Saturday, October 22, 2011

All You Need is Love

While refrencing a piece pusblished by Jonathan Sacks in his latest General Conference address, President Monson quoted the famous Beatle refrain "All you need is love." President Monson stood in agreement with Rabbi Sacks that this cultural ideology eventually led to the near-destruction of the public's morality. I however have recently thought about this idea in fairly different terms, and I feel that the concept of "all you need is love" is an essential gospel truth and an eternal commandment of utmost importance.

For a brief portion of the Savior's earthly ministry, the holy and learned of the ancient  Jewish church often sought to trap the Savior in His words by asking tricky questions that would require potentially condemnable answers. Jesus was never fooled, and being the master teacher confounded these men by teaching powerful and undeniable gospel truths. Here is the text of one such encounter from Matthew 22:
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
I testify that all we truly need is love. As the Savior taught, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15). In this sense we're abandoning the world's (and John Lennon's) meaning of the word love. Love to God means obedience. If we love Heavenly Father we will do as He has commanded. If we love Jesus Christ, we will utitilze and apply His sacrifice in our life. And if we love not only Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ but also our fellow man, then we will treat everyone in a Christlike manner showing love to all by being kind and compassionate, charitable and helpful. Everything the Father and Son have ever asked of us hinges upon our love for God and man.


As the great prophet Moroni taught, charity is the "pure love of Christ." We know that the Savior has a perfect love for every man, woman and child. His love is absolute, unconditional and entirely unadulterated. We are commanded to have this same love for everyone as well. In his discourse on this love, Moroni continues:
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all...
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God...
We should all follow Moroni's counsel and pray to Heavenly Father to be filled with this love so that we are fully committed to keeping all of His commandments. It is apparent that to gain favor in God's eyes and to keep us on the gospel path, truly, "all you need is love."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Heaven's Gift Card

Being away from my family and living on a limited budget, my family occasionally sends me things to make life a little easier and more enjoyable. One favorite that they have sent to me is a McDonald's Gift Card! Getting that beautiful card loaded with some "Arch Dollars" is a joy akin to my Packers winning the Super Bowl, or a snowy Christmas morning spending time with my amazing family, enabling me to enjoy a savory Big Mac or some delicious french fries without having to pay for it.

Many of you have been thoughtful in "gifting" a gift card of one sort or another to friends or family. You paid the price for them to enjoy a meal or other purchase. How nice is that? You're giving someone you love something completely free of charge! So how bad would you feel if you pay the price for this gift card, and the recipient never uses it? You may feel hurt, or disrespected, or like this person didn't really value or care for what you had to offer them.

This is in essence what the Savior has done for each of us. He has literally paid the price of our sins. He has given this gift card with simple steps to redeem or use it. All we have to do is have faith, repent, be baptized and follow the guidance of the Spirit as we endure to the end. Jesus Christ has given us salvation pre-loaded onto a gift card. He sacrificed body and spirit so that none of us would ever have to!

Christ taking on the pains of the world in Gethsemane.

Christ dying for our sins on the cross.

Christ's ressurection overvoming physical death.

How do you think the Savior of mankind feels when we turn our backs on, or do not use this gift that He has given to us? We can show our love, gratitude and appreciation for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice by redeeming this every day in our lives.  However, if I choose to eat at McDonalds and not use a gift card, I must pay for it myself out of my own pocket.
For the believing Christians of the world, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central, and single most important event in human history. It is deep and complex, and at times impossibly difficult to understand. Many analogies have been provided over the years so that we can better understand and apply the miraculous gift of the Atonement for man. I proffered yet another, that hopefully will allow someone to better understand the nature of the Atonement and it's application in our lives.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Will Shew Thee My Faith By My Works

With the great deal of recent news concerning the LDS Church and it's members, our doctrines and beliefs have been subject to scrutiny and condemnation by other professed Christians. A recurring theme has been the idea that Mormons are not Christians; this because of our lack of belief in a Trinitarian Godhead and our supposed lack of reliance on the Savior's mercy and grace.

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19

While I am not aiming for the love and acceptance of the world, I do not want these false claims deterring others from discovering the truth. Instead of adding my voice to the many that have declared that "Mormons are indeed Christians!" I've decided that following the scriptural counsel given in James 2:18 is the most honest and sincere path towards acceptance. "I will shew thee my faith by my works."

