My shift is 3-11pm with a long hour drive to and from work. As I drive to work I take time to think about the events around me. What may be going on at work itself, whats going on with my kids and home, and about the world today and things we face. Sometimes I may be having personal issues and need to focus and ponder on my faith and making it greater that I may understand my weaknesses, trials and tribulations, or sometimes I may be struggling to understand a principle or just why the world is such the state that it is.
On the way to work I spend a lot of that time talking to Heavenly Father. I have my prayers in the morning upon waking, but on that drive many times, its just a talk that I need to have with him, for things that I question or problems that need solving and often times its about scriptures or things that I've read to help me to better understand.
My drive home is usually spent streaming the Mormon Channel from my cell phone (yes I'm a Mormon) and I like to listen to stories and examples and teachings that help to guide and give me strength; however, there are also those times when I leave it quiet. When there is no streaming and no sound for the entire hour and its just me inviting the spirit in and listening. I think about things I've read, the questions of my heart, or maybe I'm trying to wrap my mind around a concept or principle and often during this time, an answer will come, an understanding will be made clear, or a blog will pop into my mind and I am filled with great gratitude for the communication we can have with our Father in Heaven.
After arriving home and setting down; then is the time for my daily reading and study. I have to take the time to have that Heavenly end, if you will, to my day. I want the last thoughts I have before closing my eyes to be that of the Lord, so I end the day with a prayer and open my scriptures.
In doing this I rotate my study between the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants and as I read I refer to references in each; ie cross referencing verses in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants with verses in the Bible. In doing so I see how they all fit together and I gain a greater understanding of the information and instruction that Heavenly Father would have me learn.
This week my studies took me to the Book of Mormon and these are the thoughts that came to my mind.
The words "Secret Combination" in the Book of Mormon mean to conspire
to do evil, to make a pact and secretly destroy for personal gain. The book of Mormon and the Bible are replete with example of secret combinations that have come down from the begging of time, even from Cain himself as he conspired with Satan. It is also full of words from prophets preaching, guiding and instructing not only those of their own day but also we in our day about repentance and how to guard and protect ourselves from "Old Scratch". Their teachings help us to learn to stay clean and stay with God. They tell us to choose carefully the things we would do and say for the Devil even that old serpent is sly and cunning and his ways will devour us and we will not even know that he has done so until it is too late.
When we as a people think of secret combinations, conspiracy, or evil I think we automatically think of the Mafia, Gangs, Politics, the Government, things that are or have become plainly evil in our day. However I believe there is more to it and there are secret combinations right in front of us that are more successful in destruction yet, they have become so common place we don't always see them.
This morning I was listening to a Professor of Ancient Scripture from Brigham Young University speak on just this subject and he said that when he talks to his class and explains secret combinations he asks them how many of their family or friends have been killed by the Mafia or Gangs and maybe one now and then will raise a hand. Then he asks how many of them have had family or friends lives destroyed from Alcoholism, Pornography or Tobacco and almost every hand goes up. He then explains that the producers of many socially acceptable things are far more effective at destroying lives than some of these other groups. The way they, the sellers of these products, do business with callous disconcern for people is destroying to get gain, therefore they fit the profile for being a secret combination, a destructive force in society. So then we can say, a secret combination can be an organization or institution, but the attitude of gaining for oneself by preying on others is also very much a secret combination.
Through the scriptures the words of the Lord have warned us:
"Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: in consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you....." Doctrine and Covenants 89:4
I believe that for today we must think about those things that we participate in, that we agree with, that we make a part of our lives, and choose carefully. Even everyday things that we might not think of as being destructive could very well be. If we prayerfully approach our daily decisions and live so that we may invite and retain the spirit with us always we can be protected from these forces that the world sees as normal but the Lord has warned us is not.
Satan is cunning this is something we should remember as we search our lives and make choices. I hope and pray that I will be able to always remember this and will make those decisions that will be good in the eyes of Heavenly Father, I pray I can have my eyes wide open at all times and withstand the evil for myself and help my famiy to do so also..... and, I hope you the reader will too.....
With Love from Dixie