Sunday, November 30, 2008

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The Living Christ!

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!



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...

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

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Responsibility! on the lighter side!

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 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!
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Friday, November 28, 2008

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Have miracles ceased? ...

Moroni 7:27,29,35, 37
27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have amiracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to bclaim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
• • •
29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have aangels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
• • •
35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with apower and great glory at the last bday, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
• • •
37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that amiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of bunbelief, and all is vain.

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.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

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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!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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Happiness is a choice and we can choose to be happy or sad every hour of everyday! I am a pretty optimistic person and not many things get me down. I try to be happy most of the time. The thing that brings me the most happiness is when I serve others or Heavenly Father. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings me a lot of peace and happiness as well. When I apply the principles of the gospel and live in accordance with God's laws I am the happiest!

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.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

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Abrahamic Covenant!

The Abrahamic Covenant

The covenant that the Lord first made to Abraham 11 and reaffirmed to Isaac 12 and Jacob 13 is of transcendent significance. It contained several promises:

• 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).
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Monday, November 24, 2008

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The Ten Commandments

The following review of the Ten Commandments includes brief explanations of how they continue to apply in our lives today:

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

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

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An Ensign to the World!

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.
  1. 27 For the aheart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their beyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
If we listen to the Holy spirit and take it as our guide, we will be blessed. We must seek after spiritual things to understand God's will for us. Something to think about on this Sabbath Day.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

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Teaching the gospel!!!

The Lord declared: "I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand" (D&C 88:77–78).

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).

Spiritual preparation includes praying often, studying the scriptures, living the gospel, and being humble. --

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.

• • •
25 And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end of these sayings that he said unto them: Have ye ataught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments?

Alma 31:5

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.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

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The Godhead!

The Church's first article of faith states, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." These three beings make up the Godhead. They preside over this world and all other creations of our Father in Heaven.

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.

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.

God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost operate much the same way. They're working as one in purpose, united in the same cause, but are three separate beings.

Acts 7:55-56

55 But he, being full of the aHoly Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the bglory of cGod, and dJesus estanding on the fright hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I asee the heavens bopened, and the cSon of man standing on the right dhand of eGod.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

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The Plan of Salvation!

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

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?

Premortal 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.

Mortal Life

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).

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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Self Reliance!

Today is a day of reflecting? Ask yourself, Am I self-reliant? Am I striving to pay off my debts to become free from bondage? Current economic conditions have flooded the news stations and headlines across the United States. Many have lost their homes to foreclosures and are struggling to make ends meet. It's obvious all around us, especially in markets where people buy large items (homes) way above their means.

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.
D&C 19:35

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

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Prophets have been called of God since the beginning of time. God speaks His will to the inhabitants of the earth through His chosen prophet. In every dispensation of time God has had a leader or prophet amongst the people of the earth. The prophet stands as a mouthpiece of God to the entire world and calls everyone unto repentance, to learn of Christ and follow Him.
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).

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.

12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are
ablinded by the subtle bcraftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to cdeceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they dknow not where to find it—D&C 123:12

We, as Latter-day Saints are blessed to know of a Restoration of Truth that occured in the early 1800's and to be witnesses of a living prophet today. . . President Thomas S. Monson is our current President of the Church and prophet of the world.

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...
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Monday, November 17, 2008

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Anthing is possible! If You Think You Can You Can!

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!
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

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Tithes and offerings!

Church is a great place to renew the spiritual power that is essential in today's world. I am always strengthened when I attend church and partake of the sacrament in remembrance of Christ. The lessons always remind me of the importance the gospel plays in our everyday life. Today at church the speakers in sacrament meeting spoke about tithing and reminded me of this commandment and its many blessings.

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 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.
9 Ye are acursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

Tithing is a test of our faith to prove if we are willing to sacrifice our own interests in behalf of the Lord's church and kingdom here upon the earth. Fast offerings are also a great blessing for both the giver and receiver. We pay fast offerings once a month on the first Sunday of each month as we fast for two full meals giving the $ in return for the cost of the meals generally.

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.
24 For after today cometh the aburning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the bproud and they that do wickedly shall be as cstubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not dspare any that remain in eBabylon.

May you come learn of the Lord's way and begin receiving this blessing in your life also.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

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Today I was reminded of the glorious blessing of the resurrection that will one day happen for everyone who was born into this life. As I was out working I came across a 79 year-old man sitting on his porch sipping a glass of wine and smoking a cigarette. He didn't seem very happy with life and looked very discontented. I began talking to him and listening with sincere interest because I knew he needed a friend and someone to talk with.

