Friday, January 30, 2015

Independance

Look for what the Lord wants for His Church.
14 That through my providence, notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world
Doctrine & Covenants 78:14

Through God’s providence, the Church has become independent from the World in just about every way possible:
      Educationally: Seminary and Institute programs of the Church, BYU-Provo, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, LDS Business college, Perpetual Education Fund.
      Economically: The Church does not work in debt and has its operating funds set aside for far into the future.
      Media: Deseret News, Deseret Book, KSL, BYU Broadcasting, The Ensign, New Era, Friend, lds.org, Mormon.org, Mormonchannel.org, and more.
      Food and clothing: The Church welfare farms all across the country to provide for Bishop’s Warehouses and charities worldwide. Also Deseret Industries.

The question is how are you and your family doing in these four areas? Are you getting the education you need? Are you staying out of debt and laying aside for a rainy day? Is your home full of uplifting media? Have you set aside food and clothing for challenging times?


Today’s Takeaway: Look at those four areas and decide what is the next step for you. Make a plan how to take the next step in becoming independent of the World, so you can better serve God. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"If The Savior Stood Beside Me"

Look for something here that might be hard to believe.
But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me;
Doctrine & Covenants 38:7

What a sobering truth! At this very moment, the Lord is right next to you as you are reading this.  He is omnipresent and watching.  Doctrine & Covenants 88:41 clarifies things by saying:
He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.

So should knowing the Savior is there with you change anything? I have a favorite Primary song called, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” by Sally DeFord.  The first verse goes:
        If the Savior stood beside me,
        Would I do the things I do?
        Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true?
        Would I follow His example?
        Would I live more righteously if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
        watching over me?
         
But then the last verse concludes with the realization:
        He is always near me, though I do not see Him there,
        And because He loves me dearly,
        I am in His watchful care,
        So I’ll be the kind of person that I know I’d like to be
        If I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me.


Today’s Takeaway: Try to walk through today staying aware of the Lord’s caring eyes upon you.  Strive to live today in a way that would make Him proud.  Try to live in a way that would be pleasing to Him.  The Savior really is there and watching over us with His perfect love and concern.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Sends A Person To Hell?

Anything surprising in this list of those who will suffer for their own sins, and then inherit Telestial Glory?
 103 These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.
Doctrine & Covenants 76:103

Note that those who do those things, and remain unrepentant, will suffer for their own sins in Hell, and then be delivered up to Telestial Glory (see D&C 76:105-106).  Were you surprised that dishonesty got mentioned twice? Does that make dishonesty worse than you thought it might be?  Many wonder what a “whoremonger” is.  It is those involved in sexual perversions such as prostitution; so sexuality outside of the bonds of husband and wife is mentioned twice also. One definition of a sorcerer is someone who is involved in activities that invite evil spirits.

So we should all take a moment and consider how we are doing in those three areas.  How honest are you? How could you become even more honest? Are all sexual thoughts and feeling committed to only your spouse? Do you maintain your defenses in those areas? Are there books, movies or music you participate in that invite an evil spirit in your home?


Today’s Takeaway: Evaluate the questions above and decide at least one thing you can do to be less Telestial, and more Celestial.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Between Terrestrial and Celestial

Look for what made these people Terrestrial rather than Celestial.
79 These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
Doctrine & Covenants 76:79

Did you see the key word “valiant”?  So does that mean those Terrestrial people just were not good enough to make the cut?

Let’s consider the word valiant in another context.  What would make someone a valiant basketball player on a team? Could you have a valiant member of the team that is not on the starting line up? Yes. The valiant team member is one of those trying their best; first one at practice, last to leave.  The valiant players always give their best even though they might not be the most talented players on the team.  Could you have the opposite, someone on the starting lineup that's not a valiant member of the team?  Sure; they are the kind people that their half effort is better than another’s total effort.  They are just naturally good.  So we see that valiant is not a measurement of how good a person is, but rather what kind of effort they are putting into it.

That can give us all great hope.  I don’t have to be as good as Brother or Sister ______.  To the Savior, I only need to be trying my best; even if my best isn’t nearly as good as someone else’s best. When I fall down, I get back up and keep trying. All of us who are honestly striving to follow the Lord are going to make it no matter how imperfect we are.


