Thursday, April 28, 2016

Loss of The Manuscript

As we know that God is in the details of our lives ( Encircled in the Arms of His Love, Neal A. Maxwell ), God has sent us here to be tested ( Alma 12:2 ) and that He will use all of our experiences for Good if we love Him ( Romans 8:1 )...

We can also know that Joseph Smith's experiences as recorded in D&C 2-5, & 10, 
 were used for good, as a learning experience for Joseph; in his call to bring forth the Book of Mormon, lead as the prophet of the Restoration of Christ's Church, and lastly,

 we can know that we all are meant to learn from these recorded experiences in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Lesson 1 - D&C 3: 16

As Joseph allowed the recorded translations of the Book of Mormon go into care of Martin Harris, whom lost them, he learned that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon was going to happen with or with out him, and if he tried to bring it forth under his conditions, or the way he wanted to do things, then he would lose his gift altogether; because this is God's work and He knows best how to bring it to light. 

As Joseph Smith learned this lesson he was able to learn to put full trust in God, and never to fear man's thoughts or reactions when he is following the Lord. Because of this experience Joseph was able to appreciate the trust that the Lord has in him at a higher levels, and respect the instructions that he is given by not questioning them over and over. 

As I read about this lesson Joseph Smith had, it causes me to consider in what ways I am not trusting fully in the Lord's order, or specific plan for me? It helps me to realize that when I put full trust in God, I will be given all that I need, in example; keeping and receiving gifts that will help me in my journey back to Him, strength against temptation, and ability to endure. 

Lesson 2 - D&C 3:2 , D&C 3:19, D&C 10:47-52

As Joseph allowed the recorded translations of the Book of Mormon go into care of Martin Harris, whom lost them, he learned that God " doth not vary from that which He has said " or in other words God keeps His promises. Because God had promised the faithful Nephites that the Jacobites, Zoramites,  Josephites, Lamanites, Lemuelites and Ishmalites would have their testimonies of Jesus Christ - the plates were preserved and promised to come forth. 

As Joseph learned this lesson he was able to recognize that God will also keep his promises to him and all those whom follow him as the prophet. Joseph likely saw the blessings that he could help others have as he would lead them as the prophet to make and keep covenants with God which always come with wonderful promised blessings. 

As I read the words of God to Joseph Smith in relation to His promises to His children, my faith is also strengthened that as long as I keep my baptismal and temple covenants, He will also keep His promises to me. This also strengthens my desire to help everyone that I know to make and keep covenants with God. 

Lesson 3 - D&C 10:63

As Joseph allowed the recorded translations of the Book of Mormon go into care of Martin Harris, whom lost them, he learned that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to establish God's gospel in such a way that there would not be "contention concerning the points of His doctrine ".

As Joseph learned this lesson I am certain that his desire to translate and share the Book of Mormon was strengthened. Joseph was able to have a clearer picture of the Book of Mormon in it's entirety and what good it would bring into the world. 

As I read about the purposes of the Book of Mormon as establishing God's church without contention, my testimony is strengthened in the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because I clearly see the way that The Book of Mormon and His church is without contention regarding His doctrine - even today. 

- There are many more lessons to be learned in these chapters, but most of all I think the lesson that I learned was the way that our Heavenly Father loves us and how He is so mercifully forgiving as He was to both Joseph Smith and Martin Harris. ( D&C 10:3 , D&C 3:10) 

In my own life I have also experienced times when I have asked God for something over and over again, just as Joseph Smith had asked about showing Martin Harris the plates and allowing him to show his family over and over again. 

What I have come to learn about this is that God's plan for me is always better than my plan for me. 

" When God says no, He is really just saying wait. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back and see how everything added up and brought you somewhere so much better than you planned on going. "  - unknown

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Encircled in the Arms of His Love - Neal A. Maxwell 

"Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate. Divine correlation functions not only in the cosmos but on this planet, too. After all, the Book of Mormon plates were not buried in Belgium, only to have Joseph Smith born centuries later in distant Bombay.

