Sunday, September 25, 2016

Beguile - The Deeper Meaning

In Moses we read of Satan seeking to beguile Eve, “for he knew not the mind of God.”[1] Satan wanted to destroy agency from the get-go by forcing everyone to return to Heaven and receiving the glory of not losing any of God’s children. We know how that ended.

Then we read “it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men.”[2] Here is Satan, trying to undermine God’s plan, but actually playing into it because he didn’t know the mind of God.

I pondered the word beguile. Most people say it means deceived or fooled. I have this note in my scriptures: Beguiled is an ancient Hebrew word not commonly used. Satan gave her a complex scenario. Eve had a decision to make.

I found an article wherein a Hebrew scholar, Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy, told the writer that the Hebrew word interpreted as "beguiled" is a “rare verb form of unusual depth and richness … no longer in use, [and] almost impossible to translate. ‘It is safe to say that it indicates an intense multi-level experience which evokes great emotional, psychological and/or spiritual trauma’ … and ‘makes it clear that Eve was motivated by a complex set of inner drives, anchored not only in her physical but also in her intellectual and spiritual nature.’ … She further suggests that because of this intense multi-level experience, Eve is caused to step back, reevaluate, reassess, and ponder the tree of knowledge of good and evil.[3]

Those who attend the temple experience this view of Eve. We are blessed to know that she was a woman of great courage and spiritual insight which allowed her to make the choice she had to make.

[1] Moses 4:6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
[2] D&C 29:39 And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—
[3] Beverly Campbell, Mother Eve Mentor ForToday’s Woman: A Heritage of Honor, April 2, 1993, 11th annual conference of Collegium Aesculapium in Salt Lake City, Utah 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

They Deny the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Reading the talk The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent, by Jeffrey R. Holland, I had an interesting thought.

He mentioned that some people believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to not be a Christian church because we don’t believe in the “post—New Testament Christian history [but] return to the doctrine taught by Jesus Himself,” that of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost being separate, individual beings.

He mentioned the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds wherein they have “declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, immanent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time. In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted “mystery of the trinity.”

Some also question our Christianity because we believe in an “embodied—but certainly glorified—God.” He said: “Any who dismiss the concept of an embodied God dismiss both the mortal and the resurrected Christ.”

Here is where my thought came.

If they deny the resurrected Christ, they deny the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is what it is all about. Without that we are all lost. What is the point of believing in a God who has given you absolutely no way to be saved?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Godhead

Many religions believe the Godhead to be one being. This misnomer is clarified as Article of Faith #1 clearly separates the Godhead into three distinct beings. God is the Father; Jesus Christ is His, the Father’s, Son; and the Holy Ghost.

In Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision, he states that he “saw two Personages” and that one of them (God) called him (Joseph) by name, pointed to the other (Jesus) and said “This is My Beloved Son.”

This is a witness that the Father and the Son are two separate beings. The fact that Joseph used the term “Personages” further clarifies that they are human-like in their appearance, not some nebulous holy entity.

The dictionary defines personage as “a person (often used to express their significance, importance, or elevated status). Surely an attempt to put into words some of what he experienced.

Moses stated: “God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.”  Synonyms to similitude are: resemblance, similarity, likeness, sameness. Moses was like Jesus, the Son of God. Therefore, man is like God.

There were three similarities which stood out to me with the accounts given of Joseph Smith and Moses.

First, each was called by name. God knew their names. God knew them. I infer from this that God knows each of his children.

Second, Satan came in full force to both events. He tried to tempt Moses to worship him and subsequently threw one amazing tantrum: “Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: ‘I am the Only Begotten, worship me.’” He bound the tongue of Joseph with such power he felt “doomed to sudden destruction.”

Third, both Moses and Joseph Smith called upon God to defeat the enemy’s attacks. Satan has only the power we give him. God will always win. If we call on God, He will help us too.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Becoming More Faithful

A few days ago I posted about deciding I needed to return to my temple assignment just because it was something I had to do, not because I wanted to.

I had an experience this week which helped me realize why I needed to be there. I have been importuning in my prayers that my desires would be brought into alignment with what my Savior wants me to do. This experience made that happen.

I will go back to the temple next weekend. I will still be short on time and energy, but now, I am going back not only because I am supposed to, but because it is something I want to do because I realize how much I need it.

Working to exercise faith really can bring about miracles, changes of heart, and answers to prayer.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Help Thou Mine Unbelief

During a study session for my Becoming Project on faithfulness, I received a bit of pointed chastisement.

