Saturday, May 7, 2011

Step into the Light

Lets face it, the world these days is filled with darkness. No matter who you are or where you live, it is impossible to escape the snares of the adversary. Satan is hell bent on getting us to fall, to stumble and to break. He knows that in moments of distress and despair, we are weakest, and that punk will exploit that to the max? With darkness looming behind every corner, and closing in around us fast, what are we to do?

I have four words of advice for you. Step into the Light. Darkness and light cannot exists in the same place at the same time. Satan = Darkness. Christ = Light. Satan will try and pull us out of the light with darkness, and will try his hardest to get us while we are there. There is no need to fail when darkness closes in around us, to succumb to the temptations that we all know will hold us down, keep us back, and make us feel miserable.
Listen to the account of King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon, and how he stepped into light. Pay attention to what happened.

Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark aveil of bunbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the clight which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had dovercome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God—
This can be you! When you are suffering, from pain, temptation, grief, loss, guilt, whatever... Step into the light! King Lamoni's soul was infused with joy! Through the spirit (light) he was able to overcome his natural frame. For me that means that my natural man (the idiot inside of me) can be overcome as I come to God. Those dumb things I struggle with everyday can and will be overcome as I turn to God, and feel of his spirit. Whatever we struggle with, we need to step out of the darkness, and into the light.

Invite the spirit of God, He is light. Read your scriptures, say a prayer. Do everything you can, every day to stay in the light. If you are trying to overcome something hard, or feel like those temptations are right around the corner, then try your hardest. God will help you. Alma says it pretty simply in the Book of Mormon.

"O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good"
Alma 32:35
 I know that God will help us always. There is never anything too much for us to overcome. When we use the Holy Ghost, and do all we can to come close and stay close to Christ, He will help us build up the spiritual strength to resist the darkness around us. He will infuse our soul with Joy, and help us overcome our natural self. We can become more spiritual beings, and be able to enjoy all the blessings that God has for us. Step away from the natural, idiot, self. Step into the Light.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Come unto Christ

This invitation has begun to run my life. It has become my everything. Everywhere I go, everyone I meet... More and more it seems that I have been driving myself to take it as well. It is the most important thing we could ever do, for it is truly how God shapes us into who he wants us to be. It doesn't matter who we are, or where we are at, we are all imperfect, unrefined ore.

The only perfect being who ever came to earth died so he could experience and overcome our weaknesses. With all His perfection he is able to extend mercy to us, even in our imperfections. For a long time, I thought of it only as Him just paying my debt of sin... Now, he does that. He'll cover our tab. But there is much, much more to it than that. We need to be perfect in everything, as Christ himself tells us to do so.

aBe ye therefore bperfect, even as your cFather which is in heaven is dperfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Weakness is something inherent in all human beings. None of us are perfect, nor can we do all things. But God is perfect. Christ was too. He wants us to become like Him, and the only way we can is through Christ. Moroni's invitation to all is, "acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be eperfect in Christ" (Moroni 10:32)

As a representative of Christ, I echo Moroni's words. Come unto Christ. Be humble, follow his commandments, repent and be baptized. We are clay waiting to be molded, and only God can show us our flaws. Through the Holy Ghost, we can be guided as we chip away at our weaknesses, and become the masterpiece we are all destined to become. Christ can change us, but only if we let Him.

I know, as one who is on the journey, that it will not always be easy. Indeed, the more I travel, the more I realize I alone am not fit for the trail. I am weak. Truth be told, we are all weak. We will at times feel as though we are lost and hopeless. Don't get discouraged, our leader is strong, even "mighty to save." (Alma 34:18) The words etched by the ancient prophet bring new light of hope to those who, like me, might only see flaws and blemishes.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them. (Ether 12:27)"

I testify that Christ is our King, our Redeemer. We are fallen, but can all progress as we come to him. Slowly and gently He will mold and purify us until one day we will be the realization of the vision He had when He chose us. Come unto Christ, and become perfected in the Mater's hands.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He Is Risen!

 "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
 He is not here: for he is risen"

There is something very symbolic to me about the way in which these words were uttered, something inspiring. Two disciples ran to the tomb that Easter morning to pay their respects to their Lord and King, and found instead an Angel of the Lord. Sensing their confusion, the angel comforted them and calmed their fears.

