Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baskets, Benches, and Benefits

Growing up I spent a lot of time in my driveway shooting baskets. I've always loved basketball and found it easy to spend a lot of time practicing my free throws or whatever else. However, my mother knew that other skills in my life would be more beneficial then just being able to put a ball through a hoop. For instance, she encouraged me from a young age to learn to play the piano. I didn't always find as much joy sitting on that hard piano bench as I did playing out in the front yard. In fact, there were times when my mother was probably very disappointed in my lack of dedication. I remember her saying something to the effect of, "If you would spend half as much time practicing the piano as you do playing basketball just imagine how good you could be."

Looking back, I wish I had listened to my mother on that subject as well as others. Sports are fun and we can learn a lot about life and about ourselves from them. But as time goes on, they seem to matter less and less in the eternal scheme of things. What is important is that we live the kind of life that God wants us to. We should keep His commandments and do the things that He has asked us to. In this, lies true happiness.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Time

I have really enjoyed this Christmas season as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This time of year has always been a special time for remembering Christ in my life but being a missionary just amplifies it. I feel that the greatest gift any of us could give to another is the gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Presents, packages, and stocking stuffers will come and go but Christ offers us something that won't disappear or fade with time. I pray that this Christmas season we will have charity towards those around us and pass the good news of Christ along. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back on the Path

When you have done something for a long time it is rather easy to keep doing it. However, when we you get out of doing that particular habit it is just as easy to discontinue it altogether.
For instance, I ran cross country and track for three years in high school but once I graduated and got out of the running routine it became much more difficult to motivate myself. As a result I am currently out of shape and don't really desire to go on runs in the morning.
This same principle applies to church attendance. Just as I love to run, I love going to church. It keeps me in shape spiritually. On my mission I have seen many who have left the path of church attendance. I have also seen many choose to come back. At first it is often hard to return but as they have worked through that initial discomfort they've been able to reap the benefits of going to church.
Even though it might be hard at first the blessings of going to church are well worth it in the end.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This Christmas season I hope that we can all have JOY. Maybe the word joy could actually serve as an acronym for our priorities this time of year.

J for Jesus
O for Others
Y for Yourself

Our focus should be on Christ, His life, what He did for us. One way that we can show our love for Him is by serving the people He died for. I have found some of the greatest joy in my life by serving others. If we will focus less on ourselves and more on our Savior I know that this Christmas can, and will, have greater significance.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Running Between the Lanes

At our track in high school we had eight lanes that looked a lot like this. I actually never ran in a race which required me to stay in one lane for the entire run. I was more of a long distance guy. We just run wherever. Anyway, I wanted to expound on this principle of staying in our lane.

Our Heavenly Father has outlined a plan for us. We call it the Plan of Salvation. In order to win the prize we must play by the rules. This includes diligently following the commandments, which I would compare to staying in your lane. However, unlike a track meet, if you somehow do get out of your lane you are allowed to make a lane change back to where you need to be. We call this repentance.

Friday, November 25, 2011

No Trial is Too Difficult

       In the Book of Mormon a prophet named Lehi had a vision (See 1 Nephi 8). In this vision he saw a tree representing the love of God. The fruit of this tree was so delicious he wanted others to partake of it also. Numberless concourses of people pressed their way forward all trying to make it to this tree of life. The people found the path that led to the tree but when a mist of darkness descended upon them many wandered and were lost.

       Our Heavenly Father does allow trials and temptations to enter into our lives. We must learn to make righteous decisions. However, we are promised that we will never have more than we can handle. We will never be tempted above that which we are able (See 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Saturday, November 19, 2011


       In the sport of basketball a crossover is simply switching which hand you are dribbling with. So if you were bouncing the ball with your right hand and then switched to your left that would be considered a crossover. It is an important thing to learn because if you can only dribble with one hand you are in a lot of trouble when someone is guarding you. Many times a good cross over is said to brake someone's ankles (meaning you faked them out so bad their ankles broke).

       This same concept is true with the scriptures. Paul taught that, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." Often scriptures in the Bible can be interpreted many different ways. This confusion is inspired by the devil. We know that not all of these interpretations can be correct seeing as they contradict one another. So just like a crossover in basketball we can crossover, or cross reference, from the Bible to the Book of Mormon. This eliminates confusion, thus, breaking the devil's ankles.

