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  1. His heartfelt blessings full of love A promised hope of calm and peace To all honest seekers thereof In prayers and tears that never cease I say, my brothers, sisters all Who, in goodness, still hold trust But question why they still feel small And deem are lower than the dust This meekness draws the eyes of God Who loves you more than you will know It’s humility He applauds Your willingness to let it show He answers every tear that falls With care towards your broken fate He guides you up above the walls And lifts you to a higher state Always there, He anxiously awaits A Parent watching you in stride For any chance to show His traits And lead you Home where He abides Oh then look up and never doubt About the love He has for you Pre-destined for a greater route In your heart of hearts, believe it’s true. Aeglyn Nov 2019
  2. What if I could legitimately offer you a ticket to heaven, with the very thumb print of God on it, for $10,000? Would you take it? Most everyone I ask this says YES! It would be something tangible, and I could say I earned it--I bought it--I deserve it--it's mine! Never mind, that a family of five could not spend a week at a Disney resort for that price. Consider not that the cost does not represent even 1% of the ticket's value. We could take it and not have to embrace the one thing that Christianity demands of us--humble admission of sin and acceptance of unearned grace and mercy. Most refuse this free gift, yet would pay several month's salary for the same benefit. Heaven cannot be bought, but whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
  3. I'm losing faith in the most painful way. I don't even think I am worth it anymore. I don't think I'm worth anything to Heavenly Father anymore. I've lost so much of my innocence. I've been stuck in the world's influences. I can't feel what I felt a long time ago when I was young...when I still had a good character. I've sinned so much and I just think I am to the point that I am also evil. I have a history of abuse in the family (when I was young), that's what probably triggered my rebellion and depression. After the abuse, I felt like my world fell apart. I didn't belong or fit in, in any of the kids in high school. I should've listened to the church...but I gave in to the peer pressure. I have tried many "substances" before, to take away the pain from the abuse..I got addicted to drugs in high school, but I got help from that. I know this is really personal to me but I am writing this as my last resort because I'm trying to find hope in these dark waters...I also got addicted to pornography, ever since me and my ex gf got together in high school...I was introduced to this stuff...and it could ruin my life. I want to stop it. When I got bullied in school, I think I completely changed my personality, I became an anxious person and very moody, violent and very angry. It kind of drove me away from my family. Now, I'm sitting here, now 24 yrs. old, still addicted to pornography and wanting to stop it..I'm just lucky enough that I still have family support.I am trying to find help, it can be really hard to find help's hard not to get judged by other church's hard to find reliable friends these days. Times are hard when you're an adult. and I don't really feel like I belong to the church community. Regarding that I get social anxiety and am afraid of being judged because I might say something weird or bad or out of the ordinary...I really want my spirit to be in line with God again. I feel empty and depressed. It feels like my spiritual side is gone. It feels like I've been numbed down.
  4. Cause to Pause Today has been a day of revelation. I’m inactive as far as the Church is concerned. I have shunned religion, shunned faith, shunned Heavenly Father for about a year. I’ve had my testimony rocked to it’s core. I became convinced that the church was a cult. You have no idea how hard that is to admit to myself right now, let alone anyone else. I have struggled, I have railed, I have wept and I have ignored. I’m a convert, no faith background except perhaps loosely Christian but no church attendance as a child at all. I’ve been dealt some blows in life, blows that others will never have to experience. I would write about them here but I fear they would make me too easily identifiable to anyone who knows me well. I’m not sure I’m ready to “announce” my intentions right now. I’ve been looking for another church to attend. I’ve been reading voraciously, trying to find something to grab hold of and extricate myself from the restored gospel. I’ve asked for help of anti-mormon folks. I have sat down and tried to analyse without any help from the Holy Ghost, what exactly it is that I believe in. Not just based on what I’ve been taught, but also based on my own experience. I even took a questionnaire online in an attempt to find another faith. 100% LDS. Despite that when I took it, as I answered, I considered that I was removed from LDS teachings, I thought my outlook had changed. In all this pondering I, not for the first time in my life, had a most curious dream. It woke me a good 4 hours before the alarm was due to go off. In that space of time, in the dawn of the day, I was able to hear the still small voice one more time. There is no other church that I can join. The contents of the dream are unimportant right now, but suffice it to say that it affected me enough to sit in quiet contemplation and to pray. Later, I was looking around for some music with a message downloads (I’ve always found music to be a spiritual medium that can set me in the right frame of mind). I inadvertently, thanks to the search engine with a y, ended up clicking on and off But something caught my eye. President Uchtdorf’s General Conference