Rest for My Soul

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 04 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 14

Rest for My Soul

Today, I'm writing about the concept of "rest." Take a look at the scale of 1 to 10 below, and give yourself a rating.

scale 1

Now, how about this next scale? Where do you rate yourself on this one?

scale 2

Some of us spend the majority of our time feeling worn out (stressed, rushed, and tense), especially in these uncertain times.

But we all know what it feels like, naturally speaking, to get a great night's sleep and wake feeling refreshed and replenished. Many of us know what it's like to feel similarly revived in spirit, after attending church, or praying, or reading scripture. At those times, we feel replenished and ready for whatever is next.

We all need these episodes of rest (naturally and spiritually) but is it possible for you to find a state of ongoing "spiritual rest"? So, you're "at rest" all the time — not just when you take time out for the Lord. Hmm .... what?

The Miraculous Reappearing Album

Written by Sister Kathy Golling on Monday, 03 August 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 103

The Miraculous Reappearing Album

Today's lost-and-found Miracle Monday comes to us from Sister Kathy Golling. If the thought of losing old photos and other irreplaceable mementos from loved ones who have passed on makes you sweat bullets, then you'll relate to this story.

My parents always taught us to pray over everything, no matter how small or insignificant. One day, shortly after my father passed away, we visited my mom, who lived alone. She wanted us to get out an old photo album containing pictures from when my parents had first begun their life together, and also many poems my dad had written for her over the years.

I looked on the shelf in the upstairs closet where she said it was, but I couldn’t find it. My husband came up and took everything off of the shelf, but it still wasn’t there. We even got a stepstool and flashlight to get up close and make sure it wasn’t pushed to the back. Still not there!

Spread the Good Word: Romans 6:22

Written by Jerry Valenti on Friday, 31 July 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 141

Spread the Good Word: Romans 6:22

Good Word Friday theme: Freedom and liberty

Have you ever heard a minister or preacher or fellow Christian say that we're designed to worship something? If we don't worship God, then we'll find something else to worship. This is so true, and today's verse reinforces it.

Paul describes how we are all the servants (or worshippers) of sin. When we believe in Jesus, we are freed from that slavery. But after Jesus frees us, He does not simply let go of us, like a person releases a helium balloon to float away who knows where. Jesus holds on.

The Peace of God

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 30 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 157

The Peace of God

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Last Sunday, one of the elders in my branch opened our sermon with these verses. I felt the Lord was speaking to me, as these same exact verses had recently been laid upon my heart.

We can look around us, see things on social media and the news, and we know the scriptures are unfolding before us. The “human” in us can start to feel afraid, uneasy, and even anxious, as we hear and see things happening. But we know that God does not give us a spirit of fear. Fear is a liar and comes from the father of all lies.

Lost and Found (Ether 14)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 29 July 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 235

Lost and Found (Ether 14)

Recently, we've seen several testimonies on the Gospel Blog that have described occasions when certain items were lost and then God intervened to allow the items to be found. Any time you find something that has been lost, it's a great feeling. Not only is the item restored to you but you are also relieved of whatever negative feelings or consequences accompanied the loss of the item. And to think that God actually intervened on your behalf? That makes it a great blessing!

I've experienced several "lost and found" blessings in my own lifetime. Here's a recent one:

Following a Sunday meeting at Levittown a few months ago, a few of us were standing around, talking in the parking lot for a while. As I was about to leave, I got a phone call from my wife who had already arrived at home. She couldn't find her phone, so she was thinking she may have left it in church.

I went back into the empty church building and looked on and under the pew where she always sits, but it wasn't there. I checked the table in the back of the room, and it wasn't there. Looked in all the bathrooms — not there.

Please, Rebuke Me

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 28 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 160

Please, Rebuke Me

Friend: Um, Michelle. Can I talk to you about something?

Me: Sure, what about?

Friend: Well, remember the conversation we had the other day?

Me: Yes.

Friend: Remember what you said about Sister Jane?

Me: Yeah.

Friend: I've been thinking about it ever since. And I realize now that you were gossiping about her. You told way more than I needed to know, and you worded things so that I'd think poorly of her. You implied that she brought all her hardships upon herself. Next time, I'd much rather pray for people together than gossip about them.

Me: You're right. I shouldn't have said those things. Thank you for pointing out my error and restoring me to the truth in a spirit of meekness, as described in Galatians 6:1. If I am wise, I will heed your rebuke. I know that it is an act of love on your part, so, please, keep confronting me with my sin. I need it.

The Hidden Keyring

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Monday, 27 July 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 105

The Hidden Keyring

Today's lost-and-found Miracle Monday is a story by Sister Stefanie Callens about something she thought was lost forever but was actually safe in God's hands. 

I have a tendency to lose my keys on a fairly regular basis. It drives my husband crazy. I am thankful for a backup set of both car and house keys!

Last summer, I lost my full set of house keys. On that keyring were not only the keys to my house, but the keys to my gym, including the mailbox key, which I did not have a duplicate for. I tried to retrace my steps and figure out where I had them last, but I could not find them anywhere.

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 119:45

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 24 July 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 114

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 119:45

Good Word Friday theme: Freedom and liberty

Today's Good Word says that when we seek God's precepts, we walk at liberty. In other words, if we follow God and obey His commandments, then we are at liberty to walk down that path. That road is clear and uncluttered. It's a secure, sure walk, guided by a rod of iron.

Some chafe at this notion of liberty: "So I'm only 'free' to do what God wants. That's not real freedom." Oh, but it is. It's the difference between using an elevator versus climbing through the chimney.

