Monday, February 20, 2012

Happiness in Troubled Times: a Book of Mormon Truth

Book of Mormon Trio LDS Heroes Print--Nephi Ammon Samuel

obedient.  brave.  strong.

These are the kinds of attributes that one is encouraged to develop by reading about the prophets of The Book of Mormon.  And I am so glad that my kids are growing up with this sacred text as the basis for their life-education.

Words are important to me.  Actions are too.  But words, the kind that we think and read and say are so important.  My son asked my husband before bed last night if he could ask him questions...a nightly ritual really.  He said yes.  "Even about bad words, daddy?"  Yes.

So Guy proceeded to ask Steve about bad words he had heard and wanted to know what they meant.

The world is full of bad words.  The Book of Mormon (and other scriptures) are full of good words.  These words are God's words to his children.  We are so lucky to have them, and the more that we make room in our lives for them, the more power we have to become brave, obedient, and strong.


I had an online acquaintance recently complain to me that he felt The Book of Mormon was full of unnecessary violence.  There is violence in the book, just as there is in the Bible, because we live in a violent world, and both books chronicle a portion of the history of the world.  But unnecessary?  Nah.  The lessons taught by the war chapters are very necessary.


I read the following in Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon by Dennis Gaunt tonight.  He says:


"The war chapters are filled with lesson after lesson for us today...One of the best lessons in all the war chapters was one I found tucked away inside a couple of small verses, which was easy to overlook.  In the course of detailing all the bloodshed and wickedness of that time period--which so closely resembles our own war-filled society--Mormon pauses to make this observation: "And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times...But behold there never was a happier time among all the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni" (Alma 50:22, 23)."


I think that understanding that happiness is possible in the middle of difficult circumstances might be one of the most important lesson we can learn.


"Elder Robert D. Hales said, "The fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings great comfort in stressful times of mortality.  It brings light where there is darkness and a calming influence where there is turmoil.  It gives eternal hope where there is  mortal despair.  It is more than just beautiful doctrine.  It is reality."


"No matter how bad our world might seem at times...our personal righteousness can still bring us happiness and joy.  Elder Richard G. Scott said, "Despite pockets of evil, the world overall is majestically beautiful, filled with many good and sincere people.  God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil agents spread throughout it.  You can live a virtuous, productive, righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness."  We can still choose to be obedient to the Lord, even if most people around us refuse to do so.  No matter how out of control our world feels, we still have control over our agency, and we can choose to be happy in the middle of troubled times."

Thanks in advance to everyone who comments and links-up this week.  Please leave a comment on this post when you do so, and you will be entered to win this three-print set of Book of Mormon heroes from the Etsy shop Peuxican Designs.  (Check out her blog too.)  You can also enter by commenting on the posts that are linked up and sharing the link-up on your blog.  Grab the code below and just leave a comment on this post telling me what you've done to be entered.  I will announce the winner on Friday.

 

23 comments:

  1. I love these cute little dudes!  

    It is great that your children feel open enough to ask you about bad words.  How you guys responded was great.  

    And I agree - the Book of Mormon isn't filled with unnecessary violence.  Sure, there are wars, but the details are NOT gratuitous.  Plus, it is what it is.  We learn from the examples of those who lived in Book of Mormon times - even if the examples aren't that great.  We are living in a different kind of battle these days, but much of what the Book of Mormon teaches us applies to the war we wage.

    Thanks for your post and for hosting the link-up.

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  2. how true to be able to be happy in the world we live in is a blessing that comes from understanding one's purpose and what the future holds...those who are prepared, need not fear.

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  3. It is in times of trouble that the message of the Gospel shine most brightly.  When we need it most we are more grateful for it, and gratitude is the essence of happiness.  And those little prints are darling!

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  4. Thanks for pointing out this little nugget from the war chapters.

    =)

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  5. Fabulous insight and just makes me want to read that book more!

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  6. A good explanation of the "war chapters" :) I really want to read that book!  I think I'll ask for it for Mother's Day :) or get it for my husband for his birthday, it's sooner :) Those BoM guys are very nicely done. I will check out your other links soon.

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  7. the righteous may have been delivered at all times (and experienced happiness) but that doesn't mean we all will live through such 'wars' but we will be saved, perhaps in a different realm.  I think it's important to explain this as well....be righteous in this mortality doesn't automatically mean we will be saved to live as we know it.

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  8. I alwys enjoy reading your thoughts on the Book of Mormon. I found out years ago after reading many child rearing books; that the Book of Mormon is the best child raising book on the earth today.
    Thanks for your inspiring posts and blessings to you.

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  9. These are awesome.

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  10. What a great post.  Love the prints!!

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  11. "We still have control over our agency, and we can choose to be happy in the middle of troubled times."- This is exactly what I needed to hear! It is our choice to be happy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! They make a difference!

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  12. Thank you so much for this blog post! I get so caught up in watching the news that it leaves me feeling very down! But then I get these sweet reminders that there is still joy to be had in this life! 

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  13. Oh my gosh, I love those mini BOM prophets!! Waaaay cute.
    I've posted in the blog hop a few times.
    FYI, I've change my blog name, so make sure you update your reader/blog roll.etc!

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  14. I LOVE these prints.  And the Book of Mormon.  :)

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  15. These are awesome. I love them!!

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  16. I've sometimes thought about how odd it is, reading the scripture readers to my kids because I want to give them that strength and knowledge and feeling of the Spirit when they're young, and yet, there is so much violence in them (and the readers have pictures!) I felt uncomfortable the first time reading through it with my then-3 year old and getting to the part where they burn Abinadi alive...and later burn King Noah...and another time, women and children.... Not to mention all the wars.  But reading through all the scripture readers with them a few times now I've gotten new perspectives.  Our kids' generation is going to see an awful lot of violence and other graphic images.  Of all places for them to learn about it, the scriptures are the best source, because they are able to learn through it WHY the wars (and other bad things) happen...through wickedness and casting out the prophets, pride, etc.  It's also a source for them to learn about the importance of standing up for what's right and protecting and defending your families and freedoms (even if that sometimes means having to fight).  Even when they are young (or even especially when they're young) they need to be learning the lessons that come from those dark times.

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  17. Yes!  The Scriptures teach us that if we ignore the prophets...if we ignore God's laws...society deteriorates into anarchy and violence.  If we follow the prophets, if we obey the commandments, we can live in peace and happiness.  The stories are there to teach us that we don't have to die like Shiz!

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  18. These prints are adorable!
     

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  19. Those prints are adorable! Love your post too - just bookmarked your blog. My husband was raised LDS and I'm being baptized later this month, so I'm sure I'll be back lots for ideas and inspiration!

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  20. I have a son with Asperger's Syndrome. He asks the most thought provoking questions. Today we were talking about his upcoming baptism next month. We discussed faith, repentance, baptism, and heaven. He is an EXCELLENT reader, and we have been reading The Book of Mormon together. We love to tell some of the war stories in FHE and act them out with Lego Guys. I think you are right about the war chapters. We live in a day when there IS so much violence around us, but the Book of Mormon teaches us that if we stay close to the Lord, and obey His commandments, we will be alright.

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  21. I realize this post is an old post, but I wanted to comment and say thank you. These words are more needed today than in the day they were written. Thank you for sharing your testimony and strengthening others.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shantel. I enjoyed rereading this too. We all could use this reminder!! :)

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