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Faith – The Second Hour

February 20, 2015

2 Nephi 2:27

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man.  And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Let’s pull it apart.

Men are free.  We have been given the freedom to choose for ourselves.  I sometimes hear of a request of “proof” of Christ and God.  But where is the choice in that?  If there were proof, the freedom to choose would be gone.  You would not be able to deny their existence because right there, in front of you, would be undeniable evidence that they exist.  Which is why….

all things are given them which are expedient.  We are given enough physically, emotionally, and spiritually in order to live on the earth.  We can choose to believe in Christ and God, or not, as we choose.  I testify there is a God.  I testify that Christ died for you.  But all that testimony won’t mean a thing if you deliberately choose not to believe it.

and they are free to choose liberty and life…or captivity and death.  Though Heavenly Father loves you so much, he *will not* force you to believe.  He has given you the freedom of choice, and will not remove that gift from you.  He has sent his Son, scriptures, prophets, apostles, and the quiet whisperings of the Spirit to help and persuade you.

the devil….seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.  The evil one is cunning and will murmur things like “this is so old fashioned.  This is stupid.  What kind of idiot would believe that?” etc etc.  You have heard the thoughts and you know what they say specifically to you.  What is Christ’s end plan?  That you be happy and have joy.  What is Satans?  That you be miserable.  Do not forget, Satan is the one who rejoices when people are hurt, tortured, imprisoned, killed.  He’s the one who encourages the pedophile and laughs at the pain of victims.  So while his whispers may sound enticing and comforting, what he really wants is for you to be miserable, and in pain, and suffer.  =(

2 Nephi 9:28

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.  And they shall perish.  But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

That sneaky snake, Satan!  While the Lord takes weaknesses and makes them strengths, Satan uses your strengths against you.  Being educated is stinking awesome.  Get all that you can.  Never stop learning.  Never stop growing.  Never stop figuring out the world and stretching your mind.  But if you do all that then use that strength to deny goodness and light…well it was pretty useless then wasn’t it?  Because all your learning can do then is bring you sadness and regret.  But if you have faith *and* learning…Awwww yeah, that’s awesome.

Proverbs 4:7, 20

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding.

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Listen up! Learn.  Study.  Always be improving your mind.  Drink in the richness of this world that the Lord has made for you, and find out as much about it as you can.  Never stop.

D&C 88:77-79

And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.

Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms – 

This was actually a very helpful scripture to me when I was homeschooling Andrew.  It let me know I needed to teach him:

– the gospel

– astronomy

– geology

– history

– current events

– State policy

– Foreign policy

– Law

– Geography

And so on.  As we homeschooled only until he was 9, I didn’t exactly teach him all those subjects. =D  But it was a good place to start when considering high school studies.  It was also good to learn that what came first was the gospel, and everything else after that.  First have faith, then learning.  And with all thy getting, get understanding.

1 Nephi 19:7

For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and the soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet.  Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say trample under their feet but I would speak in other words – they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.

There are many who deny, demean, and scoff at Christ and his followers.  There are many who look upon Christians as weak minded sheep.  But what takes greater strength than to stand up for what you believe even as the world sneers and scorns and points their finger and laughs and bullies and murders?  One must have a strong mind and faith in order to believe in Christ in these days.

But what’s amazing is here’s this dude who came along and said, “Hey! I have a good idea! How about we all be kind to each other and stuff?  What about if we quit thinking of ourselves so much and helped others?  Wouldn’t that be great?”

And the world thought it was such a “great idea” that they stripped him, scourged him, spit on him, mocked him, tormented him, and killed him.  And even now He is mocked.  For what?  Saying “Let’s all be nice”?  I think He set an example anyone can follow, whether they profess to believe in Christ or not.

Isaiah 41:10, 13

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

You may recognize it from this song.

Such a comforting scripture!!  We have many experiences that scare us half to death and what we’d really rather do is hide under the bed clothes or run away run away run away. But it’s ok.  It’s fine.  Don’t be frightened or upset.  The Lord is with you.  He will help you.  He will hold your and and say, “Don’t worry!  I’m here.  It’s going to be ok.”

I need to remember that always.  When I just want to cry or run and never come back I need to remember the Lord is right there, holding my hand, saying, “It’s all good.  You can do it.  Hang in there.  I’ll help, don’t worry.”

What a lovely scripture to end today on.  ❤

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