Today’s Takeaway: If you are sincerely trying to grow and follow the Savior, take comfort that you are going to make it to Celestial Glory. One step in front of the other.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Power of Pondering

Look for a formula for personal revelation.
 19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.
Doctrine & Covenants 76:19

Great revelations happen when men and women study the scriptures and then ponder. This is a pattern all through the ages.  This is what Joseph and Sidney were doing when they received this great revelation. When Joseph F. Smith had his vision of the Spirit World, he said “I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures” (D&C 138:1). You will see the same in Joseph Smith-History 1:8-12, Moroni 10:3-5, Helaman 10:2, and more. In my margin I wrote the simple formula:

Scriptures + Pondering = Revelation


Today’s Takeaway: When is the last time you pondered and meditated over some verses in the scriptures or some words of the Prophet? Today find a particular verse in the scriptures and take some time to ponder and chew on it.  Ask the Lord how He would want you to apply it to your life. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

An Engaged God

As Joseph and Sidney saw the Lord, why did they end this verse with an “!”?
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
Doctrine & Covenants 76:22

Of all things Joseph and Sidney could have expressed after seeing the Lord, why did they want to say, “He lives!”?  Did Joseph just want to point out to all the atheists that they were wrong? Was Joseph not 100% sure prior to this?  Perhaps it is the tense of the verb that Joseph is trying to get across. We have an active and engaged God that we worship.

In the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” it repeats the phrase “He lives” over and over again, but then says what He lives to do.

He lives to...     bless me with his love.
                        plead for me above.
                        my hungry soul to feed.
                        bless in time of need.
He lives to...     grant me rich supply.
                        guide me with his eye.
                        comfort me when faint.
                        hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to...     silence all my fears.
                        wipe away my tears.
                        calm my troubled heart.
                        all blessings to impart.

I had always been taught, what Jesus did for us: He lived a perfect example, completed the atonement so we could repent.  And I had been taught what He will do for us: He will come again, save us, resurrect us, be our judge, and give us a wonderful kingdom of glory. But I had never really considered what this song was saying.  I had never considered all that the Lord does for us.  I understood the Savior in the past tense, and the future tense, but never really considered the Lord in the present tense; a Lord who is trying just as hard to save us today, as he did 2,000 years ago in Gethsemane and on the Cross. 


Today’s Takeaway: In that hymn, look at all the Savior seeks to do for you every day.  Thank the Lord and seek to receive those things.  Try to make the Lord an active part of your life each day. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Discouragement

Look for how perfect a Celestial person needs to be:
69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
Doctrine & Covenants 76:69

Have you ever wondered if you were Celestial material? Ever just feel like you didn't have what it takes? Just not good enough? Well did you see how perfect we need to become to go to the Celestial Kingdom?  One hundred percent perfect!

The trick is that we are made “perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32). Satan goes around discouraging us saying we aren't good enough, and he is right.  Of ourselves, we will never be good enough.  But through covenant, Christ shares His perfection with us.  No matter how flawed, broken, and imperfect we are, in Christ we are “perfect”.

Did you see in the verse how good we need to be? “Just men” and women.  I take that to mean good and honorable people trying to follow Christ.


Today’s Takeaway: Recognize and accept that you are not good enough, of yourself. It is only through our covenants and relationship with the Lord that we are good enough to return to the presence of God. So today, try to focus on the Lord and thank Him for His goodness He shares with you. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Guaranteed Way To Hear God Speaking To You

Look for the promise.

3 Verily I say unto you, my servant William, that you are clean, but not all; repent, therefore, of those things which are not pleasing in my sight, saith the Lord, for the Lord will show them unto you.
Doctrine & Covenants 66:3

Would you like a guaranteed way to hear God speaking to you? The secret is right there in that verse.  If you are asking God, “What changes should I be making in my life?” you will start to feel God directing you. If you keep asking God what things He wants you to change, “the Lord will show them unto you.

Today’s Takeaway: Ask the Lord what changes He wants you to make in your life.  If you will do it with real intent, you will feel God directing your mind and communicating to you. It can be scary and a bit painful to realize how we need to change, but it is so worth it, and you will find yourself closer with God. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Personal Stewardship Interview With The Savior

3 And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity.
Doctrine & Covenants 72:3

The Lord has made each one of us stewards. Our stewardship is the talents, abilities, blessings, and people He has placed in our lives to look after and help.  One day we will give an account of our stewardship to the Lord.

