Doctrine and Covenants 82:10

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

Reference:

Linda S Reeves, LDS General Conference October 2015

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

This revelation was given to Joseph Smith. Many revelations were given where the Lord was instructing the Prophet, other individuals or the church members as a whole how to do things. This is from one of those revelations. Unlike the Book or Mormon or the Bible, which are mostly a narrative of the Lords dealings with people, the Doctrine and Covenants is direct instructions or answers to people.

As I ponderize this passage, it may seem basic, but it is part of the foundation of a follower of Christ that we believe in the promises made to us, but realize that we must do what we have been commanded for them to happen.

Related Scriptures

Because this scripture can seem short and simple, one may be tempted to want to move on and not ponder it much. But because of its simplicity it makes me think of another passage in Alma 37:6

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."

How does this strengthen my testimony

In my life, I have had many blessings from the Lord. Some times I have relied upon them to a great deal. I have also had the chance to do what the Lord has commanded me to do. I know that when I do what the Lord has commanded that he will keep his promises to me.

This is a powerful comfort as I wait to be reunited with my family that has passed on. A great comfort as I strive to teach my children that which is right and to love God. And a great source of strength as I try to be a faithful follower of Christ.

Alma 34:32

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

Reference:

Linda S Reeves, LDS General Conference, October 2015

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Amulek is preaching with Alma and he gives this summary of the plan of salvation. Following this declaration Amulek admonishes us to not procrastinate or put off repentance, and coming unto Christ.

Thoughts about this scripture:

As a summary of the plan of salvation this one statement can lead us to so many other truths. If this life is the time to prepare to return to God, what should we do to prepare? How should we treat others? How should we live our lives? How should we show others love and kindness?

All of these questions can have their answers derived from this on place, if we think about it.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I know that God and Jesus love us and desire for us to be happy and to return to live with them. I know that the experiences we have in this life are opportunities for us to learn and to serve our Heavenly Father. And I can feel his love as I try to do my best.

I know that if we treat each day as a chance to prepare to return to him, we can become focused on the right things and achieve the happiness in this life and in the worlds to come.

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John 17:20-23

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Reference:

Carol F McConkie, LDS General Conference, October 2015

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Doctrine and Covenants 138:58

Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.

Reference:

Carol McConkie, LDS General Conference, October 2015

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Matthew 26

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Reference:

Carol McConkie, LDS General Conference, October 2015

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

After the last supper, and before the crucifixion, Christ goes with his disciples tho the garden of gethsemene. There he takes the sins of the world upon him in preparation for the atonement.

Related Scriptures

As I read Christ ask, "let this cup pass from me" as he hesitates to take the pains of the world upon him. I think of a few other prophets that have had a reaction like this to their missions and calls.

Moses hesitates to return to Egypt to free the Israelites. Exodus 4:10 Saying that he is "slow of speech"

Gideon is uncertain that he can lead the armies of Israel, or even gather them. Judges 8:15 "wherewith shall I save Israel?"

Nephi is commanded to slay Laban but he hesitates in Nephi 4:10 saying, "And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him."

The main difference that I see in all of these great men who say, "Who me?" before obeying the Lord. Jesus doesn't say, "Who me?" He knows that he is the one. But he still hesitates at the greatness of the task that is before him.

Thoughts about this scripture:

Sometimes when I look at my young children I feel the way Christ must have felt when he came back and found Peter asleep. My heart aches when Christ asks him. "could ye not watch with me one hour?" And I feel a small echo when I ask my children, "Can't you be reverent for just 5 minutes?"

I know that I am also guilty. I know that the Lord must be looking down in exasperation, "Can't you be good for just a week? Or even a day?" I think I can hear him ask in wonder at my failings in the face of all of the blessings he has given me.

This makes me want to have more patients with my children and with the Boy Scouts in my troop. It makes me want to do better in keeping the commandments of God and be a better husband and father.

And it helps me to understand Peter, and Christ, and the events that happened in his earthly ministry.

Out of this aching and understanding comes a little bit of growth and love.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I know that Christ loves us. Becuase of his great love he performed the great work of atoning for our sins. Paying the price that we might all return to him.

But he also loves us and wants us to stay with him and help him. Not because he needs our help, but because he wants us to be with him. As we labor in our small ways we come closer to him. He wants that for us.

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Alma 26:12

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Reference:

Carol McConkie, LDS General Conference, October 2015

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

At a point of reflection on the results of the missionary efforts among the Lamanites, one of Ammon's companions worries that he has begun to boast and says, "Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting. "

Ammon responds in part with this verse.

Related Scriptures

This scripture also reminds me of Moses 1:10 where Moses, after seeing God says, "Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed."

Thoughts about this scripture:

When Ammon says, "for in his strength I can do all things" l recognize the truth of this statement. In my experience, God doesn't do things for us. But when we make good choices, and seek his help, then we can do all that we need tho do.

How does this strengthen my testimony

Once upon a time, I was working under the hot sun on a crew off de-tasselers. We weren't supposed tho talk, and if we did and were caught, head to do pushups. We did talk, though but tried to do it quietly.

On this day, the fellow next tho me asked me a question about my church. I answered, and this led to other questions. Eventually I was caught and did 10 pushups.

I did them, and I returned to work. And to talking. Soon I was doing more pushups.

I did them, and then returned to work and talking. My penalty increased from ten. And that day I did a couple hundred pushups. And continued working.

To me, the miracle was that I hated pushups, but on this day l could have done as many as I was asked to do. I could feel the strength of the Lord.

