I Know The Savior Loves Me Because He Gave Me A Family!


A few weeks ago I was attending the church where my granddaughters were participating in a program for the entire congregation. I was, once again, struck by the innocence of small children and how angelic they can so often look and act. One little girl got up to the podium and said:

“I know the Savior loves me because he gave me a family.”

It is such a simple statement but it penetrated deeply into my soul. I know she didn’t just think to say that. I’m sure that line came from some adult, but…somehow, to me, hearing it out of the mouth of a small child seemed much more credible. When I look at the animal kingdom, there are few species, if any, that nurture their young for such a long period of time. A human is dependent for years on some other human for on life itself. Most often that someone is a parent or sibling or even relatives. There are exceptions to everything but the family unit, as given to us by the Lord, is the lifeblood of us all. It cannot be denied nor argued against by anyone who rationally looks at humanity.

May we look at the family as something that is God-given. May we act accordingly and be there for its members. May we ever be grateful for the family and all the blessings that come with it. God does love us, and the family, for almost all, is the biggest blessing we will ever receive.


All Things Testify Of God!


I recall once hearing a brother of mine, in his teenage years, say to my mother, “You relate everything to the gospel!”  It was said as more of an “indictment” rather than a compliment. I recall that conversation between them because as I grew older, I could see that, indeed, it was true. If you believe in a divine being and that He is our Heavenly Father, He would manifest Himself in all aspects of life.  An ancient prophet testified:

“…Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator”. (Alma 30: 44).

If we take a good look around, we will discover the hand of God, even in the smallest of this world’s creations.  I am amazed at the complexity of this vast universe and also of the complex nature of the simplest of life forms. It is impossible for me to imagine that it came about by chance and those that preach and teach so, are only fooling themselves. It takes more imagination to come up with man-made theories regarding the creation, than to believe in a Divine Being.

Several years ago I expressed frustration to my Father regarding national and world politics. He asked, “So, what do you think is the best thing you can do to improve the world?”  My reply was similar to the thoughts of Alma who taught that the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ had a more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than war and violence.  Salvation to the world will come through “the virtue of the word of God”. The gospel of Jesus Christ has more chance of  changing the hearts and the minds of men towards the good than any form of coercion or programs by man-made governments.


Do We ‘Duck’ As Followers Of Christ?


The other day I was out at a local park with my wife and granddaughter, which also had a pond. We ate lunch and then took the leftovers and started to feed the ducks. Up to that point they had not shown much interest in us but as soon as the food started to “fly”, they came running in droves. After our leftovers were consumed, the ducks stayed around us for only a short time before departing. I looked across the way and saw an older couple with several bags of bread. They were standing on the pier throwing whole pieces of bread into the water. Soon, they were surrounded by countless ducks who waited to be fed. It appeared to me that this couple came to feed the ducks often. But, even so, when they ran out of bread, they were treated the same as we had been. The ducks waited for just a short period of time. Then, just as quickly as they had flocked to the couple, they left the couple standing alone on the once popular pier. It was clear to me from watching that couple, that no matter how often they came to feed them, the ducks were only interested in one thing, and it wasn’t that they enjoyed the company of the couple. No, in the end, it was the bread the ducks wanted, and as long as the old couple supplied it, they would stay. But as soon as the food was gone, so were they. They had no allegiance. For the ducks, it was all about getting physically fed.

My observation about the “feeding of the ducks” is nothing new to anyone who has ever been a part of or observed this ritual. However, what is notable is how easy it is to draw a parallel of “ducks to men”. During the lifetime of Jesus he spoke of this very phenomena. It is recorded in the sixth chapter of John. Prior to this, Jesus had performed miracles in feeding the people more than once with fish and bread. The people loved him for it. Here was a man who could give them physical sustenance and they “flocked” around him. On one occasion the multitude found out that Jesus had left them during the night and was reported to be in a small city across the sea, They frantically rented boats and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. There Jesus had this exchange with them:

“And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (vs. 25-26)

He then taught them that they needed to seek for the eternal “bread” of life, which comes from the Father, not just for a physical fulfilling of their bodies. He taught them that they needed to believe in Him and to follow His commandments. Then he taught this very important lesson.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your father did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever…”. (vs 47-51).

Then, the scriptures record the results of the Savior’s disclosure that He is not there to physically feed them, but to spiritually feed them. The scriptures record in verse sixty six:

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him”.

Tragically, many of the disciples had unknowingly been no better than a duck in their allegiance to the Savior of the world. Life as a follower of Jesus Christ does require more than just “looking to be fed”. It requires faith, hope, work and a desire to follow His ways. The true test of anyone is when things don’t go well in this physical world. Being a follower of Christ requires more than being like a duck whose love and devotion is given to whoever has free bread in hand.

May we be faithful and true, even when we can’t see bread falling from the hands of the “Master.” His promises are true and everlasting. He will feed us long after our bodies are in the grave and the world is passed away. Faith in His words will truly bring us eternal life!

dancing fool

Sometimes You Just Have To Dance!

In the early years of my marriage I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, and going to school part-time. My wife, a new mother,  was stuck in a small apartment, alone, for most of the day. She had no car, TV, and no money to speak of. And this was the days before the Internet and cell phones. We were financially broke with no credit cards; and no ability to get credit. We had nothing to speak of when it came to material things. I was tired most of the time, and she was bored most of the time. At times it was very depressing. However,  I remember while living in that apartment that, on occasion, I would put an album by Cat Stevens on the record player. One of the songs on the album had a Caribbean type beat, named “Tuesday’s Dead. The chorus went:

“Whoa, Where do you go? When you don’t want no one to know? Who told tomorrow Tuesday’s dead.”

The words didn’t  make any sense to me. In my mind the whole song didn’t make any sense. But the beat and sound of the music made you feel like dancing.  At least it did for me. So, every once in a while, I would turn on the song and dance around in front of my wife like a complete fool! It would usually make her laugh or at least smile. It didn’t make our problems disappear, but for a moment they took a back-seat to a dancing fool.

The holiday season is a time when many are prone to get depressed. In Ecclesiastes we read that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” So, when we feel the problems and trials of life are weighing us down and we can’t go on. Let us put on our favorite song and let our inhibitions go wild. We’ll feel much better! Because to chase the Holiday Blues away, sometimes you just have to dance!

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