In this blog, I will share my expericences as a missionary, along with spiritual thoughts, scriptures, and other fun Gospel messages. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Book of Mormon

Yeah, I know. It's been a while since I've posted. You find out that the longer you've been out on your mission, the less time there is to do things. Unfortunately, my blog just happened to be something that I just haven't had the time to do. I want to write about something that has been on my mind in the last month or so since I've posted.
A lot of emphasis has been made, both in the Ensign magazine and in the most recent General Conference a few weeks ago, about the Book of Mormon. I talk to a lot of people everyday of various religious backgrounds, yet so few people understand what this precious book of scripture is or how it can help them in their lives. A lot of people can't even accept it as scripture.

Members of the Church believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We accept the King James Version as the most correct translation. The Lord Himself tells us to study and teach out of the Bible: " And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible..." (Doctrine and Covenants 42:12). Yet, there are some things that the Bible never mentions at all or leaves unclear. This is where the Book of Mormon comes into play.

The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. Just as the Bible is a testament about Christ, the Book of Mormon provides an additional witness and testament about Him. It has the fullness of Christ's Gospel. It answers what the Bible leaves unclear. The Book of Mormon is a record a family who around 600 B.C. left Jerusalem at God's command and came to the Americas. This family soon split up into two nations: the Nephites and the Lamanites. Throughout the course of the book, God called prophets to warn the people of the consequences of sin and to tell of the coming of a Savior who would redeem them and suffer for their sins. The climax of the book is the personal appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to the people after He rose from the dead. He teaches them His Gospel, performs miracles, and organizes His church. The people live in peace for many years after His coming until the Nephites become so wicked that they are destroyed. Moroni, the last living Nephite and prophet to write in the Book of Mormon, gives this promise and testimony: "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would 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. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ..." (Moroni 10: 4-5, 32)

A wonderful talk about the Book of Mormon was given in General Conference a few weeks ago. It was by Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy of the Church. Here is a link to his talk and I would encourage you to listen to his words. He explains things so clearly: http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-book-of-mormon-a-book-from-god?lang=eng

I know the Book is true because I have read it. I have felt the power and peace that it brings as I have searched its pages. I have asked the Author of all truth if the book is true, and I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true. I encourage all, as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ Himself, to read the Book of Mormon and find out for yourself. You will be blessed if you do. To request a free copy of the Book, go to http://mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon/

Monday, August 8, 2011

Men are that they might have joy

As a missionary, you get to meet a whole bunch of people every single day. My experiences have led me to discover that there are a bunch of unhappy people in the world. I can't help but wonder why this is. The prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon teaches simply that one of the reasons that God has put us on this earth is for us to be happy. "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)

So if one of the purposes of mortality is to be happy, why are tons of people completely miserable? To be sincerely honest, a lot of the time it's because they choose to be. The prophet Lehi also taught on the power and the lasting impact of our choices:  "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)

I love music. Music, no matter what language we all speak, touches all who hear and all who hear understand the message of what is being portrayed. One of my favorite composers is a man named Eric Whitacre. The video below is one of his songs entitled "Hope, Faith, Life, Love." This song has only eight words: hope, faith, life, love, dream, joy, truth, and soul. As you listen to this beautiful choral arrangement, focus on what word is focused on longest and is the most elaborated musically.

I know that we can choose to be happy. Life is going to hand you lemons sometimes. That's as real and unavoidable as death and taxes. The real question is what are you going to do with those lemons. Lemonade sounds good to me! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspiring Musician

Alex Boye has always been an inspiration to me. Listen to his conversion story and how he was prepared to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Marriage and Family

We live in a world where the family is being targeted and ruthlessly attacked. Satan is trying his hardest to destroy family relationships. Divorce is becoming increasingly common these days and prophets, both ancient and modern, have stated that it will only get worse. The Atonement of Jesus Christ will help us stay strong in our families. The family is ordained of God. We are in families because that's the way God wanted us to be in. Families are meant to last beyond the grave. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, gives some counsel if you might be struggling in your relationship with your family. I know that families can be forever. I know that Jesus Christ can heal your family relationship if you let Him. Trust Him. He will help you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Watch and Pray

"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)

"Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work." (Doctrine and Covenants 10:5)

Temptation is all around us. Everywhere you go, you see violations of God's commandments. Whether it's on the television, Internet, or with our friends, the commandments are seen as something that's optional and breaking them as something that's even desirable. You see, there's this wonderful thing about our marvelous gift of agency, with every choice comes a consequence. This is as certain as death and taxes. We control what we choose, but what happens because of this choice is out of our hands. The same is true with breaking the commandments of God.

The prophet Alma taught in the Book of Mormon that: "wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10) If that's so, why does it seem that those who break God's commandments are happy? The consequences of sin may not happen immediately, but they WILL happen. Just as Dory and Marlin find out in this video clip, we may not notice the dangers of what we are doing until it's too late.

My friends, let us follow the voice of the Savior who told us to:  "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) The easiest way to avoid the consequences of caving into temptation is to make the choice well in advance that you won't. That way, when the temptation comes, you already know what you're going to do. I know that this is a true principle. Let's avoid subjecting ourselves to Satan and his awful chains. I know that wickedness never leads to happiness. It leads to misery. God's commandments make us free. Let us strive to make the choice to follow the example of our Savior, and strive everyday to become more like Him.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Book of Mormon (Reflections of Christ)

All I can say for this video is wow. This picture slide show shows the ministry of the Savior Jesus Christ among the people in the Americas as recorded in the Book of Mormon. The Spirit of the Lord is so present in this video. If you'd like a free copy of the Book of Mormon, please visit: http://mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have read it. It testifies of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. His grace and mercy after all we can do is the only way we can return back into the presence of the Father. You too can gain this knowledge for yourself as you read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon. God will answer your prayers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

None were with Him.

"For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made." (Alma 34:9)

"And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also." (Alma 42:15)

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:3-5)

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith 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)

I love these scriptures and the video about the sacrifice our Savior made for us. He loved us so much to suffer our pains, afflictions, trials, sorrows, everything we would ever experience in this life. I know these things are true.