Talk “Christ Will Find and Rescue You” from the April 2016 conference. It’s this week’s “Talk of the Week” on Towards the end of this talk, the line: “Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you.” Never has something hit me with so much clarity of thought in my life. The talk goes on to say this: “His invitation is simple: “Turn … to me.”5 “Come unto me.”6 “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.”7 This is how we show Him that we want to be rescued. It requires a little faith. But do not despair. If you cannot muster faith right now, begin with hope. If you cannot say you know God is there, you can hope that He is. You can desire to believe.8 That is enough to start.” Today is my start. I can’t deny what I know anymore. I am telling no-one I know at this stage, I’m not planning on attending church in the near future. I am going to take each day as it comes, and draw a little closer to Heavenly Father. Truly humbled. Axxx
  5. Somebody paid me a nice compliment today, and I have to admit I enjoyed receiving it. Then I wondered if I was not being prideful to take such delight in praise. I thought some more. No, maybe it is a sign of humility to feel pleasant surprise at kudos. What say you? BTW, part of making this string fun might be to extend praise to another member of the site. I'll start with TRAVELER. He always makes me think hard. Further, I discern he does the same to fellow members. His angle of thought is never that which is typical or common.
  6. In my Christmas message at the jail I will highlight how Christ humbled himself out of love for us. I suggest that in many ways Jesus' incarnation was similar to the experience of prison. Does it make sense to say that God the Son can be humble? See what you think:
  7. I asked my three daughters (11, 13 & 15) why they thought a prison staff member would be tricked into doing favors for an inmate. They all came up with the same answer I had--PRIDE. We think we can help others by trusting them. We think we see what others do not see. We think we can make a difference in a life by being their support. I hate to discourage any of that in the broad sense. However, true humility says we help people by pointing them towards God--not be violating ethics to be a hero. Who knows? Maybe I'm raising up the next generation of prison chaplains. :-) ​
  8. the scriptures talk about becoming humble and how important humility is, which i recognize. I want to become more humble as should everyone else reading this post, since there is always room for improvement. So how do you actually become more humble? how do strengthen humility? is it simply giving thanks to the Lord for accomplishments? is it asking the Lord for help in everything before trying to accomplish something (since that would imply that you are nothing and require help, which is true)? the reason i ask is because of this: anyone can say, "oh yeah, i understand that without Heavenly Father i would be even less than dust." However, people can say a lot of things (like "i believe in Christ" even without exercising faith). How can i exercise humility in a way that will help me become even more humble?
  9. Ever since I was twelve years old I have had not only a desire, but a need to call on my Heavenly Father in prayer. There were many points of the gospel that I didn’t understand – many things that I was experiencing that didn’t seem to fit – and even more things I needed to resolve. Because of this, I had a heavy reliance on prayer and on my personal relationship with God and Christ. While serving a mission, I remember having an experience where a companion asked me something along the line of “You always get answers to your prayers, don’t you?” I responded, “Of course. Don’t you?” His response was odd, “Well, I know the Lord answers prayers, but there are many times when I feel I don’t get an answer.” In my time since, I have realized that this is a rather common problem for members of the church (in fact, ANY church). The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were some prayers that seemed like I wasn’t getting answers, but usually the answer was that I was asking the wrong question. So in an effort to help my companion, I scoured the scriptures in hopes of discovering my pattern, the method I used to find answers to prayers. It wasn’t long before I identified with the brother of Jared in Ether, chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Mormon– so, if any of you would like to look at a few chapters with me with the goal of getting answers to prayers in mind, I would love to share what has worked for me. Let’s start in Ether chapter 2. Here, as we know, is where the brother of Jared is commanded to build the barges. The first thing we need to know is that he went and built the barges. I think that is the first step to getting answers to our prayers – we have to have proved to the Lord that we will follow what he tells us when we do get an answer. If the Lord doesn’t think we will do what he says, why would he tell us what to do? I have a mission experience to illustrate this point. One day my companion and I both received a heavy impression to knock every door of a certain apartment complex. After four hours of straight tracting, missing dinner to do so, and not teaching a single discussion, we were about to leave. We got the prompting again, to knock the doors again. So, we bothered many people twice, and got a few more doors answered from people who weren’t home the first time. Still, not a single teaching appointment. After our second time through the apartment, and almost 6 hours of tracting this ONE apartment complex, we resolved that we were to leave. On our way home, I asked my companion, “Hey, I’m upset by this. Why would we feel like knocking those doors was so