Going a long with the blog that I did on Motivation a couple of weeks ago. I found a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the talk is titled "The Most Powerful Motivating Force." In this talk President Uchtdorf talks about what motivated him the most while he was a child. We know that one of the most powerful motivating forces is love, but also one of the most powerful motivating forces to me would be desire. In this talk President Uchtdorf DESIRED to fly airplanes and with that came learning English. What in our lives do we Desire the most?
I have found lately that one of my favorite Hymns is "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" it just brings such a sense of comfort. You truly feel the Lord's love when listening to this song, and as for myself it makes me want to be better than I ever have before. I hope all of you enjoy it as much as I do.
Mo·ti·va·tion: 1. Desire to do; interest or drive 2. The state of being motivated.
Motivation is the key to all success it is as it says above the DESIRE to do, "Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions." Without motivation how far would we get? How successful would we be in life? Would we want to remain diligent? Or would we no longer feel the need or the urgency to go on? Without motivation we would get complacent, we would plateau in whatever we are doing.
The question I ask is how do you motivate someone or some group of people? Motivation can come from love and can also come from fear. It can also come from the ultimate desire that we have that turns into our actions. But for those who are ultimately missing that desire to act or to do, how is it we are to spark that desire? I ask this in hope's of being able to more effectively motivate others. This post is more of a disscussion, rather than being a blog post of me posting something in hopes of others learning.
WICKED, a Broadway musical that tells the story of two witches, Elphaba the wicked witch of the West and Glinda the good witch of the North. In this musical Elphaba wants to meet the wizard who she thinks is a wonderful person that knows everything, doesn't do anything wrong, she holds him to very high standing. Glinda does the same, the two are on the same journey until something happens. Strange things begin to happen in the land of OZ. On this journey to the land of OZ Elphaba finds that this wonderful wizard is not the man that she thought he was. He turns out to be behind all the bad things.
Lets take a look at life for just a second. We have this beautiful world we live in. We have so many things that are wonderful, families, friends, wholesome activities etc. We also have the bad like inappropriate content that can be easily accessed on the Internet or seen on TV shows. Things that were once seen as pornographic are now viewed on prime time television. The world today is much like WICKED. The Wizard who from the outside was viewed as wonderful, accepted, and good. Is just like the things of the world like those inappropriate things. They look good on the outside but on the inside are detrimental to our lives. The good things of the world a lot of times are viewed vise versa including the Gospel of Jesus Christ in many cases. Because they are not "in-line" with the ways of the world they are viewed as "horrible" or "wicked" just like Elphaba was. May we all take a careful look at our lives and the things around us and know right from wrong, good from evil. Know that God is love and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ truly do love us.
The other day, there was a missionary playing guitar and singing a song. The song he was singing was Upside Down by Jack Johnson a wonderful song. As he sang this song, I thought about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In today's world a lot of people are looking for something. If you ask people what they are looking for, they might not be able to answer the question because most don't know what it is. As this missionary began to sing this song, I thought about the Happiness the Gospel brings to our lives.
Many people may believe that true Happiness "just can't be found." But it can, this gospel is a gospel of change, because we do many things in our lives that create feelings of guilt or shame whether we realize they are creating those feelings or not. But, when we decide to change our lives, to live the commandments, to do what Heavenly Father has asked us to do, and most of all when we repent happiness will enter into our lives. Now in the song, Jack Johnson speaks of finding this love, this joy, that creates a feeling that he doesn't want "to go away." Well after we have decided to live the gospel, we come to baptism, now baptism does not only include water, there are 2 steps and the second step is receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost or could be the feeling that we "don't want to go away." The Holy Ghost helps us in our lives, it helps us feel the love of God ever stronger than we have before.
I want to take this opportunity I have of writing a blog and use it to wish my own Father as well as all the Father's that are out there a Happy Father's Day. Something I believe very strongly is that families are ordained of our Heavenly Father. He gives us families so that we can learn in a good environment and things like that. I definitely have a good Father. Although like all Father's he can get mad, whenever I got into trouble it was because I did something wrong and it was definitely for my own good. Even though I wouldn't have admitted that at the time's that I got in trouble, I can now.