In 1965, President David O. McKay made the following statement to a group of Church employees:
"Let me assure you, Brethren, that someday you will have a personal priesthood interview with the Savior himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities."
"First, he will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?"
"Second, he will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child."
"Third, he will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the preexistence."
"Fourth, he will want a summary of your activity in your Church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but he will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellow man in your Church assignments."
"Fifth, he will have no interest in how you earned your living but if you were honest in all your dealings."
"Sixth, he will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world."
(Found in Robert D. Hales, BYU Devotional March 15, 1988)


Today’s Recharge: Are you taking your stewardship seriously? Are you trying to bless your family and improve upon what you have been given?  Take a moment and write down, in order, how to do better with each of the six areas President McKay said the Savior would want to know from us. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Get Off The Sidelines

Has this prophecy been fulfilled yet?

2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.
Doctrine & Covenants 65:2

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is coming true; the stone (the Gospel and God’s Kingdom) has been cut out of the mountain without hands and is now filling the earth.  The battle between good and evil is raging like never before? It’s going to be a nail-biter. Many times it is going to seem like evil is going to win.  But we have the promise that the Lord will pull off the victory with us in the end.

So knowing who’s going to win, have you decided which side you will be fighting for?  Are you doing your part to help build up the Kingdom of God here on the earth, and help your fellow man?  Are you accepting callings, sharing your faith, and serving others? Or are you more of a spectator?   


Today’s Takeaway: Life was never meant to be a spectator sport.  You have a valuable and important role that the Lord wants you to fill here on earth. Do all you can so you can look back on the victory with satisfaction on the part you played, and not regret. Get off the sidelines and into the game.  Are you in?

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's The Little Things

What does this verse have to do with a watermelon?

33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Doctrine & Covenants 64:33

What are some seemingly “small things” people have done that made a big different for you?  I asked my class that question and they listed things like:

  • Someone saying hello
  • A random text or phone call letting you know you are in someone’s thoughts
  • A hug
  • A sincere compliment
  • A "How are you doing?"
  • A smile
  • Loving concern

Sometimes the smallest action can turn someone’s day around. It is like how one watermelon seed, planted at the right time and conditions, can produce a wonderful amount of good fruit.  So keep doing those small things. 

Today’s Takeaway: Think about this list, How can you do one of these small things that could bless someone’s life.  How ccan you let someone know they matter?  Here is a challenge: in the next 24 hours do one of these small things to some unsuspecting person.  You might be surprised what a big difference a small thing can make.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fire Insurance

Look for a comforting promise here.
23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
Doctrine & Covenants 64:23

I've suggested to my students to write the words, “Fire Insurance” next to verse 23.  Can you see why? It would seem that those who pay their tithing are promised they won’t be burned when the Lord returns.  But it is interesting to note that at the time this verse was given, the Church was not practicing the Law of Tithing. They were trying to live a United Order type of life. So the word “tithing” here could represent all free will offerings.

Jesus taught, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). So does 10% of your treasure return to God in the form of tithing?  A person may claim a great deal about their devotion and love for God.  But if the Lord does not have your sacrifice of tithing, He does not really have claim on your heart at all. What does where you place your treasure say about your heart?

Today’s Takeaway: If you are not already, take that leap of faith and devotion to God and pay your tithing. Surrender your treasure, and thus your heart, to the Lord who loves you so much and wants to pour you out a blessing greater than the sacrifice of your treasure. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why Should I Forgive? Part Two

9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

Wait! No matter how great the sin against me, if I decide not to forgive, I’ve committed a “greater sin”?  How can that be? Perhaps it is because when we refuse to forgive, we are moving into the shoes of Satan himself. The Lord wants to save, heal and help each of us progress, while Satan wants to hurt, and keep us in misery and pain. Lucifer wants to damn and keep us from progressing in any way possible. 

Think of the feelings you have had when you have not wanted to forgive? Can you imagine that feeling being a bit like how Satan might feel? Was there a desire to have that other person hurt and suffer?  Then you have had a taste of what Satan feels and wants for all of us.  You can say you have had satanic feelings.

Now if the other person has done something criminal, or broken rules, they need to be brought to justice in order to help them to repent and move forward.  But outside of that, forgiveness is the path that is best for all.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you been acting like a little Satan? Escape the bitterness and chaos. Forgive. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why Should I Forgive? Part One

 10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
 11 And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.
Doctrine & Covenants 64:10-11

Take a moment and think. What is the hardest thing you have ever had to forgive? Have you ever wanted to hold a grudge against someone who hurt you? With those thoughts in mind, why does the Lord make it “required” that we “forgive all men”. Sure, the other person gets benefits out of us forgiving them, but do we get anything out of it to make it worth it?  More than anyone. 

