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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

The Apostle Paul taught:

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

2 Corinthians 5

* * *

We walk by faith, and not by sight;
no gracious words we hear from him
who spoke as none e’er spoke;
but we believe him near.

We may not touch his hands and side,
nor follow where he trod;
but in his promise we rejoice;
and cry, “My Lord and God!”

Help then, O Lord, our unbelief;
and may our faith abound,
to call on you when you are near,
and seek where you are found:

that, when our life of faith is done,
in realms of clearer light
we may behold you as you are,
with full and endless sight.

Henry Alford (1810-1871)

* * *

Emily Dickinson reminds us that faith can be stronger than experience.

I never saw a Moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

* * *
Long ago I worked for one of our railroads whose tracks threaded the passes through these western mountains. I frequently rode the trains. It was in the days when there were steam locomotives. Those great monsters of the rails were huge and fast and dangerous. I often wondered how the engineer dared the long journey through the night. Then I came to realize that it was not one long journey, but rather a constant continuation of a short journey. The engine had a powerful headlight that made bright the way for a distance of 400 or 500 yards. The engineer saw only that distance, and that was enough, because it was constantly before him all through the night into the dawn of the new day.

The Lord has spoken of this process. He said: “That which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.

“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:23–24).

And so it is with our eternal journey. We take one step at a time. In doing so we reach toward the unknown, but faith lights the way. If we will cultivate that faith, we shall never walk in darkness.

– President Gordon B. Hinckley, We Walk by Faith, April 2002

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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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

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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

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Proverb 28:20

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that makes haste to be rich shall not go unpunished.

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

* * *

Feds Arrest Peregrine CEO After $215 Million Goes Missing
by Halah Touryalai, Forbes Staff, 7/13/2012

Four days after attempting suicide the CEO of now bankrupt Peregrine Financial Group was arrested and charged for lying to regulators about the firm’s finances.

Russell Wasendorf, Sr. was arrested and charged today after his futures brokerage filed bankruptcy this week. The arrest comes after regulators accused PFG of fraud, misusing of client money, violating customer fund segregation laws and making false statements about its finances.

To make matters worse, roughly $215 million in client assets are missing amid the mess. This is the second time a futures brokerage has been hit with a financial scandal resulting in lost customer funds.

* * *

Pyramind & Ponzi Schemes
Confidence Tricksters
YES Entertainment Network

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I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Well-meaning members of my church occasionally make declarations that a testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of his gospel can only come through the Holy Ghost — and not through science.

Yes, the Holy Ghost is the ultimate witness of truth, but science has a complementary and even prequisite role.

Consider the following…

True science is not a collection of esoteric facts or models about some physical system. Rather true science is a methodology of discovery and understanding.

The Scientific Method consists roughly of the following steps:

1. Formulate a Question
2. Hypothesis & Prediction
3. Tests & Experiments
4. Data Analysis
5. Conclusion

This methodology is alive and well in the scriptures, as shown in the following examples.

* * *

Faith is a common theme throughout all of the scriptures.  The Book of Mormon, Alma chapter 30 gives perhaps the best working teaching on faith.  The word experiment is given three times in this chapter.

The prophet Alma taught in this chapter:

[26]   Now, as I said concerning faith — that it was not a perfect knowledge — even so it is with my words.  Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

[27]   But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

[28]   Now, we will compare the word unto a seed.  Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves — It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

[29]   Now behold, would not this increase your faith?  I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

[30]   But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow.   And now behold, will not this strengthen your faith?  Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

[31]   And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed?  I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.

[32]   Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

[33]   And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

[34]   And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect?  Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because ye know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.

[35]   O then, is not this real?  I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?

[36]   Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.

[37]   And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us.  And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.

* * *

A testimony of the Law of Tithing also requires experimentation.

The Lord declared in Malachi 3,

[10] Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

[11] And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

* * *

The Lord even instructed us to develop a hypothesis prior to seeking an answer to prayer.

Doctrine & Covenant Section 9 is revelation from the Lord to Oliver Cowdrey, which applies in larger sense to all of us.

