BC: "The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me..."
FC: STAGE | Scripture | From | and | Brady Stratton
1: "Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing. Thanks for all the joy they're bringing. Who can live without them? I ask in all honesty, what would life be? Without out a song or a dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me." | I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This book is an effort to share that with you. I have taken two of the things that I love most, the scriptures and words from the stage, and have come up with what you may call my own version of "Music and the Spoken Word." I prayed for the Spirit to be with me as I wrote these things and now pray that He will touch your hearts as well as you read. Enjoy. -Brady Stratton
2: "What you do then is remember this old thing you heard me say: It's the storm not you that's bound to go away. Hold on, hold on to someone standing by. Hold on, don't even ask how long or why, child hold on to what you know is true. Hold on till you get through. Child oh child, hold on."
3: ...And above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. (D&C 122:7) | Every one that has ever lived, is now living or who ever will live on this earth will experience some form of trial in their lives. It is part of the plan of salvation and is what purifies us and makes us more like our Father in Heaven. No matter how difficult the trial may be, I know that if we put our faith in Jesus Christ we will make it through. It is our choice on how we approach the situation. We can either let our trials overpower us and weaken us or we can let them work toward our overall benefit and formation of character.
4: "And those that follow the path of the righteous shall have their reward."
5: And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never ending happiness. (Mosiah 2:41) | As primary children we grew up wearing our CTR rings. We learned about choosing the right in our Sunday School lessons, sung about it in hymns and prayed for the strength to do it in our daily lives. How simple a lesson and yet how fundamentally important to our eternal progression and happiness. Choosing the right is the key to happiness in this life and salvation in the life to come. I have experienced this first hand and testify that it is true.
6: "I could say life is just a bowl of jell-o and appear more intelligent and smart, but I'm stuck like a dope with a thing called hope, and I can't get it out of my heart!"
7: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. (Ether 12:4) | It is so easy to be negative; so easy and yet so destructive. I have tried to maintain an attitude of optimism and hope in my daily life and when I succeed the world really does look brighter. Some say that the glass is half empty, some say it is half full. I say let us just be grateful that we have a glass in the first place. So much stress and anxiety can be avoided in life if we look forward with an eye of hope. The hope that we all need springs forth from a testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. There is no room for negativity when He is in our lives.
8: "Bitter sweet and strange, finding you can change; learning you were wrong..."
9: Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. (Alma 5:28) | Admitting that I have been wrong really is a bittersweet and strange experience. Pride is very readily seen in others and hardly every seen within ourselves. Perhaps that is why it is so hard to let go of. The scriptures illustrate repeatedly the consequences of pride and how it has been the down fall of individuals and of nations. This doesn't have to be the case in our own lives. For some, humility comes second nature. For others like myself, it is a trait that can take years to develop and polish. Look to the Savior, He is the perfect example of one who was never prideful.
10: "Though her words are simple and few, listen, listen, she's calling to you. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag ."
11: ...Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (John 21:16) | The Savior's instructions to Peter also apply to us. There are millions of people out there in the world who need to be fed with the light of the gospel that we possess. There are hundreds of ways that we can give it to them including missionary work, service, righteous example, sharing testimony, being a friend or simply smiling at a stranger to help brighten their day. I try to pray every morning for an opportunity to share light with others or to serve them. The Savior is always calling us the feed His sheep. Are we listening?
12: "There is a brotherhood of man. A benevolent brotherhood of man. A noble tie that binds all human hearts and minds..."
13: Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. (D&C 84: 17) | We are truly blessed to live in a day and age when the priesthood of God is restored on the earth again. I have grown up with numerous examples of righteous priesthood holders in my life including my father, my grandparents, my church leaders, my mission presidents and the prophets and apostles who lead and guide this church. I have witnessed the power of the priesthood in action and the miracles that come through priesthood blessings. May we never take this gift and responsibility for granted.
14: "Children of Israel are never alone. For we know we shall find our own piece of mind. For we have been promised a land of our own."
