Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's 2012- What's Your Goal??

It's that time of year when we reflect on what we have accomplished over the last 12 months.  We see our success and failure and lessons learned.  In retrospect we find things that we would like to change.

Often we categorize our lives in to several different areas.  Social, Mental, Spiritual, Financial, Physical, Family etc.  How you break it up is your choice, but I've found that if we will set up categories and reflect on each, we will find specific things we want to change or improve.   This is where goals come into play.  Goal are not to discourage us or make us feel that we have failed, but rather a way to measure our personal progress.  Goals are to make ourselves stretch and grow so that we may achieve our full potential.  We need to set goals that are both realistic and will help us amplify our personal abilities.

This is the time of year to set goals and make necessary plans to make them a reality.  President Thomas S. Monson has said, "Goals are only dreams until actions happen."  As we set worthy goals in life we need to trust the Lord and have enough faith to move forward and "make" them happen.  It is the same with any principle in the gospel. (John7:17) May this coming year be full of joy and success in all you do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Key To All Other Attributes

I have often sought out Christlike attributes.  Christlike attributes are attributes we seek to develop that were shown by our Savior Jesus Christ.  Charity, Hope, Faith, Diligence, and Patience are a few among others.  In my experience as a missionary and in my continued efforts to seek to develop these attributes, I've learned a few things that I would like to share with you.

My first companion in the mission field was Elder Maka Tuihalamaka, not only large in stature but a spiritual giant.  The fist thing I ever heard him say was; "Humility goes a long way."  That lead to my conclusion that humility is key to all other Christlike attributes.

Further study into the humility taught me that gratitude is the key to obtaining humility.  Therefore, gratitude falls as a foundation for all other desirable attributes.  I've found that when I'm conscious about what I am grateful for-and I express my gratitude-then it is easier to walk with the spirit of humility.

In this time of Thanksgiving, let us express our gratitude to those around us and thereby lay the foundation to attaining other attributes we seek for.  I promise the spirit of the Lord will strive with us as we do all we can to follow Jesus Christ.

Ponder this question- Who may I express gratitude towards and how should I do it?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This past General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson gave the solemn charge; "Dare to Stand Alone."  I will quote an article he shared.

"I share with you just a portion of this very telling article:
“The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, … you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.
“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.”
The article continues:
“The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. ‘It’s personal,’ the respondents typically said. ‘It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?’
“Rejecting blind deference to authority, many of the young people have gone off to the other extreme [saying]: ‘I would do what I thought made me happy or how I felt. I have no other way of knowing what to do but how I internally feel.’”
Those who conducted the interviews emphasized that the majority of the young people with whom they spoke had “not been given the resources—by schools, institutions [or] families—to cultivate their moral intuitions."

I echo the voice of our living prophet who said, "The laws of God have not changed. They will not change.  Our code of conduct is definitive not negotiable."

I invite all to learn of those laws by a study of the scriptures including the Bible and Book of Mormon and also by heeding the living prophets warning voice.  Living the standards God has established is key to peace in this life, and eternal life in the life to come.  I know the fullness of the everlasting gospel has in fact been restored to the earth through a living prophet.  I testify that "This gospel is salvation, and without it there is nothing worth having."

For the full talk Dare to Stand Alone, President Monson

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Book of Mormon: Broadway or Scripture?

Because the Book of Mormon is a musical on Broadway, there are many people who have began to ask questions about the true origin of the Book of Mormon.  No doubt a very popular satire play, it nonetheless is derogatory to the church and the truth.  My purpose for this blog is to help people catch a glimpse of what the Book of Mormon really is.

The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture.  This record is of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.  It proves the Bible to be true.  It is another testament of Jesus Christ, confirming the truth that every Christian heart yearns to know for certain.  I will share just a couple examples of the teachings found in the Book of Mormon.

Believe in aGod; believe that he is, and that he bcreated all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all cwisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not dcomprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. (Mosiah 4:9)

26 And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26)

I affirm that to Book of Mormon is the word of God along with the Bible.  I invite all to read it and learn for themselves of its truth.  Please visit to learn more truth about the Book of Mormon and the Jesus Christ.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is There A God?? or What Does Salt Taste Like??

Due to recent conversation I've had with some individuals who are struggling to accept the truth of the existence of an Eternal Father in Heaven, I've reflected on how I can describe 'how' I know there to be such a being.  As I was discussing this with my companion Elder Jensen Nelson, he reminded me of a talk given by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ over 25 years ago. I will post a portion of it. Elder Boyd K. Packer says it better than I can.

