Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Are You Ready? Or Will You Let It Slip Away?

What does General Conference mean to me?


For surely, sometimes we need to ask such questions of ourselves to really understand what to say.

I know it doesn't fit on my blog, and maybe that is the point...
General Conference can be likened unto the Sermon on the Mount. The Savior taught amazing words of wisdom, parables, principles and doctrine. What He did prompted commitment, soul searching, and a coming unto knowledge that could only come through the Spirit touching hearts. It prompted repentance, for no heart can be touched by the spirit and not turn towards something better.

The Savior need not be at General Conference for it to be like the Sermon on the Mount. A living Prophet and Apostles, all called by the Lord himself, have ascended the mountain height through prayer and careful guidance from the Spirit to bring the messages as humbly as they can that He would have them share.

Does God cease to speak to man?


I know that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has spoken to man all throughout biblical history through the mouths of His servants the prophets. I know that he continues to do so today.

As I go with an open mind and a question I want answered, inviting the Spirit to work with me, I will hear the message that God has for me individually. I know the margins of my notes will be filled with the most precious and personal revelation that I could ever hope for, and that as I observe those things given to me that I will find an increase and be ready for more when next conference is called to order.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Come And See

In this video the Savior talking with Nicodemus, one of the local teachers who is held at great respect. He talks of baptism, His mission as the Savior of the world, and the struggle that man faces between darkness and light.

But my favorite concept He teaches is that of coming to know spiritual things for ourselves.

He says,
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
All We Are Is Dust In The Wind... Dust, Wind, Dude!
Alright, so that might need some additional scripture to clarify a little bit. Lets go to Corinthians!

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man recieveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

So the long and the short of it is this: How do we really come to understand how it feels like to get an answer to a prayer? Or how can we learn principles that are spiritual in nature so that they actually become a part of who we are?

Tell Me!!!!!
Experience it for yourself!
And then compare what you know with what comes your way.

Think for just a second or two... how would you tell me what salt tasted like?

(still waiting)

You have tasted it thousands of times, you probably remember many times where too much of it ruined a perfectly good meal, and yet when it comes to describing it you simply must experience it to get it.

Same thing with the Spirit. When you pray or read the scriptures or go to church, really anything that invites the Holy Ghost to testify of truth, you have the opportunity to feel the spirit and know it for yourself. Many times it takes repeated attempts and then someone else perhaps pointing it out to you before you have your, "Oh, THAT'S what that is!" experience, but once it comes then you understand it.

Once you have that basic experience and understanding, then you can do as is said in Corinthians and "compare spiritual things with spiritual". It can be like the Savior expressed, feeling the wind and knowing the sound of it, but not knowing where it comes from or how you know it.

And in the same way, I can say as the Savior that, "I speak that I do know, and testify that I have seen". I have come to know that God is my loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is His son, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I know it by the power of the Holy Ghost. I tasted salt in a spiritual sense and I cannot quite explain how I know, but I do. By that same token, I have read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it is true and I have received a witness and confirmation from the Spirit of God that it is a true record of Gods dealings with the people who lived anciently on the American continent. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the church that Jesus Christ has reestablished in these days prior to His second coming.

My commitment to you is to experience it to see for yourself if it's true. Read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true. Here, I'll even give you a link where you can get a free copy, no obligation:
Free Book of Mormon!

It is an invitation to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in your heart the message it contains, and then to ask God if it is true. Those who do will receive a witness from the Spirit because God answers prayers. It is an invitation to feel the Spirit that comes with it and to know for yourself its worth.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Spirit Or... What?

"How do I know if it is a real spiritual prompting or something else?"

The question is a deep one!
It has far reaching effects, but it has a somewhat simple answer!

The Book of Mormon (Moroni 7:16-17) talks about The Light of Christ which is given to every man, saying:
That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticith to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one.
Some would call it a conscience, I would personally consider it more of that natural tendency within all of us to follow and go towards light and truth and ultimately to follow Jesus Christ. When we are faced with a choice, there are always good and bad choices (or good and better... either way, im not picky). The Holy Ghost in those times will provide additional guidance and support to those who seek it in such times.

With me so far?

