Anticipation Of An Empty Shelf

TheDiscipleMD.com

I’m sure, like me, you have specific questions regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ or the plan of salvation that have never been satisfactorily answered in your mind. Faith is, of course, an important component in believing in Christ, yet, it is nice to understand, to the best of our ability, the logic behind certain doctrines. I don’t recall when I first heard it, nor who actually was the first to say it. It doesn’t really matter because the concept is all that is important. As a believing member of Him and His church, there have been a few things that I have not been able to work out in my mind. When I wasn’t able to comprehend a point of doctrine, I was advised to put that “on the shelf” and that the day would come when I would be able to understand and remove that question from “the shelf.”

Several weeks ago my shelf got a little lighter. In the midst of a typical priesthood group meeting, a point of doctrine that has long puzzled me suddenly became clear. It was if a switch had been”turned on”, illuminating my mind and driving out all darkness regarding a point of doctrine. I couldn’t believe it. I have spent decades in priesthood meetings, and yet, never had the Lord seen fit to remove that thorn from my side. I might add that this particular thorn is personal, meaning it is not a point of doctrine that might bother someone else. Or for that matter, most members probably have never given it much thought. The point isn’t even necessary for my salvation. It is just…well…personal! But for me, at that moment, my shelf got lighter!

What did I learn from this experience? Well, a couple of things. One is patience. “Good things come to those who wait” is an old English saying. One that was also used as a slogan by the Heinz Company in the 1980’s to promote their slow trickling brand of ketchup. The vision of their ketchup slowing moving down the bottleneck on its journey to a hamburger or hot dog while Carly Simon sang “Anticipation”,  has stayed in my mind. They played off the words of Paul, who so eloquently expressed the virtue of patience in his epistle to the Hebrews when he wrote:

“For ye have need of patience,that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise”(Hebrews 10:36)

If we are willing to move forward in faith, not doubting, the Lord will, in time, answer our questions. Sometimes “in time” means months, years or even a lifetime. Yet,we have been promised that all things will be revealed to those who are patient, obedient, and who diligently search, ponder and pray. If we are patient and do the will of God, the promise from God is salvation to our souls.

Second, I have learned that even though I don’t understand some points of doctrine, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t true! I just need to have the faith to put that question “aside”,temporarily, until I have better prepared myself to either accept the true answer, or prepare myself to receive it. I’m grateful that my “shelf” is lighter than it was just a few weeks ago. That shelf will probably always have “something” on it till the day I die. Yet I have great “anticipation” that if I exercise patience, one day, that shelf will be empty.

There Is Sound Advice In Honoring Our Parents

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Over the years I have spoken many times to youth groups. I told them, on many occasions, that never while raising my children did my wife and I gleefully rub our hands together behind closed doors and think of what we could do to make our children’s lives miserable. Or what council could we give them that would lead to their unhappiness. As I rub my hands together and tell this to the youth, they inevitably snicker and laugh at the prospect of such a sight. For some reason many youth seem to think such a thing of their parents.

Of course, it is the opposite. My wife and I, like all loving parents, diligently seek divine guidance so that we can lead our children to find joy and happiness. I have often wondered about the promise given in the Ten Commandments regarding honoring parents. It reads:

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

“…that thy days may be long upon the land!” That’s an interesting consequence of obeying your parents! My thought is that if you honor your parents and follow the council of those that love you, you will make fewer mistakes and sin less. Mistakes and sin lead to unhappiness and sorrow and in some cases early death from the consequences of these actions. Sometimes it takes time to understand this. Almost twenty years ago one of my children had this to say in an email to my wife.

“Mom, I love you so much. I am truly grateful to Heavenly Father for sending me to you. When I say my prayers at night and thank the Lord for all my blessings, it always hits me just how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. I realize just how many blessings I have that others don’t. No matter what may be going wrong or whatever my problems may be, I can always feel good about having a great and special family. You are the key to all this… I admire you and you are an inspiration to me. You’re the absolute best Mom and I wouldn’t trade you for anyone.”

