Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The House of the Lord

As we were taking the sacrament to the homebound a couple Sundays ago, my brother Matthew mentioned that when he has his driver's license, he plans on attending the temple every Saturday, or as often as he can otherwise. It was one of those bag of bricks moments, where an idea suddenly hits you and you wonder why in the heck you never thought of it before. At that moment I decided that, since I'd be taking a day off from work every week in order to prepare spiritually for my mission, I could use that time to go to the temple. Yeah, obvious idea, right?! Props go to my brother for reminding me of that.

So today I made my first weekly visit to the temple. I hadn't been since August, and before that, February, and so on, so I was clearly due for a change in habit. I was excited for this, and still am. I mean, I get to chill at God's place every week! How awesome is that?! :-D

The Highams went with me this morning, only adding to the happiness of the visit. It was great to see them, and it was even better that we were meeting in order to do the Lord's work. To add even to that, we were all there because we wanted to be there, so we had the right attitude, which made it a lot easier for the Spirit to guide us.

This was one of my most powerful experiences in the temple. Each visit is extraordinary in its own right, and each time I visit the temple I feel something incredible that goes beyond description. But today was just . . . wow. I don't know if it's because I'd just spent a whole day previous in intense study, but whatever the reason, I just felt so open to the Spirit today.

The climax was right before and during the baptisms themselves. In light of my recent study of Joseph Smith's Lectures on Faith, I was reading through Hebrews 11--one of the greatest discourses on faith ever given. The Prophet's words added a lot more understanding to the passage, and because I was in the temple, that understanding not only impacted me deeper, but other things clicked, too.

That was a powerful feeling--it always is--and it was while I waited for my turn in the ordinance that that beautiful, familiar witness came to me. It permeated my entire being: a heavenly feeling of peace, love, understanding, and clarity, that whispered softly into my heart as if that were my ear, "It's true!" There was no room for any manner of doubt that this was truly the Lord's work; that this was His house; that He loved me and knew me by name. My mind had not been so clear in ages, my heart so full, nor my step so light.

I had a fairly busy day after leaving the temple, but contrary to my usual days of equal business, today's just seemed to deal with itself. Time was no longer a problem; unlike usual, I never showed up late for any of my appointments throughout the day. I could think so, so clearly, and despite all the tasks on my plate, I stayed in a constantly cheerful mood and so remain. After all this, and more, how can I ever deny the divinity of God, and the holiness of His house? Life is easier when you live the Gospel. It's as simple as that; if you don't feel in control of your life, read the scriptures . . . pray . . . go to the temple! The Lord will handle the rest if you simply obey Him. Because of these and other myriad blessings, I'm excited to start my new pattern of attending the temple every week. And in between visits, life will run a lot smoother, and I will be a lot happier. Who ever said it was easier not to try?!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"For it shall be given you . . . in the very moment, what ye shall say."

I had a neat experience with a guy at work yesterday. Rosie, JJ, and I were eating lunch together when somehow our conversation turned to my mission. Up to this point, all talk at work of my mission had been antagonistic, but this time it was met with innocent curiosity. All their questions were about the money: how much it cost to go on a mission, if I got payed while on it, if I got payed afterward, and so on. Both of them were shocked when I told them I was paying my own way, and wouldn't receive anything material for it.

"So you go just because you want to?"

"Yep," I said proudly.

Rosie went back to work a little after this, but with a few more minutes left on our lunches, JJ and I continued talking. Somehow we got to the subject of the Church itself, and JJ brought up the fact that it's been in the news a lot lately due to the Presidential campaign. He told me about a bunch of the stuff he'd heard about the Church and its history from the media, but admitted to being a bit confused about the information given by his sources. "Was it really started by space aliens?" he asked me.

I laughed at that one. "You won't believe how often I hear that," I responded. "That's not even close to what happened!"

JJ's tone changed then. For the first time I was seeing humility in him as he asked, "How did Mormonism start, then?"

As many times as I'd studied it over the years and talked about it with other members of the Church, this was the first time I'd ever gotten to teach someone in person about the First Vision. I gave JJ the condensed version, as was appropriate for our situation, and told him about how Joseph Smith--only a fourteen-year-old farm boy--was very confused about which church to join, and how wanting to know which of all the sects was right, he went into the woods and prayed for an answer to his question, which came in a visit from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, who told him to join none of the churches, for they were all wrong.

"What year did that happen?" JJ asked.


"You do know that cocaine was invented by then?"

I hadn't been confronted with this before. I knew the prophet kept his body clean and never took drugs or alcohol, but not how to rebut my coworker's statement. It was then, however, that the words of D&C 100 held true, which promise, ". . . speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; for it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say."

I can't describe what it was like for the Spirit to take over what I was saying. The closest I can come in description is that it was like having my mind retreat somewhere while my mouth kept moving, and though I was aware of what was going on and what I said, when I finished telling the story of seven-year-old Joseph's leg surgery--for which he refused liquor even to dull the pain--it felt as though I'd just come back from someplace else. And, as the scriptures promised, I was not confounded; in fact, it was JJ who had nothing left to say. But even if he had, we had to end the conversation there because lunch was over.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion

Instead of a verse of scripture, today's post is a call to action. The Church's official website published a news release this weekend of a speech given by Elder M. Russell Ballard urging Church members to use new media to join a national conversation about the Church. That appeared in the Deseret Morning News today, and my young men's president saw the article and based our Priesthood lesson on it. When Thatcher emailed me about the call to action, I knew then that it would also show up on my blog.

The Deseret News article:

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints need to join the global conversation and use new technology to stand up for what they believe in, a top church official said Saturday.

Elder M. Russell Ballard urged graduates at the church-owned Brigham Young University-Hawaii to share their beliefs with the world, instead of allowing people to base their opinions from news reports driven by controversies.