What Does Salt Taste Like?

I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said, “there is a God. I know He lives!”
He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way, “you say you know. Tell me how you know.”
When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.
Sometimes in your youth, you young missionaries are embarrassed when the cynic, the skeptic, treat you with contempt because you do not have ready answers for everything. Before such ridicule, some turn away in shame. (Remember the iron rod, the spacious building, and the mocking? See 1 Ne. 8:28.)
When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.
I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 151.)
Such an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”
“Of course I do,” was his reply.
“When did you taste salt last?”
“I just had dinner on the plane.”
“You just think you know what salt tastes like,” I said.
He insisted, “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.”
“If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?”
“Now you are getting juvenile,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience—I know it as well as I know anything.”
“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”
After some thought, he ventured, “Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.”
“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.”
After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”
As we parted, I heard him mutter, “I don’t need your religion for a crutch! I don’t need it.”
From that experience forward, I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually. The Apostle Paul said it this way:
“We speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

The Candle of the Lord

  • Boyd K. Packer
  • January 1983 Ensign

I add my testimony to the millions of others that there is in fact a God in Heaven who is aware of and loves each of us.  I testify that anyone can know of this truth by the power of the Holy Ghost if they will humble themselves and ask in faith.  This is done by praying to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ.  I know that Jesus Christ is the living Son of the living God.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hear it Now: Are Mormons Christian?

In light of the religious beliefs of some current presidential candidates, there has been some discussion concerning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Some individuals of others faiths speak in ignorance about the church and continue to spread misinformation.  The purpose of this blog is to offer the correct doctrine of the church while not endorsing any political party or candidate.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is just that, the church of Jesus Christ.  We believe with all our hearts that Jesus 'IS' the Christ and that salvation can come only in and through His name.  There is no other name under heaven whereby man may be saved.  Our unique message to the world is simple but remarkable.  The same church organization and authority that existed in the primitive church when Christ was in His mortal ministry, has been restored to the earth in its fullness through a prophet.

This message is hard for some to grasp but simple non the less.  I affirm that we are true believers in Jesus the Christ.  He that was born of a virgin mother and who suffered and died on the cross.  He is our master and our King.  As a full-time representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we invite all to come unto Him.  He is the way the truth and the life.  I invite all to learn more about the actual doctrine and beliefs of the church by visiting

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Snowboard for Freedom!!

Among other things, one of my favorite feelings of freedom is speeding down a mountain of fresh powder.  There is a feeling of being invincible with the cold air rushing past you and the weightless feeling as you fly over rises in the snow and carve back and forth in the powder.  Thinking quickly but staying relaxed is when I'm most successful on the slopes.  It took me many hours to be able to handle the more advanced runs.  There were many bruises and a few concussions.  On one occasion I had more confidence in myself than I should have had.  I was racing my good friend and we were approaching a bridge we were supposed to go under.  The next thing I know I'm laying on my back and he is hitting me across the face to get me to wake up.  I had caught edge and slammed into the snow which knocked me out.  It was a painful lesson to learn.

Agency (aka 'free will') is our ability to make choices.  Just like I had the choice to overstep my bounds, each of us get to choose what we will do in our lives.  There are laws in heaven that are unchangable.  When we use our agency to choose to comply with the laws we gain more freedom to continue to act as we will.   Because I had put in the practice, I eventually was free to snow board down the more advanced runs.  Another example I love is the piano.  Because a person complies with the instructions to practice they eventually are free to play just about anything they want.  Those of us who choose not to comply with those laws are not free to sit down and produce beautiful music, however, the choice is ours. Every choice we make can be placed in one of two categories, to follow Christ or Satan.  We choose who we follow each day.  May each of us choose to follow Christ and save ourselves the spiritual concussions and free ourselves spiritually to play beautiful music.  By choosing Christ, we choose freedom.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Zion and Glacier

Glacier National Park is beautiful. I had the opportunity to hike to Hidden Lake up in Logan Pass.  The majesty of the sheer cliffs is hard to put into words.  A feeling of insignificance is all that accompanies each who journeys there.  As we proceeded with our hike I was reminded of a beautiful place much closer to home.  Zion National Park is the desert version of Glacier.  IN Zion there is a popular hike called Eagle's Landing.  The hike begins low in the valley and ascends up the side of the mountain.  In the final stretch of the hike the trail narrows until it is only a few feet wide with a thousand foot fall on either side.  There is chain to hold on to so you don't fall.  This hike has claimed many lives.  This difficult hike is often like our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland says it well. "Obviously as the path of discipleship ascends, that trail gets ever more narrow until we come to that knee-buckling pinnacle of the sermon of which Elder Christofferson just spoke: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” What was gentle in the lowlands of initial loyalty becomes deeply strenuous and very demanding at the summit of true discipleship. Clearly anyone who thinks Jesus taught no-fault theology did not read the fine print in the contract! No, in matters of discipleship the Church is not a fast-food outlet; we can’t always have it “our way.” Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ and that salvation can only come His way."

