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Thank you for visiting jamesdodge.com. I plan on using this blog to share things going on in both my personal and my business life (and now my school life too!).  You can also find me on various different platforms by clicking any of the buttons to the right. Thanks again for stopping by – we’ll talk to you soon!!

Becoming More Like Him

This week in our Pathway class, we are studying 3 Nephi 23-30.  In these scriptures, we are taught to be more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.  In a previous post, I talked specifically about 3 Nephi 27:27 where it says, “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.”

Reading through these scriptures has been a great reminder to me this week of who we need to be striving to be.  As I watched videos this week that go along with our reading, there is one called “Be and Do to Become.”  It is narrated by the Clark’s and they talk about this scripture also.

As they talk, they stress the importance of making sure that we are striving to be more like Christ each day.  They explain to us that in order for us to become more like Him, we must Be more like Him and we must Do as He did.

It is not enough to think that we can just be more like our Savior without actually doing things as He did.  We know that He went out to teach his people.  We know that He would not leave anyone behind and that He loved everyone equally.  We also know that He was humble and did everything that He did for our Father in Heaven and not for His own glory.  We must also do these things if we hope to live a life like our Savior.

What a great example for all of us and what a great responsibility it is for us to try and emulate His life.  I am grateful this week for this reminder of who we should be.  As this week starts, we are starting as a class to work on another Christ-like attribute to focus on as we move forward.  I am so grateful for these opportunities that I have been given to try and become more like my Savior.

Reading and studying the scriptures reminds me each day that these habits we are forming while in this class are habits that need to follow us through the rest of our lives.  It is not something that we need to be doing for a grade.  It is truly something that we each need to be working on each day so that we can truly Be and Do like He did……..so that we can continue to Become more like Him.

 

Feed My Sheep

This week for our pathway class we’ve been reading through 3 Nephi 12-17

In these chapters it talks about how Jesus visited the Nephite people after his resurrection.

As Jesus teaches, He organizes His church among the Nephites and tells them of other sheep that are not of this fold. I love when he talks about sheep from another fold and how we are to seek them out to bring them into the fold.

One other thing I was able to do this past week was spend time with the Priests quorum and the Teachers quorum from our ward as we went on our high adventure scout camp.

One of the activities we did with the young men during the week of camp was a COPE course. COPE stands for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience and is made up of a variety of different activities throughout the day.

As I studied the scriptures throughout the week, the activities we did during scout camp made me think of what the Savior was teaching the Nephites.

In our COPE course, one thing that constantly came up during the activities was the importance of teamwork. Along with this was the mindset that we had to have to not leave anyone behind as we progressed through the challenges.

It really made me think of the teachings of the Savior and how in life, we need to adopt this type of attitude in our daily lives. We need to be aware at all times of those around us and what we can do to help them.  We know that we are all God’s children and with this knowledge comes a particular responsibility to share the gospel with others.

We should always keep those around us in mind so that we might look for ways to bring them into the fold as the Savior has counseled us to do. We should be constantly seeking out and helping to spread the gospel.

I am grateful for the gospel in my life and I hope that I can do better in the future with seeking out those around me that are looking for the truth of the gospel.

Remaining Humble

This week for our Pathway class we’ve been studying from Helaman 10-16 in the Book of Mormon.  I have really enjoyed reading from these chapters.

In our gathering this past Thursday, we talked specifically about Helaman Chapter 12.  In this chapter, Mormon teaches us about how we should be in our lives.  He teaches about how man is less than the dust of the earth.

We discussed what it is that Mormon means by saying this.  In our discussion we talked about how we know that, by ourselves, we are nothing.  We discussed how we need to have our Father in Heaven in our lives in order to truly become the person we should be.  Without Him in our lives, we truly are less than the dust of the earth.

In Helaman 12, Mormon talks about how we should trust in the Lord in all things.  He also taught that we should beware of pride and that we should stay humble at all times.

If we are able to do these things, we know that we are doing as the Lord would have us do and that he will help us to prosper.

One of the videos we watched for our class this week is titled “The Lord will Prosper the Righteous” and is given by Elder Dean L. Larsen.  This video tells about different instances in the Book of Mormon where people prosper by being righteous.  He also talks about how people often will become prideful at this point and turn away from God.  Doing so ultimately leads to their downfall.

