TEXT

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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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Most Correct Of Any Book On Earth


A painting of the prophet Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith said the following about the Book of Mormon: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

In saying this, however, Joseph did not say the Bible was not correct. He was simply implying that the Book of Mormon was more correct. To read Joseph Smith's own account of how the Book of Mormon came to be, click HERE.

Before anyone flips out because they think I was saying the Bible is false, let's go back to pre-school for this example. Let's say that Mary has six apples. Mary gives John three apples. Mary gives Sam two apples. Does John have apples? Does Sam have apples? Does Mary still have apples? The answer to all three of these questions is "yes."

I hope I illustrated my point. The Bible has truth and correct principles. The Book of Mormon does also, but is simply more correct than the Bible. Does that mean the Bible does not have truth or is incorrect if the Book of Mormon has more truth and is more correct? No.

The Bible and the Book of Mormon
support each other.
Self explanatory. If the Book of Mormon has errors it is the mistakes of men.

The Bible was also written by men. Whether those men be prophets or translators, they are nonetheless men. The Bible is not inerrant. It has errors. It has mistakes. In fact, the Bible contradicts itself many times.

One of those contradictions is the fact that there are four different descriptions of the sign nailed to the cross above Christ when he was crucified.

Matthew's account: "And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus the King of the Jews." (Matthew 27:37)

Mark's account: "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King of the Jews." (Mark 15:26)

Luke's account: "And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is the King of the Jews." (Luke 23:38)

John's account: "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. (John 19:19)

So my consensus is either that these four gentlemen were all looking at different signs, that they couldn't read, or that in the translation process of the Bible someone forgot to proofread these descriptions to make sure they matched. I doubt the first two. (For more information on the translation of the Holy Bible, READ HERE)

If the Holy Bible, in its entirety, is correct, then why are there four different descriptions of what the sign said above the cross Christ was crucified on?
Another contradiction is in John 3:22, which reads:

22 ¶After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Jud├Ža; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

In this verse it says Christ baptized. However in John 4:2 it says Christ did not baptize.

The Holy Bible contains many truths.
However, it does not have
a fulness of truth.
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

The story of Paul's conversion told in Acts 9 contradicts the re-telling of the same story in Acts 22. In Acts 9:7, it says the men heard a voice, but in Acts 22:9 it says they heard no voice.


Acts 22:9
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

There are many other numerous similar examples I could list off, but to respect the word of God I will not do so. I don't want to seem like I'm just bashing it.

Now let's go back to the passage found in the front of the Book of Mormon: "And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ."

I believe this passage to apply to the Holy Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. The mistakes in translation are from the faults of men. Does that make the Bible untrue? No.

Although I do not believe the Holy Bible as a whole is correct and without error, I do believe the stories and parables contained within its pages are useful in portraying symbolism, demonstrating basic gospel principles, and supporting the teachings and things found in the Book of Mormon.

Members of the LDS church don't just think
reading the scriptures is a good idea--  for
us it is considered a commandment of God.
In the eighth Article of Faith written by the Prophet Joseph Smith, he declares the Church's official stance on the Bible:

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Also, the ninth Article of Faith says the following about the word of God:

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

So lets put this out there in clear wording. The Holy Bible is a correct book as long as it meets one criteria. That is, it must be translated correctly. Also, because God is not silent, He can give us as much as His word as it pleases Him.

The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi had a revelation from God and he included it in the 29th chapter of the second book he wrote in his time as a prophet. This is his record of what the Lord said:

3 And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.
(See John 10:16 and 3 Nephi 15:17)
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

Wow! Could you imagine being on the other end of that conversation with the Lord? What a powerful passage.

I have always wondered what people mean when they say, "the heavens are closed" or "God doesn't speak to man anymore."

Hearing these statements makes me wonder... Who are you to say that God doesn't speak to people nowadays? Don't you think God loves us today just as much as He loved His children back in ancient times? Don't you think we need His help more than any other people in any period of history? If God can do such great miracles back in the day, how is it that He cannot help me in my small and insignificant every day life?

