Tag Archives: Choices

Life can be complicated

I love this video:

We must make our own personal commitment to simplify our lives.

God Commands

Ten Commandments

Throughout the ages, God has commanded His children to do or not to do certain things.  The commandments He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai remain in full force today, even if the world does not live by them.  These are the ten commandments as stated in Exodus 20:3-17:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor thy Father and Mother.
  6. Thou Shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. Thou shalt not covet.

Christ himself describes in Matthew 22:36-40 what the two great commandments are:

  1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind.
  2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

So how do all of the other commandments ‘hang’ on these two great commandments as the scriptures say.  I think each could fit with all of the commandments but more specifically, this is how I matched them up:

  1. (Love God) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. (Love God) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. (Love God) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. (Love God) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. (Love Neighbor) Honor thy Father and Mother.
  6. (Love Neighbor) Thou Shalt not kill.
  7. (Love Neighbor) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. (Love Neighbor) Thou shalt not steal.
  9. (Love Neighbor) Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. (Love Neighbor, Love God) Thou shalt not covet.

Living the Commandments today

I heard once that the hardest commandment to keep is the one in which we personally have problems keeping.  That is the one that we need to work on.  In the world today, it is hard to choose which ones are the ones that people neglect the most.  But, if I had to choose, these are the three I would choose:

1.  Thou Shalt have No Other Gods Before Me:  In today’s society so many people have things that they want or things they live for.  For some it is their physical appearance, for others it is a career, for others it is money, for others it is fame, and for others it is family.  There are so many things that people spend there lives ‘worshiping’ before they worship God.  He is to be number one in our lives.  He should be our first priority.  I believe every person on the earth could work on this.

2.  Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness:  So many people today lie, cheat, and steal.  So many people spread rumors or tell white lies and think nothing of it.  We must be completely honest.  We must be full of integrity and virtue.  This comes from not bearing false witness.

3.  Thou Shalt Not Covet:  I think people today have a very hard time being grateful for what the Lord has already blessed them with.  They always want more.  They see something and they want it.  We have been trained through marketing schemes and advertising that we deserve everything that we want.  We begin to not be happy with our lives because we do not have this or have that.  “We have gadgets and gizmos a plenty, but we want more.”  Surely, this thought process is not in line with keeping this commandment.

If all of God’s children would keep these commandments, it would make such a difference.  The world would be such a better place.  If we all just kept the first commandment to have no other gods before Him, we would be a more charitable nation.  We would live with hope and there would be no crime, stealing, cheating, lying, or coveting, etc.  The world would be completely transformed.

But there is opposition in all things, and we are here on this earth to learn and to become more like and closer to our Father in Heaven.  He loves us.  We can become all that He wants us to become.  We are His children.  Let us commit to working on the one commandment that is hardest for us.  Let us improve ourselves and come closer to Christ.

We are precious

Each of us is a precious son or daughter of God.  He loves us and waits to bless us.  He wants us so much to be happy, to feel of His great love for us, and to move forward with faith.  We are precious in His sight.  I love the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 which states:

“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

Pondering on that scripture, how do you feel?  How do you change when you know, really know that the worth of your soul is great?

Standing as a witness of the Savior

Finding Answers

This post is taken from an article in this month’s Ensign Magazine entitled “Finding Answers in the Book of Mormon” by Sarah D. Smith

Our journey on earth can be challenging, but our loving Heavenly Father did not send us here to handle the storms of life alone. One of the greatest helps He gave us is the Book of Mormon. It not only teaches the fulness of the gospel but also guides us through the problems we encounter. As we search the Book of Mormon, the Spirit will help us find answers to our problems and questions.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified:

“The Book of Mormon, above all other books that I know of, is the greatest source we have for answers to real-life problems. …

“How many times peace has come into the lives of those who are struggling with real problems when they read the Book of Mormon! The examples of spiritual guidance that emanate from the book are without number.”1

In the following accounts, members share how they found in the Book of Mormon the answers they sought.

Experiencing a Change of Heart

Although he learned the gospel while young, Greg Larsen (name has been changed) of California, USA, later fell away. He became involved with drugs and crime and soon found himself in prison. He wanted to turn his life around but was not sure how.

“Men from the local ward taught Sunday School in the prison,” wrote Greg. “One of them told me my life would get better if I read the Book of Mormon. And that is what I did.

“When I got out of prison, I went back to church, but I still had the urge to revert back to my old habits. As I continued to read the Book of Mormon, I learned about the people of King Lamoni in Alma 19:33, whose ‘hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.’ I began to pray for this change of heart.”

Greg found the answer to his prayer in Helaman 15:7, which teaches that “faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart.”

“As I read those words, tears streamed down my face. The Spirit testified that my Heavenly Father loved me and would help me. I felt that if I had enough faith to speak to my bishop, it would be enough. As I laid my sins at the Savior’s feet, I received a true change of heart.”

Finding Her Path

Laura Swenson from Idaho, USA, came home one day frustrated and in tears. She was not married, and her plans for college and the career she had dreamed of were falling apart. “I wondered if I was even going anywhere,” she wrote.

