Tag: Power in the Book

I could really use a sign right about now

There’s a gloom in my house right now. A family friend in our ward passed away this past week after a short but vigorous battle with cancer. He leaves behind an amazing family with kids ages Primary through missionary. Our heart breaks for his wonderful family and will miss the cheery smile and spirit he always brought into the room. He was the kind of guy that always made you feel like you were important when you talked to him. As another ward member said when they heard of his death, “Heaven just leveled up.”

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Let’s be anxious. Let’s be devastated. Then let’s do something about it!

A lesson from Moroni 6 ties into Elder Holland’s advice to missionaries and ministering members alike: “We are just too casual about all of this. This is eternal life. This is the salvation of the children of God. Eternity hangs in the balance. … It is the most important path [a person] will ever walk… Teach with power and authority, and then be devastated if” they don’t live up to their potential.

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Despise the shame of the world

I always interpreted despising the “shame” of the world to mean despising the shameful practices and attitudes of the world. But now that I read it, another meaning comes out that I hadn’t considered before: despising the shame the world heaps on us.

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Don’t try to follow all the Lord’s counsel at once

There are many things in our day to day, secular lives that we “ought” to do. Like putting the junk mail in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. Or opting for the salad over the meat lover’s pizza. But we often don’t do what we know we should. Why? Because we’re lazy?

Maybe. But I think it’s mostly because we see these “suggestions” as optional– like “extra credit” in life. They are something to strive for when time permits, but not something so important we should bend over backward trying to make it work. Trying out all the little “suggestions” in life all at once is impossible, and we know it. So we accept the fact that we simply can’t lose 50 pounds and reduce our carbon footprint and double-pay our mortgage and get that promotion and spend more time with family and learn a new language and write that novel all at the same time. Not everything is worth the effort right now. We have to focus on what’s most important (provide for our families, etc) and then decide which “suggestions” we want to focus on with our remaining attention. In other words, when it comes to secular matters, we are realistic and we prioritize.

But wait. We are faced with the same deluge of suggestions about the spiritual matters of our lives, too.

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Ministering: Less Talk, More Action

A few weeks ago, I was called to be the ward mission leader. Since then, I have been pondering on what I need to do to magnify my calling. I have served with a lot of different ward mission leaders both on and off my mission. Some jumped in with the missionaries. Others never learned the missionaries’ names. Some rarely missed an opportunity to attend teaching appointments. Others rarely attended Church itself. Some were overbearing in their calling. Others couldn’t bare to be in their calling. It’s a wide spectrum.

So how does the Lord want me to serve? What should my focus be? How can I put new energy into visiting the “same ten people?” Or do we need a new approach entirely? A lot of weighty questions on my mind. I’ve been trying to discern how Christ wants me to serve in this capacity.

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Until the day I die . . .

I loved the second area of my mission. The Bishop was totally on board with missionary work. The ward mission leader was a rock star. The ward was warm and accepting. And the boundaries were large enough to stave off knocking on someone’s door more than once every 2 months or so (this was back in the day when tracting was almost all missionaries ever did). It was really awesome– definitely one of the highlights of my whole mission.

I was there a long time. I spent 6 months (and 5 companions) in that ward. But no matter how awesome an area is, you can still burn out.

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Joy. It’s our purpose!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you today? How about the past week? The past year? Or overall? Would you (and those around you) consider you to be a generally happy person overall? Maybe you’re just not a “happy” kind of person. Maybe you’re not a total grump, but maybe on the overall personality spectrum, you’re a bit closer to the Mr. Grinch end than the Relief Society President end. Maybe you’re holding out hope that you would be eventually happy. You know, once your sons have returned from their missions. And your quorum takes their ministering assignments seriously. And your husband stops leaving the toilet seat up. Or maybe you’re just enduring life right now and looking forward to that day of release when you will finally be able to rest in eternal felicity in heaven because sure then you will be happy, right?

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The Remembrance Cycle

I like listening to my dad tell stories from his time in the army. One thing he observed is that the drill sergeants he had were very much like the drill sergeants you see in the movies: insulting, swearing, and strict almost to the point of abusive. And he saw why. Although my dad was a married, returned missionary with 2 kids when he enlisted in the army, the rest of his group were 18 and 19-year old boys. And they acted the part. The primary goal in basic training is to crush you and try and get as much of the silliness and horseplay out of you as possible.

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Something’s missing

I’m in the middle of the saddest part of the Book of Mormon. Throughout the latter half of 3 Nephi, Christ ushers in a period of peace and national righteousness that gives us modern readers a little preview of the Millenium. Then, 3 Nephi ends, and by the end of the very next chapter, the Nephites are largely corrupt and ripe for their final destruction. No gradual decline this time– they come out in open rebellion against God, the day of grace is past, and you know this is the end of the end. Each time I read the story of their self-destruction in my studies, it feels more sad and sickening than the last. This time through, I noticed some interesting details from the war accounts from Mormon 2 that I had overlooked before.

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