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Thursday, June 30, 2011

ATTENTION... LEARNING BY THE HOLY GHOST

This past week as I was pondering on what to do for district meeting I came across a section is Preach My Gospel, Chapter 2,



Your gospel study is MOST effective when you are
taught by the Holy Ghost. ALWAYS begin your gospel
study by praying for the Holy Ghost to help you
learn. He WILL bring knowledge and conviction that
WILL bless your life and allow you to bless the lives of
others. Your faith in Jesus Christ WILL increase. Your
desire to repent and improve WILL grow.
This kind of study prepares you for service, offers
solace, resolves problems, and gives you the strength
to endure to the end. Successful gospel study requires
desire and action. “For he that diligently seeketh SHALL find; and the mysteries of God SHALL be unfolded
unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well
in these times as in times of old” (1 Nephi 10:19).
Like Enos, as you hunger to know the words of
eternal life and as you allow these words to “[sink]
deep into [your] heart” (Enos 1:3), the Holy Ghost WILL open your mind and heart to greater light and understanding.
Learning the gospel is also a process of receiving revelation (see Jacob 4:8). To Oliver
Cowdery the Lord said: “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I
would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say
unto you, that you MUST study it out in your mind; then you MUST ask me if it be right, and
if it is right I will cause that your bosom SHALL burn within you; therefore, you SHALL feel that
it is right” (D&C 9:7–8). As you study, pay careful attention to ideas that come to your mind
and feelings that come to your heart, particularly regarding the people you are teaching.

2 Nephi 32:5      D&C 11:12–14      John 16:13
Alma 5:45–46      D&C 39:5–6      1 Corinthians 2:9–14
Moroni 10:5      John 14:26
Above are some scriptures to Support this Doctrine

Why is there a color code? Red is the things that we NEED to do. Blue is the promises if we do the DO's.

DO
  • Begin with Prayer
  • Diligent Seek
  • Hunger to Know
  • Desire to Know
  • Put Forth Action
  • Study it out in your Mind
  • Pray
  • Pay Careful Attention to Thoughts and Feelings
PROMISE
  • Gain Knowledge
  • Gain Conviction
  • Increased Faith
  • Desire to Repent and Improve
  • Holy Ghost open Mind and Heart
  • Shall Find
  • Mysteries of God shall be Unfolded Unto You
  • Bosom shall burn if it be Right
  • Receive Revelation
  • Strength to Endure to the End
  • Resolves Problems
  • Prepares you for Service
In Alma 17:2-3, the Sons of Mosiah tell us what they had to do to qualify for the Spirit.

"Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much(Spanish-MUCHO) prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God."

DO
  • Waxed Strong in the Knowledge of Truth
  • Searched Scriptures Diligently
  • MUCHO Prayer
  • MUCHO Fasting
PROMISES
  • Men of Sound Understanding
  • Spirit of Prophecy
  • Spirit of Revelation
  • Taught with Power and Authority of God
These are some pretty incredible promises if you ask me. I have tested this doctrine and tried it and I know that it works. The Lord God is Omnipotent. He knows all things. The Holy Ghost knows all things and WILL testify of truth(Moroni 10:5) Whether it be math, calculus, English, or your love life, the Holy Ghost knows all things. Experiment upon this doctrine of study. If you try it with an open heart and mind and do all that it says not missing a piece you WILL see a difference in your studies. I know that to be true. The Spirit can guide you in your lifes decisions, he can bring things back to remembrance when you need it. Only on the conditions of doing your part and trying.


President Ezra Taft Benson said,
"Let us never lose sight of the fact that education is a preparation for life -- and that preparing for life is far more than knowing how to make a living or how to land on the moon. Preparing for life means building personal integrity, developing a sound sense of values, increasing the capacity and willingness to serve. Education must have its roots in moral principles. If we lose sight of that fact in our attempt to match our educational system against that of the materialists, we shall have lost far more than we could possibly gain."


What is the Holy Ghost’s role in helping us learn the gospel?

Learning by the Holy Ghost

Monday, June 27, 2011

What is this Doctrine on Families?

