Thursday, October 30, 2014

Disciples of Jesus

We should be willing to sacrifice everything to follow the Lord.

Being a Disciple of Jesus
·         Sometimes we have to give up other things to follow the Lord… like housekeeping. (Sounds good to me!) Luke 10:38-42
·         Learn the proper role of prayer. Luke 11:1-4
·         Learn how to pray effectively. Luke 11:1
·         Ask for what we need. Luke 11:3
·         Ask forgiveness and forgive others. Luke 11:4
·         Trust in God that he will give when you ask. Luke 11:10
·         Seek first for the Kingdom of God. Luke 12:31
·         Watch and wait for the Lord. Luke 12:36
·         Be prepared for the Lord to come at all times. Luke 12:40
·         Follow the commandments to the best of your ability. Luke 13:24
·         Be humble and obedient. Luke 14: 16-24
·         Give up your life for the Lord Luke 14:33
·         Pray with real intent, asking for worthy things. Luke 11: 9-13

Luke 12:40

“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have been commanded to prepare for the time when the Lord will return, and also for the times leading up to His return. We have been told that we will all see hard times. Not only do we need to prepare spiritually, but we need to prepare physically as well. My family is working on building up our food storage to last through hard times. We also have a fairly good water supply, ways to transport water, and ways to purify water if needs be. I have a large water tank sitting outside my home that needs to come inside and get filled up. It is my goal to do that before the snow flies here. We have blankets and extra clothing and we have quite a bit of medical supplies as well. Another thing I need to do to make all of our preparations more affective is to organize everything so that it is together and easily accessible. It is also my job to prepare my children for hard times, both spiritually and physically.

According to Luke 14:33 we need to forsake everything we have to be true disciples of Christ.

When we find the treasure of the gospel we need to give up everything else to own it. Matthew 13:44-46

In Omni 1:26 it says that we should offer our whole souls to the Lord and continue in fasting and praying. We should endure to the end and the Lord will save us.

Mosiah 2:34 says that we should remember that we are eternally indebted to our Heavenly Father. We should give him all that we have and all that we are.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


In Matthew 17:14-21 there is a story of a child who is possessed by a devil. He was called a lunatic and often would hurt himself by falling into fire or water. The father of the child asked the apostles to heal him but they could not. Jesus was able to rebuke the devil and have it depart from the child.

Why couldn't the apostles heal the child? The Lord said that the apostles needed three things that they didn't have. What were the things that the apostles could have used to heal this child? 

1. Faith
2. Prayer
3. Fasting

In 3 Nephi 18:20 it says that if we ask the Father, in Jesus name, for things that are right, having faith that we will receive them, then they shall be given unto us.

In Doctrine and Covenants 42:48 it says that those who have faith in the Lord to be healed will be healed as long as they are not appointed to death.

President Thomas S. Monson said, “Prayer is the provider of spiritual strength; it is the passport to peace. Prayer is the means by which we approach our Father in Heaven, who loves us. Speak to Him in prayer and then listen for the answer. Miracles are wrought through prayer.”

In Doctrine and Covenants 50:29 it says that we need to be purified and cleansed from all sin before we ask. If we are and then ask then in the name of Jesus it will be done.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Feeding of the Multitudes

Matthew 14:14–21; 15:32–38

Following is a chart comparing and summarizing two similar miracles in the Book of Matthew.

Matthew 14:14-21
Matthew 15:32-38
How many people were present?
What did they need?
What were they able to offer in an effort to meet that need?
5 loaves
2 fish
7 loaves
A few fishes
What words or phrases describe the Savior’s feeling toward the multitudes in their time of need?
He was moved with compassion
He said “I have compassion on
the multitude”
What words or phrases describe what the Savior was able to provide for the multitudes?
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.

In each story, the available food was insufficient to feed the multitude, yet with the help of the Lord the insufficiency was overcome. In Romans 3:23 it shows us that we are all imperfect. Because we are sinners it is impossible for us to dwell with God. Without Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and advocate we are lost. According to Ether 12:27, the Lord helps us overcome this insufficiency by first showing us our weaknesses to help us become humble. If we then humble ourselves before him He will help us overcome our weaknesses and even make them strengths unto us! With the atonement we are made whole and we can be admitted into the presence of our Lord. James E. Faust said, “After a lifetime of dealing in the affairs of men and women, I believe it is the ability to overcome personal ego and pride—both are enemies to the full enjoyment of the Spirit of God and walking humbly before him.”  -James E. Faust (April ’94 General Conference).

From my journal this week: I made an interesting connection today. I had baby Jedi last Saturday and the Relief Society in our ward had the compassionate service coordinator call me up to bring me some dinners. As I was reading both of these miracle stories I noticed that Jesus was overcome with compassion both times. I also connected that in both cases the multitudes were in need of food, much as I have been for the last week. Although the dictionary states nothing about food when you look up compassion, I find it interesting that all of the instances where compassion was needed in my life this week involved food. It turns out I have my own tiny multitude!

Friday, October 10, 2014


A parable is a story told that is full of doctrine and principles, but they are hidden in the story. Divine truth is presented by comparison with material things. The hearer can find the religious truth in proportion to their faith and intelligence.

Following are a few questions that can be answered by parables.

What describes the future growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
o   parable of the leaven (Matthew 13:33)
o   In Matt. 13:33 leaven is compared to the inward growth and influence of the kingdom of heaven (church) upon the earth. (Bible dictionary)
o   Topical Guide – Leaven is the church.
o  Emma, one of my classmates, said the Mustard Seed was another parable that fit for this question.

