Poem About God

i feel like i see snapshots of the divine through you, here and there, as something older than the dust of the earth and made of weightier stuff shuffles into the driver’s seat of your awareness and spills out of your mouth…

we are little pieces of perfection waiting to fully mature
pieces of Him and so we are already perfectly loved
and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever
it’s so interesting how i can know this but still question
“why does He stick around?”
silly little pieces jumbling about in a chaotic mess
eternally loved
and so confused as to why, how
when all i do is fall apart
accidentally drop more chaos onto another.
beggars in true form
terribly hoping to become enough
simultaneously baffled by His unyielding willingness
to see something we cannot
and so we keep trying.
i imagine He smiles then,
because He knew we would
-keep trying.
help pick up and prop up
our sisters so we could stand side by side to watch and to wonder
“why does He stick around?”
silly us
we can’t see the divinity being coaxed out
by the afflicting fires
softening our rough edges
answering our questions when we’re ready.
burning out the impurities this world
drip, dropped
into our mouths instead of breast milk.
i imagine pretty soon –
when we stand at His feet and weep at the sight of His hands
still scarred,
our nothingness carved into His palms,
with the majesty of His presence filling us until we
become
so much more –
i imagine, just faintly
we will recognize more fully
something in ourselves
worth sticking around for.
i feel like i see this in you already
only it takes some time before i realize
i’m recognizing Him in you
as you become more like Him
more like who you were always meant to be
and that-
that is most likely the answer.
if we can see Him in one another
we need never ask any more questions
like these silly little fears that cling
to the inside of our bone marrow
like daggers from the enemy
“why does He stick around?”
why of course,
for the same reason
He stuck around the first time
bloody pores and a crown of thorns
tired feet and a knowledge
of what was coming
bullied as we can’t know,
hated like no perfection ever should be,
(and bullied just isn’t enough of a word)
our King and our confidant,
mediator and healer,
our only safe place among raging coldness,
among empty hearts and empty hands,
“why does He stick around?”
our only safe place?
because He loves us.

 

by Daphne Shadows

 

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So, this wasn’t written to be read easily. I didn’t actually write it for anyone except my sister to read it. I wrote it in response to the age old question we all carry… when someone else’s blog post poked at the question hiding in my chest.

I felt it appropriate for the meaning, to keep everything but His name in lowercase letters. Which is ungrammatical and sometimes hard to follow but that’s the way it is in my head. I’m a big believer in trying to get any kind of emotion and art communicated to others in a format as close to what is inside the artist’s head as possible.

How can we know each other if we edit ourselves out of our communication with one another?

Anywho, I’ve never written a poem about God.

It always felt too close to trying to speak for God. As if writing a poem about Him would mean I professed to know everything about Him. So, like, poetry about God should be written by the general authorities and that’s it.

Which is hilarious and semi-ridiculous. But it occurred to me that if I’m not using art to share my emotions of Him, using the talent with words God gave me (which most likely is not apparent in this post), then I am doing Him a disservice. If I’ll write poetry on my other blog about all else I feel and experience, and not about the being central to my life – God – then I am kind of a terrible hypocrite.

And as we all know, God doesn’t like hypocrites. So here you are.

My first gospel-centered poem. And it has zero grammar.

*writer in me sobs, face in palm ‘why do you have to be like this, the one time you write a poem about the Creator of the universe you decided to forget all rules of writing and don’t even use paragraph breaks!’*

 

P.S. This applies to brothers and sisters (men and women)… all humans. It was simply in response to my sister. Hence the ‘sisters’ part. So if you’re a dude, please plug in “brothers” as you read.

 

Photo is the property of LDS.org (from LDS images gallery).

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Christ Is Love

This is a lesson I put together last year. I have to say it is one of my favorites.

I originally came upon the idea (*ahem* was prompted by the Spirit) when I saw this “Erase Meanness” movement online.

It blew me away. Totally awe-inspiring to see so many people working toward goodness. So I stole the idea for class. 😉 As a writer, I feel I should let you know that all artists steal. There are no new stories. Christ gave them all. We are simply retelling them in different ways. We just don’t plagiarise. Never a good idea.

The website is here: Erase Meanness.

 

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THE LESSON

I snuck out of Sacrament meeting a good half hour early. (I don’t typically do lessons where I need that much time to prep because I really do not like missing sacrament meeting.)

I grabbed different color chalk and wrote negative words all over the board.

In the very center, I wrote, “Satan is Hate”.

 

I got done just in time and class started to filter in while I still had chalk all over my hands, standing on a chair.

I climbed down and we had an opening prayer. I don’t remember what lesson information I gave at the beginning of class. I do know we read some scriptures beforehand, as I always make certain to add scripture to each lesson.

I will add a few ideas at the end of the post.

 

LESSON ACTIVITY

This is what the board looked like when I finished with it and the class started. All negative words and/or phrases.

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I had each person come up and erase one hateful word, then replace it with something positive.

Once we were done, the board looked like this.

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I erased the words in the center and replaced them with, “Christ is Love”.

 

How awesome is that?

I printed the photos out and took them back to the class next Sunday so they could all have a photo of their own handiwork.

Absolutely gorgeous to see if you ask me.

 

LESSON IDEAS

If I redo this lesson, this is what I will most likely do in the beginning.

 

Come Unto Christ

We can all have a change of heart. The only way to do this is to come unto Christ. To allow him to replace hate with love. Misery with joy. Emptiness and a sense of giving up with hope.

How can we deny this when Christ suffered the very worst, the most unfair, for us?

2 Nephi 19: 9

9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

Christ loves us and consequently wants a relationship with him. If we want light and love, truth and joy to fill our lives – even as hard times descend and life crashes against our happiness – then we must draw close to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We are nothing without Him. We are everything to Him.

…compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Source.

 

 

God loves us more than we can understand. He is perfect. His love is as well. He will never forsake us, will never leave us comfortless. He wants us to feel His love in our lives.

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.

He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children.

No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.

Source.

 

 

If we choose Satan, things go wrong.

Think about Cain and Abel. Who did Cain choose? Satan. And what happened? He became a son of perdition, meaning he will live in outer darkness.

The followers of Satan who will suffer with him in eternity. Sons of perdition include (1) those who followed Satan and were cast out of heaven for rebellion during premortality and (2) those who were permitted to be born to this world with physical bodies but then served Satan and turned utterly against God. Those in this second group will be resurrected from the dead but will not be redeemed from the second (spiritual) death and cannot dwell in a kingdom of glory (D&C 88:32, 35).

Source.

 

Moses 5: 13, 18, 28

13 And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.

18 And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord.

28 And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers’ daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.

The most painful anything I can imagine is living as a son of perdition. Separated forever from my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I never want to feel this, never consider it. I am so grateful that God loves me so eternally, so glad He wants me in His life. I know I am safe in His love.

 

 

Christ is Love

Literally.

John 4:8

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

Love is the guiding light that illuminates the disciple’s path and fills our daily walk with life, meaning, and wonder.

Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship.

Love is the way of the disciple.

