Friday, December 6, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others of being controlled by fashion – while – we just keep ourselves well attired – and – groomed!!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others of seeking praise – and – glory – while – we have just been blessed with personalities – and – talents others seem to be drawn to!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others as being overly dramatic – while – we just make our conversations more interesting by stimulating them with a variation of expressions!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others to be in captivity to their habits – while – we just constantly do those things we enjoy!!

Monday, December 2, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others to be slaves to television viewing – while – we just watch our favorite shows every night!!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

EQUALITY

By the time we reach chapter 28 of the Book of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ we are reading about one of history’s great ironical twists. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies who were descended from Lehi’s rebellious sons Laman and Lemuel were now the most righteous people in the Lands occupied by those who had followed Lehi’s righteous son Nephi, while the Lamanites were now sustained in their hatred of the Nephites by rebellious descendants of Nephi.

Alma describes this juxtaposition in these verses from the afore mentioned chapter which recounts a tremendous battle between those who at that point identified themselves as Lamanites and those who were counted among the Nephites.

Nephites

5 Yea, the cry of widows mourning for their husbands, and also of fathers mourning for their sons, and the daughter for the brother, yea, the brother for the father; and thus the cry of mourning was heard among all of them, mourning for their kindred who had been slain.

6 And now surely this was a sorrowful day; yea, a time of solemnity, and a time of much fasting and prayer.

12 While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness.


Lamanites

13 And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men.
All of Heavenly Father’s Children while in this Telestial World

14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.


It is important to note that all of Heavenly Father’s children while in mortality have the freedom to make choices which will lead them to follow the cunning plans of he who has devised to ensnare their hearts, or to choose paths which will further them along the way towards eventually dwelling on the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness.

It is interesting to note that Alma identifies that the root of all this bloodshed stemmed from the inequality of men because of their sin and transgression. Therefore, I don’t believe it is a very big stretch to say that anything which causes inequality between the mortal offspring of Heavenly Father can be labeled sin and transgression.

Choices which lead to inequality and eventual destruction:

Believing and proclaiming sentiments of superiority because of race, nationality or social status.

Using belittling and caustic words to demean others.

Acting on the belief that a difference of belief is a reason to hate others.

Acting on the belief that God has given you the blessings of privilege because of your obvious righteousness.

Acting on the belief that others are not blessed of God because of their obvious inferiority and unworthiness.

Acting on the belief that leaders are in positions which merit them the privilege of being served by others.

Acting on the belief in their superiority because of wealth, education or position of birth.


It must be noted that Alma believes the only way this sinful inequality among men will end is for those who received the call to labor diligently to bring the joy of the light of Christ into the lives of their brothers and sisters.

Choices which lead to experiencing the joy which comes from receiving the light of Christ:

Acting on the belief in the declaration of the Lord that all are alike unto him,

Acting on the belief that we should only speak about others in words which will edify, strengthen and build them.

Acting on the belief that all blessings which are received are but a means whereby we have the capacity to lift others.

Acting on the belief that any teachings which invite us to treat each other with greater degrees of equality are of God.

Acting on the belief when viewing the suffering of others, that ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ and put forth a hand to lift and sustain.

Acting on the belief that all positions of leadership in which one might find themselves, is a gift given to them to be able to magnify their service to others.

Acting on the belief that wealth, education and birth rights are blessings which should be used to better the conditions of others.


In no way do I consider these lists to be exhaustive, but hopefully they will stimulate moments of pondering upon how we might all become less involved in those beliefs and actions which lead to inequality and more involved in those beliefs and actions which move us along the path leading to the joy of the light of Christ.

I feel impressed to add a word of caution to those who would cast aside this Thought into the heap of Pollyanna-ish-ness, that it would be well to contemplate where continuing along the path of inequality, which caused thousands of widows to mourn for their husbands and thousands of fathers to mourn the death of their sons will bring us.

We have been given a warning voice from the ashes of those who perished 2093 years ago because of the fruits of the sins produced by rampant inequality. May the Lord bless us to be enveloped with His light and thereby partake of the fruits of His joy.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, November 30, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others to be raising their children with excessive leniency – while – we just exercise wise restraint – because we believe in the law of consequences!!

Friday, November 29, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others as being lazy – and – unproductive – while – we just spend the proper amount of energy – commiserate with the compensation we receive!!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We tend to judge others to be fat – or – obese – while we examine ourselves – and – say we have put on a few pounds!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Our lack of having a clear understanding – of why our neighbors – make the choices they do – provides us all with ample opportunity – to practice patience – and – tolerance!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Is pointing out – the micromanaging propensities of another – an act of micromanaging??

Monday, November 25, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Since we are all imperfect beings – with imperfect understanding – it is no wonder – why we will not always share the same views – or – opinions!!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

HOMECOMING

The scene has been portrayed by artists, poets have written countless verses about it, congregations and choirs proclaim it in songs and it has been testified of by prophets, yet, for most mortals the events which follow quickly upon our passing from this current phase of existence into the next, remains a thing hoped for, held in our hearts by faith, but not known.

The Scene

Husbands and wives envision it as an affirmation of everlasting vows, accompanied by one of eternity’s most loving embraces.

Families have confidence that invitations have been sent out and accepted by all who are found on the branches of ancestral trees.

The lonely and troubled who have walked solitary paths during mortality envision long desired, outstretched loving arms of care enfolding them.

The multitudes who have perished because of mankind having set their greedy hearts on war and contention, picture a peaceful, serene gathering where hate no longer rules.

The humble and rich are overwhelmed by surprise at vistas which contain neither shacks nor mansions, but abodes ample for their needs.

The honored and mighty of the earth, suddenly are overwhelmed at finding themselves in an attitude of bowing and kneeling before the King of Kings and are humbled by the complete absence of others giving abeyance to them.

The unknowable number of those whose earthly sojourn was but a few minutes, hours or days are filled with unspeakable joy that their absence from their heavenly abode was so brief.


A strong probability exists that the variety of the scenes, of imagined returnings from our time as strangers in a strange land back to our home, are just like the children of Abraham, as numerous as the stars in the heavens.

I seldom read chapter 27 of the Book of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ without having my own faith-based, hoped for reunion press upon my ponderings. The scenes which I have just described come and go during those pondering moments, but there is one scene which seems to always bring down the curtain upon my thoughts which were stimulated by these final words of Ammon.

In this scene the Giver of all Gifts, our very Father in Heaven bestows a temporary blessings of His Omnipresence upon whoever is making the passage of laying their mortal body aside and entering into Eternal Life. With that glorious gift the totality of one’s existence is at once accessible to their present conscience-ness.

They are at once with those who they discussed Heavenly Father’s Plan with during the Premortal part of their eternal journey.

They are at once with those who were influential in their conversion to Heavenly Father’s Plan.

They are at once with those who prayed with them as they departed their Heavenly Home and journeyed unto the strange land.

They were with the loving parents who nurtured and cherished them.

The veil of forgetfulness was removed and remembrance of every friend and loved one they had interacted with during mortality was within the blessing of God’s gift.

Every tutor and mentor along with their instruction and inspiration came into the vision and renewed the warmness felt at the first hearing.

Momentarily an awareness was allowed which included all who you never suspected to have appreciated your attempts to serve during mortality.

The nearest and dearest were not only part of the vision, but somehow in that blessed moment it was as if they had actually become part of your very existence.

There is an all consuming feeling that you and your one and only, have become in all ways one.

Just as the magnificent moment feels like you are about to be consumed by it’s very light, the Mercy of our Heavenly Father removes the gift and replaces it with the understanding that through your continued progression in the just entered into phase of your eternal existence the day may come when you will have progressed to that level where the Gift of Omnipresence as well as all the gifts of Eternal Lives could be Everlastingly received.


I am going to end this Thought by including a few verses for the afore mentioned chapter and I invite you to allow the spirit to carry your ponderings into thinking about your own foreordained reunion.

