Tuesday, January 15, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Our level of righteousness – is seldom determined – by the number of years we have lived – but more likely – by the number of times – we have been moved by the Holy Spirit!!

Monday, January 14, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The record of mankind indicates – that it is not – is a dispensation will fall from righteousness – but – how quickly!!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

IN THE SERVICE OF GOD

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. (Doctrine and Covenants 4:2)

I cannot remember how many years I wrestled with the idea of how it could it be possible to serve God, since He has all Omni-ness. I also realize that there were probably many more important doctrines and principles about which I should have been struggling.

However, I was very grateful after having taught the Book of Mormon countless number of times, when I finally had a marvelous ‘aha’ moment while preparing a lesson on the 17th verse of chapter 2 of the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon.

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the Service of your God.

There it was and there it had always been. Adam knew it, Moses knew it, Abraham knew it, Joseph Smith knew it and now I finally knew it. We are in the Service of God, we do not serve Him who has all. We are enlisted in the army of He who is all powerful. We are contracted under-shepherds who cannot learn enough to be able to add to the understanding of He who knows all. We cannot travel far enough to expand the universe of Him who is all present.

The only commitment He requires of us is to submit ourselves to be ministers in whatever work He might call us to perform in helping Him bring to pass the immortality and eternal lives of His children.

Mosiah is quick to admonish and warn those who covenant their lives to being in the Service of God.

I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise (and service) which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another.

I say unto you that if ye should serve him (be in the Service of God) who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him (be in the Service of God) with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
(Mosiah 2: 20, 21)

I know Mosiah repeats we must serve God several times, therefore, if you have strayed from the concept we are trying to convey, you need to reread the beginning paragraphs of this Thought.

Mosiah must have been well aware of what needy little beings we are whose constant battle with pride sends us plodding after self-aggrandizing glory for every tiny service we render to our brothers and sisters while we throw in our minute acts with pretense of being in the Service of God.

And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you. (Mosiah 2: 25)

It probably does not happen as often as it should, but at least every December I am reminded by the ghost of Christmas Present what miserable little creatures we are.

As servants in the Service of God


We do an act of kindness – and – then become offended when thanks is not heaped upon us.

We share a pittance of our abundance – and – then are saddened because a hospital wing is not named in our honor.

We lend a cloak from our overflowing closets – and – then want everyone to realize it warms a stranger’s shoulders.

We make a simple contribution of understanding – and – then wonder at the absence of acknowledgement of our genius.

We provide a scant meal to one who is hungry – and – then expect everyone to praise our benevolence.


In order to avoid causing all who read this Thought to be moved to judge why I have so great an understanding about how we who are called to serve others in the Service of God react in an abundance of sad ways, I will not do my usual 10 examples, but stop at five. I am sure I have provided enough fodder to cause the horse to founder.

I doubt very many of us will ever reach the point of serving in the Service of God with all our might, mind and strength, but hopefully, He who accepted the widows mite will accept all of our meager offerings.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me (In the Service of God). (Matthew 25: 40)


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, January 12, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If the Lord had to wait – for us to become perfect – before allowing us to be publishers of peace – very few sermons on peace – would ever be given!!

Friday, January 11, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I wonder if Joshua – would have been overwhelmed – about the choice which God he should serve – if he had been inundated with the propaganda – we receive today!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We often reject truth – because it causes us to make difficult choices – never the less – regardless of the personal path we take – truth will continue to be truth!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Having confidence in one’s own ability – does not guarantee – others will have confidence in – or – recognize the depth of that ability!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We need to be careful – when we attempt to go beyond – the parameters of our ability to be in control – or – we will soon find ourselves – out of control!!

Monday, January 7, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If you ever doubt – the Divine Hand – is involved in the affairs of His mortal children – just ponder – the wisdom – of having children mainly come to parents – when the parents are still young!!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

REVELATORY WORDS

Between the books of Omni and Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, Mormon explains that we what we will be reading in Joseph Smith’s translation will be from the Large Plates of Nephi, which is the more secular of the two sets of plates rather than the Small Plates. We have been made aware previously of the existence of both records, but have been learning from the teachings from the Small Plates which were a record of the more spiritual happenings among Lehi’s descendants.

As I started this new year of Thoughts for a Sabbath Day, I was struck with the realization that a year ago when I started this ‘get it off my bucket list’ project of writing Thoughts for a Sabbath Day based on thoughts stimulated by searching The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, I anticipated it would be a project which would keep me occupied for the next two years.

Now that a year has passed and I am writing the 53rd Thought based on The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ and have just finished the pages which comprise what Nephi identified as the Small Plates of Mormon or the first 144 pages of the current edition of The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, it became apparent that an adjustment to the original estimation of this exciting project would need to be made.

In the first year of this project, I have written Thoughts on just 27% of The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, which seems to indicate that I will be working on this project for four years rather than two and I will end up with both a volume five and a volume six of my Thoughts for 100 Sabbath Days series and I will be enjoying my 85th year of mortality.

Although the translation from the abridgement of the Large Plates is a secular history and we have all heard or taught how they read like a current events column, I will mention this prophetic factor just in passing. For the purpose of finding springboards for my Sabbath Day Thoughts I will be concentrating on the spiritual teachings which are interspersed among the wars, power driven leaders and people who move quickly through the cycle from evil to repentance and back to evil again.

