Thursday, December 8, 2011

Your Choice to Choose

     I don't know what the deal is but whenever I am in the bathroom I seem to get the greatest moments of revelation. Maybe it is because it is the warm water coming out of the shower head or maybe it is the only time as a missionary I have to myself... I don't know but what I do know is that I seem to understand life situations a little bit better.
     As a missionary you are placed in a companionship which is just made of two elders or two sisters. Two to six companions who are close geographically are called a district. Two or more districts are considered to be in a zone and in our mission there are six zones. In my zone we are really pushing the ability to choose, or agency. As a missionary we have the choice whether or not to wake up at 6:30am. We have the choice to study for an hour or not. We can choose to study together as a companionship or not. We have a lot of choices to make and all of those choices have a consequence.
     If we don't wake up on time the spirit is not there. If we do not study we don't have the spirit. If we don't leave the apartment by time we do not have the spirit. For us, having "the Spirit is the single most important ingredient in this work"-nothing will get done without it. So as I was taking a shower this morning I was thinking about what agency is and this is what I got.
     Our Father in Heaven loves us enough to let us use our agency, wisely or unwisely. Whether we choose good or bad it is up to your own conscious. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy so he has given us guidelines or ways to know if we are doing well. But just like any wise father would, He does not force us to do what is right. He lets that decision fall on you, everyone being an agent unto themselves. He will tell us what His stand is but after that it is up to us.
     It is like two college students both going to the same college. One is a hard worker who tries his best and for the most part he succeeds. He has made mistakes that have caused some ‘suffering’ on his part. He has not always been able to stay up all night playing Modern Warfare but he has learned to work hard and not to give up. Then the other student goes to the class but has someone else do his homework, someone else takes his test for him, and someone else there to take the blame. He has never failed.
     Both of these students will graduate one day. The one student will keep the memories of his failures and the ways in which he over came those challenges and he will continue to keep learning on how to improve and become better. The other student will go into his new life with no experience in the real world. Have nothing but a piece of paper that says he spent a lot of money for.
     When I was in 8th grade my science teacher had on his wall this banner. It said, "Every choice has its consequences. It is your choice. Which consequence do you choose?" I echo that same question, "Which choice do you choose?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Engineering 101

     When I grow up want to go into Engineering… or some thing where I can build things and see something great be built. I just love seeing anything I have created be built. I can remember building fort after fort down by the creek next to my house. One of the forts was like the Floating Gardens of Babylon. It had three different levels. We would have gone on to a fourth level but school came along and no one got to it. I still wonder how we got some of those strands of bailing twine to hold the weight but it was awesome. I like seeing stuff be built whether it is my idea or someone else’s idea.
     During my childhood, as I look back, I see two key events that help expanded my knowledge of engineering. One event was while I played with Legos. Just like if you play chess your IQ goes up. The more you play with legos, the more your desire to build marvelous contraptions grows.
     The second event happened while I was at church it while I was in Primary. In Primary there is a song called, "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man" The song basically goes like this:

-Scenario 1-
The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the rock stood still.
-Scenario 2-
The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the sand washed away.

     Back then I only heard about how how I should build on sand. It wasn't until years later I actually learned what my teachers actually wanted me to learn. They actually wanted me to learn something about faith. This song basically was just telling me simply to "remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Helaman 5:12 "And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock. But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them." 3 Nephi 18:12 The goal of that song was to remind me that the only sure foundation that can be built on is the foundation of Jesus Christ because when all else fails Jesus Christ won’t. Then once you have sure foundation on Christ you can build up from there.
     For me, faith is one of the hardest qualities to have or grow. Sometimes the person I'm talking to is excessively muscular and he makes a semi-truck look like child’s play toy. He may be all those qualities and more but as I remember to exercise faith in Christ and realize that the message of the Restoration is bigger than him. The person starts to shrink back a regular size and is not so big. This work is amazing and I wouldn't miss it for the world. I'm grateful that I am able to add something into people’s lives that can help them return to their Father in Heaven.


