"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beware False Prophets

I wanted to try a video post again for this week.  I am really enjoying the learning and growth I am experiencing as I strive to follow the promptings of the Spirit for this blog.  My plan moving forward is to have both written and video entries.  Please let me know what you think.  Your support and friendship mean so very much to me.

General Conference will be broadcast Saturday, April 2 and Sunday April 3.  To view click here.

Helpful aids for studying out this post

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" posted, December 24, 2010

Matthew 7: 15-20- Beware false prophets

Galatians 5:22-23- Fruits of the Spirit

Numbers 21:5-9 & John 3:14- Moses and the serpent on the staff

Ephesians 2:19-20- Christ's church built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Parable of the Sower

It is my hope that as you watch this video, you will invite the spirit to enlighten your mind.  Seek guidance as to how you can create more fertile ground in your heart to receive the pleasing word of God. May He bless you in your efforts!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Take My Yoke Upon You

28-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29-Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30-For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 
 Matthew 11

I am SO grateful for the companionship of my Savior as I travel through this life.  Let's be honest!  Sometimes this journey can be downright painful!  Understanding that adversity is a tool which the Father uses to refine and mold me, blesses my soul with peace and hope as I struggle to navigate this sometimes burdened path.  Understanding that He knows and loves me perfectly helps me to trust that each experience He gives me is for my ultimate good.  He has custom tailored my life plan to best develop and transform me from this flawed and mortal state into something far greater.  I take great comfort knowing that His vision for my life is infinite! It is up to me to trust in that vision!  

Adversity and struggle are not optional during this period of mortality!  The choice we have lies in how we will face it!  It is my testimony that as we meet the challenges that  come, securely yoked with Christ... we will become enlarged and empowered because of the opportunity to more fully rely on Him. What a blessing it is to Walk With The Savior!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The True Disciple

A disciple is a learner of a discipline.  As followers of the Savior, we are engaged in the discipline of becoming like the Father.  In Matthew chapters 6 and 7, Christ teaches us the qualities and characteristics which mark true disciples.  As you read today (or maybe over the next few days... this is a long one!)... I invite you to prayerfully consider where you can become more true in your discipleship. Heed the promptings you will receive and move forward making the necessary changes to follow Him more fully.   I testify that the only sure road to peace and joy in this life, and in the life to come, is the road of the disciple! 

True disciples do the right things for the right reasons.
Matthew 6
1- Take heed that ye do not your alms (acts of religious devotion) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
4- That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
19- Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt...
20- But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...
21- For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In The Sermon on the Mount the Savior teaches us the higher law.  Rather than focus on the actions, His focus is on the heart.  It is possible to do all of the right things and still have your heart removed far from Him.  His desire is to have our hearts set on Him knowing that good works will follow.  When we do any good thing in the hopes of being seen of men, or to gain glory in the sight of those around us, we are as the hypocrites.  It is interesting to note that the word hypocrite in this sermon is translated from the Greek word that means "play actor".  In other words, when our heart is set on the glory of man, rather than on the glory of God we are not true disciples.  As our eye becomes single to the glory of God, we value what He values and treasure what He treasures.  We lay up for ourselves everlasting treasure in heaven, which can be undone by no one but ourselves.  God delights to bless and honor those who bless and honor Him!

True disciples follow the Savior's example of prayer.
Matthew 6
7- But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:  for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Here the Lord is teaching us that we should be sincere when we pray, truly speaking to our Father.  Think of the phrase "vain repetitions".  When we are vain, we are excessively concerned with our appearance.  Once again the Savior's focus here is on our heart or our motivation when we pray.  Are we more concerned with how we sound or appear, or in having sweet communion with our Father?  When I pray, I love to visualize myself kneeling at the feet of my loving Father.  I can feel His love and concern for me personally.  I know that if it is important to me... it is important to Him.  I strive to pour out my heart to Him in sincerity and then to listen, or feel for His response which comes as impressions to my mind and my heart.
8- Be not he therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask of him.
The Father knows my needs far better than I do.  Clearly, He doesn't ask us to pray because it benefits Him... but rather because the effort blesses us.  Prayer is a form of work through which our will can be brought into alignment with His.  As this happens we are able to receive of His richest blessings.
9- After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...
In the Lord's Prayer, Christ demonstrates for us the reverent language and tone of the disciple's prayer.  As we come to understand that God is our Father and that we are His literal children, sincere prayer becomes natural and instinctive. 

True disciples treat others kindly and fairly.
Matthew 7
12- Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:  for this is the law and the prophets.
Christ is the perfect example of how we should treat our fellowmen.  How can you tell if someone is truly converted to Jesus Christ? Paul teaches,
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
1 Corinthians 13:1
I believe that this is because charity is the fruit of a converted heart.  If you aren't feeling love and goodwill towards your fellowman, and aching to be a vehicle of His love... it is likely that something is amiss in your spiritual center.  The way a person treats others is the greatest evidence of how near their heart is drawn to God.

True disciples serve God and do His will.
Matthew 6
33- Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
To seek is defined as "going in search or quest of".  Why is it important to seek God and His will first before any temporal pursuit?  It is my experience that as I strive to prioritize my day according to His will everything falls into it's proper place.  Things that I mistakenly thought were important fall out of my life if it isn't part of His will and purpose for me.  My time becomes filled with pursuits which He knows will bring me the fullest joy.  I am able to invest my effort into becoming what He knows I can become.  I trust that for those who seek Him and embrace His will in their lives... He truly has glories in store which are yet unseen!  He is all-wise, all-knowing and perfectly loving.  What a gift it is to follow the Savior and draw near unto Him!
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