The raising up of that constellation of “wise” Founding Fathers to produce America’s remarkable Constitution, whose rights and protection belong to “every man,” was not a random thing either (see D&C 101:77–78, 80). One historian called our Founding Fathers “the most remarkable generation of public men in the history of the United States or perhaps of any other nation” (Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Birth of the Nation [1968], 245). Another historian added, “It would be invaluable if we could know what produced this burst of talent from a base of only two and a half million inhabitants” (Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam [1984], 18).
Yet some still settle for an inconsistent or incapable god. Laman and Lemuel, for instance, were aware of ancient Israel’s miraculous rescue from Pharaoh’s mighty armies, but they murmured and were intimidated by a mere, local Laban. We can be so provincial and so self-concerned. God, who oversees the interlacings of galaxies, stars, and worlds, asks us to confess His hand in our personal lives, too (see D&C 59:21). Have we not been reassured about the fall of one sparrow and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered? (see Matt. 10:29–30D&C 84:80). God is in the details! Just as the Lord knows all of His vast creations, He also knows and loves each in any crowd—indeed, He knows and loves each and all of mankind! (see 1 Ne. 11:17).
Consider His tender salutations to Moses—“I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight” (Ex. 33:12)—and to Joseph: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS—H 1:17).
No wonder King Benjamin pleads with us to believe that we do not comprehend all that God comprehends (see Mosiah 4:9). Ignoring the revelations about God’s astounding capacity is like playing aimlessly and contentedly with wooden blocks featuring the letters of the alphabet, without realizing Shakespearean sonnets were created using that same alphabet.
Father Abraham “staggered not” at the divine promise of posterity, because he was “fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able also to perform” (Rom. 4:20–21). May we be “fully persuaded.”   

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fear Who?

The counsel given to Joseph Smith that is recorded in D&C 3:7-9 has great significance in my life. I am not only greatly thankful for this counsel, but I testify that these promises are true and have come to pass in my life in great measure. 

D&C 3: 7-9 states, " For behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words - Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble. 

In the past, I have made the terrible mistake of trusting in the world's ways in order to feel happy and fulfilled in my life. Eventually, I have come to understand through negative experiences, that true happiness can only come from God, and following His counsels through His Son Jesus Christ. 

In the past, although I knew the source of true happiness, deep down, I still feared man more than I feared God. This was manifested in many ways that I would like to share.

  I am married to a member of the Catholic Church. Because of the difference in standards, I am faced with many choices that show me whom I fear, or trust in my life - on a daily basis.

Some of the manifestations are made known to me as I recognize my inward thoughts, and in the ways that I spend my time. Other manifestations are clearly seen by everyone. 

 On Sundays there have been times that my husband would tell me that I should be spending more time with him at entertaining events - rather than being at my church.

 In the past, I believed my husband and was persuaded that he was correct for me only go to the first hour of church, and allow him to take me to activities after I partook of the Sacrament. I feared that my marriage would suffer and that there would be no way to keep peace in my home if I did not follow my husband's desires for me. 
In the past, I was not so careful about checking the rating of a movie that my husband wanted to show me. I knew he was excited about a film and I feared to ruin his plans for us. Many times it would be too late for me to change my mind, and I would be exposed to something that caused the Spirit to leave my side. 

In the past, I dressed in a way that my husband would prefer, rather than in the way the Spirit would lead me. I was worried that my husband would want me to wear the most trendy and popular styles as that is what he suggested. Of course I wanted my husband's approval, but I was fearing man, more than God as I did this.

In the past, I was not careful about the places I went, and social gatherings that I attended. This allowed me to feel worldly influence at a higher level. where I went was showing what was important to me, and what I was showing was my desire to be accepted by man, not God.

