How does reading verses 34-37 help you understand the covenants and principles upon which the priesthood operates? What helps you “grasp and appreciate the wonder and privilege of the priesthood” as spoken of by Elder Uchtdorf?
34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? 35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson— 36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. 37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
I feel a certain sadness for those who do not grasp and appreciate the wonder and privilege of the priesthood. They are like passengers on an airplane who spend their time grumbling about the size of the packet of peanuts while they are soaring through the air, far above the clouds—something ancient kings would have given all they possessed to try and experience just once! We are blessed to be humble partakers of this great priesthood authority and power. Let us lift up our eyes and see, recognize, and accept this opportunity for what it really is.
How has the Book of Mormon helped you to understand how God is the same now as he was in both Old and New Testament times?
19 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned. 20 Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee. 21 Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work. 22 Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men. 23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.
2 Nephi 27:19-23
This failure to believe in a revealing God [is] especially basic. Some moderns who wish to distance themselves from God try placing His pavilion firmly in the past. By believing in such a disabled God, people can do pretty much as they please. It is then not many steps further to saying there is no God, therefore no law and no sin! …Many today would consign God only to the past; He thereby ceases to be the constant God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Actually, God has the past, present, and future ever before Him, constituting an “eternal ‘now’”.
Elder Holland articulates a cure for the divisive and hostile time in which we now live. What can you personally do to seek a “higher and holier” life? How might you invite the love of God to “dwell” more fully in your heart?
Friends, in our present moment we find all manner of divisions and subdivisions, sets and subsets, digital tribes and political identities, with more than enough hostility to go around. Might we ask ourselves if a “higher and holier” life, to use President Russell M. Nelson’s phrase, is something we could seek? When doing so, we would do well to remember that stunning period in the Book of Mormon in which those people asked and answered that question so affirmatively: “And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land … because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. “And there were no envyings, nor strifes, … nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. “There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. “And how blessed were they!” What is the key to this breakthrough in contented, happy living? It is embedded there in the text in one sentence: “The love of God … did dwell in the hearts of the people.” When the love of God sets the tone for our own lives, for our relationships to each other and ultimately our feeling for all humankind, then old distinctions, limiting labels, and artificial divisions begin to pass away, and peace increases.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
13 And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land… 15 [B]ecause of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
4 Nephi 1:13, 15
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Today’s verse reminds us that the mysteries of God are not solely given to a select few. Rather, God wants to pour knowledge and light upon all His saints–including you! In President Nelson’s quote, he challenges us to “stretch beyond” our current ability to receive personal revelation from God. With that in mind, what would help you stretch a little further?
33 How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.
Does God really want to speak to you? Yes! “As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course … as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.” You don’t have to wonder about what is true. You do not have to wonder whom you can safely trust. Through personal revelation, you can receive your own witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that this is the Lord’s Church… I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation… Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!”
Consider President Nelson’s invitation to listen for pure truth, the pure doctrine of Christ, and pure revelation. Think of the impressions that you had as you watched General Conference. What pure truth, pure doctrine, and pure revelation did you hear at conference? How can you prepare yourself to receive even more insights as you review the conference messages?
I invite you to listen for three things during this conference: pure truth, the pure doctrine of Christ, and pure revelation. Contrary to the doubts of some, there really is such a thing as right and wrong. There really is absolute truth—eternal truth. … The pure doctrine of Christ is powerful. It changes the life of everyone who understands it and seeks to implement it in his or her life. … [P]ure revelation for the questions in your heart will make this conference rewarding and unforgettable.
President Russell M. Nelson
17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; 18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
Sometimes we’re tempted to think that life should be easy and if it isn’t, something is wrong. As you read today’s verses and Elder Holland’s reminder, how might you be growing or what lessons might you be learning from the current challenges you are facing?
7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; 8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. 9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands. 10 Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.