15: And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made... (1 Nephi 17:40) | As members of the Church we make covenants with Heavenly Father throughout our lives. These covenants, if honored on our part, ensure us blessings from heaven and will strengthen us against temptation and the evils of the world. I love the phrase "cling to your covenants". I know that if we do so, we will be blessed. Heavenly Father always keeps His side of the promise. It is our task to strive to do the same. We may not be perfect at it, but as we work on it we will grow stronger and more capable.
16: "And goodness knows the wicked's lives are lonely. Goodness knows the wicked die alone. It just shows when you're wicked you're left only on your own."
17: And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell. (Alma 30:60) | Because we are children of God and have a divine potential to become like Him, Satan and his numerous armies will stop at nothing to get us to fall away and to wander in paths of darkness. As the world grows more wicked, the lies and traps that Satan uses become more enticing and acceptable. Those that buy into them quickly find out that they are left out to dry for the devil never has and never will support those who follow after him. I have felt the effects of sin in my own life and have seen the utter destruction that it can cause in the lives of others. Remember that you are in charge. Satan can have no power over you unless you will it.
18: "And as for fortune and as for fame... They are illusions. They are not the solutions they promised to be."
19: Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you. (Alma 39:14) | It is always interesting to pick up a newspaper or magazine or to watch the ten o clock news and to see the lives of the rich and the famous falling apart. You would think that would be warning enough and yet so many others who are not rich and famous seek after those things, often making that quest the top priority in their lives. These things truly are illusions and offer no lasting happiness. True riches are found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in commandment and covenant keeping.
20: "Be brave young lovers and follow your star; be brave and faithful and true. Cling very close to each other tonight. I've been in love like you."
21: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24) | I have been very blessed to have been born of goodly parents who love each other and honor their marriage covenants. The have centered their marriage on the Savior and on each other. Because of their example, I know what kind of husband I want to be, what kind of wife I want to marry and how to have a successful and happy marriage. I know that marriage is ordained of God and is between a man and a woman. Society my try to alter its meaning and to deemphasize its importance but I know that it is central to the plan of our Heavenly Father. I can't wait to marry my future wife someday and to work with her in raising a righteous family.
22: My soul belongs to God, I know. I made that bargain long ago. He gave me hope when hope was gone. He gave me strength to journey on."
23: ...I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you... (Mosiah 18:13) | As an eight year old child, I don't think I fully comprehended what my baptism meant. I know that I felt clean, I felt the spirit and that I had made special promises with Heavenly Father. As I have grown and matured in my knowledge of the gospel, this event in my life has taken on a much deeper meaning. I would encourage anyone who has been baptized to truly think about what that means to them; to think about the promises that have been made and then to do something about it.
24: "He lives in you. He lives in me. He watches over everything we see. In every creature, in every star, in your reflection; He lives in you."
25: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:6) | If there is one piece of knowledge that I hold most dear, it is that fact that I know I am a child of God. He loves me. He knows me. He wants me to succeed and to return to live with Him again. I see and recognize His influence in my life on a daily basis and I rejoice to know that I can one day become like Him. This knowledge defines me, it gives me purpose, it gives me strength and it gives me hope.
26: "Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will see. And learn."
27: But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. (Mosiah 4:15) | Most of the lessons I have learned from my parents have come through observation. I believe this is the case for most children. The adage that "actions speak louder than words" is very true. I don't think my parents will every truly comprehend the impact that their righteous teachings have had in my life because most of it they have done unconsciously. Heavenly Father has entrusted all parents with the care and education of His children. Nothing we say or do goes unnoticed by the young ones around us.
28: "This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far; to fight for the right without question or pause. To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause."
29: 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. (2 Nephi 31:20) | For those of us who have acted upon our faith in Jesus Christ and have been baptized into His church, the task now becomes to endure to the end. This is not an easy task. It is marked with tribulation and sorrow. However it was never meant to be easy, it was meant to be worth it. As I endure daily, I find that I receive heavenly help. It becomes less of a burden and more of a blessing. Enduring to the end helps us enjoy to the end.
