An Ever-Growing Wonder

So let us restore each other,
not with haste, but gently,
for an empty cup cannot fill another.
A blank canvas will later be priceless,
and the love that we build will be endless.
Though we all stumble, we will not fall.

“An Ever-Growing Wonder”, by We Came As Romans

God is love. So what better way to become closer to God than to show love? And who better to show love to than others, God’s own children? King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon couldn’t have stated it better when he said,

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)

Serving others is a win-win for everyone. When we serve others, we’re serving our God. When we serve others, we’re blessing their lives and making the world a better place. When we serve others, we’re building ourselves up. An empty cup cannot fill another, but service fills our cup so that we may pour our heart and soul into another.

As the Apostle Paul said,

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)

We are all of the household of God. We are not strangers. There are no foreigners. For we are all children of the same Father in Heaven. Let us serve one another, that the love we share may be boundless. I echo King Benjamin’s words; when we are in the service of each other, we are in the service of God. Let our service for and love to each other be an ever-growing wonder in our lives.

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All things done in order.

At the beginning of each day, we may find ourselves with a list of things to do. Chores to complete, work to finish, people to see, things to study, etc. Whether it’s a lengthy list or a mercifully short one, we often want it to be done all at once. Sometimes we might glance at each item listed, or review them in our minds, and think that it’s simply impossible. We may wonder how God could possibly think we can do all the things that are placed before us.

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin gave some solid advice pertaining to this subject. In Mosiah 4:27 it reads,

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

see that all these things are done in wisdom and order – Stop. Slow down. Think about the things that need to be accomplished. When our chores are piled high, the last thing we need to do is rush through them.

it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength – Heavenly Father does not expect us to do more than we are able. Think of Jesus’s parable of the widow’s mite. She only gave two coins, though others gave many. But it was all she had to offer, and from a righteous perspective, she gave more than the rich.

God does not issue us a challenge we do not have the strength to overcome. He will not put a mountain before you if you can only climb a hill. Honestly review your strengths and weaknesses, and then put an honest effort into your tasks. That is all your Father in Heaven asks of you.

expedient that he should diligent, that thereby he might win the prize – Diligence is sincere, zealous obedience. If we expect to accomplish our goals, we must strive to do all we can. If we can climb that hill, we are expected to do so, even if we have to strain a bit to get over the top.

all things must be done in order – Going full circle now. Slow down and take the time needed to perform the work. When you encounter a speed bump while driving, you slow down. And so it is with life.

Slow down. Review strengths and weaknesses. Understand that God does not send us something we cannot overcome. Listen to the Spirit. Do all things in wisdom and order.

I know that by doing these things, we can accomplish anything we have set to do. God knows you and knows that you can succeed. He wants your success. Put your trust in Him, your faith in Christ, and listen to the Holy Spirit.

Dust to Dust

we’re all the same, made of hair and bones and water and blood cells

and we’re all to blame for spending way too much time on ourselves

ashes to ashes and dust to dust

Abracadavers“, by The Classic Crime

In regards to pride, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said:

Pride is sinful … because it breeds hatred or hostility and places us in opposition to God and our fellowmen. At its core, pride is a sin of comparison, for though it usually begins with ‘Look how wonderful I am and what great things I have done,’ it always seems to end with ‘Therefore, I am better than you.’

It is said that pride cometh before the fall. Pride is often the first sin on the road to many others. Elevating ourselves, whether individually, as groups, or as a society in general has led us to a generation of envy, greed, and hardheartedness. It has led to a society that does not believe it needs God. We often forget just who we are, that we are all alike and needful. King Benjamin advises us to retain humility and remember that we are all equal in God’s eyes.

Mosiah 4:19 reads,

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

Everything we have belongs to God. Our materials, our strength and energy, all comes from the same Being that gave us life and continues each day to lend us breath to continue living. Ultimately, we are nothing.

Do not get me wrong though. I don’t mean to bring us down. As I talked about in a previous post, we are the children of God. We are divine. We have great potential, but it is only through God and Jesus Christ that we may attain the greatness we are capable of.

I testify that without God we are indeed nothing, and capable of achieving nothing. With God, however, we can become great. He is the source of our life and each blessing we enjoy. May we not let pride get the best of us. When we do anything, it is not by our own strength but by the strength of our God. I know this to be true.


Happiness

My mind feels a bit fuzzy at the moment. I must honestly admit that I cannot think of anything clever, or terribly thought-provoking. Perhaps this just means that something simple and plain is more in order. Thankfully, my thoughts were drawn to the words of a very well-spoken man known in the Book of Mormon as King Benjamin.

Mosiah chapter 2

41  And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

I have witnessed this truth countless times in my life. Those that keep the commandments of God are truly blessed. Oftentimes, however, this verse is misconstrued. Obeying the commandments does not result in a perfect, pain-free life. It does not mean that everything will work out just how we want. Life is full of sadness, pain, and trials. They are to be expected.

But obeying the commandments will always bring us happiness and true joy. When we are in line with God’s will, our souls can rest and know that He loves us and is watching over us. We will receive the strength we require for our obstacles. We will be granted comfort by the Spirit to deal with the problems that aren’t solved in the way we had hoped. In this way are we blessed both temporally and spiritually.

Doctrine and Covenants section 130

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

21  And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

When we obey, God will bless us. I know that through obedience to God’s commandments we can experience true joy that cannot be trampled by the world. It is only when I know I am following God’s will that I receive a peace unlike any other, and it is when I am only thinking of myself and my own desires over God’s that I am buried with grief and remorse.

If you have taken of your time to read this, I testify to you that obedience to God’s commandments brings blessings. It brings strength. It brings peace and comfort. It brings happiness, happiness that can last for eternity.