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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In this Seminary classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's Seminary class.

Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?"

Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."

Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Brother Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" Again asked Brother Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," Brother Christianson said.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it."

Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited-it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten.

Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut.

And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When Bro. Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Bro. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Jenny said, "No."

Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved. Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely.

Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row.

During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Bro. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You can do them any way that you want." And Bro. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Bro. Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him."

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in."

Bro. Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"


"Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Bro. Christianson , can I help him?"

Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit." With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Let's Learn Some About Joseph Smith

Here is a great movie that teaches us who Joseph Smith really was and what he accomplished through the power of God.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Things to Come

No matter what life throws at you, no matter the temptation or tribulations. Don't give up, don't quit! There are good things to come! We have the promise of our loving Father in Heaven that if we "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." There are Good Things to Come!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Voice of Healing

These are the words that Jacob heard: 
"O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?  Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me. Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.  And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled. I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved."
Let us all be humble enough to come unto the Lord and allow Him to heal us.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You Know Enough

You may not know everything but you do know enough. The Lord has provided us with different experiences in this life so that we could gain knowledge through those experiences. As we travel through life's journeys we may come to places in the road where we are confronted with a decision that we don't feel we know the correct answer to, but the Lord tells us that we may not know everything but we do know enough to keep the commandments. In making that decision, we gain more knowledge through our experience. We may never know every thing but with our Father in Heavens help we will can know enough.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Better Than A Hallelujah

"God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves the drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

"We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

"The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

"Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out."
~Amy Grant

Pour out your heart to God, he is there and he will always listen. He loves you and wants you to talk with Him. He will answer your prayers!

Friday, February 25, 2011

We Can Live With God Again

We come to this life to grow and learn and be tested. That all sounds pretty taxing, but it’s not hard to see how much joy we can find here on earth as well. One great part of Heavenly Father’s plan is that all the happiness and satisfaction we get from learning new things and all the love we develop within our families will go with us to the next life.
Just like our family bonds, we can carry the knowledge we gain in this life with us after we die. Contrary to some representations of heaven, we will not be sitting on clouds, gazing at the face of God for eternity. We’ll have more opportunities to grow and challenge ourselves. All these wonderful blessings depend on our faithfulness, here and now, as we work to keep God’s commandments throughout our lives.

Our Spirits Are Eternal
It’s comforting to know that God has a plan for us. We lived with Him before we were born and we will continue to live with Him into eternity if we choose. Our life on earth is fundamental to His plan, as is death. It’s always sad when God calls our loved ones home, but we can be certain that their spirits live on.

Life after Death
When our bodies die, our spirits continue to live. The spirits of those who have received and lived God's plan will visit those who have not, teaching them and giving them the chance to follow God's plan.
Everyone’s spirit will then be reunited with his or her perfected physical body, which will never die again. We’ll be judged and rewarded according to our works. Those who follow God's plan will then join Him in heaven.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We Can Find Happiness

We often fall into the trap of thinking a new car, job promotion, beauty makeover, or fame will make us happy. And often they do—for a time. But it never lasts because wealth, power, beauty, and fame simply don’t bring lasting happiness, as much as we wish they would.

True Happiness
True happiness comes from following Christ’s example and developing Christlike attributes such as obedience, goodness, honesty, gratitude, humility, love, charity, and forgiveness. It comes from serving others and helping them to follow Jesus Christ. It comes from controlling the appetites of our human bodies and following the promptings of the Spirit. It comes from working hard and having a healthy lifestyle, friends, family, and personal achievements.
Regardless of what you do or don’t have in this life, your deepest, most lasting happiness will come from knowing God’s plan and following it. One ancient prophet put it this way:
“I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jesus Christ Is the Way

More than anything else, God wants to help us through this life and bless us with eternal life in the next. He sends His Spirit to offer us this help. But the scriptures say that His Spirit cannot be with us if we are sinful. As hard as we try to live good lives, we all commit sins that separate us from God.
Being separated from God by sin is called spiritual death. We feel a profound loneliness when we separate ourselves from God, our Heavenly Father.
How can we overcome spiritual death and always have God’s Spirit with us if we are imperfect?

God Provided a Savior
Heavenly Father chose His Son, Jesus Christ, in our pre-earth life and sent Him to earth to be our Savior. If we believe in Jesus Christ, follow His teachings, and repent when we commit sins, His Atonement, or sacrifice, can wash us clean of our sins and make us worthy to return to God’s presence. Christ’s sacrifice and Resurrection also allow us to overcome physical death. Every one of us will be resurrected just like Christ was and live forever in perfected bodies after we leave this life.

We Have to Do Our Part
Each of us will be resurrected and overcome physical death regardless of what we do in this life. But we have to do our part to overcome spiritual death.
To be forgiven of our sins, we need to repent and increase our faith in Jesus Christ throughout our lives. We will not be saved simply because we get baptized or say we believe in Jesus Christ. It takes work, but the work we do doesn’t only prepare us for heaven, it blesses us in this life too.
Our families will be happier, we’ll get along better with others, and we’ll feel more peace during hard times when we live according to Jesus Christ’s teachings.

He Is Our Friend
The gospel of Jesus Christ gives us hope. Through Him, and only through Him, we can have everything Heavenly Father wants to give us. He is our Savior and our friend. He is our teacher and our perfect example. The closer we stay to Jesus Christ, the better we’ll be able to face life’s challenges.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Earth Life is Part of God's Plan

Everyone you see around you is a son or daughter of God, our Heavenly Father. He is the Father of our spirits. Coming to earth is part of His plan of happiness for us, which allows us to receive a physical body in His image and continue to increase in wisdom and faith.

God Promised That His Spirit Would Help Guide Us
When we were born, we forgot our pre-earth life, which means we have to live by faith rather than our memory of God. To help us through life, God promised that His Spirit would guide and strengthen us. Each time we feel the quiet comfort of His Spirit, we know that God loves us and cares about us.
During our time on earth we make choices and distinguish right from wrong. We gain happiness and become more like our Heavenly Father when we make good choices.
Because God loves us and wants us to receive the blessings that come from following His plan, He has provided ways for us to stay connected to Him. Prayer is an important way we stay connected with our Heavenly Father. When we speak sincerely to Him, He will answer us through His Spirit and help us through our problems, no matter how large or small.
Other ways we can stay in touch include reading the scriptures and listening to the prophets who have been chosen by God to teach His plan.

Following God’s Plan
Our life didn’t begin at birth and won’t end at death. Because God cares about us, we don’t need to wander through life, wondering where we came from, who we are, and what we should be working toward.
Our lives have direction because Heavenly Father created a plan we can follow to return to live with Him. It’s called the plan of salvation or the plan of happiness, and it’s like a map charting our course.
If we follow God’s direction, we’ll make it to our destination. Those who follow this plan are promised “immortality and eternal life,” or unending happiness with God and our families in heaven. This is what God wants for all of us.
God’s plan for us is simple to understand, but it takes a lifetime to follow. Following the plan of happiness is easier when we do the simple things, like reading the scriptures, going to church, praying, and serving others. Jesus Christ was the perfect example in following God's plan. It takes faith and works for us to be like Jesus, but it is worth it now and will be in eternity.

Friday, February 18, 2011

We Lived With God

Wouldn’t it be great if life came with a map, showing us where we’ve been and where to go?
Thankfully, life does have a map. Our Father in Heaven has a plan for us and wants us to know where we came from and where He wants us to go.
Before we were born, we lived with God in heaven. All of our spirit brothers and sisters were there, too—everyone who has lived or will live on earth. In this “pre-earth life,” each of us was an individual with the same ability we have now to learn, reason, and make decisions. We were only spirits then. God is the Father of all our spirits, so we call Him our Heavenly Father.

We Came to Earth to Progress
In our pre-earth life, God knew that in order for us to grow and gain knowledge, we would have to leave His presence for a while. So, as part of the plan He prepared for us, He sent us to earth to experience the joy—as well as the pain—of mortal life. When we were born, our spirits received mortal bodies, giving us the opportunity to have families and to develop mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God taught through one of His prophets that this life is the time to prepare ourselves to live with God.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

God is Our Father

There Is a God
We can look up at the sky at night and see a never-ending universe. There are millions of stars and planets, all in perfect order. They did not get there by chance. We can see the work of God in the heavens and on the earth. The beautiful plants, the variety of animals, the mountains, the rivers, the clouds that bring us rain and snow—all these testify to us that there is a God. An ancient prophet wrote, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”
A modern prophet said: “If there is a design in this world, there must be a Designer. Who can behold the many wonders of the universe without believing that there is a design for all mankind? Who can doubt that there is a Designer?”

God Is the Ruler of the Universe
God is the Almighty Ruler of the universe. He made the moon, the stars, and the sun. He organized this world and gave it form, motion, and life. He filled the air and the water with living things. He covered the hills and plains with all kinds of animal life. He gave us day and night, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest.
God is the Supreme and Absolute Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and He is full of love, mercy, charity, and compassion.

God Is Our Heavenly Father
Even though God is the Creator of all things, we enjoy a relationship with Him that is unique from all of His other creations. We are all His spirit children, literally the sons and daughters of God, and He has created us in His image. God is perfect in His love, wisdom, care, and concern for us. He knows us individually and loves us more than we can comprehend, and He wants us to find happiness.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Eternal Life

Many of us spend our lives looking for something to hold on to, something that will last. We look for ways to avoid aging or to become famous or rich. But we eventually realize that mortal life is temporary. Friends and family members grow old and die, the famous are soon forgotten, and wealth is lost as quickly as it is won. Our hope and happiness lie in knowing who we are, where we came from, and where we can go. We are eternal beings, spirit children of an eternal God. Our lives can be compared to a three-act play: premortal life (before we came to earth), mortal life (our time here on earth), and postmortal life (where we go after we die). God has had a plan for our lives since the beginning of the first act—a plan that, if followed, provides comfort and guidance now, as well as salvation and eternal happiness in our postmortal life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Become as a Little Child...

It was a spring day in Helsinki, Finland. The sun was shining brightly, and the snow was melting fast. For hours I had been working with my boys, Juha, eight, and Hannu, six, to keep melting snow from flooding our cellar. The nearby drain that should have handled the pooling water was still frozen solid.
As my husband left for work that morning, he told us to make sure we kept the water out of the cellar. We worked hard until the afternoon, when it was time to leave for Primary. (At that time Primary was held on a weekday.) I told my boys, however, that they would have to miss Primary in order to help stop the water from getting into the cellar. Besides, my husband wasn’t a member of the Church, and he would not understand how important Primary was to our sons.
In unison, Juha and Hannu assured me that if we went to Primary, Heavenly Father would see to it that the water wouldn’t reach the cellar. I looked back and forth from the pooling water to the faith-filled faces of my sons. Part of me said, “You cannot go because no power can stop the water from flooding the cellar.” I appealed to Heavenly Father with a prayer in my heart. Then I made a difficult decision.
“We are going to Primary now!” I declared as I threw down the buckets. No matter what happened, I was not going to injure my children’s faith.
The boys had a wonderful time at Primary. But as we drove home afterward, the closer we got to our house, the more my fears grew. Reaching the yard, the boys ran quickly to the cellar door. Looking down, they cried out, “Mother, what did we tell you?” I hurried over. I will never forget the sight that greeted my eyes. The area was completely dry, as if it had been mopped. There were no signs of water anywhere. Even now, 40 years later, it is hard for me to believe what I saw.
The glow in my boys’ eyes reflected joy and trust in Heavenly Father. Joy—and gratitude—filled my heart too!
No power in the world can beat childlike faith. The scriptures say that if we believe and doubt not, we can move a mountain. That day the power of my children’s faith stopped a flood. (Faith to Stop a Flood, Ensign Oct 2008)

If only we could all have the faith of a little child. they are meek, submissive, humble, loving, kind, and slow to judge. They are the ones Christ tells us will inherit the kingdom of God... Let us all strive to be like little children.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"The Prince and the Pauper"

"An important lesson about condescension is found in Mark Twain’s classic novel The Prince and the Pauper. Twain tells of two boys: Tom Canty, a poor boy who lives in a hovel in London; and Prince Edward of Wales, heir to the throne of England.
"Tom has always dreamed what it would be like to be a prince. One day he decides to go to Westminster Palace in hopes of getting a glimpse of Prince Edward. Edward comes out of the gates of the palace and greets the waiting throngs. Tom is so excited that he presses up against the gates and tries to call the prince. The soldiers at the palace roughly push Tom away.
"Seeing this, Prince Edward becomes angry with his guard. He tells the soldiers to leave the boy alone and then invites Tom into the palace as his guest. Prince Edward gives Tom a tour of the palace, and then, on a whim, the boys decide to exchange clothing. As they look at each other in the mirror, they realize that they are practically twins. While dressed in each other’s clothing, they step outside. The soldiers grab the pauper (who is really the prince) and throw him outside the gates. Prince Edward yells that he is the prince, but all the gathered people only laugh at him. The soldiers then close the gates. Suddenly the poor boy is the prince in the palace, while the prince is the poor boy in the street. Neither one can convince anyone to believe in the mix-up.
"During the months that Prince Edward is outside the palace, he endures many trials. Tom Canty’s father finds him, thinks the prince is his son, takes him home, and beats him. Edward experiences hunger that he’s never known in his palace comfort. He travels throughout England, trying to determine how he can be restored to the throne. As he does so, he witnesses the poverty and oppression of his people, and he sees firsthand the grave injustices of the law. He suffers for months as a homeless pauper, and on one occasion he’s nearly killed.
"Through a remarkable series of events, the mix-up is finally resolved, and Prince Edward is restored to the palace. In the meantime he has inherited the throne and become the king of England. King Edward honors Tom Canty for his service as an accidental “prince,” and ever after Edward serves as a merciful, good, and compassionate king, having learned to love his people by his suffering." ~The Prince of Glory by Elder Bruce D. Porter (Dec 2009 Ensign)

This story parallels that of our saviour Jesus Christ. "We too have a prince who became a pauper. The Prince of Peace, the Prince of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ came down to live among His people and share in their poverty and suffering so that He might be a more compassionate king" (The Prince of Glory by Elder Bruce D. Porter, Dec 2009 Ensign). He live with His father, sitting on his father's right hand in his own throne, and yet he came down here and suffered poverty, persecution, illness, and pain, all so He could understand how we feel.

Because He has suffered all he pleads before the father saying,  “Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son. … Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name” (D&C 45: 4-5)

“'Since not all human sorrow and pain is connected to sin, the full intensiveness of the Atonement involved [Christ’s] bearing our pains, infirmities, and sicknesses, as well as our sins' [Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004)].
"Serious illnesses, family tragedies, and emotional struggles do not happen necessarily because we have sinned. Adversity and heartbreak happen to good people; such is the fruit of a fallen world. But having experienced tragedy, sickness, and disappointment in His own life, the Savior knows how to strengthen us in such trials as well. He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason.
"The power of the Atonement also covers the consequences of sin in the lives of innocent people. We pay no eternal price for things over which we have no control, including harm done to us by others. The Atonement can heal us. The only thing for which we pay a spiritual price is misuse of our own agency, and for that the Savior has given us the Atonement" (The Prince of Glory by Elder Bruce D. Porter, Dec 2009 Ensign).
The Atonement is real! It has the Power to save us from our sins, as well as to rescue us from our afflictions. Look to Jesus Christ and allow his Atonement to lift us up.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Submitting our Will to God's

"The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship. There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart, where we really do decide which way to go and what to do. And when we submit to His will, then we’ve really given Him the one final thing He asks of us. And the other things are not very, very important. It is the only possession we have that we can give, and there is no lessening of our agency as a result. Instead, what we see is a flowering of our talents and more and more surges of joy." ~Neal A. Maxwell (Ensign, Aug. 2000)

If we truly want to give it our all for God, then what we really need to do is put our will on the altar. It is the only way we can truly become like our Father in Heaven.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Answers to Prayers

"If I do not know the will of my Father, and what he requires of me in a certain transaction, if I ask him to give me wisdom concerning any requirement in life or in regard to my own course, or that of my friends, my family, my children, or those that I preside over, and get no answer from him, and then do the very best that my judgment will teach me, he is bound to own and honor that transaction, and he will do so to all intents and purposes." ~Brigham Young

So some times all we can do is try to figure out an answer then, it is left up to us to decide for ourself. God won't give us everything, but he has given us the ability to reason and to think logically and make our own decisions.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Learning to Walk

"Many years ago I attended a stake Relief Society conference in Colorado. A speaker used an analogy that really impressed me. She asked us to think about how children learn to walk. We as adults give encouragement and praise. We stretch out our arms and invite them to come to us. When just learning, children are often a bit fearful and hesitant, but with our continued encouragement, they continue to try. They may only get one step taken before they fall, but we don’t berate them or scold them or give up on them. We pick them up and help them because we know that they can successfully learn to walk. We do not love them less because of their stumbling.
"She likened that to our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. God sent us down here to learn His ways and to walk in His path. At times we may hesitate and fear, but our Heavenly Father and our Savior will always encourage us and help us because They know we can succeed. When we stumble or fall down, They do not berate us or scold us or give up on us. They continue to stretch out Their arms and beckon us to “come.” They know we can succeed, and They do not love us less because of our stumbling.
"Keeping in mind the image of our Heavenly Father with outstretched arms, as mortal parents do to their learning child, can help us through our trials. Accepting His encouragement and love can give us the faith we need to strive to do better."
~Jan Payne (Feb 2011 Ensign)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Look to God and Live"

"Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live. But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them. O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish? If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works." Alma 33: 19-22

If we just look to the Son of God as the people in Moses' time did to the fiery serpent on the staff we can be healed. if we look to God we can feel the healing power of his Son's atonement.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast! I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, and my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear! I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up stored up, and paid up of the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till I know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.
Henry b. Eyring

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is hope?