I believe a Christian is one who believes in and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Regarding my beliefs of the Son of God, I believe that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and Redeemer. I believe that he has paid the price for my sins. I believe that his name is the only name given under heaven whereby man can achieve salvation. I believe that it will only be through walking with Him hand in hand that I will be able to return to live in Heaven.

However, words will not satisfy those who claim we are not Christians, so I will demonstrate that I am a Christian in the way I live my life. I will show all my faith by my works. I am a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ. I will live his teachings as best as I can by showing love to God, and love to all mankind through my actions. And hopefully, my works will prove my faith in Jesus Christ.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Connection to Our Loving Father

Another song lyric (along with the help of an amazing friend) got me thinking today. In a song by the band Oh, Sleeper (which name comes from the same scripture the title of my blog comes from) they have a lyric that comes from the perspective of Heavenly Father. It goes, "If you could see like me, you'd see." I've found that one of the most difficult things to do in life is to obtain an eternal perspective, to understand that God is really looking out for me and leading me to where I need to be. As I thought about how we come to gain this, the thought that came across my mind is that through prayer we come to better know and understand Him.

"Grace" by Eric Enstrom. My favorite picture of a man in prayer.

Oftentimes when we're visiting people, I try to impress on people the true nature of our relationship with God. He is our literal Father, the creator of our spiritual bodies. We are His children, His beloved sons and daughters. Unlike the fathers of our flesh however, God is a perfect father, He is all-knowing and He loves us perfectly. Surely we would all want to have a relationship with a being like this, someone who wants us to be happy and has our best interests at heart. So how do we build and maintain a relationship such as this? The answer is communication!

How do you think a father would feel if when their child came home from school, they walked straight past them without acknowledging them and just headed into their room and shut the door? How do you think Heavenly Father feels when we constantly ignore Him? President James E. Faust once said: 

"Prayer is a lifeline between God and mankind. Prayer fulfills a very important human need. Each of us has problems we can’t solve, weaknesses that we cannot conquer without reaching to a higher source of power. He is all knowing, all loving, understanding and full of compassion."
Through Prayer, we can access this love and compassion from our Heavenly Father, we can find answers to life's questions. Alma teaches us in the Book of Mormon to pray about every aspect of our lives! Over our school, our work, our families, our relationships with our wives and our children. He teaches to pray morning, mid-day and night, and to have a prayer in our hearts continually. God can and will help and direct us in every facet of our lives. We just need to reach out to him! He will help you! Concerning the help of the Lord that he has felt in his life, President Hinckley said:
"It has been said that we should pray as if everything depends on the Lord and work as if everything depends on us. I don’t know how to get anything done except getting on my knees and pleading for help and then getting on my feet and going to work."
At times in my life however, I have felt that my communication to Heavenly Father was one-sided, that I spoke to Him, but that He would never speak back to me. President Kimball has said concerning this troubling thought:
"But is prayer only one-way communication? No! At the end of our prayers, we need to do some intense listening—even for several minutes. We have prayed for counsel and help. Now we must ‘be still, and know that [he is] God’ (Ps. 46:10). Sometimes ideas flood our mind as we listen after our prayers. Sometimes feelings press upon us. A spirit of calmness assures us that all will be well. But always, if we have been honest and earnest, we will experience a good feeling—a feeling of warmth for our Father in Heaven and a sense of his love for us."
I have followed that counsel and I can promise to everyone that God does indeed continue to speak! He has spoken to me, He has comforted and uplifted my heart and I have seen His hand guide me in my life! Do not be afraid to experience this for yourself. I have talked to so many people who have never vocally prayed, and are not comfortable doing so. They do not know what to say or how to say it. President Henry B. Eyring said: 
"When God commanded us to pray, he has used worlds like unceasingly and ‘pray always’ and ‘mighty prayer.’ Those commands do not require many words. The Savior has told us that we need not multiply words when we pray. The diligence in prayer which God requires does not take flowery speech nor long hours of solitude. You can pray anywhere, anytime, in your heart or aloud."
Speak the thoughts of your heart and the Lord will hear you! He will comfort you! This is my testimony and I give it in the name of Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ladytron Teaches Us a Gospel Principle

Today I was again singing to myself as we wandered our way around Three Forks. The radio station in my head decided to dig deep and play a song I liked from nearly a decade ago. The tune is catchy, the message depressing. This line repeats itself over and over:
"They only want you when you're seventeen.
When you're 21, you're no fun."

