Sunday, November 15, 2015

Screwtape Letter 15

I was talking to one of my wonderful neighbors today about our life as mothers - we talked a little about things we should do to enjoy the present moment (and help our children to do it, too.)
Reminded me of Letter 15 from Screwtape - I got out my old book and re-read it. These are some quotes from it that I love:

  • Tortured fear and stupid confidence are both desirable states of mind
  • (Speaking of the present moment) ~ in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He (God) would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity, which means being concerned with Him, or with the Present--either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure. 
  • It is far better to make them live in the Future, (because) in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. 
  • Nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.
  • To be sure, the Enemy (God) wants ment o think of the Future too--just so much as is necessary for now planning the acts of justice or charity which will probably be their duty tomorrow. 
  • He does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. We do.
  • We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present
( be "here"!)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Stake Women's Conference with Elder Christofferson

We are very blessed to have Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife in our stake. We are extra lucky to have them in our ward too and as neighbors on our street. Today he spoke to the women of our stake in a Women's Conference. Here are some notes from his and Sister Christofferson's talks:

Theme: D&C 88:63 - 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.

Introduction from Sister Christofferson. He teased her later about her giving all the dry facts. Said that he appreciated all her efforts in largely raising their family as he was often gone. Said that he told her recently, "Dear, I'm here now!" to which she replied "I don't need you now!"

Allegory of the pianos: She went to visit a dear friend (they had written roadshows together) who was a Julliard trained musician in Nashville. The friend had a music room with two grand pianos and an organ. She had recently had her two grand pianos re strung and was anxious to hear how they sounded together. The friend attempted to persuade Kathy to play with her. Kathy declined, citing her lack of piano training (a few years of lessons). But the friend prevailed and Kathy agreed to play some hymns, even if it was just with one hand. Her friend played amazing arrangements and together they made beautiful music. Kathy said it was one of the greatest musical experiences she's ever had - said they could have made a CD out of the music. She then drew a parallel to Christ and the power of his atonement - that whatever meager melody we play, he will make into a beautiful symphony.
Elder Christofferson:
- D&C 88:63 is a warm invitation with no demand.
- To draw near to Christ is to align ourselves to His will and His commandments
- Turn our whole being to Him
- Christ tells us "repent and I'll work with you. I'll walk with you. I'll send my Holy Spirit. If you draw near unto me, I will draw near unto you.
- Learn to seek to pray according to His will
- D&C 46, 3 Nephi 19 "Pray what is given me to pray"
When you are praying for something that is expedient (when the need is substantial):

  • pray to give thanks for very specific blessings - this will invite the Spirit to the praer
  • have time for an extended prayer (example of a time when he felt this way, spent extended time in prayer - invited the Spirit - was given what to pray for)
atonement - yes forgiveness - AND justification

BUT also sanctification - made pure - ride ourselves of guilt/stain. We CAN be made guiltless an spotless. His grace achieves this. The vehicle is the Holy Ghost. (He will bring grace to us through the Holy Ghost) (See Sheri Dew, Amazed by Grace)

Story of when he was asked to interview a sister who had applied to receive a restoration of blessings. She had previously been excommunicated. He reviewed her file and saw what she had done in her life. He could hardly believe one person could have done so much evil. He even questioned that she should be there to be interviewed. But when he went into the room to meet with her, he could see the purity in her countenance. He knew he was in the presence of one of the most pure people he had ever met. Even since that moment, he has never questioned the far-reaching ability of the atonement. 

D&C 20 - Elder Christofferson's testimony that the atonement is REAL. IT is adequate. It is sufficient. 

HE is real. 
His resurrection is real. 

Apostolic blessing (the spirit came into the meeting, tangible feeling, the chapel was so quiet you could hear a pin drop) Elder Christofferson spoke with such quiet, and calm, and steadiness and power. he gave very specific blessings and promises. Same as a talk at Education week last year by Elder Andersen when he promised that in this time of increased wickedness,, there would be an outpouring of the Spirit to those who were striving to be obedient, and that the outpouring would be directly proportionate to our efforts to obey. 

That our faith will grow in this promise. That our willingness to apply it in our lives with grow. That hope will grow in our hearts that this promise extends to each of us personally. Give us faith to DO what we need to do to grow closer to Christ. That we will know what it is we need to do to draw closer. That we will have answers to our prayers. That we will e guided by the Spirit very often as we do pray. That the spirit will be a source of comfort more that it ever has been. That we will learn to recognize His voice. That it will be easier to receive answers. 

I left the meeting with so much love and gratitude for Elder and Sister Christofferson - for their service, their sacrifice, their example, their friendship. I feel so grateful for the leadership of the prophet and his apostles in this day. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

God Will Bless You

I totally loved the devotional by Dean M. Davies today ~ especially what he said about how God answers our prayers in miraculous ways so that men can't say that we did it on our own but will know that it was the work of God and that we will give the glory to Him. Really gave a lot of insight to questions and thoughts I've been having about prayer. Loved it!

read/print here

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