Wednesday, June 27

New Hampshire. It's the Greatest Place.

As I'm sure most of you know, Dalin and I currently live in Provo, Utah as we attend school at BYU and finish up getting our degrees. We have only been married and lived here just over ten months now, and already I am yearning to leave. Everyone who is older and has more life experience commands us to "enjoy these days" and "this time in our lives" because it is going to "fly by." Yeah, well, sometimes I kind of wish it would. As we are getting to know one another better as a couple, we are finding out more about who the other is as a person and what goals we share. I think one thing we can agree on is that we do not want to live in Utah. There is really no doubt about that. Even though I often suggest that I hate Utah, it's more that I just like everywhere else better...and by everywhere I mean the entire east coast, Idaho, and Arizona. Those are really the only places I can compare it to with my limited travel experience. I will admit that this state has SOME admirable qualities...I will name them so you know I am not too unkind a person:

It has nice mountains
The good stores are pretty close
It has BYU
The apostles and prophet are around here
It has Salt Lake, which is fun to visit
It has lots of temples close by
They have the Jazz
It has dollar theaters
It has Provo Canyon, which is where Dalin proposed to me
You can see the lights in the valley at night
Good people come here

These things are nice, but New Hampshire (where I am from) is just so exceptional a state that there really isn't much of a comparison. I'll tell you why:

My family is there. 
The trees. They make breathing easier.
The hundreds of lakes (Lake Winnipesaukee)
We have green (tree-covered) rolling hills
It is beautiful. We have the best views.
The many rivers that run throughout the woods
The air. It smells so clean. 
The natural water slides at the Kancamagus highway
Mount Washington (the highest peak in the Northeast)
You can drive across the state and into others (Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Canada--which is obviously not a state) in two hours. 
We have no income or sales tax--stuff actually costs what the price tag says!
We have lots of small towns
We have Gunstock! I grew up right behind it. 
We have the most beautiful Autumn you could ever imagine--it's so beautiful, people come just to see the trees
The humidity! I miss the moisture and not drying out like a raisin! 
We get rain! 
The weather is always perfect.
We really have no natural disasters...other than excessive snow...which I can live with. 
We have the ocean! Which is my favorite place!
Portsmouth. The town in which I have wanted to live for a very long time.
The amazing seafood...(it's great in all of New England, which goes without saying)
The interesting history (being close to Plymouth, Boston, etc.)
We are two hours from Boston and the temple
We got married there (Boston/reception in New Hampshire)
We are six hours from New York
We have real people
Our motto is "Live free or die."
We have the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox (unquestionably the best in sports ;)
The Church is strong and we have ample opportunity to be missionaries
It is my home.





There are so many other things. There really is not much of a comparison. I miss New Hampshire. I miss my family, I miss my home, I miss my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I miss Buddy. I miss my bedroom, I miss the trees, the lakes, the ocean. I miss everything about it.

A little dream...

Someday, I hope we'll live there in an old Victorian home in Portsmouth with our little Mormon family. We'll go to the ocean every day and collect sand dollars and sea glass. I'll paint and paint in my studio and fill our home with my crazy art. Dalin will have his own dental practice and will be home often. I will edit books professionally while our children are at school, then, once they're home again, we'll play in the woods and go visit the shops downtown where we'll buy ice cream and visit the art galleries. We'll go camping and fishing frequently and have my parents visit every week. We'll have a guest room (or two or three ;) so that Dalin's family can stay with us as long as they'd like. Dalin and I will bring the kids to the public plays that are put on in the Portsmouth gardens. We will teach our children to play tennis and to love the taste of lobster. Our home will be a place of peace. We will invite others into our home often. We'll have picnics by the woods in our backyard and grow a vegetable garden. We will become a self-reliant and hardworking people. We will share the gospel with our friends and neighbors through our example and invitation. We will be far from perfect--making mistakes, having accidents and arguments, and struggling to remain sane--but ultimately we will find happiness as we turn to and rely on Heavenly Father and our little eternal family.

