Wednesday, December 31, 2008

1 Nephi 16:10

1 Nephi 16: 10 states:

"And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness."

I wonder what the other spindle pointed to...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


What, you ask, does Pinocchio have to do with the gospel? Lots.

If you've never read the book by Carlo Collodi, the first thing you must know is that it is different than the Disney movie. For one, Jiminy Cricket shows up in chapter four, and two pages later is smashed by a hammer (thrown by Pinocchio). The cricket does show up a few other times throughout the book (as a ghost), and is one of the voices of warning.

The Blue Fairy is different in the book too. We first meet her as a child with blue hair. Later she is a woman with blue hair, and occasionally she is a goat or other creature with blue hair. She acts as "momma" to Pinocchio, and shows up much more frequently than the cricket (who has no name).

Geppetto is Pinocchio's father and loves him dearly. He is also dirt poor, and sells the coat off his back in order to buy a spelling book for Pinocchio.

One night, towards the beginning of the book, Pinocchio was getting himself into a scrape (it was not the first time either, because he was not a very well-behaved puppet), but just at the moment when all hope would be lost, he calls out for his father.

"Humph!" I thought. "That is so presumptuous of him, to go against all his father's counsel and then call out to his father in his hour of need."

Then I said, "Oh." I do that too.

The book is a wonderful allegory for the plan of salvation, and our time on earth. Pinocchio's goal is to become a "real boy," a human like his father. He messes up a lot, sometimes because he's innocent, sometimes not, and he struggles and repents and makes up for it, and ultimately he is rewarded by becoming a real boy.

I'd go into more detail, but I think you get the idea. You should read the book. I loved it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Preach My Gospel: 1

I recently read this section in the first chapter of Preach My Gospel, and wanted to share it. I've edited it to apply to members who are not serving full-time missions:

A Successful Missionary

Your success as a missionary [or member, or person, or anything] is measured primarily by your commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people and to help them become faithful members of the Church who enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Avoid comparing yourself to other [people] and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs. Remember that people have agency to choose whether to accept [you or who you are or the things that you do and represent]. Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make a correct choice. Some may not accept your message [or agree with you] even when they have received a spiritual witness that it is true. You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation. You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith. If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit.

You can know you have been a successful [person] when you:

Feel the Spirit testify to people through you.

Love people and desire their salvation.

Obey with exactness.

Live so that you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit, who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say.

Develop Christlike attributes.

Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring souls to Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve.

Help build up the Church (the ward) wherever you are assigned to work.

• Warn people of the consequences of sin. Invite them to make and keep commitments. [This is harder when you're not a missionary or a prophet, but can include speaking out to family members, and extending commitments to others you are involved with, such as those you visit/home teach.]

Teach and serve other missionaries.

Go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message [or service].

When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.

Isn't that a great message? I love it. Don't get discouraged. Success is measure by commitment. That applies to so many aspects of my life, not just the gospel.