I testify that God is in His heaven. He lives. He knows and loves you. He is mindful of you. He hears your prayers and knows the desires of your heart. He is filled with infinite love for you.

Source.

 

 

Christ is not Fear

The scriptures are stuffed full of verses telling us to be believing and faithful. To doubt not. To fear not.

This is because God is not fear. He doesn’t give us anxiety, degradation, discouragement, etc. All that fills us with love is of God. All that is good is of God.

He doesn’t want us to be miserable. The whole point of this life on earth is to prove worthy of eternal exaltation so we may live with Him for all time. God has told us Himself that all he wants for us is joy! And not just fleeting peace or happiness. Eternal.

2 Timothy 1:7

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

1 John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

 

 

Nothing can separate us from God’s love for us.

We cannot do enough damage to ourselves or another for God to stop loving us. We can incur His anger and end ourselves up in a heap of trouble and consequences. But He will never stop loving us.

I think this must hurt Him at times. My assumption, totally. But I cannot imagine watching the hate and pain filling this world and all the people within it – watching people harming others and themselves – I cannot imagine it is anything but the worst sort of pain. Loving someone who is harming all they touch. Refusing Christ’s gift to them. Refusing Christ Himself.

I imagine that I cannot come close to understanding the exquisite pain this must cause Him and our Heavenly Father. They love us beyond a love we can comprehend and must watch us refuse the joy they offer. They must watch us suffer because of our own choices.

But don’t let that thought get you down. They know perfect joy.

Never fear that God will not love you. It’s not about being “good enough”. King Benjamin kinda sorted that whole possibility out in Mosiah 2: 20-24. Truth is, God will love us forever and always. No matter what. So I say again, it isn’t about being “good enough”. We can never earn our way into heaven. It is about being daughters and sons of God. It is about our inherent divine worth.

Nothing can get between God’s love and us. We can certainly get in the way and cut ourselves off from feeling God’s love. But it is always there, His hand outstretched toward us at all times, simply waiting for us to come unto Him.

Romans 8: 35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

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I KNOW that Jesus Christ suffered pain beyond my ability to comprehend. I know my Heavenly Father sent Him. I know this was done because they both love me and want me to be able to return to them.

I know God is love.

I know this as I have felt the Spirit testify the truthfulness of it to me. I know because God has proved it in my life, time and time again. I believe. I have faith. I trust. I know God lives and loves us.

I know Satan tries to fill us with enough fear to cut us off from our God. I know that discouragement, hate, and self-hate are satanic.

I know Heavenly Father is cheering me on and my Savior, Jesus Christ is a prayer’s distance from me. I know my prayers are heard, cared about, and answered. I know I am loved by a Father in Heaven and a Savior who gave His life for me.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Please replace hate with love in yourself and your sphere of influence. Trust me, people see you. You have the power to give someone the courage to choose God.

 


For more information on how I got the idea from Erase Meanness for the above lesson, click here:

http://www.erasemeanness.org/the-lesson.html

 

Eyes to See

I love symbolism. If you follow my other blog, you know this by now. Absolutely. Since I throw symbolism up concerning the most random things. From the Egyptian ankh to the Celtic triquetra.

But where did symbolism come from?

The same place science and miracles come from. 

Heavenly Father.

Animal sacrifice used to take place in the similitude of Jesus Christ being slain for us.

Abraham was asked to kill/sacrifice his firstborn, Isaac, in the similitude of Jesus Christ.

Ever read Jacob 5 and see the symbolism of the vineyard?

The scriptures are rich with symbolism. As I was reading scriptures this week, I came across a few symbolistic verses that I really enjoyed.

I highlighted and put in bold certain words in verses to show what I mean.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 76: 12, 10, 19

12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—

10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my willyea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.

19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 138: 11

11 As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great.

 

Jeremiah 5: 21

21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

 

Mark 8: 18

18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

 

Matthew 13: 15-16

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

 

Psalms 115: 6

6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

 

Isaiah 50: (2 Nephi 7) 4-5

4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O house of Israel. When ye are weary he waketh morning by morning. He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned.

5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

 

Matthew 11: 15

15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

Psalms 19: 8

8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

 

In the scriptures, the eye is often used as a symbol of a person’s ability to receive the light of God. Symbolically, a person’s eye also shows spiritual condition and an understanding of the things of God.

Source.

Another explanation of these symbols is found here.

In the scriptures, the ear is often used as a symbol of a person’s ability to hear and understand the things of God.

Source.

 

There are many explanations of what each symbol means that the Lord uses in the scriptures. They are His words. They are absolute truth as far as they are translated correctly. It wasn’t an accident of wording.

The scriptures themselves give explanations.

 

 

THE ULTIMATE WHY

Why do we need to know all of this, why do we need to understand?

We need to know the commandments in order to be obedient. But it’s more than that. 

 

Matthew 13: 15-16

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

 

His purpose is always to heal us.

And as always, Christ was our perfect example…

 

Isaiah 50: (2 Nephi 7) 4-5

4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O house of Israel. When ye are weary he waketh morning by morning. He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned.

5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

 

Regardless of what exact purpose Christ has to give us this understanding, it is always to help us. We never need doubt that.

 

1 Kings 3: 9

9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

 

 

WHERE DOES THIS UNDERSTANDING COME FROM?

How do we gain this enlightenment? We gain truth from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by learning to recognize communication from the Spirit.

Just the last two general conference sessions of this year, Prophet Russell M. Nelson has warned us that we will need to recognize the Spirit in our own, personal and private lives, through personal revelation. This is the Spirit speaking to us. Warning us, comforting us, guiding us, etc.

We’ve already read multiple verses that have answered what’s going on here, with all these eyes, tongues, noses, and ears being pierced, opened, and closed. The very first one we read had an answer.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 76: 12, 10, 19

12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—

10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my willyea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.

19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.

 

See? Anywho, here are more. I won’t copy the same ones from above. But now you know what the bold purple words were all about.

 

Ephesians 1: 17-18

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

 

Corinthians 2: 9-16

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Doctrine and Covenants 88: 5-13, 67

5 Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—

6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;

7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.

8 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;

9 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;

10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.

11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;

12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space

13 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.

67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

 

 

HOW DO WE WORK TOWARD OUR EYES BEING OPENED TO THE LORD?

God has given us plenty of instruction on this as well. He will never leave us alone in this mortal probation. He wants us to find our way back to Him. He wants to help us.

Again, we’ve had many answers to this already in verses above. But here are a few more.

Mosiah 27: 22

22 And he caused that the priests should assemble themselves together; and they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their God that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strengththat the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God.

Doctrine and Covenants 136: 32

32 Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear;

So we need to fast and pray for these particular needs. We must ask Heavenly Father for exactly what we need understanding on. Or, if we don’t know what answers we need or even what to be searching for, ask for that knowledge.

The only gatekeeper to truth is Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We have to ask God. He will never leave us alone.

 

 

SATAN LOVES TO BEND OUR EAR

Lucifer, Satan, the Devil himself loves to take hold of our hearts. He wriggles his plagued twisted half-truths and lies into our ears, blinds our eyes, and deceives us.

