You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

I read an interesting post the other day called “Have you Ever Prayed for your Sports Team to Win?”.   The post and the comments caused me to reflect on how detailed God is in our lives and whether or not he wants us to prosper.

The Book of Mormon is full of stories of people obeying Gods commandments, becoming prosperous, turning away from God, and then losing their faith.  Also, I’ve heard many Christians say that proud people are rich and God wants a humble people.  Finally, scriptures such as 1 Timothy 6:10 are quoted often alluding to the fact that money is a sin. 

Personally I feel that those who think wealth is a sin are wrong.  I feel that God wants us to be successful and rich as long as it is done in the proper order.  That order is as follows:

  1. Seek the Kingdom of God
  2. Strengthen Yourself
  3. Strengthen Others

Seek the Kingdom of God

Jacob 2:18-19 reads:

18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

  19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
In addition, Matthew 6:33 admonishes us to seek first the kingdom of God and he’ll then bless us with what we need.
Strengthen Yourself

Alma 34:24-25 discusses praying for prosperity over our livelihood.  For me, I compare this with the scripture in Luke 22 that discusses once you are converted, to strengthen your bretheren.  How are we to help other people if our own houses are not in order and if we don’t have means to take care of ourselves and our families?

Strengthen Others

Once we are established by putting God’s kingdom first and also have enough means for ourselves we are then in a situation where we can bless the lives of others more richly.  It is important to note here that all along we should be paying tithing and giving some extra along the way, but what I am writing about here is the excess money we make. 
In my opinion, these scriptures show that God does want us to be happy and to prosper, if that’s what we want.
  However, he first wants us to seek Him and turn our hearts to him so that if and when we do prosper, we will use the money how He would have us use it.  If we don’t have financial ground to support ourselves, how are we to bless the lives of others?
Recently, I had a conversation with one of my co-workers.  She had been shadowing me and was asking me how I’m so successful in my job.  I asked her if she really wanted to know the truth and she said she did.  I asked her if she believed in God and she said she was a recent convert to Christianity.  I then shared with her the scripture in Matthew 6:33 that tells us to seek the kingdom of God first and then He’ll provide for us.  I told her about how I had started to schedule a lot of my sales presentations on Sundays since that was when many of the organizations had time to meet with me.  However, I felt I wasn’t putting God first and that if I truly was converted I would put God first and honor the Sabbath by not working on that day.  I called all my companies that were scheduled on Sunday for the year and cancelled them.  This was a risky move, but I felt very good knowing that I was putting God first and then allowing Him to bless me how he saw fit.  I then prayed that I would be successful.  Not only did God bless me for putting Him first, but this year I’ve more than doubled the amount of sales that were projected had I kept the Sunday appointments. 
I told her that it was by putting God first that we will be truly successful.
So in conclusion, I feel that God does indeed want us to be happy, successful, and rich as long as we are good stewards by putting him first, taking care of our own, and then taking care of others. 

I teach Elders Quorum (men’s group) once a month and this month we focused on the excellent talk given last April by Jeffery R Holland, one of the 12 apostles entitled “None Were With Him.”

The talk focuses on Jesus’ journey to the cross the week before his crucifixtion and all the hardships he faced so he could die for our sins. It’s a very moving talk that I wrote about last April.

We read about Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. We discussed what led up to him betraying Jesus. All of us agreed that greed, selfishness, fear, jealousy, and other sins all left unchecked within Judas led up to his betrayal.

We then stopped and analyzed ourselves. We’re all human as well. How often are we tempted to be greedy, selfish, and to have fear instead of faith? Judas’ experience shows us what can happen if we leave things unchecked.

The question then for all of us is what can we do to “get the Judas” out of us and overcome feelings of sin that can ultimately lead us away from Jesus?

Please share what you do to “get the Judas” out of you.

My Grandfather recently passed down a lot of the books in his library and one of the books I picked up is entitled “LDS Adventure Stories” by Preston Nibley.

One of the stories I read tonight was one of the most amazing accounts of bravery and faith I’ve ever read.  It details a plane crash in Alaska in Joseph H. Tippetts’  own words and was published in the Improvement Era in October of 1943.  If you are a member of you can look up the account and read it online.

I was going to write a detailed article of the story, but upon reasearching the lds blogs I found details of this event are given nicely in a blog called “Alaskan Odyssey” written about a year ago, which includes pictures from the crash. 

It is a miracle that 4 men survived the plane crash and lived for a month in the harsh Alaska winter.   They all had broken bones, yet had to struggle to survive the weather and when a search party gave up looking for them, all they could do was pray and work to find assistance.  The hardships that were endured and overcome are miraculous.  Brother Tippetts gives an amazing account of how faith, patience, prayer, and God’s providence kept he and his companions alive.  He also accredits the Bible and Book of Mormon and a book called Unto the Hills by Richard L Evans as books that kept his faith strong throughout the trial in the wilderness.

Joseph Tippett’s concluding words in his account show his humility and faith:

In looking back over our experience I can truthfully say that God was good to us.  we can give him credit for leading the boat to our rescue.  The captain of the boat had gone over thrity-five miles off his course to come into that little bay to rescue us.  He was influenced to come to that spot in answer to prayer.  We regard it as a modern miracle.  The influence of the faith and prayers of our good wives and friends did much to bring us safely home…we join in thanking God for performing a miracle in our behalf.  May we ever remain faithful to him.

Also just last week, Joseph Tippett’s son appeared as a guest blogger and wrote about more details of Joseph Tippett’s life and you can read this account here.

After reading this, I feel amazed at what God can help us accomplish when we put our trust and faith in Him.

I was browsing on today and came across a great little YouTube message from President Uchtdorf. I thought this message was very good. Especially the quote from Romans 15. I went and read the whole chapter of Romans 15 and thought it was interesting how patience is a big factor involved with having hope.

Here is the message. Enjoy!

Cleanse your Soul with Grace for Grace “Spiritual SOAP”

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