Isolated but Closer Than Ever

Written by GospelBlog on Monday, 13 April 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 379

Isolated but Closer Than Ever

We hope that you had a wonderful Easter Sunday, brothers and sisters! Last week, we asked you to share any encouraging experiences that you've had regarding our current state of self-isolation and quarantine due to coronavirus. Here are the responses we received.

Submitted by Sister Josephine Jasmin

On Sat. April 4, 2020, in the middle of the night I was unable to sleep and was feeling very irritated because I wanted to be able to see my church service at 11 a.m. I began to pray for sleep and for the situation we were having with this coronavirus outbreak. I was praying that all this would be over very soon and that we could meet together soon. Then the Spirit gave me these words: “Follow the light, Follow the light, Follow the light.” I began to ask what this meant and it was given to me that Jesus is the Light. I then began to rest and was able to get a little more rest and sleep. God is good, all the time God is good!

Spread the Good Word: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 10 April 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 430

Spread the Good Word: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Good Word Friday Theme: Refreshment and new life

Have you ever looked in the mirror and not liked the person staring back at you? You know that person's every thought, every weakness, every careless word, every pre-planned sin. You stare into those tired eyes. They close, and you don't have the strength to open them again. You don't want to look at that person anymore.

Today's Good Word contains a promise for all of us. When we can't stand ourselves, when we're fed up with ourselves, when we're our own source of frustration and stumbling, we have this promise: Christ can make us new.

A Visitor’s Guide to Doubt

Written by Sister Charity Lombardo on Thursday, 09 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 776

A Visitor’s Guide to Doubt

Recently I took a trip to a place called Doubt, famous for its confusion, insecurity, and total lack of confidence — a trip sponsored by The Man Downstairs. Reviews of Doubt range from “The literal worst” to “I’m never going back there again,” which explains its zero-star rating (not surprised). My hope is that you’ll never find yourself passing through. But just in case you do, here’s a little guide I put together to help you find your way out.

Things you should know when you arrive: There are no certainties. There is no past or current evidence that God is real, and there are definitely no answered prayers. There are, however, lots of folks repeating phrases like, “I just don’t know,” and, “No, that can’t be true,” and, “Are you sure you don’t want to overthink that until you’re blue in the face questioning everything you ever believed?” Very comforting. (Not.) You can’t make a decision without considering all the negative “what ifs.” And don’t even try to trust that things will work out because the second you do, you’ll think of 10 reasons it won’t.

Other things of note: Every road is broken. And they’re all named “The Right One” so you never actually know which to take. Also everyone else in Doubt is just as unsure as you, so don’t ask for directions. They’ll just steer you wrong.

Not Good to Be Alone (Mormon 8)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 08 April 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 475

Not Good to Be Alone (Mormon 8)

In chapter 8, Moroni picks up the narrative and reports that his father, Mormon, has been killed along with all of the other Nephite people. As a result, he makes the sad statement that "I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people" (verse 3).

At the beginning of the Bible, after God had created one person, "God said, It is not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18). So He created a second person. Although we typically use this verse in reference to marriage, it can also be applied generally to observe that people were not created with the intention that they would be totally alone in life.

Moroni gives a little insight as to what it might be like to be totally alone in the world, as He states that His only purpose in life is to complete the writing of the Nephite record (for the benefit of future generations) and "whither I go it mattereth not" (verse 4) and "how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not" (verse 5). How sad to be that alone such that it doesn't matter where you go or how much longer you live.

Type and Shadow of Christ

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 07 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 408

Type and Shadow of Christ

As we approach Easter weekend and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I think about His sacrifice. Without His crucifixion, the resurrection and our opportunity for eternal life would never have been possible. If we look to Him on that cross, giving His life for our sins, we want to know what we need to do moving forward. We can’t ever repay Him, but what meager thing can we do? All He asks is that we be obedient, repent with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and follow His commandments the rest of our days. If we do this, then we will have accepted that opportunity He made possible so many years ago on Calvary’s hill.

There was a type and shadow of Jesus on the cross many, many years before. In Numbers 21:1-9, we read that while still in the wilderness, God delivered up the Canaanites into the hands of the children of Israel. Not long after this, they began to murmur again. They complained against God and Moses, wondering why they were brought up out of Egypt where there was bread and water. Plus, they were tired of the manna God was giving them daily. So, God sent fiery serpents among them, and many of the people were bitten and died. This humbled the people, and they went to Moses, recognizing they had sinned and asked him to pray to God that the serpents would be taken away. Moses prayed, and God told him to make a replica of one of the serpents and set it on a pole. Anyone who was bitten would only need to look upon it to live. Moses obeyed, and when someone was bitten and looked, they lived.

Finding Christ Amid the Chaos

Written by GospelBlog on Monday, 06 April 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 677

Finding Christ Amid the Chaos

Dear brothers, sisters, and friends,

Life has sure changed in the past month. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in quarantine and isolation to slow the spread of the disease and protect the most vulnerable. As a result, The Church has had to suspend all in-person meetings. Thankfully, though, we've been able to use technology to communicate with one another and even hold remote church services.

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, Brother Joel Gehly addressed the church via Livestream, and he shared a message of courage and trust in Almighty God. He also related several experiences to encourage us and confirm that God is speaking to His people in this time of widespread fear.

Here are the experiences he shared:

Spread the Good Word: 1 John 1:9

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 03 April 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 742

Spread the Good Word: 1 John 1:9

Good Word Friday Theme: Refreshment and new life

Happy April! This month, we're focusing on the theme of refreshment and newness.

Think back to the last time your arms were full — heavy grocery bags maybe? A child on each hip perhaps? A backpack laden with textbooks? Maybe it was when you were transferring that boiling pot of pasta to the colander in the sink.

Not all burdens are bad. But, sometimes we feel weighed down in spirit, and we're not sure why. Today's verse asks, could it be sin?

Knowing Others, Knowing Him

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 02 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 471

Knowing Others, Knowing Him

Family and friends, brothers and sisters, coworkers, students in our classes … we like to think we know them well. Sometimes we finish each other’s sentences or even place their order in a restaurant — boasting that we are experts at what they like.

Here are a few examples:

  • I know, without a doubt, that if a restaurant is inspired by New Orleans cuisine, my husband will want to eat there.
  • If I’m looking for a birthday card and I find one with a butterfly on it, I know my mom will love it. The card could be blank inside and she’d still treasure what’s on the front.
  • Two words: Elvis Presley. If he’s on the radio, my dad’s sure to be in a good mood.
  • Passenger, steam engine, or subway … no matter what kind of train is in the book, my son will want to read it.

These little details have made their way into my memory — and help me to feel close to those closest to me. I have come to enjoy what they do and take pride in identifying what makes them happy. Po’ boys and king cake, monarchs, "Blue Suede Shoes," and Thomas the Train … I’m ready for any trivia you throw my way.

To-Do List (Mormon 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 April 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 336

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 311

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 353

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 511

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 520

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 399

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 462

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.

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