declaration of independence

A (De)Secularation Of Independence

TheDiscipleMD

As it has become increasingly difficult to raise our families under the basic tenants of our Christian beliefs due to the secularism of the day, and as the ballot box seems to fall victim to judicial fiat, we the people, still declare our rejection of secularism that is fast  becoming the core of our society. We support this declaration and share it,  “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” (The DOI, last paragraph)

While we support the rule of law by our leaders, we feel as did the founders of this great country:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” (Declaration Of Independence, July 4, 1776)

While we reject the secularism imposed upon us, we are convinced that the words of President George Washington wax eloquently true when he said:

“We are persuaded that good Christians will always be good citizens, and that where righteousness prevails among individuals the Nation will be great and happy. Thus while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government it’s surest support.”

overwhelmed

Being Overwhelmed Is Very Much A Part Of The Journey

TheDisicpleMD

Joseph Fielding McConkie gave a talk entitled, “Finding Answers,” at a devotional in 2006. In his talk he told a story.

The story centered around a young man who had a very difficult problem. He did not know what to do, so he visited with his bishop. The bishop listened carefully and thoughtfully. He asked a few questions to assure that he understood all that was involved. He then confessed that he had no idea what counsel to give but told the young man that he would be meeting with the stake president the next evening and that he would present the matter to him.

The Bishop took the problem to the Stake President and he didn’t know what to do with it so he met with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve who also confessed he doesn’t have an idea what counsel to give. The apostle then brings it to a meeting he has with the President of the Church, who at the time was David O. McKay. Up to this point all have listened attentively and with desire to help. The story continues:

“That afternoon he,(the apostle), met with President McKay and carefully explained the problem. President McKay listened attentively and asked a few questions to assure that he understood all that was involved and then said, “Well, that’s his (meaning the young man’s) problem, isn’t it.”
McConkie ended his talk with some sound advise and wisdom: ” If angels will not do for you what you can do for yourself, be assured that the Holy Ghost will not do it either. It is not the design of heaven that we be rescued from all difficult situations. Rather, it is the system that we grow up and learn to handle them. The sense of being overwhelmed is very much a part of the journey…. Nevertheless, the path we seek will always be clearly marked by the covenants we have made and the callings we have received. It is the accepting of our lot and moving forward with what the Lord has asked of us that we discover that the Holy Ghost enjoys our company, angels feel constrained to join us, and the heavens open to our vision.”

Rubbernecking

Rubbernecking After the World!

TheDiscipleMD
We have all done it at least once in our lives. You know, rubbernecking! We are driving along the highway and there is some accident ahead, or someone is in trouble with the law. As we come close to the scene we slow way down, sometimes to a crawl. We look! We look again! We look still again, this time we stretch our necks ever so high in hopes of a glimpse of the “scene.” It seems that our necks are made of rubber as we desperately stretch to see what “all the excitement” is about. This rubbernecking is not harmless because, at a minimum, people are delayed in arriving at their destinations. At its worst; another accident can be caused by inattentive drivers. I’m sure you have been in traffic jams where the accident is on the opposite side of a divided highway. The traffic jam on your side is not caused by the accident, but by “rubberneckers.” This causes delays and problems long after the scene of the accident has been cleared.

The highway of our life is no different from the highways we travel on everyday. Except that the highway of life’s destination is the Celestial Kingdom, not work, church or some event. We are told that the Lord’s “paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel.” ( 2 Nephi 9:41). I think we all desire to arrive at the gate of heaven and be judged by its keeper “the Lord God.” But many a person has been distracted by the “excitement” along the roadside. They have “rubbernecked” themselves into trouble. One such tragic individual was David. Chosen of God, he found himself “rubbernecking” one night. “And it came to pass in an evening-tide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon” (2 Samuel 11:1–2).

A few years ago Whitney Clayton spoke of David. He said:

Do you see how David got caught in this trap? He was on a rooftop courtyard of his palace, and looking below in a neighboring yard, he saw something he never should have seen. That was the adversary’s bait. Modesty, chastity, and good judgment required that David turn away immediately and not watch, but he didn’t do either thing. Instead, he allowed his mind to turn to forbidden fantasies, those thoughts led to actions, and things quickly spiraled downward from bad to worse to fatal. David was trapped, and for him the consequences were eternal. (“Blessed Are All the Pure in Heart”).

David’s life journey took a major detour because of his “rubbernecking!” He didn’t just get delayed on his journey: he had a major car accident. It is so tempting to “rubberneck” with the things of the world. Just a peek, just slowing down to glance at the enticing of man-made things. If we do so, we might find ourselves “seeing something we should never see.”
Let us keep our eyes on the road with our destination being that of eternal life with our Father. Resist the temptation to “rubberneck” after the world. It could cause a delay in our eternal arrival. Or, worse yet, like David, the consequences could bring about the total wreck of our lives.

December Portland 524

The Merry-Go-Round Of Life

TheDiscipleMD

On a recent visit to my in-laws I discovered a photo of me and my wife which I had never seen before. The photo was taken a few days before our wedding.  The most interesting and ironic aspect of this long-lost photo is that we were captured on a Merry-Go-Round.  How apropos for what life has to hold for a young couple.

The dreams of a young couple were captured in the words of Gordon Lightfoot when he sang:

And we climb aboard our ponies
As in a row they stand
Then down the road we gallop
And across the fields we fly
And soon we all go sailing off
Into the midnight sky (“The Pony Man”)

As a young couple beginning life together, it does seem that we will go sailing off into the midnight sky.  Dreams are a plenty and life is full of the possibilities! Alas, as the years go by the merry-go-round of our lives can throw us off the ride if we are not careful. Sometimes we find the ride can be more perilous then we thought. However, finding the ride to be more dangerous than we thought, is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, the joy of the ride has increased and become more exciting because it is filled with more thrills then we anticipated.

In fact, the merry-go-round of life need not throw us off at all. We have an “iron rod” to hold onto which is meant to serve as a steady safe manner in which to stay on course. Holding fast to the pole of iron was spoken of by an ancient prophet when he compared it to the word of God. He wrote:

“…and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”

Let us remember,  as couples and as individuals, that each of us have been given a ‘pole of iron,’  which should anchor us safely onto the Merry-Go-Round of life. If we hold on tight to the pole of righteousness we can enjoy the exciting ride and the sights that come with it.

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