“I was prompted to turn to the Book of Mormon. In the first four verses of1 Nephi 18, I found an answer to my concerns. These verses describe the ship that Nephi built to carry his family to the promised land. It was ‘of curious workmanship’ and not built ‘after the manner of men’; rather, it was built ‘after the manner which the Lord had shown’ (verses 1–2). Nephi consulted with the Lord often while building the ship. When the ship was finished, ‘it was good, and … the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine’ (verse 4).

“I realized that my own journey was of ‘curious workmanship.’ It didn’t fit the patterns of men but would get me where I needed to go if I sought the Lord’s guidance. These verses were a beacon of light in a dark moment. My problems didn’t end overnight, but I found the perspective that I needed. I am now in a rewarding career for which I had never planned.”

Discovering Another Testament

As a young man, Adrián Paz Zambrano of Honduras wondered why theBible mentions only the area around Jerusalem and wondered if Jesus Christ visited other nations.

“Years later two missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to my house,” wrote Adrián. “They showed me the Book of Mormon and invited me to read in 3 Nephi, which tells about Christ visiting the Americas.

“As I read, I remembered the questions I had when I was young. I had found the answers. Because of the Book of Mormon, I learned that Jesus Christ visited the Americas after His Resurrection. I was filled with joy because I knew that God loved all His children regardless of location or circumstance.”

Adrián and his wife prayed together to know if the Church was true, and both received a testimony. They were baptized and confirmed, and one year later their family was sealed in the temple.

Providing for His Family

At age 30, Eric James of New Mexico, USA, was diagnosed with a kidney disease. As a young father, he was devastated and wondered if he would be able to provide for his family.

He read in the Book of Mormon that Nephi wondered the same thing when he broke his bow made of fine steel. But after making a bow out of wood, Nephi was again able to feed his family. (See 1 Nephi 16:18–23, 30–32.)

“Nephi’s story filled my soul like a brilliant light,” Eric said. “The health I had enjoyed up until that point was like Nephi’s steel bow. When my health failed, it was like my bow had broken. But I realized that the Lord had blessed me with a wooden bow in the form of a kidney transplant. The transplant would give me the strength to care for my family. This gave me hope. Almost 10 years later, I continue to provide for my family and serve the Lord the best I can.”

Teaching Children Obedience

When his children were young, Juan José Resanovich of Argentina turned to the Book of Mormon when he had questions about how to teach and raise his children. “My wife and I searched its pages for inspiration for our children, and we always found answers,” he wrote.

The Resanoviches taught their children obedience by pointing them to Nephi’s example in 1 Nephi 3:5–6:

“Thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.

“Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.”

“We taught our children that Nephi respected his earthly parents and the things of God,” wrote Juan. “We made a goal that as a family we would have Nephi’s attitude of respect and obedience.

“Each of our children served a mission. We did not have to convince them to serve. They have been good students, good friends, and good children. Our family has a lot to improve, but the Book of Mormon is a tremendous help in reaching our goals.”

Escaping the Bands of Addiction

While battling an addiction to food, Susan Lunt of Utah, USA, prayed for help. She turned to the Book of Mormon and read that Nephi was delivered from bands his brothers had tied around his hands and feet:

“O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me … ; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.

“And it came to pass that … the bands were loosed” (1 Nephi 7:17–18).

“This scripture described exactly how I felt—bound with bands of addiction,” Susan wrote. “Nephi’s tangible bands were immediately loosed when he asked for deliverance. My bands were intangible and I didn’t overcome my addiction in a moment, but as I read those words, I felt something shift inside me. I felt as if the bands around my heart, mind, and body had been loosened, and I knew that I could overcome my addiction.”

Susan has made great progress and, because of the inspiration she found in the Book of Mormon, has been able to break other habits that held her bound, including anger, selfishness, and pride. “I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God,” she explained, “and that the answer to any of life’s questions can be found within the pages of that book.”

Help with Personal Problems

Elder Russell M. Nelson“[The Book of Mormon] can help with personal problems in a very real way. Do you want to get rid of a bad habit? Do you want to improve relationships in your family? Do you want to increase your spiritual capacity? Read the Book of Mormon!”

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “ATestimony of the Book of Mormon,” Liahona, Jan. 2000, 85; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 71.

Book of Mormon Answers

Study suggestion: Make a list of your own questions and look for answers as you prayerfully study the scriptures.

An Example of the Believers

1 Timothy 4: 12 says:

 12 Let no man adespise thy youth; but be thou an bexample of the believers, in word, in cconversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, indpurity.

This is a video of a young woman who is an example of the believers.  You and I too can be an example of the believers.

A lesson of Charity

The prophet, President Thomas S Monson, has said:

“Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down.  It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily.  It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings.  It is accepting people as they truly are.  It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time.  It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”

What does this teach us about charity?  What does this teach about how we personally are cleaving unto charity?  Are there some of the things in the prophet’s description of charity that we have left to work on?