Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Character of God

What attributes of God are shown in this verse?
  Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.
Doctrine & Covenants 29:5

Sometimes our problem isn't knowing if God is real or not.  Our problem is who we think God is and the character of God.  I like what this verse shows about God.  First He tells us we can be glad and have happy hearts. The reason is that He is close by and watching over us.  Then He explains He is our advocate. That means He supports us and is on our side. The Lord naturally favors us and will do all He can for us to succeed.  It is His good will to give us His Kingdom.    

Today’s Takeaway: God is good. He is pulling for us.  Consider today how loving and good the Lord is, even when we don’t understand the difficulties around us.  In the end, we will see how everything in life was for everyone’s eventual good, if we will trust in the Lord (Romans 8:28). 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Americans’ Idols

Look for the characteristic of Idolatry today.
  They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
Doctrine & Covenants 1:16

Do you have a problem with idolatry? I used to think I didn't have a problem with it until I read scriptures like this. Consider what Spencer W. Kimball taught about idolatry today.

“Modern idols or false gods can take such forms as clothes, homes, businesses, machines, automobiles, pleasure boats, and numerous other material deflectors from the path to godhood… Intangible things make just as ready gods. Degrees and letters and titles can become idols. … Many people build and furnish a home and buy the automobile first—and then find they “cannot afford” to pay tithing. Whom do they worship? Certainly not the Lord of heaven and earth. … Many worship the hunt, the fishing trip, the vacation, the weekend picnics and outings. Others have as their idols the games of sport, baseball, football, the bullfight, or golf. … Still another image men worship is that of power and prestige. … These gods of power, wealth, and influence are most demanding and are quite as real as the golden calves of the children of Israel in the wilderness. (The Miracle of Forgiveness, 40, 41–42).

Today’s Takeaway: Consider what things grab your attention when you don’t have to think about anything at all. Think about the list above. Are any of those things an idol in your life? Do they get precedence over God and the things of God? Perhaps the big lesson is to make priorities of the things that matter most. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Led by God’s Hand

Does this verse remind you of a particular hymn?
10 Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.
Doctrine & Covenants 112:10

Can you think of what Hymn comes from that verse? Hymn 130, “Be Thou Humble”.  What a beautiful image where we learn how we can have God lead us “by the hand”. So what is the connection between humility, and receiving God’s guiding hand in our lives?  Consider a when a child is being prideful and obstinate.  He doesn’t want is parent’s hand or guidance.  The child wants to do his own will rather than what his parents want. So God will often let us older children see what our stubbornness and rebellion leads to.  This humbles us to the point that we are willing again to seek God’s hand in our lives, and His will for us.

The biggest insight I have had in learning to be humble is to realize that I am no better than anyone else.  In God’s eyes, there are people who have never committed a sin (Christ only), and the rest of us who desperately need His goodness and grace to make it back.  So we are no better than anyone else.  Our failures, successes, sins and good attributes may be different, but we are all in the same boat trying to make it back to the Lord’s presence.

Today’s Takeaway: Our own way leads to disaster and unhappiness. May we humble ourselves and realize how desperately we need God’s hand in our lives.  Ask for his help, acknowledging how much you need Him, and He will be there for you and help guide you. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Coming Before God

Look for one of the purposes of Temples in this Dedicatory Prayer.
  For thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulation; and out of our poverty we have given of our substance to build a house to thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people.
Doctrine & Covenants 109:5

Although the Lord can manifest Himself anywhere He chooses, the Temple is a special and unique place where we can feel the Lord close. We go there to serve others. People often go to the Temple to receive specific direction and enlightenment on a concern. But people also go just to partake and renew themselves in His presence.  The Temple helps us know God better and receive the nourishment and perspective we need.

