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Thursday, July 28, 2011

OH HOW LOVELY WAS THE MORNING!

How thankful I am for a young boy who decided to pray. Many people have heard this name but very few have listened intently to his experience. His understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ grew with heart felt prayers and a willing to listen. His name is Joseph Smith. 

I know that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know he talked with Them. I know that you too can know of this experience if you sincerely pray about it. I know this by the Power of the Holy Ghost. I love this message as it is the beginning of bringing families together for eternity.

                                                      The Rising by Nashville Tribute Band

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?


Christ suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane

You may ask why I have such a title as this. I was pondering and looking through the New Testament for an idea on my post. Well I found this in Mark. At the time where Christ just suffered for our sorrows, pains, temptations, and for our sins. After He was taken to Pilate questioned, Pilate asked the multitude who he should release whether it be Barabbas who had committed murder or release Jesus Christ the Savior of the World. The chief priests convinced the crowd to release Barabbas. And so Barabbas a true criminal was released and Christ was held. Pilate then asked what shall he do with the King of the Jews. They all said, "CRUCIFY HIM!" So He was taken and scourged, beaten and mocked for all mankind.

Mark 15:17-37 it states,
"And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King of the Jews.
And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
Christ dying on the cross
And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost."

In this cry to His Father Jesus says, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" How hard this must have been for the Son of God to have had His Father withdrawal from Him for our benefit.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said of this Atonement,
"Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?
With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.
But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. When the uttermost farthing had then been paid, when Christ’s determination to be faithful was as obvious as it was utterly invincible, finally and mercifully, it was “finished." Against all odds and with none to help or uphold Him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God, restored physical life where death had held sway and brought joyful, spiritual redemption out of sin, hellish darkness, and despair. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

Resurrection of Christ

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].” "

How greatful we should be for our Savior Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to be able to partake of His Atonement, the cleansing power. This is a gift like never known to man. This gift is the way we can gain eternal exaltation, only through the name of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

O GOD, WHERE ART THOU?

Have you ever thought to yourself in a time of need, "O GOD, WHERE ART THOU?" Know you are completely normal. I think at least once in our life we are going to be sitting there thinking this. Many times have I needed help and no one was there. I even felt at times God was not there but in all reality I was just not listening.

Prayer and prophecies written by Joseph Smith the Prophet while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, dated 20 March 1839. The Prophet and several companions had been months in prison

"O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?
 O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.
 Let thineanger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs.
 Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever."

God responded to him by saying,
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a mall moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
 Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job...."

That is truly words of comfort. Now maybe we don't hear God's voice but we can open the scriptures and read what God says to us. We may not have experiences like this but do know what God is listening to us. He answers our prayers in His due time. It is so hard to work by His time when we think we need everything right now. Thank goodness He sees the big picture and gives everything to us when we truly need it.

Take a minute and think about a time that God has answered your prayer. Did you see the benefit of when He answered it? Did you thank Him? These are important questions especially the second one. If we don't thank God for the things He gives us why should He give us more?

Prayer is so important in our lives.

Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer

Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Richard G. Scott 
The Gift of Prayer
Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, “Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.”
It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help.
How Should You Pray?
We pray to our Heavenly Father in the sacred name of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Prayer is most effective when we strive to be clean and obedient, with worthy motives, and are willing to do what He asks. Humble, trusting prayer brings direction and peace.
Don’t worry about your clumsily expressed feelings. Just talk to your compassionate, understanding Father. You are His precious child whom He loves perfectly and wants to help. As you pray, recognize that Father in Heaven is near and He is listening.
A key to improved prayer is to learn to ask the right questions. Consider changing from asking for the things you want to honestly seeking what He wants for you. Then as you learn His will, pray that you will be led to have the strength to fulfill it.
Should you ever feel distanced from our Father, it could be for many reasons. Whatever the cause, as you continue to plead for help, He will guide you to do that which will restore your confidence that He is near. Pray even when you have no desire to pray. Sometimes, like a child, you may misbehave and feel you cannot approach your Father with a problem. That is when you most need to pray. Never feel you are too unworthy to pray.
I wonder if we can ever really fathom the immense power of prayer until we encounter an overpowering, urgent problem and realize that we are powerless to resolve it. Then we will turn to our Father in humble recognition of our total dependence on Him. It helps to find a secluded place where our feelings can be vocally expressed as long and as intensely as necessary.
I have done that. Once I had an experience that caused me immense anxiety. It had nothing to do with disobedience or transgression but with a vitally important human relationship. For some time I poured my heart out in urgent prayer. Yet try as I might, I could find no solution, no settling of the powerful stirring within me. I pled for help from that Eternal Father I have come to know and trust completely. I could see no path that would provide the calm that is my blessing generally to enjoy. Sleep overcame me. When I awoke, I was totally at peace. Again I knelt in solemn prayer and asked, “Lord, how is it done?” In my heart, I knew the answer was His love and His concern for me. Such is the power of sincere prayer to a compassionate Father.
How Are Prayers Answered?
Often when we pray for help with a significant matter, Heavenly Father will give us gentle promptings that require us to think, exercise faith, work, at times struggle, then act. It is a step-by-step process that enables us to discern inspired answers.
I have discovered that what sometimes seems an impenetrable barrier to communication is a giant step to be taken in trust. Seldom will you receive a complete response all at once. It will come a piece at a time, in packets, so that you will grow in capacity. As each piece is followed in faith, you will be led to other portions until you have the whole answer. That pattern requires you to exercise faith in our Father’s capacity to respond. While sometimes it’s very hard, it results in significant personal growth.
He will always hear your prayers and will invariably answer them. However, His answers will seldom come while you are on your knees praying, even when you may plead for an immediate response. Rather, He will prompt you in quiet moments when the Spirit can most effectively touch your mind and heart. Hence, you should find periods of quiet time to recognize when you are being instructed and strengthened. His pattern causes you to grow.
President David O. McKay testified, “It is true that the answers to our prayers may not always come as direct and at the time, nor in the manner, we anticipate; but they do come, and at a time and in a manner best for the interests of him who offers the supplication.” Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. Your character will grow; your faith will increase. There is a relationship between those two: the greater your faith, the stronger your character; and increased character enhances your ability to exercise even greater faith.
On occasion, the Lord will give you an answer before you ask. This can occur when you are unaware of a danger or may be doing the wrong thing, mistakenly trusting that it is correct.
It is so hard when sincere prayer about something you desire very much is not answered the way you want. It is difficult to understand why your exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life does not grant the desired result. The Savior taught, “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you." At times it is difficult to recognize what is best or expedient for you over time. Your life will be easier when you accept that what God does in your life is for your eternal good.
You are asked to look for an answer to your prayers. Obey the Master’s counsel to “study it out in your mind.” Often you will think of a solution; as you seek confirmation that your answer is right, help will come. It may be through your prayers, or as an impression of the Holy Ghost, and at times by the intervention of others." (End Quote)

I LOVE  the chances which I have to talk with God. I love being able to tell Him how I am doing. Yea He knows already but He loves hearing from us. It brings great joy to Him to see us humble ourselves before Him. When we are in that situation of praying, "O GOD, WHERE ART THOU?" Just remember He is listening and waiting for us always to come before Him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth. I absolutely love the earth our God has created for us to live in. There is so much beauty here. Yea there is some not so beautiful things but hey this is God showing His love for us with all of these beautiful scenes. Just look around the world and see all the different landscapes, cultures, creatures and everything else. It is magnificient. Can you just imagine what God is willing to yet give to us?
I was in a park on Monday and saw these mini waterfalls and wanted a picture. They have come to good use.
Just imagine what it would take to create something as beautiful as this.

