Monday, May 13, 2013

Scott Thormaehlen, Author of "Day of Defense."

Stand for What You Believe The book Day of Defense: Positive Talking Points for the Latter Days. As the Church comes out of obscurity, members find themselves and their beliefs under a microscope. Day of Defense walks you through many of the stumbling blocks and confusing topics today’s saints encounter when discussing their religion. Answer difficult questions with confidence and address complicated doctrine without missing a beat as you reaffirm and refresh your beliefs upon reading this book. For orders visit "" and search by author (other titles with similar names... Scott Thormaehlen

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Destructive Precepts of Men

Courtesy of Mormon Cronicle: - Three Dangers That Threaten The Church Within

Destructive Precepts of Men Some years ago President Joseph F. Smith, a prophet of the Lord, warned that “there are at least three dangers that threaten the Church within.” (Gospel Doctrine, p. 312.) He also counseled the authorities of the Church to warn the people unceasingly against them. These dangers are:

Flattery of prominent men in the world, False educational ideas, & Sexual impurity.

I should like to comment briefly on these three dangers.

First, the flattery of prominent men in the world: The Master warned, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26) As Latter-day Saints we have been driven, mobbed, misunderstood, and maligned. We have been a peculiar people. Now we are faced with world applause. It has been a welcome change but can we stand acceptance? Can we meet the danger of applause? In the hour of a man’s success, applause can be his greatest danger.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with being honored by men if one is being honored for a good thing, if one comes to these honors through righteous living, and if, while holding these honors, one lives honorably. One should strive to have wide influence for good. However, virtue is not the only basis for being singled out and promoted. As the world gets more wicked, a possible way to attain worldly success may be to join the wicked. The time is fast approaching when it will require great courage for Latter-day Saints to stand up for their peculiar standards and doctrine—all of their doctrine, including the more weighty principles such as the principle of freedom. Opposition to this weighty principle of freedom caused many of our brothers and sisters in the preexistence to lose their first estate in the war in heaven. We are far removed from the days of our forefathers who were persecuted for their peculiar beliefs. Some of us seem to want to share their reward but are ofttimes afraid to stand up for principles that are controversial in our generation. We need not solicit persecution, but neither should we remain silent in the presence of overwhelming evil, for this makes cowards of men. We should not go out of the path of duty to pick up a cross there is no need to bear, but neither should we sidestep a cross that clearly lies within the path of duty. We are in the world, and I fear some of us are getting too much like the world. Rather than continue as a peculiar people, some are priding themselves on how much they are like everybody else, when the world is getting more wicked. The Lord, as he prayed for his apostles, said, “. . . the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14) As Latter-day Saints, we too have been called out of the world.

Some things are changeless—priceless. We must anchor ourselves to the eternal verities of life, for life is eternal. The honors of men more often than not are fleeting. Anxious to run after the honors of office or succumb to the pressures of public glamour and worldly acclaim, some of us are no longer willing to stand up for all the principles of the gospel. We seek to justify our unrighteousness by claiming that if only we can get title or position, then think of the good we can do. Hence we lose our salvation en route to those honors. We sometimes look among our numbers to find one to whom we can point who agrees with us, so we can have company to justify our apostasy. We rationalize by saying that some day the Church doctrine will catch up with our way of thinking. Seeking the applause of the world, we like to be honored by the men whom the world honors. But therein lies real danger, for ofttimes, in order to receive those honors, we must join forces with and follow those same devilish influences and policies that brought some of those men to positions of prominence.

More and more the honors of this world are being promoted by the wicked for the wicked. We see this in publicity and awards that are given to movies, literature, art, journalism, etc. We find in our own newspapers widely read columnists who advocate one-world socialism, who have been consistently caught in falsehoods, and who continually parrot the communist line. Less and less we see the virtuous rewarded by the world, and when they are, ofttimes it almost seems to be done insidiously in order to get us to swallow the many evils for which the wicked are even more profusely honored. Yes, President Joseph F. Smith was right. Today we are being plagued within by the flattery of prominent men in the world.

