Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Insights From the Seat of a Tractor

Growing up on a farm is interesting.  For the most part, there is a lot of time to ponder on the creations and works of our loving Heavenly Father.  Hours upon hours spent going back and forth through the field as the machinery does it's magic.

I remember when I was a young teenager that I was challenged by my bishop to take the time that I have while I am in the tractor, to concentrate on Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father, and the many creations that they have given to us.  I gladly accepted the challenge.

There was a lot that I learned while I did that.  The most important thing that I learned, however, was the love that our Heavenly Father has for each one of us.  My thoughts were led to 3 Nephi 13:28-34.  One of my favorite phrases from this scripture is "Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (v. 28-29)  If our Heavenly Father cares so much for the grass, then why would he not care for His children?  Thus let us look to Him, let us seek Him and His omnipotent hand.  I know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father live.  I know that they are there for each of us and that they want us to grow and to succeed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here is the Hard Part

Wow, that is all I can say about the amazing General Conference that we just had!  I love listening to the voices of Heavenly Father's servants as they speak to us for our day!  But after that comes the hard part.  We can listen to the prophets all day long, but do we really hear what they say? 

I had a calculus class in High School that was right after lunch.  What a bad combination!  There were many times when I would enjoy a nap instead of hearing what the teacher had to say.  That was really fun in the moment, then came time to apply what the teacher had just talked about.  As you can guess I had a hard time doing the homework because I was asleep when the teacher was explaining how to best do it.  So I would then have to spend a lot of time learning by trial and error when it would be a lot easier to just listen closely to what the teacher had to say in the first place.

Then again, that is only half of the puzzle.  We can listen closely to the counsel that Heavenly Father has for us but it isn't worth a lick if we don't apply what we learn.  Jacob explains this very eloquently in 2 Nephi 9:28-29.  In verse 29 he says that "to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God."  We have just received a weekend full of the counsels of God.  Now we just need to "hearken."

My dear brothers and sisters, God loves us all so much!!  He wants true and everlasting happiness for us!  We may think that at times we are constrained and our freedom is limited by following the commandments, but I promise that as we do follow the commands of God, and as we hearken to the counsels of his authorized servants in these days, that we will find "liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men,"  and be able to escape "captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." (2 Nephi 2:27)