Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prophet of the Restoration

Joseph Smith-Prophet of the Restoration

Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration

Tad R. CallisterOf the Second Quorum of the Seventy

Tad R. Callister
Through Joseph Smith have been restored all the powers, keys, teachings, and ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation.
Suppose for a moment someone told you these three facts about a New Testament personality and nothing more: first, the Savior said of this man, “O thou of little faith” (Matthew 14:31); second, this man, in a moment of anger, cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant; and third, this man denied knowing who the Savior was on three occasions, even though he had walked with Him daily. If that is all you knew or focused upon, you might have thought this man a scoundrel or a no-good, but in the process you would have failed to come to know one of the greatest men who ever walked the earth: Peter the Apostle.
Similarly, attempts have been made by some to focus upon or magnify some minor weaknesses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but in that process they too have missed the mark, the man, and his mission. Joseph Smith was the Lord’s anointed to restore Christ’s Church to the earth. When he emerged from the grove of trees, he eventually learned four fundamental truths not then taught by the majority of the contemporary Christian world.
First, he learned that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two separate, distinct beings. The Bible confirms Joseph Smith’s discovery. It tells us that the Son submitted His will to the Father (see Matthew 26:42). We are moved by the Savior’s submission and find strength in His example to do likewise, but what would have been the depth and passion of Christ’s submission or the motivational power of that example if the Father and the Son were the same being and in reality the Son was merely following His own will under a different name?
The scriptures give further evidence of this great truth: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). A father offering up his only son is the supreme demonstration of love that the human mind and heart can conceive and feel. It is symbolized by the touching story of Abraham and Isaac (see Genesis 22). But if the Father is the same being as the Son, then this sacrifice of all sacrifices is lost, and Abraham is no longer offering up Isaac—Abraham is now offering up Abraham.
The second great truth Joseph Smith discovered was that the Father and the Son have glorified bodies of flesh and bones. Following the Savior’s Resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and said, “Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). Some have suggested this was a temporary physical manifestation and that when He ascended to heaven He shed His body and returned to His spirit form. But the scriptures tell us this was not possible. Paul taught, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him” (Romans 6:9). In other words, once Christ was resurrected, His body could never again be separated from His spirit; otherwise He would suffer death, the very consequence Paul said was no longer possible after His Resurrection.
The third truth that Joseph Smith learned was that God still speaks to man today—that the heavens are not closed. One need but ask three questions, once proposed by President Hugh B. Brown, to arrive at that conclusion (see “The Profile of a Prophet,” Liahona, June 2006, 13; Ensign, June 2006, 37). First, does God love us as much today as He loved the people to whom He spoke in New Testament times? Second, does God have the same power today as He did then? And third, do we need Him as much today as they needed Him anciently? If the answers to those questions are yes and if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, as the scriptures so declare (see Mormon 9:9), then there is little doubt: God does speak to man today exactly as Joseph Smith testified.
The fourth truth that Joseph Smith learned was that the full and complete Church of Jesus Christ was not then upon the earth. Of course there were good people and some components of the truth, but the Apostle Paul had anciently prophesied that the Second Coming of Christ would not come “except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Following Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Restoration of Christ’s Church commenced “line upon line, precept upon precept” (D&C 98:12).
Through Joseph Smith was restored the doctrine of the gospel being preached to the dead in the spirit world to those who did not have a fair chance on earth to hear it (see D&C 128:5–22; see also D&C 138:30–34). This was not the invention of a creative mind; it was the restoration of a biblical truth. Peter had long ago taught, “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:6). Frederic W. Farrar, the well-known Church of England author and theologian, made the following observation about this teaching of Peter: “Every effort has been made to explain away the plain meaning of this passage. It is one of the most precious passages of Scripture, and it involves no ambiguity. … For if language have any meaning, this language means that Christ, when His Spirit descended into the lower world, proclaimed the message of salvation to the once impenitent dead” (The Early Days of Christianity [1883], 78).
Many teach that there is one heaven and one hell. Joseph Smith restored the truth that there are multiple heavens. Paul spoke of a man who was caught up into the third heaven (see 2 Corinthians 12:2). Could there be a third heaven if there was no second heaven or first heaven?
In many ways the gospel of Jesus Christ is like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. When Joseph Smith came on the scene, perhaps 100 pieces were in place. Then Joseph Smith came along and put many of the other 900 pieces in place so that people could say, “Oh, now I understand where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going.” As for Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration, the Lord defined it clearly: “This generation shall have my word through you” (D&C 5:10).
In spite of this flood of restored biblical truths, some honest searchers have commented: “I can accept these doctrines, but what about all those angels and visions Joseph Smith claimed to have? It seems so hard to believe in modern times.”
To those honest searchers, we lovingly respond: “Were there not angels and visions in Christ’s Church in New Testament times? Did not an angel appear to Mary and to Joseph? Did not angels appear to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration? Did not an angel rescue Peter and John from prison? Did not an angel appear to Cornelius, then to Paul before he was shipwrecked and to John on the Isle of Patmos? Did not Peter have a vision of the gospel going to the Gentiles, Paul a vision of the third heaven, John a vision of the latter days, and Stephen a vision of the Father and Son?”
Yes, Joseph Smith did see angels and visions—because he was the instrument in God’s hands to restore the same Church of Jesus Christ as existed in primitive times—all of its powers as well as all of its doctrines.
Yet sorrowfully, on occasion, some are willing to set aside the precious gospel truths restored by Joseph Smith because they get diverted on some historical issue or some scientific hypothesis not central to their exaltation, and in so doing they trade their spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage. They exchange the absolute certainty of the Restoration for a doubt, and in that process they fall into the trap of losing faith in the many things they do know because of a few things they do not know. There will always be some seemingly intellectual crisis looming on the horizon as long as faith is required and our minds are finite, but likewise there will always be the sure and solid doctrines of the Restoration to cling to, which will provide the rock foundation upon which our testimonies may be built.
When many of Christ’s followers turned from Him, He asked His Apostles, “Will ye also go away?”
Peter then responded with an answer that should be engraved on every heart: “To whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:66–68).
If someone turns from these restored doctrines, where will he go to learn the true nature of God as taught in the grove of trees? Where will he go to find the doctrines of the premortal existence, baptism for the dead, and eternal marriage? And where will he go to find the sealing powers that can bind husbands and wives and children beyond the grave?
Through Joseph Smith have been restored all the powers, keys, teachings, and ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation. You cannot go anywhere else in the world and get that. It is not to be found in any other church. It is not to be found in any philosophy of man or scientific digest or individual pilgrimage, however intellectual it may seem. Salvation is to be found in one place alone, as so designated by the Lord Himself when He said that this is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D&C 1:30).
I bear my witness that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration, just as he claimed to be. I echo the strains of that stirring hymn: “Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!” (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns, no. 27). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Faith in Every Footstep by Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is known as America's choir.
The 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir represent men and women from many different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. They reflect a medley of unique lives and experiences and are brought together by their love for singing and their faith. Their incomparable voices are the common chord that unites to form the choral group known all over the world as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Choir has appeared at 13 world's fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events.

