Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

This Too Shall Pass

Professor Shnayer Z. Leiman wrote:

“This too shall pass” is an adage that has provided succor for many a person in distress. It is a powerful reminder that life does not stand still, and that one must always anticipate change, hopefully for the better.

Much mystery surrounds this adage. We know almost nothing about its origin, whether in its Hebrew or non-Hebrew versions. Surprisingly, the phrase “this too shall pass” occurs nowhere in Scripture, Talmud, or Midrash.

Indeed, it seems to appear nowhere in all of Jewish literature prior to the nineteenth century. In that century, the phrase was attributed—apparently in non-Jewish sources—to King Solomon.

In the twentieth century, the connection to King Solomon became part of an elaborate legend that was often told, but rarely recorded.

* * *

“This too shall pass” also appears in the works of Persian Sufi poets, such as Sanai and Attar of Nishapur.

Attar records the fable of a powerful king who asks assembled wise men to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad, and vice versa. After deliberation the sages hand him a simple ring with the words “This too will pass” etched on it, which had the desired effect.

* * *

Paul taught in 2 Corinthians 4:

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

“There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. If we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord.”

–Robert D. Hales, “Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure”, Ensign, May 1998

* * *

In 1968 a marathon runner by the name of John Stephen Akhwari represented Tanzania in an international competition. “A little over an hour after [the winner] had crossed the finish line, John Stephen Akhwari … approached the stadium, the last man to complete the journey. [Though suffering from fatigue, leg cramps, dehydration, and disorientation,] a voice called from within to go on, and so he went on. Afterwards, it was written, ‘Today we have seen a young African runner who symbolizes the finest in human spirit, a performance that gives meaning to the word courage.’

For some, the only reward is a personal one. [There are no medals, only] the knowledge that they finished what they set out to do” (The Last African Runner, Olympiad Series, written, directed, and produced by Bud Greenspan, Cappy Productions, 1976, videocassette).

When asked why he would complete a race he could never win, Akhwari replied, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; my country sent me to finish the race.”

He knew who he was—an athlete representing the country of Tanzania. He knew his purpose—to finish the race. He knew that he had to endure to the finish, so that he could honorably return home to Tanzania. Our mission in life is much the same. We were not sent by Father in Heaven just to be born. We were sent to endure and return to Him with honor.

Jesus chose not to be released from this world until He had endured to the end and completed the mission He had been sent to accomplish for mankind. Upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus commended His spirit to His Father with a simple statement, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Having endured to the end, He was released from mortality.

We, too, must endure to the end. The Book of Mormon teaches, “Unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved” (2 Ne. 31:16).

May we be able to say as Paul said to Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept [my] faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

– Elder Robert D. Hales,

Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure, April 1998

The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom, October 2000

Read Full Post »

[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).

* * *

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 »


I have been thinking lately about the power of words. Too often, people use harsh criticism against others. There may be instances where criticism is justified, but these should be very rare.

Critics may act out of pride, envy or fear. This is especially noticeable on Internet blogs and message boards where people often make personal attacks against others anonymously.

On the other hand, we have daily opportunities to give one another words of kindness and encouragement. When I walk around my neighborhood, people are very friendly. They wish me a good morning or good day.

I have assembled some scriptures and quotes on this topic which I hope you will enjoy.

* * *

Just as healthy food and exercise gives physical strength to one’s body, hearing words of encouragement gives a boost of emotional and spiritual strength to one’s soul. This week’s Torah portion is the last one of the book of Genesis. There is an ancient custom to exclaim at the completion of one of the five books of Moses the following encouraging words, “Be strong, and may we be strengthened!” We can light up people’s lives and do a great act of kindness when we use our words to give them a boost of strength. (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

– Nesanel Yoel Safran

* * *

The Apostle Paul taught:

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

* * *

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
– Mother Teresa

* * *

Kind words don’t cost anything but they go far for the people receiving them. And, it feels good to say nice things.

– Daylle Deanna Schwartz

* * *

Kind words not only lift our spirits in the moment they are given, but they can linger with us over the years…..Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes….Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes.

– Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
(April 2005 general conference, Ensign, May 2005, p. 26)

* * *

We sometimes sing a hymn in my church which has the following chorus:

Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live
And sunshine forever impart.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

Read Full Post »

To my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ . . .

The Ten Commandments were given by Jehovah to the Children of Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament, Exodus 20.

* * *

Exodus 20

[1] And God spake all these words, saying,
[2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
[5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
[6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
[7] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
[9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
[10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
[11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[12] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[13] Thou shalt not kill.
[14] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[15] Thou shalt not steal.
[16] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[17] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

* * *

A friend asked me “Are these laws and commandments still relevant to us after the death of our Lord Jesus Christ?”

The answer is Yes!

Jesus taught “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Jesus of the New Testament is the same being as Jehovah of the Old Testament.

* * *

Our Lord reaffirmed the Ten Commandments in the following New Testament scriptures. He also gave higher laws built upon the foundation of the Ten Commandments.

Matthew 5

[21] Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
[22] But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

[27] Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
[28] But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Mark 12

[28] And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
[29] And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
[30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
[31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Mark 10

[17] And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
[18] And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
[19] Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
[20] And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
[21] Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
[22] And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

* * *

The Apostle Paul warned:

Romans 6

[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
[2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

* * *

The Apostle Paul reaffirmed the Ten Commandments after Christ’s death and resurrection.

Romans 13

[9] For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

* * *

Please remember that obedience to the voice of the Lord is greater than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22)

And to revere God and obey him are the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

* * *

We are unworthy creatures. We can only be saved through the Grace of Jesus Christ.

But we must still obey the Lord’s commandments in order to become his disciples and to have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »