Saturday, September 22, 2012

No Pain, No Gain

I think it's safe to say that most everyone has heard the phrase, "No pain, no gain." And what a true principle it is. In athletics of almost any kind pain is involved in getting better. In order to get stronger you've got to literally tear your muscles. It hurts. Life hurts.

In the Book of Mormon a father says to his son, "Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain (See 2 Nephi 2:2)." Lehi,  the father here, is teaching his son Jacob that with the Lord on his side, his trials in life will work for his own betterment.

It's easy to talk about having a perspective like that but it's a different story to actually maintain that outlook. So how can we remember that the Lord is willing to help us turn our sorrows into strength??

1. Consistent study of the scriptures. When we read the scriptures we come across verses like the one above that remind us of His ever willingness to help.

2. Consistent prayer. As we communicate often with our Heavenly Father we are able to further develop our relationship with him. As we do so it will become easier to turn to Him instead of trying to shoulder the  burden alone.

3. Serving others. It provides a wonderful perspective to help lift others. In doing so, we are able to be a tool in the hand of God in assisting His children.

I know that as we do those three things we will be strengthened by our hardships and the Lord will consecrate our afflictions for our gain.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just Keep Shootin'

The clock is continuing to count down. The ball is being bounced around. There's not a noise from the the crowd. The shot goes up... no luck. There is just enough time for one more attempt. He puts it up again from outside the three-line and... same result. 

The Kaysville 14th ward church ball team lost in the semi-finals of the annual regional tournament that year. What a disappointment. One of the players had been given two chances to win the game in those final seconds. Too bad for him; he missed his opportunity. 

Well, as I am sure you can guess, that certain player was me. Bummer, I know. I had a good friend on the team who was open. I probably should have passed it to him. But who knows what would've happened. However, I did learn a valuable lesson. Sometimes it takes failing a few times, or maybe a few hundred times, before we can get it right. But the end result can, and always, will be better if we keep at it. I like this quote from Michael Jordan:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

A lot of times in life we may feel like we've been entrusted to take the game winning shot and then dropped the ball. We may be disappointed but we need not be too hard on ourselves. "When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves." So if you feel like you fallen short, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep your chin up. The game of life is full of opportunities to make baskets. Just keep shootin'.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's A Mormon??

What's a Mormon?

Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was organized in 1830. The name ‘Mormon’ is a nickname because of the Church’s belief in the Book of Mormon 1

So who is Mormon and what is the Book of Mormon?

Mormon was an actual historical figure in the Book of Mormon. He was a prophet, military general, and record keeper who lived about A.D. 311-385 on the American Continent. After recording the history of his own lifetime, he compiled and abridged the records, engraved on plates of gold, of previous prophets. These plates were part of the record from which the Prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon in the early 19th century. 2

Some may ask if Mormons believe in Christ. The answer is a resounding yes! Gordon Hinckley, past president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this, " We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior...the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and witnesses of His divinity, His life, and His Atonement.”3

Hopefully, after reading this you will have a better understanding of what a Mormon is. Please visit the following links for more:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

By Governing the Tongue, We Gain Perfection

Our mouths can sure get us into a lot of trouble if we are not careful.. But they can also enable us to lift, inspire, and express our love toward others. I hope that we choose the latter.

James 3:4 reads "Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth." Just as a boat can be turned by a small part so can our words significantly effect our lives and the lives of others.

In the same chapter of James in verse 5 it says, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" Fire is another great analogy for our mouths. Just a small flame can start the biggest forest fire. I'm sure we've all seen this happen before. Just look at what gossip can do...

Another part of speaking doesn't necessarily have to do with what is said, but how it is said. I would encourage you to read a talk by President Thomas S. Monson entitled, "School Thy Feelings, O My Brother." It's subtitle reads: If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry.

I am grateful for the words of and voices of many people. I'm especially thankful for the words of prophets that show us the way.


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