Spread the Good Word: Joshua 24:15

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 05 July 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 249

Spread the Good Word: Joshua 24:15

It's a new month, and you know what that means. A new set of scriptures for Good Word Friday. In honor of Independence Day, our next theme focuses on a specific type of freedom: free will.

We believe that God created us with a free will to make choices.

God has His own will for each life that He creates, but He doesn't force us to puppet the perfect plan He's laid out. We are free to follow — or not.

It's the beauty and tragedy of every human life.

Well-Watered

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 04 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 282

Well-Watered

I spend a lot of time having internal debates. I think about things a lot. Probably too much. In fact, I know I think too much because many nights it takes me far too long to fall asleep.

One of my biggest ongoing conundrums is whether I should speak up or stay silent, take action or stay still. Thoughts like, “Will it really make a difference if I share my opinion about such-and-such topic?” or “Will so-and-so’s behavior change because I spoke to them about it?” One moment I’m lying in bed feeling incredibly bold (“Yes! I will say something tomorrow!”) and the next the complete opposite (:: begins to hum “Let It Go” from Disney’s "Frozen").

When I think about what the Lord instructed us to do in these kinds of situations, I immediately turn to the Golden Rule. He said in everything to “do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).

How Immovable Are You? (3 Nephi 1)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 03 July 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 239

How Immovable Are You? (3 Nephi 1)

A congregation of Christian believers was holding a worship service in a country where Christianity is illegal. They kept the location of their meeting secret due to the risk involved. Suddenly, the door swung open and four men with rifles entered the room. The leader of the men announced to the room, "We are prepared to execute every Christian believer in the room. If you don't want to be shot to death right here, you need to denounce your belief in Christ by leaving this room right now. All who remain will be killed."

Immediately, several people in the room got up and left the room. When the last of these had departed, the leader looked at those who were left and said, "Last chance. Anybody else want to leave and save their lives?" Nobody else moved — they each prepared themselves to die for their faith. The leader nodded his head, and the four men put down their rifles. He then announced, "OK, now we know who the true believers are. Let's continue with our worship of the Lord."

Is The Church a Real Community?

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 02 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 240

Is The Church a Real Community?

Have you ever wondered why God set up the church? Why can't we just serve Him as individuals?

God set up the church for many reasons, and one of those was to connect each believer to a vibrant, functioning whole (the body of Christ as described in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12).

The church is supposed to be more than an efficiently running machine; it's designed to support and nurture each of its members, heart, mind, and soul.

But, what's the difference between the community of the church and those that we find at work or school, or even, say, Crossfit, or Facebook?

Exit 266: It's More Than Just Kicks

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Monday, 01 July 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 299

Exit 266: It's More Than Just Kicks

In honor of the upcoming GMBA Camp, we're featuring this camp-related Miracle Monday that originally published on the Gospel Blog on Aug. 30, 2016, written by our own Sister Linda Scolaro.

As I traveled to the 2016 GMBA camp, filled with anticipation for the theme, "The Way," I spotted a sign for exit 266 on the Pennsylvania turnpike. I immediately thought of the hymn, "God’s Way" in the Saints Hymnal. My mind always relates numbers to hymn numbers. (You piano players out there know what I mean.) I began to ponder what ideas and topics would be discussed during our chapel, seminars, and worship services.

At the end of camp, I traveled back on the PA turnpike, my family in tow. My husband was driving. Shortly after our departure, we encountered a very bad rainstorm. As we traveled between tunnels and mountains, there was a misty fog that made visibility difficult.

Spread the Good Word: Alma 37:35

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 28 June 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 330

Spread the Good Word: Alma 37:35

For our last Good Word Friday on the topic of "learning," we bring to you the famous advice that Alma gave to his son, Helaman.

This statement seems pretty basic — learn the ways of God when you're young — but how often is it really followed? How many children and young people today are taught to keep the commandments of God?

In many instances, when people are young, they learn how to break the commandments of God — or circumvent them or alter them or ignore them. Then, later as adults, they come to themselves and decide to truly learn the ways of God. Alma says that we don't have to live this life of heartache.

Do I Really Need That Stuff?

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Thursday, 27 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 329

Do I Really Need That Stuff?

As I write this, I am on a flight with my wife, Sister Gina, and our 6-year-old twins, Joshua and Rebekah. We are headed to the Pacific-Southwest Joint Conference in Arizona. This trip holds many firsts for us:

  • This is my first spiritual conference.
  • This is Gina's and my first spiritual conference together as a family.
  • This is the first time the twins have ever flown in a plane, and this is the first vacation we have ever taken as a family by plane. (Don’t judge too harshly — the kids are only 6.)

A while back, I wrote an article titled “The Landfill of Life.” At this stage in Gina's and my life, we are realizing many other firsts. We just sold our home, which was 5,100 square feet with six bedrooms, and we now lease a three-bedroom 1,700-square-foot house. We've had to reduce the amount of “stuff” we have, as we had two options: 1. Get rid of what we don’t need right now, or 2. Store stuff we might need one day when we move again.

