Thursday, April 28, 2011

Latter-Day Saint Missionaries

Well it all starts out with having the Gospel in our lives. When we know how this Gospel has blessed our lives we voluntarily go on a mission paying all our own expenses to share it with others. We sacrifice two years to be able to bring other families together for eternities. We have left our families for 18 months(sisters) or 2 years(elders) to go and share this Gospel which has blessed our lives. This is the motivation behind most LDS Missionaries.

We have one day per week that we go and do what is needed for the upcoming week. Cleaning cars and apartments, email our families, shop, and relax. Well that is a full preparation day as it is called. We email our families once a week and we call them twice a year, Christmas and Mothers Day. We are sure excited when it comes to talking to our families if you could imagine, seems we do not talk to them on the phone for months at a time. What activities besides work you might ask happens on P-Day? Well it all starts with  pyramids, take pictures for memories, visit museums, sports, water balloon toss, write letters, or games at the Logan's and any other activites that we can come up with. We do all of this in about 7 hours. Other than that we study the scriptures in the morning and go to work at 6pm that night.

Throughout the rest of the week we are out knocking on doors and teaching people about Jesus. Trying to help build peoples faith in Him. It is amazing some of the responses given when we knock on peoples door. Such as kids running and yelling saying the police are here. Other asking after they open thier door, "Are you FBI?" I love these responses. They just make me laugh. Others such as guns being pulled and yelling in our faces, unhappy campers they are. But it is all part of the great calling to represent the Lord in His great work. I would continue doing this even though there are lots of bad times because the good times make up for the rest.

Well here is a pyramid of elders. This is team work. Trust me it was a little nerve racking knowing that if we fall there is a table just in front of us to fall on. But with true team work it can happen. You have to trust those with you in order to complete a team. You need to have confidence in them. We must also trust our God to help us in times of need.

This picture here reminds me how small I really am compared to all that is out there. No matter how big and tough I think I am, there is something bigger instore to humbly me if needed. It is crazy to think that one plan so huge is there but so simple it is to understand the basics of this plan. So much we go up against but so small we really are. This plan is the Plan of Salvation. It includes we lived with God before we came to earth, the reasoning for coming to earth, and where we are going after we die. Other parts of God plan includes the principles we need to live by here on earth in order to be received into Heaven to live with Him including FAITH, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM BY IMMERSION, RECEIVING THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST BY THE LAYING ON OF HANDS, AND ENDURING TO THE END. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ laid out in front of your eyes. Look at it again and make sure you are abiding by this Gospel. If not you need to make some changes in your life to be in line with The Gospel of Jesus Christ. This truly is His Gospel and I do testify of it as one of His chosen representatives.

What do us as missionaries teach when we go out? Well we teach how there has been a Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ here upon the earth again. The same primitive Church that Christ set up on the earth has been restored after a time of being lost. Everything we teach focuses on that Restoration. If that Restoration truly happened then the Priesthood was restored through a Prophet of God named Joseph Smith. That THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS  is the Lord's Kingdom here upon the earth as stated in the Book of Mormon Introduction. It also means that the Gospel goes along with Later-Day Saint beliefs. How God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are two separate beings. They  both have immortal glorified bodies of flesh and bones. We teach that through the Priesthood of God in our Temples, families can be sealed together for time and all eternity. So comforting is this message which we teach. We teach that there is life after death and we know our Heavenly Father's plan for us.  

I say unto all that this work which is going on is God's work. We are just His hands at the moment. We are led and guided by a living Prophet of God as well as deceased prophets in the scriptures. We are doing this becasuse of so many great blessings in our life. I know and do testify that THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS is led by our Savior Jesus Christ as He is the Chief Cornerstone. He does speak today to all who will listen.

I recommend all to listen to the glorious message of the Restoration that these missionaries share.
Visit mormon.org to learn more or to contact missionaries

Brought to you by
Elder Eric Hansen
Tennessee Nashville Mission

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Missionary Work

Well it has been raining off and on for a week now. As you can imagine after the NASHVILLE FLOOD 2010 people are probably getting scared. Some of the rest of us are just sick and tired of all of the rain. It seems like it just won't stop. Well that is because it is not going to stop the Work of God from progressing. Missionary work will still move forward. Many homes and yards are being damaged from the wind and rain. We have gone times without power because of it. But it doesn't stop us until we are giving the call. Our Heavenly Father is watching over us for sure.

