Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Gospel: REJECTED

Long ago, prophets, the spokesmen of God, were called to warn the people of dangers that would come upon them if they did not change their ways. There would be some that would listen, but over time, most would not. The prophet would then be killed, the city of people would be destroyed and/or would suffer in unusual ways. This pattern was set from the beginning of the world. God would call a prophet, the people wouldn't listen after a while, and they would reject the words of the prophet. This rejecting of the words of God is called an Apostasy.
During Jesus Christ's ministry, He told His apostles about the signs that would happen from that time, until end of the world. He said, "Then shall they deliver you up" (the apostles) "to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matthew 24:9-11). This took place not too long after He said this. Jesus Christ was rejected and put on trial on false charges, then crucified and killed. The apostles from Peter on down the line to Paul were killed in many different and gruesome ways: upside-down crucifixion, beheaded, stoned, lanced, burned, hanged, etc. The apostles couldn't pass on their authority quick enough because of heavy persecution. The Great Apostasy begun.

It's called the Great Apostasy because it was the greatest period of time when the gospel wasn't on the earth. The some of the apostles had talked about his when they wrote their epistles. Concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ, Paul said, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come, a falling away first" (2 Thessalonians 2:3). That "falling away," or apostasy, did happen. It is no coincidence that this time in our world's history is known as the Dark Ages. There was no light of the Gospel to bring people closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

"For [Christ] is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him" (1 Nephi 10:18).

Just as prophets were called by the Lord in time's past, he has again called another prophet to the earth. He has again brought back the authority to say, "Thus saith the Lord..." because he speaks with Him. I know that a restoration (not a reformation) had to happen in order to come closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We have the authority again, we have continuing revelation again, we have the truth again.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Following Jesus' Life On Twitter (Or What It Would've Been Like)

There is a lot of buzz (or fluttering) about Twitter and all the information that gets passed around the world in blazing fast speeds. This "Twitter Episode" of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a good way to get some of the feelings that were portrayed by those around Jesus, in a short period of time. I know that Jesus is our Savior. I know that He lived a perfect life, but through the ignorance of those around Him, He suffered, was beaten, and was crucified. I also know that because He was divine, He had power over death, and He rose from the tomb, which is still empty today. I love this Gospel. It turns people who are unhappy and who don't know about their purpose in life, into people who have hope and who have joy that doesn't ebb and flow with the patterns of life around us.

Friday, April 22, 2011

But DAD...!!!

I remember doing the same thing to my dad about his awesome muffins. I'm sure I wasn't as hyper as this child, but I was excited, nonetheless. I love this video because it reminds me of how we should keep the promises we make. This father made the promise to go get his son some pancakes. I can only imagine the anticipation that child had, waiting all night for the fulfillment of his dad's promise to him (and I would feel the same way; pancakes are my favorite food!). That is how we should be to our Heavenly Father. Though the promises made to us shouldn't be our prime motivator, we should wait for the blessings awaiting us as we keep the commandments. Also, the scriptures tell us that we should be as perfect as we can. Jesus Christ, who is our example of a perfect person, always kept, and always will keep, His promises. If He is our example, shouldn't we keep our promises too, both to mankind, and to Him?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lasting Marriages

Because I am in a companionship with another person 24/7, there are some portions to marriage that I can understand and relate to. There are going to be hard times. Anybody that tells you otherwise is foolish. Like the end of that video clip stated, "Patience - use it before you lose it." It is an answer that you never, ever, EVER, want to hear, but it's better than suffering. Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated, "I strongly urge you and those who advise you to face up to the reality that for most marriage problems, the remedy is not divorce but repentance. Often the cause is not incompatibility but selfishness. The first step is not separation but reformation. Divorce is not an all-purpose solution, and it often creates long-term heartache." (See His Talk Here) I have a strong testimony that is only growing stronger on the need for patience in any and all relationships. I know these values are needed in our society because without them, misery is inevitable, and anger will triumph over joy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Giant Problems

Many of the trials that come in our lives are able to be solved by thinking, planning, and enduring, so that we can come out the other side with just a few scratches. Sometimes, though, we face giant problems which slow down our progress: divorce, debt, death, family anxieties, etc. (Just in case you don't know what this picture could be depicting,) A David and Goliath situation is what I call these giant problems. We have all had them, and there is no way to avoid having them in your life. As we get plopped into the world of depressing thoughts and little motivation (or as keeping with the theme of this blog, you might say you have a nick in your armor), we need to know how to get out of it. Think of David's situation mentioned above. He, a young man at the time with no armor and equipped with only a sling, was faced with a nine foot giant who was equipped with a lot of armor and a rather large spear. He was able to kill the Goliath with only a sling and a stone. He had a giant problem, literally, but he overcame his, just as we can overcome ours.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Family - Isn't It About Time? #2

Every once in a long while, when I was in elementary school, I would get the opportunity to have my dad drive me to school. I lived only a few minutes away from the school, so it was a big disappointment we didn't have more time to talk and have fun in the car. I look at this movie and it reminds me of how much I miss that "car talk" with my family. I know that as we try to get close with our family, our lives, as a general whole, will not only improve the quality of your family relationships, but it will also improve the overall quality of your life. I know this to be true.