Thursday, April 28, 2011

Healing the Blind Man

As I study, pray and ponder the lesson about “I was blind and now I see”, I was impressed by the following quotes and I have added some of the thoughts that came to me.

In John 9:5 it says, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (“By this act of giving sight to a blind beggar Jesus in a dramatic and irrefutable manner, proclaimed himself as 1) the Light of the World, and 2) the very Son of God. 3) He also confirmed the disciples’ belief in pre-existence, 4) rejected the belief of some that physical handicaps result from ante-mortal sin, 5) taught that his own work was assigned him by the Father, 6) reaffirmed that he stands in judgment upon the world, and taught that rejection of light and truth bring condemnation.” DNTC, 1:479)

John 9:6 “When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,” (According to their traditions, he was breaking the law of the Sabbath by making the clay, and applying a healing remedy to an impaired person. His purpose seems to be to put the people in a position to choose between him as one sent of God to do the work of the Father, as one who can open blind eyes and to open their blind eyes about Sabbath observance. MM, 3:201)

I think Jesus continued to heal and do miracles on the Sabbath in an effort to teach the unbelieving that:
1. He is the Promised Messiah.
2. He gave Moses the Law to start with and he is about to fulfill the old law and give a new Law regarding the Sabbath..
3. He teaches that it is ok to heal on the Sabbath Day and in fact he is about to institute the sacrament, which will heal thousands, no millions, on every Sabbath Day, if they repent and partake of His emblems, the bread and wine or water.
4. It is ok to do a little work if necessary in order to bless and save people on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees and the scribes were so caught up in the letter of the Law of Moses that they could not see that the Law of Moses was given and designed to point to the future coming of the Mortal Messiah himself. Christ is the one who called and talked to Moses.

As we open our eyes and receive revelation through the Light of Christ and listen to the voice of the Good Shepherds, (Stake and ward leaders, home and visiting teachers), we will have life more abundantly.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Good Samaritan

Last Sunday I studied my Sunday School lesson and here are a few things I learned.

1. Christ taught that unless we become as a little child we cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Have you ever met a child that is perfect? I know Hayley says Mikey is so perfect that he farts rainbows, but wait till he starts to crawl, walk and talk. This to me, this reveals one of the simple truths of the gospel. Children are not perfect but they are clean and pure. If we want to be with Heavenly Father in the Kingdom of Heaven we need to be like them. Not perfect, but clean. We become clean by repenting and partaking of the sacrament on Sundays. Like a child, we will be saved because we are clean, (repentant) not because we are perfect. Joseph Smith said we will not be perfect until long after we have left this life.

2. The parable of the unmerciful servant teaches us that Christ will for give us of all of our debts, or sins if we repent. The first lord (Christ) forgave his servant a debt of ten thousand talents. Then that same servant turned around and put his servant in prison because he would not pay him the 100 pence that was owned to the unmerciful servant. The average wage at that time was about one pence for a day’s work. At that rate the unmerciful servant would have to work for 150,000 years to repay his lord (Christ) the ten thousand talents. On the other hand, it would take a little over three months for the second servant to repay the 100 pence. How many times am I willing to forgive others who are not perfect? And how many times has the Lord, who is perfect forgiven me and suffered for my sins for me? The Lord, who is perfect, forgives all of us who are not perfect, and willing to repent. He takes those sins and suffers for them so that we won’t have to. He must love us a lot!

3. Christ was teaching the 70 and his disciples, who had eyes to see and ears to hear, like babes, about the plan of salvation, when a Lawyer, (a master of the Law of Moses), interrupted him and asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan. One level of understanding for this parable is that we need to be good neighbors to everyone we meet and share the gospel with them. Another level is that “A certain Man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho” symbolizes Adam, Eve and all of us, as we leave the presence of God and came down to earth where we are assaulted and wounded by sin and saved by Jesus the Christ, the Good Samaritan. As I studied and pondered, I think another level of the parable is because Christ was in the middle of teaching his disciples about the sacred ordinances when he was interrupted that he continued teaching the sacred ordinances as he gave the parable. Christ in the verses just before this parable says, “I saw Satan fall from Heaven like lightening”, and I think there are other things in the parable that can help us get a better understanding of the sacred temple ordinances.

That is the way I see it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Home SWEET Home

Last Monday night DeAnne and I went to the Macaroni Grill restaurant again. That is the first time we have been back there since James took us there to celebrate our closing the loan on our new home and it reminded us of how well James took care of us while we were looking for our new home. We recommend James to everybody that mentions moving! Let me know if you want his phone number!

This time we went to the Macaroni Grill with a group of ten other people from our new ward. The group calls themselves the “Empty Nesters Group”. We meet together with them for dinner or Family Home Evening once a month. These people are special people to us. We are so grateful the new ward has accepted us and befriended us the way they have.

We love our new home and we still feel like we got a fantastic deal on the price of the home. We love the low interest rate and we are now enjoying the tax credit we received.

We love having the laundry upstairs for DeAnne. We love having a garage for the first time in our lives. We don’t have to remove snow and ice from our cars every morning in the winter time. We love that the garage is oversized so we can get both cars into it without running into anything. And there is still room in there for work tools and yard tools. We love the garage door openers!

We love how quite our home is. It is even quite during wind and rain storms, and no squeaky floors! We love the deck across the back of the home where we can sit and relax and enjoy the scenery. We love our view of the mountains we see on both sides of the valley. We love hearing the meadowlarks again, watching the hawks, deer, fox, coyotes and other wildlife.

We love the sink, bathroom and light fixtures. And, oh yes; we love the size of the master bedroom and master bath!

We love having an air conditioner for the first time in our lives. For the first time in our lives we also have timers on the outside lights, programmable controls for the furnace and air conditioner and on the sprinkling system for the yard. We love it!

