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 personal, Godly 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 royal priesthood, power, and authority. It also represents the blood of Christ which was shed to accomplish the Atonement.

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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General Conference (Part 2)

Wow! What a wonderful conference! I must say, President Nelson’s last few words were quite the cliff hanger….

In case you missed conference, here’s a link: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/general-conference?cid=HP_PTH_CONF_10_6_19&lang=eng

Across all the talks, two common threads stood out to me:

  1. How to find joy.
  2. Spiritual preparation for the Second Coming.

There were so many good talks…. In the coming posts, I’ll highlight some quotes that stood out to me.

The prayer of every speaker, the hope of all who sing, the reverence of every guest—all are dedicated to inviting the Spirit of Him whose Church this is—the living Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace.

Sisters and brothers, through the incessant din and drumbeat of our day, may we strive to see Christ at the center of our lives, of our faith, and of our service. That is where true meaning lies.

Jeffrey R. Holland, Apostle of Jesus Christ.
The Message, the Meaning, and the Multitude.


Giving our all doesn’t mean that we will be continually enveloped in blessings or always have success. But it does mean that we will have joy. Joy is not fleeting pleasure or even temporary happiness. Joy is enduring and is founded on our efforts being accepted by the Lord.3

There is no treasure, nor any hobby, nor any status, nor any social media, nor any video games, nor any sport, nor any association with a celebrity, nor anything on earth that is more precious than eternal life. So the Lord’s counsel to every person is “consider your ways.”

Are we true followers of Him who gave His all for us? He who is our Redeemer and our Advocate with the Father? He who was Himself absolutely committed in His atoning sacrifice and is so now in His love, His mercy, and His desire for us to have eternal joy? I plead with all who hear and read these words: Please, please don’t put your total commitment off until you get around to it at some nonexistent, future time.

Elder Terence M. Vinson, Presidency of the Seventy
True Disciples of the Savior.


You know that you are sons and daughters of God and that He has a work for you to do. You love God with all your “heart, might, mind and strength.”6 You keep your covenants and serve others, beginning at home. You exercise faith, repent, and improve each day, and this brings you enduring joy. You are preparing for temple blessings and other opportunities you will have as true followers of the Savior. And you are helping prepare the world for the Second Coming, inviting all to come unto Christ and receive the blessings of His Atonement.

Brothers and sisters, I testify that Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church. He is inspiring our leaders and guiding us to the spiritual nourishment we need to survive and thrive in the latter days. That spiritual nourishment will help us be faithful and not faithless.

Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President
Be Faithful, Not Faithless.


In this conference three years ago, President Russell M. Nelson spoke of joy.2 Among other things, he said:

“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.

“When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. … For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!”3

Saints are those who have entered into the gospel covenant through baptism and are striving to follow Christ as His disciples.4 Thus, “the joy of the saints” denotes the joy of becoming Christlike.

Keeping the Lord’s commandments enables us more fully and more easily to feel His love. The strait and narrow path of the commandments leads directly to the tree of life, and the tree and its fruit, the sweetest and “most desirable above all things,”10 are a representation of the love of God and fill the soul “with exceedingly great joy.”11 Said the Savior:
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”12

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Apostle of Jesus Christ
The Joy of the Saints.


More to come….

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General Conference

If God could speak today, what would he say to you? What would he say about the times that we’re living in? If God called a prophet today, like Moses, what would that prophet say today?

If you’d like to know, watch General Conference.

Twice a year the Restored Church of Jesus Christ has a meeting in which the Prophet, the 12 Apostles, Relief Society members, and other church leaders speak.

If you’ve never heard the Prophet speak or a living Apostle speak, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

These men were called of God. They have the same commission and authority to speak for God as the prophets and apostles in the Bible. They are righteous men.

If you listen to them, the Holy Ghost will testify to you that the things which they are saying are true. If you were to ask God whether the things that they are saying are true, the Holy Ghost will confirm that to you as well.

You can watch General Conference from the church’s web site:
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/?lang=eng

Want to know watch a past talk right now? They’re on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LDSGeneralConference

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Part VII: Is God really there?

This past week, I watched “Numbered” with my wife on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you. For me, it was a reminder to be grateful for what you got. I can’t imagine the suffering that those Holocaust survivors went through.