I cannot wait for that day.


Monday, June 25

A New Commandment

Jesus showed love to everyone--including those who society mocked and rejected.




I am so excited to write about this subject. I love this scripture and this commandment.


 As I have loved you, love one another
John 13
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Others can know we are disciples of Christ when we love one another as He has loved us.  
Jesus...
visited and healed the sick,  
calmed troubled hearts,  
set an example for us
 comforted the weary
taught gospel truths, 
served others with His pure love,  
prayed for our welfare
among many other things.

Scenarios where we could extend love:

Someone is mocked for how they look or dress

This would be an opportunity to boldly stand up for another person. We would not let someone take advantage of a friend or family member, so why should be not stand up also for those we consider our neighbors, or even those whom we barely know? The Savior would and has done it. He was a friend to the blind and to the leper, who most of society avoided and would not necessarily be willing to stand up for. A constructive solution to this situation could be as simple as leading the person away from the situation, or as bold as calling out those who are mocking and expressing why such behavior is so cruel, hurtful, and unnecessary.
We see a new person at Church

Jesus was the perfect example of fellowship--He noticed those who were lonely or alone and reached out to them. We ought to do the same by inviting new or less active people to take part in activities. Then, we should do as the Savior would do and go the extra mile by extending a hand of friendship. We ought to stay with them and get to know them, and genuinely show that we care about them. We should be sensitive and loving toward them as they may feel uncomfortable or nervous. It is important that we do not let these people slip through the cracks. They are children of God, too, and need to be looked after.

Do people know I am a disciple of Christ by the way I treat them? 

This week I thought it would be appropriate to focus on serving someone I am close to. The easy choice was my husband, who I am nearly always with. While I try to serve him, I would also like to make an effort to serve my co-workers. I will try to show them love and patience. I will go the extra mile with my work and do my best to make their lives easier, and their days a little better. 

Remember

I know that it is important that we love one another. As we do this, we show our love for Christ and our Father in Heaven. Remember, Matthew 25:40 "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Wednesday, June 20

The Savior Taught About Future Events

Be prepared for a rather lengthy lesson. But I wanted to be thorough so that anyone who cannot understand my thoughts and discussion, will have the opporunity to see for themselves.

Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:4

"And Jesus left them, and went upon the Mount of Olives. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world?"

Regarding the destruction of the temple (5-20)

And Jesus answered, and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you;
 For many shall come in my name, saying—I am aChrist—and shall deceive many;
 Then shall they deliver you up to be aafflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be bhated of all nations, for my name’s sake;
 And then shall many be aoffended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another;
 And many afalse prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many;
 10 And because iniquity shall abound, the alove of many shall wax cold;
 11 But he that remaineth asteadfast and is not overcome, the same shall be saved.
 12 When you, therefore, shall see the aabomination of bdesolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, concerning the destruction of cJerusalem, then you shall stand in the dholy place; whoso readeth let him understand.
 13 Then let them who are in Judea flee into the amountains;
 14 Let him who is on the housetop flee, and not return to take anything out of his house;
 15 Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes;
 16 And wo unto them that are with achild, and unto them that give suck in those days;
 17 Therefore, pray ye the Lord that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day;
 18 For then, in those days, shall be great atribulation on the bJews, and upon the inhabitants of cJerusalem, such as was not before sent upon Israel, of God, since the beginning of their kingdom until this time; no, nor ever shall be sent again upon Israel.
 19 All things which have befallen them are only the beginning of the sorrows which shall come upon them.
 20 And except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be asaved; but for the elect’s sake, according to the bcovenant, those days shall be shortened.

