Poplar, Transfers, and… My Thoughts.

So, I’m sitting in the library in the Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, Montana. Did I ever think I’d find myself up in north-east Montana? Not really. Then again, I never thought I’d end up in Chinook, Montana either and that’s exactly where I was this time last year. Life is full of ironies, that’s for sure. I’m not completely certain what the point of this post will be, but I always like to write out a little something whenever I get transferred, to get out my thoughts and such. So what’s the thought this time around?

Be careful about what you wish for.

I was getting a little bit bored of Frenchtown. It happens with all of my areas though. Maybe I just don’t have the right kind of attention span or something. But anyway, I felt like I needed a change of scenery, a change of pace. Well, I definitely got both of those. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m excited to be up here on the rez, but I certainly miss Frenchtown. Honestly, I should’ve been braced for it. I missed Chinook when I left. I missed Columbia Falls when I left. So naturally I would miss Frenchtown too, or rather, some specific people that live there.

My second thought is that, like how I felt when I first arrived in my previous areas, I’m not entirely certain why I’m here. I’m here for a reason though. I wouldn’t be in Poplar if the Lord had things for me to do elsewhere. Wherever you are in life, the Lord is well aware of it. He knows where we are physically and spiritually. It may be for someone else or it may be for yourself. Most likely, it’s for both reasons. I know I have things to learn while I’m here, and hopefully I’ll be able to help out some souls along the way. The same goes for all of us.

Well, that’s honestly all I felt like saying this time around. The Book of Mormon is true! Read it.

You Cannot Fight Against God

So… I’ve never really understood the whole point of the whole anti-Mormon thing. And by “anti-Mormon” I don’t mean anyone that doesn’t agree with Mormon doctrine. I’m referring to deliberate attacks on the doctrine. Websites, books, cds dedicated totryingto tear down the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m never worried about them. Their efforts fail and will always fail. Yet… I’m still curious. I wonder… what drives these people to have such an intense hatred for the Mormons and the things we believe? Why try to fight against us? What does it matter to them? I’m not going around trying to bash on the Lutherans or the Catholics or the Muslims. They have their beliefs and I have no reason to attack them for it.

Yet I’ve seen books and websites with the sole purpose of trying to tear down the LDS faith. Perhaps they think it’s some kind of missionary duty, to try and destroy what they believe to be something evil. Whatever the reason, I’d like to inject the reasoning of a great teacher. In fact, Paul the Apostle was the student of this man. His name was Gamaliel. When Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, they were commanded by the Pharisees to cease preaching in the name of Christ. Peter and John, of course, were not frightened by their threats, and Peter testified to them of their wickedness and how they had slain the Son of God. The Pharisees then wanted nothing more than to murder the two apostles, yet one of them was not wicked in his heart. This was Gamaliel. He had Peter and John step out of the room and then he offered some wisdom to his fellow counselors.

Gamaliel tells them to take caution with what they were intending to do with Peter and John. He cites two references,

For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

Two men, Theudas and Judas, had risen up, attempting to bring followers to their causes, and had failed. Their rebellions came to nothing.

And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

He then basically tells them to leave Peter and John alone. If the source of their cause came from their own minds, like the two men he had just mentioned, then it will result in the same manner. It will come to nothing and eventually be done away with. But, if their cause is the cause of God, then fighting against it would be the worst idea possible, because you can’t fight against God. You’ll lose every time.

This is truly wisdom, and thinking about it makes me wonder why people try and fight against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If our cause is the cause of a man from Palmyra, New York, then it will eventually be done away with. But it has not been done away with. It has lasted and endured the efforts of Satan. This is because it is not of Joseph Smith, it is of Jesus Christ. It his His work and His church. No one can fight against it, ’cause they’re fighting against God.

So here’s a little wisdom for the anti-Mormons. Go ahead. Fight against it if you want. If won’t matter, because I can tell you right now you are fighting against the work of God. You will lose. If you truly believe the LDS church is the consequence of a madman, then let us be. We’ll certainly destroy ourselves, given time. But we have not, and we never will. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s kingdom restored to the earth. See the fruit of it. Read the Book of Mormon. Compare it with the Bible. Find out foryourself and don’t let anyone tell you one way or the other.

