Thoughts from My Personal Journal

THOUGHT: November 13, 2019

In Hebrews, Paul refers to the Church as the Church of the Firstborn. That is doctrinally significant. There would be no reason to call Christ the “firstborn” were there not others born after him. Those others are us, and Christ is thus our elder brother. We are all sons and daughters of God. But Christ is the only begotten in the flesh.

THOUGHT: December 5, 2019

People are addicted to coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, and other undesirable substances. While they promise liberty to those who will join them, they themselves are not free, but are rather the servants of the addiction. “For of whatsoever a man is overcome, of the same is he brought to bondage.” (2 Peter 2:19)

THOUGHT: December 9, 2019

People in general are ignorant of the restoration events— the
Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, the priesthood, and most all of the facts relating to the restoration. People don’t like what they don’t understand. Peter hit the nail on the head when he wrote that people speak evil of the things they understand not. (2 Peter 2:12)

THOUGHT: December 31, 2019

In likening the scriptures unto myself: And it came to pass that I, John Enslen, began to be old; and I have written according to the best of my knowledge, [and] the time passed away with me, and also my life passed away like as it were unto me a dream. (See Jacob 7:26)

THOUGHT: January 27, 2020

Reading the scriptures in the morning makes for a brighter day all day long.

THOUGHT: January 28, 2020

Reading the scriptures brings more confidence into your life.

THOUGHT: February 11, 2020

We are all in Lehi’s tree of life vision, and we have all occupied more than one position in it.

THOUGHT: March 19, 2020

Based on the Garden of Eden experience, it seems that Satan can have more success with women if he can deal with them separately from their husbands.

THOUGHT: March 20, 2020

I am a practicing believer in the principle that daily scripture study will provide you with a keen insight into the difference between good and evil and thus fortify you against the evil in the world.

THOUGHT: April 2, 2020

Here is a scripture that relates to the power of God over life and death: “[W]ith one glance of his eye, he (God) can smite you to the dust.” (Jacob 2:15)

THOUGHT: April 13, 2020

Both the just and the unjust receive the beneficial rains—and also the destructive storms.

THOUGHT: May 14, 2020

I found King Noah’s position quite contradictory as I read my scripture study this morning. Abinadi’s ex-post-facto crime, after days of study by the king and his priests, consisted of claiming that God would take upon himself flesh in the form of a man and come to earth to live
a very true statement. However, the king would forgive the “heresy” not by requiring Abinadi to retract the heretical statement and believe otherwise. Rather, the King offered full forgiveness if Abinadi would take back all of the allegations of evil against King Noah which had nothing to do with whether or not God would take upon himself flesh in the form of a man and come to earth to live. Abinadi would neither retract his statements about God nor his statements about King Noah’s evil.

THOUGHT: June 2, 2020

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and Satan is the author of contention (3 Ne 11:29).

THOUGHT: June 4, 2020

It is very important that we write things down: “And it came to pass when Alma had heard these words he wrote them down that he might have them....” (Mosiah 26:33)

THOUGHT: June 16, 2020

I have always been surprised by the fact that the Brethren do not cite the scripture which declares “of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36) as one of the very best scriptural evidences that the Father and the Son are two separate and distinct personages. If they were the same, then it would be impossible for one of them to know something that the other of them does not know. Yet, I have never heard this scriptural argument presented by anyone in our Church.

THOUGHT: July 12, 2020

“And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” (D&C 64:33) Had I not taken the time to tell Ken Bailey about the restored gospel in 1975, he would not have married Mellanie Helms. Had he not married Mellanie Helms, they would not have had a son named David Bailey, a son named Jim Bailey, and a daughter named Katherine Bailey. Had there been no David Bailey, no Jim Bailey, and no Katherine Bailey, there would not have been a marriage between David Bailey and Laura Eves, and between Jim Bailey and Shelly Eves, and between Katherine Bailey and Alexander Shipp. Had there been no such marriages between the Bailey boys and the Eves girls, Royce Eves and Dawn Eves would not be residing in Elmore County, Alabama, where several of their grandchildren reside, and Royce Eves would not be the new bishop of the Wetumpka Ward, and David Bailey and Alexander Shipp would not be his counselors.

Furthermore, looking outside of the Church, had Ken Bailey not accepted the gospel, he and Mellanie Bailey would not have been prominent and important campaign workers in one of Judge Edward W. Enslen’s close political races for probate judge. The Bailey labors and influence were just enough to allow Edward W. Enslen to succeed in the election, thus leaving a political legacy at his death sufficiently strong enough for his son John E. Enslen to overcome the widespread anti-Mormon sentiment in the population at large when he sought that same judgeship and became the first member of the Church to be elected to a judgeship in a contested election in the State of Alabama. The election of John E. Enslen as Probate Judge of Elmore County gave him the opportunity to demonstrate that a member of the Church could be trusted in an important local governmental position, and thus allowed him to expose and help remove from office the corrupt members of the Elmore County Commission.

