Friday, March 25, 2011

Committed to Keep Our Promise To God

During my studies today I read a really moving story in The Book Of Mormon. In Alma chapters 23-25 theres a story about a group of people who use to be very wicked but after feeling the spirit were converted. And on of them was the King, go figure, and he allowed his people to have freedom of religion. So these wicked people who were named the Lamenites didn't want the bad name so they changes there name to the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and made a covenant (or promise) with God that they would never "stained [there] swords in the blood of [there] brethren" (Alma 24:15) So these people that we in the Thousands buried there weapons of war in the ground and vowed never to pick them up again. After a while the other people who were not happy that these people converted prepared for war. And the King told the people that they would not fight back but they would be faithful to the Covenant they made when they promised never to "shed blood" again.

"Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword. And thus...they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God. Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword...Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done." (Alma 24:21-24)

If you have never read this story I would encourage you to, but I would like to take a minute and relate this story to our lives. So often in our lives the same things happen to us, but not in so much of a literal killing. When we become converted to the Lord we are blessed tremendously for exercising our Faith in Christ in following His perfect example. And we are giving the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide our lives. But Satan, or the Devil, is always out there. So often he sends armies of Trials, Temptations, Challenges, and even Good People after us to try and tear down our Faith in Christ. And he tries to get us to "let go of the iron rod.

He wants us to doubt and be discouraging about the choices we make to be Christ like. BUT, he can only prevail if we let him. If these people would have made any other choose other then the one they did, they would have ether denied there faith or broken a covenant with God. But because they chose to stand for what they knew was right "those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved." (Alma 24:26) As we endure the trials we face we will have no reason to doubt that we can be saved when our time comes because we were faithful in obeying the commandments of God.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Acting In Faith

What does it mean to have faith? 

There is a story of a man that I love who exercised great faith. The was a man who for many years did his best to serve the Lord. For many years he, and his wife tried and tried to have children, and he was promised to have posterity that would be as numerous as the sands of the sea. Finally after many years they had a son. After many years our Heavenly Father asked this man to offer up his son as a sacrifice. This man had such great faith that he willingly obeyed knowing that God would provide him with a posterity. So he was obedient and went to the mountain and was about to offer up his son, when he was about to do so and Angel of the Lord appeared and stopped him. 

So how does this story relate to the first question?

Abraham was a prophet who know and most importantly put his trust in God and in his promises! In Doctrine & Covenants 82:10 it says, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."  Abraham knew and understood this, and know that somehow the Lord would provide the way for him to have a Family. So he simply trusted in God that He would keep His promise if "he" Abraham would keep Gods Commandments. 

Likewise with us, often times we don't and maybe never will understand why God asked us to do certain things. But if we have faith and we know its from God and we do what he asks we will know that it is of God and be Blessed. In Ether 12:6 we learn "concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." When we act in faith God gives us a witness of what we do is right, and when we know it is right our faith builds and we are lead to do more good. We many not know everything but if we trust in God he will make all things work together for our good. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baptism of FIRE?!?!?

After a Baptism of water it is not yet complete without receiving the baptism of fire, or of the Holy Ghost. "...Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them..." (Acts 19:1-6)

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost is essential and without it a baptism of water is good for nothing. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost completes it and is what truly cleanses us from sin. "...that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. (3 Nephi 27:20)

The Holy Ghost has a very important role in our salvation. Not only are we sanctified, or cleanses us, but he testifies of Christ and helps us recognize the truth. He provides spiritual strength and helps us do what is right. He comforts us during times of trial or sorrow. He is the Comforter, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name..." The Holy Ghost is sent to us by God to give us comfort when we need it most. he also will "...teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26) He warns us of spiritual or physical danger. The Holy Ghost provides the power by which we teach and learn. The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of our Heavenly Father’s
most precious gifts. Through the power of the Holy Ghost we can feel God’s love and direction for us. This gift is a foretaste of eternal joy and a promise of eternal life.

We receive this great gift from God after baptism by proper authority when hands are placed on our heads and the words are spoken "receive the Holy Ghost" (2 Nephi 31:18) It is then that the Holy Ghost can be a constant companion to us. As we are worth of this gift he can stay with us always. Were as before baptism he comes and goes as we need comfort, or as he testifies of truth. But this gift is on of the greatest gifts of God that can help us find the "path which leads to eternal life" and to stay on that path until the time comes that were reunited with God, and with our Family's!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When The Waters of Our Life's Get Rough, How Do We Stay Afloat?

I know that God lives and that he has a plan for all of us and for everything that happens. "All things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things"

What happens when we loss someone we love?
A daughter, a sister, a father, a mother.
What do we do when it feels like life as we know it comes crashing down? What can we do when we pass through sorrow?

The Savior said "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) The Lord, Jesus Christ knows us very well and at a very personal level. He is real and does care for us. He past through all sorrow, pain, and grief so that we may be comforted.
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind;...he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take 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)
He suffered all things so that He can give us the aid, support, and relief from our heart aches that we need. This act that allowed him to help us is called the Atonement. Where he suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, and "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44) When He hung on the Cross, And nails we driven through His feet and Hands. And the Miraculous event that crowned it all three days later, The day of His Resurrection (watch the talk given by President Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, on the link provided under Resurrection), here he broke the "bands of death" so that all of us will have power over death and that we will be reunited with Him and with our family's some day.