"We are living in a world saturated with all kinds of voices," Elder Ballard said in a prepared speech, which is available on the church's Web site,

"Perhaps now, more than ever, we have a major responsibility as Latter-day Saints to define ourselves, instead of letting others define us," said Elder Ballard, a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Ballard's speech came at the end of a rough week for the faith, as politicians and pundits alike questioned the LDS Church and its teachings. One MSNBC political analyst criticized the church's early leaders, calling them criminals and racists.

The LDS Church has been at the center of attention since Republican Mitt Romney joined the presidential race. In his remarks, Elder Ballard said, "Perhaps there is no other time in its history when the church has received more attention from the news media and on the Internet than right now."

Elder Ballard urged the 200 graduates, who hail from 31 countries, to use this new-found attention as an opportunity to educate and clear up misconceptions.

"There are conversations going on about the church constantly," Elder Ballard said. "Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot sit on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches."

LDS faithful can change perceptions of the church "one conversation at a time," through a clear and simple message of the Restoration. Elder Ballard said the Internet is a great tool to start these conversations. In his remarks, he suggested members consider the following:

• Start a blog "and share what you know to be true."

• Download videos from official church and other appropriate sites and send them to your friends.

• Comment on news media sites that report on the church "and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports."

To do these things, Elder Ballard said an understanding of the basic principles of the gospel is required. However, "There is no need to argue or contend with others regarding our beliefs.

"Do not be afraid to share with others your story, your experiences as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ," Elder Ballard said. "We all have interesting stories that influence our identity. Sharing those stories is a non-threatening way to talk to others. Telling those stories can help demystify the church."

There is nothing more I can add to this than to declare my taking of Elder Ballard's challenge. We live in a marvelous time! Computers and the Internet have enabled our words to be heard all around the world in no time at all. And with all its recent attention, there is a national conversation going on about the Church, enabled by the wonderful technology of our day. But so far the talk has seemed a little one-sided.

As a blogger, I'm excited about Elder Ballard's challenge. There are so many places on the Internet where we can participate in talk of the Church, but rarely do. Blogs, forums, news sites . . . there are a million of them. Let's make our voices heard and show the world who Mormons really are!

In light of this call to action, I want to revive the Verse of the Week team blog. However, I have changed its title to Fireside, so that its contributors and readers don't feel like new posts should only come weekly. This should clear up all the complication we used to experience in figuring out who would post when, and of course, new posts would be easier to come by. Anyone who wants to join the team and post here, please let me know!
The Church is true.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Heirs of God

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:16-17

When I first read this verse in the hallway of the Institute building, it hit me like a flood. Why hadn't I found this before?! I read it over and over again, each time loving it more and more. I was filled with that amazing feeling of the Spirit, and I knew that it was true.

We are the children of God. And as His children, we therefore have the potential to become like Him. Heirs of God; joint-heirs with Christ! Think about what that means: who you are--what you may become. It's so exciting!

But of course, this identity also comes with a responsibility. If we are to become like God, we must suffer with Christ--that is, serve Him, dedicate our lives to Him, and never deny Him even in the face of the bitterest of persecution. It is no small decision, and an even larger burden to bear once one has accepted the call to righteousness, but I promise that it is worth it. The Lord knows His servants, and He will bless each of them to endure through every task, if they are faithful. We are His children, after all; He loves us, and wants us to return to Him. And if we endure well, we have that promise: that we may also be glorified with Christ.

We have divine potential, my friends. We are the children of a Heavenly Father who loves us infinitely. If we serve Him, and endure to the end, we will attain that Godly glory in the highest degree of Heaven. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Be still and know that I am God."

Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

D&C 101:16

This is one of my favorite verses, and is often quoted among the youth and leaders of my ward. While I often remember it in the company of those people, this week it was especially and constantly on my mind with everything that's been going on at work and in other facets of life. I've had to trust God to know what would happen, because I certainly had no idea what awaited me behind every corner.

As you know from my blog posts the past few days, I was offered a promotion in the middle of the hiring process at another job. It was a good deal, but I wanted the other job more and kept trying for that instead. But God knew all along that I wouldn't get the new job this early, and when I was finally rejected after a week of effort concerning it, the promotion was there to back me up. If I had to stay at the warehouse another few months, I at least needed better pay. God knew that, and He took care of me even when I wanted to force His help into another endeavor. There still is no guarantee that I will get this promotion, but whatever happens, as long as I listen and obey, the Lord will lead me to greater things.

I also had the opportunity to help Gordon plan youth conference on Friday. The last two days had come together early on, but ever since planning started months ago, we somehow hadn't been able to put together the first day. Nothing we tried fit, no matter how great we thought it would be.

Meanwhile, we have also been trying to plan a trip to do baptisms at the temple. But every time we'd settle on a date, something would come up to prevent us from going. Last week was our most recent plan, but true to pattern, it didn't work out and we ended up doing something else. And, until just recently, we've had to continue pushing it back because of various obstacles.

The Lord's hand has been in all of this. He wants us to go to the temple . . . but He wants it to be at a time He knows we can get the most benefit out of it. Likewise, He wants our youth conference to be a great spiritual experience, bringing us closer to Him. At times we've become a little frustrated in our planning of these activities because nothing has worked out. But God places obstacles in our way for a reason.

In the final planning stages of youth conference, Gordon remembered (and reminded us of) D&C 101, and we stopped trying to force it and went with whatever God put in our hearts and minds. After doing this, it barely took an hour on Friday to plan our activity! Everything came together perfectly; I'll wait to go into detail until my report later on, but we'll basically be centering the first day on Church history. We're starting the day with some early stuff, then progressing to the modern day, finishing with our trip to the temple as the perfect and most relevant close to the day's spiritual lessons. It all just came together when we became still and remembered that the Lord was God; there was no frustration of any sort, all the ideas came easily, and we all agreed unnaturally with each other on what should be done. God must have something important for us to learn at youth conference this year.

