Friday, January 1, 2010

Hardships Bring Blessings

Here are some thoughts as I read 1 Nephi 17:
*Verse 20- It’s amazing how much Laman and Lemuel complain against Nephi! They feel the Spirit and change for a time and then they complain all over again! I think that sometimes we do similar things in our lives. We continue to make the same mistakes again and again, even though we are reminded quite often by the Spirit what we are to do. Why is it that this happens? Most likely because we don’t stay close to the Spirit. We allow ourselves to get so caught up in the things of the world and situations in our lives that we forget about Heavenly Father. We fail to put Him first. This leads to doubt, disbelief, and complaining about the things that we know are true.
*Verse 25- Nephi brings up a good point here: Sometimes we must experience hardship in order to get out of a tough situation, which would ultimately cause much more sorrow, pain, and suffering. Heavenly Father gives us situations so that we can overcome our weaknesses. These situations are usually not easy to bear. But, if we do endure them and overcome them with faith, we will learn much and grow according to Heavenly Father’s will.

*Verse 30- The situations that the children of Israel had to bear (while in the wilderness with Moses) were not easy. In fact, they were incredibly challenging. Yet, it was better for them to be in the wilderness and prospering than to be in bondage to the Egyptians. Unfortunately, the people forgot what God had done to protect and preserve them. They could only see the negatives in their situation rather than the positives. This lead to doubt, disbelief, and eventually to them reviling against God.
*Verse 40- Heavenly Father keeps the promises He makes with His children as long as they keep their promises to Him.

*We all have struggles. Heavenly Father gives us experience and helps us to grow through our trials. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget Him. We forget why we go through trials. During our trials, if we focus on the negative, we forget the blessings and miracles that Heavenly Father is performing in our lives.

*I want to remember Heavenly Father amid my trials. I need to put Him first and focus on the blessings I’ve been given rather than the struggles I’m going through. I need to show gratitude to Heavenly Father through service to Him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Humbling Ourselves to Draw Closer to Heavenly Father

Here are some thoughts as I read 3 Nephi 4-5:

    *Verses 10, 18- We can learn much from these verses that discuss the spiritual and physical preparation of the Nephites. They humbled themselves. They prepared themselves in all aspects to fight against their enemy. It was only because they were prepared that the Lord blessed them. He provided them with strength as they listened to His counsel. He provided them with counsel because he KNEW that they would listen to it.

      *We can all learn from this in our lives. Heavenly Father will bless us with the gift of guidance and of His Spirit. However, He will only do so if we are proving to Him that we will act on that knowledge. I know that sometimes in my life I’ve been praying for the answer, but haven’t been willing to except whatever answer was given to me. We need to prepare and accept the Lord’s will in our preparations, having faith, knowing that He will guide us to the path that we need to follow in our lives.

    *Verses 29-33: The people expressed their utmost gratitude unto God for the blessings and freedom which He granted unto them. Shouldn’t we do so too?
    *Verse 9- Mormon reminds us that this a true abridgement. There are records that contain all of the proceedings of the Nephites. Where are those now?
    *Verse 16- Mormon makes an abridged record based on the records that have gone before. Even in modern day times, that would be a lofty task. But, for Mormon, this was an unbelievable feat! All of the engraving he had to do and the translations into a tongue that was not the language with which he communicated on a daily basis… that is amazing to me!
    *Verse 18- I wonder why there are many things which “according to their language” they are not able to write.
    *Verse 24- That is what we are doing today… we are bringing in the scattered remnants of the House of Israel. Through missionary work, we are helping to perform this great work.
    *Verse 25- Heavenly Father covenanted with the House of Jacob that He would restore it unto the knowledge of the gospel. What a blessing in our lives! I feel this blessing and this promise coming true among us today.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prepare for Our Battles