When we go through these hard times what can we do? The answer, rely upon Jesus Christ. As He left the earth He said to His apostles, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace...Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:26-27) When I have hard times, when I feel like all hope is lost. I am often reminded of the song "Where Can I Turn For Peace"

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When, with a wounded heart, anger, or malice
I draw myself apart searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows?
Where, when I languish?
Where, in my need to know?
Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
He answers privately.
Reaches my reaching.
In my Gethsemane, Savior, and friend.
Gentle, the peace He finds
For my beseeching.
Constant He is, and kind.
Love without end.

In the Introduction to The Book of Mormon it says that, "it tells men what they must do to have peace in this life" The peace i gain is not from reading the book alone. It comes from learning of my Savior and Redeemer who is Christ and knowing that He does love me, and He does know my needs and cares. And most Importantly HE HAS A PLAN!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Change...It can wait, right?

Often times I think to myself when I know I need to do somethings is, I'll do it later", or "it can wait tell tomorrow." But what happens when we procrastinate what we know is right? At the time it seems as though nothing is affectied but in reality everything can change!
The scriptures read, "Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this;....For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked." (Alma 34:34-35)

The Savior said to Matthew "Follow me. And he arose, and followed him" (Matthew 9:9) He invites all men to come unto him to be healed and cleansed from all there sins. When he said to matthew "follow me" he imediatly stode in his place and followed the Master. He did not wait or say "why should I?", or "I'll be right there" But he follow Him because he knew that it was right. Often times we feel in our lives that we ether "aren't ready to change," or "I'm just to weak" to follow Christ.
But there are always blessings that come from being obedient to a commandment of God. He wants us to change and have Faith in His Son, Jesus Chist. Who has the power to heal us, to save us from our sins, and to give us the strength to never turn to there sins again. God is faithful but we must choose to follow him and we must act now. There is not time to wait, there is now "tomorrow" but there is a today!

It is my testimony that through the Savior all things are possible and no matter where we are in life we can change and we can do it now, there is no need for preparing, no need for waiting but to act now and God will help us as we do so, Because he has done it for me and given me the strenght to endure a little longs, to run a little faster, to stand a little taller, and to work a little harder because I know that God will bless me for my work here on earth and through our work, His grace is sufficient to save us from our sins! (see 2 Nephi 25:23, Helamen 12:24)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Christian? And You Don't Use The Cross?

My testimony is that Jesus Christ lives. We do not worship a dead God but one that lives and guides us and our church still today. And he does so through a modern day Prophet and Apostles of Jesus Christ. Many people ask, "Why do you not have crosses in your church?" This is why, because he lives.

"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—" (D&C 76:22-23)

For more information about our belief in Jesus Christ, see

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why are we Baptised?

Faith is what persuades us to follow Christ and to become like him. In order to do that we must first repent of our sins which is to seek forgiveness for the things we have done wrong then to follow his example. The first thing Christ did to begin his earthly ministry was to "fulfil all righteousness" (2 Nephi 31:5)

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:" (Matthew 3:13-16)

But wait, to the understanding of most Christians, baptism is for the imperfect and the sinners. So why then was Christ baptised?  The reason being Christ was, and had to be perfect, even the least bit of sin would have made his sacrifice for our sins for nothing. In the Book of Mormon we read, "Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." (3 Nephi 27:20, also see John 3:5) If Jesus Christ had not been baptised he would have no longer be perfect but a sinner breaking the commandment to get baptised. And he did so to prove that he himself is not above any law, or commandment given from God. (see 2 Nephi 31:7)

So if Christ, He being perfect needed to be baptised, how much more have we being imperfect to be baptised? It is a chance we have to wash away our sins and start over. With a new outlook on the world, God, and ourselves. We can lay down our sinful ways and start over, with clean hands and a pure heart. We also "take upon the name of Christ" as we are baptised and it is essential to our salvation. "...this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God..." (2 Nephi 31:21)

Faith and Repentance prepare us for this sacred ordinance. An ordinance is a sacred ceremony that shows that we have made a covenant with God. A covenant is a two way promise between you and God. The promise is that we agree to do what he tells us to and in return he gives us a blessing, and blessings are given based upon the commandment that we keep. Example when we promise to keep the "Word Of Wisdom" God promise that we will have; health, strength, well gain and find knowledge in the scriptures, and protection. (see D&C 89:18-21)

Covenants place us under a commitment to honor what God has asked. "Covenants are usually made by means of sacred ordinances, such as baptism. These ordinances are administered by priesthood authority. Through the ordinance of baptism, for example, we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. As we keep our part of the covenant, God
promises the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, a remission of our sins, and being born again." (Preach My Gospel pg63)

Through these ordinances we can feel Gods love, and his power to make us better people. It is essential for salvation, which is to return Gods presence and eternal joy. "And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood..." (3 Nephi 27:19)