 The message of the song is aimed towards the morally bankrupt modeling industry, where youth is prized and the older you get the less you're wanted. I started thinking though about this statement though and found hidden within it a profound gospel truth.

"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
 Although 17 isn't quite the desired age, those are some of the most belligerent, stubborn and selfish years of our lives, the principle is the same. We must all maintain our childlike attributes. We must remain humble before the Lord, submissive to his will and receptive and open-hearted to the promptings of the spirit. As we do these things, we will become the treasured and greatest ones of heaven!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Poolshark

This past week as we were walking around the rainy streets of Montana, I found myself singing songs to keep my spirits up. Randomly, a favorite song of mine from five or six years ago popped into my head and I began to sing:
"Never could see past the skin
They make you believe
Beauty's from within
Don't know why
'cause it's just natural."
As soon  as I finished the refrain, I stopped in my tracks. I couldn't believe the words that had just come out of my mouth! My mind was immediately drawn to a scripture mastery verse that I had memorized more than eight years ago. 
"But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
For the first time ever, I had considered the message of one of my all-time favorite songs and was appalled at how vain it was. I thought about the state of society and about how so much rests upon our physical appearance. How comforting it is to know that the Lord looks past all that, that he see's us and loves us for our hearts and our goodness. "Remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." DC 18:10.

Let us all practice this Godly attribute and love and judge people the way God does. I'm working hard to develop this charity to see and love people as God does!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)
The natural man is an enemy to God! As scary as the thought is, reality is much more frightening. I am indeed an enemy to God. All who have sinned, fall short of the glory of God. No unclean thing can dwell in His presence. Thankfully, we can overcome this barrier due to the miraculous Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to apply this to our lives, we must do as King Benjamin says. I've often wondered why "putting off the natural man" has been such a great challenge in my life thus far, to not desire for the things of the world, but to submit and fully set my heart on God.

As we learn from lessons that are taught through our personal study, through church attendance, or even by life experiences, many of us know what it is we should be doing in our lives or even what we should be wanting. It is unfortunate that for many of us, that what should be, isn't. Elder Oaks, in the most recent General Conference spoke on how we change our desires.
Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.
How do we develop desires? Few will have the kind of crisis that motivated Aron Ralston, but his experience provides a valuable lesson about developing desires. While Ralston was hiking in a remote canyon in southern Utah, an 800-pound (360 kg) rock shifted suddenly and trapped his right arm. For five lonely days he struggled to free himself. When he was about to give up and accept death, he had a vision of a three-year-old boy running toward him and being scooped up with his left arm. Understanding this as a vision of his future son and an assurance that he could still live, Ralston summoned the courage and took drastic action to save his life before his strength ran out. He broke the two bones in his trapped right arm and then used the knife in his multitool to cut off that arm. He then summoned the strength to hike five miles (8 km) for help. What an example of the power of an overwhelming desire! When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously.
We should remember that righteous desires cannot be superficial, impulsive, or temporary. They must be heartfelt, unwavering, and permanent. So motivated, we will seek for that condition described by the Prophet Joseph Smith, where we have “overcome the evils of [our lives] and lost every desire for sin.” That is a very personal decision.
It is important for all of us to remember that we will be judged according to the desires of our hearts. When we work on our desires, mold them so that they are aligned with with the will of God, our lives will be blessed.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. (2 Nephi 10:24)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Developing Motivation

For the past few months, I keep forgetting that a new year has come and instead include 2010 on many of the dates that I write down. A new year has indeed come though and with the passing of one year into the next, we are given the wonderful opportunity to take a step back and evaluate our lives. The tradition of setting resolutions to better our lives is a great chance for us to make the first step towards positive change. None of our lives are perfect; we are all subject to the trials of regular life. Many of the heartaches we face are unfortunately brought onto our shoulders by of our own mistakes. There are solutions to all of life's problems though, and there is always room for change. We are now quite a ways into 2011 and hopefully we won't wait for the next new year to make additional changes in our life. So what can we do to motivate and inspire ourselves to make these changes?

