Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Provident Living

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a memorable talk this past General Conference. His subject was provident living, or the importance of putting off the things of this world in favor of the things of God. I really enjoyed reading over it again this morning. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
...for both debt and addiction, the hopeful solution is the same—we must turn to the Lord and follow His commandments. We must want more than anything else to change our lives so that we can break the cycle of debt and our uncontrolled wants.
When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!”
And here's the kicker:
In seeking to overcome debt and addictive behaviors, we should remember that addiction is the craving of the natural man, and it can never be satisfied. It is an insatiable appetite. When we are addicted, we seek those worldly possessions or physical pleasures that seem to entice us. But as children of God, our deepest hunger and what we should be seeking is what the Lord alone can provide—His love, His sense of worth, His security, His confidence, His hope in the future, and assurance of His love, which brings us eternal joy.
We must want, more than anything else, to do our Heavenly Father’s will and providently provide for ourselves and others. We must say, as did King Lamoni’s father, “I will give away all my sins to know thee” (Alma 22:18). Then we can go to Him with steadfast determination and promise Him, “I will do whatever it takes.”
Through prayer, fasting, obedience to the commandments, priesthood blessings, and His atoning sacrifice, we will feel His love and power in our lives. We will receive His spiritual guidance and strength through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Only through our Lord’s Atonement can we obtain a mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:14) and experience a mighty change in our addictive behavior.

This talk is definitely one I needed to hear (just ask my wife!). Though we have mostly avoided large, unnecessary debt (we don't even have a credit card!), I have a hard time avoiding smaller (but equally unnecessary) purchases. So this council is something that can really help me; I never really thought that buying excessive amounts of DVDs or techno-toys I don't need can really take away my agency (or willpower to avoid such purchases), and can draw me away from the Savior. But it's true; in fact, as Elder Hales notes, the scriptures say:
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted. (2 Nephi 9:51)
So I guess what I'm taking from this is I need to be more careful with not just my money, but my slight obsession with temporal things. I don't always (or maybe ever) need to have the newest, the fastest, the coolest. Leading a simple life can open the mind to the whisperings of the Spirit.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scripture of the Week

This might be an ongoing feature, and it might not.

This morning I was reading in 1 Nephi (in the Book of Mormon) and I came across this little gem in chapter 17, verse 13:
And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.
Awesome stuff. For those of you who don't know, this is Nephi writing, a prophet-historian from about 600 B.C., as he and his family are journeying from Jerusalem to the promised land (or the Americas, as they most certainly were not known as then). It's always very inspiring to me to read of Nephi's courage and faith when it comes to certain commandments from the Lord that must have seemed daunting. Just like in 1 Ne. 3:7, he always shows a willingness to do whatever the Lord asks, because he knows that God won't leave us hanging; He will prepare a way for us to fulfill His commands.

Basically this verse is kinda helping bring the thought home that God is always there for us, ready to direct us to the happiness He has in store. Though the road may seem dark, or the sea may seem to stretch out forever, we need not fear; we're in good hands... the best hands.


Hello there! You've found yourself a blog. This isn't just any old blog, however; this blog is solely dedicated to me, and my hope: the Lord Jesus Christ. Basically I'm trying to find a place to record spiritual insights, thoughts on my religion, etc. I'm not so good at journal-keeping, and I wanted my thoughts to be a bit more public. So, I decided to start up this blog (as graffiti can get messy).

Anyway, just so you know, this will be a place where I will post uplifting spiritual thoughts, mostly centered around my religion. You should probably know that I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called "Mormons"). Whether you share my views or not, you're welcome to stop by and hopefully share something that inspired you.