There is one, who will take away the pain

In my own estimation, my life has been easy.  I was born in the covenant with a mother and father who showed me love, and were textbook examples of God-fearing parents.  As yet, I have not experienced a debilitating disease, or a stressed marriage relationship.  My children are happy and healthy.  I have a good job, and am able to provide for my family without fear of overarching financial burden.  I have access to clean water, every single day.  I am able to read.  In a very literal sense, I am blessed beyond measure.

As I sit at my desk, with my fingers on my keyboard, I am mindful of those in the world who are experiencing pain and adversity.  These pains and adversity are grievous to be borne, and difficult to comprehend and discuss.  In the view of many, these trials are often stigmatizing, and unrelatable.  Yet to many, they are so often commonplace, they just call it ‘life.’  The pains of loosing loved ones to the sting of death.  The stress of being saddled with the responsibility to provide for a wife and children, but having not the means to do it.  The pains of having a marital relationship fall apart for reasons not fully understood.  The pains of mental illness.

The last couple weeks, I have been a part of several conversations that have highlighted to me the stark reality of the trials and vicissitudes that people deal with, every single day.  The common theme in these conversations has been feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.  Individuals whom have felt that help is beyond their own mortal reach and that hope is a feeling that will never return.  Nearly to tears, I am moved as I think about those who feel utterly helpless and hopeless.  Individuals, who are certain that the adversity they are experiencing, will surely conquer them.  Those who feel like they have no other option, but to throw their hands in the air and declare, “I give up.”

To the man or woman whom I have just described, I say this: there is one who takes away the pain; even Jesus Christ.  The one who without regard for himself, took upon Himself your trials and infirmities.  The one who, with love immeasurable, stepped into the garden of Gethsemane and for you suffered pain beyond comprehension, that you might find peace.  The one who when suffering “even unto death,” “went a little further.”  This love is difficult for me to comprehend, but impossible for me not to feel.

On this Easter Sunday, I add my testimony to the many: He lives.  He loves.  He will take away your pain.

Posted in Dallen, Gospel

Weekly Journal Entry – 10/9

I remembered a talk that I had heard by Elder Eyring, a number of years ago. It’s called “Rise to Your Call.” It is one that had multiple meanings to me, not only as a priesthood holder, but as a father, friend, son, brother and paramedic.

I’ll digress momentarily, as I ask you to think about what has led you to where you are today. Consider your callings in life. Each of you, a son or daughter of God, is called to represent the Savior. Many of you are husbands and wives. Some of you a parent, or will be very shortly. Each of you, a soon-to-be paramedic. What led you to this career choice? Why paramedicine? Did you feel drawn to it? Do you feel an emotional connection to helping people in their time of need? Perhaps you got a spiritual confirmation, that this was the right job for you, at this time in your life.

We each have a variety of callings in life. Each with their own set of responsibilities and trials. Each with their own blessings. Elder Eyring shares a few thoughts I’d like to recount (Elder Eyring quotes in blue).  I’ll add that Elder Eyring’s comments were directed to those with callings in the church, but his advice, I believe, is very applicable to other callings in life:

“First, you are called of God. The Lord knows you… He chose you.” If before you embarked on a new calling in life, be it career, family or otherwise, you made it matter of prayer and spiritual reflection, I believe in every sense of the word, it is a calling. The Lord has chosen you. There is power in that statement.

“You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father’s spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives. That will be true even in the most ordinary tasks you are assigned and in moments when you might be doing something not apparently connected to your call. Just the way you smile or the way you offer to help someone can build their faith. And should you forget who you are, just the way you speak and the way you behave can destroy faith.” Your calling as a paramedic is different than other paramedics. You have been endowed with spiritual gifts that most paramedics do not have. How will you use them? Will you, by your own unworthiness, withhold those gifts from others? Or will you build up someone spiritually and physically, in their time of deepest need?

“Your call carries grave responsibility. But you need not fear, because with your call come great promises.” The lives of God’s children will frequently rest solely in your hands. As you tune yourself to hear the spirit of God, and prepare physically with the proper knowledge and mindset, God will guide you.

