Archive for August 2013

Church Journal - The Savior's Sacrifice

During the sacrament today I was thinking about the two symbols used. The bread representing the Savior's body which he sacrificed so that we can live again and the water representing the blood He shed so that we can repent and become perfected in Him. I thought that it was interesting the symbols used in the sacrament and started writing down ideas that came to my mind when I thought of bread or water.

When I thought of bread I thought of the passover and the use of the unleavened (unrisen) bread. They wouldn't let it raise so that they could be ready to leave and have it ready to cook/eat at a moment's notice. I think that this means that I should make sure that my relationship with the Savior is to the point that I am always ready to have His help.

When I thought of water I thought of how important it is to our lives. Not only does it quench our thirst and necessary to our survival - it is also used to clean and purify everything around us. If I didn't have access to water not only would I become dehydrated but I wouldn't be able to clean or wash anything which would cause disease and bacteria to spread.  

Along with that I can survive longer with no food than I can with no water. I even know that whenever I finish fasting the first thing that I go for is water and not food.

So what can I learn from this? It seems by all accounts water is more important than food and has a greater impact on my life. This isn't to say that food isn't important, but a week without water would be worse (and not physically possible) than a week of no food.

I don't mean to read to much into symbolism but what I got out of water being used to represent the sacrament is that the sustaining of our spirits is more important than our bodies. I am not trying to say that we should binge and sit around all day. What I am saying is that the spirit lives forever whereas our bodies are only temporary (until the Resurrection) and for that reason we need to make sure that we striving to make sure it is properly sustained.

Entitlement and Grattitude

Recently the word "entitlement" has been used a lot in the political sphere. It has been used so much that I hate to use it, but...the other day I was reading a few paragraphs about entitlement and ingratitude in the Miracle of Forgiveness and had this thought:

"The sin of entitlement is very similiar to the sin of ingratitude. The next time that I think that I am entitled to something I should stop and think about all the blessings I have."

I haven't had an experience to put this into practice yet but I think that when I do it will help a lot. Entitlement is the idea that I deserve something without any actual work or ownership on my part. When we consider all the blessings we have we will realize not only how much we have been given already but how many things we have been given that we haven't deserved.

A few weeks ago I thought about what (if any) I am entitled to as a human being in this life. I thought and thought and found that there is only one thing that I am entitled to. After we die we are entitled to eternal life through the atonement of Jesus Christ but at this time I was thinking of in the present.

The one thing that all human beings are entitled to in this life is our agency to choose. Even in situations where we might think that we aren't free we still have our agency to choose. Our choices might have been reduced or limited but we always will have our freedom to choose what to do with our lives and how to react to what life presents us.  We can choose to keep the commandments or break them rebelliously - because the Lord entitled us to that.

As I thought about that though an idea came to my mind that was really interesting.

"The only thing that we are entitled to in this life is our agency and the only thing that the Lord asks of us is to give our agency back to him and submit ourselves to His will."

When we submit our will to Him then we will be entitled to:

  • Exaltation
  • Salvation
  • Be resurrected glory
  • Have all that He has
I feel that it is interesting that in a world where many people feel entitled to everything the only way to achieve that is by giving up the only thing we are really entitled to.

When you look at it like that though - why would you not submit your will to the Lord? 

Church Journal - Consitency, Testimony, Conversion

It has been a long time since I posted anything on this blog. It started out as a way to share my experiences with reading the Book of Mormon backwards. However I decided to change it to a way to organize what I learn everyday to the internet so I can search what I have written easier and maybe it just might help someone who stumbles upon this.

I feel that even though I am doing this for myself I will write in the blog style and with the intent that others will read this. This is because I when I explain topics to others I will think about the topics from all angles and figure out which way is the easiest way to explain them and at the same time convey the most amount of understanding of the topic.

I have started to take a notebook with me to church and during the sacrament I take it out and think about a specific topic and write down any notes or promptings I have related to that. In the past I thought about the word "remember" and how it shows up so much in the sacrament prayer. Another week I thought about the word partake and what that really means to partake of the sacrament. Whatever I do though I make sure that it relates to the sacrament and specifically what I can do to be perfected in Jesus Christ.

Today's idea was the importance of consistency. I thought about all the things in my life that bring me closer to the Savior that required consistency. The only things that I can think of that you don't do on a consistent basis are the ordinances of the Gospel (besides partaking of the sacrament).

The main things that I have to do to draw closer to the Savior is:

  • Prayer
  • Scripture Study
  • Church Attendence
  • Meditation (some people would also call this pondering)
The first three are the obvious answers that we always hear. I feel though that if we did them consistently we wouldn't be hearing them so often. The fourth one (Meditation) is one that some people might not be familiar with but I feel that everybody should take some time out of their day to just meditate. I have found that this has helped me think about the Savior without any distractions and think about what I can be doing better.

Well so I know what I need to do and so the next thing that came to my mind was: Goals. I wrote that underneath everything and then realized that goals will help me carry out these things consistently but only if I am consistent with my goals.

I am in the process of writing out goals for myself that will be daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

The last thing that I want to share is something that I wrote during Testimony meeting today. I can't remember what was said to make me think this. I feel sometimes that I don't ever learn exactly what people are sharing in their testimonies but what they are sharing is a jumping off point for me to learn what the Lord wants to teach me at that moment.

What I wrote down was:
 "True testimony makes us do the things we hate and don't want to do. True conversion is when we realize that we enjoy and want to do the things we once hated and avoided."

I think that goes great with what I thought about consistancy. A lot of these things that I need to do are hard to do on a consistant basis. I don't hate to do any of those things but I don't want to do them over other things in my life so they get pushed back. We all know what it is like when it is 1 am and you have to wake up at 7 am so you read one verse of scripture, say a quick prayer, and 5 minutes later you are sleeping. I know that I do that a lot. I feel that if I work on doing these small and simple things consistently  they will grow to be something that I enjoy and won't be a chore to do them.

Then I will be able to know that I not only have a testimony but I am being converted and eing perfected in Him.