Five of the Choir's recordings have achieved "gold record" and two have achieved "platinum record" status. The most popular was the 1959 release of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" recorded with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra which won a Grammy award for Choir conductor Richard P. Condie.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir is based in Salt Lake City, Utah at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Choir is composed of faithful members of the Church. They practice and perform weekly and are accompanied frequently by the Orchestra at Temple Square.

All 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and all 110 members of the Orchestra at Temple Square are unpaid volunteers who practice and perform weekly. Choir members rehearse and perform about five hours in an average week—Thursday nights for two hours and Sunday mornings for more than three hours. This does not include touring, for which members often take time off from work, sometimes foregoing personal vacations. All members must attend a minimum of 75 percent of rehearsals and performances.


I love the MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR! They sing with power. There music sends forth the Spirit of God!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


 Well this morning we had the opportunity to go and help out in Big Rock, TN who got hit with a F2 tornado on monday. It all started out by going to a school where we were told to sign up at. We got there and then found out that had to go over to the Big Rock Baptist Church. We got there to find out we didn't have to sign up. We were able to help unload a Church of CHrist disaster relief truck when we got there. It is so awesome to see so many churches come together at times of need and help out. Put away all the differences and help one another.  There were trees everywhere, houses laying down, buildings missing parts of 'em. As you can see the trees are just bent broken and whatever else can happen to a tree. It was just crazy. This was the first time ever been right in helping out after a tornado. It really opened my eyes to the damage that one causes. I had only ever seen this sort of stuff on tv and movies but real life make it a whole lot more real. Seeing the damaged homes and people that have lost everything really humbled me. It made me realize what I truly have. I have taken the things I have and had for granted. Being out here and helping these people has made me realize a fraction of what others problems are. For example, the pioneers in the early days of the church. They left everything in hope trusting the prophets words that there was a place prepared for them. They suffered and many of them died on the trails. Could you imagine walking across the United States in the dead of winter? Where your skin and bodies are freezing and your family is dying right around you? That is so hard to imagine. I can't even comprehend the feelings of the people who lost their families. I can't imagine the suffering they went through. It did happen though and they exercised great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well here are a few pictures that we took as we were driving by.

