Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The LDS Genesis Group

I've been a member of the Church my whole life (30+ years) and I've at least heard of many of the less known aspects of Church History and things about the Church. But today I stumbled on something I never knew existed ... the LDS Genesis Group. This is basically a support group for Black members of the Church. It appears to be wholly sanctioned by the Church.

You learn something new every day!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Elder David B. Haight's Testimony

I came across a powerful talk today. I cannot understand how I've never read this talk before. This October 1989 General Conference talk by Elder Haight, entitled The Sacrament- and the Sacrifice, is as clear of a testimony of Christ as I have ever heard. Many seem to be familiar with Elder McConkie's last talk in General Conference, in April 1985, perhaps because it was indeed his last, but this talk by Elder Haight is the clearest witness of Christ I've ever read. I wish it were in MP3 format so I could hear it delivered as it was intended.

I do not know all the details, but Elder Haight had experienced a stroke or heart attack or something and had to be taken to the hospital. Some surgery was performed and during this time he had visions.

Consider this paragraph from his talk:

I heard no voices but was conscious of being in a holy presence and atmosphere. During the hours and days that followed, there was impressed again and again upon my mind the eternal mission and exalted position of the Son of Man. I witness to you that He is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, Savior to all, Redeemer of all mankind, Bestower of infinite love, mercy, and forgiveness, the Light and Life of the world. I knew this truth before—I had never doubted nor wondered. But now I knew, because of the impressions of the Spirit upon my heart and soul, these divine truths in a most unusual way.

To have your spirtual cup refilled, go read Elder Haight's talk as well as Elder McConkie's. As you read them, consider what an Apostle is ... a special witness of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Choices and Direction

Every day we make choices. Many of the choices we make have nothing to do with our spirituality - should we eat mashed potatoes or yams? Should I wear my black shoes or my brown shoes? It really makes no difference when it comes to our eternal salvation.

Other choices do make a difference, however. Should I watch the basketball game or go play outside with my kids? I'm so tired ... should I pray before going to bed or just go to bed and pray in the morning? These may seem small at the time, but they can have greater consequences.

So in all our decision making, we need to make sure our choices push us towards perfection ... towards the standard ... towards the Savior and our Heavenly Father.

Indeed we may miss an evening prayer or reading our scriptures for a day and we can rebound and say our prayers and read our scriptures the next day. But as soon as we become relaxed in the small things, we become more relaxed in the bigger things and we soon find ourselves on the slippery slope. Therefore, the more buffer we can put between ourselves and the edge of the slippery slope, the better off we are. And if at any time we find ourselves an inch closer than we ought to be, then we need to re-distance ourselves and redouble our vigilence.

I am reminded of a little story Elder Packer told several years ago.

"The story is told of a king who was choosing between two drivers for his coach. He ordered each of them to drive his coach down a steep, winding road cut into a high cliff.

"The first driver came down slowly, hugging the wall of the cliff. The second driver demonstrated great talent and ability. He raced down the mountain, with the coach so close at times that half the wheel was off the edge of the cliff.

"The king was very thoughtful, then wisely chose the first man to drive his coach. It is best to stay on the safe side of things." (Boyd K. Packer, “The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996, 17)

So many in the world today "live on the edge" and are confident that they can veer so close yet not fall off. They seek to maximize how far they can "push it" to the edge and not fall off.

We too must maximize, but not to see how close we can come to the edge, but how far we can stay away from it. Interestingly enough, there is an edge or line on one side of the spiritual spectrum while on the opposite side lies a vast eternity of progression. So we really cannot maximize our length from the edge because there is no end. (see D&C 132:20)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stars of the Heaven, Sands of the Sea

"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" - Genesis 22:17