Saturday, April 27, 2024

Notes on Florence Nightingale:

Vol. 10, p. 313

If educating every village is what is required, then funding must be available for them to access in such a way that they can take decisive action. It’s both a local and federal issue. So it can only be solved by those willing to engage in both.

  • What is the panchayat village system that British destroyed? How did it work?

Special Study: the Lord’s Timing

I am brought to consider the “inconvenience” of the Lord’s timing in two personal experiences this morning.

  • The decision not to go with Emma to look at a truck earlier this week. The Lord said don’t go, and I didn’t. What’s resulted has been a complete shift in direction for Emma away from the food truck idea.
  • The decision not to postpone having children and a large family in a time and space were contrary to cultural standards. This was both the result of prayer and following prophetic counsel earlier in our lives.
  • The case of Lehi’s family leaving Jerusalem follows a similar trajectory. The Lord’s timing took them away from comfort and worldly goods.

I am trying to find words that articulate all this. Trust in the Lord and lean not unto thy own understanding.

Then on the flip side, the Jewish people of Nephi’s day had evolved into such a wicked people that they had rejected all the Lord’s timing/blessing for his people. See 1 Nephi 19:13.

Special Study: Prayer

(TG Prayer)

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing but it shall be done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

John 16:23-24 (JST added)

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:12-13

The expected state of man is to pray.


I have felt the need to continue to this particular study in greater depth. I am impressed by promise of abundance or richness, which obviously the Lord is able to give to those who ask.

…even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily…

Mosiah 4:11

Rulers, or leaders, among God’s people are to pray over the people. In 1 Samual 12, Samuel teaches the people to follow the Lord, turn away from vain things which will not profit them and then that his responsibility towards to the people is to continue to pray for them. (see vs. 23)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 (emphasis added)

Reading from 2 Nephi 32, Nephi says that in order to understand his words, we must ask, seek, and knock. In other words, pray after listening. The expected course of instruction is to listen and then pray. I suppose that the Lord would have me do this every day.


A set of scriptures articulates well my current approach to prayer (emphasis added):

Phillippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Psalms 55:22 – “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

And these three verses make the Savior’s exhaustive instructions all the more relevant:
Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”

What is it about these verses and their connection to prayer that resonates with me? It is that the burdens of the day and the challenges that I face can be offloaded day-in and day-out. The Lord carries the heavier part, the part that I must let go of. There is also this constant sense of returning and reporting, receiving updates, instructions, and then going to work, and then coming back for more, doing what you can with what you have, and only then moving on.


There is a new pattern developing in my mind: Take the thoughts and ideas that you encounter throughout the day, record what has impressed you, as much as possible. Then review this information with Father to sift it. The Father will add to it, and you may make further record of it.

Types of things to pray for:

  • Gratitude for:
    • Relationships (specific interactions)
    • knowledge sources
    • works performed
  • New Knowledge from:
    • Education
    • Podcasts/Videos/Media
    • Relationships
    • Impressions/Prayers
  • Actions to be taken
    • Proposed
    • What more?
  • Needs:
    • Proposed
    • What am I not seeing, especially in relationships?
  • (Special Category: Praying for others)
    • (TBD – yet to be defined.)/
    • (and yet most of Christ’s prayers were in behalf of others.)

Easter

(Remarks delivered on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024 in the Marshall Branch Sacrament meeting)

So as the account is told in scripture, the end was soon and the Hero of this story actually already knew how it was to happen. But even a complete and perfect understanding of what was about to happen, wasn’t enough. He had to experience it for Himself.

Rewind back to the beginning of our known eternal history: The grand council before the earth was, where we were present to meet with our family members to discuss one question: how could we become like our Mother and Father, the eternal Gods? Father outlined how they proposed for it to happen. They would build an earth, and there on this earth, we, their children, could receive bodies, of flesh and bones, like our Mother and Father’s, and then have experiences inside of these bodies. To make the plan complete, a person had to be chosen, to save us from the mistakes that we would make learning how to control our bodies.