    

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trunky

     “Last night, I was writing my brother's birthday card and I started crying. I started crying because I thought of home and after mission life and I was like, "This sucks, I'm going to have to leave in 18 months." I decided then that there are two types of trunky-ness.
     One type is where your mind just dreams of home and who are you going to date, what video game you’re going to buy, who you’re going to marry blah blah blah. That is the negative type.
     Then you have the positive type of trunky-ness. It is the kind where you realize where you are and you only have 18 months left and instead of grieving for the time to come quicker you realize that isn't enough time to get everything done. It then becomes the driving force behind you. You want to full fill your purpose more so you do as Nephi and you GO AND DO.” (Email Home-Aug 8) 

     You are deemed to be trunky when you start to let thoughts of tomorrow over ride the now moment. This happened to me when I was working at the Cheese Factory. I was going through the motions. I would get to work, prepare to go on the line, work the line till lunch, I would have lunch, go back to work, then go home. I was always thinking of what I could have been doing or what I would have done. I had little or not excitement for the work. It was until a few weeks back when I was talking about working at the cheese factory did I realize that I was trunky for periods of time while working at the factory. I started to feel bad because I had just wasted a whole summer to not living in the here and now but living in the future.
     I know that I missed out on a lot more than I gained because I was trunky at the cheese factory. It took me a year to realize that I had been living way beyond the mark. I could have learned so much more if I had stopped thinking so much about what I was going to do and how I'm going to have fun later and focus more on what I needed to get done at the moment and have a fun time while doing it. I hope by me sharing this example it will help us take a perspective change and change the driving force from ‘because we have to’ to ‘because we don't want to miss a second!".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

His Works are Without End

     While I walk around down here in the south, there is one thing I find in common with a lot of the churches round here. They all have a sincere love for the Bible and Jesus. You see it everywhere. You see it on bumper sticks, back of biker vest, on hats, on street signs, anywhere they can show love for Jesus or the Bible they will proudly declare their love. Once while we were driving back from a meeting in Cookeville TN, we were looking at the billboards along the way. You had your usual car dealerships and stuff like that but then out of no where we see a billboard that has the Ten Commandments on it. Out west I would have never say that. To use the words of Walter F Gonz├ílez, "[I have] never seen so many Christian churches next to one another."
     There is just one hiccup though, some people get too caught up in screaming, “Jesus Loves You!" I'm not saying that acknowledging that Jesus loves us is bad, not at all, but when they begin to "not acknowledge that God makes any real demands on those who believe in Him, seeing Him rather as a butler “who meets their needs when summoned” or a therapist whose role is to help people “feel good about themselves.” It is a religious outlook that “makes no pretense at changing lives.”"
     As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that God is actively engaged in our lives. How He acts in our lives is through modern day revelation. Jeffrey R Holland talks about how "If one revelation to one prophet in one moment of time is sufficient for all time, what justifies these many others? What justifies them was made clear by Jehovah Himself when He said to Moses, “My works are without end, and … my words … never cease." He goes on to say that  "We believe in a God who is engaged in our lives, who is not silent, not absent, nor, as Elijah said of the god of the priests of Baal, is He “[on] a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be [awakened].” In this Church, even our young Primary children recite, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."
     I know that our Heavenly Father is as real as you can get and He plays a very active role in all of out lives. I know that His Son Jesus Christ atoned for all of our sins. Not only did He atone for our sins but "...he [took] upon [himself] [our] 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."  I love the work that I am doing and I love that today we have even more scripture confirming that Jesus Christ is the only way we can return to our Father in Heaven. We actually have General Conference coming up and if you have ever wondered what a Prophet of the Lord sounds like, this is a geat chance to find out. It is going to be on the first Saturday and Sunday of October (1st and the 2nd). It start at 10am and 2pm mountian time on both Saturday and Sunday. Check it out and enjoy the blessings that come from following the Prphet of the Lord. Click Here to watch it live!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Its the Most Wonderful Time