The Poetic Corner: The Keeper and the Ocean

The Keeper and the Ocean

take every word you sputter out
and every word received
the things you thought but couldn’t shout
the hate you couldn’t see
in all these things we’re not alone
we feel collectively, you’ll see
it’s the air we all must breathe
it’s the air we all must breathe

your mind is a pool of water
sending ripples to another
what you imagine up is falling in
you can create, you can destroy
you can end or begin again

but why is it we’ve lost control?
the evil we’ve let slide
the keeper of our conscious mind
too often letting go
an open doorway cannot stop
and cannot even slow
the fight of forces we don’t know
these are forces we don’t know

your mind is a pool of water
sending ripples to another
what you imagine up is falling in
you can create, you can destroy
you can end or begin again

you think you know what you perceive
but your gate-keeper is fast asleep
allowing wolves to kill the sheep
but it’s never enough
just to wake your keeper up

’cause your mind is an ocean
turning tidal waves into emotions
what you think inside is never safe
these tidal waves are sending commotion

your mind is an ocean
turning tidal waves into emotions
the storm inside is nothing fake
it’s what you create
that controls the motions

so calm the storm above the ocean
take the winds and waves and make devotion
calm the storm above the ocean
take your sin and hate and make devotion

 

We are in control of our thoughts and actions. God gave us agency to choose how we react to things around us, as well as agency to choose what we put out to others. What opinions to become words. What ideas to result in actions. Unfortunately, a lot of us have let our filters go unused, and let the keepers of our subconscious minds fall asleep, unable to keep track of things going in and out. This is honestly as much for me as anyone else. Please don’t think I’m trying to be “preachy”, I’m just saying what I believe to be true.

Christ taught the apostles that after He was gone they would eventually be killed and hated among all nations, and that men will betray one another and hate one another, and “the love of many shall wax cold.” We can see this in the world today. It’s becoming more apparent every passing year. As Satan gains greater hold upon mankind, he is trying in every possible way to destroy the filters God gave us. We are desensitized. Evil is more readily accepted and considered normal, whereas goodness and traditional values are being deemed as old-fashioned, close-minded, etc.

The Book of Mormon teaches us,

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Our minds are pools of water. In many cases they are oceans. They can be beautiful, inspiring, and calming, or they can destroy and level the progress of those around us. When we think something, it generates itself as an object within our mind and is dropped into this subconscious pool. A positive object will ripple out a positive wave, and a negative object will ripple out a negative wave. So what will you choose? Will you let your keeper sleep, and allow the crashing waves of negative thoughts destroy those around you? Or will you wake your keeper from his sleep, stand him up straight, and then strive to give him less tidal waves to stop?

James, in the New Testament, focused most of his writings on the “doing” aspect of the gospel. He spoke of the great destruction the words from our mouths can create.

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James 3:6)

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (verse 10)

The thoughts in our minds create positive and negative consequences, both with an enormous power behind them. But the same mouth that compliments should not be the same mouth that tears down and defames.

King Benjamin, in the Book of Mormon, put it plainly,

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

 

Line Upon Line

We are children of God. Every single one of us. The bond and the free. The poor and the rich. The intelligent and the unlearned. The famous, the infamous, and the unknown faces. Every person that has ever lived, is living, and will ever live in this universe is a literal son or daughter of a Heavenly Father. And compared to His capacity, every one of us is indeed nothing more than a child. The most intellectual and/or spiritual person on this earth is still to God as a toddler is to its parents.

We are all learning and will still have opportunities to learn long after we pass from this mortal stage in our lives. That’s why we’re here, to learn and grow. A father or mother does not expect their child to fully understand the ways of life before they leave home and begin their own lives. The child continues to learn lessons about life as they grow older, go to school, begin careers and families, etc. Inevitably, mistakes are made along the way and the individual(s) learn how to adjust their ways so they don’t make the mistakes anymore.

Christ said to “be ye perfect,” even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. I’m sure the Savior was fully aware of this impossibility. He wasn’t referring to this life though. Indeed, we should strive to get as close to being like God as we can. Naturally, however, we are bound to epically fail at this endeavor. It’s alright. Perfection can be reached in the life to come. This life is a preparatory state, and like children, we learn how to be like God one lesson at a time.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi expounds this idea nicely.

For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28:30)

Through humility, we can be taught by the Spirit of God and learn what God would have us learn. Just as a child must grow in education and understanding, starting in pre-school, moving on to elementary, middle, and high school, and then perhaps on to college and family life, our spiritual minds also must learn by steps and levels. God will give us what we can handle. We can take it, learn and apply it, and then move on to the next thing, or we can desire something more than we can handle and fail… epically.

Nephi’s brother, Jacob, spoke of this in regards to the Jews before and during the time of Christ.

