Lessons from the scriptures on equality

There are no words more powerful than the Lord’s regarding racism and equality:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:34-35

[T]hus saith the Lord: Ye shall anot esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another;

Mosiah 23:7

The scriptures very clear on what the Lord thinks:

[H]e (God) doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he ainviteth them ball to ccome unto him and partake of his goodness; and he ddenieth none that come unto him, black and white, ebond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the fheathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

2 Nephi 26:33

[T]he Lord esteemeth all aflesh in one;

1 Nephi 17:35

Law should be equally applied to everyone. Everyone should have the same rights.

[I]t was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.

Alma 30:7

God has always commanded us (all of us) to love one another:

[W]hosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 John 3:10-11

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

James 2:8-9

President Nelson recently shared the following:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-shares-social-post-encouraging-understanding-and-civility

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A new symbol for the church

At the April 2020 General Conference, President Nelson announced a new symbol for the church:

Aptly, the symbol includes the name of the Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—contained within a cornerstone. As taught since Biblical days, Jesus Christ is the “chief corner stone” of His Church (Ephesians 2:20).

“At the center of the symbol is a representation of Thorvaldsen’s marble statue, the ‘Christus,’” said President Nelson. “It portrays the resurrected, living Lord reaching out to embrace all who will come unto Him.

“Symbolically, Jesus Christ is standing under an arch. The arch reminds us of the resurrected Savior emerging from the tomb on the third day following His Crucifixion.”

The new symbol, he added, should feel familiar to all identifying the restored gospel with the living, resurrected Christ.

“The symbol will now be used as a visual identifier for official literature, news, and events of the Church. It will remind all that this is the Savior’s Church and that all we do, as members of His Church, centers on Jesus Christ and His gospel.”

Source: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/president-nelson-announces-new-church-symbol-during-april-general-conference?lang=eng

I think this is wonderful. A picture is worth a 1000s words. Everyone will come to recognize this as the symbol of the Restored Church of the living Christ.

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Happy Easter!

Today, my family watched these videos as we did church at home. I think it was the first time my children really understood what taking the sacrament really meant.

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Alexa play….

Good music invites the Spirit–which testifies of Christ. Here are some songs that we’ve been listening to on Sunday and various times throughout the week.

Alexa can play most of these songs for you. If not, you should be able to find them on YouTube. Enjoy!

  • “Choose him again” – By Shawna Edwards.
  • “To be his child” – By Shawna Edwards.
  • “I feel my Saviors love.” – By Reese Oliveira.
  • “I know that my Savior loves me.” – By Reese Oliveira.
  • “My Heavenly Father loves me.” – By Reese Oliveira.
  • “Gethsemane” – By Reese Oliveira.
  • “Peace in Christ” – By McKenna Hixson.
  • “I will go and do.” – By David Arculeta.
  • “Risen” – By Shawna Edwards.
  • “I feel God’s light.” – By Blake Gillette.
  • “Come unto Christ.” – By Shawna Edwards.
  • “I will shine.” – By Shawna Edwards.
  • “His hands.” – By Jenny Jordan Frogley.
  • “Praise the man.” – By Jenny Jordan Frogley.
  • “Glorious” – By One Voice Children’s Choir.
  • “A child’s prayer” – By One Voice Children’s Choir
  • “He’s My Son” – By Mark Schultz.
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President Nelson Shares Message of Hope during Coronavirus Outbreak

During this time of uncertainty, it’s comforting to know that the Lord has chosen a prophet to lead us and guide us in these latter-days. President Nelson was truly inspired by the Lord to start “Come Follow Me” as a “home-centered, church supported” program months before the outbreak.

We truly live in troubling times…. This story by President Nelson is also particularly comforting right now:

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Hear Him!

How do you know what you know is true? How can you find-out for yourself what is true? Salvation is a personal matter. It is between you and God–and no one else.

When is the last time you did a life assessment? What events brought you to this point in your life?

To find out your life’s mission, you need to Hear Him. He has said:

“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Doctrine and Covenants 88:63

God is completely honest in all things. This is his personal promise to you.

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Now you know!

The following videos teach the basics of the restored gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ. If you’ve never heard of these concepts, I encourage you to watch all of them. I then encourage you to ask God, in prayer, if these things are true. If you’ve never prayed to know the meaning of life (your life), now is a great time to find out.

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Light the World

Have you ever thought about the gifts that the wise men brought as gifts to the Savior?

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 ¶ And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and afrankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:9-11


There’s a lot of symbolism in the scriptures…



What does the gold represent?

Gold is a gift fit for a King. Gold represents his royal parentage as the Son of God. He is only begotten son of God, our Heavenly Father, in the flesh. He was chosen by our Heavenly Father to be our Savior.



What does the frankincense represent?

