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Archive for January, 2012

The poet Lon Woodrum wrote:

I met a stranger in the night,
Whose lamp had ceased to shine;
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.

A tempest sprang up later on,
And shook the world about,
And when the wind was gone,
My lamp was out.

But back came to me the stranger
His lamp was glowing fine;
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine.

* * *

Jesus Christ taught in Matthew 25

[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
[32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
[33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
[34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
[35] For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
[36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
[37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
[38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
[39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Let us remember that as we serve our fellow man, we are serving our God.

* * *

Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.
– President David O. McKay, General Conference, October 1963

* * *

Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. It prompts us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed.

First, service helps us establish true values and priorities by distinguishing between the worth of material things that pass, and those things of lasting, even eternal, value. Our beloved prophet counsels: “If you would find yourself, learn to deny yourself for the blessing of others. Forget yourself and find someone who needs your service, and you will discover the secret to the happy, fulfilled life.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1979, p. 34.)

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” (D&C 58:26–27.)

Derek A. Cuthbert, The Spirituality of Service, LDS General Conference April 1990

* * *

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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The Apostle Paul declared:

[15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
[17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3

* * *

Jesus taught his disciples:

[14] I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine
[15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
[16] And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

John 10

* * *

The ancient apostles thought that the “other sheep” referred to the Gentiles. Indeed the Gentiles were among the other sheep.

But the tribes of Israel had long been scattered to other nations and continents prior to Jesus’ birth. Some of these “lost tribes” even settled in the Americas and were also “other sheep.” The Resurrected Christ visited these sheep in their various locations. His visit to ancient America is recorded in the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Mormon is a volume of scripture which is also given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Please let me know if you would like to read the Book of Mormon. Then I will send one to you. Thank you.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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The Light of Christ

Mary, the mother of Jesus, declared:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

(Luke 1:46-47)

Each of us has a portion of the light of Christ within our souls.

The apostle John wrote:

That (Jesus Christ) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

(John 1:9)

Jesus himself taught:

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(John 8:12)

Let us magnify the light of Christ that is within us, through our thoughts, words, and deeds.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

(Matthew 5:16)

* * *

Let us also learn to recognize that light in others.

Even those who hurt us may still have a spark of Christ within them, even though that spark may be very dim.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who died from typhus in a German concentration camp in World War II.

She wrote in her diary “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

She also wrote:

“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can help you. Look at these things, then find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance.”

“And whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!”

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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We quote the following verse when we celebrate Christmas:

[6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9

Jesus Christ is our everlasting Father.

* * *

The Bible gives us the following story.

[25] And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
[26] And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
[27] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
[28] For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
[29] And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
[30] And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
[31] And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
[32] And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
[33] But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
[34] And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Mark 5

What was the greatest blessing that women received? Was it the healing from her illness?

The greatest blessing was that Jesus loved her as his daughter. And his love gave her true peace.

* * *

Jesus Christ addresses Joseph Smith as “my son.”

Joseph Smith was not satisfied with the programs of redemption taught by the religious leaders in the community where he lived. After investigating the basic beliefs of various denominations, he stated that he “cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom” he could go. While calling upon the Lord, the young man testified, “I was filld with the spirit of God and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy way walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life.”

Milton V. Backman, Jr., Joseph Smith’s Recitals of the First Vision, Ensign, January 1985

* * *

King Benjamin taught his people:

[7] And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

Mosiah 5

* * *

Jesus taught in John 3 that a man must be born again, and born of water and of the Spirit in order to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ is the Father of our spiritual rebirth. We become sons and daughters of Jesus through faith and rebirth in his name.

Jesus loves us so much that he gave his very life for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross at Calvary.

But the third day passed, and Christ has risen from the dead! (1 Corinthians 15:4)

Now let us love our Father Jesus as he has first loved us as his own sons and daughters. (1 John 4:19)

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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The Apostle Paul taught:

1 Corinthians 12

[1] Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
[2] Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
[3] Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
[4] Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
[5] And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
[6] And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
[7] But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
[8] For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
[9] To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
[10] To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
[11] But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
[12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
[13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
[14] For the body is not one member, but many.

So verse 9 states that some have the gift of healing.

Who are these people who have the gift of healing? In many cases, doctors and nurses have this gift.

So we must visit the doctor when we are ill in order to benefit from the Lord’s gift of healing.

Prayer is also important. We should ask the Lord in prayer that he will guide the doctors and nurses who treat us.

* * *

Those of us who are not doctors or nurses can still provide healing to others.

Sometimes we can help people heal by just listening to them as they explain their problems.

The author Leo Buscaglia said:

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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Over the last few weeks, I have enjoyed the red and gold leaves of the trees in my community during the Fall season.

Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, wrote, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44)

Now most of the leaves have fallen to the ground, and we will celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

Gratitude is an important theme in the scriptures.

Psalm 100 – Thanksgiving Psalm

[1] Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
[2] Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
[3] Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
[4] Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
[5] For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations

The Apostle Paul wrote that we must abound in Christ with thanksgiving.

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
[7] Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving

Colossians 2

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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The Lord gave a vision to Abraham as recorded in Genesis 15:5.

And he [LORD] brought him [Abraham] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

The Lord used the stars to teach Abraham regarding his posterity. But the advice to “Look now toward heaven” may also be beneficial to each one of us. This may be especially true when we become preoccupied with all of the problems in the world, our communities, and even within our own families.

King David wrote poetically of the heavens as he pondered the role of the Messiah in Psalm 8:

[3] When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

[4] What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of Man, that thou visitest him?

[5] For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

The Apostle Paul explained that this Psalm refers to Jesus Christ, in Hebrews 2:

[6] But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?

[7] Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

[8] Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

[9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

The prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon testified to a non-believer:

The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. (Alma 30:44)

May we all take moments every day to appreciate the majesty of God’s creations, whether on Earth or in the Heavens.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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