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‘Short Inspiring Scriptures’ Category

  1. And They Remembered His Words

    September 2, 2015 by Ryan

    I’d like to discuss a short piece of advice. Something that we all can learn from.

    St. Luke, chapter 24, verse 8, reads in its entirety: “And they remembered his words.”

    In the verses before this, “they” were described as “perplexed thereabout” and “afraid.” They were certainly grief-stricken too at the sudden change in their lives and overwhelmed by the events they had witnessed. Stress, chaos, and emptiness must have filled their souls.

    Two men in shining garments reminded them of the words Jesus had spoken, and the very events that He had foretold.

    And they remembered his words.

    All it took was a recollection of the words of the Master.

    And they remembered his words.

    They returned to where the saints had gathered, and told them these things.

    Remembering restored their courage and faith.

    Remembering renewed their confidence.

    As they talked, their words came across as idle tales to the others who had not yet remembered and connected the prophecy with what had transpired.

    Treasure up His words, whether spoken by His Own voice, or by the voice of His servants. Study His words, and remember!

    Then when the rain descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon your house; when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind; when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the sure foundation; the rock upon which ye are built! (see Matthew 7:24-27 and Helaman 5:12)

    Our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, was also described by another name. St. John introduced him as “The Word” (see John 1:1).

    And they remembered his words.


  2. The Word of God

    September 21, 2014 by Ryan

    Some observations about “the word of God”

    • is quick and powerful (The Book of Mormon | Helaman 3:29)
    • is sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow (Doctrine and Covenants 11:2; 33:1)
    • shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil (The Book of Mormon | Helaman 3:29)
    • will lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course (The Book of Mormon | Helaman 3:29)
    • will land a man’s soul at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven (The Book of Mormon | Helaman 3:30)
    • will do good to him that walketh uprightly (Old Testament | Micah 2:7)
    • healeth the wounded soul (The Book of Mormon | Jacob 2:8)
    • is quick and powerful (Doctrine and Covenants 11:2; 33:1);
    • is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Doctrine and Covenants 33:1)

     


  3. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil

    August 24, 2014 by Ryan

    Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil…. (Exodus 23:2)

    The temptation to be popular may prioritize public opinion above the word of God. Political campaigns and marketing strategies widely employ public opinion polls to shape their plans. Results of those polls are informative. But they could hardly be used as grounds to justify disobedience to God’s commandments! Even if “everyone is doing it,” wrong is never right. Evil, error, and darkness will never be truth, even if popular. A scriptural warning so declares: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”

    After World War I, a rather risqué song became popular. In promoting immorality, it vowed that 50 million people cannot be wrong. But in fact, 50 million people can be wrong—totally wrong. Immorality is still immorality in the eyes of God, who one day will judge all of our deeds and desires.

    – Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Let Your Faith Show,” April 2014


  4. Redemption

    July 16, 2013 by Ryan

    As disciples of Jesus Christ, we ought to do all we can to redeem others from suffering and burdens. Even so, our greatest redemptive service will be to lead them to Christ. Without His Redemption from death and from sin, we have only a gospel of social justice. That may provide some help and reconciliation in the present, but it has no power to draw down from heaven perfect justice and infinite mercy. Ultimate redemption is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.” – Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Redemption


  5. A Still Small Voice

    June 25, 2013 by Ryan

    11 …A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

    12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

    (1 Kings 19:11-12)

    The great prophet Elijah was no stranger to communicating with the Lord.

    In the previous chapter, he had earnestly prayed and then called down fire from heaven in the presence of those who would seek to kill him. Just before the verses above, he had been miraculously provided bread and water by an angel, and then fasted in hiding for 40 days in a cave.

    The great prophet Elijah was no stranger to communicating with the Lord.

    At the end of this time of fasting, a great wind came. Elijah stayed in his cave. The wind was so fierce that the rocks broke in pieces. Yet Elijah remained put. An earthquake shook the land, and a fire followed the quaking. Elijah waited through all of this.

    Finally came that sweet, still, small voice. Elijah made his exit.

    We can learn a lot from this holy prophet. In the commotion of the world, Elijah waited steadfastly for his instructions until he heard the voice.

    With all of turmoil going on around him, it is a wonder that anyone could patiently be attuned to receive the quiet whispering from the Lord. Elijah passed that test.

