In a Room Without Toys

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Thursday, 02 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 353

In a Room Without Toys

As I write this on Mar. 31, 2020, life has suddenly changed in many major ways. The coronavirus is all over every news outlet and is all the talk.

Some things that have changed in life are:

  • Gina is homeschooling the kids. This is a BIG change.
  • I used to travel extensively for my job, and now I work from home.
  • We have not worshipped with our branch as we normally do.

Ever complained about your job? I have, and now I am thankful to still have a job and pray each and every day that it will last.

Ever complained about the church service going past an allotted time? I am guilty as well. Ever skip church to go to a sporting event?

Ever worshipped athletes, actors, fame?

Don't Shoot the Messenger (Ether 11)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 July 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 609

Don't Shoot the Messenger (Ether 11)

If you've ever delivered a message on behalf of someone else, then you're probably familiar with what can happen if the message is upsetting to the person who receives it. It's entirely possible that the person may direct their anger about the message toward you, even though it didn't really come from you. It's at times like this that the appropriate thing for you to say is, "Don't shoot the messenger."

In Ether 11, God sends a message to the Jaredite people who have fallen further and further into iniquity. His message is that "they should repent, and turn unto the Lord, and forsake their murders and wickedness" (verse 1). The people He uses to deliver the message are referred to as prophets (by definition, a prophet is a messenger of God).

Not surprisingly, the people who hear this message don't receive it well. Not only do they reject the message, but they literally kill the messengers. One wicked king "caused that all the prophets who prophesied of the destruction of the people should be put to death" (verse 5).

Out-faith Your Fears

Written by Sister Erin Light on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 366

Out-faith Your Fears

Recently, I got fed up with letting my emotions, fear in particular, get the best of me. But how does this keep happening? I thought that once I attained a certain invisible level in my Christian walk, then I wouldn't have fear or anxiety or other emotions that do me no good. I know God can do all things. I've seen His miracles. I've experienced answered prayers. I've witnessed healings. But today, it seems that I'm just not sure God knows how to handle this.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

Have you noticed in this verse that fear is mentioned as a spirit, and one that God did not give to us? That means we get to choose what we listen to — the spirit of fear, or the Holy Spirit within us.


F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. This is more true than we realize; most of what we fear never becomes reality. And lately, it seems the opposition is working overtime to distract and dismay and despair the children of God.

Spread the Good Word: Psalms 103:2

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 26 June 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 349

Spread the Good Word: Psalms 103:2

Good Word Friday theme: Sharing your faith

Today is our last scripture on the theme of sharing your faith. Scroll up, read this verse again, and ask yourself, what does it have to do with sharing my faith?

This verse is telling us to be grateful, to not forget all God has done for us. When we are in tune with how good (how great) God has been to us, that overflows into a real relationship with Him, and that overflows into a ready testimony for anyone who will listen.

No Matter What

Written by Sister Tayla Barbe on Thursday, 25 June 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 449

No Matter What

I am celebrating the 10th anniversary of being baptized this year. I have been reflecting on the past 10 years and everything God has done for me.

I was 12 when I asked to be baptized. People in the church and my family questioned if I really knew what I was committing to. I prayed about it all the time, and I knew God was calling me. I had to wait about three months before the ministry would baptize me, and I am extremely grateful for that time. I read scriptures, and I met with teachers from my branch to learn more about the church. I felt so close to God, and when I was finally baptized, I knew God was with me.

As I got older, I became very distracted from God and the church. I was letting other things control my life, and I focused on all the wrong things. I would still go to church but out of routine and not because I wanted to be there.

We're Done Living in Captivity (Ether 10)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 24 June 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 546

We're Done Living in Captivity (Ether 10)

In Ether 10, the leadership of the Jaredite kingdom changes hands many times, sometimes peacefully and sometimes by force. Toward the end of the chapter, one of the kings is deposed and forced to live in captivity for the rest of his life. It doesn't sound like he was actually living in a dungeon, though; most likely, he was under some type of stay-at-home order or some type of arrangement that limited what he could do or where he could go.

The same captivity for this family lasts for the next four generations. Finally, a man named Com decides he is done living in captivity, and he goes out and reclaims the kingdom, living out the remainder of his days as king of the land.

Many of us have experienced living in some type of captivity during our lifetime.

Most recently, we have all experienced the stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. What has kept people in captivity during this time? Some combination of being willing to follow the rules and guidelines issued by lawmakers and health experts, as well as some level of fear associated with the virus. As we see the rules and guidelines being relaxed somewhat, the only thing left that will keep us in captivity is fear. As followers of Christ, let's allow our faith to overcome our fear. Let's reclaim the kingdom — returning to church and whatever else the Lord has for us to do, trusting that He will be with us.

Melodies with Meaning: Through It All

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 23 June 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 255

Melodies with Meaning: Through It All

Here's the next installment of "Melodies with Meaning," where our columnists tell you about some of their favorite spiritual songs. Today, we're hearing from Sister Vicki.

By the time this publishes, I will have celebrated my 40th spiritual birthday. It seems unreal just typing that sentence.

A spiritual birthday is so different from our natural birthdays. I can’t possibly view it as any sort of accomplishment on my part, or an accolade of my character, but only a celebration of a Savior who literally bought me with His blood and brought me through every step to this day. The day you decide to follow Jesus for the rest of your life, He begins a good work in you that only He can perfectly design and finish. (Philippians 1:6).

Trying to align this personal event with Melodies with Meaning sent my overthinking brain into overdrive. I have way too many favorite hymns and inspiring songs to pick just one!

One song, though, began running through my mind. Oddly enough, it wasn’t at all on my initial mental playlist to share for this assignment. On our very next Wednesday night Zoom church meeting, a brother shared his testimony with the same song! So who am I to ignore that nudge?

I Can't Work Like This

Written by Brother Joel Calabrese on Monday, 29 June 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 231

I Can't Work Like This

Today's Miracle Monday is a testimony of divine protection and assistance sent to us (much earlier in the year when it was still winter) by Brother Joel Calabrese.

Years ago in the mid 1980s, I was a meter reader for the gas company. This particular morning, my assigned route was in a rural area of Lorain County. It was winter with snow so bad that the edges of the roads weren't visible. If you went too far to the right to park, you would end up in the ditch.

By the time I arrived at my first stop to read some roadside meters, it was blizzard conditions! Well, afraid to go too far off the side of the road, I checked to be sure no traffic was behind me and parked on the road.

I jumped out of the pickup truck and immediately was hit in the face by the whipping snow. My eyelids were instantly frozen shut! I could not open them! I blindly reached for the door of the pickup and jumped into the seat. With the heat on, my eyes were able to open. I took a moment to gather myself.

Spread the Good Word: Psalms 96:3

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 19 June 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 365

Spread the Good Word: Psalms 96:3

Good Word Friday theme: Sharing your faith

Today's scripture comes from a psalm of praise. This psalm lifts the God of Israel above the false gods of other nations. This psalm describes how the God of Israel reigns over all the earth regardless of whether the nations acknowledge Him or not. This psalm describes how the natural world worships God (the trees celebrate, the sky rejoices, the sea shouts). How much more should we exclaim, "The Lord reigns" (verse 10)?

Melodies with Meaning: I Am Yours

Written by Sister Mallory McNamara on Thursday, 18 June 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 327

Melodies with Meaning: I Am Yours

Here's the next installment of "Melodies with Meaning," where our columnists tell you about some of their favorite spiritual songs. Today, we're hearing from Sister Mallory.

God has always spoken to me through song. I’ve loved music since I can remember, but my main focus has never been the music itself. I tend to focus on the lyrics.

The song “I Am Yours” by Lauren Daigle is a favorite of mine for two reasons.

First, it’s comforting in times of uncertainty.

You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

The Lyin' King (Ether 9)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 17 June 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 336

The Lyin' King (Ether 9)

In the classic movie, "The Lion King," the evil lion named Scar wants so badly to be king that he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that. He kills the current king — his own brother. He enlists willing followers by making wild promises like, "Stick with me and you'll never go hungry again!" But, as time passes, the food supply is gone and the country is in ruins. It becomes clear that it was all lies from a power-hungry tyrant who will just wind up dragging everyone down with him. Happily, the true king then appears and everyone is saved.

In Ether 9, we read an account that has many similarities to the movie referenced above. This chapter describes multiple cases of men so determined to be king that they kill their own family members to gain the throne. All of the wickedness "corrupted the hearts of all the people" (verse 6) who obviously believe the lies of the power-hungry tyrants since they have no objection to even murder being committed in order for their king to be in power. After some time passes, the true king is restored to the throne, and there is peace in the land.

Melodies With Meaning: Scars

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Tuesday, 16 June 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 389

Melodies With Meaning: Scars

Here's the next installment of "Melodies with Meaning," where our columnists tell you about some of their favorite spiritual songs. Today, we're hearing from Sister Dianne.

“Hi Dom!” I say as I excitedly walk through the door of the hair salon.

“Hey Di! How are you doing?” Dom says looking up from the cash register. “Look at you; you are overdue!”

“I know, it’s beginning to grow like it used to!”

As I sit in the all too large shampoo chair, I remind Dom that he can’t massage my head like he used to. I miss the relaxing massage, but things are different now. The truth is, I’d rather have the 5-inch scar on my head than enjoy those few relaxing moments.

“You have good hair,” I recall the neurosurgeon telling me six months earlier.

“Good hair? And that’s supposed to make this an easy decision? I am NOT having surgery!” I say vehemently as I had several times over the years. I admit that part of my fear was spawned out of vanity, as I viewed images of shaved heads and scars on Google. My other fears were that I wouldn’t survive the surgery, that it wouldn’t work, or that it would maim me.

Letting Them Find Their Way

Written by Sister Lori Kimmel on Monday, 22 June 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 1301

Letting Them Find Their Way

Today's Miracle Monday relates a dream given to Sister Lori Kimmel regarding her children.

You see, I sadly found myself raising my children alone when they were ages 4, 7, 9, and 11. I believed because we ended up alone that God had a plan for my children. Surely they would grow up to serve Him, become great people in the church... I just knew that THIS was the reason we went through the dark times.

As they grew, I did not find this to be the case. Some of them continued to join me at church, and others grew further away. I became frustrated with them and with God. When they chose not to go to church as older teenagers, I would get upset, and (most probably) ruin both mine and all the kids’ day. One night, God blessed me with a dream. I hope it blesses your life as it did mine!

This Is Not How to Study

Written by Lucky to Graduate on Monday, 15 June 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 289

This Is Not How to Study

We received today's Miracle Monday in response to our June prompt, where we requested that you send in school-related testimonies.

I was baptized when I was a senior in high school so I was still a relatively new member of The Church when I began college. This had obvious benefits as I was able to approach the whole experience in a prayerful manner. However, it also created some challenges as I resolved to read the entire Book of Mormon that year so I carried it with me to school, reading it in between classes. I also was so enjoying attending church that I not only attended my own branch meetings and MBA meetings but I also regularly visited the MBA meetings of another nearby branch. Studying? I’d be fitting that in when the tests came around.

Spread the Good Word: Ezekiel 37:17

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 12 June 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 309

Spread the Good Word: Ezekiel 37:17

Good Word Friday theme: Sharing your faith

For believers in the restoration, this scripture in Ezekiel is a familiar one. This prophecy uses a word picture to describe how the Bible (the record of Judah) and the Book of Mormon (the record of Joseph) are both God's word to His children. Together, they provide a full picture of God's plan and will for mankind.

When it comes to sharing our faith, especially the restoration, it's good to have scriptures like this one at the ready to support our beliefs. Having the ability to quote scripture is a fantastic resource. Quoting scripture isn't the right tool in every share-your-faith scenario, but ... 1.) Memorization is a great spiritual discipline for personal growth, and 2.) Scriptural support lends authority to our testimony because the scripture is God's word, not ours.

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