Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Seed of the Evildoers Shall Never be Renowned

Through modern day revelation we learn that before we came to earth we lived with our Father in Heaven as one of His spirit children.  During our premortal existence, we were part of a Great Council in which Father presented to us His great plan of happiness.  This plan enabled us to become like our Heavenly Father.  We would be able to go to earth to attain physical bodies and to use our gift agency to make choices, particularly while facing adversity, as a test to see if we would return back to Father's presence.

Knowing that using our agency would inevitably cause us to make choices contrary to Father's commandments, Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Spirit son of our Father in Heaven, covenanted to be our Savior.  He wanted us to use our agency, and would suffer for our sins so that we could repent so we could return back to our heavenly home. Jesus Christ sustained the Father's Plan, giving the glory to God to whom it properly belonged.

Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan and 'sought to destroy the agency of man.' Lucifer's modification of God's Plan (in that no one would be lost because everyone would choose the right), not only took away our agency, it also gave him all of God's power and honor and glory.

Lucifer's plan was rejected.  He rebelled against God.  Lucifer became Satan and he and his followers were cast out of heaven.  Those who had faith in Jesus Christ have come or will come to earth to receive a physical body and have their agency to choose how they may, hopefully finding faith in Jesus Christ and returning to live with Him again.

I have been thinking a lot about Lucifer's twisted plan and here are some of my thoughts.

1. Lucifer was unable to come up with an original plan of his own. Instead, he took Father's great plan of happiness and twisted it. He does that same thing today! Lucifer is unable to come up with an original plan of his own.  Instead, he waits and takes the good and great things God gives to man  and then twists them just enough to drag God's children speedily down to hell.  Television. Internet. Families.  Just to name a few.

2. Lucifer loves himself.  He loves himself more than he loves his neighbor and exponentially more than he loves God. If that doesn't destroy the law and the prophets.  Furthermore, when God declares 'wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent,' the 'the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, . . .  because of iniquity and abominations.'  He laughs because he attributes all that suffering, all that sorrowing, all that iniquity and abomination to him!

3. The most chilling of all is this: Perhaps Lucifer wanted to destroy our agency because he didn't want to experience pain!  He wanted a body without the pain.  After all, sickness is hard enough.  And then, then there is dying.  Dying for oneself was one thing, but to die for all of Father's children? He wanted no pain and yet, ALL the gain.

Interestingly, Isaiah saw the devil like he was and is and will be:
How art thou fallen from heaven. O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.
For thou thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, everyone on in his own house.
But thou are cast out of thy grave like and abominable branch, as as the raiment of those what are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet.
Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because those hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of the evildoers shall never be renowned.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Spirit of God = The Spirit of Freedom

This month found our family scripture study smack dab in the Book of Mormon War Chapters - which has been so fitting as we celebrate the independence of our country.

I have been amazed that even before our Constitution was formed, righteous men - Moroni, Teancum, Helaman, Pahoran - also fought for those same things our Founding Fathers held most sacred and dear: God, religion, freedom, peace, family, liberty.

One phrase caught my attention.  If it were a mathematical formula it would look like this:

The Spirit of God = The Spirit of Freedom

And that's when I realized that when I make choices that limit my freedom, I lose the privilege of having God's Spirit with me.

Furthermore, when we as a nation give up our freedoms for social justice, for the greater good, or even for absolute security, we are undoubtedly giving up the very power and Spirit of God.

And when that happens, where does that place us?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Filled with God's Love

The other day, while walking along at a Home Depot, I noticed a man walking towards me wearing a T-shirt with words and symbols that were contrary to my beliefs.

To be honest, judgmental thoughts started to creep into my mind.  But I decided to look up to see the face of this man.  As our eyes met, this man smiled at me which, automatically prompted me to smile back.

At that very moment my heart was filled with such immense and incredible love.  Not my love, but God's perfect love.

We passed each other and I continued my way to the check out.  But the feeling of God's love continued to envelope me with undeniable clarity, so much so that they took form as words into my mind as I heard this tender phrase whisper to my soul, "I love him and I love you."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man;
he was a man of a perfect understanding; 
yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; 
a man whose soul did joy in the liberty 
and the freedom of his country, 
and his brethren from bondage and slavery;

Yea, a man whose heart did swell with 
thanksgiving to his God
for the many privileges and blessings which 
He bestowed upon his people; 
a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.
Yea, and he was a man who was
firm in the faith of Christ, 
and he had sworn with an oath to 
defend his people, 
his rights, 
and his country, 
and his religion, 
even to the loss of his blood.
Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, 
if all men had been, and were, and ever would 
be, like unto Moroni,
behold, the very powers of 
hell would have been shaken forever
yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Family Home Evening - River of Victory

This week for Family Home Evening we watched THIS video.

It made for a very healthy discussion - not only following the video, but all during the week.

Here are some themes we discussed:

* God's love

* Family

* Poverty

* Gratitude

* Faith and Healing

* Entitlement

* Excessiveness

On a side note, for a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY great fiction read . . . READ THIS!!