“Just as God called you and will guide you, He will magnify you. You will need that magnification. Your calling will surely bring opposition. You are in the Master’s service. You are His representative. Eternal lives depend on you.” I’ll add also, that in the calling of a paramedic, physical lives depend on you. I can think of many times that without the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost, I would have not performed to the best of my ability. With the ability to receive that revelation, has come come temptation. Temptation to embrace the negative and worldly side of the job. This is in direct opposition to what God wishes for you. Avoid it at all costs.

“There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone.” To those who are struggling right now, and there are many of you, I would like to speak directly to you. I’ll add my testimony to that of Elder Eyrings, you do not work alone. Think for a moment what that means.

You do not work alone.

You have a spiritual capacity, and with that a physical capacity beyond your wildest imaginations. If you are struggling, I plead with you to first, seek out spiritual help. Then, in time, the answers will come. You, with the help of your instructors and preceptors, will know how to fix and to improve. I know that is true.

“What you say and do will carry hope and give direction to people far beyond your natural abilities and your own understanding.” Many of you have expressed frustration with the frequency of low-acuity calls. I’ll be the first to admit that these calls were beyond frustrating to me as an intern. I wish I knew then, what I know now. The vast majority of these people you will transport in non-emergent situations are lost. Many of them have problems with alcohol and drug abuse and other problems we can scarcely understand or appreciate. You have the opportunity to be a light in the lives of those people. Having that understanding and belief will completely change they way you look at those types of calls. I challenge you to try it.

Students, I love you all. I pray for your safety, success and happiness. You are constantly on my mind. Continue to bless the lives of those around you.

With Love,
Brother Farmer

 

P.S. Here is a brief summary of Elder Eyrings talk:

P.P.S.  Here is the full talk:

Posted in BYU-Idaho, Gospel

Listening to the Spirit…in the back of an ambulance

For the last few days I’ve wrestled with whether or not I should share this, and finally came to the conclusion that I should—I think.  While at work the other day, I had the opportunity to take care of a remarkable young man.  The young man, sixteen years old, had been downhill skiing and had run into a tree.  He suffered debilitating and painful injuries to his lower extremities.  I won’t go into detail about the extent of his injuries—it’s not relevant to the story.  Suffice it to say that his pain was very real and very extreme.  His pain was ‘managed’ with some powerful pain and sedating medications.  I brought him to a rural hospital, where his injuries were further assessed and found to be in need of surgical correction, a service not available at the small hospital.  It was then my privilege to again transport the young man, this time with his mother present, to a different hospital.

While making our way to the other hospital, the road was bumpy and the young man’s legs were now more painful than ever; he winced in pain—silently praying for mercy.  Each bump in the road jostled his injured legs, causing more and more pain with each passing mile.  My heart ached for the boy’s mother, who watched as her son lay in this state of suffering, undoubtedly feeling helpless as the boy struggled to breath over the unbearable pain.

As a critical care paramedic, I pride myself on my ability to administer a wide variety of powerful pain medications and sedative type drugs.  Our protocols are generally very liberal and to many in healthcare, the prehospital use of narcotics is considered somewhat radical—we strongly dislike seeing our patients in pain.  It pains my heart to see a patient in such a state.  Words cannot describe the frustration I feel when pain management is not working like I’d expected it to.  At the point where it appeared that the young man simply couldn’t take it any longer, he asked simply and calmly, “will you pray with me?”  Immediately I had the distinct impression to offer the young man a priesthood blessing—to which he graciously accepted.  I instinctively reached for my small vial of concentrated oil (something that I keep in my work bag), and dabbed a small drop on the crown of the boy’s head.  I gently laid my hands on his head, taking a brief second to gather my thoughts.  Suddenly the whole world seemed a little smaller.  The chains of everyday life seemed to be loosed.  The stressful burdens of work, family and church commitments seemed hardly noticeable.  It was just me, this young man, his mother, and the unrestrained spirit of God in the cramped compartment of an ambulance.  I could feel the loving arms of the Savior wrapped around each one of us—the spirit was so strong.  The words of the blessing, yet unremarkable, flowed with little effort of my own—they were just there.  As I concluded the short prayer, I felt a small tear run down the side of his face and hit my hand.  Then, with little effort, I put my proverbial paramedic hat back on and continued on with his treatment.  In the next few moments, the pain medication had reached its full effect, and the boy slipped into a peaceful sleep.  The rest of the trip was very plain.  I made conversation with the patient’s mother, who was more than pleasant.