Events:

Many shall call themselves Christ and deceive (6), They shall afflict and kill and hate you because of your belief in Christ (7), Many will be offended, betray others, and be full of hate (8), False prophets will deceive (9), Love will grow cold (10), tribulation will be great for the Jews (18)

Promises to the Righteous:

Those who are steadfast will be saved (11)

Concerning His Second Coming (21-55)

 21 Behold, these things I have spoken unto you concerning the Jews; and again, after the tribulation of those days which shall come upon Jerusalem, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe him not;
 22 For in those days there shall also arise false aChrists, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.
 23 Behold, I speak these things unto you for the aelect’s sake; and you also shall hear of bwars, and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet.
 24 Behold, I have told you before;
 25 Wherefore, if they shall say unto you: Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not;
 26 For as the light of the morning cometh out of the aeast, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
 27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the acarcass is, there will the eagles be bgathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
 28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.
 29 Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be afamines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
 30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax acold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.
 31 And again, this aGospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all bnations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked;
 32 And again shall the aabomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.
 33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the asun shall be bdarkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the cstars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
 34 Verily, I say unto you, this ageneration, in which these things shall be shown forth, shall not pass away until all I have told you shall be fulfilled.
 35 Although, the days will come, that heaven and earth shall pass away; yet my awords shall not pass away, but all shall be fulfilled.
 36 And, as I said before, after the atribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth bmourn; and they shall see the cSon of Man dcoming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;
 37 And whoso atreasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall bcome, and he shall send his cangels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the dremainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
 38 Now learn a parable of the afig tree—When its branches are yet tender, and it begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh at hand;
 39 So likewise, mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near, even at the doors;
 40 But of that day, and hour, no one aknoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.
 41 But as it was in the days of aNoah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;
 42 For it shall be with them, as it was in the days which were before the aflood; for until the day that Noah entered into the ark they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage;
 43 And aknew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
 44 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that in the alast days, two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other bleft;
 45 Two shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left;
 46 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; awatch, therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord doth come.
 47 But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up, but would have been ready.
 48 Therefore be ye also aready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.
 49 Who, then, is a afaithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
 50 Blessed is that aservant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing; and verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
 51 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord adelayeth his coming,
 52 And shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken,
 53 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
 54 And shall cut him asunder, and shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and agnashing of teeth.
 55 And thus cometh the aend of the wicked, according to the prophecy of Moses, saying: They shall be cut off from among the people; but the end of the earth is not yet, but by and by.

Events:

Many false Christs will arise and deceive (22), There will be wars and rumors of wars (23, 28), There will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes (29), the love of men will wax cold because of iniquity (30), the gospel will be preached to all the world (31), the abomination of desolation will be fulfilled as spoken by David (32), the sun will be darkened and the moon and stars will not give light (33), a sign of the coming of the Son of Man will be shown (36), those who are unrighteous because they think the time of the Savior's coming is far off will be cut asunder (51-54)

Promises to the Righteous:

Those who resist iniquity and continue to love will be safe (30), Those who treasure the word of God and are not deceived will be saved (37), Those who are doing as they should when the Savior comes will be made rulers over all (50)

1 Nephi 22:16-22

 16 For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the awrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.
 17 Wherefore, he will apreserve the brighteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.
 18 Behold, my brethren, I say unto you, that these things must shortly come; yea, even blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke must come; and it must needs be upon the face of this earth; and it cometh unto men according to the flesh if it so be that they will harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel.
 19 For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off.
 20 And the Lord will surely aprepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A bprophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be ccut off from among the people.
 21 And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this aprophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute bjudgment in righteousness.
 22 And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil, which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh—

Doctrine & Covenants 97: 22, 25

 22 For behold, and lo, avengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind; and who shall escape it?
 25 Nevertheless, Zion shall aescape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her.

