Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chose Liberty!

I feel bad for my parents... If any of you know them, you should give them a huge pat on the back, or a congrats for making it through me alive. Seriously, I think the reason I was born to them is because they were the only two individuals on the planet who could handle me. You see, I (like probably every teenage boy) had this thing with rules... I didnt like them very much, and made it my personal goal to break every one I could... I used to think that rules were things to bind you down, that, "with all those rules, there was no way I could be free!" Man, I wished I had paid better attention those nights our family happened to read 2nd Nephi, woulda saved me and my parents a lot of grief!

Sad-face Homeless man...
I know there are tons of people out there who still think like I used to. I meet them everyday... "Naaahhh mannn, Im going to do what I want, when I want to, I dont need no stinkin religion to tell me what to do! God knows me mann, I aint' gonna hurt nobody!" I hear it all the time. Some of those people are homeless. Some are rich, others seem completely normal. All of them however, are completely missing the point...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tools of the Trade...

Everyone has tools. No matter what it is you do, you usually need something to do it with. Musicians need their instruments, Mechanics need wrenches, computer programmers need computers, and scientists need like beakers and Bunsen-burners and stuff... I think... Anyways, you get the point!

As a missionary, I have a lot of tools at my desposal. I have my car, phone, cards, pamphlets, planners, and most recently facebook and blogs... But all of those pale in comparison to my most favorite tool, the one I use most and is most effective at bringing people closer to Jesus Christ... the Book of Mormon.

But what is the Book of Mormon and why is it so important? 

Christ Appears in America
The Book of Mormon is an ancient record of Prophets here on the American continent, who knew about and testified of Jesus Christ and His life. It was written by a family who left Jerusalem around 600 B.C. and came to America to start a new life in the Promised land. They teach their children the gospel and prophecy about the coming of Christ, who at the climax of the record, comes down and teaches his disciples here the same things he taught in Jerusalem and the Bible. Eventually, the righteous people are hunted down and killed (similar to what happened to the primitive Christians) and the record was hid up in the earth by the last Prophet in the family, to be brought forth at a later time...

In comes Joseph who, as a young man was called of God to become a Prophet in these last days (to understand more about Joseph Smith, click here). Part of his calling was to restore the true Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Earth, and bring forth the Book of Mormon. He found the record, and through the power of God translated it. He went on to do much as a Prophet, and through him Christ's church, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon church) was restored.

My tool set!
Everything I do, and the truthfulness of everything I teach relies completely on the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is False, then Joseph Smith was never a prophet, and this Church is not true. I love that! I love knowing that anytime I teach something that might be difficult for them to understand or accept, they can take all their doubt to the Book of Mormon. I think President Ezra Taft Benson said it best, 

"...The only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For is the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation"

There is a promise at the end of the book that states if you, "... 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." (Moroni 10:4) I invite all to take that challenge.

I know that the Book of Mormon is scripture from God, and is true. I know that Joseph Smith really was called of God to bring it forth, and I am so glad that he did. Whenever I read the book, I gain that witness. Sometimes I'll find answers to questions I have been wondering about. I always feel the spirit as I read it. The book truely does teach and testify of Christ and just as Joseph Smith said, "...A man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" Dont take my word for it, go and find out for yourself! If you want a free copy, go to the link below, or you can read it online. If you have any questions, let me know on facebook. I talk about this all day every day, and would love to shed some light for ya!

Free Book of Mormon, and more information about it! 
Read the Scriptures Online! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Save Yourself!

I just heard a story about a man in my ward here who collapsed at Wal Mart. Everyone started freaking out, and called 911. Fortunately there was a man in one of the lines who noticed, ran over and started preforming CPR. When the paramedics arrived, the man who collapsed was ok, and they attributed that to this stranger who had given him CPR... So, when were in danger of physical death, CPR can save our lives... but what about spiritual death?

CPR will save your life, your eternal life! Let me break this down for you. As a missionary, I have been called of God to bring others to Christ and I know of no better way then CPR.

C- Church. First and foremost, making it to church should be our number one goal when in danger of spiritual death. Church is a place where we can feel the Holy Ghost more abundantly, where we can show our commitment to God. I once heard that you can tell which God's he worships by how he spends his Sabbath. It is so important, the Lord gave it to Moses as one of the big ten! For me, church on Sunday is my spiritual recharge, essential for a successful week!

