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.