Another World War II movie that I watched this past week was “The Book Thief.” It makes one recognize that not all Germans sided with the Nazi government; There were many Germans that suffered horribly under the Nazi’s and were forced to go to war against their will.

“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is another powerful movie I saw a few years ago. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to do so. It’s powerful because it helps people realize that:

Children are not born with hate in their hearts. People are taught to hate.

This past week, if you are an American, hopefully you had a moment to reflect on 9/11 about what happened that day.

I remember where I was: I was in my college apartment and was awoken by a roommate who told me that a plane hit the first tower. I watched as the second plane hit the second tower live on TV. My immediate thought was “Both those buildings are going to fall-down.” If you saw it happen, you know that words cannot fully-describe the horror and feeling of loss that was felt.

I was touched because my mom used to work once a month at the World Trade Center. One of the offices for Corporation Service Company (CSC) was on the 88th floor. I thought to myself–that could have been my mom.

I hope that, as a country, we have not forgotten the unity that we felt after 9/11.

There are truly evil people in this world. They have chosen to follow Satan. There are terrorists, murderers, and rapists. There are kidnappers and those seek to prey on children. Earthly courts will never provide proper justice. Remember what the Savior said:

Matthew Chapter 18

Whosoever therefore shall ahumble himself as this little bchild, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my aname receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall aoffend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 ¶ Woe unto the world because of aoffences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

To put that in context, remember: Each of us is a “little one”. We are all Children of God. Those who choose to do evil in this life will one-day pay for their poor choices in Hell. God will not allow any unrepentant, evil deed to go unpunished.

While this world lasts, remember this: Everything happens for a reason. Your suffering is not in vain; It has purpose.

2 Corinthians Chapter 4

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the athanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the ainward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light aaffliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and beternal cweight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are aseen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not bseen are ceternal.

If your suffering brought you closer to God, it fulfilled its purpose. We may not see or understand the “benefit” of our sufferings in this life, but know this: There is a reason for it.

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Part VI: Is God really there?

God is there. He understands what you’re going through right now.

A friend may try to comfort you and tell you “I know what you are going through”, but do they really know? I promise you that God knows. Only He can truly empathize–because only He experienced everything that you’re going through right now.

As God tests us in this life, it can be really hard to believe that everything we experience in this life is “for our good.” Just because you know the test is hard, doesn’t make the test any easier.

No matter how bad your day was today, someone had a tougher day than you: Someone had a loved one die. Someone was in a car accident. Someone lost their job. Someone lost their home. Someone did not eat.

On my dark days, I think of the Holocaust. I think of the sufferings of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters: Being separated from their families, being put in cattle cars, and being hauled off to death camps. No one can imagine the pain and suffering that they went through.

When I take a moment to reflect on their trials and compare them to my own, I walk away feeling incredibly ungrateful–that I should complain about such trivial things happening in my own life.

Lots of people try to make the argument “If God exists, why does God let bad things happen? Or, “If God exists, why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Perhaps these are even questions that you’ve asked yourself.

A lot of the pain and suffering that happens in this world is a result of “Man’s inhumanity to man.” It is the sad result of people choosing to be evil, greedy, and selfish.

Please don’t fall into the camp of those who choose to blame God for the poor decisions of others. God does not start wars; People start wars.

Almost daily, we read about mass shootings. Don’t blame God. It is wrongful to blame God for the acts of an evil person. God did not pull the trigger. The person to blame for the shooting is the shooter–not God. God doesn’t shoot guns; People do.

Well, you may say “If God exists, why didn’t he intervene? Why didn’t God prevent it from happening?” That’s a fair question…and it’s not one that anyone (nor I) can give any satisfying answer to. However, I do know this….

Tragedy will test the heart of the perpetrator and the victim.

Perpetrator(s) need to repent of the thing(s) that they’ve done. They need to admit their wrong, apologize for it, make restitution for the wrong (if possible), and covenant (promise God) that they’ll never to repeat the wrong again.

However difficult, victim(s) should accept the apology of those who wronged them and forgive them. Choosing to withhold forgiveness does damage to you. It hardens your heart. You will never experience the peace that the Savior can provide until you whole-heartedly decide to forgive those that wronged you.

For weeks, months, years and, maybe even, decades, you will continue to carry hate for those who have wronged you. Long-after the perpetrator has forgotten about the whole incident, you’ll harbor hate for them.

