The scriptures contain many promises. Consider the following short list:
1. The Lord answers prayers—3 Nephi 18:20
2. Keeping the commandments brings happiness—Mosiah 2:41
3. Supported in trials and troubles—Alma 36:3
4. Gift of the Holy Ghost—2 Nephi 31:13
Life has many ups and downs. The list above contains promises for both the ups, and downs of life. Where are you at in your life as you read this? Are you up or down? Is life going well spiritually and temporally or is it just the opposite? Either way, the Lord says he will bless us if we remain faithful.
The title of this post is: Are God’s promises being realized in your life?
If you can say yes, or even, “I think so”, then this is an indication that you are doing something right.
If you feel that you've realized one or more of Gods promises in your life then what comes next? I’d like to suggest a few ideas in answer to this question.
Lehi and Nephi were given a vision of the Tree of Life. In their vision they saw people taking hold of the iron rod and moving forward towards the reward of the Tree of Life. This journey had a beginning, and an ending point. The iron rod represents the word of God, and the destination, the Tree of Life, represents the love of God.
Progress on the journey to the tree of life is made by “clinging” to the iron rod—the word of God. The word of God includes the words of the prophets, both living and dead. This means the scriptures, and the words of the living apostles and prophets. Nephi, near the end of his life, taught that we should press forward “feasting upon the word of Christ”. "Feasting" is a descriptive word; so is "nibling".
President Monson urged church members in April 2009 general conference to embrace a three part program to help members realize God's promises, saying:
“Although our journey through mortality will at times place us in harm's way, may I offer you tonight three suggestions which, when observed and followed, will lead us to safety.
1. Study diligently.
2. Pray fervently.
3. Live righteously.
If we incorporate them into our lives...we will have the strength to withstand the adversary. Should we ignore them, we will be opening the door for Satan to have influence and power over us.”
Regarding scripture study he added:
“First, study diligently. Every holder of the priesthood should participate in daily scripture study. Crash courses are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures in our lives...Study them as though they were speaking to you, for such is the truth. I promise you...that if you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.”
I find it interesting that President Monson would put studying diligently (daily scripture study) as his first choice, ahead of prayer and living righteously.
Earlier in this post I asked the question, "what comes next?" The answer is, we can increase our capacity to receive direction from the Holy Ghost as we journey towards the tree of life. President Monson's counsel to study the scriptures diligently is the foundation of a spiritual life. Our prayers, and our ability to live righteously will be greatly increased if we diligently give heed to his prophetic counsel.
I'll end where I began with the question: Are God's promises being realized in your life? It's up to you to provide the answer to this question. It's also up to you to explore the question: What's next? Are you going to continue doing what you've been doing or do you feel there needs to be some changes?
However you answer this question, I wish you God's speed and success.
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