We just got out of an always amazing session at the Salt Lake Temple!! I love the Temple! It's because of the blessings of the Temple that families can be sealed together forever. We must stay true and faithful in order to fully partake of the blessings that the Lord and Gospel has to offer us.
Brad is doing great, but still has not received (or recognized) an answer to his prayers. He relapsed with coffee, but is back on track and is doing everything right. Please keep him in your prayers.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to have some time in (almost) every day set apart for strictly studying the words of our Savior. This precious opportunity of study and the experiences I am able to witness day to day has changed me. The Lord has changed me. Although I have so much more to learn and experience, I am eternally grateful for the knowledge and blessings the Lord is willing to bestow.
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”
Or in other words: When we are obedient, the Lord can bless of with increased faith. Faith is so simple yet so extraordinary. It is so essential. The only reason miracles/blessings cease to be in someone’s life is because of "unbelief".
"And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust." (Mormon 9:20)
When we can humble ourselves as little children and accept help from our all-loving Heavenly Father, we will begin to see the blessings flow. When we exercise (when we ACT for ourselves) that particle of faith with obedience, the Lord can start to help us. As we continue in obedience, he can strengthen us in so many ways, just one of them being increased faith and hope to help us through the trials of this imperfect world.
How can we be obedient to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Let me share a wonderful formula once used in the Fukuoka Japan Mission:
Obedience is the price,
Faith is the power,
Love is the motive,
The Spirit is the key,
Christ is the reason.
[Japan Fukuoka Mission Motto, 1991–1994]
The only way we can truly benefit from being obedient and exercising faith, is if love is our motive. We must choose to be obedient not because we are compelled to be obedient, but because we want to be obedient. Being obedient leads to increased faith, which leads to increased love for others and our Savior, which brings the Spirit more into our lives. And it's because of Christ that this is at all even possible. It all fits into place. Are we willing to pay the price of obedience?
"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ,
all mankind may be saved,
by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."
- 3rd Article of Faith
I can confidently testify that it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do. It is a vain a foolish doctrine to think that we do nothing in this life and expect eternal life. Christ did not suffer for us to sit back and expect exaltation. He suffered so that we could repent. With no repentance comes no Salvation.
The Lord does not require obedience in something unless he provides us a way to achieve it (1 Nephi 3:7). Remember CPR? Church, Pray, Read. If we aren't being obedient to these "primary answers", then we need to get our priorities figured out. There's a reason we learn these simple things starting at pretty much at birth. Without these simple tasks completed, we have no foundation (Hel. 5:12). Not saying that we are perfect, and knowing that we will all have to repent every day of our lives about something. But the question is: Do we love Him? Do we trust Him? If we did, or if we do, we would be more obedient because we would know that the Lord doesn't do anything unless it is for our positive benefit.
Not to drill us with more duties or responsibilities, but Joseph Smith taught that:
“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”
The Lord expects us to obey him. I remind us of our Temple experience.
"Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments? Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled? I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above." (D&C 58:30-33)
If we're not doing all we can, our personal best (and the Lord knows our personal best) to obey him, then we aren't doing enough. And this is ultimately displeasing to Him.
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)
"He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple;
and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not,
the same is not my disciple,
and shall be cast out from among you" (D&C 42:5)
We must CPR daily and weekly, attend the Temple frequently if at all possible, fulfill our home/visiting teaching assignments (and enjoy them), hold Family Home Evening weekly, magnify our church callings in every way possible, and faithfully living His commandments.
This is not to be overwhelming, but to cause for a sense of urgency. The excuse of being "too busy" is not to be an excuse at any time in our life. If we have become so busy and caught up in the world to the point where we put the Lord's commandments on the back burner, we are far more busy than the Lord ever intended us to be.
The thing is, we'll learn that when we are obedient, our lives actually become easier.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30)
I testify of the support the Lord can give us in our everyday matters, if we will only obey Him. I know the Atonement is real and that if we use it, we may become stronger.
My love is sent out to everyone for the wonderful emails and letters! :)
Stay close to the Lord, and I promise He will bless you.
My favorite scripture this week: "Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness; and I will praise the holy name of my God." (2 Nephi 9:49)
My Area...Erda, Utah