In this grand family council, Jesus Christ was chosen to be the one who would complete our experience in a body, if we wanted him to do so. There was one other who wanted to do this job, but he proposed forcing us to accept his way, which would have destroyed the purpose behind the experience.

What Father and Mother understood was that we could only become like them by having choices. Satan wanted to take away all choices. Jesus wanted to give us choices, and he was willing to do the necessary work to give us choice. And that brings us back to the moment that he was about to make good on his promise. Jesus Christ, our hero of the story, said that he would do it, and that time was now.

There is no other time period in the scriptures that is recorded in greater detail than are the events surrounding the act of the Atonement. Prophets and apostles know that this is what we have all been waiting for, and they have spared no significant detail in helping us to understand it.

The popular children’s song, titled Gethsemene states: “Love… and a prayer… took him there, to the place only he could go.” Love was primary motivator, and was coupled with intentional prayer.

What was our Hero thinking when he entered the Garden of Gethsemene? What was his motivation to perform the Atonement, to save the world from our pains and weaknesses? We have the answers to these questions in one of his prayer written in the book of John, chapter 17, in the New Testament.

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

John 17:1-5

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves…

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

John 17:13, 17

[I pray] for them also which shall believe on me…

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

John 17:20-23, 26

So where were Christ’s thoughts while he suffered such difficult pain that his sweat was like great big drops of blood? He was set in a hope that we would become one with each other, and one with Him, that through love and the prayer of faith, we too could be glorified in Jesus Christ.

After Christ’s suffering in the garden, what follows is perhaps the greatest act of government cruelty that can be imagined. For it was through official channels, courts and rulers and legal proceedings, that Nephi saw the following:

And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

1 Nephi 19:9

In less than 24 hours, Jesus exits the garden and is executed on a cross. There was no time to prepare, no time to plan, no time to prevent. The shepherd had been killed and his flocked scattered. And the Jews in their efficiency were even quick to take his body down and buried it before the approaching Sabbath at sunset.

I try to put myself in the shoes of those early disciples: Peter, John, Mary Magdalene. What must they have been thinking in those moments? Wasn’t this the King? Wasn’t this the Hero of their hope? Wasn’t Christ the chosen one, who was to liberate them from Israel’s bondage? How could any of this be, if he was gone?

In his trial before the Roman ruler, Pilate asks him: “Art thou a king?”

Jesus’s response expands our perspective: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight… [yet] To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” (John 18:36-37)

When Jesus Christ died, a feeling of profound darkness covered the earth. In the Americas, literal darkness engulfed the land with fog so thick that fire could not be lit. Wise men upon the islands felt the earth heaving and tremble and were forced to declare, “The God of Nature Suffereth!”

A night and a day and another night passed. It was the morning of the third day, Sunday morning. Women went to the garden tomb to attended to the body of our fallen Lord. (I like to think of them as the dutiful Relief Society sisters of Christ’s day.) But confusion added to sorrow, the body was not there. How much worse could it be? The women then went and found Peter and John who returned with them to the tomb. They too saw with their own eyes the empty tomb. Christ’s body was nowhere to be found.

While most left in greater confusion, one remained in her grief at the garden tomb: Mary Magdalene. (Not Jesus’s mother, but Jesus’s friend, also named Mary.) An unknown man comes to Mary, and she thinks He is the gardener out early tending to the garden. She asks if He knows where the body has been taken, and asks if she can be entrusted with its care, then, surprisingly, Jesus calls her name, “Mary” and she looks up and sees it is Him, alive! She must have tried to embrace her Lord, for he responds immediately “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17)

News of the empty tomb traveled quickly. Two men later that afternoon were walking down a dusty road and were joined by a third. The third traveler asked them about the news of the day, which to their surprise they responded:
“Art thou… a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
And he said unto them, What things?” (Luke 24: 17-19)

The two men then brought the third man up to speed on recent events and the conviction that they had that Christ was to become their king, only to end up dead. Upon hearing their story, the third man chided them and pointing to the prophets and their words, he demonstrated that nothing had been frustrated. Sensing that their guest was someone special the first two invited the third to stay with them for dinner. The third obliged and when they had sat down, he blessed and break bread with them, and suddenly they saw that this was Jesus Christ with them alive again, eating bread. And then he disappeared.

