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Faith – The Fourth Hour

February 25, 2015

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

No point praying or professing to believe in God if you’re just going through the motions.  The whole point is not the outward appearance, but what’s going on in your heart and mind.  Believe that he is, and that he will bless you for trying.

1 Nephi 16:29

And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

Alma 37:6

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

There are many problems in this world – most of the caused by sin and by people misusing their freedom of choice – but the solution is pretty simple.  Humans seem to want some grand fabulous thing to make everything better.  But it’s really just this: Pray.  Read your scriptures.  Go to church.  Go to the Temple.  Keep the commandments.  Be kind.  Serve others.  That’s about it really.  The small and simple things are sometimes the most difficult to do, but the fact that they’re small and simple means it’s also easy to get started.  Just start.  Doesn’t have to be a grandiose prayer.  Doesn’t have to be an hour long scripture study.  The time and words don’t matter, as long as it’s heartfelt and sincere.  And by those small and simple desires and actions can great things be brought to pass.

Matthew 17:20

…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Yeah, small and simple things like the mustard seed can bring to pass great things, as long as it is the will of the Lord.  If you have faith that the mountain will move but the Lord is like, “Nah, it’s good where it is.” then no amount of faith will move it.  But oh, if your will is aligned with the Lord and you have faith…just watch those mountains dance.

1 Nephi 16:1

Thou has declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.

Sometimes life is overwhelming, but if we trust in the Lord and endure, it will eventually be ok.  Don’t worry.  He is with us, and his hand is in ours comforting, supporting, leading, and guiding.  It’s all going to be ok.

1 Nephi 11:25

And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.

At some point, if I run out of favourite scriptures, I’m just going to type in the whole of Lehi’s vision, cos WOW is it awesome. The Iron Rod is the Word of God.  What’s the word of God?  The Old Testament.  The New Testament.  The Book of Mormon.  The Doctrine and Covenants.  General Conference talks.  Your Patriarchal Blessing.  Hold tight!!  Don’t let go.

How do you hold tight?  Read them every day.  Every day.  If you read something that smacks you over the head with a 2×4, make a note of it.  Maybe have a notebook nearby as you read the scriptures so you can right down the 2×4 ones, along with your comments and thoughts.  If you have the scriptures on an electronic device and sign in you can highlight and make notes there.  Those are fun to come back to.  =)  Memorize the ones that really affect you.  They’re the ones the Lord is trying to teach you something through, so it’s probably a good idea to have them memorized.  I need to follow my own advice here….

1 Nephi 10:20

Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.

Well that’s a bit scary innit?  OTOH….remember that time someone dropped their books and even though you were in a hurry you stopped to help them?  And remember that time you were so tired but made a meal for the family whose mother was sick?  And remember that time you wanted to smack someone upside the head but tried to see them through the Lord’s eyes and said something kind instead?  And remember that time the pressures of your calling were like to drown you and you felt like you were dropping balls all over the place and all you felt was criticism from others and inside your head as well, but you gathered up all your faith and courage and continued doing the best you could anyway?  And remember that time you worked on your Faith project with integrity and did the best you could?  Yeah.  You’ll be brought to judgment for all those things too.  And what do you think the Lord will say to that?  =)

Just say you’re sorry for the stuff you mess up, and try not to do it again.  Keep doing the best you can.  It’s going to be ok.  You’re a good person.  Hang in there.  There are great things to come.

Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

1 Corinthians 9:26

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.

Galatians 5:7

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Philippians 2:16

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

You are running an ultra and may be low on fuel.  You’re climbing the mountain.  Your legs ache and you’re scratched with brambles and you got attacked by poison oak.  Did you think the race would be easy?  That there would be no challenges, no aches or pains?  The challenge is what it’s all about.  If it were easy, what would you learn about yourself?  Do you think ultras are about running?  Hang in there.  Endure.  “Embrace the suck”.  You would not believe the view up ahead of you, and the glorious feeling of accomplishment when the race is ended.  It’s going to be awesome, and you’ll laugh with the joy of it all.

1 Nephi 1 10:19

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

The Lord is there for you.  All you have to do is look for him in prayer, and in the scriptures, and He will be there, delighting to bless you.

Malachi 3:16

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

Fearing the Lord means to respect him, obey him, and worship him.  What would your book of remembrance be?  A list of your favourite scriptures?  A gratitude journal?  A list of the ways you saw the hand of the Lord in your life that day?

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.  

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.

And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Those are some pretty hefty blessings just for giving 10% of what the Lord blessed you with in the first place.

2 Nephi 4:21

He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.

I know what that feels like.  I had an experience like that.   I testify to you that the Lord knows who you are.  His love for you is deeper, fuller, more intense than you can comprehend.  He Loves You.  Be good.  Do good. Believe in his son.  And all will be well.

D&C 9:6

Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner.

Our Father in Heaven sees from all eternity to all eternity.  He knows what is right for us at any given time.  Trust in Him.  Everything will work out just fine in the end. =)

D&C 9:7-9

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.

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.

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; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.

This is the process:

1. Think about it.  Mull it over.  The pros and cons.  The ins and outs.  Sometimes it helps at this point to pray for a clear mind so that you may have wisdom as you study through the issue.

2. Come to a decision.

3. Go to the Lord and say, “This is the decision I’ve come to.  Is it the right one?”

4. If it’s the right one, you’ll feel it.  Your heart will burn or beat faster or you’ll start crying or you’ll have a feeling of calmness and peace and rightness.  Or all of those things.  Or any combination thereof.  Or something like that – the feeling of the Spirit is different for each of us.

5. If it’s the wrong one, your mind will wander and you’ll feel kinda empty.  Or anxious. Or agitated. Or confused. Or just disquieted.  In any case, it won’t be the awesome feelings of the Spirit going “Heck yeah!”

HTH.

2 Nephi 1:15

But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.

The Lord knows you.  He knows the thoughts of your mind and the desires of your heart.  He has suffered and died and risen again for you.  He loves you.  You are precious to him.  It is not a light thing to be precious and loved by the God of everything and the Father of all.

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