Often the path is not easy but we need to remember to stop and look around and appreciate the beauty of it.  The end of Eagle's Landing puts you on a safe pad of rock to overlook the rest of the canyon from a unique perspective and a sense of accomplishment. So too will be our final embrace in the arms of our Savior. When at the end of this life we can hope to hear not only "You're done" but "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Children...Children of God

I grew up with 3 younger sisters and a little brother. I remember being one my mothers helpers to baby-sit and care for my younger siblings. I remember how tiny they were when mom and dad brought them home for the first time.  I can't say I have any idea what being a parent is like but I'm grateful for the glimpse I had of taking care of a little one.  As a missionary I don't have that privilege.   The other day as I was trying to catch the eye of 7 week old baby that hadn't had his eyes open for long, and it hit me that this little guy was in the presents of our Heavenly Father just weeks ago. I was humbled at the thought.  As I pondered about this I thought about the plan of salvation and our important role in having families to move this plan forward.  Children are pure and clean.  Children are to whom we should look for a reminder of what we are supposed to become. Not childish but childlike. We will become more like our Savior Jesus Christ as we strive for the innocents of a child that can be found daily through the Atonement.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twice a Year

It's that time of year again when the weather is cooling off and we are all ready for another renewal of our spirits.  Each of us has a spirit.  Our spirit needs nutrients just like our physical body does.  You wouldn't go weeks or months without eating or drinking, so you probably shouldn't go weeks or months without feeding your spirit either.  We get our spiritual nutrients from daily scripture study, personal prayer and weekly sacrament meetings.  We have a 6 month check up on our spirits just like we have regular check ups on our bodies.  Our spiritual check up is at the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  At genereal conference we hear from a living prophet, a modern-day Moses.  We can be instructed on current issues and feel the spirit of the Lord as we listen to the beautiful music.  All are invited to attend or tune in to hear or watch.  As you approach general conference, come with questions and see if they aren't answered.  I testify that we have a living prophet on the earth today.  Let us all listen to him so we can maintain and achieve peace and safety in this world and keep good spiritual health.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Difference

Walk down the street and observe how many people you see that are happy and or smiling.  You won't find too many.  The Lord has said that all people are responsible for their own motives, attitudes, desires, and actions.  Thoughts are ideas, concepts, and images in a person’s mind. The power to think is a gift from God, and we are free to choose how we use our power to think. The way we think greatly affects attitudes and behavior, as well as our standing after this life.  Therefore you can have a pretty good idea of what kind of thoughts a person allows into their mind by observing their outward countenance.  It is amazing to me how accurate this is.  So much hinges on our thoughts and attitude.  Make those two things positive and light will flood other aspects of your life!  All of this is possible only because of Jesus Christ.  Let us use it for good.  "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."-Winston Churchill

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can We Get Out Of Debt??

Debt, economy, and government are some of the main topics of discussion in our media.  We have a hard time finding anything positive on the news.  With all the talk of debt, my thoughts were turned to the personal debt that each one of us have.  This is not a debt we have to anyone we interact with on the streets.  It is not that we owe any sum of money to any organization.  I speak of the debt that each of us has to our gracious God for the very breath we breath.

King Benjamin said it best when he was addressing his people:
19And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to athank your heavenly bKing!
 20I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the athanks and bpraise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and cpreserved you, and has caused that ye should drejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
 21I say unto you that if ye should aserve him who has created you from the beginning, and is bpreserving you from day to day, by lending you cbreath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own dwill, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your ewhole souls yet ye would be funprofitable servants.
 22And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
 23And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
 24And secondly, he doth arequire that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bbless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
 25And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were acreated of the bdust of the earth; but behold, it cbelongeth to him who created you. (The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2:19-25)

I love the perspective brought by these words.  We are so indebted to our Father in Heaven and yet all he asks of us is to keep his commandments.  This debt should not feel heavy to us nor should it be a burden, but it should be a debt paid by gratitude and obedience.  Let us deal with the realities of life in a way that we do not lose the big picture and forget Him who created and owns all things.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Heavy Burden

The Flathead valley and lake are breath taking!  I recently traveled up to and am privileged to live on the Flathead lake.  There is such beauty here.  Tall green trees cover the mountains which reach high into the sky making a wall around the lake.  The Flathead is a foreshadowing of what can be seen in Glacier National Park.  It is places like this that testify to the existence of a supreme creator.  More than a testimony, the vision of such splendor
                                                                                  offers a moment of peace in such a chaotic world.

