“Do our spouses, children, and other family members likewise feel the power of our prayers offered unto the Father for their specific needs & desires? Do those we serve hear us pray for them with faith and sincerity? If those we love & serve have not heard and felt the influence of our earnest prayers in their behalf, then the time to repent is now.” (David A. Bednar, Increase in Learning, p.126, Emphasis Added)
This can begin in the home. Before family prayer in the evening, invite each person to share a little bit about their day, what went well, what made them struggle, etc. Then, whoever offers the prayer will have real and important matters with which to take the to the Lord.
Hearing your father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter pray sincerely and specifically for you and your well-being is a rich experience.
Imagine what an impact this could have as we apply these principles as we pray in our church meetings or during a home or visiting teaching session. When asked for volunteers to pray before and after a lesson this Sabbath day, why not raise your hand and experiment with these principles?
When we move away from robotically “saying prayers” and towards genuinely offering prayers, we will find tremendous blessings and healing of souls.
There are but a very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God. The great majority of mankind do not comprehend anything, either that which is past, or that which is to come, as it respects their relationship to God. They do not know, neither do they understand the nature of that relationship; and consequently they know but little above the brute beast, or more than to eat, drink and sleep. This is all man knows about God or His existence, unless it is given by the inspiration of the Almighty… Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us. (Joseph Smith’s King Follet Sermon)
A great resource to begin understanding the character of God are the Lectures on Faith, particularly the third lecture which specifically examines six points that define the character of God. Below is an excerpt from this lecture which details these six points:
- First, That he was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was, after it was created.
- Secondly, That he is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.
- Thirdly, That he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday to-day and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.
- Fourthly, That he is a God of truth and cannot lie.
- Fifthly, That he is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.
- Sixthly, That he is love.
It’s one thing to read about these things, it is another to know them by experience. In what ways has God provided us with the paths that lead us to this knowledge concerning his character?
1 Nephi 10
17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God–and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come–I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.
18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
20 Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.
21 Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever.
22 And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.
1 Nephi 11
1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
2 And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?
This week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a new gospel topic titled Becoming Like God. Personally, I thought they did a great job with this piece, hit all the right scripture verses, and explained the doctrine very well. Then, down in footnote 22, I found this fantastic observation:
In “The Place of Theosis in Orthodox Theology,” Andrew Louth describes Eastern Orthodoxy as focused on a “greater arch, leading from creation to deification” and feels that Catholic and Protestant theologies have focused on a partial “lesser arch, from Fall to redemption” to the exclusion of that whole (in Christensen and Wittung, Partakers of the Divine Nature, 35).
This observation fits so well with my recent studies concerning salvation vs. exaltation and how these to doctrines Read Full Post
I was up in Utah for a wedding and while driving around American Fork I stopped my car when I saw this LDS meetinghouse. I was immediately reminded of a chapel here in Nevada that I really like.
Just like the Nevada meetinghouse, the American Fort meetinghouse emphasizes the number 8 with a giant round window divided into 8 segments.
But wait, it gets better! There are also Read Full Post
I was preparing an Elders Quorum lesson and felt particularly drawn to Alma 5. I fell in love with this chapter during my full-time mission days and when I really, really read it, I was highlighting so much that I actually outlined the entire contents of each page! I remember thinking: “This is just all so fantastic, I love it all!”
Fast forward 14 years later Read Full Post
Posting here at oneClimbs.com for over 3 and a half years has led me to the conclusion that every Latter-day Saint should keep a blog of some kind. We talk about keeping journals and/or small plates, but I think the time has come to include keeping a blog among the recommendations.
I was first very apprehensive about starting a blog because I have a very poor command of the English language when it comes to writing. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I have no idea what a participle is and couldn’t explain the difference between a verb and an adverb; I just do my best to communicate what I feel is important. Very often, kind visitors to the site will correct my many grammar sins and typos and I’m very grateful for that.
I didn’t start a blog to impress people with my grammar. I started the blog because on December 15, 2007 while speaking at a graduation ceremony at BYU Hawaii, Elder Ballard said:
Now, to…all other faithful members of the Church, …may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple, clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true. You can download videos from Church and other appropriate sites, including Newsroom at LDS.org, and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the Internet that report on the Church, and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you, all members of the Church, understand the basic, fundamental principles of the gospel.
We are living in a world saturated with all kinds of voices. Perhaps now, more than ever, we have a major responsibility as Latter-day Saints to define ourselves, instead of letting others define us.
I have found that the blog is useful in many ways. It’s a great place to store all of the research and things I find as I study. Putting it into an article form and making it public forces me to really make sure that I have done my due diligence of finding answers and presenting them in an accurate manner. I’ve always believed that you’ve only learned something when you have the ability to teach it to another.
