Friday, May 27, 2011

Pre-earth Life: God's Purpose and Plan for Us

       Have you ever wondered where you came from? Where you were before you born here on this earth?? The great thing about the Plan of Salvation is that it answers this question and others similar to it. We learn answers to questions such as, "Why are we here?" and, "Where are we going?"
      But let's focus on where we came from. We lived with our Father in Heaven in the pre-earth life. He created a plan of happiness for us in which we would come to earth, gain bodies, and learn. We understood that we would make mistakes and therefore, be unable to return live with Him. Becuase we read in the scriptures that no unclean thing can dwell with God (1 Nephi 10:21). That is why a Savior would be provided. Jesus Christ, a sinless sacrifice, would provide a way for us to overcome our mistakes and weaknesses.
       Now here we are. But how did we get here?? Check out The Creation to find out!

The Creation

       Under Heavenly Father's direction, Jesus Christ created the earth. We can read about this process in a couple three different places. First, in Genesis chapter 1, notice the pronouns in verses 26 and 27. Secondly, in the book of Moses chapter 2. Heavenly Father wanted to give us a place to learn, grow, and be happy. I have defintely found happiness here in my life. Lastly, check out John 1. Its' a good one too.
       Every year my dad takes us kids backpacking in the Uinta Mountains. We hike two miles to some lakes and pitch our tents. We spend time fishing, hiking, and just being together. I love being in the beauty that God created. I definitely feel closer to Him out there away from the world and the day to day stresses. I am thankful for the wonderful world in which we get to live our lives. I hope we all treasure the blessing it is to live in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why We're Online

Prophecy about the Future of Missionary Work
       In 1974, President Spencer W. Kimball issued an amazing prophecy about the technology driving the gospel message.
        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.

       Many people wonder why missionaries would be allowed to use the internet for Facebook and blogging like we are able to do.
       Reason #1 If you are reading this, you have proven that online missionary work is an effective tool to contact other people.
       Reason #2 Once we as missionaries meet someone where we are serving, it is easier to stay in contact with them via Facebook than using snail mail.
       Reason #3 On the internet today there are many evil and perverse web pages. Through online missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the internet is once again being used for positive purposes rather than negative. Now, more people than ever can find the truth they are looking for at the click of a button.

        For more information please read these articles:

Members Play an Important Role in Sharing Gospel Online

Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet

Finding and Sharing the Gospel Online

Our Life on Earth

        Our lives here on earth are full of trials and struggles (See Tests, Trials, and Turmoil). But we can have joy and happiness if we follow God's commandments. In Matthew 25 the Savior teaches us an important lesson about what we need to do. In the parable of the talents he tells us of three different servants (What's a talent?) . One is given five talents, one is given two, and one is given one. The first two men manage do double their money but the third hides his in the ground. The lord promises the first two men that they will be made rulers over many things but calls the last servant slothful and unfaithful. Why? He didn't lose any of his lord's money. It must be very important to Jesus Christ that we work hard and improve the great gifts that we have been given.
       In our lives here on earth we need to do our very best. I testify that if we use our time and talents wisely our Lord will say of us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (See Matthew 25:21)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Looking at the Positive Side

       What do you see? If you are like me you focus on the black dot. Sometimes in life we seem to see only what is impure or what is wrong in the world. We forget about the rest of the good that is happening all around us. Recently, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf wrote an article pertaining to this very subject. He talks about how we often we find exactly what it is we are looking for. If we are looking for bad in someone or something we will find it. But the same goes for looking for the good in others.

       I'd like to finish off this post with a quote from him. He says, "It is our choice; for whatever we seek, that we will certainly find."

Looking for the Good  By: Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pray to Know the Truth through the Holy Ghost

       Prayer is an essential part in coming to know our Father in Heaven. It's how we communicate with Him. Through the Holy Ghost we can receive promptings and thoughts that help us to know what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. As missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we invite people to read the Book of Mormon and to ask God if it is true. We cannot convince anyone of this by ourselves. The Spirit is what truly converts each of us.
       An example of this would be... me. My parents taught me about Jesus Christ and about the Book of Mormon. As a child I may have taken their word for it. But as I grew older I realized that I needed to know for myself. I read and studied the Book of Mormon and then prayed to God asking Him if it was true. I can testify that it is. I didn't have an angel appear to me and proclaim its truthfulness, I didn't see a vision, but I did feel something deep in my heart confirming to me that what I had been taught was true. Everybody can receive an answer for themselves. You just have to ask.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

       The Book of Mormon is another book of scripture comparable to the Bible. It contains the gospel of Jesus Christ given to the people of the ancient Americas. Just as the Bible, the Book of Mormon was written by prophets of God who were striving to teach their people the word of God.
       Through Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon was translated into the English language by the power of God and published in 1830. It is proof of our Father in Heaven's love for us and that He has restored the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth again. Moroni, an ancient American prophet, gives us the promise that if we read and pray with faith and real intent that God will reveal to us its truthfullness (see Moroni 10:3-5). I can testify that I have done this and I know the Book of Mormon is true.
       To find out more about this book of scripture please check out some of the following links:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith

       Joseph Smith was just a young man when he learned the true nature of God. He lived in an area where there was quite a bit of excitement concerning religion. He wondered which church was true, which one would lead him to salvation. Many of the religions interpreted the same scripture differently, confusing young Joseph. As he attended different meetings and studied the scriptures he came across a passage that really grabbed his attention. It was James 1:5 which says, "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 decided that was exactly what he needed to do.
       He picked out a place near his home and prayed to Heavenly Father. Joseph says, "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 Personages, 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!" Joseph Smith was instructed that none of the churches were true and that he would be called as a prophet to restore Christ's church, once again, to the earth. He would be given priesthood authority to lead and guide God's children.

