Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mosiah 3:17 - saved by Christ

Often times I'll get thinking about what I'm going to read in the scriptures, and a book, chapter and verse will come distinctly into my head.  That's what just happened with this one.  I hope this post helps someone, besides myself. :)

Mosiah 3:17:
 17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be ano other name given nor any other way nor means whereby bsalvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the cLord Omnipotent

Yesterday I read an online news article (dated back from 4/26/12) about a man who went into a grocery store in Utah, and began stabbing random people with a knife.  After he had harmed many people, a man who was carrying a gun pointed it at the stabber and yelled for him to stop, which he did.  I commented on a friend's Nerdbook wall that that guy likely saved lots of lives by having a gun with him.  It occurred to me that it was not proper to write that he "saved lives", but I did it anyways.  How else would you phrase that?

It's funny/cool that this verse is what came to mind when I sat down at my computer to write.  I had started editing a post on 1 Nephi 1:16, (which is long overdue), but Mosiah 3:17 came to mind.  When I read the verse, it all made sense.  

The man prepared with the gun did not save those lives.  God did.  

I'd like to know what passed through the gun carrier's mind that day.  Does he always carry a gun?  What prompted him to be certified to carry?  Did the Spirit lead him in years of preparation, to take proper classes on how to hold, safely carry, and properly NOT use it?  He clearly used self restraint, as my friend who passed the story (and is a cop) said he would have shot the man if it had been him.  (And in his state, he would have been legally allowed to do so.)  The gun carrier clearly listened to the Spirit that day.  He was well prepared, well controlled, and no doubt inspired by God.  I don't care what god he may or may not serve; I know God was the "salvation" of those lives.  

It also makes me wonder what the shoppers in the store were thinking.  Were they praying for their safety, once they realized what was going on?  Will they survive their wounds?  Were the prayers of parents, brothers, and sisters answered?  Are those wounded now drawing closer to God, or instead blaming him for the madman's use of agency?

It's interesting that in Mosiah 3:17, King Benjamin tells us ever so clearly, that salvation is the Lord Omnipotent's.  We can choose to believe in him, or rely on our own "arm" for our safety.  I believe the gun carrier was prepared by God, as the Nephites so often were.  This story is simply referring to a temporal salvation of the grocery shopper's mortal lives.  But in an eternal sense, it is only in and through Christ that we are saved. 


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Favorite Numbers

Do you have a favorite number?  Ever wonder why people choose "lucky numbers" that they prefer to gamble with?  I read a book about a year ago where Doreen Virtue shares "angel numbers", and what angels might be trying to tell us by placing certain numbers or number patterns in our pathways. 

Some people believe this is beyond hokey.  I've heard radio personalities disparage numerologists (people who translate numbers into meaning everywhere) for what the radio hosts view as a comical belief.  But who are they to say that what's a significant belief structure to someone isn't true, especially if it causes no harm? 

Today I get to celebrate a special day with a special love, and mark an anniversary of 10 years with this person.  This person's favorite numbers are combinations of 1 and 0.  I never knew this until about a year ago, but it was remarkable to learn and remember that this was his number. 

So happy anniversary sweetheart.  I love you more than you'll ever know or think or believe.  Hopefully with it being a combo with your favorite numbers, it will be even more special.  And hopefully I can convince you more in the years to come. 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

1 Nephi 1:15 - Whole Heart Filled

1 Nephi 1:15

And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him.
After this manner... this tells me Nephi is somewhat paraphrasing, and there were likely LOTS more to the praising that what was contained in verse 14.  His soul did rejoice, and when one's soul rejoices, there is a lot more than words that come out of their mouths.  Lehi was joyous, thrilled, happy.  His whole heart was filled, not just part.  It wasn't bittersweet, but he found joy at what the Lord had shown unto him.  This is not only a good reason to ask the Lord to permit me/you to have these experiences, but to earnestly get my/your life in order to be prepared for such things.  Perhaps God will not grant us all these types of experiences, but James 1:5 says that God gives liberally to all who ask in faith.  So why not ask in faith, and begin the process?  It is possible.  

Imagine if the whole world began this process, doing what it takes to turn fully to Him, and to experience such joy.  This joy was resultant from a vision.  Imagine what greater joy God can bestow upon us, outside of visions.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1 Nephi 1:14 - A Merciful God

After Lehi read the book he had been given by Jehovah, he saw of their impending destruction.  He warned them with a double "wo" of what he foresaw (1 Nephi 1:13).  But then Nephi explains the following, which occurred to his father, Lehi.  

