Monthly Archives: October 2015

November Nightly Reminder on Tithes and Offerings: #6 out of 7

“Obey the law of the fast by fasting each month, if health permits.” – For the Strength of Youth

Health permitting, I, ____________________, will obey the law of the fast tomorrow.*


“A proper fast day observance includes not eating or drinking for two consecutive meals and giving a generous fast offering to help care for those in need. Fast with a purpose. Begin and end your fast with prayer, expressing gratitude and asking for help with special needs you or others may have. Fasting will strengthen your self-discipline, fortify you against temptations, and bring the Lord’s blessings into your life.” – For the Strength of Youth

*While “Fast Sunday is usually on the first Sunday of the month” (to quote For the Strength of Youth), it’s possible that it won’t be in your ward or stake, in which case commit to obeying the law of the fast whenever it is that your ward plans to.

Daily Reminder on Sexual Purity: #6 out of 21

I, ____________________, commit to be sexually pure. By my words and my actions, I will encourage others to do the same.

“When you are sexually pure… you also protect yourself from harmful diseases.” – For the Strength of Youth


“Why the law of chastity?

“Sometimes we give as reasons for the law of chastity the risk of pregnancy or abortion, the possibility of an unwanted or embarrassing marriage, or the chance of a terrible venereal disease. With adultery, we talk about the damage of destroying an existing marriage orfamily. As serious as these things are, I’m not sure they are the fundamental reason for the Lord’s having placed this commandment ahead of armed robbery and fraud in the seriousness of sins.

“Think of it—unchastity is second only to murder. Perhaps there is a common element in those two things—unchastity and murder. Both have to do with life, which touches upon the highest of divine powers. Murder involves the wrongful taking of life; sexual transgression may involve the wrongful giving of life, or the wrongful tampering with the sacred fountains of life-giving power.” – The Gospel and Romantic Love by Bruce C. Hafen


Have I prayed to my Father in Heaven for help resisting temptation and overcoming inappropriate thoughts and feelings?

November Nightly Reminder on Tithes and Offerings: #5 out of 7

“Your attitude is important in paying tithing. Pay it because you love the Lord and have faith in Him.” – For the Strength of Youth

I, ____________________, will strive to pay tithing because of my love and faith in Him.


“This leads to a fifth reason to pay our tithes and offerings. We should pay them as a personal expression of love to a generous and merciful Father in Heaven. Through His grace God has dealt bread to the hungry and clothing to the poor. At various times in our lives that will include all of us, either temporally or spiritually speaking. For every one of us the gospel has broken forth as the light of the morning, driving back the darkness of ignorance and sorrow, fear and despair. In nation after nation His children have called and the Lord has answered. Through the movement of His gospel across the world, God is relieving the burdens of the weary and setting free those that are oppressed. His loving goodness has made our lives, rich or poor, near or far, “like a watered garden, … [from] a spring of water … [that faileth] not.”

I express my deepest gratitude for every blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially that greatest of all gifts, the exemplary life and atoning death of God’s Only Begotten Son. I know I can never repay heaven for any of this benevolence, but there are many ways I need to try to show my thankfulness. One of those ways is in the payment of tithes and freewill offerings. I want to give something back, but I never want it to be (in King David’s words) “that which doth cost me nothing.”” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in Sunday’s post.

Daily Reminder on Sexual Purity: #5 out of 21

I, ____________________, commit to be sexually pure. By my words and my actions, I will encourage others to do the same.

“When you are sexually pure… you protect yourself from the spiritual and emotional damage that come from sharing sexual intimacy outside of marriage.” – For the Strength of Youth


“True love is the centerpiece attribute in both the first and second great commandments—on which every other law hangs! Therefore, to misunderstand the true nature of love is to misunderstand life.

“To be unchaste, in the name of love, is to destroy something precious in order to celebrate its existence wrongly. [Sexual immorality is dangerous because it is so desensitizing, making people past feeling.] When we lose our capacity to feel, it is because we have destroyed the taste buds of the soul.” – Reasons to Stay Pure by Neal A. Maxwell


Have I prayed to my Father in Heaven for help resisting temptation and overcoming inappropriate thoughts and feelings?