Second, false educational ideas: During the past several years many of our institutions of learning have been turning out an increasing number of students schooled in amorality, relativity, and atheism—students divested of a belief in God, without fixed moral principles or an understanding of our constitutional republic and our capitalistic, free enterprise economic system. This follows a pattern that was established years ago at some of our key colleges that produced many of the teachers and leaders in the educational field across the country today. The fruits of this kind of teaching have been tragic, not only to the souls of the individuals involved, but also to the parents and even to our country. When a survey was recently made among students asking which they would prefer, nuclear war or surrender to the communists, those campuses scored highest for surrender who had been most permeated by these cowardly teachings of false economic principles, atheism, and amorality. On one very liberal college campus 90 percent favored surrender. Other surveys on moral standards are equally alarming. More disturbing is the fact that the more college courses the students take on these campuses, the worse their thinking seems to become. Freshmen who have just left home or work do not seem as fully permeated with the brainwashing as do the seniors. Some alumni of various schools have expressed concern. One alumnus from Yale wrote a book a few years ago entitled God and Man at Yale. Another group from Harvard established the Veritas Foundation and wrote a book, Keynes at Harvard, explaining the degree to which the destructive Fabian economic philosophy has permeated educational institutions and government. Concerned educators have begun to write books. Professor E. Merrill Root authored Collectivism on the Campus and Brainwashing in the High Schools. Dr. Max Rafferty wrote Suffer Little Children and What They Are Doing to Your Children. In school history textbooks of recent years, some of the greatest phrases in American history have been dropped. This Week magazine surveyed history books issued before 1920 and since 1920. Patrick Henry’s famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death,” appeared in twelve out of the fourteen earlier texts, but in only two out of forty-five recent texts. Perhaps this might help explain the percentage of students who are willing to surrender to communism.

The whole process can be quite insidious. Young people know that the best jobs are available to college graduates. They want to do well at school. When exam time comes, they must give back to the teacher what the teacher wants. Now, under the guise of academic freedom—which some apparently feel is freedom to destroy freedom—some teachers reserve to themselves the privilege of teaching error, destroying faith in God, debunking morality, and depreciating our free economic system. If questions reflecting the teacher’s false teachings appear on the exam, how will the student answer who believes in God and morality and our Constitution? One student put on his exam paper what he knew the professor wanted to see, but then the student added a little P.S., which said, “Dear Professor So-and-so: I just want you to know I don’t believe one word of what I just wrote above.” These kinds of professors are not concerned about the truth or even giving both sides of a question that only has one right answer. They weigh the scales on the side of falsehood. If they can see there is another side, it usually gets but passing and belittling reference. To give the impression that they are objective, these professors often invite someone to present a different point of view in one lecture, while the professor spends the whole semester pointing out the other side.

Now truth, if given as much time and emphasis as error, will invariably prove itself. And if our young students could have as much time studying the truth as they and some of their professors have had time to study error, then there would be no question of the outcome. The problem arises when under the pressure of a heavy course of study and the necessity of parroting back what certain professors have said, the student does not have the time or take the time to learn the truth. If he does not learn the truth, some day he will suffer the consequences. Many an honest student, after graduation, has had to do some unlearning and then fresh learning of basic principles that never change and that he should have been taught initially.

These false educational ideas are prevalent in the world, and we have not entirely escaped them among teachers in our own system. There are a few teachers within the Church who, while courting apostasy, still want to remain members of the Church, for being members makes them more effective in misleading the Saints. But their day of judgment is coming, and when it does come, for some of them it would have been better, as the Savior said, that a millstone had been put around their necks and they had drowned in the depths of the sea, than to have led away any of the youth of the Church.