After dropping the boy off at the hospital, and making the pilgrimage back to the town where I was working that day, the experience seemed to be at the forefront of my mind.  More and more I felt as though I should reach out to this boy and his mother, but I didn’t really know why.  That night I pushed away the feeling and tried to get some sleep.  Morning came, and the thought was still there.  After my church meetings, and wrestling with the thought that I needed to speak with these folks, I decided to drop by the young man’s room while I was at the hospital picking up some equipment.  I found the young man in good spirits, having just undergone surgery that morning.  His pain was manageable and he had the good company of this father and sister.  The spirit that this family carried with them was nothing short of inspiring.  I wish I could describe it better; they are an amazing example of what it means to carry the spirit of the Lord with you always.  Sadly, the boy’s mother was not there.  As I walked out, I still felt something tugging at me.  As the rest of the day passed, the thought never really left my mind.  “Call her,” the spirit prompted me.

The next day, I again awoke to the distinct and now even more powerful impression to call the patients mother.  ‘She’ll think I’m crazy/weird/creepy if I just call her randomly,’ I thought to myself.  After all, I didn’t even really know what I was supposed to say to her.  I looked up her telephone number and started to dial, but then chickened out.  The impression was eating at me all day, until mid-afternoon, I finally called.

My words were choppy, and I think the poor woman could hardly understand me.  I muttered through telling her who I was, and then said the only thing I could think of to say was, “thank you.”  As the words rolled off of my tongue, I began to realize just how thankful I was.  I was privileged to be the instrument of the Lord in one of his children’s darkest days.  I’d had my prayers answered—the one that I pray every day, pleading with the Lord for opportunities to use his priesthood.  I was able to offer some, albeit very small, bit of relief to another human being in pain and suffering.  The patient’s mother was more than kind to me, saying over and over how grateful they are for the kindness shown their son.

Several minutes after the phone call had ended, the woman called back.  There was a distinct sense of love and concern in the tone of her voice.  Though it was just a phone call, I could easily perceive she was holding back sack loads of tears and emotion.  As this woman shared with me a distinct and vivid spiritual impression she received while I had the privilege of blessing her son, I realized just how special of an experience it was for all three of us.  My eyes welled with tears as she shared this most spiritual and intimate experience.  I was at a complete loss of words; I truly didn’t know what to say. Thank you.  Thank you was all I could say.

There are some experiences in life that are just too sacred to share, and because it wasn’t my experience, I won’t share the details of this sister’s story.  This young man, whom I shouldn’t call ‘young,’ was a man in every sense of the word.  This man, when others would have been screaming profanities and cursing the Lord for this trial, chose to speak of his testimony of the Book of Mormon, his love of seminary and his plans to serve as a missionary.  What an example he was to me.  My testimony of the Lords holy priesthood was strengthened beyond measure today.  I’ve learned a little more about what it means to listen to the voice of the Lord and my heart has been filled with an added measure of love for the Lords gospel.  Indeed, this has been one of the more tender moments of my short 28 years.

Posted in Dallen, Gospel

The Savior Taught…

For this week’s entry, I thought I’d share a little bit about what the Savior taught about the Holy Ghost and what one must do to receive it.

  • John 14:15-17 | Christ left the comforter, or the Holy Ghost, for us to use.  He’s a spirit.  We can’t see him.
  • John 14:26-27 | The Holy Ghost is sent to us in the name of Christ.  It brings peace.
  • John 15:26-27 | The Holy Ghost testifies of Christ; and bears witness of the presence of God.
  • John 16:7-8 | In the absence of Christ, is the Holy Ghost.
  • John 16:13-14 | Guides, glorifies and shows all things.