2 Nephi 28: 22

22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

His verses don’t get any colors or bolded words.

3 Nephi 2: 1-3

1 And it came to pass that thus passed away the ninety and fifth year also, and the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen—

2 Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.

3 And it came to pass that the people began to wax strong in wickedness and abominations; and they did not believe that there should be any more signs or wonders given; and Satan did go about, leading away the hearts of the people, tempting them and causing them that they should do great wickedness in the land.

 

 

IN CONCLUSION

This is not an exhaustive list. There are tons of verses spread throughout the scriptures utilizing this same symbolism.

But I love how particularly down to earth and close to home this symbolism is.

He refers to the very ears we hear with. The eyes inside our skulls, allowing us to see. 

He knows us. Inside and out. This is what was so impressed upon me when I read through a few chapters in the Book of Mormon today. Then I went searching for more understanding.

 

Do we have eyes that see?

Ears that hear?

Open minds?

Soft hearts?

Or do we have hard hearts, stiff necks, blind eyes, deaf ears?

I certainly hope we are all working toward the answer being ‘no’.

We can come to know God. Our Heavenly Father and brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. But we must open to them. Open our hearts, our ears, and minds. Open our eyes to the only truth. Open ourselves to the only name in all of existence that can save. Jesus Christ.

 

The question is:

Do I know when the Lord is speaking to me? Do I know when I’ve hardened my heart? Do I know the difference between that and when they eyes of my understanding have been opened?

I had an experience just this last week that gives me my answer. I’d been reading the words of Isaiah in Nephi and reading this book “Isaiah Made Easier as I went, to understand it better. 

I don’t like moving forward in the scriptures until I understand what I’ve read.

Anywho, I read an entire chapter in Nephi and went to write about it in my journal. I wrote my impressions and thoughts down. only then did I realize I’d read an entire chapter full of Isaiah and understood it, without any issues.

I later went to read Jacob 5 and asked ahead of time for help understanding it on our Ward’s group chat. While chatter, someone mentioned to me that I had had an experience like Joseph Smith talks about – where the eyes of my understanding were opened.

I know that as we pray and ask for help from Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we will receive the help we need.

 

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

To Those Who Cannot Act For Themselves

My last post talks of scriptures that point out that we are to act for ourselves.

 

I would like to point out that I was not talking to the following people:

Minors who are forced to do something by their legal guardians.

People who are abused and in unhealthy relationships where they don’t realize they are being controlled and/or abused.

 

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Portrait of Christ facing away, looking back over His shoulder

 

As members of our church, you may notice that our authorities don’t often speak about abuse. This is why:

Some matters are so sensitive and intensely personal and can awaken such disturbing feelings that they are seldom mentioned publicly. Yet, if tenderly and compassionately treated in the light of truth, discussion of these matters can bring greater understanding, with the easing of pain, the blessing of healing, and even the avoidance of further tragedy.

It is with a deep desire to define a path to relief that I speak to you who suffer the shattering consequences of mental, verbal, physical, and especially sexual abuse.

Richard G. Scott

Source.

 

Jacob echoed this truth in Jacob chapters 2 and 3, where he apologizes for having to talk about things that will upset those who’ve already been hurt.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the challenging balance of teaching the truth both sensitively and boldly:

“Jacob spends much of ten full verses apologizing, in effect, for the sins he must address and the language he must use in addressing them. He notes that he does so with ‘soberness,’ being ‘weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of [his hearers’] souls’ (Jacob 2:2–3). Knowing him as we do, we would be surprised if he had said otherwise.

“Listen to the mournful tone of these passages—literally the grief of them—as he single-mindedly pursues what he has always been single-minded about—steadfast loyalty to God and His commandments.

“‘Yea, it grieveth my soul and causeth me to shrink with shame before the presence of my Maker, that I must testify unto you concerning the wickedness of your hearts. …

“‘Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds.’ (Jacob 2:6–7, 9.)

“We are not even into the discourse per se before we sense that, quite literally, this bold and unyielding manner of preaching is almost as hard on Jacob as it is on the guilty ones in his audience. But perhaps that is as it should be always, and why Christ in his preaching was ofttimes ‘a man of sorrows.’ The commandments have to be kept, sin has to be rebuked. But even such bold positions must be taken compassionately. Even the sternest of prophets must preach from the depths of a sensitive soul” (“Jacob the Unshakable,” in Heroes from the Book of Mormon [1995], 39–40).

Source.

 

Church leaders have consistently spoken out against spouse abuse. For example, in an October 1998 general conference address President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“We condemn most strongly abusive behavior in any form. We denounce the physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse of one’s spouse or children. …

Source.

 

The proclamation on the family also contains a forceful condemnation of abuse: “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

Source.

 

Here is a rather lengthy bit on what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has to say about abuse – of every kind. It comes straight off of our website (source included below). I included most of it because I find it so very important.

Abuse is the mistreatment or neglect of others (such as a child or spouse, the elderly, or the disabled) in a way that causes physical, emotional, or sexual harm. The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form and that those who abuse will be accountable before God (see Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2).

The Lord expects us to do everything we can to prevent abuse and to protect and help victims. No one is expected to endure abusive behavior.

Reports of abuse should never be dismissed. Everyone should respond with compassion and sensitivity toward victims and their families. Those affected by abuse need to be heard and supported.

When bishops and stake presidents learn about or suspect abuse, they should immediately call the Church’s abuse help line established in their country or their area office. They will receive specific direction on how to help victims, protect against future abuse, and meet any reporting obligations.

Leaders, family members, and friends should make every effort to stop abuse, find safety for the victim, and help the victim seek healing. Some victims may need help reporting abuse to law enforcement or to protective services. Victims may also need help through their healing process from professionals, including doctors and counselors.

Most victims are abused by people they know. Such people can be spouses, family members, dating partners, friends, or other acquaintances. Victims should be assured that they are never to blame for the harmful behavior of others—no matter who abuses them. A victim is not guilty.

While some types of abuse may cause physical harm, all forms of abuse affect the mind and spirit. Victims of abuse often struggle with feelings of confusion, doubt, guilt, shame, mistrust, and fear. They may feel helpless, powerless, lonely, and isolated. They may even question the love of Heavenly Father and their own divine worth. But victims and those who support them can be assured that, through His infinite Atonement, the Savior extends succor, healing, and power (see Alma 7:11–12; 34:10).

Source.

 

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Christ teaches that all things shall be added unto those who seek the kingdom of God.

 

It is NOT that our church doesn’t want to talk about abuse and all that comes with it, the pain the victims suffer, the cycle of abuse we become trapped inside, the misery we feel, the fear of speaking up and rocking the boat, etc.

It is because it is such a horrifying thing. Our leaders don’t want to cause more harm by bringing it up in casual conversation.

But they HAVE and DO talk about it – when moved upon by the Spirit that it is the right time to do so. Because they love us. Because God loves us.

 

I know a lot of people don’t like talking about or even thinking about these things. If we are going to break the cycle of abuse and oppression, we must talk about it amongst ourselves. With safe people at the right times.

