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Love Is A Song That Never Ends

TheDiscipleMD

I recently became aquainted with a man who was involved in a tragic motorcyle accident.  It left him paralyzed from the chest down.  This man who was once so robust, depite being in his mid-sixties, is now confined to a wheelchair and spends much of his day in visiting hospitals  and recieiving medical care at home. I marvel at the courage and resilancy of this man or anyone, for that matter,  who can overcome the temptation to cry, “Wo is me,” while they sink into a great depression of mind and spirit.  His story reminded me of a conversation I had many years ago with a good friend who had been striken in his fifties with a debilitating disease.  His spirit of joy and courage in his time of pain gave me great comfort and strenghtened my faith in the eternal plan of salvation.  As I lamented his situation and gave him my sympathy he said, “Well, we all die of something. It is all part of the plan.”  He said it without hesitation and it wasn’t a canned response to my words of encouragement. He was simply reminded me of a fact that He knew to be true and one that I needed to be reminded of.

I think one of the eternal beauties of this life is the belief that love is eternal and that it does not die with the mortal body. “We all die of something” is a true statement when it comes to mortality but my belief is like the thought expressed from the movie Bambi.

Love is a song that never ends

Life may be swift and fleeting

Hope may die yet love’s beautiful music

Comes each day like the dawn

That dawn has been provided, for eternity, by the Savior, who is the author of love. I believe it with all my heart and the thought of eternal love, moves me upward and forward with a desire to develop it, with my wife, my children and all mankind.

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Jimmered By This World!

TheDiscipleMD

Jimmered- (verb) the act of getting burned or juked

On a trip to New York in 2011, my Dad, brother and I happened to be passing through the hometown of BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette. He won every conceivable college basketball award that year, so being fans we stopped into his hometown to get a bite to eat. As we walked into our eatery of choice, Pizza Hut, my brother asked the waitress if she knew Jimmer Fredette. Her reply once again cemented in my mind the nature of how fame can be so fleeting…and fickle. She replied to my brother, “Sure, everyone knows of him, he’s a hometown boy”, then she finished her sentence, “…but it’s baseball season now!” Wow! We were no more than 3 months from the end of the basketball season and this waitress was already essentially saying, “He’s old news”. I have followed professional athletes my entire life. I have now lived a sufficient time to not only follow the entire careers of some athletes, but I am now following their sons professional careers. What I have discovered in so doing is how easily the “gladiators” of yesteryear are forgotten. While on stage the crowds will cheer, but once you are no longer there, the fickleness of fame is that for almost all, it is O-V-E-R!

This “fame” of which I speak is the fame of the world, given of man, preserved by man, and in most case taken away by man. I am reminded of a more important type of fame spoken of in holy writ:

He “left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people…”

The fame of which this refers to is one that is everlasting. It is a fame that will save and exalt. This “heavenly” fame is one that is often gained, not in the glorious areas of the world, but while serving on the humble streets of cities and towns in which we live. It is this fame that will pass through the ages of time. It is this fame that will accompany one beyond the grave. A number of years ago James Faust said these inspiring words:

“Your future may not hold fame or fortune, but it can be something far more lasting and fulfilling. Remember that what we do in life echoes in eternity.” (“It Can’t Happen to Me”, April 2002, GC).

Having talents and abilities in this life can be a wonderful gift from the Lord. Our talents can be used in many different ways to further the work. But, let us not forget that our gifts and talents are given not only to bless our lives, but to build up the kingdom. If we don’t use our gifts wisely, the day will come when our talents fade and the bright lights of the world will shine on someone else. If we are not careful we might find, in the end, that we have “Jimmered” ourselves out of eternal life.

 

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To The Defenders Of ‘The Title Of Liberty’

TheDiscipleMD

Words can never really capture the nature and horror of the combat of war. No, it was William Sherman, General for the Union Army of the Civil War who said it best:

“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”

A few soldiers gain fame for their deeds but the names of most who have defended our country and nation,  can only be found on markers in graveyards scattered, not only across our country, but around the world. To those courageous men and women who have stood on the wall, may the Lord be with you. May peace be upon you and may the light of freedom guide your life through its darkest times.

May all of us, when faced in defense of liberty,  have the courage of a great american general who, while defending freedom:

“…tore his coat; and he took a piece of it, and he wrote upon it—’IN MEMORY OF OUR GOD, OUR RELIGION, AND FREEDOM, AND OUR PEACE, OUR WIVES, AND OUR CHILDREN.’ He then fastened it upon the end of a pole…and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his torn coat, (and he called it ‘The Title of Liberty”),  and he bowed himself and he prayed mightily unto God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remaining to possess the land.” (Ref., BOM, page 323)

May the ‘Title of Liberty’ fly over this great country forever, and may the blessings of heaven fall upon all those who are defenders thereof!

 

 

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A Great Plague Is Upon Us!

TheDiscipleMD

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power…And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

You might recognize this as part of the “Revelation of St John the Divine” as recorded in the eighteenth chapter. Most assign John’s revelation as applicable to our day. That is, it was a vision of the last days. While I don’t profess to know exactly what the “plagues” are that are spoken of by John, I can deduct from living “in the last days” that one of them is pornography. It has become a plague and scourge upon the land. Its depth reaches our very homes and is evident in almost every aspect of our lives. It has reached epidemic proportions. Once you had to go looking for it in the seedy parts of town. Now it knocks daily on our doors with vigor, and oft-times it enters without invitation. Now, more than any time in history, we must be vigilant in combating this pernicious evil. Let there be no doubt, it is a plague that comes directly from the adversary with intentions of destroying the family. In almost all of our recent general conferences this evil has been denounced. One example was a talk given by Gordon B. Hinckley in 2004. He said:

While the matter of which I speak was a problem then, it is a much more serious problem now. It grows increasingly worse. It is like a raging storm, destroying individuals and families, utterly ruining what was once wholesome and beautiful. I speak of pornography in all of its manifestations. (“A Tragic Evil Among Us,”)

Gordon B. Hinckley, as well as many others, has spoken very directly about this “plague.” In the same address he also said:

“The excuse is given that it is hard to avoid, that it is right at our fingertips and there is no escape.

Suppose a storm is raging and the winds howl and the snow swirls about you. You find yourself unable to stop it. But you can dress properly and seek shelter, and the storm will have no effect upon you. Likewise, even though the Internet is saturated with sleazy material, you do not have to watch it. You can retreat to the shelter of the gospel and its teaching of cleanliness and virtue and purity of life.

I know that I am speaking directly and plainly. I do so because the Internet has made pornography more widely accessible, adding to what is available on DVDs and videos, on television and magazine stands. It leads to fantasies that are destructive of self-respect. It leads to illicit relationships, often to disease, and to abusive criminal activity….we can do better than this. When the Savior taught the multitude, He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8) (“A Tragic Evil Among Us”)

The Lord gave us a warning during the days of John the Apostle and called for us to “be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”. The Lord has reaffirmed his warning by giving us latter-day prophets who give a clarion call of warning. It is a clear warning that leaves no room for rationalization. But their words are also a ray of hope that we can avoid this “plague”, if we will follow their counsel.

Space does not allow me to explain the varied problems that have visited the families of those who ignore the counsel of the brethren on this subject, yet, the heartache and destruction of the innocents cry out in lamentation to be heard. In the future there may be plagues that we cannot avoid. The plague of pornography is not one them.  We need to be vigilant and ever watchful for sure, but if we “retreat to the shelter of the gospel”, as with the children of Israel, this “plague” will pass over our homes!

 

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