Wednesday, April 16, 2014

He will fight for you!!!!

Just checking in..... 
 Work has been busy due to this being tax season.
Things have been a little on the wild side at work!  So glad today things start to get back to normal soon.
Home has been a little crazy too...
Kevin is dealing with some issues with work, that hopefully will come to an end soon, one way or another.  All I can say is WOW!!!

This is what I feel our home is like lately.  It has been a little crazy and I am starting to doubt things again.  Kevin and I seem to be taking turns in that area.  The kids have joined in on this too. (now you know why I am worried) It hasn't been fun at all.  I will say this though.  Usually about the time I start doubting and freaking out is usually about the time, Kevin steps in and can talk me through it.  I can do the same thing for him too.  We both are usually there for the kids when they have doubts.  I think if we both were having doubts at the same time, we would be in serious trouble.  Honestly, this is why it is SOOO important to get married in the temple.  You want your Heavenly Father to "cover" you, so to speak.  I firmly believe that it is because of sacred covenants made in the temple with my Heavenly Father and my husband that have made all the difference.  Believe me, we have our issues and our difficulties.  It is during those difficult times that we have to rely on our Heavenly Father to help us work through certain situations.  I will say this....
I would not want to try being married and NOT be sealed for Time and ALL Eternity.  I know things would be different and we would not receive so many of the blessings we have received over the years, if we had just been married for time.  We are truly blessed. 

I know, I ramble sometimes.  Sorry about that.  I also know, we are being tested right now.  I read an interesting church talk the other day.  I was searching for one that would boost me up.  When I read through some of the titles I found I didn't think this particular talk was going to have the profound effect that it had on me.  (Sometimes you just never know)  The title was should have been my first clue that this was going to be a good one.  Looking back, I don't know exactly what kind of talk I was looking for, but I am so glad I stumbled upon this one.  I learned a little more about enduring trials well.  Not that I think I am a pro at it by any means.  I will be the first to tell you I am way off from that mark for sure.  But, here is a little of what I learned.  

Before I share this I need to explain a little bit...You see, I have been frustrated with all the struggles we have had over the past few months.  It seems that whenever we are starting to get things back on track and keep commandments that is when we get slammed with all of these obstacles.  It's SO frustrating!!  So, I have been doubting, which is exactly what you do not want to do.  You need to stay strong and keep the faith.  I was reading a talk by Jeffery R Holland.  (he is such a neat person!!  I love him!!!)  In Elder Holland's talk he mentions the book of Moses. 

 Here is a little bit (okay, a lot) of what he said in his talk titled: 
 Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence.

"You will recall that the book of Moses begins with him being taken up to “an exceedingly high mountain” where, the scripture says, “he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses” (Moses 1:1–2). What then followed was what happens to prophets who are taken to high mountains. The Lord said to Moses,

Look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands. . . .
And . . . Moses . . . beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God.
And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not. [Moses 1:4, 27–28]

This experience is remarkable by every standard. It is one of the great revelations given in human history. It stands with the greatest accounts we have of any prophet’s experience with divinity.

But Moses’ message to you today is, “Don’t let your guard down.” Don’t assume that a great revelation, some marvelous illuminating moment, or the opening of an inspired path is the end of it. Remember, it isn’t over until it’s over. What happened to Moses next, after his revelatory moment, would be ludicrous if it were not so dangerous and so absolutely true to form. In an effort to continue his opposition, in his unfailing effort to get his licks in later if not sooner, Lucifer appeared and shouted in equal portions of anger and petulance after God had revealed himself to the prophet, saying, “Moses, worship me.” But Moses was not having it. He had just seen the real thing, and by comparison this sort of performance was pretty dismal.

Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? . . . where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?
For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me. . . . But I can look upon thee in the natural man. . . .
. . . Where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God. . . .
Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not. [Moses 1:13–16]
The record then depicts a reaction that is both pathetic and frightening.
And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God [the very phrase used by Joseph Smith], he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook. . . .
And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence. [Moses 1:19–22]
So Satan left, always to come again, we can be sure, but always to be defeated by the God of Glory—always.

I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made,after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul was trying to encourage new members who had just joined the Church, who undoubtedly had had spiritual experiences and had received the pure light of testimony, only to discover that not only had their troubles not ended, but that some of them had only begun.