The message to all those who search for Christ this Easter is to not fear. Christ completed the atonement. After living a perfect life, he suffered for our sins. He bled in Gethsemane, was betrayed, and crucified on Golgotha. Then, on that wonderful Easter morning, he rose to finish his work. In Gethsemane, and on the cross, Christ overcame all human sin. With his resurrection, He broke the bands of death. We, like Mary, need not fear. Though He died, he arose, and bids us all to come to him. The prophet Abinadi explains the terms of this resurrection. He says,

"And there cometh a resurrection, even a afirst resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called." (Mosiah 15:21)

What a beautiful message this is, that we will all live again. That is the free gift he offers to all, both rebellious and obedient. By virtue of his resurrection, all human kind will obtain immortality. Christ's second supernal gift to us is freedom from sin, and the opportunity to have eternal life. After we are resurrected, as Christ himself was, we may have the opportunity to live again with Him and our Father in Heaven in eternal Glory forever.

I know that He is risen, and that He is at the head of this church. Read over the accounts in the gospels, the spirit bears witness to you of the truth and beauty of the message. Today and tomorrow, we celebrate the greatest victory of all time, the most important event to ever happen in history. Come, and partake of His gift of eternal life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick to Observe

The Prophet Mormon
I have been wondering, and studying a lot recently about how I can learn more from my Father in Heaven about what He wants for me. I decided to open my scriptures, and began to read about the historian-prophet Mormon, the man who not only led the Nephite nation in battle since his teenage years, but compiled much of what we now have as the Book of Mormon.
Concerning Mormon, we read that God entrusted him with the precious records and the great and sacred responsibility of compiling them because he was, "quick to observe." (Mormon 1:2) I believe there is a lot of wisdom to be had in that statement.

At least in my life, Heavenly Father has been quick to teach me through the Holy Ghost when I slow down and pay attention to what is going on around me. Through observing the lives of some of those around me, I have been able to see and apply lessons they have learned or are learning to myself. I was able to see the true happiness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. I saw that it wasn't fake, that they really were living life with all the wonderful blessings that God promises to those that follow him.

From close observance to those around us, and whisperings from the spirit, we can direct our lives better. We can earn God's trust. I urge you all to look around, and see those you are with. Heavenly Father is always trying to reach out and teach us, and if we are quick to observe, you will see it. Truth is out there, and happiness is real. It is up to us to pursue it, to find it, learn it and live it.

I know the message that I share as a missionary is true, and will unlock the gate to Eternal Happiness for anyone who pursues it. Through close observation, you will also come to see how God works through people around you, and there is a better way. My life is great, and its real. Its what Christ offers to us all.  Message me and find out more about what he has done for me, and what He can do for you!

Also, check out an Apostle of the Lord, David A Bednar speak on being "Quick to Observe"

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Sometimes I don't feel like I can live up to whats expected of me. Not that I lack faith in myself, and not that I don't think I can do all that the Lord has asked of me, sometimes I just don't feel that my meager efforts will be enough to accomplish the huge task that is placed before me. Whether that huge task is graduating college, finding a job to provide for the family, or something as huge as obtaining eternal life, all of us in one way or another have felt the feeling of inadequacy. To be honestly, I don't know if the feeling is really such a bad thing though. Recently, it has actually proven to be of great worth to me. The more I realize how great the work is that I am expected to accomplish, the more I realize that I cannot do it alone. Bruce C. Hafen said some comforting words to those of us who have a hard time measuring up. He said,
"If you have problems in your life, don’t assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life’s purpose. As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger.  If you’re seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you’re moving nearer to God, not farther away." (Bruce C. Hafen, "The Atonement: All for All)

And that, for me at least, has been a good thing. Through struggle, I have realized that valuable lesson, that I am being refined, and slowly drawing ever closer to God. During these times of struggle, I have had to rely completely on Christ to make up for those things that I don't do perfectly. You see, Christ knows me. He knows that I really can't do everything by myself, and that I am not perfect. That's ok though, because He is. He doesn't expect me to be perfect, but he does expect me to try perfectly. He wants me to always strive to be the best I can, and when I do, He promises to make up the difference. As long as I am doing all I can, He promises He will do all He can, and no matter what that will make it. Moroni lays it out pretty simply.

