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.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time and Eternity

Time and Eternity seem be be describing two different dimensions. This would explain why it is difficult for those who view the world in time to comprehend things in eternity.

Here a High-School Student explains the 4th Dimension

4th Dimension explained

Even having the 4th dimension explained, it is challenging to visualize the 4th dimension. If you lived in the 4th dimension you see all sides of a three dimensional object, before, behind, and through.

Is this John's attempt at describing heaven? Or a dimension higher than earth?

    And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. Revelation 4:6

I'm not saying that heaven is in the 4th dimension, but it seems that heaven is in a higher dimension than the earth. That is why the things of eternity are often misunderstood and confusing to those who only see the natural world.

Does our flesh live in time? Does our spirit live in eternity? Are the things of eternity only to be comprehended while in the Spirit?

This is the end of the vision which we saw, which we were commanded to write while we were yet in the Spirit. But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion; Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter; Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves; That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. Doctrine and Covenants 76:113-118

Eternal, spiritual, no end neither beginning, and heaven seem to be words describing the dimension of eternity. Temporal, beginning of my work – last of my work, natural, carnal, sensual, and earth seem to describe the dimension of time.

For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal— First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work—Speaking unto you that you may naturally understand; but unto myself my works have no end, neither beginning; but it is given unto you that ye may understand, because ye have asked it of me and are agreed. Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created. Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual. Doctrine and Covenants 29:31-35

And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers. Helaman 5:8

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1

Is eternity a covering because those in time don't see into eternity? Abraham, Sarai, Lot, and their caravan were protected in eternity. Jesus could easily escape his enemies by stepping into eternity. Philip was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord.

Therefore, eternity was our covering and our rock and our salvation, as we journeyed from Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan. Abraham 2:16

And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, Luke 4:29-30

Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8:59

And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:39

Certain things need to happen in the dimension of time that also need to happen in eternity
And he that receiveth these things receiveth me; and they shall be gathered unto me in time and in eternity. Doctrine and Covenants 39:22

And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. Doctrine and Covenants 72:3

And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life? And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me. Moses 7:45-47

This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things— Alma 13:7

Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, or in other words, in eternity; He was also slain in the meridian of time. He made his preparations (D&C 19:19, 128:5) both in time and in eternity.

To understand and comprehend the things of eternity, it is important to listen to the spirit within even God.  I am coming to believe that attachment and focus on earthy substance is a hindrance in comprehending God. 

And I would not that ye think that I know of myself—not of the temporal but of the spiritual, not of the carnal mind but of God. Alma 36:4 

The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. Doctrine and Covenants 88:13

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Despair Cometh Because of Iniquity

Study Finds Utah Leads Nation in Antidepressant Use. Antidepressant drugs are prescribed in Utah more often than in any other state, at a rate nearly twice the national average. When I read this and other heartbreaking news, I get a little weak in the stomach.

I ask myself, "Why is there so much despair among the Mormon people?"  Are there answers in the scriptures yet to be discovered? Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

These words are written in the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, “And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity. And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.” Moroni 10:21-23

I decided to look up the definitions of iniquity and despair to help me in my understanding. Iniquity is gross injustice or something that is unfair or evil. Despair is hopelessness or depression 

Why did Moroni say, “Despair cometh because of iniquity.” So what does our iniquity have to do with depression?

I read what the dictionary said about iniquity, then I wondered what the scriptures said about iniquity? This is the best scripture I found that gives some kind of definition for the word.

“And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.” Alma 41:11

From this scripture I learn that iniquity has to do with being in a natural, or a carnal state. What do carnal men and women do that is unjust or unfair?

When Abinadi called the church leadership of his day to repentance, he said, “And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.” Mosiah 13:11

Why would the church leaders of his day be studying and teaching iniquity? What does that look like?

Abinadi said, Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise. Therefore, what teach ye this people? And they said: We teach the law of Moses. And again he said unto them: If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against this people, yea, even a great evil against this people?” Mosiah 12:27-29

King Noah and his priests set their hearts on riches, but so have I. When Mormon was abridging the Book of Mormon, did he include this story because he could see our day? “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. Mormon 8:35

“And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father. For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness. 

"And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain. And all this did he take to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom. 

"For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.  

"Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them. And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;


"And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things. 

"And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.

"And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.

"And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.

"And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people. Mosiah 11:1-13

I feel like I just received a great treasure. I am excited to repent. I really didn't understand iniquity a few hours ago when I started to write down ideas. I need to reconsider how I do things.

Look what happens when we're freed from our riches . . . “behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost . . . the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. . . And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” 4 Nephi 1:1-16

What would happen if I wasn't interested in obtaining and maintaining a large amount of stuff? A lot of energy is expended taking care of my possessions. I think this also has to do with keeping up an image: how I dress, what I look like, and what people think of me.

Is the Lord's yoke easy and his burden light? Can we be filled with the love of God and be the happiest people on earth? How does our materialistic world contribute to the depression among our people? Going back to the definition of iniquity, what is unfair or unjust about people being on unequal ground when it comes to temporal things? "Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld." D&C 70:14 I didn't put the two together, but it's something to think about.

It's interesting that this understanding is coming to me now. Jaylee came home for fall break with the idea of building and living in a tiny house (about 250 square foot home). As I listened to her ideas and started watching the videos of people shedding their material things, I could feel the joy build. It would be very liberating to live a simple unencumbered life.

I am just beginning to understand what it means to repent of my iniquity. I am excited to explore a new way of living and thinking.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stay in the Boat and Hold On!

A boat is a fitting symbol for what is being taught in Elder M. Russell Ballard's October 2014 General Conference talk.

What would you do if you were on the Titanic? If you could see what was coming, would you say anything to the other passengers? Or would you quietly get your family off the boat, back to shore, and onto a rock where there is sure footing?

A boat is very vulnerable to the storms of life. The judgments of God can be easily felt on a boat.

Jonah felt the Lord's displeasure out at sea. “But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.” Jonah 1:4

Laman and Lemuel felt the judgments of God out at sea. “And it came to pass that after they [Laman and Lemuel] had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work. Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me. And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore. And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.” 1 Nephi 18:12-15

The disciples of Jesus were fearful and showed their lack of faith on the sea. “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:37-41

The waters cannot be trusted. Like the doctrines and teachings of men, they are shifting and ever moving. When the storms of life come upon me, I don't want to be on a boat at all. I don't care how many people are on the boat with their life jackets. When the mighty storm is beating upon me, I don't even want to be standing on a sandy beach Matthew 7:24-29. I want to be standing on a sturdy rock:-) Holding on to a sinking boat with both hands will not save me.

In Russell Ballard'sOctober 2014 General Conference, he likened himself to an experienced river guide. He said he recently spoke at the new mission presidents’ seminar and counseled the leaders to “Keep the eyes of the mission on the leaders of the Church. … We will not and … cannot lead [you] astray. And as you teach your missionaries to focus their eyes on us. . .”

In contrast, Helaman taught, “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” Helaman 5:12

"Call me Mr. Fat Jack"

If you're looking to the “church boat” to save you, you have reason to be uneasy. If you know how to get your own revelation and swim, get off the boat, and swim back to shore. The only guide you need is the Lord Jesus Christ. Only pretenders would divert your attention away from the Lord and teach you to focus your eyes on them. No man should ever stand between you and your Lord. Plant your feet on the Rock of our Redeemer.