Knowing what i know now about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, it weighs on my soul when I see others allow apostasy to enter into their lives.  I often see those who face great challenges in their lives.  Tragically, instead of allowing the Atonement of Christ to bring growth and peace, some turn to unknown paths and dark corners where they allow anger, jealousy, and pride destroy them one day at a time.

Like the warmth of a spring and summer sun heal the earth from the cold winter, let us allow the light and truth of the Atonement to heal our hearts and minds.  The Son of man hath descended below them all, and we are not greater than Him.  Jesus Christ is the way, Repentance is the access, and we have the choice.

May the beauty and splendor of this earth open our minds and hearts to accept the creators plan into our lives.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A scary threat!!

In our world to day Satan is working so hard to destroy the family in any way he can.  One of Satan's most effective tools is pornography.  We have been counseled by prophets for over a decade to avoid the stain and addictive grasp of pornography.  This video wraps it up.

Families can be together forever. God intends family relationships to last much longer than just this life.  Let us do our part to be worthy of such a blessing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What does your banner say??

This is one of my favorite quotes.  May each of us strive to have this be true of us.

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.  The dye has been cast!  I have stepped over the line.  The decision has been make; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still.   My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.  I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.  I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity,  I now live by faith, lean on His presence, wait with Patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.  My face is set, my gait is fast, and my goal is Heaven.  My read is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear!  I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.  I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up stored up, and paid up of the cause of Christ.  I must go till He comes, give till I drop, reach till I know, and work till He stops me.  And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.
                                -Henry B. Eyring

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lemonade Stands and the Plan of Salvation

One ice chest, a poster board, sharpie pen, and three young boys equals one lemonade stand.  In the staggering heat of southern Utah, people will pull over and throw their pocket change to young kids selling warm, watered down, over priced lemonade because they feel bad for the poor kids just about to pass out from heat stroke.

I remember being one of those red faced kids whose face would light up when a car would slow down.  We worked so hard to make money so at the end of the long hot day we could walk up to the gas station and buy a root beer.

Now every time I see a lemonade stand if possible I will pull over and pay for one of these warm, watered down, over priced, half filled cups of lemonade reflecting on my days as a lemonade salesman.  When I stop to think of what I had to offer people then and what I have to offer people now I chuckle.

As a full-time representative of our Savior Jesus Christ, sharing the message He would if He were here now, I have the privilege of offering to others the opportunity to learn about Gods plan for us as His children.  The Plan of Salvation is not watered down or overpriced.  In fact it is free of charge, refreshing, and rejuvenating to the soul.

As missionaries we have a most remarkable message that will enhance the truths one already treasure.  We invite all to consider the evidence we have that God loves is children and has once again reached out to us by revealing the fullness of His gospel to a prophet.  This prophet's name is Joseph Smith.  The evidence of this glorious truth is found in a book called the Book of Mormon which you can read, ponder, and pray about.  If you pray with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, God will tell you by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true.  By gaining this knowledge you will also come to know how your family can be together forever.

God be thanked for once again revealing His merciful plan of happiness and fulness of His gospel to a prophet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nothin' Like the Old School

There are some simple truths embraced by the good people of the world.  These two short commercials are funny but true.  After you're done laughing think of the message behind the clip.

I hope we can capture the vision of being good to each other as we are brothers and sisters on this earth.