Most of you have probably seen 19 to 25 year old elders and 21+ year old sisters walking around with these name tags from THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. We may have even knocked on your door. We do it all voluntarily. We do not get a reward in the church. They pay all their expenses by themselves. We are persecuted almost daily because of our beliefs. But I would do it over and over again because of the importance of it. We do this because of our love for the Savior. 

Some of you may be asking why there are missionaries. Lets find out why, shall we.

A Missionary Church

The blessings of the gospel are so precious that we try to share them with everyone we can. Imagine you found a cure for cancer. How urgently would you spread the news of your discovery? Who would you tell? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for so many of life's ills that Mormons want to share the good news of eternal life with the same urgency.
The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, He taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Why Mormons send Missionaries Around the World?
We believe we are all part of one heavenly family, so missionary work isn't work so much as it is trying to help out our brothers and sisters.
That Mormons do missionary work is one of the Church's most recognized characteristics. Right now, tens of thousands of missionaries are walking, driving or riding their bikes around the world, handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and sharing the gospel with the people they meet. Why do these people, most of them under the age of 25, volunteer to leave their homes at their own expense and dedicate a period of their lives to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Lord said, “proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city… bear testimony in every place, unto every people” (Doctrine and Covenants 66:5,7). We take that commandment to heart and look for opportunities to share the blessings we've received from living the gospel with everyone we can. Jesus taught, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Knowing that certain ordinances like baptism are necessary for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father, we feel an urgent need to share this blessing with everyone we can. Our first interest as a Church—is that as many of the children of men as can, will be saved and exalted. While we work out our own salvation, we want to help those around us do the same. Because we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, the more of us that are able to learn and keep His commandments and enjoy eternal life, the happier we'll all be.

What Missionaries Do

You might wonder what, exactly, a Mormon missionary does, other than ride a bike and knock on doors, or how a young man or woman just out of high school might end up on a mission. Here are the basics.
Most of the Church's missionaries are around twenty years old, though many members also volunteer to serve after they've retired. All prospective missionaries turn in applications to Church headquarters and they receive a call to a specific mission around the world. They spend a few weeks in a training center where some of them learn a new language and all of them rigorously study and practice teaching the gospel. Then they set off to their assigned locations and begin their service. Missionaries' lives are completely dedicated to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They pay their own way and put off school, dating and work for two years in order to focus entirely on doing the Lord's work.
A common morning for a missionary might consist of waking up at 6:30 a.m., studying the scriptures, and meeting new people to share the gospel with. The afternoon might include discussing gospel lessons with people they meet and volunteering for service in the community. A good night has them teaching the gospel to interested individuals and helping them learn and keep God's commandments or attending a baptismal service for someone who's decided to join the Church. They return home around 9:30 p.m. and fall into bed, usually exhausted and happy.

We Teach of Jesus Christ

Mormons are known for the things they don't drink, their emphasis on the family and the Book of Mormon they read, but in the end the central message of our religion is our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness for His children and the Atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Missionaries share one thing and one thing only - the gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Nephi, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). It may seem strange to focus so much of our lives on Jesus Christ, but the wisdom of the gospel applies to everything from the purpose of life to how we approach our work, how we relate to others, even how we take care of our bodies. The teachings of Jesus Christ have more power to bring lasting happiness than all the success and pleasure the world can offer. Every message Mormon missionaries share revolves around Him and how His Atonement and ordinances allow us to return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families in heaven.

At the end of 2010 there were recorded 52, 483 missionaries in 340 missions throughout the world. That is huge. Each of these missionaries are doing the Lord's work. I am honored to be one of these missionaries sharing the Gospel. Bearing testimony about our Savior Jesus Christ. This is a great cause that needs to move forward. Sharing the Gospel has been the most rewarding and most educating time of my life. I am so very thankful for this opportunity. I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Sacrament

As members of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS we call it the sacrament. Other denominations call it the Last Supper or Communion. The Sacrament is the bread and water we take weekly at church on the sabbath day to remember our Savior Jesus Christ. The bread we take to remember His body as He commanded in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi chapter 18 and also in the New Testament. This is to remember the suffering on the cross. He gave His life for us that through Him we can have Eternal Life. 
We take the Water to remember the blood of our Savior. His sufferings for us in the Garden of Gethsemane. Where He suffered all that through Him we can be forgiven of our sins, our shortcomings, our pains and trials. He made it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father. 