It reminds me of President Hugh B. Brown’s statement about marriage. He said he had always been told that when he got married he would come to the end of his troubles. So he got married, only to discover they were speaking about the front end. Now, you returned missionaries who are still sitting around single, don’t chuckle too loudly at that. I am not through with you this morning!

I suppose every returned missionary and probably every convert within the sound of my voice knows exactly what I am talking about: appointments for discussions canceled, the Book of Mormon in a plastic bag hanging from a front-door knob, baptismal dates not met. And so it goes through the teaching period, through the commitments, through the baptism, through the first weeks and months in the Church, and more or less forever. At least the adversary would pursue it forever, if he thought he could see any weakening of your resolve or any chink in your armor—even if it is after the fact.

This opposition turns up almost anyplace something good has happened. It can happen when you are trying to get an education. It can hit you after your first month in your new mission field. It certainly happens in matters of love and marriage. (Now I am back to those returned missionaries.) I would like to have a dollar for every person in a courtship who knew he or she had felt the guidance of the Lord in that relationship, had prayed about the experience enough to know it was the will of the Lord, knew they loved each other and enjoyed each other’s company, and saw a lifetime of wonderful compatibility ahead—only to panic, to get a brain cramp, to have total catatonic fear sweep over them. They “draw back,” as Paul said, if not into perdition at least into marital paralysis.

I am not saying you shouldn’t be very careful about something as significant and serious as marriage. And I certainly am not saying that a young man can get a revelation that he is to marry a certain person without that young woman getting the same confirmation. I have seen a lot of those one-way revelations in young people’s lives. Yes, there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. You can find an apartment. You can win over your mother-in-law. You can sell your harmonica and therein fund one more meal. It’s been done before. Don’t give in. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.

Virtually everyone in the room knows the formula for revelation given in section 9 of the Doctrine and Covenants—you know, the verses about studying it out in your mind and the Lord promising to confirm or deny. What most of us don’t read in conjunction with this is the section that precedes it—section 8. In that revelation the Lord defined revelation:
I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. [I love the combination there of both mind and heart. God will teach us in a reasonable way and in a revelatory way—mind and heart combined, by the Holy Ghost.]
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. [D&C 8:2–3; emphasis added]
Question: Why would the Lord use the example of crossing the Red Sea as the classic example of “the spirit of revelation”? Why didn’t he use the First Vision? Or the example from the book of Moses we just used? Or the vision of the brother of Jared? Well, he could have used any of these, but he didn’t. Here he had another purpose in mind.

Usually we think of revelation as information. Just open the books to us, Lord, like: What was the political significance of the Louisiana Purchase or the essence of the second law of thermodynamics? It is obvious that when you see those kinds of questions on a test paper, you need revelation. Someone said prayer will never be eliminated from the schools so long as there are final examinations. But aside from the fact that you probably aren’t going to get that kind of revelation—because in this Church we do not believe in ex nihilo creation, especially in exams—this is too narrow a concept of revelation. May I suggest how section 8 broadens our understanding of section 9, particularly in light of these “fights of affliction” that Paul spoke of and that I have been discussing.

First of all, revelation almost always comes in response to a question, usually an urgent question—not always, but usually. In that sense it does provide information, but it is urgently needed information, special information. Moses’ challenge was how to get himself and the children of Israel out of this horrible predicament they were in. There were chariots behind them, sand dunes on every side, and just a lot of water immediately ahead. He needed information all right—what to do—but it wasn’t a casual thing he was asking. In this case it was literally a matter of life and death.

You will need information, too, but in matters of great consequence it is not likely to come unless you want it urgently, faithfully, humbly. Moroni calls it seeking “with real intent” (Moroni 10:4). If you can seek that way, and stay in that mode, not much that the adversary can counter with will dissuade you from a righteous path. You can hang on, whatever the assault and affliction, because you have paid the price to—figuratively, at least—see the face of God and live.

Lesson number two is closely related to it. It is that in the process of revelation and in making important decisions, fear almost always plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role. To Oliver Cowdery, who missed the opportunity of a lifetime because he didn’t seize it in the lifetime of the opportunity, the Lord said, “You did not continue as you commenced.” Does that sound familiar to those who have been illuminated and then knuckled under to second thoughts and returning doubts? “It is not expedient that you should translate now,” the Lord said in language that must have been very hard for Oliver to hear. “Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now” (D&C 9:5, 10–11; emphasis added).

