Naomi: God Is Working

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Friday, 31 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 393

Naomi: God Is Working

Today's article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci's series on the women of the Bible. It's also the companion article to the story on Ruth that appeared in the January issue of The Gospel News. If you haven't read it yet, go check it out!

Naomi’s story is a unique one, but one that is achingly familiar. Her husband passes, and then so do both of her sons, leaving her a widow along with her daughters-in-law.

When she decides to return to her home, Ruth stays with her, and they travel back to Bethlehem, for she heard that it was blessed once more after a period of famine and that God had given His people food.

She enters Bethlehem and declares herself Mara, because God had “testified against her” and because she was now empty. Her life was depressing and she had nothing.

Naomi enters a new life already expecting it to be awful.

The Value of Loyalty

Written by Sister Brianne Gehly on Thursday, 30 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 330

The Value of Loyalty

Value: Loyalty 

Definition: Feelings of devoted attachment and affection that generate supportive actions. 

Vital Verses

  • “And they answered Joshua, saying, all that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.” – Joshua 1:16
  • “Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people.” – I Nephi 1:5

Scriptural Example 

Joshua demonstrated loyalty when he was commanded by God to lead Israel after Moses had died. Joshua was loyal to God by obeying His commandment to “be strong and of a good courage…” (Joshua 1:8), and he fulfilled his obligations as a leader. Lehi also demonstrated loyalty when he prayed with all his heart on behalf of the people of Jerusalem when the Lord instructed him and his family to flee. Lehi was completely devoted to the Lord and had absolute faithfulness in him (1 Nephi 1). 

One Good Spurn Doesn't Deserve Another (3 Nephi 29)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 29 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 265

One Good Spurn Doesn't Deserve Another (3 Nephi 29)

Spurn: Reject with disdain or contempt

The word "spurn" is typically associated with being rejected by a member of the opposite sex after you express romantic interest in them. Try to imagine the feeling — or perhaps you've sadly had it happen to you — when a person who you find attractive treats you with disdain or contempt. "How could you think I would ever be interested in someone like you? You've got to be kidding!" Obviously, it's not a good feeling.

Now, picture it from God's perspective. God loves His children and desires a close relationship with them. Some of them — such as you and I — have consented to this relationship and are enjoying the blessing of being part of the family of God. Others have rejected the invitation, some with disdain and contempt. This surely can't cause a good feeling for God either.

The Value of Responsibility

Written by Brother Michael Watson on Tuesday, 28 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 324

The Value of Responsibility

Value: Responsibility 

Definition: Accepting accountability with reliability; trustworthiness; fulfilling our roles as saints as appointed and as ordained 

Vital Verses

  • "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?" – Genesis 4:9
  • "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." – 1 Nephi 3:7

Scriptural Example 

Judah experienced a remarkable turnaround, going from selfish boy to a man who took responsibility for his actions. Remember when Judah and his brothers visited Joseph in Egypt for the second time? Judah pledged his life to his father Jacob (Israel) that he would bring his youngest brother, Benjamin, back safely from the journey.

The Value of Love and Charity

Written by Brother Andrew DiNardo on Monday, 27 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 276

The Value of Love and Charity

Value: Love, Charity 

Definition: God’s love for mankind; man’s devotion to or adoration of God; goodwill; kindness; generosity; helpfulness; tolerance; patience 

Vital Verses

  • “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40
  • “He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for behold he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.” ­– 2 Nephi 26:24

Scriptural Example 

How do you even begin to break down the scriptural references on the topic of love and charity? The gospel of Christ is founded on love. We could go with one of everyone’s favorite verses, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Woman Who Lived a Sinful Life: Deep Grace

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Friday, 24 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 346

The Woman Who Lived a Sinful Life: Deep Grace

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

I wonder how many people reading this blog article right now have heard this story in the context of feet washing — that some sinful woman from off the street washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. 

And that is such an amazing and important part of the story, but I want to focus on a couple of different things here in this story.

In researching this story, and in reading it over and over again, I realized that the theme of this woman’s life was dealing with deep grace.

This is not a casual story of grace, of bumping into someone and mumbling a quick apology, but of an absolute surrender and absolute forgiveness.

This is deep grace.

The Value of Duty

Written by Brother Jonathan Scolaro on Thursday, 23 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 311

The Value of Duty

Value: Duty 

Definition:

  • Carrying out assignments; supporting the body; fulfilling tasks, particularly when challenged by lack of understanding or excitement
  • To follow customs, regulations and institutional codes out of a sense of duty
  • A required act or course of action; moral obligation

Vital Verses

  • “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” – Daniel 1:8
  • “And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.” – Alma 24:19

Scriptural Examples 

Daniel and his three friends were taken captive and carried into Babylon. There, the King commanded that they eat his meat and drink his wine. But these boys refused to defile themselves with this food, despite the urging of their overseer who feared he would be executed for their poor health. After 10 days, however, not only were they healthier and stronger than their counterparts, but God honored their integrity by blessing them with knowledge, skill, and wisdom.

On Special Assignment (3 Nephi 28)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 22 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 300

On Special Assignment (3 Nephi 28)

When someone is placed "on special assignment," it means that they've been taken away from their regular duties and given something else to do — presumably, a task or project of great importance that requires the person to give it their full attention and focus.

