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President Thomas S Monson gave an excellent talk in the latest General Conference for the LDS Church entitled “Finding Joy in the Journey.”  In part of this talk told a story of a man who had been captured during the Vietnam War.  His captors allowed him to write home after a long while and only allowed him 25 words to send.  President Monson then relays what this man sent home to his family for what could have been the last words of advice he would share.

As I revisited this talk today in Sunday school, my thoughts turned to Moroni in the end of the Book of Mormon.  During this time, Moroni was the only person left of his people and he wasn’t sure if he would live or die.  He was writing a record for his ancestors who he felt would receive his message many years later.  He acknowledges that he doesn’t have much room to write, but that what he shares is what he feels to be most important.  His account is found in Moroni Chapter 10 of the Book of Mormon.

I encourage everyone to read this and pull out of it what the lessons and implications that are pertinent to their personal situations.  For me as I read through this again I found the following principles as being most important:

  1. Knowledge and faith in God and Jesus Christ
  2. Prayer
  3. The Holy Ghost and the various gifts of the Spirit
  4. Charity, or the pure love of Christ
  5. The Atonement of Jesus Christ (in my opinion the most important)

The final verses are so good I’m going to quote them.

30 And again I would exhort you that ye would acome unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good bgift, and ctouch not the evil gift, nor the dunclean thing.

  31 And aawake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of bZion; and cstrengthen thy dstakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest eno more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
  32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be eperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
  33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye asanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the bblood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your csins, that ye become dholy, without spot.
  34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to arest in the bparadise of God, until my cspirit and body shall again dreunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the eair, to meet you before the fpleasing bar of the great gJehovah, the Eternal hJudge of both quick and dead. Amen.
As we see, he feels the most important things to share are about coming to Jesus and repenting of our sins.  He also shares why this is important and how through the grace of God we can be saved.  (On a side note, I realize that some of these views about grace may not be the same as some of my fellow Christian friends.  This post isn’t a post to discuss differences in doctrine).
In conclusion I pose the same question to you.  If you only had a few words to share with your family, what would you feel would be the most important things to share?

In 1966, Batsell Barrett Baxter delivered an excellent sermon entitled “As a Man Thinketh.”  I HIGHLY reccomend reading it.  While the whole sermon is excellent, I choose to pull the following quote from his sermon at the Hillsboro Church of Christ:

“Chronic resentments, grudges that we carry around with us, become deep-seated abscesses. They ruin our personalities. They poison our minds, and they produce diseases in our bodies. When we continue to carry them, we are slowly but surely committing suicide! The cure for a surgical abscess is incision and drainage. This makes healing possible from the inside out so that the patient is rid of the abscess once and for all. The cure of a spiritual abscess is forgiveness–real forgiveness. This heals our minds, our bodies, and our souls.” 

Have you ever suffered from someone who hurt you whether intentionally or un-intentionally?  Do you or have you ever suffered so much that all you can do is supress the pain and try to forget?  Do you hold a grudge against someone that harmed you or a loved one?  If so, then I hope that what I share in this post will bless you.

By the time I was in my late 20’s I was slowly dying both physically and spiritually.  This may sound extreme, but I had been poisoned by my inability to forgive one of my parents who I felt had abandoned me after a divorce in my younger years.  On the surface, I knew I needed to forgive and I tried to force myself, but nothing I did seemed to help.  It became so bad that my resentment started taking over my life in my relationships with others as well as the way I viewed myself.  I was sick–both physically and spiritually.

When I came to the realization that I was the one with the problem and took responsibility, that was a huge step for me.  I didn’t know where to start though and how to overcome the resentment that I had harbored subconciously for so many years.  I turned to the Lord in prayer asking for Him to provide a way–and he did.

A couple weeks after I had started seriously praying for an answer and way to overcome my issues with forgiveness someone I hardly knew in church came up to me and said “I have a feeling that you could use my help.”  I was immediately intrigued. 

“What do you mean?” I said.

“I work for a lady that practices Reiki and other natural forms of healing.” she said, “You should come by.”

I’d never heard of Reiki before, but thought it was at least worth giving a try.

A week or so later I arrived at the clinic and started getting to know the “Reiki Lady”.  A name that I soon started calling her that stuck.  In our initial appointment I shared with her my experiences as a child.  It was very painful and I was full of resentment, hurt, and anger.  After our intial visit, she determined that multiple sessions were needed and I scheduled a few appointments.

For those who aren’t familiar with Reiki, it is an Asian form of natural healing in that the practioner focuses on your energy levels that your body puts out through pressure points called “chakras.”  The sessions I found to be very relaxing and helpful, but my anger and resentment would still rear its ugly head along with the spiritual and physical symptoms.  The spiritual symptoms would include: anger, bad habits of manipulating others especially in relationships, pessimism, a cynical outlook and behavior, and lack of trust.  Physically I had depression, anxiety, and also pain in my stomach from holding the bitterness in for so many years.

During one session with the “Reiki Lady” we did something different than we had ever done before.  We started normally with the sessions by getting me into a relaxed and calm state of mind.  However, this time she told me she was going to do a guided imagery session to help me heal my subconsious mind.  It was amazing and would take a long time to explain, but to keep this story short I was able to pull up images of myself as a child and see myself forgiving my parent for everything that had happened.  It was truly a miracle.  From that point forward, things started to fall into place and I was able to forgive completely and I can now say that I love and respect both of my parents completely.

My experience was different than others experiences in that it wasn’t the traditional approach.  However, I know that God worked through a number of people to help answer my prayers and heal me from the poison of holding resentment.

In a way, I guess this is similar to what Glenn Beck has been sharing over on his site called Face your Storm.  For those who would like to hear other stories of overcoming adversity, this is another great site.

I would love to hear others stories or thoughts on learning to forgive.  Please share so we can all be uplifted.

The guys over at the Beating Debt Blog had an interesting post today with a clip from Reverend Billy from the “Church of Stop Shopping.”  The goal of this church is to spread the good word of avoiding consumerism and spending less and giving more.  They are coming out with a documentary called “What Would Jesus Buy?” I like the message.  The delivery is something I don’t agree with, but find amusing nonetheless.  Below is an interview that Reverend Billy had with Glenn Beck.


Although Reverend Billy has a great message in many ways, I think his approach appears to be more comical and all “for show.”  Glenn Beck even asks him if he’s serious.

I browsed around on YouTube after I watched this, and found that Reverend Billy has been banned from Starbucks and arrested for barging into stores and protesting shopping.  Personally, I feel that if one wants to “spread the word”,  barging into stores and casting out demons from a cash register isn’t going to be effective. 

That being said, this has an overall good message and it is worth watching.  However, I get the feeling that it will be watched mainly for entertainment purposes and that this guy won’t be taken seriously.  After all, when you visit his website he has links to buy his movie, donate to his church and also links to stores that carry his movie.  I find it interesting that this guy has created a business around the idea of less spending but then asks you to spend money for him.

What are your thoughts?

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