Alma 27

7 And Ammon said: I will go and inquire of the Lord, and if he say unto us, go down unto our brethren, will ye go?

8 And the king said unto him: Yea, if the Lord saith unto us go, we will go down unto our brethren, and we will be their slaves until we repair unto them the many murders and sins which we have committed against them.

11 And it came to pass that Ammon went and inquired of the Lord…

14 And they gathered together all their people, yea, all the people of the Lord, and did gather together all their flocks and herds, and departed out of the land, and came into the wilderness which divided the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla, and came over near the borders of the land.

16 And it came to pass that as Ammon was going forth into the land, that he and his brethren met Alma, over in the place of which has been spoken; and behold, this was a joyful meeting.

17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.

18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.

20 And now it came to pass that Alma conducted his brethren back to the land of Zarahemla; even to his own house. And they went and told the chief judge all the things that had happened unto them in the land of Nephi, among their brethren, the Lamanites.

21 And it came to pass that the chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land, desiring the voice of the people concerning the admitting their brethren, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.

22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance.

26 And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of Jershon, and took possession of the land of Jershon; and they were called by the Nephites the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after.

27 And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.

30 And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.


If you have had a problem correlating the Nephites giving the Anti-Nephi-Lehies the lands of Jershon with our returning to our Heavenly abode, let me indicated a few markers.

They went forth according to the Lord’s plan.

All former interactions were forgotten.

The word joy is used to describe every interactive reunion.

They were of one belief.

They were full of zeal towards all.

They were full of zeal towards God.

They were honest and upright.

They were firm in their faith of Christ, forever more.

They were a beloved people.

They were a people highly favored of the Lord.


I pray the Lord’s blessings will attend us all and bring us joyously to that wonderful bright day of Homecoming.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, November 23, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I think it should be required – when referencing a scripture during a lesson – that it be identified in its historical context – before it is used to support a modern position on a principle!!

Friday, November 22, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are no other doctrines which helps us understand – the universal kinship of the earth’s inhabitants – than those which enlighten us about our shared premortal – and – our post-mortal stages of existence – and – the oneness of our
Eternal Parentage!!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

In the end – the thing we ultimately will be most grateful for – will be the completeness of the mercy – and – grace of our loving Heavenly Father!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Although we may have hands laid upon our heads – and – have the Gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon us – the constancy of His presence – and – influence in our lives will always be conditional – upon us remaining as faithful as we were on the day we received the Gift!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The ordinance of baptism – most often seems – more like a conception – than a rebirth!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

A sure sign – of the sincerity of our repentance might be – that we see our personal characteristics – coming to be more in line with those of our Heavenly Parents!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

HOLY CALLING FROM GOD

I had read only a few words of Ammon in chapter 26 of the Book of Alma, where he is rejoicing to his brothers about the miraculous mission they had been part of in bringing so many of their Lamanite cousin’s unto the Lord, when my mind flashed back to Alma’s words in chapter 13 of his book.

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such. And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.

Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared—And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest—This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things—Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end—Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.
(Alma 13: 1-9)

These verses give us a rare and unique glimpse of our progression during our premortal estate, when the children of our Heavenly Parents, such as those like the Alma’s, Ammon’s and all those who would become the mighty ones of God’s army, progressed to the point of being ordained to the Holy Priesthood and foreordained to bless the posterity of God during mortality.

It then takes only a brief moment before one begins to wonder about that veiled part of their own eternal progression and whether they likewise had been ordained because of their personal progress and the foreknowledge of God to teach His commandments unto His children.

Now that I have passed through so many doors
Now that there seem to be so few doors left unopened
I have to ask – is what I am becoming
What I was meant to be?


A quick perusal of Ammon’s joyful account of his mission among the Lamanites found in chapter 26 of the Book of Alma, gives a wonderful list of performances which can be useful in evaluating one’s own fulfillment of Heavenly ordained commissions.

Have I been an instrument in the hands of God to bring thousands into the fold of God?

Have I mightily thrust in my sickle all the day long bringing sheaves into the garners of the Lord?

Have I brought forth sheaves which can withstand storms and winds and remain strong?

Have I refrained from boasting in my own strength?

Do I understand that with the aid of God, I can do all things which He asks of me?

Is my heart filled with joy because I rejoice in my God?

Do I praise and glory in the Lord forever?

Do I understand the impossibility of giving too much glory, praise and power to God?

Do I understand the extent of God’s mercy and long-suffering toward the children of men?

Do I understand the blessings which come from repentance?

Do I understand the blessings which come from continuous prayer?

Do I understand the blessings which come from doing good works?

Do I understand the blessings of knowing the mysteries of God which come to those who are faithful?

Do I believe that God is mindful of every people?

Do I believe that God’s bowels of mercy are over all the earth?

Do I believe that God has all power, all wisdom, all understanding and that He comprehendeth all things?


Although relatively few of our Heavenly Parents’ children have been foreordained to fulfill such marvelous works as did Alma and Ammon and all the mighty and great who lead God’s army, we also understand the importance the Lord has placed on the widow’s mite.

We are reminded of the marvelous blessings which are promised to those who labor all their days and bring but a single sheave unto the garners of the Lord.

We are reminded that the contribution of even those mighty and great ones will be but a pittance when compared to the mission and Atonement of the Lord Jesus the Christ.

We are reminded that in the Lord’s work faithfulness is never measured by the number of sheaves brought to the garners of the Lord, but by the effort which was expended during their harvest.

We are reminded that there is no such thing as a minor Holy Calling from God.

When I have passed through that last mortal door
When I once again abide in a more familiar home
Will I then wonder if I became
All I was sent to become?



THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, November 16, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It only takes – a brief perusal of the diversities of the tests – and – experiences humanity passes through – to appreciate the magnitude of the intelligence of God!!

Friday, November 15, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I gain a greater conviction – with each year I am blessed – to observe the comings – and – goings of humans – that our Loving Heavenly Father – has designed the tests of our mortal span – individually – so that we each have the opportunity – to maximize our potential!!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I may be wrong – but – it seems to be taking fewer years – for those of the older generation – to be viewed by the new generations as dinosaurs – and – for them to have their worth become extinct!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I know I am from the old school – but – the propensity to read talks from the pulpit – stimulates a desire for the good old days – when speakers had a few notes – which they used – to lead them through their remarks!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Although – technological advances have aided us in many ways – and – provided us with added comforts – and – advantages – I question – whether making it easier to prepare to read a talk in Church meetings – will in the end be counted as one of them!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is difficult to understand – why there are those – who even when talking about the most positive of principles – present them in a negative way??

Sunday, November 10, 2019

LET YOUR HEARTS BE CALM

I haven’t been able to identify what was so different about this week; nations still threaten and war against nations, populations still suffer because of selfish leaders, men and women still lie and murder to get gain, people are still getting married or living together until it is no longer self- satisfying, the perfecting of character assassination skills continues, leaving one with the feeling of living in a world which is in a rapidly accelerating downward spiral which can only end in destruction, but for some reason it has caused me to have an increase of anxiety about what future we are heading towards.

During those hours when I have had my brow in my hands, wrung those hands, stared out the window without really seeing through the pain of glass or just sitting in a chair in a state of concerned numbness, I have pondered about what advice the well meaning, but totally wrong friends of Job would have pontificated had they been made aware of my thoughts.

I am pretty sure an escape to a very isolated and lonely spot would have been suggested.

Someone surely would have suggested that a moratorium on all forms of news media, including print, audio, electronic or just back fence gossip would solve the problem.

There is no doubt that the suggestion to do some pulling up on my bootstraps would have been proffered.

I am pretty sure if I had been younger one of these well meaning acquaintances would have told me to get in the fray and try to make a difference.


