As I have said before, I don't like making New Year's Resolutions. They are by their very nature made to be broken. I, therefore, make goals. My goal for 2012 is to become spiritually prepared and you are welcome to come along for the journey.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yes...I am a Mormon. I am in my mid 40's and am committed to becoming as close to my Heavenly Father as I can while on this earth.
|Photo courtesy of 5thandstate.blogspot.com|
This year, we are studying the Old Testament with my son who is in Seminary. For those of you who might not know, youth who are in high school or of high school age, attend classes either at church, a special building or at home that teaches them and prepares them for going out into the world. This is in addition to high school. It lasts four years and each year we study a different book of scripture: Old Testament KJV, New Testament KJV, Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants (Church History). You can read more about Seminary here.
Our study of the Old Testament has been more than thirty days and has become a habit. I love reading the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph of Egypt. I really don't want to stop reading at night, but my son can't focus that long.
We have finished reading Genesis and started on Exodus today. I have learned so much. For example, why did God destroy the inhabitants of the Earth in Noah's day? It wasn't just that everyone was wicked, but everyone being born had no chance to do good because they were being born to wicked parents.
President John Taylor (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, President 1880-1887) helped explain why the Lord decided to destroy all people on earth except the family of Noah. President Taylor suggested that the world was so wicked that children grew up with no choice but to be wicked. At that point where there is no chance to choose righteousness, sending innocent spirits from heaven to earth is no longer just. Consequently, the Lord destroyed all the wicked and began again with the family of Noah to raise up righteous men and women. “By taking away their earthly existence he prevented them from entailing [give as an inheritance] their sins upon their posterity and degenerating them [making them wicked], and also prevented them from committing further acts of wickedness” (in Journal of Discourses, 19:158–59). If God had not flooded the earth, His great plan could not be fulfilled. (Old Testament Seminary Manual).
Or another truth discovered: Was Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed only because of sexual sins? No. Immorality was just one of the many reasons. Ezekiel 16:48–50 helps us realize that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were prideful, were unwilling to take care of the poor and needy among them, and were idle. Wow...these are things that are happening today. I hear people disparaging those who are on government assistance today, instead of trying to find the truly needy and help them.
Also, Joseph of Egypt's story not only tells us how God brings about the things He wants in our lives through the actions of other people, but it is a great lesson on being prepared.
In addition to studying the Old Testament, I will also be studying the Book of Mormon. It is what we are studying in Sunday School this year. So, I will be putting my thoughts on here of that study as well.
In Relief Society, (the women's organization), we will be studying the manuals, George Albert Smith, Teachings of the Prophets Series and Daughters in my Kingdom, a History of Relief Society. Also, we learn from our current leaders, so once a month, I teach a Teachings of Our Times lesson that is contained in the Ensign. I will be posting my lessons here once a month.
Don't get overwhelmed, it is a lot of information, but it is all designed so that we women can learn and grow. We have other programs too, for men, youth and children. That is for another day. But for today, my spirit is renewed from going to church and associating with the Saints. (Don't let that word fool you, we are imperfect human beings just like everyone else.)
"The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination." Don Williams, Jr.