Next time you see someone pass the Sacrament to you think of the following picture. 

Our Savior Jesus Christ by the priesthood power of God has authorized representatives of Him to do His great work. Passing the Sacrament is part of this great work. Just think about what you would do if the Savior passed the Sacrament to you. Would that change your perspective of the Sacrament. Would that change how things are done. Well if so change how things are to be done. Make it more meaningful. Do all you need to be worthy to partake of the Sacrament. I testify of the importance of the Sacrament. It is one of the most important ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Sabbath and the Sacrament

L. Tom Perry
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

L. Tom Perry

Let your family be filled with love as you honor the Sabbath all day long and experience its spiritual blessings throughout the week.
My brothers and sisters, across the world this morning we have come to listen to a prophet’s voice. I testify that the voice we have just heard is the voice of God’s living prophet on the earth today, President Thomas S. Monson. How blessed we are to have his teachings and example!
This year all of us have the opportunity to study the words of the prophets in the New Testament in Sunday School. While the Old Testament is a study of prophets and a people, the New Testament is focused on the life and influence of the only Man who came into mortality with dual citizenship in heaven and on earth—our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
The world today is so saturated with doctrines of men that it is easy to forget and lose faith in that all-important account of the Savior’s life and ministry—the New Testament. This sacred volume is the centerpiece of scriptural history, just as the Savior Himself should be the centerpiece of our lives. We must commit ourselves to study it and treasure it!
There are priceless pearls of wisdom to be found in our study of the New Testament. I always enjoy reading the accounts of Paul as he traveled and organized the Savior’s Church, especially his teachings to Timothy. In the fourth chapter of Paul’s writings to Timothy, we read: “These things command and teach. … Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 I can think of no better way for us to begin or continue to be an example of the believers than in our observance of the Sabbath day.
Beginning with the Creation of the world, one day was set apart from all others. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” 2 Even God rested from His labors on this day, and He expects His children to do the same. To the children of Israel, He delivered the commandment:
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God. …
“… Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” 3
The pattern of Sabbath day observance must always include worship. After Adam and Eve entered mortality, they were commanded to “worship the Lord their God, and … offer the firstlings of their flocks [as] an offering unto the Lord … [in] similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father.” 4 The sacrifice of animals reminded Adam’s posterity that one day the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, would make a sacrifice of His own life for us.
Throughout His life the Savior spoke of that sacrifice. 5 On the eve of His Crucifixion, His words began to be fulfilled. He gathered His disciples together in the upper room, away from the distractions of the world. He instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” 6
From that time forward, the Savior’s Atonement became the great and last sacrifice. When He appeared on the American continent after His Resurrection, He conferred His priesthood upon His disciples and introduced the sacrament by saying:
“And this shall ye always observe to do, … even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.
“… And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.” 7
It is remarkable that even through the dark periods of apostasy, this pattern of Sabbath day worship and the sacrament continued to be practiced in many forms.
When the gospel was restored, Peter, James, and John, three of the Apostles who first received the sacrament from the Savior, appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Under their direction, the priesthood authority necessary to administer the sacrament to the members of the Church was restored. 8
Conferred by the Savior to His prophets and apostles and from them to us, that priesthood authority continues on the earth today. Young priesthood holders across the world qualify themselves to exercise priesthood power by earnestly keeping the commandments and living gospel standards. As these young men keep spiritually clean hands and pure hearts, they prepare and bless the sacrament in the Savior’s way—a way defined by what He did over 2,000 years ago.
Partaking of the sacrament is the center of our Sabbath day observance. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord commands all of us:
“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
“For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High. …
“And on this day thou shalt do none other thing.” 9
