Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ether and the Brothers of Jared

I wanted to point out something that I read in the Book of Mormon that I found interesting.
We all spend a lot of time studying prophets, and we have our favorites.  Or any scripture hero.  But I wanted to point out something I found amazing.
Just to refresh,  first read Ether 3:1-15
"Chapter 3
The brother of Jared sees the finger of the Lord as He touches sixteen stones—Christ shows His spirit body to the brother of Jared—Those who have a perfect knowledge cannot be kept from within the veil—Interpreters are provided to bring the Jaredite record to light.
1 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared, (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight) went forth unto the mount, which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord, saying:
2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.
3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these things which I have molten out of the rock.
4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
6 And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.
7 And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?
8 And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.
9 And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?
10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.
11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.
14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
15 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image."
So what I found so amazing, and for some reason I never caught this before. How? I don't know. But the Lord says to The Brother of Jared, that never has there been any one as righteous as The brother of Jared was. And he even says that out of all of his children on the earth, he has shown the most faith. Isn't that amazing? I was talking to my family a little about that and we went through all the amazing and inspiring prophets that The Brother of Jared beat out. Haha Sounds funny to say, who did he beat out? But I really wanted to know who. So go through your scriptures and find all the amazing and famous stories that happened prior to 2200 B.C.  You can do it as a family and be amazed!
I think, after reading this that maybe we should do a little more to align ourselves with the Brother of Jared.  He truly is someone to try and emulate.  What praise he receives and recognition from the Lord. We're going to study his life more closely as a family.  Starting with how he prayed for help. What an example of faith.

Keep this quote in mind as you study how The Brother of Jared solves problems in his mind and then goes to the Lord.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tithing

click the above link for a story on tithing.

Paying your tithing is something the Savior taught us.
In 3 Nephi chapter 24:8-12 he said
"8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
 9 Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
 11 And I will rebuke the devourer foryour sakes, and he shall not destroy thefruits of your ground; neither shallyour vine cast her fruit before the timein the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.
 12 And all nations shall call youblessed, for ye shall be a delightsomeland, saith the Lord of Hosts."
I dot know about you but, I love having so many blessings that I can't hold them all! Bring on the blessings!
I've heard so many absolutely incredible experience of people having nothing, but they paid their tithing and we're almost immediately rescued.
I testify that paying your tithing truly brings blessings that will bring you peace and even temporal abundance.

Have faith. Pay your tithing and put Heavenly Father to the test.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The First Vision

One of the most amazing events on this earth is that of Joseph Smith's First Vision.  It was when God the Father and his Son appeared to him and it is referred to as the First Vision.  The story is miraculous and so spiritual.  

If you have studied it, you will love this video.  If you have never heard of it, you'll be amazed at the faith of this young boy.


Joseph Smith History Chapter 1:15-20
After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction — not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being — just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other — This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) — and which I should join.
I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."
He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, "Never mind, all is well — I am well enough off." I then said to my mother, "I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true." It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?

During his life, Joseph Smith Jr Never once denied what he had seen.  There are so many amazing stories that surround the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but this is my far the most amazing and sacred.  My family and I have been to the Sacred Grove in Palmyra NY.  It was one of the most spiritual places and experiences of our lives.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Meet the Mormons

Meet The Mormons

I loved this movie!
I'm excited that it's available to everyone now!
Have a look!



You might have some questions answered and you will love it!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Samuel the Lamenite

This part of the Book of Mormon is so exciting!  It's getting close to the time that Christ is born.  At this time the usually good Nephites, are not so good.  It happens.  It's all because things were going so well that they became prideful and then forgot their God.  This happens over and over in the Book of Mormon.  Now usually the Lamenites are the unrighteous jerks.  They murder and steal.  But every time I read this part of the Book of Mormon I'm struck by the fact that they won't swear an oath to not attack. Even when the alternative is to be killed if they don't. And they still won't. Based on the fact that they know they won't keep that oath. Amazing right?

So, the times, they are a changing. The Nephites are bad and the Lamenites are good. Twist!  One of the coolest stories is the story of Samuel the Lamenite.  He risks it all and goes over into Nephite territory to spread the word, that its' time to repent because Jesus Christ is about to be born!

