Sunday, November 29, 2015 0 comments

Hostilities increase as the church is regulated, but blessings come too

Before Alma the Elder receives the revelation about how to regulate the church with appropriate discipline measures, there is a period when the unbelievers gain a lot of influence.

For it came to pass that they [the unbelievers] did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church. (Mosiah 26:6)

But once Alma the Elder receives his revelation about how to deal with those who sin and is able to reaffirm the principle that eternal salvation depends upon continued repentance and faith in Christ, those people who were willing to repent changed and became steadfast and immovable, willing to keep the commandments, unwilling to listen to those who previously had deceived them.

Of course, the unbelievers did not like to lose their influence, so they ratcheted up the pressure to the level of persecution, which is why v38 tells us Alma and his fellow laborers were “persecuted by all those who did not belong to the church of God.”  Unbelievers think church discipline is unfair and unmerited, but the church lives at a higher level. 

The members were also persecuted, since Mosiah 27:1 notes that “the persecutions which were inflicted on the church by the unbelievers became so great that the church began to murmur and complain to their leaders concerning the matter.”

Persecution over church discipline measures is an attempt to influence with social aggression and shaming and mockery.  It is also an attempt to reject and punish.  However, for those who are willing to accept church discipline, the blessings are becoming steadfast and immovable in Christ.

Friday, November 27, 2015 1 comments

Murmur Not

My husband and I are reading old conference talks as part of our scripture study at the end of the year. 

We ran across this gem of a talk from Elder Neal A. Maxwell in the October 1989 conference entitled “Murmur Not.”   It is as applicable today as it ever was when it was given.

A basic cause of murmuring is that too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destinations!
In its extremity, murmuring reflects not only the feelings of the discontented, but also the feelings of the very conflicted:
“Their sorrowing was … the sorrowing of the damned, because [they could not] take happiness in sin.
“And [yet] they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.” (Morm. 2:13–14.) . . . .
First, the murmurer often lacks the courage to express openly his concerns. If the complaint concerns a peer, the murmurer seldom follows Jesus’ counsel, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” (Matt. 18:15.)
Second, murmurers make good conversational cloak holders. Though picking up no stones themselves, they provoke others to do so.
Third, while a murmurer insists on venting his own feelings, he regards any response thereto as hostile. (See 2 Ne. 1:26.) Furthermore, murmurers seldom take into account the bearing capacity of their audiences.
Fourth, murmurers have short memories. Israel arrived in Sinai, then journeyed on to the Holy Land though they were sometimes hungry and thirsty. But the Lord rescued them, whether by the miraculous appearance by quail or by water struck from a rock. (See Num. 11:31; Ex. 17:6.) Strange, isn’t it, brothers and sisters, how those with the shortest memories have the longest lists of demands! However, with no remembrance of past blessings, there is no perspective about what is really going on. . . .
Perhaps when we murmur we are unconsciously complaining over not being able to cut a special deal with the Lord. We want full blessings but without full obedience to the laws upon which those blessings are predicated. For instance, some murmurers seem to hope to reshape the Church to their liking by virtue of their murmuring. But why would one want to belong to a church that he could remake in his own image, when it is the Lord’s image that we should come to have in our countenances? (See Alma 5:19.)
The doctrines are His, brothers and sisters, not ours. The power is His to delegate, not ours to manipulate!
One especially fundamental fact about murmuring is contained in this verse: “And thus Laman and Lemuel … did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” (1 Ne. 2:12.)

There are some extreme forms of murmuring that are skewed in this quote, but there are also some less-extreme forms to watch out for, if you read the rest of the talk.

A couple questions I have found I can ask myself to diagnose whether I am murmuring or not is to ask, “Am I talking to someone who can actually do something about this? What do I want to have happen as a result of expressing this?”  If I’m not talking to someone who can actually help, or if I don’t expect any change, then it is not productive and I should stop murmuring/complaining/venting/whining.