Nephi said it best when speaking to his hard headed and hard hearted brothers in 1 Nephi 17:50-51:

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.

51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
To read the rest of the chapter in context, read 1 Nephi 17 HERE.

Just because He doesn't speak to you doesn't mean He doesn't speak to me. I've received revelation (messages or inspiration from God) for my life and others. Very rarely is it some voice. I've never seen God, Jesus Christ, or their angels-- more often it is thoughts or impressions on my mind that this revelation comes. However, I know these things come from God and I cannot deny it. You can't refute a testimony.

And for anyone who says all revelation and communication from God stopped with the death of the Apostles-- think again.

Just as God's children in ancient times,
we have a living prophet on the earth today.
His name is Thomas S Monson.
Amos 3:7 states: "Surely The Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." Or in other words, if a church doesn't have a prophet, that means The Lord is "doing nothing" in them.

Oh, what? There are no prophets today? You guessed it. Think again.

Ephesians 4:11-14:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
And he gave some what? Prophets and apostles.
Look at all the different religions out there. Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, etc. Does it look like we are unified in the faith? Nope. We will continue to have prophets and apostles on the earth until we are all in the unity of the faith.
For the people that say that Christ's church never left the earth-- think again.

"BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GREAT APOSTASY?"

Correct. You are right in saying that Christ's church was taken off the earth. The apostles were killed and the priesthood removed from the earth. However, there were still apostles and prophets on the earth. I'll let you do some of your own research on this one. Read these: THREE NEPHITES and JOHN THE BELOVED.

So you see, after the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles, these four prophets and apostles (I say prophets and apostles because apostles are still considered prophets, seers, and revelators) were still on the earth and still held the priesthood, or God's power and authority, and still remain on the earth today.

While in His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ called prophet
 and apostles, gave them His priesthood, and
organized His church.
But now back to Christ's church. Many people quote Daniel 2:44, which says the Lord will will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and would not be left to other people, but will break into pieces and consume all the kingdoms.

Many say this refers to the church Christ set up during His mortal ministry. This kingdom could not be created without a prophet because the Lord does not work, as Amos says, except through his servants the prophets.

The kingdom that Christ set up could not have been the one mentioned because in Matthew 21:43 it says, "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." So the kingdom Christ organized was left and given to another people. Therefore, Christ's church was not on the earth at the death of the apostles. The kingdom referred to in Daniel 2:44 refers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ever hear in the scriptures "the dispensation of the fullness of times?" (See Ephesians 1:10 for reference) Well I got a question for ya. How could something be restored if it was never on the earth or had not been taken off to begin with? Riddle me that.

Okay, so let's take a little break. Hopefully now I've established a few things.

First, that the Bible, in it's entirety is not 100% correct. It is not infallible or inerrant. However, it is still not false and is read and revered as the word of God by the LDS church.

If you didn't get those three points out of the above text, please STOP, go back, and read it again!

Now let's move onto the big one. Many people try to bash the Book of Mormon by quoting Revelation 22:18-19. Let's take a look at what the passage says:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

So if the Book of Mormon is "adding to" the book, then where are the plagues? There aren't any on the Mormon church. Look at the Dark Ages. Ever heard of the Black Death AKA the Bubonic Plague? Looks like we found the plagues...

And just as a side note, if people have no problem accepting the Dead Sea Scrolls as scripture, why is it so hard to accept the Book of Mormon?

Now look at John's wording here. He says "this book" or "the book of this prophecy" four times in the course of this passage. Clearly, John is not referring to the Holy Bible. He is referring to the "book of prophecy" meaning the book of his prophecy, the Book of Revelation. He wasn't referring to the Bible-- the word "Bible" means "a collection of books," so he was talking about one of the books in the collection. Not to mention, the Book of Revelation was not the last book of the Bible written chronologically. Don't believe me? Go look it up. That's one thing the Internet is useful for. I did it for you... Just click the link.

