Pursuit of the Eternal

The Lord is seeking men [and women] like Nehemiah—… who fulfill the oath and covenant of the priesthood. He seeks to enlist unfaltering souls who diligently go about the work of building the kingdom of God—those who, when faced with opposition and temptation, say in their hearts, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
When faced with trial and suffering, they respond, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
When faced with ridicule and reproach, they proclaim, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
Our Heavenly Father seeks those who refuse to allow the trivial to hinder them in their pursuit of the eternal. He seeks those who will not allow the attraction of ease or the traps of the adversary to distract them from the work He has given them to perform. He seeks those whose actions conform to their words—those who say with conviction, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”

We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. exerpt taken from April 2009 General Conference address, “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down.”
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We Can Know 4/4

26 May, 2022, 5:33am

We can know God if we will: Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21–23).

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him

John 14:21–23

Taken from the Gospel Principles manual by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

How Do you Respond When….

Sept 2, 2022 10:14 PM Updated

[May 9, 2022, 7:31 AM]

So, I’ve been struggling a long while with addiction. Which I’ve come to wonder if there’s a cycle of addiction, anxiety, and depression. Throw ADD in their and wallah, chaos. Which seems to have been my life for a long time.

I wondered if I couldn’t just “faith” my way through this. Is it not true that “true doctrine understood changes attitudes and behavior quicker than the study of behavior improves behavior?” (Boyd K. Packer). Well… the healthy need no physician. Whereas me.. I have been deathly ill mentally for over 2 decades. I likely need professional mental help.

It’s like caring for our teeth. If we’re not flossing and brushing daily, there will be consequences. A root canal may be needed and if this is the case, we wouldn’t attempt to work on the tooth ourselves. Personally, I would want someone who is educated and who has practiced many years in their profession.



——-STORY OF HOW TOOTH PAIN CAN’T ALWAYS BE FIXED WITH FLOSSING AND BRUSHING——–

If we seek Him we will find Him. And the Lord taught me the importance of professional help through a painful experience I had with my tooth.

My tooth was in pain and discolored. I thought I needed to brush more or floss more. I even began gargling with liquid garlic and coconut oil, thinking I could help my own tooth.

Finally, I was in so much pain, and one family member said something about my discolored tooth. She thought it may be an abscess and should get it looked at by the dentist right away because she had a similar experience.

I trusted her experience, and her witness of my situation. I went to the dentist, and he said I needed a root canal! There is no way I would have attempted to remove my own tooth. I needed the professional help of someone who works with teeth.

Like our mental health, symptomatic anger can mean theres pain we cannot heal on our own. Yes we need the Savior’s atoning blood and sacrifice, daily, but he has given us tools through professionals, so we can be agents for ourselves, and not be acted upon by our emotions.

Sometimes mental health can be a matter of flossing and brushing ones teeth. Other times, there’s a cavity, and if gone untreated can go deep into the roots and cause deep-rooted pain that requires medicine and eventual drilling out the tooth if the cavity affects the nerves.

I have learned the importance of following the prophets. Personal revelation is important, but if it contradicts revelation from prophets and apostles, check the source and pay close attention to your “gut instinct.” If something feels off, check your source. Is it fear-based or faith-based? Is it cringy or confirming? Does it edify or bring contention? When in doubt, follow the Prophet who, for our day as of today, is President Russel M. Nelson. I don’t know for myself yet, that he truly is the Lord’s prophet, but I believe it’s true. I believe its true that he does receive revelation to lead and guide Christ’s Restored Church, today, and I believe it’s the Lord who is leading and guiding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in these days.

As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has said,


How do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all,

Never lose faith in your Father in Heaven,

Never doubt that Heavenly Father loves you more than you can comprehend.

[Believe] That [His] love never changes. …

[Believe His love] is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful.

[Believe] God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.”

Never harden your heart.

Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life.

Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being.

Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings.

Take the sacrament every week,

hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Believe in miracles

[Believe that] Hope is never lost.

[Believe that] If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example:

[Believe that] if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

He then goes on to counsel what direction to take of things aren’t getting better, saying,

If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation.

Like a Broken Vessel

So. Here I go. After several years of understanding that I need therapy, I’m finally trying to move forward and not just faithing it alone because this is a root canal of a problem, not a matter of flossing more, brushing more, and eating less sugar.

I believe in the power of prayer, priesthood blessings, inspiration and the Holy Ghost. I believe God speaks to me, His daughter, and I can have access to His power as I am meek, submissive, become as a child, and seek to know His will for me. As I have tested the words of both ancient and modern day prophets, I have come to learn for myself the importance of keeping the commandments, repenting and seeking to do The Fathers will and not my own. It’s hard, but know that through the atoning blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can change forever. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

May 11, 2022 10:32am I may owe you, as the reader an apology if I’ve lead you astray.

