Pruning Your Tree of Life (Alma 4)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 December 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 290

Pruning Your Tree of Life (Alma 4)

PRUNING: Trimming (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away overgrown branches, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth

When addressing His disciples at the Last Supper (John 15), Jesus used a familiar metaphor to compare His followers to the branches of a fruit tree. Branches with no fruit are cut away, but even branches bearing fruit require attention — these are purged (or pruned) in order to allow them to bring forth even more fruit. Pruning can include cutting away twigs and leaves that are in the way, but it can also include removing excess fruit that weighs down the branch and leaves no room for additional fruit to grow.

What I Really Want for Christmas Is...

Written by Sister Rachel Alessio on Tuesday, 19 December 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 296

What I Really Want for Christmas Is...

With Christmas right around the corner, I've been thinking about what I actually want for gifts this year. At first, I thoguht of easy things like new cute boots or maybe more film for my polaroid camera. Thinking on another level, money for traveling over the summer is an obvious thing to ask for. However, keeping to what Christmas is really about, what I want can be summed up in one word: love.

Christmas, from its foundation, has always been about love. God sent His only Son to earth as a baby so He'd eventually grow up to sacrifice Himself to take away the sins of the world. He did all of this because His love for us is incomprehensible. I can’t think of a better gift of love than that.

Laminate It in Your Heart

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Monday, 18 December 2017. Posted in Testimonies Hits 295

Laminate It in Your Heart

Today, we're re-publishing an article by Sister Vicki Ali that first appeared on the Gospel Blog on Dec. 13, 2012. Enjoy!

Last week as I was unpacking the Christmas boxes to decorate our home for the season, I came across an item that caused a sudden feeling of gratitude to rush through me.

It was a cutout of an elf holding a list that was carefully colored and filled up with my son’s Christmas wishes in his own kindergarten handwriting, and it was laminated by his teacher.

Yep, I was overwhelmed by gratitude for lamination and the teacher who so lovingly preserved this memory for me!

Spread the Good Word: John 1:29

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 15 December 2017. Posted in The Good Word Hits 697

Spread the Good Word: John 1:29

Christmas is in full swing. The hum of carols and the aroma of cookies fill the air, and our eyes are constantly drawn to sparkling decorations and glowing lights. We're more than a little distracted by all the trimmings.

Simple Sentiments Instead of Seasonal Slogans

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 14 December 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 319

Simple Sentiments Instead of Seasonal Slogans

When it comes to the holidays, there are hundreds of songs and sayings that seem to get stuck in our heads. You know the kind: “Don’t get your tinsel in a tassel,” and “Merry everything!”

What if, instead of getting caught up in the retail world’s slogans and watered-down approach to the Christmas season, we focused our attention and thoughts on the things above?

One of my favorite songs is “I Pray on Christmas.” The lyrics are simple:

Equally Yoked (Alma 3)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 13 December 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 328

Equally Yoked (Alma 3)

Yoke: A wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull

Try to envision the arrangement described above. The two animals are connected to each other and need to move forward together, pulling a load behind them. Now, what would happen if the two oxen who are connected to each other in this way are significantly different in terms of size or strength? The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the stronger or taller one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are “unequally yoked” they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.

Lessons I Learned From a Bad Dude

Written by Brother P. on Tuesday, 12 December 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 334

Lessons I Learned From a Bad Dude

Today's article is another installment in Brother P.'s column, "Lessons From the Nursing Home."

We had this guy in the nursing home, and he was the meanest, nastiest, rudest, most demanding, inappropriate, complaining, and argumentative guy you could find.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I am the guy that I'm talking about. I'm not, so you can quit thinking that. He's a real person.

First Things First

Written by Brother Jared Scolaro on Monday, 11 December 2017. Posted in Testimonies Hits 497

First Things First

Today's Miracle Monday is for all you students out there who are facing exams, papers, presentations, and other projects leading up to the Christmas break.

Before my last semester of undergraduate school, I attended the Southwest Area MBA Camp, and the theme was Rock Solid in Christ. During my seminar, the leaders emphasized the importance of reading the scriptures and challenged us to make it a daily habit. I decided to accept the challenge and see what would happen if I tried to read the scriptures every day, no matter what.

