It is a puzzle to me of the utmost degree. I do not understand it. How it is that the Lord has prospered me for obedience to a simple few bits of instruction.
The reference is to Alma 27:15 where Ammon consults with King Lamoni about what he can do to help liberate the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi. He offers to take the lead among his fellow servants to go back to the land of the Nephites to negotiate lands for their protection.
I read this at a time when I’m looking forward to the conversion of my own children, longing for, hoping for, almost beyond hope, that each of my children, even those lost in the paths of addiction and vice, might some day repent and return to God. It happened for Ammon and his brethren. It happened for Alma the Younger, miraculous as it was.
On the one hand, I don’t know why I would merit such a blessing. On the other hand, I have to hope and pray and fast that some day that blessing may be ours as well.
This morning’s study causes me to reflect upon my level of commitment to the truths that have always been a part of my life.
I’ve also been reminded as I reflected upon old blog posts, how it is that the Lord is intimately connected to me. This has also been a good reminder to me to do better as a father towards my teens.
(Updated on July 26, 2017)
I’ve returned to Arizona to retrieve our worldly possessions. I’m the home of my cousin for the morning. This entry from almost two months ago, has served as a bridge in terms of spiritual purposes and priorities. Very strong workings of the Spirit have been felt again this morning. There’s been something of a gap in things during the span of time that has passed in spiritual terms. So I am grateful for this connection this morning.
My assumptions are not just assumptions, but in many things are true.
I need to organize the family as a service unit. The family needs to be built up just as the business is being built up. When do I take time to build my family? I rarely do. What activities best build up my family?
What does one on one family mentoring/counseling look like? Open communication with all members of the family is very important.
I need to find ways to incorporate my children into my church service outside of the home. If they will not come with me, then I do well to stay home to work with them.
Activities specific for Sunday can be prepared well before Sunday or Saturday evening.
Just wanting to pen a few notes at the end of my morning study in Alma 26:8-16. It strikes me how the work of a doula (a trained birth attendant) is in many ways very similar to the work that Christ did in at least two key ways. Doulas are teachers or educators. Doulas are servants to women and families. This duality of roles that seem to stand in contradiction to each other is one of the fascinating aspects of a the work of the doula. On the one hand, they do hold a position of knowledge above and beyond commonly held conventional wisdom. Yet at the same time being placed in that position of authority, they also have the distinct assignment of servant to those who employ their services. There is a self-imposed grace or humility that doulas must take upon themselves to be effective in their work.
How did Christ demonstrate a proper mode of reverence towards the Father?
I’ve reviewed the parable of the wicked husbandmen as recorded in Matthew 21. It talks of wicked leadership within the kingdom of God, and of how they ought to have reverenced the Son, but did not. The JST on verse 45 reveals that the Savior taught this parable twice in the same setting (similar to how he taught the Parable of the Sower), and that this shift in leadership was to occur twice: once at his coming, and again in the last days.
What is the issue? Why has there been a need for a replacement of leadership? a lack of reverence and a failure to produce fruit.
Reverence proceeds the ability to produce fruit. (This is what’s missing in my home.)
“Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) A mandate for the world. It was the first thing spoken by God of which we have record. It is the inciting incident in our world’s origin story. Without it, the creation and life could not have continued.
There is a model in this for us. Without light, we cannot create. We cannot exist. We cannot live on borrowed light. (See the parable of the ten virgins.)
I’m working on my family vision today,
Satan and his minions never experience the light of Christ. They don’t know what it is, they don’t experience it, they cannot understand it.
We of this world are different than them because of our first choice, we are blessed with the light of Christ. We have choosen to be as the moon, the stars, and the sun.
But what of borrowed light? There is a glory in the light of the moon, as there is a glory in the light of the stars, though these lights be different in intensity than that of the sun.
This morning I am also in serious consideration of the empowering nature of gratitude and how it enables us to embrace light and work with it.
Here is a different thought, a mystery that to me has been revealed:
With our hands, we receive light. With our hands, we give light. Gratitude is the means by which light is both received and transmitted. Only hands, tamed or disciplined through obedience, are prepared to work with light.
May we have that testimony, that desire in our hearts, to teach others, to explain what we believe, and to live lives of righteousness, to live the good life, to be an example to mankind, and to be able to spread this work not only by what we say but by the way we act, the way we live, the way we represent the Church, and the type of example we are to mankind. (David B. Haight, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2000/04/faith-devotion-and-gratitude?lang=eng)
I’ve gone from considering Saul’s conversion and the sacrifices of the early members of the meridian church.
“and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.”
Later in the same section:
“and in the due time he shall be made a merchant unto my name, saith the Lord, for the benefit of my people.
“Therefore let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings of my people be on him forever and ever.
“And again, verily I say unto you, let all my servants in the land of Kirtland remember the Lord their God, and mine house also, to keep and preserve it holy, and to overthrow the moneychangers in mine own due time, saith the Lord. Even so. Amen.”
(I feel that this is given to me this morning, and that the word “merchant” could easily be replaced with “producer”.)
What qualities are attributes define me as a Christian?
The foremost thing for which the Christian demonstrates gratitude is a forgiveness of sin. (See Alma 24:7-10)
And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son. (Alma 24:10)
This gratitude influences the way in which the Christian holds context for all that happens to them: blessings received, misfortune that befalls them, circumstances that be what they are — gratitude influences it all.
Next time: Study what it means to take up on me the name of Christ as a Christian. Reference Guide to Scriptures.
How do I define myself as a giver. In charitable contributions to the Church, I never waiver. I’ve never been one to take the coat off my back and give it to another. That is a faith that I don’t yet possess.
I have for a long time reasoned that I have been lacking in financial means to give of myself in temporal possessions. Rather, what I do frequently, or what I have frequently sacrificed is the time to make more money instead with service in the Lord’s kingdom: in spiritual blessings I have sought my payment.