When we don’t forgive, it perpetuates our hurts and keeps our wounds open and fresh. Although the offence may have happened years ago, an unforgiving heart allows the perpetrator to hurt you afresh every time their actions or words comes to mind.  Buddha is attributed to having said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison, and expecting the other person to die.” And so often, the other person has forgotten about what they did, or really doesn’t care about your feelings.

But what about justice? Verse 11 covers that.  Also the Lord has said, “Justice is mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19).  

Today’s Recharge: Is there someone you need to forgive?  Don’t let them hurt, control, or ruin your life anymore!  Be set free by forgiving.  If you are not sure how, talk to a Church leader. Pray to God and ask Him how. With God’s help, you can be truly free. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Skewed Perspective

 4 And they shall also be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments not a few, and with revelations in their time—they that are faithful and diligent before me.
Doctrine & Covenants 59:4

The context of this verse is that the Lord was speaking to the Church members who had just gotten to Zion, and He was sharing some of the wonderful things they could expect.  Do you see them in the verse? “Blessings from above… revelations in their time… commandments not a few”.  Wait; can we really think of getting more commandments as a wonderful thing?  In this coming Conference, if the Prophet were to say, “The Lord has revealed to me ten additional commandments we are to now live by…” would your shoulders slouch forward, and would you say, “Oh no…”?  Or would you be thrilled?

As usual, Satan has tried to turn things around.  Satan has tried to get people to believe that the commandments are a burden, rather than a blessing.  Look for what Joseph Smith taught about the connection of commandments and happiness. He said, “[God] never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of His law and ordinances.”
( History of the Church, 5:135. )

I love how he says “calculated” to bring happiness.  So if you really believe that teaching, then the more commandments, the better.  Glenn L. Pace said it this way, “The commandments you observe were not given by a dispassionate God to prevent you from having fun, but by a loving Father in Heaven who wants you to be happy while you are living on this earth as well as in the hereafter."


Today’s Takeaway: Think through the commandments.  Is there a single one that won’t leave you far happier in the end? Can you see how the breaking of that commandment will eventually lead to misery? Is there a particular commandment where you have been in rebellion to God?  Surrender to God in that area so you can avoid the misery and embrace the greater happiness.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

No Fear

I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
Doctrine & Covenants 38:30

We live in a time when it can seem like impending doom is just around every corner.  Now days, anxiety is a very common ailment.  How can we live without fear?  Like the verse says, “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”
            So how do we prepare so we need not fear? Let’s look at a few areas:
·         Spiritually:  Are you totally committed to following Jesus Christ.  Is there some areas you need to recommit yourself? Are you committed to following His prophets?
·         Socially: Are you committed to blessings the lives of your family and others? 
·         Emotionally: Are there people you need to ask for forgiveness or you need to forgive? Are you living in an emotionally healthy way?
·         Financially: Are you striving to avoid and get out of debt? Could you deal with economic trouble like the loss of a job?  Do you have food storage?


Today’s Takeaway: Consider if there is any of those areas listed in which you live in fear. What if today was your last day on earth?  What would you need to make right first? What things can you do to be better prepared? Most of all, what do you need to do to be a fully committed follower of Jesus Christ?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Feelings for Sin

Crying repentance, saying: Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh.
Doctrine & Covenants 36:6

Do you have a thing for sin? How should we feel about sin?  Doctrine and Covenants 36:6 gives a great word picture.  In ancient times there were many kinds of skin disease like leprosy.  Although the people would try to place bandages to stem the infections, the disease would break through the skin. Not surprisingly, in Leviticus 13:52 they were commanded to burn the clothing which had contact with the disease.  Here the disease and the spotted garments are a metaphor for sin. So how should we feel about sin?  What feelings do you associate with sin?  Hatred? Disgust? Are you repulsed by sin?  Or are you interested, perhaps curious about sin?  When you see immoral images on TV, are you sickened, or a little bit fascinated? Does violence on TV draw you in?  Surely, you would never do those kinds of things, but are you entertained by watching others sin?  Media has a way of desensitizing us to what is naturally vulgar, immoral, and repulsive.  Alexander Pope observed:
     “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
     As to be hated needs but to be seen;
     Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
     We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Does the notion of sexual immorality repulse you as much as chewing tobacco? Or rubbing up against someone with breaking infections on their skin?

Today’s Takeaway: Our hearts need to change so that we are just as disgusted by sin as a bandage oozing with the plague.  Think of a sin where, instead of feeling sick by it, you have allowed yourself to feel curious or fascinated.  What will you need to do to change your feelings about that sin so that you despise it?  A change in media choices?  Change in friends? Start that road today to change how you feel about sin.

