How to obtain revelation and inspiration in your personal life

How to obtain revelation and inspiration in your personal life

In April, 2012, Elder Richard G. Scott taught a valuable and clear lesson on how to open Heaven up and receive inspiration in your life.

His words are clear and straightforward yet their application has astonished me at how his plainness can be so profoundly true.

As simple a matter as journaling my spiritual experiences and reflecting on them, has brought me revelation, joy, assurance, and peace. It has also clarified and sharpened my awareness of things I must do and things I must stop doing.

Thank you, Brother Scott, for choosing to teach all of us some of what you had worked so hard in your life to do. I do not think it was a coincidence that, with the end of his life near, he chose to teach us this valuable, lifelong lesson- “How to obtain revelation and inspiration in your personal life

They Did Obey and Observe to Perform Every Word of Command With Exactness

They Did Obey and Observe to Perform Every Word of Command With Exactness

When Helaman was recounting the battles of the Stripling Warriors, he noted these verses at a crucial turning point:

And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted.

Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

And now behold, it was these my sons, and those men who had been selected to convey the prisoners, to whom we owe this great victory; for it was they who did beat the Lamanites; therefore they were driven back to the city of Manti.

Alma 57:20–22

Much has been said about these verses, but one thing I sense from Helaman’s account to Moroni (one general to another) is that he was so proud of them because they followed orders, even when (probably) there was fear and death and all the mortally scary things that might happen to a person happening right in front of them.

The other Nephites, Helaman recounts, were about to give way before the Lamanites, but they did not. Breaking ranks would have been a disaster for the Nephites as it allows their armies to be surrounded and causes confusion an surely many lives would have been needlessly lost, and they likely would have lost the city they were protecting and all their provisions, strengthening the enemy.

The leader’s role would be to try and keep the “line” of defense strong so the enemy is only on one side of you, not able to surround you (how many times have we seen the Nephites win a battle simply by surrounding their enemy?) but any person, even a normally courageous person, as the other warriors in Helaman’s band, would have been harrowed up, frightened or fearful by all the blood and carnage going on around them. The tendency would be to retreat, and not to hold “the line”.

The tendency would be to act human.

But the Stripling Sons held the line. They did exactly what was asked, and their willingness to hold to the word of their Captains over their own mortal interests enabled them to have a strong, united defense against their enemies. While the natural mortal tendency would be to flee or run, this willingness to stand in the face of danger and fight as one and follow the command of their Captains, not their own selves, was their best defense against that very danger.

This is what giving your will to the Lord is capable of.

Handing over the keys to the Lord to captain you, guide you and allow his watchcare to bless you. He sees the whole battlefield (through all past and future, and all eternity) while you see just the pinprick of reality of what’s right in front of you, as scary and challenging as that is, he sees and knows where you need to be so you can be ready and safe and secure.

And that security and two-way-trust* brings Real Peace.

(*Huh, interesting, I hear you thinking to yourself, “two-way-trust.” That’s kindof like a two-way promise between people who keep their promises. Where have I heard that concept before in the Gospel?… )

Sons of Helaman by Joseph Brickley

Captain Moroni, the Peacemaker

Captain Moroni, the Peacemaker

Studying the scriptures today in Alma 48, I was struck with the following

Captain Moroni,
who desperately wanted peace,
spent most of his days
in war.

At first this sounds like a cruel irony of life—to buckle down and suck it up, and when life gets hard, you just have to get harder.

But thinking that way is far too simple, and actually counterfeit. 

And, perhaps, robs Moroni of perhaps his greatest personal joy to think of him only as a war captain.

The purpose of your life is not to work ‘hard’ at endless wars with yourself and your ‘enemies’ (bills and debt can feel like enemies), but to DO GOOD WORK, and learn to do good things well. Things that matter and make meaning. Things that bring liberty and joy and lighten others’ burdens

Things that make peace.   

We learn from Alma 48:14-16 these things: 

“Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.

“And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;

“And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.”

Alma 48:14-16

Reading this, I am impressed with three key things about Moroni I didn’t see before:

  • He had so much faith that he could prepare his people for battle, including defenses and armor, but pray fervently they would never have to use it.
  • He had the faith, and taught his people, that the Lord would tell them what to do if an enemy came upon them—to flee or to fight—and that He would support them as long as they were obedient.
  • He had the great joy in the peace that came from preserving his people and keeping the commandments of God.

