Have I done any good in the world today? If not, I have failed indeed! Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
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Friday, March 7, 2014

The Lighthouse Of The Lord, Part 2

You keep that door closed!
In my last blog post, I explained the necessity of keeping the door of your spirituality closed to Satan, and I this post I will tell how to reinforce that door or how to close it again after it has been opened. Continuing with the theme of lighthouses, beaches, and stormy seas, I would like to tell a hypothetical story.

Imagine you are riding in a boat out in the middle of the ocean. When you begin your ride, all is well. The sun is shining, the waves are calm. After a few hours, the people you are with decide to stop the boat and swim around for a while. Because you feel comfortable swimming in the water by yourself you take off your life vest. You jump into the water and start to swim farther and farther away from the boat until suddenly you realize you can hardly see it anymore.

While you were swimming, you didn't realize what was happening with the weather. After a while you look up into the sky. The sun is going down and the clouds are much darker than before. The winds are blowing stronger. The waves are more restless. At this moment, you now regret not wearing your life vest. You start to swim towards the boat but a large wave comes along and pulls you under. You try to stay above the water but the wave is too strong. In a struggle for breath, you are able to come up for air every few seconds.

You begin to shout for your friends on the boat. Despite your efforts, the sound of the crashing waves overpower your voice. No one can hear or see you. You begin to drown. After the long struggle, someone from the boat sees you and brings you safely aboard. One of your friends begins to do CPR. It takes a while, but eventually you become conscious and are revived and saved. I bet you'll wear your life preserver from now on, right?

The same thing happens in the church. You begin to get comfortable and complacent with where we are in the gospel. You take off your life jacket by stop studying the scriptures, saying meaningful personal prayers, and sometimes jump out of the boat all together by stop attending sacrament and other meetings. At first you can do okay on your own because you know how to deal with some of life's challenges by yourself. Everything is smooth sailing until you suddenly realize you're going through a major trial. The storms of life begin to beat on you. At this point you regret not keeping the commandments. You regret not listening to your priesthood leaders and heeding the counsel of the modern day prophets and apostles. You regret not taking the sacrament each week.

The lighthouse of the Lord remains
visible through the dark and the storm.
You feel lost, unable to stay above the water, unable to face the trials of life on your own. You attempt to make small steps to repentance every now and then, but your old habits return and you are drowning and wallowing in the pit of sorrow and anguish you've created for yourself. You try to get out, but you can't. You're in Satan's power now. You try to get help, but there seems to be nowhere you can turn. You've distanced yourself from those who love you. You've cut ties with your church family and friends. You are miserable, depressed, and unhappy.

But then a friend comes along, brings you back to the boat and performs spiritual CPR on you. Your friend takes you to your church meetings. Prays with you and reads the Book of Mormon with you. Loves you. You become happy. You now begin to enjoy life and spiritual things. You realize how much happier you are with the gospel in your life, with the spiritual life preservers of the commandments buckled tightly around you.

"But what is spiritual CPR?"

Simple answer: Church, Prayer, Reading.

Okay, I assume you would also like the long and drawn out answer?

In addition to the Savior's Atonement,
rely on your family members and friends
to help you through tough times.
Church-- Attending your Sunday church meetings gives you spiritual power throughout the week. It recharges your spiritual batteries. You gain additional insight and revelation from on high to guide you in your life. You will learn more about the gospel and draw closer to the Savior. You get to feel the spirit for three straight hours if you open your heart to it. Guaranteed. To locate a church near you, CLICK HERE.

Prayer-- Having meaningful and personal communication with your loving Heavenly Father through prayer is important for receiving the help you need. There are many blessings God is waiting to give us, and our receiving them depends upon us asking for them in prayer. Through prayer, you begin to rely on the Lord and the enabling power, or the strengthening power, of His Atonement.

Reading-- Reading the Book of Mormon everyday is essential to your spiritual safety and protection. When you read the Book of Mormon, you are filled with the Spirit. You are also filled with light. The more you read the more protection you will have. To request a free copy of the Book of Mormon, CLICK HERE.

While doing this process of spiritual CPR, you must continue to keep the commandments. Doing so will allow you to feel the spirit of the Lord more fully in your life. You will be able to more clearly each day see the way to go. You will be warned of temptation and danger more often. You will begin to feel Godly sorrow rather than worldly sorrow for your sins. You will be full of joy.

"The commandments are protective, not restrictive." That's what my mother always told me. Boy, was she right! I had to learn that the hard way. Taking the life preserver off and jumping ship isn't something I was completely enthused about doing. If I hadn't been spiritually revived by CPR, I don't know what shore I would have washed up on. I wouldn't be a card carrying, gospel preaching, covenant keeping missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-- that I know for sure!

Your bishop is there to help you and
give you guidance on how to repair
your relationship with the Savior.
If you do spiritual CPR faithfully, wherever you go you will be standing in a holy place.

If there are any if you out there reading this who have jumped ship, please climb aboard again. If you can't do it on your own (which I'm letting you know now that you can't), please seek the help of your local priesthood leaders. If you don't know who they are, find out. Find the missionaries. Tell them your story, where you've been, where you want to go, and what you need help with to get there. They will help you.

If you haven't jumped ship yet, but have taken off your life jacket, you need to stop right there and put that thing back on. Tighten it and make sure it feels snug. If you need floaties, buy floaties. Buy an oxygen tank and breathing mask. And put on goggles. Protect yourself!

Don't you let him in. Don't even open the door.