Friday, April 13, 2012

An Unshakable Foundation

I re-read Elder Eyring's talk from April Conference.

Recently I have been feeling bad for someone. This person is a faithful member of the Church, but I knew about a trial she had gone through and I wondered if she could honestly be happy. I actually thought that even if she did a decent job of holding herself together on the outside, she must be really sad on the inside. I was busy feeling bad for her this morning, when it dawned on me--maybe she really is happy. Is that possible? I say that I believe the Atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to heal people, so why can't I believe that it has done so for this woman, who appears to be pretty happy most of the time? If I believe she cannot truly be as happy as she seems, aren't I denying the full power of the Atonement?

These questions led me to Elder Eyring's talk, "Mountains to Climb." A talk about trials. As I read, I realized that we can either be fearful of trials, living defensively in hopes of warding off the insurmountable challenges. Or, we can be faithful, believing that any trials we receive will, in fact, be for our good and that we can handle them with help from Jesus. My faith in the Savior was renewed, and I realized that I do believe He can heal us. I'm sure I have yet to experience more of that in my life, as tougher trials come my way.

Elder Eyring instructs on how to lay "an unshakable foundation of faith."

-Choose the right consistently. This prepares the ground for our foundation.
-The gospel of Jesus Christ, along with its convenants, ordinances, and principles, forms the metal framework for our "foundation."
-Allow for appropriate "curing" time. When a foundation for a building is laid, it takes a good bit of time for the materials to set properly. Our foundation is set as we serve God and others persistently.
-Finally, trouble itself can be a way to gain unshakable faith. (I like that it is not the only way to gain faith. We can gain faith by serving, choosing the right, and living the gospel.) Of course, our trials can be exactly what we need to make our faith what it needs to be.

Great talk, great ideas.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

a thought on visiting teaching...

I taught the lesson in Relief Society today and came across a quote I have loved since I heard it a year or two ago.

Camilla Kimball said this about her efforts as a visiting teacher: "I have tried not to suppress any inclination to generous word or deed." What a wonderful goal to have. It is so easy to suppress the inclination towards generosity, thinking that someone wouldn't want to be bothered by a phone call, that you won't know what to say to help someone, or that you are too busy to really reach out to someone.
Someone in Relief Society today made the point, "If I didn't suppress some of my generous inclinations I would constantly be writing letters and visiting people and calling people, and I wouldn't have time to do the stuff I have to get done." I thought this was interesting, and I can definitely relate. Regardless, I have made a habit sometimes of repeating Camilla's mantra to myself when I feel like disregarding a prompting to serve someone. Never suppress a generous thought, I tell myself. It helps. Here's to doing more of that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Elder Holland on Missionary Work

I wanted to find a certain talk that I used to have access to when I worked at the MTC to share with a friend who is considering going on a mission. The talk is called, "The Miracle of a Mission," and Elder Holland gave it in 2000 at the MTC. I was only able to find this 10 minute clip with excerpts from both Elder Holland and Elder Eyring, but I'm pretty sure the middle part comes from that talk I was looking for. Maybe. It's really good, anyhow.

Really, how could we expect not to experience anything hard in this life when the Savior went through so much for us?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Okay, back to the blog.

Last year I was pretty ambitious with my New Year's Resolution of posting to this blog every single day.

This year I've decided to tone it down. Once a week. I'd be happy with once a week.

Besides, why shouldn't I be able to share some scriptural insight at least once a week? It seems like enough of a goal to keep me in check (ie. make sure I'm getting some regular spiritual nourishment) without being overwhelming.

So here goes.

Short paragraphs. :)

I read 2 Nephi 13 (the equivalent of Isaiah 3) today. The thing that occurred to me as I read it was how it was sort of a contrast to the end of Moroni 7. Both chapters make me think of how when all is said and done, everyone will be seen for who he/she really is. All of the jewelry, perfume, fancy clothes (see 2 Ne 13) will be stripped away, and if those things were just a front, all that will be left is stink and ugliness. We will be exposed without any of those outer things to hide behind. Conversely, we can be followers of Christ, that when he comes we "shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (see Moroni 7).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hebrews 12:2

Christ is "the author and finisher of our faith." Footnote re: finisher tells us that it represents an idea in Greek close to "one who perfects, completes."

I was just reading in Preach My Gospel about how Jesus Christ finished his mission on earth (see John 17:4, John 19:30). Just another way in which I desperately want to be more like Him. It is often so difficult to finish things I start (take this blog, for example!). But He is my perfect example. Not only can I draw strength from His example, I can rely on His Atonement for strength to do things that are beyond my natural capacity.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Elder Bednar's Light Analogy

I really appreciated Elder Bednar's analogy on light in his Conference talk yesterday, in which he compared two different examples of perceiving light to receiving personal revelation.

In the first example, a light switch is turned on. A dark room is immediately filled with light. This parallels instances in which we ask God a question and receive an immediate, unmistakable answer, or we otherwise receive a message from God that is clear and instantaneous. I have experienced this kind of revelation, although relatively infrequently.

In the second example, we watch nighttime turn to day. The change from dark to light as the sun rises is "gradual and steady," "slow and almost imperceptible." On some days, the fog might make it impossible for us to determine exactly when the light appeared, though we cannot deny it is there.

I was struck by this analogy, especially because personal revelation has often seemed elusive and hard to recognize, yet there are solutions to questions and problems that have become increasingly clear to me over time. Where there was once darkness, I have light, although I can't tell exactly when the light appeared. Elder Bednar said that the guidance we receive will come "often so delicately, you may not even consciously recognize it." However, if we "press forward obediently and with faith in the Savior. . . [we] cannot go amiss."

I am grateful for the confidence we can have in the Spirit of revelation--confidence that the Lord will guide our steps. I'm grateful for my baptismal covenants and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Yesterday I was reprimanded for not showing up for a meeting I was supposed to be at. I just forgot--I got busy working on something else, and completely forgot to go. I hate being chastised. It makes me feel very small. Insignificant, incompetent, miserable. When I read this scripture about how the Savior bore the "chastisement of our peace," I wasn't sure exactly what that meant, but I know what chastisement is.

From Merriam-Webster: 1. To inflict punishment on (as by whipping). 2. To censure severely.

If "chastisement" refers to rebuking/scolding/chiding from government officials or the people who condemned Him to death, I wonder what kind of sting it had--if it was anything like that insignificant, incompetent, miserable feeling I get. I don't know if it could have been, because He hadn't done anything wrong, so the sting of guilt couldn't have been there for Him. But He was punished as if He had done something wrong, and it's a particular kind of belittled feeling to be punished.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...