Friday, June 11, 2010

Blindness of their Minds

In the current political climate, there is a lot of talk about being “open minded.” In a recent discussion about open mindedness and politics, my very wise uncle said, “If you’re too open minded, your brains will fall out.” Another uncle countered with “If you are too close minded, you’ll risk having a stroke.”

All humor aside, I was reading in Alma 13 the other day and came across verse 4. It seemed very appropriate in light of the current discussion.

…while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds…

I find it very interesting that Alma says people who reject the Spirit of God have “blind” minds. But in the world, I think it is suggested that people who have accepted the gospel and a Savior and a God in Heaven are close minded, brain-washed, or otherwise confused. I tend to think that those who have accepted religion are in fact more open minded (and open hearted) to those who vehemently deny a God and Creator, and Savior.

I pray that my heart can be soft and that my mind can see and accept the Spirit of God so that I can have what Alma defines as a “great privilege.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What I Was Looking For

I am always reassured that the Lord knows me when He answers my prayers so directly. I read this blog, along with several other religious blogs for women, and today an article was posted about a talk from Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

She said:

I have a little exercise for those of you who want something specific to do in your scripture study. Get a new little copy of the Book of Mormon. In the front of it, open to a blank page and write three questions: Who am I? What are my responsibilities in the house of Israel? How do I fulfill my responsibilities? As you read and study, you will find some blank pages in the back. You can add Post-it notes if you like. Start writing your answers in the back as you read, and you will have a journey of discovery about who you are. It doesn’t matter how long this study takes. Take one month, take ten years, and discover who you are. When you finish studying those questions in the Book of Mormon, study them in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Old Testament. The Lord knows who you are. He knows what your responsibilities are and how you can fulfill them. Power and strength will come to you as you understand who you are in the Lord’s kingdom.

Now how neat is that! Just yesterday I was saying that I needed “something specific to do in [my] scripture study.” Well, Sister Beck knew I needed this. More like, Heavenly Father knew I needed this.

I always have a small economy copy of the Book of Mormon that I use for my regular scripture study. It’s small, cheap ($2.50) and I like that I can write all over it, and then when I finish, start a new copy, and write more insights. It helps me get a fresh look at the scriptures when I don’t have my old notes staring me in the face. And, of course, I keep all my old copies, so I can keep all the little gems I’ve found in the scriptures.

I’m only half way through Alma right now, but Sister Beck’s talk has given me motivation to finish faster! I want to take her challenge!

I always love learning more about who I am – of all the people in the world to get to know, it is most important to get to know me. And that sure is complex!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Abraham Part I: A Follower of Righteousness

I was going to pull out my gospel library app on my iPhone to read the lesson for tomorrow (Sunday, May 6) – and then remembered that it is the first Sunday of the month tomorrow (and that means a message from the Presidency of our women’s organization at Church). So I won’t know what the lesson is about tomorrow until about noon when I sit in class.

That’s fine – but now I’m faced with the dilemma of finding my own topic to study this evening. Not a problem, usually, but I haven’t been doing so well with my scripture study, so I don’t really have  a plan. One thing I know is that if I don’t have a plan, nothing happens.

I’ve been meaning to dive into a study of the Abrahamic Covenant, so here I go:

In the Book of Abraham, Abraham states that he is a “follower of righteousness.”

Abraham’s statement of desire echoes inside my spirit:

“…desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, … and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.” (Abraham 1:2)

I also desire to be one who possesses great knowledge. R and I talk a lot about what it means to want something. We like to say that “You want the end inasmuch as you want the means.”

If you truly desire something, then you won’t gripe and complain about doing the things that will yield that result.

For example, if I really want to be able to run a half marathon, I won’t complain about the training leading up to the half. I also won’t complain about how hard the run was. I will want to train, and want to run the hard 13.1 miles.

If I truly desire to be one who possesses “great knowledge” then I will desire to study, read, ponder, pray, and listen to the knowledge of others, and most importantly, listen to the Spirit to receive Heavenly knowledge and confirmation and testimony.

Do you find yourself saying that you “want” something, but not being truly committed to the way to get there? Or have you learned to love the path to your goals?

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