Move Forward

Original post Oct. 21, 2018

Updated Feb 17, 2022

Photo by Анна Рыжкова from Pexels

It may seem easier to be complacent, but why would I want to remain complacent or “comfortable” when I am meant to progress, learn and grow?

Well, for one… it’s hard! I’m still learning how to overcome behaviors and habits that hinder my ability to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which ultimately allows me to receive direction and inspiration in my life (D&C 121:45–46; D&C 20:37, Doctrine & Covenants; Moroni 4:3, Book of Mormon).

I’m going through the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the third time because I just want to progress; I want to move on and move forward in my life. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for as long as I can remember. I never saw it as a problem, but from the time I was a kid. I was doing what many kids do- steal candy from our parents’ closet and binge eat on candy, sweets and treats from Halloween to Christmas and Valentines day to Easter. These rituals seemed to focus on binge eating and secrecy.

Eventually I began binge eating then extreme dieting and rigorous workout regimes during my adolescence. I was obsessed with food, diet and exercise. It haunted my thoughts constantly, and took away time I could invest with loved ones or creating or doing something worthwhile. Instead, I chose to fill my time with activities that “numb” my mind from the anxiety I felt with daily stressors.

Stress is a part of life, and stress is not unhealthy. I recently learned that stress causes the same physical response in your body as excitement; however, the only thing that changes is how I’m perceiving the stress. If I tell my brain, “I’m freaking out” then my body reacts negatively with anxiety. If I tell my brain “everything is okay” then my body reacts accordingly.

When I experience some advanced form of stress in my life, I would turn to habits to numb my mind. In 2018, when I first created this post, when even the tiniest bit of stress showed itself, I typically didn’t think twice before I went straight to spiritually destructive patterns. I had (and continue to have) a desires to change, and I believed I could through Jesus Christ. If we’re struggling with any addiction whether it’s alcohol, drugs, anger, eating, watching shows, listening to music, having unhealthy thoughts or anything that drives the spirit away; I know there’s hope to overcome these patterns, but we must always be honest with ourselves.

Here’s a link to step 1 for ARP

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-12-001-step-one-honesty?lang=eng

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Fall Time in Georgia

References:

Addiction Recovery Program. https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/addiction-recovery-program-guide?lang=eng

Photo. Web accessed. https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/category/fall?lang=eng

Strive for Progress

Original post Sept 17, 2018

Photo credit by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

I’m currently studying Marriage and Family Studies through BYU-Idaho online. I completed Pathway Connect in April 2018. I was at the crossroads again of deciding what major or career to pursue in college. This process is similar to picking a restaurant for date night. We need to eat, and we’d be happy with many different cuisines, but what will fill us up and make us happy on a typical Friday night? Usually it’s pizza. But, sometimes I want something more healthy and that makes me feel good.

There are many flavors to life and multiple careers I would be happy with, but what will be most filling and most “healthy” for my life? Sometimes I just want God to say, “This career is your best option, so pick this one.” It doesn’t work like this (D&C 58:27-28). A question asked by a loving family member helped me to form my own ideas and opinions of what would be best for me. She asked, “What area of study will benefit your family the most?” I began asking myself other questions like, “What goals do I want to accomplish?” “What career will help me progress the most and become a better person and help others?” “What career will best suit my interest, my talents, my taste and create a satisfying and fulfilling life?”

I am going to write metaphorically about health and work to connect the dots. Most days I prefer to eat in a pattern that promotes energy, health and vitality to my mind, body and soul (D&C 89:18), and I prefer to do work that does the same (D&C 88:15; Abr. 5:7). So, how did I choose to move forward with my educational path? I made a list of what I enjoy doing, what I’m good at, what skills I’ve developed, what skills I’d like to develop, and my talents (D&C 60:2). I read The Family: A Proclamation to the World (read by President Gordon B. Hinckley, 1995, General Relief Society Meeting), I pondered and studied it out in my mind of what I wanted then I prayed about it (D&C 9:7-8). My tastes are ever changing, so what I did must satisfy a higher purpose.

I want to learn about the family, and how I can create healthy family relationships. *Yawn for some and, at one point, for me too, but as I have gotten older, my season of life has changed. I no longer have the ambition to move to Paris and model like I did when I was fifteen (I’m tall and wanted to escape my town). I no longer have the desire to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist like I did when I was 25 (independence and living in comfort was my goal). As I pursued education and learned to follow promptings from the spirit, I was able to choose what would fit me best. As long as I didn’t get any “red lights,” “stop signs,” or “red flags” I continued going (see Elder Rasband’s talk, “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” APRIL 2017).

I know if I desire to be happy in my career choice, then I must choose to read my scriptures, pray, have faith, and participate in Sacrament meeting; I must choose to turn to God constantly through prayer to overcome hardships and trials for the rest of my life. Slowly but certainly, I will progress and become better and be happy through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by having the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

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Peru