They May Get Baptized or They May Want to Hurt You (Helaman 16)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 26 June 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 339

They May Get Baptized or They May Want to Hurt You (Helaman 16)

One of the parables of Jesus was the Parable of the Sower. (See Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8.) In this parable, the sower scatters seeds with the intention of growing fruit. The seeds are all good, but the results vary significantly, depending on where they land. The seeds that fall on good ground grow fruit as intended, but the seeds that fall in other places produce less desirable results.

Jesus explains that the seeds in the parable represent the word of God or the message of the gospel. The message is good, but the results vary for different people — some will accept it and become part of the family of God; some will seemingly accept it for a time but then slip away; others will reject it outright.

A Pap-Pap Moment With the Lord

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Tuesday, 25 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 527

A Pap-Pap Moment With the Lord

One Sunday morning in the Mesa Branch, Arizona, Brother Pete Giannetti ended his sermon by encouraging us to have a Pap-Pap moment with the Lord. To back this statement up, he described how he spent the prior evening with his precious, newest grandson, Baby Leo. Baby Leo was getting fussy when his mom tried to put him in his car seat to return home. Brother Pete asked his daughter to give him a moment with Baby Leo.

Brother Pete took Baby Leo into his arms and sang a lullaby to him. This began to calm the baby, and his eyes started to drift to sleep. He asked Mom if he could hold the baby just a little longer. Then, Mom fastened Baby Leo in his car seat, and wouldn't you know it, he was calm and slept the whole way home.

Brother Pete's suggestion to have a Pap-Pap moment with the Lord resonated with me.

The Lord Will Hear

Written by Sister Edna Calabrese on Monday, 24 June 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 417

The Lord Will Hear

Today's Miracle Monday comes to us from Sister Edna Calabrese.

After reading Sister Lori Kimmel’s wonderful testimony, one of our family's miracles that happened in the early 1980s quickly came to my mind.

One winter’s evening, we were headed to church on Wednesday night.

The roads were really bad. Joel was driving and our first-born, Linda, was in the back seat. Joel was driving slow and steady.

Spread the Good Word: Alma 1:26

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 21 June 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 336

Spread the Good Word: Alma 1:26

Have you ever heard a minister say in a sermon, "I'm preaching to myself"? Have you ever heard a teacher present a lesson and say something like, "I'm standing here teaching, but I'm not pretending to have this all figured out"?

Today's Good Word reminds us that this is a great perspective to keep.

Even those who God has called to preach and teach are continually learning and growing. (They aren't perfect.) God has blessed some with great understanding and wisdom. Others are gifted with the ability to convey knowledge to others. But…

You Exhausted?

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Thursday, 20 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 378

You Exhausted?

It has been a day for me already, and it’s only morning still.

I feel like everyone’s been demanding of me — my daughter, the dog, clients, friends... It’s very possible that I am feeling this way because my 11-month-old didn’t sleep well last night and I am exhausted. I’ve already had a couple cups of coffee, but it hasn’t helped to shake my fuzzy head.

While thinking about how drained I am, my thoughts went to Jesus. And, honestly, I don’t know why, but I’ve never considered this before. How did Jesus feel during his three-year ministry?

He had to be exhausted!

God May Prolong Your Days — But Don't Depend on That (Helaman 15)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 19 June 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 274

God May Prolong Your Days — But Don't Depend on That (Helaman 15)

In Helaman 15, Samuel the Lamanite continues to preach repentance to the Nephites. He points out that the Lamanites, who have historically opposed the things of God, are now in God's good graces, as they have repented and are now keeping His commandments. He states several times that God "prolonged the days" of the Lamanites in order to allow them enough time for this to occur.

In this particular case, he meant that God prolonged their existence as a class of people in order to fulfill His promises — see Alma 9:16. This prolonging continues to this day, as we await the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel.

Stand on the Truth

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Tuesday, 18 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 289

Stand on the Truth

When I was baptized at 14 years old, my dad gave me my own Faith and Doctrine book. My dad was never much of a writer; in fact, he always wrote in all capital letters when he did. (Haha.) It was a little joke we shared.

When it was my and my sister’s birthdays, my mom would write in our cards, and my dad would sign his name. So, when he gave me the Faith and Doctrine book and wrote something in it to me, it really meant a lot. It means a lot now, especially since he passed away 12 years ago this month.

I have run my fingers over the words that he wrote over and over throughout the years. His inscription was so simple but very powerful.

50 Years of Sharing the Message

Written by Brother George A. Kovacic on Monday, 17 June 2019. Posted in Testimonies Hits 297

50 Years of Sharing the Message

Today's Miracle Monday takes the form of a testimony. Brother George A. Kovacic shares his experiences serving as a missionary to Oklahoma.

It was a hot summer day, and I was a teenager, newly baptized, handing out leaflets with a very unusual message for most of the people I was giving them to. It was the summer of 1969, and I was in Anadarko, Oklahoma, with my grandfather, Evangelist Timothy Dominic Bucci.

We were going through the camp at the Indian Exposition sharing the message of the coming American Indian Moses. For me at the time, it was a sight to see — thousands of native people camped out for days on end.

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