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 well as everyday. I love you, Mom!