Is real courage simply the manifestation of love?

For much of my life, I’ve been anxious and worried about things to come.

You know, Sunday afternoons and evenings were a bit dreary because I knew Monday morning would soon be here and I had to go to work.

worry2Not that I was lazy or didn’t want to work; not at all.

I worried about possible problems and interactions and how I should handle things. Looking back, I wonder if was just generally not really comfortable in my own skin.

This necessitated that I become a pretty good actor. I could figure out what was expected and I usually filled the role, if I do say so myself, pretty darn well.

You’ve heard of people dying a thousand deaths? Well, I died inside that many times before the actual reality gave me a chance one way or the other.

Kind of like I had not only crossed the bridge, but ran back and forth across it with many different scenarios (all usually horrific accidents), usually before the bridge had even been built.

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Living in the Woods

Well, we’re not out of the woods yet.

We’ve heard this phrase a lot, usually referring to someone who has been ill and is still in an uncertain recovery.

Or, when someone is trying to close a business deal and some unforeseen obstacles come up that could blow the whole thing apart.woods3

Or, it could even be when someone is actually on a hike and is still under the canopy of thick forest.

Whatever the situation, the connotation is clear that one can only relax and breathe easier once the trees are left behind. Things are okay again when there is only sunshine in a clear meadow ahead.

Last night I muttered the same expression.

Crud, I guess I’m still not out of the woods.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

I have been forgiven.

I’ve done a lot of rotten things in my life.???????????????????????????????

I haven’t forgotten any of the things I’ve done; I still feel sorrow for the pain I’ve caused others. If only I could go back, right?

But I can’t.

I can, however, remember always the hard-earned lessons and commit to never repeat what I know to be wrong.

This process brings me peace; peace that I have been forgiven.

Today is bright and tomorrow always full of hope because the weight of the sin has been lifted from my shoulders.

So, in gratitude for this gift, I really should ask:

Have I been forgiving?

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Heavenly Father is my Dad

All images in this post are from the LDS Media Library

“Revelation is not an explanation; it’s a conclusion.”

– – Elder David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

A returned missionary shared the above quote from words shared by Elder Bednar when he visited her mission.

Kind of stops you in your tracks as you try to wrap your head around it.

So many of us acknowledge and even testify that we know that God is our Father.

And He is.

But there are many views on just what that means in the type of relationship we seek to build with Him.

To begin, we always approach the throne of God humbly, on bended knee, only speaking softly and respectfully, in awe of the Heavenly King before us. His word is our command.

fatherhood5In a way, it mirrors our relationship with our earthly father. We are completely dependent, we are completely unaware of what lies ahead, we are completely under his loving control.

A young child needs but to hear a few words in their father’s deep timbre for him to have their full attention and usually they are quick to obey.

At least it works for a time.

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Do we really need to have a reason before we choose to do something good?

For the vast majority of history, society has depended largely on the religious obedience of the individual to keep lawlessness and violence at a minimum.

Otherwise, how could a relatively small police force protect the citizenry as a whole?

Civil peace found its foundation in the individual’s personal commitment to obey the laws of God which flooded over into the same personal commitment of obedience to the laws of government.

You know, people just did what was right because it was the right thing to do. They didn’t need to have the reasons explained why speeding through a neighborhood, or breaking into your neighbor’s home, or embezzling from the company were against the law.

church1They were more focused on following their own personal understanding of what God wanted them to do. Knowing what was right also let us know what wasn’t right.

 

Not so much anymore.

Continue reading Do we really need to have a reason before we choose to do something good?