A little push can go a long way.

President Eyring, the Lord will sustain you

Elder Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor for the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)

Last night in the Priesthood Session of the Mormon (LDS) Conference, President Henry B. Eyring testified that the Lord will strengthen you and uphold you as you serve Him.  When you do the Lords work you qualify for the Lords blessings, and angels will support you. 

There are countless instances of this in the scriptures (in the Bible and the Book of Mormon).

Nephi said it well, when he said (1 Nephi 1:20):

I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.

I truly believe that if you give the Lord your heart, mind, and are committed to serve Him, he will prepare the way for you, and provide all means and sustinance.  It just requires faith, and humility.

Rusty

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Finding your own personal sweet spot

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President Monson’s Birthday Request

Two weeks ago today (Aug 21), Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a prophet, seer, and revelator, celebrated his 81st birthday.

Reflecting a life lived in service, and his genuine love for mankind, when asked by a Church News editor what his ideal birthday gift would be, he gave this answer:

“Do something for someone else… to make his or her life better.  Find someone who is having a hard time, or is ill, or lonely, and do something for them.  That’s all I would ask.”

So, in commemoration of the birthday of a prophet of God, I encourage you to take his counsel to heart – today.  But then let the subtle spirit of his humble request imbue itself upon your soul, that your life may be lived as his, always anxiously engaged in an effort to ease another’s burden, and help them on their way.

“Do something for someone else…”

Rusty

P.S.  Please email this URL to someone else, that his request may be magnified accross the entirety of our own  personal networks.

Also, the image above is courtesy of Nathan Sharp (www.NathanSharpStudios.com).  I’ll have more about him and his work in a separate post shortly.  You can click the image for a larger view.

The Blind Painter

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God grant me wisdom

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Efren Peñaflorida wins CNN hero of the year

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Gravity’s lesson on influence (watch your environment)

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Someone who decided to make a difference 2

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How to solve the “unemployment” problem

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God’s hidden plan for you

Around 1620, separatists from England had arrived in America seeking religious freedom.  Landing at New Plymouth, they set up what would become known as the Plymouth Colony.  This colony would be crucial in establishment of a nation free to worship God as they saw fit.

But it almost didn’t happen.

On the journey, many of the pilgrims had become ill, and 47% of them had died.  They were desperate to find a place ashore on which they could settle.  But every attempt found them repelled by the natives.  At long last, they came to Plymouth Rock.

Coming ashore they found an established, but empty village (called Patuxet) that had been built by the Native American Wampanoag.  The village had been abandoned three years earlier because of a plague (likely smallpox) that had killed every one of its residence.  So sweeping and severe was the plague that the colonists discovered unburied skeletons in some of the abandoned dwellings.

But that plague, which had killed so many of the Wampanoag, was crucial for the ultimate success of Plymouth Colony.

Because the local natives were in such a weakened state, the colonists weren’t met with the same opposition that they had faced on earlier landings.   In fact, the plague had nearly decimated the Wampanoag, depopulating whole villages.  To make matters worse, it hadn’t touched their longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west, which left the Wampanoag in a precarious situation.

 Realizing their vulnerability, Massasoit, Sachem, and leader of the Wampanoag, knew his only hope for survival would be to form an alliance with the Pilgrims.  For this purpose, on March 22, 1621 Massasoit, Samoset, and Tisquantum, broke long-standing policy, and came to negotiate with the colonists.

Those negotiations would make way for the survival of the Plymouth Colony (which were nearly decimated themselves, with only 47 survivors at one point), providing them with vital food, and knowledge that was crucial for them to know how to grow crop on this strange new land.

But none of that would have been possible if that plague would not have first swept the area, setting the stage for new colonization.  Colonization that would lead to the establishment of a new nation, a nation of religious freedom, where the word of God could be established, and his people could be free to worship.

