talk of Planned Parenthood selling of baby parts, and boys getting raped in Afghanistan and soldiers being disciplined for not looking the other way, we are ripe.  Let's not even talk about girls who are Activity Day Girls' age getting raped and sold in Syria as sex slaves as our government is giving both money and weapons to terrorists.  Let's not think of the men being CRUCIFIED because they follow Jesus, or toddlers beheaded and left in the streets.  Let's not talk about the mothers being separated from their living children and the culture of death which we ignore.

What if we actually supported a mother in bringing life to this planet?  What if women were paid to bring babies into the world, rather than paying for their dead babies?  What if rather than saying we are pro-life, we quit griping about welfare and supporting single moms who made choices that we don't approve of?  (That's a tough pill for even me to swallow.)  What if we offered a better choice and incentive to KEEP the baby, rather than shaming the woman seeking the abortion?  What if we did this outside of government control, but willingly, such that there were no need for the government?

What if we truly fed the poor, not just food, but true light and knowledge, rather than damning them up, insisting they aren't ready?  What if we lifted them up?

What if rapist men in Aftganistan (and surely other nations) had something better to do with their genitals than screw their sons?  Bastards!!!

What if we talk about the true problem in this world with pornography, and how it is the LARGEST expenditure of money in the WORLD?  How about we talk how to truly overcome it?

This world is so ripe in sin, it is sickening.  This post is dark, yes.  It is not uplifting in the least.  In reading these things I cannot help but weep, feeling the horrible weight of the world on my heart.  Please God, when will You intervene with your earthquakes of which You warned?  When will the earth swallow these horrific sins up, and vomit them out as dross?


The Savior died for ALL these.  All these sinners, these rapists, these murders.  These Satanists.  All these women screaming with pride for their rights to kill their offspring unborn.  All these folks killing police officers as a right of justice.  The men (and hidden women) removing their precious childrens' innocence beneath the sheets.  The thought, just reading the news I just read is nauseating.  It would be better for a millstone to be hung around their necks, but they continue to practice their barbary.  REPENT!!!  Your Allah condones this horror?  Are you SERIOUS?  Your sons are screaming out each night for salvation, and your hellish king says Carry on!?

The one TRUE GOD speaks of REPENTANCE.  Of LOVE.  Of FORGIVENESS.  Of MERCY.  May GOD have MERCY on your hellbent souls.  May you please, please, I beg of you, cease from raping your children, from killing innocents in all lands, and from this horrible, horrible wickedness.  There are people who can help, and there is a GOD who will help if you ask.  May we, as followers of CHRIST



Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Warning of Secret Combinations

Have you ever wanted to get closer to God?  Have you ever found someone who says they have found God, and if you listen to them, or mentor with them, or pay them money, you can become more enlightened?

Have you ever found friends who spoke quietly about God, and told you that the things they have shared really need to be kept secret?  For privacy's sake, because it was so holy?  But because you are so special, so trusted, that they can share their secret with you in confidence?  

Have you ever found a group of friends, who spoke privately about God, and joined up together to talk privately about God, to the exclusion of inviting others?  

Have you ever made an agreement with a group of friends, such as a head nod in understanding, or a verbal, "No, I won't tell," or even an "No, I promise I won't tell," that you would not disclose the private information to anyone outside of the circle?  Not just because it was private and personal, but because it was "sacred"?  Maybe you wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings for not inviting them, or you wouldn't want their company in the first place?  

Ether 4:11-14:

But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record.  For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.
And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me.  I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me – that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me.  For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.  
Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.  
Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief. 
Christ lays the invitation to us to come directly to Him.  No intermediary.  No mentor, paid guru, or enlightened master.  The invitation is free, unrestrained or unrestricted.  He asks us to lay aside our unbelief, and HE will show us line upon line, until we find Him.  HE will be our teacher, that we may learn the knowledge which has been hidden because of unbelief.

Perhaps He will give us help along the way by means of people.  But they will not need share information in secret, nor exclusively at the exclusion of others.

One reason I am outside the bounds of being a "worthy recommend holder" is that I will not ascribe to an oath-like indication for sustaining the leaders of the Church.  Oaths made to any man are suspect, and potentially dangerous.  It is fascinating how easy it is to build and participate in a secret combination.  I have seen them among the Mormons.  I have seen them among my friends, among sisters I visit taught, and among sisters that visit teach me.  I have been a part of some unknowingly, and being kicked out and excluded was ugly.  I see those I care about being invited in to some, and observe their sudden quietness, secrecy, and inability to discuss anything going on in their lives.

