The Value of Empathy

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Monday, 06 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 182

The Value of Empathy

Value: Empathy 

Definition: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

Vital Verses

  • "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." – Ephesians 4:32
  • "But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another." – Mosiah 4:15

Scriptural Example 

Christ wants us to be kind and to love each other as He loves us. It’s so important that we follow this! What better example do we have than Christ? He showed nothing but kindness and empathy towards others, and we should follow in his footsteps. Have you ever heard that saying, “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge their journey?” We all have a different walk in life, different trials to endure, and many ups and downs.

Dorcas: Blessed in Good Deeds

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Friday, 03 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 306

Dorcas: Blessed in Good Deeds

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

For such an amazing story, Dorcas doesn’t have a lot of “screen time” in Scripture. You can read her story in Acts 9, but, basically, she is an early Christian and is active in her new faith and church, and she dies. Peter is called, and she is brought back to life.

That’s a pretty amazing miracle for only eight verses.

The lesson here for me is the first verse of her story. In Acts 9:36, it says, “This woman was full of good deeds.”

That’s passable, right?

We read it and we’re like, “OK, cool, she did a lot of stuff. Great.”

But hang on, that is a big deal.

The Value of Faith

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, 02 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 233

The Value of Faith

Value: Faith 

Definition: Applied belief and trust in God 

Vital Verses

  • "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." – Hebrews 11:1
  • "And now as I said concerning faith — faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." – Alma 32:21

Scriptural Example 

There are many famous scriptural examples of faith. Here’s one that’s lesser known: King Jehoshaphat. The Moabites gathered a big, bad army against Israel, and King J was scared. The whole kingdom fasted and prayed, and God told them that He’d fight the battle for them. All they had to do was march out and see His salvation. King J was so confident that God was with them, he placed musicians on the front lines where they sang praises — before they’d even won the battle. Singers aren’t soldiers. If King J didn’t have faith, he never would’ve put those musicians where they could be instantly killed. Read 2 Chronicles 20 to see how the story ends. 

God's Recycling Program (3 Nephi 25)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study, Holidays Hits 259

God's Recycling Program (3 Nephi 25)

Most of us are familiar with the concept of recycling. In general, recycling is a process by which materials we no longer need can be submitted for eventual reuse by someone else, sometime in the future. Participating in this type of program helps ensure that resources will be available for future generations.

What types of resources does God provide to people as His servants? The scriptures outline the various spiritual gifts that are given to the servants of God. Some may receive one gift while others may receive many gifts. Some are blessed with great power from God to do great things in His name.

So, what happens to these gifts and power when someone passes from this life? Do they die too? Do they go in the landfill of the spirit realm to rot away? Or does God grant the same gifts and power to other people for the benefit of each generation?

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Tuesday, 31 December 2019. Posted in Holidays, Devotional Hits 248

Happy New Year’s Eve!

September 28 is my New Year’s Eve. My life was changed on September 29, 1974 when I chose to follow Jesus and be baptized. If you’re under the age of 30, that seems like a lifetime ago; it’s the “olden days” to you. When my kids were young, they asked me if everything was black and white when I was growing up. Like color hadn’t been invented yet! I laughed and said, “Of course not.” But were more things black and white in 1974? Possibly, but that’s a completely different subject… let’s get back on track.

So, happy New Year’s Day to me every September 29! When is your New Year’s Day? Is it just another day that rolls by, or do you stop and think about the commitment you made the day you gave your life to Christ? I was speaking with one sister, and she couldn’t remember the date she was baptized. I was kind, so I didn’t say anything, but I wanted to say, “Do you forget your natural birthday?” (For those of you who know me, that took great restraint because I tend to be sarcastic.)

The Value of Values

Written by GospelBlog on Monday, 30 December 2019. Posted in Church Values Hits 194

The Value of Values

We're on the brink of a new decade, and we want to thank you, readers, for following and supporting the Gospel Blog. Next year, we'll celebrate our ninth anniversary, and we are so thankful that God has sustained this effort, using many of you to make it a success.

January on the blog is going to be exciting.

Brother Jerry's Book of Mormon series will continue to appear each Wednesday. Fridays will be devoted to Sister Alena Ricci's popular series on women of the Bible. As for the rest of the days, we're bringing back the 2013 series that we did on The Church's values.

Throughout the month, you'll see 13 separate articles devoted to sharing each of The Church's 13 values, their definitions and applications. You'll see articles written by elders and members of all ages and walks of life, drawing on a multitude of perspectives.

Spread the Good Word: Isaiah 28:29

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 27 December 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 269

Spread the Good Word: Isaiah 28:29

Today is the last Good Word for 2019 and the final scripture in our series on "Wonder." This verse tells us that the counsel, teaching, and instruction of God is wonderful and amazing when we see it working.

Learning is great, but sometimes we become weary students. Reading God's Word can be tiring. Following His Word can be even harder. It doesn't seem all that wonderful.

As we approach the New Year, it's important to retain a sense of wonder in the face of God's counsel.

More Happy Than Sad

Written by Sister Mallory McNamara on Thursday, 26 December 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 316

More Happy Than Sad

“I am okay. I have more happy than I do sad.”
– Anonymous 6-year-old

Sometimes I think kids have a better understanding of life than we do as adults. As we get older, we let life experiences and other’s opinions get in the way, but the truth is, we should always have more happy than sad. We’re blessed with the understanding that our God has offered us eternal life. What could make us happier?

