I submitted these photos for the anthology, fingers crossed.
You’re on your own.
How can keeping things simple in your life help you sort through the commotion of the world and “choose life” as Moses and Elder Corbridge direct?
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
The Lord’s way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. “There is an opposition in all things,” everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices. We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier?
He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; … and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Life is hard, but life is simple. Get on the path and never, ever give up. You never give up. You just keep on going. You don’t quit, and you will make it.
Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge
One of our beloved hymns teaches: “Because I have been given much I too must give.” This teaching is echoed in both the verse and quote below. How can you, in your current circumstances, “open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to the needy?”
11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
I will never forget my first visit to West Africa in 1986. The Saints came to our meetings in great numbers. Though they had little in terms of material possessions, most came dressed in spotless white clothing.
I asked the stake president how he cared for members who had so little. He replied that their bishops knew their people well. If members could afford two meals a day, no help was needed. But if they could afford only one meal or less—even with family help—bishops provided food, financed from fast offerings. Then he added this remarkable fact: their fast-offering contributions usually exceeded their expenses. Surplus fast offerings were then sent to people elsewhere whose needs exceeded theirs. Those stalwart African Saints taught me a great lesson about the power of the law and the spirit of the fast.
As members of the Church, we feel a kinship to those who suffer in any way. As sons and daughters of God, we are all brothers and sisters. We heed an Old Testament admonition: “Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy.”
President Russell M. Nelson
To my coworkers and management, please take me seriously when I say this. You cannot try to ignore this. It isn’t going away. I know I had my “terms” in which to make it right, but I really don’t know what you should do to be quite honest. I’m going to ask you to turn to God. Ask Him what he needs you to do. If you don’t pray, please start. Today.
You need to do the right thing and I don’t know what that is. I don’t know if it’s best to take your evidence to the police, I don’t know if it’s best to comply with my request for compensation. I really don’t know how to work this out, but ignoring it isn’t the answer. I want you to be protected and I’m sorry you got caught up in this. I didn’t choose this for you, believe me. I wish I could’ve just finished school and became an electrical mechanic like I planned on. I could’ve even moved on to a different company if you all hate me so much, but that’s not the reality of the situation. You cannot be in denial about this. This will catch up with you.
Turn to God. He will help you.
Thank you for reading.
“No man is free who is not master of himself.” by Epictetus
Faith is a choice, and so is doubt. What inspires you in the verse and quote below to choose to “live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord?”
3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
Doubt is an enemy of faith and joy. Just as warm ocean water is the breeding ground for hurricanes, doubt is the breeding ground for spiritual hurricanes. Just as belief is a choice, so is doubt. When we choose to doubt, we choose to be acted upon, yielding power to the adversary, thereby leaving us weak and vulnerable.
Satan seeks to lead us to the breeding ground of doubt. He seeks to harden our hearts so that we will not believe. The breeding ground of doubt can appear inviting because its seemingly peaceful, warm waters do not require us to “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” In such waters Satan tempts us to relax our spiritual vigilance. That inattention can induce a lack of spiritual conviction, where we are “neither cold nor hot.” If we are not anchored on Christ, doubt and its allures will lead us away to apathy, where we shall find neither miracles, lasting happiness, nor “rest unto [our] souls.”
Just as hurricanes weaken over land, doubt is replaced with faith as we build our foundation on Christ. We are then able to see spiritual hurricanes in their proper perspective, and our capacity to overcome them is enlarged. Then, “when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, … it shall have no power … to drag [us] down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which [we] are built, which is a sure foundation.”
Elder Sean Douglas
My company is still set on insulting me, and I’m still staying as long as I have to. You can insult me all you want. I thought you understood by now how stubborn I can be.
Please keep Elon Musk in your prayers, he’s going to change the world.
3 Nephi 11:1-7 (#282)
Why do you think it was important that Heavenly Father introduced His Son, Jesus Christ, to the Nephite people?
1 And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.
2 And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
3 Nephi 11:1-7
Jesus’s visit to the Nephites after His Resurrection was carefully organized to teach us the things of greatest importance. It began with the Father testifying to the people that Jesus was His “Beloved Son, in whom [He was] well pleased.” Then Jesus Himself descended and testified of His atoning sacrifice, inviting the people to “know of a surety” that He was the Christ by coming forth and feeling the wound mark in His side and the prints of the nails in His hands and feet. These testimonies established without doubt that Jesus’s Atonement was complete and that the Father had fulfilled His covenant to provide a Savior. Jesus then taught the Nephites how to obtain all the blessings of the Father’s plan of happiness, which are made available to us because of the Savior’s Atonement, by teaching them the doctrine of Christ.
Brother Brian K. Ashton
“Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold.”
This is exactly what has happened to me. My parents waited over 20 years for me and I know now that even though my life has been a catastrophe for a few years that God has been watching over me and protecting me.
3 Nephi 10: 4-6 (#281)
What’s a situation in your life where you can put the principles Jesus is teaching in 3 Nephi 10:4-6 into practice (where you can continually reach out to help and forgive someone in your life who has gone astray or who isn’t behaving as they should)?
4 O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.
5 And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.
6 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.
3 Nephi 10: 4-6
Now I give counsel to the parents of a wandering child. The Savior is the perfect example of persisting in love. You remember His words of comfort to the people among the Nephites who had rejected His earlier invitation to come to Him. He spoke to the survivors of the destruction which came after His Crucifixion: “O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.”