    It is fair to point out that God is in control of all of those other forces. It is perfectly within His power to use the weather and the elements of the earth to send messages to his people, and sometimes He does purposefully speak with those forces.

    Usually, however, they are just part of the landscape of a tumultuous world and provide opposition and trial for people to gain experience and wisdom from.

    The Lord’s most effective message was and still is the still small voice of the Holy Ghost, which his people must patiently seek and learn how to receive.

    That voice, despite whatever else is happening around, will always provide hope, assurance, and testimony of the Living God.

    Listen for it. Learn to trust it. Respond to it.

    For the Lord is in it!


  6. Joy Cometh In The Morning

    April 16, 2013 by Ryan

    We live at a time in the world’s history when there are many difficult challenges but also great opportunities and reasons for rejoicing. There are, of course, those times when we experience disappointments, heartaches, and even tragedies in our lives. However, if we will put our trust in the Lord, He will help us through our difficulties, whatever they may be. The Psalmist provided this assurance: ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’

    – Thomas S. Monson, “Until We Meet Again


  7. A Recipe For Repenting And Living

    November 22, 2012 by Ryan

    This Thanksgiving evening, I read from The Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:24 – 26. These verses stood out to me as a recipe for repenting and living. In my mind, as I read, I reordered the sentence structure a little bit and underlined some words here and there, to see how each step flows into the next, like this:

    24  …for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law. (That includes everyone who has the capacity to understand, as was explained in the previous verses)

    25  And the first fruits of repentance is baptism;

    and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments;

    and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

    26  And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart;

    and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost,

    which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love,

    which love endureth by diligence unto prayer,

    until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

    Of course, all of this comes because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I’m most grateful for the blessing to understand this! I’m filled with gratitude to know that the steps are simple, and the blessings are complete and wonderful!


  8. A Humble Servant

    October 28, 2012 by Ryan

    If you’ll allow me, for just a moment, I’d like to brag about my humility.

    It is one of my best attributes, after all.

    There are some teaching moments in the holy scriptures that tell us to be a little more humble. For example, Matthew, Luke, and Nephi all recorded Jesus asking a very important question: “Which of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature?” (see New Testament | Matthew 6:27; New Testament | Luke 12:25; and Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 13:27).

    In this world, can you think a single thought and instantly propel yourself to riches, popularity, or fame? A hint: If you are having any trouble deciding on the answer to this question, just ask any politician running for office how a strategy of “think it and become it” works out for them. They have to fight for respect and earn every bit of it. And the adoration of the voters remains fleeting and fickle.

    In the context that Jesus asked the question, can you dream it and become more favorable in the eyes of God? That one should seem even further out of reach. God the Father is clearly in the superior position of our relationship. Any efforts to think ourselves to a more prominent position is in vain. Any effort to work to brown-nose (He can see through it) or “climb the ladder” of success to move toward heaven is also doomed for failure (just ask the people at the Tower of Babel).

    Jesus pointed this out in a different parable at another occasion.

    He asked the people to imagine for a moment that they were rich enough to have servants. For our modern audience, let’s imagine that you have a couple of maids, a butler, and a chauffeur. This would presume that you also have a home and vehicles which warrant such servants. You pay these individuals a fair price to fulfill their duties, and you expect results and loyalty from them. Is it likely then that you will say to your servant, “Hey, you’ve been working hard today. Why don’t you take a break and have some dinner? I’ll eat afterward.”

    As the master, you probably would not. You call the shots, and they work for you! They need to understand their place always. So you’d order your dinner ready, and when you were full, you’d leave the table and let them have their portion. Isn’t that what serving is all about?!

    Would you thank your servants for their hard work? Or is their labor “just part of the job”? Try as we might to believe the opposite, most masters probably would act as the one described in this story.

    So, as the “servants” in this parable, how do we interact with our Heavenly Master? If we are trying to obey His commandments; and if we are providing compassionate service to our fellow men, are we expecting some sort of extra reward? Are we hoping for good marks on our scorecard so that we can earn our favor and position in heaven? No, we ought to look upon our good works and say, “We are unprofitable servants: we have only done that which was our duty to do” (see New Testament | Luke 17:7–10).