The week's last reminder of D&C 101 came at a family gathering today. Aunt Ramona held an open house for her daughter and son-in-law, Alyssa and Lonnie, and their children, who had made a rare trip here from Austin and would be going home tomorrow. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with my cousin and her family again, but I especially won't forget what happened near the end. As I was talking to Grandma Read, she suddenly remembered something and pulled a white envelope from her purse.

"Aunt Rosanne wanted me to give this to you," she said. "She didn't want to mail it; you know how people steal greeting cards. I meant to give it to you a while ago, but I set it on the piano and forgot about it."

I thanked my grandma and took the envelope home. Inside was a belated graduation card, with a note from the Schulthieses that read, "Sorry this is a bit late. You have a great future ahead of you." And enclosed therein was a twenty dollar bill--a sorely needed help as I buy my college books this week. I've been worrying the past few days that my finances may not yet be sufficient for my books, but I've been doing what I've needed to be doing, and the Lord is picking up whatever I leave behind. Sure, twenty bucks isn't going to buy a textbook. But it may just push me over that line when I make the purchase. In any case, however, every little bit helps, especially when it reminds me to put my trust in the Lord.

"Be still and know that I am God." In the hustle and bustle of life, do we put enough action into those words? I know I haven't. But I also know that if we are doing what we're supposed to be doing, and obeying the Lord's will, He will help us through anything. When we work for something and can't quite go the whole way, God will take care of what's left. He will inspire us, He will place aid in our paths, and He will do many other things to see that His children succeed in their righteous endeavors, if they make an honest effort. It is up to us to listen and obey.

I'm grateful to have such a loving Heavenly Father who cares enough for me to reach His own hand into my life. I'm thankful for all the help He has given me this week and many times before, and for the generous help He will continue to give me if I continue on the path of righteousness. God loves His children; why should we worry? I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Families Can Be Together Forever Through Heavenly Father's Plan.

Today during sacrament meeting, I didn't share my testimony. I should have, but I didn't. So I want to share it with you now. I want you all to know that I know that after I die, I can be with my family. I can spend forever with them. There is something more, you don't just die and not exist. It can't be, you aren't meant to live here on this earth, and then just to die. There is more, you don't just stop existing.

I love my family, I can not even possibly imagine existing without any one of them. They all mean so much to me. I can't even begin to imagine what I would be with out them today. I love them all so very much. I don't want to imagine what it would be like with out them, for that would be to painfull for me. I love them, and I know I can be with them even after I die.

If you will please imagine the immage you see when you look into one large mirror, facing a large mirror, What would you see? You would see your bright shining face shining back at you a million plus times. You can't even count the times it reflects back at you. Now I want you to picture your whole family standing infront of that mirror. How many times do you see your family's loving faces shining at you? What would you rather see after you die?

I know that families can be together forever because of the Preisthood that was restored to the earth. The sealing preisthood power is here on the earth again. We can seal families together forever. Essentially we can all be sealed as one family once again. Heavenly Father has given us the keys to Return to Him, with honor, as one family. He knows each of us individually. He knows us as who we really are inside. He knows the part of us that the rest of the world does not see. He can only know because he created us, and is our father. Our father loves, He would not leave us helpless. He sent his son to die for us, so that we can live again just as the savior does. I know that the savior lives. And that The Church Of Jesus Christ is the only true Church of Jesus Christ living on this earth. That the Lord Jesus Christ will come again. That we will live in peace again, that good will triumph over evil, that we can continue our Lord's work. We are the Lord's tools, We are working in his hands. He is directing us. He is guiding us and leading us to accomplish the work, the work of sealing Heavenly Father's Children into one Family. Adam and Eve Started the world's first family. We are working to seal that family, starting with our generation, and working back to the top.

The keys have been restored, and I know with out a shadow of a doubt, That Families are Forever. Just as those mirrors reflect forever. I can't imagine being with out my family forever, to me, it would not be worth it to live with out being sealed to them. If I could not be apart of something that great, that nothing could destroy, how could I survive? To me that would be endless torment.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The dead can be exalted!

A friend asked me an important question yesterday that I'd like to answer with this week's verse. It is my hope that he finds my answer satisfactory. And if he doesn't, I would be glad to expound privately. :-)

The question: Since the restoration of the LDS church took place in the 1800's, how did one get to heaven before that, when no LDS religion really existed?

The most direct answer can be found in a vision given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1836:

Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;

Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.

D&C 137:7-9

The people who died before the Church could be restored still had hope. If they would have accepted the Gospel had they heard it during their lives, they would have been counted among those worthy of Celestial glory. Likewise, today if someone never hears the Gospel before they die, they still have a chance at Heaven. God knows His children perfectly, so this works.

So, a spirit in postmortality can still choose to accept the Gospel. This is why we have temples: to perform the ordinances not only necessary for our own exaltation, but also for the exaltation of the dead. These can only be done with a body (one reason we came to Earth), so we perform proxy baptisms, endowments, and other sacred ordinances for those souls who never had a chance to have them done during their mortal existence. For this reason, and others, the temple is a literal bridge between our world and the Spirit World.

God will never unfairly take away the salvation of His children. He loves all of them, and wants them to return to Him. However, He also will never take away their agency, and sometimes a spirit will choose to reject the Gospel even after physical death. No man will be forced into Heaven. This is important to remember. However, it saddens the Lord when any of His children cannot partake of the fullness of His blessings, because He does love them.

I am grateful to know that the Lord loves us that much, to give His children a way to live with Him again even when they cannot find it in mortality. I'm grateful to have temples and the Gospel on the Earth today. The temple truly is the happiest place in the world, because it is the house of the Lord. It is where His most precious work is done for the immortality and eternal life of His children. Knowing that, it is impossible to deny His infinite love for us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hmmmm time to post something.

So you have girls camp coming up. I am way excited. Girls camp can be very goofy and Spiritual all at the same time. This time I am going to talk about the Spiritual side. This year, cause I'm not in summer driver's ed, I can go on the 4th year hike. That's the over night er hike. I don't generally like hiking, but since its girls camp, there is no way i would miss the opportunity. I love girls camp Its way amazing, I need that time where you are away from the world and Up in the mountains, Heavenly Father's Natural Temple. I love being there. And the Spirit that is there where each girl spends time to build each other up is just irreplaceable. I love being there. It is my Most Favorite place to go during the summer. I am so blessed to have Girls camp, I miss it every time when i leave.