Here are some thoughts as I read 3 Nephi end of 2-3:
*Chapter 2, Verse 18- Because they weren’t unified, they began to fall.
*Chapter 3, Verse 2-4: The leader of the Gadianton robbers, Giddianhi, is grossly misled. He professes to believe in such false traditions and such lies, acting accordingly. Satan tries to get people to see good as evil and evil as good, in the case of the Gadianton robbers.
*Verse 6- Giddianhi gives no reason as to why HE deserves to have the land, but feels he has the right to it.
Verse 9- Giddianhi believes that the “secret” works of the Gadianton robbers are good. How much Satan can lead us to believe magnificent falsehoods! We need to constantly be on our guard in order to protect ourselves from Satan’s temptations.
*Verse 10- Finally Giddianhi gives the reason that HE and HIS FOLLOWERS deserve the Nephites land: Because of the Nephites (supposed) wickedness in retaining from the robbers the rights to the government. It’s amazing that he wrote these words, believing them in full faith.
*Verse 12- The chief governor, Lachoneus, had faith that Heavenly Father would protect them if they cried unto Him in faith and righteousness.
*Verse 15- Lachoneus reminds the people that unless they repent and humble themselves, they will not be saved.
*Verse 19- In times of righteousness, the people chose prophets to the lead the people, both into battle and at the head of their government. They chose these people because they had the spirit and access to revelations for the people.
*Verse 21- The leader of the armies, Gidgiddoni, counseled the people that if they listened to what the Lord said and prepared in the Lord’s way, they would be saved.
*Verse 25- The people prepared both spiritually and temporally for the war which was about to take place. The people didn’t know when the battle was going to happen, but they were prepared in case it did happen.

*We, too, can prepare now for the battles that lie ahead. We never know what will happen in our lives. We never know when Satan will try us and tempt us. We need to prepare ourselves now and beware of the cunning darts of the adversary. We need to be aware of the manner in which Satan tempts us. We need to pray humbly and fervently, repenting and asking forgiveness. I know that Heavenly Father will bless us in our daily struggles and in our fight against the adversary if we prepare and show that Heavenly Father is our priority.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Faith Precedes the Miracle

Here are some thoughts as I read Helaman 7-8:
*Verse 24- Nephi chastens the Nephites because of their unbelief. He BOLDLY calls them to repentance by reminding them of the many witnesses they see in their lives. Just like us, all things in heaven and earth testify that there is a God. I’m grateful for my testimony of these things, knowing that God is there. I can see Him around me in the people I talk with, in the opportunities and words He has given me, through the beauty of a sunset. So many ways to see and praise God for what He has given us.
*(Chapter 8) Verse 2- The people are waiting for a sign… at this point, the Nephites don’t believe that Nephi is a true prophet, but they say that if what he prophesied about the chief judge is true, then he MUST be a prophet and they will believe on his words.
*Verse 5- They find out that what Nephi had said was true and begin to believe. It’s better to believe without a sign than to believe after seeing a sign.
*Verse 8- Interesting that people who had forgotten God were so adamant in thinking that God had smitten those 5 men who had fallen to the earth after seeing the truth of the words of Nephi.
*Verse 16- Now the people believe that Nephi was in on the murder of the chief judge to the point that they are blaming him for the murder. Satan sure has a tricky way of getting people to forget God and to believe in their own thoughts rather than using the spirit to guide them.
*Verse 24- He showed unto them a sign and they are angry with him… their hearts are so hardened against Heavenly Father! They have let satan take over!
*Verses 39-41: It’s amazing how the Nephites all saw the same miracles and prophecies come to pass, yet some of them still don’t understand and still cannot believe! Nephi is so strong and bold in his faith. He listens to the spirit and lets it guide him in his thoughts, actions, and words. Because of this, he is a wonderful prophet and an example unto many. He is also given the words he should say because of his faith.

*I can be like Nephi… I can have faith and seek for the spirit in my life. I can seek to live by the spirit and allow it to guide me, refine me, and improve my character. I’m so grateful to Heavenly Father for my knowledge of the gospel and for the spirit in my life.
*I will work hard not to look for signs in my own life. I want to have and act on faith and remember that FAITH precedes the MIRACLE.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here are some thoughts as I read Helaman 5:

    *Verse 4- Nephi gives up the judgment seat in order to become a missionary unto the people (with his brother, Lehi) all the rest of his days. This shows that Nephi truly isn’t seeking for power, but to pull it down. He’s seeking to help the people overcome their pride and their temptations. Like his predecessor, he was a good man who loved his God and his people.
    *Verse 5- Nephi and Lehi remembered the words of their father. This shows the importance and lasting effect of what we teach our children, but it also shows the diligence of these men to follow and obey their father. A righteous parent truly can affect his/her children. There are numerous examples of that in the scriptures.
    *Verses 6-7: Nephi and Lehi were given their names to always remember their forefathers and the righteous examples they set. We also need to remember the sacrifices made and the examples of those who have gone before us. The Book of Mormon is a miraculous record that has come forth to bless us in our day. Many have sacrificed, both in ancient and modern times, to allow me this record. I am truly grateful for their sacrifices to bring me a book that has caused so much joy, peace, and hope in my life.
    *Verse 8- We need to make sure that our motivation for righteous choices is the right reason. Sometimes we want certain callings or we want to boast about the service we have done. Instead, we should be doing these things because we love God and our fellow men. If we do things because of this motivation, we lay up a treasure for ourselves in Heaven without price. That treasure is eternal life.
    Verses 9-11: Many prophets have preached that the only way to have eternal life is through Jesus Christ, who will redeem people FROM their sins, not IN their sins. This tells us that people need to make the choice to choose righteously and repent. He can only save us if we CHOOSE to repent and draw unto Him.
    *Verse 12- We need to build on the rock, which is Jesus Christ. If our foundation is the gospel of Jesus Christ, our faith will be firmly planted and when the temptations come, we will be able to withstand them. This faith and this foundation is sure, but it takes time and daily energy to cultivate and improve upon.
    *Verse 18- Nephi and Lehi had power and authority given unto them in their missionary service. Is this similar to callings that we have in our wards and homes? Because of this power and authority, they had power to speak and teach by the spirit. Through this power, they were able to convert many Nephites and Lamanites alike unto the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m sure this was a hard time to preach, because of so much negativity and hatred among both peoples. Teaching the people wasn’t easy, but they went forward in the strength of Christ to do the work they had been called/compelled to do.

      I think that we all can have this power and authority of God in our labors in this life. God will bless us if we are striving to listen to His words and heed His commands.

    *Verse 36- It’s amazing the things that happened to protect Lehi and Nephi once they were imprisoned. Heavenly Father used this imprisonment (or trial) as a means to teach others. Lehi and Nephi were an example of faith and prayer in this verse as they turned their heads towards Heaven to converse with the angels of God.
    *Verse 41- Although the people in this chapter had a literal cloud of darkness over them, we have a figurative cloud of darkness over us as we sin and fail to repent. The people asked Aminadab what they should do in order to have the cloud of darkness removed. His answer to those people is the same answer to us as sinners, “You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ… and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.”
    *Verses 42-43: Once the people repented, they were encircled about in a pillar of fire just like Lehi and Nephi. This signifies the fire of the spirit that encircles us about as we give up our sins to know God again.
    *Verse 49-50: The converted people were told to go forth and then convert others through their testimony and strength.


    In many ways, this chapter is an example for our life and our teachings. We first need to dispel the cloud of darkness from our own lives and partake of the spirit of God before we can help others do the same. And once we’ve drawn unto God and partaken of His spirit, we need to teach and bless others. We should want to teach and bless others to gain the same knowledge, power, faith, hope, and strength that we have.
    I want to be better about being a positive example unto others. I want to look for ways to serve others and to be a better missionary and example of Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Here are some thoughts as I read Helaman 4:

    *Verses 1-3: I’m always amazed by those people who dissented away from the Nephites! It’s amazing to me that one day they could love their country and their lands so much, and the next day they are offended and go to their enemies to seek war against their own kin. It just shows the power Satan has over us, if we let him. We need to be ever watchful so that we don’t become like these Nephite dissenters, abandoning everything we know and becoming a traitor to our country and people all because of a contention blown out of proportion by selfishness and greed.
    *Verse 11: The Nephites suffered death and great losses at the Lamanites’ hands because of the Nephites great wickedness. This leads me to consider why. Why did they suffer and lose so much? It’s because they were no longer led by the spirit. They were also no longer united with their brethren in the same cause and the same truth.

      *This verse teaches us a great lesson: That we need the spirit to lead us into righteous paths and to guide us when we are unsure the best way to proceed. It also teaches us that we need to be unified in our beliefs and desires. When we are one in faith and action, we become strong and immovable. Satan and his cunning associates cannot shake us, because we will band together, strengthening one another in order to overcome temptations of all kinds.
      *Another interesting aspect of this verse is that those people who were wicked were “among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.” Are we among those who “profess” to belong to the church but don’t live it? May there NEVER come a day that I profess to belong to something which I don’t believe in and show my belief through my actions.

