Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stewardships

Doctrine & Covenants 104

This section starts off with another promise of "multiplicity of blessings" if only we'll be faithful and obedient. I love that phrase!

When I was in seminary, one of our scripture masteries was found in verses 15-17. It brings me great peace to know that "the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare." It's probably not going to be effective in a debate with those who are adamant about the need for population control, yet it is effective in sharing with our children so they don't have to be concerned as they are bombarded with such teachings in school. (Someone's taking Environmental Science right now and the text book is definitely biased.) Heavenly Father knows what he's doing.

Stewardship and accountability are important in the Lord's plan. We have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families, yet we also need to remember that everything we have belongs to God ("if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards" vs. 56). We have been admonished to be wise and improve the talents we have been given, and then to share them with others. I liked the idea that we don't hold onto things - "cast into the treasury as fast as you receive moneys" (vs. 68). That's a scripture we can use to motivate us to pay our tithing frequently, and not save it up for the end of the year!
Remember how we can find answers to everything in the scriptures? Here's one for financial management: "Behold, it is my will that you shall pay all your debts" (vs. 78). Yet we're not left without guidance in this matter, we will be able to pay our debts as we exercise diligence, humility, prayer, and faith (see verses 79-80).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

100% Obedience

Doctrine & Covenants 103

We have here another reminder of the importance of 100% obedience. The early saints were "chastened for a little season" because they did not "hearken altogether" and keep the commandments they had received. We need to remember that Heavenly Father wants to bless us, but he can't when we're being disobedient.

"All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith" (D&C 103:36).

The High Council

Doctrine & Covenants 102

While this section is really a revelation on how to form a high council, it also contains an excellent example of how you can find the answer to anything in the scriptures.

A few years ago I had a church calling that included collecting monthly reports from several people. Some were more prompt than others in that responsibility. It was exciting to discover a motivational tool for those that struggled. In verse 26 it states to "transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings" which is exactly what was supposed to happen. It's been too long to remember if this scripture really helped me get attendance rolls more promptly, but I do remember being grateful that it wasn't just me asking for reports, that it's actually a commandment in the scriptures.

This isn't just for high councils or seminary classes. Oftentimes a meeting isn't really over until the results of that meeting have been communicated to those who need to know. And it's always better to do it immediately!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Overcoming Adversity

Doctrine & Covenants 98-101

These sections were given during times of great trial and adversity. They are still very pertinent to our lives now! Here are some ideas to help us as we deal with our challenges:
  • Fear not (98:1)
  • Rejoice evermore (98:1, 100:12)
  • Give thanks (98:1)
  • Be patient (98:2)
  • Renounce war and proclaim peace (98:15, 34)
  • Repent (98:21)
  • Revile not, neither seek revenge (98:23)
  • Family comes first (99:6)
  • The Spirit can guide us (100:6)
  • If we won't endure chastening, we can't be sanctified (101:5)
  • Be still and know that God is God (101:16)
  • Stand in holy places (101:22)
  • Our prayers are answered (101:27)
  • See the face of the Lord always (101:38)
  • Prepare in advance for trials (101:72)
Remember "all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good" (98:3, 100:15).

The Pure in Heart

Doctrine & Covenants 97

I've gotten a lot of use out of this section recently, because that's where the bookmark's been for a while! I love the beginning phrase - "my friends" - isn't it great that the Savior considers us his friends? And he reminds us that it is through his Spirit that we can know his will concerning others. That's been a comforting thought as I struggle to fulfill my church calling. Another comforting thought is found in verse 8:

"All among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice - yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command - they are accepted of me."

I have notes by verse 4 reminding me of Elder Holland's "Abide in Me" talk. We need to "be permanent" in the gospel and remember that "He who picks up one end of the stick, picks up the other." Let's keep the promises we've made to ourself and our Heavenly Father.

Finally, we're reminded that Zion is the pure in heart, that the pure in heart shall see God, and that Zion shall escape the Lord's wrath "if she observe to do all things whatsovever I have commanded her."