As we consider the pattern of the Sabbath and the sacrament in our own lives, there appear to be three things the Lord requires of us: first, to keep ourselves unspotted from the world; second, to go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments; and third, to rest from our labors.
It is a glorious thing to be a Christian and to live as a true disciple of Christ. Of us He said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” 10 To keep ourselves unspotted from the world, He expects us to avoid such worldly distractions of businesses and recreational facilities on the Sabbath day.
I believe He also desires us to dress appropriately. Our youth may think the old saying “Sunday best” is outdated. Still, we know that when Sunday dress deteriorates to everyday attire, attitudes and actions follow. Of course, it may not be necessary for our children to wear formal Sunday attire until the sun goes down. However, by the clothing we encourage them to wear and the activities we plan, we help them prepare for the sacrament and enjoy its blessings throughout the day.
What does it mean to offer up our sacraments to the Lord? We acknowledge that all of us make mistakes. Each of us has a need to confess and forsake our sins and errors to our Heavenly Father and to others we may have offended. The Sabbath provides us with a precious opportunity to offer up these—our sacraments—to the Lord. He said, “Remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.” 11
Elder Melvin J. Ballard has suggested, “We want every Latter-day Saint to come to the sacrament table because it is the place for self-investigation, for self-inspection, where we may learn to rectify our course and to make right our own lives, bringing ourselves into harmony with the teachings of the Church and with our brethren and sisters.” 12
As we worthily partake of the sacrament, we witness that we are willing to take the Savior’s name upon us and keep His commandments and do always remember Him, that we may have His Spirit to be with us. In this way the covenant of our baptism is renewed. The Lord assured His disciples, “As oft as ye do this ye will remember this hour that I was with you.” 13
Sometimes we think of resting from our labors as merely letting the hay baler stand idle in the field or putting a Closed sign on the business door. Yet in today’s world, labor includes the everyday work of our lives. This could mean business activities we may accomplish from home, athletic competitions, and other pursuits that take us away from Sabbath day worship and the opportunity to minister to others.
“Trifle not with sacred things,” 14 the Lord revealed to the Latter-day Saints, as if to remind us of what He told His disciples: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” 15
Brothers and sisters, in the latter days the adversary succeeds when we relax our commitment to the Savior, ignore His teachings in the New Testament and other scripture, and cease to follow Him. Parents, now is the time to teach our children to be examples of the believers by attending sacrament meeting. When Sunday morning arrives, help them to be well rested, properly dressed, and spiritually prepared to partake of the emblems of the sacrament and receive the enlightening, edifying, ennobling power of the Holy Ghost. Let your family be filled with love as you honor the Sabbath all day long and experience its spiritual blessings throughout the week. Invite your sons and daughters to “arise and shine forth” by keeping the Sabbath day holy, that “[their] light may be a standard for the nations.” 16
As the years go by, I continue to reflect on the Sabbath days of my youth and young adulthood. I still remember the first day I passed the sacrament as a deacon and the little glass cups I passed to the members of our ward. A few years ago a Church building in my hometown was remodeled. A compartment in the pulpit had been sealed. When it was opened, there were some of these little glass cups that had remained hidden for years. One of them was presented to me as a memento.
I also remember the green footlocker we carried with us in the U.S. Marine Corps. Inside the footlocker was a wooden tray and package of sacrament cups so that we could be blessed by the peace and hope of the Lord’s Supper even in the conflict and despair of war.
As I think about those sacrament cups from my youth, one in the sheltered valley of my boyhood home and the other thousands of miles away in the Pacific, I am filled with gratitude that the Savior of the world was willing to drink from the “bitter cup” 17 for my sake. And because He did, I can say with the Psalmist, “My cup runneth over” 18 with the blessings of His infinite and eternal Atonement.
On this day before the Sabbath, as we begin this great conference, let us remember the blessings and opportunities that are ours as we attend sacrament meeting each week in our wards and branches. Let us prepare and conduct ourselves on the Sabbath in a manner that will call down the blessings promised us upon ourselves and our families. I bear my special witness that the greatest joy we receive in this life is in following the Savior. May we keep His commandments by keeping His sacred day holy is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What A Glorious Easter Time!

Well my second Easter away from home. Oh wow! Already you got to be crazy? That is probably what some of you are thinking. Well let me tell you that is what I am thinking.

Why do we celebrate Easter?

