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Knowing You Are A Child Of God Is A Powerful Anti-Depressant!

TheDisicpleMd

There are hundreds of fables and stories, some true, some not, of individuals that, upon discovering their royal heritage, make a miraculous turn about when it comes to their characteristics and the manner in which they carry themselves. They, of course, are the same person as before, but they view themselves differently then they have in the past. Their self-respect increases and they start to live a life that is fitting for one of noble birth.

Being told that one’s heritage descends from ‘pond scum’ is not a thought that would ennoble anyone to excel. Knowing you are a son or daughter of God is a powerful anti-depressant that promotes the best in an individual and in how he views the world and his surroundings.

If we are to believe the Bible, from the beginning, our heritage is certain.

‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27), which is later confirmed by Paul in his teachings of the Romans. He wrote, enforcing the concept taught by the Savior:
‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16)

We are of royal heritage! For this reason sent Jesus the Christ, his disciples unto the world with the good news. It is news that, if understood properly, elevates the soul and lifts the spirits to heights that are beyond our wildest dreams.

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The Peer Pressure Sandwich

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I don’t know why I should have been so reticent to go back into the convenience store and say I made a mistake…but I was! I guess no matter how old you get you never get over your desire to not look foolish! It was an innocent mistake, yet one I wasn’t willing to correct. The price of embarrassment was too high so I burned out of the parking lot as if I had just robbed the place. I passed a police car who was pulling into the establishment as I sped away! Did he see me or did I make a clean getaway! As I drove away I laughed at my own foolishness and thought that, even at my age, I am still subject to wanting to be accepted.

15 minutes earlier I stopped at the local convenience store to get a sandwich for lunch. I gave my order at the deli counter for a common turkey sub with lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and mustard. I continued around the store picking up chips and a drink, then paid for my meal at the check out. I walked back over to the deli, heard my number called, picked up the sandwich and walked out to the car. As I was rather hungry I immediately unwrapped my sub and took a big bite out of it. Yikes! As soon as my taste buds got a hold of what I had subjected them too they were screaming out to me, “STOP!” I looked down at the sub sandwich, opened it up and discovered all kinds of things on it that were not supposed to be there. Pickles, jalapeno, and cucumbers! Combine that with horseradish sauce and you got yourself quite a combo of sensual delights. The meat wasn’t even the same. It was ham. My initial reaction was one of condemnation of the deli guy. How could he be so inept? I wrapped the offensive sub back up and was about to go back in and express my dissatisfaction with the service when I spied the number taped to the wrapper. It matched the number I “thought” I was given by the machine, but it didn’t match the number I had on my receipt. It was clear I had made a mistake and had taken another man’s sandwich! I looked down at the partially eaten sub. How was I going to bring back a sub with a bite out of it? I looked at the doors of the store. Was the real “owner” of the sub going to come bursting out of those doors looking for me? What would I say if he came up to the car and said, “Excuse me, I think you got the wrong sub.” Would I hand him the half eaten sub and say, “Sorry about that”. What if he got mad? What then? I panicked. I quickly put my keys into the ignition. You know “the rest of the story”.

I’m amazed at how timid we can become when faced with an uncomfortable situation. I once heard a serial killer being interviewed on television.  I will never forget something he said.  He explained that he was able to get into most homes simply because people were so nice that they would let him in under the premise of a flat tire or some other ruse. He said, “Even though they feel that they shouldn’t, it’s too uncomfortable for them to say “No”, so against their better judgment, they let me in.” Listening to him said something about the natural goodness of many people but also the willingness of those of lesser character to exploit it. Pressure to do things against our better judgment is a constant battle. All of us want to be liked and don’t want to be embarrassed in front of others. For that reason we occasionally cave to “peer pressure” and do things that we know are not right. Teenagers are often reminded to “stand up” against it, but as adults, we are often just as susceptible to our peers as our youth. Perhaps you remember this account on peer pressure as recorded in the scriptures. The account is very familiar to us all but seldom do we think about it being a referendum on peer pressure.