For all those who struggle feeling happy because of the weight of life's problems, for those who want to make positive changes in their life, know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly the path to joy in this life. This has been my experience. At times, I knew that I wanted to follow God's commandments more fully, but I did not have the desire to follow through. I had trouble shaking the natural man. Many of us know what to do, and yet we struggle to actually do it.

Here are some things to know that will help us on our path to improvement.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. - 1 Nephi 3:7
God will never ask us to do anything that we are unable to do.
For with God nothing shall be impossible. - Luke 1:37
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:13
Anything is possible with God's assisstance. Start with simple, specific and achievable goals. Pray for heavenly aid. As you progress, pay attention to the joy that comes into your life. Turn those results into further motivation towards imporvement in other areas. As we do this, we will blossom taking full advantage of the many talents God has given each of us. We will become better disciples of Jesus Christ and we acheive goals to be more Christlike. We will gain a testimony of God's love for each of us as we see him help us on our road to perfection.

Don't be complacent, "Awake thou that sleepest." We all have need to improve ourselves and to do it now, for "the night cometh, wherein no man can work." - 3 Nephi 27:33

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What is the purpose of life? (Part 2: Progression)

Before we lived here on Earth, we lived back in our Heavenly Father's presence. While we were there, a plan was presented for each of us to grow and progress to become more like our Him. This plan involved coming to Earth, getting a physical body and then doing the things we need to so that we could return to live with our Heavenly Father.

Those things are clearly outlined in these verses from the Book of Mormon.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the 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.
But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
It is not through these things that we earn heaven, however it is through these things that we learn heaven. This life is a prepatory, probationary period where we are to do all that we can to become heavenly so that when the day comes for us to return to our Father in Heaven, we will truly feel like it is home. It is through these things that the promise of this scripture will be fulfilled.
Wherefore, ye must 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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What is the purpose of life? (Part 1: Finding Happiness)

Why are we here? What do you want out of life? What do you need out of life? Ask a thousand people, you may get a thousand different answers. My limited life experience thus far has helped me answer those questions though. Those answers have given my life direction. I hope that what I share can help all those who are wondering what they want how to life, and maybe even how to go about finding it.

One answer most people give when asked what they want or need out of life is happiness. All of us want to be happy! The pursuit of happiness seems like an honorable and respectable life pursuit to me. It's even scripturally supported as a purpose of life, a reason we are here. 

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25
God is a perfect parent.  What parent doesn't want their kids to be happy? We weren't put on this earth to just to suffer, experience trails and heartache. We are here to expierience joy and happiness! How do we go about finding joy though? What do we do to find the joy that God wants us to feel? 

It only takes a couple television programs to know where most of the world turns to find this joy. Commercials advertise fun and happiness packaged in 24-packs of 16oz. cans. Apparently, Bud Light is the "sure sign of a good time." My experience has shown though that there is a distinction between pleasure and happiness that the world fails to make. In my life, I've sought for peace, joy and love. Do these things bring about those feelings? The joy brought on by one night of "fun" for me was never lasting. If I wanted to experience that same feeling again, I would have to do the same thing over. This Talmage quote was life-altering: 

“The present is an age of pleasure-seeking, and men are losing their sanity in the mad rush for sensations that do but excite and disappoint. In this day of counterfeits, adulterations, and base imitations, the devil is busier than he has ever been in the course of human history, in the manufacture of pleasures, both old and new; and these he offers for sale in most attractive fashion, falsely labeled, Happiness.
“. . . Happiness includes all that is really desirable and of true worth in pleasure, and much besides. Happiness is genuine gold, pleasure but gilded brass, which corrodes in the hand, and is soon converted into poisonous verdigris. Happiness is as the genuine diamond, which, rough or polished, shines with its own inimitable luster; pleasure is as the paste imitation that glows only when artificially embellished. Happiness is as the ruby, red as the heart’s blood, hard and enduring; pleasure, as stained glass, soft, brittle, and of but transitory beauty.
“Happiness is true food, wholesome, nutritious and sweet; it builds up the body and generates energy for action, physical, mental and spiritual; pleasure is but a deceiving stimulant which, like spiritous drink, makes one think he is strong when in reality enfeebled; makes him fancy he is well when in fact stricken with deadly malady.
“Happiness leaves no bad after-taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it calls for no repentance, brings no regret, entails no remorse; pleasure too often makes necessary repentance, contrition, and suffering; and, if indulged to the extreme, it brings degradation and destruction
“True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of unholy pleasure may leave a barbed sting, which, like a thorn in the flesh, is an ever-present source of anguish.  (James E. Talmage, Improvement Era, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 172-73.  Quoted in: Jesus the Christ: A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 230.)
This scripture from the Book of Mormon helps us see that we cannot find happiness in doing that which is wicked.
"But behold, your day of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head." Helaman 13:38 
All wickedness has ever brought me is momentary pleasure. True and lasting happiness however comes through obedience to God's commandments. When we obey, then we are blessed with the fruits of the spirit: peace, joy, love... God promises this, and he cannot lie.
"And moreover, 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. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." Mosiah 2:41
Righteousness will bring about happiness. God tells us to test him and see!
"Prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10 
It's my challenge to everyone to test God to see if your personal righteousness will not bring about the true and lasting happiness that is offered. I have felt it myself. "God is faithful" (1 Cor 10:13). He will not lie to us. This promise is sure. Try it for yourself and see!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Overwhelming Love of the Son of God