The blog has become a repository for talks and lessons; I can give a lesson on almost any topic in a very short time period. The only downside to this is that you will be known at the person to call at the last minute (sometimes literally at the “last” minute) to substitute for a lesson or give a talk. I don’t really mind doing last minute lessons, I personally find it kind of exciting!
oneClimbs was not very impressive in the beginning. Your blog does not have to get a ton of traffic or every become very notable in the world; that’s not the point. Do it for you, your posterity and most importantly for the sake of truth and the glory of God. Do it your own way and change it from time to time if you feel so inclined. There are no rules, it is a blank canvas on which to explore.
Go for it, you will discover many great blessings in your journey and on your climb ;)
***UPDATE*** I forgot to include this but the Church published a short how-to on how to create a blog as well.
“All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” Alma 30:44
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines denote as:
DENOTE, verb transitive [Latin To note or mark.] 1. To mark; to signify by a visible sign; to indicate; to express.
I would like to thank a new friend of mine for an observation he made in a recent email exchange:
“I thought I understood the idea of stand ye in holy places, but now I see it as, ye stand in holy places. What’s holy and sacred in us, goes where we go if our intent is to be holy and sacred.” (Emphasis added)
I would like to present the first oneClimbs recipe! I’m not a professional cook, but I love to cook and love to eat. I try to cook meals that reflect the principles found in the Word of Wisdom, so everything I cook attempts to be a whole food plant-based (vegetables, fruits and grains) meal.
This past Tuesday I needed to make some dinner for myself and the kids and they all started screaming for vegetable soup.
As much as I love to cook, I’ve never actually made a soup before, but since I’m kind of an idiot savant at knowing what things to throw together to make something delicious, I raised my fist and proclaimed Read Full Post
“…the words of Isaiah are “not plain” to men, but they become plain when understood through the spirit of prophecy – the Holy Spirit”
Avraham Gileadi, The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interprative Keys from the Book of Mormon, p.12
“…showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—…Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—” (D&C 89:2,4)
The Word of Wisdom is something that will only become more and more relevant to each passing generation. Before I provide my review of Discovering the Word of Wisdom, I would like to give you some background.
Back in 2011, I wrote an article here on oneClimbs titled A Fresh Take on the Word of Wisdom. In an attempt to resolve some personal questions regarding the Word of Wisdom that had haunted me since my mission days, I spent six months studying, pondering and collecting Read Full Post
This is a pretty awesome video that I suggest watching full-screened. It’s a CGI time-lapse of conception to birth and it is really well done. We may think that nothing exciting is happening around, when we live in such a rich and intricate world that we can hardly conceive of how truly amazing it really is.
- Pray that we may hear the Lord’s voice through whatever channel he chooses to send it.
- Any circumstance becomes distorted once perspective is lost.
- We tend to not forget the things that change us.
- Our willingness to receive the servants of God is a reflection of our willingness to receive God.
- Anyone who receives the Melchizedek priesthood covenants to receive God through all of his servants, including home teachers. It provides us the opportunity to cultivate humility and love.
- “Seen for what it is, [the endowment] is the step-by-step ascent into the Eternal presence” – David O. McKay
- “If you understood the ordinances of the House of the Lord, you would crawl on your hands and feet for thousands of miles in order to receive them!” – Spencer W. Kimball
- Teach children that there is a way back from transgression, show them the way back, and then confirm to them that they have gained your favor once again so they can have confidence in your presence and never fear.
- The harder it may seem to accomplish one of God’s commandments, the more we can expect miracles to bring about his will.
- Who will wait on the Lord? Can we endure on remembrance alone?
- A wrong choice reminds us of our human nature; what follows that choice reveals our divine nature.
- The obedient and the repentant are equal in the eyes of God.
- The simplest questions can bring about the greatest revelations.
- We are here on earth to see what we will cleave unto.
- Since faith is the first principle of salvation, fear is and will always be the greatest obstacle to salvation at every single level of progression.
- Where there is fear, there is no salvation.Read Full Post
I usually wake up slowly and roll out of bed at around 7:20am…ish.
My morning routine hasn’t been anything special, but today, I woke up right at 6am and was wide awake. Last night I had the idea to go climb to the top of one of the local foothills to pray and mediate first thing in the morning.
Well, now it was morning and I was very comfortable and my pillow felt just perfect. I settled into it and enjoyed the moment while telling myself that it would feel wonderful to drift off and catch another hour of sleep.
At the same time, however, was the notion that I was in control and could just as easily get up and pursue something more worthy. I put on some thick pants, hoodie, jacket and beanie and walked out of the house into the cold morning – I hate cold. I walked out of the neighborhood and across the street to where there are a series of foothills around Black Mountain.