The Lord has stated that his church will never again be taken from the earth because of apostasy. But he has also stated that some members of his church will fall away. There has been individual apostasy in the past, it is going on now, and there will be an even increasing amount in the future. While we cannot save all the flock from being deceived, we should, without compromising our doctrine, strive to save as many as we can. For as President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., said, “We are in the midst of the greatest exhibition of propaganda that the world has ever seen.” (Conference Report, October 1941, p. 16.) Parents, stay close to your children; you cannot delegate your responsibility to the educators no matter how competent they may be. Parents have a duty to train their children, to talk over their problems with them, to discuss what they are learning at school. And it is neither wise nor safe to leave the determination of our educational system and policies exclusively to the professional educators. Students, study the writings of the prophets. Fortunately, a consistent position has been taken over the years by the prophets of the Church on vital issues facing this nation. Pray for inspiration and knowledge. Counsel with your parents. Let Sunday be the day to fill up your spiritual batteries for the week by reading good Church books, particularly the Book of Mormon. Take time to meditate. Don’t let the philosophies and falsehoods of men throw you. Hold on to the iron rod. Learn to sift. Learn to discern error through the promptings of the Spirit and your study of the truth. Yes, false educational ideas are a serious threat today.

Third, sexual immorality: Sexual immorality is a viper that is striking not only in the world, but in the Church today. Not to admit it is to be dangerously complacent or is like putting one’s head in the sand. In the category of crimes, only murder and denying the Holy Ghost come ahead of illicit sexual relations, which we call fornication when it involves an unmarried person, or the graver sin of adultery when it involves one who is married. I know the laws of the land do not consider unchastity as serious as God does, nor punish as severely as God does, but that does not change its abominableness. In the eyes of God, there is but one moral standard for men and women. In the eyes of God, chastity will never be out of date. The natural desire for men and women to be together is from God. But such association is bounded by his laws. Those things properly reserved for marriage, when taken within the bonds of marriage, are right and pleasing before God and fulfill the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. But those same things when taken outside the bonds of marriage are a curse. No sin is causing the loss of the Spirit of the Lord among our people more today than sexual promiscuity. It is causing our people to stumble, damning their growth, darkening their spiritual powers, and making them subject to other sins.

Recently a young man commented that if he quit reading books, watching TV, seeing movies, reading newspapers and magazines, and going to school, there was a chance he might live a clean life. And this explains, in large part, the extent to which this insidious evil has spread, for the world treats this sin flippantly. These evil forces build up your lust and then fail to tell of the tragic consequences. In so many movies the hero is permitted to get away with crime so long as he can joke about it, or explain he was powerless to do anything, or else the close of the movie shows forth one minimal virtue that is supposed to cover over the grossest of sin. Many of our prominent national magazines pander to the baser side, then try to cover for themselves by including other articles too. So garbled in values have our morals become that some youth would not dare touch a cigarette, but freely engage in petting. Both are wrong, but one is infinitely more serious than the other. Parents should give their children specific instructions on chastity at an early age, for both their physical and their moral protection.

May I suggest some steps to avoid the pitfalls of immorality:

1. Avoid late hours and weariness. The Lord said to retire to your bed early (D&C 88:124), and there are good reasons for that. Some of the worst sins are committed after midnight by tired heads. Officers in the wards and stakes, branches and missions, should not keep our people, especially our youth, up late at night even for wholesome recreation.

2. Keep your dress modest. Short skirts are not pleasing to the Lord, but modesty is. Girls, do not be an enticement for your downfall because of your immodest and tight-fitting clothes.

3. Have good associates or don’t associate at all. Be careful in the selection of your friends. If in the presence of certain persons you are lifted to nobler heights, you are in good company. But if your friends or associates encourage base thoughts, then you had best leave them.

4. Avoid necking and petting like a plague, for necking and petting are the concession that precedes the complete loss of virtue.

5. Have a good physical outlet of some sport or exercise. Overcome evil with good. You can overcome many evil inclinations through good physical exertion and healthful activities. A healthy soul, free of the body- and spirit-dulling influences of alcohol and tobacco, is in better condition to overthrow the devil.

