The Raleigh Family

Invictus Emergo

The Fountain of All Righteousness 

Changing ourselves through Faith, Hope and Charity

I’m sure many of you who are familiar with the Book of Mormon have read or heard the following passage in a multitude of lessons, talks or devotionals.

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Ether 12:27

Well, if you continue and read the next verse, you will read the following in that verse:

… I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.

Ether 12:28

Just this past week I was talking with my home teaching companion about Faith, Hope and Charity and indicating that for the longest time I didn’t understand why Hope was included in this trio of principles.  It seemed to me that Faith and Charity are primarily action oriented.  Something that we focus or offer to others.  But Hope appears to be such an inward focused principle that I couldn’t see its relationship to Faith and Charity.  I understood it was good to have hope, though until recently I didn’t understand how powerful of a principle it was.  My understanding of just how powerful and important of a principle it is increased significantly over the past few months.  I won’t go into how that came to be here as that would be too much of a diversion from what I do want to share.

This past week as I studied in the book of Ether, I came across a passage that speaks of hope and in particular the source of our hope.  Several verses prior to the ones sited above, we read the following:

9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Ether 12:9

There it was again, the principle of Hope connected to the principle of Faith only this time it is made clear that the source or path to Hope is by and through Faith.  In other words, the strength of our Hope is directly proportional to the strength of our Faith.  I now see that it is our faith that gives us hope and it is our hope that leads us to have charity.  After that, the cycle begins again since charity will motivate us to actions and changes which will result in an increase in our faith.  Is it any wonder that the Lord uses a fountain in verse 28 as the metaphor to illustrate the power of these three principles? 

As many of you know, I am participating in the BYU Idaho Pathway program.  This semester in my Book of Mormon class we had to choose an attribute of Christ to work on incorporating in our lives.  After much prayer and consideration, I selected the attribute of being submissive.  As I have studied this attribute, in particular how to incorporate it into my life, I have learned a few things.  The primary lesson I learned however is that we can become totally submissive to the Lord instantly.  I know that sounds impossible but it’s true.  Here’s what it takes.  You decide that you want nothing for yourself and that all of your desires will be motivated out of wanting what the Lord wants.  What was clear to me once I came to this conclusion is that the hard part is in the not wanting anything for our own purposes.  I knew that in order to do this, I would need a strong motivating factor and that source of motivation has been elusive to me until this studying this chapter in the book of Ether.  I know of no motivation that is more powerful than love and there is no love more pure than charity. 

Faith, Hope and Charity my friends is how it’s done.  As we increase our faith it will give us hope which will fill our hearts with charity and we will have springing up in us a Fountain of All Righteousness.  We will then naturally want what our Heavenly Father wants. 

Posted by Perry Raleigh Mar 27, 2016 10:30 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual

Will a man rob God? 

A new perspective on the law of tithing

Will a man rob God?

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return?

 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

 9 Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.

 12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

3 Nephi 24:7-12

 Will a man rob God?  This question from the book of Malachi have been read countless times in the course of teaching the principle of tithing.  This past week in my scripture reading for my Book of Mormon class, I read these words in 3 Nephi chapter 24.  Why, we might ask, did the Savior command the Nephites to include these scripture in their record?  It was quite the under taking as they had to transcribe them while the Savior dictated the verses.

I don’t know if this is the exact answer but it is clear to me that tithing is just that important.  So why then didn’t the Savior just teach the principles of tithing to them?  We can’t know for sure since He offered no explanation but there must have been something about the revelation on this that Malachi received that warranted being included.  In any case, I have chosen to write about tithing because of it.

I know for many the law of tithing is a difficult one to keep.  I have always just looked at it as a requirement and paid a full tithe.  When I was young, I wanted to be able to go to the temple so that was a motivating factor.  As I got older and particularly after marrying my wife, I then saw tithing as a way of obtaining the blessing that would ensure I would be able to provide for my family.  I can testify that the Lord has kept that particular part of His promise quite perfectly in my life.

This time as I studied these verses, I noticed something.  In most talks and lessons on tithing we read the promises by starting in verse 8.  Well, I think one of the best promises for me at this point in my life is in verse 7.  In that verse the Lord says “Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith th Lord of Hosts.” 

Well, how about that?  Here is a simple phrase that gives us a key to receiving the Lord back into our lives.  I can tell you that I know what it’s like to be separated from Heavenly Father and wanting Him to return.  Here we have a promise that doesn’t sound so monetarily related.  I have always looked at tithing as a thing that ensured me sufficient success that my family and I would be taken care of.  Here in verse 7 we learn that the law of tithing is something more.

What learning do I take away from this?  It’s that tithing isn’t about money or worldly goods, it’s about doing something that brings about a change in us as long as we do it with good intent.  That internal change is so important to me as I come to better understand that for this purpose was I sent into this world.  This new understanding of tithing will change how I keep the commandment to pay tithes.  It won’t cause me to pay more nor will it cause me to do so with any more happiness.  It will however change what I expect to receive as a result of paying my tithing.

