By Study and Also By Faith

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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

One of the nicest traditions a family can have is to share Christmas hymns, scriptures, stories, and videos. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Christmas page where you can find some of these things to enjoy today. The Church also has a website about Jesus Christ.

Family and friends, giving and sharing, are important parts of Christmas. This time of year brings to mind the importance of those things and of traditions that have grown meaningful in our families over the years. I'm spending today at home by myself, but we had our family Christmas this past Sunday because of everyone's schedules, so I haven't been deprived!

I did
a little post over at my Writing Blog about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, if you would like to read that. It has some links in it.

I do hope that we will all consider Jesus Christ today and put Him at the center of all that we do. He is the foundation of all that we have and are.

A very Merry Christmas to you all!

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Omniscience of God

One of the many attributes of God that allows us to confidently put our trust in Him is His omniscience.

It seems that human beings have a tendency to think that God is as limited as we are in what He knows. As a result, we humans tend to think we know more than we do, and we grow rather proud of our learning. There is, of course, nothing wrong with being educated. It is a good thing and something the Lord expects us to do. However, as we read in
2 Nephi 9: 28-29

28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
We also need to remember:

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55: 8-9
There are numerous scriptures that teach us that God is omniscient (see, for example, 1 Samuel 2:3, Matthew 6:8, 2 Nephi 9:20, Doctrine & Covenants 38:2, and Moses 1:6). You can look up "omniscience" in the Topical Guide to find many more.

It troubles me whenever anyone says (or writes) anything that disputes the omniscience of God and Jesus Christ. It also troubles me whenever anyone expresses doubt that He could create all things, or flood the world in Noah's day, or any of the other works and wonders we learn of in the scriptures. Where is our faith that God knows all and can do all (for He is omnipotent, too)?

Of course, faith is something that grows as we exercise it, so studying the scriptures can help us to learn to know God and to love Him, trust Him, and rely on Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.

There will be those who read this and dismiss it as a "Sunday School answer". Being a Sunday School answer doesn't mean that something isn't true, however. I am writing about God's omniscience because I believe in it and because it is important that we understand that it is true. It will make a difference in how we live our lives here on earth and how much we are able to learn to trust God and follow His counsel.

I'm not perfect in these things that I write about. It's just that I feel that it's a good thing to share thoughts about the gospel that will help others. And me.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Post-Holiday Reflections

I was sorry to hear of Elder Joseph Wirthlin's passing on Monday, 2 December. He seemed such a sweet man and his conference talks were always full of wisdom. He will be missed.

I hope that all of you had a happy Thanksgiving. It's a time for family gatherings, but also a time for thinking of all we have to be thankful for, no matter what our present circumstances are.

With Christmas coming soon, I hope we will enjoy sharing and giving, but that we will also ponder what Christmas is all about--the birth of the Christ child and the beginning of the life that would ultimately provide each of us with resurrection and atonement. And that life would provide us with countless teachings and examples to guide us in living our own lives. May we remember with gratitude all that Jesus Christ has done for us.

Politics and economics have been the focus of our news cycles and will continue to be so. It is a good time to read and reflect on the Consitution and the Declaration of Independence. The Federalist Papers also warrant some attention to remind us of the intentions of our Founding Fathers and the direction that America needs to be going in. This country was founded with God in mind and with the idea of developing the gifts He has given us--freedom, liberty, property rights, life, and many others. Let us not throw it all away.

As far as economics is concerned, our prophets have counseled us for years to get out of debt, stay out of debt, make the most of what we have, and save for the future. Let us follow the prophets and, through them, the Lord. No matter how well we are doing, we can always do a little better. Let us not forget to share with those less fortunate, and let us remember that it is important that charity be freely given by individuals and not coerced by the government.

I have concerns about how secular this country and the world have gotten. We should remind ourselves of God and His teachings. Let us not call evil good and good evil. Let us love one another, yet not condone sin. It has become unpopular to say that we need to love the sinner and hate the sin, but that is exactly what we should do. It is God's appoval that we seek, not the world's.

I have touched on only a few things, but I hope that we will reconsider our lives and think carefully about the direction we are traveling through this life. May God bless us all to do the right things. And may we always be full of gratitude for all that God has blessed us with.

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