choices

You’ve heard of habitual criminals, right? When offered their freedom they make an attempt to reintegrate into society.

Their family, filled with compassion and renewed hope give of their means-whatever money and goods are necessary to help their loved one re-establish him or herself into society. New apartment. New furnishings. New job.

Sadly, though, they may also return to their old friends. That’s understandable. But sadly, too often the same way of thinking, the familiar habits and attitudes permeate and life proceeds to resume the way it’s been experienced in the past.

Within weeks a family’s hopes are dashed and compassion has been replaced with cynicism, anguish and heartbreak. Shaking our heads, we wonder how it is that those delinquents will choose to repeatedly return to the confines of their prison. It seems like self sabotage, right?

“Men… have become free forever, knowing good from evil: to act for themselves… they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” 2 Nephi 2:26-27  

Can our condemned friends not imagine life on the outside of those four walls? Are they too terrified to leave the familiar? Are they too discouraged? Does it take too much effort to make the necessary changes?

Do they feel that they do not fit in with the rest of us? Is their belief system to blame? Do they not desire more out of life and better for themselves? A clean honest living. Freedom. Happiness.

 “Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18

What happens when someone offers to take the prisoner’s hand and walk with him out that door? That depends, doesn’t it? What is it dependant on? Does it depend on the heart condition of the prisoner? Is there any light remaining there to connect with? What are his desires?

Does it depend on whom is offering to hold their hand? Joe Christian? Jesus Christ? Whom does he admire? We can offer. Will he trust the gesture? Will he accept the hand offered in charity?stuck

Most of us understand what may divide individuals on this earth; those that become imprisoned as a result of their choices or those that fly on the wings of freedom.

Are you stuck?

Consider the following. Are any of these a part of your belief system?

“God doesn’t talk to us today.”

“I’m spiritual enough. I don’t need any church.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“Mormons think they are gods.”

“I can’t change.”

“The Holy Ghost was given only in the New Testament times.”

“There are no prophets.”

“I don’t like reading.”

“Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon.”

“All we need is the Bible.”

Be careful! This may be your self made prison!

I feel the above is a close analogy to our spiritual choices. Like our prison friend who cannot begin to imagine himself living a clean life filled with true communication, honest hard work, humility and giving of his means rather than pilfering and greed, we are surrounded with family and friends we deeply love who cannot imagine that the best available in this life has been offered to each of us.

Surrounded by our friends, our philosophies, our comfort levels, traditions and our own way of thinking we might be stuck. If so, consider what it may mean to be liberated!

Like an innocent child, carefree and adventurous choose to investigate. Read, ponder and pray. Pretend there is nothing to lose. There isn’t. Pretend there is nothing to fear. There isn’t!

There is everything you can possibly imagine to gain and more. Much more.

“By their fruits ye shall know them” Matthew 7:20

What do Latter Day Saints truly believe? Ask them questions with an open honest heart. Seek to know the truth. Search Mormon.org or LDS.org.

Listen to our leaders speaking to the world during General Conference and notice how doing so brings the Holy Spirit into your heart and into your home.

Examine the lives of successful Mormons. They are many.

Jesus Christ, our eldest Brother and Friend loves you more than you will ever imagine. He, our Savior, perfect and holy in all His ways, beckons.

Accept His hand and walk with Him. Doing so ensures your progression. Doing so promises your salvation. The greatest of all freedoms is assured-your eternal life and exaltation.

 

Have you ever been in a situation when you knew–really knew–exactly which direction the Lord desired for you to take? What were your choices? What did you choose? Any regrets?

Do you trust God? How do you know?

Many of the ideas in this post originate from a wonderful article that helped me ponder ‘trust in the Lord’.  “How much do I trust God? What does 100% trust look like? What does it take to trust God?  What stops people from trusting God? Why trust Him at all?” I’ve listed my accumulated thoughts. Is there more you can share?

Why trust in God?

* Your needs are great and varied

* You are His unique child

* He knows you individually

* He loves you

* He wants you to be happy

* He has your best interest in mind

* A lack of trust in Him brings sadness into your life

* He will send you messages of encouragement, correction and direction-fitted to you and to your needs

* He will counsel you personally with His wisdom-He can tell you exactly what you need to do-for your needs

Heartaches.  Grief. Anger. Hopelessness. Contention. Depression. Lack of direction in life. Divorce. Loneliness. Burdens of life. Unfulfillment. Frustration. The list of pain and anguish is endless. Countless long for relief but don’t know where to turn. The joy and happiness longed for can be very elusive.

Every individual on this earth has reason to turn to God. Each longs for a life overflowing with joy and happiness.

“I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.” Alma 29:2

What stops you from trusting God?

* Pride

* Fear

* No idea of how much He loves you

* Don’t know or believe that He truly is mindful of you

* You trust in men’s wisdom

* Lack of belief in His power to make or bring change

* Lack of belief in His power to fill your heart with joy, peace, happiness

* Lack of belief in His power to heal the pain, distress and grief of your heart

* Denial

* Lack of integrity

* Lack of a good heart

* Lack of honesty

* Unwillingness to obey His counsel

* A refusal to repent-that is, to turn and go in the direction he indicates.

Do you agree or disagree? Any more you can add to this list?

 “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” Jonah 2:8

What is the result of not trusting God?

Recall Jonah’s experience?  The Lord sent him to Nineveh to call the people to repentance.  Jonah boarded a ship going Tarshish-the opposite direction. His plan was to hide from the presence of the Lord. A mighty tempest entered his life while he was sleeping.

Waters compassed him…weeds wrapped around his head. (Denial, engulfed in misery, depression, lack of belief in God’s power, definitely didn’t trust the Lord). He did recognize that he was on this worldly level forever-no progression happening here.

What happens when we leave the presence of the Lord?

* Pain

* No joy

* No peace

* No happiness

* No blessings

* No progression

We reject His plan for our life. This lack of trust in God brings sorrow and misery to Heavenly Father’s children.

Then Jonah says he remembered the Lord- and he prayed.

What does it take to trust God?

* Courage

* Humility

* Honesty

* Remaining in God’s presence

* Desire to develop trust

* Two way communication ( Jonah prayed then he says of God, “ He heard me”, “Thou heardest my voice”)

* Commitment

* Knowing God

* Recognize our salvation is in Jesus Christ

* Willingness to obey His commandments no matter how hard they appear

* Repentance-turn in opposite direction

* Thanksgiving

* Keeping our covenants, promises, vows

And then the Lord ‘spake’ unto the fish. God acted –and saved Jonah. A second time He sent Jonah to Nineveh. Jonah did go and his mission was successful.

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7

When we trust in God, what do we receive?

* Peace

* Security

* Healing

* Strength

* Greater light

* More faith

* More talent

* Harmony

* Confidence

* Prosperity

* Greater joy

* Greater happiness

“…in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15 (KJV)

Trusting God will bless:

*  Our life

*  Lives of our families

Our communities

Nations

“And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you.”  Henry B Eyring

Do you trust in God? How do you know?

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