 Here to the left was just more trees and debris everywhere. One year ago in this area we were dealing with flooding. This year there seems to be none stop tornados and storms. Over the past 2 months it had started flooding this area again.
We got over to Big Rock and as we got there there was a paramedic unit turning his lights and sirens on. It was like oh no what is happening. Reason unknown maybe someone had heat stroke or something fell on someone. Well as you can see in the picture the trees fell on the house. Good thing no one lives there or that could have been quite the wake up after trees falling on the house. So many of us go through life just cruising when in reality so many people we walk by are in need of help. For all you know maybe that person just needs a smile. Maybe they are truly in need of some help physically where you can assist them. I recommend to all smile more and talk to everyone. Find out if there is something that you can do to help them. God gives us these resources not only for ourselves but for others who need them. Let us not forget all that is happening around us. Let us not ignore this either. AS we all know there was an EF5 tornado which walked through Joplin, MO and destroyed and even killed.

Let us lend a helping hand. Let us always remember that we are all brothers and sister sent here to help each other. We are each different which means we can help in different ways. Let us remember how merciful the Lord our God is to us. Let us remember all of our many blessing He bestows upon us. We can't even think about counting them because that will take the rest of our earthly lives plus more time. God Bless!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Purpose of Life

As missionaries we go out to teach the children of God the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As members of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS we have covenanted to stand as witnesses in all times and in all places. Members not of our faith desire to walk in Christ's Footsteps also. They desire to follow Him and keep His commandments. What so each one of these groups of people have in common. Well it covers the whole world population. We are all spirit sons and daughters of God. We all need to follow our Saviors example in order to return to live with our Heavenly Father.We need to have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether we believe the same or not we are all here on earth for the same purpose. 
What is that purpose of being here on earth and struggling?

God’s plan for you is beautiful and simple. He wants you to have joy and to become more like Him.
That doesn’t mean He expects you to be perfect. He knows you won’t be. But He does expect that while you’re here on earth you try to the best of your ability to be more like Him and that you learn and grow from your mistakes. Each time you make a poor choice with painful consequences, that decision leads to unhappiness—sometimes immediately, sometimes much later. Likewise, choosing good eventually leads to happiness and helps you become more like Heavenly Father.
Just as God created the earth as a place for you to live and gain experience, He created you. And gave you a body of flesh and blood in the likeness of His glorified body. In the Old Testament God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Jacob declared that he had seen God “face to face” (Genesis 32:30). Moses also spoke with God “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). In the New Testament, when the resurrected Christ appeared to His Apostles, He told them, “Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).

When Bad Things Happen

Sometimes bad things happen–even when we make good choices.

We get sick. Loved ones die. We lose our job or home. Our spouse is unfaithful. It’s hard not to ask why God allows us to suffer so much. Know that while God takes no pleasure in your suffering, your difficulties, regardless of their cause, can bring you closer to Him and even make you stronger if you endure faithfully (2 Nephi 2:2Revelation 3:19).
It’s comforting to know that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, suffered all things. He understands your pain and can help you through your trials. When you have faith in God and His plan, you can be assured that there’s a purpose to all that happens to you here on earth. Our time here is short compared to our eternal life. As the Lord told Joseph Smith during a period of intense suffering:
“Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy o we go after we die? Stay tuned for next time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Walking with the Savior

Have you ever dreamed of walking with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now some of you are thinking to yourself. "That is cool but I would burn because of my imperfections." Well sure enough none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes, some are bigger than others. Sometimes I have just imagined what it would truly be like to have walked with the Savior as the Apostles in the New Testament. Could you imagine seeing the Savior stretch out His hand to help somebody who is struggling soo much. 
Lets go to a story in the New Testament in the Book of Matthew.
Matthew 8:1-3
"1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 
2 And behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was clean."
Here we have a story of someone who was sick. For all those who don't know anything about leprosy:
"Leprosy is an infectious disease that has been known since biblical times. It is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation."
Because of his Faith in Jesus Christ he was healed.  There are many more stories like this in the Bible.  Could you imagine having witnessed what just happened in these scriptures. Could you imagine the faces of the people around. The thoughts of all who witnessed. Some were probably just like, "Wait a second,what just happened here?" Well there are other stories like what the people thought. Lets go to
Matthew 9:2-7
2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
5 For whatever is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
7 And he arose and departed to his house.
Here they who saw Jesus Christ did not believe Him. They lacked faith and did not trust in the Son of God. He even gave them a witness that He is the Son of God by healing the sick of the palsy. What more can He show you to believe?

