Tag: faith

Becoming a new creature

There’s a story about Joseph Smith that he couldn’t translate without first apologizing to Emma about something “she did.” My husband always wants to know what Emma did, but of course that’s not the message. David Whitmer recalled: “One morning when he was getting ready to continue the translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done. Oliver and I went up stairs, and Joseph came up soon after to continue the translation, but he could not do anything. He could not translate a single syllable. He...

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Faith as a mustard seed

When I was about ten years old, I had a small glass locket with a mustard seed in it. I can’t remember where I got it, but I was fascinated by it. I knew it had something to do with faith. Plus, I’m a naturalist — I love to collect things of nature. Funny thing, I don’t know what happened it. I had to give a talk on Sunday — and the bishopric gave me the topic of “nurturing the seed of faith” — along with a talk by Elder Scott. First of all, I do not believe in...

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Mormons and Catholics in 1870 comics

In the 1870s political cartoonist Thomas Nast, an implacable foe of both Mormons and Irish Catholics, penned the question in Harper’s Weekly —  “Religious Liberty is Guaranteed–But Can We Allow Foreign Reptiles To Crawl All Over US?”  He branded both religions as “foreign” threats to liberty — The Roman Catholic Church depicted as a crocodile and The Mormon LDS Church as a turtle crawling over the Capitol. [Notice the Turtle looks like the MormonTabernacle and the crocodile like the Vatican.] Uncle Sam was bothered by several minority groups. Mormons were one of them. In 1879, the San Francisco Wasp published a...

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Why was Cain’s sacrifice rejected?

The Bible is a bit confusing. You may get the idea that Cain offered up the wrong gift to God, fruits from his field instead of an animal from his flock. It’s vague why God was angry with Cain. Abel tended flocks and Cain tilled the ground. On reading it in the Bible it seems perfectly fine to offer whatever you produce. Yet, I know there must be more to this story. Here’s one: Satan told Cain to offer up the fruits of his field, therefore he was following Satan rather than God — wrong master, so-to-speak. And Cain...

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Hugh Nibley — Why Was I Put in This Situation?

  This is one of my favorite Nibley quotes — “Why was I put in this situation?” It’s from the video, Faith of an Observer when Nibley shares his World War II experiences. Hugh Nibley was part of the military intelligence — assigned to the 101st Airborne Division — the Screaming Eagles. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, he was one of the first few to hit the Utah Beach in Normandy. What an assignment of doom. “I’ll tell you if there was anything that puzzled me all the time I was there, I would say, ‘What on earth am I doing...

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Time to focus or time to scan?

We can only think of one thing at a time. Perhaps this is a mortal disability. Or maybe it’s a blessing while being mortal.   Studies have shown that when you’re presented with a different image for each eye, your mind won’t fuse the two together, instead your mind chooses one, and even alternates between the two images — this is called binocular rivalry  “The brain has difficulty integrating the two eyes’ incompatible signals. When the signals from the two eyes are different enough, the brain resolves the conflicting information by suppressing the information from one of the eyes,” Researchers...

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Women with faith to heal

We often think that you have to be ordained to the priesthood to heal the sick or work miracles. A careful reading of the gifts of the Spirit reveals that many gifts do not require priesthood ordination. Gifts such as healing — to some it is given to have faith to heal, and miracles — to some is given the working of miracles (D&C 46: 19-21)  The apostle Mark has also informed us that signs shall follow those who believe,  In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents;...

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Three gifts from the third dimension

Sometimes I get what I want. And it often feels miraculous and not at all contingent on my hard work. Since reading the last two books, I see life from a different perspective — one with less fear and more hope and faith. I’ve read about the spirit world before, but I have a better view now. I understand more. As I listened to Nibley this morning, he confirmed what I’d been thinking about — what he called the third dimension. And all though I’ve listened to this talk numerous times, it took on new meaning. “Brigham Young never...