Why does the Church send out so many missionaries?
o   parables of the tares Matthew 13: 24-30)
o   D&C 88: 94 And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.
o   The church is sending out missionaries (wheat) to strengthen the other members against the tares of the world.
o   D&C 101:65 Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be;
o   Emma said the Gospel Net was a good fit for this question as well. "I think that this can be answered with the parable of the gospel net. The missionaries have been sent out to gather many people from all different places and backgrounds and only some of them are going to receive the gospel and stay."

How do you explain the remarkable growth of the Church, considering that it is fairly new compared to most world religions and started small in the American frontier?
o   Parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32)
o   The birds that “lodge in the branches” (Matt. 13:31; Mark 4:32; Luke 13:19) frequent the plant for the sake of the seeds. (Bible Dictionary)
o   In the New Testament Manual it says “The fowls are the angels. Thus angels come down, combine together to gather their children, and gather them.” (Smith, Teachings, p. 159)
o   In the New Testament Manual it says “So the seed of truth is vital, living, and capable of such development as to furnish spiritual food and shelter to all who come seeking… The plant at maturity produces seed in abundance, and so from a single grain a whole field may be covered.” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 291).
Why are some members of the Church willing to sacrifice so much worldly wealth and recognition in order to maintain membership in the Church?
o   Parable of the treasure and the pearl of great price (Matt 13:44-46)
o   Treasure = Church (topical guide)
o   When the church was first established, Joseph Smith was searching for a “pearl of great price” or a religion that was correct, and when he found it, he devoted his whole self to it, even unto death. Because it is such a treasure to have in our lives what a blessing it is to be directed by living prophets and apostles. I can see how it would be hard to be a convert and the things you would have to give up. Being a member my whole life, it is hard to understand what it must be like for those people.

Why do some Church members choose to leave the Church?
o   Parable of the gospel net (Matthew 13:47-50)
o   Church = Net (topical guide)
o   The church brings in as many members as it can, but some are not strong enough to do what is necessary to remain in the church.

Considering the parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (see Matthew 13:44-46), what sacrifices would you be willing to make to obtain the treasure of the gospel? What sacrifices have you or those you know already made for the gospel?
Like the man who sold everything to buy the pearl of great price, I would give everything for the gospel. Without the gospel I would be nothing, I would have nothing. I give everything back to God.

We have sacrificed the “fun” ways of the world. We have sacrificed “popularity”. Our ancestors sacrificed their homes and worldly possessions to travel across the planes to Zion, even family members were left along the way. Although we sacrifice much, it is very worth it, for the rewards in Heaven are greater than those on earth.

What does the net represent in the parable of the net cast into the sea? (See Matthew 13:47). What does it mean to be gathered into the net? What is represented by the action of gathering the good into vessels and casting the bad away? (See Matthew 13:48-50).

I believe the net is the Lord’s Church, and then His Kingdom. Being gathered into the net is joining the church. Not everyone who joins the Lord’s church will make it into the Highest Kingdom, we must really be disciples of Christ and follow his commandments to be welcomed there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Apostles of Jesus Christ

The Definition of an Apostle according to Acts 4:33, D&C 107: 23, and the Bible Dictionary:
The apostles are special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world, particularly of His divinity and of His bodily resurrection from the dead.

Part of my assignment this week was to look up three of the twelve apostles in the Bible Dictionary. I found this fascinating and wanted to look them all up. I have written as sentence or two about each one that I found.

Some of my findings on the first twelve apostles from the Bible Dictionary:

Peter, also called Simon, was the chief Apostle of his day. Even though he had weaknesses he was able to overcome them because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, when he met Jesus he brought his brother Peter to meet Him.

James, the son of Zebedee was one of the inner circle of three chosen to be with our Lord on certain special occasions: at the raising of the daughter of Jairus, at the Transfiguration, and at Gethsemane.

John was also one of the inner circle of three who were with the Lord at the raising of Jairus’s daughter, at the Transfiguration, and in Gethsemane. John did not die but has been allowed to remain on the earth as a ministering servant until the time of the Lord’s Second Coming.

Matthew’s chief object was to show that Jesus is the Messiah of whom the prophets spoke.

I find it interesting that in the Bible Dictionary, all it says of Judas Iscariot is that he was one of the twelve, and the only one who was not a Galilean. It doesn’t mention anything about his betrayal.

All it says of Simon the Canaanite, is that he was one of the Twelve.

Philip was formerly of Bethsaida, he was mentioned along with Bartholomew.

All it says of Bartholomew is that he was one of the twelve.

All it says of the other James is that he was the son of Alphaeus.

All it says of Thomas is that he is mentioned in the lists of Apostles and was one of the twelve.

Lebbæus was not even in the Bible Dictionary!

How Jesus Prepared His Disciples:

The Lord, Jesus Christ, prepares His disciples for their work in Matthew 10:5-42. He lets them know that the favor of the people will not be with them. They will be persecuted and not well liked in a lot of places. He also prepares them to be peaceful in actions but strong in their messages. They were told that they are doing the will of the Father and that if they were acting for Him, He would direct their words. And then he told them that if they should lose their lives for His sake they should find life for real.

How Should We Respond to the Savior?

In Luke 5:1-11 we learn how the apostles responded to Jesus’ call. I love how Peter falls at the Saviors feet and claims that he is unworthy to be in His presence. My favorite part of all is that even after they received this amazing pay load of fish, they leave everything to follow the Savior and be His disciples.

We are so blessed in our lives. I live in a big home with a large family. I have lots of “things” and “stuff” that I've always wanted. I need to remember to put the Lord before my things, before my stuff, and before my own will. The Lord should come first in everything and I have got to be the example for my children to show them how to put Him first.