Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Love of Christ

If there is one thing I'm sure of, it is that Christ loves all, no matter what their circumstance.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

"As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)

I testify that we have a loving Father in Heaven, and His Son, Jesus Christ. We cannot comprehend the infinite love that They have for us. Whether we are the most righteous saint, or most vile sinner, the verdict is the same--each person is a beloved son or daughter of God.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Past Feeling

In the book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi has two wicked brothers, Laman and Lemuel. He continually tries to persuade them to be righteous. In 1 Nephi 17:45, he tells them:

"Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder."

This scripture helps us examine ourselves. Are we past feeling? Have we become numb to the promptings of the Holy Ghost? We must carefully consider the choices we make on a daily basis and ask ourselves; if the Spirit were to talk to me right now, would I be listening?

I testify that there are things on a daily basis that Heavenly Father would have you know--we just need to make sure that we are listening.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is the most convincing evidence we have of the truthfulness of this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the keystone of our religion.

In the introduction to the book, it reads:

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3-5)"

 Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve, adds his own testimony of the Book of Mormon in this video.

I add my testimony to that of members everywhere. The Book of Mormon is true. The book testifies of the divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It truly is the word of God. For those wondering what it's all about, click here to order a free copy.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Let Us Labor Diligently

Anything worthwhile requires much diligence. This is especially true for living the Gospel. It is not always easy to do the things we are asked, but there are many blessings in store for those who remain diligent.

 In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Mormon writes:

"And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God. " (Moroni 9:6)

 "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become." -Elder Richard G. Scott

So, you want to be a better singer? Start singing. You want to be a better runner? Start running. Above all, if you want to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ, then start doing the things that He would have you do. Read your scriptures, say your prayers, attend church, keep the commandments, and most importantly, do what Christ would do "at all times and in all things, and in all places". (Mosiah 10:9)

Be diligent to the end.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Don't Look Back

It can be easy to dwell on our past. Everyone has one. We have all made mistakes in our lives and done things that we probably regret. Even after we have repented, we may still think about our sins and the guilt that is associated with them.

The beauty is, we don't have to.

The apostle Paul spoke in Phillipians 3:13-14, saying:

"...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Everyday is really a new day for us all. Heavenly Father is always willing to give us another chance, as long as we are willing to repent and try again. We must wake up and keep our eye on the goal; getting back to our Father in Heaven. No real success ever came from dwelling on our past. We all need to stop looking behind, and just look up. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

It Will All Work Out

As the school year comes to a close, many people have exciting plans for their future. There are also many people who may just seem a little unsure of themselves. Maybe you're worried if you picked the right college, your friends are all moving away, or maybe you just feel stuck while others seem to have much more exciting plans for their future.

Remember--it will all work out.

If you trust in Heavenly Father, all your worries about friends, money, career plans, housing etc. Will all work out.

Heavenly Father has a much more exciting plan for you than you've ever dreamed of. Choose today to trust in Him and what He has in store for you and I promise you can find all the peace and fulfillment you're looking for.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Experiment Upon the Word

Gaining a testimony of anything requires faith. You may feel like you don't have sufficient faith, or maybe you feel like you don't have any faith at all. To those people who are struggling to gain a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, listen to the words Alma, a prophet from the Book of Mormon, teaches:

"And now as I said concerning faith--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."

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." (Alma 32:21,27)

As Alma said, faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things. You may feel like the most cynical or disbelieving person, but I promise that if you will take Alma's promise to "experiment upon the word" and "exercise a particle of faith", you too can find the peace and happiness that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. After all, Christ did not come to redeem just some of mankind--He came for you too.

"Faith is like a little seed, if planted it will grow"

Friday, April 26, 2013

Act Well Thy Part

Sometimes we may feel like we don't have an important part in life. We may see others going about with high leadership positions, gaining worldly fame, or just doing things that seem more important and influential.

In the latest General Conference, Elaine S. Dalton reminds us,

"Whate'er thou art, act well thy part"

We each have an important mission in life. Heavenly Father is so very aware of us and he places us all in different situations to learn, grow, and be a blessing to others. We may not feel that our part is important in the eyes of the world, but it is important to Him.

Elaine S. Dalton also states:

"As [children] of God we are each unique and different in our circumstances and experiences. And yet our part matters—because we matter."

I testify that Jesus Christ knows each of us individually and He knows the situations that we are all placed in. He has given us all talents, abilities, and strengths that are meant to be a blessing in our lives and in the lives of others. We are all meant to magnify our own potential as a child of God and truly "act well our part".

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do."
- Marianne Williamson

To read the entire talk by Elaine S. Dalton, former Young Women's General President, click here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rescue Me From Danger

Last year, my sister Natalie had open heart surgery as well as facing her own problems that come from being a teenager. She was interviewed by the series Enduring It Well about her experience and what she learned from it. Natalie has always been a great example to me of strength and faith during trials. Her message is uplifting and inspiring. Enjoy.

Natalie White-Rescue Me From Danger

Friday, April 5, 2013

Follow the Prophet

This weekend, we have the wonderful opportunity to hear from our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as well as the twelve apostles and other general authorities of the church. This event is called General Conference and is held twice a year.