We all know the story of Judas Iscariot. He received thirty pieces of Silver for giving the Savior to the chief priests. Jesus knew what was going to happen. He know that Judas was going to sell Him. This was part of the plan from before the world was.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said
"This was also a telling time among those who knew Jesus more personally. The most difficult to understand in this group is Judas Iscariot. We know the divine plan required Jesus to be crucified, but it is wrenching to think that one of His special witnesses who sat at His feet, heard Him pray, watched Him heal, and felt His touch could betray Him and all that He was for 30 pieces of silver. Never in the history of this world has so little money purchased so much infamy. We are not the ones to judge Judas’s fate, but Jesus said of His betrayer, “Good [were it] for that man if he had not been born."
Judas Iscariot walked with the Savior just as many of us wish we could. He saw Him perform the miracles. He saw Him help those who stood in need of help. He saw the perfect teacher teaching the Children of God. Who could honestly refuse the Savior? Unfortunately many of us do when we sin. Other times the Spirit may tell us to do something and we refuse the help by ignoring it. Maybe we aren't face to face with the Savior but imagine how He feels when He is wanting to give us everything but we ignore it. It hurts me to know that there are many times in life where I didn't listen to His counsel. His advice may have come through the prophets or the apostles or even our parents and friends. In Amos 3:7 it states, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Our Loving God will help us through the words of His living modern day prophets. I know there is a living prophet today!

After we have went through some stories of the Bible we can walk with the Savior. In the Doctrine and Covenants(modern day scripture/revelation given to modern day prophets) it states in Section 84:88 it states, "And whoso receiveth  you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

If that is not enough evidence for you that you can walk with the Savior lets turn to the Old Testament in Isaiah 41:10 it states, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengethen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Here again we have the Saviors promise that He is with us. If you do not yet believe and desire to believe then ask God if He truly is there, because if He wants you to know He will tell you by the power of the Holy Ghost. Watch your feelings as you pray. I know and I testify that God will answer your prayers. I know and I do testify that when we are doing what is right the Savior is there with us. Just as that scripture said in the Doctrine and Covenants His angels shall be round about us. This is so comforting to know especially in these wicked days. You can walk with the Savior especially in the hard times. But you have to fulfill your duty by keeping His commandments.

Jesus is the Christ! He is our Lord and Savior. He is the Only Begotten Son of the Father. He is not dead but is Risen!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Go Forward with Faith

As we study the scriptures and come to know the steps to eternal life we learn how we must have Faith. In THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS we believe in the Articles of Faith from modern revelation. The fourth Article of Faith states, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost." As it states here that we must have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does having Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ mean?
"Having faith in Christ includes having a
firm belief that He is the Only Begotten Son of God and
the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We recognize
that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father
only by relying on His Son’s grace and mercy. When
we have faith in Christ, we accept and apply His
Atonement and His teachings. We trust Him and what
He says. We know that He has the power to keep His
promises. Heavenly Father blesses those who have
faith to obey His Son.
Faith in Christ leads to action. It leads to sincere and
lasting repentance. Having faith causes us to try as
hard as we can to learn about and become more like our Savior. We want to learn what
His commandments are and then obey them. Even though we will still make mistakes, we
show our love for Him by striving to keep His commandments and avoid sin.
We believe in Christ, and we believe that He wants us to keep all His commandments.
We want to show our faith by obeying Him. We pray in faith for strength to conquer
temptation. We can also develop faith in a particular principle, such as the Word of Wisdom
or tithing, by first believing in Jesus Christ strongly enough to obey His commandments.
As we live a specific commandment, we learn the truthfulness of it by experience (see
John 7:17). We also grow in faith by hearing the word of God (see Romans 10:17) and by
reading the word of God (see Helaman 15:7–8).
As we obey God, He blesses us. He gives us power to meet life’s challenges. He helps
us change the desires of our hearts. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, He can heal us,
both physically and spiritually.' (Preach My Gospel, pgs. 61, 62)

Faith has to be nurtured just as a flower. If we just buy a seed from the store will it grow? NO we have to plant it into the ground. We have to water it. We have to make sure it gets adacuate sun. There is more than you think necessary. With faith we need to be continually repenting. We need to continually studying the Gospel and learning more. We need to work to get our faith and increase it. We need to pray for faith. After we gain that faith we need to exercise it and trust in God. Once that flower is planted and starting to come up you need to continue helping it grow. It is a continual process. Never ending.