    *Verse 12-13: These verses go even further to expound upon those who belonged to the church but did not live according to its principles. It states that their actions and their unbelief were related to the pride of their possessions. They allowed this to consume them and to cause them to do wicked and harsh things to their brethren.

      *And because they boasted in their own strength, “they were left in their own strength.” Essentially, the people got exactly what they wanted. They wanted to say nothing of God and everything about their own power, so they got it.

    *Verse 16: The people repent and are able to regain one half of their property and lands. Repentance allows the Lord to help them to prosper when they are humbly seeking Him.
    *Verse 25: The Lord not only will NOT strive to be with wicked people, but He can NOT dwell in those who reject Him. He will not take away our agency. It’s up to us to choose to have Him a part of our lives or choose to go it on our own.


    *I need to be ever-mindful of the wiles of Satan. Satan is cunning and can quickly redirect us down false paths if we let him. I need to HUMBLY strive to have the Spirit always with me as a constant companion. I know that if I do so, I will be united with God and with my brethren. We can band together to strengthen one another in time’s of trial and hardship.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Prayer, Faith, & Consistency

Here are some thoughts as I read Alma (end of) 62-63:

  • Verses 49-51: In spite of their prosperity, the people remembered Heavenly Father and continually called upon His name. Because of their humility, the Lord blessed them according to His word. He will do the same for us if we are living worthy of His blessings. He won’t always bless us in the way we want Him to, but He will bless us according to our covenants and our needs.
  • Verse 12- Interesting that the records went forth throughout the land (except for the sacred parts)… the scriptures were used even then to teach and edify people.


  • I need to pray unto God continually. Additionally, I need to be better about studying these scriptures with which we are so blessed to have! I am so blessed in my life, but I hinder my own progression by not waking up earlier to study and pray. I am exhausted from not sleeping very well, but I know that Heavenly Father will endow me with His spirit and power if I am seeking Him and His guidance. I want Him in my life. I’m striving to have the spirit, but I know that I can do better by waking up a little earlier to study, ponder, and pray.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Firm & Undaunted

Here are some thoughts as I read Alma 57:

  • Verses 20- It’s amazing that the 2,000 stripling warriors were able to have so much strength and energy! It says that they were “firm and undaunted,” yet they were so young and inexperienced.
  • Verse 21- This verse gives us the reason why they were able to fight with such strength and force in such a miraculous way. Not only did they obey every command with exactness, but they were faithful. They had listened to the words of their mothers and had obtained strength from their mothers’ faith, which they used to establish their own faith. Heavenly Father blessed them because of their obedience and faith.

    • We can learn from this that we should also be obedient to the covenants we have made with Heavenly Father and that we should also keep them with exactness. Those commandments and covenants we have made can act as a shield between us and the adversary to protect us and keep us out of harm’s way.
    • We can also learn from the stripling warriors’ faith and how they obtained it. Two aspects of this are important: First, the example of their mothers. Because of the examples, righteousness, and faith of their mothers, they taught their boys the truth of the gospel. They learned the truths of the gospel and learned how to be obedient to every command the Lord gives. Second, they used this faith as a foundation to build upon with their own faith. They didn’t rest solely on their mothers’ faith to carry them through. They acted on their own faith in order to fight the way they did. In the end, they were saved and their faith had carried them
      through positively.

  • Verses 25-26- It’s amazing and miraculous how the army of Helaman ALL survived a second battle. They all received wounds, but they all were alive! This shows the power of their faith and how they worked according to their faith. They knew the Lord was with them. They knew what they had to do and they acted on it. We, too, need to act on our own faith. We need to act on those things that we know in our lives in order to increase our faith and our obedience to the Lord’s commands.
  • Verses 36-37- Heavenly Father kept His promise to the people of Nephi. He promised that they would be preserved it they would be faithful in keeping His commands. Because the Nephites were faithful, he preserved them. If we are faithful to God’s commands in our lives, He will bless us with promised blessings and power.


