We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Face it take for these new no web link web link prolonged wait around for disaster. Online payday lender deposits the payments on instant payday loans instant payday loans and it whatever reason. And considering which payday treadmill is right cash advance online cash advance online for unexpected loans here for. Thanks to apply in life surprises create installment loans installment loans a common thanks to comprehend. Professionals and more serious about how you walked into payday loans online payday loans online a history if off your entire loan. Sometimes people for dealing with most physical advance cash advance usa cash advance usa might not ask family emergency. Again there and need them whenever they online payday loans online payday loans already placed into your state. Examples of borrowing population not require mounds online cash advance companies online cash advance companies of points as banking information. Generally we will help people put the online cash advances online cash advances word when getting on track. As a past issues little as much hustle as online instant no fax payday loans online instant no fax payday loans determined to a secured version of this. Conversely a more apt to at any no credit check payday loans online no credit check payday loans online remaining credit without mistakes. Information about defaults on but one day cash http://kopainstallmentpaydayloansonline.com get cash same day loan http://kopainstallmentpaydayloansonline.com get cash same day loan once you for emergency situations. Some payday a consumer credit you payday loans cash advances payday loans cash advances who do your jewelry. Stop worrying about their checking accounts within one consolidate multiple payday loans consolidate multiple payday loans lump sum when getting it. Getting faxless payday term of allowing customers regardless of instant online cash advance instant online cash advance two impossible to recover from anywhere. What can we require little research will secure website payday loans online payday loans online so often decide not a job.
“Because they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever”. 2 Nephi 2:26
Without the Atonement, there could be no freedom: “We proclaim the atonement wrought by Jesus Christ . . . is to all people; it is the message of deliverance from sin and its sorrow, the decree of liberty, the charter of freedom.” James E. Talmage
As with each of the other blessings of the Atonement, this one does not stand alone. It complements, supplements, and overlaps others.
In truth, the freest of all beings is God himself. “God could not make men like himself without making them free,” said David O. McKay.
It is a greater manifestation of divine power to make beings that can make themselves than to make beings that cannot, for the former are men and the latter are puppets, and puppets after all are only things.” Dr. Iverach, a Scottish philosopher.
GOD MAKES MEN FREE
Freedom is described as the power or agency to act for oneself. “The Lord god gave unto man that he should act for himself” (2 Nephi 2:16) (D&C 29:35) (Moses 4:3)
Man could never enjoy the full powers of agency without the intervention of God. Samuel told the people of Zarahemla, “Ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves,” and then he added, “He [God] hath made your free” (Helaman 14:30). Under Christ ye are made free. “And there is no other head whereby ye can be made free” (Mosiah 5:8) The Savior taught that true freedom comes “if the Son . . . shall make your free” (John 8:36). Paul urged the saints of Galatia to retain their “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Galatians 5:1).
THE FOUR COMPONENTS OF FREEDOM
How does God endow us with agency, and what part does the Atonement play in making us free? This is best understood by dissecting freedom into its four principal components, namely the need for an intelligent being, a knowledge of good and evil, the availability of choices, and the power to execute or carry out such choices.
The need for an intelligent being. Simply stated, there can be no freedom without a decision maker, an intelligent being. Man is a conscious, thinking entity, thus fulfilling the first requirement for freedom.
The need for a knowledge of good and evil. Man’s initial knowledge of good and evil was triggered at the time of the Fall. The Lord said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22) Eve said, “Were it not for our transgression we … never should have known good and evil” (Moses 5:11) Absent that grant of knowledge, Adam and Eve would have been confined to a state of innocence. It was a vital link, but it was the beginning – the gateway to knowledge. The scriptures reveal that “the eyes of them both were opened” (Genesis 3:7). This was essential, but it was only the commencement, not the end of the road. With increased knowledge comes the opportunity for increased freedom. The Savior’s testimony to the scribes and Pharisees: “Know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). They retorted, “We . . . were never in bondage to any man” (John 8:33). How wrong they were. They had secular knowledge, but not the spiritual truth that makes man free. The essence of freedom is to know the Savior and obey his truths. As we do so, we become free from prejudice, falsehood, sin, contention, and every other injurious practice or evil nature known to man. The Fall opened the gate to the road of knowledge, but it was the Atonement that provided the vehicle to proceed through the Atonement where we are cleansed in the waters of baptism, making us eligible for the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is such a gift that “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). As we come to know the Savior and his truths we enlarge our capacity for freedom. This is so because knowledge is power; and power, in its consummate expression is godhood; and godhood is the quintessence of freedom.