In the Old Testament, Frankincense was used in temple worship by ancient Israel:

  • It was used in a perfume in the sanctuary (Exodus 30:34)
  • It was used with burnt offerings and peace offerings (Leviticus 2:1)
  • It was used along with the shewbread in the outer tabernacle and was burned as a memorial before the presence of the Lord (Leviticus 24:7)

Frankincense was burned by those who held the priesthood. It was also used in connection with sacrifice. Frankincense represents Jesus Christ’s royal priesthood and his sacrifice to save mankind.

¶ Surely he hath aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was awounded for our btransgressionshe was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his cstripes we are dhealed.

All we like asheep have gone bastray; we have turned every one to his cown way; and the Lord hath laid on him the diniquity of us all.

He was aoppressed, and he was bafflicted, yet he copened not his mouth: he is brought as a dlamb to the eslaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his ageneration? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the btransgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the awicked, and with the rich in his bdeathcbecause he had done no dviolence, neither was any edeceit in his mouth.

10 ¶ Yet it pleased the Lord to abruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an boffering for sin, he shall see his cseed, he shall prolong his days, and the dpleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his aknowledge shall my righteous bservant cjustify many; for he shall dbear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53-4-11


What does the Myrrh represent?

Ancient Israel used myrrh in temple worship as a holy anointing oil for consecrating kings, priests, and the tabernacle (Exodus 30:23-25).

Myrrh represents Jesus Christ’s Atonement for the sins of the world.

Note the following from wikipedia.org:

Myrrh (/mɜːr/; from Aramaic, but see § Etymology) is a natural gum or resin extracted from a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora.[1] Myrrh resin has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense, and medicine. Myrrh mixed with wine can also be ingested .

When a tree’s wound penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree secretes a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincense, is such a resin. When people harvest myrrh, they wound the trees repeatedly to bleed them of the gum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrh

Note what it says:

When a tree’s wound penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree secretes a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincense, is such a resin. When people harvest myrrh, they wound the trees repeatedly to bleed them of the gum.

Note the usages of myrrh as a medicine:

It is also used in some liniments and healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments. Myrrh has been used as an analgesic for toothaches and can be used in liniment for bruises, aches, and sprains.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrh

In other words, myrrh is a resin that bleeds from a tree that heals.

Likewise, Christ bled and died on a tree (cross):

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, aremove this cup from me: nevertheless not my bwill, but thine, be done.

43 And there appeared an aangel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

44 And being in an aagony he prayed more earnestly: band his sweat was as it were great drops of cblood falling down to the ground.

Luke 22:41-44

And, relating to the crucifixion…

30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and ahanged on a tree.

31 Him hath God exalted awith his right hand to be a bPrince and a cSaviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and dforgiveness of sins.

32 And we are his awitnesses of these things; and so is also the bHoly Ghost, whom God hath cgiven to them that obey him.

And, in Peter’s words…

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also asuffered for us, leaving us an bexample, that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no asin, neither was bguile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was areviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but bcommitted himself to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self abare our bsins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose cstripes ye were healed.

Peter 2:21-24


Merry Christmas!

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General Conference (Part 4)

More great quotes from General Conference:

Jesus Christ Himself is the Lord of lost things. He cares for lost things. That is surely why He taught the three parables that we find in the 15th chapter of Luke: the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and, finally, the prodigal son. All these stories have a common denominator: It doesn’t matter why they were lost. It doesn’t matter even if they were aware they were lost. There reigns supreme a feeling of joy that exclaims, “Rejoice with me; for I have found [that] which was lost.”1 In the end, nothing is truly lost to Him.2

Nephi explained the central purpose of the Book of Mormon in this way:

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God. …

“And [so] we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, [and] we prophesy of Christ, … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”7

The entire Book of Mormon is imbued with that same sacred purpose.

For this reason, any reader who commits to a sincere study of it, with the spirit of prayer, will not only learn about Christ but will learn from Christ—especially if they make the decision to “try the virtue of the word”8 and not reject it prematurely due to prejudiced unbelief9 by what others have said about things that they have never read.

Elder Rubén V. Alliaud Of the Seventy
Found through the Power of the Book of Mormon


You will remember that I have invited the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to participate in the greatest cause on earth today—the gathering of Israel.1 I issued this invitation to our youth because they are unusually gifted in reaching out to others and sharing what they believe in a convincing fashion. The cause of the gathering is an essential part of helping to prepare the world and its people for the Second Coming of the Lord.

Russell M. Nelson, Prophet and President of the Church
Witnesses, Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, and Young Women Classes


Our son Dan got very sick on his mission in Africa and was taken to a medical facility with limited resources. As we read his first letter to us after his illness, we expected that he would be discouraged, but instead he wrote, “Even as I lay in the emergency room, I felt peace. I have never been so consistently and resiliently happy in my life.”

