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.

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The Search for Happiness: The Iron Rod

When Lehi told his family of his vision, Nephi desired to see it for himself. Because of his great desire and unwavering faith, the Spirit visited him and showed him the dream. When Nephi is witnessing the vision, the thing that Lehi talked about are explained. The symbolism is made clear.

The iron rod is one of these symbols. In the vision, Nephi sees the iron rod along the straight and narrow path, extending to the tree of life. The multitudes of people in the dream are following the path to the tree by holding on to the rod of iron. Mists of darkness envelope the people. Many of them let go of the rod and become lost. But those who hold tight to the rod eventually make it to the tree of life and eat of its fruit.

Nephi understood this symbolism.

And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God. (1 Nephi 11:25)

So what is the word of God? The scriptures, naturally. But what exactly are the scriptures? The Bible, the Book of Mormon, and modern-day revelation. Essentially, the words of God and Jesus Christ and the prophets.

Nephi, the same that saw his father’s vision, said,

Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32:3)

The words of Christ and the words of His prophets (which are the same) will tell us all things that we should do. And if we should heed the words of the prophets now passed, then surely all the more reason to heed the words of the living prophets.

I testify that holding strongly to the word of God in His holy scriptures will keep us on the straight and narrow path to eternal life. I know that we also have living prophets today, found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We must listen to their counsel just as thoughtfully as we study the words of their ancient predecessors. The iron rod leading to the tree of life is indeed the word of God. It will safely guide us through.

Feast Upon the Words of Christ

Ever wish that life itself had a manual? Well, your wishes have come true! There is a manual that you can hold in your hands and read for yourself! It’s called… the scriptures! The scriptures consists of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and modern revelation from living prophets!

Perhaps that was a bit of a corny way to introduce God’s holy writ, but it’s true. The holy scriptures are one of God’s gifts to mankind. The prophet Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, said this,

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tellyou all things what ye should do.

Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.

For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 31:3-5)

Now, of course, the scriptures don’t always contain literal answers to every problem, question, or concern we may have. But the scriptures are a portal to the Holy Ghost. The Spirit speaks through those words, and when we open up the Holy Bible or the Book of Mormon, we can feel the power and testimony of the Holy Ghost. He teaches, He enlightens, He edifies, etc. When we’re under this unfluence, our minds and hearts and opened and we can understand and comprehend so much more. In this way we can receive answers to all our problems.

I know this to be true. I testify that through the scriptures we can know all things that we should do.

The Book of Mormon

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It holds the entire doctrine of the Church together. If the Book of Mormon is not true, then Joseph Smith was a fraud, our claim to priesthood authority is void, and the Church in its entirety is perhaps the greatest hoax ever conceived.

However, if the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God. If the Book of Mormon is true, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s true church restored to the Earth, containing the fullness of Jesus Christ’s gospel. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the message it contains is the single most important thing that anyone could read or know in his or her life.

So how does one come about knowing if it’s true or not? Certainly God does not expect us to believe something just because someone has told us to. The only way to know if the Book of Mormon is true is to read it, ponder about what it contains, and pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ and ask Him if the book is true

Moroni, the last prophet in the Book of Mormon and last person to write in the ancient record itself, gives us a promise. It’s found in the last book of the Book of Mormon: Moroni, chapter 10, verses 4 and 5,

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

The Spirit is the only way to know if the Book of Mormon is true. He testifies of truth and will lead us to it. We simply need to ask God with 1) a sincere heart, meaning that we truly want to know if the book is true, 2) real intent, meaning that we are willing to act upon our answer, that we will do something when the Holy Ghost testifies of the Book of Mormon’s divinity, and 3) having faith in Christ, meaning that we do this with the desire of coming closer to Jesus Christ and wanting to know if it is truly His gospel.

I have done this myself. I have read, pondered, and prayed about the Book of Mormon to know if it is true, and I testify to you that I have received my answer from my Heavenly Father, by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that it is the word of God.

I challenge you, if you have not done so, to read the Book of Mormon and pray to your Heavenly Father to know if it is true. You need not read the entire book itself. How many people believe in the Bible and yet have not read it completely? The Spirit can manifest all truth, no matter how great or small. The truth can be made known to you if you are sincere in seeking in, with the intent of coming closer to Jesus Christ.