Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools
This week I read eight chapters in the New Testament and six more in the Book of Mormon. I read many great things, however, it was these eight words in Romans that I would play over in my mind all week long. I find it interesting and very telling about the nature of God. He does not need many words to inspire change in his children, just a few words read with the company of the Holy Ghost can help us to know what we need to do. I heard the loving and warning voice of the Holy Ghost as it said this was what I needed to work on. These words were for me, now.
I was humbled by the question that came next, in what ways am I professing myself to be wise, as to my own strength, and not in need of God's help and strength to overcome? I received a lot of answers. How often have I said, 'I've got this' when met with a challenge; be it an accounting quiz or dealing with a matter of discipline with one of our sons? It's probably crossed my mind way too many times. How many times have I gone in with the mindset that I am wise and need no help only to stop, failing in the middle, to pray for the help I needed to begin with? The answer is; too many to count.
How do we overcome the temptation to proclaim our own wisdom? And avoid the fallback into foolish defeat?
I turned to the scriptures and found several great examples;
Ammon expressed joy filled gratitude to God in all things and recognized his own weakness' before Him. And then bore testimony of what he could do with God's strength. He was humble, grateful, joyful for the help, and bore testimony.
Alma 26:11-12 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things;
In Isaiah, we read that those who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength increased. Patience and obedience while we wait, yields blessings of strength to run and not be weary. I don't know about you, but I can always use more strength to attack a to-do list.
Isaiah 40:29 & 31
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
While teaching the people of Corinth, Paul teaches us how he overcomes the temptation to only rely on his own strength. First he beseeches the Lord that he will remove the pride from him, then he acknowledges his weakness and the Lord tells him that His strength is made perfect in weakness. Paul gives gratitude for the weaknesses that draw him nearer to his Savior. In our infirmities do we find the humility to beg for the strength we need to overcome.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly ,therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
How do you set aside the temptation to think you can do it all on your own?
I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney
- President Marion G. Romney
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Choice 1: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20. The Institution of the Sacrament
1. The Savior instituted the Sacrament the night before He was crucified, near the time of the Passover celebration. Many centuries earlier, the feast of the Passover had been instituted to help the children of Israel remember when the destroying angel “passed over” their houses and delivered them from Egyptian bondage (see Exodus 12:21-28; 13:14-15). The blood of the unblemished Passover lamb that saved ancient Israel was a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who redeemed all mankind. Review Matthew 26:26-29 and Luke 22:14-20. Then read the institute student manual introduction to chapter 23 (p. 160) and the commentary for “What Is the Relationship between the Sacrament and the Atonement?” (pp. 161-62). Write responses to the following questions:
· What was the relationship between the Passover and the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
The Passover feast was a commemoration of the Children of Israel being passed over and protected by God when the Egyptians were killing the first born of every Jew. The Atonement of Jesus Christ delivers God’s children from eternal bondage thus protecting them from demise of their own making.
· What is the relationship between the Sacrament and the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
The Sacrament is to be like the Passover feast was for the children of Israel, a reminder of the deliverance that was provided for them. I love what Elder Holland had to say about the sacrament and the Atonement; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked: “Do we see [the sacrament] as our passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?” (“This Do in Remembrance of Me,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 68).
The Sacrament is a very real and regular reminder of the deliverance we have been afforded if we follow the Savior. What a blessing it is to have that as a weekly reminder and recommitting and repenting part of our journey here on the earth.
· How does John 4:13-14; 6:48-53 add to an understanding of the symbolism of bread and water?
“ But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
“ I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
The symbolism in the sacramental tokens remind us that those who partake of the gifts that the Savior provides will have everlasting life. What he offers it truly life-saving and life-sustaining.
· Considering the Savior’s instructions in Luke 22:19 and 3 Nephi 18:7, why do you think we are commanded to partake of the Sacrament weekly?
The Sacrament is intended to be done in remembrance of the Savior and the sacrifices that he made for us. We need to have constant reminders to have His spirit with us always. The flesh is weak, it is His atonement and the partaking of the sacrament that gives us the strength we need to continue growing in light and truth. We need constant reminding.
