Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Family, Isn't It About - Time?

I love this video because it shows that no matter what situation we're in, whether it be serious, or even fun, we should always be there for our family. It really is all about time. There have been many people who have said that time moves too fast. Take the opportunity to tell a family member you love them. In the words of Shakespeare,"They do not love that do not show their love." It is my testimony that more family time will increase the happiness in your home. I know this because it's been proven in my own home as well as in broken homes that have been fixed. I know this is true.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How To Receive Blessings: 101

Occasionally, people will ask me how to receive the blessings of the Lord, and how we know about the blessings that are there. I answered as plain and simple as I could, hoping that it would answer their questions. Well, in a recent Zone Conference we had, Sister Gardner, our Mission President's wife, told us a story/poem that will hopefully get the message through clearer. It goes something like this:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reverse Thinking

Even the most unlikely people can change...

I really love this video because it shows us that people really can change, that they really can find that light that they are looking for in this life. I couldn't imagine to know where I would be without the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I know I wouldn't be as happy as I am. I know that I would have no hope in this life, or the life hereafter. I can only pray that those who have the ideals in the first part of this video will come to an understanding that there is more to life than hopeless dreams, bigger scenes, and pointless things, and that they will come to a knowledge, not just a belief, that Jesus Christ is very real, and that He is there for us whenever and wherever we need Him. I know that what I say is true. I know that we are here in this earth for a specific reason, not just by happenstance. I know that we are the children of our Father who is in heaven. I know that this Gospel with which I live by is true and correct.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Football Field

Football is one of America's favorite sports, so for all you sports fans, this one is for you. I want to answer the question of why we sometimes don't receive answers to prayer. There are times in our lives when we feel as though we really need Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in our lives, more than usual. This happens to everyone at some point. When we ask for those things that we think we need, and then don't get an answer, we get discouraged. Hopefully, this will help answer and resolve that concern.

Imagine you are on a football field in the middle of a stadium. There is nobody in the stands and no distractions or loud noises. You are in one end-zone and Heavenly Father is in the other end-zone. When you shout to Him the concern or question you have, He answers in a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12). Since you are on the other side of the field, you can't hear Him, and from the distance, it looks like He's not doing anything. As you continue to shout at Him these questions, you still can't hear anything, which causes you to get upset. This is really bothering you. You deserve an answer about these things. The only answer to this dilemma, is to get closer to Him, so you can hear what He has to say.

In order to get closer to Heavenly Father, we have to start living as He would want us to live. Here are a few examples: if we aren't reading our scriptures, read; if we aren't saying our prayers as faithfully as we know we should, pray; if we are angry at something or someone, forgive; etc. We have to start living Christlike lives. Here are some Christlike attributes that we need to live so we can get closer to Heavenly Father, here on this football field of life: have faith in Jesus Christ and in having your prayers answered, have hope that this will all come out fine in the end, have charity and love for your fellow man and for God, be virtuous in all your thoughts and deeds, study out your answer and gain knowledge you need, be patient, be humble enough to receive any answer, even if it's not the answer you may want, be diligent in asking and in doing all these things, and last, but not least, be obedient to Heavenly Father's commandments (He has more than just ten of them). As you do these things, it will get you closer and closer to Heavenly Father, so that when He does speak in that still small voice, you can hear Him more clearly than you have ever heard Him before.

Unfortunately, there are always going to be other influences around us, who are going to try to confuse us. At the beginning of this parable, I mentioned that you were alone in this stadium. That was to demonstrate what we need to focus on. Now that we have our focus, let's fill in those empty seats. This represents every influence around us. There are people in the crowd who are going to cheer for you, telling you to move forward and to not give up, and there are people in the crowd who are going to be jeering at you, making you feel like there is no hope, telling you that you will never make it to the other side of the field. Never fall into that trap.

I want to make you this promise: as you start living a more Christlike life, you will start to be guided by the Holy Ghost and will be more sensitive to His promptings. As you do good, your want to do good will multiply, and it won't matter how many times people jeer at you, you will have a straight and sure course, straight into Heavenly Father and your answer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Jaws Of Life

I would like to share with you a parable that was told to me (by Bro. Ron Gordy) when I was in Billings. I have modified it slightly and called it The Parable Of The Jaws Of Life. This parable has been in both my life and in every person who has ever lived, including Jesus Christ. We'll get to more about that later.

The Jaws of Life are a powerful tool that firefighters use to help people get out of their vehicles when they're trapped inside. They can be extremely useful because, when in an accident, firefighters want you to move as little as possible, in case you have serious injuries. With the Jaws of Life, it allows those firefighters to get you out of the car, with as little movement from you as possible. This is quite the handy tool. How the Jaws of Life is so effective is those two big forks in the front. When those are brought together, you can fit them into some small cracks or seams in the car. The hydraulic system allows those forks to separate, moving anything that's around it out of the way. The Jaws Of Life won't work that well if there are no seams in the car.

In the same way, our life, who we are spiritually, is like a car. We always have our "bumps in the road" and those things which sometimes really make us mad (traffic, low mileage, no gas, oil leaks, flat tires, squeaky fan belt, etc.). As we drive through this life, we come across spiritual dangers that can make us vulnerable to attacks from all sides. There will be other cars (people) that try to influence us to put sand in our gas tank (drugs, alcohol, etc.). There will be cars that drive us to the destruction derby to look at all of the beat up cars (pornography), and there will be other cars that lead you to the junk yard. This is a tough world to live in, and there is one tougher enemy that will want to get inside your car, Satan. He has his own plans to turn you into those "other cars," the cars who try to influence you to do bad. The way Satan is going to do that is with his Jaws of Life. Even Jesus Christ was tempted to do things that, from the outside, looked like it would have helped Him. Satan tried to find and get into Christ's cracks and seams, but Christ didn't have any. Jesus Christ is our example.

Satan's Jaws of Life are powerful, but luckily for you, you have a very strong frame (continuing with the car analogy). You have a powerful engine that can let you go anywhere and do anything, and tires that can take you off-roading anywhere you need to go. However, when we develop the attitude of, "I have a perfect frame!", Nothing can hurt this car!" etc., that's when Satan's Jaws of Life will start digging into that crack you've just made. He wants to get inside you to do even more damage to you. Remember, all he needs is a small crack, not a large one, to do his work.

As we start to feel his influence in our life, and as we start to feel as though we're not the ones "taking the wheel," we need to go to the ultimate repair man, Jesus Christ. He can fix our cracks, seal our seams, give us a realignment, and even pop out our dents that could cause problems later. As we go to our Savior, He will repair our souls, and even change us, turning us from:
this    -    to this.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Does God Exist?

Albert Einstein even knew from such a young age that God did and does exist. Not only did he point out that our Heavenly Father exists, but that he loves us as well. I, like Einstein, bear witness that God DOES exist. I know that (not just believe it, but know it) because I have received guidance and direction from him multiple times, and I have felt him as he has protected me in multiple ways since I've been out on my mission. I know he is there and that he loves each and every one of us.