When Moses went up to the mount to talk with the Lord, he invited others to come too.  He did not exclude them.

Christ's invitation is OPEN.  It is not CLOSED.  It is not private.  It does not need time to ponder over one's worthiness.  It does not need the approval of a group of other enlightened masters.  Christ invited not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles to come to Him.  That encompasses the whole world.  In fact, he invited the Gentiles first in the verses above.  

If you believe you need to be in the right "circle", the right "club", the right "church", or even to follow the right "prophet" or "apostle", "pastor" or "teacher", rather than going DIRECTLY to the Lord Jesus Christ, I propose and suspect you might have missed the boat.  I only speak it from my own experience.  Belonging to such things is encouraged and promoted in our culture.  It feels good to be included and revered.  However if you are in such a group which intentionally excludes others, consider the possibility that you might be involved in a "secret" combination.  And likewise if you risk expulsion from such a group by talking about it openly with those outside the group, you're likely in one too.

I share this not to judge anyone, but simply realized this is a predominant theme of the Book of Mormon, which no one ever discusses the dangers of.  I was in one and not even realize it.

Christ wants us to come direct, uninvolved and unentangled with oaths of secrecy.

A city on a hill cannot be hid.  It will be powerful because of the Light, Life, and Truth which it contains.

Works of darkness will be destroyed when the light shines on them.  Come to Him, please, I beg.

With love, in Jesus' name.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Magic 8 Ball Miracle

I would be remiss if I didn't testify...

Had to start the post like that.  This is one of those kinds of follow-ups.

My last post I compared a Magic 8 Ball to a Liahona.  The topic of the post came to me when I was reading the verses included.  I study here and there, but often when I blog something, it's because the insight comes strong enough to my heart and mind that my intellect is then connected to the knowledge that I need to share it.  That's what I did with the last post.

It's funny because Magic 8 Balls used to be really popular when I was a kid.  We never owned one though.  To be completely honest I rarely, if ever, think of them, and when I studied Alma 37 and wrote the post, it was probably the first time in years I had thought of one.  I am confident to say that it's probably been well over 12 years that I have not even touched one, if not longer.  [And I remember thinking it would be cool if I posted a picture of one, but I didn't want to take the time to search one out and copy and paste it in here.  Ah well for the picture variety.]

Well last Thursday I had my car into the shop to get our state inspection.  I tried to set it up on Monday, but they were too full of appointments at the shop, so the soonest they could get me in was Thursday.  That day, we had struggled to figure out how to drop the van off and get the kids to school.  Typically we take two cars and drop one off the night before, and retrieve it later.  This time I had to take it in and wait.  All this, after a summer-long of repairs.  We were several days late getting it in as well.

Anyways, I sat down to read, after explaining to the mechanic owner that I'd need to stay and wait.  I hoped he didn't mind.  I pulled out a book to read, called The Emotion Code, by Dr. Bradley Nelson.  This quote at the beginning struck me as so true.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but this is because fiction is obliged to stick to probability; truth is not. -Mark Twain
I read for over an hour, and was astounded at the amazing level of truth and insight the book contained.  To put the first 45 pages briefly, it demonstrated that we are all made of molecules which are 99.9% empty space.  The empty space is what connects us, and our molecules which make up our body and spirit.  However despite this space, we are connected both physically and energetically.  We can transmit information by frequency, or the energy it takes to vibrate the molecules in connection with the air.  The information is truth, which connects us not only to our own being, but also to the space and world, and even universe around us.  It also connects us to God.  This truly makes it possible for us to "feel" God with us, and for God to "be" in connection with us.  My friend calls this "grace", and stresses this as a major point of practicing Christian meditation.  To become still enough to "feel" God through our skin, despite the fact that He possesses an immortal body.  (God is Omnipotent and Omnipresent.)  That's another post though, and probably one I don't have the words or capability to quantify.

This book also discusses muscle testing, and how to do it.  Muscle testing is a tool, similar to dowsing, lie-detector tests, heartbeat monitors or other sensors which utilizes physical elements to discover truth about either physical or otherwise difficult to detect truths.  They rely on science, energy, and vibrations.  The book linked to scientific studies and articles regarding the brain as well, indicating this is all backed up by provable science.  I really appreciated having those studies footnoted.

Well as I was reading, the mechanic came back in and out of the office to record car notes, I suppose.  I looked up at him at the desk at one point, and noticed this, sitting on the desk.