One of the biggest questions of the church is the Doctrine of the Family. I will be honest, this is my favorite. I love talking about families. Many think of family such as being just friends. That is so very true. The biggest picture is we are all sons and daughters of a Loving Heavenly Father. He is truly our Father. I love talking to Heavenly Father about everything. He knows everything so there is no point trying to hide anything right. His love is remarkable.

The Apostles declare in behalf of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS about the ordination of families. It states so clearly,
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."


President Henry B. Eyring proclaims,
“The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
“We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan."
We would also see that the commandment to be chaste, to employ the powers of procreation only as husband and wife, is not limiting but, rather, expanding and exalting. Children are the inheritance of the Lord to us in this life and also in eternity. Eternal life is not only to have forever our descendants from this life. It is also to have eternal increase. This is the description of what awaits those of us married as husband and wife in the temple by a servant of God with authority to offer us the sacred sealing ordinances. Here are the words of the Lord:
“It shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting” (D&C 132:19–20).
“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Ps. 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God, and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
We cannot control what others choose to do, and so we cannot force our children to heaven, but we can determine what we will do. And we can decide that we will do all we can to bring down the powers of heaven into that family we want so much to have forever.
A key for us is in the proclamation: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The family unit is fundamental not only to society and to the Church but also to our hope for eternal life. We begin to practice in the family, the smaller unit, what will spread to the Church and to the society in which we live in this world, which will then be what we practice in families bound together forever by covenants and by faithfulness. We can start now to “promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family.” I pray that we will. I pray that you will ask, “Father, how can I prepare?” Tell him how much you want what he desires to give you. You will receive impressions, and if you act on them, I promise you the help of the powers of heaven.
I testify that our Heavenly Father lives, that we lived with him as spirits, and that we would be lonely living anywhere but with him in the world to come. I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that by suffering for the sins of all of us he made possible the changes in you and me that can give us eternal life. I testify that the Holy Ghost can fill us with hope and with perfect love. And I testify that the sealing power restored to Joseph Smith and now held by President Gordon B. Hinckley can bind us in families and give us eternal life, if we do all that we can do in faith."
(End Quote)
 
Families are eternal. That is a portion of our unique message to the world. We believe that families can be sealed together for time and all eternity only in the Temple or House of the Lord. The priesthood ministers this sacred ordinance.

The families today have shrunk. Many people are stopping at 1, 2 or 3 children. I imagine if we truly understood the doctrine here we would be doing everything possible to get all of these children here on earth. At times it may be difficult with children but just think of how much they truly mean to you. Honestly without the joys of parenthood what would you have?


“President Brigham Young explained that our families are not yet ours. The Lord has committed them to us to see how we will treat them. Only if we are faithful will they be given to us forever. What we do on earth determines whether or not we will be worthy to become heavenly parents.”

I love my family and I know we will be together forever as long as we do our best in this life. I am so excited for the day that I will have a family of my own. Kids running around being kids, my future wife keeping me in line. That is family. No matter how hard the storm is hitting or how bad Satan is attacking the family we have one thing to keep us together. That is LOVE
I know this is God's plan. They way I know this is by the Spirit of the Lord. I exhort all to ask God if the family is eternal and He will answer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Intelligence



Why are we encouraged to gain an education? Why do we need more school? Why would college be important to everybody? What will college do for us? What if we can't afford school? These are all  questions that I have heard. These are all different things I have pondered. Well we are given good counsel concerning education in the scriptures and from modern day prophets.
This is a picture of Jesus Christ at the age of twelve teaching. Jesus Christ is the Master Teacher!

“If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.” (D&C 42:61.)

"We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it; never, never. . . . We shall never cease to learn, unless we apostatize from the religion of Jesus Christ." Brigham Young
"Our education should be such as to improve our minds and fit us for increased usefulness; to make us of greater service to the human family." Brigham Young

"A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels" Proverbs 1:5

"Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection." Doctrine and Covenants 130:18

Here are just a few reasons why we need to gain and education. With increasing our knowledge it will better our character. If we take college/university serious we will gain study habits and other habits that will improve our lives. It will help us desire to learn more about ourselves and Christ. It will build our confidence in ourselves. It will better prepare us to be instruments in the hands of God.


