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Not Properly Fit For The Wedding

TheDiscipleMD

A number of years ago, my third son was getting married. Since he was marrying a young woman from out-of-state, it fell upon me to order the tuxedos and to make sure that the proper sizes were ordered for the reception. Everyone was good about sending in their measurements. But to be safe, all were encouraged to stop by and try on their tuxes if at all possible. Most did, but a few didn’t because of distance, or because they just didn’t take the time to do so. Between the groom, myself, the father of the bride, the best man and several groomsmen it was a real effort to gather all the sizes and then transport all the tuxedos on the plane to the wedding.

Although my son and his fiancé were getting married in the temple, there was still a need to put on the tuxedos for the photographer, who was taking pictures after the ceremony on the temple grounds. The beautiful spring day of the wedding was made more beautiful by the fact that my Father performed the sealing. Afterwards, everyone retired to change into their gowns and tuxedos. While I was dressing, my second oldest son came up to me and said that his pants didn’t fit. I nonchalantly told him to go to my wife and get a safety-pin. He politely protested by saying that a safety-pin wouldn’t help his situation, that his pants were “way” too big! I was somewhat in a hurry myself. So I brushed him off and essentially told him to handle it. He left but soon returned to complain that there was just no way he could wear the pants of his tux. I said, “Let me see.” He put them on and, to my surprise; they were at least twenty inches too big in the waist. I looked at the back of his pants for a size and sure enough the store had made a mistake. I don’t know whether it was just my nerves, but I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. And although I was laughing, he wasn’t. I called for the help of my wife and she too started to laugh at the enormous size of the pants. My son looked like a clown in them! With no time or place to turn to, my wife was forced to start pinning the pants just to make them stay on his body. To this day, I don’t know how she did it! She put enough pins in that pair of pants that, if my son had worn them on the airplane back home, airport security surely would have been called! And, although my son was a pretty good sport about the whole thing, it ended up being an extremely stressful situation that put a damper on the day. Later on that day, we had to purchase a pair of pants at a local store. I took a picture of him wearing those “clown” pants (above) and we still laugh about it to this day. But, the lesson he learned that day was that the problem could have been avoided had he stopped by the rental store to try on his pants.But he didn’t, because he was too busy! He took for granted that all was right. He ended up being caught with his pants down!

Perhaps you recall the story of another wedding disaster. It’s mentioned in the scriptures. It’s called the parable of the ten virgins. (Matthew 25) Like my son, they too were invited to a wedding. But when the time came for the ceremony, five of the ten virgins hadn’t prepared themselves with the proper amount of oil for their lamps. In essence, they hadn’t tried their “tuxedos” on. They were unprepared and had to run out at the last-minute to find additional oil. In so doing, they ended up being late and were shut out of the wedding.

The Savior told this parable to illustrate that we need to be prepared when He comes, lest we find ourselves “shut out” of His kingdom. All of us have a tendency to procrastinate. We need to remember the words spoken by Alma. He wrote:

“…I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness, wherein there can be no labor performed.” (Alma 34:33)

May we not put off changes that we need to make in our lives! Let’s make ourselves worthy for the marriage by setting our affairs in order…today! Putting off things till tomorrow is always dangerous, because tomorrow is a day that may never come! Let us be ready when the Savior comes again by being spiritually prepared lest he come and find us not properly fit for his wedding!

 

 

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A ‘Smart’ Lesson From Alex And Ani

TheDiscipleMd
I was waiting outside the store as my wife was picking out ‘another’ braclet from inside Alex and Ani when I spied a young lady and her mother come out of the store. The young lady was beaming as it was apparent that she had purchased a new bracelet. She was moving it around on her arm as she and her mother walked towards her boyfriend. The young man looked to be of college age and in fact was sporting the name of a local college on his t-shirt. He was on his ‘smart’ phone. As she ran towards him he didn’t even look up. She had a grin on her face that even penetrated my tough old man skin. She grabbed onto his arm and started talking. He never looked up. His fingers were busy on his phone. It didn’t take long for the young woman’s expression to change and she quickly turned back towards her mother and started talking. He never looked her way. His phone was ‘smart’ and apparently he didn’t want to miss a moment with it.

