Thursday, August 18

Trust that God is Near

 34 "O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh;" -2 Nephi 4:34

In our lives we face many different situations. Each of us go through periods of joy and success, and then even failure and sorrow. As a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ it seems that you see this cycle often, whether its in my own life or in the life of those whom I teach and work with. Most times our joy and success are based on if we are living completely the commandments God has giving us. Other times it can be when we chose to have joy in those moments of pain and sorrow, trusting that God is still near your side.

The other day I experienced a little bit of this cycle. It was Zone Conference- an all day meeting with surrounding missionaries- and the Spirit was strong. I was being taught so much and felt so much love as we learned how we can be better instruments in helping bring God's children closer to him. After lunch, amongst all the light, truth, and strong Spiritual promptings slowly I started feeling darkness and hopelessness settle inside me. My body started to shake, I felt disoriented, and I felt like I was going to pass out. This reaction, I have come to find out, is something that happens whenever I accidentally eat gluten.  I turned to my companion to ask her if I looked sick and immediately she knew I was having an allergic reaction. A few minutes later I was able to get a priesthood blessing. After this blessing I felt once again restored to this light I had been feeling all day. I didn't regain my strength immediately but I felt peace, light, and love; I knew everything would be okay.

Isn't this amazing?! Okay it sounds a little bit pathetic at first, but then illustrates hopel. This is the message of Jesus Christ, that even though there is darkness and hopelessness in the world we can find peace, light and love through His gospel which is fully restored.

What does this mean?

It means that the same Priesthood that Christ ordained his apostles with is now fully restored on the Earth today. The same Priesthood that John the Baptist used to baptize Christ with is fully restored. The same priesthood that was used to heal the sick and afflicted is restored. Not only that but the same priesthood that allowed His principles to be taught is restored. Isn't this wonderful? I know its true. I feel its power in my life daily as I pray, read from the Book of Mormon, and even those moments when I need a Priesthood blessing.

That's the message we as missionaries have to share, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has fully been restored, priesthood and all. I'm so grateful for this and I love watching it bless the lives of those I teach as they accept these truths. I know that you too can learn these truths as you turn to God in prayer and trust that he will answer you.

Will you pray to know if this Priesthood truly has been restored? By knowing this truth you and your family's life will be blessed.

Learn more about the Priesthood and how its been restored:
"Priesthood: the Authority to act in God's name"
"..Learning to Trust in God." 
"The message of the Restoration"

Friday, August 12

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. …
“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other” 
Charity. Its a simple word with lots of meaning. Charity is something taught a lot about in the scriptures. Christ taught us to love everyone. In 1 Cor. 13 Paul teaches that without charity we are nothing. "And though I have the gift of aprophecy, and understand all bmysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."

To me charity is a bunch of words combined in one. Words like patience, hope, kindness, love, slow to anger, etc. Charity is the ultimate love and takes time to develop. Charity is something we have to pray for in order to receive and in order to keep.

 The best way I can describe it is the love it takes to have a pet. This is something I struggle with. I always had a bunch of fish growing up. I would have them for about a week and be excited, then after that I would loose interest and forgot I had them. Sad, right? Or my family about a year ago decided to get a puppy. Little did I know how much work it would  be to have a puppy. LOTS of love and effort were put into making sure he was obedient and respectful. No matter what we had to love him, even when he dug 50,000 holes in our backyard. It took effort sometimes to love him, like in the moments when he chewed up my mom's flip-flop or even chewed up a very important document I kept by my bed. But in the end with all the long-suffering we could handle, we loved him, and still do. Just like how a parent feels towards a child who may be wayward at times.

Loving everyone isn't easy but I know that with prayer its possible. Yep, it really is, we can love everyone, even those who make it hard to love. And that's true charity. I know that once we learn to try to love and express that love to those around us we will be happier. Our life will have more meaning. Instead of nothing, we will have something in our lives, and that is the "pure love of Christ."

Can you think of some things you can do to increase your charity?
Do you have a story related to charity? Feel free to share.