'Each individual will make his or her way in a constantly changing world—a world of competing ideologies. The forces of evil will ever be in opposition to the forces of good. Satan constantly strives to influence us to follow his ways and make us miserable, even as he is. And the normal risks of life, such as illness, injury, and accident, will ever be present.
We live in a time of turmoil. Earthquakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith.
Start with your children. You parents bear the primary responsibility to strengthen their faith. Let them feel your faith, even when sore trials come upon you. Let your faith be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach that faith with deep conviction. Teach each precious boy or girl that he or she is a child of God, created in His image, with a sacred purpose and potential. Each is born with challenges to overcome and faith to be developed.
Teach of faith to know that obedience to the commandments of God will provide physical and spiritual protection. And remember, God’s holy angels are ever on call to help us. The Lord so declared: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” What a promise! When we are faithful, He and His angels will help us.
Why do we need such resilient faith? Because difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution.” That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.
How you deal with life’s trials is part of the development of your faith. Strength comes when you remember that you have a divine nature, an inheritance of infinite worth. The Lord has reminded you, your children, and your grandchildren that you are lawful heirs, that you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people. As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto His people." (Elder Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles)

When Jesus Christ was on the earth the miracles He performed was because of the faith of those. An example is the woman who said, "Just if I can touch His clothes I will be healed." And surely she was healed. Jesus Christ told her that because of her faith she was made whole. Faith is an important principle in life. We must have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must exercise Faith in His Atonement and repent.
I know that when we trust in God and act in Faith doing everything we can, He will help us. We can accomplish the righteous desires of our heart. God wants us to be happy. We just need to let Him help us, because true happiness comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and living its teachings.

 For a free copy of Finding Faith in Christ call 1(800) 443-9911. It contains the life and ministry of our Savior Jesus Christ founded in the New Testament.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Ministry of Angels

Welcome back to the new post. Well we all hear about different cool experiences about unknown people helping out. Sometimes you even hear about Heavenly Messengers coming to people. I am here to tell you that these truly do happen. 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about these angels. If you follow the link it will take you there. 

Elder Holland Said,

"From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children. Time in this setting does not allow even a cursory examination of the scriptures or our own latter-day history, which are so filled with accounts of angels ministering to those on earth, but it is rich doctrine and rich history indeed.
Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times.Has the day of miracles ceased?
“Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
“Behold I say unto you, Nay; for … it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. …
“For behold, they are subject unto [Christ], to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.
I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children.”  And what do we do to merit such a defense? We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing[. Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”  The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants.
I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.
Matthew records in his gospel that after Satan had tempted Christ in the wilderness “angels came and ministered unto him.” 8 Even the Son of God, a God Himself, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality. And so such ministrations will be to the righteous until the end of time"
As Elder Holland spoke here there are truly angels all around us. Some may be your friends some maybe your family and others well you just may not known them. You may never know them. I have had many angels in my life. Their examples have kept me going on the right path. They have helped me in the hardest times of life and decisions. I couldn't imagine life without the angels therein. I could not imagine not having Gods help in my life. His help has come through some of these angels. That is why it is so important that we are all doing our visiting and helping other people. When we need someone we can have help. When you may not expect it God may send someone into your life or just put something in the mail. I have been a recipient of these blessings before in my life. He has sent me people to strengthen me. He has sent me trials to build me stronger. He has sent me my family to continually help me in all that I deal with. I know that He has sent families and they are meant to be eternal not till death do we part. This is one of the greatest messages in life. 
Another message in life that is more important than anything is Heavenly Father sending His Son Jesus Christ to atone for the sins, infirmities and weakness of all mankind. The Atonement is the central message in the Gospel. Everything is focused around the atonement because if it did not happen then we are doomed for life. It is so comforting to know that God still today sends angels to us to help us just as He did in the Old and New Testament times. Because of the sacredness they may not be spoken of but I testify that God does send them. I testify God lives and loves each one of us. I know that we are each a part of His Plan. We each have a huge part of it. We need to figure out what part we have and the way to do that is through humbling ourselves and asking God. 
Remember the words of our Heavenly Father in the Book of Mormon. (2 Nephi 31:11), "Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lets Shout Out in Gratitude for Mothers

Well lets have a shout out to all of the women in the world who make a difference. Let us remember them always but especially at this time around Mother's Day. Whether they are mothers or not they are important. Whether married or single the women in the world make a difference and are an example to the next generations.  Lets refer to a story in the Book of Mormon when the 2000 stripling warriors went off to battle and they were young and not experienced. 

