"This parable targets the violence of apathy and neglect which is widening the chasm between rich and poor. The trouble is that even such abstractions [of “rich” and “poor”] become easy to live with. We need some first hand experience of encountering the real people whom we will then not be able to dismiss as relative statistics. And if that cannot be first hand, we need to help people engage in active imagination of what it really means to be poor, to be a refugee, to be caught on the wrong side of the chasms…" ("First Thoughts on Year C Gospel Passages in the Lectionary," Pentecost 18, William Loader, Murdoch University, Uniting Church in Australia. [http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/LkPentecost18.htm])
"If our hearts are closed to hearing the cry for justice, mercy and bread, the words of the resurrected One will not be convincing, but convicting." ("No Way Out," Mark Harris, The Christian Century, 2001. Religion Online. [http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=2129])
“The greatest deception is that people start to believe they are owed a privileged status. They actually think they are exceptional and believe that they have become more valuable because they have more valuables.” ("The Man Who Wore Purple and Linen," Jerry Goebel, One Family Outreach. [http://onefamilyoutreach.com/bible/Luke/lk_16_19-31.html])
“Some chasms cannot be crossed. Some things harden…. Even Abraham cuts no ice with a God determined to be just.” ("Send Lazarus," J. Mary Luti, The Christian Century, 1998. [http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=624])
"We would do well, I believe, to explore those things which our culture highly esteems, and then to consider whether or not these things are well pleasing in the sight of God." ("The Rich Man and Lazarus," Hampton Keathley IV, a study from the Biblical Studies Foundation. [http://bible.org/seriespage/rich-man-and-lazarus])
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen. (D&C 6:36-37)
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matt 13:19)
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matt. 13:23)
For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you….the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. (v4,6)
This is reinforced by this line--"Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." We are to understand that if we use parts of our stewardship to help people, even if they don't really deserve it, when Judgment Day comes, they will speak up for us and be witnesses for our generosity. Helping them amounts to "laying up treasure in heaven."
Watch the following video "Treasures in Heaven: The John Tanner Story, part 2 of 2" and see if you can keep track of the treasure in heaven that John Tanner laid up.
If this post helped you, please share it on Facebook or Twitter or your other networks. You never know how many people you can help.
Many mothers in the church have been serenaded on Mother’s Day over the years by their cherubs lisping the words from “I Often Go Walking.”
I often go walking in meadows of clover,
And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;
Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.
O mother, I give you my love with each flower
To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;
For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.
It might be easy to think that this song is antiquated and idealized almost to the point of saccharine; after all, how many children often go walking in meadows of clover these days? (You can tell I'm isolated from farmland these days, huh.)
It was when I discovered the back story to this song that I began to see how relevant it still is to us today, and how much of an inspiration it can be.
The song was written by Phyllis Luch. “Phyllis Luch says of her inspiration for the words: ‘My mother was mentally ill….Nearly the only time she was at peace was in the fields and meadows….She knew the names of wildflowers, which as a child I thought was amazing.’” (Our Children’s Songs: Teaching the Gospel with the Children’s Songbook, p98)
When I first read that, I thought there was some bitter irony that a song that sounds so idealized was written for a mother with such difficulties. Was Phylis trying to gloss over the hard times and make some sort of pretty picture to cling to and fantasize about?
No. When I read more carefully, I noticed that Phyllis was expressing how she had learned to love blossoms, meadows, and walking because her mother loved those things. It is a message that any mother, no matter what kind of difficulty they may labor under to nurture and train their children, still has the ability to pass on to her child an appreciation for the things that she loves.
It is comforting to know that Phyllis knew that her mother was mentally ill. I don’t know whether she knew it while as a child or whether she learned it as an adult, but she knew it. And she chose to give tribute to her mother for something good she learned from her, rather than dwelling on the difficulties and pain.
So, here’s to ALL MOTHERS! Here’s to the mothers that press on through feelings of inadequacy. Here’s to the sacrifice and selflessness and especially the inner struggle that leads to it. Here’s to the courage and the dignity in spite of the sneers of the world. Here’s to the hours of changing diapers and spooning baby food into little mouths. Here’s to the chauffeuring and the homework help. Here’s to putting your foot down and taking a stand. Here’s to the perseverance to repeat the same righteous teachings as many times as is needed before it finally sinks in. Here’s to the pleading prayers, the deferred me-time, the falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day.
Mothers, I salute you!
Many members of the Church are led into sin by unbelievers—Alma is promised eternal life—Those who repent and are baptized gain forgiveness—Church members in sin who repent and confess to Alma and to the Lord will be forgiven; otherwise, they will not be numbered among the people of the Church. About 120–100 B.C.
1 Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.
2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.
3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.
4 And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God.
5 And now in the reign of Mosiah they were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.
6 For it came to pass that they 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.
7 And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered up unto the priests by the teachers; and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest.
8 Now king Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church.
9 And it came to pass that Alma did not know concerning them; but there were many witnesses against them; yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance.
10 Now there had not any such thing happened before in the church; therefore Alma was troubled in his spirit….(Mosiah 26:1-10)
…and he [Alma] caused that they should be brought before the king.11 And he said unto the king: Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes.12 But king Mosiah said unto Alma: Behold, I judge them not; therefore I deliver them into thy hands to be judged.
28 Therefore I say unto you, that he that will not hear my voice, the same shall ye not receive into my church, for him I will not receive at the last day.29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.30 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.31 And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.32 Now I say unto you, Go; and whosoever will not repent of his sins the same shall not be numbered among my people; and this shall be observed from this time forward. (Mosiah 26:28-32)
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Revelation 13:1-6)
7 And it was given unto him [the beast] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:7-10)
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Revelation 13:11-14)
15 And he [the second beast] had power to give life unto the image of the [first] beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:15-18)