I hope these "Recharges" are helpful for you.  As you probably know, "Liking" a page on FaceBook does not mean you will see it in your feed.  So if you want to make sure you get these each day, make sure you subscribe to the blog by putting in your email. Also, please feel free to “Share” on Facebook to let others know what you like.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Letting It Go

 42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
 43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.
Doctrine & Covenants 58:42-43

Are you one of those people that when you’re totally sick, you will still avoid vomiting at all costs? Some of my children are like that.  No matter how awful they feel, they will avoid throwing up; and if they do vomit, they will try to let out as little as possible.  But slowly they are learning that after throwing up, and getting it ALL out, they start to feel a lot better.

When serving as a bishop, I have seen that it is the same with people coming to confess sins. They have already done the hardest part by coming to my office, but then they are seriously tempted to only partially confess what they did wrong, or not totally own up to it. So I have used this analogy and invited them to just get it all out, and reassured them how much better they will feel afterwards.

It doesn't matter if it is the type of sin you confess to the Lord, a bishop, or the type of sins we confess to those we hurt; confession brings relief. All sin brings us down and makes us depressed, angry, lonely, and spiritually sick. Don’t try to learn to live with it like so many do. Foolishly, some try to deal with the long term misery in order to avoid the short term pain of confession. The short term pain is worth the long term enjoyment of finally being free from the mistake.  


Today’s Recharge: Whether needing to confess to the Lord, a bishop, spouse, or just someone you have hurt, you are going to feel much better once you have gotten it out and owned up to your behavior. Is there some sin in your life you have not confessed to the person you need to? Like the song says, “Let it go” by confessing and rediscover the freedom from sin that the Lord gives us. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Yesterday, Tomorrow, or Today?

8 And verily I say unto thee, thine heart is now right before me at this time; and, behold, I have bestowed great blessings upon thy head;
 9 Nevertheless, thou hast seen great sorrow, for thou hast rejected me many times because of pride and the cares of the world.
Doctrine & Covenants 39:8-9

Sections 39 and 40 are very interesting sections of the Doctrine & Covenants. James Covill was a Methodist preacher who had pastored for forty years, but when he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he accepted it and said that he would obey any command given from the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith.  So Section 39 is the Lord’s revelation to him where he is told, “thine heart is now right before me at this time;”  Yet in Section 40 we learn that James Covill changed his mind and rejected the Gospel.  So here is the question: why did an omniscient, all knowing God, give this beautiful revelation to James Covill, if He knew James would shortly turn around and reject it?  For that matter, why does God work with so many people that He knows will later turn their hearts away from Him?

It is because of this important principle: God works with us in the present tense.  Although He sees all of the past, present, and future clearly, God works with us in the present.  You could go to a Patriarch and find many beautiful revelations from the Lord to people who have now turned far away from God.  So why were the beautiful blessings given?  Because if those young men and women would have continued on the path they were on that day as they got those blessings, then all of those things would have come true.

God does not work with us based on our past.  He does not work with us according to what He knows we will do.  He works with us how we are today.

Today’s Takeaway: So when is the last time you recommitted yourself to the Lord?  Did you do it on Sunday with the Sacrament?  How about this morning? Today, are you fully committed to Him?  God doesn’t care so much about how you have run the race, as much as how you are running the race of life today. How can you live for the Lord today?

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Heart for the Suffering

And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.
Doctrine & Covenants 42:31

For many years we talked about the three-fold mission of the Church: proclaim the Gospel, perfect the saints, and redeem the dead.  Now in the most recently updated handbook of the Church, instead of them being called missions, they are referred to as purposes of the Church. And instead of there being just three purposes, a fourth has been added: "to care for the poor and needy". Of course, anyone who is familiar with the efforts of the Church has always seen this important work going on in the Church. In the early days, the Law of Consecration was practiced through the “United Order” to help care for those in need.  And today through Fast offerings and other charitable contributions, there is no limit to how much we can give to help others.

The Lord has always shown a special place in His heart for the poor and suffering. As Christ’s disciples, there are many ways we can help the poor and suffering. Two ways are by contributions to Fast offerings and to the Humanitarian Aid Fund. 

How much should we give?  C.S. Lewis taught, “If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Today’s Takeaway: How are you and your family doing with this important purpose God has given to his true disciples? Is there a small bit more you can give to help relieve the suffering in the world? A little goes a long way.