Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Entanglements of Sin

What makes a person free and what makes him restricted?
   Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes.
Doctrine & Covenants 88:86

Have you ever had the experience of sin and its consequences taking away your freedoms?  Sin will always eventually take away our freedoms.  Have you ever had the experience of being liberated from sin and all its entanglements?  With Christ’s help, we can become free from the chains of sin.

Those are such basic and simple doctrines. Yet sometimes we find ourselves moving back into the very sins that enslaved us in the first place.  The solution is to “abide” in the liberty the Lord gives us by abiding with God.  As we focus on the Savior and all He has given us to be engaged in, we will find we don’t have the time for sin.


Today’s Takeaway: Ask for the Lord to keep you from sin every day.  Engage yourself to be close to the Lord so that you will not get tangled up again.  If you are already entangled in sin, ask the Lord to free you and strengthen you to move away from those things. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Patriarchal Blessings

 91 And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right;
 92 That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,
Doctrine & Covenants 124:91-92

Thomas S. Monson taught, “Your patriarchal blessing is your passport to peace in this life. It is a Liahona of light to guide you unerringly to your heavenly home” (Oct. 1986 General Conference). We are so blessed to be able to have this personal guidance from God in our lives.


Today’s Takeaway: When is the last time you read your patriarchal blessing? Search it for the guidance it has for you, for the season of life you are in right now. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

What the Lord Loves

Look for something the Lord loves about Hyrum Smith.
  And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.
Doctrine & Covenants 124:15

The Lord loves it when a person has integrity. But what is integrity? David A. Bednar taught, “People of integrity and honesty not only practice what they preach, they are what they preach.”  For The Strength of Youth pamphlet teaches, “Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times, no matter what the consequences. When you have integrity, you are willing to live by your standards and beliefs even when no one is watching.”


Today’s Takeaway: Think about your level of integrity as an individual. Do you show the same level of integrity at home, work, school, and with friends? Are there times you show a lack of integrity? Decide how you can become better in this area. The Lord loves it when we are people of integrity and when we are loving what is right. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Always For Thy Good

Look for why God allows the challenges of life.
  7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
 8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
Doctrine & Covenants 122:7-8

Think back on the greatest times of learning and growing for you as an individual.  Were they connected to a time of trial and difficulty in your life? Challenges, even very painful ones, have a way of helping us to grow. In these verses there seems to be two reasons for the trials of life. In verse 7 it talks about how they give us experience and are for our good.  If we will love and trust God through our trials, they will be for our good and learning (see Romans 8:28). On the other hand, if we resent God and are angry, it does us no good.  There is a saying that “the difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter” -Author unknown.

The second reason for the trials of life are in verse 8. Through all that Joseph suffered, he came to know the Lord in a greater way. In trials we come to have “fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10).  Joseph learned a lot about God in the Grove at fourteen years old, but I think Joseph came to know the Savior even more in his sufferings in Liberty Jail.  


Today’s Takeaway: Are you in a challenging time of your life right now? Are you doing all you can to stay close to the Lord and trust His goodness through the difficulties? If so, you will grow tremendously as an individual; so much so that you will one day feel it was all worth it. You will also come to know the Savior in a greater way than ever before. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Living Life with Purpose

Look for the purpose we are to have in life.
  12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
 13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
Doctrine & Covenants 123:12-13

There are so many people in life who are stumbling around in the darkness of this world. They need you to share the light you have.  Whether member or non-member, active or inactive, we all need the light we can share with each other. This is a purpose that we should “waste and wear out our lives” with.  We have one shot at this life to make a difference for good.


Today’s Takeaway: Whose life does God want you to bless today with a bit of light? I know you are tired and worn out, but do it anyway. Do something today to help someone know God loves them. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Small Choices

What does a helm have to do with our lives?
  16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
Doctrine & Covenants 123:16-17

No matter how large the ship, still the helm is quite small.  Yet small adjustments with the helm dramatically change where a ship will end up.  In a storm, the helm is critical to keeping the ship facing the right direction. So it is with choices in our lives.  Like the power of the helm, our choices decide our direction in life.  As President Thomas S. Monson often says, “Decisions determine destiny.”  Even small decisions can make huge impacts in life.


Today’s Takeaway: At the helm of your life, are there some course corrections to make so that you will arrive at the destination you want? Consider where your current course in life will take you in 5 years, 10 or 15 years. Start working on making the changes now so that you will look back on your life with satisfaction and no regret. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Be a Great Leader

Have you known people who have exhibited these traits?
 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
Doctrine & Covenants 121:41-42

We all have the opportunity to lead, whether in our homes, at work, or under the direction of a priesthood calling we have accepted. The question is if we are leading well.  There are at least nine characteristics of a great leader here. Characteristic that motivate, inspire and build confidence in others, rather than discourage, use coercion, and create fear.  God’s way to lead, rather than Satan’s way.


Today’s Takeaway: As you read the verses again, stop at each attribute and consider how you are doing with that particular trait. What could you do to be better?  Perhaps pick one characteristic to try harder with today.