Why Joseph Smith?

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Great Apostasy

The Great Apostasy was the period of time referred to in history as the Dark Ages. Doesn't sound very good does it? Well, it wasn't. During this time period the Priesthood, God's power given to man, was not on the earth. There was no prophet, no authorized man to lead the church. Needless to say, Christ's church fell apart. With nobody receiving revelation from God on how to perfrom ordinances like baptism and the sacrament, man's ideas were soon mixed with the doctrine of Christ. No good. Their were righteous men during this time who recognized the wrongs created by man. Men like Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and John Wycliffe tried making reformations to fix what was broken. They did not, however, claim that God had called them as a prophet. Thankfully, God saw fit to restore His Church, and call a prophet. His name was Joseph Smith Jr.
Martin Luther nailing 95 theses to chruch door

For further information see the following sources:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Savior's Earthly Ministry

       While the Savior was here on earth He performed miracles and did many things that we can read about in the New Testament. Perhaps the most important things he did were, performing the Atonement and setting up His Church the way it was supposed to be set up. We read in Ephesians 2:20 that He organized it with apostles and prophets and in Ephesians 4:11-14 we also read that it was set up this way for us, the saints. Unfortunately, the people didn't listen to Jesus Christ. They ignored His teachings and even had Him killed. Thus began the attack on His Church. Lucky for us we have the scriptures, both the Book of Mormon and the Bible, to teach us about His life. We need to do as He invites us and follow Him in all things.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Miraculous Mothers

       In Alma 56 we read of Helaman and his 2000 stripling warriors going to battle for the first time. In verses 47-48 it says, "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." These sons' mothers had a very powerful effect on them. They taught their children to rely on the Lord.
       In my life I have been blessed to have just such a mother. She has been an example of righteousness and faith to me my whole life. How grateful I am for her. This Mother's Day I hope we all reflect on the wonderful women we each call, "Mom." I love my mom and all the great women who have helped to raise me. I may not have come out the way they hoped, but I am a better man because of their efforts. Thank you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel in Every Dispensation

       Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Because our Father in Heaven loves His children He calls prophets to guide and direct them. Old Testament prophets such as Adam, Abraham, and Moses led Christ's church by receiving revelation from God and then informing the people. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever we know that He must call a prophet for us, in our day (1 Nephi 10:18). God loves us just as He loved those in the Old and New Testaments so it only makes sense that he would bless us with a messenger from Him. That messenger today is Thomas S. Monson. He leads and guides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the power of God. What a blessing to know that God speaks to us just as them of old.
       To listen to his words visit the following link:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Gospel Blesses Families

     The teachings of Jesus Christ and His church blesses families now and for eternity. I grew up with two little sisters and two little brothers. I love them very much. They are all fantastic examples for me. My parents are exceptional and I learn a lot from watching how they live their lives. I was truly blessed because of the family I was given. Unfortunately, not every child is born into a home where they are loved and looked after. Heavenly Father allows His children to make their own decisions. The gospel of Jesus Christ shows us all how we can better our family relationships here on earth and in the next life. If we follow His teachings we will be blessed tremendously. The blessings may not come immediately but they will come if we have faith and press ever forward.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God is Our Loving Heavenly Father

     Our Heavenly Father loves us all very much. Before this world was, we lived with him. He created a plan of happiness so that we might return and live with Him again. He created the earth through His son Jesus Christ. Now here we are. How can we know that God loves us?? Look around. Although there is so much evil in this world, our Father in Heaven has given us beautiful sunsets and breathtaking mountain ranges. But perhaps the biggest evidence that God loves us is found in the Holy Bible. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Because of Jesus Christ we can overcome our sins through His Atonement. Heavenly Father has also given us our agency and the chance to grow. Evidences of his love can be found all around us! Through prayer I have come to know and love my Father in Heaven. How grateful I am for Him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Right Way

       Nephi said, "And the words which I have spoken ... are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law." This scripture is found in 2 Nephi 25:28 so up to this point Nephi has recorded about one hundred pages of scripture. He says, these words are sufficient to teach ANY man the right way. He then explains what the right way is. Then, in the verse immedietly following he explains it even further. He says, "And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out."
       As we read the words of Nephi and other prophets, especially our prophet today, we will learn the right way. We will learn how to better follow our Savior, Jesus Christ.


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