Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
December is a very busy month with lots of activities to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am in deed grateful for this time of year when we reflect upon the year's accomplishments and focus on the Savior's life and ministry here upon the earth. I testify that I know Jesus Christ was sent here to accomplish the tasks that no other could. Being born of Mary in the flesh and of God, the Father, in the spirit, Christ had the power to atone for the sins of the world and die upon the cross for you and me.
I am indebted unto Him for His great sacrifice in my behalf. I know that each of us will one day resurrect to die no more. I also know that through Christ's atonement we may be purged and cleansed of all sin and iniquity.
During this time of year it is my prayer that we will all open the door of our hearts and let the Savior in... to make more room for Him who gave us life... in the coming year of 2009!
Merry Christmas everyone and remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas! May God Bless You all!
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a asign; bBehold, a cvirgin shall conceive, and bear a dson, and shall call his name eImmanuel.
6 For unto us a achild is bborn, unto us a cson is given: and the dgovernment shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, eCounsellor, The fmighty gGod, The heverlasting Father, The Prince of iPeace.
A Christmas message from our living Prophet:
Thomas S. Monson, “The Gifts of Christmas,” Ensign, Dec 2003, 2–5
From 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon we read, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.” 1
With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment, a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child was to be the King of kings and Lord of lords, the promised Messiah—even Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
His Beckoning Invitation
Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life.
What was the reaction to His message of mercy, His words of wisdom, His lessons of life? There were a precious few who appreciated Him. They bathed His feet. They learned His word. They followed His example.
Down through the generations of time, the message from Jesus has been the same. To Peter by the shores of beautiful Galilee, He said, “Follow me.” 2 To Philip of old came the call, “Follow me.” 3 To the Levite who sat at receipt of customs came the instruction, “Follow me.” 4 And to you and to me, if we but listen, shall come that same beckoning invitation, “Follow me.”
As we follow in His steps today, we too will have an opportunity to bless the lives of others. Jesus invites us to give of ourselves: “Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.” 5
Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. “Go, gladden the lonely, the dreary; Go, comfort the weeping, the weary; Go, scatter kind deeds on your way; Oh, make the world brighter today!” 6
A wise Christian once urged, “May we not spend Christmas, but keep it.” 7 When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Happy December! Another month has come and gone and we are going into the snowier part of the holiday season. In 30 more days it will be 2009! WoW!
Something that has been on my mind lately is the title phrase: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
This next scripture holds a lot of truth...May we all seek after the riches of eternity and to do the will of our Father who art in Heaven. Jesus Christ is our perfect exemplar of all righteousness and fulfilling the will of the Father while in the flesh! We too can make this our treasure.
- 16 They aseek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man bwalketh in his cown dway, and after the eimage of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth fold and shall perish in Babylon, even gBabylon the great, which shall fall.
- Christ organized the Church (Eph 4:11-14)
- The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23)
- The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:19-20)
- The true church must have the same organization as Christ’s Church (Eph 4:11-14)
- The true church must claim divine authority (Heb 4:4-10)
- The true church must have no paid ministry (Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)
- The true church must baptize by immersion (Matt 3:13-16)
- The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
- The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
- The true church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)
- The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:1-3)
- The officers must be called by God (Heb 4:4; Ex 28:1; 40:13-16)
- The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)
- The true church must be a missionary church (Matt 28:19-20)
- The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)
- The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1Cor 15:16&29)
- “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt 7:20)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Today at church my mother-in-law and father-in-law spoke in sacrament meeting. My mom-in-law spoke about Christ's message of peace and goodwill and her husband spoke on 'None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived...' Both topics were taken from the first two paragraphs in The Living Christ which is posted below. This is the living apostles testimonies of our savior present day. I am so grateful for the witness and testimony of modern-day apostles and prophets. I know these men are called of God. I have prayed and received a witness for myself through the power of the Holy Ghost that they are called and chosen to lead in these Latter-days!
