Friday, April 13, 2012

Things That Matter Most

     I made this blog a little over a year ago and I thought it would be a good time for a re-post. If you've already read it, enjoy it again!
     With another General Conference quickly approaching I have reflected on the lessons that I learned during the previous conference 6 months ago. My favorite talk was called "Of Things That Matter Most" given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He related a story about airplanes and turbulence:
     "Have you ever been in an airplane and experienced turbulence? The most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in air movement causing the aircraft to pitch, yaw, and roll. While planes are built to withstand far greater turbulence than anything you would encounter on a regular flight, it still may be disconcerting to passengers.
What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road. Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions."
     I love this comparison! It's so easy for us to speed up and try to do more than we can, and this often results in skipping out on the things that matter most. So what is it that we should focus on? What is it that really matters most? President Uchtdorf talked about four key relationships we should focus on, but I'd like to talk about two of them.
     The first is our relationship with God. God is our loving Heavenly Father and we should seek to build our relationship with him just as we would with our earthly father. To do this we can read his advice and his words given to us by prophets and in the scriptures. We can also talk with him directly through prayer and receive answers back.
     The second is our relationship with family. We know that our families can be together forever and that is a great blessing. President Uchtdorf gave a few suggestions about how we can strengthen our family relationships: "We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other. We learn from each other, and we appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities. We establish a divine bond with each other as we approach God together through family prayer, gospel study, and Sunday worship."
     I know this is true! Now see how you can apply it in your life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Are Mormons Christians???

     I try not to put long posts on my blog, but this is an exception.  "The Living Christ" is the testimony of the modern prophet and Apostles on the earth today regarding their belief in the Savior. I wanted to post this to clear up any doubt as to whether members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (including myself) believe in Jesus Christ. It is a little longer, but I promise it will be well worth the read.  

      As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.
He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.
We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.
He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).
Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).
Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).
We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).
We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.
We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

The First Presidency

Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

January 1, 2000

The Quorum Of The Twelve

Boyd K. Packer
L. Tom Perry
David B. Haight
Neal A. Maxwell
Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
M. Russell Ballard
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Richard G. Scott
Robert D. Hales
Jefferey R. Holland
Henry B. Eyering

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Don't Give Up!

     Have you ever had a time when you wanted to make a good choice and it seemed that everything was working to keep you from it? From the scriptures we learn about a couple of different stories where others faced a similar situation and how they made it through. I'll share the first and the second is in video form at the end.
     The first involves the young boy, Joseph Smith. As he was seeking answers from God about what was true he faced intense opposition from Satan. He related, "After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go... I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which overcame me... Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my power to call upon God to deliver me.., and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair... I saw a pillar of light." (JSH 1:15-16)
     Just prior to having one of the greatest spiritual experiences of his life, we see that Joseph Smith faced some of the greatest opposition. It may be this way for you too. When you want to be baptized, come back to church or go to the temple, you may face intense opposition to keep you from doing so. Clearly that opposition comes from Satan who wants everyone to "be miserable like unto himself," and if he can keep you from doing such things, he will win.
      If you aren't perfect the first time you try, that's okay. Keep on trying. Don't give up. Continue to "call upon God" just as Joseph did. Don't let Satan bring you down. Know that you have a far more powerful being on your side, your Heavenly Father, who will help you overcome the opposition you face. He will help you to make it through as you turn to him. I personally know this is true and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ.

     For another example of this watch the following video relating Moses' experience with opposition from Satan.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Back to the Basics- The Gift of the Holy Ghost

     In my recent post about baptism, I talked about the need to be "born of water and of the spirit". This post will focus on being being "of the spirit". In the book of Acts in the New Testament we learn from Peter that we need to "repent, and be baptized... and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Being 'born of the spirit' is receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.
     The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead and a personage of spirit. He can only be in one place at a time, but his influence can be everywhere at the same time. The Holy Ghost is our Heavenly Father's messenger and is a special gift to us. He can guide and direct us and teach us what is true. We read in the Book of Mormon that "by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:5) That makes the Holy Ghost extremely important in our lives. With so many ideas and different teachings floating around we are promised a way that we can know what is right.
     So what must you do to have such a gift?? Prior to receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost you must be baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God. Following baptism someone who holds the priesthood lays their hands on your head and will give you the gift of the Holy Ghost just as Paul did in the New Testament. (Acts 19:6) At that time you will have the Holy Ghost to be with you at all times, so long as you remain worthy.
     I am grateful for the ways that the Holy Ghost has blessed my life. I know that there have been many times when it has guided me to avoid a bad situation or to go and do something that my Heavenly Father would want me to do. I know that the Holy Ghost plays a significant impact in my life and I know it can do the same for you.
     This video will show how others have felt the Holy Ghost, aka the Holy Spirit, in their lives and how it has helped them. Enjoy!

Want to learn more about the Holy Ghost??
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wise Men Still Seek Him

#1015 - Wise Men Still Seek Him     I've seen this sign up in many homes and I've always enjoyed it. Now there is even a video to go along with it. You hear this all the time during the holidays, but this video truly makes you think about the reason for the season. Enjoy it and then go and do something for someone else during this wonderful time of year! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Christmas Gift to Everyone- The Book of Mormon!

     You see me post things about The Book of Mormon all the time, right? Why do you think I would do that? Well here is the reason... Watch the video and see how it changed this man's life. Then request a free copy and see how it can change your life for the better! Think of it as a free Christmas gift to everyone. 
I promise it will bring you more happiness as it helps you to come even closer to Jesus Christ. Now that's a good gift!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back to the Basics- Baptism

     Jesus Christ taught us in the New Testament, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:3-5) In this post I am going to focus on being "born of water." To be 'born of water' is to be baptized. Baptism is a ceremony in which you are "buried in the water" (only for a quick second) and then you come out of the water. Baptism serves as a symbol of your old life passing away and being "born again" as a follower of Jesus Christ. An important aspect of baptism is that it must be performed by the proper priesthood authority (3 Nephi 11:21). In a sense, the authority is like having God's permission to do something in his name. Baptism is also the first covenant, or promise, that you make to your Heavenly Father. In this covenant, you promise to do three things:
1. Be willing to take Christ's name upon you.
2. Always remember Jesus Christ.
3. Keep his commandments.
The cool thing about making a promise to God is that when we keep our end of it, he will ALWAYS keep his. When we are baptized we promise to do our part (the 3 things listed above), and in return our Heavenly Father promises us certain things as well:
1. We are washed clean of our sins! It's literally like having a clean slate.
2. We can have the Holy Ghost (aka Holy Spirit) to be with us always. (I'll talk more about this in the next post.)
     So baptism is the first step you make in following Christ. It shows your willingness to be obedient and follow God's commandments and in return it brings great blessings into your life. Imagine being forgiven for all of your sins and anything bad you have done. That is the power of following Jesus Christ. Take that step of faith and follow him by being baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority authority. I promise it will be the first step you take to finding true happiness in this life.
Want to learn more about this?? Click here to chat with missionaries online or request to have them come to your home. I know it will be a good experience for you!