The point is that faith means trusting God in good times and bad, even if that includes some suffering until we see His arm revealed in our behalf. That can be difficult in our modern world when many have come to believe that the highest good in life is to avoid all suffering, that no one should ever anguish over anything. With apologies to Elder Neal A. Maxwell for daring to modify and enlarge something he once said, I too suggest that “one’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free.” It simply will not work “to glide naively through life,” saying as we sip another glass of lemonade, “Lord, give me all thy choicest virtues, but be certain not to give me grief, nor sorrow, nor pain, nor opposition. Please do not let anyone dislike me or betray me, and above all, do not ever let me feel forsaken by Thee or those I love. In fact, Lord, be careful to keep me from all the experiences that made Thee divine. And then, when the rough sledding by everyone else is over, please let me come and dwell with Thee, where I can boast about how similar our strengths and our characters are as I float along on my cloud of comfortable Christianity.”
You know, I had hope that with new leadership that there would be change. This is a new opportunity to start fresh and make good choices. You have the opportunity to do something great but you choose oppression instead.
I’ve had a few employees come to me about their grievances, and a few come to me for job advice. The ones with grievances, I’ve told them that nothing will change unless you speak up. The ones who come to me for advice, I give them the advice my successful older brother gave me. He said not to be loyal to any company because they won’t be loyal to you. He goes where the best offers are. I have told many co- workers (and many have told me) that there are much better offers out there in this job market. I tell them they are sure to find something better.
I will continue to give this advice until management proves me wrong. They have an opportunity to make things right, not only for me but for all of their employees. Go to ethics when it’s warranted. Don’t do things your way because you think your way is best. There are reasons these programs are in place. They prevent you from breaking the law and when used correctly, they protect you as employers as well as the person being harassed. Think about if you’d have gone to ethics in the first place instead of distributing illegal material around the whole workplace. You would have saved a lot of stress and we wouldn’t be in the position we are in now.
I know I have to stay, and I will, even if I’m the last employee in the entire building. I know there are better companies to work for, but I can’t leave and I don’t care if you believe my reasons for it or not.
As I’ve stated before, you leave me alone and I will leave you alone. I just want peace and the assurance that I will not be retaliated against anymore. I will be your biggest advocate if you have a change of heart and make peace. Everyone in the entire building will thank you for it. I can see the stress in their faces. This affects everyone. It really doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong, that will be sorted out in its own time.
I have no intentions of pursuing this further unless I’m forced to.
This week’s passages occurred during one of the coldest winters on record in the state of Missouri. Joseph Smith and several of his brethren were confined to a dark, cold county jail known as “the dungeon” and they were receiving constant news of the Saints’ suffering. When we experience taxing trials or troubles, we are often tempted to give in to the natural tendency to cry out as the Prophet Joseph did in verses 1-3. What has helped you still connect with heaven during such times and become better, not bitter?
1 O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? 2 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries? 3 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?
In the depths of his anguish in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out: “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?” Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are, covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of “Thy will be done,” create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see us or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit to His will and His time.
As a manager I had to call references and former employers for prospective job candidates. The only information the employer would ever give me was their job title and how long they worked there. They don’t talk about job performance to avoid defamation lawsuits.
I took a few photos the other day, but I didn’t feel like posting them. It’s kind of different posting photos here now because I know I now have some religious followers and I have to take that into consideration. Not that I would posting anything bad, but I did find a weird little shrine out in the salt flats that was a cross made out of beer bottles stuck into the ground. I also found a toilet with graffiti on it out in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought as to whether I’d post it before but now I think maybe they are inappropriate for this space. I’ll spare you, they weren’t that great anyway.
I talked to my sister today and she asked me if I read Doctrine and Covenants 121-122 yet. I told her I hadn’t. I went to read the Book of Mormon to try and stay on track with that but I was compelled to read those chapters instead.