As I wrote my prior post, I was thinking of you. Whoever you are, wherever you are. I was thinking of the young me, the me from five years ago even.

I wanted you to know that you are in no way violating God’s commandment to act of your own free will, when someone else is taking that free will away from you.

This post is for you. This post is also for the little girl I used to be.

 

Being abused is never your fault. But it does draw a direct correlation with someone choosing to act for themselves. Your abuser.

Often, the choice your abuser makes to act on their anger (because this is a choice), is what leads to abuse. They are using their free will, their free agency, and using their responsibility to make their own choices – for Satanic purposes.

Unchecked, anger can quickly trigger an explosion of cruel words and other forms of emotional abuse that can scar a tender heart. It is “that which cometh out of the mouth,” the Savior said; “this defileth a man” (Matt. 15:11). David O. McKay said,

“Let husband and wife never speak in loud tones to each other, ‘unless the house is on fire’” (Stepping Stones to an Abundant Life, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay [1971], 294).

Physical abuse is anger gone berserk and is never justified and always unrighteous.

Anger is an uncivil attempt to make another feel guilty or a cruel way of trying to correct them. It is often mislabeled as discipline but is almost always counterproductive. Therefore the scriptural warning: “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them,” and “fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:19, 21).

Choice and accountability are inseparable principles. Because anger is a choice, there is a strong warning in the proclamation “that individuals … who abuse spouse or offspring, … will one day stand accountable before God.”

Source.

 

Or, as Gordon B. Hinckley put it;

Anger is the mother of a whole brood of evil actions.

Source.

 

You see, people who control, abuse, manipulate, shame, guilt, or do any other manner of evil – they are choosing to do these things. No one is making them.

Heavenly Father knows this. Jesus Christ knows this.

 

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“If any of us lack wisdom, we can ask God in faith and receive answers.”—Elder Craig C. Christensen, “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up”

 

So, to those of you, who, for whatever reason, cannot act for themselves…

If you are a minor with no way to end the abuse or unhealthy/harmful control of a parent or parents – OR If you are a man or woman being abused without any way to make it stop –

I promise you. It will end. God will not leave you comfortless.

Perhaps it will not end until you naturally die and pass beyond the veil. If that’s God’s will for you, I promise that He will compensate you for all the misery you experienced here. I know that sounds impossible. But we are not God, we cannot think like Him. I have endured the most disgusting abuse when I was too young to even understand what was happening. Please hear me. God will compensate the both of us. You and me. I know this.

“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Source.

 

Or, perhaps your abuse will end in this lifetime. More likely than not, this will happen because of someone’s healthy actions. Either someone outside of you will see what is happening and somehow put a stop to it. Or you will find the courage to find a safe time and place to tell the right person what is happening, how trapped you are, and that you need help.

It will take a bucket load of small steps. But it will happen because of the healthy choices to act of others and yourself.

Our God-given agency, which gives your abuser the ability to abuse you (while condemning themselves) also gives you, the victim, the ability and right to get help.

 

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Christ reaching out to accept the well water offered to Him by the Samaritan woman.

 

It doesn’t stop there. If you get free of your abusers or dysfunctional relationships. You must then work to undo what has been done, within yourself. So often we continue abusing ourselves without realizing it because it’s what we’ve learned to do. We get stuck in negative thought loops, self-hate, unhealthy relationships, and unhealthy behaviors because they’re the only examples we’ve seen or been involved with.

Find the right therapist for you, the right support group. It might take trying a few different ones out and having the courage to step away and realize that you need to try another one. It also takes courage to stick with something painful in therapy and work through it.

I promise you, if you work toward a healthier and happier life, with the help of our Savior and Redeemer, it can occur. I talk a lot about this in my other blog, here, if you would like more information on that.

 

Satan uses your abuse to undermine your self-confidence, destroy trust in authority, create fear, and generate feelings of despair. Abuse can damage your ability to form healthy human relationships. You must have faith that all of these negative consequences can be resolved; otherwise they will keep you from full recovery. While these outcomes have powerful influence in your life, they do not define the real you.

Richard G Scott

Source.

 

I promise you, life can get better. You can feel better. Keep hope alive.

Know that our Savior, Jesus Christ knows what you’re feeling. He felt the exact same things while at the Garden of Gethsemane. He has felt rape, murder, grief, abuse, psychological breaks, etc.

 

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He knows. He also knows how to help you. He knows exactly what you need. Please pray to our Father in Heaven in Jesus Christ’s name, for help.

 

Faith creates miracles. Miracles of God know no bounds, no limits. Miracles of faith through God, can move mountains, command the very seas, and create small miracles in our daily lives that add up to a joyful life.

Please do not lose hope. No matter what you’re enduring, God knows. Christ has felt it. When Christ comes again, all tears will be wiped away and you will know peace, freedom, and real love.

1 John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

 

 

Moral agency is a vital element in our Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness. He understood that some of His spirit children would use that agency improperly, causing serious problems to others. Some would even violate sacred trust, such as a father or family member abusing an innocent child. Since our Heavenly Father is completely just, there has to be a way of overcoming the tragic consequences of such damaging use of agency for both the victim and the perpetrator. That secure healing comes through the power of the Atonement of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to rectify that which is unjust. Faith in Jesus Christ and in His power to heal provides the abused with the means to overcome the terrible consequences of another’s unrighteous acts.

Richard G. Scott

Source.

 

I want you to know. God is NOT happy that you are suffering. He wants you to come to him, to lay your suffering at his feet, and be healed.

If you have been abused, Satan will strive to convince you that there is no solution. Yet he knows perfectly well that there is. Satan recognizes that healing comes through the unwavering love of Heavenly Father for each of His children. He also understands that the power of healing is inherent in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, his strategy is to do all possible to separate you from your Father and His Son. Do not let Satan convince you that you are beyond help.

Richard G. Scott

Source.

 

Most of us can become quite bitter, because of what we suffer. I plead with you not to allow this to happen. Do whatever healthy things you can – namely, pray, reach out for help, take care of yourselves, learn to love and accept yourselves, become who you and God want you to become, and remember that no matter what happens, you are never alone and relief is always available from our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

May the Lord bless you and inspire you to walk without anger, without bitterness of any kind, but to reach out to others with expressions of friendship, appreciation, and love. This is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Gordon B. Hinckley

Source.

 

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY BEING ABUSED

If you are currently being abused or have been in the past, find the courage to seek help. You may have been severely threatened or caused to fear so that you would not reveal the abuse. Have the courage to act now. Seek the support of someone you can trust. Your bishop or stake president can give you valuable counsel and help you with the civil authorities. Explain how you have been abused and identify who has done it. Ask for protection. Your action may help others avoid becoming innocent victims, with the consequent suffering. Get help now. Do not fear—for fear is a tool Satan will use to keep you suffering. The Lord will help you, but you must reach out for that help.