The sooner you decide to “Let go of it”, the sooner you will start to heal and feel the Savior’s love. My advise is this: Forgive quickly.

Remember: You’re not perfect. If you want to be forgiven of the things you’ve done in your life, start forgiving others. Ask God for help to forgive. He has helped me. He will help you.

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A letter to my son….

Continuing from the last post, I just wanted to talk more about my son….

Dear Son,

I know that you’re young and you probably won’t be reading my blog for a long, long-time, because you’re just a kid and you’re busy doing “kid-things” right now (like playing Roblox and Fortnite), but I just want you to know how amazing I think you are.

Every day, I thank God that he has put you in my life. I know that things are tough without a hand. God has given everyone challenges. As you know, some people have challenges that are just more visible than others….

Your particular trial has forced you to learn patience, determination, and awareness of the feelings of those around you. Challenges make us stronger, better people.

Although I know you’ll undoubtedly have quiet moments of discouragement as you get older, I hope you realize that you have been blessed with an wonderful family, extended family, and friends that are here to bear you up.

No one is ever truly alone; God is always there if you reach-out to him in prayer.

When you were born, story of the man with the withered hand had much greater meaning to me….

Mark 3:1-5

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

And they awatched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the asabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they bheld their peace.

And when he had looked round about on them with aanger, being grieved for the bhardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

I want you to know, son, that your trial is temporary…. In the resurrection, you will be whole: You’ll have two natural hands. As written by Isaiah, the Lord will make everything right. You will be whole someday.

He will swallow up adeath in bvictory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the crebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

You are an amazing kid. I’m surprised by all the things you do…. Don’t ever give up.

God loves you. He knows what you’re going through. His angels are around you–to bear you up.

Love,

Dad

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Part V: Is God really there?

Life will kick you in the teeth. No doubt about it. Life is not easy.

If you think you’re life is easy and that you’re not being tested, rest assured, you still are…. You’re just not being tested in the way that you expected.

My son was born without a left hand.

His life is tough. It’s going to be tough. Things that you and I take for granted everyday-like tying your shoes-are very difficult for him. In today’s digital age, learning to type on a computer will be fun.

Other kids judge him. Some make fun of him. There’s nothing that he can do about that. People rudely stare at him sometimes.

This is simply a test that God wanted him to have. It is not just a test for him though. It is also a test for those whom he interacts with: Are they judging? Are they friendly? Do they make fun of him? Do they treat him any different? Will future prospective employers think less of him–that he can’t do the work of a two-handed employee? Will girls want to date him? Etc, etc, etc….

Like all tests, this test is just temporary. If not through the marvels of modern science in this life, he will have a left hand in the resurrection.

Knowing that some day, he will have that left hand gives him comfort. I know that this is true.

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Just in case you’re curious…. My son’s hands were on the paper because they were being measured for 3-D printed prosthetic hand.

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Post IV: Is God really there?

So, we now come to the question: If we lived with God before this life, why don’t we remember it? How does it “help us” to not remember that?

There are several reasons:

  • To develop faith in Him.
  • To test us: To see whether we are inclined to seek Him (or not).
  • For Him to know whether, He can trust us.

In grade school, would you be inclined to cheat on a test if you knew the teacher might be looking over your shoulder? Would you be more inclined to cheat if you see the teacher leave the classroom? Would you be more inclined to cheat if you see the teacher leave the classroom and you see your classmates passing around notes with the answers? Would you do what is right?–not cheat. Would you go even beyond that and discourage others from cheating?

To your classmates later dismay, it just so happens that the teacher had a video camera recording their interactions in the classroom the whole time they were gone. BUSTED!!!

Our daily test isn’t that much different…. Everyday we make decisions…. We don’t see the “Master Teacher” but He’s there. Everything we do is recorded in heaven–good and bad.

Would anyone ever do anything bad if God punished them immediately? On the other hand, would any only “do good” out of the goodness of their heart or merely out of fear of punishment?

As a Christian, our motives are wrong if we are only doing good because we want a “reward.” We should want to “do good” because we love God and we love our fellow brothers and sisters (EVERYONE).

If we develop Charity, we change. There is an internal change that happens within our soul. We become Christ-like. We become one with God. We have the same desires and thoughts as God. That’s the goal.

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