Today’s Recharge: If possible, figure out a time in the near future to go to the temple and renew yourself.  Open yourself up and seek to feel His Presence there.  You will if you are seeking it. Seek and you shall find.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Strengthening Exercises

Four ways to strengthen those around us.
  Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.
Doctrine & Covenants 108:7

Have you ever been strengthened by another person.  Some people just know how to empower others.  We can be those people.  In that verse, we are commanded to strengthen others and are given four ways to do it.
Conversations: When you are talking to someone, can they tell you care about them? Do they know you are listening? How often do you give a specific compliments and reinforce the good you see?
Prayers: Sometimes we think that if God is going to bless someone, He is going to do it, so what difference do our prayers make? But that is just not how the economy of Heaven works. All over in scripture we are shown how prayers make a huge difference in the outcome of things and people. Prayer changes things! Our prayers should not be a last resort; they should be a first resort.
Exhortations: Do you encourage and kindly challenge those around you for good?
Doings: There are so many ways that we can bless and strengthen those around us by doing things for them, verbal and nonverbal.

Today’s Takeaway: Think of those you will interact with today at home and away. Look at the four ways we can strengthen others and decide some small thing you can do to build someone up on their way through life. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Resisting God

Look for what Lyman was resisting.
  Therefore, let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing, and resist no more my voice.
Doctrine & Covenants 108:2

God had been speaking to Lyman. Through the gentle promptings of the Spirit, the Lord had been telling Lyman to go seek counsel from Joseph Smith. But apparently, Lyman has been resisting.  Why would anyone resist God’s voice?  Doesn't everyone want God to speak to them more? Often not, because when the Lord speaks to us, He is may be asking us to do things that are out of our comfort zone. So here the Lord tells all of us to “resist no more my voice.”

What would happen if every single time the Lord prompted you to do something, no matter what, you did it?  Would promptings become more frequent?  I am sure you would have the Lord speaking to you and directing you more in life.  On the other hand, what if every time the Lord nudged you, you ignored the prompting? Would the rate of how often you got promptings go up or down?  I think they would go down. Why would the Lord speak to someone who refuses to listen and act?  I think our living Prophet is a perfect example of this.  By being resolute in always following even the least promptings of the Spirit, President Monson has learned to easily recognize God’s voice, and the Lord knows he can count on His directions being followed. This has made him a much used instrument in God’s hands.

Today’s Recharge: Be listening today. I am almost sure that today, each one of us will receive a prompting to help someone or do something good. If you follow that prompting (even if you are not 100% positive it is the Lord speaking to you) you will learn to recognize and hear God’s voice better.  Soon we will become the kind of disciple the Lord goes to when He wants something to get done.  And that is an unspeakable honor. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Decide Once, Decide Now

Look for why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom
4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—
Doctrine & Covenants 89:4

Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and other substances are not only harmful to our bodies, they cause great amounts of misery to the users, and people around them.  But if that wasn’t enough, it seems there is conspiracy and evil behind how these things are marketed. Tobacco and alcohol companies have been repeatedly sued for advertising to youth and manipulating their products to produce greater dependence. Perhaps it is motivated by greed, but these things are not by accident.

So when is the best time to decide not to ever touch these products? At the moment when you are tempted?  How often should you decided?  Every time there is a new temptation? President Spencer W Kimball taught, “Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again.  You need only to decide some things once.  How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation” (President Kimball Speaks Out, Deseret Book Co., 1981, p. 94). 

Today’s Takeaway: You might want to write in your scriptures by D&C 89:4, “Decide Once, Decide Now”.  Decide today how you will live the Word of Wisdom.  If the common aspects of the Word of Wisdom are not a temptation for you, think of ways that you can eat and live more healthy.   

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Disturber & Annoyer

Look for if it is okay to be a disturber and annoyer.
   He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, “Never mind, all is well—I am well enough off.” I then said to my mother, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?
Joseph Smith-History 1:20

So is it okay? Joseph labeled himself here as a disturber and annoyer –to Satan and his kingdom. How would you like that?  How would you like to be one of those people who make Satan so angry he says, “Oh that man (or woman) annoys me so bad! He disturbs all my great plans for the misery and sorrow of everyone around him!” Followed by the sound of his usually wailing and of teeth gnashing.

If you want to be one of those people who really make Satan so mad, just be a firm follower of Christ.  You will end up doing so much good for so many around you that Satan will despise you.  But don’t worry, God has you in His hands. 

Today’s Takeaway: Live life on the edge. Decide today to be a disturber and annoyer of Satan’s kingdom.  Be a completely dedicated follower of Christ and you will have countless opportunities to help and heal and bless other’s lives. You will help save many from so much sorrow and misery. And that will be incredibly annoying and disturbing to Satan.    