THE LIVING CHRIST
THE TESTIMONY OF THE APOSTLES
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.
He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.
We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.
He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).
Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).
Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).
We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).
We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.
We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.
© 2000 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
English approval: 12/99. 36299
Here is a short clip on what our church leaders really teach! Enjoy the Apostles and prophets words...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Responsibility can be hard at times, but it is inevitable that we all must take action to be responsible. I learned a great lesson the past couple of days on being careless and not taking proper responsibility for what I thought was a "small" problem. Well, here's the story and the lesson:
On Wednesday I went to the driving range with my brother-in-law to hit some golf balls. We were excited because it was free to hit balls. I was borrowing some clubs and didn't have a glove on like normal. Well the friction from the clubs caused a small blister smaller than a dime on my left index finger. I went home and washed it with soap and water and put some tea tree oil (natural antiseptic) to kill any bacteria and then put a band aid on. On Thursday morning (Thanksgiving) I played some football and the blister popped. I removed the band aid and showered to wash it and then I thought I would let it get some air without re-band-aiding it... not a good idea..
That afternoon we played family games that included bouncy balls, balloons, pillows, and musical chairs and I popped it again. This time no band aids were available and I thought nothing of it and went about the day. That night I started shivering and went to bed...washed again with a band aid. Yesterday, Friday when I woke up, my finger had swollen, was very warm and tingly and I had a solid red line from my finger, straight up my arm to my armpit. This seemed a bit odd so I jumped on line and discovered that I had symptoms of an infection from the blister. . . great...
Now I must go see the doc and get antibiotics...no fun and not cheap! Unfortunately we're on vacation and the only thing open was an instacare so we had to pay $75 for a 5 minute visit for the Doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to kill the infection. The pills cost $4 at WalMart for one week.
A great lesson learned... take responsibility for things that seem minor to prevent an outrageous, unneeded bill or consequence. Had I put the proper dressing and antiseptics on the blister the full time it would have healed and not developed infection...costing 25 cents for a couple of band aids instead of a $79 visit to the instacare. ugh! Remember an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Have miracles ceased? ...
Moroni 7:27,29,35, 37
As I stated in yesterday's post, I have been reading about the first 100 Temples in the church and it is amazing to see the many miracles that have taken place for the Lord's work to move forward. Almost in every case, something miraculous has happened to make the event of temple building possible throughout many major cities in the world. I am grateful for the knowledge I have that miracles have not ceased. I am indeed grateful to our loving Father in Heaven who teaches and guides us by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.
The Greatest Miracle of All
I have spoken about miracles. I have given illustrations of miracles in the Church as a whole and in many different circumstances involving a few individuals or a crisis of weather or war. But the greatest miracle is not in such things as restoring sight to the blind, healing an illness, or even raising the dead, since all of these restorations will happen, in any event, in the Resurrection.
Changing bodies or protecting temples are miracles, but an even greater miracle is a mighty change of heart by a son or daughter of God (see Mosiah 5:2). A change of heart, including new attitudes, priorities, and desires, is greater and more important than any miracle involving the body. I repeat, the body will be resurrected in any event, but a change affecting what the scripture calls the “heart” of a spirit son or daughter of God is a change whose effect is eternal. If of the right kind, this change opens the door to the process of repentance that cleanses us to dwell in the presence of God. It introduces the perspective and priorities that lead us to make the choices that qualify us for eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).
My dear brothers and sisters, I pray that each one of us may experience and persist in that miracle of the mighty change of heart, that we may realize the destiny God has prescribed for all of His children and the purpose of this Church to bring to pass the eternal lives of men and women. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, and He is our Savior, our Redeemer, and our Resurrector. We are His spiritual children, spiritually begotten by His sacrifice in Gethsemane and on Calvary and possessing the opportunity to qualify for eternal life. May God bless us to do so.
Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, Jun 2001, 6
From a talk given at a Church Educational System fireside in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on 7 May 2000.