I really have enjoyed learning these things during this week as it gives us hope as we move forward.  We learn that we are truly nothing without our Father in Heaven and our Savior in our lives.  But we also learn that if we are humble, trusting, loyal and give all thanks to Him that we can be prosperous in this life.

We need to remember moving forward that, as we become better at trusting in the Lord and as we prosper in our lives, that it is conditional upon living our lives in accordance with the gospel.  I hope that we can all remember these teachings so that we may remain humble and live in such a way that would please our Father in Heaven.

Taking Offense

This week in our Book of Mormon class for Pathway, we are reading Alma 43-63.  As we read through the various chapters, we also have videos to watch throughout the week.  One of these videos is titled “And Nothing Shall Offend Them”, and is by Elder David A. Bednar.

I really enjoyed listening to this talk and if you haven’t seen it, I would suggest watching it.  In our lesson, it only shows a couple of minutes of the talk given by Elder Bednar, but after watching this, I had to go watch the entire talk.  I really enjoyed listening to him talk about this subject.

As he speaks about people that have become less active in the church because of being offended, it really hits close to home.  For many years I stopped going to church myself because of things that had been said or done in the past that offended me.  For a while there I thought I might never go back to church again.  Even though I feel that I had a testimony of the truthfulness of the church, I let my thinking get clouded and really started to blame others for my inactivity.

In his talk, Elder Bednar states that “ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me.”  He further states that to be offended “is a choice we make.”

This is something that I have struggled with a lot in the past.  I really believed that I was wronged by things that people have said to me in the past and I really believed that I was right in my thinking.  At one point, I remember having a conversation with a good friend of mine where we talked about how I felt with people at church.  He really upset me when he said at one point, “it’s your own fault.”

I can remember being extremely upset with him and not wanting to talk anymore about it.  It has taken me quite a while, but I have come to learn over the years that when he said this to me, he was correct.  Just as Elder Bednar states, it was my own choice to be affected the way that I was.

As I have come to realize this, I have been able to make my way back to church and I am stronger in my faith than I ever was before.  I know that I have a long way to go and so much to learn, but one thing I will never let anyone do to me again is offend me to the point that I stop going to church.

I have a brother in law that really helped me come back and has helped me so much by reminding me that I am at church for myself and for my family – not for anyone else.  I will always be grateful to him for his patience and his persistence to help guide me back to the Gospel.  He really helped me to understand that what is important for me, is to concentrate on the relationship I have with my Father in Heaven and with my Savior.

As I have continued along my path back at church, I really strive to be helpful to those around me.  I really hope to be able to serve those that are in need with anything that might be asked of me.  I believe that this attitude is what the Savior would want me to do.  I believe that trying to live by His example is what I should be striving for every day.

I know that these types of situations can be very difficult to overcome.  Those that have offended others usually don’t think they have done anything wrong or they think the person offended should just get over it.  The person offended usually wants to distance themselves away from church and anybody associated with it.  This creates a horrible situation for everyone involved, but the biggest problem is for the person offended.  There’s usually not a realization that the main person they are hurting is themselves and their family.

I’m glad to have watched this video this week as it helps to strengthen my resolve to help those around me.  I know how hard it can be to come back to church, but I also know how great of a feeling it is to do so.  I hope that we can all strive to be mindful of others as we interact with them to help avoid these types of situations.  And I also hope that we can mindful of those already in these types of situations that we might reach out to them with love and friendship to help bring them back to where they belong.

 

Even as I am

As I write this entry, we are starting our 2nd semester of the Pathway program.  As it was last semester, it seems that we will be doing projects to show what we have learned from the previous weeks.  I am very grateful to be able to have the opportunity to continue with these entries as I have found them to be a great help to me in my learning.

In my last post, I mentioned how we had been working on a project where we focused on a specific Christlike attribute and how to become more like Him by striving to attain that attribute.  We will be doing a similar project this semester but we will be focusing on several attributes instead of just one.

As we began this semester, we watched a video called Christlike Attributes. If you haven’t seen it before, I would recommend watching it as it gives a great picture of the person our Savior is.

