FDREL 121

FDREL 121 Becoming Project Final Report

Over the past thirteen weeks, I have been working on becoming more charitable.  As a general rule, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will say that “charity is the pure love of Christ.”  Which, is indeed true, but that is really the simple and easy answer.

When I began this project, I was brainstorming on what attribute of Jesus Christ that I needed to work on in my personal life.  As I pondered this, I felt prompted to inquire of my family their opinions on who I am and who I needed to become.  My family apprehensively agreed.  Upon coming back to my family to ask them of their thoughts my 12 year-old daughter firmly told me that I needed to work on not scolding her when she argues with her older sister.  My 14 year-old daughter advised that I needed to work on being more attentive to my children when they are trying to communicate with me and lastly, my husband said that I needed to work on not speaking negatively about those that irritate me.  While this was hard to hear, my family was right.

As soon as my paperwork was accepted by my instructor, I set to work setting some goals to get myself focused to the task at hand: learning to become more charitable.  My first goal was prayer and as the semester progressed I found myself, in almost all of my prayers asking Heavenly Father to help me find ways in my life to give charity to those that I come into contact with.  He has answered me.

To add to my prayers, I decided to set a goal to read several General Conference talks regarding prayers. Next, I made myself a sign that is now Charityhanging in my office above where I sit each day and study my scriptures, use my sewing machine, write my blog posts and do other projects.  This sign lists all of the attributes that I found within scriptures and General Conference talks that gave a descriptive word to what charity is.  I find myself gazing at this little sign many times throughout the day.    After receiving some feedback from my instructor, I understood that while I could feel in my heart and see in my own actions that I was beginning to change, my overall goal was not measurable.

With the need to measure my goal, I created a spreadsheet where I marked each day with a sub-attribute of charity that I managed for the day with a short explanation of how what I did displayed charity.  I kept this chart going for several weeks in order to show continued change and growth.

charity.1I can honestly say that what I did the most of during the course of this project was being on my knees and praying along with regular scripture study.  The Fundamentals of Religion 121 course had a rigorous study of the first half of The Book of Mormon and I found myself reading a chapter or two (sometimes more) a day in order to keep up with the assigned reading.  I am so very grateful for being blessed with the opportunity to participate in this class in order to build myself up with the power of daily scripture study.  I know that I have grown closer to Heavenly Father over the course of the semester and can still feel myself continuing to grow.  It takes time and effort to create new habits and this is one that I am 13 weeks into and very pleased with.

As I worked on daily scripture study and focused on prayer asking for ways to display charity to those that I came into contact with, I found plenty of opportunity within and outside the walls of my home.

I have had at least one opportunity each and every day to display charity to my family or others, and to save anyone reading this a really long list, I shall condense my sharing to a few short experiences.   My first big experience was a child’s birthday party that I attended and at this party there were several adults that do not hold the same moral standards that my husband and I do.  I had several people get on my nerves and by the end of the party, I was very frustrated at how some of these people spoke to and treated their children among other things.  I chose to try and rise above these feelings of contempt and be kind and tolerant of others.  I believe the clearest display of charity that I was able to display was here in my home.  My husband and I regularly check the phones of our children to monitor their chats with their friends and their browser history.  When we looked at the phone of one of our daughters, we discovered that two boys were texting to her inappropriate messages with sexual innuendos.   Our Charity.2daughter was not participating within the conversations, but she clearly did not stand up for her beliefs and tell these boys to stop.  We were sorely disappointed with her inaction.  Within minutes of our discovery, we were sitting with our daughter in the living room talking to her about her choice to remain silent.  She sobbed and cried and in a situation like this, I know my previous self would have been pretty angry with her choice and I would have certainly said something about her lack of emotional control during our conversation.  However, this time I sat and I spoke gently to her, I had my arms wrapped around her and was kissing her head.  I loved her and my husband and I explained to her the many possible consequences for her choosing not to stand for what was right.

