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Ponderize 2 Timothy 1:7 - The Sprit of Power

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

As I thought about this idea of spiritual power and how we can obtain it, my mind was turned to the first chapter of Moses where it describes how the creation was accomplished.  

     "And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth." (Moses 1:32)

I have often thought about that phrase “the word of my power”   It is used again in Jacob 4:9.  This verse seem to explain it more clearly.

     "For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?" (Jacob 4:9)

All of the things that God has created are obed…
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Ponderize Job 31:1 - I have made a covenant with my eyes

The first phrase of Job 31:1 is very interesting.  It says:      I made a covenant with mine eyes; . . .
We all know that a covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings, and in some instances we suffer a penalty as a consequence of our disobedience.
So, how do we make a covenant with our eyes? Are you really making a covenant with your eyes, or are you making a covenant with God about what you will do with your eyes? There are multiple times in the scriptures where the Lord addresses this topic of wandering eyes.  Here are just a few.  
23 And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out. (D&C 42:23)
16 And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if a…

Spiritual Spectators

As LDS General Conference approaches this week I've been thinking about spiritual spectators.  Have some of us turned our personal spirituality into a spectator sport?  Do we, marvel at the demonstration of spiritual power during general conference by those we view as spiritual superstars and then lounge on the couch of spiritual listlessness? 
     Ponder this analogy. There are those who showed great athletic promise in high school but completely abandoned physical exercise somewhere in their 20's.  These Monday morning quarterbacks sit on the couch through the weekend watching college and professional sports to re-live what they perceive as their glory days.  They know all the plays, all the moves, their favorite athlete's statistics, and their training programs, yet they never apply any of that knowledge to their personal life.  Likewise, there are many returned missionaries in the Church who have spiritually done the same thing.  They spend their life re-living th…

Ponderize John 6:60 - Spiritual Atrophy

Early in His mortal ministry, Jesus became concerned about the commitment of his followers and after feeding the 5000 he taught them doctrines of the kingdom.  However, some, on hearing Him and His doctrine, said,
“This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:60).
We notice a similar statement by Laman and Lemuel when asked to go back to Jerusalem and get the plates from Laban.
"And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord." (1 Nephi 3:5)
This was a recurring theme with these two brothers.  Later they said:
"And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear". (1 Nephi 16:1)
So, what makes it hard?  We know from Matthew 11:30 that the yoke of Christ is easy and His burden is light.  Yet we consistently…

Ponderize Alma 31:5 - The Power of the Word

Harry Truman  is credited with saying: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

I have heard that quote in many forms, and I agree with it.  However, I never really thought about the follow-on question, "What are leaders reading?"  Like most people who study leadership I have read books by Dale Carnigie, Stephen R. Covey, Jim Collins, John C. Maxwell, Ken  Blanchard, Tom Rath, Peter Drucker, and dozens of others.  But I never really thought about what I should be reading.  I simply assumed that if you want to be a better leader you should read more leadership books.  I am convinced that is not a bad idea, but is there a better idea?  The other day I came across this quote by Ezra Taft Benson:
     ". . . one of the most important things you can do as priesthood leaders is to immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them diligently. Feast upon the words of Christ. Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein. There are few other e…

Ponderize Mosiah 4:9-10 - Believe in God

Each of us have critical intersections in our life where we make significant decisions that impact the rest of our life.  Some of these are where to attend college, missionary service, who to marry, how many kids to have, and what profession to pursue. Those who are wise seek to align themselves with the will of the Lord by asking the same question  that Saul asked Christ after he appeared to him:  "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6) This question can weigh heavily on our minds. 
Recently as I pondered a significant question in my life and I was lead to this scripture: 
9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. 10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he …

How Do You Measure Discipleship?

President Thomas S. Monson said, "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates." (see Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 107)
What are we trying to achieve? What are we trying to become? What performance are we seeking?  I would like to submit that the most important thing we do during our mortal life is to seek to become like our Father in Heaven or in other words, to become his disciple.  
Peter Drucker is credited with saying: "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."  So, if I want to increase my discipleship, how do I measure it?  
Many of the important elements of discipleship cannot be measured. For example, Christ-like attributes, personal and family devotion, covenant keeping, and service to others.  The process of becoming a disciple of Christ is a process that focuses on the heart, and not necessarily on the the hands (doing). 
Elder Dani…