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Archive for the ‘Holy Ghost’ Category

The united tribes of Israel had grown steadily in wealth, power and glory or 120 years, under the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon.

Solomon’s son Rehoboam became the next king. Rehoboam raised the taxes, which caused the northern tribes to rebel against him.

Jeroboam became the king of the northern tribes. He was a wicked king who set up his own worship system using non-Levites as priests.

Jeroboam also built two golden calves as idols and placed them in the cities of Bethel and Dan. He instructed the people to worship the golden calves:

It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (1 Kings 12:28)

* * *

1 Kings 13

[1] And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
[2] And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.
[3] And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
[4] And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
[5] The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

The Lord then healed King Jeroboam’s hand.

King Jeroboam then invited the man of God to come to his home and to receive a reward.

But the man of God refused.

“If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.”

The man then began his journey to his home in the land of Judah.

An “older prophet” who lived in Bethel then appears in the story and invited the man of God into his own home.

The old prophet proclaimed to the man of God:

“I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.”

But the old prophet lied unto him.

The man of God then entered the old prophet’s home and ate dinner with him.

The old prophet then chastised the man of God.

“Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee. But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.”

The man of God was then killed by lion, soon after he left the old prophet’s home.

* * *

David R. Reid wrote the following.

In the tale of two prophets, most likely the older prophet was a believer in the true God, and was not directly a part of Jeroboam’s false system of worship. But rather than stir up trouble for himself by speaking out publicly against King Jeroboam I, or moving south to Judah as others had done, he remained in Bethel, retaining his local prestige as a “retired prophet.” Rather than “rock the boat,” he went along with the system for his own selfish purposes. Perhaps he was like one of the 7000 silent believers who lived in the idolatrous northern kingdom in Elijah’s day. (See 1 Kings 19:18.) But when the younger prophet from Judah boldly denounced the king and his false system of worship, the older prophet was stirred into action.

Unfortunately that action was not channelled in the right direction. Maybe the older prophet was miffed that God had left him on the sidelines–even though his passive lifestyle and lack of commitment had made him unsuitable for God’s use as a messenger. Maybe he had an exaggerated notion of his own importance as a prophet in the Bethel area. Maybe he was jealous of the youth of the prophet from Judah. Whatever the case, the older prophet lied to the younger prophet. He misdirected him–and actually persuaded him to disobey the Lord’s will!

* * *

This is an extreme story. But it is worthy of careful consideration for application to our own lives.

I am skeptical that the people we personally meet in our religious settings would intentionally lie to us and tempt us to disobey God while simultaneously claiming authority from God. Yes, there is an occasional wolf in sheep’s clothing, but these individuals are rare.

The far greater concern is well-meaning but misguided people who would dissuade from some mission or purpose that the Lord has charged us with. These individuals might even claim some authority as they attempt to correct us.

Yes, we all have need of correction.

But we must follow the Lord first. We should prayerfully seek to develop discernment using the Holy Spirit to guide us. We must also become thoroughly grounded in the holy scriptures. We can then discern whether the words of others are truly from God.

* * *

I came across this Biblical story as I recently sat in a dentist office waiting room. A Bible was sitting on a small table in the room. I said a prayer in my heart asking the Lord to give me a personal message from his holy book. I then opened the Bible to what otherwise seemed to be a random location. The result was the story of the man of God from Judah.

* * *

After I wrote the initial blog post, I came across Joseph Smith’s commentary.

Smith’s interpretation was that the old prophet was truthful in the sense that an angel really had commanded him to invite the man of God into his home for dinner, but that this was all a devised test of the man’s obedience.

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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[9] And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

[10] And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

[11] And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

[12] And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Kings 19

* * *

[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
[17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

[26] But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14

* * *

The resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples:

[21] Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
[22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

John 20

* * *

Paul taught that spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Ghost. See 1 Corinthians 12.

These gifts are:

1. Word of wisdom
2. Word of knowledge
3. Faith
4. Gifts of healing
5. Working of miracles
6. Prophesy
7. Discerning of spirits
8. Diverse kinds of tongues
9. Interpretation of tongues.

Paul taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

* * *

“The gifts of the Holy Spirit are testimony, faith, knowledge, wisdom, revelations, miracles, healing, and charity, to name but a few (see D&C 46:13-26).”

— D. Todd Christofferson

* * *

[3] Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down unto the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

[4] And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

[5] And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Moroni 10

* * *

President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase.”(Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:151).

President Smith also said, “Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:48).

* * *

Do You Know? By Elder Glenn L. Pace, April 2007 General Conference

How does this spiritual witness feel? It is as difficult to describe as the scent of a rose or the song of a bird or the beauty of a landscape. Nevertheless, you know it when you feel it.

The scriptures give us some insights into these feelings:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; and then shall ye know” (D&C 11:13–14).

Sometimes the feeling is like a memory. We first learned the gospel in our heavenly home. We have come to this Earth with a veil of forgetfulness. And yet lingering in each of our spirits are those dormant memories. The Holy Ghost can part the veil and bring those things out of their dormancy. Often my reaction to a supposedly newfound truth is, “Oh, I remember that!”
“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost . . . [will] bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).

* * *

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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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The First Article of Faith of my church is:

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

The Father and Son have glorified bodies. The Holy Ghost is personage of spirit that can dwell in our hearts.

Our Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits.

Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father in the flesh.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus taught “I and my Father are one” in John 10:30. They are one in that they are united in purpose.

Jesus saith unto Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:9)

If we were to see the Father and Son standing side-by-side, their appearance would be essentially identical. The difference would be that Jesus has nail prints in his hands and a spear wound in his side.

Recall that Jesus appeared as a resurrected being to his disciples in John 20. He instructed Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Has anyone ever seen the Father and Son standing side-by-side?

Stephen was a believer. He was tried by the Sanhedrin and then killed by a mob.

Acts 7

[55] But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
[56] And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
[57] Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
[58] And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
[59] And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
[60] And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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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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I have been studying Biblical Hebrew…

The Hebrew name for Jesus is: Yeshua, which means “He who saves.”

Matthew 1

[19] Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
[20] But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
[21] And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

* * * * *

Yeshua HaMashiach – means “Jesus, the Messiah.”

* * * * *

Hosanna – means “please save” or “save now.”

* * * * *

Beth – means House
Lehem – means bread

Bethlehem is the “House of Bread.”

John 6

[32] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
[33] For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
[34] Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

* * * * *

Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia

Halleluyah is a Hebrew word meaning “praise the Lord.” A more literal meaning is “Let us praise the Lord.”

It appears in the Bible mainly in the Psalms but also in Revelations 19.

Halleluyah is composed of two root words.

Hallelu is praise.

Yah is the the Lord. It is actually an abbreviation of YHWH which is the Hebrew name of God. The English equivalent of YHWH is Yahweh or Jehovah.

* * * * *

May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon 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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