Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2012

As a young man, President David O. McKay prayed for a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel. Many years later, while he was serving his mission in Scotland, that witness finally came. Later he wrote, “It was an assurance to me that sincere prayer is answered ‘sometime, somewhere.’”

We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. For some answers we may have to wait until the hereafter.

– Elder Robert D. Hales, Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done, October 2011
* * *

“If God answers your prayer, He is increasing your faith.
If He delays, He is increasing your patience.
If He doesn’t answer, He knows you can handle it.”

– Unknown

Read Full Post »


A friend raised the question whether Job was a real person. My understanding and belief is yes, he was real.

* * *

Ezekiel refers to Job along with Noah and Daniel.

Ezekiel 14

[14] Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.

[20] Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

* * *

James draws upon the example of Job to comfort the suffering, proving the point that God is merciful. He commends the endurance of Job.

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:11)

* * *

Doctrine & Covenants Section 121 gives a prayer and prophecies written by Joseph Smith the Prophet while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, dated 20 March 1839. The Prophet and several companions had been months in prison. Their petitions and appeals directed to the executive officers and the judiciary had failed to bring them relief.

The Lord answers Joseph Smith’s prayer:

[7] My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

[8] And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

[9] Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.

[10] Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.

* * *

The Book of Job teaches many important lessons.

Job’s suffering explains why developing character is more important in God’s eyes than the trials and pain we experience.

* * *

Centuries ago the man Job—so long blessed with every material gift, only to find himself sorely afflicted by all that can befall a human being—sat with his companions and uttered the timeless, ageless question,

If a man die, shall he live again? (Job 14:14)

He later answered his question:

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (Job 19:25-26)

* * *

If any of us feels our challenges are beyond our capacity to meet them, let us read of Job. By so doing, there comes the feeling, “If Job could endure and overcome, so will I.”

Job was a “perfect and upright” man who “feared God, and eschewed evil.” Pious in his conduct, prosperous in his fortune, Job was to face a test which could have destroyed anyone. Shorn of his possessions, scorned by his friends, afflicted by his suffering, shattered by the loss of his family, he was urged to “curse God, and die.” He resisted this temptation and declared from the depths of his noble soul, “Behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.” “I know that my redeemer liveth.”

Job became a model of unlimited patience. To this day we refer to those who are long-suffering as having the patience of Job. He provides an example for us to follow.

– President Thomas S. Monson, They Marked the Path to Follow, October 2007

* * *

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

The Apostle Paul taught:

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)

* * *

When one woman visited California’s Sequoia National Park, she was astonished to learn that the giant sequoia trees have no major taproots to hold them deep in the ground. She asked the guide how those top-heavy trees keep from falling when severe winds come. The guide responded that the trees grow close together. Their roots, although near the surface, intertwine with those of other trees nearby. If a tree were standing alone in a strong wind, it might fall. But the interconnected trees in a grove support each other well.

Ensign, Growing Strong Together, December 1991.

* * *

God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom…. So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and small but deliberate deeds! – President Spencer W. Kimball

* * *

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

President Thomas S. Monson has used the following story in several of his talks. See for example: The Three Rs of Choice, October 2010.

Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”

The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination.

Read Full Post »

I testify that by the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith.

– President Henry B. Eyring, Walk in the Light, April 2008

* * *

All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.

– President Brigham Young

* * *

As you overcome adversity in your life, you will become stronger. Then you will be better able to help others -those who are working, in their turn, to find a safe harbor from the storms that rage about them.

– Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Finding a Safe Harbor”, Ensign, May 2000

* * *

No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.

– Elder Orson F. Whitney

* * *

“At the center of our agency is our freedom to form a healthy attitude toward whatever circumstances we are placed in!”
– Elder Neal A. Maxwell

* * *

“Trials and tribulations tend to squeeze the artificiality out of us, leaving the essence of what we really are and clarifying what we really yearn for.”

– Elder Neal A. Maxwell

* * *

“Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.”

President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 98.

* * *

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19

* * *

So be glad – yes, actually be glad that you have problems. Be grateful for them as implying that God has confidence in your ability to handle these problems with which He has entrusted you. Adopt this attitude toward problems and it will tend to siphon off the depression that you may have developed from a negative reaction toward them. And as you develop the habit of thinking in hopeful terms about your problems, you will find yourself doing much better with them.

– Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

* * *

What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? “No, thank you,” he will think. “Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these things are things that cannot inspire envy.

Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997)

* * *

Look for God in your difficult place and discover what He’s doing in and through you there.

– Randy Kilgore

* * *

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

This morning I took a walk around my neighborhood. My family and I live in an area with hills and pine trees.

I remembered that the Bible has hundreds of verses containing the verb walk. Here are just a few…

Adam and Eve heard the Lord in the Garden of Eden.

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8.

The children of Israel crossed the Red Sea.

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Exodus 14:29.

* * *

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God.

* * *

In Matthew 5:41, Jesus instructs, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”

This teaching deals with the Roman practice of commandeering civilians to carry soldiers’ luggage for, in this case, one mile.