30: "There's a road we must travel. There is a promise that we must make. But the riches will be plenty, worth the risk and the chances we take. There's a dream in the future. There's a struggle that we have yet to win. There's a pride in my heart cause I know where I'm goin, yes I do and I know where I've been."
31: 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. (Alma 34:32) | The plan of salvation serves as a road map, helping us know where we came from, where we are going and what we have to do to get there. We increase our knowledge of this plan through scripture study, church and temple attendance and through righteous living. I am grateful that through the restoration of the gospel, this plan has been made known unto us in these days. Therefore, let us use it for our benefit, to help motivate and direct our lives in the right way. Now is the day for us to prepare and the tools we need are right in front of us.
32: "Someone has to face the valley! Rush in! We have to rally and win boys! When the world is saying not to you know that you have got to march on boys! Never hold back your step for a moment. Never doubt that your courage will grow! Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go!"
33: Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6: 11-12) | The world continues to decline in its moral standards and will pressure us to follow along. As members of the church, we cannot give in. We have to arm ourselves by living the commandments of the gospel. The seemingly simple things like reading our scriptures and saying our prayers are some of our strongest weapons against the adversary. As we put on the armor of God, we have no need to worry about the future and what it may bring.
34: "You will learn. Truth is given by God to us all in our time, in our turn."
35: For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little... (2 Nephi 28:30) | I will admit that I am not the most patient person that I know. This is no exception when waiting for answers to my prayers. But as the years have passed and as I have worked on developing that patience, I have discovered the importance of waiting on Heavenly Father for His timing. How often we think we know everything and yet we never see the entire picture. He does. He knows what will benefit us the most at a particular time. As we come to accept this, our relationship with Him becomes much stronger. I know that He always hears and answers our prayers; it is up to us to be willing to accept and act upon that answer.
36: "Open the gates and seize the day. Don't be afraid and don't delay. Nothing can break us. No one can make us give our rights away. Arise and seize the day."
37: Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations. (D&C 115:5) | I didn't realize how unique we as a church and a people truly are until I left the safe bubble of my home state and traveled abroad to other countries and cultures. The scriptures are accurate when they label us as a peculiar people. While many may view that as a slam, I think it is a thing to aspire to. So many people are wandering in confusion and darkness; searching for a light that will help them make sense of their existence. We have that light. As we shine forth as an example to the world, we can help others come to know of the happiness that comes from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
38: "When I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin and say: Oh! The sun'll come out tomorrow, so you got to hang on till tomorrow come what may!"
39: For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. (D&C 58:2) | Sometimes life can be crap. Its true. There are days when I just want to lay in my bed and avoid confronting the obstacles of life. No matter what we are facing though, it is important to remember that it will not last forever. If I could have one wish, it would be for the world to have an eternal perspective. If we can realize that things will get better and that big problems really are small in the scheme of things, life becomes a lot easier to tackle.
40: "Because after all, a person's a person no matter how small."
41: Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God... (D&C 18:10) | When I was on my mission, for the first time in my life I was able to view others with the eyes of the Savior. I grew to love them with a love that is hard to describe and I realized that no matter what their circumstances, they were children of God just like you and me. Since then I have tried to maintain that viewpoint but it can be hard sometimes. Satan would have us judge, to backbite, to place ourselves above others and to create contention. No one deserves to be treated as something less than royal for we are all the children of a Heavenly King.
42: "Daylight, I must wait for the sunrise. I must think of a new life, and I mustn't give in. When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too. And a new day will begin. "
43: ...How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:2,4) | When we are baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our sins are buried and we become new and pure. As we renew our baptism promises every week by partaking the sacrament, that renewing effect can continue. What a blessing! Our Savior made this all possible through His atonement. Because of Him, we don't have to linger in the darkness of sin. We can repent, we can forsake, we can be renewed and our old life can become but a memory.
