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Faith – The Fourth Hour

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!”


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.


Faith – The Third Hour

2Nephi 2:22-23

And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden.  And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

Our Father in Heaven works all things for our good.  How can we be happy if we don’t know what sadness is?  Kahlil Gibran says,

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

The deeper our sadness, the greater our joys.  The difficulties of life are worked for our own good.

2 Nephi 2:11

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.  Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.  

How can we choose the right if there isn’t a choice to make?  If all were good, what choice would that be?  There needs to be a balance, so that we can choose the right to our own happiness, or the wrong to our own misery.

D&C 88:63-64

Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.

And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.

If you diligently seek the Lord, you will find him.  How do you seek him?  In prayer, in scripture study, in church and Temple attendance, in serving others, and in a frame of mind that is focused on him.  If you ask for something that is right for you to receive, the Lord will give it to you.  If you ask for something that’s not good…either he’ll be all, “What the heck? No way, man!” or, even worse, he’ll be all, “Ok fine, here you go.” and that’s the *worst* thing that could happen.  Because if you are given something that’s not good for you to have, how can anything good come from it?  Seek only for things that are good, thereby you will be happy and can bless the lives of others.

2 Nephi 2:25

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

The reason why Adam left the Garden of Eden was so that we could be born.  The reason why we’re born is so that we can be happy.  Pretty straight forward. =)

2 Nephi 2:16

Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.  Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

One of the greatest gifts Heavenly Father gave to us is the freedom of choice.  Often people ask, “why does God allow bad things in the world?  Why does God allow suffering?”

Suffering and pain comes from the misuse of the freedom of choice by others.  Think about it.  Wars are caused by power hungry tyrants seeking power instead of choosing to help others.  Famine? Misuse of resources by greedy people instead of sharing with others. Abuse? Misuse of the freedom of choice by other humans.  Rape? One human choosing to hurt another rather than helping them.  Other sadness is caused by the simple fact that we’re alive on a fallen world with an imperfect body.

So here we are, with this freedom to choose.  As mentioned above, how can we choose the right unless the wrong choice is also available?  There must be opposition or we cannot exercise our free will to do good.

2 Nephi 1:6-7

Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.

Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring.  And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

How come so many of the scriptures I love are in 2 Nephi?  =D

As an immigrant, I loved this scripture.  It was like Lehi was referring specifically to me.  “Hey, Keeley, you came into this land because the Lord wanted you to be here.  And if you follow the Lord you’ll be free and blessed.” That’s a pretty nifty thing to read. =)

Isaiah 53:11

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Our Saviour walks with us and knows us; all our thoughts and desires, and therefore can judge us truly, righteously, fairly, with justice and mercy.

1 Nephi 22

Wherefore, my brethren, I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to the commandments of God.

The plates of brass are the Book of Mormon.  It is a true book.  It is the owner’s manual for this life.  Follow the precepts therein in order to get the optimal result.

1 Nephi 21:15-16, Isaiah 49:15-16

For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…

Our Saviour will never forget us.  Not us as a whole – though certainly that too – but us individually.  My Saviour will never forget me.  He has carried my burdens, eased my woes, encouraged me, held my hand, paid for my sins, been tortured and nailed to a cross, ridiculed, died, and rose again.  For me.  He will never forget me, and is always with me.  I am so grateful.  ❤

1 Nephi 19:23

And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.

In order to gain a stronger testimony of the Saviour, read Isaiah.  Whatever you read, pretend it’s directed at you.  Even include your name if you like.  It can make it easier to understand.

Ether 12:9, 11-12

Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Wherefore by faith was the law of Moses given.  But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

I think I had underlined that first scripture because it made me smile.  A few years ago I was pregnant.  A lovely young lady called Gretchen Killingbeck gave a masterful, uplifting, and encouraging talk on Hope.  At that point I decided our child, if it were a girl, would be called Hope.  So verse 9 would make me smile because the child was a gift and wouldn’t it be funny if we had another child and called her Faith? =D

But then I lost the baby and so Hope died and at that particular time it seemed pretty apropos because it was one of the darkest times of my life. Man, that sucked.

But then we move on to the other verses.  With faith we can do anything, and so can the Lord.  If we have faith he can work miracles in us.

Some people say, “show me the miracle first! Then I will believe.” but that’s not how it works.  That’s like looking at a fireplace and saying “Give me heat first! Then I will light you.”

No no.  First you must gather the wood.  You much chop it to the appropriate size.  You must gather kindling.  You must lay the kindling in such a way that it easily catches fire. You must gently, carefully, fan the tiny flame.  You must stay there, focusing on it, adding larger then larger pieces until the fire is roaring and you are warm.  Then you must tend the flame so it doesn’t go out.

That is faith.  First you do the work, then comes the miracle.  Faith precedes the miracle, not the other way around.

Alma 32:21

And now as I said concerning faith – faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

It’s kind of astonishing I don’t have the entire chapter of Alma 32 in here.

Faith doesn’t mean you know everything.  How can it be?  If you know everything, that’s knowledge.  Faith is saying, “Well.  I trust you.  So here we go!” and you step out on to that invisible ledge just like Indiana Jones.  And waddya know, the ledge is there and you can go get the cure.




Hmmm…..maybe that scripture will come later…..

Faith – The Second Hour

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.  ❤

Faith – The First Hour

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, 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.


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.  ❤

Being called as YW President has kind of changed my mindset a little.  I’m slowly getting used to the overwhelming responsibilities, but still have “anxiety attacks” from time to time.  They’re not real anxiety attacks.  I just freak out, cry, panic, and eat a lot of chocolate.

Anyway, I figured since I feel very strongly that the YW need to constantly work on their Personal Progress, even though I already have my medallion, I figure it’s pretty dang important that I work on it with them.

So I sat down with the PP book and made a day-to-day schedule.  Every week I print out what to do for the week and give it to the girls who want a copy.  I don’t force it on them; some are close to graduating and don’t need it, and some are working at their own pace.  It’s fine.  I just want it available for them if they’re interested.

Meanwhile, it’s been a lifesaver for me.  I just sit down, look at the day’s “to do”, and do it.  Voila! By September I’ll have worked through the whole programme.  At which point I may or may not start again.  We shall see.

Tomorrow I start on the Faith Value Project.  I’ve decided to record my favourite scriptures and my testimony of them.  I figured a blog is as good a place as any to do that so I’ll use this blog for that purpose.