I was reading a post from a friend on Facebook today; it was a letter written by Albert Einstein to his daughter, Lieserl. I found the content to be quite interesting and that it was filled with a discovery of something far greater than the theory of relativity or any great scientific equation.
Surprisingly, this discovery was something that has been around from the beginning of time and even beyond that if you believe, as I do, that there was a pre-existence where we once lived in a spiritual world with God. That is something for another time, but now, let us just focus on Einstein’s discovery.
What is this great universal discovery? It is something so powerful that it “governs all others.” Simply stated it is LOVE.
Is that, at all, surprising? Does that little four-letter word, love govern all other forces in the universe? For those of faith, maybe not surprising, but there will be those who look at that statement and laugh.
Well, Einstein explained it very well. I am paraphrasing. What is the one unseen force that can lighten a heart of both giver and receiver, draw us to others in special ways, and bring out the best in us in multiple ways. Love unfolds and reveals who we really are, it is something we live and will die for because it comes from God and God is love. It is the one force that can explain everything and give real meaning to life.
Without love in the world, we would have a very dark and dismal existence. There would be no purpose for being, for living. Love gives us that purpose. It is an invisible force, yet, it can have a powerful effect on one’s outlook and instill in us a desire to do better, be better, and be more aware of those around us who may be in need. Without love, we could become so centered about ourselves and our needs that no one else matters.
What makes love such a powerful force? Well, let’s look at where love starts or should start. Love comes from God who loves us beyond measure. First, we should develop a love of God and of self but not in a self-fulfilling way. Then we love our family, friends, neighbors, and it can go on and on. Our ability to love encompasses a huge realm of people during our lifetime.
If we want the human family to survive and flourish, we must fill the earth with love for all people. Love is like life’s blood. When it flows properly, it sustains us, keeps us alive. When our source of blood is interrupted or stopped, we can die. It is like that with love. When our source of love is interrupted or stops, we die in a different way, but it can be just as devastating.
As Albert Einstein said to his daughter, Lieserl, in his letter, “When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything because love is the quintessence of life.”
Let us pray that love may truly conquer and spread its light the world over that we may unite in a true bond of love towards all people and may the darkness of hatred, greed, pride, selfishness, and envy be overcome with the greatest and “most powerful unseen force” in the universe.
A while back I read a story of a visiting pastor who attended a men’s breakfast in the middle of a rural farming area of the country.
The group had asked an older farmer, decked out in bib overalls, to say grace for the morning breakfast.
“Lord, I hate buttermilk”, the farmer began. The visiting pastor opened one eye to glance at the farmer and wonder where this was going. The farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was growing concerned. Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, “And Lord, you know I don’t much care for raw white flour”. The pastor once again opened an eye to glance around the room and saw that he wasn’t the only one to feel uncomfortable.
Then the farmer added, “But Lord, when you mix them all together and bake them, I do love warm fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things come up that we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we don’t understand what you’re saying to us, help us to just relax and wait until you are done mixing. It will probably be even better than biscuits Amen.”
Within that prayer there is great wisdom for all when it comes to complicated situations like we are experiencing in the world today.
Stay strong, my friends, because our LORD is mixing several things that we don’t really care for, but something even better is going to come when HE is done with it.
Sometimes we mix ingredients for recipes we want to surprise our family and friends with. Some recipes require more mixing than others and some take a long time to incorporate all the ingredients. However, the outcome is mouth-watering and some people will come back for seconds or even thirds.
I wanted to share this story with you because I think it says a lot about us as human beings. Sometimes we get impatient when the Lord is trying to mix things together for our good. Often, we cannot see that there is good that will come out of the mix and do not trust that the Lord knows what He is doing. We find it difficult to wait for the outcome. Sometimes we tend to feel or even say that God does not know how to mix things right because we are feeling so much pain during the mixing.
That is where patience but most of all faith comes in. If we love God and trust Him as we say we do, we will pray for strength and know He is there even if the mixing seems to take a long time. Some things just take longer to turn out the best results when the mixing is done.
Do we have the faith to wait on the Lord as He carefully does the mixing and more faith to look forward to what the Lord is preparing for us? We do live in very trying times, but we can get through them. However, it takes faith, great faith to look beyond what is happening in the world and see God’s plan working for us.