Happy Father's Day Dad even though I cant be there, I hope that you have a good one. I love you and so does the rest of the family. Thanks for always being there and trying/doing your best to be the best Dad.
It's been a little while since I have posted a blog. I was thinking today, this is the perfect time to post up another blog post and get myself going on blogging again. The post I want to do today is about Memorial Day and our service men, not just our veterans. Memorial Day seems to be one of those holiday's that has kind of gotten out of hand. People have turned it into being about going partying at the lake rather than thanking our troops and showing their support. There is a poem I found on a building the other day and I have since found it online, I would like to share it with those of you who read this and ask that you pass this post along, the poem says;
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN,
who salutes the Flag,
It is the Veteran, who serves under the Flag,
To be buried by the flag,
So the protester can burn the flag.
For my self, if I may be so bold to change the word Veteran to Soldier. It is not just our Veteran's that have been out fighting. We have men and women currently out there fighting. I appreciate what they do, we will never know or fully understand all that they give, or all that their wives and husbands and children have to sacrafice so that their mother or father or child can be out there fighting. These men and women fight for the rights and defend those rights God has given us. God be with them.
There is a song that I am very fond of, I first hear it when I was in High School I was probably about a sophmore or so, the title of this song is "Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys, the song as the title states is a song about Heaven. They ask a very simple question yet one that definentaly in my mind sparked some curiosity, the question they ask is, "How far is Heaven?"
Today as i was sitting in a weekly meeting we have as missionaries and on the wall right next to the chalk board is a quote or statement that says;
"How far is Heaven? It's not very far. When you live close to God, it's right where you are."
How true is this statement? When we are living the way we should and we are keeping the commandments of God we are truley becoming closer to Heaven. There is a saying in our church that I really like it says, "Home can be a Heaven on Earth." "How far is Heaven? It's not very far." This I truley believe, we can all make our home's a Heaven on Earth.
As I have sat and pondered and written down my thoughts about Mother's Day, I have been unable to say what I want to in words. There is a song that comes to mind that I fell in love with as soon as I heard it, because it made me think of my own mother, so instead of writing a big blog, I am going to let a band named Il Divo do it for me, because they can express it better.
I am indeed very grateful for my own mom, she's done more for me than I could ever imagine. She is a very wonderful woman. My hope is that she knows how thankful I am, I have not always been the type to show how thankful I am or to listen the best. Most of the time in fact Im pretty sure she thinks I'm not listening or paying attention but I am. And I'm grateful for the wonderful example she has been in my life and continues to be. I love and cherish her. Happy Mother's Day not just to my mom, but to all the wonderful mother's around the world, without you, we would be in chaos.
We look around us everyday and behold marvelous things that have been placed on Earth. Since spring time is coming we are now beginning to behold the beautiful flowers blooming, fields turning from brown to green right before our eyes, if you are in Montana you are watching feilds be plowed and planted, or baby calves running around their mothers in the field. Or if your a pilot in California you now get to watch from the sky people beginning to come back to the beach, you see the gorgeous mountainous terrain become greener than ever just off the coast, the cliffs with the water beating them at the bottom.
With this being said, is it possible that we could claim there is no God? How is it that anything but God could make such marvelous things? To me when I see the wonderful things of this world I think to myself how loving a Father in Heaven we have, no matter what "Natural Beauties" we look at they all testify of a loving Heavenly Father.
In the scriptures it speaks of God creating all things Lehi says this;
"And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon." (2 Nephi 2:14)
During this wonderful spring season, as we begin to experience the many blessing and many beauties of this world. I encourage all of you to soak in this beauty. To go out and experience the beauty of this world for yourself, and know that there is a Father in Heaven who knows you personally! Who wants you to be happy! And who is waiting to hear from you. As we strive to live the gospel, Heavenly Father will bless us, he will help us. And most of all, he loves us!
