Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Choose the Right

Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a well-known three word phrase. It is this: Choose the Right.

There is a hymn in our designated selection of hymns titled with this same three word phrase. The words to this hymn, by Joseph L. Townsend, are both simple and profound:

Choose the right when a choice is placed before you. In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o'er you, when in the right your heart confides.

Choose the right! Let no spirit of digression overcome you in the evil hour. 
There's the right and wrong to every question; Be safe through inspiration's power. 

Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing. Choose the right! There's safety for the soul. 
Choose the right in all labors you're pursuing; Let God and Heaven be your goal. 

Choose the right! Choose the right! Let wisdom mark the way before. In it's light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore. 

These truth-filled verses have been playing through my mind, and although I have been singing this song since I was a small child, the beauty and peace of the message has taken on more meaning for me in this troubled world we live in. There are problems and troubles on every side, and I guess I could list them all off and talk about why they are so difficult, horrifying, and filled with fear and grief.

 But that is a road with no destination. And this simple song highlights a better way to obtain peace. It is not in the pessimism and criticism that peace is found. It is simply in believing that there is a God and He will answer our prayers. There is a right and a wrong, and we can know the difference as we know night from day. It does matter what we do with our lives and our choices.  Right and wrong are not at the mercy of the world, trends, or personal agendas. They are declared by God and His perfect son Jesus Christ. They are given in wisdom and for eternal purposes.  God our Father works in the light and never in secrecy, darkness, or deception. He works in love.

I can truly testify that there is "peace in righteous doing" as the song teaches. There is hope for a good life in an evil world. I invite you to "let God and Heaven be your goal." We all have the power within us to overcome bad with good and choose light when darkness would persist. There is no peace equal to the peace of righteous living.

In Doctrine and Covenants 59: 23 it states, "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Power to Act in and with Faith

What is faith? In Hebrews 11: 1 it defines, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 

This definition of faith is most powerful when we apply it as faith centered in Jesus Christ. Our agency gives us the power to act and use that power to trust our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ more than we trust our own understanding. 

We also read in Proverbs 3: 5-6 to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." 

There have been many times in my life when I needed answers about the future, and I didn't know just what to do next. I felt a strong sense of urgency to make choices, and avoid very undesirable consequences. But I did not know which choice to make or why comfort and understanding was not coming as I thought it should. I would kneel and pray and feel that no answer was coming. I would wonder why Heavenly Father seemed so silent on the matter when I felt that answers were absolutely necessary. 

I remember one especially desperate prayer in which I asked Heavenly Father why I was not receiving the answer I desired and why I was left without relief and comfort in such a desperate trial. I remember getting a distinct feeling that I did not know what was best and I was not to demand anything from my Father in Heaven or the Lord. I was reminded of a scripture in the Book of Mormon in the book of Jacob 4:10 which teaches, ". . .seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand."

When we have faith in Jesus Christ and what He knows is best for us and our situation, then the real peace we so desire starts to settle in. After I had prayed my desperate prayer of utter frustration and pleading, and considered the messages and reminders that came to my mind and heart from the spirit, I repented and asked my Father in Heaven to forgive me. 

That night before I went to bed, I prayed again. I asked for some of the same blessings and some I did not ask for. But what made the most difference in my attitude and humility was what I knew I should add in this prayer that I had not considered in the first prayer. I ended my prayer with, "but if not, I can wait." It was that simple, but I absolutely meant it, and I knew God knew best. As those words finished coming out of my mouth and heart, I felt a rush of peace and relief and comfort that I was unable to access before because of pride, impatience, and a lack of faith. I know that we will receive exactly what we need when we need it if we have "taken the Holy Spirit for our guide." I can testify of this completely and honestly. 

Developing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is to welcome and accept a greater power in our life than we have ever had before. He will make us into more than we ever thought we could become. 

Posted by Brooke Kamalu - Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

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