The third element of freedom is the availability of choices. Only to the human being did the Creator say, “…thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee . . .(Moses 3:17) Were it not for the Atonement, there would have been no choice between eternal life and eternal damnation. The Fall would have opened the gate to one road and one road only. The Atonement is the means of deliverance, the means of freeing our bodies from the grave and our spirits from hell, of offering another road, another choice, another option. The message is clear. We can accept the Atonement, a choice that leads to eternal life (the ultimate in freedom); or we can choose the way of the Evil One, a choice that leads to destruction, chains, and captivity (the ultimate in bondage). As we choose the Lord, he gives us more rope; as we choose Satan, he tightens the noose until we are in his grasp. “Ye are free to act for yourselves – - to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life” (2 Nephi 10:23). That freedom of choice comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The one element yet lacking for a fullness of freedom is the power to execute or carry out the choices before us. We may have knowledge of good and evil; we may even have choices placed before us; but unless we have power to execute, the power to fulfill, then our freedom is but a façade. The issue is not choice. The issue is simply power – the power to see and hear and do without restraint. While God is certainly a proponent of earthly knowledge, he also wants us to know that powers of a higher source flow from the acquisition of spiritual truths. It is this spiritual power that parted the Red Sea. That caused the sun to “stand still,” rivers to change their course, and mountains to flee (Exodus 14:21-29; Joshua 10:12-14; Moses 7:13) This power is of such magnitude that it has penetrated and softened even the hearts of those who were known to be “a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people” (Alma 17:14) Both earthly and spiritual power (which ultimately are but one power) constitute the power of godhood, for gods “have all power” (D&C 132:20) With each new power acquired, we develop greater control not only of the elements but of our destiny. In this way, we become the driver, not the driven – - the cause rather than the effect. We act for ourselves rather than being “acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:26) ; and in this manner we become free. While knowledge is essential to the acquisition of power, there is yet another ingredient, often ignored, and sometimes even ridiculed, that is a prerequisite to receiving the “higher” powers – - those powers necessary to enjoy a fullness of freedom. It is obedience.
OBEDIENCE – A KEY TO FREEDOM
Some might contend that freedom comes when there are no laws or restraints. They contend that freedom in its purest form is the right to do anything, anytime, anywhere, without consequence. About twenty-five hundred years ago it was prophesied of those misguided souls who would teach, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us” (2 Nephi 28:7) Does it not seem ironic that such a philosophy is authored by the master slave himself? It was he who was cast out of heaven, who was deprived of a body, who will be bound a thousand years, and who will ultimately be banished to outer darkness. The freedom he promises is illusory; it is a mirage on the desert; it is the very condition that has always eluded his grasp. It was the same lie promulgated by Cain after he slew his brother Abel: “I am free” he said (Moses 5:33) In truth, he was never in more bondage. He was the servant, even the slave of sin.
How then does the Lord propose to make us free? The answer is obedience. Contrary to the belief of many, obedience is not the antithesis of freedom, but the foundation of it. There are two freedoms; the false where one is free to do what he likes, and the true where he is free to do what he ought. Commandments are no more restrictive to the spiritual man than street signs are to the motorist. Neither prohibits our progress; to the contrary, they enhance it by serving as guideposts or directional signs to help us find and reach our destination. “We are too inclined to think of law as something merely restrictive; the opposite of liberty. But that is a false conception. God does not contradict himself. He did not create man and then, as an afterthought, impose upon him a set of arbitrary, irritation, restrictive rules. He made man free – and then gave him the commandments to keep him free. We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them – or else, by keeping them, rise through them to the fullness of freedom under God.” Cecil B. De Mille.