Lastly, in the past, because my husband did not want me to go to the temple as my clothing would change, and he felt uncomfortable about that - I did not attend the temple. 

My witness as the Lord states: "he would have extended his arm , supported , against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with ME in every time of trouble. " 

Is - that this is true

The Lord did so mercifully forgive me, and help me learn to trust in Him. Eventually I was given the strength to tell my husband with faith that I knew,   "As I attended the temple, that our marriage would be blessed, and as I kept higher standards He too would be happier in our home."

I do not miss any hours of church because I am afraid that my marriage will suffer anymore. 

My husband is aware and respects that I do not desire to watch R rated and even some PG13 Movies.

Now, as I go shopping with my husband, I am so thankful to be able to share my testimony about why wearing modest clothes is important. 

I am not perfect at fearing God more than man, but I am eternally thankful that He has helped me get to the point that I am at. 

And I testify with great assurance that the Lord truly is with me in every time of trouble. 

He supports me, gives me strength through the help of angels both unseen and seen in my family members and friends.

I know with all the depth of my soul that when I put myself in vulnerable positions in order to follow the counsel of the Lord and the prophets, my whole entire family is blessed and supported. 

My marriage is better than it ever has been since I do not fear man, and I am very hopeful about the future as I keep my Temple Covenants. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I am really excited to be taking D&C as my Religion Course this semester! I can already tell it is going to be a great learning opportunity for me - I hope you will enjoy learning along with me as I share some of the things that I am learning. Love - Emily :)

1.       What do the Lord’s prophets want me to know about the Doctrine and Covenants?
I. The Doctrine and Covenants is a collaboration of divine revelations and declarations that have been provided by the Lord, for the purpose of building up and securing proper organization of God’s church on the earth.

A. Intro to D&C, 1stParagraph                                                                                                       
B. As I understand that the writings in D&C come directly from the Lord I will take the messages deeper into my heart, and desire at a deeper level to heed their counsel and warnings.

II.The Doctrine and Covenants are not only a message to the members of Christ’s Restored Church, but also messages to the entire Human race.

A.Intro to D&C, 1st Paragraph

B. Recognizing that D&C was written for the entire world allows me to see the love that my Father in Heaven has for all of His children.
                            III. Because God’s Church was restored to the Earth again through Joseph Smith, the Lord through His Prophet and Disciples are able to set forth written explanations in regards to the doctrines of His church.
A.Intro to D&C, 8th Paragraph

B.As I know that the Lord desires to clear up questions and shed more light on the doctrines of His church, I am able to see His pattern of having a prophet to lead His church and people on the Earth. As I know the Lord desired for a record to be kept in the way of the Doctrine and Covenants  I can see the pattern of continuous revelation being given across time – throughout the Old and New Testament, an even today through our modern prophets.
2.       What does the Lord want me to know about the Doctrine and Covenants?
I.His voice is going to be heard by all men everywhere and nothing will be able to stop the going forward of His words through the Doctrine and Covenants and His prophets.
                A.D&C 1:2, D&C 1:5

                B. Despite the trials that preceded  the printing and publication of the Doctrine and Covenants, as I read these sacred instructions even now and each day; I can see the prophesy that nothing would stop the whole world from having His words and instructions in live fulfillment before my eyes.
II. The Doctrine and Covenants is a voice of warning to all people that was given from Him to His Disciples to share.
                A.D&C 1:3-4

                BAs I see a warning given to all the world through the Doctrine and Covenants, I can see God’s patterns at work; Just as Noah received a warning about the coming flood, Lot that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed, Lehi to flee Jerusalem that would be destroyed, our bodies getting tired, and achy just before we get sick, the clouds in the sky before the storm arrives, and the list goes on…. God always gives warnings and I see this pattern revealed again through the Doctrine and Covenants.
III. The Disciples who share the messages in the Doctrine and Covenants are sealing the fate of individuals to the measure which they followed His gospel as prescribed throughout the order and commandments revealed in the Doctrine and Covenants.
A.D&C 1:9-10

