She stared at herself in the thousand pieces of the mirror. In the candlelight her skin was the unreal color of wax statues. Miguel began to caress her and she saw her face transformed in the kaleidoscope of the mirror, and she finally believed that she was the most beautiful woman in the universe because she was able to see herself with Miguel’s eyes.
I try to envision playing out the rest of my life almost exclusively devoted to reflection, but there's just too much in the world to be done.
Time must be taken for creative planning and for creative communication with key people. Many people become bogged down in their work with mechanical details, and a lot of trivia, and they almost become automations. Few people take the time to think very carefully about their assignments, to analyze the causes of the problems they deal with, to develop long-range plans of action to deal with them. This kind of reflection and planning takes initiative and imagination - in short, thinking, which is hard and an expression of individuality. But the dividends are rich in terms of building a sense of self-worth and self-power.
And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? . . .
And now I, Alma, do command you in the language of him who hath commanded me, that ye observe to do the words which I have spoken unto you.
I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life. [Alma 5:14–16, 61–62]
I challenge you to reread the entire fifth chapter of Alma. This chapter provides excellent self-evaluation questions that we can ask ourselves.
I have found that three times in particular provide perfect settings for deep, personal self-evaluation and reflection: during daily, personal scripture study; while partaking of the sacrament each week in sacrament meeting; and when we are in the temple.
Although Joseph Smith was being pursued by his enemies and faced numerous distractions, the subject of baptism for the dead had pressed upon him for some time. His experience differed from the one in which the Spirit enlightens the mind and brings joy to the heart.
This means of inspiration has often led to direct revelation, as with the subject of baptism for the dead. Doctrine and Covenants 76 (see D&C 76:15–19) and 138 (see D&C 138:1–11) and Official Declaration—2 (see introduction [OD 2]) all came after three different prophets had been impressed to meditate for some time upon the subjects.
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