The Christmas Season is one of my favorites, because everyone is happy and loving. People care for one another, and most importantly many people think more about Christ. This season we are approaching is not the Christmas season, but it is Easter. At Easter time, it is not only a time to look at the pretty eggs left by the Easter Bunny or to find our candy hiding behind the books on the shelf, rather it is a time to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)
To finish His Atonement King Benjamin says this:
"And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men." (Mosiah 3:10)
This is the reason we celebrate Easter, we are celebrating the things the Lord has done for us, we celebrate not his death but His Resurrection, the Lord is not dead but HE LIVES! This is my testimony to all who men and women everywhere.
In this recent General Conference the Mormon Tabernacle choir sang a song that struck me much more than it ever has before. The title of the Hymn is "Hark, all ye nations!" as you read the lyrics below please think of what these words mean to you:
"Hark, all ye nations!
Hear heaven’s voice
Thru ev’ry land that all may rejoice!
Angels of glory shout the refrain:
Truth is restored again!
Oh, how glorious from the throne above
Shines the gospel light of truth and love!
Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray
Lights ev’ry land today."
Truth has definitely been restored to this earth, our Heavenly Father has given us a living prophet and apostles to lead and guide this church with Jesus Christ at the head. This song is fulfilled as we watch General Conference, we hear the words that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would have us hear. These words are not just limited to Utah or Montana or the United States, these words have been heard all over the world, along with hearing the words of the Lord from the prophet, there are also missionaries going out and about working diligently to spread this gospel so that all may hear and feel the happiness we feel. I pray that you may feel the spirit as strongly as I have while listening and reading these words.
We have talked about Heavenly Father, families, prophets, Jesus Christ's Ministry, and the great apostasy that happened here upon the Earth. All of these things happened for a reason, they all lead up to the Restoration of the gospel.
In 1820 there was a boy named Joseph Smith, he was 14 years old. He wanted to know what church was the true church. To me that is very impressive for a 14 year old, but he was interested because his mother was Presbyterian and his father was Methodist and along with that there was quite a bit of religious excitement going on around his neighborhood. Pastors and preachers that would take the same doctrine and teach it so differently, Joseph finally decided that he needed to ask for himself, he needed to know for himself whether or not he should join any of these sects of religion. One day while reading in the epistle of James first chapter fifth verse which read:
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Joseph Smith took this verse to heart, in this verse James says, if you lack wisdom then ask God, he is not going to get mad, and he is going to answer the question which you've asked so this is just what he did. He went out to a grove of trees next to his home and knelt down offering a prayer to Heavenly Father and in his own words this is what he said happened:
"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.... When the light rested upon me I saw two Personage, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other 'This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
In this account, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. They told him the he would be the one to restore Christ's church to the Earth. That all other sects sects of religion as good as they were, drew near to them with their Mouth but with their hearts where far from him.
I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and that he did restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. It is a great blessing to be apart of this great cause in bringing the gospel to the world, this gospel is of great importance, the message that we share can and will change the lives of those who will let it.
There is much to be said about the earthly ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He did so many wonderful things while he was on the Earth. There is a set of versus in the Book of Mormon that explain the ministry of Christ much better than I could, and so I will post them here. In these versus, the prophet, at the time King Benjamin is giving an address to his people, teaching them the gospel of Christ and as always testifying of Christ:
"...shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men." Mosiah 3:5-6
This of course is just the miracles he worked, He also performed what we call the Atonement, where He suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and later died for us up on the Cross at Calvary. Along with doing that the Savior set up a church here upon the Earth and as some know, called and ordained twelve apostles and gave them the priesthood or the "power" and "authority" to act in God's name.
But sadly after the Savior Jesus Christ was Crucified his twelve-apostles were in fact rejected, just like their master. And as the prophet Amos prophesied of in Amos 8:11-12 where he says:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it."
