Dog-GoldSolid

The ‘Spiritual’ Dog Whistle

TheDiscipleMD

A ‘dog whistle’ is silent to the human ear, but emits sound in the ultrasonic range which both dogs and cats hear; the sound of which can be used in their training. The fact that we, as humans can’t hear the sound, doesn’t invalidate the fact that the sound is being emitted, the proof of which is the ability for dogs and cats to hear it and respond. If not properly educated, the user, as well as observers, would think that a ‘dog whistle’ is useless and is a hoax. Yet, those that have used it to train animals, know that it is real, even though they have never heard the sound that comes from the whistle.

When it comes to the ‘spiritual’ dog whistle, used by the Lord primarily through the Holy Spirit, some scoff and say it is not real. But simply because they have not heard it, doesn’t mean it is not real. Only those who are ‘in tune’ are made partakers of the training that comes from the Lord’s ‘spiritual whistle.’

The scriptures are full of examples of the Lord communicating His will to individuals, as well as nations, through a ‘spiritual’ dog whistle. Sorryful will be the time when mankind walks unaffected by the voice of the Lord, which permeates the universe with guidance, peace, love, and intellectual education. May we not scoff and take lightly the reality of the Holy Ghost, and it’s influence upon this world. It is real, even if we don’t hear it’s voice.

006

‘Jesus The Christ’ And How It Changed My Life

TheDiscipleMD

Outside of the scriptures, my favorite book is “Jesus the Christ” by James Talmage. I fell in love with its wonderful essay on the life and times of Jesus Christ. I bought a small copy of it  in July of 1975 just as I left for a two-year full-time mission for the church.  Because of its compact nature I carried it in my breast shirt pocket the entire two years. In Argentina, where I served,  there was much wasted time spent traveling on buses and trains. My mission covered about one thousand three hundred miles, Talmage’s masterpiece served as a ready companion and constant source of enlightenment. As soon as I finished it, I started to re-read it again. Over those two years I ended up reading its contents eight times.  I credit it with giving me a fundamental understanding of the New Testament and of the character of Jesus Christ as our Savior. The years went by and I held on to my cherished copy. That same copy has since accompanied three of my sons on missions, to California, Colorado, and Mexico. They too have read it, and testified of the inspiring nature of its pages.

In its introduction, James Talmage gives us this thought:

“Mankind has never produced a leader to rank with Him. Regarded solely as a historic personage He is unique. Judged by the standard of human estimation, Jesus of Nazareth is supreme among men by reason of the excellence of His personal character, the simplicity, beauty, and genuine worth of His precepts, and the influence of His example and doctrines in the advancement of the race. To these distinguishing characteristics of surpassing greatness the devout Christian soul adds an attribute that far exceeds the sum of all the others—the divinity of Christ’s origin and the eternal reality of His status as Lord and God.”

Later on in the introduction he added:

“…man never lived of whom more has been said and sung, none to whom is devoted a greater proportion of the world’s literature. He is extolled by Christian, Mohammedan and Jew, by skeptic and infidel, by the world’s greatest poets, philosophers, statesmen, scientists, and historian. Even the profane sinner in the foul, sacrilege of his oath acclaims the divine supremacy of Him whose name he desecrates.”

I would recommend to anyone that is seeking additional knowledge regarding the Savior’s life, that they put Talmage’s masterpiece at the top of their reading list.  Apparently Paul the apostle, gave much value to good books when he wrote to Timothy from the mission field, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me…The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4: 9,13)

May we take the time to read good books that are worthy of our time. The scriptures are certainly the primary source of our reading but as Gordon B. Hinckley stated so beautifully, “There is so much of wonderful reading available. We are not likely to ever get too much of it.” (“Gambling”, April 2005 GC).

courage

I Saw The Face Of Courage (And It Inspires Me!)

TheDiscipleMD

A few months ago I spent some time with a new friend. He is an ordinary man, and I guess that is what makes him so extraordinary.  You see, during our visit we began to talk of his life.  As he spoke of his mother and his impoverished upbringing I asked him about his father. He revealed that he didn’t know who his father was and that being a child of the 1950’s this had been an obstacle to overcome. His mother had become pregnant out-of-wedlock at 16 and even she didn’t know for sure who had fathered him. I said that it must have been hard as a child being raised under those circumstances, especially due to the times and morals of the day.  He agreed, but with a smile, he told me that, nevertheless, he had tried to make his life a success, and considered it such.  I agreed, as I know of his devotion to wife, family, and God.

Our conversation reminded me of an exchange I once had with a good friend of mine a number of years ago. We had been friends for many years when I happened upon him in a church hallway where we exchanged greetings.  After our greetings, he said to me:

“You know, all these years I have admired and wished that I had your talent for speaking, and being able to do all the things you do in the church.  Recently, though, I have come to realize that you have never had to overcome the trails and challenges that I have been presented with in my life.”

My friend’s statement was not made in anger or bitterness. It was just a fact that he had come to realize that I felt was absolutely true. (At least the part about his challenges being much greater than mine) I replied that I agreed with his assessment and that he might be surprised to know that I had admired him for his faithfulness and his courage in enduring and overcoming the many physical, and mental challenges that had come his way.  Indeed, this man would probably be astonished to know, that his courage had been a source of inspiration to me throughout the years. In fact, he might have found it hard to believe, but I had reflected upon his sacrifices for the gospel, and his faithfulness had brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

I have known many individuals, both men and women, who have overcome much in thier lives. I have great admiration for them. I have always believed in the parable of the talents regarding our station in this life.  If we are faithful, he will say:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:16)

When my new friend and I parted the other night, he asked if we could pray together. I said I would be happy to be the voice.  In the middle of my prayer I was overcome with the emotion of our conversation, because my faith in mankind had been uplifted. In this brother, as well as in many others,  I have seen the face of courage, and it inspires me to want to be a better husband, father, and man of God. What a wonderful talent!

 

insanity

Escaping The Ranks Of Moral Insanity

TheDiscipleMd

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,” Marcus Aurelius opined, “but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Sometimes I feel that the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to “escape” from the insanity of the immoral majority.  It seems that everywhere we turn the messages that are being communicated by society and the cultural media, are messages that are in opposition to the commandments given to us by a loving and kind Father In Heaven.

This is not something new nor is it something unexpected for our times.  From the beginning of time, the Lord has used prophets to warn the faithful and teach them how to escape the “insanity” of the immoral peddlers of our days.  What is moral insanity?  The evangelist, Charles G. Finney, (1792-1875) defined it as thus:

“Moral insanity…is will-madness. The man retains his intellectual powers unimpaired, but he sets his heart fully to evil. He refuses to yield to the demands of his conscience. He practically discards the obligations of moral responsibility. He has the powers of free moral agency, but persistently abuses them. He has a reason, which affirms obligation, but he refuses obedience to its affirmations. In this form of insanity, the reason remains unimpaired; but the heart deliberately disobeys.”

The ancient scriptures are replete with warnings of how things would be in our days; the last days.  Paul wrote:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”(2 Tim 4:3)

Paul also wrote:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1Tim 4:1-2)

“Having itching ears”, “conscience’s seared with a hot iron” and “puffed up hearts” all seem to conjure up images of insanity to me!

Being found on the side of the majority doesn’t equate with being found on the side of the Lord. We can escape the moral insanity by following the commandments as revealed through prophets of old, and by obeying the guidance and direction given by prophets in our day.  The concepts, precepts, and directions given to us by prophets can bring sanity to our lives and hope for our futures. May we read, ponder and pray over their words. Their words were given to us so that we might avoid the consequences of sin and gain the blessings of a Christ-centered life.

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