* * *

Jesus healed a lame man at the pool of Bethesda by commanding him “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” John 5:1-9.

Jesus walked across the Sea of Galilee to rescue his disciples who were in boat rocked by wind and waves. Matthew 14:22-33.

Jesus, as a Resurrected Being, walked with Cleopas and another disciple along the road to Emmaus. He taught the two disciples from the scriptures as they walked. The disciples did not recognize Jesus but nevertheless invited him to stay with them. The story continues…

Luke 24

[30] And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
[31] And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
[32] And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

* * *

The scriptures teach us that we should walk by faith, in obedience and in truth.

Luke 1

[6] And they (Zacharias and Elisabeth) were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

2 Corinthians 5

[7] For we walk by faith, not by sight:

2 John 1

[4] I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
[5] And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
[6] And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

* * *

And let us walk with gratitude.

[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

* * *

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23

* * *

Let us learn and contemplate our duty. Let us be willing and worthy to serve. Let us in the performance of our duty follow in the footsteps of the Master. As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked, we will discover He is more than the babe in Bethlehem, more than the carpenter’s son, more than the greatest teacher ever to live. We will come to know Him as the Son of God, our Savior and our Redeemer.

– President Thomas S. Monson, Willing and Worthy to Serve, April 2012

* * *

Out of the darkness and the horror of Calvary came the voice of the Lamb, saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And the dark was no longer dark, for He was with His Father. He had come from God, and to Him He had returned. So also those who walk with God in this earthly pilgrimage know from blessed experience that He will not abandon His children who trust in Him. In the night of death, His presence will be “better than [a] light and safer than a known way.”

– President Thomas S. Monson, May We So Live, August 2008

* * *

May the Lord bless you as walk with him,

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

The following story can be used as a metaphor for the dangers of worldliness.

The Sirens were sea nymphs in Greek mythology. They were represented in early Greek art by birds with the heads of women.

The Sirens lured approaching sailors by their enchanting singing. In some depictions, the Sirens also played the lyre and flute. The overpowering music caused the sailors to crash their ships against the rocky cliffs and drown.

Odysseus had all his sailors plug their ears with beeswax to that they could escape the Sirens. Odysseus himself wanted to hear the Siren’s melodies so he had his sailors tie him to the mast. He then ordered the sailors to untie him when he heard the Siren’s beautiful song, but the sailors ignored him. The sailor released Odysseus when they were no longer within earshot. (Odyssey XII, 39)

The Germans had a similar legend about a Siren name Lorelei who lured boatmen in the Rhine to destruction.

* * *

There is no necessity for Latter-day Saints to worry over the things of this world. They will all pass away. Our hearts should be set on things above; to strive after that perfection which was in Christ Jesus, who was perfectly obedient in all things unto the Father, and so obtained His great exaltation and became a pattern unto His brethren. Why should we fret and worry over these temporal things when our destiny is so grand and glorious? If we will cleave unto the Lord, keep His commandments, pattern after His perfections and reach out unto the eternal realities of His heavenly kingdom, all will be well with us and we shall triumph and obtain the victory in the end.

– Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, 2011, Chapter 6: Becoming Perfect before the Lord: “A Little Better Day by Day”

* * *

Millions of people today are pursuing the course of temporal pleasures. They seek happiness in desperation, but their broken lives are sacrificed on the rubbish heaps of a modern society. On the other hand, we observe that those willing to keep the commandments of the Lord find the real values, which the Lord promised would bring joy and happiness.

– President Howard W. Hunter

* * *

Liberation from Materialism by Peter Marshall

Forbid it, Lord, that our roots become too firmly attached to this earth, that we should fall in love with things.

Help us to understand that the pilgrimage of this life is but an introduction, a preface, a training school for what is to come.

Then shall we see all of life in its true perspective.

Then shall we not fall in love with the things of time, but come to love the things that endure.

Then shall we be saved from the tyranny of possessions which we have no leisure to enjoy, of property whose care becomes a burden.

Give us, we pray, the courage to simplify our lives.

So may we be mature in our faith, childlike but never childish, humble but never cringing, understanding but never conceited.

So help us, O God, to live and not merely to exist, that we may have joy in our work.

In Thy name, who alone can give us moderation and balance and zest for living, we pray. Amen

* * *

The Jew is a “resident” in the world, for the Torah instructs us not escape the physical reality but to inhabit it and elevate it. At the same time, the Jew feels himself a “stranger” in the material world — his true home is the world of spirituality, holiness and G-dliness from which his soul has been exiled and to which it yearns to return.

Indeed, it is only because he remains a “stranger” that he can maintain the spiritual vision and integrity required to reside in the world and sanctify it as a “dwelling for G-d.”

-The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994)

* * *

See also:

Forsaking Worldliness: Old Testament

Forsaking Worldliness: New Testament

Forsaking Worldliness: Book of Mormon

Forsaking Worldliness: Doctrine & Covenants

– Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »