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But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause . . .
O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
Jacob 3:1-2 Precept #1
Look unto God with firmness of mind and let His word and His love heal and console you.
Can you think of a time when Heavenly Father healed your soul because you firmly believed in His promises? Do you ever reject His healing in favor of holding on to the hurt?
Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children . . .
Jacob 3:7 Precept #2
Love your spouse and children.
How do you sacrifice for your family? Do you have sins that keep you from loving them completely as you ought?
Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that . . . ye shall remember your own filthiness . . .
Jacob 3:9 Precept #3
Remember that you have sins and transgressions and that they are more important for you to deal with than focusing on those of others.
Are you blinded to your own sins because others around your are more wicked than you are?
Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them . . .
Jacob 3:10 Precept #4
Set a good example – the best example possible – for your children to follow.
Do your children know how to follow Jesus because of your example? How about being a good spouse or parent? Do you need to repent in order to set the right example for them? If so, what are you waiting for?
O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death.
Jacob 3:11 Precept #5
Wake up to the reality of those things in your life which are keeping you separated from God.
Are you ignoring your own follies, hoping they will simply be gone or somehow ignored when you stand before the Savior? Or are you aware of them and actively doing something to change them?
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I remember my first truly sacred experience when I was 12 years old. The next was somewhere around 14. My teenage years after that - after beginning a life-long study of the LDS canon of scripture - was chalked full of sacred experience after sacred experience which have developed in me a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a devotion to His teachings as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of those experiences as a young man I can say for sure that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Son of the Living God. He atoned for me and has "redeemed my soul from hell."
It was in those years that I learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. That came to be a huge social battle for one young as I was growing up in the Bible belt. I spent those years trying to live my life in such a way that people would know that I was a follower of Christ only to find out after years of hanging out with my friends that none of them believed I was Christian. This was devestating to me, a young man simply trying to show a good example as a follower of Christ. I felt like I had failed. It was only after serving my two year mission for the LDS Church that I realized the reason for their opinion was simply because our definition of what it meant to be Christian was drastically different. For me it had been about following Christ and living His teachings. For them it was whether or not my beliefs fell within their narrowly defined window of what they believed about God and Jesus Christ. I realize now that I was doomed to fail from the beginning!
It was in those years while I was trying to show people that I was a follower of Christ - facing opposition from friend, minister, and teacher alike - that I began studying the scriptures not just to understand His Gospel, but to come to understand answers to the challenges I was being presented with. In short I became as much of a Mormon apologist as a teenage boy with little education could ever become. But I at least had the scriptures and and the guidance of truly devoted and inspired friends and teachers -
and that was all I needed.
It is this pattern of questioning and searching for answers which has informed all of my scripture study and learning over the years of my life since then. My research and understanding of the Gospel, the Church, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith have all grown and expanded because of that constant and consistent devotion to studying. And they will all continue to do so - for the knowledge of God is infinite and there is no way in the life to learn it all.
This blog is an outlet for all I have learned and considered over the years of my Gospel study. I have found - as many people who have come to know the teachings of Christ the way I have - that when the Word is a part of one's soul he or she cannot escape the desire to share It. So share it I do. There are imperfections and missing pieces in what I write, but all in all I truly feel the Lord has blessed me with the one thing I have desired more than almost anything else: a well rounded understanding of His doctrine and truth as He has given to us at this point. Please forgive my imperfections for this blog is as much about improving myself and my own knowledge and faith in God and Christ as it is for helping anyone else do the same.
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