The High Road

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 28 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 108

The High Road

Allow me to take you down a road. It is not an easy one to travel. It is a silent ride while you hang on tight and hold back. It doesn't have a lot of rest stops, and it definitely has a speed limit. If you exceed the speed limit, you will be sorry, and there is a violation. It is not a road that is widely traveled. It may feel like you are on this road for miles before you reach your destination. What is the point of arrival? It is a view that is peaceful, serene, and filled with positive vibes.

The road has a name. It is called the high road. Have you ever been there? I have. It hasn't been comfortable or smooth terrain. Unexpectedly, there is construction. The construction site takes a first response along a detour. The diversion allows time to go out of the way, rebuild thoughts, and form the right response when faced with lots of congestion beyond one's control.

Happy Windsday! (Ether 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 May 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 133

Happy Windsday! (Ether 6)

If you (or your children) grew up watching "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," then you might remember the part when Winnie the Pooh goes to visit Piglet on a particularly windy day and greets him with a hearty, "Happy Windsday Piglet!" Piglet then gets picked up by the strong wind and nearly flies away.

Sometimes, when someone says that they can't see God, an explanation is offered that compares God to the wind — you can't see it, but you can see what it does. Jesus made a similar statement in John 3, comparing the Spirit of God to the wind — you can't see where it's coming from or where it's going, and you can't control it; it goes where it's going to go.

In a spectacular scene described in Acts 2, there were 120 disciples of Jesus sitting in an upper room on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had been crucified and had resurrected. Perhaps these disciples were unsure of what to do at this point. "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting" (Acts 2:2) and the Holy Ghost swept into the room, filling all the people there. Now, they were ready to go out and turn the world upside down for the cause of Christ. It was a happy "windsday" indeed!

Say Hello to My Biggest Threat

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 195

Say Hello to My Biggest Threat

Say hello to my biggest threat. It's the biggest, baddest danger that I face.

It's not a terrorist attack. It's not a traffic accident. It's not cancer or job loss or bankruptcy. It's not that person who (always) makes me lose my temper. It's not even coronavirus.

My biggest threat ... is me!

In Romans 8, Paul puts external (outside) threats into perspective. Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril ... He says that none of that stuff can separate us from God's love. No external threat has the power to remove us from God's presence. No external threat can snatch away our crown of salvation.

The more I live, the more I'm convinced that the most dangerous threats lie within — not without.

Business Trip vs. Missionary Trip

Written by Brother Phillip Benyola on Monday, 25 May 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 203

Business Trip vs. Missionary Trip

Today's Miracle Monday is Brother Phillip Benyola's testimony of how God provided work for him in a time of need.

I was living and working in Indianapolis in April 2005, and I was asked to travel to Missouri for business on a Tuesday. I was concerned about this trip because I was also scheduled to leave for a missionary trip to Dominica on Saturday morning, just a few days later. I expected to drive back from my business trip and arrive home late Wednesday night. I knew it would be stressful, but I also knew there was plenty of time to do both; however, the meetings did not go as planned at the customer site, and they needed me to stay longer than planned to make some changes to the product we were providing. For obvious reasons, this caused me some alarm, but I knew that even if I didn’t get home until Friday, I could still make the missionary trip without a problem.

But on Friday, things went from bad to worse. The customer asked me to stay through the weekend to make the necessary changes. Of course, I was unable to do that unless I forfeited my obligation to the missionary trip, which involved another brother traveling with me. As Friday evening rolled around, I was panicking. I told the client that I could not stay over the weekend, that I had another commitment and had to leave. Of course, I was a wreck, knowing the consequences that I would face for making that decision. I arrived home after midnight and frantically packed for my 6 a.m. flight.

Spread the Good Word: Matthew 10:20

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 22 May 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 267

Spread the Good Word: Matthew 10:20

Good Word Friday Theme: Abiding in His Spirit

We've all been there ... you're going about your regular business, and then suddenly, surprisingly a huge spotlight shines straight down on you — uh-oh — and you've got to open your mouth and say something. And you're not at all prepared. Your mind cannot land on any correct words. Your mouth hangs open (or maybe zips tight) and ... silence.