But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. (Jacob 4:14)

The prophets spoke plainly to the Jews. Christ spoke plainly to the Jews. Yet they rejected Him and His apostles. They spoke in their own manner of teaching, i.e., Christ often spoke of Himself as the living bread, that they who ate of His flesh would have eternal life. Such was common symbolism in the Jewish culture, yet they would not listen or understand. They hardened their hearts and instead sought for things they could not understand. We often do this, hoping that in looking beyond plainness we will not be held as accountable for our mistakes.

Well, obviously God knows this when we try and do it. There’s not much point ’cause we’re basically just setting ourselves up for failure. So don’t harden your heart against plain truth, and also don’t sell yourself short. We climb a ladder one step at a time.

 

Mormons and St. Patrick’s Day?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Honestly I’m not very “into” this particular holiday. I’m not Irish and I don’t drink. From what I’ve observed, those are the two main reasons why this day is observed. I like green I suppose, though I’ll admit I’m not wearing a green tie right now. Hope no one pinches me. (Does anyone else think that’s kinda dumb…?)

Well anyway, since a lot of people typically take this day as an excuse to get hammered, I thought I might explain a little about why we, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, don’t do that… among other things that we do not participate in.

If you have Mormon friends, you’re probably aware of the fact that they abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, coffee, tea, and heck, maybe even Coke and Pepsi if they’re really straight edge. The reason for this is something that we refer to as the Word of Wisdom, a revelation given from the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833. You can find this revelation in the 89th section of scripture we call the Doctrine and Covenants.

In this revelation, the saints are counseled to refrain from the use of strong drinks (alcohol), tobacco, and hot drinks, which prophets later revealed means coffee and tea. The Lord specifies that alcohol is for washing and cleansing and tobacco is for bruises of sick animals.

However, the Word of Wisdom isn’t just a list of “don’ts”, but also lists things that are good for us. The Lord tells us that grains are the staff of life and good for the use of man, and also that barley and other grains may be used for “mild” drinks (not very tasty though…). The flesh of beasts is also good to consume, but should be done so sparingly.

Perhaps you’ve been confused about the caffeine thing. Here it is, plain and simple. Mormons are allowed to drink caffeine.But, here is a verse from the 58th section of the Doctrine and Covenants,

For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

The ultimate idea behind the Word of Wisdom is that any substance someone may put into their body, deliberately, that harms their body is not in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. And any substance that becomes addictive is not in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. For some, caffeine is an addiction. They should no consume it because it takes possession of their agency. They become dependent upon it to function, just as many become subjected to a need for coffee in the morning. Others, however, do not have that physical weakness. They can drink caffeine and be just fine.

The Lord, however, has set specific boundaries. Alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea, have had a law, a fence if you will, built around them. We are no to indulge in them at all. Other things, there are gray areas. But as the Lord said, it is not necessary for Him to command us in all things. We should use wisdom and also the brains that God gave us. Be healthy, use good judgment, do not allow a substance to take presidence over the Lord.

It’s not something temporary, but spiritual. All of God’s commandments are spiritual. I obey the Word of Wisdom because I know that by taking care of my body, I’m also taking care of my spirit. And after all, it’s not really my body. We have been bought with a price, as Paul the Apostle stated. Our bodies are temples, and they belong to God. He has given them to us, so we should do our best to take care of them.

Oh, and I’ll admit, the Chicago river dyed green? That’s awesome.

One in Purpose

The nature of God is something that has been distorted throughout the centuries. What Christ taught about the Father, the Spirit, and Himself was plain and easy to be understood, but Satan’s influence has corrupted such important doctrines. Thankfully, the knowledge of God’s true nature has been restored in these last days.

Let’s start with a very significant little word. One. Christ says He and the Father are one, but what does He mean? Are they literally the same person? Same substance? Split personalities?

Paul stated, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Was Paul stating that joining ourselves to the Lord, obviously intending to mean following, literally joins our spirit with His? Do we spiritually melt into Him? Probably not…

In His intercessory prayer, Christ pleads to the Father (I’d like to think He wasn’t talking to Himself) to bless the apostles and those who will believe on their words. He said,

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:20-23)

So could Christ possibly be making a metaphor with the whole “oneness” thing? Nah! He’s probably being pretty literal. Seriously though, joking aside, the Savior obviously isn’t saying that He and the Father are literally the same person, or even that the origin of their substance is the same.

I know I’ve made previous blog posts about this, but I’m not doing this simply for the sake of parroting myself. This is truly important, for how can we pray to our Heavenly Father if we don’t even understand what He is, what He looks like, or who He is? If He’s the Son and the Spirit, but not the Son and Spirit, and the Son is the Father and Spirit, but not the Father or the Spirit… how can you comprehend exactly who or what God is? To what or to who are you sending your prayers?

