Treasures in Heaven

Last night my wife and I were discussing D&C 133:30, and how as part of the gathering of Israel, the tribes from the north “shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.” Are they bringing treasures of worldly wealth, gold and silver, or spiritual treasures? Although I don’t doubt that this scripture in D&C likely has more than one meaning for “treasures”, we both agreed that the more valuable gift they could bring is spiritual treasures, like those mentioned in Luke 12.

Today, probably not coincidentally, I was given an offer for a job that is a great blessing to me and my family. We’ve been praying for this for a long time. I feel that it is a direct blessing from a loving, kind and generous Father in heaven. He knows our needs, knows how to sufficiently provide for them and will do so abundantly if we trust Him and follow His commandments. I know this. Even in the times when we’ve struggled over the last year or so with not being sure about which direction to go, where to establish ourselves, and even concerns about whether we would be able to provide for all our needs, He has been with us the whole time. He never leaves us. He’s been teaching us, healing us, and preparing us.

I feel extreme gratitude right now, God has been good to me. I happened to see this video online and after watching it I am convinced even more how directly I’ve been blessed today and how important it is to keep this blessing in perspective. Of course we need a job and income to provide for our families, and God desires to help us with these things. Of course the Lord wants us to be successful. Of course he can give us what we need. Sometimes we need to struggle and experience difficulties in order to learn the necessary lessons of life so that we’re able to properly receive the blessings he wants to give us, recognize them and appreciate them. But where is our real treasure? What is our heart focused on and our ultimate desire?  I feel immense gratitude toward God for blessing me with income that my family needs, in a generous way. That’s His nature. As we’ve struggled along the way this past year, I feel even more blessed that he has opened the windows of heaven in blessing us with spiritual treasures of growth, knowledge and experience we will take with us into the eternities.

The Light of the World

I’ve watched this video 5 or 6 times already since it was released last week (I think) and I love it. It gave me a whole new perspective on the verses in John chapter 8 which it is taken from. While I wonder a little bit if the tone of voice in Christ’s initial statement about being the light of world might have been different than how it’s portrayed here, I find the rest of it carries the truth of Christ’s words.

From the New Testament there is the indication that during His ministry Jesus was continually surrounded by both doubters and believers, as well as others who hadn’t yet made up their mind about Him. He repeatedly had to deal with those who wanted to discredit and demonize Him and also take His life, and at the same time still be the great teacher and example of love and truth that He was in word and action. Everything He did was in love and patience, yet the darkness and unbelief that was in the Pharisees who questioned Him here was so great they couldn’t see the beautiful Savior that was right in front of them. In this sense it’s extremely sad to watch the portrayal of their disbelief, to see the encounter between them and Christ unfold as He says, “…if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.”

When considering how the Pharisees kept mentioning Abraham and their connection to him and at the same time that they considered Jesus to be blasphemous by simply declaring the truth of His being the fulfillment of all of the prophets before Him, I can’t help but make a comparison to today. There are some who look back to Christ’s day and believe he was is the Son of God and that the Bible is true (which is good), but then they find it hard to believe the great things God has done in our day and would even oppose it, and would regard any continuation of revelation and of God’s speaking to man in a similar way today, as being blasphemous.

While Jesus is walking away there is the sense that He is deeply saddened by their hardened hearts, sad for them rather than for the fate ahead of Him as he says, “…But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God …Why do ye not understand my speech?”

I know Jesus is the light of the World, without Him there would be no love, no forgiveness, no happiness, no joy in this world. But He does live, He did suffer and die for us, was raised the third day so that we could all be resurrected. He fulfilled His mission, His arm of mercy is extended to us even in our times of bitterness and disbelief. He has a pure love that never fails, if we’ll place our trust in Him and follow His words we can live with Him eternally.