This indeed became true, the world fell into a widespread Apostasy or a time where the church was not on the Earth. And as always, the words of the prophet were fulfilled. But this leads us into what we will be talking about next, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
From the beginning of time, we have always had a prophet on the Earth. If we read through the Bible we can see all throughout the Old Testament that God has always given us prophets, He gave us Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Isaiah etc. God gives us prophets because He loves us. Why do you think that God gives us prophets? There could be many reasons that He gives them to us, He wants us to live with Him again prophets guide and direct us in all things that we do. If we heed to what prohpets tell us then we will be able to make it once again into the Kingdom of God.
One reason that is definite is explained in the book of Amos in the Old Testament. The prophet Amos speaks about prophets and he says this;
"Surely the Lod God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
I know that God gives us prophets, He always has and He always will. He loves us and cares for us and wants us to return to Him.
I love this title, "Come What May & Love It" how often do we do that? Life is hard, we know that but how often do we just put our shoulder to the wheel and say, "Well here we go." In the gospel there is a principal that is just as important as all others, and that is living a "Christian Life." What do I mean by that you may be asking, well let me tell you. We need to do all that we can to be obedient to our Heavenly Father. The reason I love this video and the phrase that Elder Worthlin's mother told him is because, we need to do just as it says. Life gets tough, I once heard that "We are not defined by our trials but by how we face them." What good is coming from facing our trials with a foul attitude? Not much, but if we change our attitude and say, "Well lets make the best of it" then we may have a better time in life.
This is something quite a few of us struggle with, but I know that as we learn how to love what comes our way, not only will life be more enjoyable, but as we react to our trials in the way our Father in Heaven would have us face them then
"The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles," The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, (2000)
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.
The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
In the world Heavenly Father has given us so many things to help us make it in life. Because He wants us to make it back to him, and He knows how hard this life would be. To help us learn the correct principals and values that we need to know to make it back to our Father in Heaven. In Preach My Gospel: A guide to Missionary Service it says, " The home is the best place to teach, learn, and apply principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ." In the video below it shows wonderful gospel principles:
I know that family is important, without my family and my parents teaching me the difference between right and wrong, and other good morals and principles of the gospel I probably wouldn't be where I am today. I'm very grateful for my family, I know that I have been blessed to have them in my life, and I know that the gospel has blessed us. In The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ the prophet Jacob talks of families and he says this:
"Because of this observance, in keeping this commandment... Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children..." Jacob 3:6-7
I know this gospel blesses families, and helps us to have more happy homes and a better life if you allow it to. I like this quote from President David O. Mckay in which he says, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." I believe it, My prayer is that everyone will work to have the best home that they may.
Recently in a meeting for missionaries in my mission, President Gardner shared with us a quote that someone had shared with him, it is a quote by President Spencer W. Kimball from 1974. In this quote he gives a prophecy about how Technology will help spread the gospel. He says:
"Technology will help spread the gospel. We need to enlarge our field of operation.… The Lord will lay in our hand inventions which we can scarcely conceive whereby we will be able to bring the gospel to the peoples of the world…. I have faith that the Lord will open doors when we have done everything in our power. I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse….We shall use the inventions the Lord has given us to awaken interest and acquaint people of the world with the truths, to ease their prejudices and give them a general knowledge. We shall need to answer specific questions, and perhaps that can be done by two-way radio and TV perfected to a point beyond our present imagination. It is conceivable that such a program greatly perfected could be multiplied ten thousand times in ten thousand tongues and dialects in ten thousand places far and near…. Tens of thousands of young missionaries endowed with the power from on high will follow up the proselyting."
