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Showing posts from January 16, 2011

Why the Spiritual Gift of Being Quick to Observe Is So Vital Today

Let me now address the question of why the spiritual gift of being quick to observe is so vital for us in the world in which we do now and will yet live. Simply stated, being quick to observe is an antecedent to and is linked with the spiritual gift of discernment. And for you and for me, discernment is a light of protection and direction in a world that grows increasingly dark. Much like faith precedes the miracle, much like baptism by water comes before the baptism by fire, much like gospel milk should be digested before gospel meat, much like clean hands can lead to a pure heart, and much like the ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood are necessary before a person can receive the higher ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood, so being quick to observe is a prerequisite to and a preparation for the gift of discernment. We can only hope to obtain that supernal gift of discernment and its light of protection and direction if we are quick to observe—if we both look and obey. Presiden

perspective amidst trials

When we reach a point of consecration, our afflictions will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ.  It does not mean we won't have afflictions, but they will be put in perspective that permits us to deal with them. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Brim With Joy" (BYU Devotional, January 23, 1996)

not coincidence but instead divine design

Within each of our circles of friendship there lie so many unused opportunities to love, to serve, and to be taught.  Indeed, one could apply the scriptural phrase about there being "enough and to spare" (D&C 104:17).  None of us ever fully utilizes the people--opportunities allocated to us within our circles of friendship.  You and I may call these intersecting "coincidence."  This word is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God.  He does not do things by "coincidence," but instead by "divine design".   Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Brim With Joy" (BYU Devotional January 23, 1996)

we cannot say the smallest part which we feel

No wonder, given its intellectual expansiveness, we are still inventorying the harvest basket of the Restoration! Having dashed about the wonder-filled landscape of the Restoration, exclaiming and observing, it should not surprise us if some of our first impressions prove to be more childish than definitive. Brushing against such tall timber, the scent of pine is inevitably upon us. Our pockets are filled with souvenir cones and colorful rocks, and we are filled with childish glee. There is no way to grasp it all. Little wonder some of us mistake a particular tree for the whole of the forest, or that in our exclamations there are some unintended exaggerations. We have seen far too much to describe. Indeed, we "cannot say the smallest part which [we] feel" (Alma 26:16). Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Brim With Joy" (BYU Devotional, January 23, 1996)

Might to save

There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God.  All are within reach of pardoning mercy. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , p. 191 Behold, he who has repented of his sins is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. D&C 58:42 Cry unto Him for mercy; for He is might to save. Alma 34:18

troubled minds and hearts (Kapp)

William James, the noted American psychologist and philosopher, states: Neither the nature nor the amount of our work is accountable for the frequency and severity of our breakdowns, but their cause lies rather in those absurd feelings of hurry and having no time, in that breathlessness and tension; that anxiety . . . , that lack of inner harmony and ease. [Quoted by William Osler in A Way of Life (New York: P. B. Hoeber, 1937), p. 30]… I believe the most destructive threat of our day is not nuclear war, not famine, not economic disaster, but rather the despair, the discouragement, the despondency, the defeat caused by the discrepancy between what we believe to be right and how we live our lives. Much of the emotional and social illness of our day is caused when people think one way and act another. The turmoil inside is destructive to the Spirit and to the emotional well-being of one who tries to live without clearly defined principles, values, standards, and goals. Ardeth G. Kapp, “W