These principles are true.  Think of it, if we each could always remember our eternal relationship as brothers and sisters who would the world be different?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Charity the Greatest of All

Charity is “the pure love of Christ,” or “everlasting love” (Moroni 7:47; 8:17). The prophet Mormon taught: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (Moroni 7:45; see also 1 Corinthians 13:4–7).
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of charity. In His mortal ministry, He always “went about doing good,” teaching the gospel and showing tender compassion for the poor, afflicted, and distressed (see Matthew 4:23; Mark 6:6; Acts 10:38). His crowning expression of charity was His infinite Atonement. He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This was the greatest act of long-suffering, kindness, and selflessness that we will ever know. With an understanding of the Savior’s enduring love, you can exercise faith and repent of your sins, confident that He will forgive you and strengthen you in your efforts to live the gospel.
The Savior wants you to receive His love, and He also wants you to share it with others. He declared to His disciples: “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). In your relationships with family members and others, look to the Savior as your example. Strive to love as He loves, with unfailing compassion, patience, and mercy.
As you continue to receive the Savior’s perfect love and as you demonstrate Christlike love for others, you will find that your love increases. You will experience the joy of being in the Lord’s service. The Holy Ghost will be your constant companion, guiding you in your service and in your relationships with others. You will be prepared to meet the Lord at the Judgment, when He will reward you according to your dedication to His work. 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).
I know that with charity we can conquer anything the world may throw at us.  Pray for it and live as  you have prayed.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How do you know??

In a conversation I had recently, as I was telling a man of the gospel truths that I knew to be true, He asked me.  " How do you know?"  It was a simple and sincere question I had heard before and I thought of the standard answers that I tell everyone.   However, his question was so pure that it got me do I know?...How does anyone know anything spiritual?

We know that the sun is shining when we see it.  We know someone is speaking when we hear it.  In this world if we want to know anything that is temporal then we rely on our physical senses to give us that information.  Is God going to cater to our physical senses to answer us?  He definitely could.

How will our Heavenly Father let us know He is there?  How can we know when we are receiving an answer to our prayers?

In the New Testament John tells us "26But the aComforter, which is the bHoly Ghost, whom the Father will send in my cname, he shall dteach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."(John 14:26)

Jesus Christ tells us "8But, behold, I say unto you, that you must astudy it out in your bmind; then you must cask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your dbosom shall eburn within you; therefore, you shall ffeel that it is right.
 9But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a astupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is bsacred save it be given you from me."(D&C9:8-9)

One final scripture I will share comes to us from the writings of Paul in the New Testament. Galatians 5:22 says "22But the afruit of the bSpirit is clove, djoy, epeace, flongsuffering, ggentleness, goodness, hfaith," 

When we study it out in our mind and then prayerfully seek an answer as to weather the decision we have made is correct, we can know by the fruits of the Spirit that it is right.  The Spirit of the Lord or the Holy Ghost does not throw you to the ground, punch you in the face and say "take this."  The Holy Ghost prompts so gently that we have to be paying close attention to recognize answers when they come.  Being in tune with the spirit is something that takes great effort and practice.

As I answered the man's question "How do you know?" I could say. I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that these things are true.  And not just because it was a one time thing, but I receive that same witness over and over again confirming the truths I already know.  Patient Persistence along with hope are part of the key to revelation.

I testify that anyone who is truly seeking answers or guidance from God will find it through His Spirit.  Pay attention to your feelings and to when you are feeling the 'fruits of the spirit.'

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Witnesses

Elder Jensen Nelson gave me the idea to make a post of this.  I have to give him credit.  In our last zone conference Elder Nelson, Elder Hunsaker and I sang this song from the musical called "Joseph Smith the Prophet."  This song is the testimony of the 3 witnesses; Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris.  In the beginning of each copy of the Book of Mormon is the testimony of the 3 witnesses.  Their testimony's are powerful and will stand until the end of the world.

I add my testimony to that of these men.  I know the Book of Mormon is true!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Friends and Family

When I was in my early high school years I had a pretty tight group of friends.  The friends that I had since I was knee high to a grass-hopper all went their separate ways, though we are all still fiends.  As time moved on our interests changed and I found new friends that were on the same page as me.  Eventually I started running with a pretty rough crowd and my parents were pretty concerned.  It is next to impossible to stand when all your friend's standards antagonize your own.  In the end I had to separate myself from those I called my friends.  In the time when I may have been the most lonely, I found my best family. 

Family is central to the plan of our Eternal God.  In our families we gain a sense of identity and characteristics.  I know not every family situation is ideal, but no matter our personal family situation, there is an eternal family to be had by all within the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I'm eternally grateful for the plan of happiness which assures us, as we are faithful, that we will be with those that we love for eternity.  This is done by the priesthood of God in His temples.  There is no greater joy than this!  It is my prayer that each of us will seek to secure our eternally family by showing the Savior that we love Him by keeping His commandments.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sunlight to Warm the Soul

I'm from sunny St. George, Utah where we enjoy clear skies, calm breeze, and triple digits.  The winters are rainy and cold winter days are in the 40s or 50s.  I love the sun that seems to shine every day there in the desert.

