A 9 year old boy shares his testimony of the Book of Mormon.
He is known to have been compassionate, loving, genuine, and filled with the love of God. In that brief period of time, I certainly knew he cared about people-all people-the little ones, the older ones, the middle ones, everyone was deserving of his love. His love showed me who God is.
Where we lack, He makes up the difference. Where we sink, He buoys us up. Where we fail, He prevails. He is our Champion.
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. Mosiah 4:16
He who humbly follows Jesus Christ will experience and share in His light. And that light will grow until it eventually dispels even the most profound darkness. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
What a beautiful way to get into the Christmas Spirit. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
Characters of Courage: Old Testament
by Kathy Penrod
I have had a few people on my mind lately. These aren’t people I have ever met here on this earth but they are of such caliber that they inspire me to be a better person, generations after they lived on earth. Each demonstrates courage differently but equally as noble.
Good is all around. When we are unable to find it in the world around us we can escape to the scriptures to find the good God meant for us to know.
When people think of Moses, they think of the man who led a mass exodus of Israelites out of bondage. They think of a man with unwavering faith who was confident enough in God’s promises to part the Red Sea. Thoughts of Moses often are paired with the 10 commandments and the Law of Moses.
But what is often overlooked is Moses’s insecurities. Specifically, his impairment of speech. In Exodus 4:10 (KJV) it reads: “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue”
Here is a man that is supposed convince the leader of Egypt to release HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of slaves, call down miracles from Heaven, lead this mass exodus with a population similar to that of Milwaukee Wisconsin (about 600,000 of just men), instill a fear of the God of Israel into mildly committed Hebrews and implement a list of commandments given by God, Himself, to these half-hearted followers.
Moses had to do all this and more, with a speech impediment of some type. At times he had to have his brother speak for him. Yet, in spite of this weakness of his, Moses was hugely influential to the building of God’s kingdom.
Could it be that what we see as weaknesses are actually necessary traits that allows God to work through us?
Joshua led the Israelites after Moses did. Having seen a lot of what Moses faced with this group of people, I have to wonder what his heart felt like when he was given responsibility over them.
Joshua, just like Moses, called down miracles from Heaven. Joshua inspired his people by saying “Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5 KJV)
And then, Joshua asked his army to walk around Jericho a bunch of times. Really quiet like.
I just know there had to be one or two soldiers that questioned what Joshua was asking them to do. But Joshua didn’t waiver. He knew this was God’s will and wasn’t about to change it.
I love his courage and his faith.
Nehemiah was the definition of courage. His writings are sandwiched between the Books of Ezra and Esther. It’s so easy to pass by him without realizing his contribution to the world.
The Jewish people had escaped from Babylon and returned to the ruins of their city, Jerusalem. The people were distraught to see the city devastated and the surrounding, formerly protective wall, in piles of rubble. It was a time when the Jews needed to rebuild physically and spiritually. The wall was not only a necessity in their day but it was also, in my opinion, a symbol of their spiritual strength.
Nehemiah, who at the time, was serving the King of Syria asked for permission to oversee the rebuilding of the wall. Once that permission was granted, Nehemiah went to work. But it wasn’t just as simple as building a massive wall in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15). As soon as he and those working with him began the rebuilding project, opposition set in like crazy. Nehemiah and his friends were mocked both verbally and physically. At one point, it got so bad that the builders of the wall held their tools in one hand and a defensive weapon in the other hand. It is awe inspiring to me to think of the dedication and bravery inside Nehemiah’s heart.
When taunted and dared to descend from the wall, Nehemiah’s response was classic, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.” (Nehemiah 6:3)
This guy was so committed to what he was doing that no matter the pressure applied by his adversaries, he was not going to give in. He didn’t care what anyone said or did, he was about the Lord’s work.
I often wonder how I can get to that same place where I can ignore my adversaries and not care what the world thinks. How can I be more like Nehemiah?
"Is our faith focused on simply wanting to be relieved of pain and suffering, or is it firmly centered on God the Father and His holy plan and in Jesus the Christ and His Atonement?"
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
Being a Mormon means that you understand that through the Redeeming Atonement of Jesus Christ, you - all of us - can overcome sin and sorrow, pain and grief. It is knowing that by His Grace, you can overcome yourself. Simply put, being a Mormon means being a Christian.
“A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race” Joseph Smith
The Lord has an individual road map for each of us. Sometimes it doesn’t look like we expected it would look. Often it is different than what we planned. And, it almost never is the same as a friend’s road map. But always, His path for us will be the best. It will bring us to the greatest possible happiness.
My soul craves the connection with divine that happens much easier and with more intensity and frequency when I carve out, when I CHOOSE solitude.
Forgiving others is hard, but forgiving ourselves is even harder. We hold on to our imperfections and don't want to let go. This is not of God. God wants us to feel the liberating freedom of being regret and guilt free... Healing is a process, but as we reach out for help from our loving Heavenly Father and older brother Jesus Christ, it's not only possible, but liberating.
Prayer is how we communicate with God and we can never forget that. The scriptures teach that "If ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray" (2 Nephi 32:8). Prayer is from God and anything that teaches otherwise is not.
The bishop’s talk hit me hard.
He shared a very personal story that has forever helped me understand the meaning of mercy and charity.
As I apologized once again and hung up the phone, I experienced a totally unexpected swell of warmth and peace. My head was downcast and regretful; my heart was calm and joyful. I knew I had done the right thing. I had borne my testimony that Sundays were special days in our family, and that didn’t change because we were trying to sell our house.
Being a disciple of Christ is not always easy. It is not always popular. It is not to be taken lightly. But, once we make the choice to follow Jesus Christ, we don’t get to pick and choose the easiest commandments to keep.
"We believe in “the ideal of the man who puts his family first.” We believe that “by divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable."
D. Todd Christofferson
The truth of the matter is that God will never take us where He cannot reach us. He will always bring us to a better place – even if it takes a while to get there. We just need to have faith and believe that He will guide our steps right back to Him.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said that "the happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints, the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, and the eternal salvation and exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of … God."