I think the words the prophet/king Mosiah I said to his son Benjamin when he delivered the Large Plates into his hands are a good indication of the principles which will guide me as I use the rest of the Book of Mormon as a springboard for my Thoughts for a Sabbath Day.

O my sons, I would that ye should remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are true. And behold, also the plates of Nephi, which contain the records and the sayings of our fathers from the time they left Jerusalem until now, and they are true; and we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes. And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby; and I would that ye should keep the commandments of God, that ye may prosper in the land according to the promises which the Lord made unto our fathers. (Mosiah 1: 6, 7)

I only had to search until verse nine of Mosiah chapter two before I found a verse which has been of great profit during my life.

And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.

Not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words

I learned very early in my life that there was a great bridge between my sister Geraldene, who was born with a ‘believing spirit’ and myself who was born with a ‘prove all things’ spirit. I wasted a lot of time in the proving process, which may be another way of saying, for me doubt always preceded belief and I was more prone to desire discussion rather than to calmly accept another person’s position on a proposition.

Heavenly Father must have known I needed this constant influence of a ‘believing spirit’ in my life because I spent the first quarter with a sister who had such a gift and the last three quarters of my life with Kathleen who likewise possesses this gift.

If I understand Benjamin’s counsel correctly when he admonishes us not to trifle (put our own spin on – doubt – argue) with inspired revelatory words from prophets, but that our assignment once having received the word of God was not to tear it down and discuss it to death, but to find a way to make it part of our own system of beliefs.

Hearken unto me

I am well aware that we have been taught that the meaning of the word hearken is twofold. First, that we should hear and second that we should then go forth to do.

As I read the words spoken by Benjamin I have a feeling that he was at this moment putting an emphasis on the hearing part of the word ‘hearken’.

I fear if you have any of the spirit of ‘proving all things’, many times rather than paying tribute and honor to the speaker your mind is constantly being interrupted with thoughts in the category of ‘yah-but’ or ‘is it possible that it could be’. I believe to truly hear we must allow others sufficient respect so that we can hear their words without the interruptive bias’s which we might have.

It is a very unfair and non-learning position to begin to argue before you really understand what the other person has said. Benjamin says to truly understand what has been said we must open our ears that we may hear, and our hearts that we may understand, and our minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to our view.

Open our ears that we may hear

I have been left with little doubt that opening one’s ears involves alertness and concentration. One of the sadness’s with which I have been inflicted during the aging process has been a loss of hearing which makes it very difficult to hear high pitched voices, soft toned voices and people who speed read their talks. Up to this point in my life I have still been able to stay awake.

I am sure there are many excuses why we do not clearly hear the words of others, but if Benjamin is correct, if we have not clearly heard, we should be even more diligent in avoiding trifling.

I am sure of one thing. If for any reason we have not clearly heard, there is no way we will be able to fulfill the rest of the formula. Therefore, it would be best if we didn’t express our arguments until we are sure we have correctly heard what has been spoken.

Open our hearts that we may understand

As long as records have been kept, societies have used the heart to indicate the attributes of love, mercy, affection, devotion and grace along with many other characteristics which are indicators of our best virtues. Even today on social media we click on a heart when we have kind and good feelings about what someone has said or done.

Benjamin obviously knew that if we were going to gain an understanding of his words, we could not be filled with hate, philosophical differences, biased parental tapes or any other force which would harden our hearts and cause a preemptive blockage of understanding.

It is sad that we so often continue on our paths of ignorance because we would not open our hearts and let love, mercy, affection, devotion and grace be the bridge to understanding.

Open our minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to our view

There are many truths which I have come to feel very secure about. One I am sure easily makes the top ten, is that what I know of the mysteries of God is a grain of sand in comparison to what I don’t know about the mysteries of God.

I didn’t really understand what she meant when my mother first told me ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’ or ‘when we are learned we think we are wise’, but the experiences of life have seared into my soul the consciousness of how little I really know. For me, the opening of my mind, has come in direct proportion to my recognizing how limited my understanding has been and is.

If a person believes their glass is filled to the brim, it becomes impossible for any one to add anything. I have mostly been a glass half full person during my life, but if I am going to be added upon by coming to partially know a mystery of God I must view my glass with just a few droplets.

Once I recognize my mind falls short of knowing even elementary eternal truths, it is a beginning to having it open to receive a new fragment of a mystery of God.

I wish I had better understood what Benjamin was saying about coming to know truth when I first read the Book of Mormon in my youth, but I am extremely grateful that I have begun to gain a bit of understanding.


THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, January 5, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are times – when even a new approach – will not change results – those are the very moments – for which – prayer was designed!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We should be careful – and – avoid letting a tragic moment in our lives – become the governing force of our future!!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is frightening – how many times we have to develop – tricks – schemes – and – keys – to help us get through difficult situations!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

When we use the phrase – what would Jesus do – the most frequent answer – probably would be – He didn’t!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If we live long enough – there comes a day – when that which we can drag out of our brain – is but a fraction of what has been implanted!!