Referring to the previous post, I would like to talk about the greastest act of love that God has shown to all of us. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and successfully completed the Atonement. Many understand this to mean that He suffered the penalties of our sins so that we could be forgiven for them, and that He rose from the tomb so that we could overcome death. That is the miracle of the Atonement, that because of this perfect sacrifice, we can overcome the things that keep us from the presence of God. However, the Atonment does so much more for us.

The prophet Abinadi, quoting Isaiah to the wicked King Noah, said: "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

One part of that statement that has always struck me more than the rest is where it says that the Savior has "borne our griefs" and "carried our sorrows." One thing I have come to understand is that somehow during the Atonement process, Jesus Christ felt and suffered every negative thing any of us have ever gone through. Every pain or sorrow we have all suffered, however large or small, the Savior felt as he laid on the ground in the Garden of Gethsemane. Why? So that He could know and understand us perfectly, so He could shepherd us through any patch of life.

"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." Isaiah 41:13

"But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee..." Deuteronomy 4:29-31

"And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8

Jesus Christ has felt everything any of us have gone through. He suffered our pains, griefs and sorrows so that when we are troubled we can turn to Him. He will always stand by us. He will always help us. He will always show His love for us. Let our Lord take you by the right hand and guide you through this life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Overwhelming Love of God

I love this famous painting! It is a beautiful depiction of God reaching out to touch the hand of man. I was once fortunate enough to even tour the St. Peter's Basilica and see it in person. Recently though, this image has taken on a whole new meaning to me because of the profound observation a wonderful fellow missionary made.

As I've thought about God's love in my life, I've found that I can relate it perfectly to the picture of God and Adam, as can we all. One thing that we are constantly talking to people about is the immense love that our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. We are all His precious sons and daughters. As a perfect being, God's love for us is perfect. He is a perfect parent who knows us perfectly.

Look at the painting. Note how God is fully stretched out, reaching as far as he can to touch the hand of man. Adam however is just laying there, slouched over passively reaching to grasp the hand of his Father. I feel like this is the experience of many of us! God reaches out and does everything He can for each and everyone of His beloved children. If you are not feeling the love or influence of God in your life, all we must do is make a tiny effort to come closer to him. Communicate with Him! If we make the changes in our lives to align our actions with His will, I can promise you will feel  the influence of His Holy Spirit in your life and you will more fully feel God's love! It's my hope that we can all reach back to grab the hand of our loving Heavenly Father. I'm grateful that because of His overwhelming love, we don't have to reach far, but as we come to Him, we will all feel the wonderful joy that will come into our lives!

I know this to be true, because it has been my own experience and I know that all are entitled to these blessings of His divine love. 1 Cor. 10:13 - "God is faithful."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Awake, thou that sleepest... and Christ shall give thee light.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in the 7th chapter of the gospel of Matthew. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." This verse shows us that faith is a pre-requisuite for eternal life in our Heveanly Father's kingdom. We must know that Christ is our Savior, and we must rely on him for salvation. However, faith alone will not get us into heaven.

Faith is a principle of action. Those who have received the witness that Jesus Christ is their Savior must be willing to then DO the things that He and His Father have asked of us. Let us all "awake" and do those things today. Let us not forget the witnesses we have recieved, and use those to motivate us to come closer to God every single day.

Alma 32:34: "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."