Every year there is a group of youth leaders. They come one from every ward, and they have alot of responsibilities. They lead the younger girl's hikes, they do service projects, they help plan camp. They get to spend time together that the younger girls don't get to spend with each other. Its really special because they build relationships that need that time to build. This year, i can not disclose yet, we have an amazing service project that has never been done yet. We are making just a few changes that makes every thing better, approved by the stake presidency.

Every year we have the Ceremony called, "The Keeper of the Flame Ceremony." What we do is the YCLs (Youth Camp Leaders) start preparing a month before. We learn a new song called, well, "Keeper of the Flame." When you sing the song, you do sign language with it. It is so beautiful. When the song is sung and signed, it is sung and signed in the most gentile way, most loving way. Its really beautiful. Here are the words:

Believing, Receiving, the burning
Learning, Yearning, for greater
Melting the frost
Moving the lost
Through the Winds of Change
Encircled by the clouds of pain
I guard it with my life
I need the warmth
I need the light
Though the storms will rage
I stand against the pounding rain
I remain...
A Keeper of the Flame
Inspiring, Fire, blazing in truth
Living, and Giving, leading to you
Filling my Soul
Willing to go
Through the winds of Change
Encircled by the clouds of pain
I guard it with my life
I need the warmth,
I need the light
Though the Storms will rage
I stand against the pounding rain
I remain...
A Keeper of the Flame

And the signs are just so fitting with the music, it helps you to feel the spirit. What we do is, the YCLs stand in a circle next to a torch. And two of the girls have lit tourches. The YCLs sing the song, and then they have their speaking parts. They all talk about the young women's Theme and all of the values. The young women's theme is:
We are Daughters of our Heavnly Father
who loves us.
and we love him.
As we strive to live the
young women's values which are:
Devine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
and Integrity
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to sterengthen home and family,
make and keep sacred covenants,
recieve the ordinances of the Temple,
and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
As we talk about the theme, we light each of the other YCLs torches. When we are done talking about the theme, we sing the song again, and light the first years candles. Its really neat. I love this part of girls camp because it reminds me that i am on the lord's errand here on earth. I have a purpose and a mission. I am here not to fail, I am here to succeed. I know I can't do it alone, and I have a testimony that girls camp helps each and every one of the young women in the Church grow and strengthen their testimony more. I am so glad that this year I get to be a YCL and sing the song, and learn the sign language. I love learning, espcially sign language. It is one of my most favorite things in the whole world. I have a testimony that music moves people, and can touch the hearts of people that people themselves can not touch. I am so greatful for the leaders i have and every thing i have learned from them. I will tell you all about girls camp and the reflecting moments we have when i get back, but for now, they are secret. :D
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Happy Fast Sunday

We had this as a thought in Young Womens one week, and I thought it would be fun to share!

Try fasting with PIZZA.
Pay fast offerings.
Invite the Spirit with a prayer.
Zip on past the kitchen
Zap hunger by reading the scriptures.
Ask Heavenly Father for strength.

Well, I liked it. Happy Fast Sunday, everyone. Remember what you're fasting for, pray often.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The future's looking good

This week's verse is for everybody, but especially for all those who will be graduating this week or thereabouts. Keep pushing forward, my friends!

now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.

Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

Alma 17:1-2

I can't help but put myself and my friends in these verses, because this is something that directly relates to us. Graduation is this Friday, and it won't take long for us all to go our separate ways. Perhaps for a time many of us will follow intertwined paths. But there will be a majority of my friends who, unfortunately, I won't be seeing again.

Alma and the sons of Mosiah experienced this same thing. They all went on missions to different places and had their own stories. But over the years they spent apart from each other, they remained friends, and at a chance encounter they had a joyful reunion. I take comfort in knowing that story.

Granted, there's no guarantee that I'll have a reunion with any of my friends like the one in Alma 17. But if I do, I know it will be a happy occasion. My friends will still be my friends, even after commencement. I look forward to the five-year reunion because of that, and all the class reunions afterward.

I don't know what the future holds for us. There's no way of knowing where life will take us, or what kinds of adventures we'll have. But we still have something to look forward to after graduation; we'll have our reunion someday. Then we can share our stories and our smiles, and for a brief time things will be as they are now. Until then, let's be the best people we can be. Let's continue to be steadfast in the word of God, and in doing good to our fellow man. This is my prayer, for myself, and for all of you, and I say it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Draw Near Unto Me...

Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 &67
63. Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
67. And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

Wow, we've gotten lazy. But we're back, and we're posting. At least I am. ;)

Anyway, the other night I was watching CSI with my mom right before bed. Usually, that show doesn't freak me out, but it was late and it was dark and my dad's been out of town, so when I finally went to bed, I was a little bit scared. I knew it was silly to be afraid, but I also knew how to get rid of the fear. So I pulled out my scriptures, turned on the light, and opened them up. This is one of the verses that I ended up reading. I've read this scripture a million times, but a little after 12 on a Wednesday night, when the world was dark, it hit me like no other. Isn't it amazing that all we have to do is ask? If we want to know the Lord badly enough, we will find him. If we want truth, all we have to do is ask.
When our eyes are single to His glory, we'll comprehend all things. It's amazing!
I didn't get up in the testimony meeting in seminary on Thursday, but that's ok. I know that this is true. The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants. These two books are amazing. They're here for us. Let's use them as much as we can.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

"That the destroying angel shall pass by them..."

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

D&C 89:18-21

I learned yesterday that the official cause of my grandmother's death was emphysema, brought on by her years of smoking. Truthfully, I can't say I'm surprised by this; we've all been taught that smoking kills. As much as I wish it wasn't so, Granny didn't take care of her body.