We love having room to have all our family in our home at the same time. They can all visit with us; eat with us and even stay overnight with us. That is SO great!

We love the small yard we have to take care of and we love that was already landscaped so beautifully.

We love the people in our neighborhood and we especially love the people in our new ward. They were there to help us move in, which we appreciated so much, and they have been so friendly towards us ever since. DeAnne and I were made the gospel doctrine teachers for the ward about a month after we moved in. Last month they called DeAnne into the Relief Society Presidency.

So, with all that said, we want everyone to know we love our new home very much and we are so grateful to be there. thank you to all of you who helped us in our move! We closed our loan on April 8, almost one year ago.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Report Cards

Report cards are a way of judging our progress. If we were to be judged today by the Lord what kind of grade would you have earned? Give yourself an honest grade for each year of your life.

Don’t judge yourself too harshly. You are generally your own worst judge.

For example let me take my life. I am almost 62 years old. I would give myself the following report card.

A – 3 years (My mission plus a little)
B – 20 years (The way I served and taught my family years)
C – 35 years (Just average)
D – 3 years (rebelling as a kid and teenager)
F – 1 years (Doing things I knew were wrong)

Now I will put some math to it.
A + 100
B = 80
C = 60
D = 30
F = 10 (for living)

My total score would be:
A – 100 X 3 = 300
B - 80 X 20 = 2,840
C – 60 X 35 = 2,100
D – 30 X 3 = 90
F – 10 X 1 = 10
Total score = 5,340/62 = 86.13 (That’s much better than I thought!)

That would give me just above a B for my life so far.

Wait there is more.

There are three degrees in the Celestial Kingdom. If you have been baptized and have a Celestial marriage, (note I didn’t say a temple marriage), that will get you into the Celestial Kingdom.
A = Celestial (Living with God and having an eternal family)
B = Celestial (Room for improvement)
C = Celestial (Able to serve and live with other Celestials)
D = Terrestrial
F = Telestial
No Glory = the sons of perdition

So I give myself a B, and that is with the help of the atonement. I would be in the Celestial Kingdon, but not able to have a posterity. But I want to be with my wife and family!

Here is the part we almost always forget. LIFE IS ETERNAL! How many years did we live in the preexistence with Heavenly Father? Well let’s take the worst case scenario. We were there in the in the preexistence with Adam and Eve. They came to earth 6011 years ago right? I came to earth 5,949 years after Adam. So for at least 5,949 years I was living with Adam, Heavenly Father and Christ = 5,949 years worth of A’s ! Because no unclean thing can abide His presence.

How does that change my over all grade?
A – 100X(5,949+3) = 595,200
B - 80 X 20 = 2,840
C – 60 X 35 = 2,100
D – 30 X 3 = 90
F – 10 X 1 = 10
Total score = 600,240/6,011 = 99.86% WOW!

No wonder the Lord called his plan, “The plan of Happiness!” We get to keep our families and be part of Heavenly Fathers eternal family! Once we return to his presence, he can continue to teach us and we will get more education and more “A’s.”

Now figure up what your grade is.

I think women get at least a thousand extra bonus points for every child they have and at least Ten thousand extra bonus points for putting up with their husbands!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Remembering Mom - 2011

January 19, 2011 – Today is my mother’s birthday. I have been thinking about her a lot over the past few days. I marvel at how hard she worked in and out of the home. She was always cooking something for Dad or for us kids. She loved to make bread, cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies and no bake cookies. She would make huge batches every time she made goodies. I loved hot home-made bread with butter and honey. My favorite goodie was cinnamon rolls with raisins.

She made blankets for everybody. Every one of her kids and grandkids have a blanket of one kind or another that she made for them. She helped dad in the garden and did all the bottling in the fall. She always bottled peaches, raspberries, apricots, and pears. She made all kinds of jam from her garden as well as grape juice from their grape vines. She would make huckleberry and raspberry jam and that was my favorite. She also made huckleberry topping for ice cream, one of my favorite things in this world! The huckleberry topping at Artic Circle doesn’t even come close.

Mom would always stop what she was doing when DeAnne and I brought our family over to visit. She would make dad turn off the TV so we could talk, even if he was in the middle of a ballgame.

Mom taught us a lot about the gospel by her example. She served in the Primary and the Relief Society and loved every minute of it. She was very nervous about her mission to the Utah State Prison, but when she was released she had a love for the people she met there.

One of the best things I remember about mom is that she was always with me whenever I had important events in my life. She was with me when I went to the doctor for my pre-school exam. She was at my baptism, and at all the church meetings. She helped me prepare talks for church. She was with me when I was set apart as missionary by Bruce R. McConkie. She was at school when I was inducted into the National Honor Society and she was there at the meeting when I was attending the Utah State Sterling Scholar Ceremony. Dad did not attend most of those things, I’m not sure why, but I could always count on Mom!

Mom and dad always opened their house for our friends and us to have parties and get-togethers. Mom would make treats and bring them to us and our friends while we were playing Rook and other games. We had a large, good group of friends in the Granger 13th Ward and Mom and Dad always made them feel welcome. Sometime there would be over 20 of us and sometimes, as we got older, we would stay up until midnight or latter. I don’t remember Mom complaining about us even one time.

Mom loved the great outdoors and did all the cooking for us when we went camping. She loved going back to Idaho to visit with her brothers and sisters. She loved to camp and picnic with them and to pick wild huckleberries with them in the forest. She also enjoyed going to our condo in the winter time at Island Park Village. She did a little snowmobiling with dad and sleigh riding with our kids. She enjoyed being with our kids inside the condo as well. I have some great memories with her. She was a great mother!