Miracles happen every day in the work of the Church and in the lives of its members.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving! Everyone is probably thinking along the same lines. It's a time of celebration for all that we've been given and blessed with. A time of Thanksgiving for the bounteous harvest and blessings from a loving Heavenly Father.
I am grateful for many things, but as of late I am especially thankful for temples and the wisdom and symbols behind these beautiful edifices all across the world. Since the Restoration of the gospel temple building has rapidly increased and temples are dotting the globe!
I went to the temple a couple of days ago and I was reminded of the many blessings found within its walls... I also started reading one of my new favorite books, The First 100 Temples this week by Chad S. Hawkins. It is a beautiful compilation of sketches and information regarding the building, prophecies, and interesting facts about the first 100 temples built!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Testifying of God's "eternal purposes," the prophet Lehi taught, "Men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:15, 25). Many people try to find happiness and fulfillment in activities that are contrary to the Lord's commandments. Ignoring God's plan for them, they reject the only source of real happiness. They give in to the devil, who "seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself" (2 Nephi 2:27). Eventually they learn the truth of Alma's warning to his son Corianton: "Wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10).
Others seek only to have fun in life. With this as their main goal, they allow temporary pleasure to distract them from lasting happine
ss. They rob themselves of the enduring joys of spiritual growth, service, and hard work.
As we seek to be happy, we should remember that the only way to real happiness is to live the gospel. We will find peaceful, eternal happiness as we strive to keep the commandments, pray for strength, repent of our sins, participate in wholesome activities, and give meaningful service.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The Abrahamic Covenant
• Abraham’s posterity would be numerous, entitled to eternal increase and to bear the priesthood;
• He would become a father of many nations;
• Christ and kings would come through Abraham’s lineage;
• Certain lands would be inherited;
• All nations of the earth would be blessed by his seed;
• That covenant would be everlasting—even through “a thousand generations.” 14
Some of these promises have been accomplished; others have yet to be. I quote from a prophecy given nearly 600 years b.c.: “Our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days; which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham.” 15
Precisely as promised, the Master appeared in these latter days to renew the Abrahamic covenant. To the Prophet Joseph Smith the Lord declared: “Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, … my servant Joseph. … This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham.” 16
Abraham received the gospel and was ordained to the higher priesthood (D&C 84: 14; Abr. 2: 11), and he entered into celestial marriage, which is the covenant of exaltation (D&C 131: 1-4; 132: 19, 29). Abraham received a promise that all of the blessings of these covenants would be offered to his mortal posterity (D&C 132: 29-31; Abr. 2: 6-11). Together, these covenants and promises are called the Abrahamic covenant. The restoration of this covenant was the restoration of the gospel in the last days, for through it all the nations of the earth are blessed (Gal. 3: 8-9, 29; D&C 110: 12; 124: 58; Abr. 2: 10-11).
Monday, November 24, 2008
1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). We should do “all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 82:19). We should love and serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see Deuteronomy 6:5; D&C 59:5).
2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4). In this commandment, the Lord condemns the worship of idols. Idolatry may take many forms. Some people do not bow before graven images or statues but instead replace the living God with other idols, such as money, material possessions, ideas, or prestige. In their lives, “their treasure is their god”—a god that “shall perish with them” (2 Nephi 9:30).
3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
4. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
5. “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment remains binding throughout our lives and can be understood in several ways: We should honor our fathers and our mothers who are our ancestors; we should be grateful to the father and mother who provided our earthly bodies; we should honor those who raised us in the knowledge of the truth. Above all, we should honor our Heavenly Parents. The way we honor all these fathers and mothers is by keeping the commandments.
6. “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).
7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). In a latter-day revelation, the Lord condemned not only adultery, but “anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). Fornication, homosexuality, and other sexual sins are violations of the seventh commandment.
8. “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). Stealing is a form of dishonesty.
9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Bearing false witness is another form of dishonesty.