Since the increasing rotations of the sphere spiraling out of control seems to have reached a condition of perpetual motion, I am pretty certain that said friends of Job will continue to come up with ways to bury ones head so deeply in the sand that the noise of the world’s commotion will be stifled, but the looming death, devastation and destruction will continue to become more eminent.

In anticipation of writing this Thought I started reading in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ and was immediately struck with the realization that things have not changed during the last 2,100 years. Men have yet to come close to following the admonition of Paul the ancient Apostle: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

And so the apostles and prophets bring us back to what should occupy our minds, time, and actions. Not the terrors which have and will endlessly roam the earth, but on those characteristics, attributes and perfections which will inch us towards becoming faithful sons and daughters of our Eternally loving, Merciful and Just Heavenly Father. In fact Paul in that same epistle to the Philippians had preceded his list of things we should set our minds and hearts upon with the following promise: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (fears) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 4-7)

We turn back to Him who has called us friends and are forcefully reminded that the solution to living in a telestial world and not filling one’s mind with the carnal, sensual and evil which have always and will always exist in such an abode, is to set one’s mind upon things which are virtuous and praise worthy. Doing so with such diligence and abundance that little time is left for dwelling upon grosser ideas and problems.

We read in chapter 26: 14-16 of the Book of Alma that as Ammon, his brethren and the Anti-Nephi-Lehi converts were fleeing through forests from the Lamanite armies, towards unknown, but hoped for safety, Ammon counsels them to put their minds upon the following thoughts rather than the conflicts and dangers of the world.

Be righteous.

Walk in the ways of the Lord.

Observe to keep His statutes and commandments.

Look forward to the coming of Christ.

Keep the outward performances of the gospel.

Strengthen your faith in Christ.

Retain a hope through faith unto eternal salvation.

Rely on the spirit of prophecy.


As one who has been blessed to spend the majority of his days trying to learn, understand and find the way of the gospel plan, I should have learned long ago that there is plenty and more to learn, think about and strive to inculcate into one’s life, that there is no real need to allow the troubles of this telestial world to become a peace destroying annoyance.

I conclude with the counsel and promise found in Doctrine and Covenants 121: 44-46 which if followed will easily occupy my thoughts for more than a lifetime.

That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

And my heart shall be calm.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, November 9, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is possible – when we are trying to justify our position on a subject – facts may become skewed!!

Friday, November 8, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Coming into contact – with a person who has emerged themselves – deeply into a hobby – or – interest – can end with both positive – and – negative results!!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Following the loosely strung points – some speakers are trying to connect – at time is more difficult – than struggling through a massive corn maize!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

: There are times – when speakers take such a long journey – before they arrive at a point – that many of the listeners have tuned out – because they were lost along the way.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are those – who view most of their life’s events – as trials – while interestingly – others view similar events – as opportunities for growth!!

Monday, November 4, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Those things – which distract us during Church meetings – are usually on the opposite end of the spectrum – from that which the speaker – has prepared – and – is presenting!!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

I WILL MAKE WAR NO MORE, FOREVER

Although it is correct and popular to say such things as ‘We only have one life to live,’ or ‘You only live once,’ as I review my life I find that during my personal ‘only once’ span of mortality I have lived in a constant blur of changing eras.

There was an era of a second war to end all wars and a subsequent short period of peace and recovery needed to prepare for the next conflict. It is interesting that my most vivid memories of that era of my life was watching newsreels about the war and pounding tin cans flat for the war effort.

There was an era of innocence which included a bout with rheumatic fever and frolicking in parks.

There was an era which, when it was going on, was referred to as the fabulous days, but later a television show popularized the name happy days and thus it will always be referred as.

There were eras which shifted in and out during all the eras which were referred to as high fashion days or big or whatever hair days.

There is an era of technology which changes so rapidly that the whole world is in a continual hurry to keep up, but always seems to be one gadget behind.

I don’t know how it happened, but even though we had had two World Wars and from them learned of the tremendous loss which comes from warring, during my life there was an era of the Korean Conflict, an era of the Vietnam War, the Cold War era and an ongoing era of Peace Keeping Operations which resemble wars in every sense of the word.


As I was rereading chapter 24 of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the thought came vividly into my mind, that during my life I have lived in a country which loves peace, but seems to be constantly at war. I am reminded of Red Rider movies from the long ago era of television, where Red Rider, just before wiping out half the population of a county, would proclaim ‘I’m a peaceable man’.

As I evaluate the effect war has had on me during my life there is little doubt that what was going on during the Vietnam war caused me greater trauma than any other bloodletting between nations. I had friends who lost their lives. I had friends who escaped the war by going to Canada. I had friends who were staunchly patriotic. I had friends who joined the anti-war movement. Although I was never what one would call an activist I was somewhat of a mixture between being a patriot and an anti-war advocate. Since I was still a member of the Army Reserves being patriotic had to be part of me, but there were also many tugs which drew me away from worshiping war. As I have been blessed with a prolongation of my days I have definitely seen the viewpoint of being anti-war become a more prevalent philosophical position of my life.

I know it is entirely possible and indeed popular to use The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ as text to justify war.

The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ teaches about war being essential for the protection of family and religion.

The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ teaches that since evil exists and their will be those who conspire to destroy others or put them into subjection, it is always essential to be prepared to protect your own lands and freedoms against such people.


However!

In the afore mentioned chapter 24 of Alma the converted Lamanites who had taken upon themselves the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehies in order to repent of their bloodthirsty past, buried their weapons deep in the earth and took an oath never to take up arms again.

The account of Ammon tells of the test of conviction which came upon them shortly after they had buried their weapons of war. The unconverted Lamanites who were mostly made up of groups which had at one time been Nephites, came upon them and true to their oath they bowed down before the invading army and before the Lamanites (previously Nephites) grew tired of slaying them, some 1,005 had perished.

Some important passages from Alma 24.

1 And it came to pass that the Amalekites and the Amulonites and the Lamanites who were in the land of Amulon, and also in the land of Helam, and who were in the land of Jerusalem, and in fine, in all the land round about, who had not been converted and had not taken upon them the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, were stirred up by the Amalekites and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren.

6 Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.

7 Now, these are the words which he said unto the people concerning the matter: I thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our brethren, the Nephites, unto us to preach unto us, and to convince us of the traditions of our wicked fathers.

10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.

14 And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.

15 Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.

18 And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.

20 And it came to pass that their brethren, the Lamanites, made preparations for war, and came up to the land of Nephi for the purpose of destroying the king, and to place another in his stead, and also of destroying the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi out of the land.

21 Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.

22 And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God.

24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.

25 And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed; and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them.

26 And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved.

27 And there was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people.

28 Now the greatest number of those of the Lamanites who slew so many of their brethren were Amalekites and Amulonites, the greatest number of whom were after the order of the Nehors.


To those who believe in the blessings of our next stage of existence the lost of mortal life has little significance when one has an eternal perspective.

I recognize the uniqueness of this story, but it reminds me of when the Lord said it was the Peace Makers who would be blessed.

Although the radical anti-war movement never moved me from my Uniformed patriotism, I was moved by the words of Carl Sandberg from his book The People Yes, ‘Sometime they will give a war and nobody will come.

It is also of note that with all the justifications of war because of protection for family, the end of the wars in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ is the utter death, desolation and destruction of a nation.

It seems that Isaiah foresaw a different ending for the era of the Latter Days when he foretold the following; And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Isaiah 2: 2-4)

Just as Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt or Hinmatóowyalahtq̓it, popularly known as Chief Joseph, Young Joseph, or Joseph the Younger the great leader of the of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce proclaimed ‘I will make no war, forever’, I pray the day will come when the children of the Universal Heavenly Father will come to be so converted that we will likewise go and make no war, forever.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, November 2, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Being flexible – is only appropriate – if it doesn’t stop us – from developing good habits!!