Do not be discouraged if initially a bishop hesitates when you identify an abuser. Remember that predators are skillful at cultivating a public appearance of piety to mask their despicable acts. Pray to be guided in your efforts to receive help. That support will come. Rest assured that the Perfect Judge, Jesus the Christ, with a perfect knowledge of the details, will hold all abusers accountable for every unrighteous act.

Richard G. Scott

Source.

 

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“Hope and healing are not found in the dark abyss of secrecy but in the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”—Sister Carole M. Stephens, “The Master Healer”

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-8255 or click on the name for online chatting

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline   800.656.HOPE (4673)

National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or click on the name for an online chat)

Domestic Shelters  click this link for a searchable database of all shelters available

Addictions and Recovery    click here for a huge list of all kinds of addictions and the recoveries and support available for each

The above links all have loads of different ways to help you.

 

In times of fear, please remember these verses, collected into our scriptures by God’s command. They are the words of God. God put them together for our benefit.

Deuteronomy 31:6

6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

John 16:33

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 

No matter what you are suffering or have suffered, please know that the Lord loves you. He will comfort you, always, if you seek Him out through prayer.

The Lord has given us free agency so that our lives can be bettered. And by exercising the gifts God has given us, we can grow strong in the gospel and become free from spiritual bondage.

God’s love is always available to us. Keep the commandments of God. Pray to Heavenly Father in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Know that He will filter the power of His Atoning sacrifice into our lives as we are worthy and faithful.

Please know that these verses of scripture do not condemn you. They free you.

2 Nephi 2:16, 26-27

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.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

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.

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All images are the property of the LDS Media Library.

We Are To Act For Ourselves

We are not to control, manipulate, guilt, or shame others.

We are not to allow others to act for us or act upon us. We are not created to be passive logs in the forest, doing nothing as others roll us along.

The war in heaven occurred because Satan wanted to take away our free will. While Jesus Christ wanted to do the will of our Father, Heavenly Father, and leave us with our God-given free agency.

In short, free will is sorta, kinda a big deal.

Just saying.

 

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“Hope and healing are not found in the dark abyss of secrecy but in the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”—Sister Carole M. Stephens, “The Master Healer”

 

2 Nephi 2:16, 26-27 reads:

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.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

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.

 

We are free to act. Not only are we free to act. But it’s what we’re supposed to do!

I so often hear people say things like this: “He made me angry”, “She made me forget”, “He made me stop”, or…

 

We hear, “I lost my temper.” Losing one’s temper is an interesting choice of words that has become a widely used idiom. To “lose something” implies “not meaning to,” “accidental,” “involuntary,” “not responsible”—careless perhaps but “not responsible.”

“He made me mad.” This is another phrase we hear, also implying lack of control or agency. This is a myth that must be debunked. No one makes us mad. Others don’t make us angry. There is no force involved. Becoming angry is a conscious choice, a decision; therefore, we can make the choice not to become angry. We choose!

To those who say, “But I can’t help myself,” author William Wilbanks responds: “Nonsense.”

“Aggression, … suppressing the anger, talking about it, screaming and yelling,” are all learned strategies in dealing with anger. “We choose the one that has proved effective for us in the past. Ever notice how seldom we lose control when frustrated by our boss, but how often we do when annoyed by friends or family?” (“The New Obscenity,” Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1988, 24; emphasis added).

Source.

 

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After casting out a devil, Christ teaches of a house divided.

 

Not doing for ourselves what we’re capable and responsible for doing… that’s called being codependent and it is most certainly something to see a therapist or seek out a support group for. Great to talk to trusted friends, family, and church members about. For it is one hundred percent not what God made us for.

There are loads of people who also use this as an excuse.

People who know what they’re doing but don’t want to take responsibility for their actions, words, inactions, etc.

There are also tons of people in denial (which is a choice) who don’t want to deal with the fact that they are in control of themselves.

Inaction is a choice. Inaction is an action, a choice of action by non-action.

 

A cunning part of [Satan’s] strategy is to dissociate anger from agency, making us believe that we are victims of an emotion that we cannot control.

Lynn G. Robbins

Source.

 

Even brainwashing from abuse can be re-written by our Savior and ourselves.

There is nothing the power of Christ’s Atoning sacrifice cannot overcome.

 

The whole point of this life is to make our own choices. We are here to prove to ourselves and to our God (even though He already knows what we will do) that we will be obedient to God and gain the blessings from that obedience.

 

“Our Father in Heaven wanted our growth to continue in mortality and to be enhanced by our freedom to choose and learn. He also wanted us to exercise our faith and our will, especially with a new physical body to master and control. But we know from both ancient and modern revelation that Satan wished to deny us our independence and agency in that now-forgotten moment long ago, even as he wishes to deny them this very hour. Indeed, Satan violently opposed the freedom of choice offered by the Father, so violently that John in the Revelation described ‘war in heaven’ (Revelation 12:7) over the matter. Satan would have coerced us, and he would have robbed us of that most precious of gifts if he could: our freedom to choose a divine future and the exaltation we all hope to obtain.”

Source.

 

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Jesus kneels and prays to God in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

Anger seems to be the biggest one where we say we had no control. We don’t control our emotions. But we can control how we feel about our emotions. We can control what we do about what we feel. We don’t have to yell, scream, hit, throw, manipulate, grow vengeful, or hold a grudge because we felt angry.

Sometimes anger is telling us something important and the only thing we need to do about it, is to learn from it and set some healthy boundaries.

Holding grudges holds our souls hostage. It keeps us from living happy, healthy lives.

So many of us make a great fuss of matters of small consequence. We are so easily offended. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.

Grudges, if left to fester, can become serious maladies. Like a painful ailment they can absorb all of our time and attention.

Gordon B. Hinckely

Source.

 

I come from a family of grudge holders. We choose to work on it now. We choose to stop yelling, to call out our safe word and laugh about it. We choose to stop the cycle of abuse and to talk about it.

We choose, all of us in this world, to respond to others in anger, instead of learning from what our anger is telling us (either about another person, a situation, or ourselves) and moving forward, letting it go.

Holding onto anger is what causes us to become bitter. It hurts us – not the person we’re angry at.

We are free to act – free even to choose to act in anger. But we are NEVER free to choose the consequences. Please consider the following true story.

Sometime during the trip, the husband and wife had a disagreement. After all these years, I cannot recall what caused it. But I do remember that their argument escalated and became so heated that they were eventually yelling at one another. Understandably, this caused their young son to begin crying, which the husband said only added to his anger. Losing total control of his temper, he picked up a toy the child had dropped on the seat and flung it in the direction of his wife.

He missed hitting his wife. Instead, the toy struck their son, with the result that he was brain damaged and would be handicapped for the rest of his life.

Source.

Now, maybe a person is so far gone from the Lord that they do not care that they’ve given their own child brain damage. Perhaps it would hurt this person. Perhaps their consequences will not come in this life, but in the life to come.

But let me reassure you, what WE CHOOSE TO DO has a consequence affixed to it. Those who choose to tell themselves and others that they had no choice in how they acted or what they said – that is a lie. And we will all receive the consequences for what choices we made.

 

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We are free to act in all ways.

All of our choices are exactly that – ours.

