To-Do List (Mormon 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 April 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 39

To-Do List (Mormon 7)

Mormon 7 contains the final words of Mormon before he is killed in battle. Perhaps knowing that this will be his last opportunity to share words of wisdom with future descendants of Lehi who will read his book, he gives them a "To-Do List" to consider. He instructs them to know that they are part of the House of Israel and to do the following:

  • Lay down weapons of war
  • Believe in Jesus Christ
  • Repent of sins
  • Be baptized in the name of Jesus
  • Receive the Holy Ghost
  • Stand up for the gospel of Jesus Christ

This same To-Do List applies to all of us today, whether or not we are part of the House of Israel.

As I am writing this, many of us are more or less confined to our homes as part of the effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Clearly, this is extremely inconvenient for most of us. Many people are unable to work or operate their businesses; supplies for our homes are in short supply, etc.

Miriam: A Symbol of Hope

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 31 March 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 120

Miriam: A Symbol of Hope

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

Miriam is an interesting woman, and we get to see a lot of her life play out. We see her watch her mother’s act of faith as her brother is sent down the river in a basket. We see her follow her siblings out of Egypt. We see her punished, and we see her restored.

I mean, if you ask me, it sounds a lot like each one of our testimonies. We see something that we want, and we follow it; we sin, but we are restored

In my opinion, Miriam’s greatest moment is the fact that — through all of this, of literally being cast out of her nation — she still played an integral role in being part of Israel’s journey and the deliverance of God’s people.

Miriam’s own sins and mistakes don’t change God’s plan; they don’t affect His work.

And that’s something that we each need to understand.

My Miracle Day

Written by Sister Connie Rossi on Monday, 30 March 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 153

My Miracle Day

Today's Miracle Monday is a story of God's miraculous protection submitted by Sister Connie Rossi from the Charlotte Branch.

December 6, 2010 is a day that will forever be my Miracle Day. Ten days earlier, I was going through some file folders and placing them in hanging files when one of the hanging file ends stabbed my right pointer fingernail. It hurt but I thought nothing of it and figured it would get better over time. Over the next several days, I forgot about it since there were no after-effects and I assumed it healed. However, I could not have been more wrong, and December 6, 2010 changed my life forever.

At 4 a.m. that chilly day in December, I woke up to throbbing pain in my right pointer finger. It was still dark outside, so I couldn’t really see what was going on with it. I tried to reach over to turn on the lamp on my nightstand, but I quickly realized I had absolutely no energy in my body to even turn over. I had never felt so weak in my entire life. Being an early riser, Brother Darrell was already out of bed, so I couldn’t ask him to turn on the light. I tried to call out for him, but I couldn’t get a sound out of me either. I suddenly felt cold as ice, as if I was standing outside in zero-degree weather with no coat on. No energy, freezing, excruciating pain, and burning up with a fever at the same time — what is going on with me?

I lay there for several hours not being able to move when finally at 6:30 a.m., Brother Darrell came into the room to check on me since I was usually up by then. He called out to me, and when I didn’t answer he turned on the light. I pointed to my finger and, believe me, it was beet red and swollen to the size of a kielbasa. Panic struck and he asked me what happened, and I couldn’t answer him. He tried to get me out of bed to take me to the ER, but I couldn’t move a muscle, so he called an ambulance. The pain was so intense I was in and out of awareness.

Spread the Good Word: Galatians 6:1

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 27 March 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 288

Spread the Good Word: Galatians 6:1

Good Word Friday Theme: Charity

When was the last time you were reprimanded? Even if it was gently done, chances are good that it made you angry and defensive. None of us likes to be told we're wrong or that we're failing.

But, today's verse reminds us that correcting a fellow Christian who is overtaken in a fault is actually an act of love. Love! (Now, this verse isn't talking about correcting a person who slipped up once in a very small way, but someone who has given over a part of themselves to unrepentant sin.)

Focus on Him

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 307

Focus on Him

When we feel afraid...focus on HIM.
When we feel uncertain...focus on HIM.
When we feel anxious...focus on HIM.
When life gets heavy...focus on HIM.
When Satan tries to whisper fear...focus on HIM.