Alma 56:47-49
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.
 48And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.
 49And it came to pass that I did return with my two thousand against these Lamanites who had pursued us. And now behold, the armies of Antipus had overtaken them, and a terrible battle had commenced.
See here in this story we see that a mothers example is so important. These boys followed their mothers teachings. Another example is well look at my mother. From childhood she taught us about our Heavenly Father. She taught us that we need to go on a mission. I followed my mothers counsel after I had a hard time. I was not as obedient as these boys but guess what I eventually did come around and followed that counsel. I had to humble myself. I would recommend going to lds.org and looking up the talk, "Mother Told Me by Bradley D. Foster." This talk is so awesome and again shows the effects of a mother in a childs life. The prophets have counseled that when we are able to the mothers need to be in the home and raise the children. I saw a perfect example of that in my life. When I was really young my mom was at home with me. But then my mom had to go to work and the next brothers and sisters missed out on having a mother with them. I firmly believe that a mother in the home teaching the children will do much more than us men in the home teaching. Another example of someone being taught by their mother was Jesus. Jesus Christ learned about His Heavenly Father at His mothers knees. That is a perfect example. I know not all times mother will be able to be at the home because of financial problems and different things. Some mothers have to go to work to help support the family. 
Lets refer to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "Because of Your Faith" where he says, "I am grateful for all the women of the Church who in my life have been as strong as Mount Sinai and as compassionate as the Mount of Beatitudes. We smile sometimes about our sisters’ stories—you know, green Jell-O, quilts, and funeral potatoes. But my family has been the grateful recipient of each of those items at one time or another—and in one case, the quilt and the funeral potatoes on the same day. It was just a small quilt—tiny, really—to make my deceased baby brother’s journey back to his heavenly home as warm and comfortable as our Relief Society sisters wanted him to be. The food provided for our family after the service, voluntarily given without a single word from us, was gratefully received. Smile, if you will, about our traditions, but somehow the too-often unheralded women in this church are always there when hands hang down and knees are feeble. They seem to grasp instinctively the divinity in Christ’s declaration: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these … , ye have done it unto me."
"I say to you mothers, if you ever have sons and daughters who amount to what they should in the world, it will be in no small degree due to the fact that your children have a mother who spends many nights on her knees in prayer, praying God that her son, her daughter, will not fail. I remember at the foolish years of my teenage life, my mother came to me with an intuitive impression and warning which I brushed off as foolish teenagers do. “Oh, mother, that’s silly,” I said, then within only a month, to stand face to face with the temptation about which mother had warned. I never had the courage to go back and tell her how right she was, but I was on guard because someone warned—my mother." (Harold B. Lee, President of the Church, The Righteous Influence of Mothers)
Along with all that has been wrote I know how much a mother makes a difference in the life. There are times where mothers are taken out of the home because of divorce, death, work or just left home. I know that their are times where fathers are wifeless and mothers are husbandless.  Lets show our mothers and wives and daughters how much they really mean to us. It doesn't matter if they have ever been a mother. The difference they make in our lives is huge. Let us remember that God created them and they are all Daughters of God. They are important in the home and in our lives. I have always heard the closest love to our Heavenly Fathers love is our mothers love. The pain they go through not only physical but emotional. The stress we cause them. My poor moms hair is all going grey because of me. HAHA! I LOVE HER!
I love my mother like none other. I would do anything for her. I am so very grateful for the things she has done for me. For raising me with the Gospel, for teaching me how to work and for taking care of me as a little brat. If she didn't love me then I know she wouldn't have dealt with me as a kid and then as a teenager. The patience and charity she has is definitely God given. No one could deal with us guys unless they loved us. I love my mother. One day I will be married and have a wife to take care of me. Thats how it works right? Just kidding! But so honored we are to be given the Daughters of God to raise our children and us as well. Lets be honest here. How many men are grown up. We all grow old but we never grow up. I know of this to be true. If you love your mom tell her you love her. Not just tell her but show her. Do the same for your wife.  
Always respect our mothers and all the females who make a difference in our lives. God Bless you Mothers and Daughters of God!