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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Be Ye Therefore--WHAT?!

I know, I know, it's been a while.  I apologize for my delinquency.  Something else you should know is that I will now be posting no more than once a week as part of a change in the assignment I've been given to share the gospel online.  Translation: fewer posts, but far more powerful because it's all my thoughts crammed into one!  Enjoy.

This morning I was studying scriptures about the nature of our Father in Heaven and came across one that is in both the Bible (Matthew 5:48) and the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 12:48):
Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Holy Cow!  Talk about a tall order!  I don't know about you, but I've never done anything perfectly, let alone my own personal flaws.  But as I thought about that mandate, I also thought about how much trust Jesus has in us to invite us to be like Him and Heavenly Father.  He believes in us.  It might seem like the bar is too high, like trying to do all the things required of us and be the "perfect person" might be impossible and would cause us to feel immense pressure to always, always toe the line and never mess up.  But people who feel that way forget something else Jesus said:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33)
So you see, through Jesus Christ we can have peace in this world.  Yeah, there's a lot that tries to drag us down, and yeah, there's a lot of bad that happens, even to good people.  We aren't going to be perfect in this life, nor do we make ourselves perfect.  But it is up to us to try, try again, to always choose Jesus Christ.  The world says people will never be perfect, so why even try?  But Jesus says, "I would that ye should be perfect."  We have His confidence--what more do we need?

Fear not, for He has overcome the world.  Have a great week!

Much Love,

Elder Spendlove

PS Share this with someone who's having a bad week.  That's the best way to feel Christ's love--by sharing it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Claw!

This morning I woke up and all I could think about was "the Claw" scene from Toy Story.  Remember?  Woody and Buzz find themselves trapped in a claw-game vending machine, surrounded by zealous little alien squeaky toys, only to be captured by Sid, Andy's nefarious and sadistic next-door neighbor.  As I thought about this scene, it made me chuckle how life is sometimes like this.  We find ourselves stuck somewhere, we don't know how we got there, and our next move is just as uncertain.  I also thought about the words of one of the aliens: "The Claw is our master.  It decides who will go and who will stay!" 


"Farewell my friends! I go on to a better place..."

Thankfully our Master is not an arbitrary, unfeeling metal claw, manipulated by greedy children; He is the Good Shepherd who lovingly invites us to follow Him and return home to our Father in Heaven.  But He knows better than we do.  He can see things from a top-down perspective, where sometimes all we might see are the obstacles in our way.  God and Jesus know all things, but they do not determine our choices.  We still have the ability to choose the path in front of us, but sometimes They nudge us along or warn us or direct us another way. 

So unlike The Claw, God does not force us one way or the other, but similarly He puts us where we need to be.  Then it's up to us to decide whether or not we will cheerfully follow His path or choose another.  Woody and Buzz made the best out of their imprisonment in Sid's house until they could finally make a break for it and return back to the loving arms of their beloved Andy.  We too don't always get to choose our circumstances, but we certainly can choose our reactions.

Food for thought.

Much Love,

Elder Spendlove

Image from http://porcelainexistence.tumblr.com/post/5655772108

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

He Lives!


Today I just wanted to share something very simple with you: my feelings about the Savior Jesus Christ.  I could go into it for hours and hours, but I just want to tell the world--briefly--that I know Jesus lived and died and lives again for each one of us.  His life is a pattern to follow; His death is a payment for a price I could never possibly pay; His invitation is to lay our burdens at His feet and "Come, follow me". 

I have felt His strengthening grace, His loving mercy filling in the gaps of my life.  I know that if I do what He asks I will be a changed person for the very best.  And who could ask for more than that?  Don't we all want to be better?  I know I do. 

He lives, I know He lives.  And because He lives, I'll live in such a way that when I meet Him again someday, He'll look at me with tears in His eyes, wrap His arms around me, and welcome me Home.  I'm living each day for that.

Much Love,

Elder Spendlove

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