Look at these waterfalls. Doesn't that just look so nice. As a missionary that water looks really nice. Hearing the water go over the falls is just so relaxing. The sound of rushing water reminds me of Gods beautiful creations. I just love it. What brings peace into your life? There are many things that bring peace to our lives. We are each different and different things bring us peace. For example some just love to go on a walk in the nature. That is so relaxing and well leave the world at home when you go on that walk. Go in there and just think about your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, think about all of your many blessings. Take a walk with your spouse if you are married and talk about your joys and happiness. Talk about your goals for your kids. Talk about how much you love each other. Just have an enjoyable time and remember the many mercies of our God. This is one of the biggest helps in keeping a marriage strong. Taking that time alone with each other is soo important make sure your spouse truly knows you love them. Take your kids on a walk as a family. Enjoy these memories because I promise you that your kids will, if it is peaceful and enjoyable. It will also be good exercise for you which will keep you healthy. Who hates fresh air like come on now? Maybe it is hot or cold but it is the part of being together. As a family go camping or do something outdoors.
Have you ever taken time to yourself to just ponder? Before my mission when I was frusturated I would take a drive. I would cry my eyes out sometimes, but when I was out I would talk with God. I would put the world to the side and focus on the things that matters most. I remember there was this one time. I had got in a disagreement and I just didn't want to be around for a while. I got in my good ole Cavalier and I went on a drive. I got just outside of town and parked. It was a dark snowy night. I drove on a back road and parked and I just sat there and thought. I pondered what I had in my life and what I was hopefully going to have. I was doubting on going on a mission. I was really nervous, scared and I will be honest I was just loving my life and my job. I didn't want to turn my back on the world. I have now come on my mission and this is the best time of my life thus far. Not only have I learned so much, but I get to see the beautiful state of Tennessee.
I would recommend all just to take some time and ponder about where you are heading, what you are doing and who you want to become. Open your eyes to see who God wants you to become. Do what you know is right. Enjoy the beauty of the earth. God has given us this earth to enjoy it.

ENJOY THE OUTDOORS FOR THEY WERE CREATED FOR YOU AND I!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why should we go to Church?

Many people wonder why we need to go to church. That is a very common concern and well I want to teach the importance of church.

If we go back to the first ten commandments  “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). For an explanation of this commandment, see Sabbath. In Old Testament times what happens when you disobeyed this commandment. "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."(Exodus 31:14-15) The Sabbath was that important to the Savior. Why isn't it now? Today the world looks at the Sabbath as just another day. Yes we worship the Savior on that day but do we all worship Him all day or just while we are at church? On the sabbath the world today live life like any other day. It is not set apart from our normal day activities anymore. Today sports is very common to be played on the Sababath.

In the New Testament when Jesus instituted the sacrament among the twelve apostles. He taught the importance of it.
In Matthew 26:26-28, Christ declared,
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Here, why did Jesus give the sacrament to the disciples? In other religions it is known as communion or last supper. He gave it to them that they would remember Him.

In the Book of Mormon Christ institutes the Sacrament here in the Americas to the Nephites. 3 Nephi 18

"And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat.
 And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.
 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.
 And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.
 And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.
 And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it.
 And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.
 And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.
 And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.
 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.
 But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them.
 Therefore blessed are ye if ye shall keep my commandments, which the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you.
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him."

In Moroni 6:4-6 Moroni declares,
"And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.
 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
 And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus."

Our modern day Prophet and Apostles declare through, Preach My Gospel, about the sabbath Day,
"Our Sabbath-day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God. By keeping the Sabbath day holy, we show God our willingness to keep our covenants. Each Sabbath day we go to the Lord’s house to worship Him. While there we partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We renew our covenants and show that we are willing to repent of our sins and mistakes. On this day, we enjoy a rest from our labors. As we attend Church services and worship together, we strengthen each other. We are renewed by our association with friends and family. Our faith is strengthened as we study the scriptures and learn more about the restored gospel. When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays and all aspects of life are negatively affected. The blessings associated with keeping
the Sabbath day holy are lost. We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and
participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate
the Sabbath. Latter-day Saints should set this holy day apart from activities of the world by entering into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate to the Sabbath. As we endeavor to make their Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, their lives will be filled with joy and peace."

From all of this we learn the most important part of the Sabbath Day is partaking of the Sacrament. Jesus Christ himself told us to do so in remembrance of Him. What more can be said about this holy day. As you look around you, you too can see the difference of Christ being taken out of the world. This is not a positive difference either. This is horrible, shameful and well just not Christian.

"And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full” (D&C 59:9–13)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gratitude for my Blessings

I am just so happy right now in such rough times. Along with many of you, me and my family are going through some tough times but we are so very greatful for these challenges. These challenges are what builds our character. These challenges bring us closer together and show us who our best friends are and what matters most.