For more information on charity:
Moroni 7:44-47
"Serving w/ Charity"
"Feeling the Love of the Lord through Charity"

Tuesday, August 9

"I felt peace!"

"and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first bwith water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the cexample of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment." -Mormon 7:10
In excitement for a baptism coming up tomorrow, I thought I would write a little of my thoughts about baptism and why it is so important. As I thought about what I could write or say I came across this story in the New Era- a magizine, from our church, for youth. This story is about a girl who had the faith to follow what she felt to be right in her heart. By doing so she felt peace and joy she could hardly describe. Even though it was hard for her, she knew it was the right decision.

"Stepping gingerly into the baptismal font, I felt a surge of peace flood my mind and heart... At the threshold of baptism, I stood comfortably and intently waiting my purpose...In the font I knew the rest of my life would be different. It would be a lot harder, but I realized that part of growing up is making choices that are right. As I leaned back into the water, I felt peace! I could hardly believe the joy. I had decided what I believed and took joy in that conviction. " -Alexis Ence, "I Chose Baptism, Aug. 2011 New Era." (click this link to get the full story, IT'S AMAZING).

I know that baptism is so important, and not just any baptism, but baptism by immersion, by the proper authority. I know that its important because Christ was our ultimate example in doing the will of the Father.
In 2 Nephi 31, Nephi explains why Christ was baptized:
4Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

5And 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!

You might ask why this simple act is so important. It is important because in order for us to turn to our Father in Heaven we need baptism. Christ was the example to show us our way back. Baptism helps free us from our sins and leads us down the path to HAPPINESS.. Which is living in the prescense of God one day. I know that because of that the Priesthood to preform this special ordinance has been restored. That same Priesthood Christ had is on the Earth again and makes it possible for us to become clean and free from our sins. You, too, can learn this for yourself, all you have to do it pray and ask God, he will tell you.
Sometimes following what we know to be right can be hard but just as Alexis said, doing what we know to be right leads us to happiness, peace, and joy.

"Growing up, trusting my decisions, and receiving consequences was not easy. But such joy has entered my life because I made the right decision. That moment of peace at my baptism has guided my life. Every big decision I make must have that peace, or I cannot live with it. I believe that if we choose what is right, we can get through anything." -Alexis

Do you have to Faith to do what you feel to be right?
Do you desire to have more peace in your life?

I know that as you follow God's commandments, this peace can become a reality.

Wednesday, August 3

cheer UP! and remember who you are!

A few months ago my mission companion was having a rough day, in order for me to cheer her up I decided to make up a cheer. It was amazing because as I sat and thought of what I could write the words just came to me. And now its something I recite in my mind whenever I forget for a split second who I am or I even find myself saying it for others to cheer them up;
Who are we? What do we do? We're missionaries and we teach about the truth.
We love and we serve and we help those in need.
Teaching the pure doctrines of Christ.
We don't get discouraged and we much rather laugh,
for we are proclaimers of TRUE happiness!
So, what do we do when that negative thought comes to mind?

Who are we? What do we do? We're missionaries and we teach about the truth.

Cheesy, right? Its so important to remember who we are though. I know that we are all children of God. He loves us more then we can comprehend and imagine. Satan is going to try everything in his power to make us miserable, sad and depressed. He wants us to forget that we are Children with Divinity. Sometimes in a world with so many voices its hard to remember that we are children of a KING. We have potential to become like him. We have SO much worth! Remembering who we are takes effort; we can do this by following the commandments God gives us, therefore qualifying us for the Spirit, who teaches of Truth. We can pray, serve others, or even look for ways to be positive. I found that the best way for me to remember that is by reading our scriptures;

Helaman 3:29 in the Book of Mormon we states :
 29Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the aword of God, which is bquick and powerful, which shall cdivide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and dnarrow course across that everlasting egulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

What are some things you do to Remember who you are? There are many things we can do. Any suggestions?

I hope that everyone takes the time each day to remember who they are. When those negative thoughts come know that you can push them away. You are a child of God.