Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Connection to Our Loving Father

Another song lyric (along with the help of an amazing friend) got me thinking today. In a song by the band Oh, Sleeper (which name comes from the same scripture the title of my blog comes from) they have a lyric that comes from the perspective of Heavenly Father. It goes, "If you could see like me, you'd see." I've found that one of the most difficult things to do in life is to obtain an eternal perspective, to understand that God is really looking out for me and leading me to where I need to be. As I thought about how we come to gain this, the thought that came across my mind is that through prayer we come to better know and understand Him.

"Grace" by Eric Enstrom. My favorite picture of a man in prayer.

Oftentimes when we're visiting people, I try to impress on people the true nature of our relationship with God. He is our literal Father, the creator of our spiritual bodies. We are His children, His beloved sons and daughters. Unlike the fathers of our flesh however, God is a perfect father, He is all-knowing and He loves us perfectly. Surely we would all want to have a relationship with a being like this, someone who wants us to be happy and has our best interests at heart. So how do we build and maintain a relationship such as this? The answer is communication!

How do you think a father would feel if when their child came home from school, they walked straight past them without acknowledging them and just headed into their room and shut the door? How do you think Heavenly Father feels when we constantly ignore Him? President James E. Faust once said: 

"Prayer is a lifeline between God and mankind. Prayer fulfills a very important human need. Each of us has problems we can’t solve, weaknesses that we cannot conquer without reaching to a higher source of power. He is all knowing, all loving, understanding and full of compassion."
Through Prayer, we can access this love and compassion from our Heavenly Father, we can find answers to life's questions. Alma teaches us in the Book of Mormon to pray about every aspect of our lives! Over our school, our work, our families, our relationships with our wives and our children. He teaches to pray morning, mid-day and night, and to have a prayer in our hearts continually. God can and will help and direct us in every facet of our lives. We just need to reach out to him! He will help you! Concerning the help of the Lord that he has felt in his life, President Hinckley said:
"It has been said that we should pray as if everything depends on the Lord and work as if everything depends on us. I don’t know how to get anything done except getting on my knees and pleading for help and then getting on my feet and going to work."
At times in my life however, I have felt that my communication to Heavenly Father was one-sided, that I spoke to Him, but that He would never speak back to me. President Kimball has said concerning this troubling thought:
"But is prayer only one-way communication? No! At the end of our prayers, we need to do some intense listening—even for several minutes. We have prayed for counsel and help. Now we must ‘be still, and know that [he is] God’ (Ps. 46:10). Sometimes ideas flood our mind as we listen after our prayers. Sometimes feelings press upon us. A spirit of calmness assures us that all will be well. But always, if we have been honest and earnest, we will experience a good feeling—a feeling of warmth for our Father in Heaven and a sense of his love for us."
I have followed that counsel and I can promise to everyone that God does indeed continue to speak! He has spoken to me, He has comforted and uplifted my heart and I have seen His hand guide me in my life! Do not be afraid to experience this for yourself. I have talked to so many people who have never vocally prayed, and are not comfortable doing so. They do not know what to say or how to say it. President Henry B. Eyring said: 
"When God commanded us to pray, he has used worlds like unceasingly and ‘pray always’ and ‘mighty prayer.’ Those commands do not require many words. The Savior has told us that we need not multiply words when we pray. The diligence in prayer which God requires does not take flowery speech nor long hours of solitude. You can pray anywhere, anytime, in your heart or aloud."
Speak the thoughts of your heart and the Lord will hear you! He will comfort you! This is my testimony and I give it in the name of Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ladytron Teaches Us a Gospel Principle

Today I was again singing to myself as we wandered our way around Three Forks. The radio station in my head decided to dig deep and play a song I liked from nearly a decade ago. The tune is catchy, the message depressing. This line repeats itself over and over:
"They only want you when you're seventeen.
When you're 21, you're no fun."

 The message of the song is aimed towards the morally bankrupt modeling industry, where youth is prized and the older you get the less you're wanted. I started thinking though about this statement though and found hidden within it a profound gospel truth.

"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
 Although 17 isn't quite the desired age, those are some of the most belligerent, stubborn and selfish years of our lives, the principle is the same. We must all maintain our childlike attributes. We must remain humble before the Lord, submissive to his will and receptive and open-hearted to the promptings of the spirit. As we do these things, we will become the treasured and greatest ones of heaven!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Poolshark

This past week as we were walking around the rainy streets of Montana, I found myself singing songs to keep my spirits up. Randomly, a favorite song of mine from five or six years ago popped into my head and I began to sing:
"Never could see past the skin
They make you believe
Beauty's from within
Don't know why
'cause it's just natural."
As soon  as I finished the refrain, I stopped in my tracks. I couldn't believe the words that had just come out of my mouth! My mind was immediately drawn to a scripture mastery verse that I had memorized more than eight years ago. 
"But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
For the first time ever, I had considered the message of one of my all-time favorite songs and was appalled at how vain it was. I thought about the state of society and about how so much rests upon our physical appearance. How comforting it is to know that the Lord looks past all that, that he see's us and loves us for our hearts and our goodness. "Remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." DC 18:10.

Let us all practice this Godly attribute and love and judge people the way God does. I'm working hard to develop this charity to see and love people as God does!