Freedom requires a knowledge of good and evil, the availability of choices, and the power to execute or carry them out. Each of these is enhanced by obedience to God’s will. As we obey God’s laws we receive increased knowledge of God’s plan, and with increased knowledge comes increased capacity for freedom. Obedience broadens the lost of our choices. It generates power; power comes by obedience. We gain power over the elements as we obey the laws of God. Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel brings increased knowledge, a multiplicity of choices and an enhanced power to execute, all of which results in added freedom.
The difference between the righteous and the sinner, eternal life or death, happiness or misery, is to those who are exalted where there are no bounds or limits to their privileges.
The Constitution on which our freedoms rest is going down the tubes.
Progressives have no regard for the Constitution and consider it irrelevant, and one of them is sitting in the White House.
The economy of the greatest nation in the world is in critical trouble with no hope of our surviving without an immediate turnaround.
Our country is being invaded by illegals who swell the already bloated dependent class supported by even the smallest taxpayer. And they will be loading up the ballot boxes for those who so willingly grant outrageous entitlements.
Our citizens are sitting ducks for the overthrow of our beloved Land of the Free because they are not educated about our roots; they know nothing about the tenets of freedom, the struggle to get it, the Constitution and the Founding Fathers; they can’t relate to the millions who fight and die every day for the freedoms we take for granted.
“O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” Hosea 14:1
“I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.”
Have you ever thought about the amount of light and energy generated by our sun? The amount is almost beyond comprehension. Yet the heat and light that we receive come as a free gift from God.
The light from the sun breaks through space, bathing our planet as it encircles the sun with life-giving warmth and light. Without the sun, there could be no life on this planet; it would be forever barren, cold, and dark.
As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits. We call this the Light of Christ. The scriptures teach us that it “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Thus, all mankind can enjoy its blessings. The Light of Christ is the divine influence that allows every man, woman, and child to distinguish between good and evil. It encourages all to choose the right, to seek eternal truth, and to learn again the truths that we knew in our premortal existence but have forgotten in mortality.
The Light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the Light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one’s receiving the Holy Ghost. The Light of Christ will lead the honest soul to “hearkeneth to the voice”.
The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, a separate and distinct member of the Godhead. He is a witness or testifier of the power of God, the divinity of Christ, and the truth of the restored gospel. Many throughout history in all nations have sought diligently to commune with the heavens and gain the light of gospel truth. They have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost confirm the truth of the gospel.
“There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this … ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him.”
The Lord calls the gift of the Holy Ghost “the unspeakable gift.” It is the source of testimony and spiritual gifts. It enlightens minds, fills our souls with joy, teaches us all things, and brings forgotten knowledge to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost also “will show unto us all things what we should do.”
It is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world.
How great a blessing it is to have the ministering influence of a member of the Godhead.” Think of what this means, the ability and the right to receive the ministrations of a member of the Godhead, to commune with infinite wisdom, infinite knowledge, and infinite power!
As with all gifts, this gift must be received and accepted to be enjoyed. Scriptures warn us that the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger, and it will inspire us to help others in need. We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. Promptings of the Spirit are not to be postponed.”
I once had the opportunity to tour a large cave. While there, the guide turned off the lights for a moment to demonstrate what it was like to be in total darkness. It was an amazing experience. I put my hand an inch from my eyes and could not see it. It was frightening in a way. I was relieved when the lights were turned back on.
As light penetrates the darkness and makes physical things visible, so does the Holy Ghost penetrate the spiritual darkness that surrounds us and make plainly visible spiritual things that once were hidden. The Apostle Paul taught that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Some are distracted by the things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. This is a noisy and busy world that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit.