When I started out on my journey, after I realized God’s hand in my life, I started taking challenges that my nephew (the missionary) kept giving me. I started reading about Joseph Smith and at first I wasn’t sure what to think. I spent twenty years thinking it was complete garbage, but my experience seems to coincide with his. I came to realize that it was true. Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. Why would he suffer being tarred and feathered, and suffer all kinds of affliction of it wasn’t true. Because like me, he feared God more than he feared man.
I am filled with the spirit after reading chapter 121. (I haven’t gotten to 122 yet) I am compelled to share it with you. I believe these words in their entirety. When I first started talking about my experience and my conversion, I worried that people would think I was stupid or crazy. I don’t really care anymore. It is true and I’m not going to stop sharing it. Not ever.
This one is a long one but it’s pertinent to my situation. Thankfully it’s not quite as dire as Joseph Smith’s experience, but I don’t think you all realize the severity of these actions against me. I don’t like to complain because what’s the point when nobody believes me? It’s hard. But I know that God is with me and it gives me comfort. I would not have gotten this far if I didn’t have complete faith that things would work together for my good.
This one is a long one but it’s pertinent to my situation. Read it, it’s true and it applies to us, in our day. Right now.
Remember a couple of years back when I said that I could tell everyone was reading my blog but they would never tell me they were? I said I felt like Truman in the Truman show. I hated it. It felt like a huge violation of my privacy.
…well, it’s become quite enjoyable. Good luck shutting me up now. 😇😉
Doctrine and Covenants 98:2-3
2 Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. 3 Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.
How does knowing that God only does things that will benefit you, and that all things will work together for the good of those that love God, impact your faith and confidence in seeking to follow God’s will in your life?
23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness. 24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
2 Nephi 26:23-24
The purpose of faith is not to change God’s will but to empower us to act on God’s will. Faith is trust—trust that God sees what we cannot and that He knows what we do not. Sometimes, trusting our own vision and judgment is not enough… Faith means that we trust not only in God’s wisdom but that we trust also in His love. It means trusting that God loves us perfectly, that everything He does—every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for a time, withholds—is for our eternal happiness. With this kind of faith, though we may not understand why certain things happen or why certain prayers go unanswered, we can know that in the end everything will make sense. “All things [will] work together for good to them that love God.” All will be made right. All will be well. We can be certain that answers will come, and we may be confident that we will not only be content with the answers but we will also be overwhelmed by the grace, mercy, generosity, and love of our Heavenly Father for us, His children.
So, my boss just got fired. What do I think? I think he didn’t act any worse than anyone else. I feel sorry for him because I liked the guy. I think he acted unethically, but I think that goes for everyone, whether directly involved or not.
Management should not be sharing details about their employees. Period. It’s a breach of confidentiality. This place breeds bad behavior and gossip. I can assure you that my boss wasn’t the problem.
Three members of my management are no longer with the company or have transferred to a different location. This may seem like ‘problem solved.’ But it is not. I never asked for anyone to be fired. I’m only asking for change. Make good decisions and do the right thing.
Why is it so important to know that Satan is the founder of certain ideas and trends, even some that may seem fairly appealing?
20 And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor. 21 And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice. 22 And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.
2 Nephi 26:20-22
Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for what I consider to be the plagues of our day. They include the plague of permissiveness, the plague of pornography, the plague of drugs, the plague of immorality, and the plague of abortion, to name just a few. The scriptures tell us that the adversary is “the founder of all these things.” We know that he is “the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men.” I plead with you to avoid anything that will deprive you of your happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come. With his deceptions and lies, the adversary will lead you down a slippery slope to your destruction if you allow him to do so. You will likely be on that slippery slope before you even realize that there is no way to stop. You have heard the messages of the adversary. He cunningly calls: Just this once won’t matter; everyone is doing it; don’t be old-fashioned; times have changed; it can’t hurt anyone; your life is yours to live. The adversary knows us, and he knows the temptations which will be difficult for us to ignore. How vital it is that we exercise constant vigilance in order to avoid giving in to such lies and temptations.