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen." (Moroni 7:48

May we all do everything that lie in our power to be true followers of Christ. Pray for it, strive for it, and work at it. Make promises, or covenants with Him that will put you both under agreement to support each other. Trust me, we definitely get the better part of the bargain when we take His name upon us. He knows we wont be perfect, but if we do our best, the promise is we will become pure, as He is pure. Christ is perfect, and although I am not, he will accept me as-is, and make up the difference.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ask, Seek, Knock

As I read from the New Testament the other day, I ran across some familiar verses that caused me to stop and think. Like most people, I have either read or heard them multiple times, but the implications of what the Savior is saying in them has never struck me with as much force as it did at this time. Indeed, I doubt if I ever stopped to think about or try to understand what the Savior was really teaching in the scripture. The words are simple, and not easily misunderstood, but I think the power of the promise behind the statement could be lost on most individuals... Or maybe its just me. Anyways, in Matthew I read, 

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Now think about that for a second. Do you really believe that anything you ask for, you will recieve? For myself, I wasn't quiet sure.That is an incredible promise that holds a lot of weight! Is it true?!

After a brief internal debate, I decided that it certainly is. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think it is all just as easy as asking for something. If that were true, I would probably be a much cooler person then I am now... Hah no, there is definitely a process to receiving what ever it is that we ask for. In fact, I believe the Savior laid it out pretty clearly.  For the first time, I looked at the scripture not as three separate promises, but more of a whole process of receiving some great heavenly gift. Upon searching for more on the subject, I found an incredible talk by one of our beloved apostles, Russell M. Nelson. Elder Nelson says,

"Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. “Saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more.”  Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression."

Nephi on the Boat to America
Think of the process of receiving what ever it is that you want as a journey. You have to first ask where you want to go, seek out how you are going to get there, and then go and do. The prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon, after seeing the vision of the destruction of Jerusalem and the promised land couldn't just up and be there. No, they had to journey out, endure hardship, build a boat and safely guide it to the Americas, all the while relying completely on the Lord. I believe the same process can be applied to anything we ask of the Lord. We can ask, and He will answer. I know that is true. After we get our answer though, we have to do something with it. It is not enough just to ask, we must also be ready to seek and knock.

When we are pursuing answers or revelation for the benefit of ourselves and others, we will always be more successful as we become more Christ-like. I this is true. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us with everything we desire, so long as those desires are righteous. He loves us, and wants whats best for us. When we draw nearer to Christ, we are able to see more clearly what His will is for us, and can discern how we can arrive at the answers we desire. Elder Nelson also gives us great guidelines to find the answers we are looking and asking for. His advice is,

"For each of you to receive revelation unique to your own needs and responsibilities, certain guidelines prevail. The Lord asks you to develop “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God.” Then with your firm “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence,” you may ask, and you will receive; you may knock, and it will be opened unto you."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

He Knows You.

"Nothing will surprise us more than when we get to heaven and see the Father and realize how well we know Him and how familiar His face is to us." — Pres. Ezra Taft Benson

That quote has been resonating in my head for the last week. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The implications are powerful! He knows us well, and wants us to live with Him. Will we regret anything from this life when we pass? Will we see Him, remember His face, feel His love, and be ashamed and sorry? Are we doing all we can to show how much we love Him?

I wish I could show people just how much their Father in Heaven loves them. His love is manifest to me as I do the small and simple things that He asks and keep His commandments. In return, He sends the Holy Ghost to gently nudge me in the right direction and give me comforting assurances that what I am doing is correct, and that He approves. From these feelings, we can know that we are engaged in what we need to be to be able to return to live again with Him. I have come to cherish and value these feelings.

Anyone who is searching for their Heavenly Father will find Him. He is not as far distant as we sometimes suppose. Indeed, Christ himself tells us that if we look for Him, we will find Him.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" Matthew 7:7

That promise is absolute. There is no, "maybe Ill find him," or "maybe He will answer me." He promises very plainly that He will manifest himself unto us. I know that is true. I know that he loves each and every one of us, and as we follow His son, Jesus Christ, and have faith, repent, and are baptized, we can be granted a spot alongside Him for eternity. Nephi says,

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

I am so thankful for that promise.