“To fully understand this gift of agency and its inestimable worth, it is imperative that we understand that God’s chief way of acting is by persuasion and patience and long-suffering, not by coercion and stark confrontation. He acts by gentle solicitation and by sweet enticement. He always acts with unfailing respect for the freedom and independence that we possess. He wants to help us and pleads for the chance to assist us, but he will not do so in violation of our agency. He loves us too much to do that, and doing so would run counter to his divine character” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1989, 21; or Ensign, Nov. 1989, 17–18).

Source.

 

 

There are many scriptures that talk about our freedom. Here are two more:

Doctrine and Covenants 101:78

78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

 

2 Nephi 10:23

23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

 

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves me, created me, and gave me free will. I am so grateful that my perfect brother, Jesus Christ, fought for God’s plan. I am so filled with joy and love that He wanted me to be free to choose.

I know that we all have free agency, given to us by our Heavenly Father, and that we will be held accountable for everything we said, did, didn’t say, and didn’t do. Everything we thought and chose to focus on.

I know that no one and nothing can force us to behave a certain way, to do something as if we are not agents unto ourselves.

We are free because God wants us to be free and created us to be free.

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All images are the property of the LDS Media Library.

Mortal Tests are Not Our Identity

Can I just say that our living Prophet, Russell M. Nelson is a genius? I am so grateful for a living prophet here, now, today, to guide me through this confusing life.

 

This was last Saturday (Oct. 27th).

I was not having a good day. It was a hard, confusing, bipolar-anxiety, bipolar-depression, digestive disease, and chronic migraines smacking me around, kinda day.

I’ve been starting my days with the scripture challenge our prophet gave us, since last general conference. It’s the only reason, I believe, this particular day improved.

 

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“Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed.”—Acts 10:38

 

But this was a hard morning.

People with health problems or grief, etc., understand that some mornings you wake up and due to no fault of your own – you can’t walk, think, or feel like yourself. Like the person you want to become. You’re trapped inside a shell of pain, and even as you beat against it from the inside, some days it simply constricts around you tighter.

I prayed that I would lose the agitation zinging through every fiber of my being, so I could feel the Spirit and enjoy reading the scriptures.

Flipping through and looking at all the little mint hearts I’d drawn over the Savior’s name, peace and joy and a love I can’t explain swelled in my chest. Just like all those cheesy cliches, dealt in eye-rolling frequency and dramatics.

But this was so real. It allowed me to shake loose a few breadcrumbs off the outer shell that mood disorders and physical pains can bake you into. Just enough that I could read and understand and breathe, almost as if through unhindered lungs.

 

Through the grace of God, as I read the scriptures, the Spirit touched me and I realized I was thinking about things wrong.

 

Sick psychologically and physically is not who I am.

Those are the tests I am going through. The trials I am enduring.

I am not an obstacle course, even as I struggle through one. That’s just it. The obstacle course is all around me, often times within me. But it is NEVER ME.

I am Daphne, a daughter of God.

I am not Daphne, a disabled human with PTSD, bipolar, a digestive disease, and chronic health issues. This is NOT my identity. It is my test.

I am Daphne, a daughter of God who is enduring through PTSD, bipolar, a digestive disease, and chronic health issues.

 

We, as daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father, siblings to our Redeeming Savior Jesus Christ, are not our trials, tribulations, and/or issues of any kind.

We are experiencing our trials, tribulations, and/or issues of every kind.

 

As part of Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption, all people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.

Source.

If you will notice, this quote is in agreement with that I felt from the Spirit. “All people experience adversity.”

 

Once the Millenium comes, once our Savior reigns on this earth, once we are given immortal bodies (if we are obedient in our mortal life) – we will never experience sickness or be filled with the anxieties of a corrupt world.

I won’t have mood disorders or problems digesting food or chronic health issues.

Because that is not WHO I am. They are the tests God sent me down here to endure righteously.  To learn from, to become who He wants me to become through them, and to help others with the experiences I’ve gained as a consequence of them.

 

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Christ is tried before Caiaphas.

 

THE ATONEMENT IS TO ASSIST US WHILE WE EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS

Notice how we talk of repentance and being washed clean in Jesus Christ’s blood, as a result of His Atoning sacrifice. We are made new in Christ, every time we worthily take the sacrament and strive for absolute obedience to God in our lives, daily.

But we often forget that the Atonement is not only for when we sin.

If we read Alma 7: 11-12, it says…

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

This is talking of Christ and how He Atoned not only for our sins, but to help us every single day and night for help getting through our trials and pains and sorrows, by the power of that very same Atonement.

The words “sin” or “sins” do not appear anywhere in those two verses. But notice the other words—things in addition to sins that Jesus took upon him: pains, afflictions, temptations, sicknesses, and infirmities. Alma and Amulek must have relied on the Atonement of Christ to get them through the sadness, the nightmares, and the emotional trauma of the tragedy in Ammonihah. We must rely on the Atonement to help us through our personal tragedies as well.

Source.

 

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is there to help us, if only we are willing to be obedient and reach out to Him in prayer.

Believe He will help you. He will.

Listen to what Alma tells his son, Helaman, in Alma 36:3...

3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.

And what Mosiah 23:21-22 tells us…

21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.

22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.

We are here to be tried, tested, and proven. We are here to learn who we are and how to connect with our God while we are not in His actual physical presence. We are here to learn obedience and to enjoy the blessings of obeying.

We are here to experience so much. Yes, this means to experience suffering. But we feel such joy once we’ve suffered. We prize it so highly, only after we’ve lived without it. God is in control and He will never leave us suffering without extending His hand to help us.

But we must be willing to pray, to call out to Him, and ask for His help. He will never force His help on us. That is the whole point. To use our free agency.

 

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“Hope and Healing are not found in the dark abyss of secrecy but in the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”—Sister Carole M. Stephens, “The Master Healer”

 

THE PAINS OF THIS LIFE ARE NOT FOREVER

Even though they may feel like it.

I go to a support group and one of my favorite slogans is one that reminds me of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This Too Shall Pass

While there is no verse that says this verbatim, God is constantly reminding us that the misery of this life is not permanent. Far from it.

For example, take Doctrine and Covenants 121: 7-9

7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.

I find these verses to be overwhelmingly comforting.

We don’t have to know everything. And we most certainly do not. Our minds are not God’s mind. We don’t understand what He does, we cannot even come close to perceiving what He knows and does. But we do know that both our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ love us so very much.

They are not sadists, torturing us because they think its fun or funny.

This life is not pointless.

In 1 Nephi 11: 16-17, an angel asks Nephi a question and Nephi answers.

16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

I KNOW THIS IS TRUE

“He loveth his children”. We are His children. He will never abandon us or enjoy our suffering. Heavenly Father sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to lead the most unfair life of all, to Atone for our sins and learn how to help us through everything we face.

We are not our afflictions, our trials, our tests. We are experiencing these things. What and who we will become is dependant on how we deal with and live through them.