November Nightly Reminder on Tithes and Offerings: #4 out of 7

“Pay it willingly with a thankful heart.” For the Strength of Youth

I, ____________________, commit to paying my tithes and offerings with a thankful heart.


“Fourth, pay your tithes and offerings out of honesty and integrity because they are God’s rightful due. Surely one of the most piercing lines in all of scripture is Jehovah’s thundering inquiry, “Will a man rob God?” And we ask, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” He answers, “In tithes and offerings.”

“Paying tithing is not a token gift we are somehow charitably bestowing upon God. Paying tithing is discharging a debt. Elder James E. Talmage once described this as a contract between us and the Lord. He imagined the Lord saying: “‘You have need of many things in this world—food, clothing, and shelter for your family … , the common comforts of life. … You shall have the means of acquiring these things; but remember they are mine, and I require of you the payment of a rental upon that which I give into your hands. However, your life will not be one of uniform increase … [so] instead of doing as mortal landlords do—requir[ing] you to … pay in advance, whatever your fortunes or … prospects may be—you shall pay me … [only] when you have received; and you shall pay me in accordance with what you receive. If it so be that in one year your income is abundant, then … [your 10 percent will be a] little more; and if it be so that the next year is one of distress and your income is not what it was, then … [your 10 percent will be] less. … [Whatever your circumstance, the tithe will be fair.]’

““Have you ever found a landlord on earth who was willing to make that kind of [equitable] contract with you?” Elder Talmage asks. “When I consider the liberality of it all,” he says, “… I feel in my heart that I could scarcely raise my countenance to … Heaven … if I tried to defraud [God] out of that [which is rightfully His].”” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.

Daily Reminder on Sexual Purity: #4 out of 21

I, ____________________, commit to be sexually pure. By my words and my actions, I will encourage others to do the same.

“When you are sexually pure… you prepare yourself to build a strong marriage and to bring children into the world as part of an eternal and loving family.” – For the Strength of Youth


“Your physical bodies are a blessing from God. We received them for the purposes of fulfilling Heavenly Father’s work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” The body is the means by which we can attain our divine potential.

The body enables Heavenly Father’s obedient spirit children to experience life on earth. Bearing children gives other spirit children of God the opportunity to also enjoy life on earth. All who are born in mortality have the opportunity to progress and to be exalted if they obey God’s commandments…

A legal and lawful marriage sealed in the temple and in which the sealing covenants are honored gives parents and their children the opportunity for the best experience of love and preparation for a fruitful life. It offers them the ideal environment in which they can live their covenants made with God.” – Be Fruitful, Multiply, and Subdue the Earth by Joseph W. Sitati


Have I prayed to my Father in Heaven for help resisting temptation and overcoming inappropriate thoughts and feelings?

November Nightly Reminder on Tithes and Offerings: #3 out of 7

“Pay it first, even when you think you do not have enough money to meet your other needs.” – For the Strength of Youth

I, ____________________, commit to pay my tithing first.


“Third, pay your tithing as a declaration that possession of material goods and the accumulation of worldly wealth are not the uppermost goals of your existence. As one young husband and father, living on a student budget, recently told me, “Perhaps our most pivotal moments as Latter-day Saints come when we have to swim directly against the current of the culture in which we live. Tithing provides just such a moment. Living in a world that emphasizes material acquisition and cultivates distrust for anyone or anything that has designs on our money, we shed that self-absorption to give freely, trustingly, and generously. By this act, we say—indeed—we are different, that we are God’s peculiar people. In a society that tells us money is our most important asset, we declare emphatically it is not.”

