Sunday, November 11, 2012

Charity Never Faileth

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.  Moroni 7:47

Often when people talk about charity, they describe things that you do.  To me charity isn't what you do; it is how you feel.  It is feeling the pure love that Christ has for each of us.  Feeling that love for someone makes you patient.  It makes you kind.  It makes you generous.  You just can't help it.  When you are motivated by the pure love of Christ, you treat others the way Christ would because you see them as Christ does.

Moroni continues with this exhortation.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.  Amen.  Moroni 7:48


Sunday, July 10, 2011

We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

A familiar story in the Book of Mormon tells of 2000 young men who were willing to go to war to protect the freedom of their families.

Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers saying, We do not doubt our mothers knew it. Alma 56:47-48

Today on ABC's This Week, Christine Lagarde, the new head of the IMF, said an interesting thing about her personal code of ethics. "You know, in the back of my mind, when it comes to ethics and whatever I do, I always think to myself, would my mother approve of that. And if she did not, then there's something wrong. I think it's a very -- it's a basic, stupid principle, maybe, to have. But it's something quite handy and quite efficient, if you think of it."

Hooray for mothers who set a worthy course, and hooray for children who will follow it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lift up thy heart and rejoice

For my soul delighted in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.
Doctrine and Covenants 25:12-13

I have always loved this scripture, and I love to sing. Lately, I haven't been able to sing as I could in the past. This has been a trial to me, and I have missed being able to sing praises with enthusiasm in church and in choir. When I can sing at all, I can only sing quite softly. I can usually sing the opening hymn at church, but sometimes my voice gives out before the end of even that song.

Today in church, I sang the first verse of the opening hymn with little difficulty, but by the second verse, I was struggling. My heart was touched as I croaked through the words "There is music in my soul today, a carol to my king, and Jesus listening can hear the songs I cannot sing." It reminded me of a Sunday when no music would come out of my throat so I just mouthed the words. In my heart I felt the same devotion that I feel when I vocalize, and I was richly rewarded for my effort to participate with the congregation. I felt the spirit testify of the truths I was singing silently.

It is a comfort to my heart to know that when I can't sing, Jesus will listen to the song in my heart. Whether the inability to sing is physical or brought about by joy, or pain, that is too much to express, I know that Jesus listens. He knows our hearts, and he cares about what we are feeling. Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ask and it shall be given

The other day some kids came by fundraising to go to the History Day Nationals in Washington, D. C. After they left I got thinking about all the projects that our kids did over the years. I remembered the late nights, working with them, cheering them on, being proud of them, being disappointed with them. That's what being a parent is all about--wanting your children to do well and doing all you can to help them.

I thought about Heavenly Father and realized that he feels that way about us. He wants us to succeed and wants to give us everything we need and do everything he can to make sure that we do. I knew this to be true but wondered where to find it in the scriptures. Then, when reading the Book of Mormon, I found my answer.

Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

3 Nephi 14:9-11, Matthew 7:9-11

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oil in your lamp

And at that day, when I come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived--verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
Doctrine and Covenants 45:56-57

About five years ago this scripture made an impression on me as I read, and I felt that I had found a true treasure. Here was an explanation of the parable of the ten virgins that was clear and simple. Instead of the endless to-do lists generated in Sunday School class throughout my life, here was one thing I needed to do to have oil in my lamp--take the Holy Spirit for my guide. I shared this message a few times in classes and with family, but no one else seemed to have the aha moment that I had enjoyed. Now, five years later, I still love this scripture, and I'm working to let the spirit guide me more and more surely. But I realize, too, that the to-do lists aren't incongruous with the spirit of the scripture. All those good things people wanted me to do--pray, read the scriptures, keep the commandments, give service--are things that bring me closer to the spirit and help me follow the promptings that I receive.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the apostles and prophets have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen. Ether 12:41

Recently I gave a talk in church. The topic that I was assigned was Coming to Know the Savior. One of the things that I wanted to convey in my talk was that if we want to know the Savior, we have to actively seek him. The Savior has said, "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Doctrine and Covenants 88:63

The fact of the matter is that we know the Savior. We lived with him before coming to this earth. He wants us to remember him and come unto to him. He has said, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

How tenderly the Savior calls us and urges us to come unto him!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Essential, Necessary, Nice

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. Mosiah 4:27

Recently we heard Julie Beck, the president of the general Relief Society speak at a fireside. She did a question and answer session in which someone asked her about setting priorities. She said that she likes to categorize the tasks for her day as being essential, necessary or nice. The essential things are the things that help her gain salvation, the necessary things sustain life and the nice things are, well, nice. This is not a new idea, but somehow the labels essential, necessary and nice brought clarity to me. Most of the things that I enjoy doing are nice, and I'm fairly good at getting the necessary things done. I'm beginning to ponder more what is essential and to answer the question, what essential things should I do today.