44: "And if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free. To those who'd ground me, take a message back from me...Tell them how I am defying gravity. I'm flying high defying gravity and nobody is ever gonna bring me down!"
45: If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:19) | Walking the straight and narrow can be a lonely path. It is not an easy path. As we watch the world decay and the commandments of God being trod under the feet of others, we may be tempted to lower our own standards and to follow the crowd. I testify that the only path to freedom is the path that God has laid out for us. Any other path will lead us into bondage and despair. Don't be afraid to stand up for what is right and to defy the world and its wisdom.
46: "If you reach for the stars, all you get are the stars, but we've found a whole new spin. If you reach for the heavens, you get the stars thrown in."
47: And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:20-21) | I have never really been one to settle for the minimum requirements. I thrive from a good challenge and find it so much more satisfying to stretch my abilities to the extreme. Each one of us has been given talents to utilize in this life. When Heavenly Father sees that we are willing to use them to the full extent, He will increase our capabilities and bless us beyond what we can imagine.
48: "As we stumble along cross life's crowded dance floor, as we push and we shove, we live and we learn."
49: And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation... (2 Nephi 2:21) | Newsflash! Nobody is perfect! I know that seems like an obvious point but how easy it is to compare ourselves to those who we think are on a higher pedestal. This life is about preparing, about making mistakes and learning from them, about growing and reaching our eternal potential. We waste so much time thinking about what others may be thinking about us and comparing ourselves and our situations to those around us. How much more productive it would be if we focused on our own progression; making sure that we are on the correct path back to God.
50: "When will the dawning break? Oh endless night. Sleepless I dream of the day. When you were by my side, guiding my path. Father I can't find the way."
51: O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? ...My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. (D&C 121:1,7) | I know that Heavenly Father is always there to talk to. We don't see him, we may even feel distant from Him at times but He is aware of us and our individual situations. We shouldn't fall into despair if it seems He is not spoon feeding us answers and guidance at every turn. In order for us to grow and become like him, we have to struggle a bit. He will never let us wander in darkness without providing us the tools that we need to make it through. His hand is always outstretched to catch us should we fall but He does allow us to walk on our own just like a father teaching his toddler to walk for the first time.
52: "We'll meet tomorrow. We will find a path; and reach tomorrow, past this day of wrath. We'll be together once again. Cling to your hope and prayers till then."
53: And the same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy. (D&C 130:2) | I have a testimony of eternal families and the plan of salvation. I know that death is not the end, it is just an intermission so to say. Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we all have the opportunity to be reunited with our loved ones after this life. We can live with them forever and enjoy never ending happiness in their presence. I am so grateful for this knowledge and this great blessing. I love my family so much and can't think of anyone I would rather spend eternity with.
54: "There's been a change in me, a kind of moving on, though what I used to be I still depend upon."
55: And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye been spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:14) | Alma chapter five is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. I use it to conduct self interviews every now and then to see where I am in life. I have experienced a change of heart and try daily to maintain it. It is a lot of hard work and takes constant repentance and humility. I think it is important for all of us to conduct these interviews and evaluations on a regular basis. The sacrament is a perfect opportunity for us to do so weekly. As we learn from our mistakes, and grow from our weaknesses, we will be able to sing the song of redeeming love that Alma speaks about.
56: "I can't see why people disagree each time I tell them what I know is true. And if you come and see the world I'm from I bet your heart is gonna feel it too...get movin' baby run and tell that!"
57: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15) | The only way that people are going to know what we as members of the church believe is if we tell them. All it takes is a simple bearing of your testimony. As the gospel rolls across the whole earth, we will find that more and more people will have questions for us. Don't be afraid to answer. Share your testimony. Tell them how the gospel has blessed your life and then invite them to try it themselves! You have nothing to lose.
58: "Put your faith in what you most believe in. Two worlds, one family. Trust your heart. Let fate decide. To guide these lives we see."
