Suffer the Children – Morning Thoughts, 5 Oct 2018

This morning’s scripture study was more of a prayer and pondering session. I briefly reviewed my current Book of Mormon study post: “In the Fear of God,” Alma 39:12-19 and also a few entries from my personal blog: “Moroni 10” and  “Baptism and John the Baptist”

In my prayers, I was reflecting on what commandment that Lord would have me be aware of. The answer has been allusive for several days. Part of the answer was that it varies from day to day. Then as I pondered further on what thing God would have me do today, and how I would do anything that Lord would ask me to do, I was brought to consider my daughter Emma’s pregnancy, and how it is that I or Rachel and I could possibly shoulder some of the burden of raising another child, at least in providing childcare services for her.

This has me reflecting upon my desires in children’s media, Mr. Roger’s example, and the opportunity to influence for good the lives of my grandchildren and others.

I feel a need to learn about and study early childhood development. There is much here that I do not understand. All of this is a call to become more like the Savior who suffered the little children to come unto him.

“Suffer the children to come unto you, and teach them how to come unto me.”



Q & A: 26 September 2018

Q: What are the areas of my life that require my attention today? 

A: Executive Planning. I’m not entirely sure I understand this. The Spirit constrained me from adding business or family to the phrase. 

This is about planning for the next month: financially, strategically, organizationally. This is both personally and business,  since both are dependent upon each other. 

  • What are our executive priorities?
  • What activities do we want / need to accomplish next month? 
  • What are our expected financial obligations to accomplish planned activities?
  • What changes need to be made to accomplish objectives?
  • Can you do this on your own or do you need help?
  • If you need help, how are you going to secure that help? 

Q: What are the questions that I’m not asking, that I should be asking?

A: They have been added to the list above: How am I going to get the help I need when it is needed?

Q: How do I achieve a balanced approach in business activities?

A: Planning, observing, assessment, adjustment, prayer.

Q: Is what I am doing right now helping me to be balanced in my business activities? Is that balance important right now? 

A: coding right now so particular sore spot for me. The answer is in the planning. If I keep my head down in the code for too long without looking at the big picture, I get lost.

The Decision of the Council Is Right

For the past week, since our 19th wedding anniversary, I’ve contemplated the power of decisions made in council. In this instance, that council is the executive council of the family (Rachel and I). Most of our challenges and shortcomings have been the result of a failure to work together in council with one another. 

Related is the reality that end of man is to be married to a woman, and to be united in heart and mind in all that we do. It is not enough to have my own thoughts and opinions about a thing. Rather, my voice, my opinion, my perspective is only a part of a greater whole.

What are the doctrines that support these realities? This is a hidden doctrine of leadership in the scriptures. It refers to it but not directly.

Passing Clouds or General Darkness

I was reading over in Alma the other day. Alma’s account here is redemption from that general darkness of which he was engulfed. I don’t understand this seperation:

I share with you again a simple little insight that may help you at certain junctures in your lives. It is that you must not mistake passing local cloud cover for general darkness. They are very different things, and for us to distinguish local cloud cover, which will soon be blown away, for general darkness is a terrible thing, especially with the restored gospel, which is so full metaphorically of light. We must not be mistaken about this.

Sharing Insights from My Life

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/repentance?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/06/wisdom-and-order?lang=eng

Spiritual Renewal, Spiritual Strength

I’ve struggled to get on my feet this morning. So I did what I some times do, when I don’t have the capacity of mind or physical presence to focus on a few minutes of scripture study: I watched a bible video.

This morning I actually watched three bible videos: The Widow of Nain, Jesus Walking on the Water, and “I Am the Bread of Life”.

I am reminded that Christ has all power of physical elements, power of death itself, but that Spirit can very much exist in a realm invisible or seemingly apart from this world. However it is the Physical world that is controlled and dominated by the Spirit, not the Spirit by the Physical World.

Another interesting side note is found “between the lines” in the account of Matthew where the Savior walks on water. Peter walks out onto the water, he falters as the winds begin to blow, then the Savior reaches out to him and hold him and chastens him for his lack of faith. Then, and this is what’s not written in the text, they continue to walk on water (defying all physical properties to the contrary) until the return to the boat. What’s more, the conditions continue to be turbulent until they return to the boat as well. Then we finally get the next verse, which informs us that when they returned to the boat the winds ceased to blow.

Thus we see, in effect, Christ walking side by side, hand in hand, with Peter until they return to the boat. Exterior conditions don’t improve, just because he’s close to the Savior, not until they return to the safety of the bigger vessel. There is a lot of strength,   compassion, patience, and love, hidden in between the lines of these few simple verses.

FHE Lesson – Overview of the Book of Mormon

Present the following:

http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/lds-magazines/friend-may-2012/2012-05-17-the-story-of-the-book-of-mormon-eng.pdf

Then ask the kids to pick one story to focus on.

– Provide them with drawing supplies and ask them to draw what they hear as I read the story that they have selected.

