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Friday, October 29, 2010

Jesus Suffered for You

"Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Mosiah 14:4-5
Jesus Christ has borne our griefs, and he know how we feel. He has "gone forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people...and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11,12) He has suffered all so that we don't have to.

Elder Holland of the Twelve Apostles helps us understand this point:

Jesus loves you and because of His love for you he suffered everything you can imagine and more. Come unto Him and He will give you rest.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Natural Man

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." Mosiah 3:19

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom." 2 Nephi 2:27-29

We have the ability to choose our own path, the Devil cannot choose it for us. If we choose to put off the natural man and follow the great Mediator we will be able to receive eternal life. Listen to President Monson's talk this last confrence, he helps us understand The Three R's of Choice.

What does it mean to put off the natural man? It means that we use our agency to choose good rather than evil, that we don't give in to temptation but that we resist and choose to overcome it.
Is it easy? No, but it is possible. "I never said it would be easy; I only said it would be worth it." Christ has prepared a way for us and all we need to do is follow it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Never Give Up

The Race 

by D. H. Groberg

"Quit, give up, you're beaten"
They shout at you and plead
"There's just too much against you
This time you can't succeed".

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failures face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
Or just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being

Childrens race, young boys
Young men, how I remember well
Excitement sure, but also fear
It wasn't hard to tell

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race
Or tie for first, or if not that
At least take second place

The fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he could be the one

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boys desire

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought
"My dad will be so proud"

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped

Trying hard to catch himself
With hands flew out to brace
And amid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said
"Get up and win the race"

He quickly rose, no damage done
Behind a bit that's all
And ran with all his night and mind
To make up for the fall

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again

He wised then that he had quit before
With only one disgrace
"I'm hopeless as a runner now
I shouldn't try to race"

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his fathers face
That steady look which said again
"Get up and win the race"

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last
If I'm going to gain those yards he though
I've got to move real fast

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again

Defeat, he lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye
There's no sense running anymore
Three strikes, I'm out, why try?

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind so error prone
A loser all the way

"I've lost, so what", he thought
I'll live with my disgrace
But then he thought about his dad
Whom soon he'd have to face

"Get up" the echo sounded low
"Get up" and take your place
You were not meant for failure here
"Get up", and win the race

With borrowed will "Get up" it said
"You haven't lost at all"
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit
He resolved, that win or lose
At least he shouldn't quit

So far behind the others now
The most he'd ever been
Still he'd give it all he had
And run as though to win

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling
Three times he'd rose again
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place
Head high and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line, last place
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race

And even though he came in last
With head bent low, unproud
You would have thought he'd won the race
To listen to the crowd

And to his dad he sadly said
"I didn't do too well"
"To me you won", his father said
"You rose each time you fell"

Just like the father in this poem, your Heavenly Father is there the whole time cheering you on. And he is so much more happy with us if we finish the race than if we give up even if we are in last place.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There is a God

"...all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it..."
Alma 30:44

He was just a little lad, and on a fine Lord’s day,was wandering home from Sunday school and dawdling on the way.He scuffed his shoes into the grass; he found a caterpillar;he found a fluffy milkweed pod and blew out all the filler.A bird’s nest in the tree o’erhead, so wisely placed and high,was just another wonder that caught his eager eye.A neighbor watched his zigzag course and hailed him from the lawn,asked him where he’d been that day, and what was going on."Oh, I’ve been to Sunday school", he carefully turned the sod,and found a snail beneath it "I’ve learned a lot ‘bout God.""M’m, a very fine way," the neighbor said, "for a boy to spend his time.If you’ll tell me where God is, I’ll give you a brand-new dime."Quick as a flash his answer came, nor were his accents faint,
"I’ll give you a dollar, Mister, if you can tell me where God ain’t."