10. “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting, or envying something that belongs to another, is damaging to the soul. It can consume our thoughts and plague us with constant unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It often leads to other sins and to financial indebtedness.
The 10 commandments from our Heavenly Father bless the lives of each who keep them. I am grateful for these laws and commands from a loving Heavenly Father. They are not set in place to restrict us, but rather to help us.
22 And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you. Mosiah 2:22
Sunday, November 23, 2008
2 And it shall come to pass in the alast days, that the bmountain of the Lord’s chouse shall be destablished in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all enations shall flow unto it. -Isaiah 2:2
12 And he shall set up an aensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:12
This temple, like all temples is very symbolic and represents an ensign to the world of Jesus Christ's restored church upon the earth. In 2001, the Salt Lake City winter Olympics took place near the temple and all nations did in fact flow unto it...the Salt Lake valley and were able to visit Temple Square and see the beauty of this temple and its grandeur.Prophecy's from the Old Testament and ancient scripture are being fulfilled all the time, however only those with eyes to see and ears to hear will notice what is happening throughout the world.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
In giving this commandment to Church members, the Lord gives a sacred responsibility. This responsibility also provides countless opportunities for meaningful service. Few experiences compare to the joy of helping others learn and live the gospel.
In all efforts to teach the gospel, Jesus Christ is the example. He showed genuine love and concern for people. He strengthened them individually, teaching gospel principles in a way that would help them with their unique needs. He awakened in some the desire to understand and live the gospel. At times He asked questions that would help them apply what they learned. He taught the saving truths of the gospel, helping His hearers understand what they needed to know, do, and be in order to receive the gift of eternal life.
Effective gospel teaching nourishes and uplifts those who are willing to listen. It builds their faith and gives them confidence to meet life's challenges. It encourages them to forsake sin and obey the commandments. It helps them come to Christ and abide in His love.
The most effective teaching occurs by the power of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead who manifests "the truth . . . of all things" (Moroni 10:4–5). The Lord said, "The Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach" (D&C 42:14). Only through the influence of the Spirit can gospel teaching be edifying and inspiring.
If Church members prepare spiritually, they will have the privilege of feeling the Holy Ghost teach, testify, and inspire others through them. As the prophet Nephi taught, "When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men" (2 Nephi 33:1).
Mosiah 13:5, 25
5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face ashone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.
5 And now, as the apreaching of the bword had a great tendency to clead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The true doctrine of the Godhead was lost in the apostasy that followed the Savior's mortal ministry and the deaths of His Apostles. This doctrine began to be restored when 14-year-old Joseph Smith received his First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17). From the Prophet's account of the First Vision and from his other teachings, we know that the members of the Godhead are three separate beings. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bones, and the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit (see D&C 130:22).
Although the members of the Godhead are distinct beings with distinct roles, they are one in purpose and doctrine. They are perfectly united in bringing to pass Heavenly Father's divine plan of salvation. -www.lds.org
When I think about the Godhead I think in terms of a basketball team. Although their is 5 individual players, they're one in purpose--each shooting for the same goal. When united they accomplish their purpose and come out victorious at the end of the contest.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Plan of Salvation! What a wondrous plan for all the inhabitants of the earth. Heavenly Father loves each of us equally and has sent us here to be tested. I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained of this plan of happiness...
The following truths are taken from www.lds.org.....
In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father prepared a plan to enable us to become like Him and receive a fulness of joy. The scriptures refer to this plan as "the plan of salvation" (Alma 24:14; Moses 6:62), "the great plan of happiness" (Alma 42:8), "the plan of redemption" (Jacob 6:8; Alma 12:30), and "the plan of mercy" (Alma 42:15). The plan of salvation is the fulness of the gospel. It includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel. Moral agency, the ability to choose and act for ourselves, is also essential in Heavenly Father's plan. Because of this plan, we can be perfected through the Atonement, receive a fulness of joy, and live forever in the presence of God. Our family relationships can last throughout the eternities.
