Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ye are Laying the Foundation of a Great Work

This is an answer to a question I had as I read 3 Nephi 21:22-29. I marveled as I read the passage about the “great work” which the Father would commence after the building of the New Jerusalem. I wondered, “how can that be, I thought we were gathering the world now?” But the passage is very clear and leaves little room for re-interpretation as “imagery.”

The great work the Father will do, to gather scattered Israel in, commences after New Jerusalem is built. We Gentiles have a role to assist in that work in assisting in the building of the city, but the Nephite’s descendants will be major players in that work.

So, to restate, I wondered, “what are we doing now then?” Then Spirit whispered to me in response, a passage from D&C 64:33. The verse reads, “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” There’s more on this in the surrounding scriptures, but the context is clear. Out part of the Father’s great work in gathering in scattered Israel is we’re laying the foundation upon which that work will take place.

My prayers have always been that, “rather than be the mighty tree on the top of the hill, Lord I’m content to be the best bush I can be on the side of it.” Well, the foundation of a building is pretty important. I'm grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


It’s been a while since I posted. I’m not too sorry about it because I’ve been preoccupied lately with a new job and a new chapter in my life. I’m hoping to get back on track with this entry.

I just have to say, this section of the Book of Mormon which tells of the Savior’s visit to the Nephites becomes much more relevant when in the midst of a trial you turn to the Savior for help. When I read about Him weeping for the people or blessing each child one by one, I’m left with the powerful impression that He feels the same for us.

I’ve been going to the temple quite a bit lately. Feeling the divine resonate within you as you ponder the profound truths which are taught there is something everyone should experience. There’s no way to share it because there are no words to describe it. I can say I’ve come to comprehend that God plays the long game. He’s interested in us being happy. He wants us to live… not just exist. The best way to live is His way and that way is what Jesus was teaching the Nephites. It’s also what the church teaches today.

For that I’m profoundly grateful. I finally get it that commandments are a blessing because they show how to attain the greatest joy you can have in this life. They don’t restrict you, they empower you. It’s like me in my profession: I have the power to write software because I know how to do it. If you don’t know what I do, you can’t do what I can. That’s how commandments are: they show you how to live joyfully in the face of adversity and in great prosperity.

This is what the Savior was trying to teach the Nephites. He told them when we, the Gentiles, got the gospel it would either bring us great joy because we chose to live it or great sorrow because we chose otherwise. Based upon what’s in these sections of the book, we Gentiles don’t get it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Personal God... A Personal Savior

When the Savior blessed the children of the people of Bountiful, He also prayed for their parents. This passage underscores what I’ve written about before: with God, everything is personal. The written account speaks of how the people marveled when they heard the Savior pray for them. If you ever wondered what He says when He pleads our case to the Father, this passage in 3 Nephi 17:15-17 gives us a clue as to what it must be.

This fact is also shown when He blessed the children and the people went forth to touch his feet and hands. It was all one on one. How would you like some time like that with the Savior? The beauty of the Gospel is you can.

The personal nature of the Gospel is also manifest in the temple. There are no group ordinances — everything is done for the individual. When I go there, I represent just one person at a time. Implicit in all the church does and the doctrine of Christ is the importance of the individual.

I can’t comprehend how Heavenly Father is mindful of all His children everywhere across the cosmos, but He does. It’s enough for me to know that of all His children everywhere, He still knows me. Along beside Him, the Savior likewise knows us personally. That is comforting. That is one of the greatest truths of the Gospel: we are children of a personal, loving God. And representing our needs to Him is Jesus Christ, the Great Mediator. The Mediator who’s prayer for the people filled them with indescribable joy.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What do you want from this?

The "this" referred to the counseling sessions I began last Thursday. My therapist asked the question. I found the answer much harder to give her than I thought it would be. I realized, I have needs I can't define -- I know only that I have them.

In some aspects, my life is a shambles. The details aren't important for this post. Suffice it to say, if what I wanted in life was a course on a map, then I'm way off of it, in uncharted wilderness I don't recognize. In other aspects, I'm more thoroughly grounded in Jesus Christ than I've ever been. He is ever with me, especially now.

I still couldn't answer the question. So she gave me an assignment, to write down my values: what ones define me, what do I aspire to incorporate into my life. After thinking about it for a few days, I came up with a list of twelve which define my values-context: the framework upon which I live.

Those values are important to me alone, but my reading of the Savior's visit to the Nephite's is germane to my needs and I suspect to us all. You see, a lesson I've learned from my experiences of these past two years is, to varying degrees, we are all broken. Whether seen by all or hidden deep within our hearts, we all bear burdens of pain and affliction. Each of us needs the Savior's healing touch. The great lesson of His appearance to the Nephites is He healed them all. Not only did He heal them, He also taught them how to live meaningful, joyful, and happy lives. 

This is why Jesus Christ is so important: as He did for them, He can do for us.