Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
He begins, Repentance is not easy or painless or convenient. It is a bitter cup from Hell. But only Satan, who dwells there, would have you think that a necessary and required acknowledgment is more distasteful than permanent residence. Only he would say, “You can’t change. You won’t change. It’s too long and too hard to change. Give up. Give in. Don’t repent. You are just the way you are.” That, my friends, is a lie born of desperation. Don’t fall for it.
As you know, the Brethren used to announce in general conference the names of those who had been called on missions. Not only was this the way friends and neighbors learned of the call, more often than not it was the way the missionary learned of it as well. One such prospect was Eli H. Pierce. A railroad man by trade, he had not been very faithful in Church meetings—“even had my inclinations led in that direction, which I frankly confess they did not,” he admitted. His mind had been given totally to what he demurely calls “temporalities.” He said he had never read more than a few pages of scripture in his life and that he had spoken to only one public gathering (an effort which he says was no credit to himself or those who heard him). He used the vernacular of the railroad and the barroom with a finesse born of long practice. He bought cigars wholesale—a thousand at a time—and he regularly lost his paycheck playing pool. Then this classic understatement: “Nature never endowed me with a superabundance of religious sentiment; my spirituality was not high and probably even a little below average.”
Well, the Lord knew what Eli Pierce was, and he knew something else. He knew what I’m pleading for today. He knew what Eli Pierce could become. When the call came that October 5 in 1875, Eli wasn’t even in the Tabernacle. He was out working on one of the railroad lines. A fellow employee, once recovered from the shock of it all, ran out to telegraph the startling news. Brother Pierce writes, “At the very moment this intelligence was being flashed over the wires, I was sitting lazily thrown back in an office rocking chair, my feet on the desk, reading a novel and simultaneously sucking on an old Dutch pipe just to vary the monotony of cigar smoking.”
He goes on. “As soon as I had been informed of what had taken place, I threw the novel in the waste basket, the pipe in a corner [and have never touched either to this hour]. I sent in my resignation . . . to take effect at once, in order that I might have time for study and preparation. I then started into town to buy [scripture].”
Then these stirring words:
Remarkable as it may seem, and has since appeared to me, a thought of disregarding the call, or of refusing to comply with the requirement, never once entered my mind. The only question I asked—and I asked it a thousand times—was: “How can I accomplish this mission? How can I, who am so shamefully ignorant and untaught in doctrine, do honor to God and justice to the souls of men, and merit the trust reposed in me by the Priesthood?”
With such genuine humility fostering resolution rather than defeating it, Eli Pierce fulfilled a remarkable mission. His journal could appropriately close on a completely renovated life with this one line: “Throughout our entire mission we were greatly blessed.” But I add one experience to make the point.
During his missionary service, Brother Pierce was called in to administer to the infant child of a branch president whom he knew and loved. Unfortunately, the wife of the branch president had become embittered and now seriously objected to any religious activity within the home, including a blessing for this dying child. With the mother refusing to leave the bedside and the child too ill to move, this humble branch president with his missionary friend retired to a small upper room in the house to pray for the baby’s life. The mother, suspecting just such an act, sent one of the older children to observe and report back.
There in that secluded chamber the two knelt and prayed fervently until, in Brother Pierce’s own words, “we felt that the child would live and knew that our prayers had been heard.” Arising from their knees, they turned slowly only to see the young girl standing in the partially open doorway gazing intently into the room. She seemed, however, quite oblivious to the movements of the two men. She stood entranced for some seconds, her eyes immovable. Then she said, “Papa, who was that . . . man in there?”
Her father said, “That is Brother Pierce. You know him.”
“No,” she said, matter-of-factly, “I mean the other man.”
“There was no other, darling, except Brother Pierce and myself. We were praying for baby.”
“Oh, there was another man,” the child insisted, “for I saw him standing [above] you and Brother Pierce and he was dressed [all] in white.”
Now if God in his heavens will do that for a repentant old cigar-smoking, inactive, swearing pool player, don’t you think he’ll do it for you? He will if your resolve is as deep and permanent as Eli Pierce’s. In this Church we ask for faith, not infallibility. (See Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, pp. 407–13.)
Friday, August 28, 2009
“Through the ages , some persons without spiritual understanding, have tried to explain our existence by pretentious words such as ex nihilo (out of nothing). Others have deduced that, because of certain similarities between different forms of life, there has been a natural selection of the species, or organic revolution from one form to another. Still others have concluded that man came as a consequence of a “big bang”, which resulted in the creation of our planet and life upon it.
Top me, such theories are unbelievable. Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary? It is unthinkable! One might argue that it is within the realm of possibility, but even if that could happen, such a dictionary would certainly not heal its own torn pages, renew its own worn out corners or reproduce its own subsequent editions.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
"Our Message for the World," says M. Russell Ballard Jr., one of the 14 apostles
just under Monson, "is that we are His children, we lived with Him before we
came here ... we're striving to keep His commandments so that when we die we can
be entitled to receive all the blessings that the Heavenly Father has for His
children." Ballard adds emphatically, "People like to make it complex. But it's
really pretty simple."
