[93]=>Stupid Love Song
 [92]=>Henry V's war
 [91]=>Canon: EOS 20D v...
 [90]=>Grey when negati...
 [89]=>I would



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 [RAndoMness]=> 28Sep09
 [JPsDocs] => 22Feb09
 [JPics] => 10Dec11

recent music
Boycott SONY


My heart is troubled-poetry, prose
My heart is troubled
My soul is broken
And ofttimes, I've not the strength to carry on

But I will be there for you
Through trial and challenge
I will shoulder your pain
I will carry you

Where I cannot be there for myself, I will be there for you.

uploaded Sat December 13 2003 at 3:51 PM
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Seeketh to Excel.-Religion paper, D&C
When I was in High School, I often had the opportunity to attend various award ceremonies, either for academic achievements or with my brother for sports achievements. A common theme of many of these ceremonies was excellence. Student athletes were praised for their long hours of practice and for helping their team excel on the chosen field. The academics of the school were praised for their ability to excel in the classroom, and many speakers were so bold as to promise excellence in college. This theme also carried over to many graduation ceremonies, where the senior class was told that they had every chance to excel in their chosen occupation or future academic experience. In every one of these addresses, the word “excel” was something of a keyword for how great the student was.

In D&C 58:41, however, the Lord puts the word excel in a slightly different light: ”And also he hath need to repent, for I, the Lord, am not well pleased with him, for he seeketh to excel, and is not sufficiently meek before me.” According to this scripture, excellence is in direct opposition to meekness. I had never thought that an attempt to excel negated any attempt to be meek, but a careful second thought on the subject agrees with this conclusion.

Referring to the definition for “meek” and “excel” clarifies the difference between the Lord’s opinion of “excel” and the world’s opinion of “excel”. According to Webster, synonyms for “meek” include mild, submissive, and moderate. In addition to the Lord’s declaration that the meek “shall inherit the earth” (Matt 4:5), the Lord often expounds on the importance of being mild and submissive. Again referring to Webster, we find that a popular definition of excel is to “surpass others.” Surpassing others would definitely not be in the attitude of submissiveness that the Lord would desire from his servants. This is probably also the key to what William W. Phelps was doing wrong. The problem was probably not in his attempt to be good at his work, but rather in his attempt to be better than others. Such an attitude would not promote the peace and unity that the Lord is trying so hard to establish in the Doctrine and Covenants.

For a personal application, I think it is important to not confuse an attempt to do things right with a need to excel. The key is in how we look at ourselves in relation to others. We need to be sure that we are not doing a good job simply to get the praise of the world or to lift ourselves up above others. In other words, we must be careful to not seek to excel.

uploaded Sat December 13 2003 at 3:50 PM
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Not every gift-Religion paper, D&C
We often spend so much time worrying about the talents that we don’t have that we neglect to see the talents that we do have. It seems rather significant that before the Lord outlines the various gifts that are given to men, he states, “All have not every gift given unto them.” Also, before naming the gifts in section 46, the Lord reminds us that the gifts should be used in a way “that all may profit thereby.”

In order to keep a balance, it is also important to point out that the Lord does promise that “to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.” Even though we may not be able to count on having every gift possible, we should still “seek […] earnestly the best gifts.” One key that we are given to finding spiritual gifts is that we should seek them with the proper intent. They should be sought “not for a sign,” or for personal gain.

Perhaps the reason why the Lord outlines so many possible spiritual gifts is to give us somewhere to start as we look for our own gifts. We read that “To some is given one, and to some is given another.” This is reaffirmed when we read a list of gifts that we can open our hearts and minds to receive in our lives. This connects back to the original statement that we neglect the talents we have. Because there is a list of possible gifts, it is likely that one of the items listed will either be directly applicable, or at least very similar to one attribute of our own character. This all seems to point to the importance of realizing that we all have our own spiritual gifts, even though we don’t each have all possible gifts.

uploaded Sat December 13 2003 at 3:49 PM
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“With sheaves upon your back”-Religion paper, D&C
In D&C 31, the reader finds a few promises made by the Lord to those who faithfully perform his missionary work. These promises can be easily grouped into two categories; namely, these promises include blessings in the missionary’s life and success in preaching.

In verse 3, the Lord says “Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come.” This phrase seems to imply that missionary work brings joy not only to the eager investigator, but also to the messenger. This gives the reader the sense that the first possible blessing for the missionary is this joy from the opportunity to serve. In verse 2, the Lord proclaims a blessing upon the Marsh family, particularly Thomas’ children. This seems to mean that the Lord will look after a missionary’s family while he is in the Lord’s service. The phrase “the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth” implies that the blessing upon the family extends past the time period of actual service and could potentially affect future generations. The final blessing in the missionary’s life is forgiveness. The Lord states in verse 5 that the missionary’s “sins are forgiven” if he “thrust[s] in [his] sickle with all [his] soul.” For many, this opportunity to have a sure forgiveness of sins is the ultimate blessing.

The second category is the success that the missionary will have. In verse 5, the Lord declares that the missionary will “be laden with sheaves upon [his] back.” In the first reading of this, it seems to say that the missionary will have even more burdens laid upon his back. This doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the section, because it seems to be a punishment rather than a blessing. Upon further research, however, the reader can find that the phrase continues the metaphor of thrusting in the sickle. As a farmer harvests his wheat, the tight bundles that he makes are called sheaves. The phrase that a missionary will be laden with many sheaves refers to a successful harvest, not of wheat, but of men. This agrees with verse 7, where the Lord declares “I will open the hearts of the people, and the will receive you.”

The life improving insight that I have gained from this section is that anybody who serves the Lord will be richly blessed. I believe that this extends past a formal mission call, and encompasses any calling that the Lord gives to us. If we are faithful and committed to the work, then we can also receive the blessings described to Thomas Marsh. This includes blessings in our personal life, as well as increased success in our labors.

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