Whaaaaat?????  I just blogged about this!  I asked the owner what it was for.  He said people are always asking him stuff like, "Will my car make it if I drive it to Florida?"  He said he tells them, "I don't know!  Ask the Magic 8 Ball."

So after he left, just for kicks I picked it up and gave it a jiggle, not really thinking too hard.

It told me to "Concentrate and ask again".  Ok.  I laughed.  You've got to be kidding me.  Was I wrong in my post?

Well, I'd been stressed over a bus stop situation at my kids' school.  Long story short, it had stressed me so much that it troubled me for days.  So remembering the post, and remembering the Liahona is NOT a Magic 8 ball, I thought to ask God, "God, could this act as a Liahona?  Could you give me some peace over this bus situation?  Can I use this to get an answer on this, so I can quit stressing?"  I had felt full of confusion.

So despite saying a Magic 8 Ball is NOT a Liahona, I asked God to have an answer to the question I posed.

I looked at it again.

I prayed.  Remembering that muscle testing is a tool, I realized that God can even use things like this to give answers.  He can use ANYTHING to give us answers, we just need to be faithful to accept it as such.  So despite my post, YES, a Magic 8 Ball CAN be a Liahona.  Or at least offer some direction.  "Will Mr. ___ and Dr. ___ move the bus stop to _____?  I really would appreciate it.  I know I have not exhibited any faith in the situation or asked You before.  But please, can you change or soften their hearts so they will change the bus stop to ___?  I am exerting faith now, and would like to be free from this horrible mood that has bothered me and stressed me out now for days."  I flipped it over.

Oh boy!!!  I laughed!  I smiled!  The funk I was in shifted.  I actually believe this was an answer to my prayer, my visualization of where the new bus stop will be.  Granted I have yet to see if it will be changed, or if the school folks will give a crap and actually come out and reconsider the stop.  But I know God heard my prayer here.  So many miracles lined up.

The inspiration about Magic 8 Balls came while reading, several days before.
I couldn't get the car in the shop for 4 more days, on Monday.
The reminder to post came Tuesday morning, and it was posted.
I missed the school bus on Wednesday, causing drama and even tears, as I asked the school administrators to consider (again) moving the stop for the kids' safety. (Ack!)
I had to sit in the office on Thursday, rather than just dropping off the car Wednesday night.
My husband was moody on Thursday morning, adding to my poor mood.
I had to take 4 kids to the bus stop that morning, as a reminder of how much I dislike the drive.
The Emotion Code was my book of choice, and I actually got time to read it.
It cleared up my understanding about tools used to discern and learn truth.
The mechanic walking in the office led my attention to the desk, where the Magic 8 Ball sat.
The AHA moment was had.

This was a miracle.

Walk in LOVE this day.  God is watching and DOES love you and me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Not a Magic 8 Ball

Alma 37:38-47.5, with my own punctuation.

And now my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball or director or our fathers called it Liahona, which is being interpreted a compass.  And the Lord prepared it, and behold there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship.
And behold it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness, and it did work for them according to their faith in God.  Therefore if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold it was done.  
Therefore they had this miracle and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God day by day.  Nevertheless because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works they were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence.  And then those marvelous works ceased and they did not progress in their journey, therefore they tarried in the wilderness or did not travel a direct course and were afflicted with hunger and thirst because of their transgressions.  
And now my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow, for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper, even so it is with things which are spiritual, for behold it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.  
And now I say is there not a type in this thing?  For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers by following its course to the promised land, shall the words of Christ if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.  O my son do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way!  For so it was with our fathers, for so was it prepared for them that if they would look they might live!  Even so it is with us, the way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.  And now my son see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea see that ye look to God and live!  
I had a rich discussion with a friend the other day.  She is a saint in so many ways.  Much of what I was saying seemed to be going unnecessarily far for her.  She asked, "But don't you think that just by being a good person, we can get there?"  She didn't see any problem with the drumbeat of "Following a Prophet," and figured as long as she did what was asked and served and was a good mom, her case was in good shape in the eternal realms.  Never mind what D&C 76 says.

In many ways I feel like she is in good shape, and it's not for me to judge.  But by taking out our 2nd hole of earrings because a man says so is indicative of our reliance on a Magic 8 ball, rather than a Liahona.  There is a difference.

