Doctrine and Covenants 25:13

Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.

Reference:

Sarah Hayward's favorite scripture

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

This verse comes from a revelation Joseph received for his wife, Emma. After giving her charges and responsibilities he exhorts her to rejoice and be faithful to here covenants. These two things are bound together for all of us.

Related Scriptures

There are other times in the scriptures where we are counseled to rejoice. Acts 2:26 and Psalms 13:5 are a couple.

I also relate this to Alma 41:10 where Lehi says, "wickedness never was happiness." and I see that the converse of this is, "righteousness allways leads to happiness."

Mosiah 4:28

And I would that ye should remember, that whosoever among you borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin; and perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also.

Reference:

Searching the Topical Guide for scriptures related to Honesty

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

King Benjamin is teaching the people from his tower. He teaches advanced obedience concepts of following the gospel plan. He is such a good teacher that all of his people feel the spirit and desire to follow his example.

Thoughts about this scripture:

King Benjamin uses a simple example here of borrowing something from a neighbor. But he doesn't just lay the requirement of returning that which was borrowed on us, he also says that if commit the sin of not returning that which we borrow we may cause our neighbor to commit sin.

This doesn't absolve our neighbor of that sin, but we do not escape responsibility for it either. When we provide fodder for gossip, seeds of anger, and potentially testimony weakening examples to others we must feel the guilt of that as well.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I love the scriptures. In them we find the basic principles that start our testimony and begin our journey to return to Heavenly Father. But we also find advanced concepts and wisdom. As I continue to study the scriptures, I find teachings that I hadn't noticed before. Then my understanding of the gospel and of God and of the world around me deepens. And my love of the scriptures and of God grows.

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John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Reference:

Coral Hayward favorite scripture

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

This scripture was Christ talking to his disciples He first explained that Heavenly Father would send the Holy Ghost to help them remember and be comforted.

The world defines peace as the absence of war or fighting, or conflict. But Christ doesn’t define peace that way. He defines peace as the comfort and steadiness that comes from the presence of the Holy Ghost. That even in times of trouble and tragedy, if we have the Holy Ghost with us, we can feel peace. We can receive guidance and protection.

This is the peace that Christ offers us. Not the kind of peace the world can offer.

Thoughts about this scripture:

That seeing and reading this scripture often during the day can change the way we feel.

We discussed that learning some lessons from this particular scripture can help us have greater peace in our home and keep us from raising our voices to each other.

How does this strengthen my testimony

Reading and remembering this scripture during this week has helped me feel the peace that the Holy Ghost brings. Feeling the spirit more often helps me to have a stronger testimony of the gospel. It was also helpful when things in my family went wrong. I remembered this scripture and said it to myself. When I did this, I felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit and was able to be strong for others and make better choices to deal with my problems.

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John 13 : 34

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

Reference:

Cheryl A. Esplin, April 2016 LDS General Conference

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Christ gives this commandment at the last supper. It's part of his preparing his disciples for his death and the time that comes when he will no longer be with them.

Related Scriptures

I find it interesting that Christ gives this commandment hear the end of his life, and taught us a similar principle when asked about the greatest commandment by the Pharisees in Mathew 22:39 "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Thoughts about this scripture:

Looking at Christ's teachings about how we are to love. He is telling his followers to love each other as He loved them. And He truly loved them enough to give his life for them.

We are also taught to love our neighbors as ourselves.

This may also mean to love them more than our own life. But I suggest that Christ loves us more than we love ourselves. So that Christ is directing us to love our fellow Christians more than we love ourselves. I may be grasping, but its something that I think about.

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John 9:2-3

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Reference:

One of my favorite scriptures

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Jesus is with his disciples and they ask him about a man that is blind. It was and is common for people to see infirmities like blindness, or addictions as the consequence of sin. Some others see people with weaknesses or challenges as having been punished by God for some lack.

This question was asked of the savior, and he corrected it. Weakness and infirmities are not the product of sin or punishments from God. Instead, they are opportunities for the power of God to be manifest in our lives and the lives of others.

