By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cooler Weather at Last!

We are having a cold snap in Oklahoma--80's instead of 100's! And we've been getting some rain, too! I already feel perkier, although my sinuses are plaguing me because rain makes allergens grow. Ah, well, nothing is perfect.

I took a vacation day today and, dang it! The lawn maintenance men are all over the apartment complex, wafting grass clippings and pollen into the air like crazy. Well, wafting isn't the right word--try blowing at top speed.

Still, I feel happy these days. I really was feeling drained and worthless by the hot weather, even though I spent most of my time in the air conditioning. I grew up without any air conditioning and we managed just fine. We get spoiled. Plus I was a lot younger and more resiliant then!

I didn't even feel much like reading for awhile there. That is truly an indication of how run down I felt. Reading is my life!

Has anyone read any good books lately? Would you like to tell us about them here? Please do!

I've been reading some politically conservative books (Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bernard Goldberg) and an introductory book about yoga. I've also been reading in The Lost Language of Symbolism by Dr. Alonzo L. Gaskill (on which I wrote a brief review here). Last night I spent some time poking around in my 1999 CDs of GospeLink. There are tons of interesting LDS books on there, plus some classic literature. I also have the 1999 infobase. Some duplicates and some not. The trouble is, I like to have a book to hold in my grubby little hands, with pages to turn and room to scribble in the margins. You can make notes and bookmarks and highlights in the CD programs, but it just isn't the same.

I need to do some housecleaning. Literally. Enjoy your day!


Saturday, August 26, 2006

What Is Our Work?

"One of the most well-known and frequently cited passages of scripture is found in Moses 1:39. This verse clearly and concisely describes the work of the Eternal Father: 'For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (emphasis added).

"A companion scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants describes with equal clarity and conciseness our primary work as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father. Interestingly, this verse does not seem to be as well known and is not quoted with great frequency. 'Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength' (D&C 11:20; emphasis added).

"Thus, the Father’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children. Our work is to keep His commandments with all of our might, mind, and strength—and we thereby become chosen and, through the Holy Ghost, receive and recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our daily lives."

--Elder David A. Bednar
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“The Tender Mercies of the Lord”
p.99, May 2005 Ensign

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Being Diligent

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. Mosiah 4:27

This is one of my favorite scriptures. I have a lot of trouble being diligent. In part, it is the plague of perfectionism--if I can't do something perfectly the first time I try, I don't want to bother. In part, it is allowing myself to be overwhelmed by all I need to do, instead of chopping it up into bite-sized pieces so I can handle it a little at a time. There are all kinds of factors that can affect our ability to have self-discipline, self-control, self-mastery.

One thing I try hard to remember is that we learn by doing, not by thinking about it or reading about it. We are here on earth to gain experience. We are here to grow and to become stronger and wiser.

Another thing I try to remember is that regardless of the past, regardless of whatever caused the various issues I have, I am all grown up now and it is my choice as to how I act now. No one else is responsible for me and what I do or don't do--I am.

I believe with all my heart that the Lord stands ready to help and encourage us, but we have to do our part. As the scripture above indicates, we don't have to run faster than we have strength. We do, however, have to persist in doing. And so I shall.


My Other Blog

I haven't said anything about my other blog, although it is linked in the sidebar here. I felt I needed a place to express my more secular views on politics, science, art, and many other topics. I didn't want to write controversial things on my LDS blog here and felt it best to separate the two. Not that everything I post there is controversial, but some is, especially my comments on the Middle East.

Think "conservative" and you will know the flavor of my other blog!

I named it "Scholar" not to be pretentious, but just because I like the word and because it connotes study and learning.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me on my views, but if you do leave a comment, just be polite! I am a sensitive soul!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Fast?

Why should we fast? What is its purpose? I've linked to a couple of articles below and suggested some other places to read about fasting, but first a few comments of my own.

We usually think of fasting in connection with prayer. Fasting can help us focus our attention on spiritual things and set our physical self aside briefly. We develop some self discipline by going without food, and we learn a little about sacrifice as we do without for a short time in order to have some money to donate to those who often go without. It is a way of helping others as we help ourselves.

I have not been getting all I should out of fasting. All too often I fast without giving it much thought, or I don't fast at all (although I still donate a fast offering). This is not a proper fast, nor is it doing me much good. I believe I am missing out on some real spiritual blessings by not fasting as I should and using it as a tool for drawing closer to the Lord and for increasing my spiritual growth. I am trying to read up on fasting and give it some serious thought in preparation for making my fasting more meaningful.

The Law of the Fast" is an article by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in the May 2001 Ensign. It talks about all the reasons to fast and how it helps others as well as ourselves. In the November 2004 Ensign, Elder Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy has an article entitled "The Blessings of a Proper Fast." In it, he discusses the proper way to keep a fast and the blessings it brings. There are other articles in the church magazines that discuss fasting. You can find them by going to the church website ( and clicking on Gospel Library. Perform a search on the word "fasting" in the Ensign (or other magazines or manuals, as you choose) and you can learn a lot.

In the Bible Dictionary, you can look up "Fasts" and in the Topical Guide, you can look up "Fast, Fasting." In the online
Guide to the Scriptures, you can also look up "Fast, Fasting." These will guide you to scriptures about fasting.

Do any of you have any suggestions or comments for improving fasting, why it is important, or any other thoughts or insights you have that might help me and those who read my blog?

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