       Check out Tad R. Callister's recent conference talk for further enlightenment on the subject.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In the Book of Mormon we read of different military leaders who inspired their men to fight. The two fundemental driving forces were either hatred or love. The righteous Nephite leaders strengthened their men in love of their God, their family, and their freedom.1 On the other hand, wicked men inspired their warriors with hatred towards their enemies or for power and money.2

I have experience first hand the difference both types of leaders can make. Maybe not to the same extremes, but to some degree. During my high school years spent on the track I had great coaches. They showed confidence in me and my abilities. They cared about me. They inspired me to want to become a better athlete. However, when I had coaches who yelled at me and told me only what I was doing wrong I was not prone to work as hard.

In both cases (in the Book of Mormon and in my life), those who were inspired by love were more effective than those inspired by hatred. I hope we can be like my track coaches and help those around us to recognize their potential and help them to reach it. It's easy, just love them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Practice Prepares us for Success

Deuternomy 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

Before the regular football season starts, in high school anyway, the team will go through extensive practicing and a lot of hard work. You might even call it a refiner's fire. Perhaps, one of the most significant reasons the coach will put his players through this is to weed out the ones who are too weak, or who simply do not want to work hard.

The Lord is our coach, so to speak. He wants us to enjoy the blessing of playing in the homecoming game and enjoy a successful season in the promised land. But He must test and try us before we can come up out of the wildnerness. If we will prove to Him that we will keep His commandments then we will reap the reward.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Easy Way Out

Over the years, I have played on quite a few different sports teams. And through it all I have learned many different things. One thing that stands out to me is the difference hard work makes in an athlete. In order to improve you must put in the work.

Hard work often causes pain in the world of sports. Whether it's lifting weights, running laps, or biking for miles you must push yourself if you want to get stronger and faster.

The same is true with life. If we take the easy way out then we will never become any better tomorrow than we are today. That is the Lord's law. That which ye sow, shall ye reap.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Since I been here in Montana I have had the opportunity to enter into many homes of people from all walks of life. It has been very interesting to observe the different atmospheres. I have learned much about what makes a happy home. Of course I am no expert but I just wanted to share some of my insights on the subject of marriage.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:18, 24). Man and woman are meant to be together and they are meant to be unified. Parents who work together in love to rear their children in righteousness are able to enjoy the blessing of having the Holy Ghost to help guide them.

Parents who live the gospel and teach their children about God in turn come closer to God. I've seen it illustrated this way:

As husband and wife get closer to God they also get closer together.

True happiness is to be found in eternal marriage not just 'til death do you part. This doctrine is found in the true gospel of Jesus Christ. President Hugh B. Brown gave a great talk entitled: The Latter-day Saint Concept of Marriage. I would suggest it.

No matter who you are whether you are married or single, the gospel of Jesus Christ can and will help you. I have seen it change individuals and families and I know it can help you too. There is truth in the adage: Families who pray together stay together.

For more information on eternal marriages and families please visit

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5k for Life

Ready. Set. (Snap) The starting gun is fired and the race begins. Running a 5 kilometer race begins with everyone fighting for position, testing the strength of their competitors, and getting into a rhythm for the rest of the race. I would compare Mile 1 of the race to the first 15 years of life for us. We are just starting out; just getting to know ourselves and take in our surroundings.

Mile 2 of the race is to me the most important. This is where many runners kind of 'fall asleep' so to speak. After all, the finish line seems so far away and they start to rationalize slowing down, maybe working a little less than they could. Some even quit and give up entirely. In life, this period of time is often referred to as the decade of decisions. We have many choices to make that will greatly impact the rest of our lives. So we'd be best to 'stay awake' during all of it.

The last mile is a different length of time for each of us. Unlike a race we don't know exactly where the finish line will be. We could stumble upon it at any time. Let us endure to the end of our lives with perseverance, dedication, and hard work. If we do so I know that we will find peace in this life and happiness in the life to come.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

16. Use the phrase, "I could be wrong, but..."

I think that this one is pretty self-explanitory. By using this phrase we show others that we are willing to admit that we might be wrong and are just merely expressing our opinion or what we think. Give it a shot next time you offer someone a piece of advice.

15. Take advice

We are given advice on many occassions. Some of those may include: general conference, school, church, or just a small piece of advice from a friend. The advice may be applicable or perhaps it's not. But before you dismiss it be sure to truly ask yourself if it has any merit. Too often we disregard sage advice just because we are to proud to admit that we need to change.

An apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Neil L. Andersen, has said, "When a loved one or friend suggests things we need to change, the natural man in us sometimes pops up his head and responds, 'Oh, you think I should change? Well, let me tell you about some of your problems.' A better approach is to humbly petition the Lord: 'Father, what wouldst Thou have me do?' The answers come. We feel the changes we need to make. The Lord tells us in our mind and in our heart."

Let us choose to listen to the counsel of friends, family, and the prophets and become better.

14. Quickly admit you are wrong

Throughout each day and week of our lives there are often disagreements. Both people often began an argument thinking that they are right. But halfway through the discussion I can start to see their side... most of the time. But do I stop disagreeing? Probably not. I just keep trying to find more reasons why I'm right and they're wrong. Why?

I think it all goes back to pride. When we realize that we've made a mistake or mispoke we refuse to swallow our pride. It's almost like a switch that just gets turned on as soon someone says we are wrong. We just immediately start getting all defensive.

The solution, I think, is just practice. Try to take a step back and really think about whether or not what the person is saying is true. Sometimes it's ok to call a time-out.

13. Fight self pity

A couple of months ago one of the church leaders in the area gave a great talk on this subject. He talked about how sometimes he sends out an invitation to himself to attend a pity party and he always accepts. He then spoke about how we can combat these feelings. We have much to be glad about. Think of it, the Savior has overcome the world. Why shouldn't we be of good cheer (See John 16)?
So next time you consider sending yourself an invite to your own pity party think again, and instead consider what Jesus Christ has done for you.

12. Repent

True repentance means true change.

Click here for more on repentance.

11. Don't cause contention

Alright, I'm going to start this one off with a confession... I have not always been so good at refraining myself from causing contention. Just ask my mother, I was quite the tease. As I have grown older, however, I have eased up a considerable amount. Anyway, enough about me.

Contention is of the devil as stated in 3 Nephi 11:29 and we should strive for peace in our homes and commnuties. When you find yourself feeling grumpy (maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed), instead of trying to make others miserable, go out of your way to help someone else.

10. Don't withhold gratitude

Thomas S. Monson, a prophet, recently gave a talk entitled The Divine Gift of Gratitude. Last October he brought up a rather good point I think. He said, "The loss of loved ones almost inevitably brings some regrets to our hearts. Let’s minimize such feelings as much as humanly possible by frequently expressing our love and gratitude to them. We never know how soon it will be too late."

We never know when the end is. I hope that we don't let our pride hurt our relationships with family and friends here on earth.

To view a video about gratitude please click here.

9. Don't be jealous of anything or anyone

The 10th commandment given to Moses says, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s."1 Gratitude is the quick cure for jealousy. If we can remember everything that we have been blessed with we will be slow to covet other people's things. President Thomas S. Monson has said, "Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings."2

See what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes about gratitude.

8. Thicken Your Skin

Don't let the little things bother you. Sometimes I find myself letting the silliest things get to me. In reality that stuff doesn't matter and we'd be better off to just let it go. Humility and patience both play a large role in being able to do this. If someone says something rude to you, quickly forgive them and move on. Don't hold a grudge.

7. Cave

Cave: to yield; submit; surrender.

Disagreements in life happen often. Much of the time they result in hurt feelings and holding onto grudges. Sometimes these disagreements even occur during a sporting event... I know, hard to believe. But most of the time both players think they are right. Without a referee, a disagreement in a pick-up basketball game can put a halt to everyone's fun.

The solution: just cave. In the eternal scheme of things it isn't important if your foot was on the three point line or not.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

6. Go to the temple often

For those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, going to the temple is great blessing. Just as the temples and tabernacles of the Old and New Testament were sacred and holy edifices to those who entered, so it is today for members of the Church who qualify for a temple recommend. The more often we can attend the temple, the more we feel wonderful spirit that is there.

For more information about what a temple is please click on the picture above.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

5. Forgive others

Oftentimes, we are offended by little things. Each one of us has weaknesses and strengths. Instead of becoming upset with one another we should be quick to forgive and slow to condemn. The Savior taught us that we should forgive others as we have been forgiven.1 So next time someone cuts you off on the road, take a step back and ask yourself if it really matters in the long run.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

4. Give Selfless Service

Our Heavenly Father has asked us to serve one another. By serving each other we show our Father in Heaven through our actions that we love Him and our fellow brothers and sisters. My dad and I talked on occasion about the good feeling that comes after serving someone else. Why is that?? Why do you feel so good after you've used your time and your effort to help someone else? It is because the Holy Ghost will testify to you that you have done the right thing.