We all came to this earth to receive bodies and be tested. The Lord has given us the Word of Wisdom because our bodies are some of His greatest gifts to us, and as such, He wants us to take care of them. Throughout Section 89 He tells us to stay away from drugs and strong drinks, and to eat a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables, grains, and meat, among several other instructions. This "Mormon Health Code," as it has been called by nonmembers, often comes under criticism, but if we follow it the Lord has promised us many blessings in return (as stated in the above verses).

I've made a conscious choice to follow the Word of Wisdom, not merely because it's required of me, but also because I have seen for myself what not following that divine counsel will do. I saw it with Granny June, and I've seen it with many other people around me. The suffering that comes from drugs and alcohol, and all the other things we've been warned against, is very real. Is it any wonder that faithful members of the Church enjoy such longevity?

I have received, and continue to receive, all of those blessings promised in D&C 89 for following the Word of Wisdom. Through them and the Holy Ghost, I have learned for myself that it truly is the Lord's word, given through a prophet in the latter days. I'm grateful that God loves us so much that He cares how we treat our bodies, and I hope to live in such a manner that I may continue to receive His rich blessings. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Service to others

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weak things become strong

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Ether 12:27

This is one of my favorite verses. I may have a lot of flaws, but everything is for a reason. God takes these weaknesses and makes them strengths; I just have to be humble and patient, and serve Him the best that I can. The Lord knows I'm trying, and He'll help me with whatever I need that I fall short on. The same goes for all of us. If we humble ourselves before God, imagine what kind of strength He can give us! This is truth, and I say it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, April 9, 2007

He is risen!

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Mark 16:6-7

This is what it's all about. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, bled and died for us, that we may not be forever caught in the bounds of physical and spiritual death. He Atoned for our sins and redeemed all mankind, with only the greatest love for those whom He was serving. He rose on the third day, having broken the shackles of death. Christ lives today, and He loves all of us. I know this without any shadow of a doubt, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2007

But the lashing of the tounge breaketh the bones....

This talk was my favorite! I usually don't take notes because I get distracted easy. So I pay attention and use other people's notes.

So in advance, Thankyou Nathan.

"Jeffrey R. Holland
Words are sacred, and must be spoken with constraint of the Spirit.
The stroke of the whip makes marks in the flesh, but the stroke of the tongue breaks bones.
Some things we say are destructive and venomous.
Verbal and emotional abuse ought not to be.
There is no place for abrasive expression.
What we say, how we say it, and when we say it is crucial to the growth of a child.
Don't "compare" your children.
Negative speaking flows from negative thinking.
The spirit of the gospel is optimistic.
Speak hopefully and encouragingly, including about yourself.
No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse.
"Speak with a new tongue"--Our words should be filled with faith, hope, and charity."

I love how he says that "Some things we say are destructive and venomous." That puts it into perspective for me. I don't know about you. I can recall about all of the hurtfull things I have said to my sister out of spite and wanting to make her feel pain, (I know I'm vicious). And yet I hope that she can find it in her heart to forgive me someday. I love her. I wished that I never said those things, cause my little sister is doing the same thing I did to her. NO HUMAN BEING DESERVES TO BE TREATED THIS WAY! Although I do, after making my sister feel that kind of torment, I deserve the same pain, only worse.

Words lash deeper than the flesh. I know this because you can't peirce the soul with a knife. You can't perice it with a fork, a shouvel, a spoon, a cassette tape, a dimond drill, a sowrd. Your soul is not tangable as man's flesh is, therefore what can hurt it? What can damage such a precious thing? What can destrroy such a priceless person if not a knife? or any other sharp flesh peircing object?

Venemous words and sin can only destroy the soul. Words of hatred, degradation, negative thought destroy the divine soul that God created. Our Heavnly Father is more than torn, more than ripped, from the fact that his own children would speak such venomous and degrading words to each other. Why would any child of God choose to harm not only a Son or Daughter of God, but their own brother or sister in such a way that devastates the soul? that tears all hope and love and will to do and follow all that is right?

We are here on earth to build one another and love and nurture eachother. What is wrong with mankind doing the exact opposite of one of our purposes here on earth? Why is this earth so full of pride? Why must one man be more than the other? Are we not all children of God, are we all not Sons and Daughters of the Divine? If we truly are his children are we really truly trying to be like him and his perfect example? If we were put here to become like him, then shouldn't we try? Its not 'The Perfect Saints', it's 'The Perfecting of the Saints'.

If the gosple is true, what else matters?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday afternoon session

Well, Conference has come to a close until October. We had some good talks to wrap it up:

L. Tom Perry
The Aaronic Priesthood is valuable training for a lifetime of service.
The First Vision revealed to us that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate beings, and both have bodies of flesh and bone.
The Lord brought forth the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ and a sacred companion to the Bible.
The Church of Jesus Christ is once again on the earth, organized by the Lord today the same as it was two-thousand years ago.
The fulness of the gospel and the keys to the Priesthood have been restored.
This is the time spoken of by ancient prophets that shall immediately precede the coming of Jesus Christ and His reign on the earth.

Henry B. Eyring
Don't procrastinate your repentance and service.
Serving the Lord invites the Holy Ghost to be with us.
The Holy Ghost is a cleanser of sin.
Start early. This is as true for a day as it is for a life.
Complacency is a danger to all of us.
We will have days enough, as long as we use them.
If you serve the Lord, you will be given the strength to bear all your burdens.
By serving the Lord, you will come to know Him better.

Gary J. Coleman
The Godhead is three separate beings.
Revelations have replaced the errors of man-made doctrine.
The Lord directs His Church through His apostles and prophets today.
The Book of Mormon is a sacred record, written by prophets of God to persuade men to come unto Christ.
The Lord still speaks today.
Every Priesthood holder in this Church can trace his Priesthood directly back to Jesus Christ.
Mormons are Christian.