Ever tried to point out that someone needs to change their lifestyle?  It's probably not met with hugs and laughter. Good times, I'm sure.  I don't know.  I haven't ever told someone they need to repent.  Cuz, that's kinda my thing. To not get people angry with me.
Anyway, I am assuming it takes a lot of faith in God to travel to another city, climb their wall and prophesy (yell it out) that it's time to repent.

Not so surprising is that the Nephites are not liking this message.  In fact they try to kill him for pointing out that their lifestyle is wicked and needs to stop.  They shoot arrows at him.  And not one hits him.  Not even one.  He just keeps pleading with them to repent.  And he gives them the signs of the Saviors birth.  All while on top of the wall that encircles their city.

It's such an exciting part of the scriptures!
I found this video on YouTube of two missionaries singing a song about Samuel the Lamenite.  I'm assuming that they wrote it?  I have no idea.  I've never heard it before but I love it. It's actually a great song!

If you'd like to read something a little more fun than the presidental election. Click on the link below.
Helaman 13

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Virtue



I love this song so much.  My daughter Abby told a story the other day about an Eagle who was raised with a flock of chickens.  And the man that took care of him told everyone that he thought he was a chicken so he doesn't know how to fly.

The daughter of the man was worried about the eagle not flying so she asked her Dad to try to teach him.  So, the Dad tried to help him fly off the edge of a trampoline and nothing happened.  The eagle just fell.  So the Dad took him up on the roof and told the eagle, "you are an eagle this is what you're meant to do." And he threw him into the air, but the eagle just fell.

So, the man and his daughter decided to take the eagle up even higher to try and fly.  So, they took the eagle to the mountains where there was a cliff.  Standing on the edge of the cliff, the Dad threw the bird up into the air and said "you are an eagle this is what you're meant to do".  The eagle started to fall again and then slowly he started to spread his wings.

Some people don't realize that they are eagles among chickens.  They have no idea of their real potential.  Tapping into it doesn't always take being thrown off a cliff.  It's literally as easy as finding your virtue.  If it's lost, you may be pecking at the ground.  Only you know if you've been pecking at the ground or not.  And only you know if you've been soaring through the clouds or not.  The difference between the two parallels is virtue.

One of the best examples of virtue is Captain Moroni.  He was passionate about serving others and protecting the Nephites freedom.  He helped them become stronger and he did it  without becoming blood thirsty, controlling or without seeking for power.

 Mormon said in Alma 48:17  “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken FOREVER; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” 

The reason he was so amazing is because of his virtue!  Amazing things can happen in your life when you find your virtue.  And amazing things can be lost when you lose it.
Moroni led them to victory in battle, but he didn't thirst after blood.  He didn't seek it, but he sure wasn't going to allow anyone to take their freedom.  There is a right and a wrong way to defend yourself, your land, your religion.  

The defination of virtue is this: behavior showing high moral standards.

So what are your moral standards?  If you were attacked what would you do?  Would you defend yourself?  Would you defend your family?  Would you defend your land?  Would you do it in hatred?  Or would you do it in prayer?

If you can find your virtue, you can find your wings.  Maybe you've been eating with chickens for so long that you didn't realize, YOU'RE AN EAGLE!  
Read the scriptures and live by standards.  In fact, live by high moral standards.  
You have the ability to fly.  So leave the coop, live with virtue and soar! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Motherhood


I can't tell you the number of times I've felt looked after and protected simply because I'm a pleading Mother in prayer!  Gigantic miracles have taken place!
Angels have been present and my little family has escaped Satan's grasp so many many times.
When we feel small and powerless, We need to remember that our Heavenly Father is there giving aid in gigantic proportions if we are just obedient to his commandments. 
When you struggle to keep your temple covenants, remember you're not just keeping them for you, you're blessing the lives of your whole family!
I know this is true! I KNOW that as Mothers, our prayers for our family have high priority and the Savior is quick to comfort us when we need him!
I testify that I have felt the power of heaven several times in my life because of my role as Mother.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Once upon a time.....