To those who are worried about the Second Coming of Christ:

If you are trying to be righteous and the intents of your heart are pure, as long as you are not delaying repentence, the Lord will have mercy on you. He loves us all and wants us all to be righteous. I believe that if we are trying, He will know and not let our efforts go unnoticed or unrewarded. That is why we must repent now and stop doing the things that are holding us back from becoming more like Christ. It is hard, but there are so many little things that if we would just stop doing, we would feel less of a burden on our spirits. It is hard, and I know that I need to work on a number of things, but I also know that I am trying because truly nothing is more important to me than being with my family for eternity.

Thursday, June 14

The Last Days of Jesus' Mortal Mission



First Day

On the first of Jesus' last days, he rode through Jerusalem to the temple and on the way was honored by the people with palm leaves and praises. 

Jesus arrived at Jerusalem. He secured a donkey and a colt, and rode through the city gates into Jerusalem. A “very great multitude” who knew him to be “the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” placed palm branches in his way and greeted him with a hosanna shout: “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” 
He went directly to the temple, and according to Mark, took note of what he saw and retired to Bethany for the night.

Second Day

On the second day, Jesus returned to the temple and overthrew the tables of the merchants who used it for unholy purposes. 

Early the next morning Jesus went again to the temple and made a decisive thrust calculated to challenge the Jewish religious leadership. He drove from the outer court area of the temple those who were trading and making money exchange from foreign currency. The money exchange was apparently sanctioned by the Jewish leaders; and by preventing the merchandizing, Jesus was in effect challenging their leadership. The issue was clear: Was the temple to be a place of worship of God or of pursuit of gain? As he cleared the temple courts, he said, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
Again that evening Jesus returned to Bethany.

Third Day

On the third day, Jesus was challenged by the priests at the temple and He condemns them. He taught the Twelve Apostles after this. 

Jesus’ wrath in the temple raised the issue of authority, and the priests were not about to let the incident pass. As Jesus came to the temple the next day, the priests challenged him: “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?” Jesus responded by relating a series of parables that offended the religious leaders of the Jews. The scribes and Pharisees challenged him again; Jesus openly denounced them and condemned them as hypocrites.
From this point on, Jesus did not teach the public, but only the Twelve.
Perceiving that Jesus had gained the upper hand in their confrontations, the Jewish leaders consulted again how they might bring about Jesus’ death. They would have to move quickly before the Passover to avoid a riot, however, since Jesus had become very popular with the Jewish people. How to bring about an arrest without provoking crowd reaction was the problem. An unexpected turn of events that took place abetted their plot. One of Jesus’ own disciples offered to betray him.

Fourth Day

Jesus knew that one of His disciples would betray Him. 

Jesus well knew of the plot. The fourth day was spent outside the city, perhaps at Bethany. The record of the gospel writers is silent on the proceedings of this day.

Fifth Day

Jesus had the Passover meal or the Last Supper with the Twelve, where He introduced the sacrament. He explained that it represented His suffering, then brought the apostles to Gethsemane where He performed the Atonement. 

Jesus had arranged to commemorate the Passover meal in a home privately reserved for him and the Twelve. Following the Passover meal, Jesus introduced a new ordinance, the sacrament, which presaged his atoning sacrifice. He then prophesied of his death and indicated who would betray him.
After some instructions, Jesus offered his great intercessory prayer. Then, with the eleven (Judas had left), Jesus led them outside the walls to a familiar spot—Gethsemane. Then taking Peter, James, and John with him, he went further into the Garden where he then left those three and went off by himself to pray. There he pled with his Heavenly Father to “let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” The cup did not pass and Jesus suffered “the pain of all men," an agony so excruciating that it caused him to bleed at every pore.
Some time later he rejoined his apostles and indicated that his betrayer was at hand. While he spoke, an armed band led by Judas approached Jesus to seize him. Without resistance Jesus submitted. Jesus was brought to an illegal trial that night.

Sixth Day

Betrayed by Judas, Jesus was brought to an illegal trial and then, charged by Pilate, was sentenced to the death penalty. He was crucified on Calvary and then buried in a sealed tomb. 

