Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 36

Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 (Part two) "..see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength..." Remember, this is talking to those who "embark" in the service of God. The words "See that ye serve him.." to me is counsel or direction. If we start to serve our God, we better serve Him in a certain way. If we do not do it as directed, will it be counted service in His eyes, since He was the one who gave Joseph Smith this section?

The cross reference of this first part takes us to Acts 20:19. "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.." The apostle Paul was describing the experience he had while serving the Lord. Of course humility of mind is necessary to serve our Lord. If one isn't humble, how can they serve their Lord?

Then he couples humility of mind with tears and temptations. The temptations came because of those unbelieving Jews. They were "Lying in wait."

Now we get into the "heart, might, mind, and strength." How often is this mentioned in our scriptures? If we embark in His service, we had better serve Him with all our souls, with all our abilities, with all our strengths. Or in other words, consider it this way: All our heart, all our might, all our mind, and all our strength. If we couple all our heart and mind, if we combine all our might and strength, that, at least to me, means that IF we start to serve our God, we better do it with everything we have, ALL OUR ABILITIES, nothing held back, for after we are told to serve with everything we have, all abilities we have been given, then we are warned. "...that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."

In other words, if we start to serve in His work, and we do not give all we have, then I assume by this verse that we will be held accountable, we will be blamed for not giving it all. SO if we embark in His service, we better give all we have to this work, or we shall not be blameless in the last day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 35

Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 - (Part One) Therefore, o ye that embark in the service of God, The word embark means to board a ship or a plane, or it means to begin, to start, to join in a venture. This is a call, or a challenge to those who want to start being involved in this "marvelous work." Or as it states, those who want to start in the "service of God." He is speaking to us. He is speaking to those who want to serve God, or who want to be involved in this marvelous work that is coming forth.

The Service of God can mean many different things. As I imagine about the service of God, I think of Moses 1:39. This is His work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal Life of man. The immortality of man has already been taken care of by our Savior. But the Eternal Life of man involved His work. How can we participate this goal.

The service of God can mean the callings we have been called to and set apart in. So, embarking in service means doing our home teaching, visiting teaching, teaching Primary, or Sunday School, etc. It means fulfilling our stewardships in His eyes.

But does it mean more than that? Does it mean serving God? Or serving man in His name? Is there a difference? The following part of this scripture talks about serving God, and how to do it.

So, embarking in the service of God, we are starting our journey in serving God. The reference to this statement to serve God takes us to Acts. It says there: "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations..."

I guess serving God is personal. If we want to serve God, then we should decide what, where, and how the Spirit directs us to serve God. But is it beyond our "callings" in the Kingdom? Or is it only referring to serving in the calling we have been called to?

Any service to God, whether through a calling, or on our own inspired direction is to be done in His way. And in the following words, we shall be taught how to serve God, no matter how we have been called, through our own inspiration or through the inspiration of our church leaders.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 34

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 4: 1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. This was received about fourteen months before the organization of the Church 0n April 6. We are just told Joseph Smith reeived this in February, 1829 at Harmony, Penn. It was written to Joseph's father, who was the first Patriarch of the Church.

"Now behold..." This is the way that many sections of the D and C are begun. Now behold, or attention everyone, or listen to what the Savior has to say, etc. Now behold...

"A marvelous work..." If you check out the reference of these words, you will understand that is a very significant statement. A wonderful, marvelous, hard to totally understand, etc. This is a work of the last dispensation on the earth. This is something everyone should hear. This marvelous work (1 Nephi) will be everlasting and help in Eternal Life, or it will be a deliverance down into captivity.

This marvelous work would be the restoration of the fullness of the gospel. This work is "about to come forth.." Father knew that in fourteen months, the church would be restored. He knew the role Joseph would play in this work. This was all determined before the foundations of this earth.

I can imagine the excitement that Father in Heaven must have felt to see finally, after hundreds of years of darkness, the fullness of the gospel was going to be again restored to the earth to benefit all of His children. A marvelous work is coming to everyone. " about to come forth among the children of men."

This "work" will either open the eyes of the honest in heart, or it will send those who will not listen to darkness, or continued darkness, for the world existed in darkness for many years before since fall of Christ's church after his advent on earth.

Can you appreciate the need to give this notice to Joseph's father since he was the chosen Patriarch?

If someone you trusted said to you, "get ready, a marvelous work is coming forth on the earth." Wouldn't you be excited?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 33`

That number - 33 - is an important one. It is interesting how the Lord does things using the same number. Christ was 33 when He died... Enough about numbers.

I went to the temple yesterday again, and I felt the same feeling of excitement when I was asked to renew my covenant about giving all I have to building the Kingdom and establishing Zion. One friend said once that all I have to do is fulfill the stewardships I have now, not worry about the "more" that I keep feeling and just be satisfied that Father will hold me accountable for the stewardships I have received from the Stake President and the Bishop, and of course being a father, husband, grandfather, brother, etc.

