Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scripture of the Week: Mosiah 2:41

This has always been my mom's favorite scripture:
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
These words of King Benjamin are jam-packed with hope! Not only are the righteous "immediately" blessed by the Lord (see Mosiah 2:24) with temporal and spiritual blessings, but, if they endure to the end, they are brought back to Heavenly Father's presence in a state of never-ending happiness.
Doesn't that sound so awesome?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nephi's Thoughts on the Book of Mormon

I finished reading 2 Nephi today. I'm always amazed by the strength of Nephi's testimony and how powerfully he writes (even though he humbly claims to have written "in weakness"- 2 Ne. 33:4). He's definitely one of my heroes-- someone I'm truly looking forward to meeting (or reuniting with?) someday.

Anyway, I was just impressed by his thoughts on what he was writing. Check this out:
And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. (2 Ne. 33:10)
It's amazing what Nephi recommends for the Book of Mormon skeptic: believe in Christ. If you do, then there's no way you can deny what the Book of Mormon teaches, because it is the word of Christ.

What does the Book of Mormon teach? It teaches all men that they should do good. That's what Christ taught (and did). What a wonderful message.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Opposite Goals

Today I was reading in 2 Nephi 24 (where Nephi quotes Isaiah 14), and a couple of things stood out to me: Obviously Satan seeks to gain followers. But we know from the scriptures that Satan will not support those who support (or obey) him (see Alma 30:60). So what is his goal? He is out to drag as many people as possible down to as low a point as he is at (sorry to end a sentence with a preposition). He wants to make everybody as miserable as he is (see 2 Nephi 2:27).
On the other hand, we know fully well what the Lord's work is (see Moses 1:39). He wants to bring as many people as possible to be where He is. He wants us to be with Him. He wants us to share in His joy and His blessings. He wants us to be like Him, to be with Him, and to have what He has. It shouldn't surprise me, I guess, but God and the devil have completely opposite goals. I guess it's just never hit me quite so hard.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thoughts from Elder Cook's Talk

I just read Elder Quentin L. Cook's most recent Conference talk. I really enjoyed it. Here is an excerpt from it that hit me hard:

A reporter for the Washington Post visited one of our Church meetings in Nigeria. The reporter interviewed one new member and told of his conversion. The reporter states:

“[He] said . . . he jumped off a city bus and walked into the [LDS Church building]. . . . He immediately liked what he heard inside [the chapel], especially that no one preached that people of other faiths were going to hell.” This echoes the feeling of numerous converts to the Church since its organization.

Our leaders have consistently counseled us “to live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. There is so great a need for civility and mutual respect among those of differing beliefs and philosophies.”

It is equally important that we be loving and kind to members of our own faith, regardless of their level of commitment or activity. The Savior has made it clear that we are not to judge each other. This is especially true of members of our own families. Our obligation is to love and teach and never give up.

I need to be more kind to everybody. I am really quick to judge--not so much those of other faiths, but those of my own who don't seem to be doing all they can. But it's not my place to judge; I just need to show unconditional love and charity, and do my best to make sure I'm keeping my own covenants.