Yes, i've slacked off with blogging.  but not with reading.  Well, I'm a teeny bit behind with my reading, but I can catch up today, easy-peasy.  I have worn out my marking pen.  I have been trying to mark all of the instances that discuss how God deals with his children and I'm in 3rd Nephi and I'm going to have to switch colors.  Heavenly Father does not neglect his children.  He is mindful of all they do both good and bad.  He is patient and always hopeful that they will choose the path of righteousness that he paved with his Only Begotten's blood.  How often did he send prophets in to teach his children the right way, practically begging them repent and forsake their wicked ways?  There are countless instances.  The Lord understands the thoughts of his people.  He knows how Satan works in their hearts and he knows the ways of the natural man.  Samuel the Lamanite's words rings true as he is prophesying saying, "But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say:  Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say:  Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth--and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet." (13:27)  As disgusting and perverse as that is, is it not true?  We see it all the time.  People want leaders that will tell them that they can do whatever they want with no consequences.  How sad this world would be, though, if there were no consequences for one's actions.  The Lord uses positive reinforcement.  If you obey his commandments he will pour blessings out upon you.  Interestingly consequences for iniquity often tend to be natural consequences:  casual sex can lead to unintentional pregnancy, sloth can lead to a lack of means to provide for yourself, crime will lead to imprisonment.  imprisonment can be physical but it can also be mental.  when you choose to do something that you know is wrong, your mind can override itself and shut down.  We often call this guilt.  People want to be told that nothing that they do is wrong so that they can be free of guilt.  Guilt, to a degree is a punishment, but more than that it is a tool to help us want to be better.  If we apply it correctly we can use the guilt we feel for our poor actions as motivation to never do that wrong thing again.  We can use it as a drive to help us want to turn to God because only He has the power to make that guilt go away.  We turn to him because we want to be rid of it and He is capable of granting us that freedom. 
    As 3rd Nephi progresses we see the signs of the birth and death of Jesus Christ.  We are upon the resurrection and his appearance to the people in this continent.  We can see, again, that he keeps all of his promises, and that prophets are truly inspired by a divine power.  I am ever more convinced that the power given to the prophets is a Godly power.  They will not lead us astray and they will continue to act in a way that will teach us what we need to do in order to gain salvation.  They will not coddle us in our wickedness, but teach us how to be righteous and strong so that when the Messiah comes again, we need not fear because our hearts will be prepared.
 


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