27 August 2020

The Shape of Prosperity

Pete Henderson & Company Peace Plenty Prosperity vintage magazine" Art  Board Print by ButchPetty | RedbubbleThere is a tendency among many people to turn God into some mystical being, all the easier to dismiss him and his promises in the future. Such folk pat themselves on each other's backs for their "rationality" and a touted "evolution" beyond a supposedly foolish belief in God.  These acts are, at their very heart, pride that they can handle their own affairs in their own way and without help: this is categorically foolish - biting the hand that supports you from day-to-day. 

We do so much better in life and happiness when we humbly align ourselves with God's purposes. When we obey him, things tend to go better for us!  His promise is that he will prosper us and that prosperity will come in very concrete forms.  I am grateful for a literal God that rewards us, not just "spiritually", but in very physical and tangible ways. 

Book of Mormon, Helaman 12:1 - 2:

...yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.

Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people;...

When the Lord speaks of prosperity and promises that he will prosper you, this is what it will look like. It will be very obvious, though we may discount it or choose to say that our own strength gave us these things. I, for one, always try to credit God for any good fortune that I enjoy! 

Who does he prosper?  "...those who put their trust in him."  It can also be more precisely understood by the conditions under which the Lord will not prosper us:

 Book of Mormon, Helaman 12:2:

...yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One...

If you acknowledge the Lord and obey his commandments with gratitude to him for all that you have, he will provide you with more as he has promised! 

Would you like prosperity in your life?  My advice would be to attribute the good things you have to God and show him your appreciation through following the path and commandments of Christ. The promised prosperity will follow!

20 August 2020

"I Shall Not Want."

My very dear and tolerant wife has mentioned that much of my writing lately has been a bit dark. Although I admit that I tend toward focusing on a need to repent and some of the more punitive aspects of God, I had always hoped that I mentioned the joys of following in the path of Christ. In this posting, I intend to state again my feelings of blessing and gratitude.

I feel as David did when he composed the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

As often as I have turned to the Lord for help, I have received it. When I have worked righteousness and implored others to do likewise, I have been blessed.

I hope when I speak of repentance and our constant and universal need for it, I don't exclusively condemn but also pull away the curtain to the joy and blessing that follows a true redemption. There is always need to better ourselves and to draw closer to God, both in our words and in our actions. As we do this, we will enjoy the blessings that the Lord has already provided for those who obey him! The only thing that stands in the way of such a wonderful life is our capacity to faithfully come to God and claim such prosperity!

I am very blessed and I know that it is by the hand of God that my blessings have come. He is a wise and generous and loving God to those who follow Christ and his commandments. I am trying to do this and have been richly rewarded for my every effort!

I feel to say yet again: Repent and follow where he leads!  Enjoy his blessings!

11 August 2020

Prayers Buy Us Time to Repent

When it comes down to it, the prayers and presence of righteous people are the only thing standing between many of our neighbors and total destruction. It is yet another discomforting warning to us all; we must choose what side are we on and how God feels about us.

God definitely rewards those that turn to him and do his will, which will always lead us to our happiness, betterment, fulfillment, and glory. If we disobey him and turn away from him, our actions will lead us toward misery and pain, often by our own hand and the evil actions of our wicked friends.

There is a natural incentive toward righteousness that comes from the promise of punishment for our evil doings. Although it is very popular to say that there should never be punishments for people acting as they choose, we already see the terrible influence, heartache, and suffering caused by wicked people who behave unrestrained among us.

Let's review a good summary of what we can expect from an unrepentant future.

The Book of Mormon's Alma Chapter 10, verses 22 and 23:

Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword.

But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out against you; then ye shall be smitten by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at hand except ye repent.

According to this, we would be seeing God's hand sweeping off millions of people right now if it wasn't for those petitioning God, through prayer, to stay his wrath a little longer. God doesn't like the wicked polluting others with their vile ideologies and intrigues. He can be a very wrathful God and his promises are very sure to both punish the wicked and bless the righteous.

When there are times and places where the wicked finally drive the righteous out from among them, it will be a terrible day for them: no longer will prayers protect them and God will execute his vengeance upon them without restraint. My thought is that wicked folks have a bit of time to turn their lives toward God and that this time is bought for you by the presence of the righteous among you.

It has become fashionable to destroy religion and ridicule those who practice a religion. Many perverse people don't like good people telling them that what they are doing is wrong and destructive to themselves and society, so they drive those good people away. The prophecy above warns us what will happen if Godly people are effectively pushed away and silenced.

My advise to each of us is to keep righteous neighbors close and to repent of our wickedness and turn to God while we still have some time. We will enjoy his blessings far more than we will like his punishments.