Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tender Mercies

In the church we often hear the term “Tender Mercies of the Lord.” In the Book Ether chapter 6:12 the Jaredite people thank the Lord for tender mercies. There is a great talk by David A. Bednar in the April 2005 General Conference.  He stated, “Since last October I have reflected repeatedly upon the phrase “the tender mercies of the Lord.” Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15).”

What tender mercies of the Lord can you identify in your life? 
Tender is defined as, “showing gentleness and concern or sympathy.
Mercy is defined as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
Is it ironic that for me I view one of the tender mercies the Lord has blessed me with is the ability and desire to recognize tender mercies I receive.  The Lord forgives. The Savoir provided a way to satisfy mercy and justice. The most awful thing I have done in my life has been forgiven of me through the atonement of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior.

I had a baby who was born too soon and lived for about 30 minutes before his breathing ceased. There was no way he was going to live. At the time my bishop who came to give me a blessing and help my parents and I said something I hated and thought was so stupid.  I had wanted nothing more in life than to be a mother.  During my first marriage we were unable to have children. My bishop tried to offer theses word of comfort, “At least you know you can get pregnant now.”  At the time I was not in a place in my life to recognize tender mercies or the significance of the Lord’s timing.  Looking back, what a tender mercy that knowledge could have been to me. And knowing what I have always known, that we live again has been a huge tender mercy in my life. I will know this child of mine.

My boss at work has done little thing just by being his Christ like self that have helped me in my career and personal work life balance life.

My friend came and put my kids to bed so that I could finish an assignment I waited too long to do before the dead line.

I made it to church in time for the sacrament and my kids were quit so I was able to hear the prayer.

One friend stopped talking to me. The Lord put another in my life.

The Lord’s tender mercies could be acts of love and service from His children here on earth. They could be giving you peace in a time of sadness. They could be getting every green light when you are running late for work in the morning after taking an extra two minutes to pray before leaving the house.

As Elder Bednar shared. They are personal.  My hope and prayer for each of you reading this is for you to continually recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in your lives. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

It's Just Makes Sense

In 3 Nephi 24 Christ is visiting the people of the America’s again. He commands them to write the words of Malachi that he would tell them. In this section he talks of tithing.  I have shared a bit of my testimony and personal knowledge of the power of prayer.  This week I am going to share a bit of the tithing testimony I have.  In these scriptures as well as in the book of Malachi in the Bible it talks of a man robbing God if he does not pay tithes.

As a kid I knew my parents struggled with tithing but always thought they should pay it. I remember when my mom was committed to getting caught up and she paid the tithing instead of 2 months of the house payment. (We never ended up homeless, but things were sure tight.)  My parents always knew they should pay tithing. 

One day I heard this story:

There was a young man about 18-19 years old. He was living with his parents in Southern California when the Vietnam War and draft started.  He made a mistake that caused him to be in jail when it came his time for the draft.  So he did not go in that first round.  His charges were dropped and he went home.  He was invited by a friend to come with her to have missionary discussion. When it was over the missionaries left him with a pamphlet. The information contained within was on tithing.

He read the information and it “just made sense.”  The Lord has given us all we have. He asks for 10% back to help build up his kingdom here on Earth. He blesses us for obeying the Law of Tithing. I am sure there was a little more to it than that, but that was the gist of it.  Because this made so much sense to him and was just so right he found an address on the pamphlet. It was an address in Alaska.  He started mailing 10% of his income to the address on the pamphlet.  It was quite a few months later when he got another knock on his door.  This time is was a different set of missionaries.  In conversation they found he was the man they were looking for.  They let him know he was sending his money to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and they were representatives from that church. 

He took the missionary discussions and joined the church.  Then towards the end of the war he was drafted again. He was a few years older and much much wiser.  In Vietnam he would hide in his sleeping bag every night with a little light and read the Book of Mormon.  Other soldiers knew he was different. Something about him was just a bit more calming in this time of horror, death and war.  The men in his unit would come to him. They asked him why they never saw him drinking and other things. He had the chance to share about the Savor and the Atonement, the reasons he had this light around him in such a time of darkness. 

He was never able to serve a mission but, he looks back on his time in Vietnam as a quasi-mission as he was able to share the gospel and have his relationship with the Lord and Savior grow exponentially.  (The Alaska address was a bit of a mystery. It seemed the pamphlet he was handed had the mission address from an Alaska mission stamped on the back of it.) 

This story was so powerful to me. I struggled in my life. When I came back to the church one thing I knew I needed to do was pay my tithing. I know without a doubt this man’s life was spared in the War because he was meant to lead people to the Gospel.  I used this story of my dad to boost and jump start my testimony of tithing. Now I have one of my own. So many personal and shareable stories. But, this was the last story of this post.

I want to share my testimony of tithing. I know that the Lord keeps his promises. We may not always get monetary returns for paying tithing, but we will always be blessed. The Lord does provide a way. I say these thing in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.