Friday, November 1, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Habits are only helpful – if they don’t prevent us – from being flexible – or – cause us to stagnate!!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The Lord’s mercy – often comes in moments of need – from unexpected sources!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There may come a time – when it feels as if a master switch has been turned off – when you no longer have a need – or – maybe you no longer have a desire – to make contributions in classes!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If we are not careful – during our golden years – we could become overcome with sadness – when we realize our thoughts – are no longer viewed – as being precious!

Monday, October 28, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Directions for our personal advancement – which come by the whisperings of the Holy Spirit – usually only come – as a result – or our having initiated the conversation – through prayer!!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

TRUE CONVERSION

As we continue reading the remarkable account of Ammon and his brother’s missionary work among the Lamanites we find the following account of the conversion of the children of Lehi who had previously referred to themselves as Lamanites, but now took upon themselves the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehies (Alma 23: 17).

And now it came to pass that when the king had sent forth this proclamation, that Aaron and his brethren went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another, establishing churches, and consecrating priests and teachers throughout the land among the Lamanites, to preach and to teach the word of God among them; and thus they began to have great success.

And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea, thousands were brought to believe in the traditions of the Nephites; and they were taught the records and prophecies which were handed down even to the present time.

And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.

For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.

Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord:
(Alma 23: 4-8)

Having had the experience of witnessing many people bear testimony of knowing the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus the Christ and thereafter falling away, it makes me marvel that this vast community of Anti-Nephi-Lehies, in spite of having many trials pressed down upon them, never wavered in their conviction.

The great difference between the converts I have observed during my life and that of the Lamanite converts who lived in what are now called the Americas during the last century before the birth of the Savior, has brought into my mind many ponderings about why this difference exists.

It seems we can rule out, since the basic gospel message has remained unchanged and the Holy Spirit continues to fulfill His office as the Testator, people in all dispensations should have equal opportunity of once having received an understanding of the truth, being able to remain strong in their faith.

If the Lord has promised never to test us beyond our ability to resist, are peoples of different times subjected to different levels of temptation, or do they have different levels of ability to resist?

Is it possible that the expectancy level of obedience the Lord places on different generations is not a constant?

Why do children of seemingly faithful parents not grasp the principles of truth to the same degree?

Why do any of us seem to frequently vacillate in the degree of conviction to the principle of the Gospel?


I recently received a response to one of my Thoughts from a dear friend and mentor which I think could be helpful as we ponder the phenomena of unequal conversions.

In this transient life we make choices and decisions, but we do so with at best a confused and muddled understanding; a confused and dim picture dependent on the influences around us.

To the extent that men (and women) who influence us are right, and to the extent that our interpretations and discernment affords us true grasp of what they teach us, then our choices MAY be right. Not completely right because between the receiving of revelation (or insight for that matter), the intellectual grasp of a message from the infinite, the conversion of the message into human language, the transmission of that message to another whose personal use and grasp of language differ from the prophets (or another person’s) and the actuation of that message, it will of necessity become altered.

The reception of a message from a prophet is not equivalent to a message to a prophet.

Having received much input from others and from God’s spirit from His world, we exercise our agency, make decisions and commitments; then we die.

We, in life, have seen through a glass darkly, but then face to face.

Now, at last, how would one say, how could I say that, knowing that indeed God is God, not only great but Infinite, could anyone possibly continually make such a self destructive choice?

Agency persists however. With agency, there must be consequences.
(Paul Maddox)

And therein we find many answers to our quandaries.

Because of Agency it is absolutely certain that the consequences of choices will result in vast differences of conversion durability and quality.

Because of the consequences which attend agency we need not fear about eternal absolute justice.

Because of Agency we will always be amiss in trying to make dispensational or individual comparisons.

Because we now walk inside of the glass darkly, the total understanding of the mysterious dispensational work of Heavenly Father with His children will have to wait until that Eternal day when we become children of the light.


Since my personal struggle with the process of remaining constant, committed and converted to those things I have born witness of is ongoing and the inspirational informational input seems endless, it would be well for me to allow my neighbor the privacy of their personal journey in a world operated and sustained by the Divine principle of Agency,


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE


Saturday, October 26, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Expecting all people – to experience spiritual manifestations – in the same way – or – from the same stimuli – is far from realistic!!

Friday, October 25, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

When the Lord has called you – to be one of His instruments – and – given you a stewardship – which could have an effect on the lives of others – the Holy Spirit will awaken your mind – and – make sure you receive the inspired instructions – necessary to guide those you have been called to serve!!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Mortal tests – and – trials – are not always a result – of our personal use of Agency!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Readiness to accept an invitation – to come unto Christ – depends almost entirely on the preparedness – of the invitee – to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – not on the talents – or – abilities of the inviter!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

When others reject our invitation – to come unto Christ – it is not a condemnation of our efforts – but their – proper use of the law of Agency!!

Monday, October 21, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Even the most devout – those who try to hold tightly to the rod – and – those who stay steadfast on the path of righteousness – will occasionally – lose their hand grip – or – stumble off of the path!!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

COMING UNTO JESUS THE CHRIST

I had barely read the introduction to chapter 19 of the Book of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ when my mind diverted my attention from the page and I started down a pondering detour about the variety of paths which I have observed people taking on their journey of coming unto Jesus the Christ.

I have known many whom I always identify in the catalogue of my mind as those who are ‘born with believing spirits’. From their earliest recollections they have always believed in the existence of God. This gift never seemed to vary even though their personal journey through the religions of the world may have taken many twists and turns. Some of those in this category are born into families which are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are many others who come to be members of that church later in life, but their faith in God did not begin with that affiliation. There are some who never become acquainted with the restored gospel and even may have an alternate name for their deity, but retain a lifelong belief and never doubt the existence of God.

Another listing in my mind’s catalogue might be titled ‘life altering events converts’. These are they who usually have little interest one way or another in religion or the existence of God, but because of one of many different but spectacular events, they were put on a wondering journey about the purpose of life and a curiosity about the existence of a higher power. These events include the death of a loved one, a personal physical or emotional affliction, a dramatic loss of wealth, work status, honor and prestige, a change in family or marriage along with a myriad of other sudden changes which come upon mankind. I have noticed that if some action such as scriptural study or affiliation with some religious organization does not quickly follow the life altering event, the moment seems to be lost and those belonging to this group return to their former comfort zone or even become condemning of a deity they don’t believe in.

The next group which I see in my mind’s catalogue would best be titled ‘divine intervention converts’. Although many of those in this category seem to be those who were chosen before the foundation of the world to be the Lord’s prophets and leaders, I have witnessed that there are those who tend but a small corner in the Lord’s vineyard who may also have come unto to Jesus the Christ because of some sort of divine intervention. For every Moses and the Burning Bush, there are thousands whom God has touched in such a way that they spend their lives nurturing little children. For every Paul on the road to Damascus, there are thousands whom God has touched in such a way that they spend nights sleeping on hard ground dedicated to teaching sons and daughters important skills of life. For every Joseph in the Sacred Grove, there are thousands whom God has touched in such a way that they minister by giving of their lives and talents so that others are helped in their journey of coming unto Jesus the Christ. For every Mother Teresa in the streets of Calcutta, there are thousand whom God has touched in such a way that they endlessly kneel beside the afflicted and hold the hands of the sorrowing.

The group which probably has the largest population in my cataloguing of those who have come unto Jesus the Christ is the ‘believers on those who believe’ group. The group upon which this group put their foundation of belief is almost as large as the group itself. They may have built their belief upon the belief of a parent or a missionary or a friend, or a church leader or a Prophet or an Apostle etc. One thing we know for sure about this group is that if they don’t pay the price to build upon whatever stones make up their foundation by personal study and prayer they will shortly be found wandering and become one of the lost sheep.

