Friday, 27 March 2009

In Troubled Times Like This

As we contemplate the current situation in our country and in the world, it might be easy to get discouraged. We are, for the most part, bombarded with waives of negativism on the main stream media news, in the newspapers, in magazines, and online news sources.

Yet through the gloom and doom of our times, the glorious gospel light pierces the darkness, as the lighthouse on a hill, guiding all those who will follow it to the path of peace and rest. Aside from the comforting words of living prophets and apostles, nothing brings the gospel light to our hearts like the uplifting language of the scriptures.

The following verses are from Psalm 37. It is a long Psalm so I will only quote some of the verses. I also recommend Psalms 34 and 36.

1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land...

37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

I love these verses. I love the desire they inspire in my mind to trust in the Lord, to delight in the Lord, to commit my way to the Lord and bring forth righteousness that I, and all those I can influence for good, might find rest in Him. They strengthen my feeble knees, buoy up my drooping heart and lift my hanging hands. What a blessing to have the scriptures! What joy to be able to feast at the table of the Lord everyday--a banquet of the most delicious and soul satisfying dishes on a table that is never empty! Oh that we might all hearken to the words of Nephi in 2 Nephi 31:20 and "feast upon the words of Christ" daily!

How do you feel about these verses? Do you have favorite verses from the scriptures that are a strength and a comfort to you? Would you be willing to share them with me? If so, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment here or email them to me and, if you are comfortable with me doing so, I will post them.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Feast of Comfort

I've been greatly concerned, am greatly concerned about the state of affairs in our great country, the United States of America. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I cannot see and hear and read about what is happening and sit idly by doing nothing. My covenants with God prohibit me from doing so. Rather they obligate and motivate me to action. To that end I've been working hard on a blog; I've gotten involved with and LDS Taking Back America, and I've been writing articles with the hopes of getting them published by Meridian Magazine. I've also been doing a lot of reading to educate myself more fully in the words of the Founding Fathers.

In doing all this, and then in watching and reading the news, it has been difficult, at times, not to let myself get discouraged. What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to turn to the scriptures and "sweet refreshment find."

As I've read over the past several days, I've come across some wonderful nuggets that apply directly to our current lives.

First, D&C 98:4-11

4 And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.

8 I, the Lord God, make you, free therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.

9 Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.

10 Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.

11 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.

These verses give us the Lord's prescription for freedom.

  • Observe and keep God's commandments
  • Constitution is for all mankind
  • Befriend the constitution (study it and understand its principles)
  • Anything more or less than the Constitution is evil
  • We are free in God and also through the Constitution
  • Seek honest and wise men [and women] to hold office -- anything less comes of evil
  • Forsake evil and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

If we follow this prescription, we will be free. If we don't, the wicked will rule and the people will mourn.

In D&C 21:4-6 we read:

4 Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

5 For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

6 For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.

I love these verses. They are marvelous comfort in these challenging times. If we receive the words of the prophet in all patience and faith, meaning with humility and the determination to act given that faith is an action word, the gates of hell shall not prevail. God will disperse the powers of darkness and the heavens will shake for our good and his glory! Wow! That electrifies me!

In the Book of Mormon we read, in Alma chapter 46, of Amalickiah and his aspirations to be king over the Nephites. Amalickiah, through much flattery, lead away many Nephites to support him in his efforts to become king—even many members of the Church of Christ. The Nephites were in great distress. Yet we also read that Captain Moroni rallied the Nephites to stand up to the challenge.

So it is with us today. We find ourselves in a very dangerous and precarious position, facing challenges similar to those of Captain Moroni and the Nephites. From within our own nation, we face an enemy that is every bit as real as Amalickiah and his followers – people in high places seeking for power. The weapons they use today are different, however their intent is the same: destroy the foundation of liberty—namely religion, peace, freedom, family, and especially God. Through great subtlety and flattering words they bray forth their message as they ignore the U.S. constitution and seek to further entrench a socialistic welfare state and a government sponsored religion of secular humanism and moral relativism throughout our nation.

How can we hope to combat them? D&C 27:15-18 gives us the answer.

15 Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.

16 Stand, therefore, having your loins gird about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;

17 Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;

18 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be faithful up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.

What is the Lord's answer? How do we withstand the evil day? By putting on God's armor. What is that armor?

  • Truth
  • Righteousness
  • Testimony
  • Faith
  • Knowledge of the plan of salvation
  • The Holy Ghost
  • Unity
  • Faithfulness
We live in troubling times, but if we will follow the the counsel given in these verses, we will, along with Paul, be able to say:

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted , but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

God is at the helm. Truth will prevail.