Showing posts from July, 2013

Seeing Above the Trials

I thought I'd list a smattering of quotes that have had a deep impact on my life, particularly during difficult times.  I imagine others probably experience trials as well, so I hope something here will bring some sort of comfort or perspective to endure, persist, and triumph.  Trials are specifically calculated for our individual exaltation.  God is profoundly aware of you and me, His children.  He loves us infinitely and will bless us tremendously as we are faithful to Him.  I testify and witness (have personal knowledge of, give a firsthand account of something experienced) that this is true.  Enjoy! "The cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy ."  - Neal A. Maxwell “As [you] endure rejection, loneliness, self-doubt, homesickness, exhaustion, and temptation, the refiner’s fire will purify [your] soul . [You] will increase in wisdom and grow up in the Lord, and, as [you] stay faithful, [your] confidence will

Tribe of Levi

Of all the tribes of Israel, why is Levi singled out as those assigned as priests in the temple?  Did they receive a land inheritance with the other tribes?  What are we to make of the sons of Levi offering up an offering in righteousness? Levi and Simeon - two of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) - were rather impertinent individuals.  They were "instruments of cruelty," quick to anger, and murderers (Gen. 49:5-6).  As a result, they would be cursed and scattered within Israel.  Simeon received a land inheritance, but it was surrounded by Judah and eventually assimilated, never to be recognized individually again (Deut. 33).  In the great census of Moses (reason for the name of his book of Numbers), Levi is specifically excluded from the rest of the tribes (Num. 1:47-49).  The tribe of Levi was not given a land inheritance like the rest of the tribes, but was scattered throughout the area (Josh. 13:33). Stratford pointing out parts of the Negev, portions of which we

Relationships With Deity

One of the consummate truths restored by Joseph Smith is the individuality of the Godhead .  In his great theophany that spring morning of 1820, Joseph saw with his mortal - yet transfigured - eyes two separate Personages "whose brightness and glory defy all description" (JSH 1:17).  God, the Eternal Father - the Man of Holiness - and His Only Begotten in  the flesh, Jesus Christ, showed themselves to this young boy of 14.  In those few moments, Joseph learned more about God than had been known for centuries previous. Jesus, Himself, taught that eternal life - the greatest of all the gifts of God (D&C 14:7) - is coming to know who God is: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God , and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent" (John 17:3).  Joseph Smith taught that "correct ideas of the character of God are necessary in order to the exercise of faith in him unto life and salvation; and that without correct ideas of his character th

Small and Simple

We are all familiar with the scripture in Alma 37:6, where Alma points out to his son, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."  What is Alma even talking about when he says this?  Study the scriptures?  Pray often?  No, these may be excellent applications for us, but they are not what Alma was referring to originally.  I think the background of this statement brings illumination to why this principle is so powerful and the absolute essentiality of the "mundane" gospel requirements. The great father figure Alma is having a little personal interview with each of his sons.  This was probably after a nice family home evening and before the next day when Helaman and his brothers would head out on missions to preach the gospel (Alma 43).  After delivering a beautifully prepared commentary on his conversion story (considering the precise parallel structure and chiasmus of Alma 36 compared to the original account in Mosiah 27, Alma obviously has g

Sacramental Symbols

I've been contemplating the sacrament lately and wanted to write a few thoughts I've been reflecting on.  I know I can increase the significance of the sacrament in my life, particularly when I think of Elder Oak's comment, "The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the church" ( Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament , Oct. 2008).  A deeper understanding of the sacrament may give us a greater appreciation for it. Gethsemane Basic symbols include the clean white cloth covering the body and blood of Christ (like the linen covering His body in the tomb), the whole bread being torn and broken for us (as His body was), the wine/water we drink and make a part of us (the blood He shed in Gethsemane and the water that came from His side on the Cross [John 19:34]), and the sacrifices that this ordinance replaced (an unblemished, first-born, male lamb brought to the priest to be killed in your behalf). Paul