Can Gratitude Bring Us Closer to God?

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By Kendall O. I haven’t always actively sought God in my life. Sometimes things like school or homework or social events crowd out my intended priority of my relationship with God. Lately though, I’ve been looking for ways to invite him in. Looking back on how far I've come, and in light of this Thanksgiving holiday, I can see that gratitude has helped me make this much needed progress toward him. I looked to the origins of Thanksgiving to find principles of gratitude. Squanto, an American Indian from the Patuxet tribe in Massachusetts, exemplified what it’s all about. His invaluable service...
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Spiritual Spring Cleaning

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By Stephanie L. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” – Deuteronomy 4:29 Lately I have been doing some spring cleaning in my living space. It's nice to get rid of old things and open the windows to let in the fresh spring air. I haven't put away my winter clothes yet because I live in Boston (sometimes the weather here is unpredictable), but eventually my heavier clothes will be replaced by lighter jackets and sandals. I've been thinking a lot about my spiritual well-being in this context. Essent...
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The Purpose of Life: Taking the Long View

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By Geoff W. As the holiday season winds down at the end of the year, many look forward optimistically to the new year. The new year is approached with hope, aspirations and goals that require action from us.  This time of year and annual exercise always makes me think about the purpose of life. I believe that the purpose of life is not to acquire things or even knowledge, but to become something, ultimately to grow and progress to reach our fullest potential. Life is an exquisite teacher. It will try and test you beyond what you possibly thought you could ever accomplish or withstand. I ...
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Asking Questions Strengthens Faith

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By Zach Bunting It’s certainly not an issue that Mormons alone have to confront. Any person of faith encounters questions to which there appear no adequate answers in religion. Some might say that to question or search is to open a Pandora ’s box since you could find startling or troubling answers. After all, maybe it is more comfortable to blindly accept something that you want to be true. Tennyson saw things differently: “There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds,” he penned in his poem In Memoriam A.H.H. For Latter-day Saints, the greatest witness we ...
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What Would you Do with an Extra Hour?

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By Brigham F. Especially when I was in grad school, married with two, then three, small children in our tiny on-campus apartment and pressures (real and imagined) building from problem sets supposed to be done or graded, brilliant dissertation chapters supposed to be produced, and church and community volunteer responsibilities supposed to be fulfilled, I always found myself wishing for an extra hour or six in the day (but just for me). All the things I would do with that extra time: do more of the reading for my courses and research, keep a journal, start a garden, write letters to my f...
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