I took time out before writing this and posted about how crazy life has been the past few months to make my feelings more understandable. Because of all this crazy in my life, I have been seriously contemplating asking to be released from my temple calling, instead of going back in a couple of weeks when my leave time runs out.

Fall semester starts next week and I am taking two classes. Homework has been a challenge with Bubba in the house. I come home from work and he wants to spend time with “uh-ma.” With my new job, I no longer get to leave early on Fridays. I used that time for homework.

During my leave from the temple, I have thoroughly enjoyed having my Saturdays again. I have been using them to do homework, putter around and get things done in the house, and play with Bubba. Thinking about going back makes me sad. This shouldn’t be the reaction to returning to my temple assignment. Looking at the calendar yesterday, at the day I am supposed to go back, literally made me sick to my stomach. I stayed home from church yesterday and went to bed.

My problem is that I know I am supposed to go back.  I have been praying that He would help me change my desires to match what He wants me to do. This hasn’t happened. I have come to the slow realization that I have to do this because I have to do this.

Now to the chastisement.

I was reading the talk Help Thou Mine Unbelief by L. Whitney Clayton. There were three things that jumped out to me:

  •   To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in him that we obey whatever he commands. There is no faith where there is no obedience.
  • We simply go and do the things the Lord has commanded, even when we are weary, trusting that He will help us to do exactly as He asks.  As we do so, the Lord helps our unbelief, and our faith becomes powerful, vibrant, and unshakable. 
  • No matter who we are or where we live, there is much about our daily lives that is routine and repetitive. As we go about this dailiness, we must be deliberate about doing the things that matter most. These must-do things include making room first for the minimum daily requirements of faithful behavior: true obedience, humble prayer, serious scripture study, and selfless service to others. No other daily vitamins strengthen the muscles of our faith as fast as these actions.

There you have it. If I truly want to increase my faithfulness, this is what I have to do. I must simply go and do what matters most and trust that the Lord will take care of the rest.

The Only Thing That Stays the Same Is Change

I haven’t done much in the way of personal blogging lately because life has been really crazy and brought about some huge changes in my life and home.

During the middle of June, I took a leave from my Saturday temple assignment. I was having some health issues and decided I needed some time to get well. Little did I know that two weeks later I would catch a nasty virus from my grandson (aka Bubba) that would knock me out for a month.

About a week into July, my oldest daughter moved home with my grandson. She was staying in her old bedroom, which was being used as a storage room, on an air mattress and Bubba was in a pack-n-play. What we thought would be a few days, turned into a few weeks, and then the decision to divorce was made.

I had been looking for a new job for quite some time, feeling the need to go somewhere that had an opportunity for advancement. It had been really frustrating because I was either not finding jobs I would want to do, or I was applying for jobs and not hearing anything from them. On July 29th I finally had an interview, was called back August 3rd for a second interview, and then during the 4th and 5th had email exchanges about salary requirements, benefits, references etc. Monday the 8th, the job offer started with a request to begin in a week.

Talk about getting the ball rolling. I guess when the Lord wants you somewhere he will get you there! After five years working at the law firm, I gave notice on the August 9th with a start date for my new job on the 22nd.

Once the decision for divorce was made and that they would be leaving the apartment, the landlord wanted them moved out before the last week in August. My craft room/office/study space was going to be Bubba’s bedroom. I had one weekend to get rid of everything in that room. I didn’t have time to try and sell anything, so I decided I just needed to give it away. I posted on our Relief Society FaceBook page that I was giving everything away and asked them to please come take it.

I took Friday, August 12th off so I could move all my stuff into the garage and on Saturday, gave everything away. I kept a few staples: my sewing machine, crochet hooks and knitting needles, some embroidery stuff. Everything else went: stamps, ink pads, paper, yarn, Cricut, Sizzix, Big Shot, scrapbook stuff, books, containers, storage cubes, and shelves etc.

This was a really emotionally taxing time for me. I felt like I was giving away and ending a huge part of me and my life. I had to have a few cries but knew that I was doing the right thing. Bubba needed a room of his own.

That day we also had to have our pug, Sophie, put to sleep. She had been with us for 12 years. This was a very difficult day.

During all of this, I still had to go to work and do homework. I was taking a summer religion class that compressed 12 weeks of work into 7. Now that I was out of my office space, I was trying to do homework at the kitchen table. This was not easy with Bubba around.

August 22nd I started my new job. It has been two weeks now and so far I love it.

About a week ago, I finally got a desk put up in my bedroom. Now I have a place I can go to do my homework and shut the door.

As I said, these past few weeks have been crazy. They have been an emotional rollercoaster and the house has gone kind of topsy-turvy. We still have boxes in the garage and are still taking loads of things to D.I. We have been slowly baby-proofing, as much as you can do that in a house.