6. Think clean thoughts. Those who think clean thoughts do not do dirty deeds. You are responsible before God not only for your acts but also for controlling your thoughts. So live that you would not blush with shame if your thoughts and acts should be flashed on a screen in your church. The old adage is still true that you sow thoughts and you reap acts, you sow acts and you reap habits, you sow habits and you reap a character, and your character determines your eternal destiny. “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov 23:7)

7. Pray. There is no temptation placed before you that you cannot shun. Do not allow yourself to get in positions where it is easy to fall. Listen to the promptings of the Spirit. If you are engaged in things where you do not feel you can pray and ask the Lord’s blessings on what you are doing, then you are engaged in the wrong kind of activity.

Yes, avoid late hours; dress modestly; seek good associates; avoid necking and petting; have a good physical outlet; think good thoughts; pray. May the Lord bless us as a people. We have taken upon us sacred covenants. We must be faithful. We are in the world, it is true, but we must not partake of the evils of the world. Let us ever be on guard against the flattery of prominent men in the world, false educational ideas, and sexual impurity. Source: General Conference, October 3, 1964

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

He Has Already Paid The Price


Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Adapted from an address given at a June 2001 mission presidents’ seminar in Provo, Utah.
"Christ’s atoning sacrifice was for “all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” (original article found at

The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without this faith, the prophet Mormon said we are not fit to be numbered among the people of His Church (see Moroni 7:39). The first commandment Jehovah gave to the children of Israel was “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). We should always put the Savior first. This powerful idea—that we must have faith and put the Lord first in our lives—seems simple, but in practice many find it difficult.

The scriptures teach us that faith comes by hearing the word of God. The word of God, which comes to us by scripture, by prophetic teaching, and by personal revelation, teaches us that we are children of God the Eternal Father. It teaches us about the identity and mission of Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son, our Savior and Redeemer. Founded on our knowledge of those things, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a conviction and trust that God knows us and loves us and will hear our prayers and answer them with what is best for us.

Faith in the Lord is trust in the Lord. We cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. As a result, no matter how strong our faith is, it cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him in whom we have faith. Remember that when your prayers do not seem to be answered in the way or at the time you desire. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security and serenity in our lives.

We look first to our Savior Jesus Christ. He is our model. Our model is not the latest popular hero of sports or entertainment. Similarly, our most precious possessions are not the expensive toys and diversions that encourage us to concentrate on what is temporary and to forget what is eternal. Our model—our first priority—is Jesus Christ. We must testify of Him and teach one another how we can apply His teachings and His example in our lives.

The Savior Builds Us Up President Brigham Young (1801–1877) gave us some practical advice on how to recognize Him whom we follow. “The difference between God and the Devil,” he said, “is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy.” 1 In that contrast we have an important example of the reality of “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). Remember that our Savior Jesus Christ always builds us up and never tears us down. We should apply the power of that example in the ways we use our time, including our recreation and our diversions. Consider the themes of the books, magazines, movies, television shows, and music we in the world have made popular by our patronage. Do the things portrayed in our chosen entertainment build up or tear down the children of God? During my lifetime I have seen a strong trend to set aside entertainment that builds up and dignifies the children of God and to replace it with portrayals and performances that are depressing, demeaning, and destructive. The powerful idea in this contrast is that whatever builds people up serves the cause of the Master, and whatever tears people down serves the cause of the adversary. We support one cause or the other every day by our patronage and by our thoughts and desires. This should remind us of our responsibility to support what is good and motivate us toward doing this in a way that will be pleasing to Him whose suffering offers us hope and whose example gives us direction.