As my wife and I read these words, we were overcome with emotion. Consistently and resiliently happy. We had never heard happiness described that way, but his words rang true. We knew that the happiness he described was not simply pleasure or an elevated mood but a peace and joy that come when we surrender ourselves to God and put our trust in Him in all things.1 We too had had those times in our lives when God spoke peace to our souls and caused us to have hope in Christ even when life was hard and uncertain.2

President Russell M. Nelson taught, “The joy the Savior offers [us] … is constant, assuring us that our ‘afflictions shall be but a small moment’ [Doctrine and Covenants 121:7] and be consecrated to our gain.”5 Our trials and afflictions can make space for greater joy.6

The good news of the gospel is not the promise of a life free of sorrow and tribulation but a life full of purpose and meaning—a life where our sorrows and afflictions can be “swallowed up in the joy of Christ.”7 The Savior declared, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”8 His gospel is a message of hope. Sorrow coupled with hope in Jesus Christ holds the promise of enduring joy.

Elder L. Todd Budge Of the Seventy
Consistent and Resilient Trust
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General Conference (Part 3)

More quotes from General Conference:

As I was leaving a Young Women camp this summer, a sweet young woman handed me a note. In it, she asked, “How can I tell when God is trying to tell me something?” I love her question. Our souls long for a connection with our heavenly home. We want to feel needed and useful. But at times we struggle to distinguish between our own thoughts and the gentle impressions of the Spirit. Prophets, ancient and modern, have taught that if something “invites and entices to do good, it comes from Christ.”1

As you use your agency to carve out time every day to draw close to God’s voice, especially in the Book of Mormon, over time His voice will become clearer and more familiar to you.

The prayer Heavenly Father seems eager to answer is our plea to be led to someone who needs our help. President Henry B. Eyring has taught us to seek revelation by asking God who we can help for Him. “If you ask questions like that, the Holy Ghost will come and you’ll feel nudges about things you can do for other people. When you go and do those things, you’re on the Lord’s errand, and when you’re on the Lord’s errand, you qualify for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”5

Michelle Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
Spiritual Capacity


Being “converted unto the Lord” means leaving one course of action, directed by an old belief system, and adopting a new one based on faith in Heavenly Father’s plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. This change is more than an intellectual acceptance of gospel teachings. It shapes our identity, transforms our understanding of life’s meaning, and leads to unchanging fidelity to God. Personal desires that are contrary to being anchored to the Savior and to following the covenant path fade away and are replaced by a determination to submit to the will of Heavenly Father.

The Savior invited His disciples to be this dependable and steadfast. He said, “Wherefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.”15 A “settled” determination to keep our covenants allows for the full realization of God’s promise of enduring joy.16

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, making covenants with a real intent to reliably honor them will bless your life forever. You will become more like the Savior as you always remember Him, follow Him, and adore Him. I testify that He is the firm foundation. He is dependable, and His promises are sure.

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, making covenants with a real intent to reliably honor them will bless your life forever. You will become more like the Savior as you always remember Him, follow Him, and adore Him. I testify that He is the firm foundation. He is dependable, and His promises are sure.

Dale G. Renlund, Apostle of Jesus Christ
Unwavering Commitment to Jesus Christ


Elder Christofferson taught: “It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.”5

We can all wonder privately about circumstances in the spirit world or even discuss these or other unanswered questions in family or other intimate settings. But let us not teach or use as official doctrine what does not meet the standards of official doctrine. To do so does not further the work of the Lord and may even discourage individuals from seeking their own comfort or edification through the personal revelation the Lord’s plan provides for each of us. Excessive reliance on personal teachings or speculations may even draw us aside from concentrating on learning and efforts that will further our understanding and help us go forward on the covenant path.

In conclusion, what we do know about the spirit world is that the Father’s and the Son’s work of salvation continues there. Our Savior initiated the work of declaring liberty to the captives (see 1 Peter 3:18–194:6Doctrine and Covenants 138:6–11, 18–21, 28–37), and that work continues as worthy and qualified messengers continue to preach the gospel, including repentance, to those who still need its cleansing effect (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:57). The object of all of that is described in the official doctrine of the Church, given in modern revelation.
“The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
“And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:58–59).

The duty of each of us is to teach the doctrine of the restored gospel, keep the commandments, love and help one another, and do the work of salvation in the holy temples.

Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency
Trust in the Lord


Constant vigilance is required to counteract complacency and casualness. To be vigilant is the state or action of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties. And keeping watch denotes the act of staying awake to guard and protect. Spiritually speaking, we need to stay awake and be alert to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and the signals that come from the Lord’s watchmen on the towers.4

Yea, and I also exhort you … that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, … for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.5

Focusing our lives in and on the Savior and His gospel enables us to overcome the tendency of the natural man to be spiritually snoozy and lazy. As we are blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear,6 the Holy Ghost can increase our capacity to look and listen when we may not typically think we need to look or listen or when we may not think anything can be seen or heard.

Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready.7

As you respond in faith to this invitation, inspired thoughts will come to your mind, spiritual feelings will swell in your heart, and you will recognize actions that should be undertaken or continued so that you can “take upon you [the] whole armor [of God], that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.14

I promise that the blessings of effective preparation and spiritual protection will flow into your life as you are watchful unto prayer vigilantly and continually.

David A. Bednar, Apostle of Jesus Christ
Watchful unto Prayer Continually

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