There is one last group I want to reveal from the list in my mind, which could actually be categorized as one or two groups. The title I have given to this group is the ‘line upon line group’. The reason I identify two groups in this category is that some line upon liner’s are ones who simply want to continue to build by searching for a new stone to add to their library of belief, while others in this group when they find a new stone must first examine it in great detail before they cautiously add it to their library of belief. It is interesting that the two groups often find some fault with each others journey. The first group never understands why anyone would ever question or doubt a doctrine or principle, whereas, the second group has difficulty with the blindness and lack of understanding with which the first group accepts every word. I have a personal belief that no matter how our journey of coming unto Jesus the Christ begins all of us must become line upon liner’s if we are to have hope of enduring.


Returning to chapter 19 of the Book of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ and rereading the conversion stories of King Lamoni, his wife and one of the servants of the King named Abish we are reminded of the many mysterious ways in which the work and glory of Heavenly Father takes place during the process of His children coming unto Jesus the Christ.

King Lamoni is so overcome by the Spirit that he is presumed to be dead.

His wife is so impressed with Ammon that she recognizes him as a holy prophet of God.

Ammon bears witness of the conversion which is taking place with King Lamoni and of the cloud of darkness which is being removed.

King Lamoni has a vision of his Redeemer who will redeem all mankind.

Abish was converted to God because of the belief she had in a vision her father had received.

Abish recognized that what was happening was due to the power of God.

Ammon teaches the word and all who hears him are converted.

The people undergo a change in their hearts where they no longer have desire to do evil.


Although there are many who resist the invitation to come unto Jesus the Christ and even those who, once having grasped the rod lose their grip and turn away, Alma’s closing words in this chapter should always be remembered.

The Spirit of the Lord is poured out upon all of Heavenly Father’s children.

The Lord’s arm is extended to all of Heavenly Father’s people.

All of Heavenly Father’s children have need to believe on the name of Jesus the Christ and to repent.


As I come to the end of my pondering stimulated by this wonderful chapter in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ I feel impressed to include the following thoughts.

Like all the other differences which make us who we are as individuals, the path which we take in our journey as we strive to come unto Jesus the Christ will be unique.

We should never be intimidated nor feel inferior because our personal journey of belief seems less spectacular than that of a neighbor.

We should be confident that our Heavenly Father knows each of His children and therefore knows the stepping stones to put in their path to help them on their journey of coming unto Jesus the Christ.

We should avoid losing hope or condemning the path others may be taking in their journey of coming unto Jesus the Christ.

We must avoid in every way becoming a stumbling block to someone else’s journey.

We must gain the confidence that the Lord will bless us with the Holy Spirit to guide us in our journey.


I end this thought with a sincere prayer that each us will be led in such a way that our journey of coming unto Jesus the Christ will be full of the stepping stones which aid our personal conversion pattern.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, October 19, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The expression – ‘the show must go on’ – was undoubtedly uttered – by singers who never suffered laryngitis – or – dancers who have never suffered a broken leg!!

Friday, October 18, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It would be well to learn – confessions of sins – should be a private matter – and – hallowed as a personal privilege!!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It would be well to learn – public confession of sins – should never be – part of the repentance process!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Even though it is often taught – that the Mercy of God cannot rob Justice – it is also true – that the Mercy of God is unrestrained – and – that the Justice of God is always Merciful!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If we have ever questioned – whether the Mercy – and – Grace of God – will be withheld – from any of Heavenly Father’s children – we yet lack an understanding of the depth of His universal Love!!

Monday, October 14, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Jesus the Christ – although being sinless – had to go through the learning experience of the Atonement – where – He suffered for our sins – He vicariously came to know all sin – thereby adding to His perfection – of coming to know all things!!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

SHEPHERDS AND MISSIONARIES

After Ammon separates from his brothers he enters into a portion of the Land of the Lamanites called the Land of Ismael which is ruled over by the son of the King of the Lamanites named Lamoni. (Alma 18)

Ammon’s personal mission report begins by relating a story of how he becomes a servant to Lamoni, is sent out to assist in guarding the king’s sheep and ends up disarming the thieves who attempt to scatter the flocks and steal them.

Three thoughts immediately entered my mind as I was reading once again these wondrous events which transpired at the beginning of his mission. First, all the young boys who are working their way through The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ for the first time are suddenly very attentive to what they are reading. Second, the line we used to use in Reno when slot machines had an arm which was pulled about this being the origin of one armed bandits, probably wouldn’t be understood by the present generation who are only acquainted with slot machines which have buttons to push. And third, is one of the reasons missionaries try to include something harrowing when they report their missions is because Ammon included this fantastic example?

Anyway, regardless of our own feelings about what took place at the beginning of Ammon’s mission, what happened as a result borders on the miraculous.

Lamoni is astonished at the physical power of Ammon.

Lamoni is amazed that Ammon has the power to discern his thoughts.

Lamoni begins to wonder if Ammon is the Great Spirit.

Lamoni is chagrined about having sent the Great Spirit to prepare the horses and chariot for a journey.

Lamoni becomes humble and teachable.


Although the names, events and places may change the process of becoming humble and teachable which leads to coming unto God always seem to remain the same.

An individual must come to the understanding that no matter how powerful they might be or what honor may have been bestowed upon them there exists a power greater than they are.

A person must come to the understanding that Heavenly Father calls and sets apart individuals to be shepherds.

A person must recognize that their understanding is elementary and that there is much more they do not understand.

A person must become sufficiently humble to accept the teachings brought to them by one of the Lord’s shepherds.


Anyone who has had the privilege of being called to tend a portion of the Lord’s flocks, quickly understands that of the components which exist in the dynamics of missionary work; the readiness of the person being taught, the provider of the word and the Holy Spirit, the least dynamic of these elements is the provider of the word.

No matter how prepared and learned the provider of the word is if the listener is not humbly prepared to be taught or if the Holy Spirit is not allowed to testify of the truthfulness of the words conversion will not happen.

Once all these components were in place Lamoni was ready to accept the words Ammon would teach and Ammon was able to begin to teach with boldness starting where Lamoni’s understanding was and then expanding that knowledge.

Ammon taught Lamoni that the Great Spirit he believed in was the very God who dwells in Heaven and who knows the thoughts and intents of all our hearts.

Ammon taught Lamoni about man being created in the image of God.

Ammon taught Lamoni that we come to know the truth when we are called to teach by the Holy Spirit and it is by that same Holy Spirit that we can come to know that which is just and true.

Ammon taught Lamoni about the creation of Adam and Eve and the fall of man from the presence of God.

Ammon taught Lamoni the words of the prophets from the holy scriptures.

Ammon taught Lamoni about the causes of the separation of the children of Lehi.

Ammon taught Lamoni the Plan of Redemption

Lamoni feels and understands the mercy of God.


Just as missionaries throughout the ages are very familiar with the process Ammon describes in Lamoni’s coming unto Christ and although the conversions we may witness during our lives may not be as dramatic and end as climatic as that of Lamoni’s the essential components and progression will seldom vary from the pattern found in this account.

I am impressed to emphasize one last time the absolute necessity of the readiness of the listener and the manifestation of the truth through the Holy Spirit, lest for some reason we fall into the trap of thinking our part was of great importance. All we need to remind us of our place is to reread the results of Moses taking credit for bringing water to the Israelites or David overvaluing his importance.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PLAN + PREPARE + DO + HUGS + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + INTEGRITY + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, October 12, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I wonder when we are counting our blessings – if we should express our gratefulness for those who have helped us – become stronger in faith – love more abundantly – find joy in living peacefully – along with many other positive emotions – and – feelings??

Friday, October 11, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We must be careful – that our tolerance level – does not rise so high – that it drowns our ability to distinguish – right from wrong!!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are times – when the words we use in the church – cause confusion – when used in context – or – situations – outside of the church!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Once we start expressing our gratefulness – for our blessings – we will probably discover – more and more – how abundantly we have been blessed!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

When our mountain of stuff – becomes so abundant – that worrying about it – hampers our happiness – it may definitely be time – to eliminate some of our things!!