I pray that we, as a nation, will unite in faith and humble prayer, let God continue to work on the mixing and let Him show us the delicious good that will come out of His mixing. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
We live in a world where there is chaos in cities across the globe. People are fighting each other and I wonder if a lot of them even know what they are fighting about. They rant and rave, they shout obscenities, carry signs that tell everyone about their rights but puts down the very rights of the people they are protesting against.
The adversary (Satan), unfortunately, has hardened many hearts, weakened many minds and captured many souls. We have seen our country when war was in abundance and lives were lost on many battlefields. Those fights were being fought so that we might enjoy freedom; freedom to speak our minds without retaliation, freedom to learn and think for ourselves and decide what is best for us, freedom to fly our flag without fear of our house being torched or fear of being shot for being a patriot, freedom of expression for our country, freedom to make informed political choices without being spit upon, being called malicious names or being shot, freedom to worship where, when and how we believe without retaliation from those who don't believe or agree with our beliefs, freedom to live our lives as we see fit and supporting those we choose to support without retaliation. There was a time when flags were flown with pride and when they passed during a parade, we put our hands over our hearts or saluted. We were proud of our country and proud of our history. There are forces in America now that are trying to destroy all of that.
It is sad to realize that this is what has happened in our country. Freedoms are looked at by some as irrelevant and invalid. All the things that our soldiers have fought so hard to keep out of our country, have found their way here and now we are being attacked by those very ideologies that seem to be growing among the liberal left. Our way of life is under attack by criminals in high places and they are being upheld by those who would rather be told what to do or what to think just so they can fill their pockets and take what they want. This is not what America is about. This is a group of people who have lost their souls; many have sold their souls out of a desire for money, power and control.
The work of Satan is real and whether we want to believe it or not, he is gaining popularity. But there is hope. All is not lost. We have not lost the fight; it is just becoming a harder one to fight but America can do it.
We have someone on our side who can command the elements and they obey, He can control all of nature with one word, He can calm the greatest tempest with just a whisper, He can fix the broken, heal the sick, comfort the weary, and strengthen the weak. Amid all that is going on, He is our champion. He is our refuge in our battle for our faith and our right to worship, He is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He can change the hearts of people when they come to Him and follow Him. He is the Son of God; He lives and loves all of God's children. He doesn't see color; He sees human hearts and He offers His grace through His infinite atonement for all of us.
We, as a nation, need to turn to Him, plead for His mercy and forgiveness in humility, accept Him as our divine Savior, remember His atoning sacrifice on our behalf, and pray with that same humility for strength to overcome the wicked things of the world. We need Him now more than ever. He has given us His gospel and that is where we can find the answers to all of our problems; we just need to search. They are there. Feast on His words, the words of the Father, and the words of all the holy prophets. Therein lies the answers to questions that have plagued man from the beginning of time but men did not always listen to those words or desire even to read them. There is much wisdom in those words and they can bless the lives of those who take them to their hearts and do their best to live by them every day.
Jesus is our refuge in the storms of life. When we trust Him and put Him in control, He can still the storm or help us to get through it. He is always there, ready to help us in times of hardships, disasters, challenges, afflictions of body, mind and spirit, and heal the pains of adversity and loss. May His love and light abide with each of us as we strive to be the best we can be and try to become more like Him.
Are you walking in darkness or are you feeling that darkness is overcoming you in some way? Do you let your light shine no matter what or do you sometimes hide it because you do not think it is important enough to shine your light?
We are in some scary times and sometimes the darkness can seem overwhelming. Are we doing all we can to keep the darkness away from us or from surrounding us?
What is the darkness that we are talking about here? We know about darkness; we have seen it, we have felt it, but many of us have not gotten to know it so we can combat it when it seems to envelop us. Darkness can be very scary but if we understand it, we can chase it away by letting our light shine until the darkness is dispelled.
