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Showing posts from June, 2017

"Oh have mercy...that we may receive forgiveness..."

In Mosiah chapter four, we find the people of King Benjamin just after he has taught them great truths about the Savior, His Atonement, the natural man, and many other notable and important doctrines.  They were understanding them with their hearts (whether or not they understood with their heads) for perhaps the first time in their lives.  And their reaction was one of true repentance. 

"And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth.  And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.  And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins and having peace…

Martha's Part

My entire life I remember hearing the story of Mary and Martha.  All growing up we were taught about Mary choosing "the better part" and somehow that was translated into the work of upkeeping a home is not important - or is at least lessor work.  Somehow, someone somewhere said that Martha's work of making food or cleaning or whatever she was actually doing in that moment was far less important than Mary, sitting at the Savior's feet and learning.

Martha became defined as a woman who lacked faith while Mary was a woman of great faith.  Chores became defined as menial tasks which are done by those who are of lessor faith than those who seek out the Lord.

Today, I'd like to explain the way I see what the Lord was saying to Mary and Martha that day when Martha complained that Mary was not helping with the work.

First, the Lord did not say Mary had chosen the better task.  He said she had chosen the "good part."

Let's review the actual words.

"But …

Isaiah 53 - Part 4

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all."

Each one of us has, rather than choosing the yoke of Grace and the burden of light, chosen to indulge in darkness.  We have turned, each one of us, to our own way of doing things.  We have each maintained our agency and the Lord has taken upon Himself each choice and each moment of living.  This verse again speaks to me, deeply, of the eternal import the role of agency plays.

Now Isaiah is getting into the actual moments of the Savior's life which encompass the Atonement.  These verses were easier for me to understand because they are talked about much more.

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb before the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he w…

Isaiah 53 - Part 3

Let us continue on with Isaiah's truths.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

If we see the joy and rejoice, truly, in the existence of Gethsemane as a moment that is and always has been and always will be through the mortal portion of existence, then this verse also becomes more clear.

We esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, afflicted....BUT - or in other words, THAT IS NOT TRUE.

But He was wounded for us.  He was bruised for us.  The things we need to experience in this life that will lead us to really learn to accept peace into our souls are all His to carry.  With His stripes WE ARE HEALED.

If you delight to save, then there is nothing more joyful than a soul who is healing.  Nothing.  His sacrifice only becomes burdensome when we choose to make it burdensome.  We choose to see it as a horrible necessity rather than the joyful culmination of Hi…

Isaiah 53 - Part 2

Sometime it will be good to go over the entire chiasmus of this doctrine - which comprises chapters 51-55 of Isaiah.  But in order to really comprehend the entirety of what Isaiah is trying to say, we must first understand chapter 53.  Then we can understand all of those chapters and then they, in turn will give deeper meaning and understanding to the center point of it all.

So let's begin with chapter 53.

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?'

When I saw what I saw, these words made more sense to me than I ever imagined.  They are exactly how I felt.  Isaiah and I were suddenly speaking the same language.  Suddenly I realized how fantastical this all seemed - and yet how completely normal and right and true it felt. 

"For he (Jesus Christ) shall grow up before him (Jehovah*) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he (Jesus Christ) hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him (Jesus Christ), there is n…

Isaiah 53 - Part 1

These next posts about how I see the Savior are excessively personal and sacred.  It has been impressed upon my heart to share them, but I hope that if you are not in a space to read and treat these things as sacred, that you will come back at another time.  I do not trifle with sacred things and I hope that you feel the same.

Also, please be so aware that this is my personal testimony.  These are things I have learned at great cost and great sacrifice.  I do not claim them to be the doctrine of the LDS church and I do not claim to have the authority to teach these things as such.  This is my testimony as gained through my experiences and my interpretations of those experiences.

There was a time in my life when the name Jesus Christ only meant some imaginary being with whom I had no connection.  He was not real to me.  I did not know Him.  I believed He was real - that was never a question for me.  But I did not have a relationship with Him - He seemed more like an imaginary friend th…

"...my burden is light."

I had this post started and all mapped out as to what I wanted to say.  It was going to be easy because I've really learned this concept.

Then the last two weeks happened.  Suddenly it didn't feel easy anymore.  It was hard.  It was impossible.

Except that it wasn't.  I've learned a more profound meaning of this doctrine in the last couple of weeks - which is why I've put off posting this.  May I share with you?  I'll start off with what I was originally going to write and then I want to add a little to it.

The Lord has said, in the book of Matthew:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

What does it mean when He says His yoke is easy? What does that feel like? What does He mean when He says, "...my burden is light."?

Naturally, I turn to the …