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."1 -King Benjamin

Friday, September 30, 2011

3. Love and Thank Heavenly Father Often

I think that the key word in this one is often. Our Father in Heaven has given us so much. The least we can do is to frequently thank Him for what He has done. Also, when we pray to God, we usually thank Him at the beginning of the prayer for all the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. It is simply said in 1 John 4:19, "We love him, because he first loved us."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2. Don't Gossip

In Mosiah 13:23 a prophet named Abinadi teaches, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."1 We need to be careful with what we say about other people. When we criticize others behind their backs they may not hear it immediately but our Father in Heaven does. God wants us to love one another and we can show Him that love by speaking positively of other people.

Check out a video about gossip by clicking here!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1. Love and Respect Everyone

"Jesus said love everyone; Treat them kindly too.
When your heart is filled with love, others will love you." (LDS Children's Songbook)

While it is nice to be loved back it is more important that we love and respect others out of love for our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. Each of us is a child of God and deserves all of the respect we have to offer.

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Visit to find out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trust Your Ball

The other day Elder Davis and I were visiting with a family in our area. The older gentleman that we were conversing with had recently played a game or two of bowling. Actually, he regularly gets together with some friends and plays a couple of frames. Anyhow, as he talked he said something that really stuck out to me. He said something to the effect of, "You've just got to trust your ball."

What I got from this was that after you've thrown your ball there really isn't anything you can do. You've just got to trust it. It's kind of like our trust in Jesus Christ. Nephi said, ". . . for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."1 When we do everything in our power to repent and become better we must trust Christ. And the great thing about having Christ on our team is that we will always get a strike!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No Regrets

During my high school days I ran on the cross country team. I was definitely not the fastest runner on the team but I had fun and was able to work hard and improve my race times. Many runners would write things on their arms with a marker or a pen to remind them of something during the race. One such phrase I often saw on our team was "No Regrets."

One of the worst feelings after finishing a race is to not be tired. You look back and can see that you could have worked much harder and ran much faster. It's a disappointment most runners will feel at one point or another. Our lives can be compared to a cross country race. We don't want to walk through the finish line, or even jog. We don't want to look back afterwards and see that we could have done so much better. We want to finish strong knowing that we have fought a good fight and finished the course.1 Let us live our lives in such a manner that we will have "No Regrets."

Running the Race by Elder Steinicke

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Practice, Don't Cheat Yourself

We've all heard it said that when you cheat on a test or something, you are only cheating yourself. I agree whole-heartedly with that statement. I mean, think about it. When you go to football, or basketball, or dance practice (whatever it may be) you go to get better at that particular activity. If you don't work hard, you aren't going to improve. It's a simple enough concept.

However, when I was younger I didn't always want to practice. Practices certainly aren't as fun as games. Sometimes, we just want to do the fun things, we want to skip ahead to the finished product without all the hard work in between. President Thomas S. Monson said, "Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey . . . One day each of us will run out of tomorrows."1 As we work towards becoming more like our Savior Jesus Christ we should follow the prophet's counsel and find joy in the journey. Don't cheat yourself of happiness in this life and the life to come.

1. Finding Joy in the Journey, by President Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Power Save Mode: On

This is a picture of my running watch. It's got some pretty fancy features. It can hold up to 50 lap times and will show me the averages and all that. Kinda neat. A new feature that I just recently discovered is the 'Power Save Mode.' Don't laugh, it's pretty cool. After a certain period of time the screen turns off and helps to save the battery. You never know when that battery is gonna die.

Each of us has a 'battery' so to speak. Our lives here on earth are bound to end some time. We just don't know when exactly. Heavenly Father has given us commandments to help us turn on the 'Power Save Mode.' These specific commandments are called the Word of Wisdom1 and were revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. In the Word of Wisdom we are advised not to partake of harmful substances such as alohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee. We are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, and grain. If we do so we will receive physical strength and also knowledge.

Although we do not know the reasons for all of God's commandments, we do know that He loves us and wants what is best for us. I know that the Word of Wisdom is revelation from God to help us today.