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Engaged Parenting

Look for a lesson about good parenting.
   He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, “Never mind, all is well—I am well enough off.” I then said to my mother, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?
Joseph Smith-History 1:20

There are at least two great lessons here about parenting. First is about being in the right place at the right time.  Lucy Smith was there for her son Joseph. I bet she was doing some kind of work at the time when Joseph got back from the grove, but she was still aware of each member of the family. She saw that something was up with Joseph without him having to say anything. The family members knew she was available for them. 

Second is that she “inquired what the matter was”.  She was observant and asked questions to engage in each family member’s lives. As parents, it is easy to be so engrossed in our own doings that we overlook others.  

Today’s Takeaway: If you are a parent, take time each day to see how everyone is doing.  Take time to ask questions and engage. Look for those nonverbal clues.  If you aren't a parent yet, decide now to be involved and look out for each family member. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Knowing For Yourself

What words show a change in Joseph’s Testimony?
   He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, “Never mind, all is well—I am well enough off.” I then said to my mother, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?
Joseph Smith-History 1:20

I love those words of Joseph’s “I have learned for myself”. For a long time Joseph had paid the price.  Verses 8-20 show the great struggle to get the testimony he needed.  He had studied it out in great detail, pondered, prayed, studied scripture, and more.  And finally he got the answer he needed from God. At 14 he could have just gone along with what other family members were doing and joined their religions (see verse 7).  But instead, he knew he had to find out for himself. 

Heber C Kimball taught, "The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light.  Each will have to be guided by the light within himself." Thank goodness for the borrowed light parents, teachers, and others have shared with us.  But eventually we must know for ourselves from God, that we are aligned with His will.

Today’s Recharge: Through God’s Spirit, have you learned for yourself? If you have already gained that testimony, reflect back on how you gained it and how to strengthen it and share it.  If you haven’t found out for yourself yet, study and follow the pattern in Joseph Smith-History 1:8-20. You have to know for yourself. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Bound Tongue

Look for what Satan’s technique is.
  After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
Joseph Smith-History 1:15

This is not unique Joseph. Satan tries to bind our tongues all the time.  He tries to get us to not say the things we should.  For instance, have you ever felt this binding when you should introduce yourself to a new person?  Has your tongue ever stopped working when you needed to say, “I’m sorry”, “I love you”, or when trying to give a heartfelt compliment? Have you experienced paralysis of the tongue when you needed to stand up for what is right, or share your feelings about the Lord with someone? How about when you were going to invite someone to a Church activity?  If you have had these moments, the answer is found in what young Joseph did.  He exerted all his powers and then God freed Joseph’s tongue.   

Today’s Takeaway: Don’t let Satan Bind your tongue. If you will fight the fear and temptation, God will help loose your tongue.  Think of things you need to say to a family member, friend, or acquaintance. Take that leap of faith and start talking. God will give you the strength beyond your own strength to say what needs to be said.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Easy to Pollute

Look for what kinds of things pollute what God wants to give us.
  Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.
Doctrine & Covenants 101:6

Imagine a glass with the world’s purest water. How much pollution would it take to make it something you would not want to drink?  How many parts per million of pollution would make it undrinkable?  If I coughed really hard into the water, would you consider it polluted and no longer want to drink it?

The lesson is no matter how good and pure something is, a little bad pollutes a lot. Notice the little things the Lord listed that were polluting their homes and their lives as followers of Christ; a little lust, strife, some coveting.  “Don’t get upset, I’m just kidding.”  Sometimes the things we might consider to be no big deal, are the things that are keeping our homes from having God’s Spirit there.

Today’s Takeaway: Consider if there are any little indiscretions that are polluting you and where you live. Often the things we think are “no big deal” get in the way of having the most important things. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Making a Deal with God

Look for what comes first.
  All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith.
Doctrine & Covenants 103:36

Have you ever tried to make a deal with God?  Usually that pleading prayer goes something like this: “Lord, if you will just…, then in return, I will ….”  Usually that deal with God is to give us some kind of victory; passing the test; having that person’s affections; get that job.  But what is wrong with this idea is not necessarily what we are asking for, it is the order.  We want God to first do something, and then we promise to do something in return. But with God, almost always He wants us to do something first. The Lord wants us to move forward in faith first.  We want to say, “Lord, if you get me that job, I’ll become a full tithe payer.” But God works the other way around. What works is us saying, “I am now committed and will do all I can to be a full tithe payer. Will you help me get that job?”   As the scripture says, the Lord wants us first to be diligent, faithful and praying with faith, and then He will bring the victory and success.