President Ezra Taft Benson
"The Meaning of Easter"

"I cannot recall a time that I did not believe in Jesus Christ. It seems that the reality of His life, death, and resurrection has always been a part of me. I was reared in a home by faithful parents who earnestly believed in and testified of Christ, for which I am most grateful.
The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number of people for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master.
The literal resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a certainty, and surely one should make careful preparation for this event. A glorious resurrection should be the goal of every man and woman, for resurrection will be a reality.
Nothing is more absolutely universal than the resurrection. Every living being will be resurrected. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22.)
The scriptural record tells us that on the third day following Jesus’ crucifixion, there was a great earthquake. The stone was rolled back from the door of the tomb. Some of the women, among the most devoted of His followers, came to the place with spices “and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”
Angels appeared and said simply, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” (Luke 24:3–6.) Nothing in history equals that dramatic announcement: “He is not here, but is risen.”
The fact of our Lord’s resurrection is based on the testimonies of many credible witnesses. The risen Lord appeared to several women, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, to Peter, to the Apostles; and “after that,” as Paul reported, “he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once. … And last of all he was seen of [Paul] also.” (1 Cor. 15:6, 8.)
Throughout the forty days subsequent to His resurrection, the Lord manifested Himself at intervals and gave instructions pertaining to the kingdom of God. Much that He said and did is not written, but such things as are of record, John assures us, “are written, that [we] might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [we] might have life through his name.” (John 20:31; italics added.)
The Savior told His followers that He must soon ascend to His Father in heaven. As the time of His ascension drew near, the Lord, in that last solemn interview, gave His parting instructions to His disciples.
When Christ and the disciples had gone “as far as to Bethany,” where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived, He “lifted up his hands, and blessed them.” (Luke 24:50.) When He had spoken, He was taken up until a cloud received Him out of their sight. As the Apostles stood gazing toward heaven, two personages clothed in white apparel appeared. They spoke to those assembled, saying, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9–11.)
Worshipfully and with great joy, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem. The Lord’s ascension was accomplished. Now the disciples began to comprehend more fully some of His last words: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.) Because of Christ, the grave had no permanent victory. Death was overcome!
Following His ascension, He appeared to the inhabitants of America as chronicled in the Book of Mormon. Then in modern times the Prophet Joseph Smith testified of the appearance of the Redeemer of the world in these words:
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him.” (D&C 76:22–23.)
As one of His latter-day witnesses, I testify that He lives today. He is a resurrected Being. He is our Savior, our Lord, the very Son of God. I testify that He will come again as our glorified, resurrected Lord. That day is not far distant. To all who accept Him as Savior and Lord, His literal resurrection means that life does not end at death, for He promised: “Because I live, ye shall live also.” (John 14:19.)"

President Benson here in his testimony declared that He is a resurrected Being. The Atonement of Jesus Christ or His suffering and death on the cross is the most important act of love that has ever happened on this earth.

In the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi chapter 11-28 it talks about the resurrected Lord coming and ministering to the people here in the Ancient Americas. In Chapter 11 Jesus Christ descends from Heaven to teach our Heavenly Fathers children. He came here because he loves all. In that day they could not just get on the phone and call around the world. They could not just get on a plane and fly wherever they would like and tell everyone. It would takes months to get news from one side of the world to the other. In the Book of Mormon they prophesied of the Lord Jesus Christ. They had Faith that He would come. And He did so come and teach them. He set forth His Gospel so there was no disputations among men. He set forth His baptism so there was only one way. He set His was in all things. How blessed we are to have the Bible and The Book of Mormon to teach us about our Savior. We are so fortunate because the people in the Ancient Americas could not go on the internet and look up any talk that they wanted. Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration could not do this. They acted in Faith and followed the scriptural teachings. This is why we are so blessed and need to use all of these resources and study upon our Savior. Study His life, His death, His resurrection, His example. Study it all. Your relationship with Him will be strengthened and you will feel a difference in your life. I know that to be true. I make that promise and I tell all to experiment upon it and see if it does not draw you closer to Him. If you prayerfully and sincerely do it your joy and excitement will be beyond measure because of your relationship with our Master Jesus Christ.

I know that we will be able to stand with Him one day and feel the prints in His hands and His feet. How Glorious this will be. Jesus truly is the Christ. He has broke the bands of death for all that all may become as He is. Having a perfect, glorified and immortal body. He has a body of flesh and bones just as His Father has also. This will be so incredible. All will be Risen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is the Book of Mormon?

Many people look at the Book of Mormon and just look away because they have always been told that it is just a Latter-day Saint version of the Bible. Well I am here to tell you you have been mislead. Who ever told you that has never actually read the Book of Mormon. They have never actually studied the Book of Mormon itself. It is not Joseph Smith's version of the Bible. It is as it says on the front cover of the Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ. El Libro de Mormon Otro Testamento de JesuCristo. I am here to more explain the Book of Mormon and the prophecies in the Bible about the Book of Mormon.