“In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because He has greater knowledge; and hence He knows how to subject all other beings to Him.”
“The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginings of the human heart!”
“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them.”


"The Lord and His Church have always encouraged education to increase our ability to serve Him and our Heavenly Father’s children. For each of us, whatever our talents, He has service for us to give. And to do it well always involves learning, not once or for a limited time, but continually.
In the scripture above, the Master is clear about the process. Through prayer, fasting, and hard work, with a motive to serve Him, we can expect His grace to attend us. I can assure you from my own experience, that does not mean we will always be on the high end of the grading curve. It means that we will learn more rapidly and grow in skill beyond what we could do only with our unaided natural abilities.
Our education must never stop. If it ends at the door of the classroom on graduation day, we will fail. And we will need the help of heaven to know which of the myriad things we could study we would most wisely learn. We cannot waste time entertaining ourselves when we have the chance to read or to listen to whatever will help us learn what is true and useful. Insatiable curiosity will be our hallmark.
Sometimes we feel that we must choose between spiritual and secular learning. That is a false conflict for most of us, particularly for the young. Before we have families, there is leisure time even in what is our busiest day. Too often we use many hours for fun and pleasure, saying, “I’m recharging my batteries.” Those hours could be spent reading and studying to gain knowledge, skills, and culture.
It takes neither modern technology nor much money to seize the opportunity to learn in the moments we now waste. You could just have a book and paper and pencil with you. That will be enough. But you need determination to capture the leisure moments you now waste." Henry B. Eyring

"The reason we need more education is so that the Lord can use us to do His work and bless the lives of others. If we focus on becoming more fit for the kingdom, choosing more education is usually an excellent decision. Even if we do not always see all the possible uses for the things we learn, education is an important way we can prepare ourselves to serve the Lord. Because of our sacred regard for each human intellect, we consider the obtaining of an education to be a religious responsibility. Yet opportunities and abilities differ. I believe that in the pursuit of education, individual desire is more influential than institution, and personal faith more forceful than faculty."Mary N. Cook

“Faith and knowledge require equal effort and commitment. We cannot expect to have faith at the center of our lives if all of our efforts are expended on knowledge, sports, hobbies, making money, or other pursuits.”

“If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience … , he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:19).

I know that gaining a higher education will benefit not only us , but Gods other children. We will be blessed for seeking knowledge. We will truly want to continually learn more about our Savior Jesus Christ as we start to study His life. We will feel the Spirit testify truth to us. And I know He has testified truth as you have read these quotes about education. I know the Spirit has told you to continually learn. Whether we are rich or poor we must still learn to better prepare us for living in God's presence. I love studying and gaining more knowledge which can help me in my life or the eternities. I know you will to as you prayerfully study and learn while having the Spirit in your life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Importance of Learning as a Child

In life we go through so many trials. We have to make so many huge decisions in life. Wouldn't it be nice to know what the answers already are? What would you do to know you can receive spiritual guidance by living the principles of the Gospel? Growing up in a family of 8 children was amazing. Some may ponder how did my parents do it. Well I just wonder how they dealt with me. HAHA! Well there is one major part that helped them to raise all of us kids. Teaching in the home was a huge part of our growing up life. The teaching that went on was a righteous teaching. They were teaching proper conduct according to the words of our modern day prophet. Don't get me wrong we are FAR from perfect but my parents did what they could to teach us right. In this teaching we saw their example, we saw that they loved us. We saw the joy and happiness that comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would like to talk about a few of things that I learned in the home and some examples of others. 



In my parents home as a family we went to church every week. We were fortunate enough to live not very far from the church. It was across town which averages about 4 minutes if you ran. From a child I learned of Jesus Christ and the things which He has done for us. We were taught about prophets and how God can still speak to us today. My mother and father showed me examples of how righteous people should live. They taught me how to work and provide for myself. They taught me the importance of having a relationship with my Heavenly Father. When I was a young boy I remember my mom teaching us kids in the home about church, about life, about families and the importance of them and they taught us to not sin. We were taught righteously in the home that is the big part. This learning in the home was very important to me. I cherish the things I learned at home from my parents. One of the most important things my parents taught us was to recognize the Spirit. It is so hard to figure it out. It is truly a life saving lesson. The Spirit or Holy Ghost is there as a Comforter as Jesus spoke about in John 14:26. He can teach us all things. He is there to manifest to us truths and to testify of God the Father and and His Son Jesus Christ.