1 Nephi 1:14

And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy apower, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who bcome unto thee that they shall perish!
After Lehi both read and saw many great and marvelous things... tells me that perhaps there weren't all bad things that Lehi saw, concerning Jerusalem.  Perhaps he saw the wonderous things which they might be experiencing in the future.  Perhaps he saw the holocaust, but saw of the redemption yet to come.  It is promised that these are His covenant people, and they will be redeemed.  The entirety of what Lehi saw is veiled from our view, but it is not to Lehi.  And what he saw was not just horrible destruction, but also "great and marvelous things".  We too, can ask to see such things, and God willing, some of us may be able.  

He did exclaim many things unto the Lord.  Many things, not just a few.  All of them are words of praise.  Despite seeing all the destruction, it is clear that the great and marvelous things outweighed the abominations, destruction, and probably even persecution of this covenant people.  Lehi's not mourning their destruction, as we might if we were to view our homeland being destroyed in vision.  

Great and marvelous are they works, O Lord God Almighty!  This is a far cry from the atheism we witness so prevalently in our day.  Interesting how when things go bad, even atheists believe.  I wonder if anyone heeded Lehi's and the other prophet's warnings.  Either way, they praised God for the marvelous works.   

Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth.  What does high in the heavens mean, besides the obvious altitude? Typically something high, for example the sun, is able to have influence over thousands and thousands of miles below.  God's throne is high in the heavens, such that His light is able to shine over all His creations.  Lehi is praising, in a natural and not forced way, the power, the goodness, and mercy of God for all His creations.  This is a far cry from the mean, heartless, and un-merciful being that so many religions create to instill fear in their subjects.  

(I love pictures like this.  So beautiful.  I got it here, but if you are the true artist of the portrait, let me know so I can ask permission to share!:) Thanks!)

 Because thou are merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!  What does that mean?  Does that mean all who follow God will never die?  Never know pain?  Or the depths of hell?  Did the Savior experience death?  Did he know pain?  Or experience the depths of "hell"?  I think he experienced it all, moreso than any of us ever will.  He experienced our pains, our sins, and more.  Didn't the Savior turn to his Father?  Does that make Lehi a liar, or is he getting at something else here?  

Following God doesn't mean we will never die, or experience hardship.  Quite the contrary for some.  If we are true followers of the Savior, it only makes sense that our lot should somewhat mimic his.  He apostles were all killed, and so many of his true followers are so often persecuted.  But that does not mean they will not be saved.  God is merciful, and I think Lehi is talking about an eternal perspective here.  He (God) will not suffer that those who come unto Him will perish, as in eternal perishing, or eternal damnation.  There is hope!  We do not have to suffer eternal pains of hell.  All can be redeemed if we come to Him.  Although for some, that might seem hard, but the first thing to do is to try.  Ask for help, and He will help you turn to Him fully, if you're willing.

I hope my kids know how much I know this is true.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Family History Bus: Ralph Roddy

Last week on the way to church, I had a question pop into my head.  We were passing by a home that my parents used to live in, but have since rented it out when our family size exceeded the house size.

"Mom, do you know who owned the house before you did?"

"I'm not sure.  You'd have to ask your dad."

So we go through church, and I'm trying to recall any stories my dad might have previously told me.

Jump back to two weeks ago.  I was working with a sweet friend, Sister K, who had assisted me with some family history research.  I had been stuck on a particular line in my family –my grandmother's grandfather– for literally about six months.  Sister K took my little folder of family pedigrees and went to work while I went home and fed my kids dinner.  Later in the evening, she shared what she found.  It was a marriage license of my grandma's grandfather's daughter.  It had his and his wife's names, along with some other interesting and useful info.  But Sister K seemed to get distracted (so I thought) on their daughter's info, which was my grandma's aunt.  I try not to get distracted by siblings, so I just listened and then tried to refocus on the grandfather I've been stuck with.

Needless to say, when I picked up last Sunday, I was likewise distracted by the daughter and her husband.  Enough to start exploring, and see if I could find any more data on them.

Upon searching through the census records, I found that this daughter and husband lived with the grandparents for quite some time.  As I looked closer at the census, I even found the address where they lived.  And you'll never guess where.

(1930 Census)
 They lived right in the house that my parents now own, and have owned for the past 30+ years.

Funny how questions tend to stick in our heads.  I think Sister K heard the questions coming to her head too, she just didn't realize it enough to point it out to me.

The husband's name of the daughter who I never paid attention to is Ralph Roddy.  Perhaps he wants me to pay attention to him for a reason?  I think I have a good sense of why.