P- Prayer. "As you need the help of your father in Heaven, you must call upon Him through prayer" -Wendell Nix, Stake Patriarch. When brother Nix told me this, it didn't ring very true at the time. I figured I could cruise through life and God would grant me what He would. Let me tell you, I have learned otherwise. It says ask and ye shall receive in one form or another over 100 times in the Bible! That must mean it is pretty important. Much like any relationship on earth, to maintain and improve our relationship with God we have to talk to Him. Any parent knows how wonderful it is when kids call home, and how sad it is when they don't bother. When we pray, we call down blessings from heaven, and the spirit is able to touch our lives. Alma 37:36-37 reads,

"Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
How true that scripture is!

R- Read. As we read the scriptures we will feel an increase measure of spirit in our lives. I know as I read the scriptures every morning, the difference could be seen and felt in the day. Nephi says it best in 2 Nephi 32:3 when he says "Feast upon the words of Christ, for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." The scriptures are the words of Christ, and as we read them, our testimony, faith, and desire to serve him increases. 

In conclusion, if you are dying, give yourself CPR! I know that as we do these 3 simple things, our lives become easier, and we have more spirit to guide and direct us where we should go and what we should do. Just as it says in Alma 37:6,

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." I leave with you my testimony that by doing those 3 simple things, our lives will improve, the Lord will be able to bless us more, and we will feel a closer and deeper relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Greatest Gift Ever Given...

"Greater alove hath no man than this, that a man lay down his blife for his cfriends. " John 15:13

Being a missionary, I am always talking about Jesus Christ. My whole purpose in my calling is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and spread the wonderful news to everyone I come in contact with so that thier lives can be... well, better! I share the message of God's gift to us... How we can have everything he wants for us... If Heavenly Father himself were to give you the greatest gift He could, would you take it?

That gift I'm talking about is Jesus Christ, or more specifically Christ giving up his own life for us. Simply put, He gave it up so that we dont have to suffer shame or guilt for the mistakes we make. He gave it up so that we as humans can be forgiven and have those burdens lifted. He gave it up so that all of us can find a way to be happy, not only in this life, but after as well. Through his suffering, we can live with our Father in heaven and families forever if we but seek forgivness and follow Christ. The gift was given to all (2 Nephi 9:21), He denies none... But what does He expect of us to be able to claim those blessings?

The prophet Nephi describes what we need to do in verse 23 of chapter 9 (2 Nephi 9:23). Specifically, Nephi says that we need to repent and be baptized. When we do, we recognize our sins and weaknesses and make a promise to God to always try and do better. As we slip up and sin, we pick ourselves back up and move forward, constantly recommitting ourselves to be better. All of us are imperfect. We all have things we can change about ourselves to better align our lives with God's will for us. As we do, we will begin to feel the goodness and mercy of God, replacing feelings of guilt with love. We will also be able to feel the Holy Ghost more in our lives, and be able to hear His direction for us.

I am so thankful for what Jesus Christ did for me. I cannot imagine what life would be like if I had to live with the burdens of my mistakes forever. I am living proof that as you seek for change, and turn to God and repent, forgiveness will come. Anyone who takes up this challange and truely strives to follow Christ will add more light to thier life, and ultimately be a happier person. You will enable God to bless you, and I promise that He will. I know because I've done it, and have seen the incredible change in myself.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Brand New Day...

So life is crazy... I thought when I was called on a mission I would get to leave the whole internet thing behind. How does that old saying go, "If you wanna make the Lord laugh, tell him your plans?" Hah well that really is how I feel right now. I'm excited though, hopefully you all will actually be able to get something out of this..

So my Scripture of the day is found in the Old Testament, Joshua 1:9
 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. "
I know that that is so true. Anytime the Lord tells us to do anything, he will not only prepare a way for us (1 Nephi 3:7), but be with us everystep of the way. As I embark on this new and exciting assignment, and as you embark in anything in life, try and remember that. Ask for help, and council him in all thy doings, and he will through the Holy Ghost grant you courage to overcome.