Sunday, December 29, 2013

Scripture Reading/Study/Feasting

Robert D Hales, Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, October 2014 General Conference
In this process, seeking for personal revelation is a key. Nephi invites each of us to ‘feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.’4

Doctrine and Covenants 11:21
21 Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.

First Presidency, in Teaching the Gospel in the Savior’s Way (a guide to Come, Follow Me: Learning Resources for Youth, 2012), 2

“The most important part of your service will be your own daily spiritual preparation, including prayer, scripture study, and obedience to the commandments. We encourage you to dedicate yourself to living the gospel with greater purpose than ever before.”

Elder Adrian Ochoa, Look Up, October 2013 General Conference

"If you will not treasure up the words of Christ and listen closely to the promptings of the Spirit, you will be deceived"

Mosiah 1:5
5 I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.

John 5:39

 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Elder Quentin L Cook, In Tune with the Music of Faith, General Conference April 2012

One of the underlying premises of Lehi’s vision is that faithful members must hold fast to the rod of iron to keep them on the strait and narrow path leading to the tree of life. It is essential for members to read, ponder, and study the scriptures.”

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 67

“I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.”

Elder Richard G Scott, How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life, General Conference April 2012

When I am faced with a very difficult matter, this is how I try to understand what to do. I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures that will be helpful. That process is cyclical.”

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jacob 5 - Allegory of the Olive Tree

“The Lord scattered and afflicted the twelve tribes of Israel because of their unrighteousness and rebellion. However, the Lord also [utilized] this scattering of his chosen people among the nations of the world to bless those nations.” (Guide to the Scriptures, "Israel")

Sunday, December 1, 2013



There is much speculation about the fate of those that take their own life. I will discuss here why there is hope and to keep going in life. I will also talk about what a serious thing that suicide is. I will conclude with a look at how unqualified we are to make a final judgement on an individual who has committed suicide.

Why To Not Commit Suicide

The Lord is With Us
Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Like a Broken Vessel, General Conference October 2013
"Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters—mental or emotional or physical or otherwise—do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are 'like a broken vessel,' as the Psalmist says,10 we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind."

Matthew 11:28-30

28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 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.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

My Thoughts on Matthew 11:28-30 in This Context
If we truly turn to the Savior and let him carry our burdens with us we can overcome our feelings of suicide.

Romans 15:13

13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Moroni 7:41
41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

It Is a Grievous Sin
First, President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency made a clear statement about the seriousness of suicide when he said: “Man did not create himself. He did not furnish his spirit with a human dwelling place. It is God who created man, both body and spirit. Man has no right, therefore, to destroy that which he had no agency in creating. They who do so are guilty of murder, self-murder it is true; but they are no more justified in killing themselves than they are in killing others. What difference of punishment there is for the two crimes, I do not know; but it is clear that no one can destroy so precious a gift as that of life without incurring a severe penalty.” (Gospel Truth, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Zion’s Book Store, 1957, 1:30; italics added.)
President Spencer W. Kimball made an equally strong statement in 1976. “It is a terrible criminal act for a person to go out and shorten his life by suicide,” he said. (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 187.)

The State of Those That Commit Suicide

Man Cannot Judge the Accountability of Those That Commit Suicide
The late Elder Bruce R. McConkie, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve, expressed what many Church leaders have taught: “Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one’s own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind. … Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.” (Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 771; some italics added.)

“Peace came to me only when I recognized that only the Lord could administer fair judgment. He alone had all the facts, and only He would know the intent of the heart of my friend.” (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not”, October 1987 Ensign)

“I feel that judgment for sin is not always as cut-and-dried as some of us seem to think. The Lord said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Does that mean that every person who kills will be condemned, no matter the circumstances? Civil law recognizes that there are gradations in this matter—from accidental manslaughter to self-defense to first-degree murder. I feel that the Lord also recognizes differences in intent and circumstances: Was the person who took his life mentally ill? Was he or she so deeply depressed as to be unbalanced or otherwise emotionally disturbed? Was the suicide a tragic, pitiful call for help that went unheeded too long or progressed faster than the victim intended? Did he or she somehow not understand the seriousness of the act? Was he or she suffering from a chemical imbalance that led to despair and a loss of self-control?
‘Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide. Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth.
“When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth.“ (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not”, October 1987 Ensign)
“Suicide is a sin—a very grievous one, yet the Lord will not judge the person who commits that sin strictly by the act itself. The Lord will look at that person’s circumstances and the degree of his accountability at the time of the act. Of course, this gives us no reason to excuse ourselves in committing sins,” (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not”, October 1987 Ensign)

My Thoughts
We do not know what spiritual torment a person has already gone through that lead to suicide.  We do not know how a merciful, loving Father of mankind would allow the atonement of Jesus Christ to be applied, even for a person that has not understood Christ and accepted Him in this life.

God does not pronounce final judgement on us at the time we die.  There is still time for those who did not have Christ given to them to learn about him before the final judgement.

I believe that God is merciful and has provided means to present us with the opportunity to be saved until we are truly lost.  I do not believe death is the time when we are determined our place in eternity. I believe Christ will judge each of us, all who have ever lived, at some point after He returns.