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.