Well, I’m going to tell you what’s real, not out of any intellect of my own mind, but by the blessing that I have been taught the truth. God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three separate personages. God and Christ both have bodies of flesh and bone, for we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The Spirit has no physical body, but He is still a person like the Father and the Son.

I wouldn’t mind going into greater detail, but I feel that this can be better explained by another, someone who is a far greater teacher than I will ever be. His name is Jeffrey R. Holland, and he is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Like Peter, James, John, he is an Apostle for the Lord Jesus Christ, a special witness of the Savior. This is what he has to say about this topic. Like I said, he can explain it far greater than I can.

Click on this link and read what an apostle of the Lord has to say about the Godhead.

 

Give Way to Summer’s Warmth

Winter’s cold is finally giving way to summer’s warmth. It only took forever, but I’m thankful it’s finally starting to arrive. Yesterday was the first day in… about five months… I was able to just walk around without a sweater or a jacket of some kind. It felt good to actually be warm. I’ve been cold since October and was really getting sick of it.

Well, although the weather yesterday was good, my attitude wasn’t. So as not to bore you with details, let’s just say that the day didn’t start off too great and some later events made me even more upset. Later in the day, things got better and by the time we got back to our place that night my mood had improved. I said a prayer before retiring to bed, asking my Heavenly Father to forgive me for allowing my attitude to get the best of me.

So I made my peace, went to sleep, dreamed about Coheed and Cambria (no joke), and woke up refreshed. I not only felt physically well, but my mind felt at peace. I’m amazed time and time again how merciful God is, how patient He is, and how willing He is to forgive us and let us try again the next day. He truly is our Father, ’cause honestly, only a parent could treat us with such tender kindness. Only a parent could be so willing to say, “Wow, yeah, you really screwed up, but it’s okay. I love you, so let’s try this again.”

In the Doctrine and Covenants (modern revelation), we read, “verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.

This experience of being forgiven and given yet another chance feels, to me at least, a lot like the weather I experienced yesterday. After being cold and chilly for such a long time, words can’t describe how awesome it was to feel the sun and finally be warm.

That’s what the Atonement of Christ feels like when it operates in our lives. We feel warm, vibrant, and bright. We don’t need to hide behind bundles of clothing that restrict our movements. We’re free to go out and do more. That is the delivering power of Jesus Christ. He frees us. He brightens the day. If sin is the winter’s chill, keeping us in place, then Jesus Christ is summer’s warmth, melting the ice to make us warm and free.

 

Flamingos and the Word

You ever wonder why flamingos are pink? Or why some are more pink than others? Well, it all depends on their diet. Carotene in their diet, which typically consists of different types of plankton, is broken down into pigments and is what gives their feathers their distinctive pink or reddish hue.

If you alter their diet, either by feeding them something else with less carotene or simply malnourishing them, they will become pale or even completely white. So if the flamingo’s pink feathers are to remain vibrant and saturated, they need to feast continually on the right stuff.

Likewise, if one expects to have the mark of God sealed upon their forehead, as John speaks of in the book of Revelation, they must feast upon the right food. Just as a flamingo’s appearance is kept colorful with the right diet, we must feast upon the words of Christ if we expect our countenances to be bright and Christ-like.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi tells us to “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” Paul tells us in Colossians to “let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly in all wisdom.” This isn’t rocket science. The prophets and apostles have counseled us to read, study, and ponder the scriptures. It’s not just good reading. It’s the word of God.

Nephi also wrote, “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.” (2 Nephi 4:15)

Do we delight in reading the word of God? Do our hearts ponder the meaning of the scriptures? Do we understand what they’re purpose is?

Nephi later writes, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)

The primary purpose of the scriptures is to bring us closer to Christ, to bring us to understand how we may be forgiven of our sins. All the prophets, apostles, and other inspired writers have written about the Savior. Their writings point us to Him so that we can progress and become like Him. And like the flamingos that turn pale if they don’t consume the right diet, the Light of Christ within each of us is diminished when we do not feast upon the words of Christ.

So feast upon the words of Christ and keep your feathers bright! Don’t be a pale flamingo.