How does Mosiah 5:13 apply to this idea?
“ For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” When we do not have constant reminders we forget what we’re working for and the desires the Savior has for us to grow and change remain unknown.
2. Carefully look at the additions and corrections in the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 26:26, 28 (see Matthew 26:26 footnote b, and Matthew 26:28 footnote a). Write responses to the following questions and tasks:
· What important truths do we gain from these verses of the Joseph Smith Translation?
· He gave his body as a ransom for the debts that we could not pay
· Those who believe on His name receive a remission of their sins
· For the gifts we are given he asks that we observe and do the things that we have seen him do and bear testimony of Him even unto the end.
· What does ransom mean? How does properly participating in the ordinance of the Sacrament ransom us? (See JST, Matthew 26:26) A ransom is a price paid for one who cannot pay it themselves. As we actively participate in the ordinance of the sacrament we renew covenants and promises made with our Savior, we take on his name to do as we have seen him do, and we commit to repent of the tings that keep us from doing his will.
· Make a list of what you want to remember about the Savior the next time you partake of the Sacrament.
· We are all beggars in need of forgiveness and repentance. The sacrament is one way that we fulfill our responsibilities to come unto Christ and repent and be forgiven.
· I want to do a better job of remembering Him and the sacrament is one of those times where I am able to demonstrate that remembrance.
· Coming unto Christ is a daily action, a moving process and a growing experience.
· He loves me. He knows me. And he desires to bless and help me. I need to work on staying out of the way of the blessings that he is trying to send me by thinking I can work stuff out on my own.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Friday, August 21, 2015
One of the problems and blessings of taking a religion class on a block course is that there are so many great principles covered every week that you could go a million different amazing and beautiful directions.
The last two days have been very difficult and amazingly fortifying at the same time. A little back story, my parents live in a basement apartment in the home we live in. I love having them close and our boys get to see their grandparents every day. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement that we all love, I'm not just saying that, I know they love it because they say so every day. Four weeks ago my father had surgery to remove a bone spur from his heel. They had to detach his Achilles' tendon and reattach it to complete the procedure. He has been on a wheelie scooter and in bed. My mother has been working very hard to take care of him.
Wednesday morning as I was preparing to take my youngest son to school I heard my Father yell up the stairs to me. I don't recall what he said, but what I heard was, 'stop your mother before she gets out the door'. I made casual conversation with her until I noticed that she wasn't looking so well. I asked her where she was going, her reply, 'I'm not feeling well so I'm driving myself to the Emergency Room'. I told her, 'no way'. I'd drive her. I called a neighbor to help take my son to school. And started down the driveway. I heard a prompting to call 911 instead. Long story shorter; by last night 9 pm she was no longer able to talk clearly, she was bed-bound and she was struggling to breathe. And Thursday morning she was moved to the Neurological ICU and intubated to help breathing. There have been many prayers offered and she's had priesthood blessings. Given the situation I've been drawn to the story of Christ raising Lazerus from the dead and his sisters' comment that if he had been there he would not have died in the first place. I would like to have been able to write about that miracle for my blog post and receive credit. I had hopes that quick action and prayer and blessings might have kept things from going further, but how much has my faith and testimony to answered prayers grown while seeing the Lords' hand in our lives at this time? I wouldn't change it.
So now onto the assigned portion;
Read Luke 10:38–42; 11:1–13; 12:13–40; 13:23–24; 14:16–33 and the institute student manual commentary for Luke 11:5–13, “The Parable of the Friend at Midnight” (p. 115). Make a list of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and what the Savior taught about counting the costs of following Him.
- Identify one of the teachings from your list that you would like to apply more fully in your life. Write a paragraph about how you could apply that teaching and what difference you believe it would make in your life.
- Read Luke 14:33; Omni 1:26; Mosiah 2:34; Matthew 13:44–46. Explain in writing what is ultimately required to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.