Need direction in your life? The Book of Mromon
will help you find it.
This passage of scripture written by John is a favorite among Book of Mormon critics, however very few of them are familiar with Deuteronomy 4:2, which says pretty much the exact same thing: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

So wait-- by their logic, everything after Deuteronomy 4:2 is false scripture and should be considered invalid? No, that doesn't make sense. How can that be possible? Perhaps because it wasn't referring to the whole book as a total. 

I hope anyone who reads this post does not think I do not respect the Holy Bible as the word of God. I love the Bible and read from it often. However, I know from reading it it is not infallible. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God also and know it to be the most correct of any book on Earth.
The Book of Mormon WILL change your life.
You just have to let it.

To the critics of the Book of Mormon who say they have read the Book of Mormon and claim it is of the devil: If you feel that way, crush the spiritual wall around your stubborn heart and read it again with an open mind and open heart. Allow the spirit to talk to your soul and nourish you spiritually. Read it as Moroni invites you to do in Moroni 10:3-5. Read with a sincere heart, with real intent, and having faith in Christ, and it WILL change your life! I did, and it changed mine.

A book nothing to be scared of. It won't eat your soul and send it to me in a package if you read it. It won't make you burst in flames, but it will set your heart on fire. Spiritually, of course.

If you knew your salvation depended on a 531 page book, wouldn't you want to read it?

___________________________________


Additional links:
Read the Book of Mormon online: HERE
Request your own FREE copy of the Book of Mormon: HERE
Chat with representatives of the LDS church online: HERE

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are We Grateful Lepers?

In this holiday season, there are many things we should be thankful for, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner. I can think of many blessings which the Lord has blessed me with. For one, my family. Other blessings include: the gift of the Atonement, the scriptures, the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ, temples, the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, the prophets, and other spiritual blessings. The Lord has also blessed me with many temporal things: money to provide for food and other groceries, neat and comely clothes, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, and a coat to keep me warm.

Do we always fall at the feet of
Christ in thanks of all of our
blessings?
There is a story in the New Testament that demonstrates the principle of thanks-giving. While walking through Samaria and Galilee, Christ went into a certain village where He came across ten men who were stricken with leprosy. They all cried to Him saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." Christ, being the kind and loving one that He is, told the lepers to go and show themselves to the priests, and as they did they were healed.

The scriptures say there was one, when he realized he was no longer cursed with leprosy, turned back and glorified God, falling down at Christ's feet to give Him thanks. Just as a side note, this man was also a Samaritan.

When Christ saw there was only one man who had returned to give thanks, He asked, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?" He then says the others who were healed were not found giving thanks to God, except for the man at his feet. Christ then said to the man, "Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

Often times we tend to petition our Heavenly Father through prayer for blessings we desire. Sometimes our prayers and desires may be good-hearted and sincere. However, more often than not, once God blesses us with what we prayed for we do not stop to thank Him for the blessings we receive.

So which of the healed lepers are we? Are we the one man who comes back to thank the Lord? Or are we the other nine which run off and forget the Lord after He blesses us?

Let us show our gratitude to those who give us gifts or who help us in our lives. Be especially grateful to our Heavenly Father who loves us and watches over us to protect us. He provides for us in more ways than we can imagine.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Struggle Is Real

"The struggle." The ongoing battle to survive. On my iPad, Siri defines the word "struggle" as meaning "an ongoing clash between two open groups or individuals." More times than not, the struggle today is about money.

There are lots of things that make the struggle real, especially for missionaries. I asked my last companion to describe the struggle. He says:

"The struggle is waking up at [6:30 AM], after getting an emergency phone call at [2:00 AM] - your investigator was iffy on the baptism date.
Sorry, Elders! Gotta go!

They didn't want to - you're down one. It was [4:30 AM] when you got off the phone.

You still need to work out.