The darkness I am eluding to is not like the darkness that comes at night or that we might find in a cave or a room with no windows. This darkness can be sinister and all consuming. It is the kind of darkness that one cannot really see but it is real, nonetheless. It is a darkness of the heart and soul that can lead people to do great evil and even find joy in it. This is a much more dangerous and frightening darkness because it can cause you to do things and say things that can only be said and done in the darkness of night. Light cannot abide where this kind of darkness dwells but there are those whose hearts are being prepped to accept these deeds of darkness as good and necessary.
When these people come among us, if we do not have our light shining brightly all around us, they will be able to influence us and if we are not careful, we may find ourselves part of that darkness.
This was not meant to scare anyone but maybe that is okay because sometimes we need to be scared so that we will pay attention to what is happening right around us. These are scary times and whether we want to believe it or not, there is evil being stirred and hailed as good. “Wo unto those who call good evil and evil good.”
God has warned us through the prophets and the scriptures about this kind of evil; the evil that robs men and women of their souls and takes them down to an awful place where they will never have peace and their suffering will be eternal.
Do you now understand what this darkness is and what it can do to you and to mankind? This darkness is a destroyer of everything good and decent and we need to stand as far away from it as we can. But what can we do when we start to feel this kind of darkness entering our hearts? Is it too late? No, it is not too late; it is only too late when you do not pay attention and let it become a part of you. You might still be able to escape it but by that time, it is a tough fight and you better be stronger than it is.
We need to find light because darkness cannot find its way in the light; it cannot exist when light prevails. There are different ways we can find or bring light into our lives when darkness seems to surround us. Some people find comfort and solace in the words of a poem, hymn, song, a quote from a book or the kindness and compassion of others. These things can lead us to light that we thought was gone or maybe did not exist for us
By now you are wondering how you find the kind of light that can fight that kind of darkness. The answer has been before man since the beginning of time. We need to find light to fight this darkness and we do not need to look far to find it. Where? It is a thing called scriptures.
You know what the scriptures are, right? So where in the scriptures can you find the light you need to fight the darkness of evil? In a search of the scriptures you will find great light, not only in the words of the prophets but in the words given by God, Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. Their light can shine forth in the deepest darkness that might seek to overcome us. Jesus said, “I am the light and life of the world.”
The light comes not from just reading their words but from living their words. Anyone can read their words but unless they can make a covenant with God to live by those words, they have no effect. So what that means is you can have that overpowering light that is found in the scriptures and be able to fight the darkness and win if you are willing to make a commitment to God to obey and live His commandments. It is not a hard thing to do, but it takes determination and a willingness to follow the Lord and make Him a permanent part of your daily life.
You know you are living that kind of life when you can turn away from evil in any form and choose the better part. Are you trying to find your way in the darkness of evil that seems to permeate our world these days? God gave us the scriptures to prepare us for such times as these that we might rise above the dark things of the world and let His light shine within us. He did this, not only to shed His light on us but so that we might bring that same light to others who have lost their way in the darkness.
If you have not gone to the scriptures, read the words of hope and embraced the light that they offer you through their sacred words, then perhaps it is time. It is never too late unless you wait until the darkness has consumed you.
We are living in perilous times but when we walk in the light of God’s love and the light that Jesus brings to us through His divine Atonement and Resurrection, we can overcome the darkness. We need not live in fear if we keep their light shining brightly before us.
Have you ever noticed that a lit candle never casts a shadow? Shadows are dark; light overcomes darkness, always. Let us shine our light in the darkness. Can you imagine the light in the world if all of us would shine the light within us that comes from a living and loving God and His Son Jesus Christ?
Recently, I was reading a story about a man who was asked to paint a small boat. The man went about painting it a bright red but while he was painting it, he noticed a hole in the bottom, so he fixed it and finished painting the boat. When the owner came to pay him, he accepted the payment and left. The next day, the owner came with a big check for the man, but he did not understand why because he had just done what he was asked to do. The owner explained that his kids had taken the boat out to go on a fishing trip when he remembered that the boat had a hole in it. He was frantic worrying about his boys until he saw them coming home safely. When he examined the boat, he saw that the man who painted the boat had repaired the hole, as well. The owner explained that there was not enough money to pay him for saving his children’s lives. The check was just to show how much repairing that hole meant to him.