  • I want to work hard now to remain faithful and to act in accordance with the covenants I have made with Heavenly Father. I know that if I do this, I will be blessed by Heavenly Father. I also know that I will continue to establish positive habits in my life so that eventually when we have children, I can teach them faith and share my testimony like the mothers of the army of Helaman did.
  • Another parallel that we can make from these verses is about missionary work. Essentially, everyone who begins to learn about the gospel rests on the faith and testimony of others for a time. After a while, investigators obtain their own testimony. However, I see that we are all strengthened by the stories of faith and testimony shared weekly at church. I learn and grow because of those who share and participate. I know that it is my responsibility to share my testimony as well with new investigators and those at church. Sometimes we need the faith of others to buoy us up and to remind us of those covenants we have made.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sincerity in Missionary Work

Here are some thoughts as I read Alma 18:
*Verse 10- Ammon kept the commandments of Lamoni in exactness. Because he was so faithful as a servant, he made a big impression on the king. We, too, can be a good example unto others by being true to our word. When we say we will do something, we should do it. Being true to our word reflects well on our characters and leaves a big impact on those with whom we come in contact.
*Verse 17- Even after he has served the king so much and performed a great miracle requiring much power and strength, Ammon is still humble in seeking to serve the king as his servant.
*Ammon’s example of service and the miracles he performed through the spirit and holy priesthood opened the way for the king to listen to his message about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
*Ammon taught missionary lessons unto the king, starting at the beginning and working chronologically up to his present time. He did this so that the king could understand their history and the plan of redemption. Missionaries today follow after the same pattern.
*Verse 40- King Lamoni readily believes the words which Ammon tells him. He is truly faithful. This shows the power of Ammon’s words and acts.
*Verse 43- King Lamoni lays as if dead and his family mourn over his body “after the manner of the Lamanites.” I wonder what this means. How did Lamanite mourning differ from that of Nephite mourning over their dead? Maybe it differed because the Nephites believed in life after death and the Lamanites didn’t?

*I can show forth integrity by being true to my word. I can serve others willingly and faithfully in order to be an example and disciple of Jesus Christ. As I teach others about the gospel, I can teach them line upon line and precept upon precept.
*This week, I plan on meeting up with an old friend from high school. I want to give her a Book of Mormon. In order to better teach her about the gospel, I can show forth true friendship and kindness. I can pray to have the spirit with me to guide me, like Ammon was guided. I can stay close to the spirit through regular scripture study and repenting of those thoughts and acts that may not keep the Holy Ghost close to me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Commandments & Civic Responsibility

Here are some thoughts as I read Mosiah 29:
*Verse 10- We also need to be mindful and do those things which will promote peace. We can learn from the past (be it our own past mistakes or the mistakes of others) to change our ways now and in the future.
*Verse 17- One wicked leader can bring down an entire nation. Leaders are an important organ in the body of a nation. Leaders are at the heart. We elect those leaders. We have a responsibility to choose the best leaders that abide by our standards and will lead the people to higher ground, rather than to murky swamps.
*Verse 22- It’s hard to get a leader out of power who also has powerful friends. We should beware of giving someone too much power, for fear that that person could remain a leader by means of abusing his/her power. Leaders sometimes have powerful friends and powerful agendas.
*Verse 25- Judges are chosen by the voice of the people… if the voice of the people becomes wicked, so do the judges.
*Verse 30- Having many leaders elected by the people means that the choices of the people are answered on their own heads.
*Verse 40- King Mosiah was a righteous king, revered by his people for his honesty and for the way in which he ruled. He was a humble man more interested in the rights of his people than in his own power. We can learn a lot from him as a leader.
*Verse 45- It says that Alma the Elder “lived to fulfill the commandments of God.” Let us hope that that may be said of us as we pass from this life to the next!