Charles W. Dahlquist II (to the youth)
We are a chosen generation.
We should "be on the Lord's side."
We are faced with modern-day Goliaths.
The Lord has given us families, prophets, and standards to help us keep the commandments; we are not alone.
Control your thoughts.
Have a hymn memorized so that you may replace inappropriate thoughts with it.
If you remain on the Lord's side of the line, the adversary cannot get to you.

Yoshihiko Kikuchi
The Lord asks for only a small portion of our increase.
Go to the temple often, fast, and pay your tithing.
Tithing is not so much a matter of money, but of faith and obedience.
When you pay an honest tithe, the Lord will bless you greatly for it.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Satan wants us to think we are beyond forgiveness when we sin.
Satan tries to counterfeit the work of the Lord in order to deceive; he even misuses words from the scriptures.
God loves all His children unconditionally.
The Atonement assures us that sin is not a "point of no return."
Repentance and forgiveness are as real as sin.
It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
Faith in Christ will change our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are not in harmony with the Lord's teachings.
God will wipe away the tears of anguish, remorse, and guilt.
If we stay true and faithful, the memory of our sins will become softer over time.
We need to purge our hearts of feelings of bitterness and replace them with the light of Christ.
There's always hope.

Russell M. Nelson
References of repentance are frequent in the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Confession should be sincere, and not a statement of guilt after being proven wrong.
Thanks to the Atonement, full forgiveness is given to the sinner who truly repents.
All need to repent, both of sins of commission and of omission.
The fruits of repentance are sweet; truth becomes more attractive and things that are praiseworthy become more engaging.
Temples are provided so that families can be together forever.

Gordon B. Hinckley
Husbands, love and treasure your wives.
Wives, encourage and pray for your husbands.
Parents, love and support your children.

I missed some parts of President Hinckley's talk, so if any of you have something I missed there, I'd appreciate it if you left me a comment with whatever I might have missed. :-)

Sunday morning session

I had a bit of a hard time taking notes again . . . the house wasn't as quiet today, so I couldn't focus very well. But, here's what I got from the Sunday morning session:

James E. Faust
Most of us don't think first of forgiveness.
Forgiving others is wholesome and therapeutic.
"God knows what we do not know, and sees what we do not see."
Learning to forgive also has positive physical effects.
We are commanded to forgive all men.
Hatred retards spiritual growth.
Of course, mercy cannot rob justice.
Don't seek revenge; just let justice run its course, then let go.
We need to forgive to be forgiven.

Dallin H. Oaks
Looking at marriage as a mere contract is an evil meriting condemnation.
Eternal marriage does not contemplate divorce.
For most marriage problems, the solution is not divorce, but repentance.
Children are divorce's first victims.
Couples with serious marriage problems should seek counsel from their bishop.
Do all you can to preserve your marriage.
Festering is destructive; forgiving is divine.
Those who counsel with their bishop come out with a stronger marriage.
Personal circumstances vary greatly; in some cases, divorce may get you away from personal danger and abuse.
All things work together for the good of those who love God.
Before marriage there should be dating followed by courtship so you know who you're marrying.

Neil L. Andersen
The cause in which we are laboring is true; the Lord Himself has declared it.
Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision.
Excuses can impede our progress; our faith brings the work of the Kingdom of God forward.
Many sacrifices are quietly accomplished.

Vicki F. Matsumori
Prayer, persistence, and making and keeping covenants are ways to build faith.
First generation members have the responsibility to teach the next generation.

Glenn L. Pace
Joseph Smith was a true prophet.
Missionaries are trained to help investigators know when they're feeling the Spirit.
Spiritual witnesses can come at a young age.
Read and pray about the Joseph Smith story.
God the Father and Jesus Christ live and stand at the head of this Church today.

M. Russell Ballard
The Bible is a miracle.
Righteous individuals were prompted to write and preserve these records.
The Dark Ages were dark because the light of the gospel was hidden.
Because of the Reformers, the Bible became a household possession; this led to Joseph Smith's family having it.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that same Church which Christ Himself established, restored to the earth in these latter days after the Great Apostacy.
We are Christian--we believe in Christ, who is our salvation. We believe in, love, and revere the Bible (Elder Ballard listed other reasons why we are, in fact, Christian, but I couldn't write them all).
All scripture is given by the inspiration of God.
Do not discount or devalue the Bible.
Our responsibility as Christians is to share all that God has revealed to His children.
The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and it confirms and verifies the Bible; converts don't lose their faith in the Bible--it is strengthened.
The prophet and apostles of Jesus Christ are on the earth today.
The Bible leads us all to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Gordon B. Hinckley
Our knowledge of the nature of God comes directly from the experience of Joseph Smith.
God is a being, real and individual.
The Lord hears our prayers and answers them.
Jesus lives; He is the Christ.
Jesus Christ was the only perfect man ever to walk the earth.
After the Resurrection, Christ appeared to the Old World and to the New.
Without the Atonement, life is meaningless.
The Priesthood is the authority given to man to speak and act in God's name.
Temples offer blessings that are found nowhere else, and have to do with the eternal nature of man.

Just one session left. :-D

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday afternoon and Priesthood sessions

Saturday Afternoon Session

This special session was held in the tabernacle for the building's rededication. I was really happy to hear about it, as I wasn't sure whether or not the renovation would be finished before my mission. Here's what some of our leaders had to say:

Boyd K. Packer
The still small voice is felt more than heard.
The Comforter is over all who will listen.
Music helps maintain the simplicity of the gospel.
The Word of Wisdom is a shield and protection.
Satan can drown out the still small voice with loud music and all manner of other temptations.
Even little children can receive a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restoration.
It is not so much what is heard in a sermon, but what is felt; the Holy Ghost will testify to truth.
The tabernacle stands as a standard of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Earl C. Tingey
Brigham Young's prophecy has come to pass: that the desert land of the Rocky Mountains would be a fruitful place.
Gordon B. Hinckley and Brigham Young are connected by their prophetic vision of the future, and both are prophets who have led the Church by inspiration and revelation.

