Archive for the Category ◊ Inspirational ◊

06 Mar 2009 sweet affirmation
 |  Category: Inspirational, Miscellaneous  | No Comments

In Helaman 10, Mormon records the Lord’s dealings with the Prophet Nephi and the people in general.  Mormon records Nephi’s righteousness and how he has sought the Lord’s will and to keep His commandments at all times, irrespective of what personal danger or discomfort it may impose.  And, because of this [Nephi’s unwearyingness], the Lord gives Nephi tremendous spiritual blessings, including the sealing power.  This particular entry from Mormon has always caught my attention in past readings because of Nephi’s faithfulness and the evidence of why he was given the sealing power.  The Lord makes very clear why Nephi was so richly blessed – and, by extension, how each of us can be equally blessed when we’re equally obedient, faithful, and committed.

Something else caught my eye this time, though, in a way I’d not considered previously.  Specifically, the last part of verse 5: “… behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will” (emphasis added).

I’ve always read that as a sweet affirmation of the Lord, that Nephi had proven himself sufficiently, through prior trials, that he would do whatsoever the Lord commanded him (which is, afterall, the express purpose for which we’ve come to mortality – D&C 84:44).  I still think that’s an appropriate and a correct reading of the verse.  After all, in many other revelations the Lord has declared similarly, that each individual must prove worthy (not because we are capable alone, without the grace of Christ- but rather, that we’re willing to persevere with faith in Christ despite our weaknesses) and that, once we’ve done so, we qualify for blessings beyond comprehension (i.e. calling and election, visions of eternities, second Comforter, et cetera).

This time I understood it to be a dual-purpose statement: (1) an affirmation of prior performance, and (2) a commandment.  The Lord did both simultaneosuly – isn’t He clever?  He commanded Nephi that he should “not ask that which is contrary to [God’s] will” and concurrently bolstered Nephi’s faith that He was supremely, yea divinely confident that His power, especially the sealing power, would not be abused.

It’s a wise and loving (and clever!) parent that can command a child not to do something and at the same time provide confidence, assurance, and encouragement to that same child that (s)he is trusted with immeasurable power.

05 Mar 2009 Hushing one’s fears
 |  Category: Family, Inspirational, Miscellaneous  | No Comments

So a few months back I read something in the book of Mosiah, in the Book of Mormon, which has stuck with me and I think of from time to time.  It takes place shortly after Alma (the Elder, a Nephite Prophet), leads a few hundred souls away from the wicked King Noah’s clutches.  Alma refuses the people’s voice desirous that he should be their King, continuing instead “merely” as the High Priest.

Alma also admonishes the people that it’s not good to have a King because of the great wickedness a King may cause the people to commit (unless it could be guaranteed the King would always be righteous, which is never the King when not dealing with God as the King).  Alma has some great words on the subject: “I desire that ye should stand fast in that liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you” (Mosiah 23:13).  Alma exhorts them to many things pertaining to their freedom, all of which I commend to the reader and which is something worthy of considerable discussion in its own right.  But that’s not the part I wanted to discuss tonight.

Reading along farther, starting in verse 25, the Lamanite army, lost after seeking Limhi’s people, stumbles across Alma and his followers in their city of Helam.  Naturally, the Nephites fled from the adjoining fields into the relative safety of the city.  Mormon records that they were “much afrightened” because of the Lamanites (verse 26).

With faith in an omnipotent God at his side, Alma boldly exhorts them “that they should not be frightened, but that they should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them” (verse 27, emphasis added).  How did the people respond?  This is the part I love – for some reason I still don’t understand yet it speaks to my soul:

“Therefore, they hushed their fears, and began to cry unto the Lord” (verse 28, emphasis added).  The citizens responded with equal boldness and faith in their Lord, and Priesthood leader, that He would in fact preserve them if they but excercised sufficient faith.  And, as always, the Lord responded according to their faith and their lives were spared.

I think the lesson is equally applicable in our lives.  Although I don’t live in a war zone (and I recognize many Saints around the world do!), I can likewise hush my fears and exercise faith in the Lord’s (a) capacity, (b) desire, and (c) willingness to bless my life.  Whether it’s fears about being a poor father, inadequacies in my calling, temperment, love toward others, et cetera, I can likewise “hush” my fears and trust the Lord to step in with His grace.

OK, so it’s not likely a huge eye opener for anyone -nor, really, for me- but there’s something about the way it’s documented, perhaps even the poetry of the statement to “hush” one’s fears (and I’m not into poetry!), something just makes me tingle.

25 Feb 2009 Still alive
 |  Category: Inspirational, Miscellaneous  | No Comments

So, it’s been some time now since I’ve written.  Alas, fear not my faithful reader – I mean, readers! – I am still here.  In fact, I think I’ve resolved to use this blog as an opportunity to record insights I get during the day about whatever, though I expect much of it may be spiritual in nature.  The Lord’s Prophets repeatedly counsel that we should keep a journal.  Moreover, as pertains to revelation, we should record thoughts, impressions, and insights as they occur: (a) so we’ll remember them, (b) so we can refer to them later when “a” no longer applies; (c) it shows the Lord that we think it important, which (d) prepares us to receive additional insigh and revelation.

So, I will attempt to do that more as I come across things and, hopefully, document some prior things.  They’ll generally be categorized as ‘spiritual’ for easy reference, though there may be other occasional categories included.