As I pause each morning cleaning my body and mind while the hot water runs over me, I strive to commune with Father. I review in my mind His purposes on this earth, and then question how I can help. Of course, I have been given my own stewardships from local leaders, but I have other stewardships. Rather than seek another one or two or hundred, just take care of what I have been given.

Then my mind flies back to Section 4. I love that section. Perhaps there are hidden truths contained within that I NEED TO KNOW, thus I will try to treat this section in my upcoming writings on this blog. It will be for me, since I feel I am writing for me and no one reads this, but if anyone happens on this, and has anything to say, please do so.

Anyway, I want to study, though reading, discussing this at least with myself, this section. This was given to Joseph's father in February 1829. It was in Harmony, Pennsylvania. It was before the church was officially organized. I will do some research about section 4 and discuss it the next time I get on here. Hopefully soon, for I have much to do in the next few days.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 32

I can't believe we are already into December. There is so much good, so much service, loving, compassion, and cheer during this month. It is hard to comprehend that the statistics show that there is also a hike in the suicide rate. It is a time when everyone should be celebrating, but instead because so many are celebrating but for some often small reason they are not, thus they feel to end their misery.

I can't understand it, but can understand it. I know, it sounds like I just blew it, but think about it. I can see how someone can feel like running away from life, from sadness and feeling all is awful, and wanting out, thinking they is no answer. But I can't understand ending it all, hurting so many with your actions... Get it?

Life continues. Mortality continues. Lessons continue. Father continues to teach me lessons. I would assume anyone reading these posts are questions why I say what I say, and what is going on.

I feel as Joseph Smith at times about asking Father, Where art thou? But I hear the answer echoing in my mind all about earning me experience that I need. So I don't dwell on that question too long, and just try to learn lessons. The sooner the better for I know He has the key to my imprisonment.

There is so much good that can be done in this season. So often we do not look beyond our own family, we only consider what our family wants for Christmas, and our beloved ones. What about the strangers, those who are considering ending it all, what about those who have nothing?

I commit that when I leave this house, I will be on the lookout for someone who I may not know, but someone who I can cheer up just with a word, or a smile, etc. I would assume it won't change a thing, but it WILL CHANGE ME. That is most important anyway, is it not?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 31

No matter what the trial, the challenge, or the affliction, if we could keep foremost in our minds that our Heavenly Father loves us, that He would never make us go through anything that is not totally required for our "process of perfection" on earth, and if we could only remember that we are so much more important that the Lillies of the Field, that we are His children, and that He is never far away, and that He would gladly answer our every prayer if what we are asking for would not be damaging to His purposes in our behalf, I believe that we could endure, and get through any trial.

The challenge is keeping those thoughts in our minds all the time, especially when we are being blessed with uncomfortable situations and "these things" which gain us experience and growth.

I still believe in miracles and know that there are many awaiting us. If I could learn the lessons I am supposed to learn, then these trials would be removed. Alma and his followers were strengthened by the Spirit so they endured all their afflictions with cheerfulness. I guess that is my challenge. Rather than lose sight of the initial statement in this day's post, I should strive to endure these "blessings" with cheerfulness. For just as in Alma's day, if I would then I feel Father would release us from this experience, just as he did Alma's people.

I love life. I offer gratitude each day for challenges which cause me to either grow, or fail. I hope I am growing, but it is difficult for me to know for my vision is a bid slurred since I am in the middle of it.

I know I have not been concentrating on establishing Zion and building the Kingdom, but they are ever present in my mind and in my life. That is another challenge I should be pursuing, yet just trying to remain on top is taking all my abilities. Perhaps that is what I should be learning, develop more, cope with more, strive more, and grow.

You see I have much to work on.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 30

Thanksgiving is almost over. There is so much to be grateful for these days. A dear friend of mine just received her call with her husband to Sinapore. If it wasn't such a sin, I would admit that I am jealous. Bonnie and I certainly hope that a mission or two, or six are some of the things in store for us in the near future. But we shall see, for the Master Director of our lives is busy teaching us other things currently. When you are in the middle of an exam, or a test, often you do not know when you have completed it, nor when it is time to think it should be over, but the Master Teacher is the one who is calling the shots. He decides when to turn on the lights, who should be on stage, turn off the lights, interject something in a certain act of the mortality play that will cause additional lessons or be a redeeming event.

Anyway, we are plugging along.

You can see by my photo I am including, it is the fateful, once a year day when the two rivals of the state gather together to play a crazy game of football. It doesn't mean much this year, they both have the same record, and both will go to bowl games, this is just for bragging rights, but oh the bragging rights that will suddenly appear after the final gun...

Father has chosen not to direct us yet into our coming, new stewardship. I certainly hope that we are moldable clay as He puts His teaching into our soul, hopefully never to be lost.

I have been reading a book that explains the value of listening to the promptings of the Spirit, the "enticings" or whispers. It certainly is helping direct my thoughts and feelings.

Where is my/your mind today? Dwelling on the thorns or the roses? Good thought to keep in my mind all the time.