See Doctrine and Covenants Sectoin 89

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wearing the Right Shoes

I grew up playing a lot of sports.1 Soccer, basketball, running, and football were some of my favorites. Sports are all different from one another. They require different skills and equipment. One of the most important items, in my mind at least, are the shoes. Soccer and football are played on grass/turf and in order to prevent yourself from slipping you wear cleats. On the basketball court, however, wearing cleats would not only ruin the floor but you would slide everywhere too. Bad idea...

So what shoes should we wear in battlefield against Satan? In Ephesians 6 it talks about a whole bunch of equipment that will help us defend ourselves and fight against the adversary. In verse 15 specifically it says to have "your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;"

In order to shod your feet with the gospel you have to know the gospel. And I don't think that there is any better place to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ than in the Book of Mormon. I would challenge everyone to read the Book of Mormon everyday, even if it's just a little bit. Heavenly Father will bless us if we will study the words of the prophets. I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Book of Mormon

Other articles to check out:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Repentance means to feel sorrow for sin and to desire change one's life for the better. Through, and only through, the Atonement of Jesus Christ are we truly able to overcome our sins and shortcomings. I've often heard the process referred to as the ABC's and D of repentance.

A-Acknowledge that you've messed up
B-Be sorry about what you've done
C-Confess your sins to God and, if necessary, to a Priesthood leader
C-Correct the wrongs the best you can
D-Don't do it again

There you go! It's as easy as ABC.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thankful for a Change

       The other night as I was lying awake waiting to fall asleep I realized just how grateful I am to be able to sleep every night and rest my body and mind. It's a chance for us to forget about everything for a few hours and rejuvinate. I think it's important that we have that change of pace everyday. Right along with that is the changing of the seasons. I personally love fall. Summer draws to a close and everything slows down a little bit. Those are just a few things I am thankful for.
       There is a Mormon Message that goes right along with this. Check it out!

Please see:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Baptism, Our First Covenant

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Endure to the End

Faith in Jesus Christ

       The Fourth Article of Faith states, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."1 I don't think that it is any coincidence that faith is first on the list.
       I like to associate the word trust with the faith. We must have trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We must have trust in Christ's Atonement. We must have trust that we will be blessed for being obedient to the commandments.
       What can we do with our faith? What is it good for? Believe it or not, it's good for growing trees. Actually it's good for growing a very special kind of tree. Alma talks about this gardening experiment in chapter 32 of the Book of Alma. To find out more just click on the picture to the right.
       When we have faith it leads us to repent, or to change for the better. Which leads us to the second principle in the Fourth Article of Faith, Repentance.

Please See:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


       I know that there are many opinions on whether or not NASCAR is actually a sport. We'll try not to get into that. My favorite part of watching sports like NASCAR is the highlight reel of all of the crashes. I know, I know, probably not the best thing. In fact, I should probably show a little bit of empathy for the drivers who wreck.
       Anyhow, I wanted to compare this to life. Do we sometimes hope for others to fail?? Do we rejoice when others "crash" so to speak. President Uchtdorf says, "...we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman. We are here to live according to His law and establish the kingdom of God. We are here to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage all of Heavenly Father’s children." 1
       We need to follow Jesus Christ's example and strive to help our fellow man get up after a "crash" rather than rejoice him falling.

Please see:
Pride and the Priesthood, Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Taking the Sacrament

       Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discourage non-members from partaking of the sacrament?
       I have come across this question a time or two on my mission. Some members feel that only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be able to partake of this sacred ordinance. Others say that it is acceptable. After doing a bit of research the answer is clear.
       Handbook 2: Administering in the Church says, "Although the sacrament is for Church members, the bishopric should not announce that it will be passed to members only, and nothing should be done to prevent nonmembers from partaking of it."
       So there you have it. Members and nonmembers alike are allowed to partake of the holy sacrament.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Through Christ We Can Be Cleansed from Sin

       The Atonement is central to everything we teach as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Without It nothing would be possible. It truly is by His grace that we are saved through faith. Our Savior suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for our sins and again on the cross. By His miraculous power we can be cleansed from our sins. As Alma prophesied Christ really did, "take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people."1
       I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that  I can have peace through repentance and being cleansed from sin.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stayin' Above the Water

400 pixel reach assist with yellow tube:
       As a lifeguard I watched a lot of swimming. I saw good swimmers, bad swimmers, and a lot in between. One day was particularly busy and I had my work cut out for me. I was scanning the water and I noticed a little boy struggling to make it to the side. I got off of my chair and pulled him to the side of the pool where I was standing. Although he would have made it on his own, most likely, I was right there to help him.
       I was reminded of the story of Peter and Christ walking on the water. As soon as Peter started to fall Christ immediately reached out and lifted him up. Our Father in Heaven is always there for us. He wants us to be happy. If we will just ask we will receive. I am thankful for what He has given me and I pray that we remember He's always there for each of us.