… Elder Orson F. Whitney, in a general conference of 1929, gave a remarkable promise, which I know is true, to the faithful parents who honor the temple sealing to their children: “Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold.”
… You can pray for your children, love them, and reach out to them with confidence that Jesus reaches for them with you. When you keep trying, you are doing what Jesus does.
President Henry B. Eyring
Like President Ballard’s child, we might wonder “if we will ever be able to make it.” However, living the simple truths of the gospel really is enough. How can embracing the simple and pure principle of loving God with all your heart help you find greater happiness and peace?
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
One of my children once said, “Dad, I wonder if I will ever be able to make it.” I responded, “All Heavenly Father asks of us is to do the very best we can each day.” Brothers and sisters, do the best you can do day after day, and before you know it, you will come to realize that your Heavenly Father knows you and that He loves you. And when you know that—really know it—your life will have real purpose and meaning and you will be filled with joy and peace….
The best ways for us to see the spiritual purposes of the Church are to live the true, pure, and simple teachings of Christ and also to apply the Savior’s two great commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. … Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Obedience to those two commandments provides a way to experience more peace and joy. When we love and serve the Lord and love and serve our neighbors, we will naturally feel more happiness that comes to us in no better way.
President M. Russell Ballard
3 Nephi 9:19-22 (#280)
How can you offer a sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit?
19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.
21 Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.
3 Nephi 9:19-22
The incomprehensible suffering of Jesus Christ ended sacrifice by the shedding of blood, but it did not end the importance of sacrifice in the gospel plan. Our Savior requires us to continue to offer sacrifices, but the sacrifices He now commands are that we “offer for a sacrifice unto [Him] a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” He also commands each of us to love and serve one another—in effect, to offer a small imitation of His own sacrifice by making sacrifices of our own time and selfish priorities. In an inspired hymn, we sing, “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
At times in our lives, all we can do is trust in God’s promises, even though we may not be able to see the end from the beginning.
What experiences in your life have taught you to have trust in God?
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it. We are like infants in our understanding of eternal matters and their impact on us here in mortality. Yet at times we act as if we knew it all. When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love.
Elder Richard G. Scott
“A man should always have these two rules in readiness. First, to do only what the reason of your ruling and legislating faculties suggest for the service of man. Second, to change your opinion whenever anyone at hand sets you right and unsettles you in an opinion, but this change of opinion should come only because you are persuaded that something is just or to the public advantage, not because it appears pleasant or increases your reputation.” by Marcus Aurelius
3 Nephi 9:14-17 (#279)
Try to picture, in your mind, the same image that Sister Esplin is describing. What feelings come into your heart as you do so?
14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.
16 I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.
17 And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.
3 Nephi 9:14-17
When I partake of the sacrament, I sometimes picture in my mind a painting that depicts the resurrected Savior with His arms outstretched, as if He is ready to receive us into His loving embrace. I love this painting. When I think about it during the administration of the sacrament, my soul is lifted as I can almost hear the Savior’s words: “Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.”
Sister Cheryl A. Esplin
In this scripture, Balaam remains obedient to the Lord, despite great pressure to do otherwise. Elder Robbins reminds us that it’s more important to please God than to please others.
When have you remained true to God’s commandments in the face of peer pressure?
18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandments. It is forgetting which way we face. And yet, we have all made that mistake because of the fear of men. In Isaiah the Lord warns us, “Fear ye not the reproach of men.” In Lehi’s dream, this fear was triggered by the finger of scorn pointed from the great and spacious building, causing many to forget which way they faced and to leave the tree “ashamed.” … When people try to save face with men, they can unwittingly lose face with God. Thinking one can please God and at the same time condone the disobedience of men isn’t neutrality but duplicity, or being two-faced or trying to “serve two masters.” … When others demand approval in defiance of God’s commandments, may we always remember whose disciples we are, and which way we face[.]
Elder Lynn G. Robbins
3 Nephi 9:10-13 (#278)
How have you experienced “healing” through the Atonement?
10 And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations.
11 And because they did cast them all out, that there were none righteous among them, I did send down fire and destroy them, that their wickedness and abominations might be hid from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints whom I sent among them might not cry unto me from the ground against them.
12 And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.
13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
3 Nephi 9:10-13
I am amazed at the Savior’s encircling arms of mercy and love for the repentant, no matter how selfish the forsaken sin. I testify that the Savior is able and eager to forgive our sins. Except for the sins of those few who choose perdition after having known a fulness, there is no sin that cannot be forgiven. What a marvelous privilege for each of us to turn away from our sins and to come unto Christ. Divine forgiveness is one of the sweetest fruits of the gospel, removing guilt and pain from our hearts and replacing them with joy and peace of conscience.
Elder Neil L. Andersen
Moses’ serpent on the pole was symbolic of Christ on the cross. Just as the children of Israel who looked upon the serpent were saved from death, Elder Asay teaches that we too “must look to Christ and live.”
What are some things that you can do on a daily basis to “look to Christ” or to point others to Christ?
8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
The type raised up in the wilderness, the serpent on the pole, symbolized Christ upon the cross. Jesus himself taught this truth. Many times he forecast his cruel form of death; and on at least one occasion, he made reference to Moses and the wilderness incident. Note these words of the Master: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
We, like Israel of old, must rivet our eyes and minds upon the cross of Christ if we hope to gain eternal life, because through his resurrection we will gain the victory over physical death. And his atonement opens up to us a way to overcome our sins, a way to spiritual rebirth, and a way back to the presence of God.
Oh, how we must look to Christ and live.
Elder Carlos E. Asay