This, not his war prowess, is what leads Mormon in the next verse to declare that if all men had been and ever would be like unto Moroni, the very powers of hell would be shaken.  Not because he was a great war chief, but because he was an architect and defender of great peace and great faithfulness.

I have thought and heard others say how they hope to meet Captain Moroni in heaven someday and ask him all about the wars he fought. 

That would, indeed, be interesting. I have thought often about his battles and strategy. Others have taken the accounts of battles and tried to map them to present-day geographies (source) which, even if these geolocations are mere speculation bring these things stories to life.

Yet, this morning, I am prompted to think that, if Moroni were asked, perhaps he would share a thing or two, maybe about Teancum’s army and their special-forces-level bravery, or the eternal bonds of loyalty forged by the Stripling Warriors, but then add on with a grandfatherly twinkle in his eye, “Now, could I tell you something I am even more proud of? Let me tell you about the wars I didn’t fight because of the peace I found…”

And, no wonder, centuries later, Mormon, a young man also asked to lead his people to war, and who knew his son would likely be asked to do the same, would look back over the centuries of his people’s history, and choose to name his son after Moroni—perhaps not because of his war prowess, but his peace prowess

And Thus, We See:

What are you doing today to work at defending your internal peace? Setting up protections. Defenses against the enemies of mind, money and time? 

  • What can you do to build your faith 1% more today than it was yesterday?
  • Could you do something uncomfortable but good
  • Could you not do something comfortable, but that you know will eventually rob you of your peace?

And most of all, will you ask the Lord if you should flee or you should fight when the hard things come, and then follow his lead?

It seems this willingness to prepare for the worst, act with faith in the best, and continually seek the Lord in everything you should do — and then follow him — is one way we can Let God Prevail in our lives. 

A Letter to My Daughters

Girls,

Father’s day this year got me thinking a lot about you, and I realized I have something I need to tell you:

I know the first words out of my mouth lots of the time are “no” or “that won’t work” or “that makes life inconvenient because…” or “you could have done this better if…”

I’m sorry about that.

I’m trying to be better about listening more and letting you guys figure things out on your own so it feels like something you learned 🙋🏽 rather than something forced upon you or that you were nagged about. 👮🏻

But I realize that the reason I say what I say is because I know you guys are trying to do all good things and in my heart I just want you to have that little nudge that could make the GOOD things you already do into GREAT things.

Except they don’t come out like that all the time.

And sometimes, the things I say sometimes probably sound like I didn’t realize that you  just built an entire suspension bridge across a huge, cavernous, massively frightening area in your life and I’m over here nitpicking how you’re wearing your hard hat.

Sorry about that, girls.

I love you so much and I am so impressed with how you’re doing your life. The challenges and various crazy things you’re faced with are huge.

And, you’re CRUSHING it.

I am so proud of you every. single. day. Ask anyone I work with or anyone I come across how much I light up when I am talking about you.

But I don’t always tell you that.  I probably should.

That’s why I am telling you now.

I love you,

Dad

Can’t Fight the Tears that Ain’t Comin’

I read this fascinating article today about a man who had a tumor which stole every memory he had, and then it all came flooding back to him in an instant.

I can’t imagine both the sense of loss and the incredible sense of remembering that he went through.

"I felt like I was watching an actor forget his lines on stage."

I had to stop and think:

  • What will it be like when we see ourselves, at the end of our lives, finally in full context, finally with a more fullness of understanding?
  • And how would we live today if we knew we could never have it, really hold it, ever again?

I have to admit I am kindof flooded by all this right now. It realy came to hit me this morning when I dropped [my oldest daughter] to the bus for a trip to Cedar City’s Shakespeare Festival with her school grop. She is going to be gone for two nights doing things she loves with good people, but I was in tears as I left the parking lot.

I love that girl.

I would do anything to protect her, my baby, from anytthing that hurt her. And there, I had to let her go. Just drive away and let her be a big girl as if nothing was wrong, dissolving into fatherly tears that I am going to miss my girl for these two nights, and I ache for her heart to be full and happy. Not just today, but tomorrow and for her whole life.

