Sunday, 31 August 2014
Sunday morning meanderings of the mind . . .
This is a copy of what in our church is referred to as The Articles of Faith. This is seen as an authoritive statement on what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, or Mormon) sees as the thirteen fundamental doctrines which make up our faith. It came about in 1842 when our leader and prophet at the time, Joseph Smith, was asked what exactly was it that we believed in.
Two years before he died, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote them in a letter to a newspaper editor, John Wentworth, who had asked for information about the Church. Ever since the Articles of Faith were written, they’ve inspired and directed us in the basic principles of our gospel. They enhance our understanding of certain doctrines and help us commit to living them. They invite further thought. And they’re a good tool for explaining our beliefs to people unfamiliar with them.
I love each of the statements individually for what they say and teach us, and I believe each of them to be true. Today though I wanted to talk about the thirteenth article . . . .
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul. We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things"
This is who I am in a nutshell. And it has never become more important to me or has had more meaning to me than it has had in these recent weeks with all of the civil unrest and evil we are seeing in the world at this time.
"If there be anything virtous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy . . . we seek after these things."
Making my home a temple and a haven from all that lays outside it's doors has never been more important. So how do I do that?
I make sure that my home is comfortable, clean and a haven from the outside world. A place of safety and a place where one can truly say . . . Love Lives Here.
A place of comfort, filled with books of learning and things which inspire. A home where prayer is not a dirty word. A place where chaos does not reign.
Tidy, clean, orderly . . . and yet still welcoming and comfortable to all who reside within it's walls and to all who cross the hearth and enter in. A place where one can find peace and rest from the outside world. We will not let it in.
By reading books which bring us joy and inspire us to want to be better, do better, live better . . . which entertain and are wholesome and clean.
By choosing to watch or listen to only things which do the same . . . inspire us to be, do, and live better lives. Nothing with gratuitous violence or sex, or foul language . . . only that which uplifts and or entertains. Again clean and wholesome.
By being respectful of all who live here or who enter in to our home. Friendly and welcoming . . . a place where they, too . . . can feel of our Heavenly Father's spirit and love . . . because we embody that which is good and pure . . . and once again clean and wholesome. A haven from the outside world.
I hope that is what people would feel when they come to our home. I know that is how I feel when I shake off the outside world and step inside our door.
It occurs to me this morning how very blessed we truly are and how very much I take my blessings for granted. When I first moved over here to the UK, we were living in a pokey little one bedroom flat. I had a tiny kitchen with hardly any cupboard or counter space. We had one tiny living room which had to act as library, lounge, dining room. One small bedroom which was the only sleeping space in the house. A tiny bath with no windows and a cupboard beneath the stairs which led to the upstairs flat that we were able to use for storage. Thankfully we did have a small back garden which we were able to grow some flowers in and hang out the laundry.
And then we moved to this . . . with lots of space compared to what we had in the flat . . . and a huge garden for Jess to run around in, surrounded by beautiful gardens and orchards. We were quite spoiled. We lost it all and had to come back to Chester . . . but God is good.
We may not live in a huge cottage anymore, but our lives are our own to enjoy and we live in a house which is not a one bedroom flat and which has a big garden for us to enjoy and which is comfortable and warm and cosy. And while from time to time I may complain about the lack of storage space or small kitchen . . . I do recognize that we are blessed . . .
Happiness . . . it comes from wanting what you already have. Peace . . . it comes from knowing in your heart that which is true. Joy . . . it comes from being loved and loving back . . . and by living true and honest principles. Anything else is just icing on a very good cake.
I am grateful for a comfortable home, a home which is welcoming and dry and warm . . . a home which is a haven from the outside world. A home where love lives.
In The English Kitchen today . . . Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a Buttermilk Syrup. Positively scrumptious!
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Have a wonderful Sunday. Be blessed.