Thoughts about this scripture:

When I see someone with challenges in their life. Disabilities that were beyond their control or consequences of their own choices. Blindness or addictions to drugs. Or other challenges and trials, I strive to not place blame on the individual or to wonder why God could let this happen. Because that is not what this is about.

Instead, it is a chance for us and them to look past the challenge, the trial, the heartbreak, and the pain and see the chance to overcome it all. There is glory for a person to choose to live a good life when they have never been tempted or tested. But there is more glory for a person who chooses a good life after overcoming a disability or temptation.

Having never tried drugs or alcohol, I am living a good life. But I know people that inspire me because they have walked in the path of addiction and then overcome the trial and chosen to live clean and good lives. There is something majestic in a person with a disability that learns to work around it. There is something Godly in a person that starts out with disadvantages but rises above them.

"But that the works of God should be made manifest in him." is something that applies to all of us in some way. We are all put here with some trial or test. When we overcome it and choose to follow God, we make his work and his love manifest in the world.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I have been truly blessed in my life. I would not want anyone to think that I am putting myself up or in the place of this blind man. But I am still human with the imperfections that are common to all of us here on earth.

Because of this scripture, I see the efforts of my fellow humans to rise above their challenges and trials as manifesting God's love on earth and his work among us. In this way, everyone I meet and see is a testimony of God and a source of inspiration.

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Alma 13:27-29

27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.

Reference:

Linda S Reeves, LDS General Conference, October 2015

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Alma is preaching about the coming of Christ. He wishes for it to be during his life, but exhorts everyone to become prepared for that time as if it were soon. He is speaking about the birth of Christ, but his words and admonitions are relevant to us today as we wait on his return.

Thoughts about this scripture:

If we look forward to the coming of Christ to the earth again. And I mean by looking forward that we both believe that he will come again, and we have hope that this day will come in our lifetime like Alma did. If this is how we look forward to it, then we should use that hope as both a strength and motivation to repent and to do good to others and become prepared to meet him.

How does this strengthen my testimony

For me, it has never been enough to just believe. I have always felt that I should be doing something to prepare for Christ. I don't do dramatic things that I might do if I were expecting him tomorrow, but I do think and act on the thoughts that Christ is still coming.

When I was younger, I hoped that Christ would come a bit later. Let me have a few years to live a life. And I admit I wanted time to sin and repent a little. Not great sins, but those common acts that I thought would be fun and no serious wrongs. These were foolish thoughts, but they were compatible with my youth.

I also felt that I was not ready. I still feel that way. But I have a better perspective that as I am coming to Christ, he will not reject me when it is finally time and he comes to us again.

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Hebrews 12 : 1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Reference:

Mary R. Durham, April 2016, LDS General Conference

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Paul is writing to the saints again. As an apostle he is calling the saints to repentance and exhorting them to be better.

Related Scriptures

This scripture makes me recall Alma's response to Korihor in, Alma 30:44 "all things denote there is a God" during his requesting a sign to convince him of the existence of God. Paul is asking us to forsake our sins and try to become better as we have already professed a belief in God and Christ.

Thoughts about this scripture:

"cloud of witnesses" is an interesting term to use. And being "compassed about" means that we are surrounded. So if you are surrounded by a cloud, its not just in every direction, but also above and below, so that there isn't any place to look that doesn't witness and testify of Christ.

Sometimes people feel that faith and business or faith and science are not compatible. But Paul is saying that they are not only compatible, but that they will support a faith in Christ. I think this is a unique perspective that has been lost to many people.

This is not to say that I have my faith in Christ to be informed or modified by modern science or business practices or other worldly things, but my faith and testimony of my savior are re-enforced and strengthened by the world in which I live. Even when this is only accomplished by the worlds opposition to my faith in Christ.

How does this strengthen my testimony

There is a quote that I have always enjoyed. "I believe in Mormonism like I believe the sun has risen. Not because I see it, but because by it I see."

Like this quote, our faith in Christ doesn't come from seeing him, but by how our faith in Christ allows us to see everything else. Seeing the world through the eyes of faith puts everything into two categories. First, those things that I see testify of Christ and his atonement. And second are those things that I don't understand how they testify of Christ yet.