Today’s Takeaway: Is there some blessing you are desiring from God?  Pledge your faithfulness, and start acting, in some related area first.  Then you will see God blessing you in that area.  He might even bless you in a way far greater than your plans detailed. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

To Live or To Die

What is required of a disciple of Christ?
  And whoso is not willing to lay down his life for my sake is not my disciple.
Doctrine & Covenants 103:28

Recently in the news, there were Christians taken captive by ISIS soldiers.  They were told they would be beheaded unless they renounced their faith in Christ and converted to Islam. They would not and became martyrs for their Christian faith. Would you do the same?  Would you be willing to give your life for sake of Christ? I hope we never have to find out the answer to that question, but it does give some unique introspection.

Here is another question to add to the mix. Is it easier to die for Christ or live for Christ? Where dying for Christ would be extremely difficult, living for Christ is a decision we must make anew each day, which can make it harder.

Today’s Takeaway: Make the decision now that no matter the circumstances, or even threat of death, you will never renounce your faith in Christ.  Likewise, decide now to live for the Lord. To treat others the way you think Jesus would. To serve, help, uplift as He would. It is the quest of a lifetime, but everything else has no value in comparison. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Buffet Followers

Look for how much of the Gospel they wanted.
   Behold, I say unto you, that they desire to know the truth in part, but not all, for they are not right before me and must needs repent.
Doctrine & Covenants 49:2

The members mentioned in this verse wanted the Gospel in their lives… at least “in part”. But are we any better? Like a buffet line, do we like to pick our favorite aspects of the gospel and ignore other parts? Do we want to be followers of Jesus Christ completely, or “in part”?  Do we want God to touch some areas of our lives, but hands off other aspects of our lives?

Today’s Takeaway: Take some time and consider what parts of your life you have not let the Savior and His Gospel in.  The Lord won’t let us pick and choose to be halfway, part-time followers of Him. God is good.  Trust Him and surrender those areas of your life to Him. Otherwise, we really “must needs repent.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Be Still

What is your favorite part of this verse?
  Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.
Doctrine & Covenants 101:16

There is a lot of anxiety in the world today. Perhaps there is a lot to worry about: the economy, personal income, health, family, nuclear weapons, disease, war.  If we are not careful, we could become a real mess of apprehension and angst.

But look back at what that verse is saying. We are in God’s hands, unless we have chosen to jump out His hands. Because God is all powerful and perfectly good, and all knowing, we can choose to be at peace, even though the world is troubled.

Today’s Takeaway: We need to still ourselves, take a slow breath, and relax. Even though this world is fallen, and bad things might happen, we can be at peace. God’s plan is perfect.  If we will stay with Him, God will make it all right.  Trust Him.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Answers to Some Big Questions

Look for when some of the big questions of life will be answered.
 32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—
 33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—
 34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.
Doctrine & Covenants 101:32-34

So when Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He will reveal some of the big mysteries. Those verses practically mention questions like: How do dinosaurs fit into God’s plan? How old is the earth and how was it created? How did the Universe come into being? What parts of the theory of evolution are true and which are false?  When the Lord returns, He will share the answers to those big questions, and we are going to slap a hand against our head and say, “A-ha, now I get it! That is so cool.” 

Today’s Takeaway: Right now, we don’t know it all.  We imagine, speculate, and theorize about a lot of things, but we currently don’t know many things.  We should keep speculating and learning, but not be so foolish as to assume we have it all figured out.  God will one day fill in all the missing pieces.  Isn’t it great to know the Lord has some big insights and surprises in store for us? 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Wasting Converts

Look for how new converts fit into these verses.
 64 That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled.
 65 Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be;
Doctrine & Covenants 101:64-65

These verses speak of “gathering” to “holy places” and then the wheat being secured in the “garners”.  Garners are what they formerly put wheat into so it would not go bad, and to keep pests from the precious wheat.  In Alma 26:5, speaking of their new Lamanite converts, Ammon said, “And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.”  How is your ward doing with the function of preserving the conversion of people that come into it? Is you ward a “holy place” or “garner” where new converts can come into the church and not be wasted?