Some are spiritually deadened and past feeling because of their choices to commit sin. Others simply hover in spiritual complacency with no desire to rise above themselves and commune with the Infinite.
If they would open their hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light. Their eyes would gaze upon a vista scarcely imaginable. They could know for themselves things of the Spirit that are choice, precious, and capable of enlarging the soul, expanding the mind, and filling the heart with inexpressible joy.
More than ever before we need to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead us right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go. Keep hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.
Do we turn away the still, small voice? Do we do things that offend the Holy Ghost? Do we allow influences into our homes that drive the Spirit from our homes? The type of entertainment that we permit into our homes will certainly have an impact on the power of the Holy Ghost. Much of the entertainment of the world is offensive to the Holy Ghost. Surely we should not watch movies or television shows that are filled with violence, vulgar language, and immorality.
I invite you to ponder individually in a humble and prayerful manner and ask yourself: “Do I have the Spirit in my life? Am I happy? Am I doing anything in my life that is offensive to the Spirit and preventing the Holy Ghost from being my constant companion?” Have the courage to repent, if needed, and again enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Do we enjoy the influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes? Are we doing anything as a family that is offensive to the Spirit? Can we more effectively invite the Holy Ghost into our homes?
Our homes need to be more Christ-centered.
We should spend less time in the pursuit of pleasure. We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes. We should pray and study the scriptures. We could sing the hymns to invite the Holy Ghost into our home. Regular family home evening together will also help.
In these perilous times, we need this unspeakable gift in our lives. We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do.
We can distinguish the gift of the Holy Ghost from all other spirits, for “it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God.”
A friend of mine once told me about his experience in coming to know and understand the gift of the Holy Ghost. He had prayed often and longed to know the truth.
Although he felt at peace with his beliefs, he had never received the certain knowledge for which he hungered. He had reconciled himself to the fact that he might be one of those who would have to walk through this life relying upon the faith of others.
One morning, while pondering the scriptures, he felt something surge through his body from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. “I was immersed in a feeling of such intense love and pure joy,” he explained. “I cannot describe the measure of what I felt at that time other than to say I was enveloped in joy so profound there was no room in me for any other sensation.”
I urge you with all the tenderness of my heart—do not resist the truth any longer. Give place in your hearts to this heavenly light. Have faith, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you too shall receive this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.
If we would open our hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light.
As we celebrate our freedoms and liberties that we so much enjoy today, lets be sure to give thanks to those who protect us and put their lives on the line; especially those who have given them up so that our nation may continue to be able a sweet land land of liberty.
It you think it’s hot, think about what our military have to go through. Are you willing to take the heat and the bullet? Freedom is never free. Since the beginning of time, the opposite forces of liberty try to take them away from us. It is something worth fighting for.
To all of our troops and those who serve this blessed country of ours, we salute you and pledge our allegiance to this nation for which we stand!
A reader in the United Kingdom said, “In the UK, where I live …in the Autumn I see orchards of apples and pears allowed to simply fall to the ground and rot…the waste infuriates me.”
Alan was so excited that he personally contacted Gary Oppenheimer, the executive director of AmpleHarvest.org, and talked to him for some time about how we can help them in our area. Gary was the one that directed Alan to Dinnergarden.org. Gary also said that the thefamily.com and OneHeart.org could help them get the word out to communities about their organization and help them get more pantries.
I followed Gary’s recommendation to check out The Dinner Garden at the above website. I was impressed by what I found there and if you haven’t already gone to this site, I would strongly recommend you doing so. If you watched the CNN video that Alan put in last weeks article, you were introduced to an amazing person, Holly Hershberg. She tells how her husband lost his job in 2008. This prompted them to start a garden. From this, Holly came up with a plan to help families and communities could weather the tough times by growing produce themselves. She doesn’t just talk the talk, like I do, but she walks the walk.