I hope you will take the time to read the whole talk. It’s so good.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 0 comments

On staying worthy of the Holy Ghost’s companionship

The Sunday school lesson 24 has a few questions and scripture lists that I thought were really good and I want to share them.

One question was, “After we have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, how can we be worthy of the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship?”

It’s one of those good questions that make you stop and think if you actually know how you can make this happen. I think I try to keep a good environment around me, but I haven’t been as intentional and focused specifically on keeping the Spirit. 

And when I think about it, keeping a good environment and intentionally keeping the Spirit are two slightly different things.  One is about controlling what is going on outside of you, and the other one is about controlling what is going on inside of you.

The scriptures listed are fabulous reminders.

. . . they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. (D&C 20:77)

Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him. (D&C 76:116, emphasis added)

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit… (D&C 6:14, emphasis added)

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32, emphasis added)

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion. . .  (D&C 121:45-46, emphasis added)

So, to summarize the ways we stay worthy are:
·      Take Christ’s name
·      Always remember Christ
·      Keep the commandments
·      Love God
·      Purify ourselves before God (repent)
·      Inquire of God for instruction
·      Obey God
·      Have charity to all
·      Let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly

These are all things that happen inside of us.  I like this list because it makes it so I can do a pretty quick self-check to see how I’m doing and whether there needs to be any repentance and changes make in my life. 

The next question the manual asks is one that at bottom we all wonder at one time or another: “How can we recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost?”

Then comes another list of scriptures.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth; (D&C 6:15)

Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? (D&C 6:23)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; (D&C 11:13)

34 These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;
35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;
36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words. (D&C 18:34-36)

Listing thing things we learn from these scriptures about how to recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost, we find:
Love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance, meekness
Peace in our mind

23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law. (D&C 23-24)

I will give away all my sins to know thee (Alma 22:18)

11 And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.
12 I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you. (Mosiah 5:11-12)

Also, it just so happens that the scriptures listed about how we can come to know God and gain eternal life say things that are similar to what is required to stay worthy of the Holy Ghost. So if we stay worthy of the Spirit, we will automatically come to know God as well. 

Monday, November 23, 2015 0 comments

Nurturing your Divine Nature

I was rereading the talks from the general women’s session in the Ensign and one of the talks impressing me more than it had at the time when I had heard it.  It is Rosemary Wixom’s talk“Discovering the Divinity Within.”

“We come to this earth to nurture and discover the seeds of divine nature that are within us.”

I’ve known that we have a divine nature because we are children of God, but it hadn’t occurred to me that we can nurture that divine nature.  Somehow I hadn’t thought of it that way before. 

“Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.”

There are things we associate with our identities that are temporal, not necessarily eternal.  It is good to remember the difference. 

I also think personal accomplishments are good when we practice righteous principles and build righteous character traits, but some accomplishments are going to be more important eternally than others.   There are accomplishments that the world lauds, but which won’t help us in the eternities.  There are also personal accomplishments that will be passed over, sneered at, or ignored by the world. 

I noticed that her talk contained a number of different ways that we can nurture our divine nature.

"We identify with our divine nature as we feel and give the love of our Father in Heaven. We have the agency to nurture it, let it flourish, and help it grow."

Love is clearly part of divine nature. 

"We naturally turn to Him in prayer, and we are eager to read His words and to do His will. We are able to take our validation vertically from Him, not horizontally from the world around us or from those on Facebook or Instagram."

The impulse to pray and read the scriptures is from our divine nature.  This reminds me of the scripture that says the Spirit teaches man to pray.  I suppose then that not only the Holy Ghost teaches us to pray, but also our own divine nature.  That is neat.

"Divine nature breathes into us the desire to know these eternal truths for ourselves."

So the desire to gain a testimony is from our divine nature and that will lead us to do all the experimenting upon the word that will help us come to know every eternal principle. 

"Divine nature breathes into us the desire to serve others. . . .

The divine nature within us ignites our desire to reach out to others and prompts us to act. . . .

