#gratitude, bethelight, gratitude

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude – Day 551

I completely enjoyed my scripture study this morning. I spent a couple hours reading, studying, and pondering Alma 32. This chapter has a great discourse on planting the seed of faith. Today I focused on Christ as the seed.

Alma 32:28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

According to this verse the experiment is to plant the Word of God into our hearts. This is best done by doing more than just reading the verse. It is studying it – even looking up what others have taught about the verse, looking up words and pondering how each of the words, and their arrangements in the sentences bring deeper meaning. It is allowing the Holy Ghost to teach you and to carry the Word into your heart and understanding.

Once planted, the seed will swell. For a seed to swell, the conditions must be right (the Spirit, prepared soil/heart/attitude), and the seed shell goes through a marvelous transformation (a mighty change of heart) that allows the seed to absorb the water (Living Water). A good seed can swell several times larger than it’s original size.

As the seed begins to grow it “enlarges” the soul. We will feel satisfaction. We will feel joy. We will know that it is a good seed. As the plant grows we are understanding is “enlightened” as we gain more knowledge line upon line.

We are expected to be a gardener. We are constantly standing at the garden gate (our hearts), given the opportunity to grow and harvest (blessings and the love of God). It’s not a plant and done thing. Gardens take work. As I learn to garden, I am learning that the work must be done daily – weeding, watering, cultivating, fertilizing. If you walk away from a garden once you plant it, the harvest is meager. Working at will bring continual fruit. Good fruit.

Alma 32:31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own alikeness.

Now, I was thinking, if Christ is the seed, those who cultivate their relationship with Him and consume the good fruit, will be more in His likeness. That’s sweet! Nourishing and caring for our relationship with Christ brings us to the harvest.

Alma 32:40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the atree of life. 41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with apatience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree bspringing up unto everlasting life. 42 And because of your adiligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the bfruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst. 43 Then, my brethren, ye shall areap the brewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth cfruit unto you.

Like Lehi, we will experience the fruit that is most Delicious… the love of God. We will learn that Christ is the seed. Christ is the living water. Christ is the Light. Christ is the tree. Christ is the fruit.

Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “In this brilliant discourse, Alma moves the reader from a general commentary on faith in the seed-like word of God to a
focused discourse on faith in Christ as the Word of God, grown to a fruit-bearing tree, a tree whose fruit is exactly that of Lehi’s earlier perception of Christ’s love, ‘which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon [the gospel of Christ] even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.’ (v. 42) Christ is the bread of life, the living water, the true vine. Christ is the seed, the tree, and the fruit
of eternal life. But the profound and central Tree of Life imagery in this discourse is lost, or at least greatly diminished, if the reader does not follow it on into the next two chapters of the Book of Mormon. In Alma 33, Alma quoted Zenos (source for the allegory of the olive tree) and Zenock on the role of Christ in rewarding faith, then focused on the fully developed image of Christ as Tree of Life.” (Christ and the New Covenant, p. 170)

Today I am grateful for my time spent in my scriptures. I love when the Spirit affirms to me the truthfulness of the scriptures, the mission of Jesus Christ and strengthens my testimony.

Today I am grateful that I got my teen out of the house for Dutch Brother’s and a drive. It was good to distract her. I am also thankful for her friend we saw on the drive who gave her a hug and her friend who came to take her to lunch and to play in our pool. I am grateful that she is distracted and not sitting on the couch moping.

Today I am grateful for an awesome Facetime call with my best bud, Jo! It was the best! Plus, it was so fun listening to her girls giggle behind her. I love those guys! It was fun to take her on a tour of all my projects, the yard and the garden. I’m glad that she loves seeing them too… at least she let’s me believe she likes it. 😉 I am also grateful that she introduced me to the Marco Polo app. Not only did I get to “talk” to Jo on the app, I got to chat with Hannah!

Today I am grateful for the few voice students I am still able to teach. I know. They say singing is dangerous, but I can’t help it! How can I keep from singing?! I do have a few rules, but I am grateful that at least one day a week I am still able to make music.

Today I am grateful for trying new things. Today I went on to step two of making my own fizzy water kefir. I hope I am doing it right. Today I put juice into the bottles and added the water I had let sit for a few days in the kefir grains. I am hoping that within 24 hours they are fizzy. 🙂

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to do an other extended fast – 48 hours is the goal. So far, I am feeling so much better with this intermittent fasting thing. I’ve lost some weight and I am hoping that I will be able to get past that point I’ve been at so many times before. I am hopeful. Before people panic, I’ve done research. I’ve read, asked questions, and even prayed and fasted about this. I am still getting 2000+ calories in each of eating windows and I am doing it as a vegetarian, with one day a week adding fish. I feel I am getting some good vibes about this.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to watch Zac Efron’s Down to Earth on Netflix. I actually learned some pretty cool things about the earth and building personal health. Plus I laughed. He and his partner were pretty funny. My favorite episode was the one about Blue Zones – places where people live 100+years. Their study was amazing. These centenarians from around the world live on plant based diets, do a lot of walking, and drink healthy water. The whole series really did inspire me. After watching the series I am inspired to continue looking toward simplifying life, drinking healthier water, reducing, reusing and recycling, and eating a plant based diet. I highly recommend this series. Plus, it was fun to watch it with Lillian and to talk about some of the things we learned about. God really did create an amazing home for us to live and learn on. We both agreed, we need to do better at taking care of it.

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