So the short answer to the question, "is it a prompting and should I follow it?" is based off a quote from President Hinckley:
“That’s the test, when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God. . . .If it invites to do good, it is of God. If it inviteth to do evil, it is of the devil. . . . And if you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the Spirit is saying to you. You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit—that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God”
The whole reason this blog is called "A Spark Of The Light Of Christ" is because I know that this is within all of us and that we get little flashes of goodness and inspiration to do and choose right, no matter who or where we are. Furthermore, as we courageously follow those things we think and know to be good, we will be able to distinguish more perfectly the promptings we receive and increase in our ability to follow with exactness. Whether you are using baby steps or taking strides as a spiritual giant, the filter of the mind (does it persuade to do good?) and the heart (does it feel right?) use the same formula.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting The Hang Of It

"And we would ask that Elder Donohue bear his testimony, and we'll proceed from that point."


"Wait, what?"


I bear my testimony, those things I believe and know of a spiritual nature, quite a bit as a missionary. Where before it may not have felt natural to just say whats on my mind or my heart, I now can't honestly see myself going a day without even the smallest declaration of the hope that is within me. (1 Peter 3:15)

That being said, doing so on the fly with just a tiny bit of heads up publicly in church is still not one of my strengths.

As I took the few minutes available to try to think about what I wanted to say and how I would say it, I started to psych myself out just a tiny bit... a precursor to being tongue tied. I do that quite a bit. But then a small voice somewhere within me came and said,
"Just be yourself."
Yes! That's the right answer, perfect! Thats what i'll do, i'll just be myself. Just be me...

Well, who the heck am I?!?

Thankfully the voice came again,
"You are a child of God."

And that felt like a pretty good place to start a testimony! And so I bore my testimony starting with that and for the most part feel that I said what I wanted to say and it all went peaches and cream.

The more I reflect on that statement, "You are a child of God", the more I sense a deeper understanding with it. It speaks volume of the relationship that we have with our Heavenly Father, it hints at our divine potential, and gives the feeling of peace and comfort knowing that there is someone who loves us and is looking out for us.

Elder L. Tom Perry once said,
"I can think of no greater teaching to our children than that of the power of prayer. We should do it by example, and take our children daily before the Lord and give them the peace and assurance that can come from knowing they are a child of our Father in Heaven."

Awwwwwww :)
I just want to +1 that statement by saying that I know of this truth because of prayer. No spiritual truth can be discovered and understood except through revelation, and the foundational and central truth of our God is always deepened through constant communication through prayer.

And that... is my testimony.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rhyme and Reason

We all got skills.

Heck Yes We Do!

Some of us are really good at painting, others are really good at basketball, some are amazing at playing guitar and singing, and yet others are the person you always go to if you need to talk to someone. Whatever our personal skillset, we have been given our talents with the intent to use them for the good and joy of those around us and ourselves. We have been given the ability to choose. With that we have also been given the ability to improve what we have, those things we are first-class at and especially the things we are inept at.

Jesus told a story somewhat along these lines in Matthew 25.
A man travelling into a far country called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents (or pieces of money), to another two, and to another one; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Later, the master came back for the report of what had been done with what he had given them during his absence. The two who had worked with their talents were able to have doubled what they were given. The last had done nothing and had nothing to show for it either, and so his talent was taken and given to another.

Ouuuccchhhh.... That Had To Hurt
This story makes me sad! I look at this story in terms of our personal "talents" and not as money, and when I do I feel bad for the guy who didn't do anything with what he had. I know for me that sharing my talents and working to improve them bring me the most happiness I ever get in life. And whenever someone does something like write amazing songs and play them for me (one such experience is very much on my mind right now), it blows me away and I can't help but appreciate and love the person who has God given talent they've worked hard at and so passionately shared.


But what if it had never been shared?
And do you really fully enjoy that which you have if you keep it all to yourself?
For that reason, I feel bad for the poor guy who buried the talent he had instead of being willing to take a chance and shoot for the stars.
And for those who strive to inspire and serve others with that which they have been given,

"Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it."

Time and effort and faith... As we are patient and dilligent, through Christ we can turn our weaknesses into strengths and bring that thrill and joy to others and ourselves.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Someday I'll Get It Straight

I made the fatal mistake of procrastination yet again; someday I'll work on that. For now though, I am left with an idea for yet another gospel related comparison.

Let me set the scene for you, if you please...

The time has come where with my turning 21 years of age, a couple of things are in transition and need my attention. First and foremost on my list that I ignored: renewing my drivers license. I saw it coming from miles away, I received a reminder call from the office fleet director, I even wrote it down on sticky notes and hid them around the apartment to pop up and remind me at random times.

Yeah, There Was Even One In There Too...
Alas, I let it go until I was in panic/scramble mode. Tactical error? Of course, but admitting it at this point doesn't help me too much! From that point I started to get angry with myself, then the Idaho DMV, then the whole renewing concept entirely. Why should I have to renew my license? C'mon, nothing changes and im still a good driver, whats the idea of just putting me through hoops?