But to Massasoit and his people, that plague was a catastrophe.  Likely there were many who must have questioned their God, doubt-ridden and angry because they could not see the larger plan.  But a lager plan there was.  A plan known only to an omniscient Father, and made possible by a plague.

Often it is that our lives are swept with such plagues.  Plagues of misfortune, plagues of trials, plagues of temptation, plagues of weakness, plagues of loss, plagues of discouragement, plagues of doubt, and sometimes, plagues of disaster.

How tempting it is, for us to question our Father, while we suffer under these plagues… while the reality of our pain is so real. 

But could it not be that the suffering we feel now, is preparing the way for a far richer future we can enjoy tomorrow?  A tree must be pruned, for it to be healthy.  A field must be plowed, before it can be planted.  And sometimes, we must be broken, before we can be built up.

God’s vision for us is greater than our own.  And the meager, mortal attempts we have made to shape our lives must sometimes be undone, before the true beauty of the vision our Father has for us can be realized.

May you trust in God through your adversity.  May you know that He loves you with a depth and intensity that you are incapable of understanding.  May you know that His plan for you is sometimes hidden, but that if you will trust in Him, and keep your faith, and endure to the end, you will find yourself in His presence, and you will know that it was all worth it.  For He lives, and He loves you, for you are His child.

Rusty
(Ongofu – rustysblog.com)

Straining toward achievement

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The power of packaging

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With God, nothing is impossible

Perched upon the precipice of the past,
And engulfed in the darkness of doubt,
You gaze at the chasm of change before you.

Fear’s destructive power presses upon you,
It clouds your vision and erodes your commitment.
It stifles your thoughts and saturates your senses.

You wonder if it’s possible, if you should even try,
But then you remember…

I am a child of Royal birth,
My Father is King, of Heaven and earth.
My spirit was born in the courts on high,
A child beloved, a Prince am I

Sparked by hope, and spurred by the spirit,
You realize that with God, nothing is impossible.

Rusty

Phantom Leg Syndrom – repentance and hope

I read an article the other day on CNN about Phantom Leg Syndrome.  It’s something I’d heard of before but never really given much thought to.Phantom Leg Syndrome describes a medical condition where someone who has lost a limb (not necessarily a leg) feels itching, pain, or other sensations in the limb that is no longer there.  It occurs because of neuron stimulation at the point where the limb was severed, and as those signals travel to the brain, they’re interpreted as coming from the missing limb.  The result is an excruciating and unnerving experience because there’s clearly no way to alleviate that itch/pain/sensation.

As I thought about it, I couldn’t help but appreciate the striking similarity there is between this syndrome and one’s moral and spiritual conscience.

Often in life, we succumb to spiritual entropy, we get out of tune, take a wrong turn, or sometimes simply fall flat on our face.  Whatever the cause, a core part of our spiritual and emotional well-being goes missing. 

Sometimes it takes an unbearably long time to realize it, but inevitably, God has built into our souls a mechanism to eventually surface that to our awareness.  Much like the phantom limb syndrome, where neurons deep within the body are pricked and call for attention, our conscience eventually gets pricked and we come to realize something is missing.

Unlike in the instance of a missing limb, the Atonement of Christ has made it possible to replace that crucial component that is missing from our lives.  Repentance, while not always easy, IS always available.

Repentance gives us a spiritual regenerative ability that is unmistakable and undeniable.  The atonement was given to all – if we will but receive it.

But sometimes thinking beyond the pain of the “now” (for those who have found something missing) is impossibly difficult.   You get stuck dwelling upon your past, which tends to result in an ever inhibiting cycle of self-imposed limitations.  We convince ourselves that help is somehow beyond reach.

It’s not.

The Atonement represents an irreplaceable, unmovable, and unchanging ability to become whole again.  Christ performed miracles as he walked the earth, making people whole, all along the way.  His atonement extends that cycle of regeneration today and forever.  His ability to heal today, is no less real or compelling than it was 2,000 years ago.

Rusty

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