Are we fixing holes, are we doing a little more than just ministering to our brothers and sisters? Are we taking the time to do a little more than fulfill a duty? Are we reaching out in ways that may make a difference in someone’s life? Are we praying for them and asking that their needs might be met? Are we asking Heavenly Father to tell us how we might serve them better? If we see a need, do we act on it? What are we doing to fix the holes in someone’s life to help them be a disciple of Jesus? What are we doing to bring someone to Christ or strengthen their relationship with God?
Perhaps as the story says, you may have fixed many holes that you were not even aware were there, but you found it and fixed it anyway.
We never know when one small, good deed, even done unknowingly, can change someone’s life or even just brighten someone’s day. We do not have to make any grand gestures we just need to be willing to act on promptings to do something we might think of as insignificant. Often those insignificant things can be life changers for the better.
So as we go throughout our daily lives, perhaps there is some hole(s) that needs to be fixed in someone’s life that may save them or a loved one from suffering being hurt because we failed to recognize it. Perhaps it may even be a hole in our own lives that needs fixed. Love and kindness can fix a lot of holes that happen in people’s lives that sometimes seem irreparable. It is amazing but it has been proven that a little love and kindness can go a long way and can bring about great miracles for ourselves but more importantly, for others.
We cannot fix every hole in every life, especially the big ones; those can only be handled by God in His wisdom but sometimes fixing the little ones that we are able, can take care of the bigger ones in ways we cannot see.
When we do random acts of kindness or when we follow the promptings we receive from the Holy Ghost and act upon them, we may never know the good that has resulted from those few minutes we took to help another. Sometimes we do witness the changes or the miracles that happen, but whether we do or not, we are blessed because we took the time to give aid when it was needed. We filled a hole that needed to be fixed. Isn’t that a wonderful thing to behold?
Today, we live in a world of chaos, lies and hatred beyond anything most of us have witnessed, not counting those who have served in the military. We have seen the work of Satan becoming a way of life for some people and it is scary. We cannot let ourselves become entrapped in these things. We must be vigilant and hold on to the moral principles upon which our country was founded and continue to do good to those around us. There are still holes that need fixed; we need to continue to try to fix the ones we can so that others will want to do the same.
One good deed, one kind word, one hand outheld, one smile, one random act of kindness, one prayer from each of us could fix some holes, change the world, and make it a better place to live.
Our storms these days come in many various forms. Usually we think of storms as bringing dark clouds, pounding rain, high winds, bursts of lightning and claps of thunder. They come and make their presence known; sometimes do damage to properties, trees and buildings, but eventually they weaken or pass. Sometimes there is the need for a great clean-up afterwards and sometimes the damage, if any, is minimal. Yet, other times the storm does irreparable damage, not only to property but to human lives.
We are pretty used to dealing with these kinds of storms in our lives, we do what we have to do and eventually we get over it and go back to what is normal for us and we move on. We are safe, our families are safe and for the most part, everything we have worked so hard for is safe. Even when we have lost everything, we assess what needs to be done and then, somehow, we start to rebuild and recover from the storm. We have faith that things will be better.
If those were the only kinds of storms we had to deal with, we would not have a lot to complain about. However, we have experienced other kinds of storms and those storms are far more dangerous than the ones mentioned above. These storms do not originate with mother nature and her propensity for moving from one level to another at any given time, sometimes causing havoc and bringing destruction.
These storms, unfortunately, originate from people who for whatever reason have adopted a lifestyle of hate, greed, and a desire to destroy anything and everything. They have taken a road that leads them into a dark abyss of evil.
If they ever had a heart with good intentions, they sold it for money, power or whatever would give them gratification. They have sold their soul to show the world their unauthorized authority over others who have authority over individuals. If you notice, they always do it in gangs big enough to overpower a few, whether they are individuals or policemen trying to protect them. You never see any of them going one on one; not unless they can sneak up from behind to attack innocent people. There are always groups who will come and join in “the fun” as some of them see it. Killing has become a game like in the video games. It has become a sport to some, and they hunt down innocent or helpless people and kill them. Then they will go so far as to celebrate doing it.