Once upon a time...
It became too hard to go to a church that talked about families being forever. In fact, I remember one Sunday our Bishop stating at the pulpit that all he had to do was keep the commandments and he'd have his eternal marriage forever. OH REALLY?! You can't keep your spouses commandments though. I was struggling not to cry each week anyway, but that really hurt to hear. So, I told him I couldn't come for a while. I didn't need to explain. And he didn't ask for much of an explanation. He knew what I'd been through. I was released from being the organist and I said goodbye to my adorable nursery kids and tried not to look back.
I tried really hard to convince myself that it couldn't be true. How could it be? I had done everything right. I went to the temple often, I never turned down a calling, I read the scriptures, watched conference talks daily, did family home evening, I loved everything about the gospel! I put my heart and soul into my marriage and family. All of it.
But, I had been so broken so many times that I don't think I could even see clearly anymore. But I wasn't going to admit that to myself.
When I met Bob, we were going to a non denominational church. I didn't love it, but it was better than being reminded that you can do everything right and something that's holy and of God (your family), something you put your heart into can still be ripped from you and destroyed before your very eyes.
Anyway, I thought it was strange that no one dressed up. I always did. Even then. I dressed my girls up to go to church where everyone else wore jeans.
A few months after this picture was taken my sweet friends Mindy and Emily came to my house to check on me. We started talking and she said boldly, "Meredith, you're living the gospel why not just come back? "
I had a million reasons! ... but I couldn't think of any at that moment so... I agreed to go back that Sunday.
I had been gone for 18 months.
I lived with Bob and we weren't married yet. Crazy to think "oh I'll take my family to the LDS church. " I don't know why I wasn't more afraid! But we did it.
Mindy, saved our family seats and we walked in. I'll never forget that day. Once we walked in I was so embarrassed. I knew each person there. I had served with some. They were my friends, all while I was trying not to show what was really going on in a marriage some of them told me they'd envied. (Remember that! What you wish you had, probably isn't worth envying at all! If you look at someone and think they probably have no problems.... think again. They may be in tears pleading in prayer just to get through the day, maybe more than you. Might be nothing to envy at all.)
I'm glad it all happened now. It's humbling to think of the amount of pain I went through. For years! And years! Oh the choices I'd make differently now! Oh the warnings I see so clearly in hindsight! But it was worth it, to have my amazing Bob by my side!
I thought I'd have to have tough skin to go back to church. I thought there'd be comments and remarks that would hurt, but my ward literally and physically encircled us with prayer, love and support! No one has been more fellowshiped than Bob Haass! He was loved and befriended from the moment he walked in. And how strong a man is he to take us back and support us in a ward where another lesser man once sat next to us. He knew he'd be compared. And called the wrong name from time to time. But he wasn't. Not ever! He was just loved!
I don't know why this picture of my girls made me remember so much, but it did. I have so much to be thankful for. I know my Heavenly Father loves me. And he surely loves and cares about my family. And he hears us!
He hears us when we cry, plead and beg. He knows us. It's never ever too late to come back home. I'd wrap a Mindy up for each wayward soul and leave her on your doorstop if I could. Each person who's convinced themselves that "it can't be true".
I'm not as cool as her, but I'll say the same things... You're not that far from where you should be. Why don't you just come back?
Try it. No one is too broken that the Savior can't heal. I am living proof of that very fact! Make a promise to yourself to go this Sunday! You'll be amazed at how much love your Heavenly Father can provide through the Spirit and through everyone around who who is listening to the spirit!
You're not alone being broken. Welcome to the club! We'll get through life together! And by the way, it's the coolest club around! We're still alive!



The Plan of Salvation

Monday our FHE was on the plan of salvation. Thanks to my sister Jan, it was a tear jerker! We all cried about death and loss ... but it makes the fact that we have eachother forever even sweeter! Thank you Jan for all your help! Your prayers and following the promptings of the spirit made it a FHE to remember! I think my kids understood more than they ever could have before. I really wanted them to understand life and the rocky roads we face in life each day and how important it is to surround yourself with good friends and family to help steer you through life. I wanted them to understand death and the pain that it can bring and how sweet it is to escape it! I'm so thankful to have my big brother Dean! When I think of how close we came to not having him around it makes me so thankful that we DO!
Take care of yourselves! Help others along the way! Choose good friends! Start the day and end the day with prayer! Get yourself through this life the best you can with the ones you love the most by your side!

Proverbs 3 5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."