The Jewish leaders now faced another problem. They were not content that Jesus should be put to death; they also wanted to discredit him before his own people. To do this, the leaders arranged to have Jesus charged with two crimes. The first was blasphemy, a capital offense under Jewish law. He was unanimously convicted of this charge solely on the evidence that he had said that he was the Son of God. Such a conviction would discredit Jesus before the Jews, but the rulers knew well that they could not carry out the death penalty; only the Roman governor could pronounce this. Therefore, they had to find political indictment against Jesus. The surest means of securing this was the charge of sedition against the state, for he had claimed to be a “king of the Jews.” Though Pilate’s examination found Jesus guiltless of the charge, the Jewish leaders had incited the crowd to “destroy Jesus.” Fearing a demonstration, Pilate gave in to the clamor to crucify Jesus, and the death sentence was pronounced.
And so Jesus was executed by the brutal Roman practice of crucifixion. Later that afternoon he voluntarily gave up his spirit. The next day, which began at sundown, was the Passover, and the Jewish leaders abhorred the idea that a man should remain on a cross on the Sabbath, particularly the paschal Sabbath. Before nightfall, Jesus’ body was removed from the cross and buried in a sealed tomb by two revering disciples.

Seventh Day

Jesus' body was left in the tomb on the Sabbath. 

This was the Jewish Sabbath. Jesus’ body remained in the tomb, but in spirit he ministered in the realm of departed spirits.

Day of the Resurrection

Jesus emerged from the tomb alive and appeared before Mary. He then showed Himself to His disciples and taught them to believe it was Him.

Had the gospel ended with Jesus’ burial, there would be no gospel story, no “good news.” The great message of these testators is that Jesus was risen and was seen again by many witnesses. On the first day of the week, the most memorable Sunday in history, Jesus Christ emerged alive from the tomb, and appeared before Mary. The testimony of these witnesses constitutes the gospel story, the “good news.”
“These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” 

He is Risen ~ 199
He is risen, He is risen
Tell it out with joyful voice
He has burst His three days' prison
Let the whole wide earth rejoice
Death is conquered, man is free
Christ has won the victory

Thursday, June 7

Accounts that Teach Eternal Truths

 The Parable of the Unjust Steward
Luke 16:1-12
"The Children of This World Are in Their Generation Wiser than the Children of Light" (124)

On first reading, the parable of the Unjust Steward would seem to be an endorsement for malfeasance in office. Careful study will show, however, that it was given to teach the care with which the saints of God should approach the task of preparing for their eternal future. Knowing that he had but a short time left in his appointed post, the steward wisely tried to secure his future by winning some friends. 

“It was not the steward’s dishonesty that was extolled; his prudence and foresight were commended, however; for while he misapplied his master’s substance, he gave relief to the debtors; and in so doing he did not exceed his legal powers, for he was still steward though he was morally guilty of malfeasance. The lesson may be summed up in this wise: Make such use of your wealth as shall insure you friends hereafter. Be diligent; for the day in which you can use your earthly riches will soon pass. Take a lesson from even the dishonest and the evil; if they are so prudent as to provide for the only future they think of, how much more should you, who believe in an eternal future, provide therefor!” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 464.) 

Major Principle: Verse 10: He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
My Thoughts: Dishonesty will come back to haunt us. We must have integrity and treat others fairly. If our dealings with our fellow men are unfair, what is to stop God from judging us unfairly?

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
Luke 16:19-31
"What Do We Learn About the Spirit World from the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus" (124-125)
In the famous parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus we are exposed to two different conditions in the post mortal world: “Abraham’s bosom” and “hell.” The former is depicted as a place of rest, the latter a place of torment. Between the two “is a great gulf fixed” which prevents social interchange between the two. Such was the condition prior to Christ’s visit to the spirit world between the time of his death and his resurrection.

The Savior’s visit to the spirit world bridged the gulf between paradise (Abraham’s bosom) and hell, making it possible for the spirits in prison to receive the message of the gospel by authorized ministers.