H. David Burton
Like many of the speakers at this session, Bishop Burton spoke on a variety of things pertaining to the tabernacle. Because of this, I had difficulty keeping notes throughout the session; however, it was a very good talk about various items of importance which had been spoken of over the years in that building.

Bonnie D. Parkin
The women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enjoy grand and wonderful privileges.
The more you express gratitude, the more there is to be grateful for.
Those who murmur do not know the dealings of their God who created them.
Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence.
Gratitude is an expression of our faith.
We should also show gratitude for adversity.

Marlin K. Jensen
When we are told to remember, it is a call to action in our thoughts, words, and deeds.
The history of the Church and its people must be remembered.
We keep records to help us remember.
Our past and future are emphasized to help us live more righteously in the present.
We are to remember covenants, ordinances, and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Coming unto Christ is the ultimate purpose of all remembering.

James E. Faust
Joseph Smith envisioned the tabernacle; Brigham Young built it.
The Lord will always provide means to meet the needs of the members of the Church.

Thomas S. Monson
I loved this talk. President Monson is a wonderful speaker, and he told a lot of stories about his own spiritual experiences in the tabernacle. My favorite was the one where he was speaking at a Conference session, and was prompted by the Spirit to aim the talk at this young girl who was sitting in the balcony. He did this, and after the meeting, this girl and her family surprised him at his office. The girl had been praying over whether she should get baptized, and her family had come from California for Conference. She then let President Monson know that when he spoke to her in that Conference session, her prayers were answered, and she'd decided to be baptized. Really cool. :-D

Gordon B. Hinckley
The tabernacle is the only building of its kind in the world. It will again be home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, and many other shows of culture and the arts.

After this, President Hinckley gave a beautiful dedicatory prayer for the tabernacle. This was definitely a time of great happiness for the Saints; we have our tabernacle back. ^_^

Priesthood Session

Joseph B. Wirthlin
Stay focused on your goals.
The light of Christ helps us determine right and wrong.
Avoid temptations.
"Priesthood means service; bearing the Priesthood, I will serve."
In the body of the Church, all of the spiritual gifts are present.
Heavenly Father will shower blessings upon all those who walk in obedience to His commandments.

Robert D. Hales (to the Aaronic Priesthood holders especially)
We decided in the pre-earth life to obey the will of the Father.
How you bear the Priesthood now will prepare you for the most important decisions later.
You must know what to do and when to do it when each decision presents itself.
Now is the time to organize and prepare ourselves to have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion.
Now is the time to decide who your friends are. True friends make it easier to live the gospel.
A mission is a valuable time to keep temple covenants by living the law of consecration.
Decide now to do your best in school and in work in order to prepare you for future opportunities.
Don't practice selective obedience.
"Learn wisdom in thy youth."
Be firm as a rock in living the gospel.

Keith B. McMullin
You are in charge of your world.
The Lord has shown us how to avoid foolishness.
Be prepared.
Be faithful, unencumber your life, and lay up in store.
A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity.
Begin in a small way, then build to that which is reasonable.
Over time you can expand modest efforts into a sustenance that will get you through the hard times.

James E. Faust
The Priesthood is an authority beyond all human power to create.
The Priesthood is a very real power.
The Melchizedek Priesthood was prior to the formation of the earth.
Serving a mission prepares us for the rest of our life's work and our eternal work.
We are all accountable for our actions.
It is our duty to protect women.
To be married to a woman who loves the Lord, loves you, and respects the Priesthood is one of the greatest blessings of all.
It is family life on which the government of the Church is based and perpetuated.
Any kind of skill requires specialized learning.
The best formula for success is seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Thomas S. Monson
It is a blessing to hold the Priesthood.
The Priesthood is sacred, and it must be held sacred by the people.
Courage counts.
The call for courage comes constantly to each of us.
Wherever we go, our Priesthood goes with us.
If we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help.

Gordon B. Hinckley
This cause needs work. Let no one shirk.
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Be clean in your language, thoughts, body, and dress.
Sloppy dress leads to sloppy manners; when you administer the sacrament, look your very best.
Live in the world, but don't be of the world.
Continue in your education.
Speak to the Lord in prayer and cultivate kinship with Him.

The next session starts tomorrow morning at 10:00 Mountain Daylight Time. It's gonna be good. :-D

Saturday morning session

Today was the start of the 177th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you missed the first session, here's some of what was said:

Richard G. Scott
Prayer is a gift to every soul from our Heavenly Father to converse with Him.
No matter our station, we can always pray.
God has created and populated many worlds, yet each of us can talk with Him personally.
A key to effective prayer is to ask the right questions.
Pray even when you have no desire to pray.
Never think you're too unworthy to pray.
Pray with humility, and with no vain repetitions.
Seldomly will you receive a complete response all at once; it will usually come in pieces. Have faith during this.
A response will seldom come immediately, while you're on your knees.
The Lord will answer you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost.
--Feelings of peace, comfort, and assurance will tell you that what you have asked for is right.
--A stupor of thought and an unsettling feeling will tell you that what you have asked for is not right.
--If you feel as if there's no response, act with trust. The Lord will not let you go too far without giving you the answer you need.
Pray with gratitude.

Jay E. Jensen
Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns.
Hymns play an essential part in spirituality, revelation, and conversion.
We grow closer to God through music.
Music becomes a mere performance when it calls attention to itself rather than to the Spirit.
The hymns are a course of doctrine.
Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the spirit of worthy music.
Sing often.
The song of the righteous is a prayer unto God (D&C 25:12).

John B. Dickson
Be committed to the Lord.
The Holy Ghost will help you make right decisions.
Happiness will come from following the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
If mistakes are made, we can repent; God loves us and wants us back with Him.
Every commandment is designed for our eternal happiness.
Decide now to commit to the Lord; start where you are.
You can gloriously succeed if you sincerely commit to following the Lord.

