Wednesday, November 24, 2010

GIVE THANKS

I have always loved the Holiday season. I love being with loved ones and eating good food. But what I love the most is the Traditions my own Family has. I look forward to the same thing year after year.

One Tradition my Family has might be thought of as strange, but instead of Turkey and the normal meal associated with Thanksgiving we have SEAFOOD. My Dad decided one year that if he was going to give thanks he might as well do it with something that he is Thankful for. So from that time on we have had crab and shrimp on Thanksgiving. That is something that I have loved and will miss this year.

Although I am long for home and many of my traditions will not be kept this year I have have been excited for the up coming Holiday. I look forward to spending time with Loved ones, although they are not my family they are loved ones.

I thank them for inviting me into their home and allowing me to partake in their Thanksgiving Traditions. I'm grateful for the love that they show me and for the friendships I have made while I have been here. They all  are on my gratitude list this year.

This year I am also Grateful for:

Companions, Friends, The Gospel, The oppertunity I have to serve a Mission, The people I have met in Michigan, the Book of Mormon, Family, The priesthood.... I think my list could go on and on. But what I am most greatful for is for the Savior and all that he sacrificed for me and for the Love of our Heavenly Father.

We have so many reasons to give thanks if we just stop and think for a moment. So admid all the Family, fun Traditions, and the food, Take the time to really focus on the blessings you have recieved this past year. Take time to recoginize all that you have been given and the spirit of the season will be felt in your home.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Renpentance: Can I be Forgiven?

I find it interesting how Satan entices people to sin. He would have one to believe that a little sin is ok.  "Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." (2 Nephi 28:8) He wants wants us to believe that telling one little lie will not hurt us, but we all know that that one lie leads to more and more until we are trapped.  This same pattern is used for stealing, cheating, pornography and many more sins.

Once we are trapped, Satan tries to keep us bound by telling us that we cannot be forgiven. He wants us to think that we have gone to far and committed to much sin that there is no way we can be clean again. That even the Atonement can not help us, that Christ is not there and there is no hope for us. He wants us to feel it is too late.

BUT THIS IS A LIE!

Christ is always there for us. His atonement has both healing and cleansing powers. We can break the chains that bind us and become Free again as we turn to the Lord. It is not to late.

One story from the Book of Mormon illustrates this perfectly. Alma the younger and the four sons of Mosiah were the "vilest of sinners." They were idolatrous men, and lead many away to do iniquity by speaking flattering words to the people, "giving a chance for the enemy of God [Satan] to exercise his power over them." They rebelled against God and tried to destroy the church. They were very wicked men.

In the Mercy of the Lord the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger were spared. For those who might not know the story an Angel of the Lord Appeared to them and declared unto them that the church was the Lords and also that the Power and Authority of God is real.

Alma the younger had the opportunity to repent and he explains his experience as such: "My soul was racked with eternal torment: but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more."

Repentance for Alma the Younger was not easy  but it was possible. After the repentance process he no longer felt pained or burdened. He was healed and made clean and pure again.

Although we might not have an Angel of the Lord Appear to us, we to may repent and be healed through Christ's Atonement .

To Repent we must:

1. Recognize our Sins
2. Feel Sorrow for our sins
3. Forsake (stop) our sinning
4. Confess sin to the Lord & person we sinned Against
5. Make Restitution (Do all that is possible to make right our wrong)
6.Forgive others
7. Then keep the Commandments (Go and sin no more)

I know that we can be forgiven of our sins we have committed. I know that through the Power of the Atonement we can be made Clean and Pure and be healed. I know that Christ is there and if we turn to him he can give us strengthen to break the chains that bind us we can have our soul Pained no more.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I BELIEVE IN CHRIST

While I was serving in Caro I came in contact with a person who thought I did not worship Jesus Christ. Even though my name tag clearly has His name on it as well she just didn't believe that I believed in Christ. I want everyone to know that he is who I worship. Please enjoy the movie.



video

Friday, November 5, 2010

Seminary Donuts

I thought I would share a story I have always enjoyed:

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In this Seminary classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson’s Seminary class. Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over. One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, “You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?” Steve’s answer was, “Yeah, I do.” Then Brother Christianson asked, “How many push-ups can you do?” Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.” “200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Brother Christianson said. “Do you think you could do 300?” Steve replied, “I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.” “Do you think you could?” Again asked Brother Christianson. “Well, I can try,” said Steve. “Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,” Brother Christianson said. Steve said, “Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.” Brother Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday.”
Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited–it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend. Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want a donut?” Cynthia said, “Yes.” Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?” Steve said, “Sure,” and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten.
Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk. Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe do you want a donut?” Joe said, “Yes.” Bro. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push ups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When Bro. Christianson asked, “Scott do you want a donut?” Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own push ups?” Bro. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.” Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.” Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?” Steve started to do ten push ups. Scott said, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!” Bro. Christianson said, “Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row.
Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?” Jenny said, “No.” Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten push ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut. By now, the students were beginning to say “No” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these push ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved. Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten push ups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely. Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it. Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set. Steve asked Bro. Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?” Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, “Well, they’re your push ups. You can do them any way that you want.” And Bro. Christianson went on.
A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, “NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!” Jason didn’t know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.” Bro. Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push ups for him.” Steve said, “Yes, let him come in.” Bro. Christianson said, “Okay, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?” “Yes.” “Steve, will you do ten push ups so that Jason can have a donut?” Steve did ten push ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down. Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each push up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room. The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, “Linda, do you want a doughnut? Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.” Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten push ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?” Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push ups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. “Susan, do you want a donut?” Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, “Bro. Christianson , can I help him?” Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, “No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten push ups so Susan can have a donut?” As Steve very slowly finished his last push up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.”

I am So grateful for the Savior who Atoned for each and everyone of us. He truly showed us a great amount of love to suffered so that we all may have the opportunity to repent and partake of the Atonement and one day return to live with our Heavenly Father Again. It was a gift that he freely gave. So please partake in it because he suffered for you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eternal Life and Joy What is worth to You?

This last week I studied Alma chapter 22 in my personal study. In this chapter Aaron teaches King Lamoni's Father about our Heavenly Father and how we can gain eternal life through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Aaron taught that if you repent and follow after Christ you can inherit Eternal Life and live again with our Heavenly Father and Son Jesus Christ. However if you do not "ye shall be cast off at the last day." (Alma 22:6)

After teaching, King Lamoni's Father "said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy. But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest." (Alma 22:15-16)

As I read the story this time through it was interesting that he was willing to give up everything including his kingdom so he could obtain eternal life. It made me reflect on "What am I willing to give up for the kingdom of Heaven that I'm holding on to?"

So I pose the question to you " What are you willing to give up for Eternal Life and the happiness that our Heavenly Father has promised you?"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There Is Beauty All Around

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done Do you lie in your bed, With the next hundred chores Running through your Head?  
Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die Cause you never had time, to call and say "Hi"?
When you run so fast to get somewhere, You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower

I am so grateful for all the beauty around us. My advise to all is to take time and notice the beauty. Weather it is in spending some time with your children or going for an evening walk. Spend some time enjoying the beauties of life and slow down a little.