Friday, February 27, 2015

Be Thou an Example of the Believers

Paul talks about modesty in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 he says that we should wear modest apparel, be modest and sober in our daily lives, and not go out of our ways to spend hours doing our hair or spending tons of money on clothing, makeup and jewelry.

Even though Paul is talking to women in this verse, Doctrine and Covenants 61:18 tells us that what God says to one he is really saying to all. Men should be modest as well, in both dress and character. Being boisterous or showy is not modest.

Three reasons that our bodies could be considered sacred:

Our bodies are created in the image of God’s own body. He created us and blessed us. (Moses 6:9)

When we are blessed with the Holy Ghost we have a comforter. If we do anything contrary to what we should be doing that Holy Ghost withdraws from us leaving us vulnerable. (Alma 41:2)

Alma 41:3 says that we need to be restored back to our proper order, our souls will be restored to our bodies which implies that our bodies will be considered sacred in our next lives.

In understanding that our bodies are sacred we should be more careful to treat them like our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ would. I imagine they would be very modest in their attire. Their focus would be more on people than what they looked like.

When we dress immodestly it can lead to other evils that would take away from our righteousness and our Godliness. (Alma 1:32)

To apply these principles in my life I will need to make sure that I look nice but that I don’t put too much focus on fitting in with society or keeping up with the trends. I should put my focus into other more important areas.

Some evidences that Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 show that some were already practicing false doctrines and that an apostasy was already starting to occur. Here are a few:

Speaking lies
Spiritual blindness
Forbidding marriage
Being commanded to abstain from meat
Paul counseled Timothy to stand strong as a young man even though some may question wisdom from a youth. He said that their examples would shine through if they were strong in charity, spirit, faith, and purity, which would lead others to conversion. Taking this counsel into our own lives today can help us to be good missionaries, especially young men and women who are called to serve missions.
In Timothy 6:7-11 Paul taught that we were brought into the world with nothing and that we can take nothing out, here he is referring to money and physical possessions. He also counsels that we should not love money or covet after it. The love of money is the root of all evil when it takes us away from our faith or when we covet after others things. We should instead follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
In 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and Jacob 2:18-19 we are given some guidelines that when followed can help us not focus too much on money or material wealth:
Trust first in God,
Be rich in good works,
Share our riches with others,
Communicate well with others,
Set aside money and food for the future,
Search for the kingdom of God before searching for wealth (in other words follow the commandments and strive to be Christ-like), and
After becoming Christ-like if we seek for riches we should “seek them for the intent to do good – to clothes the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Live as Saints Should Live

Romans 13:11, Ezekiel 3:20, and Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 give us some insight on what we should be doing to work out our salvation.

We need to “wake out of sleep” or shake off our apathy and actively pursue our salvation. We need to repent of our sins and be ready to meet our Lord at all times. We need to keep the commandments and stay steadfast in the church to be exalted.

In Romans 12-13 Paul gave much counsel that leads to salvation. Each of the following verses list what Paul taught would help lead to salvation:

  • Romans 12:1 – Give our bodies to God. In other words stifle our passions and work in service for him.
  • Romans 12:2 – Renew our minds or be spiritually reborn.
  • Romans 12:9 – Love sincerely. Shun evil. Cling to good.
  • Romans 12:13 – Be hospitable.
  • Romans 12:16 – Be humble.
  • Romans 12:21 – Overcome evil with good.
  • Romans 13:1 – Be obedient to God.
  • Romans 13:3 – Follow good leaders. Be good leaders.
  • Romans 13:8 – Stay out of debt. Love everyone.
  • Romans 13:9 – Do not commit adultery. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t covet. Love everyone including yourself.
  • Romans 14:1-13; 15:1-3 hold the answers to these questions:

What cautions did Paul give about judging?
·            Everyone is different; we all have the power to choose what we want for this life. We should not judge those who choose differently than us. It’s is the Lord’s right to judge us, we should reserve that right for Him.

People may have different opinions and practices, but what is most important to remember?
·            We are all given agency. We all have the power to choose. We should help our fellowman with good works, not try to tear them down.

What additional insight comes from reading Doctrine and Covenants 38:25-27?
·            We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We should treat everyone equally.

The term Paul commonly used to refer to the members of the church was “the Saints”.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Recently my third son Mosiah was able to get baptized and was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was a beautiful day.

Romans chapter six gives us some insight on baptism.

Before baptism can occur we must destroy the body of sin (Romans 6:6)

Baptism is in similitude of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

A true baptism must happen by immersion because it symbolizes the burial and raising of Christ. 
When you are sprinkled you do not go completely under the water so the symbolism falls short.

We can maintain the “newness of life” by yielding ourselves unto God and bring instruments of righteousness unto God.

According to Mosiah 3:19, the natural man is what should ideally die at baptism.

We can know whose servants we are by who we obey. The actions that we create, the paths that we take are indications of who we serve. We can claim to be followers of Christ, but if our actions are not Christ-like the truth shines through. To be servants of the Lord we must seek to serve Him by serving our fellow man.

True freedom comes from a sinless life. Sin keeps us bound. Addiction binds us. Repentance and re-commitment to our Savior are what will set us free.

Friday, February 6, 2015

God Comforts us in Tribulation

Why were Paul and Timothy able to avoid despair despite being troubled, perplexed, persecuted, and cast down?
The Lord comforts us in our tribulations. We are never alone, there is always at least one (Jesus Christ) who has felt our pains and knows how we are feeling. Knowing what they knew about Jesus helped them to keep a positive perspective as well. They were representatives of Christ and so he kept them buoyed up despite their persecutions. These men were willing to die for Jesus, so it seemed like all these hard trials were not as bad. They understood that our trials in this life are nothing compared to the wonderful eternities of what lies beyond this life.

2 Corinithians 4:17-18 can help during our own tribulations. It tells us what Paul and Timothy knew, that our afflictions are for but a moment when compared to the eternities. Having an eternal perspective and knowing that this life is for trials and tests can help us keep our wits about us, fight through pain, and be ready and willing to keep serving the Lord.

Paul and Joseph Smith went through very similar things in their lives. Both were persecuted by the people around them. They both suffered through physical ailments at the hands of others. Both knew though, that they were called of God to profess the gospel to the world and worked hard despite their challenges. Both men learned to “glory in tribulation” because they knew that the Lord would have a special place for them in the next life.

How does grace play a role in overcoming our tribulations?
Paul said that when we are weak we become strong. Jacob in Jacob 4:7 points out that the Lord shows us our weaknesses so that we know that it is by His grace that we are able to accomplish hard things. In Ether 12:27 it goes on to point out that through the grace of God, if we are humble, our weaknesses will become strong. Grace is the help or strength from the Lord. Without the grace of God we could get through nothing, we would not be resurrected, we would have reason to despair because there would be no hope.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 the Lord answers Paul’s prayer by telling him that His grace is sufficient enough. His strength can get Paul through his weakness.
In Mosiah 24:13-15 God helps the people through their afflictions. He says that He will deliver them from bondage, and while they are in bondage their burdens will feel light. Literally, the loads they carry on their back will feel light. He made them stronger so that they could bear their burdens with ease.
  I chose this assignment this week because I desperately needed these words. I have been struggling with something for a while and this assignment has helped me to realize, even more, that I just need to ask the Lord for help, submit myself to his will, and carry on. He will help me. He will even carry me when I need to be carried. If Paul, Joseph Smith, Alma and his brothers can work through incredible pain, I can be carried through my discomforts as well.