Posted by Perry Raleigh Mar 13, 2016 11:34 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring... 

Gaining further light and knowledge

This past week I was studying 3 Nephi chapters 12-17 in the Book of Mormon and I came across the verses where Jesus explains to the people that they are his other sheep but there are yet more that He will visit as well.  This passage is familiar to me and I always enjoy reading the account of Jesus visiting the people of the Book of Mormon.  Well, this time in reading these chapters, I was impressed by a passage that in the past had not held much meaning for me.  This passage is chapter 15 verses 18 and 19 as follows:

18 And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.

19 But, verily, I say unto you that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity that they know not of you.

I was struck with such power with an understanding of how it is that further light is given or withheld from us depending on our ability and willingness to change our lives to accommodate the new light and knowledge.  You see, the people in Jerusalem were not willing to learn more from the Savior.  Because of this, He was commanded to “say no more” to them.

So, how does this relate to us?  Well, as we learn we are required by the Lord to align our behaviors with the new light and knowledge.  If we do not then that will be the end of our ability to receive more from Him.  Now, this may sound a bit harsh or strict but it really is our Heavenly Father showing compassion on us.  You see, if we learn something we are then accountable for adhering to the new understanding.  If we are not willing or even capable of living according to the additional knowledge then it would be condemning us to provide even more light and knowledge. 

Our Heavenly Father does not want us to gain only an intellectual knowledge of gospel principles but He wants us to gain the knowledge and understanding that only comes from living according to the principles.  It is only in this way we can come to know Him and as He has told us, “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3


Posted by Perry Raleigh Feb 28, 2016 09:17 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures

Thou … hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will 

Lessons from Nephi in the book of Helaman

In the past when I thought of the book of Helaman in the book of Mormon I didn’t think of Nephi but instead thought about the Gadianton robbers and the wickedness of the people.  Well, that changed this past week.  As I studied the last several chapters for my BYUi Book of Mormon class, I was reminded just how amazing this Nephi is.  In Helaman chapter 10 we learn just how great he really is.  Here is what the Lord says to him just as Nephi is feeling down about all of the wickedness of the people.

3 And it came to pass as he was thus pondering—being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works of darkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings, and all manner of iniquities—and it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying:

 4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

 5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

 6 Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.

 7 Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

Helaman 10:3-7

How would it be to just be walking along thinking about your concerns for the people you home teach or perhaps your neighbors and the Lord says something like that to you?  Somehow I don’t think it just came out of the blue and certainly not because the Lord didn’t have anyone better to reach out to.  Clearly Nephi has established a pattern of living such that the Lord knew with no doubt that he could be trusted.  This goes back to a principle of Faith that we discussed last semester.  We need to live our lives trusting that the Lord will keep the promises He has made to us but we also need to live in such a way that the Lord can trust us to keep the promises we make to Him.

This semester I am pursuing a deeper understanding of how to develop that kind of faith.  A faith that is both comforting and powerful.  I believe it has to do with being submissive to the Lord.  This is not just to say that we are willing to endure and suffer through this life.  No, somehow that thought has me 

Posted by Perry Raleigh Feb 13, 2016 09:14 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual

We do not doubt our mothers knew it... 

A lesson in faith, hope and charity.

We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

These are the well-known words of the 2000 stripling warriors who fought under the leadership of Helaman. I have seen this passage of scripture used in countless talks and lessons in the Church throughout my life. Most often, it is used to pay respect to mothers who teach their children the gospel and help them to develop faith. I am one who also recognizes the strength of a righteous mother helping her child build a strong and powerful faith. However, in this blog post I wish to look at some of the other lessons learned here in these verses.

First, let’s establish the setting. We have a group of Lamanites who had made a covenant to never take up weapons of war again. As a token of this covenant they buried the weapons they had. At this point in the book of Alma, these very Lamanites find themselves being protected by the Nephites who are suffering tremendous losses in the war. The situation was such that the Nephites were in need of additional men to fight and these particular Lamanites were considering breaking their covenant in order to help with the war. Helaman convinces them to continue observing the covenant and believed that God would provide strength in some way to compensate for the lack of additional men.

7 But in the twenty and sixth year, when they saw our afflictions and our tribulations for them, they were about to break the covenant which they had made and take up their weapons of war in our defence.

8 But I would not suffer them that they should break this covenant which they had made, supposing that God would strengthen us, insomuch that we should not suffer more because of the fulfilling the oath which they had taken.

Alma 56:7-8

Here’s where the 2000 warriors come in to the picture. These are the sons of the Lamanites who had made the covenant. However, their children had not made the covenant so they stepped up to fight and they ask Helaman to be their leader. He agrees and from that point forward he refers to them as his sons.

Now for the lessons we learn. First let’s look at the one line so often quoted. “We do not doubt our mothers knew it.” Here we see them indicating they trust what their mothers knew. But what was it their mothers knew? We learn that in a few additional verses prior to this famous line.