We began talking about 'life' and what its for. He told me as a young child his father would drag him along to a baptist church in West Virginia but thats all he really remembers about God and Christ. Since then he has had no interest in spiritual things. He explained how he hopes to be cremated when he dies and could pass on gladly any day now. At this point I was feeling deep gratitude for my new friend and listened intently as he explained to me his wife's condition who had been diagnosed with colon and breast cancer ten years ago and is still battling it everyday with chemo and radiation treatments. The guy seemed saddened but acted as if he didn't care really, that once we die that's the end of it.

I then had the chance to share with him my beliefs about Jesus Christ and Christianity and how we will all be resurrected one day because of the Savior's sacrifice in our behalf. He seemed intrigued by the idea as he looked up at me with a grin putting his cigarette out. He then stated that I had given him some new hope, something to look forward to, but only as long as it was better than his life had been here on earth. He said I don't want to live again if it's like this life. He then told me about the war he was a part of in Korea.

We had a good chat for about 40 minutes or so and then I wished him well and he told me to take care and that he'd never forget me for the time I spent talking with him and thanked me with a smile.
2 Nephi 9:6,12, 22
6 For as adeath hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful bplan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of cresurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the dfall; and the fall came by reason of etransgression; and because man became fallen they were fcut off from the gpresence of the Lord.
• • •
12 And this adeath of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is bhell; wherefore, death and hell must cdeliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its dcaptive espirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive fbodies, and the bodies and the gspirits of men will be hrestored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
• • •
22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.

I am so grateful for the neat experiences I have everyday that teach me lessons along my way. That help me stretch and grow, remind me of Jesus and what I know. The Savior has paved the path, so that you and I may one day have all He hath. Glorious blessings from up above encourage each of us to show kindness and love. The gospel is true and brings much joy through and through for each girl and boy! - CJP
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Friday, November 14, 2008

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Priesthood Restored!

How grateful I am for the knowledge of priesthood power, authority, and its many blessings. Soon after the Prophet Joseph Smith had the 1st vision, John the Baptist returned unto the earth to give him the Aaronic Priesthood. Then Peter, James, and John returned and conferred upon him the Melchezidek Priesthood.

"I have lived to see my father baptized into the true church of Jesus Christ!" Joseph Smith exclaimed as his father came out of the waters of baptism the day the Church was organized, April 6, 1830.1

A year earlier, May 15, 1829, while Joseph translated passages of the Book of Mormon about the necessity of baptism, he and Oliver Cowdery had asked the Lord who had authority to baptize in His name. "The voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us," Oliver later wrote, and a heavenly messenger, John the Baptist, "came down clothed with glory."2 He conferred upon the two men the Aaronic Priesthood, which holds the priesthood keys "of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins."3

John the Baptist directed the two men to baptize each other, and they soon also baptized others converted to the restored gospel. Through priesthood ordination they authorized others to perform baptism by immersion. From that small beginning, many millions of people worldwide have been baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels,"1 the ancient prophet John the Baptist announced on May 15, 1829, when sent by God to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery at Harmony, Pennsylvania.

Weeks later, Peter, James, and John, who possess "the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times,"2 appeared to Joseph and Oliver and conferred upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood. Now the fulness of the gospel could be restored, the Church of Jesus Christ could be organized to "roll forth,"3 and all the ordinances necessary for the salvation of God's children could be performed—including bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Because priesthood keys were restored to Joseph Smith, all of God's children can receive the ordinances of salvation such as baptism administered by those called of God to act and speak in His name.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

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Missionary Work!

1 Now behold, a amarvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the aservice of God, see that ye bserve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand cblameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are acalled to the work;
4 For behold the afield is white already to bharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in cstore that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And afaith, bhope, ccharity and dlove, with an eeye single to the fglory of God, gqualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, avirtue, knowledge, btemperance, cpatience, dbrotherly ekindness, fgodliness, charity, ghumility, hdiligence.
7 aAsk, and ye shall receive; bknock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

Missionary Work in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is crucial for spreading the message of the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the death of Christ and the falling of His church and gospel there have been many different ideas of how Christ's church should be organized, ran, and operated. Today there are over 2,500 different christian denominations in the U.S alone.
This can be very confusing for many as they search for the fullness of the truth and God's plan for them.
Tonight on my drive home from work, I saw two LDS missionaries on the corner at a stop light on their bikes. I honked, waived and went on my way. I am grateful for their example and the light they hold up to the world.
I was once a full-time missionary also in California Sacramento area. It was one of the greatest blessings of my life. Proclaiming the gospel is part of the three-fold mission of the church and we feel it is very important for all to come to a knowledge of ancient and modern day prophets. To share with everyone the vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the bringing forth of The Book of Mormon.

  1. 3 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare aglad tidings of great joy unto this generation.
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