[7] Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.

[8] But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

[9] But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong . . .

* * *

Yes, the Holy Ghost provides a necessary, confirming witness.   But we must first formulate the question, devise a hypothesis, and then perform the experiment.

* * *

Science in its common, broadest sense also provides a testimony of the Creator.

Alma declared this principle to an “Anti-Christ” in Alma 30.

[44] But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? 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.

* * *

David wrote of the Messiah in Psalm 8.

Verse 3 has the poetic prepositional phrase:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained . . .

(See also Hebrews 2:6-9)

* * *

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

* * *

The mustard seed, the lilies of the field, and sparrows all within their own sphere testified of Christ in the New Testament.

* * *

All truth is ultimately part of one whole in LDS theology.

* * *

Again, the Holy Ghost, or Still Small Voice, is the ultimate witness of truth, but the scientific method is complementary as shown in the following teaching.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, Faith: The Essence of True Religion, October 1995, First Presidency Message

The marvelous and wonderful thing is that any individual who desires to know the truth may receive that conviction. The Lord Himself gave the formula when He said, “If any man will do [the will of the Father], he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

It will take study of the word of God. It will take prayer and anxious seeking of the source of all truth. It will take living the gospel, an experiment, if you please, in following the teachings. I do not hesitate to promise, because I know from personal experience, that out of all of this will come, by the power of the Holy Ghost, a conviction, a testimony, a certain knowledge.

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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Naaman was a captain of the king of Syria’s army. Naaman had leprosy, a terrible disease, according to 2 Kings 5.

The maid of Naaman’s wife said unto her mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet (Elisha) that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.”

The king of Syria then sent Naaman to the king of Israel, but the king of Israel was displeased.

Naaman next went to Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

But Naaman was angry, and went away, and said, “Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.” He further complained “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?”

Naaman’s servant then pleaded, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”

Naaman then went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to Elisha’s instructions. His flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

* * *

This story provides many lessons. Naaman needed faith, humility and obedience in order to be healed.

Naaman was not healed after dipping himself the first time. Nor was he healed the second time. He was still a leper even after the sixth time,

What if Naaman had become discouraged or impatient and left the river after the sixth time?

But Naaman persisted. Finally, he was healed after the seventh time.

We should all consider ourselves as if we were Naaman. We must be persistent in obeying the Lord and patient while we await promised blessings.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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I have several weaknesses of my own. I often have fatigue. And I have a borderline case of Asperger syndrome.

But the purpose of this message is not to dwell on my own condition. Rather it is to present scriptural insights.

* * *

The Apostle Paul taught:

2 Corinthians 12

[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
[8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
[9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
[10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

* * *

Even the prophets and apostles had weaknesses.

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

Noah became drunk after he left the ark and had planted a vineyard.

Abraham lied twice about his wife Sarah, each time claiming that Sarah was his sister.

Jacob played a trick on Isaac in order to get the birthright blessing.

Jonah at first refused to go to Ninevah. So he was swallowed by a whale.

David sinned with Bathsheba.

Peter denied knowing Christ three times.

Thomas doubted that Jesus had been resurrected.

* * *

President Thomas S. Monson tells the following story:

Many years ago, while attending a church conference, I noticed that a counselor was blind. He functioned beautifully, performing his duties as though he had sight. It was a stormy night as we met in the office situated on the second floor of the building. Suddenly there was a loud clap of thunder. The lights in the building almost immediately went out. Instinctively I reached out for our sightless leader, and I said, “Here, take my arm and I will help you down the stairway.”

I’m certain he must have had a smile on his face as he responded, “No, Brother Monson, give me your arm, that I might help you.” And he added, “You are now in my territory.”

The storm abated, the lights returned, but I shall never forget the trek down those stairs, guided by the man who was sightless yet filled with light.

* * *

John 9

[1] And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
[2] And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
[3] Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

* * *

Jesus Christ taught:

Ether 12

[27] And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

* * *

Isaiah 40

[29] He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

[30] Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

[31] But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

* * *

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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