Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gospel Prinicples Chapter 4

"Freedom to Choose"
 Our freedom to choose is so important. We are told through the scriptures that Agency has been given to us from the very beginning. We were able to choose to come down to earth and to get a body or to follow the plan that Satan had proposed in our pre-earth life. Agency was the principle issue that we fought over in our pre-earth life. Satan's plan was to take away our agency from the beginning and to force us to return to live with God again. Agency is the thing that makes this life a time of testing. It is what allows us to make choices and to either follow what Christ would have us do or to follow what Satan would have us do. An analogy that I really like comes from the manual, it says, "When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. Imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads: 'Danger—whirlpool. No swimming allowed here.' We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown." We are told how to escape the grasp of Satan many times in the scriptures. We are told to "watch and pray continually," as we do that we will be able to overcome the temptations of Satan and be able to make correct choices.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gospel Principles Chapter 3

"Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior"

Why was the need for a Savior so important? The answer: Because our Heavenly Father knew that we would all come here and make mistakes, and that we would need help along our way. "We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father" (Gospel Principles, 13). The scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ was foreordained and chosen to be our Savior. In the Book of Mormon, there is an account of the Savior appearing to a man named the Brother of Jared and Christ tells him, "Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name" (Ether 3:14) Even though Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior, Lucifer stepped up and said, "Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor" (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to take away some vital things from us and Heavenly Father. The first thing he wanted was to take away our agency, or our right to chose, which we will discuss more in Chapter 4, and the second thing is he wanted Heavenly Father's glory. After hearing this he said, "I will send the first" (Abraham 3:27). Because Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ, Lucifer got angry and rebelled against God. In his rebellion, Satan managed to convince one third of the hosts of heaven to come with him, and in doing so, they were also cast out of heaven along with Satan. We know that we made the right choice because we are here today. "By following [Christ's] teachings, we can inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. He did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation" (Gospel Principles, 16).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gospel Principles Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is entitled, "Our Heavenly Family." Family is such a basic unit of society. Joseph F. Smith teaches us, "Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 335). That makes us all brothers and sisters, spiritually anyway. Just like on Earth, we were all different in our pre-earth state. "A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities" (Gospel Principles, 10). While we were in our premortal life, we sat down with Heavenly Father and we talked about what was going to happen to us. He told us that we would leave his presence, and we would come to this earth. We were also told that we would have to do some things in our lives to show our Heavenly Father that we really wanted to come back to live with him once more. We learned that we would go through trials, and if we allowed them to they would purify us rather than defeat us. "They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity" (Gospel Principles, 11). And finally, that last thing we learned is that we were all going to make mistakes by our nature, and that a Savior was going to be provided for us. He would overcome all things that needed to be overcome, namely death and sin. Jesus Christ was chosen at that time to be our Savior and Redeemer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gospel Principles Chapter 1

Chapter 1 is one of my favorites. The title is "Our Heavenly Father." We learn all about our Heavenly Father in this chapter. First off, how can we know that there is a God? Alma, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, tells us, "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” (Alma 30:44).  Everything around us tells us that there is a God, and that he exists. That leads us into what is He like, or in other words, what is the nature of God? One of the first attributes we know is, because we are made in his image--he has a body like ours. "He is a God of righteousness, with attributes such as love, mercy, charity, truth, power, faith, knowledge, and judgment. He has all power. He knows all things. He is full of goodness" (Gospel Principles, 5). After we know the nature of our Heavenly Father, we would like to get to know him, right? I would think so anyway. So there's a few ways that we can do this. First, we need to believe that he is actually there. Second, we need to study his word, or the scriptures. Third, we gotta communicate, or pray. And fourth, is we need to be obedient to His commandments. "As we do these things, we will come to know God and eventually have eternal life" (Gospel Principles, 7). That is one of my favorite quotes in the whole chapter. I know this to be true.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gospel Principles Introduction

So I had been thinking about what else I could write my blog on, and so I was pondering and praying and looking up some things, and the thought came, "You could do a blog on the Gospel Principles manual." So this is going to be fairly similar to the Articles of Faith blogs I did. I am really excited to do this blog set, and it should be a good one. There's quite a few chapters in the manual, but it should be really good. Thanks for following my blog! You're awesome.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Articles of Faith Conclusion

The Articles of Faith are inspired declarations written by the Prophet Joseph Smith. They include, "simple statements of the principles of our religion" and "essential doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ." These are 13 simple beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These, of course, aren't all of our beliefs, but they are the basic ones of the church. It's been great being able to comment and expound a little bit more upon them. Thank you for following them and learning just a little bit more about them. Remember that the way we can know truth is through the Holy Ghost and we can only receive answers if we ask questions.