The third appearance of our Lord on that first Easter Sunday happened shortly there after, when these same two men ran to the eleven remaining disciples and told them that they had seen their Lord. And as these two men were explaining what had just happened to them, Suddenly, Jesus appeared standing there among them and said, “Peace be unto you!” But they were terrified and afraid, thinking that he was a spirit.

38 … he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Luke 24:37-39

Our Hero, now in resurrected form, demonstrated to his followers that his body was real. They touched his hands and feet. He went further in demonstrating that he could also eat fish and honeycomb. His resurrected body was real!

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 …that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations…

48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24:40-48

Christ earlier had taught:

No man taketh [my life] from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.

John 10:17-18

Testimony:

I believe in this Easter story. I believe in Jesus Christ, and his gospel message of faith, hope, and repentance. I believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and His power to make me complete. I believe in and have experienced for myself the cleansing power of His atonement through my own struggles to repent. This is my faith, and this is my hope for even better things to come. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal, because Jesus Christ atoned for sin and suffering, Jesus Christ died, Jesus Christ rose triumphant over death!

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Notes on Documents from 1770

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-01-02-0023

This first letter of the year 1770 starts with Jefferson recounting the loss of his books and personal writings and records through a house fire. What such a loss as this must do to the soul of a scholar, to know that the only thing left behind is what is recorded within.

Of papers too of every kind I am utterly destitute. All of these, whether public or private, of business or of amusement have perished in the flames.

The second half of this letter is extremely jovial and youthful speculations as to why his friend has not written him in an extended period of time. This is a bit humorous and reminds me again of me in my younger days.


An interesting turn of events, where the main website has been offline since yesterday. I have reported the same and then realized that I likely had access through the “Wayback Machine” Internet Archive, which indeed, I did. Curious to note that the Internet Archives features documents which are not presently published on the current version of the site, including notes of conduct observed probably from his trip to England which were used to script a text for describing texts for use in parliamentary (Congress) conduct.

https://web.archive.org/web/20210326022900/https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-27-02-0590


https://web.archive.org/web/20210323190350/https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-01-02-0033

This letter is a petition of aid for a friend who found himself stranded in London. Thomas Jefferson responds kindly to solicit support by means of another friend in London, offering to cover the financial obligation incurred for such support.

I shall deem it a very great one, to procure him credit with your mercantile friends in London for any monies of which he may be in need, for the repaiment of which I enter myself security.

(emphasis added)

“Farewell… Until… the Pleasing Bar of the Great Jehovah”

Moroni 10:31-34 (Moroni 10:31-34)

Here I am at the end of the record, and also at the end of a 16 year journey for me. I had not seen the significance of the parallels in my life with this study until just now. I have slowed down in the approach to my studies as I have understood how carefully selected every word is in these records.

There are three themes in these final verses:

  • The gathering of Israel
  • The invitation to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
  • A farewell until the final judgment.

Al estudiar en español estos versículos, me impresiona que Moroni no tuvo texto ni ningún otro libro para guiarse en sus pensamientos, lo que dice aquí al final es palabra propia. No está inventando, sino está testificando.


This morning (with fresh eyes), these three themes are not disconnected, but are deeply enveloped in one another. The covenent that the Father made with the house of Israel (the same covenant that was made with Adam and Eve at the fall) was that we might come unto Christ and be perfected in him, receive a remission of our sins and be made holy so that we can come back into His presence.


The irony of it all is that there is literally nothing this side of heaven or earth that keeps us from receiving all the blessings of God except the condition of our own hearts. Moroni’s cries to Jerusalem and the daughter of Zion are wake up calls to them who already knew, who at once had knowledge and forgot it. The blessings are not passed on to another. It is Zion who must put on her beautiful garments. It is Jerusalem that must stand up erect and shake off her dust.


