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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Alma 21-25

"He loveth our souls as well as He loveth our children" (Alma 24:14).

I love this statement made by Anti-Nephi-Lehi . . . not just because God's love is all encompassing, but because God loves us as a Perfect Parent.

He loves our souls AND He loves our children.

And that's saying a LOT!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Alma 19-20

It is amazing to me at what happens to the Lamanites once they exercised their faith in Jesus Christ, repented, and fully embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. Very quickly, they changed their names to Anti-Nephi-Lehies, they began to be a very industrious people, they were friendly with the Nephites, and the curse of God did no more follow them

How could so much good happen in such a short amount of time because of one decision?

It made me think of what happens when a smoker quits smoking cold turkey:

Within 20 minutes
Blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of hands and feet return to normal.

Within 8 hours
Nicotine in bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.75% reduction.

Within 12 hours
Blood oxygen level increases to normal. Carbon monoxide levels drop to normal.

Within 24 hours
Anxieties peak in intensity and within two weeks will return to near pre-cessation levels.

Within 48 hours
Damaged nerve endings start to regrow; Sense of smell and taste begin to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability will have peaked.

Within 72 hours
Entire body will test 100% nicotine-free.
Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) begin to relax in recovering smokers.
Breathing becomes easier and lungs' functional abilities are improving.

Within 2 weeks to 3 months
Heart attack risk begins to drop. Lung function noticeably improves.

Within 1 to 9 months
Smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath decreases Cilia has regrown in trachea (windpipe), increasing the ability to sweep dirt and mucus out of lungs. Body's overall energy has increased.

Within 1 year
Excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke drop to less than half that of a smoker.

Within 5 to 15 years
Risk of stroke declines to that of a non-smoker.

What happens to us physically, also happens to us spiritually.
"Even as we feel godly sorrow for our actions, when we choose to repent, we immediately invite the Savior into our lives" -Dale G. Renlund (italics added).

Friday, November 9, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Alma 16-18

Question: How can I be a better instrument in the Lord's hands?

Answer: Be patient in long-suffering and afflictions that you may show forth good examples unto them in Him, unto the salvation of many souls.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Alma 12-15

Alma 13 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon (Okay, I have a LOT of favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon)!

Today, as I read about the Melchizedek Priesthood, I realized that I need to make God's authority and power a priority in my life!

At first, I thought of the different priesthood ordinances that I bless my life on a regular basis, but then I began to ponder different ways I could give opportunities to the priesthood holders in my life to use their power and authority to bless me and those around them.

This pondering reminded me of an experience I had many years ago.

I visit taught a sister who lived a few houses from me. She was inactive and so was her husband. This woman was very spiritual and dearly loved her children.

One day she called me and shared with me something that was deeply troubling to her. She was very distraught and could not find peace. Of course, the first thing that came to my mind was that she needed to receive a priesthood blessing. Who could give her a blessing? I thought. The bishop? Her home teachers? My husband? I tried to think of some key brethren who could "make a difference" at such a crucial time in her life! I told her I would call her back.

As I searched my mind, the Spirit gently whispered that yes, she did need a blessing, but the person she needed to ask was her husband.

What? He's inactive.

Yet, the Spirit pressed. And the Spirit taught me.

Because I followed the teaching of the Holy Ghost, this dear woman did petition her husband for a blessing and received one.

* * *

God is the Ultimate Planner.

Long before we even came to earth, He took into consideration every. single. detail. of our probationary state.

Individually and collectively.

Even down to our Final Celebration.

God's plan offered us a probationary state. A time to choose. A time to make mistakes. A time to learn from those choices. And, a plan of redemption.

A plan that would bring to pass the resurrection of the dead.

And a plan of repentance.

To make right our wrong choices. To act in faith. And to accept His Son as the Redeemer of the World.

Lucifer, on the other hand, had no plan.

None.

Instead, he wanted to hijack and distort Father's plan, claiming that the details of our earthly lives could be resolved quite easily by merely taking away our agency.

Thus:

God = Preparation = Happiness

Lucifer = No preparation = misery

Giving more meaning to this statement: "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Alma 7-11

The story of pre-repentant Zeezrom is a definite reminder of how subtle Satan is in trying to get us to deny Christ. With a insert of one little word, Zeezrom attempts to discount the Savior of the World and trick his people into thinking Amulek is a liar.

It has made me think of ways Satan subtly tries to lure me away from denying the Christ and trick others into doing the same.

It has made me appreciate, even more, President Nelson's invitation to the women and youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to fast from social media. In so doing, President Nelson asks:
What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted—even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression.
* * *
On a completely different note, I found this dialogue between Amulek and Zeezrom a bit comical:

Zeezrom:  Will you answer the questions which I shall put unto you?

Amulek: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord which is in me; for I will say nothing contrary to the Spirit of the Lord . . . thou child of hell. . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Alma 5-6

This past Sunday, our family discussion was based on parables of the Savior. Each family member was to read, then share and teach one parable found in the New Testament. My seven year old wanted to share and teach the allegory of the good shepherd.

So before we shared together as a family, she and I read it together and I had her teach to me what she knew and I shared a few things with her.

When we all gathered back together, here's essentially what she shared:
The good shepherd is Jesus. We are sheep. He lets us in the door. The door is the way back to him. And He holds open the door because He died for us.
Today, I read about the good shepherd in Alma 5. What impressed me the most is that even after He has already paid the price for me, for my sins, for my transgressions, for my afflictions, for my infirmities, He. Still. Calls. After. Me.

Still.

He calls, in His own name, which is the name of Christ. (Alma 5:38).

Do I know my name in Christ?

Because if not, I'm not listening.




Monday, November 5, 2018

Book of Mormon Reading: Mosiah 29-Alma 4

Things that have always been:

1. God will work His power among the children of men.

2. Those who belong to the Church of God and take upon them the name of Christ are persecuted by those who don't.

3. Those who belong to the Church of God and have taken upon them the name of Christ, then have hardened their hearts against the Church withdraw themselves from the membership of the Church.

4. Those who withdraw themselves from the Church become a great trial to those who remain steadfast and immovable in God's Church.

5. The word of God will always be fulfilled.