What an amazing prophecy, and how wonderful an opportunity it is to be part of the fulfillment of this prophecy. Technology indeed has truly advanced and is helping all to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of the most important truths that we teach as missionaries and as members of the church is that God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. That line nearly says it all. Heavenly Father is literally our father in Heaven! Is that cool or what? What does it mean to you to have a Father in Heaven? Do you find that it is important? I know that I do. Having a loving Heavenly Father means that we are never alone. In those times of need that always come with out a doubt, we know that we can turn to Him in prayer. Just like an earthly parent Heavenly Father wants to hear from us! He wants to know what is going on in our lives, its just like our parents here on Earth. Prayer is the communication that Heavenly Father has given us so that we can talk to Him. Think for just a moment about what you believe about God. As we learn to lean on our Heavenly Father we will begin to grow, we will live the way He has asked and as we do so I know that we will return to live with Him once again. I bear a second witness to the testimony that Jeffrey R. Holland gives in the video below. I know that God is our literal Father, I know that he loves us, and I know that He watches over us.
I'm going to be honest, this is probably the third time that I have written this blog. I sat here pondering about what I should blog about and I had a million things pop into my head, I wanted to blog about The Restoration of the Gospel, a poem called The Oak Tree by John Ray Ryder Jr, I wanted to blog about temples and so many other things. But as I began to write about each one of those subjects I just didn't feel write about the thing that I was blogging about. The one topic that kept coming to my mind was the purpose of life and I feel like this is what I need to write about for this current post.
Have you ever wondered why we are here?
The purpose of life is fairly simple, in the book of Alma thirty-fourth chapter thirty-second verse a missionary named Amulek is talking about what our purpose is here. He says, "For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors." Put very simply I like that first sentence where he says this is the time for men to prepare to meet God, how can we prepare to meet God? We can prepare to meet God by following His commandments. He has laid the path for us to make it back to him, the path may not be easy but it is there. I know this life is hard I know that there are so many things out there that distract us and make us want to do different things, but eternal life is so important, going to church, reading our Scriptures, saying our prayers, they are so important I know that if we do these things, life may still be hard but it will be made easier than it would have been because we will have God there watching over us constantly. He has tried to set it up for us as much as possible so that we may not fail, and if we do, He has given us His son Jesus Christ so that we may make it back to him.
Amulek goes onto say in verse thirty-three, "And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many awitnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not bprocrastinate the day of your crepentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the dnight of edarkness wherein there can be no labor performed." Please let us not procrastinate we are talking about eternal life here, it is worth so much, it may not seem like it now but I know that it is worth it. Let us repent and continue on the straight and narrow path. Remember we are here to do the things that Heavenly Father would have us do, he has come up with this great plan so that we could come to Earth and then make it back to live with him once again let us try our hardest and earn his trust.
Recently I've been studying a lot about the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. And my testimony of this book has been strengthened, because the more I pray about it the more I read from it and the more I study it, the more I know how true it is.
The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, as Joseph Smith said, "It is the keystone of our religion." This Book is so vital to us because if the book were not true then there would be nothing else. But the book is true! We have a prophet of God, we have apostles, we have the priesthood and all of the ordincances of the gospel. It is vital to our salvation and what happens to us after we die. If we choose to study this volume of scripture and other scriptures and live the commandments taught therein that is commanded of God we may have eternal life. I know it too be true and would like to invite all others to know the same thing. Joseph Smith also said this of The Book of Mormon, "A man [and woman] would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts." In closing here are a few paragraphs from the Introduction:
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah."
Ask God our Eternal Father if this book is not true. He will give you an answer.
There is a phrase in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ that is used several times, it is the phrase "not many years." In the Book of Mormon the Nephite's when listening to the teaching of the prophets and doing the things that they should be doing receive blessings and gain favor in the sight of the Lord, "not many years" show's how quickly things can turn. For example, "Thus had they become weak, because of their transgression, in the space of not many years." Helaman 4:26
We as people just like the Nephite's have the same problem. We may be doing good and the Lord will bless us for all our good, but it can be something little that quickly turns our tide from good to bad. For in the space of "not many years" we can fall into iniquity. But thanks to the wonderful plan that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have come up with we can be forgiven. "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation" -Joseph B. Wirthlin. The Nephite's soon realized that they had been doing wrong, "..they saw that the Lamanites were exceedingly more numerous than they, and except they should cleave unto the Lord their God they must unavoidably perish." Helaman 4:25. I know that as we learn from the Book of Mormon that we can be forgiven and that although we fall and sometimes in the space of "not many years" God still loves us and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we an be forgiven.