They do not even use their fists to fight; they use lethal weapons, knives, bricks or anything that can cause maximum damage to a person or persons. They act like they are all powerful when they prove by their actions that they are all cowards who could never hold their own in a fair fight.
This is what some people would like to call the “norm” for our day, but the reality is that this is not normal in any society. Evil has crept into so many hearts and they have been told over and over by others who are more evil than they, that it is okay, they have a right to do whatever they want regardless of who it hurts.
Is this really what we want to see in this great country as the “norm”? Was this the vision our forefathers had when they fought for and formed this country into the greatest country on earth? I have read our history, real history and this is not what they envisioned.
We are being bound like a helpless whale caught in nets and ropes put there by fishermen to trap crabs or other sea life for a living. When senseless mobs go into cities raping, killing, and destroying everything in sight including lives of innocent people, we start to feel trapped like the whale and we fight trying to get loose only to find ourselves more shackled by the raging violence and we begin to fear for our lives. Nothing is safe anymore. It seems that there is no place to go for peace.
Almost daily we are being inundated with politicians and others who seem to enjoy the ideology that violence, lawlessness and corruption is the new norm. Well, it may be for them, but probably not for millions of real Americans.
So how can we find our rainbow with all this going on? First, what is a rainbow? What does it represent? Rainbows represent a promise of hope and with God, hope springs eternal.
How do we find our rainbow? We can find the answer by looking to the scriptures; namely, Ephesians 6:11-14. It tells us in plain English what we need to do to find our rainbow in times of trials and difficult times. Let us see what it says.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the ruler of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.”
There we have it; it is quite simple. If we put our whole trust in God, take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, obey their commandments, (all of them) the best we can, live morally and serve those around us with love and compassion, feast upon God’s word and pray daily with faith, we can, in our darkest hours when Satan and his minions seem to have all power over us, remain strong and steadfast in truth and righteousness.
We will have the strength and ability to find our rainbows shining bright before us because we have the infinite power of Christ’s atonement to shield us from the darkness.
We are taught that God is all powerful, all wise, and omniscient. That last one is very important and we will get to that in a moment. Why do we turn to God in times of trials and struggles? We know that He can help us with any problem we have but we also know that when and how He helps us does not always fit into our timeline or expectations. When we receive help, many times it is predicated on some action or actions on our part or something we need to change in ourselves to get the help we desire.
Although it’s true that He can get us through any situation or circumstance, He does require something from us. This is not because He can’t do it alone but because He wants to see if we are willing to work with Him and do all that we can do first. You see, He doesn’t deal in hand-outs but He does deal in giving a helping hand in the form of blessings.
Well, why, you might ask, do we have to prove that we have done all that we can before we expect Him to step in? Because then, He knows that you really do need His help; there’s no more that you can do on your own. But why do we depend on Him and trust Him to give us the help that we need? Why do we trust that whatever help we get from Him is the right thing and we can follow through on it?
Remember that word, omniscient? What does it mean? Well, according to what I’ve read, it is a derivative of the words ‘omnis’ which means all and ‘sciens’ which means knowledge or knowing. So then, omniscient means all knowledge or all knowing. That is exactly why we should turn to God in all things. He knows everything there is to know; He doesn’t need to learn any more because there is nothing for Him to learn. He is the total source of all knowledge. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t go to others for advice or counseling. He has given others enough of His knowledge that they can intervene but when human knowledge is not enough, then we need to turn to Him.
He has provided us with ways to get to know Him and partake of His great wisdom and knowledge through the scriptures, through prophets and apostles, through our service to others, and through personal prayer that sometimes may bring us personal revelation to guide and direct our paths.
Because God loves us and wants us to be happy, He gives us many opportunities to turn our hearts to Him so He can impart some of His knowledge and wisdom and help us grow into caring, compassionate and loving individuals. If God can do that and He can, why can’t we follow Him and His Son, Jesus Christ with a happy and accepting heart and a willingness to share the truths that we learn from them through the scriptures and the words of all the holy prophets who hold the keys of the mysteries of God. They have had great things revealed to them and they share those truths that they’ve been given with us. We can, then, gain knowledge and understanding of God’s plan of salvation and hopefully have a desire to follow that plan through faith in His ability to see us through anything and everything that the world can throw at us. Whatever our circumstances, He is there waiting for us to just take His hand and He will lead us to our Savior who is mighty to save.