Within a few moments the mother and daughter started walking up the street with the young man following while still pecking on his phone. I watched them all the way down the street. The mother and daughter were in rapt conversation as the young man followed a step or two behind engrossed in his business.

I was watching this while I too had my smart phone in hand. Right then my wife came out. She was smiling and was moving her arm around as the new bracelet picked up the beams of the sunlight. She came towards me with a smile on her face. I put my phone in my pocket and smiled back. It was the smart thing to do! If I hadn’t I would have missed the flash of her smile when she showed me she had picked out a bracelet with a pink New York Yankees logo dangling, my favorite team.

Fortunatly for me, I had learned a ‘smart’ lesson from my young friend just moments before. I left Alex and Ani’s a wiser man and with a rich memory of an exchange between a man and his wife. I will cherish the memory of the look a cute wife gives her man when she knows she has done something to please him. It’s a fleeting look that I could have missed.

I left Alex and Ani’s that day pondering how many sweet memories I have missed prior to this and how smart am I to have been so dumb!

ten commandments

Thou Shalt Not Covet For A Reason (It Makes Us Unhappy!)

TheDiscipleMD

“Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17) declared the Lord from Mt Sinai to the prophet Moses. How much unhappiness has been caused by the disobedience to this basic tenet of Christianity? I think most people think the reason that the Lord gave this commandment is that coveting will ultimately lead to inappropriate actions. And sometimes it does. Who can forget David coveting after Bathsheba which led to an adulterous affair and the death of Uriah! However, I think the most damaging aspects of being a covetous person is that it leads to an unhappy state of mind and life.

The complete commandment regarding coveting stated by the Lord is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” We live in the most covetous society on earth. Why? Each day we are bombarded by ever-present voices that tell and show us things of this world that we “need” and don’t have. Those voices and images come via our radios, TV’s, computers, and now even by our phones. We are constantly having enticing images flashed before our eyes reminding us of what others have.  This blatant attempt by the sellers of the worlds good’s to promote avarice and covetousness is key to the promotion of their fortunes.

Much unhappiness and destruction come from our desires to have things even though we can’t afford them.  After all, our neighbors have them, why not us?  Many of us succumb to the temptation to buy and  then spend our hard-earned money on things that we really can’t afford. The marketers of high interest loans have become loan sharks preying on the covetousness of the people. It is  to their gain to promote the spirit of avarice and envy. Without conscientiously being disobedient to this law of God we, as a society, have been seduced and we are finding out that the long-term consequence of such disobedience is untold stress, family instability and a quest for the things of this world that can never deliver on the happiness that they promise.

Unnumbered hearts of faithful wives have been broken by their husbands when unkind words are spoken to them when they are compared to images of some other woman’s looks, talents, skills or personality.  Isn’t a man showing outward covetousness when he expresses such thoughts even if he doesn’t follow through with any inappropriate action? It’s equally damaging when a wife tells her hard-working husband how much she loves a girlfriend’s house, car or the neighbor’s vacations, and says that she too wants those things. Isn’t that a form of covetousness? How does that make her husband feel when he honestly can’t provide those same things?

Living a covetous life leads to unhappiness, depression, anger and a life of despair. There really is a reason that God made it one of His “top ten” when it comes to commandments. He is the author of happiness and knows that living a covetous life leads to misery. May we remember the obedience to this most important law will bring with it a life more joyous and one that is free of the mental anguish that comes to those that covet.

 

mormon-pioneers

When You Feel Discouraged, Read A Pioneer Story!

TheDiscipleMD

“I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes! But I was in that company and my wife was in it, and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited here was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities!…I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me! I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there…Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No! Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.” (Francis Webster, member of the Martin Handcart Company, 1856)

“When you feel discouraged, read a pioneer story!”- My Father

I have also found great comfort in reading the scriptures when the nights have been the darkest. Knowing that disciples of Christ have gone through many trials and tribulations throughout history should give us perspective by reminding us that the Lord loves us despite the pain that is sometimes associated with this life.

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