Suffering Is Part of Repentance The central idea in the gospel of Jesus Christ—its most powerful idea, along with the universal Resurrection—is the Atonement of our Savior. We are His servants, and it is critical that we understand the role of the Atonement in our own lives and in the lives of those we teach. Essential to that understanding is an understanding of the relationship between justice and mercy and the Atonement, and the role of suffering and repentance in this divine process. The awful demands of justice upon those who have violated the laws of God—the state of misery and torment described in the scriptures—can be intercepted and swept away by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This relationship between justice on the one hand and mercy and the Atonement on the other is the core idea of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Mormon teaches that the Savior does not redeem men in their sins: “The wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death” (Alma 11:41). The Savior came to redeem men from their sins upon the conditions of repentance (see Helaman 5:11).

One of those conditions of repentance is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, including faith in and reliance upon His atoning sacrifice. As Amulek taught, “He that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption” (Alma 34:16). This obviously means that the unrepentant transgressor must suffer for his own sins. Does it also mean that a person who repents does not need to suffer at all because the entire punishment is borne by the Savior? That cannot be the meaning because it would be inconsistent with the Savior’s other teachings.

What is meant by Alma 34:16 is that the person who repents does not need to suffer even as the Savior suffered for that sin. Sinners who are repenting will experience some suffering, but because of their repentance and the Atonement they will not experience the full, exquisite extent of eternal torment the Savior suffered for those sins. President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), who gave such comprehensive teachings on repentance and forgiveness, said that personal suffering is a very important part of repentance. “One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins. … If a person hasn’t suffered,” he said, “he hasn’t repented.”

Lehi taught this principle when He said the Savior’s atoning sacrifice was for “all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Nephi 2:7). The truly repentant sinner who comes to Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit has been through a process of personal pain and suffering for sin. He or she understands the meaning of Alma’s statement that none but the truly penitent are saved. Alma the Younger certainly understood this. Read his accounts in Mosiah 27 and in Alma 36. President Kimball said, “Very frequently people think they have repented and are worthy of forgiveness when all they have done is to express sorrow or regret at the unfortunate happening.” There is a big difference between the godly sorrow that worketh repentance (see 2 Corinthians 7:10), which involves personal suffering, and the easy and relatively painless sorrow for being caught, or the misplaced sorrow Mormon described as “the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Mormon 2:13).

We Must Make a Mighty Change Why is it necessary for us to suffer on the way to repentance for serious transgressions? We tend to think of the results of repentance as simply cleansing us from sin, but that is an incomplete view of the matter. A person who sins is like a tree that bends easily in the wind. On a windy and rainy day, the tree bends so deeply against the ground that the leaves become soiled with mud, like sin. If we focus only on cleaning the leaves, the weakness in the tree that allowed it to bend and soil its leaves may remain. Similarly, a person who is merely sorry to be soiled by sin will sin again in the next high wind. The susceptibility to repetition continues until the tree has been strengthened. When a person has gone through the process that results in what the scriptures call “a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” the Savior does more than cleanse that person from sin. He gives him or her new strength. That strengthening is essential for us to realize the purpose of the cleansing, which is to return to our Heavenly Father. To be admitted to His presence, we must be more than clean. We must also be changed from a morally weak person who has sinned into a strong person with the spiritual stature to dwell in the presence of God. We must, as the scripture says, become “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19). This is what the scripture means in its explanation that a person who has repented of his sins will forsake them. Forsaking sins is more than resolving not to repeat them. Forsaking involves a fundamental change in the individual. King Benjamin’s congregation described that mighty change by saying that they had “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). Persons who have had that kind of change in their hearts have attained the strength and stature to dwell with God. That is one definition of what we call being saved. Repentance has been the message in every dispensation. The risen Lord emphasized this to the Nephites in explaining what He called “the gospel which I have given unto you” (3 Nephi 27:13): “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day” (3 Nephi 27:20). In modern revelation, the Lord explained, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, they who believe not on your words, and are not baptized in water in my name, for the remission of their sins, that they may receive the Holy Ghost, are damned, and shall not come into my Father’s kingdom where my Father and I am” (D&C 84:74).

