Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Iron wills" are wrought by holding fast to Iron Rods.

There isn't much to write about this week. Pageant is amazing and wish all of you could see it. The days are long and the work is hard, but there is nowhere else I would rather be. I can't even imagine what I would be doing else where, doing something different. Things have gone from fuzzy to crisp in a matter of months. I can't say that I miss the bumping around in the dark I had been doing the months prior to my mission.
So I totally forgot the talk I wanted to write about in this e-mail at home. But I encourage you all to look it up and read it. It is the greatest article/talk on pride that has ever been given in these latter days. "Beware of Pride" given by Ezra Taft Benson. It talks about how almost anything can be traced back to pride and what a destructive force pride can and will be in our lives if we let it. It is pride that keeps people away from church, pride that causes us be disobedient in any way, shape or form, pride that keeps us from saying our prayers at night, pride that caused the apostasy, pride that caused the destruction of the Nephite nation and pride that was the driving force behind the Crucifixion of Christ. "Pride goeth before the fall". Pride is thinking that our knowledge and wisdom exceeds that of our Father in Heaven's. Pride is forgetting our dependence on God in all things. C.S. Lewis said something along the lines of, the prideful get no pleasure out of having something, only having more of it than another. An egotist will never get anywhere in life because they think they're already there". "Egotism is the anaesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity" These quotes on pride are not all from Ezra Taft Benson's talk, but I do like all of them.I think that it should also be said that Humility, is not the tearing down of one's self, but the building up of God! (You are His child after all, what's there to tear down? I cannot think of a more cherished, more important, more valuable identity than that noble birth right. However, it is not a birth right we can claim if we shut out and turn away from the One we are to receive it from) .
President Ludwig suggested that we make Helaman 6-12 part of our study on pride. So I've been reading there. Something was brought back into my mind that has been there before, I may have even expressed it to some of you. I am a "people watcher". I like to sit back and observe. This is one of my observations: I heard somewhere that our will is the only thing we have to give Heavenly Father that isn't already His, which is only partially true when you realize that the only reason we have a will (or agency) is because He gave it to us in the first place. But,(and this is the part that I've thought about before) it has been my observation the we have only two choices. We can either give our will to our Loving Father in Heaven, or it will be taken from us by Satan, that being who wishes to "drag us down to the depths of hell" and makes us "miserable like unto himself". We cannot hoard our will. It is going to go to someone. I would much rather have it in the care of a loving Heavenly Father whose work and glory is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" than to let Satan get his cold grip on it. My heart belongs to God! and my will also. That is conscious decision each of us needs to make. In chapter 6 it talks about the rise of the Gadianton robbers in both the Nephite and the Lamanite nations. The Nephites "did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and join with them in their secret murders and combinations". Not looking too hot for the Nephites. The Lamanites on the other hand, "did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites"! These verses reminded me of a poem I read once. I don't remember the title, or the author or any of the lines but the last. Ha ha! But, in the poem it describes a feeling of having to wolves living inside of us, fighting constantly. One wolf represents demons and wickedness, all manner of awful things and the other represents good. A question is posed at the end of the poem "Which of these two will win?" The answer is also given, "The one I feed". All of us are here to overcome the natural man and become better. The fight between good and evil in this world is very real, but it is usually within ourselves as opposed to the much grander scale that books and movies make it out to be. I promise that the wolf we feed will be the one to conquer. It is our decision to make, and it is much more easily made early on.

I love you all.
Sister Bailey

"The Iron Rod Is The Word Of God!"

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