By Study and Also By Faith

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

Saturday, September 20, 2008

From the Archives: "The Abundant Life"

In the May 2006 Ensign there is a talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin titled "The Abundant Life." This is an inspiring, hopeful talk. I loved it!

Elder Wirthlin starts with the analogy of horse sold at auction. The horse was a leftover, old and spent. Nothing anyone would want. I won't spoil the story by recounting it here--follow the link and enjoy the full details. It ties in nicely with Elder Wirthlin's point, which is a discussion of "the hidden, untapped potential that lies within each of us."

I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with many wonderful people from many walks of life. I have known rich and poor, famous and modest, wise and otherwise.

Some were burdened with heavy sorrows; others radiated a confident inner peace. Some smoldered with unquenchable bitterness, while others glowed with irrepressible joy. Some appeared defeated, while others—in spite of adversity—overcame discouragement and despair.

I have heard some claim, perhaps only partly in jest, that the only happy people are those who simply don’t have a firm grasp of what is happening around them.

But I believe otherwise.

I have known many who walk in joy and radiate happiness.

I have known many who live lives of abundance.

And I believe I know why.

Today, I want to list a few of the characteristics that the happiest people I know have in common. They are qualities that can transform ordinary existence into a life of excitement and abundance.

The characteristics of these happy people are as follows, according to Elder Wirthlin:

  1. They drink deeply of living waters.
  2. They fill their hearts with love.
  3. They, with the help of their Heavenly Father, create a masterpiece of their lives.
Elder Wirthlin says:

Brothers and sisters, the abundant life does not come to us packaged and ready-made. It’s not something we can order and expect to find delivered with the afternoon mail. It does not come without hardship or sorrow.

It comes through faith, hope, and charity. And it comes to those who, in spite of hardship and sorrow, understand the words of one writer who said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

The abundant life isn’t something we arrive at. Rather, it is a magnificent journey that began long, long ages ago and will never, never end.

The abundant life, a life of joy and love and developed potential, is a life that our Heavenly Father wants for each of us. It is a life that we want for ourselves. Close your eyes and picture eternity. How do you want to spend that eternity? I think we would all say that we want happiness, joy, accomplishment, love, peace, and all good things. Elder Wirthlin's talk convinced me that it is possible to have an abundant life and to have it for all eternity. He describes how to reach this goal and says frankly it isn't easy. But it would be so very worth it, don't you think?

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thoughts and Things

Politics takes a large part of our attention these days. It's still almost 2 months until the election, but it seems as if the campaign has gone on forever. I trust that you are all reading and listening to a variety of sources and thinking about what kind of future you want for America. Your vote is important.

Ike has hit Texas. TF, I hope you and your family are okay. I hope everyone is okay. It has to be tough to live near the Gulf coast during hurricane season.

The worst of summer's heat is past, thankfully. I'm not looking forward to winter, but I sure like autumn, when the temperatures are moderate and the leaves turn to marvelous colors. The only bad thing is the havoc fall pollen wreaks on my sinuses!

Genealogy is going well, if slowly. I have my four generations and some of the fifth. I am learning about the new Family Search, although I still have a lot to learn. I've been to some meetings, helped with a presentation to our ward, and am working through the lessons.

Life goes on.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Is the Concept of Sin Passé?

I read an article this weekend titled "The Economic Problem of Sin" by Bruce Walker. (It's at American Thinker.) The author discusses the cost of sin in society and how much better a society is when it acknowledges sin and fights against it. He also discusses the way that society today dismisses the idea of sin as not relevant. It is a very good article and a thought-provoking one--good reading.

The article caused me to think about how the notion of sin has become passé in modern society. Everyone is afraid to call a sin a sin. They are afraid they'll offend someone, or they buy into the nonsense that morality and truth are relative rather than absolute.

We all sin in one way or another. No one is perfect. Is it not better, healthier, more healing to acknowledge when we have sinned so that we can repent and be made whole? Shouldn't we be honest about these things? I think so. Isn't God the One we should be worried about offending, rather than other people?

I am not advocating that we be condemning or unforgiving. After all, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. However, shouldn't parents teach their children what sin is and how to avoid it? Shouldn't children be taught to repent when they have sinned? Shouldn't parents believe that certain things are sins and avoid doing them, thereby setting an example for all around them?

What are your thoughts?

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