“The gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being (N.T. Institute Manual p. 168)”

I’ve thought about how the Holy Ghost had influenced people throughout time.  Specifically, some of those who it influenced the most.  Christ called and set apart apostles to serve in his behalf.  I can’t fathom the spiritual help that must have come to those that ministered in the literal presence of Christ.  After his death and resurrection, I think it must have been difficult, at best, to go on with teaching without the luxury of having the Savior right there.  The apostles had to rely on the Holy Ghost in ways they likely never thought possible.  It was an absolute necessity for them.

Individually we all can and should listen to the Holy Spirit’s influence.  I can think of several instances in my life where I feel like had I not listened to and been worthy of the companionship of the spirit, I may not be here today.

Shortly before I left for the mission field in 2004, I was traveling with some friends of mine along a narrow windy road in Swan Valley, Idaho.  A moment before I went around a blind corner, I had the distinct impression to slow down, as I was traveling rather fast.  I applied the brakes, and as I rounded the corner I came upon an accident where a man towing a trailer had partially driven off the side of the road.  Thankfully no one was injured; however had I not heeded the spiritual directive given to me by the Holy Ghost, many people would have been hurt- myself included.  The spirit is real.  It’s promptings are real.  Listen.  Listen.  Listen.

Posted in BYU-Idaho, Dallen, Gospel, New Testament

Serve and Love, Love and serve

But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  – Mark 10:43-45

Jesus Christ is perfect.  In every way imaginable, perfection is found.  He is the very embodiment of example.  The scriptures are rich with examples of perfection on the part of the Savior.  This week, though, I’m finding it prudent to mention Christ as a leader.  Not only as a leader and author of our salvation, but Him as a leader of His church.

Mark 10:43-45 teaches us about Christ as a leader.  Christ served because of loved; and loved because he served.  Is there a connection there?  I think there is.  Loving those whom we serve, will help us serve those better.  The cycle perpetuates itself.  The statement “whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” should be a lesson for all of us; especially those in leadership positions.  It reminds me of Elder Ucthdorf’s talks Lift Where You Stand (worth reading if you’ve never studied it).  We need, no, we must serve and love simultaneously.

Posted in BYU-Idaho, Dallen, Gospel, New Testament

Preparation Is Key

Reading through Mark 13 one could get the idea that Christ has a passion for preparation–specifically preparation for his second coming.  Why is this?  I thought I’d break it down in terms that I can understand; this is what I got:

We see Christ uses the phrase “take heed” and “watch” a variety of times in Mark 13

  • 5  And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
  • 9  But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
  • 23  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
  • 33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
  • 35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
  • 37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Christ placed heavy emphasis on those phrases, and end’s his discourse (v. 37) with a final admonition- that everyone should watch.

We as believers can learn a few things from these words of Christ.  First and foremost, we can and should take heed.  Take heed from the Holy Ghost and act on those promptings.  Live in such a way that we can be worthy to receive those promptings.  We can watch.  Watch the world around us.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the world around us is bad–really bad.  If we watch, we’ll be able to act when the time is right.  I think the final thing we can do is to learn.  Learn the signs of the times and what they mean.  Learn what we should do when they come; and rest assured they will come–Many already have.

 

I’ll end with a few scriptures that outline what else we can do to prepare for the second coming of the Lord.

  • D&C 87:8  Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.  I’ll place heavy emphasis on the phrase stand in holy places; it’s a no-brainer.
  • Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:32 And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.  To understand this warning, we need to understand the first destruction; rest assured we are told- Jerusalem will be destroyed yet again.
  • Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  Read and apply the word of God–another no-brainer.
  • Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:46-50
    46 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; watch, therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord doth come.
    47 But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up, but would have been ready.
    48 Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.
    49 Who, then, is a a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
    50 Blessed is that aservant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing; and verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
    Watch, and take heed.  Be a wise servant; and be blessed.
  • D&C 33:17 Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom.
  • D&C 45:56-57
    56 And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
    57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
Posted in BYU-Idaho, Dallen, Gospel, New Testament

The Parable of the Laborer

IN many ways I feel like I have more experience living this parable than the average person.  A result of pride, no doubt.  Anyhow, I wanted to share a few things I picked up on while reading this parable in Matthew.