Monday, October 7, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Since the seeds we plant – grow into the same type of plant – from which they came – why would we spend our days – sowing seeds of contention – and – hate??

Sunday, October 6, 2019

SENT FORTH TO TEACH

There is no doubt every time I come to chapter 17 of the Book of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ my body has a jolt of pleasantness pass through it because of the anticipation of the joyful journey I will be taking as I search the mission report of Ammon, Aaron, Omni and Himni which is recorded in the next 10 chapters.

As I begin reading I am once again reminded of the great opportunity I missed by not using the example of these sons of King Mosiah as a powerful teaching moment when Kathleen and I had the privilege of serving as the leaders of the Colombia Bogota North mission.

If I could have another chance at teaching during one of those zone conferences I would use verses 2-18 of chapter 17 to teach the missionaries the following qualities which qualify us to go forth as one of the Lord’s missionaries:

Willing to forsake all (for these sons this included not becoming King)

Prepared themselves with the necessities of keeping safe

Inspired to go unto the Lamanites who lacked any understanding of the gospel

Went forth with the desire to bring the Lamanites unto redemption through repentance

Knew they were instruments in the hands of God

Were comforted by the Spirit

Finding joy in being in the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Lord

Diligently search the scripture to come to know the word of God

Giving oneself up to much prayer and fasting

Gaining the spirit of prophecy

Gaining the spirit of revelation

Teaching with power through the authority of God

Taught by example as well as the word

Were patient trusting in the Lord

Accepted long-suffering as part of their commission

Were endowed with courage

Were blessed and sent forth by one having authority (Ammon)


With hind sight being the ever great teacher, as I review the concepts just stated I would have had material for several Zone Conferences.

In the beginning of his book Teach Ye Diligently on pages two and three Elder Boyd K. Packer makes the following observations about members of the church and teaching:

Every member of the Church teaches virtually their whole lifetime

Whenever we are expounding on any doctrine in any place we are teaching

All who serve beginning with the Prophet of the Lord teach

The Church goes forward sustained by the power of the teaching that is accomplished


As he concludes his book Elder Packer, invokes the following blessings of God, given in the name of Him who died that we might live, the Son of God , the Redeemer of the world, Jesus the Christ, upon all who teach:

That He will quicken your understanding

That He will increase your wisdom

That He will enlighten you by experience

That He will bestow upon you patience

That He will bestow upon you charity

That He will endow you with the discernment of spirits

That He will give you entrance into the hearts of those who hear your words

That He will give you the knowledge that when you are in those hearts you stand in holy places

That He will give you the skill and power to teach righteousness

That He will give you the ability to foster in others the desire to grow greater every day

That He will bless you that your faith and testimonies increase


I add a few thoughts of my own which I hope will help us all to understand, when all is said and done, it is really impossible for us to escape being teachers:

I am teaching when I show joy through smiles

I am teaching when I show skills through demonstration

I am teaching when I show service through example

I am teaching when I show respect though reverence

I am teaching when I show faith through obedience

I am teaching when I show duty through diligence

I am teaching when I show love through caring and serving


There is little doubt that we have been given sufficient instructions, examples, blessings and understanding to enlighten us with the knowledge that it will never be a matter of whether we will be teaching during our lives, the question is what and how will we teach.

May the Lord bless us continually that we will have His Holy Spirit to guide, inspire and aid us in our daily walk of being teachers.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

THINK + PREPARE + DO + PEACE + JOY + LOVE + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, October 5, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

During the passing of a year – we will see – hear – and – use many symbols as we celebrate special days – happily – most of us have learned – and carry in our hearts – personal – and – special meanings for those symbols!!

Friday, October 4, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

During the passing of a year – we will see – hear – and – use many symbols as we celebrate special days – sadly – for most of us the original meaning for most of those symbols – was long ago forgotten – or – never known!!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The reason for using symbols when teaching – is to allow the student – to individually interpret the meaning – of the symbol as it applies to their lives!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

When we are taught one meaning of a symbol – it will probably limit – our ability to discover – additional meanings for that symbol – which might have added significantly – to our growth – and – understanding!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Symbols – lose their significance – when the original meaning – is corrupted – or – forgotten!!

Monday, September 30, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If you have already determined – the answer to a question – it will always make – any contrary answer you are given – more difficult to accept!!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

NEIGHBORS

In chapter 16 of the Book of Alma we read that the Lamanites invaded the lands of the Nephites, and either ironically or justifiably destroyed the city of Ammonihah. Ironic because of the commonality of beliefs the Lamanites shared with the peoples of Ammonihah and justified because the people of Ammonihah had thrown the converts to the truth among them into a fiery pit. Peace was quickly restored under the leadership of Zoram and Alma and Amulek were able to resume their mission.

And Alma and Amulek went forth preaching repentance to the people in their temples, and in their sanctuaries, and also in their synagogues, which were built after the manner of the Jews. And as many as would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, without any respect of persons, continually.

And thus did Alma and Amulek go forth, and also many more who had been chosen for the work, to preach the word throughout all the land. And the establishment of the church became general throughout the land, in all the region round about, among all the people of the Nephites.

And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—

That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.

Now those who did go forth among the people did preach against all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and malice, and revilings, and stealing, robbing, plundering, murdering, committing adultery, and all manner of lasciviousness, crying that these things ought not so to be.


And now after the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God being preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord pouring out his blessings upon the people—thus ended the fourteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
(Alma 16: 13-18, 21)

While reading about the profound success Alma, Amulek and all the others who were called to preach unto the Nephites during those early years of the reign of the judges and their unbelievable success (even though it only lasted for a brief span of years), I was moved to ponder about how infrequently such profound results occur.

Because their missionary efforts resulted in the church being established throughout the land and blessings of the Lord being poured out upon the people, an evaluation of the message which Alma, Amulek and others preached in its purity unto the Nephites is definitely merited.

They were to preach repentance.

They were to preach without any respect of persons.

They taught that if there was no inequality among them the Spirit of the Lord would be poured out upon the face of the land.

They taught that the result of unbelief in the word would be destruction.

They taught that those who received the word with joy would enter into the rest of the Lord.

They taught about all the negative characteristics which needed to be eliminated from their daily walks.


During an earlier phase of my life I was able to enjoy a number of fascinating speeches at Brigham Young University. The speakers were not given any other indicators of what to speak on other than if this were to be their ‘Last Sermon’ what would they say.

My pondering upon the words of Alma and having been reminded of the wonderful messages I heard during those ‘Last Sermon’ lectures I was moved to wonder what my own last sermon might be. (I also immediately had the thought pass through my mind, I hope these will not be my last words).

A potential outlined of my ‘Last Sermon’:

Coming to understand that one of the major points of the Savior’s Good Samaritan parable was that we were not to put qualifiers upon who is our neighbor, but we were to become a neighbor after the manner of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus the Christ demonstrated the characteristic of the Good Samaritan neighbor through His Atonement which was lovingly ministered to all.

It will be through conversion to the universality of the kinship of mankind that we overcome the familial dysfunctions which plague the world.

We will only become converted to the universality of the kinship of mankind when we allow the Spirit of the Lord to awaken a remembrance of the days when we listened together at the feet of our Heavenly Father.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate lying and deceiving from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate envying and prejudice from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate strife and criticism from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate malice and hatred from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate reviling and bearing false witness from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate lying and deceiving from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate stealing and robbing from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate plundering and murder from our relationships.

If I truly believe everyone is my brother and sister it will be easier for us to eliminate adultery and lasciviousness from our relationships.

If my relationships with my brothers and sisters are no longer plagued by these negative characteristics it will be easier for us to act peacefully with one another.

If my relationships with my brothers and sisters are no longer plagued by these negative characteristics it will be easier for us to act lovingly toward one another.