The video starts by quoting from 3 Nephi 27:27 saying, “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily say unto you, even as I am.” I know that as we study the scriptures and as we strive to become better each day, it is the Savior that we should be patterning our lives after.  We should look to His example and do what we can to be more like Him.  

I hope that as I continue along this path that I have begun, that I will be able to become more like my Savior.  I know from my previous experiences that I have a long way to go in this respect.  But I also know that with His help, I can achieve great things.

As we begin this semester, I am beginning to work on the attribute of diligence.  I chose this attribute because I believe as I become more diligent it will become easier to focus on additional attributes in the future.  I know that we can all do great things with the help of our Father in Heaven, but I also know that these things must be done in small steps.  In order to be able to accomplish something great, much diligence must be practiced in order to make it happen.

I love the scripture quoted above from 3 Nephi 27:27.  It is a direct answer to the type of person we should all strive to be.  We should all look at ourselves and see what we can do to be more Christlike.  Once we establish what it is that we can do, we should strive with everything we have to make it a reality.

I look forward this semester to studying more from the Book of Mormon and learning more about how I can become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

This week in class we have been studying Mosiah 27 through Alma 7.  One of the things I have learned from studying these chapters is taught in Alma Chapter 5.  In this chapter, Alma teaches us the things we must do in order to gain eternal salvation.

One thing he teaches us is that we need to have a change of heart.  He testifies in these scriptures that his father obtained a mighty change in his heart according to his faith.

As I read through this part in the scriptures, I am reminded of a video I watched as part of last week’s lesson with Elder Bednar titled, “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart”.  I would strongly recommend watching this video. In it, Elder Bednar teaches that it is not enough to not sin, but that we need to obtain the desire to sin no more.  In doing this, we obtain a true change of heart in our lives.

For our class this year, we have been working on a project where we choose a Christ like attribute that we want to try and develop for ourselves.  At this point in the semester, watching this video and reading through these scriptures, I have started to really understand this change of heart that Alma speaks of.  It truly is not enough for us to just be “good” and to not sin.  We truly have to become more like Christ and have a change in our hearts so that we will no longer have a desire to sin anymore.  We need to have the desire to do good continually.  One thing Elder Bednar says is that it is possible to have clean hands and not have a pure heart.  Searching to have this change of heart in our lives enables us to have both clean hands and a pure heart.

Alma teaches us that we cannot obtain salvation without repenting of our sins.  I know that we need to truly repent of the things we do wrong and we need to continually strive to be like Christ and obtain a change in our hearts so that we may stand before Him one day knowing that we have clean hands and a pure heart.  I am grateful for these scriptures and for the words of our leaders in these latter days.  I know them to be true and I am grateful for the opportunity to able to share my feelings regarding these teachings.

Listening to the Prophet

This week for class we read from the book of Enos through the 3rd chapter of Mosiah.  Included in that reading is the book of Jarom.  I really enjoyed this book this week and had several different discussions about it.

My instructor put together an awesome video this week talking about this book and how the Nephites during this time were able to break the pride cycle that we see repeated over and over throughout the Book of Mormon and throughout history.

As we’ve seen people go through this cycle, we see how they can be prosperous, which leads to pride, which then leads to their destruction or fall, which then points them back to humility.  As they humble themselves they get back to the point of being prosperous.  And the cycle continues.

But, as we see in the book of Jarom, it is possible to break this cycle.  We discussed in our gathering on Thursday night how the Nephites viewed the Messiah and what they did to stay faithful.  One of my classmates discussed that even though the time that this takes place is several hundred years before the coming of Christ, they acted as though He were there among them already.  They were a very humble people and made sure to keep the commandments.

As we read through the book of Jarom, we learn that they listened to the teachings and warnings of the Prophets which kept them from transgression and kept them from becoming prideful.  Because of this, they stayed humble and looked forward to the time when the Savior would come.  As they looked to Christ and tried to be more like Him, they were able to break the pride cycle, stay humble and continue to prosper.

I know that we live in a great time upon this earth where we have a true Prophet of God to help guide us and direct us.  We have all the resources available to us to learn from him, other church leaders and all those that came before them.  We need only to listen to their words, keep ourselves humble and look towards Christ with a desire to be more like Him.