When we use a Magic 8 ball, we shake it and ask a question.  We hope and hope and hope with all our might that the ball will give us the answer that we want.  We ride things out on superstition, and play along for fun.  The risks are not high, and we can be pretty slothful and come up with some less-than-serious questions.  Like "Will I marry Ricky Martin?"  Shake the ball, and get your answer.  It's pretty easy to disregard.  

With the Liahona, it did not work dependent upon the user's faith in the compass.  It was not a Magic 8 ball.  (Don't you think it's peculiar that we have a knockoff variety of the Liahona?  Does Satan have his imitation here?)  The Liahona strictly worked according to their faith in God, which was reflected in the action of the spindles.  They had to believe God was operating it and leading their journey, and they had to be full of faith in HIM.  If they were not faithful in the simple things, it would not work, despite their best hope and hope and hope and hope that it would work.  I can just see some of the guys complaining that the stupid thing wasn't working.  Perhaps they even began believing in the ball more than God himself?  Well how's your faith?  Do you have faith in a dead ball or in the living God?  That is the easiness of the way.  How easy is it to not even take the effort to notice the difference between a person/place/thing whose works are dead versus the living God?   

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Megamoon and Intercession

I am always, always transfixed when I see a full moon.  I was born on a night of a full moon, and my body and my family always notices when it's full.

Tonight it's a "supermoon", or as I like to call it, a MEGAMOON.  It's absolutely stunning.

Some people say the moon represents Christ.  They say the sun represents the Celestial glory, where the Father, Son and Holy Ghost dwell.  That the moon represents the Terrestrial glory, where the Son and Holy Ghost can go.  And the stars represent the billions of souls, and the Telestial glory.  (See 1 Corinthians 15.)

Remembering Christ on the full moon has been a beautiful thing for me.  I also remember Him when I think of the Sun, as a play on words for the Son.  But thinking of Him on the full moon is fun too, especially when symbolically we have a "blood moon", knowing that we are cleansed through His blood.

One thing I love to consider with the full moon is Christ's intercession on our behalf.  Everything He did was for us, and infinitely He acts as our mediator.  Rather than accuse us, he would seek to show mercy to us for our faults.  He intercedes between us fallen "stars", and links us to the Father, who is full of glory.  It might not be a perfect analogy, but seeing the full moon always reminds me that if I am to be like Him, I ought to consider the idea of being like Him.  How do I do that?  To imitate him in intercession is a big deal, and not an easy one.

One way I believe we can intercede is to pray on behalf of those who are our enemies, or who would spitefully use or abuse us.  There is a lot of talk of abuse towards many I love, as well as strangers.  How would it benefit us, to pray for those who treat us so poorly?  I have honestly felt such a quick lifting out of my sin, also known as hatred, by calling on the Lord for help when the natural woman in me would prefer to strike out in retaliation or hate.

Helaman 5:10:

And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.    
So frequently when I ask the Lord where I ought to read, I am directed to Helaman 5: 10.  Fascinating how in this verse, Nephi and Lehi are remembering the words of their father, Helaman.  Helaman was asking them to remember the words of his father's friend, Amulek.  Here they tell me this message has been repeated at least three times, telling me how important it is.  (Makes me laugh that I've been led to this verse over and over again as well.)  It links back to Alma 11:34, where Zeezrom is contending with Amulek.

"Shall he (Christ) save his people in their sins?" Zeezrom asks.

"I say unto you he shall not, for it is impossible for him to deny his word," Amulek declares.

Talking to the crowd, Zeezrom tries to lawyer him, twisting his words as though Amulek were saying that he (Amulek) could command God.  Amulek calls him on it.

Amulek says, "Behold thou has lied(!), for thou sayest that I spake as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save his people IN their sins.  And I say unto you AGAIN that he CANNOT save them in their sins; for I CANNOT DENY his word, and he hath said that NO unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven?  Therefore ye cannot be saved in your sins."

Having read this a ton of times, I never really understood, but after seeing the shopping cart lady this week, the lightbulb went off!  Jesus can't save me IN sin, but he saves me, lifts me out, and pulls me above my sin.  This is walking me toward that inheritance of the "kingdom of heaven".  He does not want me to be a jerk to those who are jerks to me.  Retaliation is not pleasing to him, just like it doesn't please me when my kids fight.  But Jesus certainly does a fabulous job at lifting me up out of the mire.  

The moon's full circle reminds me that we are to come full circle.  We are to not repeat and recycle our sins, but be lifted out of our sinful behavior and progress.  It reminds me of "one eternal round".  It also reminds me that the light shines on the good and the bad, even though through the daily rising setting it waxes and wanes.