Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Last Days of Jesus

As we approach Easter this coming Sunday, I wanted to offer you something I have not offered before. In 1986 I began researching a book that I completed in 2009. Yes, it took me a long time to write it. It takes all the New Testament gospel accounts of the Savior's final week—from His entrance into Jerusalem to his Resurrection—and compares them word-for-word across landscape-oriented pages. It is 134 pages long.

This book is designed for studying the unique material that lies in the gospel accounts. It is not a book you would sit down and read, but it should help give you insight about all we know about the Savior's last days on earth.

Here is a sample of how the pages are laid out (the actual pages will be much clearer) :


You are welcome to download a copy of the book from this link: The Final Passover: A Word-Phrase Study of the Last Days of Jesus Christ. I will leave the link up for several days. [I have removed the link as of April 27, 2011. Thank you all for your interest in the book.]

Thank you all for your prayers. I certainly need them. I want to thank my wife for that last post. That was very sweet of her. She has been working herself tirelessly to care for me and I am so grateful to her.

I also need my Savior and I am thinking of Him a lot this Easter week. It is my testimony that He lives and that He alone can heal us, if we will not hide from Him or ignore Him.

United in Prayer

This is Cristi, Mike's wife. I am a true believer in the power of prayer, especially when many are united in a focused purpose. May I humbly request your prayers in behalf of my husband who is quite ill. Without going into too many details, he has struggled for over two months with a gout attack and the pain that accompanies it. Along with it came several other things, i.e., a dangerous infection, a nasty rash, etc. A little more than a week ago, everything came crashing down, and this past weekend he spent an entire day at urgent care and the ER. The initial tests point to an autoimmune disease. In the meantime, he is in pain, has extreme fatigue, and has an extremely limited diet. He has been unable to work but has plenty he can do from home as soon as he can focus without so much pain.

Over the past week, many small things have happened that remind us that the Lord is paying attention to even the small details. We know He is near, and we are grateful for that. We're also grateful to those who serve us and show their love through words and acts of kindness. We are blessed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

General Conference and Children

Well, it's another general conference weekend. I am excited for some spiritual renewal. I need it.

As the weekend approached, over the last few days, I've been thinking about when our children were small. We only asked them to sit with us for just one of the four sessions of conference. We did not require them to stay in the room with us beyond that.

My wife made conference binders for them with pictures to color, cutouts of the faces of general authorities, bingo cards that they could fill out with candies. They could eat the candies anytime they got a bingo. I remember that bingo was one of their favorites.

My wife and I almost always watched all the sessions of conference, often with our scriptures and notebooks handy. We didn't do this out of obligation. We did it because we really wanted to. We did it because we knew if we listened in reverence, our hearts and minds would be healed. We set aside our normal weekend madness so that we could drink in the words of life.

An interesting thing happened. Even though they weren't required to sit with us beyond a single session, our children would stay with us anyway. We'd say, "You don't have to watch this session. You can go play if you want." But they'd stay in the room with us, quietly coloring or playing another round of conference bingo.

I don't fully understand why the three of them chose to be such good conference watchers. Two of them are adults and one is a teenager now and they still are very dedicated conference watchers. Both adults are married with little people of their own.

One thing I know is that you can't hide who you really are from your children. Maybe you can keep them in the dark for awhile, but eventually you'll be found out. And it will have an effect on them. Nothing affects them more than who you really are.

That's scary to me. I see my bad habits and wobbly attitudes perpetuated in my children. I also see my good habits and faith in them too. Ultimately they will choose, but when you really care about something, or don't care about something, it leaves an impression on them that cannot be easily erased.

I hope you have a wonderful conference weekend!