My own spiritual journey and recovery has shown what true masculinity is all about. The character and integrity. Finding joy, since happiness requires right circumstances, means to come to a place of experiencing life - regardless of the good, bad, and those ugly moments.
The Symbolism of the Tower of Babel
The invitation for us to place our faith in Christ, repent and seek forgiveness for our sins and trespasses, and willingly to deny ourselves and lose our lives for the sake of Christ is an invitation to enter into sacred covenants through those true ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Signs, Tokens, Symbols and Covenants
Today, we make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father. Those covenants we make bare the signs, tokens, and symbols that help remind us of those sacred covenants. These signs, tokens, and symbols not only help remind us of our Heavenly Father's grace and faithfulness toward us, but it also reminds us of our willingness to continually seek Him and conform to His will for our lives.
The Lord’s Spirit Shall Not Always Strive with Man
Thus, to have the Lord's Spirit strive with us means that we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to rule over our hearts and minds. To judge us and guide us into those moral truths of our Heavenly Father. It is therefore to this end that we understand how the Holy Spirit is limited to how long it will strive with us - as we make our sojourn and pilgrimage through this mortal existence.
The Gospel of Christ – Our Spiritual Refuge
Noah and his family were saved of (or through) water from the spiritual decay and immorality surrounding them. The flood destroying the old life in order to bring about a newness of life. It is the very nature and covenant of our baptism.
Hearken Unto God and Heed Him
By reading and studying through the scriptures, listening to those ordained by our Heavenly Father, teaching these things unto our families and others - we are to also engage in meaningful and sincere prayer. Through prayer and fasting, we are able to become conquerors and overcome Satan and those who uphold the work of the adversary (D&C 10:5).
Behold the Kingdom of Heaven
As we submit ourselves, with willingness, to follow Christ and the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we are continually renewed, strengthened, and growing in faith. As we increase in our faith and knowledge of Christ, the power of His intimate atonement, and endure with patience and long-suffering - we shall stand ready to be cleansed and purified of all unrighteousness.
Christ Shall Return in Glory
Christ will come and dwell on earth in righteousness. Today, we are asked to prepare our hearts and our minds to be ready when that day shall come. And it will come as a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10). For us - we look toward the peace and the glory of His return.
Our Heavenly Father Weeps for Us
When we weep, our Heavenly Father weeps with us. When we mourn, He mourns with us. Yet, because of our moral agency, we fall short. This is expressed by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Ephesus when he wrote and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30). This grieving is a deep sorrow and mourning. Such as what Enoch observed.
Being of One Heart and Mind
Individually, we are obligated to seek after God and His Kingdom. Collectively - as faithful believers in Jesus Christ - we are to follow Paul’s counsel to exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13).
Foundational Principle and Ordinances of the Gospel
The essential truth of Christ’s infinite atonement - and the baptism for the remission of sins - means we are justified before God through Christ, sanctified through the Holy Spirit and our willingness to walk in humility and obedience, and are glorified through Christ’s resurrection and infinite atonement unto immortality and eternal life. Once we are baptized, we walk a path and journey where we are perfected unto Christ (Moroni 10:32) by the process of repentance and forgiveness.
All Humanity is Called to Repentance
It is only when we are faithful to the basic principle doctrine of Christ that we are able to call others unto repentance and forgiveness. Meaning, we ought to give ourselves over to walking in forgiveness and repentance daily. Otherwise, we are merely criticizing, judging, and condemning others while ignoring the transgressions and sins in our own life (Matthew 7:1-3, 5).
Day 23 – Growing from Faith to Faith
Our faith starts out small and seems quite insignificant. Yet it has a powerful potential to grow and develop into something that is formidable. This is evidenced with the contrast that such faith can move mountains. In other words - as we cultivate our faith in Jesus Christ. Nurture it from its germination. Cultivate it as it grows and maintain its active growth. Our faith becomes powerful enough to influence and change the course of our lives.
Day 22 – Strive to Be Perfected in Christ
The purpose of a refiner's fire is to take ore and purge out all impurities through a process of refining. This is done with both fire and water. The ore is heated up and shaped into a metal object. It is thrust into the water. And it is a process repeated until the metal that is cleansed and purged. Here, the Prophet Malachi uses such imagery and symbolism that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we shall be purged and cleansed of all impurities and natural undesirable elements.
The Acceptable Sacrifice Before God
Our journey through the Old Testament will reveal many symbolisms and foreshadowing that point us toward the nature, purpose, mission, and ministry of Jesus Christ. Yet nothing compares to the very rich and deep symbolism we find within the story of Cain and Abel’s sacrifice and offering before God. In Genesis, we simply find that Abel’s offering, and sacrifice was acceptable before God. However, Cain’s was not. In Moses 5:16-41, we come to understand the nature between the two sacrifices and offerings brought forth.
Day 21 – Protecting Our Faith and Testimony in Jesus Christ and the Gospel
Our Testimony is the armor of God the Apostle Paul references in Ephesians 6:11-17 (See also, D&C 27:15-18). And it is vital to our faith, our progress toward maturing in our faith, and going forward with meaning and purpose.