  • First, I think it’s prudent to mention an small lesson in chapter 19 of Matthew.  The end of the chapter recounts a man who approaches the Savior and asks when he needs to do to enter heaven.  To which, Christ replies:  “He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  The man then tells Jesus ‘I did all those, now what?,’ to which the Savior replies: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”  The account tells us that the man replied that he had a lot of riches, and left, very sorrowfully.  Jesus then goes on to explain that it’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    What did Christ mean by this?

    I think he meant that it has everything to do with attitude.  There are many many rich people in the world who, with their riches AND their testimonies are blessing the lives of those around them.  They embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it, keeping their eye on the prize.  In short, they keep the commandments–all the while being rich.

  • In the parable of the Laborer, we see an account of a man who hires what we now would call a ‘day laborer,’ or someone who works for a daily wage.  The householder (the man who did the hiring) goes to a communal spot, early in the morning, and hires a man for the wage of a penny a day.  The hired man is sent to work in the vineyard.

    The householder returns to the communal hiring place, at midmorning, and hires another man.  This time the householder says that he’ll be paid “whatsoever is right.”  This hired man is sent to work in the vineyard with the first hired man.

    The householder again returns to the communal hiring place, hires several more workers throughout the day (at the sixth, ninth and eleventh hours), all promising wages commensurate with “whatsoever is right.”

    When the day was over, the workers were gathered together.  The last worker hired was paid the wage of a whole penny, the same wage that the first worker was hired at.  This made the first men hired think something along the lines of ‘hey, I’m getting a bonus since I worked longer than they did!’  Sadly, all the men were paid the same.

    Immediately the first workers began to murmur.  The account tells us “these last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.”  They were sour that they worked much longer than those hired in the eleventh hour.

    At face value, we can all relate to this.  However, the parable has a much deeper meaning.  It shows us a few important gospel principles:

    • “Many of us have jobs that pay by the hour. For all of us, the harder and longer we work, the more we expect to be paid. But the economy of heaven is different. When we are baptized, ordained to the priesthood, or participate in the ordinances of the holy temple, we covenant to be obedient to God and magnify our callings. In return, the Lord promises that if we are faithful we will receive “all that my Father hath” (D&C 84:38), or exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God (see D&C 84:33–41). There is no higher wage or reward that the Lord can offer; it is the greatest of all His gifts (see D&C 14:7).”
      – ELDER HENRY F. ACEBEDO
    •  This should be a message of hope for those who stray from the gospel path, or those who find the light late in their lives, perhaps even in the eleventh hour.  Those who accept the challenge, embrace the gospel, and follow through with the Saviors command, will embrace all the same reward as those who accepted it earlier.  There is always hope.
    • Despite this council, some would still say that it’s unfair for those who work less to be paid the same.  The Lord has outlined the requirements for heaven.  Have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end.  It’s the endure to the end part that is often the challenge.  We have no way of knowing what will lie in wait for us in the future.  I, as I write this, could someday be in need of those same blessings that the worker hired in the eleventh hour received   We just never know.
Posted in BYU-Idaho, Dallen, Gospel, New Testament

The same yesterday, today and tomorrow

The Lord, through a modern day prophet, calls and sets apart seventies.  In the biblical time period, he did the same.  Much of what we know about the seventies called 2000 years ago, comes from Luke chapter 10.  I’ll outline a few things I found interesting:

  • He starts out (v. 2) by identifying the magnitude of the task, and to be blunt, the lack of help he has to accomplish it.
  • Christ makes it very clear that the ‘mission’ he’s calling these brothers on is a difficult one, going so far as to say he’s throwing them as lambs to the wolves (v. 3).
  • He asks them to have faith, by focusing entirely on preaching His gospel (v. 4).
  • Christ gives them clear directions on how to deal with those who choose not to receive him through the messengers (v. 11).
  • In verse 16, Christ makes a very bold yet beautiful statement, one that I think we can all find direction in “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that dispiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”  Clearly the Lord is helping us understand how important gospel messengers are to his plan; and how we should receive them.
  • In verses 17-20, Christ gives promises boldly and powerfully; stating they (the seventies) shall have “power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and overall the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

The 6th article of faith states “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”  The beauty of this statement, is that we absolutely believe it!  As given above, the Lord, through a prophet, has called and set apart disciples to preach and to minister his church all around the world.   Their duties are the same as they were in the time of Christ, their challenges every bit as difficult, and their power in every place as strong.  What a message that sends as to the authenticity of the Lord’s gospel.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints calls and sets apart seventies.  Specicially, their duties include (note the similarities of the seventies in biblical times):

  • Appointed by the Lord
  • They are called to preach, and to be special witnesses of Christ
  • Act in the name of Christ, administering for the affairs of His church
  • Travel the world in the name of Christ
Posted in Gospel, New Testament

Like Little Children

The Savior asks, rather commands, us to become like little children.  There are several ways someone could look at that directive.  We could literally become as a little child or we could spiritually become as a little child.  For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll assume that Christ is asking the latter.

We find this scriptural account in the 18th chapter of Matthew.  Verbatim, Christ says “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (emphasis added)”  Children live a carefree life, they are humble and are eager to experience the world around them.  They don’t get caught up in the dramatic stage of life.  Children love.   Mosiah suggests that we should “becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love.”  In  these ways, and probably many many more, we should parallel children.  It’s my belief that as we do this, we will start to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a new and refined way; we will develop a deeper and more abiding love of the Savior.

Posted in BYU-Idaho, Dallen, Gospel, New Testament

“Lord, if it be thou…”

This week I read the account of the Savior walking on water to meeting Peter, and other disciples in their small ship.  There was a mass of thoughts that came to mind.  As I reflected on them, I came to the conclusion that there is much to be learned from this account.  I’ll share a few.

  • We learn that Christ ‘bid’ or directed the disciples to the ship and subsequent waters.  The account tells us that the ship was in the middle of the sea when it was “tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”  Putting myself in the place of the disciples  I would be pretty nervous about the situation, Peter obviously was as well.  In the midst of it all, they see a man walking on the sea.  I’m confident in saying that prior to this point, I highly doubt any of the men had ever seen a man walking on the sea.  The men are scared, thinking that it’s a spirit.  Christ calls to them, admonishing them to “be of good cheer.”  Peter’s reply is surprising to me, he calls out to the spirit and says “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”   I still can’t get over it.  In the midst of that situation, such a request is pretty bold.  Yet the Savior granted it.  I thought of Korihor in Alma 30, he tells Alma (and God) that he won’t believe unless he’s shown a sign.  These two stories, at face value, are the same.  Both didn’t know, and wouldn’t believe until shown a sign.  However, the underlying feelings between these two men are fundamentally different.  Korihor made it pretty clear that he didn’t believe, and that perhaps he didn’t want to believe.  I think that based on Peter’s history and his demeanor, we can assume Peter wanted to believe.  He called on the Savior to help him solidify his testimony of him; that he is the Deliverer, the Life, the Light, the Love.
  • Peter, responds to the Savior by stepping out of the boat.  He takes a few steps, and takes a moment to look around.  He is alarmed by the boisterous winds and begins to sink.  What can we learn from this?   Keep our eye on the prize, in Peters case it was the Savior, in ours it is the Savior’s sacrifice.  Christ calls to Peter and admonishes him to have faith, and remove doubt.
  • “And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.” D&C 88:67.  Along those lines, we can see that if we keep our eye single to the glory of God, and not let the distractions in life catch our attention, we, as the scripture says, will be filled with light.  The darkness will leave us.  We will comprehend all things.  What an amazing gift!
Posted in BYU-Idaho, Dallen, Gospel, New Testament