It is through the whisperings of the Spirit that the divine nature of a doubter, after gasping for breath, finds the peace to breathe again.
When the prophet speaks, his words resonate with our divine nature and give us strength to follow.
Partaking of the sacrament each week breathes hope into the divinity within us, and we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ."

I’m getting the feeling that every good thing that we want to do will be part of our divine nature.  And this makes me realize that of course there will be a war between our divine nature and our natural man or woman.  So we’ll have to make decisions to choose which one we nurture. 

Today, let’s focus on doing those things that will nurture the divine nature within us. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015 2 comments

Jeremiah 24: The baskets of good and bad figs and how we deal with challenges

1 The Lord shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the Lord, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
3 Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
4 ¶Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.
6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
8 ¶And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers. (Jeremiah 24)

This is an interesting chapter. In it Jeremiah tells of how the Lord showed him two baskets of figs, one good and one bad.  The Lord told him the good basket represented the Israelites who were carried away captive to Babylon for their good, and who would eventually be brought back to Israel and who would have a heart to follow the Lord and be his people.

The bad basket of figs represented those who were still in Jerusalem and who would be scattered to all the kingdoms of the earth to their hurt.  They would be destroyed with the sword, famine, and pestilence.

So what is this really saying?  I think first of all it is telling us that in the Lord’s economy, sometimes the things that look like disasters—such as being carried away captive to Babylon would have seemed to the Israelites still in Jerusalem—can turn out to be good, and the things that look good—like being left alone in Jerusalem—can turn out to be bad.  At that point in time the Israelites were so wicked that captivity, which looked terrible, became a chastising agent which would be good for them.

Notice that both groups would removed from their land, but that for one group it would turn to their good because they would develop a heart to follow the Lord, but the other group wouldn’t, so it would be to their hurt. 

I think the question Jeremiah hoped his listeners (and readers) would ask is, “Which group am I in?” and then think about whether they were someone who was humbled by difficult events or someone who was hardened by them.  He wanted the people to prepare themselves to be humbled by the captivity and scattering they would undergo so that they would receive the benefit from it which the Lord intended.

I think this message is just as applicable today.  Though we may not face captivity, there are still different challenges that can come without warning.  If we humble ourselves and let it impel us closer to God, the difficult events can be for our good, rather than for our hurt.

I can think of a few challenges I'm having that may not look like much to others, but which certainly try my patience and stretch my diligence muscle.  Many times in the past I have gotten discouraged, but ultimately that never did any good. So I'm going to face them with trust that Heavenly Father will help me and that I will grow from it. 

Today let’s see our challenges (large or small) as opportunities to humble ourselves and turn to the Lord.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 0 comments

Spiritual dangers in pretending to priesthood authority

13 ¶Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:13-16)

Note that these seven were sons of a Jew, who was a chief priest, and therefore would have inherited priestly offices from their father.

They seem to have heard that Paul had success casting out evil spirits using the name of Jesus, so they thought they should be able to do the same. The problem was they didn’t have the authority as they thought, and the evil spirit told them so.

One of the things we learn from this story is that spirits on the other side of the veil are compelled to recognize and obey the authoritative acts of a legitimate priesthood holder, but not those of a pretender or usurper. In fact, a usurper actually puts themselves in the power of evil spirits because the deceit they attempt to practice puts them on the side of the great deceiver, Satan.  Satan has power over his own. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has priesthood power today, restored by angels, for which I am grateful.

Let’s make good choices and stay firmly on the Lord’s side so that Satan has no power over us.
Monday, November 16, 2015 0 comments

The Lord's Preface to Alma’s Deliverance

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
(Mosiah 24:13-14)

This was given to the people of Alma when they were in bondage to the Amulonites and Lamanites.

Usually when the Lord gives a promise, it is conditioned upon the people acting a certain way.  Commonly there are if-then statements.  “If you do this, then I will do this.” 

This is a rare stance where the conditions are practically reversed.  Instead of promising a blessing after the people do something, the Lord promises a blessing and then requires something afterward.  He promises to deliver Alma and his people, and afterward they are to stand as witnesses (fulfilling their baptismal covenant) that the Lord visits His people and helps them in their afflictions.