Merry Christmas 2019!

Written by GospelBlog on Wednesday, 25 December 2019. Posted in Holidays Hits 230

Merry Christmas 2019!

Merry Christmas to you from all of us here at the Gospel Blog! We hope that your cup is running over with blessings today!

We're celebrating Jesus' birth into the world — the remarkable time when God condescended to human form and sacrificed Himself for His sinful creation.

We get a prophecy of Jesus' birth in Isaiah 7:14 (and 2 Nephi 17:14):

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Matthew 1:22-23 explains what the name "Immanuel" means:

"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Christmas Eve Verses

Written by GospelBlog on Tuesday, 24 December 2019. Posted in Holidays Hits 262

Christmas Eve Verses

Merry Christmas Eve! Today, we're bringing you something a little different — several classic Christmas poems that you may not have read before. Don't speed through these. Enjoy the beautiful language. Relish the messages. Most importantly, rejoice in Christ!

A Son Is Given

Written by Sister Marie Kimmel on Monday, 23 December 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 259

A Son Is Given

Today's Miracle Monday was submitted by Sister Marie Kimmel. It happened on December 20, 1966.

I went to the hospital because I was in labor with my second child. Because of a previous pregnancy, I knew what to expect; however, this time something was terribly wrong.

During this time, prenatal care was nothing at all like women have today. My doctor never checked on me for several days. I was in labor for a long time with no food or water due to active last-stage of labor.

The nurses paid little attention to me, and I was alone in extreme pain. I became weaker and weaker until I felt as though I was about to die. This soon became a reality as my life force (or spirit) traveled from my body. I found myself in spirit high in the air above the bed where my pregnant body was. At this time, I felt no pain or fear — only sorrow that my baby would die without me alive to give birth.

Spread the Good Word: Isaiah 9:6

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 20 December 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 300

Spread the Good Word: Isaiah 9:6

As we transition into Christmas week, we continue to highlight scriptures on our Good Word theme of "Wonder," especially this famous prophecy from Isaiah. It predicted that one of the Messiah's names would be Wonderful.

Anyone who cast a passing glance at Jesus on earth might beg to differ. He was a poor carpenter and itinerant teacher. Not of notable birth. Not comely in appearance or manners. Wonderful?

We Are Builders

Written by Sister Ruth Gehly on Thursday, 19 December 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 731

We Are Builders

Preface: In Erie we volunteer to share a scripture reading at the beginning of Sunday school. Continually inspired by my grandchildren, the Lord placed this devotional upon my heart during one of their recent weekend visits. Abigail and Simon joined me by reading some of the corresponding scriptures. It is my joy to share this with you. It is also my prayer that we are all inspired to be good builders of Christ’s kingdom on Earth. Merry Christmas!

At our house, we are builders. We build forts and tunnels and towers, Lego villages and princess castles, train tracks and car tracks and bridges and tunnels. We make things and sew things. We write books about the adventures of Bun-Bun, Dog-Dog, and Smelly Ely the Elephant. Most of all, we build memories.

Building is fun. We learn many things when we build. If the pillows we are using to build a fort are not supported by a chair, then they fall down. If the towers we build get too tall or misshapen, then they topple over. If Lego pieces are not tightly connected, then they are not stable and they fall apart. If we are not careful when we sew, then the needle can poke our finger.

Open the Windows of Heaven (3 Nephi 24)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 18 December 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 259

Open the Windows of Heaven (3 Nephi 24)

In 3 Nephi 24, Jesus shares some of the words of the prophet Malachi and instructs the Nephites to include them in their records. He begins with the contents of Malachi 3, which includes the following statement from God:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (3 Nephi 24:10)

Perhaps you've heard part of the above quoted from time to time in prayers in which the Lord is asked to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that we cannot contain. As you can see from reading the full text though, this verse offers the opportunity to open the windows of heaven specifically when tithes are brought into the storehouse of the Lord.

At first glance, it may sound like this verse is saying we have to buy our blessings — as if God is saying, "IF you give me money, THEN I'll open the windows of heaven to bless you." But that doesn't really make sense. After all, does God need money? Obviously not. (Who would He buy things from?) And, even if He did need money, He could just create it Himself (see Matthew 17:27).

More Than Just Playing Piano

Written by Sister Karen Jo Pandone on Tuesday, 17 December 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 302

More Than Just Playing Piano

Today's article by Sister KarenJo Pandone is a reflection on a previous article titled, "Thank You for the Music," published on Nov. 21, 2019.

As I read today’s blog, it immediately took me back to when my family lived in London, Ontario, and my father oversaw the Muncey Mission. I had been taking piano lessons for a couple years, and my current teacher was a Christian. Since we didn’t have a pianist at the mission, Dad asked if I could learn one hymn per week out of our "Saints' Hymnal." (Back then, I’m dating myself, we didn’t have "The Country & Western" or "The Songs of Zion" books.)

So began my pianist days in church. Every Sunday, Dad would add to "the list" of hymns that I was learning. “Wonderful Words of Life” was the very first hymn that I learned. I remember practicing diligently all week those hymns so I wouldn’t make a mistake on Sunday.

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