With everything that’s going on right now, the human in us can start to feel afraid. But, we know that all things are in God's control. We know that we must stay prayerful and faithful and trust in Him always. No matter what.

A few years ago, I had a dream I want to share with you.

The Righteous Need Not Fear (Mormon 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 189

The Righteous Need Not Fear (Mormon 6)

In Mormon 6, the Nephites face what they know will be the final destruction of their people at the hands of the Lamanites. Knowing the end is near and that God has commanded that the Nephite records not fall into the hands of the Lamanites, Mormon buries all but a few of the records in the Hill Cumorah. He then describes the attitude of the people as the Lamanite armies approach:

"And it came to pass that my people…did now behold the armies of the Lamanites marching towards them; and with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of all the wicked, did they await to receive them." (Mormon 6:7)

How different the above would read if the Nephite people were serving the Lord at this time. First of all, they might not be facing death at all but, even if they were, they would know that they would soon be on their way to paradise, so either way they would have no need to fear.

As I am writing this, there is a disease known as the coronavirus that is making its way through the world, causing considerable fear for many people. After all, nobody likes to be sick, and this particular disease is highly contagious. You can be a carrier for up to 14 days without even showing symptoms, and some number of people are dying from it.

However, even as we take certain prescribed precautions to limit the spread of the disease, we should keep in mind that God is ultimately in control of the situation. So, if you believe in God and you are serving God righteously, you have no need to fear.

The Songs of Zion

Written by Sister Arlene Buffington on Tuesday, 24 March 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 219

The Songs of Zion

Many of you are familiar with The Songs of Zion hymnal that we sing from in Church. (Raise your hand if you call it "the gold book"?) For those readers who may not be aware, the words and music of each Songs of Zion hymn come to us in an unusual way. The words and music are miraculously delivered by God to Sister Arlene Buffington, who has no training or penchant for songwriting or composing. If you want to know more about the history of the songs, check out the preface at the beginning of The Songs of Zion hymnal.

Today, we're excited to bring you an article written by Sister Arlene that tells more about how the songs are given as well as a few experiences relating to specific hymns. We hope to share more periodically throughout the year.

Spared Twice

Written by Sister KarenJo Pandone on Monday, 23 March 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 227

Spared Twice

Today's Miracle Monday contains two stories of God's divine protection on the road sent to us by Sister KarenJo Pandone.

About 15 years ago, my husband and I were traveling home from a dinner with friends. The roads were very slippery, and the snow was coming down heavily. I kept urging Michael to slow down due to the road conditions.

Suddenly, about 20 yards in front of us, we saw a car stopped in the middle of the road! Knowing that we couldn’t possibly stop in time or miss the car, I slid down in my seat and closed my eyes.

A few seconds later, I opened them wondering why I never felt an impact. We were past the car without incident! I asked Michael what had happened, and he replied that he didn’t know.

Spread the Good Word: Proverbs 17:9

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 20 March 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 302

Spread the Good Word: Proverbs 17:9

Today, we're returning to our regularly scheduled Good Word Fridays! We hope that you enjoyed the Israel 2020 series.

Good Word Friday Theme: Charity

What is today's proverb saying? That we should cover up people's indiscretions — like sweep them under the rug and pretend they never happened? Of course not.

The proverb is saying that when we overlook (or forgive) a person's mistake (especially an honest or well-intentioned mistake) that is an act of love. The second part of the verse says that when we gossip about it and spread it around, the result is offense. Idle prattle can drive a wedge between even the best of friends.

Sustaining Miracles

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 19 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 295

Sustaining Miracles

Recently, a morning devotional I read suggested Mark 6 for further reference. There you’ll find the familiar story of Jesus’ miracle of feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. After satisfying the crowd with this special meal, Jesus sent the people back home and His disciples out to sea while He went to a mountain to pray.

When evening came, the disciples’ ship was in the middle of the sea, and Jesus saw them “toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them; and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them walking upon the sea” (verse 48). When the Lord made it into the ship and the wind ceased, the disciples “were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.”