If my relationships with my brothers and sisters are no longer plagued by these negative characteristics it will be easier for us to universally minister to our neighbors.

My prayer this day and always is that we will all be moved to become the neighbor who understands the universal kinship of mankind and try to emulate the example of He who is the Good Samaritan neighbor to all.



THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

PEACE + JOY + LOVE + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, September 28, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Every answer to every question – seems to give birth – to a multitude of offspring!!

Friday, September 27, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is dangerous – to become so comfortable in the blessings you have received – that you feel you – no longer have need of further blessings!!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It could be stated – that every revelation – received by Joseph Smith during his life – was another answer to the question he asked in the Sacred Grove!! – which was – If any of the churches are true??

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Whether we are asked to serve – or – if we seek someone to serve – it all counts on the ledger – of having been in the service of God!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The most important service – at any moment – will always be – the one that fills a neighbor’s need!!

Monday, September 23, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Asking what kind of service – is greater than another – is probably a question – based on very limited understanding!!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

HAPPINESS

I started preparing to write a Thought this morning by reading in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma, chapters 14 and 15. These chapters contain Alma’s report of the final days of his mission and the events which transpired as he ministered with his companion Amulek in various cities of the Nephites.

As is usually the case when I read or hear the words of missionaries reporting on the wonderful changes which happen in the lives of Heavenly Father’s children when they become converted to living the principles of the Plan of Happiness, it wasn’t very long before my mind started to reflect on the personal journey I have been taking while attempting to inculcate the principles of the Plan of Happiness as part of my being.

When I was a child

I am not one of those who has the ability to recall in vivid detail the early years of mortality, but what I do remember of this period of my life is that my personal happiness was a paramount quest of every day.

As I reflect back my goal was probably the right one, but my understanding of what constituted happiness was very convoluted.

Happiness was: Having my wants and desires met by others quickly with no questions or discussion required.

Happiness was: Having a minimum of chores to do which left the majority of each day’s hours for my personal fun and adventure.

Happiness was: Eating what I liked and never having to worry about what it was doing to my body.

Happiness was: I will just conclude this section by saying that when I was a child, happiness was all about me!


When I was a teen

The events of my life during this period come to me in less of a fog and many of them I can still see with great clarity in my mind’s eye.

There is little doubt that I carried many of the thoughts about what constituted happiness from my child period of mortality into my teen period, but I also know that there were some additional understandings of what happiness is which began to enter into my evaluation of that state of being.

Happiness was also: A feeling I got when I could tell I had contributed to one of my family or friends having happy feelings.

Happiness was also: The way I felt when I was able to share or give even if my own wants had not yet been satisfied.

Happiness was also: Finding satisfaction when my father told me I had done a good job of mowing the lawn or weeding the flower beds. I am not sure if I ever felt this happiness when doing the dishes or vacuuming the carpets.

Happiness was also: Coming to the realization that real happiness only comes when it is a shared condition, happiness is really about us.


When I was maturing

During the last two teen years of my life two very significant events happened which abruptly altered the way I viewed what it meant to be happy. The first was the day after graduating from High School I was on a bus to Fort Ord, California, to spend six months doing basic army training, being trained as a clerk typist for the army and working as a clerk typist in a basic training unit. Upon returning home and after wasting a couple of semesters at Santa Ana Junior College, the second life altering event happened. I was called to be a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to serve in the Northern Mexico Mission.

During the first of these two life altering events of my life my understanding of happiness was altered in the following ways.

My understanding of happiness included: Having a regimented and scheduled, orderly life.

My understanding of happiness included: Knowing that rules and regulations are beneficial and can be life saving.

My understanding of happiness included: Knowing that there are many ways of being taught the lesson that following commands should be done expeditiously and immediately to the best of one’s ability.

My understanding of happiness included: Coming to understand that following commands and directions was a good thing, happiness is really about obedience.


During the Second of these two life altering events of my life my understanding of happiness was altered in the following ways.

My understanding of happiness included: The real beginning of my journey of having faith in Jesus Christ and that His gospel is the true pathway to happiness.

My understanding of happiness included: The depths of feelings which can come when your ministerings have aided a sister or brother in their own quest for happiness.

My understanding of happiness included: The wonders which accompany witnessing the changes and happiness which come to those who choose to follow Heavenly Father’s Plan.

My understanding of happiness included: The path that one is walking upon will ultimately be the determining factor in our degree of happiness, happiness is really about faith in the Lord Jesus the Christ.


As I have spent my days working and wearing out my body

Although, as I begin my ninth decade of life I am still going through the process of maturing. I also recognize that those post mission decades have included some other interesting shifts in my understandings of what constitutes the true state of happiness.

Eternal happiness comes because: You find the one who accepts your invitation to join in the work and in the process of changing me and thee into everlasting we.

Eternal happiness comes because: You are given the privilege of being appointed to labor in various corners of the Lord’s vineyard.

Eternal happiness comes because: The Lord opens the gates of laboring in many different types of ministries in His Kingdom.

Eternal happiness comes because: As you come to the understanding that since the body and the spirit have a symbiotic relationship, if you allow your body to occupy your efforts towards perfection you will be burdened with thoughts and actions of always trying to overcome some telestial failing.

Eternal happiness comes because: As you come to the understanding that since the spirit and the body have a symbiotic relationship, if you allow you spirit to occupy your efforts towards perfection you will be occupied with thoughts and actions of always trying to put on an attribute or characteristic of Godliness.

Eternal happiness comes because: Just as the Law of Moses was a school master to bring us unto Christ, overcoming the telestial yearnings of the body are but a prelude to desiring to become like your Heavenly Father.

Eternal happiness comes because: As the ancient Apostle John declared, God is Love. Therefore, our achieving everlasting happiness is dependent upon our becoming creatures of love..


I will not burden you with an account of all the reasons I was prompted to write this Thought for a Sabbath Day, but let it suffice me to say, that as I continue in my hobby of people watching I am struck with the view of the many paths we take trying to fulfill our desire to be happy, while ignoring the one path which has been plainly marked by our loving Savior Jesus the Christ.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

PEACE + JOY + LOVE + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, September 21, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If vain is the same as nothing – how can we overcome vanity??

Friday, September 20, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If all who were burdened with pride – were to be stripped of that weighty costume – there would be a lot of nude people – walking around!!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If jealousy – or – pride – keep us from gleaning knowledge – from one another – we have added an additional curse – upon our heads!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If everyone were to return – to the land of their origins – all of the earth’s inhabitants – would be crowded into a small portion – of the earth’s surface!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I don’t think – there would be many volunteers – if we were given the choice – to return to the lands of our ancestors!!

Monday, September 16, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I don’t think – there would be many volunteers – if we were given the choice – to return to the good old days!!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

UNTO EVERY NATION, TONGUE AND PEOPLE

Yea, and the voice of the Lord, by the mouth of angels, doth declare it unto all nations; yea, doth declare it, that they may have glad tidings of great joy; yea, and he doth sound these glad tidings among all his people, yea, even to them that are scattered abroad upon the face of the earth; wherefore they have come unto us.

And they are made known unto us in plain terms, that we may understand, that we cannot err; and this because of our being wanderers in a strange land; therefore, we are thus highly favored, for we have these glad tidings declared unto us in all parts of our vineyard.

For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.
(Alma 13: 22-24)

There is no doubt that as my days have lengthened it is true that I have, as some have accused me, become more and more (Paul-E-Anaish) as my belief in a God of love and mercy has dramatically increased and my rejection of a god of fear and retribution has all but been eliminated. In spite of what others might think, I personally prefer to believe that the gospel or the good news has softened my heart and broadened my hope for myself and my brothers and sisters whose sojourn upon this earth was of but a few or of numerous days.

I have spent many hours pondering: what seems to me to be an unequal distribution of the words of angels given to just and holy messengers (Alma 13: 26) who declare these glad tidings among Heavenly Fathers children.

