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.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Salute

This Sunday we went to Lansing Stake Conference and a New Convert was asked to share their own Conversion story with the congregation. She proceed to tell about several of her friends who were members and who helped to introduce her to the Church. At first she was very reluctant and said "You will not Convert me!" She proceeded to tell of how her conversion took place and later said "I stand before you today to tell you my Friends did not convert me!" That it was the Holy Ghost."

We know that it is only the "*power of the Holy Ghost [who can] carry [the truth] unto the hearts of the children of men." The Holy Ghost is the only one who will let you "**know the truth of all things". Or in other words he is the only one who can truly help to convert people.

But those who are learning the Gospel must Harken unto the feeling and promptings of the Holy Ghost. And to Harken means that we not only listen but we act upon those promptings.

So Today I Salute all of the converts who have taken a leap of Faith and have asked our Heavenly Father about the truthfulness of the the Gospel and  have acted upon those feelings. I express thanks to all the member missionaries who have acted upon the promptings of the Spirit in Faith and opened your mouth to Share the Gospel with Family members and friends. And I thank my heavenly Father who has allowed the Holy Ghost to touch so many hearts and has allowed his children to experience the Joy the Gospel Brings.

*2 Nephi 33:1  ** Moroni 10:5

Friday, October 8, 2010

"I Know exactly how you Feel"

When I was younger I would cringe at the statement "I Know exactly how you Feel." For how could anyone except for me know how I truly feel. Yes you can have empathy for me and try to understand what I'm feeling or you could have gone through a similar experience but you can not know 100% of the feeling I have.

jesus-in-gethsemaneAs I've studied the Atonement on my mission I have come to truly understand that Christ does fully understand what we go through on a daily basis. He knows exactly. In Alma Chapter 7 verses 11-13 we learn  that Christ went "forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance."

We learn that Christ took on more than just our sins, he's taken every pain, sickness, temptation, and every thing we feel. And he did this so that he can Succor us or in other words so that he can run to our aid and give us comfort and peace.

Another Scripture I've fallen in Love with on my mission is Mosiah 14: 4-5 wich reads "Surely he has borne our  griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Our Loving Savior SUFFERED, BLED, AND GAVE UP HIS OWN LIFE so that if we repent and Follow him we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. He did it so he could know exactly how we feel so he could give us the comfort and peace that we all need in this life. He did it so we could all be resurrected. He did it because he Loves us.

I thought I would share the Lyrics of this song with all of you

He lived 2000 years ago…I believe
So how could he truly know me
Though the son of God, my life, my friend
Still it’s hard for me to comprehend
And I wonder
How could He know the heartache I feel
When He lived a perfect life
From Gesthemene to Calvary
Was it really for me that He died
Then the Spirit whispers
These words ringing true
From the garden to the cross
He walked a mile in my shoes
Down on His knees in the garden that night
With tear-stained eyes
He lived each moment of our lives
Every fear and insecurity
That I’ve ever known
My every fallen moment, He has atoned
Still I wonder
How could He know the heartache I feel
When He lived a perfect life
From Gesthemene to Calvary
Was it really for me that He died
Then the Spirit whispers
These words ringing true
From the garden to the cross
He walked a mile in my shoes

I am thankful for the savior and all he does for me.And I know as we turn to him we will be succored.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Parents Prayers and Faith

This Last week I finished studying Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. In Chapter 27 it tells of Alma the younger and the four sons of Mosiah and how they tried to destroy the Church. They were very wicked men who led many people astray.

As thy went "about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them... Nevertheless he cried again, saying: Alma ... why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said:  This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people. And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." (Mosiah 27: 11-14).

For those who don't know the rest of the story Alma the younger and the four sons of Mosiah repent of their transgressions and become some of the most amazing and successful Missionaries.

This story has always taught me several things including that it is never to late too repent. No matter how wicked you have been in your life before you can still come in to the Gospel and repent of your sins and become clean again.

This time as I read it I noticed how it spoke of the prayer of his servant and especially of his Father. His Father and the servants of the Lord prayed and had Faith that the Lord would answer their prayers.

Image of a family kneeling in prayer togetherIt made me think of my own parents and how they always prayed for their children. Before we started our day we would kneel as a family in prayer. I remember when it was my Parents turn they would pray for each of their children for our struggles we would face and blessings that we needed. I also know they prayed when I was gone for my safety and welfare because I saw the protection and blessing through out my day.

Although at times I wasn't completely worthy of the blessing I received I know because of the faith my parents and the prayers they said in my behalf that I was protected, guided and blessed.

So Mom and Dad Thank you so much for your faithfulness and faith you had to know that the Lord would answer. And to all the rest of the Parents out there Pray for your children. Even when it's discouraging and you feel like they might never return "to the path of righteousness" keep praying For the Lord does hear your prayers and answers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Understanding Obedience

The last few days I have been studying obedience in my personal study. I know that our Heavenly Father gives us commandments for our benefit. In the Doctrine and Covenants Section 82: 9-10 we learn that commandments are "directions how [we] may act before [the Lord]." for our own salvation. We also learn that when we obey the Lord is bound or in other words must bless us.

For me, as some of you that know me well can testify, obedience is hard especially when I don't understand exactly why I must obey. Commandments like the Word of Wisdom I know will keep my body healthy and is much easier for me to obey with exactness and not complain about. Or Keeping the Sabbath day holy gives both my body and spirit a day of rest and prepares me for the upcoming week.

Although there are other commandments / rules/ laws I have a hard time obeying with out understanding. For example some of the mission rules I don't fully understand. I don't understand why we can not listen to music other than hymns, primary music, Mormon Tabernacle, and Especially for Youth. It's been a hard struggle for me because there is other music that draws my thoughts and feelings to the Savior.

This week as I studied obedience I learned that it is only through obedience that we obtain any blessing from our Heavenly Father. In Doctrine and Covenants Section 130: 20 -21 it reads "There is a  law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

So it hit me! Even though I might not not fully understand why I must obey certain commandments / rules / laws that if I want blessings I must obey. I know that when we obey we will be blessed because the Lord is bound. And now I understand.