And we can always, always, come unto Christ, ask for His help, and know that He will help us endure to the end.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 

2 Nephi 2:2

2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

Doctrine and Covenants 50:5 says,

5 But blessed are they who are faithful and endure, whether in life or in death, for they shall inherit eternal life.

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“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”—Matthew 11:28

 

All photos are the property of the LDS Media Library.

How to Tell the Difference Between Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Scriptures

Prophet Russell M. Nelson challenged all women to read the entire Book of Mormon before January 2019 and to mark each verse that talks about our Savior.

He did this during the Women’s Session of General Conference. For more information on this, click here.

Day 2 I ran into a little issue.

How to tell the difference between Heavenly Father and our Savior in the scriptures?

It was, and still is, important for me to recognize the difference. To know when my Savior is speaking to me, and when I am learning of Heavenly Father. I wanted to really dig into this challenge and know for certain that I was doing as the Prophet challenged. So I set out to figure this out. With a lot of prayer, I found what I needed.

I dug into loads of church material, both books I have, and online material, and did a lot of praying. It makes sense to me now. I wondered if someone else might have this issue, so here is how I ended up deciding the difference.

 

CONTENTS OF THIS POST

Jesus Christ is the God of this World

Scriptural Evidence

Who Spoke to Moses?

Jesus Christ Gives Commandments

Other Ways I Assume to Tell the Difference

What about “Spirit of the Lord” and the “Light of Christ”?

A Prophet’s Testimony

Why Do We Have Such a Hard Time Understanding the Difference?

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are One

Daphne Shadows’ Testimony

Sources


 

Could this be the same God as the being of love in the New Testament revealed through the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ? Others contend that the Jehovah of Old Testament times was the same as God the Father in the New Testament. Why all this confusion? Who, really, was the God of Adam, of Enoch and Abraham, of Israel and Moses?

Source.

 

There is confusion among most people about who the God of the Old Testament is. Was it Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ? Until last year, I had assumed God always meant Heavenly Father. Boy, was I wrong!

Understanding this is going to help us understand the difference in the Book of Mormon as well.

 

Although for many it seems a paradox, Jehovah of the Old Testament was none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He created the world under the authority and direction of God the Father. Later, Jehovah came to earth as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. This truth is one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the history of the world, despite the fact that the Old Testament and the other standard works are filled with evidence to support it.

Source.

 

I will list all sources I retrieved information from at the bottom. I will also be certain to give sources as I go. I want you guys and gals to know that I got this information from the scriptures, from our church institute manuals, and online information from lds.org, only. I wanted to make 100% certain I was getting correct information – and I want you to know where you’re getting your information as well.

 

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Jesus returns to the garden (garden of Gethsemane) again to continue to pray and suffers great pain.

 

Jesus Christ is the God of this World

Because Jesus Christ created this earth (under Heavenly Father’s direction), this makes our Savior also the Creator of this world.  Christ is also the Creator or Maker of our physical bodies (Christ did this under the direction of Heavenly Father as well). He made the covenant with Abraham, making our Savior the God of Israel, the God of Jacob, and the God of Abraham.

 

Because Jesus is one with God and is also God, the Old Testament prophets sometimes referred to Him as “Jehovah Elohim,” which the King James translators rendered “Lord God.” To avoid awkward repetition, “Lord God” was used to translate the Hebrew phrase “Adonai Jehovah,” which otherwise would translate as “Lord Lord” (see Genesis 15:2, 8; Deuteronomy 3:24). Thus, in the King James Version of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for Jehovah is almost always translated just this way: Lord or God.

Source.

 

For an in-depth description of each of Jesus Christs’ titles and names in the scriptures, click one of the above source links. It is a great explanation of why He has different names and what they each mean.

 

Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament just as He is the God of the earth today.

Source.

 

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Christ wearing a crown of thorns on the day of His Crucifixion.

 

Scriptural Evidence

 

Isaiah 45:11–12  (old testament)

11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

 

John 1:1, 3  (new testament)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

 

Hosea 13:4  (old testament)

4 Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

 

Luke 2:11 (new testament)

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

Isaiah 43:14  (old testament)

14 ¶ Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.

 

Galatians 3:13  (new testament)

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

 

Hosea 13:14  (old testament)

14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

 

1 Corinthians 15:20–22 (new testament)

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

 

Zechariah 12:10  (old testament)

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

John 19:34, 36–37  (new testament)

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

 

Exodus 13:21–22  (old testament)

21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

 

1 Corinthians 10:1–4  (new testament)

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

 

Isaiah 54:5  (old testament)

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

 

Revelation 19:7–8  (new testament)

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

 

Isaiah 44:6  (old testament)

6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

 

Revelation 1:8  (new testament)

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

Mosiah 13:33-34

33 For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?

34 Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth?

 

Doctrine and Covenants 110: 3-4

3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 29: 1

1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins;

 

The source I used to find these says that this is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other scriptural references to this truth. I want to keep a lookout for just such verses and keep you guys updated on what I find.

The first one I found, is this one!

 

 

***2 Nephi 11:7

7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.

 

This scripture tells us straight – the Book of Mormon God is Jesus Christ.

 

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Luke 11:9

 

Who Spoke to Moses?

The personage who spoke to Moses was the premortal Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament.

Source.

 

This comes from the institute manuals for the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. This manual is what young single adults learn from as they go to institute class when they are graduated out of young women’s and young men’s by turning 18 years old.

I included it because it is another witness from the true gospel that Jesus Christ is the God of the old testament.

Just so you’re aware, these manuals are free and on the gospel library app. You can also buy physical copies of the books, which is what I’ve done. I’m a learn from a physical book kinda gal. I will do a post on these manuals and how to find them on the app or online for free, at a later date.

 

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Jesus reaches out to help the woman taken in adultery.

 

Jesus Christ Gives Commandments

When I began this, I thought any commands given to prophets in the scriptures came from Heavenly Father. But once I looked into who God meant, I grew confused. So I looked into this as well.

Our obedience to the commandments is an expression of our love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Savior said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He later declared: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).

Source.

 

John 14:15

15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.

 

John 15:10

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

 

This tells us that commandments in the scriptures come from Jesus Christ. Where did our Savior get these commandments? Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ follows our Heavenly Father, as He is the perfect example for us.

 

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Other Ways I Assume to Tell the Difference

There are a few other ways I am navigating this challenge. Here are the explanations and examples I have run across as I’ve read.

 

One – if someone is giving a sacrifice to the Lord – it is to Heavenly Father. My reasoning is that the sacrifice is of Jesus Christ, to Heavenly Father. Just as Heavenly Father gave Jesus Christ to us all to be sacrificed.

So, Lord or God in this verse will always mean Heavenly Father.

Example: 1 Nephi 2:7

7 And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God.

In this verse, I am assuming Lehi is offering a sacrifice to Heavenly Father in the similitude of Jesus Christ, thusly making the terms Lord and Lord our God, Heavenly Father in this case.

 

Two – if someone is praying to God or to the Lord – they are praying to Heavenly Father. We pray in the Savior’s name. But we pray to Heavenly Father.An example of the scriptures telling us this:

2 Nephi 32:9

9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

Example: 1 Nephi 15:8

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

A second Example: 1 Nephi 8:9

9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.

