Sunday, May 29, 2016

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Who are Mormon Missionaries?

I had the privilege and opportunity to be a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2001-2003.  I served my Hmong brothers and sisters in the California, Sacramento Mission.  It was a great experience of learning and growing for me.  My testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel and church were strengthened immensely.  I saw miracles happen throughout my two years of service and those are days never to be forgotten.

 As Elders, we had many great experiences sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and we saw many come unto the waters of baptism and partake of the goodness of God.
Hmong Paj Ntaub = Cloth Flower - This hand stitched embroidery tells the story of the Hmong people illustrating their journey from Laos to Thailand to America during the Vietnam war.
 Today there are over 74,000 full-time missionaries in over 400 missions around the globe.  It is amazing the selfless service that each of these missionaries renders by sacrificing 18-24 months of their young adult life to bring the light of the restored gospel Unto All the World.

I am so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that rolls forth across the earth to gather the pure in heart into the fold of Christ.  The Savior invites all to Come Unto Him and partake of His goodness and blessings. 

Ephesians 1:10

  • New Testament
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 


~ C.J. Poulsen

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

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Mountains to Climb

Not a day goes by that I don't think of my sweet mother...Oh how I miss her!  I miss calling to see how her week is going.  I miss hearing her voice.  I miss seeing her at home when we go visit for holidays.  I miss her cheering me on.  I miss seeing her interact with her grandchildren.  I miss her hug, kiss, and "I love you" after each visit.

Today mark's twenty months since the passing of my dear mother.  On September 1, 2014 she left her mortal body and passed onto the other side of the veil to reunite with many who had gone before her. She has progressed beyond this mortal life into the next phase of her eternal existence.  Although life is fragile and our mortal journey can end suddenly, without much warning, at anytime, the gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace and assurance that we will reunite and live again with our loved ones.  "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:22

We never know when we will take our last breath in this life; therefore we should make each day count.  This life is a time for us to prepare to meet God. (Alma 34:32-34) When a loved one passes, it brings new perspective, and we tend to take a step back and analyze our own life and standing with God.  We ponder the bigger picture of who we are and our eternal identity and destination.  I hope to return and live with my mother, loving Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I know this is possible through the exercise of our faith and obedience to the commandments we've been given.

With each new passing day, I feel my mother near and know that she is happy and cheering me on from above.  She is sad to be apart from us, her family, but she wants only the best for each one of us.  I know she loves me greatly and wants me to stay on the strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life.  I know she is busy sharing her testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all of its saving ordinances and promised blessings.  She is teaching and sharing with others the importance of family and temple covenants.  She is sharing her testimony of the Holy Bible and Book of Mormon.  She is testifying of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His loving sacrifice and atonement in our behalf.  I am so grateful for this knowledge I've obtained of Christ's gospel through the witness and power of the Holy Ghost.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is so beautiful and truly is "Good News" to all who will listen and accept its glorious message.  For my friends who are suffering and feeling lost or alone, I submit to you that you're never alone.  Perhaps you've recently lost a loved one as well and are grieving their passing.  I testify that they're alive and well and have only separated from their mortal body for a time.  Jesus Christ has broken the bands of death and through His glorious resurrection has promised that same gift to all who come to this earth and die.  We will rise again and live with our loved ones.

Families are central to the message of Christ's gospel.  Our main purpose of being here on earth is to be tested.  We are being tested to see if we will exercise faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ and follow after Him and His teachings.  He wants us to follow Him into the waters of baptism and become members of His church where we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Once we have become a member of His church we can then continue progressing for more gifts and blessings in His holy temples.  I love the holy temples and the promises and blessings we can receive here if we are faithful.  We can be married and sealed to our eternal companion for time and eternity and have our children sealed to us!  This is great news!  For those who passed beyond the veil of death before hearing this glorious message we can also help them progress!  "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" 1 Corinthians 15:29

 I know that families can be together forever through sacred, temple sealings.  One of the biggest blessings and benefits of the Restoration of Christ's Church and gospel is the blessings of family history and temple work.
  • Ephesians 1:10

    10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
  • The Biblical prophet Malachi prophesied of the return of Elijah for the purpose of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers (see Malachi 4:5–6)

    This prophecy was actually fulfilled when the Prophet Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (the man who helped Joseph translate the Book of Mormon) in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836. Elijah restored specific powers of the priesthood by conferring them upon Joseph and Oliver. This power is what makes it possible for families to be sealed throughout generations. Through family history work, we can participate in the continuing fulfillment of this prophecy. We can learn about our ancestors, and those who died without the opportunity to hear the gospel and receive ordinances, and increase our love for them. We can be inspired by their stories of courage and faith. We can pass that legacy on to our children.

I am so thankful for my knowledge and understanding of God's eternal plan of happiness and salvation.  His teachings anchor my soul and give me light and direction in a darkened world.  I am grateful for the opportunity this technology allows me to share my testimony with you and others.  I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves you and I.  I pray that you may feel peace and comfort.  As always, thank you for stopping by.

~ C.J. Poulsen
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