I suppose that the people were so faithful already that the Lord knew He could trust them to do as He asked. 

I think this is also what the Lord requires of us in our afflictions. When we are faithful, He will help us through it and He wants us to then testify of His help so that others know they can depend on the Lord too.  Also, hearing testimonies of how the Lord has helped others gives us an idea of what kind of help we can look for.  Sometimes help is dramatic and other times it is subtle, but it is up to us to recognize it.

This last week I was got some help from the Lord. I was studying up on how to convert a book I’ve written into ebooks easily, and everything I was reading was making it a big overwhelming task.  It was tempting to get discouraged and give up. But I had faith Heavenly Father would help me somehow if I just kept searching and learning, and I ran into a place where I could get simpler instructions.  I anticipate more work ahead, but I am already thankful.
Saturday, November 14, 2015 0 comments

The importance of sincerity to conversion

Helaman 3:24-26 describes how thousands of people decided to unite themselves to the church and the record even calls it tens of thousands.  The church prospered exceedingly and the priests and teachers were astonished beyond measure.

Only two years later (v33), pride begins to enter the church and Mormon uses interesting language—“ not into the church of God, but into the hearts of the people who professed to belong to the church of God” (emphasis added).  That indicates he is a little skeptical of the level of conversion of some of the people who joined the church in such great numbers.

In v34, we learn the proud members begin persecuting their humble brethren in the church.

By Helaman 4:1—five years after so many people joined the church—there were many dissentions in the church and a contention among the people with lots of bloodshed.  So those who were not sincere in the church could not maintain the façade.  Mormon does not state this, but it is easy to see that joining the church for any other reason than true conversion and commitment to Christ is not a firm foundation.

I think Mormon’s observation of the mass conversions is telling: 

Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.  (Helaman 3:27)

Sincerity is the key work there.  Some among the number of converts may not have been sincere, and they would not be the ones receiving the Lord’s mercy. The Lord is not fooled by empty profession and vain posturing and parading.

For those who have to go through persecution from the proud and insincere, Mormon says,

Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked  (Helaman 3:29)

For those who are sincerely converted, it is like taking a strait path through a gulf of misery to be surrounded by hypocrites in the true church and to suffer at their hands. The only way they can stay steadfast is to lay hold on the word of God and keep going.  

I hope we never fall into pride and hypocrisy and persecution of our fellow members.  Also, in every church ward I have been in I have been blessed to be around sincere members who are doing their best.  I hope that if we ever find ourselves in a ward where members are not so sincere we can hold on our way and stay the course.
Thursday, November 12, 2015 2 comments

Bracing words from Brigham Young for preparation for Thanksgiving

I love Brigham Young’s practically unsinkable positive attitude.  If you need a blast for fresh air for your spirit to sweep out the cobwebs and the tendency to whine, I highly recommend re-reading the Brigham Young manual.

Here’s what I read recently that struck me as perfect preparation for this Thanksgiving season:

I might say something with regard to the hard times. You know that I have told that if any one was afraid of starving to death, let him leave, and go where there is plenty. I do not apprehend the least danger of starving, for until we eat up the last mule, from the tip of the ear to the end of the fly whipper, I am not afraid of starving to death. There are many people who cannot now get employment, but the spring is going to open upon us soon, and we are not going to suffer any more than what is for our good. I am thankful for the hand of the Lord which is visible; I am thankful for this providence of his as for any that I ever received. I have told you, years ago, my feelings with regard to their sympathies, their faith, gratitude and thankfulness, and their acknowledgement of the hand of the Lord and of the dispensations of his providence. . .