Prophecies about Book of Mormon
In the Old Testament in the Book of Ezekiel in chapter 37 verse

15The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
 16Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
 17And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
We know the Bible is the Stick of Judah. And well many people do not know how to explain the Stick of Joseph. The Stick of Joseph was written by the descendants of Joseph. In the Book of Mormon in the Book of 1st Nephi it talks about this. In the Book of Mormon it starts out with the Prophet Lehi. He is in Jerusalem and in the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon. In the fifth chapter fourteenth verse it states, "And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine." Before this his sons were commanded to go back to Jerusalem to obtain the record of genealogy for Lehi. The reason they left is they were commanded to by God because people were seeking to kill Lehi like any other prophet. So here in this verse from the Book of Mormon it talks about them being descendants of Joseph in the Bible. This fulfills prophecy from the Book of Mormon. It also talks about in those verses in Ezekiel how the Stick of Judah and Stick of Joseph will be one in hand. And we have copies of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. This is incredible to know. Now that I have talked about the prophecies in the Bible lets talk about what the Book of Mormon is.
Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel. (taken from the Introduction) It is not the Bible but is comparable to the Bible. The Book of Mormon was recorded between the years of 600 B.C. and 400 A.D.. It starts out in Jerusalem and then they build a ship as commanded by God and sail across the Ocean to the Americas. That is why it says as stated above, "A record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the America's." It was written here in the America's.  The Book of Mormon talks about the wars that happened here in the America's. It tells of the time that Jesus Christ after His resurrection came here to the America's and taught the people. Our God is a loving God so why wouldn't He come and teach His people here? This record is in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi chapters 11-28. It foretells the coming of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ throughout The Book of Mormon.

How can we know it is true?
The last Prophet in the Book of Mormon gave us a promise to finding out if the Book of Mormon is true. In this he said in Moroni chapter 10 verses 3-5,

"3Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
Here he promises us that if we ask God our Eternal Father in the name of Christ, really wanting to know He will tell us by the power of the Holy Ghost. Which means by our thoughts and feelings. The Spirit is described as a still small voice not a voice of thunder or being really loud. It comes softly and we have to be looking for our answer with no distractions. This is how all men and women may come to know if the Book of Mormon is true. God is willing to tell us but we have to be willing to listen for His answer. Usually he does not hit us in the head with a 2x4. But by good and uplifting thoughs and feelings. This is how I came to know that the Book of Mormon is true, and because of the answer I received I desire to tell all about The Book of Mormon. I know how much it will bless others lives as it has blessed mine and my families lives. We have to really want to know if it is true otherwise God will not tell us. We can't take mans word for it we need to ask God for our answer. We need to be willing to share our testimony of it in order to receive our answer.
When we receive our answer because it is only true or false and if it is true then that means that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, that Jesus is the Christ our Savior and Redeemer, and that the Priesthood of God has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith meaning the authority given to act in God's name. It also means that THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS is the Lord's Kingdom here upon this earth prepatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah. Meaning that the LDS Faith has the Fulness of the Everlasting Gospel, Priesthood Restored, a Living Prophet of God,  
I am not saying that any other church is bad. I am just saying they don't have the fulness of the Gospel as described in the Book of Mormon. They still teach truth but they don't have all of the truth. Is is either true or not. The only way to find out is by asking God if THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAYS SAINTS is His kingdom here upon the earth.
“[I] give [my name] unto the world, to witness unto the world that which [I] have seen.” And like them, “[I] lie not, God bearing witness of it.” 13
I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days.
My witness echoes that of Nephi, who wrote part of the book in his “last days”:
“Hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, … and they teach all men that they should do good.
“And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day.

2 Nephi 25:26
"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

With this I bear my witness of the Living reality of our God. I bear my witness that Jesus is teh Christ. I know the Book of Mormon truly is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I have prayed about it and God has told me it is true. I know you have felt the Spirit as you have read this. That is the same spirit that will tell you The Book of Mormon is true. Heed to the words spoken and read and pray about The Book of Mormon. I know and promise it will bless your life. This I testify of this in the Sacred Name of our Savior and Redeemer. Jesus Christ. Amen.

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