Your companion wants to go running.

You have shin splints.

Studies are over, it's time for lunch - no time for that, someone needs a blessing.

Dinner rolls around, it's with the Bishop. It ends quickly when he has to run to an emergency in the ward.

Your bike gets stolen - your next appointment is in 5 minutes. It's a 15 minute walk.

The struggle is all around
 these Elders.
You arrive 3 minutes late.

You come home, get ready for bed.

You're exhausted.

It's [10:30 PM]- lights out - you can't sleep."

And that's not even the half of it. But guess what- It's part of the struggle.

The struggle was real, even back in the ancient days. The struggle was real for King Limhi and his people in the land of Lehi-Nephi. The Nephites in the land of Lehi-Nephi around 121 BC were in bondage to the wicked Lamanites. King Noah, the Lamanite king at the time, had taxed the Nephites "one half of all they possessed, one half of their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things" to be paid once a year.

Back in the day struggle.
King Limhi and his people were very tired of this tax and the other things which the Lamanites inflicted upon them. Goodness! How much more real can the struggle get than that? Giving up half of everything you have to the Lamanite king or else he kills you? King Limhi says this about the struggle: "And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn."

However, even with the struggle being so real, King Limhi still has faith that God will deliver them out of the hands of the Lamanites. He says, "O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made."

I like how he describes the struggle, and I paraphrase, "The struggle has been so real for a while, but we have to have faith! We also have to know that just because we could be delivered from this trial, the struggle will never not exist. The struggles will just keep on coming, one after another."

The struggle for money, food, etc. isn't the only struggle that's real. More commonly, the struggle we face is a spiritual struggle. The person who makes our spiritual struggle real is Lucifer, the adversary, AKA Satan. He's not the friendliest guy we knew in the Premortal Life. In fact, he's not friendly at all. He doesn't like us and he doesnt care if we know it. He's a home-wrecker, a tempter, a murderer, a thief, and a liar.

However, don't be dismayed! The Lord is on our side!

Going back to Elder Minam Choe's description of the struggle:

"This is the struggle - it's real.

None of that matters though.

In the moment before you manage to fall asleep, you feel an overwhelming love.

You feel the Savior's calming power.

What? How can it be 6:30 already?
That's the struggle.

It's real.

But it's worth it.

[6:30 AM] - time to wake up.

Back at it.

Yeah, it's worth it."

Although the struggle is real, we can all find hope in knowing the rewards we will receive through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. If you apply this knowledge, the struggle can't get you down.


An empty wallet -- a sure sign of the struggle.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why It Makes Sense - Tithing

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." -Malachi 3:10

Since ancient times, people have been tithed. Whether it be in cattle, produce, coin, or currency, paying tithing has always been a commandment of the LordWe see in the Book of Genesis that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek


Through modern-day revelation, we are told that tithing is willingly giving one-tenth of one's income annually to the Lord through His Church. Tithing is paid on the ten percent of all your income, not on what is left after you pay rent, taxes, your grocery bill, or any other expenses. My mom always said when I was growing up, "We pay our tithing on the first ten percent of the money me make." When you get your paycheck, set aside ten percent of to put toward your tithing.

To donate tithes, we put our tithing funds inside of a tithing envelope with a tithing slip then give it to a member of the bishopric. After totaling up the tithing funds two members of the bishopric go to the bank and deposit the tithing money.


"Does the tithing money go to the bishop and his counselors?"


The answer to that question would be, "No." Tithing funds are used to build up the kingdom of God on the earth.


According to Mormon.orgThe law of tithing is how the Lord funds His Church. Today all faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contribute one tenth of their income as tithing. Tithing funds are used for:



Tithing envelopes are to be given only to a member
of your ward's bishopric. They are sacred funds,
and are not to be placed under the clerk's door.

God doesn't really need our money. I'm sure if He wanted to buy something He wouldn't have to check His bank account before using His debit card to make a purchase. He wants us to learn and understand the principles of obedience and sacrifice. "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven."