 This poem helps me remember how much God really loves us. Everything He has created He has created for us.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Matters Most

What really matters most in your life? Is it your Job? Cars? Money? If so, it is time to rethink your priorities. If you have your priorities in line then you will begin to see your life run more smoothly, you will feel a joy in your life that you may have lost or may never have felt before. I testify to you that if you put your Savior and your family first all other things in your life will begin to work out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Joy of Modern Scripture

It is amazing to me to think that we can have scripture given to us for our time now here on this earth. I am so thankful to know that we can receive instruction from God now just as he gave it to Moses of old. We have a prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson is that man. He has been called of God to declare His words for us today. And this is what the Lord wants us to know now:
President Monson
(click watch on the right hand side of the page this is linked to to listen to his message)
This is his most current address to all of us, God's children. It is what God wants all of us to know now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

God wants us to return to Him

     I was thinking this morning about how much our Father in Heaven loves us.  As I was reading this morning it just started to dawn on me that God really wants all of us to come home. His "work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." And he will do anything to get us home.
     As I thought about this and how he had reached out many times to some of the vilest of sinners and helped them return to Him and repent of their sins. I wanted to share some examples of this to help you understand that God wants all to come home no matter what you have done or how bad you think you are.
     First, my personal favorite, Alma the younger. His father was the prophet, the leader of the church, and he was doing every thing he could with his friends to tear down everything his father was doing. He was spiritually killing people by leading them away from the correct principles of the gospel and even though he was one of the most vilest of sinners God still stretched forth his hand to touch his life and return him to the straight path. Alma turned his life around, he did a complete 180 and instead of going about to tear down the church he tried to build it up.
     Second, Zeezrom. He was a lawyer who tried to convince a whole city that what Amulek, a missionary, was teaching them about the doctrine of Christ was wrong and that there was no Christ. But, the Lord touched Zeezrom's heart and helped him see the truth. Zeezrom then became a great missionary for Christ.
     So my point is that no matter who you are, where you live, or what you have done, you have not strayed too far so as to have God not love you. He will forgive you, all you have to do is want to be forgiven and want to change your life to follow His teachings. He wants all of his children to come home, and you are one of his children.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Rock of our Salvation

The Oak Tree
by Johhny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew

     This is a great poem that helps us see where our strength really comes from, from our roots. Our strength comes from our foundation. If our foundation is built upon Jesus Christ, the Rock of our Salvation, our strength will be above that of the adversary.
     As the scriptures state,
"...this stone (Jesus Christ) shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the [we] can build."
" is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
     If we build our selves on the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ we will not fall before the adversary, on the contrary we will stand tall and all his mighty power will be as nothing before us.
     I know that we shall triumph over the devil and be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven again. Let us not have a weak foundation.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 5 Steps to Happiness

In 2 Nephi chapter 31 God the Father gives us a promise that if we do these these 5 steps that we will inherit eternal life, living forever with God and our families. These steps are first having faith in Jesus Christ, second repenting of the things we have done wrong in our lives, third being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, fourth receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and fifth endure to the end.
1) Faith in Jesus Christ means believing in him and the power he has to forgive our sins. Follow the example he set and keep his commandments.
2) Repenting, change the way we live. Everyone of us is imperfect and can only begin to become perfect by aligning our lives whit that of Jesus Christ. Repentance is a process that probably won't happen over night, it takes time and effort, but we are promised forgiveness if we complete the steps. First we need acknowledge that we have done some thing wrong, second we need to be sorry for what we have done, third is to confess the sin to God, fourth is to correct the wrong we have done or make restitution, and last do not do it again. If we do this God has promised all of us forgiveness for everything we have done.
3) Baptism is the "gate" as Nephi calls it to the path which leads to eternal life. After we are baptised by some one holding the priesthood authority of God, which has been restored to this earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith, then they have entered the gate and begin their journey back home.
4) Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is the ability we are given to actually receive that comforter that is promised to us by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The Holy Ghost will purify us and lead us through our lives and help us make the right choices.
5) Enduring to the end means to keep pushing forward. Even though Satan will do all he can to get you off that path, you can overcome his temptations and keep going. That is one of the greatest gifts of the Spirit (or Holy Ghost) to help you over come temptations.
And as it says in 2 Nephi 31:20 if you will do all this you shall have eternal life!
I know this is true and i know each one of us is capable of getting there.