As I think about Hope, I believe that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf talks about it best:
I love the first sentence in the video, "Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness." For all those who are feeling a little down, maybe sorrowed or even a little depressed: remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to change your life. If your life is filled with misfortune and regret and missed opportunities or poor decisions, seek the forgiveness and peace that comes through Jesus Christ. Through His atonement He has promised us that if we will repent of our sins, forsake our trespasses, and seek to be righteous and obedient, he will prepare a magnificent home for us in the life to come. I like the words of Ether, a prophet in the Book of Mormon.
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with suretyhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
Have hope in things that are good - in Jesus Christ, and in His gospel. Have hope that you may improve your life. Have hope that your faith may be strengthened. Know that Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, love you. "The Love of the Son of God pierces all darkness..."
Given a recent tragedy in my family I felt inspired to talk about death. When I heard of this tragedy the
first thing that popped into my mind was a poem by Gordon B. Hinckley former president of the church. The poem goes like this:
"What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?
What is this thing that men call death?
This quiet passing in the night?
‘Tis not the end but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light
O God, touch Thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.
There is no death, but only change
With recompense for vict’ry won
The gift of Him who loved all men
The Son of God, the Holy One."
In this poem he talks about the strength that God can give us. Personally, I love the line "There is no death, but only change..." As sad as death inevitably is, there is always something we have that we can turn to... the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is always there to offer comfort. Through this gospel, we know that there is more to this life; this life is merely a time for "men to prepare to meet God." (Alma 34:32) I know that there is more after this life. I know that Heavenly Father loves us, and I know that he has a plan for us. Although at first death, or better yet "change", is a time of tears, God will help and give you strength. Lean on Him - He is there.
I have run into people on my mission that struggle with this concept. They feel that they need to know everything about the church. To believe and live you faith as Neil L. Andersen says, "You may not know everything, but you know enough." We need not get carried away in needing to know all of the small things, answers will come through out time and diligent study. We know enough to be baptized, we know enough to live our Faith, we know enough to do these things. We need to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father to trust in them that we know enough and that the answers they give us are what we need. What greater witness can we have than from God? "You may not know everything, but you know enough."
In the world of music, there is a device called a Tuning Fork. This device is a two-pronged fork that is used in music as a "standard of pitch" so that you may tune other musical insturments. After striking the Tuning Fork against a hard surface of some sort, the forks start to vibrate giving you your pitch.
Your probably asking yourself right now, what does this have to do with anything? Well let me tell you. In our lives we go through a lot. We go through disappointment, disouragement, heart ache, etc. When we have our lives in "tune" with what we know is right it allows us to be more happy than we were before. When we know God is pleased with us it relieves some stress whether we realize it or not.
Now, not being in tune does not always mean that we are being disobedient; it can mean that we just have some things that we can work on. For instance, studying our scriptures is something that might not seem too big, but it is something that can make a difference. Maybe we're doing it, but can we be doing better at it? That is just an example. There are so many things that we could work on because none of us are perfect but we are trying our best. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are so proud of us when we are striving to be the best that we can be. And when we are striving to "tune" our lives to the "frequency" of the spirit, God can help us so much easier than when we are off of the path they want us on.
Sometimes people may call their lives a bad song, but what could make that bad song better? Could just doing a few minor adjustments make that song better? Maybe just adjusting the pitch of their guitar would make the song better? I think that it can. I know that as we strive to do what is right, As we work our hardest to live the way God would have us live that He will bless us. He wants us to be happy, and as we work on adjusting our "pitch" as we use our "tuning fork" and become in tune with the Spirit of God that He will help us. I know these things are true and I know through Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father will forgive us of our sins. Let us all adjust our lives so that we may be more in tune with the Spirit.