We must remember that God will not impart all of His knowledge to us. There are some things that we would not be able to comprehend or know how to use. He gives us only what we can handle. One day we will know all the mysteries of God if we are faithful to the end and abide by His word. Most of us are in our infancy when it comes to understanding all that God has to give us. One day our knowledge and understanding will be greater than we could ever imagine and it will be glorious.
I pray that all of us, as children of our Heavenly Father, will always turn to God for help, guidance, strength and hope in all our circumstances and that we will have faith to act upon the knowledge and wisdom He imparts through the scriptures, the words of all the holy prophets and promptings from the Holy Ghost. Let His wisdom and knowledge flow through each of us and become a part of us and the lives we live.
So, now, we understand why we can and should trust and depend on God in all things for there is no greater knowledge and wisdom that can be given to man than that of our wise and omniscient Father in heaven.
Imagine you are on the receiving end of your phone charger; meaning the part that’s plugged into the wall to receive renewed energy so it can function. Your phone doesn’t function when it loses it’s energy and needs to be plugged into it’s power source to be renewed.
However, your energy source when you are plugged in is completely different from that of your phone charger. Oh, it can still give you a full charge to energize you and help you function, but this is your spiritual power source that we’re talking about and your power source is eternal. In other words, every time you plug yourself into your spiritual power source, the renewal is awesome and it helps you reach into the eternities through your daily connection to your power source.
So, what is that power source? Of course, you know that your spiritual power source is not from an electrical outlet, but it comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ in all it’s simplicity and our commitment to God is to obey His commandments and live our lives in such a way that we pattern our lives after His son Jesus Christ.
As I stated, there is nothing complicated about the gospel of Jesus Christ; it’s all pretty straight forward. God tells us through the prophets that living the gospel as Jesus did in His obedience to His Father’s commandments, loving Him with all our hearts, loving our neighbors as ourselves as Jesus did and doing it with great love and compassion for God’s children as Jesus did qualifies us for eternal life and eternal salvation.
The problem comes when we start to decide that breaking one or two of the commandments once in a while doesn’t hurt anything or that living a Christ-like life is just for Sundays while the rest of the week we forget our commitment and perhaps make some not so Christ-like decisions or choices.
That’s when we lose our connection to our eternal power. We can check our spiritual power level simply by asking ourselves, “Would Jesus do this if He were here?” If our answer to that is anything but a definite ‘yes’, then we have lost our connection and we need to get plugged back into it quickly. We don’t want to give Satan and his minions any chances to pull us so far away from our eternal power source, that we can never return to feel our spiritual energy renewed from the best power source ever.
Yes, we will make mistakes; we’re only human and humans make mistakes all the time. It’s not wrong to make a mistake; but we need to make sure we learn something from our mistakes that will help us to make better choices and decisions in the future.
God did not put us here to be perfect because that is impossible in this life, but He did put us here to learn and grow spiritually, as well as physically. He knows each of us, our hopes, our dreams, our thoughts, our abilities and talents; He knows us like no one else ever could. After all, He did create us so how could He not know us from the inside out?
It was in God’s love for all of us that He gave His only begotten son Jesus Christ to take upon Himself all of our sins and iniquities, hurts, pains, and sorrows, and overcoming death with His resurrection so that one day we would all be resurrected just like Him. Then we will be judged according to our faith and works.
So, we need to do all we can while in this life to follow the Savior; to come unto Him and learn how to be more like Him. It doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and patience. Sometimes we expect too much from Him and ourselves right away but remember, we learn precept by precept, here a little, there a little. We start with baby steps and keep working at it daily so that each day we are a little bit closer to becoming more like Him. He is not looking for perfection from us any more than our Heavenly Father but He is looking for a sincere commitment to follow Him.
Making a commitment and covenanting to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, honoring His name and always remembering Him is the key to having our spiritual power source available to us at all times. How is your spiritual connection working for you? Are you staying spiritually charged through the Savior and His atonement? I pray that you are but if you need some recharging, you know where you can find it.