Category Archives: family

God’s Love

An interesting dynamic was observed yesterday as I was fasting and praying about my own children as a group. I noticed that when my children choose to listen to and obey what I ask them to do, they feel happier and they tell me that they love me. On the contrary, those that push against what I ask them to do, frequently follow up their defiance with the phrase, I hate you.

Then I took a step back and contemplated when it was that I most frequently feel God’s love. It is when I am keeping his commandments. Then I also realized that sin causes me to feel the opposite and I am even tempted to believe that God must hate me, when I fail to be obedient to his commandments.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/perfect-love-casteth-out-fear?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/the-love-of-god?lang=eng

Disconnect

When you CHOOSE to

Disconnect

from social media, video, music, and gaming influences:

You OPEN yourself up to be influenced by

Peace, Harmony, Humility, Love, Kindness, Joy, Self Worth, Accomplishment, Esteem, Self Respect, and more.

Try It!

The challenge: go one month without media influences. Focus on creation and what you can do with your time. Then see how you feel about yourself and about life at the end of one month.

Then Create

Why it works: It’s a mixed bag of reasons, but one key element has to do with letting yourself tell you who you really are. Those that control the media have ultimately one goal: make it “enjoyable” so you will want more. IT IS a business, and businesses only work when they are making money. When they succeed at making your experience appear “enjoyable”, then they make more money. (Not an entirely evil motive, but left unchecked, it is malicious .

On Decisions

Decisions Determine Destiny
Where we end up in life is largely determined by the first steps that we take.

We don’t climb a mountain by swimming in shallow waters. We don’t cross an ocean, by building sand castles on the shore. You cannot eat an apple all at once, only bite by bite.

Our day-to-day choices make up the direction that we are choosing to go in.

May we choose Christ, and to walk in the Gospel path. Let us avoid the vain and flattering voices of the world. Let us do good to others.

“I and My Brethren,” Alma 27

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.

“Quench Not the Spirit”

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.

1 Thes 5:19

Jacob 6:8

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.

Family Organization Notes

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.

Light

“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,

We are beings of light. (See Doctrine and Covenants 93:2, John 1:9) We are endowed with this power upon birth.

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)

 

Come Unto Christ

No water can swallow the ship where lies the master of ocean, and earth, and skies.

Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more,
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor
And rest on the blissful shore.

Come Unto Jesus, Hymn #117

Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.
Doctrine and Covenants 10:58, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not.
“I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”
Doctrine and Covenants 10:67, “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.”
Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Family Gospel Teaching Plan

Yesterday’s fast ended with a prayer and a plead to remember what I had learned in the fast.  The fast was centered on the spiritual well being of my children. My wife also has the responsibility of taking into her own hands their spiritual preparation. That responsibility is also mine fully. It’s not happening though.

The children need gospel instruction according to the plan of salvation, and the things that Christ taught. Rachel needs to be trained. I need to be self-trained. I need to develop a plan to see that Gospel instruction, and gospel centered invitations are being taught and received.

I want to tackle the task of teaching youth the Gospel plan.

To do: Meet with Rachel to discuss a Gospel Teaching plan based  on invitations to act, with follow up on invitations.

The Purpose of the Church

The purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ is to serve as a vehicle for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without the teachings of the Gospel of Christ being applied in the lives of the members of the Church, the Church has no purpose. It becomes a mere social organization.

We could also say that the Church of Jesus Christ only works for those who are following the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.  For those who are honest, they will find honesty among the members. For those who are forgiving, they will find forgiveness.  For those who are willing to repent, they will find priesthood power and authority to complete the cleansing process, and to recommit by covenant to follow the Savior and his teachings.

The Church is a perfect vehicle for living the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will give you opportunities to develop your faith,  give service freely, and ultimately obtain salvation.

Yet as divinely designed as it is, the Church doesn’t seem to work for everyone.  In fact, the effect that it has upon some people is so offensive that it repels them from wanting to have any part with its organization as a whole or its individual members.  For example, for those who lie, they will think that they are being lied to in the Church. For those who are hypocritical, they will encounter what they deem to be hypocrisy in the Church. Adulterers would seek for signs.  What ever the unrighteousness, they will be affected by it.  By and by, they are offended and they leave the Church.

For those who would cleave to  and persist in their own pride and selfishness, the Church will always be to them a thing of great offense, a stumbling block that just seems to keep getting in the way of their fun. It will never work for them.  Yet there are those who, clinging to their selfish sense of self, will try to continue to be associated with the Church and its members. These are socialites.  That is, these are people  “who [are] well known in fashionable society and [are] fond of social activities and entertainment.”

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that the Church should exclude anyone from participating in its activities and programs. But those who are not truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and try to participate in the church for some other reason, will eventually find themselves offended because of something somebody said or something somebody did.  The social, intellectual, or emotional  appeal will wear off. Their own lack of spiritual preparations at that point will become painfully apparent as it leaves them empty with nothing to hold on to.

“Mormonism,” as true Christianity, “subdues selfishness, regulates the passions, subordinates the appetites, quickens the intellect, exalts the affections. It promotes industry, honesty, truth, purity, kindness. It humbles the proud, exalts the lowly, upholds the law, favors liberty, is essential to it, and would unite men in one great brotherhood.” (Quoted by Pres. David O. McKay, Conference Report, Apr. 1927, 105.)