Study Journal Week 1

12 JAN 15

All things denote there is a God. (Alma 30:44)

Every time I get out and have a chance to see the night sky outside of a city I think of this scripture. One of my missionary companions drew a very nice picture inspired by this scripture. I’m going to attach it to this journal entry to share with my instructor. The picture features the Denver Temple with the World as globe (the earth), the sun and the savior as part of the clouds bringing our minds to him.

Korihor came to believe his own lies. (Alma 30:53)

As I was reading Alma 30:53 I was struck by the confession of Korihor and the change he went through. I was thinking to myself of what type of experience it would be to have an “angel” appear and tell him the things that the devil told him. Deep down he must have known what he was saying were lies. He didn’t say he believed the words until he had so much success. It’s like a modern day scam artist starting to believe his con after selling it for a while.

13 JAN 15

We can worship in places other than houses of worship and more than once a week. (Alma 32:10-11)

When reading this scripture I thought of all the interesting places I worshipped while deployed. We used old building of Saddam Hussein, tents and  steel warehouse buildings. If we waited for a nice church building I would have never had sacrament. It was also interesting to have times when we blessed crackers, tortillas or “bread” from MRE’s for the sacrament. This scripture reminds me to open to worshiping in many unconventional locations and to also remember to worship in the home.

It is better to be humble without being humbled. (Alma 32:16)

Alma first describes those who are humbled by circumstances in the world. He then goes on to describe those who “humble themselves because of the word” (Alma 32:14). I think the second group are those who find the Gospel and choose to be humble due the Holy Ghost and Gospel teachings.

If you have proof, you can’t have faith. (Alma 32:18,21)

People seem to want to try to say the Gospel isn’t true due to a lack of evidence. While there is some supporting evidence, it really all comes down to faith. The Lord isn’t going to take away everyones opportunity to have faith in something.

14 JAN 15

The words of the Lord are given to men, women and children. (Alma 32:23)

As I was reading the assignment this week I came across Alma 32:23 and it made me think of how much more this scripture means to me now. I previously had marked this many years ago but that was before I was a father. I have a three year old son and we have been blessed with how well he has taken to praying and his love to pray with us. We started by including him in prayers pretty early and we have had prayers over meals and family prayers every night. The things he picks up and remembers to pray for astound me sometimes. As I read the scripture and it said that “little children do have many words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned” I thought of my sons words and how confounding it is that he can pick up when a family member needs to be remembered in a prayer. I know that each of us may receive promptings and revelation like this, even little children.

15 JAN 15

Pray in all places and all times. (Alma 34:17-27)

In Alma 34:17-27 Amulek is given an opportunity to testify to us. Midway in his words he exhorts us to pray. Not only does he tell us to pray but he goes into detail of many times and places to pray both publicly and on our own. As he went into detail of some of the various places to pray, I thought of some of the stranger places I took the opportunity to pray. One regular opportunity was while I was deployed in Iraq. My Detachment Sergeant often had to have me help him with things and he was not very good at some of the job. It was pretty frustrating to clean up some of the messes he made. When ever I became too overwhelmed with things, I would take a quick break by jumping in my Humvee and reading a scripture from my pocket Book of Mormon and saying a prayer. While the vehicle was hot and dusty and the time taken was only a few minutes, I always felt more peaceful afterwards. It gave me the peace I needed to carry on. I know that if we pray for assistance, we will receive it no matter where we are.

16 JAN 15

The Zoramites stir up the Lamanites and prepare for war against the people of Ammon. (Alma 35:10-11)

This makes me think of this as a historical parallel to some things in the Church’s past. During the 1850’s there was the Utah war which was brought about by anti-Mormon groups and the false testimony of those opposed to the Church. I can’t help to see this as a warning to the Saints. Could this be applied to us today? A literal war would be very unlikely but there are wars that go on in public debate and the courts that concern the Church. I think it would be still wise to watch for those that would stir up the forces of the devil against the Saints.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of a handsome boy and beautiful daughter. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

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