Had John E. Enslen and Dianne B. Enslen not been converted to the restored gospel by an extraordinary scriptorian missionary named Leland Wach and a dedicated loving companion missionary named Allen Humphries, their daughters Georgia Brown Enslen and Jenny Sue Enslen would not have married returned missionaries Patrick Pinkston and Troy Stubbs. These marriages and actions paved the way for Patrick Pinkston to become the first Church member to be elected a District Judge in the State of Alabama and for Troy Stubbs to become the first Church member to be elected a county commissioner in Elmore County and the first Church member to become the Chairman of a county commission in the State of Alabama.

Of course, facts could be cited as essential to the occurrence of these events going all the way back to Adam and Eve. This is just one example of a countless number of small things that took place over time, all orchestrated by the Lord, that combined to bring about the current circumstances in the Wetumpka Ward and in Elmore County government. All of this was foreordained to happen. There were other things that were foreordained to occur that have not occurred because somewhere in the link, one or more persons did not meet the levels of righteousness upon which the foreordained events were conditioned.

The ordinary choices each of us make day in and day out determine not only our own destiny, but they have an indeterminable, yet direct, influence on others and on future occurrences of great importance. So the moral of the story is this: Live each moment and make each choice as if your future happiness and the future happiness of others depended upon it, because the future does, in fact, depend upon how we live each moment and make each choice.

THOUGHT: July 20, 2020

People whose testimony is based solely upon a single extraordinary personal experience are on a weak spiritual foundation. Even the Savior had to increase and grow in wisdom and in favor with God over time.

THOUGHT: August 30, 2020

The perfect Jesus went about doing good. If we are to be perfect as he was, then we, too, need to go about doing good.

THOUGHT: October 9, 2020

I read this morning a chapter in Alma while seated on the front porch. I think so much clearer during the day if I have read the scriptures in the morning. I cannot explain the phenomenon, but it is real in my life. There is an added layer of intelligence and enlightenment brought to bear on my decision-making processes. I am fortified against mistakes I might otherwise have made. I am compelled to believe that it is the Holy Ghost silently operating in my life to protect me.

THOUGHT: October 23, 2020

I think like Esther, each of us was selected to live in the very time in which we do live. It was for such a time as this present time for which we were chosen.

THOUGHT: November 17, 2020

When one thinks about the things that God might despise, the mind conjures up murder, abortion, adultery, and child abuse. But there is another category of sin that he despises. I could have easily intellectualized myself out of the gospel. I could have easily thought myself smarter than God at least in some narrow area of learning. I could have allowed my educational degrees to puff me up. But hopefully, I have not done any of those things. In 2 Nephi 9:42, Jacob enlightens us regarding the learned and the wise who are puffed up or proud. They are they “whom God despiseth.” Despise is a strong word and it deserves our most careful attention.

THOUGHT: November 25, 2020

America is a special place. The Lord has ordained it as a promise land. There is a divine endowment of beauty and resources. But America is exceptional only if its people do right, both doing right with that which we have in resources and especially doing right with regard to how we live. We prosper if we keep the commandments. We destroy ourselves if we do not keep the commandments.

THOUGHT: November 30, 2020

Had God created Adam and Steve, instead of Adam and Eve, you and I would not be here on planet earth enjoying our probationary adventure.

THOUGHT: December 9, 2020

People possessing a strong noble character are the only ones who demonstrate the ability to genuinely forgive others. The ability to forgive is not a weakness in character, but rather one of the most powerful character strengths one can possess.

THOUGHT: December 11, 2020

If we are going to be judged by every thought, deed, and word we speak or say, then it only stands to reason that we will also be judged by every word we write.

THOUGHT: February 4, 2021

If Satan can create a great controversy that engenders contention, then even the majority of the righteous people will become wicked within five years. (See 3 Ne. 8: 7-8)

THOUGHT: February 6, 2021

Accept and embrace your current calling in the Church, and do not ever aspire to a so-called higher calling. Adhere to the reasoning found in Alma 29:6: “Why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?” Similarly instructive is this Biblical admonition from Paul found in Philippians 4:11: “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Consider the Lord’s directions to Joseph Smith as set forth in D & C 5:4: “And you have a gift to translate the plates; and I have commanded you to pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.”

THOUGHT: February 8, 2021

I need to find joy in my own time and space. As for me, individually, there has never been a better time or location in which to live out my mortal probation. I was born to live when and where I live, and I am fully satisfied with the Lord’s choice in those matters. (See Acts 17:26)

THOUGHT: February 15, 2021

The Lord has commanded: “Look to me in every thought.” (D&C 6:36) We don’t have to advertise to others that we are doing exactly that. We can silently keep that commandment and thus allow ourselves to be constantly guided in our choices and decisions.

THOUGHT: February 26, 2021

I think we have reached the point in world history where the children of the desolate outnumber the children that come from a married wife, as prophesied by Isaiah and later confirmed by the Lord to the Nephites. (See Isaiah 54:1)

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