     The greatest event that happens twice a year is going to begin this weekend. It is almost like Christmas but even better. It is General Conference
     Just like I said last April, Conference holds memories that are dear to my heart, not only memories with family and friends but now also memories with my mission companions. I remember when I was down in Murfreesboro we were talking to this guy. He had just called us over and wanted to talk with us and some how we got into talking about the name of the church. I then remembered a scripture that Boyd K Paker gave in conference. "And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in [Christ] name then it is [Christ's] church, if it so be that they are built upon [his] gospel"
    As missionaries in the Tennessee Nashville Mission, we have been allowed to listen to two types of music, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and General Conference. I have no idea how many times I have listened to General Conference. I would to play it in the car, listen to it at the apartment, and I even printed the text before the magazine so I could read my favorite talks. It now makes me even more excited that we are going to have more talks I can listen to. So instead of 10 hours I'm going to have 20 hours, YES!
    I like what President Uchtdorf gave an example about how General Conference is no ordinary blessing. "A fine member of the Church was talking with a neighbor who was not of our faith. When the topic of discussion turned to general conference, the neighbor asked, “You say you have prophets and apostles? And twice a year in a worldwide conference they reveal the word of God?” “Absolutely,” the member replied with confidence. The neighbor thought about that for a moment. He seemed genuinely interested and then asked, “What did they say in the last general conference?” At this point the good member of the Church went from feeling excited about sharing the gospel to feeling embarrassed. Try as he might, he couldn’t think of the details of a single talk. His friend found this troubling and said, “You mean to tell me that God speaks to man in our day and you can’t remember what He said?”"
     General Conference is amazing. Just the fact alone that we have the blessing of listening to prophets and apostles is amazing. So come and watch.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Change

    I can remember when I was younger and even into my mission I hated change with a passion. I'm not talking about the stuff you find between the the cushions. Back home I would always kind of run away from change or hide from change because I never knew whether the change was good or bad. Most of the time I would presume the change was bad. I can actually remember going as far as fleeing my house and going down to the creek beside my house just to get away from cousins that I hadn’t seen for a while. Eventually I would come back up to the house and everything would be fine but that fear always followed.


Everyone thinks of a changing world, but no one thinks of changing himself
-Leo Tolstoy-

    The idea never came to me that I was doing something wrong. It wasn’t until a while back did I start to realize that change is a good thing. It was actually when our new Mission President came to Nashville did I realize that the future is as bright as your faith. So we have all made mistakes some bigger than other but that what makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so different is that the gospel isn’t a sad message nor a message of sad faces and frowns. “It doesn’t need to be that way because we have a glad message to share, and we have a message of joy.” You will hear this a lot and it because it is true. We have a message that most of us want to scream from the rooftops. The message being Christ has paid for our sins and we do not have to carry our burdens alone. It is because of the atonement we can have our burdens made light as we have faith in Jesus Christ. The atonement is the suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane to the death on the cross. As we apply the atonement in our lives we see the need for change and we realize that change is part of life. I love the way this quote puts it and this is how I will end.


Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
-King Whitney Jr.-

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

"Let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake; for whoso layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again. And whoso is not willing to lay down his life for my sake is not my disciple."

"Think about the love inside the strength of heart.
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark.
Climbing higher through the fire, time was running out,
Never knowing you weren't going to be coming down alive,
But you still came back for me.
You were strong and you believed.

Think about the chance I never had to say,
Thank you for giving up your life that day.
Never fearing, only hearing voices calling out.
Let it all go, the life that you know, just to bring it down alive,
And you still came back for me.
You were strong and you believed.

(Again today, we take into our hearts and minds those who perished on this site one year ago, and also those who came to toil in the rubble to bring order out of chaos, to help us make sense of our despair)

Wanna hold my wife when I get home.
Wanna tell the kids they'll never know, how much I love to see them smile.
Wanna make a change or two right now,
Wanna live a life like you somehow,
Wanna make your sacrifice worthwhile.
Everything is gonna be alright,
Everything is gonna be alright,
Everything is gonna be alright,
Be strong. Believe."
Yellowcard-Believe

     "[We need to] understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.
One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father." Joseph B Wirthlin
     I am grateful for the knowledge I have of my Savior and Redeemer. I'm grateful to know of the plan of salvation which is the light in the darkness of this tragedy. I am grateful for eternal families.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Still the only way


 Back Then
"O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world. And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins." King Benjamin

Now a Days
"My dear young friends, when the captain of a long-range jet passes the point of safe return, and the headwinds are too strong or the cruising altitudes too low, he might be forced to divert to an airport other than his planned destination. This is not so in our journey through life back to our heavenly home. Wherever you find yourselves on this journey through life, whatever trials you may face, there is always a point of safe return; there is always hope. You are the captain of your life, and God has prepared a plan to bring you safely back to Him, to your divine destination." President Dieter F Uchtdorf
    
Even though the messages were years and years apart the mean is still the same "And [Christ does] this that [He] may prove unto many that [He is] the same yesterday, today, and forever;". Christ is the only way we can return back to our literal loving Heavenly Father. It is only as we repent of our sins can we be cleasened from what we have done wrong. I may not be quoted by millions of people but I know that the atonement has brought joy back into my life. It has made the journey of life easier to handle. Jesus Christ is the only person that could have atoned for our sins and our pains and His atonement is the only way we will be made clean. Enough to be able to return to the I love my Savior and I am thankful for all He has done for me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Awesome Power

