truth

ensign

I have been pondering on aspects of revelation that were not clear to me and voila! Abundant answers to old questions and more recent issues clarified as though I had sent in my requests to the editor.

It seems that nearly every article in the August Ensign was written just for my needs this month. I’ve thought so before but this fabulous LDS monthly magazine is the best yet!

If you’ve already received your Ensign, enjoy! Perhaps you too, will be delighted to find delightful morsels of greater value than gold.

If you’re not familiar with this magazine-no problem! It is accessible online. Follow the links below.

 

  • How do we receive communication from our Heavenly Father?
  • Have you ever wondered when revelation from the Lord will come to you?
  • How does the Spirit lead us into truth and teach us?

In His Own Time, In His Own Way”, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the twelve apostles examines principles of communications from the Spirit.

 

  • Do you wonder what the pattern for receiving revelation might be?
  • Can we do anything to receive communication from above?
  • How can our own personal revelation be greatly enhanced?

Mervyn B. Arnold teaches us the differences among reading, studying, searching, pondering and feasting on the scriptures and the pattern given by the Lord for receiving personal revelation-not only to guide us spiritually but also to help us temporally.

 

  • What conditions of the heart might affect our ability to tune in to and receive messages from our Heavenly Father?

In “Opening our hearts to Revelation”, Patrick Kearon says that  our Eternal Father often communicates with us through revelation as we sincerely seek and are worthy to receive it.

 

  • What should you do when you have to make a decision and you’ve prayed about your choices, but you’re still unsure of what to do?

“Move Forward in Faith”, includes insights from modern prophets encouraging us to wait patiently for answers and guidance.

 

  • What 4 principles have helped leaders to act with inspiration in their callings?

You’ll find them in The Leader’s Road to Revelation”.

 

Do you see why I was delighted?! So many rich truths to ponder all in one magazine!  This Ensign is a keeper!

 

Draw near unto Me and I will draw near unto you;

seek Me diligently and ye shall find Me;

ask, and ye shall receive;

knock, and it shall be opened unto you”

Heavenly Father loves  and cherishes each of us. We were not sent to this earth alone and forsaken.

He desires to guide and inspire each one of us so that we will be enabled, protected and strengthened until we return to live with Him. May we through our faith and diligence continue to receive personal revelation that blesses each of our lives.

Which of these principles have you discovered to be the most enlightening for you at this time?

I GET it! I FINALLY GET IT!! After nearly 40 years of questioning the why, I’ve got my answer. How subtly it appeared. I almost missed it!

Religious teachings were almost nonexistent while I was growing up. Even so, I was vaguely aware that sex outside of marriage was not accepted by the ‘older generation’.  And our generation was pushing our willful belief to the max, to the point of being thrown out of our parents’ homes.

Most of us didn’t see anything wrong with sexual relations because ‘we were in love’. Love is a good thing. Love is mutual. So what’s the harm?

I can tell you that I learned the hard way what the harm can be. But that pain is not today’s topic. I became pregnant and chose to live with a man in a common law situation. When that relationship fell apart, I moved away and soon afterwards became a Christian.

Reading the scriptures taught me the Lord’s commandments. I love to know the mind and will of the Lord; however I had the most difficult time understanding the laws of fornication.

I like to know the whys in life. For me, it makes the experience and knowledge that much richer. The assurance in my heart is much stronger making me feel invincible.

One day several friends were sitting around a table visiting. My ‘why’ was heavy on my mind and heart, and I blurted out. “What’s wrong with having sexual relations before marriage?”

Usually mild and sweet, my good friend, a man in his late thirties, harshly and abruptly slammed the table hard as he uttered each word a bit louder than necessary, “Because the Bible says so!”

Shocked at his violent response, I shut down. I’ve obeyed that commandment since, hoping that no one would ever ask me the “why”. And I do believe there are immeasurably sweet blessings for those who choose that high road.