Think back to the last time you were ambushed by a moment like this. Maybe your boss approached you with a dizzying demand. Or your child finally asked that question you've been hoping he wouldn't. Perhaps it was when your neighbor said, "Tell me more about your church."

The Hanky

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 21 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 261

The Hanky

When our oldest son was a year and a half old, we found out we were pregnant. It was an exciting time, as we wanted to have a few children. My husband was in the Marines at the time, so we were stationed down in South Carolina. We weren’t living near any family, so we called our family members to share the good news. Everyone was excited!

That excitement was short-lived. When I went in for my first ultrasound at eight weeks, I had a feeling deep down that something wasn’t right, even before the appointment. It's funny how God can reveal things to us sometimes, without us realizing at first.

The doctor returned to the exam room I was in with a nurse by his side. They both had expressions on their faces that led me to believe that something wasn’t right. He told me I would be miscarrying. The pregnancy sac was there, but that baby hadn’t formed. I was heartbroken. Physically, I was there by myself that day, but I knew God was with me.

The Power of God — Not to Be Denied (Ether 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 May 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 165

The Power of God — Not to Be Denied (Ether 5)

In Ether 5, Moroni shares some instructions for the man (Joseph Smith) who would receive the plates with the engravings of the Book of Mormon narrative and would be used to bring it forth to the world. The instructions include:

  • Don't try to access the sealed portion of the plates, which contains the revelations of the brother of Jared (as described in the previous chapter, these will not be accessible until sometime in the future).
  • Feel free to show the plates to the people who will assist in the work of bringing forth the information (the testimony of eight of these people is included in the first few pages of the Book of Mormon).

There is a third point, but it is not really an instruction but rather more of a prophecy:

"And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God, wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true." (Ether 5:3)

Rough Times and God's Will: Redux

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 19 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 192

Rough Times and God's Will: Redux

As I was pondering what to write for this article, I was led to review old submissions, as maybe something I'd written previously would apply today. This one was written over six years ago in March 2014. Applying to today’s situation might be an understatement. I’ve left it as it was originally written and hope it brings a blessing to you. May God bless and keep you is my prayer.

Have you ever experienced a rough time in life? I know I have. In these cases, there was at least one small moment, if not many, where I wondered why it was happening. It's human nature to question it. But quickly, the Spirit kicks in and reminds me to trust in God. There has to be a purpose to the situation, especially if the cause is something outside of my control.

I'm sure many people reading this have had times like these: maybe a loss of a job, sickness, etc. When times like these happen, I know God's will is better than my own. I know that if I leave it to Him, He'll see me through to a brighter tomorrow. He's done it with others before, so I know He can do it for me.

God Is on the Job

Written by Guest Writers on Monday, 18 May 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 233

God Is on the Job

Today, we're bringing you three Miracle Monday testimonies about how God provided work for His children.

Submitted by Sister Renee Scolaro, Mesa Branch, Arizona

In my mid-teens, when I would hear the ministry preach about our church's mission to take the gospel to Israel, and especially the tribe of Joseph, it resonated within me, and I wanted to be part of it. Upon applying for college, I asked the Lord to allow me to use my skills to serve Native People.

In 1986, an opportunity presented itself to move to Arizona. I began to search for employment at a nearby reservation and was directed to inquire at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, where I was immediately offered a position. I’ve been blessed with 34 years of continuous employment, exclusively in Indian communities.

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 2:18

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 15 May 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 284

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 2:18

Good Word Friday Theme: Abiding in His Spirit

Have you ever had your heart set on attending an event, such as a concert, sports tournament, or conference, but your hopes were dashed by two little words: Sold Out.

Imagine standing outside the entrance to the theater, theme park, or stadium, knowing that all the magic is happening just a few steps away ... so close! But you can't cross the threshold without a ticket. And there are none left for you.

The Syrophoenician Woman: Tenacious Faith

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 14 May 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 306

The Syrophoenician Woman: Tenacious Faith

Today's article is another installment in Sister Alena's series on "Women of the Bible."