     "Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, I have failed indeed. Has anyone’s burden been lighter today because I was willing to share? Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way? When they needed my help was I there? Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, A blessing of duty and love. 'Have I Done Any Good in the World Today'

     Life can be awesome and it is awesome. As I walk around Clarksville, I love it because there are just so many great people who make this song come to life. Not only in Clarksville but everywhere I have been from Murfreesboro to all over Nashville to Clarksville. Sure you have some people who happened to wake up on the wrong side of the bed but that is there bad. There are great people everywhere. Now for me to do my part in cheering up the sad or making someone feel glad let me introduce Honest Abe. I'm going to have Honest Abe who will tell you whats up. So here to all the people who just don't get recognized but are still the greatest people in the world.

Friday, August 26, 2011

TheUltimateQuote

I spent sometime looking at quotes for the previous blog posts. I decide that there need to be a quote that just packs a punch. Nailing right on the head why the atonement is so necessary. Then I decide who better to talk about the atonement than Prophets and Apostles.

Now I present to you....
TheUltimateQuote

     "When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God." Elder Neil A Anderson “The truth is that we all need repentance." President Henry B Eyring “Each of us has made mistakes, large or small, which if unresolved will keep us from the presence of God." Elder Richard G Scott "True repentance must come to each individual. It cannot be accomplished by proxy. One can neither buy nor borrow nor traffic in it." President Spencer W Kimball "Those who repent will be particularly blessed by the Atonement." Elder Quentin L Cook  "If any has stumbled in his journey, there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Though the path is difficult, the promise is real: 'Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow' (Isaiah 1:18)." President Thomas S Monson

     We have all sin and that is a part of life. This is why we need Christ who suffered so we can repent and have that second chance. We can take this advice from Timon an Pumbaa: (Pumbaa) It's like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past. (Timon) No, no no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It's "You got to put your past behind you." Whats do is done there is no need to go back and live in the past. Repent and change your life through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trust Him

     To have faith is to hope that the best will come. Like most people, I have a fear of the unknown. I didn't know where I was going to serve on my mission. I didn't know if I was ready to go. I didn't know a lot of things but there was someone who I knew that knew all the answers to the questions I had.
     He knew I was going to Nashville for my mission. He knew that experiences that I experienced in my life would contribute to who I am today. He knew that I was going to be alright and that I just need a little motivation to get going in the right way. He is my Heavenly Father. He is the one who is never failing. He is someone who I can put my whole trust in. Not only can I fully have faith in Him, I can also have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He will lead me to what I need to do and know.
     Having true faith which leads you to action is something hard to come around. Doubts fly in and cloud our judgment. But I know that as we trust more in a loving Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, we can reach all the way to the stars and back. "He is your beloved Heavenly Father, who seeks your good, your happiness. He desires with all the love of a perfect and pure Father that your supernal destination.... All [we] have to do is trust [our] Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan." Dieter F Uchtdorf

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Message from Ernest

We met Ernest before we started working on Facebook.
He was about in his mid-60s.
Right as we were departing he told us...

Jesus Loves You!

We I decided to pass that message along to all those who read this.
So I tell you...
Hope yall are having a GREAT DAY!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Atonement

“For some reason, we think the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us. While we do not fully understand how the Atonement of Christ was made, we can experience ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding’” President Packer
     When you talk about the atonement you get the image of a pain and suffering in your mind. You remember the the suffer of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. The outright betrayal of Jesus by Judas The unjust judgments of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, and Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea. Then crucifixion on the cross. The phrase 'Jesus suffered for our sins' may also come to mind.
     This is all right but there is more that sometimes that gets over looked and it goes along with the phrase 'Jesus Suffered for our sins'. Not only did Jesus suffer for the sins of the world but he also suffered for the pains of the world. "Suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; ... And he [took] upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he [took] 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  
     I know that as we come to more fully realize the importance of the atonement in our life we will want to apply the atonement in our lives. The peace it give to one who is suffering is ... so great I don't have a word to describe it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Spirit of God