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Acts 2 : 36 37

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Reference:

Neill F. Marriott Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, LDS General Conference April 2016

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Peter is testifying of Christ. He doesn't hold back and tells hard truths when called upon by the spirit to do so.

Related Scriptures

Peter standing and boldly testifying of who Jesus was and is reminds me of the story of Abinadi in Mosiah 12:18–19. However with Peter, the people hearing his testimony are moved to repentance. Only Alma is touched by the words of Abinadi.

Thoughts about this scripture:

Sometimes we are afraid of how people will react if we tell them our feelings of testimony. We may worry that we will be rejected. We may not worry that we will be crucified or burned at the stake for our faith in Christ, but today we have all witnessed the virtual tarring and feathering of other people on social media for things they have said. Peter's example teaches us to fear not. To stand boldly. To bear testimony of Christ and his divinity.

How does this strengthen my testimony

"What shall we do?" is the question. The answer is to go forth and let the light of our testimony shine. Bearing a simple yet strong witness that Jesus is the Christ is a powerful thing. We don't have to answer and explain to the world all things. We can share what we know to be true.

What shall we do? We shall testify of Christ.

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Enos 1:11

And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites

Reference:

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020: March 23-29

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

Enos was the son of the great teacher Jacob and the nephew of Nephi. He went hunting and began to pray. He says that he prayed all day long and into the night. The Lord heard and answered his prayer. But it wasn't a burning bush or a vision or visits by angels, Enos heard the voice of the Lord whispered to him in his heart.

When Enos received this answer he accepted it as his answer and prayed on with more confidence. First, he prayed for forgiveness of his own sins. Then he prayed for the Lord's mercy on his people.

After receiving forgiveness and feeling the sweetness of the Lord's mercy for those he loved, he desired that even his enemies could receive it. So he continued to pray and ask for mercy for those that hated him and his people. After a long time, he received the Lord's promise that he would have mercy on Enos' enemies.

Thoughts about this scripture:

As part of a gospel lesson, I took my children to our back yard where a young tree had been planted. Its trunk was only as thick as my thumb. I invited each of them to shake the tree. It shook easily even for the youngest of my children.

We then went to the front yard where there was a larger tree. It wasn't enormous, but the trunk was 5 or 6 inches across. I invited each of my children to shake this tree. Then I invited them to all work together to shake the tree. Each attempt was unsuccessful.

I taught them that when we nourish our faith in Jesus Christ it becomes like the bigger tree. We can become unshakable. So that when storms come and the winds blow in our life that we stay firm. Even with a group of children come and try and shove and bend you out of the way, you will remain unshakable.

How does this strengthen my testimony

When I read this scripture I am reminded of times in my life when I have prayed for forgiveness and felt the spirit of the Lord speak peace to my heart. I know that God lives and that Jesus is my savior.

Because I have received this simple answer whispered to my heart, I can also stand firm and unshakable as Enos did. I don't need a great manifestation of the spirit, a pillar of fire, or visits by angels to know that God is real.

And I do know. And God is real. And Jesus is my savior.

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Mosiah 5 : 15

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.

Reference:

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, April 2016, LDS General Conference

What is the scriptural or historical context of this scripture:

King Benjamin is preaching and to his people. At this point he is exhorting his people to be steadfast and constant in their faith and observance of the commandments.

Thoughts about this scripture:

When I think about bearing testimony, there are times I feel like I have to include and mention many things. My testimony isn't just about service, or just about repentance, or just about any one thing. All of the parts of my life touch and are touched by my faith.

When I read the testimony of King Benjamin here I feel like he is also trying to say and connect all of the parts of his faith and testimony together. It can't be done, but his heart and my heart want to express the connections.

How does this strengthen my testimony

I love to read and hear the testimony of the prophets. I like hearing the testimony of other people too. Hearing the testimonies of people that have been called to teach and preach. I love hearing testimonies like this one that are full of promise and information. And I love hearing testimonies that are simple professions of faith.

Hearing the testimonies of others, resonates with my testimony and gives me strength.

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