Saturday, March 12, 2016


In this weeks reading the Savior taught about the law of tithing. He quotes Malachi 3:10.

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
 First, I think it's really interesting that the Savior Himself is quoting scriptures. It tells us something of the importance of studying the scriptures, but I think it give special credence to the verses that He does quote.

Second, I love the promise in this verse. I have been blessed to have never really had a challenge in paying tithing. It's just something I've always done. We get behind from time to time, but not from lack of funds, but due to lack of checks. :)  Now that we can pay tithing online,  my hope is to keep caught up all the time.  While I haven't had any specific experiences that I can call out as blessings from tithing, I never want for the things I need and I certainly have a lot of the things I want, which feel a lot to me like receiving blessings that there won't be room to receive them. I trust the Lord and know that he delivers on His promises.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Alma 43-63

In the reading this week one of the stories really stuck out to me. The Nephites and the Lamanites are at war. During this time a very righteous and wise man named Moroni is given command of the armies of the Nephites. At this time Moroni is only 25 years old, but he proves himself to be a capable general.

In chapter 43 we learn that the Lamanites come up to battle against the Nephites, but Moroni "had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields... and also they were dressed with thick clothing." When the Laminates see them, they are afraid and decide that they should attack in another area, where the Nephites might not be as prepared. Now, there is a whole lesson on being prepared that we could go in to, but what I want to focus on what Moroni does next.

While the Laminates slink off to try another city Moroni does two things. One he sends scouts to follow the Lamanites; and two he sends a messenger to Alma, the prophet, and requests that Alma inquire of the Lord as to where he should take the armies of the Nephites to defend themselves.

What's cool about this is that Moroni doesn't just ask the Lord what to do next, but he sends out spies to gather the best human knowledge he can get. Moroni knows "that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). So he is doing his part and trusting that the Lord through Alma will make up the difference.

I love the lesson here. That the Lord doesn't just expect me to ask him what to do next, but he expects me to do the best I can to gather information and then come to him with specific questions to get the details. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A New Semester

Well, my next semester of Pathway started, so here I am working on some of my assignments.

This week we studied Alma 30-35. These chapters have some great stories and great lessons. One lesson I had never noticed before was one that my instructor pointed out.  Alma and company are going on a mission to the Zoramites. Alma lists off those who are going with him and here is what my teacher had to say about those missionaries.

Alma 31: 6 gives us a nice list of missionaries, and tucked away amongst them we find the name “Zeezerom.”  And not only do we find his name, but look again at who his companion is. Amulek!!!  
And herein, greatest saints, we find an amazing foundational message for our day.The message: What true forgiveness means when the Atonement of Christ is applied.
Brothers and Sisters, Zeezerom was a real skunk.  Amulek refers to him as a “child of hell.”  The death of women and children were a result of his unrighteous efforts.  And yet, somehow Amulek’s teachings stuck somewhere in his soul and went to work on him.  His heart was changed to the point he tried stopping the martyrdom of those innocent souls and was cast out of the city for his efforts. 
My teacher also talks about how the atonement allowed Amulek to forgive Zeezerom and work with him to bring others to Christ.

I loved the lesson and I don't think I would have noticed it, if it hadn't been pointed out to me. It strengthens my testimony of the power of the atonement and how it can truly change us and truly allow us to forgive others.

I learned another lesson about prayer through one of the "Digging Deeper" videos. It's about the prayer that Alma offers after he sees the Zoramites praying on the Rameumptom. The Zoramites offered a prayer basically stating, "We thank thee God for making us better than our brethren, we know we're awesome, Thanks." and then they went home and didn't talk of God again all week, till they came back to offer the same payer again. They don't ask the Lord for anything or try to communicate with Him, they just talk at Him

This is juxtaposed with the prayer that Alma offers in Alma 31.  Where he states the following if verses 30-32.
30 O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and infidelity shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities....
 31 O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people.
 32 O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me....
Alma's prayer talks of his feelings and asks for help. He is communicating with our Heavenly Father. He also doesn't ask for his trials or troubles to be taken away. He instead asks for help in dealing with and overcoming those trials. I like the lesson that true prayer is heartfelt and is actually communication with our Heavenly Father.