“President Spencer W. Kimball once spoke of a man who prided himself on his vast acreage and remarkable holdings—groves and vineyards, herds and fields, ponds and homes and possessions of every kind. He prided himself on these, but to the end of his life was unwilling to tithe on them or even acknowledge that they were gifts from God. President Kimball then spoke at the man’s funeral, noting that this land baron was laid to rest in an oblong piece of soil measuring “the length of a tall man, the width of a heavy one.” In answer to the age-old question, “How much did he leave?” be reassured the answer will always be, “All of it.” So we would do well to lay up treasures in heaven, where not taxes but doctrines give meaning to words like estate, inheritance, testament, and will.” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.

Daily Reminder on Sexual Purity: #3 out of 21

I, ____________________, commit to be sexually pure. By my words and my actions, I will encourage others to do the same.

“When you are sexually pure, you prepare yourself to make and keep sacred covenants in the temple.” – For the Strength of Youth


“On July 16, 1953, my beloved Jeanene and I knelt as a young couple at an altar in the Manti Utah Temple. President Lewis R. Anderson exercised the sealing authority and pronounced us husband and wife, wedded for time and for all eternity. I have no power to describe the peace and serenity that come from the assurance that as I continue to live worthily, I will be able to be with my beloved Jeanene and our children forever because of that sacred ordinance performed with the proper priesthood authority in the house of the Lord.

“Our seven children are bound to us by the sacred ordinances of the temple. My precious wife, Jeanene, and two of our children are beyond the veil. They provide a powerful motivation for each remaining member of our family to live so that together we will receive all of the eternal blessings promised in the temple.

“Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan’s relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity. The temple sealing has greater meaning as life unfolds. It will help you draw ever closer together and find greater joy and fulfillment in mortality.” – The Eternal Blessings of Marriage by Richard G. Scott


Have I prayed to my Father in Heaven for help resisting temptation and overcoming inappropriate thoughts and feelings?

November Nightly Reminder on Tithes and Offerings: #2 out of 7

“Choosing to live the law of tithing will be a great blessing throughout your life.” – For the Strength of Youth

I, ____________________, commit to choosing to live the law of tithing.


“Second, pay your tithing to rightfully claim the blessings promised those who do so. “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” After she lost her husband in the martyrdom at Nauvoo and made her way west with five fatherless children, Mary Fielding Smith continued in her poverty to pay tithing. When someone at the tithing office inappropriately suggested one day that she should not contribute a tenth of the only potatoes she had been able to raise that year, she cried out to the man, “William, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Would you deny me a blessing? If I did not pay my tithing, I should expect the Lord to withhold His blessings from me. I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God, but because I expect a blessing by doing it. [I need a blessing.] By keeping this and other laws, I expect to… be able to provide for my family.”

I can’t list all the ways that blessings will come from obedience to this principle, but I testify many will come in spiritual ways that go well beyond economics. In my life, for example, I have seen God’s promise fulfilled that He would “rebuke the devourer for [my sake].” That blessing of protection against evil has been poured out upon me and on my loved ones beyond any capacity I have to adequately acknowledge. But I believe that divine safety has come, at least in part, because of our determination, individually and as a family, to pay tithing.” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.

Daily Reminder on Sexual Purity: #2 out of 21

I, ____________________, commit to be sexually pure. By my words and my actions, I will encourage others to do the same.

“Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage.” – For the Strength of Youth


“Let me talk… about the more positive aspects of the law of chastity, because that part of the law is fundamental and important. President Packer said:

““Oh, youth, the requirements of the Church are the highway to love, with guardrails securely in place, with help along the way. How foolish is the youth who feels the Church is a fence around love to keep him out. How fortunate is the young person who follows the standards of the Church, even if just from sheer obedience or habit, for he will find rapture and a joy fulfilled.”

“Properly understood, then, the scriptures counsel us to be virtuous not because romantic love is bad, but precisely because romantic love is so good. It is not only good; it is pure, precious, even sacred and holy. For that reason, one of Satan’s cheapest and dirtiest tricks is to make profane that which is sacred.” – The Gospel and Romantic Love by Bruce C. Hafen


Have I prayed to my Father in Heaven for help resisting temptation and overcoming inappropriate thoughts and feelings?