In the midst of this chaos has been some wonderfulness too. There have been lots of snuggles and laughter, spending time with both my daughters, and seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

We are still adjusting to our new normal. But we are adjusting together.

Do You Love Me?

When reading John 21:15-17, I was reminded of the amazing talk given by Elder Holland, The First Great Commandment, in which he beautifully portrays this interchange where the Savior asked Peter three times if he loves Him.

How will we answer the question “lovest thou me more than these?” 

What does “these” represent in our lives?

Christ told Peter if he loved him, to feed his sheep.

“The Greek verb translated in English as “feed” actually means “to shepherd, to tend, to take care of.” In the Hebrew translation the verb means “to lead.”[1]

I read a beautiful statement by Ezra Taft Benson regarding this:

“We realize, as in times past, that some of the sheep will rebel and are ‘as wild flock which fleeth from the shepherd.’ (Mosiah 8:21.) But most of our problems stem from lack of loving and attentive shepherding...

“With a shepherd’s loving care, many of our young people, our young lambs, would not be wandering. And if they were, the crook of the shepherd’s staff, a loving arm, would retrieve them.

“With a shepherd’s care, many of those who are not independent of the flock can still be reclaimed.”[2]

Do you love the Lord? What do you have to give up to feed His sheep?

[1] Verse by Verse The New Testament, Ogden and Skinner, pg. 706
[2] ibid, 706-707

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Jesus was Terrified and Astonished

The suffering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is a story with which most everyone in the world is familiar. We know this is where he took upon him the sins and sorrows of the world. We know that three times he went to his apostles, whom he had asked to "watch with me," and found them sleeping. We know this is the place where Judas betrayed him.

With all we know about this event, it is impossible for our finite minds to comprehend what it all really entailed. I gained some profound insights into the experience Jesus had through my study this week.

Sin affects our whole being; mind, body, and spirit. Something I had never considered before when thinking about the Atonement, was that this was something Christ had never experienced. He was perfect and had never sinned.

“And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.”
Mark 14:33

 Not only was he taking on the sins of everyone, he was partaking of the experience of sin for the first time.

 “The Greek word translated as “sore amazed” means “terrified surprise or astonishment.[1]

Sin was such a new and unexpected thing for Jesus, a shock to his perfect body and spirit, it literally terrified him

Think about that!! 

Jesus Christ was terrified by the experience of sin.

What does this tell us about how we should react to sin? Why are we able to sin without being terrified?

I read some very interesting things in my study and wanted to share them with you; though a bit long, well worth the read.

“Being perfect, Jesus did not and could not know what sin felt like. He did not have the experience of feeling the effects of sin—neither physically, spiritually, mentally, nor emotionally. Not until Gethsemane, that is. Now, in an instant, he began to feel all the sensations and effects of sin, all the guilt, anguish, darkness, turmoil, depression, anger, and physical sickness that sin brings. All of this the Savior felt and much, much more.

The shock to the Savior at this moment must have been overwhelming. Because he was perfect, he was also perfectly sensitive to all the effects and ramifications of sin on our mental, emotional, and physical makeup. His makeup was such that it could not tolerate sin or its effects, just as our systems cannot tolerate poison, disease, extreme heat, cold, dehydration, or a hundred other harmful substances and conditions. More significantly, as Mark describes for us, the experience Jesus had of finally comprehending sin as well as the feelings that issue from sin were absolutely surprising to him. He had never experienced these sensations. Not only did it surprise him but it terrified him. For the first time in his eternal existence, the God of heaven and earth was experiencing the terrifying feelings associated with sin. Jesus felt something in Gethsemane he had never known before.  Perhaps that is the full meaning of Alma’s words that the Son of God, the Messiah, would be born as a mortal so that ‘he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people’ (Alma 7:12; emphasis added).

“Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote: “Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, ‘astonished’! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined!” (Ensign, May 1985, 72-73).” [2]

How much more do we now understand this plaintive plea: "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou will."(Mark 14:36)

Beautifully summed up by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

"In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought—His Father. “Abba,” He cried, “Papa,” or from the lips of a younger child, “Daddy.”
"This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night—together."[3]

[1] Verse by Verse The New Testament, Ogden and Skinner, pp 579-599, (emphasis added)
[2] ibid
[3] The Hands of the Fathers, Jeffrey R. Holland, April 1999 Conference, (emphasis added)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Greatest Among You

To be a good leader, we must serve those we lead.