In the book "Jesus the Christ" on page 111 it states, "In such simplicity is the normal, natural development of the boy Jesus made clear. He came among men to experience all the natural conditions of mortality; He was born as truly a dependent, helpless babe as is any other child; His infancy was in all common features as the infancy of others; His boyhood was actual boyhood. His development was as necessary and as real as that of all children. Over His mind had fallen the veil of forgetfulness common to all who are born to earth." The Apostle, James E. Talmage wrote this book. He talks about the birth of the Savior. Jesus was born as any other child. It later talks about Jesus learned about His Heavenly Father at His mothers knees. His mother taught Him perfectly. That is the importance of parents teaching the Gospel to their children. Does this help you understand more the importance of teaching your children? I sure hope so, it put a huge change of thinking about learning. Education is important as I will talk about later.


"Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. Our families are an integral part of His work and glory—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). On God’s eternal stage, it is usually intended that parents act as the central cast members in their children’s lives. Fortunately, there are understudies involved in the production who may step in when parents can’t. It, however, is parents who have been commanded by the Lord to bring up their children in light and truth (see D&C 93:40).
Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time. They know that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily parenting is among the most powerful and sustaining forces for good in the world. The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “It is the duty of parents to teach their children these saving principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that they will know why they are to be baptized and that they may be impressed in their hearts with a desire to continue to keep the commandments of God after they are baptized, that they may come back into his presence. Do you, my good brethren and sisters, want your families, your children; do you want to be sealed to your fathers and your mothers before you … ? If so, then you must begin by teaching at the cradle-side. You are to teach by example as well as precept”(Elder L. Tom Perry, Quorum of the Twleve Apostles)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finding Peace in Troubled Times!

Today is a day where freedom and peace are hard to find. We are in an ever busy world where things whether good or bad are always happening around us. Some are running to avoid the tendencies of the world. Some are just so consumed in the day to day life that hold them bound. In all of this confusion how can we find peace? Is there a place to go to get away from the evils of the world? These are all questions I have pondered and I have been asked. These questions truly make you think. There are basic answers but we got to think deeper. That is what I have been doing.
I Am the Way
Is there a place to go where we can get away from the evils of the world? Lets start by answering this question. I think there definitely is a place where we can get away from the evils of the world. Where we can block all of the things out of our minds. First of all I believe the home can be a place of safety and refuge from the world. You can make your home a sacred place. You do not have to let the evils of the world into your home. You can close the door if you so desire. What are some of these evils? These evils can include pornography, immorality, filthy language and thoughts, unrighteous dominion, selfishness, and the list goes on. I do not know about you but I sure do not want this in my home. I want my home to be a place of peace. A place of where the Spirit of God can dwell in abundance. I want my home to be one that stands out. Here is what Christ said about the foundation of the home, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:119)
"Where could any of us locate a more suitable blueprint whereby he could wisely and properly build? Such a house would meet the building code outlined in Matthew, even a house built “upon a rock” (Matt. 7:24, 25; see also Luke 6:48; 3 Ne. 14:24, 25), a house capable of withstanding the rains of adversity, the floods of opposition, and the winds of doubt everywhere present in our changing and challenging world." (President Thomas S. Monson) Here is a recipe of building a home where the spirit can dwell, where it can truly be a place of safety from the world. Another place where we can be away from the dangers of the world is at the Church. When you go to church do you go in a sense of spiritual learning or do you go in a sense of wordly pleasure? Meaning do you go wanting to set your life a side for the things of a better or do you go putting your life first? God counsels us, "And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better." (Doctrine and Covenants 25:10) So we NEED to build Christ as the foundation of our homes. President Thomas S. Monson said,
"A home is much more than a house built of lumber, brick, or stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice, and respect. We are responsible for the homes we build. We must build wisely, for eternity is not a short voyage. There will be calm and wind, sunlight and shadows, joy and sorrow. But if we really try, our home can be a bit of heaven here on earth. The thoughts we think, the deeds we do, the lives we live not only influence the success of our earthly journey, they also mark the way to our eternal goals. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions."