“But now, since our Lord has proclaimed ‘liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound’ ( Isa. 61:1 ), the gospel is preached in all parts of the spirit world, repentance is granted to those who seek it, vicarious ordinances are administered in earthly temples, and there is a hope of salvation for the spirits of those men who would have received the gospel with all their hearts in this life had the opportunity come to them. ( Teachings, p. 107.) At this time, as Joseph Smith explained it, ‘Hades, sheol, paradise, spirits in prison, are all one: it is a world of spirits.’ ( Teachings, p. 310.)” (McConkie, DNTC, 1:521–22.) 

Major Principle: Verse 25: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
My Thoughts: We will be dealt with justly. We should treat others well, keeping in mind that our situations could become switched easily.

The Ten Lepers
Luke 17:11-19
"Why Were the Ten Lepers to Show Themselves to the Priests" 
"Were There Not Ten Cleansed?" (130)

For a leper, “in the day of his cleansing,” the prescribed means of obtaining permission to reenter society required him to show himself to the priests of the people. (Read Leviticus 14:2,3.)
Jesus also told the lepers to show themselves to the priests as a test of their faith. When all ten believed and complied with the terms of the cure, all were healed “as they went” to visit the priests. (See McConkie, DNTC, 1:536.) 

The one who returned to give thanks was a Samaritan, and “perhaps this exhibition of gratitude by a Samaritan was another evidence to the apostles that all men are acceptable to the Lord and that the Jewish claim to exclusive superiority as a chosen race was soon to be replaced with a command to take the gospel of peace to all races.” (McConkie, DNTC, 1:537.)

Major Principle: 15-19: And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
My Thoughts: We must show gratitude to the Lord for the blessings He gives to us. We must remember that they only come through Him and keep in mind to always be grateful for the things great and small that He blesses us with. I love this parable and know it is always relevant. 




The Parable of the Unjust Judge
Luke 18:1-8
"Why Did the Lord Give the Parable of the Unjust Judge?" (131)

“The judge was of wicked character; he denied justice to the widow, who could obtain redress from none other. He was moved to action by the desire to escape the woman’s importunity. Let us beware of the error of comparing his selfish action with the ways of God. Jesus did not indicate that as the wicked judge finally yielded to supplication so would God do; but He pointed out that if even such a being as this judge, who ‘feared not God, neither regarded man,’ would at last hear and grant the widow’s plea, no one should doubt that God, the Just and Merciful, will hear and answer. The judge’s obduracy, though wholly wicked on his part, may have been ultimately advantageous to the widow. Had she easily obtained redress she might have become again unwary, and perchance a worse adversary than the first might have oppressed her. The Lord’s purpose in giving the parable is specifically stated; it was ‘to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 436; read also D&C 101:81-92.)

Major Principle:Verse 1: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
My Thoughts: The unjust judge was lazy. He did not care about the feelings of others. He was selfish, only concerning himself with what was comfortable to him. He did not come to the woman's aid out of the goodness of his heart but rather to prevent her from being a further nuisance.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican
Luke 18:9-14
"Why Did the Lord Give the Parable of the Pharisee and Publican?" (131)

“We are expressly told that this parable was given for the benefit of certain ones who trusted in their self-righteousness as an assurance of justification before God. It was not addressed to the Pharisees nor to the publicans specifically. The two characters are types of widely separated classes. There may have been much of the Pharisaic spirit of self-complacency among the disciples and some of it even among the Twelve. . . . The parable is applicable to all men; its moral was summed up in a repetition of our Lord’s words spoken in the house of the chief Pharisee. . . .” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp. 472–73; read also Luke 18:14.)

Major Principle: Verse 14: I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
My Thoughts: We cannot be prideful, we cannot be fake. Heavenly Father sees right through our insincere acts of goodness. If we are doing good things only for the praise of men, God will not bless us.

Friday, June 1