Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't Be Discouraged, Jesus Christ Knows You and Understands How You Feel!

I love counsel of the Prophet Nephi: “I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 19:23). During this week, which for me has been filled with many opportunities to overcome discouragement, I’ve learned much in the scriptures by likening the words therein to myself.

The Lord told Jeremiah how personally he knew him. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee” (Old Testament | Jeremiah 1:5). How wonderful it is that our Heavenly Father knew each and every one of us before we were born on this Earth! Not only did our Heavenly Father know us personally before we came to this Earth, he made sanctified us (in other words, made us holy) before we were born. How great a love for us our Father in Heaven does show! I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know you and I as intimately as they did Jeremiah of the Old Testament.

The Lord calls upon us: “BEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him . . . he shall not fail nor be discouraged” (Old Testament | Isaiah 42:1, 42:4). It brings such joy to my heart to read that the Lord’s “soul delighteth” in me! Heavenly Father has given me so many gifts, including his spirit, which will, if I choose to trust in it, keep me from failing or becoming discouraged. This is true because, as the Apostle James wrote, “faith without works is dead” (New Testament | James 2:20).

I know that if we each do our very best and trust in our Heavenly Father and his only begotten, Jesus Christ, that they will bless our lives, that the pain and heartache of discouragement and even depression will be lifted from our souls. Jesus truly suffered for our sins; he truly felt every feeling of pain, hurt, and discouragement that we feel. Through his sacrifice we can be sanctified if we do our part.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Creating Holy Places in a World of Sin

During the April, 2006 conference, Elder David R. Stone of the Quorum of the Seventy said the following:

We do not need to adopt the standards, the mores, and the morals of Babylon. We can create Zion in the midst of Babylon. We can have our own standards for music and literature and dance and film and language. We can have our own standards for dress and deportment, for politeness and respect. We can live in accordance with the Lord’s moral laws. We can limit how much of Babylon we allow into our homes by the media of communication.
I know the words of Elder Stone are true. By following the standards of Babylon, or the world, we are destined to fail. There is nothing wrong with being different. My mind is clearer because of the music I listen to. I know the spirit is more likely accompany me when the words out of my mouth are uplifting. Living a moral life is not only a benefit to myself, but to society. There would be much, much less social chaos if immorality were not recast in this world as good. Fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are wrong. Many people, even a majority, who choose to sin do not change the sin to an acceptable behavior. Sin is, and always will be, sin. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

In 2 Nephi 27:23 God said: "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"

God's laws are the same "yesterday, today and forever." Because the laws of God do not change, I have a sure foundation in his gospel.