Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kids And Christmas

If you want more detail of what happened at birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, read the Book of Matthew, chapter 1, verses 18-25 and chapter 2, and the Book of Luke, chapter 2. Do you want to know what happened on the American continent when the Savior was born? You can instant message a representative of Jesus Christ by clicking on this link to find out: Talk To A Representative Now!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'd Like To Bear My Testimony...

I just wanted to share and bear my testimony on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it's affected my life up to this point. Hopefully what I say may influence others to both come unto Christ and to share what they've learned while doing so.

I know that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Advocate with our Heavenly Father, our Counselor, our Friend, and our Brother. He loves us with an infinite love, so much so that he was willing to take upon Himself the sickness, pains, and sins of all the world. He was willing to die for us. He was willing to be a wonderful example to all the world. I love Him and I owe my life to Him. I would not be out here on a mission, being a representative of Him, if I didn't KNOW that He was The Christ. I know He was raised from the grave, and I know he directs this church that he set up from On High.

I have a love and a testimony of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that with him saying a simple but powerful prayer, it gave birth to a whole new dispensation, The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times that was prophesied by Isaiah, Danial, Malachi, Paul, John, and others. I have a testimony that through Joseph Smith, we have received more truth than ever before, truth that would have been unknown to the world. I know that when Joseph Smith died, the church did not die as the Lord had promised. The persecutors of the church tried everything they could to stop this wonderful work from progressing, but God's purpose, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, was not going to be stopped by anyone. I know that through a continuing succession of authority, Prophets are still called by God to help direct His work.

I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I know that, just like the Bible, it was an inspired book that was written by Prophets from the American continent. I know that Joseph Smith did not write it, but he translated it. I know that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of this church's religion, structure, and Gospel. I know that if you want to know if this is the true church, all you have to do is read, search, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon and you will receive an answer that it is by the Holy Ghost. I have received such an answer. I know that the Book of Mormon has been attacked, deconstructed, and has been torn apart by almost every religious sect around the world. It stands next to the Bible as a witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives, and that He loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.

I love this church. It has brought more happiness into my life than I have ever felt before. I wasn't always sure I would go on a mission, but I know that I am a lot happier because of my decision to do so. I love this work. I love the Lord, and in Him will my soul delight. I love my family and I know that through this wonderful Gospel, and through the Plan of Happiness that our Father in Heaven has set up for us, we can live in peace, knowing where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. I bear witness that these things are true. I am a representative of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Himself. I KNOW these things are true.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered...?

As both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and non-members alike, we always want answers to our own personal questions, some of which the scriptures don't cover as a topic of discussion. It is interesting to note that sometimes we don't seem to think to pray, and even when we do, we don't always receive an answer. Though we may not receive an answer right away, or receive an answer that we don't recognize, God does answer our prayers.

Let's look at the first problem mentioned above, receiving an answer. We know that we should pray when we want spiritual truth, but sometimes we don't necessarily receive an answer. Some of those possibilities may be surprising. Doctrine and Covenants 9: 7-8 says, "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. (8) But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." So there is the first thing we ought to do. We can't just ask, then expect God to give us the answer without doing anything for it. We have to search it out. Who knows, maybe our answer CAN be found in the scriptures. Now, let's look at a different point. Maybe you're not having the right method of receiving your answer. For example, in 3 Nephi 18: 21 it says, "Pray...unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." So there's point number one. Pray to God the Father, having your prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Another method can be found in Moroni 10: 4 which says, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." There it is, ask God, in the name of Christ, with a sincere heart (which means REALLY wanting to know, not having the state of mind that 'That is what they told me to do'), with real intent (which means actually willing to go through with the answer that you receive), and have faith in Christ. THEN you will receive your answer.

Now let's look at the second of those points, recognizing those answers. We will feel different things when we receive answers to our prayers. Feelings, inclinations, impressions, and thoughts can be some of those answers. Feelings include such things as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5: 22-23). If you receive one or more of those kinds of feelings, you could be receiving your answer. Like I said earlier, you have to search for the answer, AND pray. If we search for the answer in the scriptures after we pray, we could "just happen" to come upon the answer we were looking for. That is also another way God can talk to us. If he has already talked to somebody else about that same thing in the scriptures, that's where you're going to find your answer.