Well after that I calmed down, we took care of business, and happily ever after happened. But the concept of renewal stuck with me. Then I made the gospel related leap.

With a drivers license for someone who has never driven before, there are steps you take to get one. You figure out the rules of the road, you gain experience in a parkinglot somewhere, take a written exam, then get checked off on the road test. You sign on the dotted line saying that you will obey the rules of the road, and submit that you are capable and responsible for what goes on when the wheels are rolling. Then you're all set! Freedom!

When you renew, its basically a declaration saying that you are still on board with all you previously did in a way that enables you to keep the privileges of driving you obtained through the licensing process.

The concept of renewal with baptism is something that is thankfully a very big part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every Sunday we take the sacrament. The sacrament is an ordinance in which Church members partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice and renew the covenants they made at baptism. These covenants or promises are that you are willing to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, be witnesses of God at all times and in all places, and keep His commandments. Through keeping these promises and renewing them every week, all the blessings God promises at baptism remain available to you, "that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you" (Mosiah 18:8-10).

It also gives me time to ponder upon the Savior and what he freely offers. I sometimes think about where I was a week ago, a month ago, a year ago and so on. I cannot always see the change and growth I experience on a day to day basis, but I sense it and come to appreciate the love and patience of someone who didn't have to sacrifice for me but did. I am grateful for a gospel that allows change and a renewal of that commitment to following the Savior. Robert D. Hales said,
More than just thinking about the facts of the Savior’s suffering and death, our pondering helps us to recognize that through the Savior’s sacrifice, we have the hope, opportunity, and strength to make real, heartfelt changes in our lives.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Play On

I read the following poem and fell in love with it before I was even finished. As Elder Wirthlin, one of the Apostles, once said, "We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, our Heavenly Father won't."

T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.

"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who’ll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar," then, two! Only two?
"Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three . . . "But no,
From the room, far back, a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.

"A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;
And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master’s hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.

A "mess of potage," a glass of wine;
A game, and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He’s "going" and almost "gone."

But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

"Touch of the Master’s Hand," by Myra Welsh

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Whenever You Wonder...

It'll Be Okay!

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

The Son of Man hath descended below them all.
D&C 122:7-8

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Get Ripped

Who loves working out?

Next To This Guy, Me Neither...

Nobody has all the time in the world to work out, so you gotta make good on the little bit of time you do have. As you work out you can try to keep in mind working on different muscle groups, focus on keeping your reps and weight in line with what you are training for, and of course making sure you have a workout buddy keep you motivated!

The most important thing of all as you are lifting though, as any good gym rat will tell you, is proper form while lifting.

It is critical to lift properly to effectively build strength and to keep you safe from injury. Without that, you can end up with some ugly consequences or just plain wreck yourself and negate your best efforts. People most often neglect proper form when, for one crazy reason or another, they try to lift with too much weight for where they are at.

An Extreme Example Of A Serious Problem

C'mon, you've seen this before! Usually its the guy in the overpriced underarmor gear who you will never see in that gym again, that guy who only works out only on the leg press machine to "impress" the people around him, or that guy who is gonna break his back doing ugly deadlifts. Good people... you don't want to be that guy.

My favorite gym has a sign as you walk in that says, "Check Your Ego at the Door!"
The same principle that is ever present in the weightroom is found in our everyday search to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and walk the path that Jesus Christ has shown. It is that mentality in life that leads us to truly grow. It is that maturity that puts us in a teachable attitude. It is an understanding that to truly get stronger, we must do things in the right way at the right time. From it stems the blessing of seeing imperfections and then being able to actually do something about them. Basically, you cannot fix a problem that you cannot see that you have. Ether 12:27 are words from the Lord about our spiritual growth in the everyday gym that life provides:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Strength In The Savior
Proper form includes relying upon Him fully. We cannot do it alone. No matter where we are at this very second, we are NEVER above doing the little things like reading our scriptures or praying or going to church... check your ego at the door. In so doing, we can all become the spiritual giants our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ KNOW we can be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

City of Lights Coming Down Over Me

                                       Nashville is beautiful!

One of my favorite missionaries pointed something out to me once. Hillsboro Pike leads right into the heart of the great city from the south, all the way from Franklin and beyond. Since Nashville is in a bowl and a little bit lower than its surroundings, you can easily get lost in the concrete jungle once you are in it. But as you come up over the hill via the pike, you can grasp the charm of the entire city laid out before you.