"So why pay tithing? I guess paying money to the church could help a lot of people, but what do I get out of it?"


Well, in those verses from Malachi we are promised a couple of things. First, we are promised by the Lord if we pay our tithes, He will "open the windows of Heaven" to us. What that sounds like to me is revelation. When we pay our tithing faithfully, we will be more open to the revelation God is trying to give usWe are promised in the Book of Mormon if we seek the Kingdom of God before seeking riches, we will find riches if we will do good things with them.

From Jacob 2:18-19:


18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.


19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good--to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.


Relying on the Lord for all of your needs
will bring you great spiritual power.
When we learn to rely of the Lord, we will truly begin to prosper. As we sacrifice our temporal possessions, God will bless us with spiritual power. I've always said, "The more you give the Lord, the more He gives back."

Another part of Malachi's promise is that the Lord will pour out so many blessings from Heaven we won't even have enough room to receive them. This is one of the greatest gifts we could receive from our Heavenly FatherYou see, the Lord blesses us with what we are in need of. If we are in need of food, He's not going to give us a new car. If we need money to pay rent, He'll bless us with money to pay rent, or a new job, or tax returns. If we need health, He's not just gonna give us revelation; He'll also bless you with health. My mother always told me, "If you pay your tithing, you'll always have what you need." My mother gets it. To read more about my mother and her understanding of gospel knowledge, CLICK HERE!


All of the blessings received from tithing such as revelation and the windows of heaven are great and all, but personally, the greatest blessing I receive from paying a full tithe is being able to have a temple recommendIf I didn't pay my tithing fully, I couldn't go to the temple. If I couldn't go to the temple, I can't be sealed to my family for all eternity. Because I do pay my tithing and am worthy of a temple recommend, however, I can go to to the temple with my family, I can learn from the Lord as His Spirit instructs me in His temple, and I can do work to redeem my deceased ancestors who have passed on.



A family that "pays" together
stays together.
Even if I didn't get any of the other blessings promised except for having a temple recommend, I would be satisfied. The Lord's house is so special. In it we receive the Lord's blessings that we can't obtain in any other way or any other place.

I know tithing is a true and inspired principle of this gospel. If it was 20, 40, or heck, even 100 of my income, I would still pay it because I know the Lord will always take care of me if I am obedient to what He asks. I wouldn't give up the blessing of being able to go to the Lord's house for all the money in the world. Do you have enough faith to sacrifice 10 of your income for the Lord? He's given everything He had, what are you willing to do for Him?




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Do What Is Right!

I would like to bring up a topic which I have been pondering lately. On my mission, I have met many people who say living the gospel of Jesus Christ is simply "too hard". They claim the commandments are too hard to keep, not worth living, and restrictive. To anyone who has this concern, I would like to to address this now with the response: "The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most simple thing ever. Period."

How is going to church too hard? To quote one of my past companions, "Last time I checked, they don't make us do jumping jacks or run on a treadmill to keep the lights running. In fact, I'm pretty sure all you have to do is sit down and listen!"

Sometimes people tell me that they really want to go, but things keep coming up which keep them from coming to church. To quote my last companion, Elder Minam Choe: "If you really want to make it to church, you'll make it - no excuses. The only thing keeping you from coming to church is your own choice. Then what's keeping you from coming to church?" To read Elder Choe's blog, CLICK HERE!


How is exercising faith by saying a prayer or reading the Book of Mormon too hard? Most prayers I've said don't last over 2 minutes. Most chapters of the Book of Mormon don't take more than 5 minutes to read. Everyone has time to do these things! It just matters where your priorities are.

Growing up, my mother would always tell me, "The commandments are protective, not restrictive." I never really understood this concept until I went on my mission. How does someone telling me I can't do something make me more free? The answer now is clear: It's not about being free to do whatever I want, it's about being free from Satan's grasp. To read more about my mother's wisdom, CLICK HERE!