I am so thankful for my family first of all. They mean so much to me that there are no words to explain it. I am so thankful for my parents helping me to come on my mission and making it possible for me to be here to help God change peoples lives. My mission means so much to me. I would not give it up for any amount of money. I am so happy I was raised in a big family because it has brought so many great memories and such a big support group. I am thankful for being born of goodly parents in a home which has the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for my family and friends and all who encourage me to come on a mission. All those that encouraged me can truly be called friends. I didn't know why so many people encourage me to come on a mission but I sure know now. I always looked at it as giving up two years of my life. Now I look at it as two of the best years of my life. It is not the best two years but it is two of the best. The best years will be raising my own family one day. I have seen people change. I have seen families become more united than ever before. I have literally seen myself become a new person which I am very thankful for. I am thankful for my mission president and his family for all that they do for me. I am so very thankful for my former mission president who helped me get through my hard times. I am ever so greatful for the Lord sending an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to me which prevented me from making the biggest mistake of my life and going home off my mission. I am thankful for his counsel and advice. I am thankful for this two magnificent years. There are no words to explain it. I am so thankful for my friends I have gained on my mission and their help and encouragment. I am thankful for my leaders as a youth who helped me stay on the strait and narrow path. I am thankful for the Gospel and the blessings and happiness which it has brought into my life. I am just so very thankful for all of the mercies and blessings God has granted to me; whether it be friends, family, trials and challenges, His strength and whatever else. I will never be able to repay Him. The closest thing I can do is keep His commandments and return to live with Him. I can also help raise His sons and daughters.

I am forever thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father! You can never glory too much in our God! "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16) I am honored to be on His errand. I am honored to wear the name of JESUS CHRIST upon my shoulder. There is nothing greater than this. It is a very sacred part of my life. I have never felt so close to my God. There is so much power if we do what we should during this opportunity. My mission was chosen by revelation from God. It was chosen by God through one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life." (3Nephi 5:13) For two years I set my personal life away voluntarily to do the great work of our Lord and Savior. I have set my standards to a higher level so I can be called His disciple. I want people to be able to look at me and say, "He truly is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ." I say this not for boasting but I say this in gratitude for my God. I want to be able to help move His work. It is one step at a time or you might look at it as one soul at a time. I do not come to baptize people into the church. I have come to bring the fold of God back into His arms. I want men and women to come and know their Heavenly Father. I want them to come to know of the mercies of our God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

In the Book of Mormon the prophet Lehi sees a dream. In this dream he sees a large and spacious field which is dark. He sees a tree which shone very bright. He see fruit upon this tree. He sees a rod of iron on the bank of a river. He sees a river and on the other side of a river a large and spacious building. The large and spacious field is like unto the world. The tree of life represents Jesus Christ. The fruit on the tree represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The rod of iron represent the Word of God. The large and spacious building represents the pride of the world. The people in the building were mocking and laughing at them that partook of the fruit. As Lehi followed the iron rod he came to the tree and partook of the fruit. Those that partook of the fruit were ashamed at those who were in the building scoffing them. Lehi said of this experience,
Image"And it came to pass that I beheld a tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I have ever tasted... And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruits." (1 Nephi 8:10-12)

Brethren and Sisters in the Lord, I know that the Atonement makes one happy. I know that this fruit is desirable above all other fruits. This is why I have come to share this Gospel. I know that if you so desire you to can come to know of this exceeding joy. I am greatful for everything I have. I am most greatful for the knowledge of my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone is greatful for all that they have. I hope you thank God for those boulders and pebbles He puts in your path. We may not see the big picture now. We may not understand why this happens to us. We definitely should not complain about them because that is taking away from the growth you may have received in your character.Now we are not perfect but we can be through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Let us always look at things positively. Always remember how merciful the Lord hath been from Adam down until now.  I pray you may receive strength to conquer your challenges through Christ Jesus. I pray that God will watch over you and keep you close to Him as you do what He has asked. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CHASTITY

Why are we to keep ourselves chaste? Kids will ask my friends do this why can't I?
Bringing Morals Back (black t Bumper Sticker
What does Sexual Purity mean? Chastity is sexual purity. Those who are chaste are morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions. Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage.

Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love within marriage.
In the world today, Satan has led many people to believe that sexual intimacy outside of marriage is acceptable. But in God's sight, it is a serious sin. It is an abuse of the power He has given us to create life. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder and denying the Holy Ghost (see Alma 39:3-5).
Sometimes people try to convince themselves that sexual relations outside of marriage are acceptable if the participants love one another. This is not true. Breaking the law of chastity and encouraging someone else to do so is not an expression of love. People who love each other will never endanger one another's happiness and safety in exchange for temporary personal pleasure.
When people care for one another enough to keep the law of chastity, their love, trust, and commitment increase, resulting in greater happiness and unity. In contrast, relationships built on sexual immorality sour quickly. Those who engage in sexual immorality often feel fear, guilt, and shame. Bitterness, jealousy, and hatred soon replace any positive feelings that once existed in their relationship.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How can we most effectively prepare for the struggles of life?

I have pondered recently about how I can better prepare for the future. Oh no the future it is going to be wicked! Literally wicked! We are warned about earthquakes in divers places and different things to come. We are warned that even the very elect may be deceived in the last days, but we also know how we can get through this.
 There is a specific story in the Book of Mormon that shows us courage, strength, obedience, trust in God... In Alma 48 Captain Moroni is preparing his people to defend themselves against the wicked blood thirsty people. Moroni was the captain of the Nephites.
"And thus he(Amalickiah) did inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the latter end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having accomplished his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the Lamanites, he sought also to reign over all the land, yea, and all the people who were in the land, the Nephites as well as the Lamanites.
 Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.
 For he was determined, because of the greatness of the number of his people, to overpower the Nephites and to bring them into bondage.
 And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies.
 And it came to pass that they took their camp, and moved forth toward the land of Zarahemla in the wilderness.
 Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.

Captain Moroni

 Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.
 And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
 And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians.
And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
 Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.
 Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.
 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.
 And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;
 And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

As we notice in verse 7 while Amalickiah was obtaining power illegally Captain Moroni was preparing his army spiritually. He prepared the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God. Why this? Well here is a principle for life. If we truly prepare spiritually we will have nothing to worry about. If we will have faith and trust in God in all things and be living worthy of His protection and guidance, He will give it to us. That is a principle always to remember. He has so many blessings ready for us to have but we don't allow ourselves to receive them because of personal wickedness.
"Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time" Quentin L. Cook, An Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ

In the New Testament in Matthew 6:33 and Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 13:33 it states, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Here we have a promise that if we seek the Kingdom of Heaven there will be nothing to worry about. That means we have to humble ourselves, strip ourselves of pride, get rid of sin and trust wholly upon the merits of Christ. If we study the doctrine and continually strive to live perfectly we will have the blessings of Heaven.

In our day do we spend our time preparing for eternal life with God? Do we truly study the scriptures? Are we truly preparing for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ? If so good job!

Back to the question of preparing for struggles. So in life to prepare for the hard times whether it be financial, marital, physical or spiritual we need to first prepare spiritually. We need to know the scriptures truly know them. When we truly know them we won't question God why things happen the way they do, because we will already know it is part of His plan. Even in the busiest part of life we should give a certain amount of time everyday to focus our mind on studying the Gospel. This is what Paul (an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) said to his son Timothy about studying. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
Do we truly prepare for our hectic lives by including God in them? Alma said to his son Helaman.
 "O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 37:35-37)
Notice how this scripture says counsel with the Lord not counsel the Lord.

Well just remember when we keep His commandments He will take care of us. That is His promise to us. Remember when we follow Jesus Christ our lives are in our Heavenly Fathers hands.

This is a video about a family who was having infertility problems and how they got through such hard times.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How can I Strengthen my Relationship with my Wife?

This is another question that I get asked a lot. So I have pondered and continually ponder this also. For one day I will be married and I will have to know what to do. Here are some basic points that I came up with after reading talks from Apostles of the Lord.