Our homes can be that place of safety that we are all looking for in this troubled world. In all of this confusion how can we find peace? Well when we build our homes around Christ His Spirit will dwell there and the promise He gave, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 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." (John 14:26-27) He promises us the spirit to bring peace unto us. He promises that the Spirit will teach us ALL things. This is why you need the Spirit in your home. You need this peace He promises. In your home you teach your children and when truths are taught by the Spirit, your kids will remember them much better. This is one of the greatest gifts our Heavenly Father can give us. A gift that we should not take for granted. When we receive this gift we will desire to share it with others because of the joy and happiness it brings. Another principle we need to know is LOVE! YES LOVE in the home is so important. LOVE is what Christ has shown to us. LOVE is how our families can become more united. LOVE also needs to be shown in the home with meaning. Do you just tell your family you LOVE them or do you truly deep in your heart LOVE them? I know the LOVE of God, for I have felt it. I know you too can feel that LOVE in your life and in your homes. Your homes will be strengthened against the powers of the Adversary if you follow the counsel given. We can find peace today if we slow down and take a breath and as God said, "For all flesh is in mine hands, be still and know that I am God." (Doctrine and Covenants 101:16)

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Matters Most to you?

What matters most to you in your life? What brings you the most happiness? Who are your best memories with?

I will tell you my story. Above is a picture of my family(parents, neices nephews, brothers and sisters) minus 2 of us. My brother Bryan and I are not in this picture. At the time of this picture we are serving our missions. He was in the Maryland Baltimore Mission and I am here in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. They have always been there for me. My greatest memories are those with my family. My best relationship on earth is with my family. I grew up having 4 older brothers and 2 younger sister and a younger brother. It was amazing having 8 of us devils as my mom might say at home. Together we would break things, fix things and well we would just have fun. We together are a close family I think anyways. I don't know what they think. LOL! Well I was born of goodly parents. Throughout my life they have continually taught me the gospel and showed me an example of loving parents. My parents were always so loving when we were bad kids. They still loved us after we would destroy things, fight, play together, and well were just kids. We would go down to Salt Lake City, Utah every year for family vacation to visit my fathers parents. Boy those were some drives. Just imagine that many kids in a mini van for 10-12 hours. Luckily we lived only 40 minutes from my moms parents. They lived on a farm and well my parents didn't have to worry about us disturbing the neighbors. USUALLY! As a boy I loved to play with little matchbox cars. I remember my dad when he was YOUNGER (cough cough) he would play cars with me.  I often reflect upon those times where we would act like we were racing these cars in a circle like a nascar race. O those memories I cherish whether my dad knows it or not.
Later I was able to go with my dad and older brothers to mow lawns. I learned how to work. We would go out every year and rake the leaves in the lawn. You know us being kids we would make as big of piles as we could so we could jump in it. We would steal leaves from our neighbors yards so we could make an even bigger pile. My dad usually wasn't to fond on that because that was more work for him. That is not to worry though we have the memories.


My mom taught me how to do house work. This time it wasn't outside piling leaves. We were in the basement piling clothes so we could jump into them. Oh how they dealt with us I know not. We would take the top off the toy box and race down the stairs. LUCKILY we never had to go to the hospital for that one. As we got older we started to get busy in sports. Well we were hardly busy but my poor parents were. We were in different towns all the time. We were pretty much all on different sports teams. I am sure my parents wished they could have been at different places at once. Growing up my family would go to the church and play basketball, we would go across the street in an open field and we would play softball. Even today my parents still go and plays basketball with us. O I hope I can be as active as them. Running to all of our needs they stayed busy enough that they often slept very little. My dad later in life was working hours that hardly made it possible to see him. He was working so hard to be able to provide for our large family. Oh how greatful I am for my parents and all the sacrifices they have made for us their children.