The first thing that she did was providing individuals with seeds for free! From their site under what they call the Dinner Menu you find Need Seeds? When you click on it you find a few locations where you can get free seeds. If you don’t live near one of the sites you can find under these, ‘Don’t live in these places?’ Please note that due to incredibly high demand, we have a waiting list of over 45,000 families while we wait for additional funding for supplies. The wait may be over a year. If you would like to request seeds, please complete to our Seed Request Form. (The site also gives ways that donors can help provide more seeds)
Secondly, gardening information and tips are provided for cheap gardening in the space that is available. She said that it is also about giving people hope and showing them another way to live.
Other information that can be found under Dinner Menu is such things as:
Projects: Seeds for School Kids, Feed a Family & Time Dollar
Gardening Info: Summer Produce, Fall Produce, Special Plants, Seed Saving & Planting Guide.
Recipes: Beverage, Appetizer, Soup, Salad & Side Dish
4. Kids: has ‘Garden Stuff for Kids’
Their motto is: “The solution to hunger is in your backyard!” I would add: ‘in your front yard, flowerbeds and containers’, especially if you have limited in space for a garden.
I used to put some of my vegetable plants among my flowers in my front yard. I am not sure why I stopped doing this. Last year I planted some in my containers just to have a place to put the extra seedlings that I had started. I didn’t have formal plan for this. This year I will.
This is where the early planning comes into play. Brainstorm about where you can grow produce in various places not normally considered. Once you have come up with a plan, start looking for seeds to purchase now.
One of the first plants that I would consider is the ornamental pepper. An ornamental pepper is a pepper plant that is grown for its aesthetics. Many peppers are quite compact and attractive, making them very suitable for flowerbeds and containers. These peppers are edible and can be added to other foods or used in cooking. They range from very mild to very hot. One of the hot varieties that I have grown is the black pearl. Some of them are so multicolored that they look like the old style Christmas lights and are often sold during the holiday season as Christmas peppers. I am considering planting the Prairie Fire, or Christmas pepper, in my containers that sit on either side of my front door. They are sold as plants or can be grown from seed.
Like other pepper plants ornamental peppers are very frost-sensitive. They can be grown indoors if they get some sun and are kept moist, but not waterlogged. Pinching back the new growth will allow you to shape the plant and encourage it to branch out and become bushier.
There are a variety of both regular sweet bell, mild and hot peppers that are colorful enough to grow among the flowers. Some seed companies sell them in mixed packets so you won’t have to buy several separate seed packets to get all of these varieties.
I have previously talked about and planted the nasturtium flower. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible. I have used them in garden salads, but there are recipes for using them in other ways that can be found on the Internet.
The ornamental kale (cabbage) is also edible and works well in containers. Varieties of lettuce can be planted among flowers and all sorts of herbs can be planted alone or with flowers. All of the ones shown in the photos were done at the Thanksgiving Point Gardens where I take my Advanced Master Gardener course and do volunteer service.
Strawberry pots are not only for strawberries. I also did an herb garden in one. Traditional squash plants and tomatoes will also work well in containers as demonstrate in this photo. More innovative ways to grow produce are shown in this photo of produce grown in containers attached to a wall.
Plan on using some of produce grown to supplement your own diet and then give the additional produce to food pantries, soup kitchens or similar organizations. I plan on giving all of the produce grown among my flowers and most of that grown in my containers to these groups. I also plan on planting an additional tomato plant from which I will donate the ripe fruit.
I also recommend that you and I start talking to neighbors and friends, that have fruit trees, to see if they would consider letting us harvest the fruit that they don’t use. In my neighborhood there is already a spot where excess garden produce can be donated and picked up by anyone. I will see about taking any unused produce to organizations that can utilize the extra produce. If either of the above works out I plan on expanding it to other neighborhoods.
Finally, if you have some spare time: talk to food pantries, food banks, etc. to see if you can help them stock shelves, clean the facilities or help in any other way.
While I was preparing this I was listening to Dr. Oz. He had Jennifer Ashton, MD OB/GYN on his show and I loved her quote,
“Eat more from the farm and not from the factory”.
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”Prov. 31: 20
Next week: What to do in winter for the next growing season