As I walked I looked around trying to decide where I was going to climb. My eyes fell upon a dark, symmetrical hill that looked like the perfect spot, so I began my ascent. As soon as I reached the top, the pinkish orange hue of the clouds immediately increased to an intense level that was really quite breathtaking. After several minutes the color drained out, so I talked to God for a while, listened for a while and decided to wait for the sun to rise. The sun looked like it might be coming up closer to the South instead of the East. Then, I remembered that on the northern hemisphere in the winter, the sun rises in the South East, the same direction that Moroni on the Las Vegas Temple is pointing.
The sun was rising at this low spot between Black Mountain and another set of tall hills which meant I would get to see the sun sooner that I was expecting to. I looked East past Black Mountain and then slightly North East at the rays of the sun reaching some other mountains off in the distance. Everything the sun touched seemed to be standing at attention. I stood and faced the rising sun and the wind picked up quite fiercely, but I didn’t let it shake me.
The sun rose, partially veiled behind clouds that burned so brightly with white and gold that I had to avert my eyes. The sun had risen, although partially obscured.
I wanted to get home in time to pray with the family before the kids went to school so I began my descent. I made it back and we prayer together before my wife ran the kids to school. I fixed breakfast, went into my office and started my work day.
Just a few minutes ago, I was informed that my grandmother passed away.
We will miss you, Tutu.
“Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.” Alma 40:11
The following are selected excerpts from my personal “small plates“. I am an advocate of recording personal revelatory insights and desire to share my experiences to encourage others.
- Fear lulls us into a false comfort. Real and rewarding comfort comes after we have been in a condition where we actually need to be comforted.
- If people are not occasionally offended by you, then you are withholding truth that may end up damning you instead of them.
- Trust in the ability of the Spirit to speak through your inadequate words.
- Forgiveness is more than just releasing someone from blame, it is then deeply loving them and having compassion on them. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness.
- The amount of personal liberty we enjoy is directly equivalent to the laws we know and the obedience we demonstrate toward them.Read Full Post
Here’s the simple pattern for study that leads to change:
- Determine content & context
- Discover doctrines & principles
- Ponder to reveal personal applications
- Record what you receive
- Change your behavior
Yep, that’s it! You probably want a little background and explanation though, huh? I mentioned this process in an article back in August but didn’t elaborate on it.
The original pattern was given to me by my good friend and former institute instructor, Mike King, who I often refer to in other articles as “Brother King”. After studying and pondering this process, Read Full Post
First off, let me just say that I was really blown away by this conference; the insights presented were so rich, edifying and paradigm-shifting. Posting this today is a bit symbolic to me personally because today I celebrate two birthdays; the day I was born of my mother in the flesh and the day I was baptized by water and the Spirit by ordinances administer by my father.
As important as fathers and priesthood authority are, it is equally important to understand mothers and motherhood and how each plays an essential role in our salvation.
Just so you know, I don’t post anything on oneClimbs.com unless I feel that it is of particular value. I recommend viewing all of these videos and not skipping a single one because they build upon each other.
If you are a woman, then stop what you are doing and watch this conference!
I was the only boy in my family and was blessed with three little sisters, and as a father, I have been blessed with three little daughters, so the role and divine purpose of women is something close to my heart. I think that the information presented in this conference will be part of a greater understanding of women in the plan of salvation.
The beauty and inspired nature of LDS doctrine concerning men and women in God’s plan is seen afresh and in a new light, or perhaps, a more correct light. The truth is right there in front of us, we just don’t really understand what it is we are seeing, or worse, Read Full Post
We do a great job of teaching “that the teaching in the temples is done in symbolic fashion” (Boyd K. Packer), but I think we do a sub-par job of teaching how to learn from teaching that is done in a symbolic fashion.
Consider President David O. McKay’s words about his first temple experience:
“Do you remember when you first went through the House of the Lord? I do. And I went out disappointed. Just a young man, out of college, anticipating great things when I went to the Temple. I was disappointed and grieved, and I have met hundreds of young men and young women since who had that experience. I have now found out why. Read Full Post
The scriptures often talk about having a broken heart, but what does that mean? Does God want us to be sad? I believe that many of the problems we experience in understanding the ancient concepts contained in the scriptures is because we understand things in a modern way.
Words and their meanings change over time. Today, having a broken heart might mean something like the following:
A broken heart (or heartbreak) is a common metaphor used to describe the intense emotional pain or suffering one feels after losing a loved one, whether through death, divorce, breakup, physical separation, betrayal, or romantic rejection. (via Wikipedia, emphasis added)
In the profane world, a broken heart is an emotional response to unpleasant events surrounding other people. In the sacred world, a broken heart is a catalyst to wonderful things. Read Full Post