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November, 2012

  1. 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!

  2. A Proper Work Ethic

    November 8, 2012 by Ryan

    If I were to assign a soundtrack to the messages of this day, it would go like this:

    The world has need of willing men
    Who wear the worker’s seal.
    Come, help the good work move along;
    Put your shoulder to the wheel.

    (Hymns, Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, no. 252)

    I was listening to the iPod on my way to work to, I caught up on a few “Daily Devotions” from Lutheran Hour Ministries. I especially liked this message:

    “A courier was what a lawyer needed to deliver some contracts to another firm five blocks away. Necessity dictated those contracts be there before closing time, less than an hour later. Unfortunately, no couriers were available and all remaining office personnel were needed at their posts.

    “That was when the lawyer remembered the man outside of the building. The scruffy-looking fellow had been there for two weeks. The card in front of him said he was hungry.

    “The lawyer raced out to the man and offered him $50 to deliver the contracts. Having heard the offer, the unemployed fellow took a deep breath, stood up straight, and made his offended reply: ‘Sir, I sit here to beg, not to deliver contracts!’

    “Now there are a lot of legitimate reasons to be unemployed. You may be unemployed because your job has been taken over by a machine, or because your company moved, or because you are no longer qualified to do a job, which has been redefined.

    “But not wanting to be employed should never be considered to be legitimate.

    “…So, what is your reaction when the Lord gives you a job to do? Would you, …like our beggar — prefer to remain in the ranks of the unemployed? Certainly, it is easier. It is more comfortable and convenient.

    “But it is not God-pleasing.

    “Can you imagine your future if Jesus had adopted such an attitude? What would our eternity be if Jesus had said, ‘No, thank You!’ when the Father told Him to become a Man, so He might live, suffer and die to save sinful humanity?

    “Thankfully, Jesus said, ‘Yes,’ and He accomplished all that was necessary to save us. Now it is our turn to say “Yes” to God’s commands — not because we have to, not because we need to, not even because it’s the right thing to do.” (Daily Devotions, “Glad to Obey” by Pastor Ken Klaus, November 4, 2012)

    That one did make me think. I am eternally grateful for the choice Jesus made to follow His Father’s will!

    Then, on the way home, I listened to the general conference talk “Brethren, We Have Work to Do,” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 2012). He hit the idea from another angle that resonated with me.

    “As men of the priesthood, we have an essential role to play in society, at home, and in the Church. But we must be men that women can trust, that children can trust, and that God can trust. In the Church and kingdom of God in these latter days, we cannot afford to have boys and men who are drifting. We cannot afford young men who lack self-discipline and live only to be entertained. We cannot afford young adult men who are going nowhere in life, who are not serious about forming families and making a real contribution in this world. We cannot afford husbands and fathers who fail to provide spiritual leadership in the home. We cannot afford to have those who exercise the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God, waste their strength in pornography or spend their lives in cyberspace. Brethren, we have work to do.”

    I’m not perfected yet – that I can say with absolute certainty. Of all of the gifts I have been given, the gift of my time, and how I use it, is a tough one to balance and get right.

    But Jesus showed us the proper “work ethic” – and I have time to repent and keep trying to improve.

    Until then, I’ll sing another verse:

    Then don’t stand idly looking on;
    The fight with sin is real.
    It will be long but must go on;
    Put your shoulder to the wheel.

  3. It’s Election Day

    November 6, 2012 by Ryan

    Today, I saw one of the greatest sights that our nation can offer. When I arrived at my polling place this morning about 7:15 am, there was a line of people waiting to vote.

    It took close to an hour and a half to make my way from the back of the line of fellow citizens to the election judges’ table.

    There were no armed guards, nor police looking over my shoulder to oversee whom I chose. The only authority figure present was the elementary school principal, who exercised the grand whole of his authority to announce that the kids would be coming in soon, and asked that the adults step to the sides of the hallway and allow them to pass to their classrooms.

    I presented my ID, stated my name and address, signed the line, and stepped to the voting machine. I chose my own representatives.

    Sure, I would have appreciated no line and no inconvenience. Yes, I could have suggested a few modernizations to make the process a little more efficient. No, I did not agree completely with the candidates whom I choose.

    But the choice was mine, and my fellow citizens together, to make.

    Later that evening, as the results came in, I learned that some of winners were not the ones I had hoped for. I am disappointed in those results, surely. However, I choose not to be in despair.

    I have heard some people tonight going to far as to call the winners evil, and lamenting that the people have chosen iniquity. They act as though the wrath of God will come upon the nation and destroy it.

    He might, or He might not. That is God’s decision. I certainly don’t have the qualifications to tell Him how to vote.

    What I do know is that tonight, the imperfect process, carried out by imperfect mortals, worked in the most perfect way it could. It was peaceful. It was respectful. In comparison to how it is carried out in some other countries in this world, it was nothing short of miraculous!

    I’m proud and honored to be an American, and I look forward to many more elections.