You only have two or three seconds before the resplendent view is gone.
Then you drop down into the city, only able to see what is right in front of you.
Just two or three seconds...

"God gave us memories that we might have June roses in the bleak December."
-James Matthew Barrie

Sometimes we only have those two or three seconds worth of unimpeded sight, the straight vision of what is. We only catch sight of it for just long enough... and then it's gone.

Was it real? Does it still remain standing?

 In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul pleaded, "Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions".

 All throughout the scriptures, we are told not to forget.

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation.
Helaman 5:12

Odds are, if it was right once it is still right. If you wake up one day and you find yourself a little bit further away from God, who really moved? We are given little bits of illumination in daily life, we are given gifts or shown the big picture even if just for a second, and then we need to remember. Though the Nashville skyline might be too close for you to see this very second, remember... remember the view from Hillsboro Pike.

If life might be too close for you this very second, remember... remember those things that brought you to this point, and as Paul further exhorted,

Cast not away therefore your confidence.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sheer Static

Elder Hill and I had a teaching opportunity earlier this week and something came up that caught my interest. A young student starting their freshman year in college was wondering what career pathway they should take and how heavily they should rely upon God in making this decision. Immediately the scripture, "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and He shall direct thy paths for good", came to mind from Alma 32. However the more we talked, the more we understood that this particular student was already so inclined to that principle that they were simply sitting and waiting for the answer to come to them.
It reminded me of a story:
"A story is told of a group of smoke jumpers. These brave men and women fight forest fires by parachuting onto the ground above a fire and fighting it from the top down, while others fight it from below.

During one particularly large forest fire, an elite team of smoke jumpers assembled for a briefing before taking off in their airplane. The dispatcher—a wise and experienced firefighter—told the smoke jumpers that things were very volatile and that he could not give them precise instructions. Rather, the dispatcher instructed, the smoke jumpers should contact him by radio once they had parachuted onto the ridge above the fire. Then he would give them instructions as to the course they should take to begin to fight.

Now We're Cooking With Gas!

Quickly the smoke jumpers took off in their plane, parachuted onto the ridge above the raging fire, and assembled themselves for action. As they viewed the fire from above, they could see half a dozen possible paths they could take to begin their work.

In keeping with their agreement with the dispatcher, the leader of the team took out a handheld radio, found the proper frequency, and called the dispatcher to request instructions as to which path to take. But only static came back from the radio; they could not hear the dispatcher at all.
Presuming that the dispatcher was busy with other tasks, the smoke jumpers decided to wait 10 minutes and try again. But when they tried the dispatcher the second time, they received the same result—dead air and static and no instructions.

The smoke jumpers conferred with each other. They could still see several paths down the mountain that would put them in a good position to fight the fire. But they were concerned that they didn’t have any direction from the dispatcher. They worried that if they started moving down the path that looked best to them, they might actually be moving counter to the course the dispatcher wanted them to take and they would be forced to retrace their steps.

So they decided to wait on top of the ridge. Fifteen minutes later they tried the dispatcher again. Nothing. They took off their backpacks and found a place to sit down. Thirty minutes became an hour; an hour became two hours. They regularly tried to contact the dispatcher. But as before, they received only static in return.

The smoke jumpers decided to eat lunch. After that, when they still couldn’t contact the dispatcher, they reclined on their backpacks and took a nap. They were frustrated. If the dispatcher would just pay some attention to them and tell them which way to go, they would happily follow that course and begin their firefighting efforts. But the dispatcher seemed to be ignoring them, probably preoccupied with others. And they had decided that they weren’t going to move without the dispatcher’s directions. After all, those directions had been promised to them before they parachuted onto the ridge.

Seven hours after the smoke jumpers arrived at the top of the ridge, a weary crew chief from the group fighting the fire farther down the mountain came up the trail and found the smoke jumpers. He was flabbergasted. Approaching their leader, he asked, “What are you doing lounging around on the ridge? We really needed your help. The fire almost got away from us because we didn’t have help to contain it. And all this time you’ve just been relaxing up here on the ridge?”

I Can Imagine They'd Be Looking A Little Sheepish Right About Now

The lead smoke jumper explained their predicament to the crew chief. They had been promised instructions from the dispatcher. They had been vigilant in trying to obtain those instructions. But the dispatcher had ignored them, never responding to their calls. True, they could see several paths down to the fire. But they were afraid they would take the wrong one. So they decided to wait until they had the promised instructions from the dispatcher.