B. With knowledge that the messages and Disciples of Christ are sealing our futures gives a heightened sense of awareness to the respect that I should pay to the past and present prophets words written or spoken.      
                                IV.D&C is given to increase faith and have covenants established
                                          A.D&C 1:21-22
                                                                                                                                                                                   B. As I read the Doctrine and Covenants I can be certain my faith will increase as I see temples being built across the world, which will enable individuals to make covenants with God. I will also desire to keep my covenants more perfectly as I see the purposes of the Doctrine and Covenants coming to pass.

         V. Search the Doctrine and Covenants because the written promises will be fulfilled.

                                 A.D&C 1:37     
                                 B.I gain great peace as I know that the promises that are given in the Doctrine and Covenants will come to pass. Instead of wondering or worrying about my future in the eternities; as I know that the written promises will be fulfilled; I know that my time is better spent understanding the instructions given and following through with the directions in action.
          VI. If the Lord’s servants spoke something in the Doctrine and Covenants it is just as if the Lord had spoken it.
                       A.D&C 1:38  

                       B. Knowing that the servants of the Lord’s words are just as good as His words allows me to take great faith in not only the writings in the Doctrine and Covenants but also the words of the modern prophets in General Conference, Stake Conference, and even from Stake Presidents and Bishops spoken to me as an individual.
I am in awe at the little amount of text that I was able to learn such a great deal from as I studied the Lord’s Preface and the First Section of the Doctrine and Covenants. As I learned so much I am now very excited for the study of the entire Doctrine and Covenants.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Why did Jesus need to feel forsaken?

I remember that when I was younger, and I heard the passages of scripture about Jesus's Crucifixion.

  At times I felt upset and confused at why God, Our Father, would allow Jesus Christ to be in such agony that He would feel that He was forsaken, as Christ called, " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27 :46)

I can hardly consider those words out of my Savior's mouth, and not feel fear for those whom allowed Him to be in such despair, and my entire being sinks at those spoken words by my Savior, Jesus Christ.

As I have studied and pondered those spoken words, I appreciate and understand that Jesus Christ " feeling forsaken" was part of the price that He paid in order to not only save us, but also to be able to succor us, as we will each have times that we feel forsaken by God.

Elder Oaks states it perfectly in his address titled, " Strengthened by the Atonement " (Oct.2015) he says,
"The Book of Mormon states, “And he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12).

For example, the Apostle Paul declared that because the Savior “hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

Similarly, President James E. Faust taught,

“Since the Savior has suffered anything and everything that we could ever feel or experience, He can help the weak to become stronger.

Our Savior experienced and suffered the fullness of all mortal challenges “according to the flesh” so He could know “according to the flesh” how to “succor [which means to give relief or aid to] his people according to their infirmities."

He therefore knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as an essential part of His Atonement. And because of this, His Atonement empowers Him to succor us—to give us the strength to bear it all. "

Elder Holland explains this wonderfully in his address titled " None were with Him " (April 2009) as he states :

"Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone."

As I have my own trials and experiences I have not felt forsaken, However - as I consider these things - I now know why the Savior must have had the need to speak that He did feel forsaken - This was for me - This was for you - and this was for all of us.

Because I know that my Savior did feel forsaken (Matt.27:46), and because I know that He did indeed forgive those whom put Him in that position(Luke 23:34), and because I have witness that in His pain He not think of Himself, but did think of His Mother(John 19:25-27), and because I learned that this was all His will (John 19:30, Luke 23:46)

and lastly because I know that He did in fact over come it all, take our sins upon Him and resurrect on the third day -

I know with a perfect example before me how I should also react to my trials. I know that He knows how I feel in every circumstance. I know that He - the one who endured this all for me -

will be able to help me.......

Because as Joseph B. Wirthlin states it:

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come." (Sunday Will Come, Oct. 2006)



I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.