Prophets are a crucial part to the Lord's church. When the Lord has something important to give to the church and the world as a whole, He tells us through His prophet.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

Unfortunately, many people are slow to hearken to a prophet's voice. They may dislike the counsel he gives, or lack a testimony that he truly is a prophet of God.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Samuel warned the people of rejecting the prophet.

"And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.

"Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.

"But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth--and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet." (Helaman 13:25-27)

I testify that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of the Lord. The words that he speaks and the revelation he receives are for all those on the earth--not just members of the church. Let us be grateful for the blessing of having prophets and for continued revelation from our Heavenly Father in our day.

To learn more about watching General Conference this weekend, click here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

He Is Risen

When Jesus Christ died, his body was laid in a tomb--only to rise again three days later. When the resurrected Lord appeared to his Apostles, they were frightened. He helped them understand that He had a body of flesh and bones:

"But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

"And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:37-39)

As mortal beings, we are all subject to physical death. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected and saved from physical death. Our spirits and our bodies will reunite, never to be separated again.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

How great it is to know that we, as Jesus Christ did, will rise again in the flesh to be with our dearest friends and family. Death is not the end. Merely another step in our eternal progression towards returning to our Father in Heaven.

As we celebrate Easter, may we always remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, who "loosed the bands of death" that we may all live again--and live with Him in the eternities.

Jesus Christ lived, died, and I testify that He lives again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Can Ye Feel So Now?

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26)

I think it's safe to say that people all around the world, both in and out of the church, could tell you of a significant spiritual experience they've had in their life. Many have felt God's love and presence, and have had the Holy Ghost testify truth to them. The question that Alma, a prophet from the Book of Mormon asks is:

Can ye feel so now?

Spiritual drought has become an epidemic among people everywhere. When we rely on rare, "lightning bolt" types of experiences, our testimonies grow weak and frail. We may question things we have previously known or even doubt God's existence.

Quentin L. Cook said,

"Many who are in a spiritual drought and lack commitment have not necessarily been involved in major sins or transgressions, but they have made unwise choices. Some are casual in their observance of sacred covenants. Others spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes. Some allow intense cultural or political views to weaken their allegiance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed."

It is never too late to have a "mighty change of heart" and to "sing the song of redeeming love" that comes when we obey the commandments of God and do as He's asked of us. Let us all remember our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and cling closely to the covenants we have made with Him.
Read the entire talk by Elder Quentin L. Cook here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

As I Have Loved You

Charity is known as "the pure love of Christ" It is loving as Christ did, and treating everyone as they truly are--a child of God.

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34-35)

When we have charity, it provides us with a strong foundation. It makes overcoming adversity easier, and we will focus more on the eternal scheme of things--rather than dwelling on the here and now.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,

"The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as flawed and imperfect mortals who have potential and worth far beyond our capacity to imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other."

The prophet Mormon taught:

"If ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail-
"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.
"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; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure" (Moroni 7:46-48)

As we earnestly strive to see each other as our Savior, Jesus Christ, sees us; we will be filled with his love. We will not only love each other as He does, but we will constantly be concerned for the eternal salvation of our fellow men, and do everything we can to help each other get where we're all headed--back to our Father in Heaven.

"To love another person is to see the face of God"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Literally Yours

A few months ago, my missionary companion and I were tracting (where we knock on doors and invite people to hear our message). We ran into a man who was somewhat familiar with the church and we started discussing the gospel. As the conversation progressed, he started talking about how there's no way I could "know" the church was true. I corrected him and told him that I did know it was true.

"You honestly cannot know something like that", the man said.

"Sir, I do know and you can know for yourself as well. My testimony is something that you can't take away from me", I said.

"Oh yes I can", he said.

The conversation ended and we went on our way, but it got me thinking--this man has every freedom of religion that I have, but he simply cannot take my testimony away from me.

A testimony is the knowledge and witness that you've received from the Holy Ghost of the truthfulness of the gospel. It's like a rare posession--something that you hold dear and take good care of. Something that is literally yours and no one else's.

People spend much of their lives trying to acquire many valuable posessions in their life. Whether it's the latest iPod, most advanced smartphone, brand new car etc. While these things may bring temporary pleasure, they will all eventually break, rust and decay. A thief might steal it or natural disaster may bring it to its end.

But a testimony--that's yours to keep.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Testimony of Two

Our Heavenly Father has provided us many times with the testimony of two.

First, the testimony of two nations. The Bible and the Book of Mormon both testify of Christ.

Second, the testimony of two witnesses, such as missionaries that go in pairs of two to testify of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel.

Last of all, he gives individuals two testimonies within themselves, so that the strength of it is not based upon just logic, or just feelings.

"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart." (Doctrine and Covenants 8:2)

When the Holy Ghost testifies of truth to us, it tells us in our minds and hearts--not just one or the other. This way, we can feel the truth, and also understand it.

For those looking for a testimony of the restored gospel, I can testify that you can know of assurety in your mind and in your heart. You can receive the knowledge to understand it, and the peace in your heart that only the gospel brings.