At the end of the reading, ask the kids to share what they have drawn and why they drew what they did.

Finish by sharing your testimony of the Book of Mormon, when you came to know it was true, how it has blessed you since then.

Of Mourning and Multitudes

Matthew 14

John the Baptist, through a terrible plot, is beheaded. When the news of his beheading reachs the Savior, Jesus crosses the sea and retires to a (remote) desert place. It appears that he is mourning and is looking for a place of solitude.

However, he is not permitted to do so because immediately upon arrival, a multitude of more than 5000 had followed him! What does Jesus do? He doesn’t turn them away. He administered to them first. Food is miraculously produced. At the end of the day, he compells his disciples to leave by boat, and then he himself “sent the multitude away”. I’m certain there were probably many personal exchanges in that dismissing of the multitude.

All this happened, while looming in the back of his mind was the death of his cousin, closest of kin.

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to apray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. (vs. 23)

This footnote on prayer simply illustrates how even Christ employed this tool for strength and guidance.

 

Ser Caritativo

I’m at an interesting junction of revelation this morning. En mis estudios personales, buscé la tema de Caridad en el GEE. El primera referencia que buscé fue en 2 Nefi 26:30. Leí versículos 29 a 31.

A su vez, pensaba que ser caritativo solo se trataba de hacer buenas obras (como cuidar a los enfermos y necisitados), pero leo en estos versículos que tener caridad también efectua como respondamos al obrero en Sion.

Dios ha dado el mandamiento de que todos los hombres tengan acaridad, y esta caridad es bamor. Y a menos que tengan caridad, no son nada. Por tanto, si tuviesen caridad, no permitirían que pereciera el obrero en Sion.

Me resuena espiritualmente sumamente fuerte  esta pasaje. Leyo inmediatamente un recordatorio de la división entre los dos iglesias, que solo hay dos iglesias, la de Dios y la del diablo.

Y en el versículo que sigue, un recordatorio:

Mas el obrero en aSion trabajará para Sion; porque si trabaja por bdinero, perecerá.

 

 

Baptism and John the Baptist

I’ve been asked to speak this morning on baptism. I’ve attempted to seek the influence and inspiration of heaven on this topic in preparation of for these remarks. I would invite you each to offer a silent prayer in your hearts that the Holy Ghost might instruct us further while we are here together.

600 years before the time of Christ, Lehi and his family had left Jerusalem. The Lord had given Lehi a series of customized commands which by chapter 10 of 1 Nephi, he had successfully demonstrated his faithfulness in obedience to those commandments.  So consequently, the Lord begins to bless Lehi with visions and further understanding of essential doctrines. (This is a pattern that the Lord often employs: a test of obedience followed by an outpouring of greater light.)

One of those essential doctrines that was revealed to Lehi was a knowledge of the Savior’s mortal ministry, and key events there in.

Read 1 Nephi 10:7-10

In trying to understand the significance of the ordinance of baptism, let’s consider a little deeper the mission of John the Baptist, the only prophet in all of scripture and time to have an ordinance attached to his name.

Consider how the Savior Jesus Christ described John:

Read Matthew 11:7-11

John was the literal embodiment of the ordinance that he was called upon to perform, a living witness or symbol of baptism, its purpose being to prepare each of us enter into the Kingdom of God.

There is another principle or act that is frequently coupled with baptism,  and that is repentance. Sometimes repentance happens before our baptism, always among true disciples it happens afterwards as well, frequently and as often as needed to make progression in the kingdom of God.

God gives us both inward acts and outward ordinances to help us along the covenant path. There is a state of being that we hope that all who come to the waters of baptism would possess, it is this state of humility before God, and acknowledgement of his path, our own nothingness before him. This is what John the Baptist represented, this state of a humble, penitent, simple follower of Jesus Christ.  What John represented was the first steps of the Plan of Salvation.

(Matthew 11: 18 & 19)

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

But just so there was no confusion, Christ himself submitted to the baptism of John.

Matthew 3

Suffer it to be so now.

Considering as we have the life and mission of John the Baptist, can you imagine the surprise and amazement then, when Joseph Smith with his scribe Oliver Cowdery go into the woods to seek guidance and instruction about baptism, a messenger from Heaven who calls himself John and says that he is the same that was called John the Baptist in the New Testament.

Doctrine and Covenants 13

It is with this same authority from John who embodied the principles of baptism and repentance that you are baptized today.

FHE Courage

What is courage?

Courage – To not be afraid, especially of doing what is right.

Four Examples of Courage:

Who am I?

  • Nephi returns to get the brass plates.
  • Ammon goes to the Lamanites to preach the Gospel.
  • Moroni wandered in the wilderness because he would not deny the Christ.
  • Daniel faces the Lion’s Den because he refused to stop worshiping his God.

What do we need courage for? Can You think of an example when you had courage?

Courage:

  • to do what is right when others are doing what is wrong.
  • to keep the commandments even when we don’t know what will happen by so doing.
  • to follow the prophet’s counsel even when its difficult or seems irrelevant.