This last winter was spent in Lander, Wy and Great Falls, Mt.  Needless to say the sun, even when it was shining, seemed dead or powerless.  Most days were spent in overcast and gloom.  Subzero temperatures dominated each day in what seemed to me to be a relentless choke hold that I was destined to endure for all time.

Often times many of us may feel that the adversary of all righteousness has a similar icy grip on our lives.  We know that we all fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), but Paul also tells us "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."(1 Cor. 15:22)   Each of us at one time or another in our lives has felt that we were in a rut.  We know what we want to change but we struggle to make it happen.  We may feel down on ourselves at our lack of ability to move forward.  We may feel that it is hopeless and that Satan has won.

I testify that Satan only wins when we let him.  No matter our situation, no matter how terrible or hopeless, we can always use our God given agency or free will to choose to pray to our Father in Heaven.(2 Nephi 2:27).  "...for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.  But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint." (2 Nephi 32:8-9)

As we seek for help and guidance through prayer, we can know what we must 'do.'  By praying like everything depends on God and then working like everything depends on us, we will qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost to lighten our load and to lead us through the freezing winter, until we are brought to the warmth of the summer sun.  I also testify the seasons are a testimony of things as they are to come.  No matter how cold the winter, the summer will always come as we rely on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Soldiers, Mothers, and Jesus Christ

Recently I was speaking with a man who had just retired from the military.  He talked of his tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other middle east countries.  He relayed his interest in watching the way young soldiers conducted their lives.  They get away from home and they drift far away from their faith and morals, but as soon as they get shot at they want nothing more than Jesus and their mothers.

I speak of these young soldiers with the utmost respect and gratitude.  I am grateful for their service to keep America a free nation.I was interested at this example of the deep roots that our Savior and our mothers have within each of us.  It seems to me that two of the most important people in our lives are Jesus Christ and our mothers.

I feel that there is a strong connection between Christ and my mother in my life.  Through out my childhood my mother worked tirelessly to teach me correct principles.  She taught me to have faith in Jesus Christ and that by keeping His commandments we are blessed.  There are so many instances when I have had to revert back to the deeply ingrained teachings of my mother, and by doing so I have found so much peace and support in times of trial.

I express my gratitude for loving mothers who show us the way.  With the family being the central unit in the gospel of Jesus Christ, what role is more important than that of a loving mother who teaches here children to love one another and to follow our Savior Jesus Christ.  I am eternally grateful for my wonderful mother who taught me correct principles and continues to be an example to me.

May we each remember the love of our own mothers and seek to emulate that love in our daily lives toward our fellow men.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pride and Poetry!

The world we live in today tells us we have to be big and bad and better than the next person.  Society seems to judge success on how far ahead you are of the next guy, regardless of how far you've actually come.  This attitude creates enmity and hate between those who should love and help each other.   I have found that one key to maintaining humility is to remember all that has been done for us by our Father in Heaven.

I like the power that poetry puts behind words.  William Ernest Henley wrote this famous poem.  It is a great poem but for the sake of this post, read the "Invictus" first and then read the response in the second poem.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

I love the perspective brought to the table through the words penned by Orson F. Whitney in response to this poem.  He writes;


Art thou of truth?  Then what of Him
Who bought thee with his blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood?

Who bore for all our fallen race,
What none but Him could bear,
The God who died that man might live,
And endless glory share?

Of what avail thy vaunted strength,
Apart from His vast might?
Pray that his light may pierce the loom,
That thou mayest see aright.

Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree.
Thou, captain of they soul, indeed!
Who gave that place to thee?

FREE will is thine-free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto Him
To whom all souls belong.

Bend to the dust that head "unbowed"
Small part of life's great whole!
And see in Him, and Him alone
The captain of thy soul.

The words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon also says it well.

"19And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to athank your heavenly bKing!
 20I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the athanks and bpraise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and cpreserved you, and has caused that ye should drejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
 21I say unto you that if ye should aserve him who has created you from the beginning, and is bpreserving you from day to day, by lending you cbreath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own dwill, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your ewhole souls yet ye would be funprofitable servants.
 22And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
 23And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
 24And secondly, he doth arequire that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bbless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
 25And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were acreated of the bdust of the earth; but behold, it cbelongeth to him who created you."

May we remember our God who gave us life, live in humility and give thanks specifically and daily for our many blessings.