Takeaways from the First Half of 2020

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Thursday, 23 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 189

Takeaways from the First Half of 2020

As I sit here and write this article, we’re coming up on the halfway mark through 2020 and also the three-month mark of our buildings being closed. Wow, what a year so far.

Pretty much every major function has been cancelled or postponed, from General Church and region conferences to GMBA Camp, to sporting events (both pro and recreational), to school proms and graduations. And if that were the worst of it, then I think we’d be OK with that, but there are many more issues that the world is facing right now. It’s been a crazy year to say the least … but, let’s look at just a few of the positives that have surfaced over the last six months instead of the negatives.

When all our gatherings were put on the shelf, God gave us something that would keep us going. Many of our branches jumped on the streaming bandwagon via multiple platforms. Rather than tuck away and sulk, we found ways, via the inspiration of God, to work the problem. Now, instead of having conference twice a year, in some cases, it’s like having it every week!

A City of Peace Provided by God (Ether 13)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 22 July 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 758

A City of Peace Provided by God (Ether 13)

In Genesis 22, Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son as God has requested. However, at the last instant, an angel stops him and a ram is provided to use as the sacrifice instead. Abraham memorializes the place by calling it Jehovahjireh (Genesis 22:14) which means "God provides." The same area already had the name of Shalem (or Salem as it's referenced in the Bible), meaning "city of peace." As time passed, the two names were combined such that the city was referred to as Jireh-Shalem or, as the scriptures spell it, Jerusalem. The meaning of the name can be intuited to be "city of peace provided by God."

Ether 13 describes a city that can be referred to as a city of peace provided by God. The city will be called New Jerusalem, and it will be the principal city in a place called Zion at a period of time referred to as the peaceful reign.

Let's not confuse this New Jerusalem with other cities that go by the same or a similar name.

Big Windshield, Small Rearview Mirror

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 21 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 176

Big Windshield, Small Rearview Mirror

Memories—they can be both a blessing and a curse. There are the wonderful kind like walking down the aisle at your wedding … and the not-so-wonderful kind where you lost a job. Human nature is to think upon the good memories with a smile, but that doesn’t mean we completely forget the bad memories, either. They’re stuck in the depths of our brains—and, if you’re like me, they pop up from time to time when you least want them around.

It isn’t easy to let go of the former things or to stop considering things of old—they are a part of us, after all. But things can become dangerous when our past becomes larger than life, causing us to miss what is right in front of us.

Isaiah said, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old,” (Isaiah 43:18) to a group of exiled people who could only remember their past. God had a different plan for them, however. He encourages them and says, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isaiah 43:19)

The Missing Wedding Ring

Written by Sister Adoni Martinez on Monday, 20 July 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 227

The Missing Wedding Ring

Today's lost-and-found testimony comes from Sister Adoni Martinez, where she shares an experience about misplacing something most precious.

I often take my wedding ring off and put it in my back pocket when I am doing various chores around the house. On this particular day, I had some chores to do, so I took my ring off like I always do and put it in my back pocket — or at least I thought I did.

After finishing my chores, I ran to the store and came right back home. Later that day, I realized I didn't have my ring on and reached into my back pocket ... but it wasn't there.

I searched the house and then started to panic. I searched the house again, all the rooms, the bathroom, kitchen, couch, under the couch, my car. I called the store, drove back to the store, retraced my steps. My ring was nowhere to be found.

Spread the Good Word: John 8:36

Written by Jerry Valenti on Friday, 17 July 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 249

Spread the Good Word: John 8:36

Good Word Friday theme: Freedom and liberty

Today's verse reminds us that true freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Freedom is an incredible gift. In the U.S., we enjoy many freedoms that people in other countries can only dream about. Yet, the freedom that Jesus offers is available to anyone — even people living in dictatorships, even people living in extreme poverty, even people living with disease, even people living in slavery right now.

The Widow With Two Coins: Courageous

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 16 July 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 221

The Widow With Two Coins: Courageous

This article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci's series on the women of the Bible.

According to Google, there are 23,145 verses in the Bible alone. Out of these 23,145 verses, exactly eight of them are dedicated to this woman. And all eight of them are pointed and impactful.

I want to compare the widow's story with the familiar story of Peter walking on water. I think a lot of the rhetoric and dialogue around his story is one of courage and doubt. But a lot of times, when we point to courage, we point to Peter taking that initial step on the water. And that was absolutely courageous, I have serious doubts I would have put my leg out of the boat.

We associate this action with courage because it is visible and it is obvious. But most of the time, courage is more about those small acts that few notice (or no one notices) that make some sort of serious impact.

And that’s this woman.

Believing Is Seeing (Ether 12)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 15 July 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 227

Believing Is Seeing (Ether 12)

In Ether 12, the man named Ether finally appears. In addition to being the writer of the Jaredite record, Ether is a prophet of the Lord who "could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him" (verse 2). Ether exhorts the people to have faith in God. He prophesies "great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe because they saw them not" (verse 5). People who feel this way today — that they won't believe in something they can't see — might express this feeling by saying, "seeing is believing."

As Moroni, the son of Mormon, is adding Ether's record to the plates that contain the manuscript of the full Book of Mormon, he comments on this philosophy of "seeing is believing," pointing out (similar to Hebrews 11:1) that "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen" (verse 6). In other words, "seeing is believing" is the exact opposite of faith. Moroni then lists several examples of faith from the Book of Mormon, showing how the people first had to believe, and then they saw God move in a visible way:

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