And with his strength, I can do an unlimited number of pushups.

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D&C 6 : 32

Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.

Reference:

President Henry B. Eyring, April 2016, LDS General Conference

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

The Lord gives instructions to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery regarding how testimony and revelation work among those seeking to follow Christ.

Thoughts about this scripture:

Sometimes I hear people questioning why we should go to church. This is an answer to that question. If the Lord is in the midst of where his follower's gather, then we will find Him at Church on Sunday. And if we are seeking HIm, then going to where He says he will be would be the way to find him.

How does this strengthen my testimony

Just like anyone, there I times when I don't want to pray, or go to church, or to read my scriptures. This is part of being human. And part of being subject to opposition.

I never pray, read my scriptures or go to church and regret it. I always benefit spiritually and emotionally from these things. And it's not a surprise.

So even when I feel like staying home, I know that Christ is waiting for me at Church. And I will be happier after going and hanging out with him.

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Joshua 24:15

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Reference:

This was one of my parent's favorite scriptures. My Dad used to quote this one all of the time when I was young.

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

In this chapter Joshua recites a multitude of of miracles the Lord has done for the Israelites. He mentions Abraham, Moses, and their battles in the land of Canaan. He does all this to make the point that all blessings come from the Lord.

Then he makes the declaration that he will serve the Lord.

Thoughts about this scripture:

This is one of those times where I wonder why it wasn't obvious to everyone that serving the Lord was not the right choice. Why did Joshua even have to have this discussion. Wasn't everyone serving the Lord after they had been led out of Egypt?

But I look at our day and I see the Lord has blessed us with machines that fly, and information that can be accessed anywhere and any time on almost any topic. We have abundant food and security. Why in our day do we not all choose to serve the Lord as well?

The answer is that we must all choose to be grateful. That we must all choose to serve the Lord. We must all choose to be the best versions of ourselves. No amount of great blessings or mighty miracles in our lives will ensure our faith and safeguard our dedication to God.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I love my Heavenly Father. And I love Jesus Christ. I feel their love for me daily, but in the times that I don't feel them, I remember them. And I still choose to serve them.

For it is not evil to serve God. And by continuing to follow the teachings and example of the savior we grow closer to him begin to find true happiness.

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2 Nephi 31:20

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Reference:

Devin G Durrant, LDS General Conference, October 2015

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

This passage comes from Nephi where he is offering his testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and explaining many things that he understands about the atonement, and our role with Christ in salvation. Namely, that we must follow Him.

Related Scriptures

When I read scriptures about eternal life, I always think of the scripture in John 17:3 where it says, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

Thoughts about this scripture:

Many times we can get caught up in our worldly concerns that may be good and righteous but are not the things of eternity. When this happens we can get distracted from our true goals and loose site of Christ. And like Peter on the waters, we can begin to sink. It is then we need to turn to Christ and his holy scriptures to help us refocus, reawaken, and press forward.

Only through remembering actively that eternal life with God and Christ is our purpose and goal can the worries of this life be put into perspective.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I love this scripture because it doesn't just tell us to have faith and hope, but encourages us to action by telling us to "Press Forward" and if we do this. If we press forward, Christ and the Father are reaching out to help us return to live with them.

One of the ways they are reaching out to us is by providing the scriptures to us. Even when we are feeling spiritually dim and unreceptive to the spirit of the Lord, we can read his word in the scriptures. This can help us to come closer to God, and prepare us to receive his blessings. Even the blessing of eternal life.

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Mark 9: 23-24

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.

Reference:

Esther Bates-Baker favorite scripture

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

A man brought his son to Jesus. The son was possessed of a evil and self destructive spirit that caused him to do harm to himself and caused his parents and family much trouble keeping him from serious harm. He must have been very desperate and had probably tried everything available to help his son.

Jesus had already received some notoriety at this point and scribes and others had come to meet him in a multitude. I'm sure this man had a mixture of both hope and fear as he begged for help. Hope that his son could be healed, and fear that he was unworthy to ask such a blessing so that his son would remain afflicted and he would feel guilt for not having greater worthiness and faith.

Thus when Christ says to him, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible" as a statement and a question, the father declares, "I believe." Then he also recognizes that his belief and faith are not perfect and may not be pure, he asks more of the savior as he says, "help thou my unbelief."

We are all in this position when we put forth our petitions to God. We have faith, but we are not perfect and pure in our belief. Or out faith. We all fall short.

But there is still hope, as Jesus helped this man's unbelief, he can help us and make up for what is lacking in our faith, and belief and worthiness if we are humble and bring as much faith to him as we can.

Related Scriptures

I have always thought of this story in conjunction with the story of the centurion that doesn't bring his afflicted servant to Christ, but asks for his blessing saying, "neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed." And Christ observes, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Luke 7:1-10

Thoughts about this scripture:

What is the relation of our faith and the blessings we receive from the Lord? When the hands of the servants of the Lord are laid on us, how much faith do we need to have to receive the blessing?

I think we never have a perfect faith, but like the man in this scripture, Christ can make up the difference for us.

How does this strengthen my testimony

Even though I consider that I have a strong testimony of Christ, and I strive to live in a way that would be pleasing to him. I know that I am imperfect in many ways. I know that I don't have the faith to move mountains or walk on water. I wish for this strength of faith, but even doubt in this wish.

So I can put myself in this man's shoes and also beg the Lord to help my unbelief and make up the difference in my lacking faith as I petition him for the blessings of protection for my family.

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