We are participants in Heavenly Father's plan, and our eternal experience can be divided into three main parts: premortal life, mortal life, and life after death. As we come to understand the plan, we find answers to questions asked by so many: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after this life?
Before we were born on the earth, we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father as one of His spirit children. In this premortal existence, we attended a council with Heavenly Father's other spirit children. At that council, Heavenly Father presented His great plan of happiness (see Abraham 3:22–26).
In harmony with the plan of happiness, the premortal Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Son of the Father in the spirit, covenanted to be the Savior (see Moses 4:2; Abraham 3:27). Those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were permitted to come to the earth to experience mortality and progress toward eternal life. Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan and "sought to destroy the agency of man" (Moses 4:3). He became Satan, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven and denied the privileges of receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality (see Moses 4:4; Abraham 3:27–28).
Throughout our premortal lives, we developed our identity and increased our spiritual capabilities. Blessed with the gift of agency, we made important decisions, such as the decision to follow Heavenly Father's plan. These decisions affected our life then and now. We grew in intelligence and learned to love the truth, and we prepared to come to the earth, where we could continue to progress.
We are now experiencing mortal life. Our spirits are united with our bodies, giving us opportunities to grow and develop in ways that were not possible in premortal life. This part of our existence is a time of learning in which we can prove ourselves, choose to come unto Christ, and prepare to be worthy of eternal life. It is also a time when we can help others find the truth and gain a testimony of the plan of salvation.
Life after Death
When we die, our spirits will enter the spirit world and await the resurrection. At the time of the resurrection, our spirit and body will reunite, and we will be judged and received into a kingdom of glory. The glory we inherit will depend on the depth of our conversion and our obedience to the Lord's commandments (see Kingdoms of Glory). It will depend on the manner in which we have "received the testimony of Jesus" (D&C 76:51; see also D&C 76:74, 79, 101).Blessings through Knowledge of the Plan
A testimony of the plan of salvation can give us hope and purpose as we wrestle with the challenges of life. We can find reassurance in the knowledge that we are children of God and that we lived in His presence before being born on the earth. We can find meaning in our present life, knowing that our actions during mortality influence our eternal destiny. With this knowledge, we can base important decisions on eternal truths rather than on the changing circumstances of life. We can continually improve our relationships with family members, rejoicing in the promise that our families can be eternal. We can find joy in our testimonies of the Atonement and the Lord's commandments, ordinances, covenants, and doctrines, knowing that "he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59:23). --www.lds.org
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The leaders of our Church have always counseled to "live in the world, but be not a part of it!"
This statement can be interpreted in many different ways and can be viewed from various angles. As members of the Church we are taught to get a one year food storage and prepare for the storms of life. They also counsel and advise us to get out of debt, live within our means, and become self-reliant. What great counsel and comfort when times like the current arise!
51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your alabor for that which cannot bsatisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and cfeast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness. 2 Nephi 9:51
We live in a world where buying a big home and driving a fancy car is the popular thing to do to fit in with the 'rest' of America. Credit can be a very big trap for all of us. It lures us into thinking we can afford something we really cannot! Very scary...however if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
78 And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts—behold it is my will that you shall apay all your bdebts. D&C 104:78
35 Pay the adebt thou hast bcontracted with the printer. Release thyself from cbondage.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth his csecret unto his servants the dprophets. Amos 3:7
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, as did Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures. We sustain the President of the Church as prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receivesrevelation to guide the entire Church. We also sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.
Like the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God's will and true character. They speak boldly and clearly, denouncing sin and warning of its consequences. At times, they may be inspired to prophesy of future events for our benefit.
We can always trust the living prophets. Their teachings reflect the will of the Lord, who declared: "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:38). --www.lds.org
I am very grateful for the knowledge I have of a living prophet today in our time of confusion. Many are lost in forbidden paths and know not where to find the truth.
