Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ask in Faith

Somewhat less well-known than the verse immediately preceding it, James 1:6 reminds us that when we ask God for wisdom, we must ask in faith. Remember that faith is a principle of action. In other words, to receive wisdom from God, we must be willing to act on the wisdom we receive. To do otherwise would be like asking an expert navigator for a map to get us through waters we've never traveled before, and then throwing the map away, instead allowing the ever changing winds and currents to take us wherever they will. God is not likely to answer a question asked out of mere curiosity, or motivated only by a desire to confirm what we already believe. But when we humble ourselves enough to acknowledge that He knows the correct path better than we do, and when we are willing to accept whatever answer He gives us (even if the answer is unexpected or unwanted), we may pray for wisdom, confident that the answer we receive will be His will.

This is the second in a series of Sour Peppers on personal revelation.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Ask of God

This is the first in a series of Sour Peppers I intend to do on personal revelation. That is, receiving guidance from God. We start with what is probably the most well known passage of scripture on the subject among Latter Day Saints: the passage from the Bible that inspired Joseph Smith to ask God which of all the churches of his day was right, and which he should join. Joseph had pondered this question for a long time before receiving his answer. He wanted to do the right thing, but in spite of all his best efforts, his studies, and seeking guidance from local ecclesiastical leaders, was unable to come to a decision on his own (see Joseph Smith History 1:5-12). During his studies however, he came across this verse, which teaches us several important things about obtaining answers from God:

  • If we lack wisdom (that is, if we don't know the answer to an important question or problem) we can ask God.
  • God gives wisdom to all, liberally (in great abundance).
  • God does not upbraid, meaning He does not punish us for asking Him sincere questions.
  • Those who ask for wisdom will receive it. We may need to be patient, but answers will come.
Joseph received his answer, and we can too. If there is a problem in your life, and worldly wisdom has failed to bring you a satisfactory solution, try going to the Source of all truth: our Heavenly Father, Himself.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

As Precious in His Sight

In the middle of Jacob's sermon to his people, he rebuked them for their pride in thinking themselves better than those who were poorer or otherwise less fortunate than they. In the middle of his stinging words we encounter this phrase, which serves as a chastisement to the wicked, but also a comfort to those who may feel forgotten or cast out. Society may look at some with a critical eye; those who are not beautiful, rich, educated, or simply normal enough. But remember that God loves all His children equally. Every one of His children is precious to Him. We ought to remember the Golden Rule and treat them as such: the way we would want to be treated, and the way we know God would treat us.

This is my second Sour Peppers commission. If you would like a scripture or other inspirational quote illustrated similar to the one above, check out my commissions page.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Title of Liberty

Thousands of years ago, a man wrote these words on a cloth that he affixed to a pole. It has since come to be known as the "Title of Liberty." There were those in the land who sought to take their freedom away. There were also those who should have been allies to the cause of freedom, but who refused to defend their country, hoping to benefit from the political turmoil that would result if their enemies succeeded in overthrowing the government. Moroni--the man who erected the Title of Liberty--reminded his countryman of the things they held dear; things that were worth protecting and fighting for. Things far to dear to be given away, let alone for something so cheap as spite or the chance to gain power.

There are influences in the world today that threaten to take away our own liberties. We mustn't be fooled into thinking those influences come from only one person, political party, country, etc. It is often tempting to trade principles of liberty, fairness, compassion, and loyalty for personal or political gain. But remember the things our ancestors fought for, and remember that they still need defending.

Happy Independence Day! It may be an "American-centric" holiday, but independence from any influence that would seek to limit our liberty is worth striving for and celebrating, no matter where one may live.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

You Are Loved

I love my LGBT+ friends and family. We don't always see eye to eye; we have some differences of opinion regarding the politics and morality of LGBT+ issues. But I admire everyone who is doing the best they know how to do what's right, even when that leads them to believe and act differently than me. I also believe that God is merciful, and will take each person's sincere desires to do good into account. I love you and I know that God loves you.

This is the first time I've shown Ine here in the Sour Peppers style. I've mentioned here before that the feathered lizard character represents me. But he's also a character in my webcomic. I originally created the version below, styled after the comic, as a telegram sticker. (For those unfamiliar, when a character is missing eyes or face, etc. it means they can be used to represent anyone, rather than a specific person.)

If you'd like, you can add the sticker pack that includes this sticker by clicking here. However, drumming up extra traffic for my webcomic wasn't my intention. I didn't want to inadvertently take advantage of Pride Month for my own benefit. Which is why I shared this with some of my friends only at first, and am now sharing it publicly in July. I don't know if that's just me thinking too hard or worrying too much, but there you have it. I wanted to do something to show my love for those who are LGBT+, regardless of any difference in lifestyle, belief, etc. Obviously I hope my words and actions in real life and online are more than adequate to communicate my love. Still, I hope this token shows that I do care.