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Scripture Reading Journal

The past month has been a crazy and busy month for me. It is months such as this that would have totally wiped out my daily scripture reading goal in previous years. In February I flew back to Washington DC for our usual Maternal Fetal Medicine Network steering committee meetings and an hour before I landed, I received an email from the NIH that due to catastrophic snow storms, the meetings were cancelled. I was unable to get a flight back for the rest of the week. I know that I sometimes say that I would love a week in a hotel by myself with nothing to do, but after the first night I was going stir crazy. I flew back on the 14th and on the 16th received a call from Ric that mom had been quite sick while I was gone. I suggested we take her in to Insta Care, but after seeing the two hour wait we took her to the ER. They ended up admitting her right then for pneumonia. She ended up later being admitted to the telemetry unit in atrial fib and they diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis and congestive heart failure. We took her home a week later and I stayed with her until we could get home visits set up. We have a CNA that comes in the morning and one at night . She also gets two visits a week from the nurse (just happens to be her granddaughter Jennifer).

I did not stay up on my journaling but I am very proud to say that I did stay up on my reading. I have come to look forward to reading each night and even when I was not writing in the journal, I was looking for things that I could write and that seems to really make a difference for me. I have found the more that I read, the more I understand. The more I understand, the more I am able to relate the scriptures and what they teach to my own life.

I have been reading in Alma and there have been so many things that have touched me. One night when I was reading in Alma 7 where Alma is preaching to the people of Gideon, I read a few verses that really touched me for some reason. I dog-eared the page to come back to later. It is in Alma 7 :23 and 24. Alma tells the people that they should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. And see that ye have faith, hope and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

This hit home for me. I can feel myself veer away from these things, the busier that I become. I become so involved in the things that are not important and allow myself to become so overwhelmed. Many of the things that I am doing are good things, but I allow them to push me to the point that I am exhausted. It is at these times that the feelings of charity, patience and long suffering go out the window. I become angry and a little judgmental of others. I quarrel more with Dave and the kids and I find myself feeling justified to do so. As I read these verses, I realize that nothing is as important as putting myself in the frame of mind to follow Alma’s words. To stop and realize that being right is not as important as being patient and long suffering. Being submissive can sometimes have such a bad connotation. It is not a sign of weakness as the world would have us believe. In fact it is a sign of much strength. How difficult is it to not be always be proving ourselves to others and allowing our pride and expectations to decide how we act. There are some days that I come home from work and as I pick up the house, do laundry etc…..that feeling of I’m doing it all and no one is helping starts to creep in and before I know it I am acting out of anger and self pity instead of love and gratitude. I should feel so blessed to have a wonderful family to serve. I should feel blessed that I have been given the amazing opportunity to change lives with the research I am involved in. I am able to each day work with amazing physicians and nurses around the country in changing the care of mothers and babies. Some of these changes will save or improve the lives of millions. Not many people can say that.
I am afraid that I have rambled and not really shared what I so strongly feel. These few verses have made a great impact on me and I will strive to increase these attributes in my life. I truly feel that it will help me become what the Lord wants me to be.

 

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Scripture Reading Journal

I have been a little lax on my journaling of my reading. I have been reading but have not gotten around to making this post. I love being able to document my life in some small way in this blog, sharing the things that are important to me and the journey in my life to make a difference somehow, somewhere. It seems to make things more real for some reason when I take the time to document them. Not only that, but the older I get, the quicker I forget. To have this one place to go and look back on my thoughts is a wonderful thing. There are some great sites now that will back up and print your blog every so often. I think what a gift to my kids to have this and somehow see what was important to me. To see what I learned from reading the scriptures every day. If nothing else it inspires me to be better and to search and study more. I have worried these may be to personal to share on this blog and I hope that anyone stumbling upon this may understand the reason behind these posts.