To wrap this up, I will say that I did have my bad days and I had frustrating times when I was (and am) working on being attentive to my children that they don’t seem to notice.  There are a lot of days that I  take time to do kind things for each of the older children and they do not even notice.  This is frustrating, even though I know that providing service and being charitable are not done for gratification, it would make it easier to serve if those receiving service said a simple thank you.  Therefore, I am still working on a goal of being able to provide service in love and have the understanding that the recipients of such may not appreciate or even care one iota that service was provided.  The best thing about becoming more charitable over this semester has clearly been my recognition that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know who I am as an individual and that my prayers for specific needs when asked in righteousness are answered.

I am grateful for the opportunity to write up this summation and look forward to what next semester and the second half of The Book of Mormon will bring.  A special note of thanks to Brother Mike Day who lead this class with integrity and an attitude of kindness by sharing his wealth of knowledge in a simple manner in which I understood.

I leave this with you grateful and  humbly in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Alma, FDREL 121, Mosiah, Uncategorized

L11 Putting it all Together

Well, this week has proved to be hectic and there’s more of that in the moments to come.  I haven’t yet finished blogging the rest of the chapters in the Alma that I have studied this week, but maybe tomorrow I will have time to get that caught up.  That being said, this was a great week of study!

What did I truly learn this week?  I learned how to say the word chiastic and I learned what that meant.  This is a word of Greek origin and means that something has the same patter forward and backward such as “1234554321” or “ABCDDCBA.”  The Book of Mosiah within the Book of Mormon is a chiasmus.   The pattern for this particular chiasmus is lengthy, but nevertheless, present; and is set forth in this manner:

1.Mosiah 1:1-8 King Benjamin exhorts his sons

2.Mosiah 1:10 Mosiah is chosen to succeed his father

3.Mosiah 1:16 Mosiah receives the records

4.Mosiah 2:9-5:15 King Benjamin’s speech and the words of the angel

5.Mosiah 6:1 People enter into a covenant

6.Mosiah 6:13 Priests are consecrated

7.Mosiah 7:1-6 Ammon leaves Zarahemla to preach in Lehi-Nephi

8.Mosiah 7:15 People are in bondage and Ammon is put in prison

9.Mosiah 8:9 24 Gold plates

10.Mosiah 9:1 The record of Zeniff begins as he leaves Zarahemla

11.Mosiah 9:14-10:20 Defense against the Lamanites

12.Mosiah 11:1-15 Noah and his priests

13.Mosiah 11-12 Abinadi persecuted and imprisoned

14.Mosiah 13-14 Abinadi reads old law and and prophecies to priests

14.Mosiah 15-16 Abinadi prophecies of Christ

13.Mosiah 17:5-20 Abinadi persecuted and slain

12.Mosiah 18:32-20:5  Noah and his priests

11.Mosiah 20:6-26 Lamanites threaten the people of Limhi

10. Record of Zeniff ends as he leaves Lehi-Nephi

9. Mosiah 21:27, 22:14 24 gold plates

8. Mosiah 23 People of Alma in bondage

7. Mosiah 24 Alma leaves for Zarahemla

6. Mosiah 25:14-24 The Church is organized

5. Mosiah 26:1-4  Some refuse to make covenants

4. Mosiah 26-27 The words of Alma and the words of an angel

3. Mosiah 28:20 Alma the Younger receives the records

2. Mosiah 29:5-32 Judges chosen instead of a king

1. Mosiah 29:5-32  Mosiah exhorts his people

This is a fantastic pattern and the story that goes along with it is simply amazing.  I love the stories found inside of the Book of Mosiah is fascinating.

At the center of the chiasmus we find Abinadi, a prophet of God being persecuted, sharing old prophesy and prophesying himself of the coming of Jesus Christ.  Prior to this and again after this, there are wars and good men, also prophets of God preaching repentance and calling on the people that are in their circle of influence to follow Christ in righteousness.  There are, of course, other events that occur within the book and the chiasmus, but these are the ones that stick out to me and really struck me this week as having the utmost importance.  Repentance is key to follow Christ in his footsteps and these men cried repentance all of their days, some were able to leave their mortal lives in peace and know that they had done all that they could and another cried repentance to the wicked and was persecuted and slain for his actions.  He dared to stand, even though he was standing alone, this was Abinadi.  Without his courage and strength, we would not have the Book of Mormon as we know it today and we would never have had the opportunity to read of Alma the Younger or the Sons of Mosiah.  I am so grateful for this lesson this week and to have been able to deepen my understanding of this complex gospel.