Adam Clothed with Mortality
Yes, we are clothed with mortality. Yet, as we come to faith in Jesus Christ and commit our lives over to living the principal truths of the Gospel of
Day 19 – Restoring Broken Fellowships
The reality is that restoring broken relationships, to be reconciled with others, is quite a difficult task for us to undertake. Yet, it is significantly important to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are humble, sincere, contrite, and motivated by the spirit and love of God to go forth with faith and purpose to seek reconciliation.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
In Word: The Tree of Life is symbolism of the Plan of Salvation. The love of God who is Jesus Christ. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is the representation of moral agency. It stands in opposition to the tree of life. It represents mortality. Adam and Eve remained in a state of spiritual existence. A state of innocence. A state of perfect union and harmony. Yet, to bring about the reality of the Plan of Salvation - humanity needed to make a choice. That choice led to the temptation and partaking of the forbidden fruit. The Tree of Life represented immortality and eternal life. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represented mortality and moral agency. All that encompasses human liberty and freedom of choice comes suffering, adversity, and sorrow. Yet, our Heavenly Father has prepared a way for us to overcome and endure temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Day 18 – Cultivating a Vibrant Community of Faith for Spiritual Growth and Maturation
A vibrant and healthy fellowship and community is place where we all are able to come and know we belong. Where there is kindness, empathy, charity, compassion, forgiveness, willingness to be honest, discreet, share with confidence, and keeping in confidence those things we share one with another. All of us are walking our own spiritual paths and experiencing our own spiritual journey - however, it is not meant for us to do so alone. We strive to be complete, unified, and in harmony because of the pure love of Christ.
What did Happen Before Genesis?
So, the question stands do we truly know what happened prior to Genesis? From my point of view, studies, discussions, research, and personal revelation - yes, we do know exactly what happened prior to the creation of our world, the purpose behind the fall, and the plan of Salvation and purpose of the infinite atonement.
Day 17 – Fellow Travelers and Authentic Fellowship
The call for us to go forward with faith and purpose is also a call for us to gather in small groups. This is the reason for Sunday school classes, weeknight youth activities, scripture study groups like those for single adults studying the Old Testament. Men gathering together in fellowship. Women gathering together in fellowship. Doing so, we experience the presence of Christ because when we are gathered in His name - he is there in the midst with us (Matthew 18:20).
Eden – The Paradise of God
As we seek after the Kingdom of Heaven - seek after the righteousness of God, we do so through love of our Heavenly Father and love toward others. The Savior expresses that these two teachings are the main commandments: Love God and love others (Mark 12:28-31). It is the call to allow our Heavenly Father to rule in our hearts, in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
Day 16 – Our Need to Belong and Fellowship
If my life is in chaos, I want to look into myself for the cause and the cure and use a fellowship of others where I am able to safely expose my shortcomings through vulnerability and courage. I seek out a fellowship with a group of others where it is a living and functioning unit where each one of us come and sharpen ourselves in order to find the cure for our sufferings. Not only the fellowship of a weekly group of others engaged in finding solutions to their own sufferings but a connection with another to continue to learn and grow in faith, spirituality, and journey. I seek to be sharpened just as I hopefully am able to sharpen another.
“Let Them Have Dominion”
Through our discipleship we come to know the nature and truth of who our Heavenly Father is and what he expects of us. To which, the Savior declared, be ye therefore perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48, Philippians 3:15-16; 3 Nephi 12:48). It means we are to be complete and full as it relates to Our Heavenly Father.
Day 15 – Engage in Meaningful Service and Ministry
Charity is the heart and soul of service and ministry. Without compassion and mercy, no other spiritual gifts have any purpose or meaning - not even our own faith in God. The Apostle concludes that there are three important things in our lives: Faith, Hope, and Charity. His conclusion is that Charity is the greatest of the three.
“And I, God, Blessed and Sanctified the Holy Sabbath”
The Sabbath is a time where we connect intimately with our Heavenly Father and fellowship with others. A time of opportunity to serve others. It is a time to reflect on the covenants we have made as disciples of Jesus Christ. Where we fall short, it is a time of seeking forgiveness, walking the path of repentance, and seeking wise counsel from those whom our Heavenly Father has chosen.
Day 14 – When God Seems Distant
The scriptures constantly teach us that we are to do two things. They also teach us two fundamental truths. First, we are to seek him continually. Despite what is going on, no matter the situation, the fears, the worries, the doubts, and the anxieties, we are to seek him. Second, we are to wait patiently. Listen attentively, tune in, and continue to walk in those truths and commandments we are to keep. And the first truth is that our answers come in the Lord's due time and not ours. The second fundamental truth is that this is where our faith in God rests.
The Divine and Covenantal Order of Marriage
Through Adam, we have the priestly authority and fatherhood of God. Through Eve, we have the divine attributes of Motherhood. Together, Adam and Eve became the representatives of Heavenly Parents. And this is evident in the unifying of man and woman in their specific gender roles as Husband and Wife.
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