Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I went to the Bowerbird Bazaar.

This is where I went last weekend.
To the Adelaide show grounds on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The Bowerbird Bazaar is a wonder market for up-and-coming designers, artists, and craftspeople.  Those clever crafty people.
Here are some examples:


UDDER is a wicked collection of handmade soft toys, complete with bandit outfits, and children's clothing.  The woman behind Udder - Fliss Dodd - was lovely to indulge a fan.  We chatted a little about a common acquaintance and his photography workshops, and about her products.

One hectare has a great range of greeting cards and prints.  Seriously, these babies looked great presented in wide white frames.  Mmm, I like frames.

This store made me actually LOL.  You know, laugh out loud.

This painter clearly had a healthy obsession with rabbits.

The highlight for me was picking up some goodies for the bare walls at home.  I can finally use some of the frames I have been storing (hoarding?) for months and months.
From Printspace.  

We have such great artists and designers here in Australia.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Study aids for Book of Mormon records and authors.

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.
That is the subtitle to this book of scripture, as discussed here.  Another witness of Jesus Christ is valuable.  See Doctrine and Covenants 6:28 and Matthew 18:16 as to why.

Consider the meaning of the word testament.
"In the Bible we have the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The word testament is the English rendering of a Greek word that can also be translated as covenant.  Is this what the Lord meant when He called the Book of Mormon the 'new covenant'?  It is indeed another testament or witness of Jesus.  This is one of the reasons why we have recently [in 1982] added the words 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ' to the title of the Book of Mormon."  [1]

It was in 1982 when the leaders of the Church decided on this subtitle.  Suddenly, the stick (or record) of Judah - the Old Testament and the New Testament - and the stick (or record) of Ephraim - the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ - were "woven together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other.  They are indeed one in our hands.  Ezekiel's prophecy now stands fulfilled."  [2]

This is an overview of the ancient records within the Book of Mormon:


In the second paragraph of the Book of Mormon's title page, we read what the Book of Mormon writers wanted to convince the world ... the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring Jew and Gentile to the conviction that "Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

(By the way, the word Christ means "anointed one" in Greek.  In Hebrew, Messiah means "anointed one".  In 1 Nephi 10:4, the prophet Lehi referred to Jesus Christ as "a Messiah, or in other words, a Savior of the world".  Therefore, when we say that Jesus is the Christ, we are testifying that He was the One who was anointed to save us.)

How has the Book of Mormon convinced you that Jesus is the Christ?
Can you think of specific passages from the Book of Mormon that have strengthened your testimony of the Saviour?

I think of the powerful conversion story of King Lamoni, in the book of Alma.  Once he was taught about God and Jesus Christ, his Saviour, Lamoni felt so moved to give up all his sins and way of life to know the truth.  Read the account here.

[1] Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 4; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 4
[2] Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53
[3] History of the Church, 1:71

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Book of Mormon is the keystone of my religion.

This is what an arch looks like.

See the shaded stone?  That's the keystone of the arch - the bit holding it all together.
If an archway was built without a keystone ... bam.  Goodbye arch.

The reason we Mormons call the Book of Mormon the keystone of our religion, is because without it, our religion crumbles.  It is the most important part, holding up the remainder of our beliefs.

(Incidentally, that is the ideal way to know if what we belief is true or not.  Read the Book of Mormon, and make your own mind up.)

Toward the end of the introduction to the Book of Mormon, it says:
"Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” "

The prophet at the time, Joseph Smith, compared the Book of Mormon to a keystone because this book is crucial to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and it influences our testimony (our belief) of other aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The introduction continues: 
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true.  Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah."

Some may gain a testimony or firm belief in another stone first - that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very real, or that God calls prophets today just as He did in the day of Moses or Noah.  It all adds up.  Gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon will help people know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.

And that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What is truth?

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, He said:  For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Pilate then asked the big question:  What is truth?  [1]

What is truth?

Really, the question should be "from where or whom does truth emanate?"

Divine truth is absolute reality.  Everything in this world that is true has a divine source.  That source is Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me". [2]
Jesus Christ represents truth and is the embodiment of all truth. [3]

How do the scriptures define truth?  I've been cross referencing Doctrine and Covenants 93:24 with Jacob 4:13 (in the Book of Mormon).  Truth is the knowledge of things past, present, and future.  Truth is that which endures.

Did you see the word really in Jacob 4:13?
"It is vital to know that there really is a God, that there really is a Savior, Jesus Christ, that there really is impending immortality for all men, that there really will be a judgment with genuine personal accountability, and that there really is purpose in life and a divine plan of happiness for man.
"When we know such basic truths as these, then we know what really matters, how to approach life and how to view man in the universe.  There is great power in perspective.  Therefore, the adverb 'really', as used by Jacob, is deeply significant."  [4]

Do you know what the difference between absolute truth and relative truth is?
I found this profoundly interesting ...
"This true way of life [the gospel] is not a matter of opinion.  There are absolute truths and relative truths.  ... There are many ideas advanced to the world that have been changed to meet the needs of the truth as it has been discovered.  There are relative truths, and there are also absolute truths which are the same yesterday, today, and forever - never changing.  These absolute truths are not altered by the opinions of men.  As science has expanded our understanding of the physical world, certain accepted ideas of science have had to be abandoned in the interest of truth.  Some of these seeming truths were stoutly maintained for centuries.  The sincere searching of science often rests only on the threshold of truth, whereas revealed facts give us certain absolute truths as a beginning point so we may come to understand the nature of man and the purpose of his life.  ...
"We learn about these absolute truths be being taught by the Spirit.  These truths are 'independent' in their spiritual sphere and are to be discovered spiritually, though they may be confirmed by experience and intellect.  ...
"God, our Heavenly Father - Elohim - lives.  That is an absolute truth.  ... All the people on the earth might deny him and disbelieve, but he lives in spite of them.  ... In short, opinion alone has no power in the matter of an absolute truth.  He still lives.  And Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Master of the only true way of life - the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The intellectual may rationalise him out of existence and the unbeliever may scoff, but Christ still lives and guides the destinies of his people.  That is an absolute truth; there is no gainsaying.  ...
"The Gods organised and gave life to man and placed him on the earth.  This is absolute.  It cannot be disproved.  A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true.[5]

Absolute truths are those eternal and immovable truths that have been revealed by God.
Adherence to revealed truth brings great blessings and, ultimately, salvation.

My personal challenge is to make a quest for truth and knowledge a daily, lifelong activity.
Too many Latter-day Saints are satisfied with what they already know and fail to continue in their quest for life-giving truth and light.  That is forfeiting a chance for eternal life.  [6]

With all this in mind ... I'm going to start blogging my lessons from my Book of Mormon Institute class.

And yes, I'm aware I've been terribly slow on sharing my Old Testament lessons. 
But hey, I can't overload everyone with religion at once!

[1] John 18:37-38
[2] John 14:6
[3] see 3 Nephi 15:9
[4] Neal A. Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 4, bold added
[5] Spencer W. Kimball, "Absolute Truth", Ensign, Sept. 1978, 3-4, bold added
[6] see Spencer W. Kimball, "Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith", Ensign, Sept. 1983, 5-6

Monday, November 5, 2012

Need some Monday inspiration?

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Don't you get bogged down with all your commitments.  Chill out now and then. 
Take some time to smile.  Note random acts of kindness you see.
It's only Monday, after all ...

Here is some inspiration for your week.
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