These and many more are ways that you can receive spiritual enlightenment and find answers to many of life's difficult questions. As you pray with faith, our loving Father in Heaven WILL hear you, and he WILL answer you prayers in His own due time. "Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (3 Nephi 14:7).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Death Is Not The End

Being crushed by the pains of death can be overwhelming when it hits you. Not only does it crush you, but also your outlook on life itself. Life moves slower, your miserable, and you just can't seem to understand why everyone around you seems so happy. Luckily, we have Someone that can be by our side whenever we want Him to, Someone that will love us unconditionally, Someone who has died for you, our Savior.

Though He won't be around to literally put His arms around you, he wants the best for you. Just as a shepherd looks after each one of his sheep, our Savior looks out for each and every one of us. When we wander off the road, or we need to be comforted, He will be there to heal our wounds, touch our hearts, and lighten our burdens.

Being able to access these gifts is easier than one might think. These blessings are available to all of us. One thing that we want when we experience death of a loved one is to know that we are not alone. With the very Lord at our side, we are never alone. He will be there to help guide us through our lives while we are struggling. Read this poem:

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he
questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when
I needed you most, you would leave me."

The Lord replied,
"My precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Another thing that happens when we experience the passing of a loved one is wanting to be miserable. We want others to notice our misery so they can comfort us and give us attention. We figure, the more we look and act miserable, the more pity we'll get, the more attention we'll get, the better we'll feel. Well, it turns out that being miserable is not the answer at all. In fact, it's the exact opposite you want to do. Sometimes we go through trials that will better help us help someone else going through a similar problem. What we need to do is learn from the experience we've just gone through. Yes, it is good to mourn for a short time. We need it to fully heal ourselves, but we need to climb out of that mournful state and get back to life as soon as we can. As we climb out of our mournful state, there may be things that tell us we need to go back to being miserable. We cannot fall into that trap. When we are miserable, there is absolutely no room for growth. When we grow, we learn. When we learn, we can help others. And when we help others, we help God bring His children, us, closer to Him.

Death is only a temporary separator between us. We will see our loved ones again. They will be the same people they were before. I bear witness of that, for it is God's Plan of Salvation for us all, His blessed Children.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your "Some Day" Will Come

Something that has been on my mind recently is that people can be so miserable all around us and they don't quite know how to solve it. We all go through trials throughout our lives that will weigh us down, tear us up, and damage our spirituality. Tough as it may be to see, these trials can always be for our good. Looking at these trials in a beneficial way is how you can overcome all trials, both current and future.

God gives no commandment unto us, His children, that he knows we can't accomplish. As we do these commandments, He promises us that He "doth immediately bless you" for keeping His commandments (Mosiah 2:24). Though you may not see it right away, God's promises are absolute and true. Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be blessed? Obey the commandments.

Service is a special opportunity to uplift one another, including yourself. Scientists have researched the impact of service on the human brain. They found that those who do the service find themselves to be happier than those who have received the service. I know (because I have experienced it) that the evidence that those scientists have found is true. I know that by doing service, you will focus less on yourself, be happier overall, and fulfill the promise that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).

Another thing you can do is pray. Prayer is the way you can communicate with our Heavenly Father. He is going to listen to you no matter your situation or even where you are. He will always be there to listen. As you pray, you can pray for the peace to get through any trial. Christ said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Praying specifically for peace, and having the faith to receive it, will let you feel of that peace.

Though there may be many more things that can be done to come out of our trials with an uplifted spirit, we can always know that we are the children of a loving Heavenly Father. An Apostle of the Lord, Deiter F. Uchtdorf, said, "He loves us with an infinite love. He wants the best for you." As soon as you really learn and realize this, you can start to feel of His love in your everyday life. I bear witness of this and I know it to be true. I know because I have lived it. I invite all of you to live in His love, and I know he will bless you tremendously.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hello to All

I wanted to bear my testimony about missionary work. It doesn't matter how old, young, or able you are, it is always possible to be a missionary. My definition of being a missionary is someone who shares the Gospel. It's that easy. Many times during the day, you can talk to someone about the Gospel and spark some interest in them. You never know what lives you could affect. Missionary work is some of the most satisfying work because you are working for the Lord. As his servant, he will bless you for the things that you accomplish, especially for bringing some of God's children back to Him. For this work, I am eternally grateful because it has already affected my life and my family. I love it. Now it's your turn to go out and have somebody come unto Christ. Show them the way to pure happiness, pure joy, and pure love, only accessable through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.