You might be wondering what this has to do with, "What matters most to you?" Well the reason I talk about my family and my experiences are because this is what matters most to me. The knowledge of the sealing powers of Heaven here on earth makes me comfortable knowing that all these memories will be with me for eternity. As you may see I love my family. I cherish all the memories that I have with them. My family is my support group. They have always been there for me and I know they will always be there for me. Even if it is only emotional support. I know that God has a plan for us to be with these families. I know that that plan is eternal and family is at the center of His plan. Thankfully as we grow up our support group gets bigger and wider spread which is our LARGER/EXTENDED family.



Preach my Gospel proclaims about families,
"Because of the Restoration we understand God’s purpose for families: “The divine plan of happiness
enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and
covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the
presence of God and for families to be united eternally” (“The Family: A Proclamation to
the World)
On earth, family associations can be the source of some of our greatest joy. Satan is
attacking the family on many fronts, and too many families are being destroyed by his
efforts. The message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ makes it possible for families
to be united now and in eternity. By living the principles of the gospel, families can
experience peace, joy, and a sense of belonging and identity in this life. Through the light
of the gospel, families can resolve misunderstandings, contentions, and challenges. Families
torn by discord can be healed through repentance, forgiveness, and faith in the power of
the Atonement of Jesus Christ. “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when
founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are
established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect,
love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

For I know that the purpose of families is much greater than any of us can comprehend. Each child born is a son or daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. He gives us the power to create life and expects us to use it wisely. He does not delight in taking life. For those who abuse this power, the judgements of God shall fall upon them. But know that there is Forgiveness through Repentance. It may not be an easy process especially knowing you have disobeyed a Loving Heavenly Father. But in the end if we repent all things shall be wiped away because of our faith and obedience. This can be accomplished because of the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ who sufferred for all mankind. Not just sins, but pains, sorrows and trials. Know there is HOPE! You are not alone in this fight. "And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation." (Doctrine and Covenants 98:37) Here is God's promise to us that He will help fight our battles only when we do all that we can. In John 16:33 Jesus Christ proclaims, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." With this knowledge lets all jump into the path of righteousness and fight this battle not alone but with Christ. Let us stand firm in the Faith and move towards Christ. Let us teach others about the importance of the family and the purpose of the family. More joy and happiness in the family will come through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Families are ordained of our Almighty God! Remember those memories of mine are because of my family.



For more information on the family go to
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Sunday, June 19, 2011

An Ancient Record

Why is the Book of Mormon so important to those of the LDS faith? Have you ever seen somebody walking around with a Book of Mormon in their hand? Have you ever wondered what it is? Have you ever desired to read "the most correct of any book on earth" as Joseph Smith said? Well if you have ever wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon you are on a path that can lead to eternal life only after following its teachings.


As a missionary we go out with the Book of Mormon in our hand and always thinking about it in our heart and studying it in our mind. We have come to know what this book can bring to any man, woman or child. We go about sharing the message of the Book of Mormon. We go around giving our life if needs be to spread the good word of God. We give all knowing what Heavenly Father has instore for those who do not yet have the fulness of the Gospel in their lives. So with this said what is contained in the Book of Mormon? "It is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel."(Introduction) The Book of Mormon was written by the ancestors of the Native Americans. It was written by prophets just like the Bible. The Book of Mormon does not take away from the Bible but adds a second witness of the Master Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon as stated in the Introduction it was written in the ancient americas whereas the Bible was written in ancient Jerusalem. Introduction states, "The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites(a group of people) soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of Salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come."

The ancient record or the Gold Plates were preserved from generation to generation until the Prophet Moroni sealed them up until the day that they were to be brought forth. The Angel Moroni appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and directed him to these ancient records which were buried in a hill called Cumorah. Joseph Smith translated the record from ancient text that nobody on earth knew to english by the Power of God. The only way that this could have been was by the power of God.


