Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Last Word

Well... it has been two years! I am wrapping up my full time missionary service and will be heading home in about a week. This will be my "last words" in my blog as a full time missionary, and so I looked at some of the last words of prophets in the scriptures, and let me tell you I found a great theme.

Amaleki's last words- "And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yeah, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved" (Omni 1:26) Mormon's last words- "Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved. Know ye that ye must come... and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God... therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ. " (Mormon 7:3,5,8) Moroni's last words- "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.. that ye become holy, without spot" (Moroni 10:32-33)
Did you find a theme among their last words? I found that their last invitations were twofold: to come unto Christ, and a call to faithful action and change... aka repentence. As my mission comes to an end I echo the invitations from these great prophets. Before my mission I believed that the Gospel was true, but I don't think I realized how real and powerful it is. I have not seen the Savior or touched his hands and his feet, but I can promise you that I have experienced the power of His grace. It is real and it will transform your life if you "come unto Him". I know that He lives! It is the greatest message I could ever share.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Be wise!

"Oh be wise, what can I say more?" - Jacob 6:12

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick insight from the scriptures... LISTEN to the Spirit

Quick insight from the scriptures today! Have you ever had the thought... "I knew I should have done that!" Or maybe you have had the thought... "I knew I shouldn't have done that!" God will often give us little whisperings by the Spirit and tell us things we should do or things to avoid. We can miss out on blessings if we don't respond to the little messages that the spirit gives us. I read Moroni 1:4 this morning and had a thought. It says, "Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren.. in some future day, according to the will of the Lord." Moroni thought he was done writing! But he probably just had a little whisper that told him to write a little bit more. He listened and we are so lucky that he did listen! Because what do we have in the Book of Mormon after Moroni chapter one? Directions on confering the Holy Ghost and ordaining brethren to the priesthood; the wordage of the sacrament prayers; discourse on faith, hope, and charity; instructions on not doing infant baptism; outlining of the gifts of the spirit; and last but not least Moroni's Promise- that if we read and pray about the Book of Mormon we will know that it is true. What would the Book of Mormon be without all of these valuable messages? We would not have them if Moroni didn't listen to the little quiet prompting that told him to write a little bit more. Let's follow Moroni's example and pay attention to those little messages and then actually do them. If we do this we can become a great instrument in the hands of God :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Have a question?

Have you ever had to make a hard decision? Me too. Life is packed with choices that we have to make; and those choices define us. You, like me, have probably got on your knees and plead with the Lord for what direction to take. Maybe it was what college to go to, who to marry, what church to join, what career path you want to take and there are so many more decisions; big or small. Listen to the Lord's advice to all of us who are seeking his guidance, "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." (Doc & Cov 9:7-8) That scripture helps me a lot! It is the process that God has given us to help us with our decisions. First, we study it out... so we explore all of our options, read the scriptures, search for guidance. Second, we say a faithful prayer... we beg the Lord for his help and assistance. Third, we shall 'feel that it is right'... the 'burning of the bosom' is a feeling of comfort and serenity. We will feel good about moving forward with a certain decision. I hope this helps! Use this process with the question you have or decisions that you need to make, and I promise that you will see the Lords hand guiding the path that you take.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is the purpose?

I propose a question to you all... What is the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Have any of you asked yourself that? And if you haven't... take a minute to think about it. What is the purpose? There are many many people in the world who accept Jesus and His teachings but may not be able to answer this question. I would say it's a pretty important one :) Is the Savior and His gospel merely a crutch? Something to lean on and support us when we feel down or discouraged. Is it just something to belief in so that we can feel comfortable about the questions of our soul? We know that these blessings of comfort really do come from the truth, but I testify that the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is much more! Prayerfully read and ponder this insight from, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an Apostle of the Lord.

"Our Heavenly Father is a God of high expectations. His expectations for us are expressed by His Son, Jesus Christ, in these words: 'I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect'. He proposes to make us holy so that we may 'abide a celestial glory' and 'dwell in his presence'. He knows what is required, and so, to make our transformation possible, He provides His commandments and covenants, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and most important, the Atonement and Resurrection of His Beloved Son. In all of this, God's purpose is that we, His children, may be able to experience ultimate joy, to be with Him eternally, and to become even as He is... The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."

Doesn't that make so much sense? So what is the purpose of the gospel? It is a gospel of transformation! The center of the Gospel is Christ's sacrafice, His atonment, which allows us to be cleansed, purified, and transformed as we live His teachings. The covenants and commandments that he gives us are for our growth and development to become more like Christ. The Saviors message is not just one of apathetic belief and not just something to help us feel good about ourselves. In fact, in the scriptures, He doesn't only ask for our commitment, but for our very lives. His message is truly the 'pearl of great price' because it helps us fill our potential. He died for us because He loved us. He taught us because He loves us. And because the Savior loves us He asks us to not only to belief, but to become.

So now... here comes my invitation to anyone who reads this :) I knew you were waiting for it. Prayerfully think of what you want to develop and become- maybe it's strengthening your faith or patience, maybe it's being a better mother or brother- whatever the case I'm sure it's great. Now remember... a to be list without a to do list is just a wish list. So identify specefic things that you can do to become a better person and then do it! I promise that as you do this you will be living the Gospel of Jesus Christ; you will be living your purpose.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You can do hard things!

I promise to everyone within the sound of my voice-or more correctly the words of this text ;)- that you can do hard things!! My mission is getting closer to its end and I have been pondering recently about all of the hard things that I have had to do on my mission and throughout my life. Many of them have been very hard, maybe not as hard as you, but they were hard enough that I didn't know if I could do them at first. But I can testify that "whom the Lord calls, He qualifies". He will not ask you to do something that you cannot do-that is too hard. So please do two things for me. The first: go to this talk "Waiting on the Road to Damascus" and read it. The second: think about something that deep down you know is right and true but is hard to do, and have faith and do it :) I promise the Lord will walk with you and help you on your journey of more closely following Him.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Shout Out to all those Mothers in the World

Yesterday, I, along with about ten other fellow missionaries met with our mission president and wife at their home here in New York. We talked about Christlike Leadership and how we can better move the gospel forward. . . But we decided to spice up the day a little bit and come up with a song to thank all of our moms at home and mother figures out here on our mission. These are the words.

"Mothers Day... It's such a beautiful day day day.

The Day is all about you... Not!

It's all about our mothers, our moms, our mommies, our mummies.

Mothers Day... It is the Day we co-mme-merate

all the mission moms... You're great,

thank you for all that you do...

And we will love to serve you.

Adjectives about our mothers are amazing, smiley, happy, loving, caring, classy, thrifty, great!

We love you... Thank you for all that you do!"

Well anyways we performed to many of our mother figures out here on our missions and it was a lot of fun. But I want to thank all of the mothers out there for their commitment, love, and sacrafice to their families. I will forever be grateful to my mom. Wow she is the greatest person God created :) I don't know if you good mothers will every truly realize the impact you make on the world. We truly do love you... and thank you for all that you do. Happy Mothers Day!!!

(I tried to upload the video of our song but it didn't work.... will try again soon!)