“Then took they him, and led him (Jesus)… into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And…another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him… And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22: 54:62)

Peter found out what it was like to make decisions based upon “peer pressure”. He “wept bitterly” over it.  Let us remember to stand up for what is right at all times and in all places.  Often, if we bow to peer pressure, we will end up having to eat something in this life that  we didn’t order.

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A Knowledge Of Truth Is Of Little Value Unless…

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A few years ago, I had some blood tests run. My doctor called me to tell me that everything was fine, except my cholesterol was a little high. He said we would need to keep an eye on it. I kept an “eye” on it but did nothing more. Six months later I returned for additional testing and my cholesterol level was higher. He put me on some daily medication. Most of the time I take it, but sometimes I get lazy and forget. My wife (who is a registered nurse) tells me I’m being foolish and that someday soon, if I don’t listen to the doctor, she will be changing my Depends diapers! She tells me I need to follow my physician’s instructions of watching what I eat and making sure I take the medication as prescribed. “I’m still young,” I think. Then I laugh and brush it off. But I won’t be laughing when the consequences of my inaction actually arrives in my life.

My lack of common sense on this matter reminds me of some remarks given by Richard G. Scott. A few years ago he spoke about making decisions based on truth. In his talk he explained that there are two ways to find truth. He taught that the first way is the scientific method and then described its limitations. He then taught that revelation is the second and trustworthier. However, he made this point

“A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions. Consider for a moment a man, heavily overweight, approaching a bakery display. In his mind are these thoughts: The doctor told you not to eat any more of that. It’s not good for you. It just gives momentary gratification of appetite. You’ll feel uncomfortable the rest of the day after it. You’ve decided not to have any more. But then he hears himself say, “I’ll have two of those almond twists and a couple of those chocolate doughnuts. One more time won’t hurt. I’ll do it just once more, and this will be the last time.” (“Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions”)

All of us are spiritually “sick” to some degree. The Savior said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”(Mark 2:17) All of us are in need of healing!

The Lord has called on others to be spiritual “healers.” We recognize them as modern apostles and prophets. May we not only listen to their counsel, but also follow it. Ignoring the advice of the doctors of our physical bodies can lead to unwanted heath issues, but of much greater consequence is ignoring the counsel of our spiritual physicians. Our eternal heath and happiness “depends” on it!

 

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Everyone Knows And Everybody Cares!

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On a tombstone was carved the following epitaph:

Here lies a miser who lived for himself,

And cared for nothing but gathering pelf,

Now, where he is, or how he fares,

Nobody knows and nobody cares.

Gordon B. Hinckley once  said that those who reach out to lift and serve others “will come to know a happiness . . . never known before. . . . Heaven knows there are so very, very, very many people in this world who need help. Oh, so very . . . many. Let’s get the cankering, selfish attitude out of our lives, my brothers and sisters, and stand a little taller and reach a little higher in the service of others.”

J. Reuben Clark taught that “there is no greater blessing, no greater joy and happiness than comes to us from relieving the distress of others.”

It’s an interesting thing but everyone I know feels the same after serving or helping another. The feeling; it’s a warm feeling of goodness that washes over, not only your body, but also your soul. This is the true blessing of service. Is there a better feeling? That is why so often we are advised by wise and experienced men and women of God, that when you are in your darkest moments, and although it sometimes takes great effort, do something good or say something nice to someone, and we will feel better. Perhaps the feeling doesn’t last as long as we would like. But the momentary relief of joy that comes from service to another, can sooth our wounds and help us through another day. This has been my experience.

The greatest example of how service can buoy the spirit is recorded in the gospel of John.

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father…He riseth from supper…and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded…after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (John 13)

With his darkest hour shortly ahead, the Savior took the time to serve the apostles and teach them that it is through service to their fellow-man that true happiness can be found. When we live a life of service and help others on their way, others do know where we are, and how we fare. Everyone knows, and everybody cares.

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