Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"If thy right hand offendeth thee..."

As I was doing my scripture study this week, several things really stood out to me that I wanted to share.  I found it interesting that the Joseph Smith Translation for Matthew Chapter 18 Verse 9 explains that a man’s hand and foot symbolize his friends and a man’s eye symbolizes his own household.  That really emphasized to me the importance of having quality friends around me and the importance of choosing my husband wisely (which I did)! 
There is no way to completely avoid being around people who have the potential of being an unrighteous influence on you, however.  That being the case, I believe that the best way to be around them and to avoid falling into transgression or temptation at the same time would be to always keep the Spirit with you. 
Someone made a comment that she was breaking up with a television show because it did not add any value to her life.  I pondered over that comment and realized that there were a few things that I needed to “break up with” myself.  I prayed to the Lord and asked for forgiveness for participating in those time-sucking activities that were not bad, but that did not add value to my life and I have been striving to be more intentional in the way that I spend my time.  I listen to the General Conference talks periodically throughout the week and Elder Cook talked about this topic in his talk titled, “Lamentations of Jeremiah:  Beware of Bondage” really stuck out to me.  He said:
"...some addictions or predilections, while not inherently evil, can use up our precious allotment of time which could otherwise be used to accomplish virtuous objectives. These can include excessive use of social media, video and digital games, sports, recreation, and many others." - Elder Quentin L. Cook
In John Chapter 8 Verses 32-34, the Savior explains what the sources of freedom and bondage are.  Truth is the source of freedom and sin is the source of bondage.  That reminds me of an analogy I heard about a kite string.  It would make logical sense that the string of the kite is holding the kite down, and if you only cut the string off, then the kite could fly high and free.  However, we know that if the kite string gets cut, the kite falls down to the ground.  Commandments are the same way.  They do not hold us down, they help us be free and closer to the Savior.  An example of this is the commandment to stay morally clean.  There is so much bondage when you do not keep that commandment and miss out on so much happiness by participating in sin.  Since the Savior is the way, the truth, and the life (as it says in John Chapter 14 Verse 6), that goes to show that He truly is the source of freedom and happiness that we can obtain if we follow Him and keep the commandments.  I believe that knowing the Savior makes us free in so many ways.  For example, we are free from devastating loneliness and despair because we know that He is there to comfort us and bear us up when we are going through trials.   

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