See also Lifeboats, By Elder Derek Bird

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Panning For Gold

       A week or so ago my companion and I were able to do a little bit of gold panning. The picture to the left is the flakes I was able to find. I know it doesn't look like that much but it was still pretty neat to see it at the bottom of the pan.
       We were reminded of a story M. Russell Ballard shared in the April 2011 General Conference. He speaks of a young man caught up in the California Gold rush. He moved from his home in the East and went pannin' for gold. However, he was not having much success when one day an old prospector showed him that by breaking the rocks open you could see several flecks sparkling in the sunlight. The young man stated that he didn't want tiny flecks, he wanted nuggets. The wise prospector said, "Son, it seems to me you are so busy looking for large nuggets that you’re missing filling your pouch with these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth."
       Elder Ballard compared this story to service. He said, "Great things are wrought through simple and small things. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy each time we reach out to one another."

Finding Joy through Loving Service, by Elder M. Russell Ballard

Friday, July 15, 2011

Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

       Is the grass really greener on the other side of the hill? Well, that is a good question. Sometimes we wish that we could have a different life. We may think that if only we had more money, fame, and popularity we would be happy. Sometimes we may want to live contrary to what we know to be right. The grass looks greener in someone else's life. And in fact it might be.

       But after taking a closer look we may realize that their grass isn't grass at all. Many football, soccer, and baseball stadiums now have something called "turf." It looks a lot like grass but in reality it's not. It's fake, pretend. We may think that living contrary to the commandments of God will bring us happiness. Even though it may look like that from a distance, the truth is, that's nothing but turf.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Peace I Give Unto You: The Man in the Glass

My Peace I Give Unto You: The Man in the Glass: " I heard a poem last night that really struck me. Too often in life we worry about what other people think, or maybe we even think we..."

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Beginning of Sorrows

Christ said, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."1
From the following charts and graphs it seems apparent that natural disasters are rising. Some may argue that we are only seeing a rise because of advances made in technology and communications. While this is partly true I believe that the increase we are seeing is the fulfillment of Jesus Christ's prophesy.

Russell M. Nelson Elder Russell M. Nelson, an apostle of the Lord, said in the last General Conference, "We live in a time of turmoil. Earthquakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith."2

I would just like to echo Elder Nelson's words in stating that I know through these perilous times we can have peace and comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ.


2. Face the Future with Faith by Elder Russell M. Nelson

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kingdoms of Glory

       We read in the Bible that "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory."1 Christ taught, "In my Father’s house are many mansions..."2 But what exactly does that mean. We learn, from modern revelation, that there are three kingdoms of glory. The Celestial is where the righteous will dwell with Heavenly Father. The Terrestrial is where good people who did not fully accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ will live. The Telestial consists of "[Those] ... who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus."3
       Just like competing in any sporting event, we will be rewarded according to our performance. And don't forget that you can't break the rules. Everything must be done in God's way, through His priesthood power. There are no shortcuts to the Celestial kingdom. Paul explains in 1 Cor. 15, the kingdoms will differ in glory. The most glorious is the Celestial which is compared to the light of the sun, the Terrestrial to the moon, and Telestial to the stars.
       The Celestial Kingdom is where we all want to be. It is where we will be happiest. It is where we will be with our Father. May we all strive to live worthy to enter into the presence of God.

       For further details on this subject please see:

1. 1Corinthians 15:41
2. John 14:2
3. Doctrine and Covenants 76:82

Saturday, July 2, 2011


       A couple three weeks ago we had the opportunity to help out the community of Helena. We had a lot of rain and the creeks were overflowing. Thankfully, the water has receded. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to fill sandbags I would recommend that you give it a try sometime. It is a great workout. I do not know if there is any back workout to match filling and hauling sandbags.
       Service is an important part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was great to see the community come together and help those in need. A man named Benjamin in the Book of Mormon talks about service in this way, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."1
       We can all do better at helping our neighbors and friends. "...our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy each time we reach out to one another."2

1. Mosiah 2:17
2. Finding Joy through Loving Service by Elder M. Russell Ballard


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