Very grateful I finally am finding answers!

Monday, July 9, 2012

1 Nephi 1:13 - Wo unto Jerusalem

This verse is plaguing me.  I don't have much to say about it, besides that it has proven true through the course of history.  And it's taken me over a week to get to sharing.

1 Nephi 1:13
And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine aabominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning bJerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be ccarried away captive into Babylon.
And he read.  Lehi's still reading the book, given to him by "the first", meaning the Savior, pre-earth life.  One thing I forgot to mention before, is that these verses definitely prove an existence of spirit beings, before they are born.  If Jehovah were creating the earth before he was born into mortality, that means he had a spirit body.  And if there were others that followed him, that means they had spirit bodies too.  Not many faiths explore this topic much, but in the LDS faith, it is a tenant.  We believe in pre-earth life, as spirits.

So in aprox. 600 B.C., as Lehi reads a book, passed to him during a vision involving Jehovah, he gives a double strong warning to the people of Jerusalem.  He heard prophets witness of Jerusalem's pending destruction; now he can add his own.

I've heard it said before (sorry, no source) that "wo" means not just "whoa!" but "damned".  If that is the case, how does it affect this verse?  Damned, damned [is/will be] Jerusalem.  Ut uh.  Better listen up.  Any why is Lehi sharing this with us?  Just as an "I told you so" moment?  Or is there a lesson here for us?

For I have seen thine abominations!  One, it's not often in scripture that we see exclamation points.  Lehi's seriously calling these people out!  And he has seen them.  This not only indicates that Lehi was given the gift of "seeing" things that not everyone is privileged to see, but it also indicates that our sins cannot be hidden.  Many think that in the privacy of their homes, they can do whatever sins they please, and no one will notice.  The good and bad part is, God sees, and at times, his prophets see.  Somehow, so many of these prophets see the wickedness of others, and serve not only as bullhorns of repentance-calling, but also as testifiers.  At the last day, I expect that whatever prophet saw me and my works will be there, either testifying in support or against my actions.  I hope they're pretty supportive, because I can use all the help I can get!!!

Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem–that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon.  This is fascinating.  Have we not seen this come to pass, reading the annals of history?  But even more interesting –who are these people?  Are these not God's covenant people?  These are the "religious".  These are the people who the Bible speaks of.  They might keep the laws and obey the ordinances of their religion, but do they really believe?  Are we any different, or are we the same?  They are being warned of destruction, and Lehi, as one sole prophet of many, has seen their abominations.  What are abominations?  (I looked up the root word, and there are so many differing views that it's not worth exploring too far in depth.)  In essence, I imagine these are not only small, but very large sins.  Not something that any of us are immune to, perhaps?  How many of us are under our own abominations?  The Doctrine & Covenants and even living prophets have warned repeatedly of our abominations, and the need to quickly repent.  But do we?  What's our excuse? 

(Photo source found here. Painting by Nicolas Poussin of a later conflict in Jerusalem, as recorded by Flavius Josephus (AD 37/38-100).  Same affect though.  Illustrates horrific destruction.  Painting background here.)
Either way, Jerusalem was destroyed shortly after 600 B.C.  The inhabitants did perish by the sword, and many were carried away into captivity into Babylon.

If this were shared for a reason, and not just a history lesson, what's the lesson for us?  I think it's that God will not forever look upon sin and allow it.  Eventually, those who refuse to repent, despite many, many warnings, will suffer either destruction or slavery.  Neither one sounds very enjoyable. 

(I think I'll take door #2, Bob.) 

Friday, July 6, 2012


Have you ever had a day, a time, a moment in your life when you feel just incredibly blessed?  Tonight I had one of those.

No worries to be concerned with.  No clocks to chase.  My kid actually ate a salad without complaining (which has never, ever happened).  The other kids listened and played quietly while I read scriptures before bed.

I got to use oils on my parents, to help their aches and pains.  Talked to my sweetheart on the phone for a few minutes.  Enjoyed pictures of the fireworks, and got to touch base with a few friends.

Creek jumped (walked in the creek) earlier in the day with a friend and our kids for 3 hours.  Ate apples, cherries, Ritz Bitz and pretzels in the shade with bottled spring water.  Threw bread at the ducks and tried to catch fish in a red Solo cup.  A snake tried to scare off my oldest boy, and the rest of us laughed.

It was one of those days, and one of those times, and one of those moments.  Everything fits.  Everything makes sense, and I cannot help but to humbly acknowledge, graciously, that God had a hand in this day.  So thankful.  So blessed.