Happy reading.

30 Nov 2008 Spiritual Insight
 |  Category: Inspirational  | No Comments

Today I was in the Orange Glen Ward of the Escondido Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the High Priests quorum meeting (ick – I’m artificially aged!) the lesson was from the December Ensign, specifically the talk from Elder Neal A. Maxwell about consecration and the Atonement.  The teacher mentioned the passage wherein the Savior cried out, in the anguish of Gethsemane, “Would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink; nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.” (that’s from memory and may not be the exact wording).  Normally when brought up, the conversastion includes commentary about how the Atonement was such an excruciatingly painful ordeal that the Lord cried out, and asked “Abba” (Daddy) to take the pain away – but, nevertheless, not the Son’s will, but the Father’s be done.  Today I thought of the passage differently than ever before.

“Would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink; nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done” (emphasis added).  Perhaps the purpose of the exclamation to His Father wasn’t due to the pain he endured per se — after all, apart from the later declaration on the cruel cross that “[He] thirst[ed],” when do we ever see the Savior express personal regard as opposed to intimate concern for others? — perhaps instead what He feared in those moments in Gethsemane and Calvary when the burdens of sin, sorrow, and pain were nailed upon His sinless soul is that He, as obedient, powerful, humble, strong, and good as He was, that even He would be insufficient to the herculean task at hand; that He, the very Son of God, would shrink during the final hours, that He would fail and that, by so doing, His failure would literally damn all of God’s children forever.

Perhaps His concern wasn’t that it hurt so much — and it must have been terrible beyond comprehension! — but rather His thoughts at that moment were on you, and me, that if He failed we’d be resigned to eternal misery and woe, to become angels to the devil (as Nephi describes in the Book of Mormon).  His fear and plea wasn’t that the awful pain be removed, but that He prove capable to the task given so that we have the chance to return to live with God.  His plea further stands as His declaration of faith in His Father’s plan, that it would be possible to succeed, that His Father’s will be done.

I suspect this doesn’t read as well as it came to me during class today, but hopefully it provides opportunity for the Spirit to teach us about the Atonement, myself included.  🙂

23 Nov 2008 Neat Spiritual Moment
 |  Category: Inspirational  | No Comments

The Bishop of our ward is out of town for the next few weeks so as his First Counselor the responsibility to preside falls into my lap (a most uncomfortable feeling).  Along those lines, I was also responsible to get speakers for Sacrament meeting.  I called a few people (who did a great job!) and during two of the persons’ comments they mentioned how the talks assigned, from the most recent General Conference, were clearly intended for them.  One individual even mentioned how, when she originally heard the talk given by Sister Allred, it was for her a “life-changing moment” (I think were the words).

I’m grateful that the Lord is able to take something simple (me) and turn it into something wonderful for this Sister and Brother and, hopefully, for those that heard them speak.  I certainly don’t have the spiritual sensitivity I’d like – it’s not like I go around and see beams of light from folks’ heads and just know they need to speak on xyz on Sunday – but nonetheless it’s neat to be a part of that process whereby others have personal spiritual experiences.

Moreover, I’m grateful for all those persons in my ward that have accepted callings, whatever the role.  Their willingness to serve is what enables the Ward to function, and nothing the Bishop (or his Counselors) do would work if not for the members’ faithfulness.  To them, I am indebted and grateful.

20 Nov 2008 “Oncall” woes
 |  Category: Family, Inspirational, Work  | No Comments

Since I returned home from my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December of 2000, I’ve been employed in the technology sector (in fact, I was before my mission, too, but not for large enterprises).  And throughout that period of time I’ve been “oncall.”  For any that may be unfamiliar with the concept, there’s a rotation of x weeks (which depends on the number of others in the rotation) when any alerts, pages, problems, et cetera, land in your lap.  Some weeks there’s a little; some weeks there’s lots.  Always it’s blech.  And when you’re in technology management positions (as I’m not currently – yay!) it’s worse, because you’re essentially oncall 24/7/365.  True, the first set of alert(s) don’t always come to you, but you’ll be the escalation point.

So, I’m oncall this week…

I’m looking forward to a career, some day, when I’m not oncall – ever.  😀

14 Nov 2008 Stake Temple Day
 |  Category: Inspirational  | No Comments

So, today (well, yesterday technically, I suppose, since it’s past midnight) was our Stake’s Temple Day (SLC Temple).  As expected, we had a difficult time find a babysitter throughout the entire day.  Fortunately, Mrs. Smith’s grandmother (“Grams”) was willing to watch the kids for ~3hrs (bless her!).  So we went to the Church Museum to play at the “I am a Child of God” exhibit.  Then we dropped off the kids and Mrs. Smith and I went to the Temple.

We arrived just in time to attend the “chapel session” where we heard from President Moore (Stake President), and recently called President Lunt and his wife (1st Counselor in Temple Presidency, called last week).  After their comments we participated in baptisms.  That’s where Mrs. Smith and I first met, actually – doing baptisms in the San Diego Temple on Halloween night, 2002 (another story for some other time).  We’d not participated in baptisms together since then, so it was a neat experience.  😀

A few other ward members were present throughout the day, but we saw very few, and overall the attendance was poor, in my estimation.  I hope that more attended throughout the day and simply weren’t at the chapel session.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...