Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Making Christ-Centered goals

When we think of New Years resolutions we might be tempted to say, “I hate my life and I want to fix this or fix that.”

God doesn’t “fix” things, he creates things (note the difference). Jacob 4:9 says, “The earth was created by the power of His (God’s) word.”

Following Christ’s example then - setting goals is an act of creation by the power of our word.

Nephi and his brothers were told to get the plates of Laban. Laman and Lemuel complained and resisted. Nephi was able to accept it and act in faith.

Likewise, our goals must not be worded as complaints. In addition, our attitude should be based on faith in the future not resistance to the present or past. If, like Nephi we accept the state of things as they are now and act in faith, we will succeed in creating a new reality… even if it will require a miracle.

Fighting Hopelessness
Some of us feel stuck. When we don’t see ourselves making progress we assume that we are stuck and this sometimes leads to a feeling of hopelessness or depression. The scriptures say, “Having all these witnesses we obtain a hope,” that things will work out and “our faith becometh unshaken insomuch that we can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us or the mountains or the waves of the sea. Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.” (Jacob 4:6-7)

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Igniting Heavenly Blessings

Once when I was a  young girl, I prayed for a puppy. Nothing happened. When I asked my parents if we could have a puppy, they said that the yard between the house and the perimeter fence was not fenced and so we couldn’t keep a puppy in the yard. I asked if I could contribute my own money towards materials to finish the fence. They were not accommodating.

Did God hear the prayer of my little-girl self? Of course he did but the timing was not right. Later in life, I got a puppy.

“The question of how to access and obtain those blessings has been the subject of theological debate and discussion for centuries. Some contend that blessings are completely earned; we receive them only through our works. Others argue that God has already chosen who He will bless and how—and that these determinations are unchangeable. Both positions are fundamentally flawed. Blessings from heaven are neither earned by frenetically accruing ‘good deed coupons’ nor by helplessly waiting to see if we win the blessing lottery. No, the truth is much more nuanced but more appropriate for the relationship between a loving Heavenly Father and His potential heirs—us. Restored truth reveals that blessings are never earned, but faith-inspired actions on our part, both initial and ongoing, are essential.”

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

When Competitors Become Angels

It is natural to observe and emphasize our differences. Attracting friends, demonstrating personal prowess and competing for jobs can make us focus on our strengths and unique qualities. Individually, God asks us to be perfect, meaning we should always work towards personal growth. However, collectively, God asks us to be unified.

Competition increases enmity while collaboration increases love. Just like the rivers Solimões and Negro which flow together for a number of miles before the waters blend, due to the rivers having very different origins, speeds, temperatures, and chemical compositions, we must collectively blend. This does not mean that we deny the experiences we’ve had which are the source of our strength but it does mean collaborating with people from all different backgrounds.

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