My study of the scriptures has had a profound effect on my life. As I have studied, I have grown closer to God and found answers to real challenges in my life. This blog is a scripture journal that records insights I have discovered in the past and continue to gain as I search, ponder, and pray.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What Price Would You Pay for True Joy?

What is the difference between giving half of one's assets to another 
and giving up every single thing you own and are?

This is the very dilemma faced by the high king of the Lamanites.

When Ammon and King Lamoni were traveling, they came across Lamoni's father, the high king.  He became incensed with Ammon, and the two started to duel.  Ammon gained the upper hand and could have killed the king (see Alma 20).

In that very moment, when his whole life was in jeopardy, the king was only willing to part with half of his kingdom!  (see Alma 22:23).

A few short chapters later, the king is again faced with the same dilemma.  How much do I give up?  This time he was willing to give the entire kingdom along with every single thing he owned.

What happened?  What was the difference?  
Answering these questions is vitally important to our own lives 
and our own happiness!

Aaron taught the high king about the true High King.  He taught the creation, the fall, the atonement--the three pillars of eternity.  He taught the beautiful, eternal plan of redemption.  Upon learning these things, the king asked,  "What shall I do that I may have this eternal life...  that I may be born of God... that I may be filled with joy...? I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy (Alma 20:15). 

What does God want me to do? This has been an important question for me to answer these past few months as we have faced my husband's kidney failure, the sickness that it brings, the waiting and uncertainty of a future transplant, and the upheaval of it all to my family.  Sometimes it seems my burden is too hard, too heavy.

But what am I willing to give up for the joy the high king spoke of?  For the joy that comes from the true High King.  A half a kingdom (or a half a heart) or everything that I am?  God requires my whole heart and in return promises to give me unspeakable joy.

The question remains:  Am I willing to give my whole heart?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Testifying of Christ at All Levels Acts 6-9

A few years ago I heard the  comment "The biggest problem we have in the Church is rapid growth."

Martyrdom of Stephen
As I read Acts 6-9, I found the same type of problems as the Church began to expand outside of Jerusalem. The 12 Apostles chose seven men to help.  Each of these men strengthened the church and spread the Gospel where ever they went.  Their efforts reminded me of D&C 90:11 where the Gospel was preached in the hearers tongue and language.

Language is different than tongue.  It involves all the customs and cultures of the individuals, especially their religious cultures in this context.  As we read these chapters, we see how each taught in both the tongue and language of their hearers. Yet they all had one thing in common:

Each testified of Christ!

* Stephen spoke intelligently to the Sanhedrin about Jewish history.  Even as he died, his testimony was of the Savior (see Acts 7:55-56).

* Philip taught the Ethiopian eunuch about the passages he'd been reading in Isaiah about the Savior (see Acts 8:32-33; Isaiah 53:7-8).

* Paul, after his conversion, taught in the name of Christ (see Acts 9:19-22, 27).

As we fulfill our callings and as the  Church grows, testifying of Christ should be at the forefront -- Whether it is large or small, local or foreign, missionaries and cub scout den leaders we can all testify of Christ!