A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

“The Money Tree” – Gifts From Above

I came across this fascinating YouTube. It brought to my attention the fact that we miss much of what is all around us. Free gifts are continually floating above our heads and easily within our reach. Unfortunately, we often interpret these gifts as a nuisance, duck to avoid contact, and brush by without even taking notice of what we are discarding. We decline free gifts placed right in front of our faces. Sometimes we totally reject offers of a lifetime for one reason or another. As a result, we too often fail to claim the valuable gifts from above.

I hope you enjoy and take notice as you view “The Money Tree”.

This video displayed human nature and the environment of this world in which we now reside. Many people seemed to be preoccupied with something of greater importance in the moment. In a hurried pace, they passed by not even noticing the opportunity offered. Some looked directly at the “money tree” and simply could not see the gift. I really believe that for some reason, they actually could not see the obvious “elephant in the room.”

Others looked at the tree, saw something hanging in the air, and seemed to acknowledge that the dollar bills existed. They purposely ignored the offer and disregarded the gift, mistrusting a “free lunch”, and assuming there must be “strings attached.” Besides, there are no free lunches in the real world, right? It must be too good to be true, and it’s probably fake money anyway. Certainly a hoax, prank, or scam!

This is too suspicious and sketchy for me, and I don’t want to look like a fool or be stupid. If I stop and claim the offered gift, what will people think of me? What will they say? Should I take only one of the many gifts offered from above? Can I claim two gifts without being seen as too greedy and still save face? Should I take the whole lot and run like hell before others have a chance to catch me, turn me into the authorities, and prosecute me? Is it better to just blend into society and avoid causing disturbing waves? Is it best to see and claim the offered gift or let the opportunity pass by? Oh, there are too many hard choices here with so many social expectations and norms attached! Maybe I’ll just hurry by, appear to be on my way to something important, look dignified and normal, and avoid the pointing fingers and embarrassment. That would be a lot easier and certainly lower my heart rate, huh?

I noticed many symbolisms, similarities, and connections between the “Money Tree” and real God-given gifts from heaven. In both cases, the gifts are offered from above, and we must look up to claim them. The individuals who pass by, ignore, or for whatever reason, choose not to claim the gifts, forfeit them. It was inspiring when one lady changed her mind, re-evaluated, perhaps regretted her earlier choice of passing by, “repented”, and came back to claim the offered gift.

The “Money Tree” had a limit of about a hundred one-dollar bills to offer. In this world, there seems to be the general belief and delusion that there is never enough to go around for everyone to have an abundance. Therefore, some feel guilty or selfish about claiming the rare and limited gifts. In varying degrees, people feel that they do not deserve the gifts, and it may be evil to claim too many. They would like to share with others, and this is an outstanding attribute. While others have the mind-set to grab the whole bundle and run before others have a chance to get it.

There appears to be an illusion of scarcity and lack in this world, but there is not in heaven. Heaven doesn’t put a limit on gifts, nor do the gifts run out. God invites everyone everywhere to take all they truly want. Somehow our Father can give gifts in abundance without lacking or losing a thing. He actually increases and ascends as his children acquire and use His gifts. As one child makes a claim on a God-offered gift, no one else is left deficient or in wanting. Just because one receives a gift does not mean that another loses the opportunity to receive the same gift. God is no respecter of persons Acts 10:34 D&C 1:35 D&C 38:16 and there is enough and to spare. D&C 104:17

The gifts of God are offered and available to everyone under the same conditions. Gifts from heaven do not run out, but when the night finally comes John 9:4 and no more work can be done, then the offer expires. Alma 34:33-35 We must not wait to take notice or delay to accept the gifts from God. It is horrifying to be unclear or get distracted and thereby come to the awful realization that we have done what God told us not to do. “… ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.” Helaman 13:38

How alarming and shocking when we finally comprehend that we have been climbing the wrong ladder, focusing on the wrong stuff, picking the filthy fruit, and trying to obtain glory, gifts and power in ways contrary to God and heaven. How sad and appalling that we have been forfeiting the offers of God all the days of our lives seeking for the things of this world and that which we could not obtain. What a tragedy to drift through the days of our entire lives of probation without really seeing anything from heaven and without actually claiming something of eternal importance.

Why is it that we avoid or fail to claim the Heavenly Gift offered by our Father? Ether 12:7-11 Is it eternally essential that we make claims on God-offered gifts prior to the expiration date? Must we do it before God declares that the days of our probation are past? Is it wise to put off, delay, or procrastinate the day of our salvation until it is everlastingly too late? Samuel, the Lamanite prophet, tells us the message he received from God concerning the matter. Helaman 13:38 Moroni, another prophet on the American continent, commended us to seek Jesus, the gift from heaven. Ether 12:38-41 I think they are both right.

Gifts from heaven are always the very best. They really do turn out to be the most valuable. They ultimately comfort us and lead us to salvation. The Lord always understands our true heart, knows the next step on our journey called life, and chooses gifts to offer his children that will prove most beneficial. Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above.” D&C 6:10

The sacred gifts from above are specifically offered to God’s children on an individual basis. All gifts from God are offered to us with purpose and reason. Haphazard, hit and miss, or random gifts without rhyme or reason do not come from a God of wisdom and love. Our Father in Heaven understands and operates under eternal laws. Therefore, any blessing or gift that we receive from God is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. D&C 130:20-21 God knows what he is doing and how to give good gifts to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11

He reminds us to remember that a God-given gift is sacred. A gift offered from above should be respected and honored. Be grateful to God for the offer, view it for what is really is, and fully embrace it as a valuable and holy endowment from God. D&C 88:33

Having a gift offered from heaven is not enough. An invitation is not enough. We must, as a bear minimum, at least make the effort to look upward and claim the gift. If we do not, we end up denying it by default. God is not one to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon us. He does not force gifts upon his children, but he offers gifts to all. The choice is ours, but we are instructed that we must not deny gifts offered from God. Moroni 10:8 3 Nephi 29:6 Denying precious gifts from above is not a wise route to take.

What does the tree represent? What is the fruit that it bears? What does it take to come to the tree and partake of the fruit that is offered to all? What are our obstacles and weaknesses that cause us to hold back and fail to obtain? What stands between the tree and us? In our lives, what takes precedence over the fruit and the gifts from heaven?

Any gift offered by God cannot be given and fully utilized in our lives until we declare it, accept it, receive it, honor it, value it, apply it, express gratitude for it, and are not intimidated or frightened by what others may think of us claiming it. I believe that receiving the Heavenly Gift and salvation is a personal matter between God and the individual directly. 2 Nephi 9:41 It doesn’t come by any other way. Jesus Christ is the way. John 14:6

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