important, only to have no success?” My companion at the time, who is much wiser than I was, answered, “Because the Lord wanted to make sure we were listening, and would obey. These last 6 hours would probably have been a waste anyway, so the Lord used the time to strengthen our ability to listen, so that when he needs us, he will know he can count on us.” Sure enough, on the way home we passed an oil field, and a small trailer house guarded the entrance. We felt prompted to knock on the door, which looked less like a residence and more like a company vehicle. It turned out than an inactive member lived there with her husband, who were away from their own home on business with the oil company. It wasn’t long before they were reactivated, and asking us whether they could get General Conference on their satellite: “And it came to pass that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me” (Ether 2:18). Step one: When you get an answer, prove to the Lord you are worthy of getting the next one. In verse 19, the brother of Jared asks the Lord two questions: “And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.” And in verse 20, the Lord answers one of them: “Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.” Sometimes this is how the Lord answers our prayers, by simply providing us the solution. I think, however, this is the rarest type of answer, and will usually only happen when we are unable to come up with a solution ourselves. Step two: Recognize that while the Lord can and sometimes does give us the answer directly, this is usually going to be a rare occurrence. Let’s note that in verse 21, the brother of Jared does what the Lord commands, which leads us back to step one. But the Jaredites still had a problem. Would the Lord really suffer them to cross the waters in the dark? This is the exact question that the brother of Jared returns and proposes to the Lord, and I absolutely LOVE the Lord’s answer. From verse 23: “What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?” What a fantastic opportunity the Lord has given the brother of Jared (and how often does He give it to us?). How often do we interpret the Lord asking us “What do you think?” as not getting an answer? In my mind, the rest of the verse isn’t exactly a quote from the Lord, but more of a banter between God and the brother of Jared: Brother of Jared – “Can I have windows?” Lord – “Are you kidding me? They’ll get smashed!” Brother of Jared = “Can I have fire?” Lord – “Only if you want to kill yourself. (And in verse 24) You do realize you’ll be buried in the depths of the sea and with the wind and everything I’m going to have to provide to take you to the promised land, there are going to be giant waves that are going to make the ride a bit bumpy, right? (Verse 25) So, with these things in mind, what other ideas do you have?” Step three: Recognize that more often than not, the Lord will expect you to bring Him an answer to see if it is the right one, not the question for Him to answer directly. I think it is also interesting to note that the questions the brother of Jared would have brought the Lord at this point were yes/no questions “Can we have windows?” “Can we have fire?” I think there is a reason for this: I think yes/no questions are the easiest ones to get answered. If you feel the spirit confirm to you that your solution is correct, then the answer is yes. If you don’t, then no. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Step Four: If you doubt your ability to receive a complex answer, or the Lord isn’t answering something that is complex, rephrase the question so that the answer is a simple yes or no. Now, on to chapter three. We’ve all read the story, so we know what happens. The brother of Jared does something I doubt many people would have thought of; in fact, I have to wonder if his solution wasn’t somewhat inspired. This man goes to the side of the freakin’ mountain, and carves out sixteen clear stones. What is interesting about this? First, the brother of Jared is obviously a good craftsman. He uses his talents to resolve the problem, even if it is a little “unconventional.” With his creative solution in hand, the brother of Jared takes his thoughts to the Lord. Let’s read those scriptures, because they are so incredibly amazing: "2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be aangry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are bunworthy before thee; because of the cfall our dnatures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires. "3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been amerciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these bthings which I have molten out of the rock. "4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all apower, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy bfinger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have clight while we shall cross the sea. "5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which alooks small unto the understanding of men.” I love how humble these scriptures are. I love the brother of Jared’s faith. As a reward, not only does the brother of Jared see the finger of God, but later has a vision in which he sees the coming Christ – thousands of years before his birth. Step five: Use your talents, and be creative as you seek answers. Think outside of the box. Your faith in the Lord will be rewarded as you seek Him. It is my hope that no matter where we are in our journey in life, no matter our faith, that we will cultivate the kind of relationship with our Heavenly Father that is as strong as the relationship between earthly fathers and children. The only way we can know Him intimately is through conversing with Him. May we all take a little extra time to listen – because He has some amazing things to tell us.