Somehow the rain this morning seemed to just continue the thinking. Who am I becoming today? What if I lost everything that I have right now, what would happen next? Am I building my trust and faith in the things that cannot be taken away or am I actually busying myself with thigns that really have no meaning, no value, no purpose and that if it all were gone from me tomorrow, I would actually be no worse of… or perhaps even better off for it?

I keep thinking of the words I read recently in my own scriupture study. We always read about those who will be cursed or damned and I think we focus on thoase maybe out of guilt or fear, but I read something that really caiught me.
That in the last day, those who have done righteously wold have a perfeect rememberance, not of their guilt, but of their enjoyment.

That word fascinated me. Their enjoyment. Their happiness. Their joyfulness.

Never let me miss out on the joyfulness, Lord. Please.

#BestDay

Lately, there’s been a lot of focus on the Sabbath Day and what it means to me. Something Elder Ballard said is Regional Conference today struck me and got me thinking about what I am or am not doing to take advantage of the gift God gave me each week, of a Sunday, a day to rest from my labors (and focus a bit more on his).

I think we are woefully underutilizing the power available to us in the Sabbath day and in the living ordinance of the Sacrament.
 – Elder M. Russell Ballard, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The song “The Day Dawn is Breaking” has been on my mind a lot. This morning, in fact, I just couldn’t get the opening lines out of my head:

“Beautiful day; 
of peace and rest.
Bright be thy dawn;
from East to West…”

I love the Sabbath Day. I know that it is a wonderful blessing in my life to change gears and slow down a bit. Though Elder Ballard’s words make me wonder what I am missing out on. I woner what a little change of focus might do.

Saturday Breakfast

I’m loving cooking a little for Saturday breakfast. This is easily man food and not pretty at all, but I love it and it gives me a great boost for the day after a fantastic workout this morning. 

  • 3 egg whites and 1 egg, fried.
  • 1 piece, Dave’s killer bread, toasted.
  • 1tbsp Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter on the toast.
  • 2 slices turkey bacon.
  • 2 oz Black Forest ham (fried).
  • 1 tbsp Cholula hot sauce #cantgetenough
  • Dash of salt. 

378 calories, mostly protein and really yummy. I had a nice cup of hot cinnamon Herbal Concentrate, too. Love it. 

   
  

my macros so far today– I’m higher in fat than i want but exceeding it with protein. if i keepy other foods pretty clean today, I can balance this out.
 

The Day The Son Did Not Rise

This morning, I was thinking about what was happening in the Savior’s life today, during Holy Week.

Today, is actually silent in the Gospels. Today is the daythe terrible events of Christ’s false trials, beatings, revilements and crucifixion and death, and His glorious, powerful and eternal resurrection. And, in light of our desire to get past the hard, scary and uncomfortable parts of he story and get on to the crescendo and climax of the story, I think we skip over this day.

Today is the day in the middle. The day where Christ did not rise.

Imagine the way it must have felt to Mary, Christ’s mother, or James, his half-brother, or Mary Magdalene, who was forgiven from deep sin, or to Peter and James who let their nets to follow him.

On that morning–Passover morning–they had to awake to a world that must have been suddenly and shockingly infinitely darker and lonelier for them.

  • Today was the day that the sun rose high on a world where, to them, there was no more Savior.
  • There was nothing more to look forward to, and everything they held on to had been lost.
  • They all had to wake up that morning, but Jesus, who they thought and felt and were sure was the Savior, was dead. He, who they followed daily for years, did not rise with them.
  • Today, the throngs of gawkers and onlookers were gone.
  • Today, hope was gone.
Of course, we know the end of this story. The weeping Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early the next morning mourning Him, and He had risen! He talked to her. He tenderly brought quiet peace and wonder to her. He had risen!

The end of this story is the glorious sunrise of the next day.

The next day, the Son rose.

And tomorrow, the sun will rise, too.

The next time you feel hopeless, alone, or in deep despair, remember that bitter, lonely morning for Jesus’ closest friends — the middle day– And do not forget that tomorrow, and the dawn, is coming.