Tuesday, February 28, 2012

...With Happiness

Do you want to be happy? Of course you do! And I found the secret equation for happiness! Are you ready to be happy?

Family + Commandments + Scriptures + Temples + Work + Priesthood = Happiness

How do I know this? And where is the proof? Take a look in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:

1. Family. Nephi's older brothers don't really like him. In fact, they want to kill him. So what does Nephi do? He "flees into the wilderness" (verse 5) and the first thing he says he takes with him is his family (see v. 6). 

2. Keep the Commandments. Nephi tells of the first thing his family does as they settle in the wilderness: "...we did observe to keep the judgements, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things..." (v. 10)

3. Study the Scriptures.  Another thing Nephi mentions bringing as he fled into the wilderness were the "plates of brass" (v. 12), or their current scriptures. Nephi and his family read and prayed about this record often. 

4. Temple Attendance. Once Nephi and his family settled down what was the first thing he speaks of building? Temples! "...after the manner of the temple of Solomon..." (v. 16) they built and worshiped in temples.

5. Work. Work fixes that which doesn't work anymore. Nephi taught his people that they needed to "labor with their hands" (v. 17) or to learn to work for themselves. A valuable trait we all need to learn.

6. Priesthood and Following the Prophet. The last thing Nephi mentions doing is ordaining his younger brothers to "be priests and teachers" (v. 26) so that the people would have the blessings of the priesthood to lead and direct them.

So how does this equal happiness? After describing the pattern that Nephi and his people live, he tells us of their standard of living. He says "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." (v. 27) If we follow this pattern, set by a prophet of God, we too will find that we are living "after the manner of happiness." Now go be happy! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

...With Chastity

I've often heard the phrase, "when you play with fire you get burned." It wasn't until recently I realized how deep that phrase cane be. We need to keep fire safely contained.

A fireplace is much like the home, or the legal bonds of marriage. Inside the fireplace we can enjoy, safely, the warmth of the fire and the heat it gives off. However, if we were to try to start a fire in the middle of the living room the results would be disastrous!

In the same way physical intimacy needs to be kept within the legal bounds of marriage. When a man and woman take the power of procreation outside the laws of God they risk serious consequences and heartache. Like the fireplace, if a couple waits for marriage they can enjoy the safety and warmth of the intimacy, avoiding the disasters of tampering with a God given power.

Jesus said, "That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28) We must not only keep ourselves chaste physically, but stay clean in our thoughts as well.

Great blessings and happiness await those who don't tamper with the power of procreation, but wait until the sacred order of marriage to "build their fire." Watch as six teenagers of all faiths explain why they choose to be pure:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

...With Valentine's

I know it's late, but I thought this was cool:
For God do loved the world
        That he gave
             His only
                 That whosoever
        Believeth in Him
           Should not perish
        But have everlasting life. 
                              John 3:16

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

...With Waiting

I came across a scripture the other day that I've read many times before but never truly noticed. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi prays for understanding to know for himself about what his father taught. He is given a vision of God's plan; part of the vision includes seeing his brothers rebellion and the distruction of his own descendents.

After his vision Nephi came across his brothers whom he'd just had a vision concerning. His brothers addressed Nephi, "disputing one with another concerning the things which [their] father had spoken." (1 Nephi 15:2) Despairing over his brother's pride, Nephi declaires, "I was overcome because of mine afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all, because of the destruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall." (1 Nephi 15:5)

What I had never noticed before was that after seeing his brother's attitudes, Nephi waits. He states, "after I had received strength I spake unto my brethren." (1 Nephi 15:6; emphasis added)

Rather than trying to speak to, and help his brothers while he was "overcome" with emotion, he waited until his emotions had been soothed and he'd gained strength of mind.

This is a great pattern for us to follow. Before trying to approach others about sensative subjects we should take Nephi's example of waiting, calming down, and contemplating. As we do so our minds will be open and will be able to more lovingly work with others.
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