Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another guest blog!! This is the woman who has not only put up with me for 27 years (no easy job I can assure you!) but also helped prepare the soil and nourish my own growing faith to make it what it is today. Thank you Mama! 

I love Spring time when you see all the plants starting to break through.  To me it means newness, a new beginning.  The plant has been dormant all winter long, and then as the earth begins to warm up, it begins to grow and live again for us to enjoy their beauty.  Jesus Christ lives!  Do we live to follow him and be his disciple?  Do we let him into our heart and grow and serve others as he did, or do we lay dormant as the flower does at times?   But we can get the light and warmth in our lives and begin to live as he lives.  We all have struggles, but just as the plant, we can push through to live and brighten the lives of others.

At this Easter time there is a Children’s song, “Did Jesus Really Live Again?”  It says-

Did Jesus really live again? 
Yes, when the third day came. 
He wakened and he left the tomb;
He called Mary’s name.

Did Jesus come to those he loved?
Yes, people touched his feet,
And of the fish and honeycomb
He did truly eat.

And there were nailprints in his hands
And a spear wound in his side.
Did Jesus really live again
After he had died?
Oh yes! And so shall I!

Another Children song -  Jesus Has Risen

Jesus has risen, Jesus our friend.
Joy fills our hearts; He lives again.
Praises we sing to him, This Easter time.
Jesus has risen, Savior divine.
Jesus has risen, Savior divine!

Alma 32: 30 says –

  But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

The plant is sprouting and beginning to grow.  Our faith can be compared to the plant that grows.  Another Primary song that explains this is “Faith”.  I love Primary songs :)

It says –

Faith is like a little seed: If planted it will grow. 
Faith is the swelling within my heart. When I do right I know.

Faith is trust in God above; In Christ, who showed the way.
Faith is strengthened; I feel it grow, Whenever I obey.

The plants remind me that God loves me, and He is there to help me grow. 
I just need to let his light and example be my guide.  I can grow and flourish when I strive to live His commandments and do what is right.  New life and hope is ours if we are willing to do our part and trust in Him.  I am so grateful for my Savior, for His love and His example to me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's About Love

Sister Ashcraft asked me to write up a post for this blog. I have tried sharing things that I come across in my daily scripture reading with her through email and letters, mostly so that I get it written down somewhere. Since she has asked, I have even taken to writing things down in a notebook as thoughts (maybe even inspiration?) have come to me as I read.

I found this quote and wrote it down. Now coming back to it I realize I forgot to write down who it was by and where it came from. So please forgive me, but the quote says,

"The power of the word is manifest in our lives when we live the principles we learn in our personal scripture study. The Lord will add to our sincere efforts of strength necessary to follow through with our righteous desires. He embraces us as we embrace his word."

Sister Ashcraft gave me some questions that could help me with what to write, and one that has stuck in my mind as I have thought about this and what I could write is, "What is the main lesson that has stuck out?" I will be honest and say that has changed as I have read and re-read the Book of Mormon. If I had written this when she first asked me I would have said Repentance. As while I reading then that is what came out in my mind the most. I think as we read we tend to lean to the things we are dealing with in life. And at that time I was dealing with (and still am but with different feelings and awareness) repentance in my life and the life of a loved one. 

I recently finished my third time through the Book of Mormon in the time frame of a year. As I started reading over again, I purchased a cheap Book of Mormon so that I wouldn't come across what I have marked before. That hopefully though my reading this time, I would be enlightened with new things. And as I am reading I would like to change what I believe to be the main lesson, from Repentance to LOVE. 

God's Love for us. 

I true believe that is what one of the many things the Book of Mormon is written about. Nephi, Mormon, Alma, and other prophets who wrote on the plates that became the Book of Mormon said that they were commanded to write, not for themselves, but for future generations. We are part of that future generation. All scriptures are written for us, to help us while upon this Earth, as we stumble through life, trying to figure out what it is all about. And many of us at times, forget that we are truly loved by our Heavenly Father. We feel lonely, forgotten. By reading the scriptures, they will help us feel the love God has for us. God loves us so much that he wants us to return to live with him again. He gave his only begotten Son. Jesus Christ was sacrificed for our benefit, so that we may repent and return to live with Him again. So there is a lot of talk about repentance in the scriptures, and it is there because God loves us so much, He wants us to know how we can have true happiness and eternal life. Through the Atonement. The Atonement is for every single one of us. For those who have sinned a lot, and those who have sinned a little. None of us are perfect, we all have sins, and short comings. But we are able to repent because of the LOVE we are giving through Christ and Heavenly Father. 

My love has grown for the scriptures this last year, as I have begun to have a better understanding of what is in them. And every time I read, new things stand out. I gain a better understanding of old things that I learned. I am able to better teach my children of what lies within the scriptures. I am learning to use the Book of Mormon together with the Bible better, as they should be used. They are companion books. Meant to be used together to better our understanding of the Love that God has for us. 

God is good. God loves us. He only wants what is best for us. And He truly does want us to return to Him again and live for eternity with our families. HE LOVES US! And that, my friends, will never change.