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


     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.