It has been a big day today with the Super Bowl, go Seahawks!!!! It is late but I wanted to make a quick entry as the things I read last night made a bit impression on me. Reading in 2 Nephi 30,31 and 32. I love Nephi, and his teachings. I love how humble he was. His talks again remind me of being in a general conference. I have always struggled with reading the scriptures. I find myself reading along, thinking of so many different things, only to realize that I have read a chapter, without realizing what I was really reading. This past few weeks have seemed different and I think it has been in the way I have read. I have taken my time, only reading a few chapters a night but digging in and really studying them. I find myself looking forward to my nightly reading, where in the past it was a burden. I have doubted my faith and in doing so have doubted many other things . Chapter 31 and 32 teach us how to increase our spirituality and our faith. It is through studying these words and through meaningful prayer that we do that. If you take the time and effort to read and study them, you will see lasting benefits. Bruce R McConkie wrote: “May I suggest based on personal experience, that faith comes and revelations are received as a direct result of scriptural study”. In 32 it again tells us that we must feast upon the words.
Too many church members are denying themselves the blessings by only nibbling, not feasting. I am not sure if I was even nibbling– I would have called it a series of large meals and a lot of fasting. I could not expect to feel the spirit being poured out on me nor could I expect to understand what I was reading. I was not putting in the effort.
Former Salt Lake Temple president John K Edmunds wrote, ” Inactive goodness may lead to the terrestrial glory but never the celestial.
I find such comfort in these chapters. I do not need to be a scriptorian, I only need to put in the effort and I will understand and will see my faith grow. I do not need to worry about things to come, if I do these things diligently and have faith.
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Scripture Reading Journal

 

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Scripture Reading Journal

Tonight reading in 2 Nephi 27-28
This is the chapter that is most quoted by General Authorities than any other. There are so many wonderful things in 27. It talks a lot about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the translation by Joseph Smith and how this was prophesized many years ago. It talks about the records that have been sealed, to be revealed at a later time. It is because of the wickedness of our days and that we would not be ready to hear the message in them. It makes me so curious as to what may be in them that we would not be ready to hear. It is promised that all things from the beginning to the end will be revealed. It makes me so want to be worthy to hear this. But as I was reading this, a very strong feeling came over me and the question entered my mind. Why should I worry or be curious about what is sealed, if I am not reading and learning what has been revealed?. I thought for a minute about how quickly I can finish off a large suspense novel and compare that to how long it takes me to read the Book of Mormon or how often I start and never finish. I have read parts of the Bible, but never the entire book. I have read the Doctrine and Covenants completely one time. I do not want to be standing before God and have to explain why I could not take the time to read the words that have been saved, translated and prepared for me. I feel a little bit like the child that comes to their parents asking advise, only to turn away and ignore that advise completely and wonder why they are sad and make bad choices. (my children never do this!)
One more thing that I have heard so often “With their lips they do honor me” This caused me to think critically of how often I do things with lip service only and not with the purest of intent. I can think of many. I think of how we, as our imperfect selves try to look a certain way around others–to appear “perfect” It is so easy to fall into the trap of putting on the show of activity, instead of doing things for the correct purposes and doing so out of the spotlight.
One of the things I love about my husband is that he is the same around the men he works with on sunday and the men he ropes with during the week.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Scripture Reading Journal

 

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Scripture Reading Journal

I cannot express how much the few days of keeping this journal has helped me to feast upon the scriptures versus reading the pages to count it off my to do list. As I read I am looking for things that I have not noticed before. I am relating them to my life in a whole new way. All because I know that I will be writing my thoughts when I finish for the night. I apologize for my ramblings, but this section is for my records and this blog provides an easy method of documenting and saving my thoughts. If you are reading this and looking for a fun recipe to try, keep reading and you will find one.
Tonight I am reading 2 Nephi 25-26. Yes still comparing Isaiah. I marvel at the prophecies of prophets so many years ago, that have been fulfilled or will be fulfilled. In verses 15-16, it talks about the nations speaking from the dust. I was so excited because as I read this, I got it without referring to my handy study guide. How can a nation and it’s people talk to us from the ground? Through their records. And what records came from the ground? The Book of Mormon. I got it!!!!!!!!! Still not sure if I am ready to say “delightful” How many times have I shared with my kids, my experiences and what I have learned from them. We do not need to make every mistake to learn. We can learn from the experiences of others whether they be good or bad. That is what the scriptures are all about. We are human and have the same tendencies, trials, temptations and basic human nature. We see over and over the same patterns throughout history. How many times in the scriptures do we see happiness and prosperity when the people are following the commandments and are humble and teachable. Then after awhile, they become prideful and forget the ways of the Lord and bad things happen. Over and over this happens. look at these example and learn and avoid the pitfalls that they experienced.
Sin never was happiness and never will be. These verses talk about Satan as the master counterfeiter. He leads us to believe that we should do as we please, live life as we choose and that we need all of the earthly things to make us happy. He is very, very good and reels us in slowly. When we start to fight a little, like the fisherman, he lets out the line a little until we stop fighting and let ourselves be pulled in a little more. No one goes from faithful to unfaithful in one jump. It is a series of many, many small hops.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Scripture Reading Journal