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Said the Lord in a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, “In
nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those
who confess not his hand in all things.”10
May we be found among those who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father. If
ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place
among the noblest of virtues.
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny
fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys
scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will
disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.
Monday, March 16, 2009
"Prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all our
"We are promised that if we pray sincerely for that which is right and good
and in accordance with God’s will, we can be blessed, protected, and directed
(see 3 Nephi 18:20; D&C
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Praying for others with all of the energy of our souls increases our
capacity to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord.
Speaking of Lehi:
The vision came in response to a prayer for others and
not as a result of a
request for personal edification or guidance.
Do our spouses, children, and other family members likewise feel the power
of our prayers offered unto the Father for their specific needs and desires? Do
those we serve hear us pray for them with faith and sincerity? If those we love
and serve have not heard and felt the influence of our earnest prayers in their
behalf, then the time to repent is now. As we emulate the example of the Savior,
our prayers truly will become more meaningful.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, if it please
the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my
request: For we are sold, I and my people to be destroyed, to be slain and
Who is he, and where is he that durst presume in his heart to do so?
The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Go gather together all the Jews that are present in the Shushan and fast ye for
me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my
maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not
according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
"what would you like. I will give you any request, up to half of theEsther no doubt thought for a moment- maybe I should just ask him now- that is a pretty good offer- but she doesn't. She came in with a plan, knowing what she was going to say- a plan that she had no doubt prayed about, and had all planned out. Instead of asking him right then- she invites the King, and Haman to a banquet- that evening.
Let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I
will do tomorrow as the king hath said.
And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Tersh, two
of the kings chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay had on the
And the king said, what honor and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for
this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is
nothing done for him.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
After twelve months of purification, the virgins were brought before the king. When it was Esther's turn- everyone liked her- including the King.
Esther 2:15 and 17-
And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her. And the
King loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his
sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head,
and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Mordecai, while at his duty watching the king's gate, found out about a conspiracy. Two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, were mad at the king and conspiring to kill him. Mordecai told Esther about it, Esther reported it- in Mordecai's name. When it was looked into- and found out to be true- the two were killed. All of this was recorded in the book of the chronicles.
Haman got promoted to be the King's chief of staff. He required, in his new position, that all the guards bow to him. Mordecai wouldn't bow to him. This really chapped Haman- "Haman was full of wrath"- the scripture says- and it didn't take long before Haman hated Mordecai. At first Haman was just going to kill Mordecai- but when finding out he was a Jew- he decided to have all the Jews throughout the kingdom killed instead.
So- Haman goes before the king- and tells him that there is a certain group of people (he doesn't name them by name) who have different laws. he tells the king that they are not keeping his laws- and it doesn't benefit the king to have them around. He should dispose of the people.
The king tells Haman- here is my ring- go ahead and do what you think is best. I picture his ring being a type of "stamp." I can see in my mind's eye- Haman writing a proclamation- and rolling it up- putting some hot wax on the closure- and stamping it with the king's ring. I don't know if that's really how it works- but that's how I see it playing out. In a later scripture- the message is "sealed with the king's ring." (E3:12) The word was spread to all the provinces- that the Jews were to be killed on this certain day.
Mordecai, of course, was very upset. He went before the king's gate in sackcloth and ashes, which is not allowed- but he didn't care. All of the Jews were mourning and fasting and weeping. Esther's chambermaids told her about Mordecai. She sent out clothes for Mordecai, but he refused them. Esther sent someone to go ask Mordecai what was going on. And via this messenger- Esther found out the fate of her people. Mordecai asked Esther to bring it up with the king, and see if she couldn't get him to change his mind.
This might seem easy enough- but appearing before the king uninvited was a risk to your life. If the king did not put forth his scepter to you- you were killed- as simple as that. Furthermore- the king had not summoned Esther in over a month.
All the king's servants and the people of that king's provinces do know that
whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court,
who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to
whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live; but I have
not been called to come unto the king these thirty days.
...to be continued
Monday, February 23, 2009
And he brought up... Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither
father or mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her
father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged
her that she should not show it.And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the woman's house, to
know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
- 1 Nephi 1:20- I Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he has chosen because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.
- 2 Nephi 9:51- 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, and let your soul delight in fatness.
- Jacob 4:10- Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.
- Enos 1:15- Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.
- Omni 1:26- And now my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the holy one of Israel, and partake of his salvation and the power of his redemption, Yea come unto him and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting ands praying and endure to the end, and as the Lord liveth, ye will be saved.
- Words of Mormon 1:7- And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore he worketh in me to do according to his will.
- Mosiah 24:14- And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as a witness for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Her son, Joseph Smith III asked her about the plates- here is her response:
The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped
in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I
once felt the plates, as they lay on the table, tracing their outline and
shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle wit h
a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes
thumb the edges of a book...I moved them from place to place on the table, as it
was necessary in doing my work.
In her 74th year she said of her husband, Joseph Smith,
"I believe he was everything he professed to be."
A quote form her patriarchal blessing:
"The holy angels shall watch over thee; and thou shalt be saved in
the kingdom of God even so, Amen."