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God will force no man to heaven

Your prayers don’t always get answered the way you wanted. Sometimes it’s because what you are praying for interferes with another person’s agency. God will not force people to choose the right. He gives us plenty of opportunities — but to force it would be Lucifer’s plan.   I have often struggled with the faith issue, thinking, if I pray with enough faith and if it is God’s will as well as mine, then my prayers will be answered as I had hoped. But even when it is God’s desire — he does not usurp man’s agency.   I...

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God is for me

Life isn’t always easy and I’m thankful I know this first-hand. But knowing doesn’t make it easier, it just makes it easier to accept. We all have times of trouble. Everyone gets a ride. That’s what makes it hard — knowing that even when things are good for you, someone else is suffering. I was sorting through my memorabilia, reading a list of “what I am thankful for,” written by my children 12 years ago. One of them wrote, “I’m thankful for a broken collar bone (to be understood when I’m older) and a good friend like Rick and dry beds and...

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Do Mormons Believe that Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers?

Mormons believe, as did early Christians, that our Father in Heaven is the Father of all spirits. This means you and me and Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. I understand that this idea seems distasteful to many. How could God create something evil? Actually, he did not “create” anyone to be evil, but there are evil people. We have our free-will and it is our choice to be good or evil. Lucifer, son of the morning, chose to rebel against God. He chose to exalt himself above our Eternal Father. He chose to go against God’s plan. In doing so,...

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What do Mormons believe about hell?

Protestors stood across the street from the Mormon Conference Center shouting Mormons are going to hell. That’s interesting, because from a Mormon perspective, we believe very few “go to hell”. We are much more generous with “going to heaven”. We aren’t going to say, “since you’re not a Mormon, you’re going to hell.” Mormons don’t believe that you go to hell because you’re of a different faith — Christian, Catholic, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. We believe in many kingdoms of glory. And many opportunities to accept Christ as your savior, even after death. You will never see us on...

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Suffering is a Harsh Reality

This morning I was reading about the hours after Christ’s death — the cataclysmic upheaval of the elements and three days of darkness — all while sitting in my room with the sunshine pouring through my window, sipping my icy cold fresh orange juice. I even have a handful of my favorite Easter candy to snack on. It’s just not that easy a thing to understand, even with the scriptures, movies and books. It’s difficult to be truly thankful for His suffering if I have not suffered my own trials (though small in comparison). It’s a harsh reality that...

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Happy Trials

In LDS Conference yesterday, President Eyring addressed what I know to be true, however difficult — that great adversity brings great blessings, worth the cost of the pain. But I hate the pain and difficulty. I should look at these challenges differently. No one escapes physical, mental, and emotional trials in life. Eyring spoke of a man that called out from his sick bed, “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?” Eyring went on to quote the famous lines from the Lord to Joseph Smith, when he suffered in Liberty jail in 1839 for 4 months,  And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; 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) When my son was serving a mission in Moldova one of the people there asked him how to say a common Russian phrase in English. In saying goodbye, the...

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Give Me Something Tangible or I Die

I had gone up to my room, explaining to my husband that it would be much easier for me to exercise my faith if I could lay hold of something tangible. When Jesus anointed the eyes of the blind man, he used mud and spittle, not for himself, but for the blind man to have faith. When Joseph Smith asked Wilford Woodruff to cross the Mississippi River and bless the malaria-stricken children, he gave him his handkerchief, as a token that acted as something tangible between the two men. Wilford went across the river and healed the sick with the aid of that token. (1839, Nauvoo, Illinois) “As Joseph was about to cross the river, a man came to him and asked him if he would go about three miles and heal two of his small children, who were twins, about three months old, and were sick nigh unto death. He was a man of the world, he had never heard a sermon preached by a Latter-day Saint. Joseph said he could not go, but he would send a man. After hesitating a moment, he turned to me and said, “You go with this man and heal his children,” at the same time giving me a red silk handkerchief, and said, “After you lay hands upon them, wipe their faces with it, and they shall be healed; and as...

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Deila Taylor is Eve Out of the Garden -- seeking greater light ...…  More>>