 

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Scripture Reading Journal

I was up to mom’s this weekend to stay the night and take her to church.  I left my scriptures and book at home and since I am at the part comparing Isaiah and the fact that I am afraid to tackle it on my own, I skipped the night.  I have not yet found them “delightful” and try as I may, I cannot decipher Isaiah without a little help. But I did want to write a few notes about the talks in Sacrament meeting.  It was such a good meeting with some great speakers.  The topic was “Be of Good Cheer”  The first speaker was a young woman that had recently moved to Morgan.  I am not sure the connection as she is single and working in Salt Lake with her family living out of state.  She concentrated her talk on our purpose here on earth, explaining that one of our greatest purposes is have joy.  She related how she struggles with that in her own life and how this talk helped her learn how to better find that.  Her talk was based on the fact that we will have joy when we are keeping ALL of the commandments.  So she has decided to take the 10 commandments and find the areas that she needs improvement on.  I am like her in that I think we can check off Thou Shalt Not Kill, but after that it is a little less rosey for me.

One that she said she needed to work on was no other God’s before me.  What are we putting before God?.  She said that she reads the scriptures every night but it is usually after a night watching TV and then she is tired and unable to read much or concentrate and then by the time she prays she is almost asleep.  She felt she could improve by reversing the time commitment.

She had some great quotes that I wish I had written down because I can’t remember them or who said them

One that I thought was so good was if we were on a train and went through a dark tunnel, we would not tear up  our ticket and ask to be let off , we would sit in our seats and trust in the conductor

The other quote was that no one will be happy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We need to take those small moments and cherish them and they will help us though the others.

I truly wish I had written the others down because there were so many.  I am not sure what the Lord is trying to tell me because this last week my reading and now these talks have focused so much on my happiness and joy being linked to my energy and commitment to the gospel.  Nothing is going to change in my life if I don’t focus on these things.  I have such moments of pure joy as I try to envelope myself in the gospel and then my natural man side takes over and lets those old nagging thoughts enter my mind that I am not doing enough, I am not worthy enough for what I am asking for.  Then I find it a little harder to focus on my recommitments  Satan knows me oh so very well.  But as the talk said cherish those moments of joy and link them to why the joy is present.  TRY A LITTLE HARDER TO BE A LITTLE BETTER..

 

 
 

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Scripture Reading Journal

Tonight I am entering the part that I usually skip.  The part where Nephi documents the teachings of Isaiah.  For all the times I have read the Book of Mormon, I have never read these chapters.  It was always my cue to skip any chapters that start with compare to Isaiah.  These have been too hard for me to understand.  You would think if you had to engrave things on plates, you would not be so wordy.  Everything is symbolic and for me that is so hard to understand.  Who knew if you referred to a cedar and oak tree, you meant proud and lofty.

I am reading in 2 Nephi 10 and 11 and 12

I loved 10:23-25 where Jacob tells his people to “not hang down our heads” and “be of good cheer”  We as members of His church should have such great joy in the knowledge we have and should be cheerleaders in spreading that word and promoting optimism and happiness. President Monson said “Fear not , be of good cheer.  The future is as bright as your faith”  It shows that the message of the church leaders is much the same as it was in Nephi’s day.  As I read these chapters where they are speaking to a large gathering of their people, I think this is much like our general conference now.

As I was pondering these verses, I thought about all the things that I worry about from day to day. Some of these worries can be so consuming and crippling.  Will my children find the right spouses, will they be blessed with children, will they be healthy, will we have enough to retire …….on and on and on.  There have been times when I lay awake with these thoughts so consuming that I almost dread the future that I cannot control.  As I read these things, I felt some peace in the realization that if I focus on coming unto Christ and following His lead and example, I will have peace and joy, regardless of the things that happen.  This life is not the prize, but how I live it will determine the much bigger “prize”.  That will be the joy that I will feel if I can say I did my best and have no regrets.

In chapter 11:8 it  talks about the words of Isaiah being written to lift us up and bring joy and if we read and study these words with the spirit in which they were written, we will find them delightful.  We’ll see about that.  The fact that I am reading them is no minor accomplishment  I hold out judgment as to whether they are delightful!

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Scripture Reading Journal

 

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