I ran across a beautiful article the other day by a modern day apostle, Boyd K. Packer entitled The Spirit of Revelation. Though directed to the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his words offer encouragement for each of us about the importance of mastering our own thoughts. What we think and feel creates the most intimate parts of who we are. Do the things we harbor in our minds and hearts reflect the things that God would have there, or have we let this sacred space be taken over by the philosophies and worries of the world around us? God has asked us to focus our thoughts on Christ and virtue, among other things. One of the greatest things we can master in this life is our mind. We can use it to focus on good, evil, and every shade in between the two. But the disciple of Christ should be mindful of the first and greatest commandment:
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Blessings, Humility, Obedience, Peace, Service
I’ve been thinking today, of a favorite hymn. I like it partly because of its upbeat melody, and partly because of its message. This song provides an interesting way to look at a disciple’s role in service and helping our fellow man. I appreciate its straightforward reminders of the things that matter most, reminders of how to obtain these goals, and the cheerful manner in which the message is delivered. Service doesn’t seem like such drudgery, but a privilege and a joy.
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Blessings, Humility, Peace
There are many around us, in fact the world seems to be almost entirely focused on achievement, competition, perfection, and material possessions. There are more ways advertised in all the media we encounter every day to be better, have more, and change who we are to fit society’s norm, than we could ever humanly conquer.
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Humility, Obedience
July 24th is celebrated by the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “Pioneer Day”. It is a day we honor those who were the first members of the LDS Church in this time period. These were the people who felt the Spirit and were willing to step outside of their comfort zone to follow the whisperings of their heart about a vision given to a young farm boy and an additional book of scripture. They joined the church in its youngest phases and though their blessings were numerous, so were the challenges they faced.
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Blessings, Humility, Leadership, Obedience, Peace
I’ve talked a lot about the Spirit that a disciple of Christ needs to carry with him. It’s that presence and knowledge of God’s will for you that make you the most effective disciple you can be. This Spirit comes in two forms. There is a general presence that testifies of truth as well as gives guidance and direction as it is needed for any and all human beings who have not denied the light of Christ within them. There is also a second step in which the disciple makes specific covenants with God that allow that Spirit to more fully manifest Himself to you. These covenants invite the Holy Ghost’s companionship into every aspect of your every day life.
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Blessings, Humility, Peace, Repentance
People look to Christ for many different reasons, just as they did during His mortal ministry. Some came looking for miracles, some to have their daily needs met, some to try and find fault with Him, some to seek forgiveness, some to learn from Him and feel His love. What first brought you to Christ? Are your reasons the same now as they were then?
Today, I had the pleasure to spend some time at a park near my home. Aside from the mosquitoes that seem to be able to find me from miles around, I had a pleasant time. There is a pond and walking trail meandering through partially wooded areas. It’s a wonderful place to spend some quiet time. As I wandered around a bit, I thought about a quote I recently read from C. S. Lewis.
Filed under: Blessings, Humility, Peace, Relationships, Service
I think that some of the best disciples of Christ I have ever seen haven’t really said a word to me about Jesus Christ. Well, maybe sometimes, but for the most part they testify of the love and goodness of God in a vastly different way. Most of the world calls these children “special needs”, I prefer special spirits. Some may not share the same opinions of gratitude for children who are born with a different set of parameters on life than most of us. Some would see this as a sign that God does not love us, that just like war, famine, and a host of other difficult things in this life, these children are somehow evidence that Heavenly Father is not aware of us.
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Humility, Obedience, Relationships, Service
What does membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the LDS Church) mean for the disciple of Christ? Is it possible to be a disciple without membership? The most basic answer to the second question is yes of course. Anyone who realizes how important Jesus Christ is to them can begin a new life as His disciple. Emulating Jesus Christ is the best goal for anyone in this world. In fact, it is the primary purpose of our time on earth.
I talked yesterday about the need for preparation of our hearts and minds for service experiences.