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Faith – The First Hour

February 19, 2015

For my Faith Value Project, I’ve decided to record my favourite scriptures and my testimony of them.  I’ll start in Proverbs.

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I actually read this scripture nearly 26 years ago, just after I got married.  As soon as I read it I knew it was something that I would have to work on for my entire life.  I may, perhaps, occasionally be rather grumpy.  =P  I was always quick to snark back.  The passage of years has shown me that it was a symptom of my own feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence.  While I am still certainly lacking in self-confidence, it’s a little better than it was over 20 years ago, and I’m less apt to snap back.  Thank goodness!  I feel like a mountain that, when first born, is spiky and made of sharp rocks, but over time wind and rain weathers it and it softens into a gently rounded hill, whose round boulders are covered with moss.

This is a particularly good scripture to follow even if you’re not religious.  It doesn’t mean you’re a pushover.  It doesn’t mean you agree to wrong things; it just means you are calm in your reply, even under provocation.

Dang, I am so not good at that.  But getting better, getting better.

Alma 22:16

I will give away all my sins to know thee.

Ammon had been pretty successful in teaching the Lamanites, all starting with his integrity in service and his refusal to back down before the robbers who had sought to scatter and steal King Lamoni’s sheep.

Ammon

“Ammon, man of arms.  All opposed, raise your hand.”

He didn’t kill the robbers.  He just chopped off their arms.

Anyway, the eventual results of this little endeavour meant that when Aaron hopped on over to the head king (Lamoni’s father), he decided to listen.  Aaron taught him, Lamoni’s father believed, and this was his first prayer:

“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day”

Which, you have to admit, is astonishingly awesome as first prayers go.

The idea of “giving away all my sins” is really quite terrifying.  If you sit still for a couple of seconds, with no problem at all you can think about some sin or other – whether a sin of commission or omission – that you actually *enjoy*.  I mean, seriously, would any of us sin in any way if it weren’t enjoyable?  We do it because, at least in the moment, it *feels* good.

One of the whole points of being on Earth, I think, is to recognize those sins that we really enjoy, and, one by one, give them up.  There’s greater joy in being close to the Lord anyway, so I should probably get on this right away.  It’s not a sin to eat lots of chocolate, is it?  Hmmm….maybe when one thinks of the Word of Wisdom it is.  Dangit.

Anyone know the name of Lamoni’s father, BTW?

Isaiah 54:11-13 and 3 Nephi 22:11-13

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

All has not been roses and chocolate in the life of Sister Brooks.  Indeed, those very things that caused the spiky mountain to be weathered to a rounded hill were not entirely painless.  There have been quite a few times where falling asleep at night was welcome oblivion, and I woke with the attitude of “Well.  I’m still alive and breathing.  Damn.  Might as well get up then.”  And I’d go through the motions of the day like a robot, longing for night to come where I could hide away from the pain.

This was one of those scriptures in which I found a great deal of comfort.  It was a testimony to me that, yes, God knew who I was and ached along with me.  He promised that one day I would live in peace.  Just because it sucked now doesn’t mean it always would.  I would read this scripture, and be soothed.

And hey, waddya know?  Life’s not perfect, of course, but it’s still pretty dang good compared to a couple of years ago.

All those who trust in the Lord, believe in him, believe him, and strive with all diligence to follow his commandments, will indeed feel that peace.

I want my children to have peace.  So I taught them the things of the Lord.  If they’re not feeling his peace right now, I know they will at some point in time.  Because I love them.  And He loves them.  So there.

John 3:16

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.

I testify that there is a Father in Heaven, that He loves us more than we can comprehend, that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to Earth, to live as an example for us to follow, to take upon himself all our sins and infirmities, and to die and be resurrected so that we might live again with our Father in Heaven.

Which means

– Christ, our Saviour, is a separate being from our Father in Heaven

– He lived as a perfect example, so to follow him we need to know what that example is, so we need to study and “feast upon” the scriptures

– Christ not only paid the price for our sins, he also took upon himself our infirmities.  So remember that time you broke your leg?  Yeah, he felt exactly what you did.  Remember when someone was mean to you and you felt that awful terrible aloneness and sinking in your stomach?  Yeah, he totally felt that too.  Not  “This is what it feels like in general”, but what YOU felt.  Specifically.  How can he be a righteous judge if he didn’t know *exactly* what you were feeling and experiencing?  He did.  He does.  He knows what is in your mind and heart because he’s there with you all the time.  And what he really really really wants us to do is take his hand, trust him, and rely on him.

– We can live with our Father in Heaven again because Christ a) atoned for our sins and b) rose again.  In our bodies we shall see God and live with him again.

49e

Only four scriptures in the first hour?  Good gravy.

This was really quite terribly enjoyable.  Re-reading and thinking about those scriptures made me feel so close to my Father in Heaven, and so grateful to Him and our Saviour.  ❤

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