59: And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good- yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this my my spirit. (D&C 11:12) | As we put out faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He will lead us by the Spirit and make more out of our lives than we can alone. What a comfort it is to know that we have Heavenly help on our side. We however, need to make sure that we are living in a way that will qualify us for that help. We have to stay worthy. We have to stay pure. We have to stay believing.
60: "I know a place where no one's lost. I know a place where no one cries. Crying at all is not allowed; not in my castle on a cloud."
61: And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. (Alma 40:12) | There is place prepared for us. A place where the sorrows and cares of this world can disappear and we can live in peace and happiness with our families and with our Heavenly Father. We can help bring this celestial kingdom into our own lives by the way we live and the way that we run our homes. I am so grateful to have parents who have striven to make our home a piece of heaven where I can find shelter from the physical and spiritual storms of life. The temple is also a place where we can find this great peace.
62: "I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them, and we help them in return."
63: And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17) | I believe there is a reason to all things. The people who have entered into my life have not come by chance. I have learned something from each one of them and have been blessed by their influence. I have learned that through service, bonds of love and charity can grow stronger and contentious walls can be broken down. I am grateful for the angels in my life; my family, my friends and my associates who have served me and helped me in more ways than I can count. Because of them, I have been changed for good.
64: "This is the moment, my final test. Destiny beckoned, I never reckoned second best. I won't look down, I must not fall. This is the moment, the sweetest moment of them all."
65: ...I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down... (Nehemiah 6:3) | We all have a great work to do in this life. It includes making covenants, raising families, building up the kingdom of God and learning to become like our Savior. We cannot afford to let ourselves be distracted by the vain things of this world and by the temptations of Satan. If we lose sight of our goal and step off the path, we forfeit our agency and become slaves to sin. We are better than that. We are children of God and don't have to succumb to such things. Let us make the most out of the time we are given to accomplish the work that is before us.
66: "Look with your heart, and not with your eyes. The heart can't be fooled, the heart is too wise. Forget what you think, ignore what you hear. Look with your heart it always sees clear."
67: ...Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) | We can never know the full history behind someones life by simply looking at them. The world trains us to focus on the outside appearance and to judge based on what we see. Think of the things that are missed when we do this. Think of the lives that are hurt. When we work on developing charity which comes from the pure love of Christ, we come to find that everyone is on the same path and journey back to our Heavenly home and that we are all loved equally in the eyes of God. There is no room for judgment if we take on this view.
68: "When a thing is wick it has a way of knowing when its safe to grow again, you will see. When there's sun and water sweet enough to feed it, it will climb up through the earth, a pale new green."
69: But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. (Alma 32:41) | I have a testimony of the gospel but it didn't just appear overnight. I had to cultivate it, feed it and care for it just like one has to do with a plant. None of us can afford to be lazy in our efforts to nourish our testimonies. Satan lies in wait to scorch us like the hot sun and if we are not diligent, the knowledge and truth that we possess can fade away like the leaves on an autumn tree.
70: " Pray! Papa Ge don't come around me! Pray! Papa Ge don't come around me!"
71: Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work. (D&C 10:5) | My mother has taught me from a young age about the power of prayer through her example. I know and testify that prayer changes things. I also testify that it can be one of the most powerful weapons that we can use against temptation. I have experienced the feeling of peace that comes from dropping down to my knees and praying for strength to resist what is being thrown at me. Prayer is an open line to heaven that never closes and we would be smart to take advantage of it.
72: "Happiness is morning and evening, day time and night time too. For happiness is anyone or anything at all, that's loved by you."
73: Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25) | Heavenly Father's plan is a plan of happiness. We are not sent here to be miserable and to have sorrow and distress all of our days. On the contrary, we are meant to have joy and to experience the wonders of this life. Happiness is maintained through righteous living. My greatest happiness has come in the form of my eternal family. Every moment with them brings joy and every memory made brings a smile. If you are finding that your life is drab and depressing, rethink it. You may be missing the point.
