Scripture of the Day!!!!!

8 But as oft as they repented and sought fogriveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.

Moroni 6:8

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"If a man die, shall he live again?"

I am so grateful today for the inspired words of our modern prophets. I was reading one talk in particular during church that meant a lot to me. The talk was given by Thomas S. Monson, who is the current prophet today. Below is the video of that talk. The part I'm writing about starts at 2:37 and goes through 4:45, but you can watch the whole thing if you want! :)

"If a man die shall he live again?" (Job 14:14)
It's a good question. For some even a scary question. Many of the people I meet on the street or at doors say something like, "I dunno buddy; I don't like to think about it!"
Well I am here today to say that there is more! There is so much that awaits beyond this mortal life! Today we are here in what we call mortality. We have physical bodies that are subject to pain, suffering, temptation, disease, and other hardships. At some point we may struggle through employment difficulties. We might be betrayed or abandoned by someone close. Many experience depression or anxiety. All those make life challenging, and sometimes seemingly impossible. In those moments where everything seems so insurmountable or even pointless, it is easy to lose perspective.
HOWEVER, if we remember that this life is not the end, then life is much more positive. In the Mormon church, we call that keeping an eternal perspective. Even if we fully believe that there's more to our existance than mortality, it won't help us unless we remember that always. By keeping our eternal perspective on, we can take our blinders off a bit and see that there's more to life than the trials that we're currently experiencing.
If a man die shall he live again? YES!!! The scriptures, the prophets, and the light of Christ in all of us bear witness that this is true! My invitation to all of you is to hold on to that. Keep moving forward. Continue trying. Follow our Heavenly Father's commandments because He has promised if we hold out faithful we "are recieved into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." (Alma 40:12)
As a real life example, check out:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I know how to make God laugh. Tell Him you have plans.

The other day I was visiting a friend who said something pretty interesting. She quoted her friend saying:
"I know how to make God laugh. Tell Him you have plans."
First of all I had to laugh. That is so ridiculously true. How many times have we made any kind of plans in our lives that turn out exactly the way we expected? Maybe it's only me, but things usually just don't pan out the way I expect them to.
There are lots of perfectly innocent reasons for not fulfilling our plans. Maybe a new opportunity comes up that looks a bit better. Perhaps we change our mind or just lose interest in our goal. Sometimes we hear an experience or get some advice that points us in another direction. These and other similar events happen frequently and are generally easy to handle because we are still 'in control'.
However, sometimes our plans get derailed by forces beyond our control. Could be bad health, unemployment, divorce, a death, war, a natural disaster, getting cheated or stolen from, etc. Chances are you or someone very near to you has experienced one of these life changing events. One might say, "Why? I planned to do so much with my life! I had so much potential! Was I doing something wrong? What did I do to deserve this? If God loves me why would He let this happen??"
When life gets hard, it's easy to get caught in this pattern on thinking. This mindset comes when we get so focused on the disruptions in our personal plans that we lose sight of the greatest of all plans: God's plan. President Spencer W. Kimball, one of God's modern day prophets, gave a great talk that has really stuck with me. In it he says:
"If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective."
That is the idea!!!!
President Kimball goes on to say, "Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?"
My friends, bad things can, do, and will happen. This life is not easy. We can't see the future. We can and should try and plan for it, but we must always remember that our Heavenly Father is in control.
So does God laugh when we make plans? Who am I to say. BUT I know that if we trust that our Father has a plan for our eternal happiness, then we can always face our future, whatever it may be, with "a perfect brightness of hope." (2 Nephi 31:20)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Courage to Act

Do you ever have those moments when a memory kinda sticks in your mind for a couple days? Today I was thinking a lot about the experience of an individual I had met earlier in my mission. I met her after she had been taught by missionaries for a long time. She understood what they taught her long before I ever met her, but her interest hadn't led her to any action until a couple of weeks before I'd met her, which was just a couple days before her baptism.
She'd been through a lot--I was surprised by her story. Much like many of us, she had made decisions that, in retrospect, she was not proud of. Funny how sometimes in the moment we can't see how silly our choice really is. Or what's more, we know how bad our choice is but we still do it anyways!! Our human nature tends to get the better of us and we do stupid things.
Well we've all been there in some way or another. We make mistakes and eventually come to the point where we have to own up. That's how life works. Eventually we have to own up to ourselves, to others, and to God, which can be a terrible place to be. In the Book of Mormon, a prophet named Alma ended up in such a situation and described his feelings in this way:
"Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments." (Alma 36:13)
This friend of mine had since felt the awful pains of guilt. However, she, like Alma, turned to the ultimate source of forgiveness and peace. She turned to our Savior who is always reaching out to save us and protect us from our sinful choices. In the Book of Mormon Jesus explains, "And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost." (3 Nephi 9:20)  I don't think I've ever seen such a perfect example of a broken heart and contrite spirit as I saw in my friend in the days preceeding her baptism. She had experienced the healing power of the atonement so completely that she was full to the brim with joy and love.
We all end up broken, but Christ wants to fix us. It is my prayer that we all follow my friend's example and choose to follow our Savior by having faith, repenting, being baptized, and recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I promise that those who take those steps and stay faithful to our Father's commandments will find the only true and lasting joy there is.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taking it to the Web!

So by now you might be wondering, "this missionary is just begging to get himself sent home." Well that's what I keep thinking too! No worries though I'll still be sticking around.
The LDS Church's missionary department has asked some missionaries to create an online blog and facebook profile to assist in the great work of helping all to come unto Christ! The internet is an amazing blessing from our loving Father in Heaven and He is beginning to open our eyes to the great and wonderful tool this will be in helping our brothers and sisters find their way to the peace and joy that is found in the restored gospel.
The prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon helps me to understand the importance of this way of preaching and teaching. He says, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23) All mankind need Jesus Christ. Plain and simple. Where would we be without His love, His example, and most importantly His atoning sacrifice for our salvation? The answer is we would be completely lost.
But we are not lost!! Our Savior lives, and we know this through His prophets. Where would we be without the writings and direction of the great prophets? Again, completely lost.
I am no prophet, but I will write diligently to persuade ALL, Mormon or not, to come unto their loving Savior. In His arms they will find an unlimited supply of warmth and love. They will be safe from every trick and sly temptation of the adversary. They will understand their identity and mission on earth. As a representitive of Jesus Christ, I promise you that your Father in Heaven wants you back, so make the choice that the Spirit teaches is right. Choose Christ.