Every one of us runs the risk of fear. You do, and I do. Did you catch the line I tried to emphasize as I read the account from the Pearl of Great Price? For a moment in that confrontation, “Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell” (Moses 1:20). That’s when you see it—when you are afraid.

That is exactly the problem that beset the children of Israel at the edge of the Red Sea. That is lesson number two. It has everything to do with holding fast to earlier illumination. The record says, “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid.”

Some, just like those Paul had described earlier, said, “Let’s go back. This isn’t worth it. We must have been wrong. That probably wasn’t the right spirit telling us to leave Egypt.” What they actually said to Moses was, “Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? . . . It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:10–12).

And I have to say, “What about that which has already happened? What about the miracles that got you here? What about the frogs and the lice? What about the rod and the serpent, the river and the blood? What about the hail, the locusts, the fire, and the firstborn sons?”
How soon we forget. It would not have been better to stay and serve the Egyptians, and it is not better to remain outside the Church nor to reject a mission call nor to put off marriage and so on and so on forever. Of course our faith will be tested as we fight through these self-doubts and second thoughts. Some days we will be miraculously led out of Egypt—seemingly free, seemingly on our way—only to come to yet another confrontation, like all that water lying before us. At those times we must resist the temptation to panic and to give up. At those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary’s weapons against us.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . . The Lord shall fight for you.”
In confirmation the great Jehovah said to Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added).

The third lesson from the Lord’s spirit of revelation in the miracle of the crossing of the Red Sea is that, along with the illuminating revelation that points us toward a righteous purpose or duty, God will also provide the means and power to achieve that purpose.Trust in that eternal truth. If God has told you something is right, if something is indeed true for you, he will provide the way for you to accomplish it. That is true of joining the Church. It is true of getting an education, of going on a mission or of getting married or of any of a hundred worthy tasks in your young lives. Remember what the Savior said to the Prophet Joseph in the Sacred Grove. What was the problem in 1820? Why was Joseph not to join any other Church? It was at least in part because “they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (JS—H 1:19; emphasis added).
God’s grace is sufficient! The Lord would tell Joseph again and again through those early difficult days that, just as in the days of old, these modern children of Israel would
be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. . . .

Therefore, let not your hearts faint . . . : Mine angel shall go up before you. . . .
. . . and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land. [D&C 103:17–20]
What goodly land? Your goodly land. Your promised land. Your New Jerusalem. Your own little acre flowing with milk and honey. Your future. Your dreams. Your destiny. I believe that in our own individual ways, God takes us to the grove or the mountain or the temple and there shows us the wonder of what his plan is for us. We may not see it as fully as Moses or Nephi or the brother of Jared did, but we see as much as we need to see in order to know the Lord’s will for us and to know that he loves us beyond mortal comprehension. I also believe that the adversary and his pinched, calculating little minions try to oppose such experiences and then try to darken them after the fact. But that is not the way of the gospel. That is not the way of a Latter-day Saint who claims as the fundamental fact of the Restoration the spirit of revelation.
Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened this dispensation. It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going. With Paul, I say to all of you:
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. [Hebrews 10:35–36]

I acknowledge the reality of opposition and adversity, but I bear witness of the God of Glory, of the redeeming Son of God, of light and hope and a bright future. I promise you that God lives and loves you, each one of you, and that he has set bounds and limits to the opposing powers of darkness. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the victor over death and hell and the fallen one who schemes there. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it has been restored, just as we have sung and testified this morning.

“Fear ye not.” And when the second and the third and the fourth blows come, “fear ye not. . . . The Lord shall fight for you.” “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” I say this in the sacred and holy name of our Protector and Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love the LAST paragraph of this talk.....Fear ye not....The Lord shall fight for you.  Cast not away therefore your confidence. 

 As you can imagine, I was reading this during the last half of my lunch as I was sitting at my desk at work.  I had to hold back tears as I read and re-read several portions of this talk, especially that last portion.  In fact, I think this talk needs to be downloaded to my phone and my computer permanently, and a copy made for my scriptures.  I need to read this talk weekly for a while and keep it close when doubt starts to creep in again.  What a blessing it is to receive answers to prayers from inspired words from an Apostle of God!!!  I so needed to hear these words.  I need to read these words many times because I will need the remember this.  I only hope that my bringing a HUGE portion of this talk to your attention will help you too.  

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