74: "Where is love? Does it fall from skies above? Is it underneath the willow tree that I've been dreaming of?"
75: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16) | I have been fortunate and blessed to be born into a family and home where love resides and is practiced. I know that is not the case for everyone. However, there is always a source of love that is available to all people, the love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. Turn to them if you feel you are alone. Rely on them when you have no one else to turn to. They will support you. They will love you with a love that is perfect and eternal.
76: "Impossible things are happening every day!"
77: But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) | I had the above scripture engraved on my mission plaque. It is one of the many slogans that I use for this life. I know that if we can just be believing, miracles can happen all around us. I have witnessed them in my own life. I have seen them in the lives of others. It doesn't even have to be a miracle that takes place. It can be something as simple as an answered prayer or a solution to a frustrating problem. What ever it may be, it will come about through faith and belief. That is not much to ask on our part is it?
78: "Met the worst and met the best. Some that put me to the test. Almost made me change my mind, but some how I always find, if you don't expect too much there's a certain human touch, homo-sapiens has got, other animals have not."
79: Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself... (Leviticus 19:18) | Love thy neighbor as thyself, the second greatest commandment and probably one of the most difficult for people to obey. I think that no matter where we live or at what point we are in our lives, there will always be those neighbors that push our buttons. Here is the thing though; they may push our buttons but that doesn't mean that we have to explode. We can turn the other cheek. We can take the upper road. We can love as the Savior would love. Who knows, those that push our buttons one day may turn out to be the ones that make us laugh another day.
80: "The seaweed is always greener in somebody else's lake. You dream about going up there, but that is a big mistake."
81: Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maid servant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.. (Deuteronomy 5:21) | I can hardly think of a greater waste of our precious time than sitting there and wishing that we had what others have got. If you want it, get off your rear end and go and earn it. Coveting takes our focus off of what really matters in life and places it on things that are material and of real no eternal value. It is not bad to have a goal or to desire something. This can motivate us to work harder and become better. The danger comes when such desires consume our mind and our energies.
82: "I have a dream, a fantasy to help me through reality. And my destination makes it worth the while, pushing through the darkness, still another mile."
83: And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God. (D&C 14:7) | If I could create my own bumper sticker it would read "Celestial Kingdom or Bust!" That is my goal. That is my final destination. It helps me make it through the trials and temptations of this life. There is no reason that everyone of us can't make it there. It is up to us however and will depend on how we live our lives. Having the goal is the first step. After that we must learn and do the things that are necessary to get us there. No one can do it for us, the desire has to come from within.
84: "Wishing you were somehow here again, knowing we must say goodbye. Try to forgive, teach me to live, give me the strength to try."
85: But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. (Mosiah 16:8) | Because Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for all of us, we will all live again in an immortal and perfect state. What a comfort that is! The ailments and disabilities of this world can only have temporary hold on us for one day we will be perfected and troubled by them no more. Because He lives, there is no need to fear death for it has no permanent hold on us. It is simply another step in our progression. It goes from being a "goodbye" to a "see ya later".
86: "Nothing quite so clear now, feel you've lost your way? You are not alone, believe me. No one is alone."
87: And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. (D&C 84:88) | When we are baptized, we also receive the gift the of the Holy Ghost. He can be our constant companion as we keep our lives clean and worthy. He can guide us, protect us, teach us and help us feel peace. Because of this, we never have to be alone in this world. We can always have the help of the Spirit but we have to be willing to listen and act upon the promptings that we receive. I am grateful for this gift and testify of it's power.
88: "My heart will be blessed with the sound of music, and I'll sing once more."
89: For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. (D&C 25:12) | Music for me is a tool that brings me closer to heaven. Some of the most spiritual experiences in my life have had the melodic notes of song playing in the background. I am deeply grateful for all good music and the way it can help enlighten and lift the human race and the spirits of men. I am grateful to have been blessed with talents in music and I strive everyday to use them for the service and benefit of those around me. I don't know what my life would be without it.