In 3 Nephi 28, Jesus places three of His 12 disciples on special assignment. It all begins when He gives each of the 12 disciples in America the opportunity to make a special request of Him. Nine of them choose to live to the age of 72 and then to leave this life and go immediately to be with Jesus in His kingdom. The other three have an unusual request — they so strongly desire to bring souls to Christ that they want to remain on earth and continue doing this until the time that Jesus comes again.

These three are hesitant to actually make this request — not knowing that the opportunity for such a special assignment even exists — but Jesus discerns their thoughts and grants them this desire. Once the desire is expressed, there is no turning back; their bodies are transfigured or converted into a different form. Their new bodies will never die, and they are now free to focus on their special assignment of bringing souls to Christ.

The Value of Rights and Respect

Written by Brother Anthony Scolaro on Tuesday, 21 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 248

The Value of Rights and Respect

Value: Rights, Respect 

Definition

  • Rights: Things due a person by law or tradition
  • Respect: Holding another’s rights or person in high esteem

Vital Verses

  • "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." – 1 Peter 2:27
  • "Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden." – 2 Nephi 26:28

Scriptural Example 

Moroni was angry as he wrote to Pahoran. His armies were losing ground at the front, while the government repeatedly ignored their petitions for men and supplies. In his stern epistle, Moroni demanded an explanation for this lack of action and made some not-so-subtle accusations. The freedom and rights of the people were at stake, and Moroni was ready to march to Zarahemla, if necessary, to root out the problem.

The Value of Hope

Written by Sister Erin Light on Monday, 20 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 261

The Value of Hope

Value: Hope 

Definition: A confident expectation of fulfillment 

Vital Verses

  • "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." – Hebrews 6:19
  • "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope." – Moroni 7:41-42

Scriptural Example 

While there are many scriptural examples to choose from, Abraham’s display of hope stands out. At the age of 75, God promised Abraham to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens. There was only one problem. Sarah was barren and Abraham was, well, old.

The Widow of Zarephath: Serious Faith

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Friday, 17 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 353

The Widow of Zarephath: Serious Faith

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

The widow of Zarephath is probably a familiar figure to many of you. She is the woman who gave everything she had to make Elijah a meal. 

She’s a common example of serious faith, a faith and a mind open to anything.

Her life reflects God’s goodness.

Her story is a “simple” one. Elijah comes to her and requests food, and she tells him that she is about to make her last meal for herself and her son before they die of starvation. But she gives Elijah food anyway, and then her little supply of flour and oil never runs dry.

The Value of Righteousness

Written by Brother Chris Gehly  on Thursday, 16 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 300

The Value of Righteousness

Value: Righteousness 

Definition: Meeting the standards of Right in the eyes of Christ 

Vital Verses

  • "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." – Proverbs 11:30
  • "And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost." – 3 Nephi 12:6

Scriptural Example 

One of the wonderful men who exemplify righteousness in scripture is King Benjamin. Here was a man who had the duty to govern a people who were rarely righteous. They constantly departed from the ways of God and could not hold to His standards. Yet in the Words of Mormon it says he was “a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness” (v.17). He was able to serve the people with his own hands and exemplify Christ to his subjects. Through his righteous example, he was able to lead many of his people to Jesus Christ. 

More Than Just a Name (3 Nephi 27)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 15 January 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 505

More Than Just a Name (3 Nephi 27)

3 Nephi 27 is a chapter that's remembered because it's the one where Jesus tells His disciples what to name the church. His logic is impeccable:

  • Whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name (verse 7)
  • If [the church] be called in the name of a man, then it be the church of a man (verse 8)
  • If it be called in my name, then it is my church (verse 8)

Based on the above, it's a no-brainer why our church is called The Church of Jesus Christ. However, it surely has to be more than just a name that defines the Lord's Church. And there is more — Jesus adds the following caveat to the above: "It is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel" (verse 8).

What does it mean to be built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ? Let's go through the characteristics that Jesus lists in this chapter that define what is meant by His gospel:

The Value of Unity

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 14 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 418

The Value of Unity

Value: Unity 

Definition: Oneness; harmony; continuity without contention; brotherhood 

Vital Verses

  • “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • “And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.” – Mosiah 18:21

Scriptural Example 

When we think of unity, we often think of everyone having the same job or acting in the same manner. But, in 1 Corinthians 12, Apostle Paul explains to the people of Corinth that unity doesn’t have to be thought of as “sameness or being identical,” but rather all working together for the same purpose.

The Value of Congruence

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Monday, 13 January 2020. Posted in Church Values Hits 314

The Value of Congruence

Value: Congruence 

Definition: Doing the things we say we should/will do. Making our actions prove out our claims: our yeas, yeas and our nays, nays. 

Vital Verses

  • “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not theyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?” – Romans 2:21
  • “And again he said unto them: If ye teach the law of Moses, why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against the people, yea, even a great evil against this people?” – Mosiah 12:29

Scriptural Example 

There are many examples in the scriptures about Jesus teaching people to live in accordance with His teachings. A short example of this is with Mary and Martha. Jesus came to their house. Martha was flustered, trying to make sure everything was ready to be served to her guests, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him. Martha tried to get Jesus to tell Mary to help her, but Jesus told her that Mary was doing the right thing by listening to Him and His teachings. 

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