Sunday, May 27, 2007

The future's looking good

This week's verse is for everybody, but especially for all those who will be graduating this week or thereabouts. Keep pushing forward, my friends!

now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.

Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

Alma 17:1-2

I can't help but put myself and my friends in these verses, because this is something that directly relates to us. Graduation is this Friday, and it won't take long for us all to go our separate ways. Perhaps for a time many of us will follow intertwined paths. But there will be a majority of my friends who, unfortunately, I won't be seeing again.

Alma and the sons of Mosiah experienced this same thing. They all went on missions to different places and had their own stories. But over the years they spent apart from each other, they remained friends, and at a chance encounter they had a joyful reunion. I take comfort in knowing that story.

Granted, there's no guarantee that I'll have a reunion with any of my friends like the one in Alma 17. But if I do, I know it will be a happy occasion. My friends will still be my friends, even after commencement. I look forward to the five-year reunion because of that, and all the class reunions afterward.

I don't know what the future holds for us. There's no way of knowing where life will take us, or what kinds of adventures we'll have. But we still have something to look forward to after graduation; we'll have our reunion someday. Then we can share our stories and our smiles, and for a brief time things will be as they are now. Until then, let's be the best people we can be. Let's continue to be steadfast in the word of God, and in doing good to our fellow man. This is my prayer, for myself, and for all of you, and I say it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Draw Near Unto Me...

Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 &67
63. Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
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.

Wow, we've gotten lazy. But we're back, and we're posting. At least I am. ;)

Anyway, the other night I was watching CSI with my mom right before bed. Usually, that show doesn't freak me out, but it was late and it was dark and my dad's been out of town, so when I finally went to bed, I was a little bit scared. I knew it was silly to be afraid, but I also knew how to get rid of the fear. So I pulled out my scriptures, turned on the light, and opened them up. This is one of the verses that I ended up reading. I've read this scripture a million times, but a little after 12 on a Wednesday night, when the world was dark, it hit me like no other. Isn't it amazing that all we have to do is ask? If we want to know the Lord badly enough, we will find him. If we want truth, all we have to do is ask.
When our eyes are single to His glory, we'll comprehend all things. It's amazing!
I didn't get up in the testimony meeting in seminary on Thursday, but that's ok. I know that this is true. The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants. These two books are amazing. They're here for us. Let's use them as much as we can.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

"That the destroying angel shall pass by them..."

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

D&C 89:18-21

I learned yesterday that the official cause of my grandmother's death was emphysema, brought on by her years of smoking. Truthfully, I can't say I'm surprised by this; we've all been taught that smoking kills. As much as I wish it wasn't so, Granny didn't take care of her body.

We all came to this earth to receive bodies and be tested. The Lord has given us the Word of Wisdom because our bodies are some of His greatest gifts to us, and as such, He wants us to take care of them. Throughout Section 89 He tells us to stay away from drugs and strong drinks, and to eat a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables, grains, and meat, among several other instructions. This "Mormon Health Code," as it has been called by nonmembers, often comes under criticism, but if we follow it the Lord has promised us many blessings in return (as stated in the above verses).

I've made a conscious choice to follow the Word of Wisdom, not merely because it's required of me, but also because I have seen for myself what not following that divine counsel will do. I saw it with Granny June, and I've seen it with many other people around me. The suffering that comes from drugs and alcohol, and all the other things we've been warned against, is very real. Is it any wonder that faithful members of the Church enjoy such longevity?

I have received, and continue to receive, all of those blessings promised in D&C 89 for following the Word of Wisdom. Through them and the Holy Ghost, I have learned for myself that it truly is the Lord's word, given through a prophet in the latter days. I'm grateful that God loves us so much that He cares how we treat our bodies, and I hope to live in such a manner that I may continue to receive His rich blessings. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.