    In another time and place, a King Benjamin explained it to his people this way:

    “I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another-…I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

    “And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; …for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

    “And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you” (Book of Mormon | Mosiah 2:21–25).

    (Speaking of politicians, when have you ever heard a king or a ruler ask his people to look to and give credit and thanks to God? Wouldn’t it be refreshing? Maybe that is why King Benjamin’s Farewell Address is one of my favorite passages of the the Book of Mormon)

    No, we can’t say aught of ourselves nor gain any ground by doing that which is our duty. On the other hand, I don’t think that God expects us to walk around in misery, with our head drooping and our arms dragging behind us, crying “Woe is me!” Our Father did provide a Savior for us, and the gift of His Holy Spirit is promised. They demonstrated the love of heaven in the most remarkable way, and they continue to bestow undeserved blessings, also known as amazing grace. With a knowledge of those kind of blessings and opportunities, we ought to hold our head up and rejoice! We should be excited to share our gifts with others, and do our best in daily walk and conversation.

    In return for it all, they just expect that we do our best to keep the commandments. They’ll keep paying our weekly servant paychecks in blessings, and we’ll never get out of debt on our Heavenly account.

    But that’s OK too. One day future, we can look forward and boldly approach the throne of Grace, and ask for our reward. All that “servanting” will have taught us the nature of God, and will have prepared us to be able to enjoy staying in God’s presence. Those who have failed in their “duties” will rather not endure that presence, and will not deign to ask for such a place in the Kingdom of heaven.

    I hope that this helps explain the reason why I’m working so hard to remain so humble.


  9. Improvisation

    September 28, 2012 by Ryan

    It seemed, at first, that “improvisation” is what today was about.

    At work, my “host” who would help me present a webinar to the customers couldn’t make it. I had to quickly adjust and handle both the roles of host (running the behind-the-scenes technical side and moderation of the comments) and presenter. All at once, before a live studio audience.

    Later that day, I walked into a training room and discovered that the projector wasn’t projecting. After fiddling with that for some time, I adjusted my plan and used a program to share my screen with the others in the group.

    At home, I put my handyman skills to use and replaced a dead bolt and door knob. It should have been easy (the box said so!). I found again that I had to adjust and improvise until I could discover how it really worked and why it was not fitting. Eventually I got it installed.

    I was feeling confident in my own abilities by the end of the day.

    And then this evening, I opened to the first verse in this chain below. I read it, and then looked up the rest of the verses by following cross-references listed in the footnotes. It sounded like the Lord was trying to teach me something tonight – that even though improvisation has a place, don’t always be be too quick to always rely on my own self and improvisation…

    From Nephi: “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.” (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 32:5)

    The words of Jesus: “And blessed are the Gentiles, because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost, which witnesses unto them of me and of the Father.” (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 16:6)

    From Moroni: “But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record.  For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.” (Book of Mormon | Ether 4:11)

    Speaking to missionaries: “And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go, until the time thou shalt return, what thou shalt do.” (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 28:15)

    And finally, what was Noah preaching before the flood? “Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest.” (Pearl of Great Price | Moses 8:24)


  10. My Soul Delighteth

    September 13, 2012 by Ryan

    As I ate a bowl of corn flakes at the breakfast table this morning, I opened the Book of Mormon somewhat randomly. I landed on Chapter 11 of the Second Book of Nephi and began to read:

    4 Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.

    5 And also my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.

    6 And my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.

    (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 11:4–6 | With my own emphasis added)

    One thing I saw right away was the repeated phrase “my soul delighteth.” Nephi was the king of his people. Yet the power and leadership was not what he took delight in. He only reluctantly took the job of king (see 2 Nephi 5:18). He most wanted to spend his time proving to his people that they were, of themselves, nothing. Christ is everything.

    The covenants made by a lost and fallen mankind with an unchangeable God were “delightful.” In them was shown the grace, justice, power, and mercy that unlocked the door to bring about redemption, salvation, and exaltation!

    Nephi’s delight was to help individuals recognize the evidence – the proof – that a life without Jesus Christ was a hopeless life indeed.

    Many years later and a half a world away, to the Corinthians Paul wrote: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (New Testament, New International Version | 1 Corinthians 15:19).

    Said President Boyd K. Packer very recently, “The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.” (And a Little Child Shall Lead Them, April 2012)

    My soul delighteth in that too.