The first word I thought might be a modern equivalent of “sore amazed” is "gobsmacked." "Gob" is slang for mouth, so being left gobsmacked is much stronger than ordinary surprise; it rises to the level of jaw dropping, being left utterly speechless or otherwise stopping someone dead in their tracks. Who wouldn’t feel sore amazed (or gobsmacked) at witnessing Jesus coming to their ship in that manner?

We've Been Spared the Gruesome Details (Mormon 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 18 March 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 287

We've Been Spared the Gruesome Details (Mormon 5)

In Mormon 5, Mormon resumes command of the Nephite army, but he makes it clear that he is without hope, knowing that it's not going to end well for the Nephites due to their refusal to repent of their iniquities. And, they are in fact massacred so badly that Mormon decides to spare us the gruesome details:

"I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes…therefore I write a small abridgement, daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen…that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people" (Mormon 5:8-9)

It's enough to know that the Nephites were slain in battle — we don't necessarily need a graphic description of how body parts were damaged or how much blood was spilled. It might add shock value to a contemporary movie, but it wouldn't really add any value to this account.

Someone's Gotta Go in the Cave First

Written by Sister Erin Light on Tuesday, 17 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 309

Someone's Gotta Go in the Cave First

On one of our family trips to Hawaii, we found ourselves driving around the island on our way to go snorkeling when we saw two people appearing suddenly, as if they came straight out of the ground. Always curious, Mom told Dad, "Pull over. Let's see what they're doing."

By the time we pulled over, the couple had gotten into their car and drove off. Curiosity still not satisfied, Mom walked around this barren field of lava rocks and stumbled upon the entrance to a lava tube! (A lava tube is a long, hollow opening where lava once flowed underground — like a volcanic eruption sprung a leak — and eventually cooled off and dissipated, leaving behind a long hollow cave.)

Mom motioned for us to come over and I feared she was off on an exploration. All I could do was start to worry, and very loudly too. "Mom, there are no signs here. I don't think we're supposed to go here. Mom, it's not even marked; we don't know if it's safe." She didn't even reply to my concern, totally unfazed and confident. She just started climbing down the rocks into the cave.

Saved by Lime Green Boots

Written by Brother Tim Scolaro on Monday, 16 March 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 247

Saved by Lime Green Boots

Today's Miracle Monday was submitted by Brother Tim Scolaro, and he tells about a time when God spared him and his family from an auto accident.

One Sunday morning about 19 years ago, my wife and I, along with our three sons, started off for a trip in our van to hold a service down in Tucson, Arizona.

We had just left our home and needed to make a left turn out of our subdivision onto a busy road. As we got into the left-hand turn lane to await a green light behind a couple of other cars, I noticed someone on a motorcycle up ahead along the curb, and he was wearing bright lime green boots, which struck me as very strange. I thought the kids might like to see them, so I told them to look to the right as we moved forward.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 8: Israel in Pictures

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Saturday, 14 March 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 289

Israel 2020 – Lesson 8: Israel in Pictures

Today, we're bringing you the FINAL installment in our Israel 2020 series, in which we share a few photos and memories from the trip.

 

Israel 2020 – Lesson 7: Fighting Over a Rock

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Friday, 13 March 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 308

Israel 2020 – Lesson 7: Fighting Over a Rock

Today, we're bringing you the next installment in our Israel 2020 series, written by Church President Brother Joel Gehly.

When viewing Jerusalem for the first time and identifying the perimeter of Old Jerusalem, one specific building caught our eye: the Dome of the Rock. It is, in fact, very hard to miss because of its large golden dome. The Dome of the Rock is the third-most sacred area for the Islamic faithful. It was first dedicated in 691 A.D. and then refurbished around 1541. The Dome is built on a hill, specifically over a rock (a crop of limestone) and is more commonly known by the Jewish people and Christians as Mount Moriah.

“The air over Jerusalem is saturated with prayers and dreams,” wrote Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. I saw firsthand that this is true. Currently, these prayers and dreams seem to circle around today like a storm. To the Jews and Christians, this is the place — the rock — where Abraham proved his faith by preparing to offer his son, Isaac. Later, we read that King David built an altar on or near this rock and subsequently his son, King Solomon, erected a Temple to the Lord on this same spot of ground.

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