     "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning! The latter day glory begins to come forth; The visions and blessings of old are returning, and angels are coming to visit the earth.  How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion shall lie down together without any ire, and Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion, as Jesus descends with his chariot of fire! We'll sing and we'll shout like the armies of heaven, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb! Let glory to them in the highest be given, henceforth and forever, amen and amen!" Spirit of God, Hymn 2

     "But when the Comforter is come, whom will I send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth the Father, he shall testify of me:" John 15:26

     The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead and the Holy Ghost bears witness to all truth. He does not have a body of flesh and bone but that is why his presence can be felt by many. The Holy Ghost has a important job when it comes to the Book of Mormon. because "we invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder it in their hearts the message it contain, 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. And by the power of the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things." Moroni 10:4-5


     The Holy Ghost is really and the presence of the spirit can enter and will testify of truth. I have seen lives change and hearts soften. I know the Holy Ghost will be the literal comforter in times of need.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Small and Simple

     The events that happened on that Spring day in 1820 were anything but usual. Sure, maybe everyone else in town was going about the regular routine but it seems like the Lord likes to work almost inconspicuously with people one by one.
     While everyone in up-state New York was going around the normal schedule. There was at least one thing that was not normal. It was the one boy who was out in the trees. He wasn't playing  but he was on his knees praying. Showing complete faith that God would answer his prayer.
     It is "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and by very small... and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." Alma 37:6-7 It is by that small pray that Joseph gave to know which of the sects were true. It is by that small prayer did we get the answer of a life time.
     "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me."
     "It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. 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 History 1:16-17
     I know that with all the fibers in my being that Joseph saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and as we work on the small and simple things like read the scriptures, keep the commandments, pray with more intent, and have the "can do it" attitude. We will see marvelous happen because of those small and simple act.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Book of Mormon

     One of the biggest things that people get caught up in about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that we have the Book of Mormon. Most people I talk to think that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to do away with the Bible. That assumption couldn't be farther from the truth. Even Nephi who was prophesying about the Book of Mormon knew that people would have trouble accepting it and he was writing this somewhere between 559 BC and 545 BC. By the way this is the Lord speaking to Nephi.

     "Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? ...
     For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them.... For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; 
     And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever." 2 Nephi 29:3,7-14
     "Now, I did not sail with the brother of Jared in crossing an ocean, settling in a new world. I did not hear King Benjamin speak his angelically delivered sermon. I did not proselyte with Alma and Amulek nor witness the fiery death of innocent believers. I was not among the Nephite crowd who touched the wounds of the resurrected Lord, nor did I weep with Mormon and Moroni over the destruction of an entire civilization. But my testimony of this record and the peace it brings to the human heart is as binding and unequivocal as was theirs. Like them, “[I] give [my name] unto the world, to witness unto the world that which [I] have seen.” And like them, “[I] lie not, God bearing witness of it."
     "I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days." Elder Jeffery R Holland
     I stand with Elder Holland and testify that the Book of Mormon is of God and as we read with a sincere heart, with real intent, and having  faith in Christ the Holy Spirit will tell us that we are reading truth. And if we know the truth of the Book of Mormon, we will know that God has called a prophet once again to lead and guide his church.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Murfreesboro

     As a missionary we are called to serve in multiple areas and a wide variety of wards and you meet a whole slew of people. Every person has their attributes that if the attribute were to change you wouldn't be able to recognize who the person was any more.
     For me, I have been serving in Murfreesboro for the last 4 1/2 months. There  have been some struggling days. Some days the weather was just too cold to ever walk out the door because the chill hit you to the bone and other days would be hot enough that you could cook an egg on the sidewalk. Days you may hit trash can and some days you might just be lucky enough to barely miss hitting a post.  But there have also been days that I have not wanted to end. The days when I  am noticing the difference in someones life as I teach him or her the gospel. They may not notice it at first but the Holy Ghost slowly works on people. Their countenances change from a down ward curve to a straight line and then to the smile position that we all know and love. When the Holy Ghost tells you that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Lords kingdom once again established on the earth and as you act on that witness. Only then can you truly say, "I am happy!!"
     I have loved serving in Murfreesboro and I am sad to leave behind so many good friends and a lot of great memories. But "Jesus said him, no man, having put his hand on the plough, and looking back, is not fit for the kingdom of God."  Luke 9:62. I am leaving all that I can there in Murfreesboro and that is my testimony of the Restored Gospel and the knowledge that I know that I am a child of God and that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Matter the Most

I don't care who you are or what stage you are in life or what seems to be the most important, 'If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.' President Dieter F. Uchtdorf



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And I Would Walk 500 Miles

     The goal of hiking is to get to the top of the mountain, getting to the peak to see as far as you can see. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, but ends with a glorious view.  Once you travel the distance you don't want to give up or get down. You'd rather spend all day on top cause of the work you had to put in when you were at the bottom.