In the process of planning this week’s post I pondered on the article in February’s Ensign by Tad R. Callister, preparing to parrot his seven awesome points. (It is such marvelous teaching that I actually considered making this a 7 part series.)integrity3 (2)

Most persons desiring success in life have learned or heard that acquiring integrity is of foremost importance. I believed myself to be quite intimate with the truths of integrity. I tended to think of integrity as a step above honesty. In fact, the online dictionary lists ‘dishonesty’ as an antonym for integrity. Today that antonym seems very inadequate. It is more – so much more than that.

My heart overflows with joy and gratitude for the mellow sweetness of understanding!  (See # 2 -emphasis mine)

Tad R. Callister’s Seven Principles of Integrity

1.  Integrity is the foundation of our character and all other virtues.

“If there are cracks in that foundation, then it will not support the weight of other Christlike attributes that must be built upon it. How can we be humble if we lack the integrity to acknowledge our own weaknesses? How can we develop charity for others if we are not totally honest in our dealings with them?… At the root of every virtue is integrity.”

2.  Integrity is not doing just that which is legal but that which is moral or Christlike.

“It may be legal to commit adultery, it may be legal to have premarital physical relations, it may be legal to gossip, but none of those actions is moral or Christlike. Integrity is not just adherence to the legal code; it is also adherence to the higher moral code.”

“Every young man has the moral duty to protect and preserve the virtue of his date, and every young woman has the reciprocal moral duty for her date. It is a test of his or her integrity. The man or woman who is striving for integrity will develop a resolve and a discipline that transcend even the powerful passions of physical emotions. It is that integrity to God and to self and to others that sustains them and empowers them even when Satan unleashes his arsenal of moral temptations upon them.”

3.  Integrity makes decisions based on eternal implications.

“Integrity is not short-sighted—it is not just a temporary change of behavior; it is a permanent change of nature.”

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble patient, full of love, wiling to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” Mosiah 3:19

4.  Integrity is disclosing the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

“I believe the Lord can live with our weaknesses and mistakes, provided we demonstrate a desire and effort to repent. That is what the Atonement is all about. But I do not believe He can easily tolerate a deceitful heart or a lying tongue.”

5.  Integrity knows no alibis or excuses.

“There is something ennobling about the man or woman who admits his or her weaknesses and takes the blame square on without excuse or alibi. On multiple occasions Joseph Smith recorded his weaknesses in the Doctrine and Covenants for all to read. This tells us he was not perfect, but it also tells us he had nothing to hide—he was a man of integrity.”

Integrity

6.  Integrity is keeping our covenants and our commitments, even in times of inconvenience.

“Integrity is the courage to do right regardless of the consequences and the inconvenience.”

“One of the acid tests of our integrity is whether we keep the commitments and promises we have made or whether there are loopholes in our word.”

7.  Integrity is not governed by the presence of others. It is internally, not externally, driven.

“Would you watch pornography in front of your mother, your date, your spouse, or your bishop? If it is wrong in the presence of others, it is just as wrong in their absence.”

“May the integrity of our souls have a sign that reads in bold black letters “NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE””.

Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More

A Man for all Seasons” is one of my all time favorite plays. Very soon-I intend to renew my acquaintance with Sir Thomas More-that man of absolute integrity. 🙂

 

Do you have an experience or thoughts you’d like to share with us? When you hear the word “integrity” what comes to your mind?

 

Truth is truth. It is absolute. I LOVE that about truth. Even if you do not agree with me whenever I express a truth, it doesn’t matter! If it is truth I cannot change it.

We cannot change TRUTH to make it become what we might like it to be. We can attempt to bend, twist and make it convenient or more comfortable for our lifestyle but this still does not make it absolute truth.

TruthIt’s like black and white. Either it is truth or it’s not. I wouldn’t like just a little bit of truth. Been there. Done that. Just a little bit of truth is way too frustrating. I feel stuck. Or confused, I lose sight of the right path.