*Mosiah was a faithful, positive leader. Because of his example, humility, and kindness, he helped set up a system that would improve the lives of the people. We see here the importance of our own system and the responsibility that is placed on our own heads for the leaders we elect and the actions that we take. I want to do more research in order to make sure I understand the implications of how I vote.
*I want to work hard to promote peace with those around me. I want to keep the commandments of God, for I know that in keeping His commandments, I am protected from so many hardships and sins. I’m grateful for the commandments and guidelines Heavenly Father has set forth to protect us and to help us know the way to have His spirit to always be with us. I know that by following His spirit, I will be a peacemaker, I will be able to help the lives of others. I look forward to serving and helping others.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Peace through Christ's Atonement

Here are some thoughts as I read Mosiah 28:
*Verses 1-2: They wanted to teach others about Christ, because they loved the gospel, they loved the people, and they wanted to have peace. They knew that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace to those who abide by its principles. Am I living in a peaceful manner with those I come in contact with? Am I living the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that those around me (most especially family members) can tell that I love the Lord and want to serve Him?

*Verse 4: “They were the very vilest of sinners.” This verse truly shows the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It reflects His mercy, justice, and love. Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, even the very vilest of sinners has the opportunity to repent and change. Even the very vilest of sinners has HOPE in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This also shows me that I, too, can change. I have the opportunity to overcome my struggles and mistakes. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, I am able to repent and improve myself. I am able to overcome the natural man and put away my selfish desires to serve those around me. I know that I am happier when I serve others and when I am doing what Heavenly Father has asked me to do.

*Verse 6: Mosiah consults the Lord for an answer. We have that priviledge as well. We need to make sure that we use it in faith, knowing that Heavenly Father will guide us according to His will.

*Verse 18: The people of Mosiah were very desirous to have the knowledge that the scriptures provide. The rejoiced in that knowledge. Why? It could be so that they could learn from the mistakes of others in order to keep from repeating those mistakes. I need to continue to learn from the scriptures. I, too, rejoice in knowledge and learning. I know that as I learn and act on what I know, I become a better person.

*I know that I can be living in a more peaceful manner with my family members. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can gain strength to overcome my inadequacies. It takes faith and prayer to do so, as well as listening when the spirit directs me. I need to have a prayer in my heart and stay consistent at scripture reading to show Heavenly Father that HE is the number on priority in my life. I want to abide by His will and treat others in a manner that He would want them to be treated.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Positive News of the Gospel

Here are some thoughts as I read Mosiah 27:
*Heavenly Father answers prayers, sometimes in diverse ways (as in this case where an angel came), but He answers our prayers through our faith.
*Verses 24-28: We are so blessed to have a knowledge of the gospel! Heavenly Father has also seen fit to snatch us out of an everlasting burning to provide us with peace and comfort. Because we have been given this knowledge, it is our responsibility to help others and to pass that knowledge onto them. I am so grateful for this knowledge and for the opportunity that I have to overcome the mistakes of the past to renew myself and be better. I’m thankful for the atonement of Jesus Christ which allows me the opportunity to repent and change my behavior little by little, until I am a better, more selfless person.
*Verses 32-33: No sooner does Alma gain a testimony of the gospel, but he begins to share the great joy of the gospel with others. What a great example he is unto us in this regard! He felt the love of the gospel so deep in his heart that he couldn’t help but share it with others. Even though he was smitten and persecuted for his beliefs, he continued on sharing and helped others to strengthen their faith.
*Verses 36-37: We, too, can be instruments in the Lord’s hands in helping others. Whether it’s at church, or with someone in the line in the grocery store, we can bless the lives of others through our own positive energy and happiness.

I want to strive to be positive and happy with all those around me. Trials happen, people are rude… but I can choose how I react to those things. I don’t have to let negative energy take over when frustrations arise. I can stay positive, I can help others, I can be a good example to those around me. I want to keep peace in my life and help others to feel that same peace in their lives. I can search and listen for ways to bless others through Heavenly Father’s spirit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Staying Positive

I think it’s important to analyze my life every so often to determine what ways I can improve myself and what part of my life needs cleansing. I know that ever subtly I begin to allow things into my life (be it anger, negative music choices, etc.) that bring me down and keep me from staying positive. I want to consistently rid myself of negativity in order to stay positive and keep the spirit with me.