The Poetic Corner: More Than Sparrows

More Than Sparrows

 

a look outside my window
leads to a desperate, lonely view
as the fog rolls in
emotions bend
my heart is pierced through

a step outside my front door
leads to a dark and empty road
as the cold seeps in
begins the end
my hopes become the snow

they’re frozen in place
face to face
with a world i do not know

no, i do not know
how the rising sun will show
but as i lift my head
my eyes see a light
and it says

you’re not alone
you are worth more than sparrows
and if God helps them through
then why not you?

no, i do not know
how the seeds we plant may grow
but as i look instead
to the ground around my feet
it says

you’re not alone
you are worth more than sparrows
and if God helps them through
then why not you?

we read that in the end of days
the seas will rise, the earth will quake
the hearts of men will become cold
and in the earth it will be told
there is no God, there is no light
the darkest thought you cannot fight
yet through their lies the light will pierce
the Lamb so meek, the Lion fierce
He is our Head, we are His pride
within His love we may confide
so when we’re found on empty roads
we’ll be raised up because we know

we’re not alone
we are worth more than sparrows
and if God helps them sing
and if He lifts their wings
and if He makes them free
then why not you and me?

 

A lot of people do not believe in God. A lot of people that do don’t believe He plays a large role in our lives. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our Heavenly Father is more involved in our lives than we can ever imagine. I know this to be true. One of my favorite set of verses in the New Testament is found in the book of Matthew, chapter ten, verses 29 through 31. They read,

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

I made a previous blog post about this topic a loooong time ago. If you’d like to read it quickly, here’s a link.

There always have been, always are, and always will be times in our lives when we feel completely and utterly alone. We may feel that no one in the world cares about us, or no one can understand our problems. Sometimes that second one is true. Sometimes even our family and closest friends simply do not and cannot understand our difficulties. But there are two individuals who can. Our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. They can relate to us perfectly, and with Them we are never truly alone.

Heavenly Father is the Ultimate Creator. Everything big and small in the universe moves under His watchful eye. In the verse above we read that not even a sparrow can fall without God noticing. The tiniest detail does not escape Him. The same goes for us. He always knows where we are, physically, mentally, and spiritually. We may at times feel alone, but we aren’t. God watches over the sparrows, and we, being His children, are certainly worth more than sparrows. I know this is true. If you feel alone, look up and know that your Father in Heaven loves you and watches over you.

Rubik’s Life Lessons IV: You Can Always Be Solved

Lesson Four

No matter how mixed up you are, you can always be solved. That is the beauty of Christ’s Atonement. No stain is too deep to wash clean. No wound is too severe to heal. No soul too miserable to be comforted. Through Jesus Christ, the colors can always be matched up again.

In the Book of Mormon, we read of the wise counsel of a loving father to his two sons.

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.(Helaman 5:12)

He tells his sons that if they build the foundation of their faith upon Jesus Christ, the devil will have no power over them to bring them down to misery. Helaman, the name of this father, also says that this will happen when the devil will send his storm upon us. It’s not a matter of if. We will face adversity and trials in this life. Our ‘cube’ is going to get mixed up time and time again, but by relying on Christ and standing upon the rock of His atoning sacrifice we will not be brought down into the crashing waves.

Jesus Christ is our Advocate with the Father. He is the Way to the Father, the Messenger for the Father, and He will plead for us when we stand before the judgment bar of God, if we have had faith on Him and used His atonement.

Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—

Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life(Doctrine and Covenants 45:3-5)

If we repent and forsake our sins, our Heavenly Father will forgive us, and we will someday enter into His kingdom and live with Him again eternally. I know this to be true, and I know it’s only possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how mixed up you think you are. Come unto Him and you can be solved, you can be healed and forgiven.

Rubik’s Life Lessons III: Sincerity of Heart

Lesson Three

Don’t allow the repentance process to become a memorized routine. This is, in a way, the opposite of Lesson One. Most often Satan would have us believe that changing is too difficult and therefore isn’t worth the attempt. Other times he tries to convince us that it is an easy process, and he lulls us into making it into something that can be done and over with in a very short period of time.

Since the day I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube to the present day, I can’t count the number of times I’ve matched up all six colors. There were days when I probably solved it around fifty times in between walking from house to house. Thefirst fifty times I solved the puzzle it was a slow process. I had to keep looking at the cube and reminding myself of the correct twists. Now I can glance at it briefly and then look up at someone and have a conversation while my muscle memory performs the move.

This is not how repentance should become. Once we establish the method and have done it many times, it’s easy for us to slip into the habit of simply going through the process without any real sincerity or thought. I’m certainly guilty of this more than once. We must offer up ourselves, not by rote pattern, but out of an honest desire to love God and obey His commandments.

Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name. (Heleman 3:27)

The Savior Himself had some things to say on the sincerity of our hearts.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

Every time we solve the cube, it must be a unique, individual experience. We must give our full attention to it and not just glance at it briefly while our muscle memory does the rest. We must be sincere. The Lord accepts nothing less.