46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.

47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Alma 56:46-48

You see, the thing their mothers knew was this, “behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall”. So, their mothers knew they would be protected from death. But as we learn it did not mean they would not have to fight in battle as we read in the following verse.

56 But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war.

Alma 56:56

What do we learn from these verses? We learn that if we teach our children to live righteously and the only way to do that is to live righteously ourselves, then they will not fall. They will have to go into battle and they will be faced with a very real enemy who can and does inflict wounds. Now, for those of you who are thinking that you know someone who was taught the gospel, the commandments and lived in a righteous home yet fell away, I have two things to say. First, a student must learn in order for true teaching to take place. Second, if they had truly learned, then we are still in the midst of the battle and it won’t end until the end of this mortal earth. Remember, we preach that the gospel is taught in the spirit world and we perform ordinances in our temples for those who have died without having received the gospel. Don’t then discount the possibility of repentance just because a person has died and their spirit has entered the spirit world.

In the end, we read beautiful accounts such as this in the scriptures and wonder why it can’t be that easy in our lives. We suffer through grief and pain as we raise our children. We wonder whether we are being too strict at times or maybe too lenient at other times. This is what I have to say about that. What we read in the scriptures is a condensed digest of what took place and we rarely get even a glimpse into all of the details surrounding the accounts. Rest assured, these righteous mothers who knew their sons would not die didn’t just casually go to the Lord at that moment and ask for this favor. They had a life time of teaching and righteous living and yes, grief and pain and questioning whether what they were doing was good enough. There is no easy way to raise righteous children and if they refuse to learn then we cannot teach them and that is a very hard reality to face. But I tell you, never give up and hold onto hope. There’s a reason hope is included as a companion to faith and charity. The three combined are powerful and I recommend we all strive to obtain them in equal measure.

Posted by Perry Raleigh Jan 31, 2016 02:22 AM Categories: BYUi Pathway Scriptures Spiritual

Look to the Light 

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World for all who seek Him

I am a student enrolled in the BYUi Pathway program and this week during my studies for my religion class I watched an amazing video that triggered a flood of inspiration.  I took notes and watched the video several times to get it all as best I could.  Here is what I wrote:

      • Wherever our Savior takes us in this life, it's always for a better result.
      • There is nothing we can do, be or experience that will cause our Savior to stop loving us.  There is no darkness so dark that He can't light it up.  He will never feel disgusted with us no matter how we feel about ourselves, no matter how the world feels about us.
      • Heavenly Father will provide us with the best possible gifts.  I'm reminded of the scripture in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  The gifts He gives will likely not be highly valued by the world's standards but they will be the best possible gifts.
      • How we feel about out children is a clear indication and evidence of the wisdom of Heavenly Father's plan.  We get to come to this life and live a type and model of the life that He lives.  We get to experience a love so great that it defies human language to describe and consumes us completely.  A love so great that there is nothing we wouldn't do for or go through for the object of that love, our children.
      • Some people do things so morally or ethically wrong or reprehensible that they stop loving themselves.  To one degree or another, all sin has this effect on us.  It is from this state of being that our Savior saves us.

This really falls short of the experience I had while I received this inspiration from my Heavenly Father.  He truly was with me and guiding my thoughts and influencing my feelings.  There is a sort of divine essence to such an experience that leaves me changed in ways I'm not fully able to comprehend.  It's like a child spinning around and around so that the world appears to be whirling by around her.  But when the child stops, there is yet an effect and feeling that remains as a result of the experience.  This is what I am experiencing even now as I write this.  There is a lasting influence from that encounter with Deity that continues to change me.  

It is more beautiful than anything in this world.


Posted by Perry Raleigh Dec 05, 2015 11:58 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Scriptures Spiritual

Wanting to be like Isaiah 

Here am I; send me

"Also heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall sendand who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

- Isaiah 6:8

In my studies of the scriptures this week I came across this verse and immediately I felt that if I heard the Lord ask "Whom shall I send" I would answer the same.   Then, I had a second thought which was along the lines of, if that's the case why don't I get my home teaching assignment done 100% every month?

You see, I think I am prone to think the best of myself.  So, when I hear stories from church history or from the scriptures about people being asked to do hard things I think that I would be willing to do the same.  It's just that the evidence isn't really there.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not totally failing to do what the Lord asks of me.  I show up to the requisite meetings; I complete the assignments that are given me;  I speak in church when asked; I teach a lesson from time to time when assigned.  This is all good but it sounds to me a little like Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 where I must be commanded in all things.  The pattern in my life is one of doing what is asked of me but generally more diligent with the things that are required or to which I'm accountable.

The pattern I want to have is one where I answer the Lords call with the common refrain "Here am I; send me."  This is especially true for those assignments that are less desirable.


Posted by Perry Raleigh Oct 24, 2015 05:08 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual
Perry E Raleigh