God new that so many people were going to be stubborn and hard headed like in the scriptures and want tangible evidence of this record. So He provided the Gold Plates to be shown to eleven other men by the Power of God. These eleven men are special witnesses of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon. These eleven men bore witness of the plates and all that was contained in them. They bore testimony about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the work which was accomplished through him. The tangible evidence that everyone looks for is the testimonies of these witnesses and the Book of Mormon itself. They can know by reading the Book of Mormon, pondering the message it contains in their hearts and then by asking God if the Book of Mormon is true. If they pray with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ and real intent they will come to know the Book of Mormon is true by the power of the Holy Ghost. "Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator in the last days, and that THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS is the Lord's kingdom once again established prepatory to the second coming of the Messiah.


I do witness unto all that read this that I know by the Power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that you to can find this out by the same power if you so desire. I know that Jesus Christ appeared to the people here in the Americas. I know with all my soul that the Book of Mormon will change your life for the best and bring you salvation if you heed to the principles and gospel found therein.



For a free copy of the Book of Mormon, please call
1 (888) 537-2200

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You Just Got to LOVE on People!

  So while I was thinking about what I should write my blog about I remembered a missionary always saying this one phrase, "You just got to love on people!" To be honest this is such a true so inspired phrase. Have you ever wondered what showing a little love to someone can do for them. Maybe that is a smile, a hug, or saying hi, saying I care about you or even I love you! To us some of these things may seem like so small but in reality maybe the person receiving this plight gesture needed it. Maybe you have been the receiver of one of these gestures. What did that gesture do for you?
  I believe that love is what brings people together to be more united than ever before. We see this in many divers ways. When there is a natural disaster or any disasters and your friends and family come to your support, I ask, "Is there love?" If they did not love you then they would not come to help. Lets be honest here many times there are people helping out that don't even know you but what they do know is that you are a Son or Daughter of our Loving Heavenly Father. They see the sadness in your eyes they remember the many blessing which have been given to them. They want to help you because of there love for you. Maybe not all times will they show that love or aid but you will know that they are there to support you in the deepest ruts of life. For example there are many stories of when there is a tornado or other natural disaster that has caused huge damage. People from hundreds of miles away drive to assist in the support of those who were disturbed. They sleep in their cars or on the hard ground not caring because they know that many others are not as blessed. With these disasters God humbles the people and because of it many hearts are softened and from then they remember the Lord their God. In lifes trials do you seek guidance from your Heavenly Father who has shown you much love and invited you to talk with Him. I would exhort all to pray and gain a relationship with our kind gracious and Loving Heavenly Father.


  Back to love. Lets take the example of our Heavenly Fathers love for us. A scripture often quoted is John 3:16, 17, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." God gave His Only Begotten knowing what Jesus Christ was going to have to bear for us. He knew the Jews were going to crucify His Son. He knew that Jesus Christ was going to have to suffer for all mankind which made Jesus Christ bleed from every pore as if it was sweat. How much pain and suffering our Heavenly Father went through watching this happening to His Son none of us can comprehend. The patience He has to have is remarkable. Brethren and Sisters I admonish all to think of the Love God has for you.
LOVE IS THE KEY! The key to open the blessings of Heaven more abundantly. The key to success in life. The key to joy and happiness that we all seek for. The key to return to live with our Heavenly Father. The key to strengthening marriage and family relations. The key to raising a successful family. The key to know how Heavenly Father feels about all His children. Love is center of this plan our Heavenly Father has given us to live. With marriage comes children and with these special children comes unconditional love. NO matter what your kids do, do you think you should stop loving those you gave life to?  It is the key that we must all pray and seek for.

President Henry B. Eyring said,
"Love is the motivating principle by which the Lord leads us along the way towards becoming like Him, our perfect example. Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others. There is no surprise in that, since the Lord proclaimed those as the first and great commandments. It is love of God that will lead us to keep His commandments. And love of others is at the heart of our capacity to obey Him.
Moroni 7:48 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”
For all of us it may be hard to see in our lives an increasing power to love and to see ourselves becoming more like the Savior, our perfect example. I wish to encourage you. You have had evidences that you are moving along the road to becoming more like Jesus. It will help to remember how you have felt, at times, like a little child, even in the midst of cares and trials. Think of children singing the song, "I'm trying to be like Jesus." You will remember that Jesus asked His disciples to bring the children to Him and said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, ... for of such is the kingdom of God." You have felt the peace of a pure little child at times when you have tried to be like Jesus."(End Quote)