You can learn more about modern day living prophets and the importance of following their counsels and guidance in a world full of turmoil and confusion... www.mormon.org
Monday, November 17, 2008
Today was an awesome day! I am amazed at how things happen in life. We are each the author of our own destiny and have the pen in hand to write our own story. A wise leader of mine once said, "Live life with no regrets!" These five words etched in my mind and had a lasting impact on me. These words have helped propel me through the tough times that I face. Life isn't easy all the time, in fact its very challenging at times. Of all the lessons I've learned, the one that sticks out currently is the sound principle of attitude. Attitude really does determine one's altitude!
Today I was on the final rung of a very high ladder, just about to reach the top, and it all started back in April at rung #1 and then #2 and so on....
Today I met a lady at her home of the ripe young age of 93. She having a birthday one day apart from my own launched a conversation on common ground and we began talking about life.
I asked her how she's been able to stay mobile and cheerful at such an age....she looked and acted as though she was maybe 70!
She chuckled and said, "Well, it begins with diet and state of mind, Christopher." "I'm happy and find joy in things I do each day. Not many things can get me down. My husband past 14 years ago, but he's gonna have to keep waiting for me, cuz I'm enjoying life." She then proceeded to tell me about her travels and the beauties of the earth she loves to see. Her family means everything to her and she takes good care of her 70 year old daughter who has ms. Wow! What a great lesson at the end of a long marathon!
This lady is an optimist. Very full of life and I could tell that she savored each breath and moment that life dealt her. A great example to all of us, -- a positive mental outlook on each day we're given!
Meeting Vivian B. Rawdon today along with me reaching rung #300 to hit the top of my ladder was a great point to look around. This experience made me stop and think of how I got there...consistent effort with hard work, dedication, and a positive state of mind.When we set our minds to achieve something and work with the attitude that all things are possible, that nothing is going to stop us, and we proceed down the path, there really is nothing that can stop us... EXCEPT ourself!
This lesson has been passing through my mind a lot this year. Nobody can stop one from doing something except one's self. Life is a journey with many ups and downs, trials and tribulations come and go, at times we feel like giving up on a task, but by pushing through and proceeding we find accomplishment at last.
When I was in 5th grade our teacher had us color a paper cut-out with a can on the side that read "If you think you can, you can!" We then glued it around a small can. I remember having this set upon my shelf all through the years of growing up and reading it often. I still have it today as a pen holder on my desk and use it as a daily reminder.
If you think you can, YOU can. If you think you can't, you can't! Either way you're right. -Henry Ford
Today I reached a goal, a mark I've been working towards, a milestone, a pinnacle of success and achieved something that few ever have in my industry. I give thanks to my Father above, for the talents and wisdom he has blessed me with. For the endurance, dedication, and hard work I've been taught and applied throughout the years. I feel truly blessed for the abundant blessings I've received. I know that all things are possible with God.
27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, aWith men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are bpossible. -Mark 10:27
"Whatever the mind of man can believe and conceive, it can achieve." - Napolean Hill
Remember today that with God and faith all things are possible! If you think you can, YOU can!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I have always tried to pay my tithing right away whenever I have an increase in monetary gain. As Latter-day Saints we pay 10% of our income or financial gain to the Church. These sacred funds are then used to build temples, church houses, print Book of Mormon and Bibles, print church media materials, and other purposes for furthering the work of the Lord.
I know that tithing and offerings bring many blessings. My wife and I have made it a life-long goal and priority to always give 10% to the Lord first before we begin personal spending. I know that the Lord blesses those who are faithful to this commandment and I am grateful for His laws. The blessings of going to the temple and reading The Book of Mormon are easy reminders for me that the $ is spent in a righteous way...to bless those who follow the Savior.
Malachi 3:9-11 aWill a man brob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In ctithes and offerings.
D&C 64:23-24 23 Behold, now it is called atoday until the bcoming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of csacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is dtithed shall not be eburned at his coming.
May you come learn of the Lord's way and begin receiving this blessing in your life also.