Forgiveness Is Certain I conclude with a message of hope that is true for all but especially needed by those who think that repentance is too hard. Repentance is a continuing process needed by all because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Repentance is possible, and then forgiveness is certain. President Kimball said: “Sometimes … when a repentant one looks back and sees the ugliness, the loathsomeness of the transgression, he is almost overwhelmed and wonders, ‘Can the Lord ever forgive me? Can I ever forgive myself?’ But when one reaches the depths of despondency and feels the hopelessness of his position, and when he cries out to God for mercy in helplessness but in faith, there comes a still, small, but penetrating voice whispering to his soul, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee.’” When this happens, we have the fulfillment of the precious promise that God will take away the guilt from our hearts through the merits of His Son (see Alma 24:10). How comforting the promise in Isaiah 1:18 that “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” How glorious God’s own promise that “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42). I testify that these words are true, that this message is the doctrine of Jesus Christ, the plan of God our Eternal Father, of which our Savior Jesus Christ is the author and finisher. I testify of Jesus Christ and of His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and of the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith.

We cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. The truly repentant sinner who comes to Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit has been through a process of personal pain and suffering for sin. The state of misery and torment described in the scriptures can be intercepted and swept away by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When a person has “a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” the Savior does more than cleanse that person from sin. He gives him or her new strength.

Thy Faith, © by Judith A. Mehr Above: Detail from Godly Sorrow, by Douglas M. Fryer. Right: Detail from Christ in Gethsemane, by Heinrich Hoffman, courtesy C. Harrison Conroy Co. Inc.Christ in a Red Robe, by Minerva Tiechert, courtesy Church History Museum

You can ask Heavenly Father in prayer to increase your faith. You can help your faith grow by reading the scriptures (see Romans 10:17; Helaman 15:7-8). Your faith will increase as you strive to live the teachings of Jesus Christ (see Alma 32:28-29).

Monday, May 6, 2013

An Epiphany About The Atonement

I had an epiphany, over the weekend, that helped me to better understand the atonement vs being judged by the Lord for my own many mis-deeds in my life. I think many people's opinions about heaven are such; That it's a glorious place that one is trying not to get kicked out of... His fear comes by reading the story of Adam and Eve in the garden... and that when they sin, they obsess about getting kicked out. One obsesses about the judgment and he never truly lives or serves for he can not. He is on a self doom fulfilling cycle and can not allow the savior to bring him peace in his life. As in sports, these are they that don't continue trying to win the game (being infinite points ahead) but are trying not to lose with an infinite point lead. One of Satan's lies are: You can't be've gone too far... you will be judged. Never never never never EVER let him do that! If he ever reminds you of your past, remind him of his (the Devil) future!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Indexing... One Family Missed The Plane

I ran across a family, while Indexing. (For more information about Indexing, visit The Cain Family; Carl, Maria, Beverly and Rita... had missed a plane... their names were crossed out but I was able to still read their names. Why is this important? Because they matter. Family members are now, today, searching for their ancestors... we LDS help to perform essential ordinances with the vicarious work for the Dead. These folks may have missed that plane but they won't miss their ride up to the next steps in their progression, I should hope. They and their story WILL BE HEARD!!!

Can you keep a secret?

You can? Great! So can I! So now we're two people, in the world that can!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

NO "Doom And Gloom!" - A COURAGE TAKE!

Gordon B. Hinckley said this in one of his talks:

“Don’t be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. ‘Accentuate the positive.’ Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life.” –Gordon B. Hinckley

Dear Bishop,

I wrote this note, a while ago...

Dear Bishop,

The other night, I listened to "Come Thou Fount" late one night, as I went to bed. I was filled with goodness and hope when I heard that song but when I went to the temple today, I didn't feel that peace. I no more have the desire to do evil but to do good continually. This weekend, I will be fasting for the courage to not give up.

