Ahh how sweet it is!!

Ahh how sweet it is!! That is how I tend to sum up my life in a few words. Plain and simple, life is wonderful! This site will give you just a sneak peak at my thoughts throughout my life. Love, Mel

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Location: Bountiful, Utah, United States

Friday, January 27, 2006

Reflections: There is a Little of Martin Harris in Me

Martin Harris had a lot of faith, but it ebbed and flowed. He really knew the reality of God, but he just needed some more mortal signs to satisfy himself. He wanted to be a part of the plan, to build the kingdom, but often for the wrong reasons. He knew what the Lord wanted him to do, but sometimes he just could not execute. He sometimes put “my will” above “thy will.”

I often think on the rich young ruler who asked the Savior what he might do to ensure eternal life and when he was told (invited to follow) he just couldn’t give up his favorite mortal things. How stupid, shortsighted, ignorant, sad (I often judge) to have been in the situation when the God of the universe is offering you all he has in simple exchange for just following him. Of course (I think) I would never do that! But then—having found myself in the act (or reflecting on the act) of having done something just as dumb or dumber—I wonder why I have put things that matter least above those that matter most; chosen the lesser part; rejected the offered gift; failed the test and whatever other metaphors apply. Perhaps the rich young man knew persecution was to follow one who accepted the Master’s offer; I don’t even have that excuse. Things look pretty rosy from where I sit.

As I mull it over, I am amazed at the power of Satan to make good appear evil and vice versa and my own gullibility to think the things of this world are truly real of worth. As David O. McKay put it:

The true end of life is not mere existence, not pleasure, not fame, not wealth. The true purpose of life is the perfection of humanity through individual effort, under the guidance of God's inspiration.

Real life is response to the best within us. To be alive only to appetite, pleasure, pride, money-making; and not to goodness and kindness, purity and love, poetry, music, flowers, stars, God, and eternal hopes, is to deprive one's self of the real joy of living. (David O. McKay, Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of President David O. McKay, compiled by Clare Middlemiss [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1967], 112.)

What a fantastic lesson today, January 19, 2005: (David O. McKay – Chapter 2 The Dual Nature of Man). I love his thoughts about spirituality. “Spirituality, our true aim, is the consciousness of victory over self, and of communion with the Infinite. Spirituality impels one to conquer difficulties and acquire more and more strength. To feel one's faculties unfolding, and truth expanding in the soul, is one of life's sublimest experiences.” (President David O. Mckay, Conference Report, April 1958, First Day—Morning Meeting 6 - 7.)

All that is contained in chapter 2 is worth reading and rereading. Now, the hard part—schooling myself to tune into the spirit rather than the world. D&C 5 contains some suggestions and information given to Joseph Smith and Martin Harris for “putting first things first” and acting on what we know.

*Don’t expect miracles, angels from heaven, the gold plates under glass at the Church Office Building, etc. to convince you of the truth. (DC 5:5-15) Joseph Fielding Smith quotes Luke 16:19-31 (Lazarus and the rich man) and then states:
The Lord has always sent his accredited witnesses to testify of his truth, and has declared that all who reject these witnesses shall be under condemnation. This revelation declared that this generation shall have the word of the Lord through Joseph Smith. There may be some who think that this is unreasonable, and the Lord should use some miraculous means to convert the world. Frequently when strangers visit the Bureau of Information and they hear the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, they ask if the plates are in some museum where they may be seen. Some of them with some scientific training, express themselves to the effect that if the scholars could see and examine the plates and learn to read them, they would then bear witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the veracity of Joseph Smith and the whole world would then be converted. When they are informed that the angel took the plates back again, they turn away in their skepticism shaking their heads, but the Lord has said: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," saith the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9.)

We have learned that people are not converted by miracles or by examining records. If the Lord had placed the plates where the scholars could examine them, they would have scoffed at them just as much as they do today. People are converted by their hearts being penetrated by the Spirit of the Lord when they humbly hearken to the testimonies of the Lord's servants. The Jews witnessed the miracles of our Lord, but this did not prevent them from crying out against him and having him crucified.
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 1: 36 - 37.)

*We have been given a witness. (DC 5:16-20) Joseph Fielding Smith notes:
The effect of the testimony of the three witnesses is the power of salvation to all those who believe and accept the Gospel. On the other hand it is the power of damnation to all those who, after having heard it, reject it. The Lord said in relation to the testimony of his servants: "Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. Therefore they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads." (D. and C. 88:81-82.) If the Lord will hold all those who have been warned under condemnation because they fail to warn neighbors, then what will he require of those who hear the testimony of his servants and reject it? Nephi warns the present generation that they should not reject his testimony and that of the other Nephite prophets, for they spoke as "the voice of one crying from the dust." Said he: "For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey." (2 Nephi 33:10-15.) . . . Those who reject the solemn testimony of these three witnesses, or the testimony of others of the servants of the Lord, are guilty before the Lord and according to his word shall suffer condemnation.
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 1: 37 - 38.)

*We know the truth. It has been revealed. (DC 5:16-18) Orson Pratt indicates:
Peter did not get his knowledge from seeing miracles wrought. He did not obtain his knowledge because some other man had received a knowledge. The Savior blessed him and said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." The Lord had revealed this knowledge unto Peter 100onsequently Peter was constituted a witness. And so the Lord, by having given revelation from the heavens to scores of thousands of the Latter-day Saints, has made them witnesses of the divinity of this work.

O, how the Latter-day Saints ought to rejoice! How faithful we all ought to be! How frivalous are the things of this present life, compared with the knowledge of God, which you have received! Do you appreciate this, Latter-day Saints? Do you realize it as you ought to, or are your minds swayed to and fro by the frivolities and vanities of this present life? Do they absorb the greater portion of your attention? Do you forget your God, the greatness of your calling, and the knowledge which you have received? I have not.
(Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 21: 177.)

*Stay the course—endure to the end. (DC 5:35) John Taylor explains:
If I am doing right, I am preparing for thrones, principalities, and dominions, resolved by the help of God that no man shall rob me of my crown. With this view of the subject, all the outward circumstances of this life do not trouble me.

I know it is the case that many men would like to have everything they can desire or think of. And I used to think, if I were the Lord, I would give the people everything they wanted—all the money, all the honor, all the riches, and all the splendor their hearts could desire. But experience and observation have caused me to change my mind, for I know that such policy would not be good for the human family.—JD, 8:100, June 17, 1860.
(John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, selected, arranged, and edited, with an introduction by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941], 341.)

Even though Martin Harris wavered in his life—who can judge—he ultimately was true to the faith and died in good standing within the church. I hope and pray that I can survive myself and when crunch time comes place myself on the Lord’s side along with all of you.

Love, Dad.


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