what is a squiggle?

According to fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hill, a squiggle is a beginning point, a small, wiggly line on a page with the potential to become something more--a brilliantly drawn fifth-grade picture!

A beginning point. A silly phrase from my preschooler, my teenager rolling his eyes, or my kindergartner deleting my entire 3rd chapter...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scripture Squiggle: Matthew 26:14-15

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

"And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."

Judas wasn't just some man that decided to turn the Lord over to those seeking his death. He was one of the twelve chosen apostles. One of those men closest to Jesus, who spent time with him daily, serving and being taught. I find it hard to imagine that someone so close to the Savior could betray him.

But if we look, we can see signs that Judas' wasn't entirely focused on the things Jesus taught. An incident in John relates that a woman brought some costly ointment that she used to anoint Jesus' feet. Judas was upset, saying the ointment should have been sold and the money given to the poor. At first this seems like a charitable idea, until John points out that Judas' concern was more for the money and not for the poor. He calls his fellow apostle a "thief."

Yet, he had still seen the miracles. He knew that Jesus was innocent, even claimed to love him. So why would he betray him? Perhaps he didn't fully understand Jesus' mission. Maybe he really did believe that Jesus was the Son of God. And maybe he believed that he could make some money off the Jews, and, because Jesus was the Messiah, he could easily protect himself from his enemies and no harm would come of it.

Judas didn't start to get scared until after Jesus was condemned. Once he saw that Jesus wasn't going to free himself, Judas returned the money to the Jewish leaders. Then, knowing what he had done, knowing he was powerless to change it, and unable to live with that knowledge, Judas hung himself.

Judging and condemning Judas is easy--he betrayed the Son of God! But how often are we like Judas? Are there times we say, "I really want this item. I can't afford it, but if I pay my tithing I think things will be okay." or "The Lord will forgive me if I go to this concert. I know it's on Sunday, but it's my all-time favorite band."?

Do we betray him in little ways?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Scripture Squiggle: Doctrine & Covenants 63:23

"But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life."

Maybe I have water and life on the brain with all the spring rain and the green sprouting everywhere. But I came across this picture, taken in Utah a few years ago. I love how pure and crisp the water looks as it bursts forth, in stark contrast to the water it enters, water that merely sits and collects dirt, rocks, dead plants etc.

The Lord's promise to us in D&C 63:23 is that by keeping the commandments he has given us, we can keep our spiritual growth moving, progressing toward him. Obedience to the commandments gives us access to more spiritual truth and light and keeps us from getting stagnated in the world, where we would collect the dirt and grime of worldliness that prevent us from returning to our Heavenly Father.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Scripture Squiggle: Doctrine & Covenants 6:16

"Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart."

I find it comforting to now that only God has access to our thoughts. Sometimes it seems that Satan knows exactly what I'm thinking when he throws his temptations at me. At those times I remember this scripture and remind myself that Satan is only guessing. He knows me, because of my relationship to him in the preexistence, so he has an idea of what I might be feeling or thinking, and that's why so many times he hits the mark with his guesses.

We probably don't really notice the times when he guesses wrong because the thought or impression simply slides away unnoticed since it doesn't relate to what we are thinking. We only notice his efforts when he guesses right--that's why it seems that he knows our thoughts.

The Lord does know our thoughts, and this allows Him to truly know us. It helps me to remember this when Satan attacks me, giving me the strength to turn to the Lord and seek his guidance and protection.