     With that said looking into the church at first will seem like a mammoth task. You will see the biggest mountain in your life. It will be a little rough and it will mold you into a different person. "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26  That is why you have some great people like missionaries to help you long the way. We will help you. I can say that cause I am one. If anything we are here to help you come closer to Christ.

The hike will be fun, you will have fun feeling around in the dark as the missionaries tell you to go farther, there will be a few stubbed toes, and you may run into many different obstacles. But as you continue on the path, you will be able to look back and you will see the Lord's hand guiding you and helping you along the way. Then, you will be able to reach the top of the mountain and see the view. Let me tell you, the view is amazing!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What do Mormon Missionaries do?

As missionaries we provide other people the fruit of a prophet because "for the tree is know by his fruit." Matthew 12:33 or in other words you will know if that man is a prophet by the things he teaches. The fruit of that prophet is the Book of Mormon. We invite everyone to read and then ask in pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to know if the book is true. To say it better Elder Jeffrey R. Holland will explain it. He is better at doing it. He has a video.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Liberty

     We all have trials in our lives. They will bend us to our breaking point and sometimes beyond the point. Sometimes times the trials are just tough. Maybe even you are sometimes punished for the cruel dealings of others. For example the Prophet Joseph Smith was unjustly incarcerated into jail in 1839, ironically named Liberty. Jeffrey R Holland tells the story.

     "Liberty Jail, one of the more forbidding structures in that region, was considered escape proof, and it probably was. Surrounded by stone walls four feet thick, the floor-to-ceiling height in the dungeon was barely six feet. Inasmuch as some of the men, including the Prophet Joseph, were over six feet tall, this meant that when standing they were constantly in a stooped position. When they lay down, it was mostly upon the rough, bare stones of the prison floor covered here and there by a bit of loose, dirty straw or an occasional dirty straw mat.
    "The food given to the prisoners was coarse and sometimes contaminated, so filthy that one of them said they “could not eat it until [they] were driven to it by hunger.”  On as many as four occasions poison was administered to them in their food, making them so violently ill that for days they alternated between vomiting and a kind of delirium, not really caring whether they lived or died.
     "In the Joseph’s letters, he spoke of the jail being a “hell, surrounded with demons … where we are compelled to hear nothing but blasphemous oaths, and witness a scene of blasphemy, and drunkenness and hypocrisy, and debaucheries of every description.”  “We have … not blankets sufficient to keep us warm; and when we have a fire, we are obliged to have almost a constant smoke,” he said.  “Our souls have been bowed down”  and “my nerve trembles from long confinement,” Joseph wrote. “Pen, or tongue, or angels,” [can] not adequately describe “the malice of hell” that he suffered there.  All of this occurred during what, by some accounts, was considered the coldest winter on record in the state of Missouri."
      In Joseph's words, he wrote, "O God, where art thou?... O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions... Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies... Remember thy suffering saints, O our God" He was at the breaking point. He light at the end of the tunnel was getting farther away.
     But then receives this revelation, the spark of light that brings knowledge to his mind. This is not only for his comfort in his trialing time but to comfort all the suffering saints. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." D&C 121:7-8
     Let me tell you today that we are going to have hard times but all we need to do is hold on and endure the trials well. I pray that we will always remember the promise that was given to all. That we may "sunshine in our soul" because we who who our God is while we are in our own Liberty.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Choice