We rejoice because the Lord is ours, because we are sown in weakness for the express purpose of attaining to greater power and perfection. In everything the Saints may rejoice—in persecution, because it is necessary to purge them, to prepare the wicked for their doom; in sickness and in pain, with sorrow, and with every affliction that mortals can endure, for by contact all things are demonstrated to our senses. We have reason to rejoice exceedingly that faith is in the world, that the Lord reigns, and does his pleasure among the inhabitants of the earth. Do you ask if I rejoice because the Devil has the advantage over the inhabitants of the earth, and has afflicted mankind? I most assuredly answer in the affirmative; I rejoice in this as much as in anything else. I rejoice because I am afflicted. I rejoice because I am poor. I rejoice because I am cast down. Why? Because I shall be lifted up again. I rejoice that I am poor because I shall be made rich; that I am afflicted, because I shall be comforted, and prepared to enjoy the felicity of perfect happiness, for it is impossible to properly appreciate happiness except by enduring the opposite. (Chapter 25)

When I read this, I can’t help but feel my perspective changing to look upon my challenges and afflictions as blessings and to be even more thankful for my advantages.

You see a bit of Brigham Young's resourcefulness here. He was fine with eating his mules, if it came to that, and we can imagine he wasn't going to let anything go to waste.

And then this is how he looks forward with an eye of hope:

We talk about our trials and troubles here in this life; but suppose that you could see yourselves thousands and millions of years after you have proved faithful to your religion during the few short years in this time, and have obtained eternal salvation and a crown of glory in the presence of God? Then look back upon your lives here, and see the losses, crosses, and disappointments, the sorrows . . . ; you would be constrained to exclaim, “but what of all that? Those things were but for a moment, and we are now here. We have been faithful during a few moments in our mortality, and now we enjoy eternal life and glory, with power to progress in all the boundless knowledge and through the countless stages of progression, enjoying the smiles and approbation of our Father and God, and of Jesus Christ our elder brother.” (Chapter 25)

From a certain perspective, Thanksgiving is a kind of prelude to that day of rejoicing.

So what are you thankful for?
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 2 comments

How to add to your patriarchal blessing

If you’re like me, you have had your patriarchal blessing for a long time and have phrases of it that come to your mind at various times that give you important perspective as you think about your challenges and opportunities. 

Or sometimes you may realize that the phrase you thought meant one thing turns out to mean something even more.   This has been my experience.  I got my patriarchal blessing around age 14 and there was a good portion of my blessing that I didn’t understand until more than 15 years later.  I thought particular phrases meant one thing and then later a different meaning was revealed by life circumstances and challenges.  Often the meaning of blessings promised is so much more expansive than I previously imagined.  Other times, the warnings turn out to be incredibly targeted.

If you are like me, you may have some short, pithy phrases of instruction in your patriarchal blessing.  You may become extra-sensitized to mentions of those phrases in talks or conference.  I have noticed occasionally conference talks use phrases from my blessing. When that happens, I immediately sit up and take notice because it is as if the Lord is speaking directly to me, giving me additional instruction pertaining to my patriarchal blessing.  It is almost as if the Lord is explaining my blessing to me or even promising me additional blessings for following the instructions in my blessing.

This happened recently at a regional conference and I was so excited I wrote as much as I could about what I’d heard so I could save it.   Then I hit upon the idea to study other phrases from my blessing using the scriptures or to see what I could find that would expand my understanding of the instructions or the blessings.   So far I’ve been searching one particular phrase and I’m learning a lot, so I wanted to challenge you to try the same thing. 

Our patriarchal blessings are scripture personal to us as individuals, and they deserve study just like the standard works and conference.  And it stands to reason that scripture and conference talks will give us more perspective on our blessings, since they came from the same source—Heavenly Father.

This isn’t a short-term project, so it is going to take a while.  There are all kinds of different ways we can approach it, but I think the best way to start is always to focus on parts that are most interesting to us right now.

Possible Approaches
·      Add footnotes.
·      Write a sentence-by-sentence commentary in your own words.  Include dictionary definitions of major words, even words you think you know.
·      Compile a personal commentary using applicable scriptures.
·      Compile a personal commentary using only conference talks.
·      Create an exhaustive commentary on your blessing with all the resources you have gathered so far.

 If you have tried this kind of thing before, will you share how that experience helped you?