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Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

~Albert Schweitzer

* * *

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.

– Lon Woodrum

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God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
Amen.

The words “Lest We Forget” are form the refrain of Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional.” The phrase offers a warning about the perils of pride and the inevitable decline of imperial power.

* * *

Presidents Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson have often quoted excerpts from this poem in their conference talks.

See also:  “God of Our Fathers, Known of Old,” Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no. 80

* * *

Forgetting God has been a problem among His children since the world began. Think of the times of Moses, when God provided manna and in miraculous and visible ways led and protected His children. Still the prophet warned the people: “Take heed … lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen” (Deuteronomy 4:9).

– President Henry B. Eyring, October 2007 General Conference

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Hezekiah was the King of Judah, from about 715 to 686 BC.

He was a righteous king. He removed the idols from the Jerusalem Temple. He also restored worship of the Lord.

Isaiah 38

[1] In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
[2] Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
[3] And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
[4] Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
[5] Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

The Lord even gave a sign to King Hezekiah by making the sun to go backward ten degrees.

King Hezekiah then gave a song or psalm of thanksgiving in verses 9 to 20. He praised the Lord as follows.

[17] Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
[18] For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
[19] The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
[20] The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

See also: 2 Kings 20 & 2 Chronicles 32

* * *

There are some important lessons from King Hezekiah’s life.

1. We must destroy the idols in our life. In ancient times, people worshiped idols crafted from wood, stone, brass or gold. Today, people worship the idols of money, fame, pride and worldly pleasures.

2. We must worship the Lord.

3. Some prophecies may depend on our faithfulness and righteousness. We must take responsibility for our words and actions. The Lord changed the prophecy of King Hezekiah’s death after the King wept and prayed to Him.

4. We can pray for healing blessings. We must prepare ourselves to accept the Lord’s will, whatever it must be.

5. We will eventually die even if the Lord extends our life. One of the main purposes of our mortal life is to prepare to meet God. We must thus set our houses in order.

6. Like King Hezekiah, we must praise the Lord for the blessings he gives us.

Our lives are gifts from God to be used for His purposes.

Let us follow the example of King Hezekiah by walking before the Lord in truth and with a perfect heart, doing good in His sight.

– Tom Irvine

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The children of Israel traveled through the Sinai wilderness. The following story is given in Numbers 21.

[4] And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
[5] And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
[6] And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
[7] Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
[8] And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
[9] And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Jesus referenced this story in John 3.

[14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

* * *

The Book of Mormon provides additional insight.

1 Nephi 17

[41] And he (The Lord) did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

2 Nephi 25

[20] And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.

Helaman 8

[14] Yea, did he not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come.
[15] And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.

* * *

Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross at Calvary. The serpent on Moses’ pole represented these sins. The pole symbolized Jesus’ cross.

The children of Israel got into trouble because they became discouraged and complained bitterly. The Lord had provided manna to them, but they were very ungrateful. The manna itself represented Jesus Christ who is the “Bread of Life.” (John 6:35)

Perhaps we are all like the complaining children of Israel sometimes. I admit my own guilt in this regard.

We must thank the Lord every day for the blessings that he has given us. We must confess and repent of our sins. Then the Lord will heal us from our wounds.

Remember his words:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 45:22)

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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Luke 17 – Parable of the Ten Lepers

[11] And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
[12] And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
[13] And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
[14] And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
[15] And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
[16] And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
[17] And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
[18] There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
[19] And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

* * *

Robert W. Woodruff, a prominent business leader of a former time said that the two most important words in the English language are these: Thank you.

Gracias, danke, merci whatever language is spoken, thank you frequently expressed will cheer your spirit, broaden your friendships, and lift your lives to a higher pathway as you journey toward perfection. There is a simplicity even a sincerity when thank you is spoken.

-President Thomas S. Monson

* * *

“Gratitude is of the very essence of worship. … When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives”. Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”

–President Gordon B Hinckley, “With a Grateful Heart”, Liahona, Aug 1999

* * *

Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.

Doctrine & Covenants 59:7

* * *

And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

Doctrine & Covenants 78:19

* * *

I was in second grade during the school year 1968-69. I had a kind teacher named Mrs. Gomes who inspired me.

After that school year, my family moved to another part of town. I never saw Mrs. Gomes again.

But this afternoon, I looked up her phone number. I called her and spoke with her for first time in 42 years. I thanked her for being a wonderful teacher.

So I challenge you to think of someone from your past who has helped you.

Call, visit, or write to that person to thank them. Then share your story with me if you like.

* * *

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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