I have spent many hours pondering: if in fact all nations have equally received the plain truths brought forth by angels, why was it necessary for Jesus the Christ after His resurrection to go and preach and institute the great missionary work among those in Spirit Prison who had perished at the time of Noah.

I have spent many hours pondering: why, if the gospel is equally available in every strange land, latter-day prophets talk of anxiously anticipating the day when they can participate in the great missionary work being done among those who have left mortality.

I have spent many hours pondering: if the fullness of the Savior’s Atoning Sacrifice covered not only those who had had their hearts prepared and who had received the word, but also those who were too innocent to be held responsible, along with those who were covered in the cloak of ignorance and I have even pondered about those who fall into the category of being deceived through the craftiness of men.

I have spent many hours pondering: while doing sealings for children and couples on both sides of the veil whether their worthiness for receiving the blessings being pronounced were initiated by angels during mortality or while they were learning in the Post Mortal Spirit World.

I have spent many hours pondering; why even among those peoples who have been highly favored in that they have heard just and holy messengers declare the words they have received of angels, do they continue to error and do not come to an unified understanding of the truth, but contend over the word.


Although I do not even pretend to have eternal definitive understanding of God’s knowledge of my ponderings, I do find I like the person I have become, who in his porch sitting days, has become far less likely to point the finger at his neighbor’s faults and far more likely to feel compassion for their cause and broader in my desire to understand their plights.

I have come to a deep conviction that Alma’s proclamation that every soul will hear the words of gospel sung by angels and delivered by just and holy messengers can only happen to every nation, tongue and people if we include all the phases of our existence.

As we learn in Alma’s concluding words in this 13th chapter of his writings, no matter when or by whom we receive the gospel there are requirements which come upon us if we are going to receive the promised blessings.

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; 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; 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.


As I read these closing words of Alma:

I am filled with Joy that I have had the privilege of being among those unto whom much has been given during my physical probationary period.

I am grateful that I have felt an increase of the promises made to those who watch and pray that they will be led by the Holy Spirit, helping them to an increase of humility, meekness, submissiveness, patience, love and long suffering.

Although I have little hope in my ability to gain perfection and completeness in these attributes while in my mortal body, I have faith that I will have the help of angels and messengers in the Spirit World for ages after I am no longer sitting and swinging on the porch.

I daily become more convinced that the last day spoken of by Alma is that time when the Lord declares our probationary time finished not by some arbitrary change from one phase of our existence into another, whether we refer to it as a death from our pre-mortal state to life in our mortal state or death from our mortal state unto being born unto eternal life, we will continue to hear, understand and strive to perfect His word in us until He says it is finished.


I pray the Lord will bless us to do now those things we know to do, search to know what more we can know and have sufficient charity to allow all our brothers and sisters to labor in the vineyard they have been given until we unitedly are laboring once again in the vineyard of the Lord.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

PEACE + JOY + LOVE + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE

Saturday, September 14, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Cultural changes – always seem easy – to those who never have to make them!!

Friday, September 13, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Smart phones – never exceed the abilities – of their users!!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Just because I may have allowed an action – to become a habit – does not mean – I need to give it a permanent status – as part of my being!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I have wondered – which would be easier – or – more difficult – depending upon one’s perspective – becoming an empty nester – having children who never leave home – o – having children return home after having left??

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Fathers – and – mothers are often surprised – to discover – that parenting doesn’t end when they become empty nesters!!

Monday, September 9, 2019

LIFE'S LESSON LEARNED!!

Becoming empty nesters – may be the final test – of a couple’s compatibility!!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

PRIESTHOOD HELPMEETS

During my life I have gone from being a determined goal setter, to being a casual goal setter and finally arriving at the blissful non goal setting stage of my life.

Some years ago, maybe in the year 1962 when I was still a determined goal setter, I set the lofty goal of earning a Doctorate degree. The goal was lofty since my pre mission college experience was far from stellar. In fact, because of my total lack of dedication to being anything near a student I was barely able to recover my grade point average just in time to qualify to enter the program for my masters degree.

The reasons for my effectiveness as a student are not difficult to understand. Serving a mission in Northern Mexico had changed my attitude about the process of study from negative to positive, but the main reason the results in my classes went from ‘unauthorized withdrawal’, C’s and an occasional A in such non academic classes as volleyball to multiple A’s, is that Kathleen N. Wootton agreed to become my eternal companion.

From 1962 – 1977 while she was giving birth to 6 children, taking on the major part of caring and nurturing them, moving eight different times and going through a major social economic shift when I changed from being a journeyman lather to a full time CES seminary teacher and Institute teacher/director, she managed to help me acquire bachelors, masters and doctors degrees from Brigham Young University. The word help is very inadequate in describing the contributions she made to the obtaining of those degrees. I would have to make this a two part Thought if I were to attempt to exhaust the list of the ways she supported these achievements while working on her own goals.

These background paragraphs are necessary if you are going to understand what verses 1 – 9 of chapter 13 of the Book of Alma mean to me personally and hopefully will give the readers something to ponder on this Sabbath Day.

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption.

And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.

And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared—And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest—This high priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things—Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end—Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.


If you understood the extreme change which I underwent concerning goal setting, you will not be surprised as I attempt to explain the profound difference my understanding of priesthood is as I begin my ninth decade of mortality from what it was when I was ordained a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood.

I don’t think it would be all that beneficial to reveal the understandings I had as a 12 year old boy, so I will spend the remainder of this Thought trying to manifest where I am today in my understanding of what priesthood is.

I beg your forgiveness if I seem to ramble as I present the following concepts.

I know there was a reason Alma spoke the words he did, at the time he spoke them, and to the audience he was addressing, but the blaring absence of any mention of women while talking about the principle of foreordained eternal priesthood and the significance of them pertaining to mortals would be as much of a glaring misrepresentation as if I were to try to convince someone that I achieved those college degrees without the support and aid of Kathleen.

When Adam and Eve were sealed by Heavenly Father in the Garden of Eden, He pronounced Eve to be the helpmeet of Adam. He could have just as easily pronounced Adam to be the helpmeet of Eve, because the original meaning of the word was ‘the other half of a whole’. From the very beginning both Eve and Adam were given the understanding that neither could become complete nor perfect without the other.

Paul declared that ‘neither was the man without the women, nor the women without the man in the resurrection’. One of the reasons the sacred name Elohim is expressed in the plural rather than the singular Eli, is that the revealed word teaches us that Heavenly Father cannot be God without Heavenly Mother, nor can Heavenly Mother be God without Heavenly Father. We revere our Eternal Mother and desire to honor Her, but because we do not want Her name to be made common among the children of men in the same way other references to Deity have been made ordinary, we obediently refrain from addressing Her directly or singularly. During the latter days of my mortality I seldom think or refer to my Heavenly Father without thinking of my Heavenly Mother.

One of the joys of continued revelation is that of late we have been instructed regarding the difference between priesthood offices and priesthood power. All covenant keeping persons as well as all who have faith have access to the power referred to as priesthood. Since God is not an author of confusion He has instituted a system of order in His Kingdom. There are men and women who are set apart to do the ordinances of salvation. There are men and women who hold the offices of presidencies. There are some offices which are reserved for women and some offices which are reserved for men. There are some offices which can only be participated in when both a man and a women hold them jointly. We have been further instructed that priesthood power is dependent on worthiness and faithfulness, while offices need to be conferred upon a person.


Although with little effort I could continue to ramble about where my understanding of priesthood is at this time in my life, I am pretty sure I have provided enough to stimulate at least a little pondering for this Sabbath day. Besides, with the rapidity which the Living Prophet is revealing the mind and will of the Lord to us in these latter, latter days our understanding about the priesthood of Elohim will probably shortly be expanding.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

PEACE + JOY + LOVE + FAITH + HOPE + CHARITY = THE GOOD LIFE