Spread the Good Word: Matt. 11:28

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 08 December 2017. Posted in The Good Word Hits 888

Spread the Good Word: Matt. 11:28

If you find yourself feeling a little weary right now, then today's Good Word is for you.

Tis the season for weariness. It's the busiest time of the year, after all, and there are a lot of things to think about and prepare for, and do.

But those are probably all good things — privileges really, even though they can be stressful.

A Loose Society

Written by Brother David Nolfi on Thursday, 07 December 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 385

A Loose Society

Consider well that the intimate joy of love that God intended husband and wife to share is an ingredient that helps hold the marriage together. Any intimate contact outside of the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman is sin, be it fornication or adultery.

It was the sexual revolution of the '60s and '70s that lowered the moral standards of our nation: no-fault divorce, casual sex, abortion, pornography... The populace began its tolerance of the many moral violations — a little leaven leavens the whole lump — and from tolerance to acceptance and from acceptance to protection by the law of the land. Such a debased condition brings humanity into the depths of human defilement. Aberrant lifestyles are looked upon with praise and protection. There are no shades of grey in the Word of God.

Are They With Us? (Alma 2)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 06 December 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 410

Are They With Us? (Alma 2)

In Alma 2, a man named Amlici campaigns to become a king over the Nephite people, actually forcing a vote on the issue. When Amlici and the proposal to have a king are defeated in the election, Amlici takes his supporters and forms his own little kingdom anyway, eventually coming to battle against the Nephites. After the battle, Alma sends some spies to follow the remaining Amlicites and they return with the following report:

“Behold, we followed the camp of the Amlicites, and to our great astonishment…we saw a numerous host of Lamanites; and behold, the Amlicites have joined them” (Alma 2:24)

Righteous Anger

Written by An Original Atlantic Coast Member on Tuesday, 05 December 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 376

Righteous Anger

Today's article is Part 3 in a series about meekness written by an Original Atlantic Coast Member.

Being vengeful is really the negative part of having anger. We're all human and therefore subject to human emotions. So, in certain circumstances, it's natural to feel anger. In many cases, it ends up being "righteous anger," typically in a situation where someone or something is doing harm to others. Therefore, having some anger over these unjust things is not a sin. Even Christ Himself got angry at the unholy money changers in the Holy Temple.

Too Close for Coincidence

Written by Sister Patty Rabe on Monday, 04 December 2017. Posted in Miracles Hits 1486

Too Close for Coincidence

Today's Miracle Monday is a testimony of protection submitted by Sister Patty (Henderson) Rabe. This is an example of a close shave that's just way too close to be called a coincidence.

Even though this miracle occurred many years ago, it's as real to me as if it happened yesterday.

When I was 17 years old and just out of high school, something very scary happened to me. My mother was getting dinner ready and, realizing that we were out of milk, asked me to drive to the store for her. It was around dinnertime, but it was very dark outside because it was winter.

Spread the Good Word: Mormon 5:23

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 01 December 2017. Posted in The Good Word Hits 1052

Spread the Good Word: Mormon 5:23

It's so easy to forget what today's Good Word is telling us. 

We definitely don't need to look far to find something that makes us feel insecure or vulnerable. Here's a list on the fly:

Meet the Pillars: Brother Leonard Lovalvo

Written by Sister Zarella Mosqueda on Thursday, 30 November 2017. Posted in Generation Gap Interviews Hits 398

Meet the Pillars: Brother Leonard Lovalvo

Today, we're bringing you the first Meet the Pillars interview! What's Meet the Pillars?

A Little About Our Brother

Our dear Brother Leonard Lovalvo was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1936 and baptized in Modesto, California, in 1954 at the young age of 17. He was ordained into the ministry at age 21 and an evangelist at age 26. That is over 60 years as a minister of God! Son of Brother Joseph Lovalvo and Sister Virginia Randazzo, our brother grew up surrounded by the Gospel. Brother Leonard states, “I fell in love with The Church and the people of God and never turned back. God has been so good to me.”

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