But he that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.
Matthew 23:11

It was really interesting reading these verses where Jesus is talking about how the scribes and Pharisees are so outward in their religious practices. They do things “to be seen of men” (vs. 5).

In studying for my Business Management degree, and learning how business is changing, the huge leadership buzzword is “servant leadership.” Gone are the days of the iron-fisted leader who strikes fear in the hearts of all employees; who is more concerned about their reputation and financial gain than the good of the company or the employees.

Today, think about companies like Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, etc. Outwardly Christian companies who value their employees and the communities they serve.

Something else this made me think about is how messed up politics is right now.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if our government officials behaved as servants to the people –in the way they are actually supposed to be?

Christ warns us that we need to be more worried about what is in our heart when we do things and to serve and bless our fellow man. We will gain rewards in heaven. Whereas, if we seek the approval and accolades of man, that will be our reward.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jesus Wept

In John 11, the story of Lazarus, Jesus knew what was happening – Lazarus was gravely ill. When Mary and Martha sent for him, he said “This sickness is not unto death, but the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”

Jesus knew Lazarus would die. 

He knew he would raise him from the dead to glorify God. 

But we see that even knowing this, he still groaned within himself and wept. This shows what a tender, kindhearted man Jesus was. He knew, but still had compassion and love for the situation at hand.

There are many times when we ‘know’ what is happening and pass things off in a logistical sort of way. It would have been totally appropriate for him to come up to Lazarus' tomb and just perform his miracle, knowing there was no need to mourn his death. 

Why mourn a death that was about to be undone? 

This teaches me that we can take time and have compassion for situations and circumstances that may seem to not really need it. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Do You Importune?

Ask, seek, and knock. (Luke 11:9-10) 

We have all heard these verses a hundred times. I learned something interesting studying the parable in verses 5-8, when the neighbor, because of his “importunity” was able to wake his friend.

Importunity – the active verb importune means “to request with urgency; to press with solicitation; to urge with frequent or unceasing application.” …

God wants us to pray, plead, implore, and importune – specifically, frequently, and sincerely. …

Don’t give up or despair, keep asking. …

Joseph Smith said:Come to God [and] weary him until he blesses you.”[1]

I never thought it would be a good thing to “importune” the Lord with things that I wanted. I guess I likened it to a pleading, whiney child, begging until they wear down the parent who caves merely






Unlike weary parents, God won’t give in and give us whatever we ask for, however, he will bless us with what he sees fit to bless us with.

If you look at the JST* on vs. 5, it says “And he said unto them, Your heavenly Father will not fail to give unto you whatever ye ask of him.”

Importune your Father in Heaven. 

He will bless you.

[1] Ogden, Skinner, Verse By Verse The New Testament, pp 388-389

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Making Faith a Choice

In my continued study of faith, I read a talk by Neil L. Anderson called Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice

I was drawn to this talk because of the concept that in my journey to gain more faith, I can be, as Elder Bednar says, an agent “to act and not merely be acted upon.”[1]

Elder Anderson says that “faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright.” This is wonderful. Everyone has the same opportunity to develop faith.

“Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it.
Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker.”

These two sentences hold so many keys to gaining and keeping faith throughout our lives.

1.     It is a gift from heaven
2.     It comes as we chose to believe
3.     It comes as we seek it
4.     It comes as we  hold on to it
5.     It is either growing stronger or becoming weaker

Elder Anderson gives keys to increasing faith, or helping it to grow stronger.

How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith.
Without these, faith diminishes.

He then references Luke 22:32, and asks “why did the Savior say to Peter, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not?’”

 31 ¶And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

He answers “because there is an adversary who delights in destroying our faith! Be relentless in protecting your faith.”

First off, verse 31 is frightening. The idea that Satan wants to sift you as wheat is chilling. Then conversely, Jesus prayed for Peter, knowing full well that Peter was about to betray him; then told him to strengthen his brethren when he himself was converted. I wonder if that was alluding to the betrayal and subsequent realization of what he had done.

Just as Satan had “a desire to have” Peter, he wants us too. I find Elder Anderson’s admonition to be “relentless” in defending our faith interesting.

One of the words defining relentless is unrelenting, which is defined as: not yielding or swerving in determination or resolution, as of or from opinions, convictions, ambitions, ideals, etc.

Not only should we work to build and strengthen our faith, but we should be unrelenting in defending it. I believe unrelenting is a very appropriate term.

Satan is ramping up his game. 

We need to ramp up ours. 

The choice really is ours.

[1] David A. Bednar, Watching With All Perseverance, April 2010 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

What Is In Your Heart?

I love the interchange in Matthew 15:1-20.

