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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