There are references to other passages of scripture that talk about Zion and Jerusalem awaking and putting on their beautiful garments. Two similar passages are found in Isaiah 52:1-2 and in 3 Nephi 20:36-38. In both of these passages there is a statement about the daughter of Zion removing a band from around their necks. This statement is explained in Doctrine and Covenants 113:10 as being a curse administered from God in their scattered position upon the Gentiles. That God would be the one telling them to remove the band he himself put there (probably for their protection) is a profound thought.


“Jerusalem” and “daughter of Zion” have reference to the same thing. I hadn’t seen that in my reading of verse 31 until this morning. At the end of the verse, Moroni, is then speaking to the House of Israel, which he seems to also be using interchangeably.


This morning, after having sat with this entry now for several weeks, I’m decided to conclude this study. On this final morning, I’m sitting with the reality that all is centered in Jesus Christ. Moroni points to Christ as the fulfillment of the covenants made with the House of Israel, and the means by which that they would realize the blessings of this covenant. He also looks to Christ as the great Jehovah, the eternal judge of the quick and the dead.

The symbolic imagery of the angel Moroni is invoked in this final verse, as Moroni contemplates his resurrected state flying through the air towards that great reunion and time of judgment.

This is the whole purpose of this book, to persuade men to believe in Jesus Christ, come unto Him, and prepare ourselves to pass that exam of the final judgment. That is the great purpose of mortality, this period of probation is to prepare for the final exam, which will be hardly no examination like as man’s dreams could fathom. Rather this is exiting step and what leads to life eternal. What appears to be the end is in truth the end of the beginning.


(The spirit of the Lord is strong with me this morning. I’ve read the chapter again in Spanish from top to bottom.) This book is given to make us holy. It is a preparation to return to the presence of God, who is as He desires us to become. This is the text that has been prepared to assist us in our return. There is no other book that does this thing, to this degree. No other book will draw us closer to Christ than the book of Mormon.

Now, I must go pray.

Sacrament Contemplation

(Undated)

  • The atonement, or more specifically the suffering in Gethsemane, was arguably the most violent, and unjust act of all humanity. The Just suffering for the unjust.

24 Jun 2023

  • Trying to wrap my brain around what has been shown me in the last 24 hours.
  • I need the time to process in prayer.
  • What is unclear to me is whether the thoughts or impromptu impressions that started with me at the top of the morning, and which occupied my prayers, brief as they were… I want to do good.

Come Unto Christ

Moroni 10:26-30 (Moroni 10:26-30)

Cuando leo declaraciones fuertes como lo que dice Moroni en el versículo 26, me hace recordar que Dios no es negro y blanco en tales cosas. Pero es el hombre natural el que atenta ser incompatible, inflexible, y sin voluntad de cambiar y crecer. Es en el acto de negar el poder y los dones de Dios, en no reconocer el proceso de crecimiento que resulta por medio del arrepentimiento, que resultará en nuestra expulsión del reino de Dios.

Las notas de pie y resto de este grupo de versículos muestra un punto muy fascinante: que en los postrer días Dios mismo manifestará la veracidad de estas palabra.


The last verse of this section is an invitation that is coupled together, as with expectation: come unto Christ AND lay hold on every good gift. This is followed by an admonition to stay away from the evil gifts and unclean things.


These verses are resonating with me this morning. This is Moroni at the end of the book, accertaining the veracity of what he has recorded. So certain is his knowledge that he understands that this record will be used at the end of time, during the judgement as a means of measurement or assessment.

Prophets speak with knowledge, not mere hope or optimistic speculation. They know what will happen.


This seems like a bit of an incomplete study, but I’m ready to move on. I’ve added footnotes to the scriptures on these verses that are of significance. They are as follows:

These things are written with the knowledge that one from beyond mortality would have, as if they were already dead or passed over to the other side of the veil and all that is known there.

Footnote on verse 27

This isn’t an invitation to do anything. This is a statement of fact. That somehow and in some way, at some time, it will be God who shows you that the words written by Moroni are true.

Footnote on verse 29