Like all of the women I’ve written about so far, this story has a ton to unpack — a pattern, I think, no? This Gentile woman’s daughter is demon possessed, and this mother is exhausted. She’s tired of everything that comes along with such an affliction, and she decides to approach Jesus as He passes through her area.

You can read the verses in Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30, but her daughter is healed because of her quick answers and great faith.

A lot of people would call her desperate. She was so tired and so in need of a change in her and her daughter’s life.

But after reading through this a few times, I saw this as a tenacious faith. Tenacity is the quality of being able to grip something firmly, meaning that this woman grabbed hold of what Jesus could do for her and held fast.

In this moment, her faith was steady; it was sure; it was strong.

Taste the Grass on the Summit (Ether 4)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 13 May 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 229

Taste the Grass on the Summit (Ether 4)

In the previous chapter, the Lord recognized the great faith of the brother of Jared by allowing him to view the body that He would inhabit as Christ on the earth. The Lord also showed him things that would happen through the end of the world. Ether 3 ends with the Lord commanding the brother of Jared to write down what he saw, such that this record could be shared with future generations.

In Ether 4, the Lord instructs Moroni in how to handle the record of the brother of Jared. He is told to "seal up" the writings such that "they shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord" (verse 6).

On the one hand, the call to repentance is typically directed at those who have not yet given their lives to the Lord, even as it is at the end of this chapter — "repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name" (verse 18).

On the other hand, even servants of God can be prone to sinful actions or attitudes that require repentance. Lest we're quick to say, "Not me — I'm not doing anything wrong," remember that pride, envy, lack of forgiveness, and lack of love toward others all qualify as behaviors that should not exist in a servant of God.

It's About Time

Written by Sister KarenJo Pandone on Tuesday, 12 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 242

It's About Time

It’s March 5, 2020, and I just read Sister Dianne Maddox’s blog titled “Redeem the Time.” As I read her blog, I began to take inventory of my own life and if I'm making the most of it.

We all have bucket lists, whether we want to admit it or not — traveling, achieving a goal, learning a specific skill, etc.

Recently, I lost a very dear friend of mine, which has impacted my goals. She was just a year older than me, always healthy, busy in the background working for our branch, and a major support to her family. One evening, she ended up in the ER, and three weeks later to the day, entered Paradise.

That was a wakeup call for me. Suddenly those things on my bucket list are not so important. Oh, I still want to take that Alaskan cruise, but I’m now realizing my mortality.

Right Job, Right Time

Written by Sister Tina Rich on Monday, 11 May 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 208

Right Job, Right Time

Today's Miracle Monday is from Sister Tina Rich from the Atlanta Branch. She responds to our request for testimonies about how God provided jobs in times of need.

In July 2018, I resigned from my job to re-establish our home after a house fire took everything. It had taken a year to rebuild, and toward the end, it proved too difficult to work five days a week and to try to meet with contractors, sub-contractors, and furniture delivery people on a regular basis to get the house finished.

I took time off to not only get my house back to normal but to strengthen my relationship with God. For a while, I had been bothered by the fact that I hadn’t been studying scripture as I should, that I wasn’t giving all that I could to God, and I wanted that to change.

Now that I didn’t have the distraction of work, it was an excellent opportunity, and I took advantage. I walked every day and listened to Brother Jerry Valenti’s Wednesday-night lessons on The Book of Mormon on YouTube. I spent a lot of time praying and thanking God for every blessing.

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 5:8

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 08 May 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 263

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 5:8

Good Word Friday Theme: Abiding in His Spirit

When I was a kid, I went to a science museum, and there was an exhibit on blindness where children crawled through a padded tunnel and experienced what it would be like to move about in total darkness. I eagerly entered the tunnel, took a few steps, got terrified, and had to turn back to the light.

Today's verse from Ephesians reminds us that we were once spiritually blind, feeling our way through life, never sure of exactly where to go or what to do. When we accepted Christ, the lights turned on. Now, we can see clearly. The good path is visible. The sinking sense of uncertainty isn't ever-present.

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