When you have something good you also have a choice of having something better and best. A fork is better than a knife to eat chicken soup but a spoon would be the best. Lets talk cake for a better example.
Chocolate cake is the pinnacle of all food. Everyone has once in their life used the phrase 'piece of cake' at least once in their life. A single layer cake of pure deliciousness. It is a good choice. On a score of 1 to 10, it scores about a 3 on the chocolate scale. Then a better choice would be the double layer cake. The siding on the cake is calling your name to come eat it. It just makes you feel good just looking at it. Then you have the BEST choice, triple layer mountain of glory chocolate cake. This thing ain’t just saying eat me, the cake is screaming at you. You seem to be magically drawn into and towards the cake.
    In this example you have a choice to make, choice one, two, or three. Choice is the ability to make a decision for yourself. We all choose what we want to do. Whether to sleep in all day or to wake up and get going to work. In Book of Mormon there is a person named Lehi and right before he dies he gives council to his children. He says, "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." 2 Nephi 2:27-29
     God has given us the ability to choose which path we will go down. He has given us manuals to help us return back to his presence. We have the Holy Bible both Old and New Testaments. We also have the Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ. He has given us the all that we need. We just need to use them. I know that the Bible and Book of Mormon are the words of God and that when they are used “one in thine hand” we can see so much more. I know that if we have any questions about whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. All we have to do is read the book with an open heart, wanting to know the truth then “ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Moroni 10:4)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ants Go Marching

      I was walking around like usual and I saw a trail of ants in our apartment. They would follow one after another to some target destination and then back to the colony. Not having enough time to actually see what the ants were going to find or where the colony was, I left. I would take care of the matter later because I remember an experience that happened at home a while back on how to take care of ants.
     I was down in the basement looking at pictures, just burning some time waiting for someone to come get me. While I was burning time I noticed out of the corner of my eye a line that was moving. I walked over to get a better look. Come to find out ants we on the move. I watched them for a second. With a little soap I would interrupt the line, trying to stop the work form going on. The ants would be confused for a second but eventually they would go around and not worry about the distraction. It bothered me because I wanted them to leave.
     Then I decided that to stop the invasion of ants I had to find the source and destroy it. I followed the ant line for a few moments to find a group of ants piled around a french-fry which had been dropped a few days ago. I grabbed the fry shook off the ants and disposed of it in the wood burning stove. I HAD STOPED  THE INVASION!!!
     Sometimes people act like Ants. We follow the crowd. Most of the time that crowd is going to some type of sin and normally the bigger the group means the more prone we are to follow the group. The normal cry of someone who is caught-in-the-act will cry out, "Everyone else was doing." Well when you follow a group everyone in that group is going to do the same thing. If you are every caught in that situation, "just run - run as far away as you can get from whatever or whoever it is that beguiles you. And please, when fleeing the scene of temptation do not leave a forwarding address." Jeffrey R Holland Just like what I did with that french fry, pick that sin up and get rid of it. Get it out of sight and out of mind. I promise a greater sense of self-worth will come as you choose to get ride of any sin that besets you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Never Failing Compass


You don't want your life like this picture where you have no idea where you are going.
Direction must be applied with A Goal in Sight

      There is technology that can help us along the way. .It is a magical invention called a compass. It is always pointing north. North will always be north. There is something also called the Holy Spirit (or also known as Holy Ghost) which acts about the same as a compass. For example:

A compass can lead you to your destination when you know how to use it.
The Holy Spirit is a guide. He will lead and guide us as we listen to him.

A compass can not work when you have an outside force (magnet) messing with it.
The Holy Spirit can only help when there is no outside force (sin).

You have to be calm and hold still for compasses to work.
To hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit you much listen and hold still.

      Now the compass has been around since 247 B.C. as what Wikipedia says but the Holy Spirit has been around a lot longer than that. I would imagine you can rely on something that has been around for more than 2000 years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crimnson Trail

     I was listening to conference Paul V Johnson talked about a trail I loved to hike when I was home. This is that clip from that talk.
     "The Crimson Trail in Logan Canyon is one of my favorite hikes. The main part of the trail creeps along the top of tall limestone cliffs and offers beautiful vistas of the canyon and valley below. Getting to the top of the cliffs isn’t easy, however. The trail there is a constant climb; and just before reaching the top, the climber encounters the steepest part of the trail; and views of the canyon are hidden by the cliffs themselves. The final exertion is more than worth the effort because once the climber is on top, the views are breathtaking. The only way to see the views is to make the climb." More Than Conquerors through Him That Loved Us by Paul V. Johnson.
     This trail is no doubt the one of the greatest trails to hike on. It is my favorite hike in Logan Canyon.The views are so amazing that it is now a life long memory in my head. The first time I hiked up there I was with my brother and some of his roommates from his apartment.
      We started up that hike it started out easy but then got progressively harder. We were about mid-way through the hardest part of the hike when Morgan one of the roommates had to stop because he was getting sick. We left him thinking that he would be alright, wrong move on our part.
     We got about half a mile farther and decided that leaving him there wasn't such a good idea. As we started to turn around we started to see Morgan coming up. When he caught back up to us he told us that everything was alright and that he just shouldn't have had eaten the three ham sandwiches before we started the hike. He then went on to describe the sandwiches which had a lot of mayonnaise on them. As we continue our hike he goes on to tell us how the next person coming up will find a surprise next to a tree when they come up.
     As we came to the top the view was amazing. Everyone was glad to have not turned around. Yes, even Morgan being the one who emptied has stomach along the trip was glad that he didn't just head back. Even if it was rough to begin with, the end result was amazing.
    Just like hardships in our lives, sometimes the best results will come after the hardest climbs. Reminds me a little of a guy named Joseph Smith who prayed with all of his heart praying to God. Wanting to know truth because of all the churches that were around in 1820 not expecting to see God but then guess what happened to him...

