Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Facing the Fire

Recently in my studies in the morning I came across the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego found in Daniel chapter 3. There was a specific verse that really caught my eye which says:

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)

It started me on thinking about how much faith these three men must have had to say such a bold statement in front of the king, their peers as well as the crowd that was surely listening to them. I can't even imagine what they must have been feeling as they were bound and thrown into the furnace. But it's a great lesson to be learned here. Not only did they stand up for what they believed in they didn't back down when everyone else was telling them otherwise. In the climax of the story we learn that because of their faith and because they stood true and tall to their knowledge irregardless of the opposition, Heavenly Father protected them from harm.

Some good things to ask ourselves is: do we stand up for what we believe in or do we follow the crowd because it is the "popular" thing to do. Do we act upon our beliefs or will we run when we feel the first sting of the adversary. I know that if we follow the example found in this story that we too will have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the midst of us protecting us from the things that may be opposing us. I hope that all of us can stay true to our beliefs and trust in God and Jesus Christ when we are facing the fire.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Ode to Mothers

I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a Stake conference for the Kalispell Stake in Montana. This is a semi annual meeting that the different congregations of the church hold to listen to the leaders of the area share spiritual thoughts. It was an amazing experience and one of the speakers shared a poem about mothers. It got me thinking about my own mother and how grateful I was for all the things she had done for me in my youth and even today as a grown adult. My mother is truly an amazing example of Christ like love and I'm thankful and indebted to Heavenly Father for allowing me to be raised by her. It was her example and teachings that prepared me to receive the restored gospel from the missionaries in my teenage years and will prepare me in my future as a mother. In light of mothers day being right around the corner I thought I would share the poem I heard.

A Mother’s Eyes Reflect the Love of Heaven
By Steven Jones
A mother’s eyes reflect the love of heaven.
A love borne long before this life began.
A love which grows each day, which will not fade away,
A love inspired by Heavenly Father’s plan.
A mother’s hands reflect a life of service,
A life of sacrifice for those she loves,
And with her giving hands she shapes the soul of man,
Prepares him for eternal life above.
A mother’s words teach children righteous living,
And her example leads them to the light,
She speaks the words of truth that guide their tender youth,
And points the course they take throughout their lives.
A mother’s life reflects itself in our life,
Her ways of living are ingrained in ours,
And through the changing years and days of joy and tears,
Her love will lead us on,
Her words will point the course,
Her hands will lift us up to God.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Armor of God

Recently as I have been reading from the Doctrine and Covenants and I came across a scripture that I really enjoyed found in Section 27 verses 15 - 18. It reads as follows:

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.
Stand, therefore, having your loins girt 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;
Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;
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 caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.

It got me thinking about a story my sister had told once about when she was learning Kendo in Japan. She had explained how she was in a sparing match with one of the club members. There are three places where one can get hit by the kendo stick and therefore the armor is designed to protect those areas. She was all armored up and while they were going at it with their kendo sticks she got hit in a spot where there was no armor. She said it hurt a lot and she proceeded to tell her sparing partner that he wasn't being fair and was hitting in a spot that wasn't covered.  He responded, "You can't expect to be only hit where you're protected."

She related it to the gospel on how we must too put on the whole armor of God to protect us but we must also be prepared. We cannot be fooled into thinking that just because we have the armor on that we can stand there and do nothing. Preparation is key. Satan will not go easy on us and not try to tempt us in a spot where our armor does not cover or maybe in places where it may have weakened. We must always be diligent in keeping the commandments and following the example of our Savior. It is only then that we can effectively use the armor of God and also be prepared for when Satan tries to get us in our weakness.