Jeffrey R. Holland
Words are sacred, and must be spoken with constraint of the Spirit.
The stroke of the whip makes marks in the flesh, but the stroke of the tongue breaks bones.
Some things we say are destructive and venomous.
Verbal and emotional abuse ought not to be.
There is no place for abrasive expression.
What we say, how we say it, and when we say it is crucial to the growth of a child.
Don't "compare" your children.
Negative speaking flows from negative thinking.
The spirit of the gospel is optimistic.
Speak hopefully and encouragingly, including about yourself.
No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse.
"Speak with a new tongue"--Our words should be filled with faith, hope, and charity.

David A. Bednar
Steps for a cucumber to become a pickle:
--Preparing and cleaning
--Immersing in brine
--Sealing in purified jars
This takes time and cannot be hurried.
We are as the cucumber; we must experience this change in ourselves.
The gospel of Jesus Christ entails permanent change within ourselves.
The Lord has established a high standard of cleanliness.
Spiritual rebirth is an ongoing process and requires time, persistence, and patience.
Covenants are essential to our spiritual rebirth.
Even after baptism, we must continue to be immersed in the gospel of Christ.
Ordinances are binding on earth and in Heaven.

Thomas S. Monson
Death is an essential part of our existence.
The deceased still live.
Because of Christ, death has no hold on any of us.
Life is everlasting.

The next session starts at 2:00 today (not sure what that is everywhere else, but you can access it on the Church's website).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fear Not

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Doctrine and Covenants 68:6
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

These past few weeks have been trying, but someone very close to me reminded me that as long as we stay close to our Heavenly Father, everything will be alright. Math tests, the ACT, AP testing, problems with friends or family, troubles at work... The Lord can and will help us through all of these, as long as we turn to Him. So fear not. Be of good cheer. He will be with us, and as long as we do our very best, He will strengthen us and help us.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ,

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Seek learning in all things

And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.

D&C 93:53

Intelligence, as stated in D&C 130, rises with us in the next life, and the more knowledge we have, the better advantage we attain. This is not limited to knowledge of spiritual things; the Lord has commanded us to study and know His Gospel, but we must also learn as much as we can in this life about temporal things. God wants us to study history, science, math, literature, music, art, culture . . . everything we can. It was He who created these things, after all.

So, there is more to school than its face value. There is more to books, newspapers, broadcasts, films, and even the Internet. God wants us all to get the highest education we can. I'm grateful that He loves us enough to let us know that; we may become annoyed with our earthly parents when they "remind" us of our homework, but really, Heavenly Father is doing the same thing for us. And, considering that we can take it with us into eternity, I'd say that's pretty important. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.

I'm gonna post mine in this color of red. That way y'all know if its mine or not. :D

D&C 121:45 says:
"Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God."

This is our years theme. I love this scripture. It strengthens my testimony in so many ways. I love the Scriptures. I love the way that it says GARNISH, rather than SPRINKLE, DECORATE, PEPPER, TAPE ON, PUT TO THE SIDE, PUT IT ON FOR A SECOND AND THEN TAKE IT OFF, or DON'T EVEN PUT IT ON. I love the way it says Garnish. To Garnish something you don't just put a little bit on, you don't just put it on to look pretty, you don't just put it on and then take it off. When you garnish something, it is an art to perfection. You work at it till its just right. There isn't just a tinge of the flavor you garnish with, it is filled beyond your imagination. There is no room for any other unclean flavors. Know that the Lord loves you. UNCEASINGLY means you don't stop trying. When you are constantly working at something for good, that is obedient to the commandments of God, your confidence can wax strong because you are doing as the lord asks. Because you do as the lord asks, you have no reason to fear.

Know that your Bishop is there. Know that he loves you unconditionally. Know that no matter what you do, they can not think of you differently, its in their blessing as a bishop.

When you don't know what to do, where to turn, when you feel like you have no one to talk to, know that the Lord is always there. Know that he will answer, no matter how hard you think that he doesn't or won't, know that I know he will.

And also know that I am here too. :D

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, and bare whiteness that he lives. That this is his true Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Amen.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Verse of the Week-March 3, 2007

Hello Friends. I thought I'd beat Nathan to the punch this week by posting Saturday night. :D Plus, I just really wanted to post a scripture. :D What can I say? I love the scriptures. In fact, I think one post a week is not enough for this blog, especially considering we have a bunch of people working on it. But hey, it's Nathan's blog. Right?

Anyway, here's our Verse of the Week.

Alma 37:36-37

36. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yeah, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and withersoever 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.

37. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct the 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.

What more can I say? Prayer is the most wonderful thing. When you have nothing else, you have prayer. It's like having a cell phone with Heavenly Father's phone number programed into it, only with this cell phone you don't have to worry about a phone bill, roaming, service, dropped calls, or anything else. At the times where I've been the most frightened, the most afraid, I've always known that I can pray. Establishing a relationship with our Heavenly Father is of utmost importance. After all, He is our Father. Knowing that I can always turn to my Father in Heaven brings so much peace and confidence into my life. He knows my every thought and feeling. Not only does He know them, He understands them! He knows why I'm mad, or angry, or insanely happy! Knowing this makes talking to Him that much easier. With Him I can celebrate every victory, cry at every sadness, and vent every frustration without having to explain why I feel the way I feel. I truly believe that if we follow this scripture, if we do everything with a prayer in our heart, we will be so blessed. We will be lifted up at the last day, and what's better than that?

At that, brothers and sisters, I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Verse of the Week 25 FEB 2007

And for the heck of it, I'll share something that the base chaplain shared with me the other day... He was giving a lesson on all things testify of Christ:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Isaiah 6:8

As the Lord had once said these words, so Isaiah said them... and then the chaplain told us of how we had said them. All of us had volunteered to be there. We were all standing up for the rights of others. It is my testimony that Jesus is the Christ. He died for all of us that we may have a way to return to our Heavenly Father. As he "volunteered" and was sent to do the will of the father: we "volunteered" and are sent to protect the freedom of His children. Just another example of how all things testify of Christ. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.