Hope is a power that can change us. Let us all have Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ and begin that miraculous change.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

True Conversion

"The way we answer questions about our faith ought to be by finding the quickest and most direct route to the Sacred Grove. The Restoration began with Joseph Smith on his knees in the Sacred Grove, and that is where the testimony of all Latter-day Saints must begin, on their knees in a sacred moment, asking of God. Everything that we believe as Latter-day Saints rests on the reality of what God said that spring morning to Joseph Smith." (Joseph Fielding McConkie The restoration and Religious Tolerance)
As we all do this same thing for ourselves, get on our knees and ask to know if this event really happened, I know that we will all find our testimonies grow or begin. And as the people in the Book of Mormon who were taught about the gospel and converted to the truth:
They "were converted unto the Lord, [and] never did fall away. For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren."
If we do the same and are converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we too will want to "lay down the weapons of [our] rebellion" and we will all become part of the righteous people and will be ready to enter into the rest of the lord!
I know that Joseph Smith did see God and Jesus Christ, and they did in reality speak to him and give him instruction to restore this gospel to the earth today. As you kneel and pray and find out the same I know you will feel a greater light in your life and a happiness that will not fade with time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Simple Kitchen Towel

     "At first glance, one looks at a kitchen towel and thinks, "Wow! A towel! I needed a new one," or Wow! A towel! The old ones are getting stained and worn.
     "But have we ever stopped to think that for years, even thousands of years, the towel has not just been used in the kitchen, but for a variety of reasons?
     "Take, for example, the mother who wipes the tears of a little child to soothe the physical and emotional hurt; The physician who binds the wound of a bleeding patient; The woman in her home wiping hands as she moves from task to task; The weary traveler who wipes his sweated brow.
     "Notwithstanding all of the above examples, perhaps the most significant use of the towel was about 2,000 years ago when our loving Jesus took an ordinary towel in his hands and dried the feet of his disciples only hours before his crucifixion. Sure, the towel is a handy item with a myriad of uses, but it also has deep symbolic meaning when seen in the hands of the Savior during a work of kindness for his fellowmen.
     "So, take this towel, knowing it is given with love, and do works of goodness with it, as the Savior worked with His so many years ago."  ~Unknown

In the hands of our Lord even a little towel can be made into a great tool. Let us allow our selves to be an instrument in the hands of the Saviour and we can become greater than we ever knew.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't look Back

President Joseph Fielding Smith told me of a repentant woman struggling to find her way out of a very immoral life. She asked him what she should do now.
In turn, he asked her to read to him from the Old Testament the account of Lot's wife, who was turned to a pillar of salt. Then he asked her, "What lesson do you gain from those verses?"
She answered, "The Lord will destroy the wicked."
"Not so!" President Smith said that the lesson for this repentant woman and for you is "Don’t look back!"
Strangely enough, it may be that the simplest and most powerful prevention and cure for pornography, or any unclean act, is to ignore and avoid it. Delete from the mind any unworthy thought that tries to take root. Once you have decided to remain clean, you are asserting your God-given agency. And then, as President Smith counseled, "Don’t look back."
~Elder Boyd K. Packer

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our Choices

“Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will. You are free to exchange your allotment of time for thrills. You may trade it for base desires. You may invest it in greed. …
“Yours is the freedom to choose. But these are no bargains, for in them you find no lasting satisfaction.
“Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing.
“A prophet of God has said: ‘Men are that they might have joy’—a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil—an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—of its requirements and commandments.
“Only in these will you find true happiness, the happiness which doesn’t fade with the lights and the music and the crowds." ~Elder Richard L. Evans

I really like the first line of this quote: "Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will." This is a great perspective on the gifts of life and agency we have been given. With the gift of this life we are given the ability to choose for ourselves what we want to do with our allotted time, but if we choose wrong it may cost more time than we were expecting. It may even cost us our freedom. As President Monson says, "Although in our journey we will encounter forks and turnings in the road, we simply cannot afford the luxury of a detour from which we may never return."

If we use our allotted time wisely then we will live happy and prosperous lives.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Touch of the Master's Hand

If we only let Him touch our lives we could be so much better then we now are. Even this violin that throughout its life was battered and bruised and look to no longer be of worth, was transformed by the touch of the Master's hand!
Allow Jesus Christ to touch your life and i promise that no matter where you are you will see who you really are and feel the all encompassing love that comes from your Father in Heaven even when you think you are all alone.