It is so interesting to read about the signs of the second coming. I think you would have to almost be so spiritually blinded to not see that they are coming to pass. I think about all the wars and rumors of wars everywhere. I think of all the natural disasters that seem to happen more and more frequently. There is always an earthquake or a tsunami or a hurricane that is happening. The weather keeps on becoming more and more crazy. There are people who confess that they know when Christ is coming. There are people that think they know all the answers to life. The world is getting more and more wicked and the hearts of men are waxing cold. I can honestly testify that these things are happening and I cannot deny them.I feel that even though all these things are going on the gospel of Jesus Christ provides peace. I am not afraid of what lies ahead. Rather I have faith that I will be able to do what the Lord wants me to do and I know that I can still have an impact on the world.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I testify that God created the earth. Think of how grand and amazing that task was. He created all plants and all animals and yet his greatest creation was human life. He created us in his image and his likeness. All things were created that we might be able to come and be tested. God’s work and his glory is to help us gain eternal life with him someday. As I think about this I am in awe. I can barely comprehend the universe and its greatness. I can barely comprehend how God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and all loving. Even though I do not comprehend them, I still know they are true. There are three pillars of the gospel – The Creation, The Fall, and The Atonement. God had to create the earth for there to be a fall. There had to be a fall or there to be an atonement made by Christ. All three had to happen for us to be given the opportunity to prove ourselves on this earth. Chirst through the atonement provided the sacrifice for sin for us to repent and grow. This knowledge helps to anchor me and makes me want to be better each day. I feel so grateful to have this knowledge.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
As I have pondered about the first vision this week I am in awe of how important this single event truly is to the world. In 1820 the fourteen-year-old Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees in Palmyra New York and prayed to find out what church to join and the answer to his prayer was the appearance of God the Father and Jesus Christ telling him to join none of them. What a profound experience that must have been for the future prophet. I can hardly imagine the great responsibility that came when they called Joseph to restore his church again on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God just like Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Paul. He owned up to his experience and lived a life of persecution and trials.
This summer I was able to visit the sacred grove where Joseph saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I didn’t need to go to the sacred grove to gain a testimony of Joseph’s experience because I had already received it. Yet, being there confirmed what I already knew. As I walked through the grove of trees I felt that I was in a holy place. It felt as though I were in the temple. I took time to pray the God and thank him for the opportunity to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also recommitted myself to being a better person. Even though I did not see God the Father and Jesus Christ – I still know they exist. They love me and I feel their guiding hand in my life.
I have also been pondering about the many experiences I had on my mission of sharing the first vision with people not of my faith. Countless times I felt such a strong out pouring of the Holy Ghost as I told people that Joseph saw the Father and the Son. I long to tell people this wonderful message that God and Christ live, that the heavens are open again, and that we have a prophet on the earth in our day!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I have been thinking a lot about the Articles of Faith the past couple of days. At first I asked myself I had to come up with the main points of our religion I’m not sure I would have come up with the same points as Joseph Smith. I thought about how important families, service, welfare, temples, and missionary work are to the church and yet these are not mentioned in the 13 Articles of Faith. However, I feel that the Articles of Faith are truly inspired because they clarify doctrines that had been lost or distorted. These decelerations of faith are a great starting point for discussion with people that are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Take for example the first Article of Faith. We truly believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct beings. I value this knowledge and feel how powerful it is to have the ability to come to know the true nature of God. What a blessing it is in my life to know that he is my Father and I am his child. It is confusing to think of him as unknowable, unreachable, without form, everywhere, and anywhere. I truly respect people that believe this way. I just feel a differently and I have found a peace in knowing I am made in his image.
I have a gained a newfound respect for the Articles of Faith. I remember learning the Articles of Faith when I was in primary and I know the main points and can still recite a few. I feel that I could revamp my memory and really commit myself to memorizing each Article of Faith.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Looking back at the past year I can honestly say is has been a roller coaster ride. The beauty of hindsight is the ability to learn from it. Hopefully I will apply some of these things I've learned...
First, avoid being compelled to be humbled. Anyone that has met me knows that I love to joke around in a prideful way. Though most of the time it is a joke - I still have the tendency of becoming proud. This is something I have been trying to work on but yet I feel I have a long way to go. Ultimately, I have realized that we can either be compelled to be humble or choose to be humble. I think humility is the first step towards spirituality. We have to be able to put our will aside to do the will of our Father in Heaven. (D&C 112: 10, 22)
Second, have a grateful heart. Life seems to go so much better when I realize all the blessings that I have. I truly will always be grateful for God, my family, friends, country, and the talents and opportunities that have been given to me. I have also been looking for small things like never before. I have found that recognizing is the first step, the next is to have a grateful heart no matter the situation. This means being grateful amidst trials and challenges. Then we can show our gratitude by serving others. Recently I have seen so many blessings come into my life! (Alma 26: 8, 37)
Something to think about - how Humility and Gratitude go hand in hand!