Most return missionaries can speak to the different types of wards.  In some wards, when they brought an investigator to church, the person was immediately swept away with people introducing themselves to them, and people inviting them to come to the other meetings with them.  Then in other wards, people were so wrapped up in themselves, the missionaries wondered if a single person would say hello to their investigator.  We need to make our wards so that it is very likely that those who are new, will remain strong through friend-shipping, nourishing with the Word of God, and people looking out for them.

Today’s Takeaway: This coming Sunday, be on the lookout for faces you don’t recognize. Smile and introduce yourself. Help them feel welcomed. Let them become part of your circle of friends. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fair & Foul Weather Christians

Look for what the troubles of life can bring.
  In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
Doctrine & Covenants 101:8

Have you ever had a “fair weather friend”?  They are great to have around when everything is going well. But the moment you have difficulties in life, they disappear until the trouble is over.  There are also fair weather Christians.  When life is going well, and the Church activities are interesting, they are OK with God.  But when life’s storms come, they feel betrayed and abandon their faith.  There is also the opposite of “foul weather Christians”.  You rarely see them at Church or see their faith or devotion until the storms of life come. When they need help, they seek the refuge of the Church and God.  But instead of being “fair weather” or “foul weather Christians”, we need to be “all weather Christians”.  

Today’s Takeaway: Through thick and thin, good times or bad, we need to be faithful and trust in God’s goodness. Decide once and for all your devotion to God and His goodness. It isn’t enough to be converted; we must also be committed to the Lord.   

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are We True Enough?

Look for something that might offend people in other Churches.
  And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—
Doctrine & Covenants 1:30

I know this is Christ’s church here on the earth again.  The Church is true “collectively”, but are we “individually” true?  A true church need’s true people to represent it.  For better or worse, people will often judge if a church is true, based on if the people of that church are true. Maybe we should ask ourselves questions like: Am I a true friend? A true employee? A true spouse? A true parent? A true member of this church? Am I a true follower of Christ?

Today’s Takeaway: Consider what it means to be true. Contemplate how true you are with family members and others you associate with.  Would you want them to judge how true the Church is based on how you act?  Think about how you can be a true representative of Christ’s true church. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Place to Receive Power

Look for why temples are important.
 Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high;
Doctrine & Covenants 95:8

What does “endow” mean? Consider these sentences: “She gave a large financial endowment to the Business College.” “He was endowed with tremendous physical strength.” Endow means to give or be given gifts. 

God has chosen temples as a place “to endow” us with “powers from on high”.  We need those gifts, blessings, and powers in our lives. Have you ever considered at what specific times in the temple we are endowed with power? One of my favorite activities in the temple is what is called Initiatories. When I went through the temple for the first time, I was preparing for my mission and I only had a few opportunities to return to the temple before entering the mission field. So it was not until after my mission that I got to enjoy Initiatories again. Although we do the work for others who have passed on, it is wonderful to bask and re-internalize the great gifts and blessings God has given us in His house.

Today’s Takeaway: Plan a trip to the Temple.  When you are there, consider the various times the Lord “endows”.  Re-enjoy those blessings all over again.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sacrifice is Hard

Look for what makes one right with God.
  Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.
Doctrine & Covenants 97:8

Do you follow the Lord, even when that involves sacrifice? That is where many draw the line. Sure, they want to love and follow God when there is no cost, when there is no sacrifice.  But as soon as following the Lord means personal sacrifice, they wonder if it is worth it. To know God and all that He offers is worth it.  It has been said that, “Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better” (author unknown).  And the Lord offers us that which is so much better, in exchange for our sacrifices in this life. Joseph Smith taught that, “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” (Lectures on Faith, 6:7)

Today’s Takeaway: What is God asking you to sacrifice upon His Holy Alter?  Give it.  Afterwards you will look back and see it was no sacrifice at all, in comparison to what God has given you.