These are again just ideas, you have to put forth the desire to strengthen the relationship first.
  • TEMPLE MARRIAGE
  • COMPLETE FIDELITY
  • ATTEND TEMPLE REGULARLY (TOGETHER)
  • DATE NIGHT FREQUENTLY
  • SCRIPTURE STUDY AND PRAYER DAILY (TOGETHER)
  • LOVE ONE ANOTHER
  • SERVE ONE ANOTHER
  • THE POWERS OF PRO-CREATION ARE SACRED AND ARE TO BE PROTECTED
  • NOT SO MUCH MARRYING THE RIGHT PERSON, BUT BEING THE RIGHT PERSON
  • EXERCISE FAITH
  • CHOOSE YOUR LOVE, LOVE YOUR CHOICE
  • PARENTING MANUAL=SCRIPTURES
  • TEACH CHILDREN IN LOVE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
  • MOTHER HAVE THE DIVINE POWER TO KNOW HOW TO HELP CHILDREN
  • TEACH CHILDREN PRINCIPLE OF THE GOSPEL (TOGETHER)
  • BASK IN THE SPIRIT TOGETHER
  • ENJOY THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS BECAUSE LOVE IS A COMMITMENT. IF YOU TRULY LOVE HER, YOU WON'T LET ANYTHING GET IN BETWEEN YOU
  • COMFORT YOUR WIFE AT ALL TIMES
  • YOUR WIFE IS A SPECIAL DAUGHTER OF GOD, YOU BETTER TAKE CARE OF HER
Mark 10:6-8 states, "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain but one flesh."
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, "A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection.
Whatever the outcome and no matter how difficult your experiences, you have the promise that you will not be denied the blessings of eternal family relationships if you love the Lord, keep His commandments, and just do the best you can. From personal experience, I testify to the sweetness of the marriage and family life that the family proclamation describes as founded upon a husband and wife’s “solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children” and “upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."

President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage … means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all.”

Bountiful Utah Temple Sealing Room. This is where couples are sealed together for time and all eternity.
 Richard W. Linford said,
"Twenty Ways to Make a Good Marriage Great"
1. Night and Morning Prayer … to say thanks, to ask for help in your marriage and family, to worship together.
2. A Weekly Planning Meeting … to discuss the calendar, talk over needs and problems, decide priorities and next steps. (Write decisions in a journal, including goals and discussion topics, and reasons for each.)
3. A Daily Phone Call or Personal Conversation … to say “I love you,” to touch base, to discuss the day, to show you care.
4. A Weekly Date … to a favorite park, a concert, the library, the gym; or staying home for a candlelight dinner, a game, or a mutual hobby.
5. Patience Regardless … of missed meals, tardiness, forgotten favors, a thoughtless remark, impatience.
6. Daily Service … helping with house or yard work, mending a piece of clothing, taking a turn with the sick baby, fixing a favorite meal. (Write it down. Do it!)
7. A Budget … to tie down income and expenses, help set financial goals, and give you control over your finances.
8. Listening … not only to what is said, but also to what is meant.
9. Regular Attendance … at church—and where possible—the temple.
10. Daily Scripture Reading … to learn the gospel, to receive inspiration for yourself and your marriage, to become more like Jesus.
11. Working Together … caring for a garden, painting a bedroom, washing the car, scrubbing floors, building a piece of furniture, writing a poem together, team teaching a class.
12. Forgiving Each Other … always learning from each other, trying a different way, being the first to make peace.
13. Courtesies … like saying please and thank you, not interrupting or belittling, not doing all the talking, continuing the niceties of courtship.
14. Soft and Kind Words … of tenderness, compassion, empathy.
15. Learning Together by … reading to each other, discussing ideas, taking a class.
16. Respecting … opinions, ideas, privacy.
17. Supporting Your Spouse’s … Church callings and righteous goals.
18. Caring for Your Spouse’s Family by … enjoying their company, praying for them, serving them, overlooking differences.
19. Occasional Gifts … such as a note, a needed item—but mostly gifts of time and self.
20. Loving with All Your Heart. “Thou shalt love thy wife [thy husband] with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her [him] and none else.” (D&C 42:22.)

Marriages are Eternal and are meant to be that way from the beginning of this world.