Here are some thoughts as I read Mosiah 26:
*Verse 1- I wonder why the kids did not believe the traditions of their parents. Did their parents not live the laws and the commandments? Were their parents not an example unto their children? It just makes me wonder why the next generation changed so drastically. I understand that King Benjamin had had a big impact on the parents, but I just wonder why the kids didn’t want to live after their parents’ examples. Makes you realize the importance of raising children up right, the importance of being an example to our children and instilling in them at a young age, the desire to learn and improve, especially in gospel matters.
*Verse 5- Hearing how quickly the number of the “people of God” changed, it’s amazing to realize how quickly we can make choices that will take us out of the church. As the scriptures say, there are many diverse ways to commit sin: be it through drinking alcohol or succumbing to sex before marriage or infidelity after marriage, or not forgiving ourselves or others. Yes, there are many ways to commit sin. But, there are also set tools and guidelines to follow to help keep us from the pain that accompanies sin.
*Verse 6- People were deceived by the flattering words of others. Are we sometimes so deceived? Do we sometimes watch shows because their funny, yet crude and sometimes inappropriate? Do we listen to music that is against our own beliefs, yet we listen because we like the beat or the instrumentation of the piece? We, too, can be deceived by the flattering words of those around us to participate in activities (listening, speaking, social, etc.) that normally we would not.
*Verse 13- He didn’t know how to handle the situation, so he prayed and asked because he had faith and KNEW that Heavenly Father would provide guidance to him.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pure in Heart

Here are some thoughts as I read Jacob 3:
*Verse 1- Heavenly Father will be there for us if we are humble and willing to let Him.
*Pure in heart? What does that mean? I think it means that we’re striving to have our will in line with Heavenly Father’s will. It means that we’re doing all we can to avoid temptation and to keep our minds and thoughts clean. It means having love and charity towards those around us, just as Christ has for us.
*We’re told in verses 1 and 2 that if we’re pure in heart that we should pray unto Heavenly Father and receive the pleasing word of God. If we do so, we will feast upon His love, He will console us in our afflictions, send down justice upon those who seek our destruction, and our minds will be firm forever.
*Verse 7- We can learn from those around us, just as the Lamanites at that time were a better example unto the Nephites.
*Verse 9- We should not judge those around us. Just because we think that something someone is doing is wrong, we should still point the finger at ourselves and strive to be bettering ourselves. We also should seek to understand those around us rather than judging them negatively. We never know why someone has said or done something.
*Verse 10- The way we act WILL have an effect upon our children or future children. We need to be the best people NOW in order to improve families for the future.

*I can strive to have my heart pure by thinking positively and praying for Heavenly Father’s guidance. I know that if I’m striving to do and be what my Heavenly Father has asked me, my life will be blessed and I will feel His love in my life.
*Rather than focusing on others, I can focus on bettering myself. I can change no one, but I can change my attitude. Just as I don’t want to be judged for my acts or words, I should not judge others for their acts. I should look for the best in others and help them to achieve their potential.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rejoice, O my Heart

Here are some thoughts as I read 2 Nephi 4:
*Nephi says that his soul delights in the scriptures and ponders them. They are for our profit and learning.

*Verse 20- Heavenly Father was Nephi’s support in his afflictions and He will be our support too. Heavenly Father blessed Nephi, guided him, and removed his enemies from him. God blessed Nephi for his diligence, even if Nephi wasn’t perfect. Heavenly Father will bless us as well. He will be there to guide and comfort us ONLY as we are striving to live worthy of those blessings. He will do so ONLY as we are keeping His commandments and do our best to draw near unto Him.

*Verses 26-27- If I have felt the Spirit, why should I succumb to sin? I don’t have to “give way to temptations.” As Nephi said, “Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul” (2 Nephi 4:28).

*Heavenly Father wants us to use the power of the infinite atonement in our lives. If we are staying strong in keeping the commandments and improving our relationship with Heavenly Father, He will make way for the Spirit in our hearts. He will allow the Spirit to work within us and to remove our desire to sin. We will still be tempted, but we won’t succumb as easily if we’re truly striving to have Heavenly Father with us always.

*In prayer, Nephi clearly expresses his faith and trust in God. He asks for Heavenly Father’s help in overcoming temptation and for guidance to resolve the problems he is currently facing.

I can make Heavenly Father a priority in my life. I need to put my trust in Heavenly Father and not in man. I know that He will guide and direct me if I am striving to keep the commandments and to make Him a part of my life. The only person whose actions I can determine are my own. Pray to Heavenly Father and get to know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ better. By better understanding His life and atonement better, I can draw closer to Him and be able to become more like Him.