Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Be Thou an Example of the Believers

1 Timothy 4:12 "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in purity."

I love this verse in 1 Timothy! It doesn't just tell us to be an example but goes on to explain how to do it. A believer is a follower of Jesus Christ. We want to be like him. The things he taught have meaning for us. Pres. Monson gave excellent counsel when he said, " Make every decision you contemplate pass this test: What does it do to me? What does it do for me? And let your code of conduct emphasize not, What will others think? but rather, What will I think of myself." He gives us a place to start as we try to emulate the Savior.

What kind of words do we speak? Are they uplifting and kind? What is our tone of voice and are our expressions ones that reflect a happy person? A smile comes naturally when we speak good words.

The Greek word for conversation refers to our conduct or behavior, If we were to repeat the scripture inserting the words conduct or behavior for conversation, the meaning of the scripture expands.

We all know that charity is the Pure Love of Christ. Charity is not something we do but it is a characteristic we want to acquire.

What is spirit? Spirit is what strengthens testimony and builds faith. Pres. Monson taught, "When firmly planted, your testimony will influence all that you do throughout your life." Faith is action. The Apostle James in the New Testament said, "I will shew thee my faith by my works." Faith is something we do. So then testimony and faith go hand in hand.

And last is purity. If we apply the simple meaning of purity which is without fault or sinless, most of us would say it cannot be done. But if we apply Pres. Hinkley's invitation to "Just do the very best you can, but be sure it is your very best", things would look much different.

So let's apply our definitions.

We will be an example of Jesus Christ, in the things we say, in our conduct or behavior, applying the love of Christ, with testimony, with action, and doing the very best we can.

It is my sincere desire that through this sacred season you may be comforted with this simple definition of how to be an example. I hope it helps in your callings, through your service to home and family, and with friends and neighbors. May the sweet blessings of Christmas be with all of you.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

SURPRISE!!!! And 10 months later.... My intent in starting this little blog was to inspire and bless my family with ideas or commentaries on life or from gospel learning. Because this year has been particularly busy with babies and their blessings and baptisms and family gatherings and visits and playing together, well, it is time to get caught up. I can't promise I'll  write every month (as the past year has certainly shown) but I will strive to do better.

Lately I've been studying about parables. We know that is how Jesus taught. It is how our General Authorities teach too. Parables can be examples from our lives that teach a gospel principle in a way that is meaningful and leaves a lasting lesson or impression. So here is one for you.

The Meridian Library sits on an old farmstead. When the machinery was being moved onto the property to demolish the old house, barn, and shrubbery, I decided I would go over and save some of the flowers from being destroyed. I saved some oriental poppies (which bloom in profuse orange every spring) and a climbing rose bush that decorated my apple tree with it's lovely red flowers. I dug up tulip bulbs and ivy. During my mission to save what was soon to be destroyed, I also found a small white plate with a chip in it. It had a sweet floral print in the center and a decorative lace like pattern around the edges. I decided to save that too. I cleaned that little plate up and displayed it in the girls bedroom with the chip side down. No one knew about the chip unless they picked up the plate. Fast forward to Hannah's wedding. One of her colors was a bright coral/pink and I had some left over ribbon I decided to thread through the lace like edges of this little plate. The ends of the ribbon met over the chip. I tied a pretty little bow over it and now display it prominently on the side table by the bed. No one knows how or why or when this chip or sin occurred and I guess it doesn't really matter. What is wonderful is that the Savior "covers" our sins, like that ribbon, as if they are no more. He makes us whole.

I'll never think about my little white plate as something with a chip to be hidden, but as something beautifully made whole by a ribbon.