Alex is an active member of his church, a student of philosophy, and he has visited many holy houses of worship.
"For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." - John 3:17
I absolutely love this verse and I think that it is too often forgotten due to the hype surrounding the verse prior to it. For me, this verse emphasizes that Heavenly Father loves us. All too often, it seems that many people try to detract from Heavenly Father's love. The Apostle John's account of the Gospel seems to emphasize here that the plan of Salvation was not to harm mankind. We can find confirmation of my observation in 2 Nephi 2:25, wherein we learn that we came into being, ultimately, that we may be capable of experiencing joy. This is not to state that nothing matters, nor that everything is okay. Such ideologies are far from me. We should follow the Divine Law no mater what. Our covenants should be kept. We should help people, go to church, pay our tithes, and so on. However, we should also consider, I feel, that Heavenly Father's intent isn't to harm us; at least, not in any way that isn't necessary for our ability to be very happy.
"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." - 1 Corinthians 1:25
I feel like this verse confuses a lot of people. Heavenly Father has qualities, but all of those qualities are superior to us. In fact, when I am praying - I often ask Heavenly Father to do what he wills despite my own will, because he is more intelligent and much wiser than I am. I feel that, when many people forget that Heavenly Father has a physical body and even a son, there are misunderstandings as to what the Almighty is. I do not possess all of the answers at all, but I do testify that Heavenly Father is more like us than many people want to accept. However, and even so - everything he has as a personal quality is superior to our own qualities in every way.
"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." - Ecclesiastes 1:18 (KJV)
This quote may seem a bit depressing to many of you. And, it well should. I believe that this was the author's intent. Ecclesiastes is said to have been written by King Solomon the prophet, son of King David the prophet; and, it may be one of the oldest records of existential philosophical writing that has been preserved to the present day. Although I typically stay away from coming too close to Nihilism myself, Ecclesiastes certainly gives off an air of nihilistic thought. I include this quote as to display that God's Word is not just happiness and joy; there are real and practical messages and lessons in the Gospel for every aspect of our lives and experiences. That is not to say that the Bible doesn't have those messages of love and peace, but that the messages of the scriptures are very diverse and very profound.
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." - James 2:26
I've kept this verse memorized for a very long time now. I testify that good works come with blessings. There is a great importance to good works that should not be overlooked. Action is an essential part of the Gospel. Our personal testimonies of the Gospel of valuable, but members of Christ's church are asked to take action. I feel as though Saint James' words here are intriguingly strict. He writes that having faith alone is not enough for that faith to be alive.
"Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth." - Isaiah 12:5
The scriptures of the prophet Isaiah are some of my favorites. I love how Prophet Isaiah invites us to sing to the Almighty! I mean, who doesn't enjoy singing? One doesn't need to be good at it to love doing it! Singing our praises to Heavenly Father, instead of just blandly stating them to him - isn't that a fantastic meditation? Worship should be joyous; after all, joy is why we are going through this life. Worship can, and probably should at times, be fun.
© 2017 Alexander James Guckenberger