 

Three – the easy one. If Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are referred to in the same verses, ta-da. This also helps us in the verses to come to understand which is which.

Example: 1 Nephi 11:6

6 And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.

Heavenly Father as the most high God. Jesus Christ as the son.

 

Four – where I am a little iffy. Sometimes it is my opinion that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are referred to in the same verse, but it is hard to tell.

In the example for this one, I included a verse where Nephi is praying to Heavenly Father, talking about having faith in Jesus Christ. As far as I can guess.

Example: 1 Nephi 7:17

17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.

This is another Example: 1 Nephi 2:16

16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

My guess is that the “mysteries of God” is referring to Jesus Christ. “cry unto the Lord” is Heavenly Father, as we pray to Heavenly Father in Christ’s name.

 

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Mary weeps outside the tomb while Christ approaches to speak with her.

 

What about “Spirit of the Lord” and the “Light of Christ”?

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.

Source.

 

The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things.

Source.

 

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The San Diego California Temple, including the spires and scenery.

 

A Prophet’s Testimony

I find the testimony of a prophet to be of extreme importance. If he says it is true, it is true.

Prophets are the living mouthpiece of our God. The Lord has comforted us that He will never allow a prophet to lead us astray.

 

The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)

Source.

 

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “All revelation since the fall has come through Jesus Christ, who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. … He is the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel; the one who led that nation out of Egyptian bondage, and who gave and fulfilled the Law of Moses. The Father has never dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he has never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the Son” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:27).

Source.

 

This Prophet’s testimony tells us:

  • Since the Fall (when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit) Heavenly Father has never directly dealt with humans
  • Except, when to introduce His son, Jesus Christ, to us
  • The God of the Old Testament is Jesus Christ
  • All revelation comes from Jesus Christ

So that does it. A prophet’s word. We could have no more proof than if Jesus Christ Himself ascended from heaven and told us in person.

 

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The Sacramento California Temple in the evening, including the fountains and entrance.

 

Why Do We Have Such a Hard Time Understanding the Difference?

The mystery of understanding the identity of the God of the Old Testament arose… because of wickedness and the loss of many plain and precious truths from the scriptures.

Source.

 

Before the Bible was ever released, it was messed with. This was not accidental translation issues. This was purposeful. Men whose hearts were won over by Lucifer, removed many truths that were easy to understand. That’s why we know the Book of Mormon is true. It was straight from God to Joseph Smith.

Scriptural Reference: 1 Nephi 13: 20-29

20 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

21 And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

22 And I said unto him: I know not.

23 And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.

24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.

25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.

26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.

28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.

 

The Article of Faith #8

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Source.

 

Institute Manual for the Book of Mormon

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the meaning of “plain and precious”: “Elements … missing from the Bible were both ‘plain and most precious.’ They were plain in their simplicity and clarity, being easy to ‘the understanding of … men’; they were precious in their purity and profound worth, their saving significance and eternal importance to the children of God” (Christ and the New Covenant [1997], 5).

One educator suggested the following explanation for changes in the scriptures:

“Apparently the original manuscripts of the Bible disappeared very early. This seems particularly true of the New Testament. Sir Frederic Kenyon, one of the greatest textual scholars of the early twentieth century, commented thus: ‘The originals of the several books have long ago disappeared. They must have perished in the very infancy of the Church; for no allusion is ever made to them by any Christian writer.’ Kenyon’s statement is particularly important to us because it means that for centuries there has not been an original Bible manuscript to guide the reader. Even in the early decades of the original Christian church, the original texts seem to have been absent. …

“The angel [in 1 Nephi 13:21–29] makes it clear that he is not talking about subtle accidents of hand and eye, resulting in a few misplaced letters or words—the unplanned errors of copyists. He pointedly ascribes these changes to the planned editorial work of designing men [see 1 Nephi 13:27–28]. …

“As we read the words of the angel, we discover that the world never has had a complete Bible, for it was massively—even cataclysmically—corrupted before it was distributed. Of course, in addition to the major willful corruption of the Bible in the early Christian era, the manuscripts have also continued to suffer the gradual and relatively mild changes, due to errors of hand and eye, that the scholars talk about. Thus there have been two processes at work: (1) a major, sudden, and deliberate editorial corruption of the text and (2) a gradual promulgation of variants that has occurred as a natural consequence of copying and translation” (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! [1990], 74–75).

Joseph Smith taught that “many important points touching the salvation of man, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled” (History of the Church, 1:245). He also said that the Bible was correct as “it came from the pen of the original writers,” but that “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (History of the Church, 6:57.)

Source.

 

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The First Vision, by Del Parson

 

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are One

Every commandment Jesus gives us, Heavenly Father is giving us.

Every time Jesus says something, Heavenly Father is saying it.

Jesus is one with Heavenly Father. They are of the same heart and mind. They are two different beings, keep in mind. Both with bodies of flesh and bone.

 

Being one with Heavenly Father, Jesus at times speaks as if He were God the Father (see Moses 1:6). This is known as divine investiture, whereby Christ is invested with authority to speak for and in behalf of the Father (see also D&C 29:1, 42, 46).

Source.

 

Moses 1:6

6 And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 29: 1, 42, 46

1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins;

42 But, behold, I say unto you that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine Only Begotten Son.

46 But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten;

 

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Daphne Shadows’ Testimony

That’d be me.

I know that Heavenly Father is our father who resides in Heaven. I know He created the plan of salvation. I know He sent His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, to this earth to Atone for our sins. I know both are two different beings with physical bodies.

I know we can call on the power of Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice for us, if we are worthy, through prayer to our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ.

I want you to know that I have received huge blessings since taking Prophet Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon before January 2019 and to mark each verse talking of Christ. I know that I have received these blessings because God blesses us when we keep His commandments. And all commandment from His living prophet is a commandment from God.

I testify to you that Prophet Russell M. Nelson is the true and living prophet today. He speaks for God.

I know that if you accept this challenge as well, blessings that have nothing to do with the scriptures will flow into your life.

Please, take our prophet’s challenge.

I have received so much joy in my life in the past 18 days. Reading the Book of Mormon with this particular focus, and much quicker than I typically read it, has given me such insights that I have never had. I am so grateful for this challenge and the knowledge that is flowing from it. I am so grateful that I can receive General Conference so easily every year and know what our God would have us hear.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

 

Any questions? I love questions!

Any corrections (with gospel links, please)?

Have you accepted our Prophet’s challenge? Are you enjoying it? How are you going about it?

 

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Get a Grip. “We must hold on tight to the iron rod and never let go.” Ann M. Dibb, “Hold On,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 80. Sept. 2010

 

Sources:

“Enrichment Section A: Who Is the God of the Old Testament,” Old Testament Student Manual Genesis-2 Samuel (1980), 44–48

Obedience

“The Book of Moses,” The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (2000), 3–27

Holy Ghost

Light of Christ

Official Declaration 1

Articles of Faith

All photos are the property of LDS Media Library.

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“Jesus wept.”—John 11:35