I have discovered on my own that keeping the commandments and living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best and most fulfilling freedom out there. I was listening to my iPod during morning studies when the hymn "Do What Is Right" started playing. I love the message contained in it, so what I've done in taken this hymn line by line and broken it down to what I get out of it. Enjoy the read!


1. Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,

The day-dawn.
Hailing a future of freedom and light.
Angels above us are silent notes taking
Of ev’ry action; then do what is right!

"Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,

Hailing a future of freedom and light."

The day-dawn is breaking. A rewording of President Ezra Taft Benson's quote on obedience is often said in this mission: "The day obedience becomes a quest rather than an irritation to me is the day I gain power." It is never too late to start going down a new path. Start a new day-- do what is right, starting now!


"Angels above us are silent notes taking

Of ev’ry action; then do what is right!"

What kind of notes would you like the angels watching you to take? If you could read their notes, would you be happy with what is being recorded? You know, it's not a bad idea to perform a spiritual self-evaluation every now and then. If you find that you are doing things which are not in accordance with God's laws, repent and do what is right!


2. Do what is right; the shackles are falling.

Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling.
Truth goeth onward; then do what is right!

"Do what is right; the shackles are falling.

Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling."

When we sin, we are in spiritual captivity. When we sin, we are in Satan's power. Although the adversary cannot take away our agency or make us sin, he can make it very hard for us to resist. Indeed, many today are wearing the "chains of the bondsman" " or slaves to sin.



Chains of the bondsman.
I love the wording used in these lines. When used as a verb, the word "gall" means "to make sore by rubbing." When used as a noun, the word "gall" means, "a sore on the skin made by chafing." What powerful imagery! When we make the determination to do what is right, we are able to break the chains of sin.

It may take time, but through hope in Christ, we can be made free. Not only will we be free, but those spiritual scars made from Satan's chains will be healed as well.


"Truth goeth onward; then do what is right!"



The Lord's work cannot be stopped.
"The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." What work? The Lord's work! Moses 1:39 tells us what the Lord's work is: "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." God's work and glory is to bring us eternal life! Truth goeth onward. If God's most important work is our salvation, then shouldn't it also be ours? Of course-- just do what is right!

3. Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.
Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

"Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight."

As my mission president says, "the eye of faith always looks forward, never back." Doing what's right, or keeping the commandments, is a step of repentance. We can never look back on our old sins or habits. We must always look forward.


Lot's wife wasn't turned into a pillar of salt just because she looked back towards Sodom. Elder Holland said, "Apparently, what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back." He continues, "it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly." She was looking back on her sin, on her past, and wanted to carry it into her future.


We must never go back! Once we commit to change for the better, we must not only never go back, but we must never look back. We must look forward with an eye of faith!


"Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless."


Wow! What a powerful statement of eternal truth! This line always hits me powerfully when I read or hear it. I don't think this line just applies to the person who is "doing what's right". When we do what's right, our loved ones don't have to cry over what we're doing wrong.

When I hear this line, I think of my mother. I think of the many hours she has spent on her knees pleading to our Heavenly Father on my behalf. I think of the blessings of Heaven invoked on my family due to her constant prayer.


[Chorus]

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!

"Do what is right; let the consequence follow."


Our choices always have consequences. Some consequences may be good, others may be bad. Many times when we stop doing things that are wrong, the consequences to our actions follow us. Know however, that no matter how many bad consequences happen because of our actions, the good consequences that follow will always be better and outweigh the bad ones.



The Armor of God.
"Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!"

We are fighting an ongoing war that started long before any of us were born. This war is the war over our spiritual well-being. Satan and his armies are fighting against us in a battle for our own souls. Do not let him win. Do what is right!


God will protect us from Satan's buffetings. Ever heard of the Armor of God? Put this armor on by doing what's right! Read the scriptures, say your prayers, attend your church meeting, keep the commandments. Again, never look back-- only look forward.