I’d like it all. Well, as much as I can humanly contain, please!

 

“Opinion? Of course, there is a difference of opinion; but again, opinion cannot change laws or absolute truths. Opinions will never make the earth to be flat, the sun to dim its light, God to die, or the Savior to cease being the Son of God.” Spencer W. Kimball

Truths are discovered. An unschooled four year old may not know that 2 +2 = 4. But it is true, even while he has not yet discovered it.

There was a time when people believed the earth to be flat. Still, this did not change the truth of its spherical shape. Before it was discovered to be so, opinions likely differed, but did not change this solid truth.

Spiritual truths, invisible to our mortal eyes are that much more absolute. Jesus Christ has said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6). That has got to be an absolute truth.

Unchanging. Whole. Perfect.

We are promised that the Holy Ghost- He being Truth will guide us into all truth. On this temporal plane is it possible to know completely absolute truths?

“When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13

Beginning with the tiniest grain of faith and believing what Jesus Christ has said, is a great start to seeking His guidance. Being led along we are able to increase our own knowledge of the truth little by little. Suddenly one day we shall see plainly that glorious absolute and perfect Truth.

“God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).

Once Heavenly Father had occasion to shower me with His love and comfort, I went from believing that He is wholly love, to experiencing His all encompassing love filling and overflowing my heart and being until I could not contain it all.

The more times this happened, the more I have been able to learn from, imitate His love and feel a similar warmth, compassion and kindness for others. I am learning to become more like Him according to love.

“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 (NASB)

Like God’s love, truth works in my life in a similar way.  My first testimony of the true gospel proved to me that the Book of Mormon is true. However, I did not know the absolute complete truth of the restored gospel-yet. It was not fully revealed to me. If it would have been, I suppose my need for faith would have vanished and my progression would have been halted.

“The best way of finding truth is simply to go to the Origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration. For success, two ingredients are essential: first, unwavering faith in the Source of all truth; second, a willingness to keep God’s commandments to keep open spiritual communication with Him.”                                Richard G. Scott

Instead, little by little I sought to know and understand more and I learned to ask of the Lord. “The Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6). He reveals God’s truth when we seek it. I believed that He would reveal His truths, and believed and hoped that He would communicate with me. I was willing to persevere, seeking Him humbly and (sometimes) patiently.

And I had many questions. “Were we truly spiritual beings in the presence of our Heavenly Father before coming to this earth?” “Which is the only true church accepted by Jesus Christ?” “Was this church organized through revelation by the Savior?”

“Was Joseph Smith a true prophet?” “Is Thomas S. Monson the prophet called by the Lord today?” “Is there life after death?”

Some truths were confirmed even without my asking.

 “He has given the key. You may know. You need not be in doubt. Follow the prescribed procedures, and you may have an absolute knowledge that these things are absolute truths.

The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and do. Revelation is the key.

God will make it known to you once you have capitulated and have become humble and receptive.

Having dropped all pride of your mental stature, having acknowledged before God your confusion, having subjected your egotism, and having surrendered yourself to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to begin to learn. With preconceived religious notions stubbornly held, one is not teachable.

The Lord has promised repeatedly that he will give you a knowledge of spiritual things when you have placed yourself in a proper frame of mind.

He has counseled us to seek, ask, and search diligently. These innumerable promises are epitomized by Moroni in the following: “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5)

What a promise! How extravagant! How wonderful!”  Spencer W. Kimball

I love the clarity of truth. I love the feeling of expansion in my heart, in my mind and soul. I thrill that our hearts and minds are created to recognize truth.

If there was no such thing as truth, how could there be a right and a wrong?

I’m grateful for our loving Father in heaven who promises to reveal His truths and faithfully does so in remarkable ways. I know that once a person knows absolutely the truths of the gospel, even upon threat of bodily harm or death, it will not be denied. That perfect assurance is what I love about Truth.