The scribes and Pharisees are giving Jesus grief that the apostles didn’t wash their hands before eating. Jesus turned it back on them and said:

“Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”


He is asking - why are you more worried about the old traditions of ritual washings than you are about the commandments of God?

He calls them hypocrites and reminds them that Elijah prophesied they say they honor God but not in their hearts. (vs. 8)

Then we come to one of the verses (vs 14) that I think shows a bit of humor on the part of Jesus when he tells the disciples:

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

In my mind it goes something like this:

 “Meh, leave em’ alone. 
*waves hand of indifference
Blind leading the blind; they’ll fall in the ditch.”

Then Jesus explains the parable he said to the scribes and Pharisees.

Basically, what you put into your mouth comes out the other end and doesn't defile you. What comes out of your mouth, on the other hand, comes from your heart and can defile you if your heart has evil thoughts.

It all comes back to what is in your heart.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Can Faith Alone Save Me?

Becoming Project Week 2

My goal this week was to study some verses I identified on Faith in the second half of the New Testament.

James 2:14-17
14.  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
15.  If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food,
16.  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17.  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

If we want our faith to be alive, we have to act. We must add works to faith. What does that mean? How can we know if our works are sufficient to keep our faith alive in Christ? I found this:

We hear much about benchmarks. A benchmark is “a standard of excellence [or] achievement … against which similar things [are] measured or judged.”10 There are four benchmarks that can help each of us know if our personal faith in Christ is being “made perfect” by our works. These benchmarks are:

1.      The choices we make
2.      The devotion we exhibit
3.      The obedience we practice
4.      The service we give”[1]

Ok, these are great benchmarks, but still, what is it we are supposed to be doing to meet these benchmarks? Peter seems to have answered the question well.

2 Peter 1:5-8, 10
5.      And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6.      And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7.      And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8.      For if things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
10.  … for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

Although this lays it out fairly clearly, I thought it would be beneficial to make sure I really understood all these terms that are supposed to be added to faith. So, I turned to the inter-webs and got me some definitions.

First we need to be diligent in our faith:

Diligent: characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort.

The word energetic is interesting. While steady and earnest connote the turtle, slowly and determinedly plodding along, the word energetic indicates to me a frame of mind that has an excitement for the effort being made.

To faith we first add virtue:

Virtue: morally good behavior or character.

Then we need to add knowledge:

Knowledge: the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association.

This suggests to me the need to continually study the scriptures and the words of the prophets, and gain experience by living in a way that this knowledge dictates.

Next we need to add temperance:

Temperance: moderation in action, thought, or feeling: restraint.

Next comes patience:

Patience: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; not hasty or impetuous; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.

Yes, patience—easier said than done. My dad used to joke that he prayed to God for patience and God sent him six children. I guess we have to exercise patience while developing patience.

After patience we add godliness:

Godliness: believing in God and in the importance of living a moral life.

This definition surprised me. I thought godliness meant behaving like God. I read that the word godliness is translated from the Greek word for “piety,” which means “the quality of being religious or reverent.” Knowing this, adding godliness seems much easier than I had initially thought.

Now we add brotherly kindness. This one wasn’t so easy. Being a term and not one word to define, I had to do a little searching. After reading multiple commentaries on this term, I found one explanation: 

Brotherly kindness: after godliness (being religious or reverent), we have to add brotherly kindness so that your godliness isn’t sullen or morose, but kind and courteous.

But this seemed to be the main consensus:

Brotherly kindness: a love of those who are Christians.

Which makes the following virtue, charity, all the more important:

Charity: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.

We aren’t supposed to keep our good works just within the Christian community. We need to behave this way toward all humanity; exactly as Jesus would do.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone showed brotherly kindness to all of humanity?

[1] Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Faith and Worksin a Secular Society, BYU CES Fireside Address, Nov. 5, 2006

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

You Are Worried About a Speck of Dust?

We are learning some interesting scripture Study Skills in this class. This week I chose to use Flag Phrases. Basically, you look for certain words or phrases that draw attention to something in the verse.

Flag Phrases can be attention words, similes, absolutes, connecting words, summaries, repeated words, superlative statements etc.

I applied attention words to Matthew 7:4:

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Here, the attention word is: behold. This is telling you to pay special attention to the information that comes after.

It really changed the scripture for me!

We have all heard that verse many times. When you read the emphasis on behold, it is like he is saying to you:


Look at yourself. 

Stop judging other people and take a look at your own problems. 

You freaking have a BEAM IN YOUR EYE!!! 

And you are worried about a speck of dust???"


This showed to me the difference between merely reading the scriptures, and taking the time to slow down and study them.