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Conference Experiences

There is an event that happens 2 times a year in the LDS religion where our church leaders speak to us. It is a broadcast that is sent out to the entire world so the entire world can know what the prophet is saying.
     For me, memories of conference are really close to me now not only because I'm on a mission but it is because conference weekend would be a time that all of my family would get together. I love family-get-together-ness. It becomes more important as we grow up. I can remember sitting on the couch six months ago thinking to myself, "This is amazing." Knowing that this would be the last time for two years that I would be able to be with my family.
     My favorite conference memory was few years back when my family was not able to be together for the Saturday session of conference. We all had things to do. My dad and I had to go work on some equipment and we had to go to my dad's work to fix it. My brothers had to work or work on a school project. It was only my sister and mom at home but we were all listening to conference. How do I know that? Let me tell you.
     Me and my dad were listening to the conference talk given by Elder David A. Bednar titled More Diligent and Concerned at Home. It talks about how to strengthen the home. The first step he talks about is to tell the people who are your family or your close friends that you love them. Within a 15 minute time frame we had a text from everyone in the family flying around sharing the love we have for each other. That is how I knew how even though we were miles apart we were all listening to conference.
    I am telling you right now that conference is the coolest things in the world. Families grow closer together as you all come closer to Christ.. I love conference and I'm excited for the April 2nd and 3rd. I hope and pray all of you are able to watch conference.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pray

     Years ago when I was 14-ish I had a habit of not making my bed. I would wake up in the morning, slide right out of bed, and stumble my way to the bathroom to take a shower. Oddly enough the bathroom was up stairs on the main floor. I still wonder how I made it up stair.
     I never gave a lot of thought about making my bed but I would reason that it is only a small thing that it doesn't matter. I could do it but I never had a good reason to do it.
     It wasn't until I went to college that I found the full beauty of making my bed. Just having a nice bed to go to at night was amazing. 

     What is the correlation between me making my bed and praying. It is simple, making a bed is small and simple and frankly just overlooked. Not to much though is given into making a bed. It is like prayer in the way that it too can be given little to no thought on what is said during the prayer. Sounding more like a route presentation then something that comes from the heart. This should not be the case. We have the opportunity of a life time to talk with the creator of the universe. More time needs to be put into what we saw during our prayer. I know that prayer the way to start our day and right way to end it. I know that as we make our prayers more meaningful we will be able say honestly to God, "I can feel your peace and your love."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

AN EVENT THAT CHANGED HISTORY

In the year 1820 something amazing happened.
This is not some small event that is sort of kinda important.
This event is
MASSIVE!
This event
CHANGED THE WORLD!
A marvelous thing started to form and only a few people know about it!

God, the creator of all things, and his son, Jesus Christ appeared to a boy. The very same Jesus Christ who took upon him the sins of the world appeared in a body of flesh and bone to a young man. 
God spake to him, calling him by name and said, pointing to the other - "This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him". The heavens opened once again. God had called another prophet. and the fullness of the gospel started to unraveled never to be lost again! It is amazing! How come more people don't know about this miraculous event?


 This is why it is so exciting because there is hope for the world and there is a way for man to feel joy even while in the turmoil of modern day life. Jesus is the Christ and he atoned for the sins of the world, and there is a way to get back to our loving Heavenly Father. There is a way for you families to be together forever. In the Book of Mormon in Jacob 6:11 it says, "O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life." There is a way and the Lord has provided for us. These are so amazing who wouldn't want to know more. Click these if you would want to know more. http://lds.org/  http://mormon.org/.