The crew chief held out his hand and took the small radio the smoke jumpers had been using. He then walked about 50 yards (45 m) down one of the paths that led toward the fire. He stopped and tried the radio. The dispatcher’s voice came through loud and clear. The crew chief then walked back to the top of the ridge and traveled about 50 yards farther down another path. He stopped and called the dispatcher. Again the dispatcher’s voice came back immediately.

The crew chief hiked back to the smoke jumpers and tossed the radio to the leader, saying, “You are in a dead spot. All you had to do was start moving down one of the trails, and the dispatcher could have easily given you course corrections and brought you right into the spot where we needed you. Instead you lounged up here, and you were totally worthless to us."

Often in our need for spiritual guidance and direction, we can be tempted to do exactly what the smoke jumpers did. We find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. We see several paths available to us, and we’re not sure which one to take. We have been promised inspiration and help from our Heavenly Father. But it doesn’t always come immediately. We grow frustrated and decide we are simply going to sit down and wait until the promised guidance comes. We wait and we wait and we wait, wondering why the divine Dispatcher doesn’t help us with our course.

In so doing, we ignore an important principle of revelation. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use our own intelligence, ability, and experience to chart our initial course. As we press forward along the path we have chosen, we are in a much better position to receive the course corrections He may have for us. But if we simply plop down on the ridge and recline on our backpacks until He gives us instruction, we risk finding ourselves in a spiritual dead spot."

...But Keep Walking As Best You Know How Until Then

-Elder Von G. Keetch

Monday, January 23, 2012

Learn A New Language?

I have a confession to make: I only know just enough French to pretend that I know what I am talking about. Put me with someone who actually does speak the lingo, and I get exposed pretty dang quickly. Sure, I can get the gist of what someone says, I can tell you a short story involving what a cat is doing, and I can even sing you a song or two... but no, I don't actually speak it.

Je Te Plumerai!

By that same token, does it make sense to say that prayer is a language all of its own?

Sure, maybe you can speak a few words of it to fool someone else into thinking you know what you're doing... Sure, perhaps you can understand a few of the concepts you receive back through your communication with God... But can you speak it fluently? Can you really carry on that conversation with God?

I have realized with my experience of trying to learn French, that you get pretty frustrated rather quickly if you don't pick it up as quickly as you would like. It takes practice and a desire to make it happen, and often times quite simply it takes TIME. If it doesn't work the first time, that doesn't mean you should drop it and give up trying to learn it anymore than it makes sense to give up learning a new language at first.

Don't Give Up!
As we take little steps to draw nigh unto God, He will draw nigh unto us. As we grow in our understanding and ability to communicate through the sacred language of prayer, He will help us as we progress and grow in our fluency. Slowly but surely, we can expand our understanding of all things. As we visit with God more and more, we can all experience that spiritually fulfilling peace that comes with Prayer.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Two Different Things In Common

I had the opportunity to attend a good friend of mines funeral not too long ago. He served as a Deacon in his Primitive Baptist home church of 70+ years, served on the district Sunday school board, and most importantly was a family man and man of God in word, conversation, charity, spirit, faith, and purity.

It was the first time I have been to such a funeral.

As I sat in the far back, I reflected on the short time I have been blessed to have known such a wonderful man. He, like many others who have walked this earth, was just a person... but people are all we have in this world. Someone mentioned the word reflection in their words of comfort, and it made me think of the reflection pool at Temple Square in Utah.

My family and I visited it not so very long ago, and of course a small company of boys love to throw anything they possibly can into a pool of water, even if just to see the reflection shimmer and wave. I noticed that even the tiniest of ripples that started in the very center would make their way towards the outside edge.

As I looked around at this funeral, I saw all those who had come to pay their respects to this man, and it made me think... Each of our lives are like pebbles being tossed into a reflection pool. All of us make ripples, even simply being here has far reaching effects, many of which we cannot see. The choices we make determine how widespread our ripples are, and to what outcome, for good or for bad. This man set a good example, a life full of positive and Christlike ripples.

 As you study the life of Christ, you grow a sense of wonder at the mighty miracles and compassion the Savior showed unto those around Him. You recognize that he took time for the individual, being full of patience and love, serving and blessing the downtrodden and the afflicted. Though many of the recipients of Jesus' miracles go unnamed, I imagine that it meant the world to them. Something that was small and easily within Christs power meant everything to the blind, the deaf, the dumb, and the lame who he ministered unto.

Do we not have a similar opportunity to serve? Are there those around us who we can be a blessing to? How many are just within reach that we might uplift and ease the burdens of?
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
My only question is this: Are going to toss that pebble, or are you gonna keep it to yourself?