I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

 

 

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FDREL 121, Uncategorized

Putting it All Together; L09 FDREL 121

If you’ve been following over the course of the last ten weeks, you will have previously read that I have some homework assignments that I get to write a blog post for.  This is one of them.

While I previously wrote about the Book of Enos (you can read that post here,)  I am certain that at that time that I didn’t have the understanding of Enos, that I now possess.  Therefore, what I learned that I find most valuable from the assigned reading, is about the strength and courage of Enos.

Enos is the son of Jacob, the nephew of Nephi and the grandson of Lehi.  I imagine that as he grew up, that he was taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and heard his parents and family on a daily basis preaching in one manner or another.  As Enos grew up, he learned many things, as a boy in his time would have: how to hunt, how to pray, how to provide food and shelter, how to love and many other fine attributes.  In my mind, he is a well rounded fellow coming from a family that has had such great leaders.  While these are my thoughts, they may not be true, so I try to put these assumptions out of my mind.

Enos obtains the brass plates from his father Jacob at the time of Jacob’s death.  He opens the chapter by telling us that his dad was a just man and that he learned the language of Jacob and also was instructed by his dad in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  His next utterance is of thanks, he writes his sincere gratitude for being taught the gospel by his father.  The following verse tells us that Enos had a wrestle before God.  I really like that Enos is upfront and shares that he did not know everything that he needed to in order to become the leader of the Nephites and be the one to keep and record on the brass plates.  Enos was having an internal struggle. Perhaps feeling unworthy or even doubting his faith.  He continues to share that his soul hungered.  I know exactly what he means, those times in life where the only thing that can quench that emptiness inside of you is the love of Christ.  In this time of emptiness, Enos knelt down before God and “cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication” for his soul.  He prayed and prayed until the still small voice came to him and told him that he was forgiven of his sins and also told him that he would be blessed.  Enos shares that he felt his guilt be washed away and is told by the Lord that this is because of his faith in Christ.

Enos’ story has touched my heart and allowed me to see and understand that everyone in this life, has to come to understand for themselves that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  Each and every one of us that has faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, at some time in our lives, will have this wrestle before God while we are learning for ourselves the truth.

In closing, I would encourage each of you, to take the time to get on your knees and pray in gratitude and humility and ask your Heavenly Father what for help with whatever you are wrestling with and know that “whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.” Enos 1:15

And I leave this post with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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FDREL 121

Putting it all together; L07 FDREL 121

Oh, to put it all together for this week.   If you read any of my other posts throughout the week, you would be able to see how much I love the end of 2 Nephi.  Nephi was a glorious prophet and I am so thankful for his writings.  My heart is full of joy today and as I ponder upon the final teachings of Nephi, I am full of awe at his brilliance.  I know that he was guided and directed by our Savior Jesus Christ, however, he had to do a lot of work.  Nephi dealt with a lot of trial and turmoil in his early life, only to later in life worry greatly over the future of his people.  We are those future people, am I worrying Nephi?  That makes me wonder, not only about Nephi, but of every other prophet that has seen this day and is watching down over us and what of our Savior?  How much does Jesus Christ suffer in his days watching over His brethren choosing so much destruction in our day?  My heart breaks.  I know that I am no where near perfect, and my heart hurts knowing that He is suffering even today for things that I do wrong, and not only myself, but every other soul that has or ever will walk the earth.  Is that like 20,000,000,000 souls; is it more?

So that I don’t cry while I sit in the office and write, let’s move on to the point of this particular blog post.  And that is this: What I have really learned from this weeks assigned reading, other assignments and through inspiration.  All of my other posts this week have shared how much I love 2 Nephi and how the book concludes, as it gives us all great direction on how to return to our Heavenly Father.   That being said, my greatest learning moment this week was last night. My oldest daughter came to me and was very frustrated with another child that she knows from school, who asked her this: “Isn’t the Book of Mormon itself, a sin all by itself?” She told him no, it was not, but felt frustrated that she didn’t have a scriptural response for him.  We were sitting on the back porch having this discussion (yes, on the porch in November… it was a nice 74 degrees at 8:30 pm, one of the reasons I love Texas) and I jumped up from my chair and came to the office and grabbed my scriptures.  My daughter was right on my heels and I could see that she had a glimmer in her eyes as she watched me quickly have a response for her.  I had to tell her, that I had this answer because it was part of my assigned reading this week; perhaps this is my inspiration for the week!

We quickly came to 2 Nephi 29 and we read most of the chapter together and she took notes.  She was so happy to know that there was scripture that we could refer to in order to combat those that scoff at our beliefs.  She took notes on some sticky pads and particularly liked Isaiah 11 and also 2 Nephi 29 verse 3 and 7-9.   I pray that she will be successful in sharing with her peer this upcoming week with the information that she learned from me, and I am so very grateful that I am in a better position to share gospel principles with my children as they get older.  I am grateful for Pathway and the knowledge that I am gaining, and am thankful for the restored gospel that is here on the earth today for each of us to learn and share.  Now that I have written this, I want to share a little something that was said in gathering this week .  A classmate, Emily, was lead student and she had an epiphany this week.  As she was preparing to be lead student, she came across a scripture 2 Nephi 28:21 that reads: “Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!”  She pondered on this and then shared with us, we have work to do, we should never be at ease in Zion.  We may have times in our lives when it seems as if things are really going right and everything is great, in these times, we need to get up and on our feet and go forward proclaiming the gospel.  At no point in our lives should we ever feel at ease and be comfortable here in Zion.  I am so thankful that she shared this scripture with our group and that she was able to shed some light for me as to how much effort I should be putting forth all of the time throughout my life in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I write this gratefully in the name of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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FDREL 121

Putting it All Together; L05 FDREL 121

This week has been a fairly stressful week for my family.  My husband was released from his job on Wednesday morning and we spent the morning driving all over the metro area to fill out paperwork here and there for his new position.  We are so very thankful for the blessing of a new job right away, but changing jobs is always stressful.  Additionally, I received a telephone call on Tuesday evening and was asked to come in for a job interview on Thursday.  Our week was full of adventure, but these changes that could certainly be considered life events was a bit overwhelming.

What I learned this week, and I know that it doesn’t necessarily fit in with all of our reading of what it takes to be a child of God verses a follower of Satan, but this is what I have for the week:

God is good, and He answers prayer.  I should have kept count of how many times I said to my husband: “we should take this to the Lord in prayer.”  And I prayed and prayed this week.  I asked for blessings for our family, I asked for wisdom to know to do what was right, I asked for help in a personal issue, I prayed to know the right things to say and most of all, I prayed giving thanks for the blessings that we already have.

Stopping to ponder over this, I would like to share that I have been overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and love from our Heavenly Father a couple of times this week.  I never used to be weepy, but as I have become an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints again, I cry a lot.  My heart gets full and spills out my eyes.

Earlier this morning I was reading a verse to share in a different post in this blog I read John 11:51-52 in which Caiaphas was prophesying about the death of Jesus Christ.  Now, I am clear on the simple fact that Christ died.  The fact of death doesn’t bother me in the least, everyone dies and death is in deed a part of The Plan of Salvation.  Without death, there would be no resurrection.  John 11:51-52 reads: “And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”  Jesus Christ did die for His nation, and that nation is comprised of each and every one that will come unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And this is what makes me weepy, the fact that Jesus Christ died so that I may come unto Him.  Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  I am so thankful for the restored gospel today.