I have also been blessed by having wonderful parents who love me and who I know want the best for my life. “Honor our parents!” If it was given as one of the ‘top ten’ by a loving Heavenly Father it is because, he knows first hand how much love a parent has for their children.

This commandment should also remind us that the Father of us all gave many others. Perhaps we should ponder each and every commandment our Heavenly Father has given, and remember that a loving parent only gives direction for our good and that we should give heed to ‘heavenly’ advice!

In Celebration Of Marriage

TheDiscipleMD

Before I was married I wondered how someone could love the same person for their whole life and beyond. As I have aged in wisdom I have come to discover that as time passes, this love becomes not only stronger but easier. The uniqueness and beauty of your spouse unfolds before your eyes as each day goes by. Things that you once viewed as a minor irritation became a characteristic to celebrate.

I don’t think you can understand the depth and beauty of your spouse without first seeing them presented before you in all its stages. Like a performance that plays out on the theater of life, as you age you don’t just see the first act. Your respect and admiration for them grows as the second, and third acts open and close.

The eternal nature of love is apparent to me each time I see a silent look exchanged between a husband and his wife. The exchange could be in a crowed room, at a public event or in an intimate moment at a home. It is that moment where, for them, time stops, and they are the only two in the room; and the only ones who understand the silent communication of love that is transpiring between them.

“Love,” wrote poet Emily Dickinson, “is life, and life hath immortality.”

History stands as a testiment of the power and endurance of love shared between a man and a women while in the bonds of holy matrimony. It’s grace and beauty is manifest in all walks of life. You cannot go a day without seeing the postivie affects of marriage upon our society and upon the individual. Each of us is a blessed recipent of the divine covenant of marriage given to man from God above, weather we want to acknowledge it or not.

 I have spent close to 43 years of holy matrimony with my wife. I am grateful to my ancestors who handed down from generation to generation the ideals and beauty associated with marriage and showed me, by example, why it is divine, and how it would bless my life. Therefore, I am in celebration of my wise ancestors who passed on to me an appreciation of the God-given union of marriage between a man and a woman and I give thanks to them for all the blessings that have come into my life by entering into such a covenant.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? She Replied…”A Mother!”

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Several years ago I was privy to this exchange while riding to the airport.  My father jokingly asked my  then 20-year-old daughter a probing question. He said, “So,  what do you want to be when you grow up?” Her response was quick and resolute, “A mother!” A warm wave of the spirit washed over me when I heard her response.  Could there really be a more important “job?”

Recently I was reading an article entitled “A Call for Good Women” by Christopher D. Curzon, J.D. found in Meridan Magazine. In it he expressed some of my long-held views that I feel have been echoed by the leaders of the church. He had this to say:

“Women are literally the cornerstone of societal stability; to the extent that when women take the moral lead in society, morality and social advancement flourish. This point is important for this reason: a democracy cannot survive with amoral citizens. It has never been historically done, and it cannot happen today. Indeed, women are the foundation of morality, and morality has its existence in religion…. The fact is that men need moral women. Perhaps one of the greatest tragedies of the feminist movement was the preoccupation of many feminists to make women more like men. To a large degree, the feminists abandoned the stay-at-home mother and those who desired the traditional family experience.”

Today, of course, many homes are headed by single mothers who by no choice of their own, have been left with the dual role of providing for, and being  the moral cornerstone of the family unit. I am sure that the Lord will sustain and watch over these outstanding mothers as they tackle the almost insurmountable task laid before them.  Not even all homes that have a father and mother in them have the ability to sustain a ‘stay at home’ Mom. However, every household should seriously evaluate the possibility of providing the great blessing that a ‘stay at home’ Mom can provide to children who desperately need their influence. It’s an option worthy of consideration.

 

 

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