Monday, August 22, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 13 of 13

Article of Faith #13, "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

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These are some great attributes of Christ. These are the things that we are all trying to perfect. I love the admonition of Paul, as we read in the bible it states, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be and praise, think of these things." (Philippians 4:8) We can tell those who are trying to be true followers of Jesus Christ as they try to be more like him, and to have the same attributes as him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 12 of 13

Article of Faith #12, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

This one is pretty self-explanatory. We believe in being law keepers, not law breakers. It says in Titus 3:1, "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." We are taught to obey the law like Paul is teaching Titus. We should do all we can to uphold the law up until it starts to break the laws of God. It's best to help support our government in what they do, but not things that go against what God would have us do.We gain more freedoms as we are obedient and we are more free to do what we chose when we are obedient as well. The more we are willing to keep the commandments the more we are blessed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 11 of 13

Article of Faith #11, "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."


Such a basic statement about freedom of religion. We don't shove it down your throat, at least we aren't supposed to, but we allow you the privilege of worshiping how, where, or whatever you choose. We like worshiping God in our own way, and we want to give you that same right. I believe that God made the United States of America the way it was because of this reason right here. Freedom of religion was one of the main reasons why people came over to America, and still come to America. Thus, if we believe God to respect our agency, and give us truly the ability to choose for ourselves. Wouldn't the church that claims to be Christ's restored church believe in respecting that agency as well? I believe so. I know that this church is true. It was restored, and continues to operate under the direction of Jesus Christ through Thomas S. Monson.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 10 of 13


Article of Faith #10, "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory."

This is such an amazing concept that goes way deeper than we could possibly cover in a short blog post. This has all to do what what we do as missionaries, and the Second Coming of Christ. So let's break this one down a  little bit as well.

First, "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes." As we read in the Bible, the tribes of Israel were once all together, but were then split into the North and South, the North included the Ten Tribes, and the South included two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. History shows us that the prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled, and Ephraim, or the Ten Tribes, and Judah, the Two Tribes, were scattered and destroyed. Later, we also understand from history that Judah was allowed back into Jerusalem and they are the major tribe that is in Jerusalem today, but that still leaves the Ten Tribes. They got scattered all across the world, and it is our job to go and find those people, and to bring them back, or in other words restore the Ten Tribes.

Second, "We believe that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent." This one comes due to modern revelation. Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built here in America. The Lord has said that Zion will be in Independence, Missouri.

Third, "We believe that Christ will reign personally upon the earth." Christ is going to be the guy in charge! That will be a great day. The Lord himself will reign. His presence will be felt and all the world will praise him.

Fourth, "We believe that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory." The earth is going to be awesome! Everything will be perfect. It's like the earth getting resurrected, and so just like us it will be perfect. That will be the day.

All of this will be taking place before, during, and after the millennium. It is going to be a great and dreadful day. Hopefully great for many rather than a few.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 9 of 13

Article of Faith #9, "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."

This is such a vital part of the church. This Article of Faith is talking about revelation, not only past revelation, but present and future revelation as well. President Ezra Taft Benson in an address given at Brigham Young University in 1980 gave a talk entitled, "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet." This is where I will get a majority of my quotes. One of my favorite parts of it talks about modern-day prophets. He says in his third point, "The living prophet is more important than a dead prophet." Under this third point he states, "God's revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore the most important prophet so far as you and I are concerned is the living one in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each month in our Church Magazines. Our instructions about what we should do for each six months are found in the General Conference addresses which are printed in the Church magazine.
"Beware of those who would set up the dead prophets above the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence."

Also in the second point, which is called, "The living prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works," also has some great insights for us about prophets and the scriptures. He tells of a story of Joseph Smith when he was in Kirtland, Ohio. He tells of a man who gets up and tells the people that the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, are all that we need and that we should "confine ourselves to them." He then asked Brigham Young to get up and tell them how he felt about the same topic. Brigham Young said that the books of scripture in front of him were nothing compared to the living prophet. Joseph Smith got up and stated, "Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth."

So as you can see. Yes, the prophets of old are important, but modern day, and more importantly, living prophets are so vital for us today. The revelation that we gain from the prophet is more vital to us than any other form of scripture. Therefore we need to heed the council of the prophet. Follow what he says and we won't go astray. I know this to be true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 8 of 13

Article of Faith #8, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."

I think that this is one of my favorite Articles of Faith, not because it mentions the Book of Mormon, which is one reason, but because of the Primary Song. It was one of the easiest to memorize and so because of that I remember it still today.

The Bible is such an amazing book. It helps us get a glimpse of the life of Christ, at lest the important parts. It teaches us basic doctrines that we need to follow in order to return to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It teaches us to be better people in a world of continuously failing values. The Bible gives us our initial Faith in Jesus Christ, and that want to do something better with our lives.

The Book of Mormon is also an amazing book. It continues to help us grow our faith in Jesus Christ. It clarifies so much about the doctrine of Christ. We can learn so much about our Savior, and what he went through by reading and studying the Book of Mormon. The Spirit of God just flows from its pages. A lot of the time I feel the Bible gives us the what we need to do, and the Book of Mormon gives us the how and why we do them.
Together these two books have changed lives. As we use them in conjunction with each other and as the word of God, we can grow stronger in our faith and closer to Jesus Christ and eventually reach our goal of returning to live with our Father in Heaven. These two books have the most influential power in the world. Together with the Spirit of the Lord, we have what we need to get back to live with Him.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 7of 13

Article of Faith #7, "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth."

Gifts are an amazing thing that the Lord gives all of us. The Prophet Joseph Smith only mentioned a few of those gifts in this Article of Faith. The scriptures also mention a ton of gifts that we can get from the Spirit. The Bible and Book of Mormon both give us examples of gifts of the spirit. We can find reference to these in Moroni 10, "For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; And again, to another, all kinds of tongues; And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men." Moroni explains that different gifts of the spirit are given to different people; of course, we can all strive to have these different gifts, but not everyone is born with these gifts. As we try to acquire these gifts we need to ask God. He is the only one who can give them to us. Prayer is the first step in gaining anything from God. I know that we can all attain the gifts that we would like in this life if we just put our hearts and souls into it. 






Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 6 of 13

Article of Faith #6, "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."

So this statement is pretty well stated. It is saying that we believe in the same organization that Christ set up when he was on the earth. The same exact names may not be used, but we have to remember that the English Language changes and the people are doing the same thing. Evangelist is a patriarch, a pastor is a bishop and those are the only two that change everything else stays the same. One of the ways you can know the church is true is through the way it is organized. One can't claim to be a restoration of something if it isn't organized in the same fashion. Paul states in his epistle to the Ephesians why it is necessary for us to have the Church organized as it is, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachersFor the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" so with that we must turn to the apostles and prophets, and etc. to continue to follow that straight and narrow path that we are all trying to stay on. This keeps us doing the things that we need to be doing, and how we need to be doing them. Without the organization of the church, we would all be like Paul said and we would be going after what sounds best to us instead of what is right.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 5 of 13

Article of Faith #5, "We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer the ordinances thereof."

So this goes directly in line with the way the God works. He has always done this from the beginning. We can take Aaron for example. He was called by God, set apart, and he went out and did his work. We have another example in the New Testament with the Apostles. Christ called them all together, and set apart each one and sent them off to go do their work as well, and now days we have the same thing, not only with General Authorities, but with the missionaries that you see walking around as well.

So let's break down this sentence. The first part says, "We believe that a man must be called of God." This is a basic belief, I believe, amongst all Christian parties. That in order to preach, a man must be called of God. The second part, "by prophecy," this I think is where we start to differ. Modern revelation is a key thing in the Church. It helps not only those being called, but those of us who are the "average member" to know that the person is called as well. The third part, "and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority," this is another part of where we differ from a lot of other Christian religions. The laying on of hands is an important part of being called, and set apart to do His work. In Luke 9, we read, "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." This is the same call that we are given as missionaries. And the last part is, "to preach the Gospel and administer the ordinances thereof." We must go out and preach. We've been called of God and had all the power and authority given to us and it's now our job to go preach and teach and do the things the Lord would have us do, namely, baptize and give the gift of the holy ghost. This is one of those truths that must be fulfilled. Power and Authority don't come from the Bible or any other from of paper. It comes from the man upstairs, our Heavenly Father. He's in control and knows what and how it needs to happen. This is my testimony.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 4 of 13

Article of Faith #4, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

So I think first we must define what a principle is and what an ordinance is. So first off, a principle is "an underlying faculty or endowment" and an ordinance is "a prescribed usage, practice, or ceremony." So what that is saying is that a principle is a basic need that's established, like faith, and an ordinance is something that is performed, like baptism. (Definitions came from Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


Now that we have that established we can get into what the first principles and ordinances are. The first one being, "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." So what is faith, and why do we need it? Faith as explained in the scriptures is, "faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." (Alma 32:21) So we must hope for things that we can't see, but we know are there. It's like the air we breathe, we can't see the air but we know it's there. It fills our lungs every time we take a breath, and so it is with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. We can't see them, but we can still know that they are there. We can feel the Spirit, and we can have their influence in our lives. We need faith in our lives so that we can know who to turn to in our times of need. It is what gets us through those hard times and picks us up when we are down.


Second is repentance. What is repentance? Repentance is a change of heart. It is turning away from the thing we don't want in our lives and adding something we do want in our lives. There is 5 steps to repentance: 1) To acknowledge that we are sinning, 2) be sorry and feel godly sorrow, 3) confess to God, 4) correct the mistake, and 5) endure to the end. As we apply these five steps in our lives, our lives become so much easier to handle and to get through. It's not making big changes, but the small ones that really add up to making big ones.


Third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. Why is baptism by immersion so important? What is it a symbol of? What Christ baptized? Baptism is so important because it does exactly what Joseph Smith said it does, and that is gives us a remission of our sins, or it cleanses us. It symbolizes not only Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, but our own as well, by dying to our old life, burying it and coming up renewed with a new life, or in other words being born again. Christ showed us the way in all things, including baptism. In Matthew 3:13-17, we can witness Christ's baptism. We get a little bit better glimpse at what Christ did for us in the Book of Mormon, Nephi gives us a great explanation in 2 Nephi 31, he tells us, "And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall followthe Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel." Christ has set forth the example and we all need to follow it. Baptism is our first covenant and ordinance that must be performed if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God, except it's not finish. Christ said, "yet a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God," which leads into the fourth thing.


Fourth, the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. This is also known as the baptism by fire.The gift of the Holy Ghost is so very important. It is the purifying, or sanctifying, part of baptism. The gift of the Holy Ghost allows us to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. This can help us stay closer to our Heavenly Father, and to have to ability to be guided in all things. The Holy Ghost provides comfort, protection, and revelation.


These are the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. We know that we need to continue on and endure to the end in order to live with God in the end. These are just the beginning. I love this gospel. It is so simple and allows all to come closer to Jesus Christ. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 3 of 13

Article of Faith #3, "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."


Well, yesterday we were in Kalispell, MT for a missionary meeting, and President Gardner challenged all of us to put up a post specifically for someone we are teaching. I thought about this challenge this morning and realized that I was going to be blogging about Article of Faith #3 today, and found this to be perfect for someone I am teaching.


The Atonement of Jesus Christ is soooo special. It can be very hard to understand in the sense of how it works, or why it works. I don't know the answers to this, nor can I direct you to someone who knows, besides God. All I know is that it works. Our Heavenly Father knew us before we can to earth. He know that we were all going to make mistakes in this life and that we were going to need a Savior; that is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. The Atonement is so much larger than we think it is, but in the simple version it consists of three things: 1) Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, 2) His death and suffering on the cross, and 3) His resurrection the third day. The Book of Mormon gives us some great insight as to what exactly Christ suffered for; in the book of Alma, chapter 7, verses 11-13 it tells us, "And he shall go 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 sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind 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. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance..." The book of Mormon also tells us of who this atonement covers it says in Alma 34:10, "For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice." The scripture continues on through verses 11-16. They are some great verses on the Atonement and I'll invite all of you to read those. I know that through the Atonement of Christ we can all be saved, as long as we are doing our part. Not that we can work our way into Heaven, because that is not the way we can do it, but we can't believe our way to Heaven either. We must do all we can and believe and then the grace of Christ is sufficient for all. I know that as we turn to our savior in humility he will forgive us of all our trespasses. The relief that we get when we use the Atonement in our lives is unbelievable. Alma tells us that he was "filled with joy as exceeding as was [his] pain." This can be the same for us. I know this is true.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 2 of 13

Article of Faith #2, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

This is a very significant statement about the Atonement of Christ. This statement is saying that we don't believe in "original sin," and so little children are the only people perfect on this earth, besides Jesus Christ. We believe that we are responsible for our own actions and sins. Adam definitely brought sin into the world, but it's not because of him that we sin. God gave us all our own agency to choose whether or not we were going to follow his commandments. The Atonement covered that original sin and we are able to repent and be forgiven of those things that we do wrong.This also has to do with when we believe people should be baptized, which is at the age of 8 years old. It says in the Bible, " For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the SpiritBy which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prisonWhich sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by waterThe like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us...." (1 Peter 3:18-21) This is saying that after Christ was crucified, he went to the spirits in prison and taught them. It also says that he taught those who were once disobedient and when Noah was saved only 8 were saved with him, which is the same number that saves us now when we are baptized. So we should be baptized at age 8. Also in modern revelation, "And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of hands." (Doctrine and Covenants 68:27) We are responsible for our own actions and sins. The Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all. I know that is it real and that it works, all we have to do is apply it to our own lives.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 1 of 13

Article of Faith #1, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."


This is a very simple; yet powerful statement. This is a basic belief that needs to be held by anyone who can be considered Christian. We must believe that God is our Eternal Father, and that His Son is Jesus Christ and that His messenger is the Holy Ghost. Through the power of the Holy Ghost is how anyone gains a testimony of anything, namely that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Holy one of Israel. Without this basic doctrinal belief none of us would be here at this time. How would we know the Bible to be true, the Book of Mormon to be from God, that there really is a God and He is our Heavenly Father? We could not know. There is only one way we can know truth and that is through the confirmation of the Holy Ghost. Whether we recognize that or not, is up to us. This is a foundational doctrine that we believe. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that Jesus Christ lives, and that it is after all we can do and faith is Christ that His grace is sufficent for us, which leads into next weeks blog post...Article of Faith #2.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Articles of Faith Introduction

So I was recently thinking about what I should blog about. For some time nothing came, then I saw a blog that said something about the Articles of Faith and so I figured, and felt, that it would be an awesome thing to blog about. So I will post what the Article of Faith is and then write my feelings and thoughts on it.

The Articles of Faith were written by Joseph Smith in response to a letter from John Wentworth. The Articles of Faith were originally known as the Wentworth Letter, and later reproduced in the newspaper Times and Seasons. They are 13 statements of belief by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We study them and use them to help others better understand the basic points and doctrines of our belief.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and Bears...Oh my!


Well, tomorrow is Mother's Day. I wanted to spend a little time talking today about cubs; hence the title. Have you ever seen a momma bear, lion, or tiger protect her cub? It's pretty amazing what she will do to help protect her little ones. They will take on animals way bigger than themselves to do that. I feel the same way about my mother. She would do anything and everything in her power to protect me from danger; whether that be spiritual, mental, physical, emotional. It's all part of that "mother's instinct." I always relate it to how mom always knows when we are doing something we aren't supposed to, even though she may not know exactly what that thing is. I hope and pray that we all give our mothers the care, love and attention that she deserves tomorrow...as well as everyday. I love you, Mom!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Adversity


Adversity. What is it? Why do we need it? A prophet in the Book of Mormon said to his son,"For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad." Merriam-Webster dictionary defines adversity as, "a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty." LDS.org has so many great things on it, this is one of those, "Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress." The prophets and apostles today have been speaking a lot lately on adversity. We all go through it, and we may not all like it or be able to relate, but the Lord can and already went through everything that we will ever go through. The Savior and his teachings, the gospel,willl help you. Keep your heads up and trust in the Lord and everything will be alright. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon. What is it? Do we even need it? Where did it come from? These are some of the many questions that come about when The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is brought up. So what exactly is the Book of Mormon? It is exactly what the title says, another testament of our Savior Jesus Christ. It says in the Introduction, " the Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel." It is so important that we don't look at the Book of Mormon as "another Bible" or that it is adding or taking away from the Bible. It is used so that we can better understand and apply the principles in the Bible. Joseph Smith said, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” That right there is a pretty bold statement, and as we disect what he said it all really makes sense. The Bible has been translated so many times either from its original or from the translated that there have been errors made and then you have people who purposely change things in the Bible. The Book of Mormon has been translated from it's original once, and every other translation is based off of the English, so that no or few translation errors can occur. It is the keystone of our religion because without the Book of Mormon there are very few things that lead us to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. It also helps us to gain a clearer understanding of our doctrines. So without the Book of Mormon, everything in our church crumbles. And of course, last but not least, if we abide by the principles in the book we can draw closer to God. The same thing happens when we follow what the Bible says to do, and it is only the teachings of Jesus Christ that can draw us closer to God. It says in the Book of Mormon, "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26). It also says, "And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness" (2 Nephi 33:10-11). As we listen to the words of Christ, we can only come closer to him. There is a promise given to us from the prophet Moroni, he is the last prophet in the Book of Mormon, and he tells us, "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:3-5). It says in Galations 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." That is how we can know if the Book of Mormon, or anything for that matter, is true. That is what the scriptures tell us. We all need to find out for ourselves.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Actions

The things we do and say are very important to our daily lives and the daily lives of others. They not only affect our daily lives but also our eternal salvation if we are not careful. Actions can be for our good and for the bad. We have been given that opportunity by our Heavenly Father. He has given us the ability to choose, or agency. As we use our agency properly we can come in closer harmony with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but as we misuse our agency it drives us further and further away from our Heavenly Father and closer and closer to Satan. It says in the Book of Mormon, in 2 Nephi 2:27, "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." That is really the only two things that we have to decide. It tells us that all of the choices we make in this life are to either choose God or choose Satan, and that should decide what our actions should be. Of course we have to love God and have faith, but our actions are another part of how we get into Heaven. It says all of the time in the scriptures that we need to have faith, but that we also need to show that faith. If we continue on in doing those things, and "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," we can eventually return to live with our Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Thoughts.....

I've been told many times in my life that "our thoughts are what lead us to action." One of my favorite analogies about our thoughts is that our minds are like a stage. Preach My Gospel says, "Your mind is like a stage in a theater; in the theater of your mind, however, only one actor can be on stage at a time. If the stage is left bare, thoughts of darkness and sin often enter the stage to tempt. But these thoughts have no power if the stage of your mind is occupied by wholesome thoughts, such as a memorized hymn or verse of scripture that you can call upon in a moment of temptation. By controlling the stage of your mind, you can successfully resist persistent urges to yield to temptation and indulge in sin. You can become pure and virtuous." There is so much that comes with our thoughts. As we continue to apply the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives it becomes easier for us to control our thougths. I especially like the ideas to have a memorized hymn or scripture that we can call upon in order to fight off those thoughts. In times of need we can always turn to our Heavenly Father to help fight off those thoughts. President Boyd K. Packer said, "I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts."  It is amazing to see how much the Lord will bless us if we ask him to help us in those times of need. The quote from President Packer is so true. Our thoughts will go to the place of easiest resistance. If we don't allow a place for our thoughts to go they will wander to places that we don't want them to go. That is why we have to channel our thoughts and do those things to help us in those times when the "water" goes over the banks, or in other words when our thoughts get out of control. The Lord will always help us if we turn to him. One of President Packers ideas for helping to ward of those bad thoughts is our choice in music. One of my past blogs talks a little bit more about music and it's influences in our lives, but it is so true that as we fill our minds with bad entertainment those bad thoughts will continue to come back if we don't properly take care of them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our Words Mean More Than We Think...

They say that "our actions speak louder than words," but sometimes I think that our words are what really mean the most to people. One of my favorite hymns says,
"Let us oft speak kinds words to each other At home or where'er we may be; Like the warblings of birds on the heather, The tones will be welcome and free. They'll gladden the heart that's repining, Give courage and hope from above, And where the dark clouds hide the shining, Let in the bright sunlight of love. Oh, the kinds words we give shall in memory live And sunshine forever impart. Let us oft speak kind words to each other; Kind words are sweet tones of the heart. Like the sunbeams of morn on the mountains, The soul they awake to good cheer; Like the murmur of cool, pleasant fountains, They fall in sweet cadences near. Let's oft, then, in kindly toned voices, Our mutual friendship renew, Till heart meets with heart and rejoices In friendship that ever is true. Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live And sunshine forever impart. Let us oft speak kind words to each other; Kind words are sweet tones of the heart."
The words we speak greatly influence the way that we can feel of the Spirit of God. It says in the Doctrine and Covenants 52:16, "He that speakth, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek and edifieth, the same is of God if he obey mine ordinances." God says that we need to watch out language. It also says in the 10 Commandments, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain....Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neightbour." The Lord gives us direct commandments to watch what we say. It is something that everyone can continue to work on in their lives.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who Is Your Hero?

Heroes are an important part of all of our lives. There is a poster that hangs on my wall at home that has the saying, "Who is Your Hero?" I think it is such an inspirational quote. Also on the poster is pictures of heroes from the Book of Mormon. That is how I think we all need to be. We need to look toward someone that we want to be like and have them be our hero. Some great examples that I can think of off the top of my head are Jesus Christ, Captain Moroni, Paul, Ammon, Aaron, Moses. The list goes on and on. There is a website that has all of these posters on them and many more. It is amazing to see the artists rendition of our heroes. http://www.realheroposters.com/magento/ 

Captain Moroni is one of my favorite Book of Mormon heroes. He is so amazing and does so many things. One of my favorite quotes comes from about him it says in Alma 48:17-18, "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be like unto Moroni, behold, the very power of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power the hearts of the children of men. Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Church In Christ's Day

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ from the Bible. Joseph Smith wrote what is called the Articles of Faith, and in Article of Faith #6 it says, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.” In the Gospel Principles manual we learn a ton about the church in the former times. Chapter 16 is dedicated to that. We can find it on lds.org or http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-16-the-church-of-jesus-christ-in-former-times?lang=eng. I love having so many resourses at our disposal. They help us to gain further light and knowlege. If we only had time to look at everything and to apply them all to our lives. Keep up the great work and I love you all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Music

Music is such an inspirational part of our lives. The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns. Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end." A really good quote about music and learning music says this, "Parents should encourage their children to receive instruction in musical skills, enabling them to use their talents to serve in the Church." Music is such an influential part of our lives it influences the things that we think and do and say. It's one of the best ways we can show our appreciation for the Lord. He says, "My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." There is so much out there for us and we need to filter out those things that are going to be harmful to us.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Family


One of my favorite videos on http://www.mormon.org/ is called Swashbuckler. It is a great video that shows how family time can be made fun. I'll put a link on the comments so that you can all check it out. Family is the most important thing in this life. God has made it that way. We read in Genesis, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." He created Adam and Eve, later after the Fall of Adam, they had children and we read about those children and their families in later chapters and books. An awesome proclamation on the family comes from the First Presidency, it is called, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." http://lds.org/family/proclamation?lang=eng that is the link to check out the full proclamation. It says in there, "...the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." There is so much in this that it is hard to do it justice. I love having a living prophet on the earth today who leads and guides us. Remeber that families are important to our Heavenly Father and Satan is trying his hardest to break apart the family.