 

If you truly love your brother or your sister, your parents, children or your spouse, what will you let pull you apart? What will you let prevent you from being together for eternity? Yes there are gonna be things that are gonna happen because that is what Satan wants. Satan is jealous of the love we have for our brothers and sisters. He is jealous of the love from our Heavenly Father. He truly does seek to destroy the love you have for your family. He truly seeks to destroy your life. I know Satan is working on each of us. Some more than others but his angels are trying to destroy and scare us. Let us be faithful to our Heavenly Father though. Let us be steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works.
Remember Remember the blessings which have been promised to you. Remember the Heavens are there to support you in times of need. Pray and ask for Heavens help. I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that there is a God and He truly does love each one of us. I know that He knows us better than ourselves.
 
           
           "YOU JUST GOT TO LOVE ON PEOPLE"

"I'm Trying to be Like Jesus"
I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DON'T GIVE UP

Have you ever felt that there was just no hope in life? Have you ever felt that you are not worth anything? Have you ever felt you are inadequate for life and the choices we make? Well if you have ever felt like this before just know you are not alone.Some of you may be feeling like that right now at this instant. This is Satan just trying to tear you apart. Know that there is always someone there for you. Let us reflect back on such a humbling and sacred gift of LOVE. Lets take a minute and think about the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Would He suffer beyond our comprehension if we meant nothing to Him? Do you believe God makes garbage? Would He look at you or I as a nobody? I am here to tell you NO! We are all very important. We are all part of our Heavenly Fathers plan. This plan is huge and eternal which means you and I are also. In the Doctrine and Covenants Section 18:10 it states, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." Every human being ever to walk the face of earth is so important to our Heavenly Father. Satan wants us to feel like garbage because that is exactly how he feels. He is jealous of you and I because we gained mortal bodies and progressed further than he did.

"No matter what our circumstances, or appearance, or social status, our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to recognize our self-worth. Furthermore, the Lord values his children for reasons far different from the world’s, for he “seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7.)
The world would like us to believe that the requirements for self-worth are beauty, youth, wealth, and success. But as Patricia Holland, former counselor in the Young Women general presidency, counseled women college students “[we are] becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A’s, or professional status, or even absolute motherly success that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality.” (Ensign, September 1989)

"Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. My declaration is that that is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
We are all worth the same whether we are sinners or righteous living people. We need to remember that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is there to make us free from these awful chains of hell which hold us bound.


"Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].”
"My other plea at Easter time is that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day. As we approach this holy week—Passover Thursday with its Paschal Lamb, atoning Friday with its cross, Resurrection Sunday with its empty tomb—may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,” for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, None Were With Him)

As Elder Holland said, "May we stand by Jesus Christ." I know that as we do stand by Jesus Christ than a power from Heaven will come into your life to help you. It will come when you feel down and hopeless about ready so sink into despair. As Christ tells us in the New Testament 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." In John 16:33 Christ again comforts us by saying, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in my ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Brethren and Sister who wants that peace? Who wants the precious gift that has been offered to us?

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38) How is it we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost? In Acts 8:15-18 it states,
"Who when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptizd in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given.."

Here from the King James Version of the Bible we learn that it is only through the laying on of hands by those who hold the Priesthood of God the Holy Ghost is given. That is the only way. After the apostles were all killed that priesthood was not passed on and so it was lost until John the Baptist came and gave Joseph Smith the authority to baptize or the lesser priesthood. Then Peter, James and John came and confered upon them the higher priesthood at which point they could confer the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. That priesthood was given to Joseph Smith so therefore it is to be found only in THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.  As an ambassador and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ I testify that God loves each one of us and will always be there for us. I testify you are not alone. Get on your knees and ask if God if he is there and He shall manifest it by the power of the Spirit. I testify that this Priesthood is given to worthy male members of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. In the Sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Learn more at http://www.mormon.org/