I was searching for answers in the scriptures and was reading in Mosiah 28:4 (1-4) and I would prefer that I can be like an Ammon or an Alma Jr ... I have had glimpses of warmth and goodness come back into my life but I still have that same concern as did the sons of Mosiah. It reads: Chapter 28 1 Now it came to pass that after the sons of Mosiah had done all these things, they took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi that they might preach the things which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites— 2 That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and convince them of the iniquity of their fathers; and that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that they might also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their God, that they might become friendly to one another, and that there should be no more contentions in all the land which the Lord their God had given them. 3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. 4 And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.

I know my Dad prays for me as did Alma & King Mosiah did for his boys but with me, he sees a good boy and knows nothing about what I have battled in silence and in secret. He prays more for my younger brother to return to grace than he thinks he has to do for me.

I don't want to let either of my father's down in the end. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to feel good again even if it means starting completely over. I'm possibly a cross between Corianton and Shiblon. I am Shiblon but I did not heed Alma the Younger as I ought. I see the potential in me that you see but I can't unlock it by myself. If the Lord is giving me a wake up call and I have stopped hitting snooze.

If I prove faithful and successful in my return back to grace, with God as my witness, you have my word that I will do ALL in my power to keep people from ever straying so far. Please keep me in your prayers and that God allots me enough time to sort through it all and once again have peace and then I will get back to work. This sin sick world needs to know that there is hope once I have established that I can. I won't give up and I won't give in and I won't back down.

Love, Brother Nelson

His Reply:

You are a good man and I am full of hope for your future. We will meet soon


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

There is peace in...

There is peace in... being able to surf the web and not have to find ways to erase that internet history or surf the net discretely. being able to use the computer out in the open and it doesn't matter who passes by because there is nothing that needs to be hidden.

Tempt NOT the Lord thy God!

I have read this phrase time and time again but had always associated it with the Lord's being tempted and didn't apply it properly to myself.

"Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" was given to the Devil by the Lord during his 40 days of fasting and journeying into the wilderness. Matt 4:7 ... if he did NOT do that, then so ought we NOT to do such, as well!

Oh how I wish I had obeyed that wise counsel and not tempted fate in my own life. Endowed member of the church and I spent time in places that I ought not to have been... and the devil laughed as it were and as if he should have also been saying, "You were so easy to sway..."

It is a long hard road back. I chose the ambulance down at the bottom of the cliff than to heed the fence at the top. I can only hope that with God's help, that I can make a full recovery, in my life... and that it is not everlastingly too late. I have been correcting all of my behavior and all of my wrongs. I feel the spirit coming back into my life in tiny spells of warmth but nothing like the constant companionship of the HG. My wife and I have talked many things through and I have wept bitter tears while in her arms asking her, "Would you recommend me to God?" after all that I have done. My sweet wife has and I think will forgive me eventually for the pain that I have caused her. My bishopric has asked me to serve her and to love her as I have never done so before. With this, I can only hope that my days may be long upon the land and that I too may be found worthy or found clean from the blood and sins of this generation.

We live in a sin sick world. I urge you to never never never never EVER tempt fate. Never flirt with disaster. Never see yourselves in unholy places. Never spend time in pubs or in gentlemen's clubs or adult themed toy stores or anything of the like... not even if another couple convinces you that it is okay, to go as a couple, or in ANY other undesirable locations. Never give the evil one ONE inch, or one wrap around the wrist with his flaxen chord... never ever EVER do it! Only pain and a difficult, bitter repentance awaits the one who crosses over that line. His whisperings will cause one to lie at work to keep his their job. Will cause them to commit sins that you would never want to confess in a million years... confessing them to a judge in Israel, that you don't know, is hard enough. Confessing with the help of a bishop you DO know is double hard. Behold, today during the noon day is the time to prepare to meet God and not consume our time upon our curiosities that turn into much much more. Beware your thoughts and your words and your deeds!!!

May you be wise, and do as Jacob says, by closing his recorded word, in the Book of Mormon.

This I testify to you, and that this record is true and I lie not, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.