With being thankful for the standard works and the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leads me to this thought: this week the devotional that was given on Tuesday October 20, 2o15 at Brigham Young University-Idaho by Brother Jayson Kunzler, so much information was gained.  I have had a testimony of Jesus Christ and of the Book of Mormon for many a year now.  However, what I learned from Brother Kunzler allowed me to learn that I have a great testimony of Prophet Joseph Smith too.  I was reminded this week of the weepyness that comes over me when I read Joseph Smith’s testimony.  I was reminded this week that without Joseph Smith, we would have no priesthood today and that we would not have the Book of Mormon at all.  This week, I know for sure the following things and am thankful to have had my mind open to understand where I stand and to be reminded of things which I already know and they are:

  • God is my Father in heaven.
  • Jesus Christ is the Son of God
  • Joseph Smith is a prophet of God
  • The Book of Mormon is the Word of God
  • Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God today

By understanding that these five things are part of my testimony, I can continue to share information on these topics here on my blog and in “real life” with those that I come into contact with.

I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, may He be with you, Amen.

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FDREL 121

Putting it all together; L03 FDREL 121

Perhaps to some of you, this blog post may be arbitrarily random, but it really is not.  I started this post a few weeks ago, to have a running journal of the scripture studies that I do for my Fundamentals of Religion- Book of Mormon Part 1.  This post is an assignment added onto my regular journaling (did you know journaling isn’t really a word?) of my studies.    The directions for this weeks assignment is to follow Elder David A. Bednar’s invitation to share the gospel online.  I believe that I have been working on this all week, so, please feel free to browse all of my other posts from this week, they are:

So, along with what I have been sharing about visualizing the scriptures this week, I would like to share with each of you a little of what I have learned this week, from attending the gathering of Pathway students that I attended, from studying scriptures, and most of all from the Holy Ghost.

I have learned this week that diligent daily prayer and scripture study go a long way.  If you are LDS, then you have heard the term line upon line; precept upon precept, and this is how I am learning this week.  Elder David A Bednar said in his talk “The Spirit of Revelation” that it is most common that we receive answers from Heavenly Father through the Spirit line upon line and precept upon precept.  The idea of line upon line, precept upon precept is that we will understand a little bit and as we grow we will understand a little bit more.  I liken it unto parenting.  As we first become parents, we know so very little, no matter how much advise we have been given or how many books we have read.  But when that third child comes around and the baby is gagging on breast milk or formula, we don’t panic like we did with the first baby.  We have learned that the baby will work it out, when they are learning to walk, we don’t panic as they take a tumble.  We have learned that they will figure it out.  It is like this for us learning from Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  We learn a little at a time and when we understand and apply what we have learned in our life Heavenly Father will teach us a little bit more through the Holy Ghost.   And as President James E Faust said in his talk “Did you get the right message?” we need to be sure that we are tuned in to listen to the Holy Ghost so that we can take action to what He is directing us to or not to do.

I learned from gathering this week, that I “need not fear,”  is what Elder Dallin H Oaks said in his talk “Learning and Latter-day Saints.”  I was lead student this week, which means that I lead my peers in a discussion and conversations regarding this weeks topic in my life skills class.  I read this talk several times over the course of the week, but I did not really think that I was afraid, until Thursday morning when my stomach was queasy and I was a hot mess.   I read Elder Oaks’ message again, and then I prayed.  By late afternoon, I finally felt prepared to teach and when I stood in front of my peers, that fear fled me and I was at peace.  We had a great discussion and I feel that I delivered the message well.

And last, but most certainly not least, I learned from the Holy Ghost this week.  I am so thankful to have Him in my life to guide and direct me.  I am working on a project for this course and am working on learning how to become more charitable.  The Holy Ghost spoke to me several times this week as my husband and I were faced with a difficult moment between he and I and two other big issues with one of our daughters.  I learned to be patient and to be kind.  I experienced these bumps in the road in a completely different light than I had ever experienced challenges before.  I wrapped my arms around my husband and our daughter and we talked quietly and we shared gospel stories and principles to help us work through what was presented to us.  I am so very grateful to be learning and growing and turning into a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Remember, to be a disciple we must follow for the express purpose of learning. So, we must follow Christ in order to learn.  Through Jesus Christ, all things are possible.  Our scriptures tell us so, and I know that if you are struggling with anything in your life, if you get on your knees and humbly ask Heavenly Father to help you, that He will do so.   And I leave this bit of my testimony with you in this blog post, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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