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Faith – The Sixth Hour

February 28, 2015

D&C 1:10

Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.

Don’t judge, people.  It’s bad juju that makes other people unhappy and twists you up inside.  And it makes the Lord unhappy.  Who are you, you imperfect person, to go around thinking you’re better than anyone else?  We’re all mess-ups, dependent upon the Lord.

Matthew 7:1-5

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Like he said.  Quit that already, man!  What goes around comes around, so why not send around good stuff so the good stuff comes back to you?  If you judge people, not only will you be judged right back, but when the Lord comes you will be judged on the same scale you used to judge others.  Uncomfortable thought!

So I’m all, “Be good, be kind, be gentle, be loving, and repent of any mistakes.”  Cos, y’know, when the time comes I reeeaaally really really need to be judged on a good, kind, gentle, loving scale.  Oh boy I need that.  Cos the amount of mistakes I make – hoooo doggy.

stop it

Preach it, Dieter.

Matthew 7:12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Like he says.  The golden rule.  Want people to be nice to you? Be nice to all people.  Want people to be understanding of your foibles and limitations and weaknesses?  Be understanding of everyone’s foibles and limitations and weaknesses.  Everyone.  Want people to not talk about you behind your back?  Don’t talk about anyone behind their back.  Ever.  No matter who they are.  Want people to not make fun of you?  Never make fun of anyone.

It’s difficult, and you’ll probably be working on perfecting this your whole life, but there is no doubt that the Lord will bless you for your efforts, and even though you may not be perfect at it, as you strive with all your might to follow this admonition of the Lord, you will feel happier in your heart.

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;

I’m on a Matthew kick today it seems.  Sometimes there’s a run of scriptures that are just so delicious.  In this scripture the Lord is clearly desiring to bless us.  If we ask in righteousness (no, he’s not going to give you a million dollars just for the asking – that would not be good for you….or, at least, you’d better hope He doesn’t! It’d make you utterly miserable.) the Lord delights to bless us.  First we ask, seek, knock – ie, first we put forth the effort – then comes the blessings.

Matthew 7:9-11

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

The Lord loves you.  If you ask in righteousness, he will give you everything you need.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

The Lord will give us gifts.  He will quicken our minds.  He will give us knowledge that will clear up all difficulties and put us in harmony with the commandments that he has given us; he will give us a knowledge that will be so deeply rooted in our souls that it can never be rooted out, if we will just seek for the light and the truth and the understanding that are promised to us and that we can receive if we will only be true and faithful to every covenant and obligation pertaining to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Follow the commandments and magnify your calling and you will be blessed with what you need when you need it.

Teachings of the presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

…he has promised us that if we magnify our callings and walk in the light, as he is in the light, we shall have glory and honor with him forever in his Father’s kingdom.

Magnify your calling and follow the commandments and ta dah! we will live with Heavenly Father forever.  He has promised it.  Promised.  So we can trust it.  Hooray! =)

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

We cannot pray to the Lord and say: “Listen to our cause, bring victory to us, do what we want you to do, but don’t ask us to do what you want us to do.”

“Why call me Lord, Lord,” he says, “and do not the things that I say?”

Uhm.  Ouch.  Why would the Lord help us if we are not honestly and sincerely striving to follow his commandments?  He is with us all the time.  He knows what is in our mind and hearts.  He knows our true desires.  He knows if we are true and faithful.  If we do our best, we will be blessed.  If we don’t really care about the Lord and reject his teachings, how can he help us?  The blessings are predicated upon faithfulness.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

What good does it do for us to petition the Lord, if we have no intention of keeping His commandments?  Such praying is hollow mockery and an insult before the throne of grace.

Y’know, in times past, they didn’t pull any punches.  No PC stuff.  Just telling it like it is.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith

Our responsibility in the Church is to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, and this we are seeking to do with all our heart, might, and mind.  Jesus said, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  (Matt 4:10) … The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please him.  It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord it is quite another to respect and honour his will by following the example he has set for us.”

So when the Lord says we should worship him, what he’s saying is, “Follow my example and keep the commandments.”

1 Nephi 15:8

And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

Sometimes he says yes right away.  Sometimes only after a while.  Sometimes he says no right away.  Sometimes only after a while.  Sometimes he says, “Wait”.  Sometimes he says, “Well, what would you like to do?”  That last one’s the hardest.  It’s so much easier to have someone else make the difficult decision.  But the Lord wants us to use the brains he blessed us with to think it through ourselves.  For someone like me, who has an appalling time making a decision (just ask my husband) that one is sooo difficult.

Plus, y’know, if you haven’t behaved in a way that allows the spirit to be with you to guide you, sometimes it’s really hard hearing and interpreting the answers to prayers.  Keep the commandments.  Pray and read the scriptures daily.  Go to church.  Go to the Temple.

Mosiah 26:31

And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbour’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.

You know what I’ve never noticed before?  The “when he says that he repents” thing.  It’s so much more difficult to forgive when the person does not repent and persists in hurting you.  I think even that is required of us though.  In this particular scripture, however, we are commanded to forgive those who do repent.  That’s a good place to start, and to practice forgiving those who don’t. =)

Mosiah 27:24

For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.

This is all of us, if we want it.

Mosiah 27:13-16

…Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.

…Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayer sof his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.

And now behold, can ye dispute the power of God?  For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God.

Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them.  And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.

Yikes.

Can you imagine this?  This is where the angel appears to Alma.  Blew his mind.  Can you imagine being told by an angel, “Look dude, what the heck are you doing?  This is God’s church, man.  The only reason I’m here is because your Dad is so awesome and has prayed in such faith for you that God sent me.  And yeah, you know how you’ve been saying we don’t exist?  Well ta dah!  Here I am.  Can you deny that, huh, punk?  Now get lost, already.  If you want to go to hell, fine, just quit dragging other people with you, ok?”

Yeah.  I can imagine that was a leeetle bit of a shock to Alma.  Certainly put him in a coma-type thing for three days.  And his Dad was all “YAY!”, which is pretty funny. =)

Pretty uncomfortable experience.  I really wouldn’t like an Angel to come down and tell me stuff like that.

Jacob 7:15

And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth.  And it came to pass that he was nourished for the space of many days.

I’ve wondered about that word, “nourished” for a while.  It makes me think of Alma in his coma.  Alma was “nourished” too, I think.  It’s a spiritual/knowledge thing, I think, rather than physically being fed food.

1 Nephi 219-20

And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou has sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.  

And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.

Here is this thing again; it’s like the constant refrain of the scripture.  Keep the commandments and be blessed.

Moroni 10:29

And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.

If you really want to know if God exists, if Jesus really did come to earth, live as an example, suffer and die for our sins, then rise again, if the Book of Mormon is true, if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of God, then pray about it.  If you do so with faith and sincerity, the Lord will let you know.

Like he says here…..

Moroni 10:4-5

And when she 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. 

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

So if you want to know if it’s true

– Ask God in the name of Christ

– Ask with a sincere heart

– With real intent – that is, “If it’s true, this is what I’m going to do about it.”

– having faith in Christ – that is, believing that you will receive an answer.

Then you will receive an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost.

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