What is the most precious gift one can give to another person? What is the most sacred gift one can give to another person?
There may be more than one answer to these questions. The answer that I believe fits both questions the best though is, yourself. Physical and sexual intimacy, if it is kept only within the bonds of marriage, is the most wonderful thing you can share with someone else. Exploring and exploiting physical and sexual pleasures before or outside of marriage, with or without someone else, not only destroys the value, sacredness, and meaning of those feelings and actions, but also destroys your self worth, appreciation for life, and essentially you as a person. By indulging in these powerful thoughts, feelings, and actions you enslave yourself to them. Love and respect for people and the body itself erodes and becomes lust for sensual pleasure. Please use self control and self mastery to resist the temptation to abuse your body, or someone else's, and the sacred power God has given us to create life. As you do this you will gain more appreciation, respect, and love for yourself and for others.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Two days ago it was really hot. I complained vocally and in my mind several times throughout the day. Yesterday it was a little cooler but still hot. Now, today as we were walking to the library I complained about it being relativily chilly. It is also windy which added to the chill factor. Yesterday we were talking to somone and he mentioned how if you never have a bad day, in relation to work and jobs, you never appreciate the good days. That applies to the weather just as well. If I have never been too hot or too cold than I would never appreciate or even realize that the temperature is just right. In fact it applies to everything. The prophet Lehi taught his son this principle of opposition. In a spiritual sense we need the opposition of good and evil in order to choose to be good or evil. Lehi also taught his son that opposition is provided for us so that we can exercise our agency by choosing to follow Christ. These teachings are found in chapter 2 of 2 Nephi. Please use the links to read the scriptures I'm referencing. Though it is super nice to have a perfect day I am grateful for days that are less than perfect. Even when the bad days far out number the good days, they help me appreciate the good days just that much more.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
A lot of people don't know or understand what Mormon missionaries do. It's simple really. We teach people. We teach about Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His plan. We ask people to keep commitments such as reading the scriptures or a pamphlet that we give them. We also ask people to read and pray. Read and Pray. Read The Book of Mormon, and Pray to ask God if it is true. We don't want to take away from the truths that people already know, just build upon those truths by adding more truth. Now you know what we're trying to do when we knock on your door, talk to you on the street, or bus stop, ask you how you're doing, offer to do service for you, and other things. All we'd like to do is help you come unto Christ.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The "second coming" of our Lord is something that Christians have known for a very long time. Even though our understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ differ from one another, all of us know and agree that He will come again. "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory." Psalms 102: 16. Matthew said this in preparation of His coming, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24: 14. John the revelator said, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" Revelation 14: 6. There are over 55,000 Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) missionaries, and 13,000,000+ members, around the world preaching the gospel of the kingdom, to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. What we, as missionaries and members of The Kingdom Of God On Earth, are doing is summed up in the last two paragraphs of the introduction page of The Book of Mormon. -"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.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah." The angel who had the everlasting gospel that John the revelator saw is Moroni. The angel Moroni delivered the gold plates (Book of Mormon) to Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament Of Jesus Christ together with The Holy Bible (KJV) contain the everlasting gospel. God wants His children to be prepared for the second coming of the Messiah. This is why He restored the Everlasting Gospel to the earth. Pray and ask if the Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon is true.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
As I have traveled and met people around western NY I have noticed something that I don't really understand. Typically when we meet someone new, whether they are interested in learning about what we know to be true or just want to talk, they usually state what religion they consider themselves to be. They state that they are ________ (religion). I usually respond with, "Thats great that you have a belief in Christ." Then I follow up with the question, how often do you attend church meetings? The responses I most get are I don't or, about twice a year (Chirstmas and Easter). Not everyone is this way but a lot if not most are. After those responses or similar answers I then ask why they don't go very often. There are a few different reasons, but the most common is the one that confuses me. The reason why they don't actually attend the church they belong to is because they don't believe or disagree with the doctrine that is taught at that church. I find it to be a contradiction to say, "I'm a Mormon but I disagree with what they teach in their church." So I ask whoever may read this, "What do 'you' believe?" I ask this because if what 'you' believe differs from what 'your' church believes, or teaches, then are you really that religion? I believe the answer is no. To those of you who do believe the teachings of your church I have the same request of you as those who do not agree with their churches teachings. Do some soul searching! Ask yourself what you believe! However, you need to make sure that you are not forming your own belief. By this I mean that God has given us what we are supposed to believe in. For example, I can choose to believe that after this life I will be reincarnated as an animal or even another person. Is that the doctrine of God? No. So in your search for what 'you' believe make sure that what you believe is true doctrine of God. Many of the people I have met don't know what they believe. If you don't know what you believe you can easily be manipulated into thinking that you believe something when you really don't. Have an open mind to different beliefs and religions. Study the words of God given through His chosen prophets and leaders in scripture. Most importantly PRAY and ASK God what you should believe in. PRAY and ASK God if the teachings of a person, church, or group is HIS teachings and doctrine. PRAY and ASK God for His guidance in your search. We are His children! He wants us to know His truths! He wants us to worship and believe in Him His way, not man's way. Please be open to learning new things so that you can find for yourself His church and know that it really is His.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
As a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I teach a lot of people about Jesus Christ, His gospel and doctrine. Among the topics I teach about is prayer. Prayer is the communication between you and our Heavenly Father. I know that Heavenly Father not only hears our prayers but listens to them. Many people I have met either don't believe this or have a dramatically different definition of prayer and its purpose. Most people believe God answers their prayers. However, at the same time those people believe the heavens are closed and that no more revelation is given to man. I believe this is due to people not knowing what revelation really is. To help us better understand what revelation is let's use the word reveal in place of revelation. When you ask God a question, for help, guidance, direction, knowledge, understanding etc you are asking for revelation. When you ask God to help you choose the best path for you to take He answers you by "revealing" (revelation) the path He knows will be the best for you. Everyone is entitled to personal revelation. Meaning you can receive answers to questions that apply to yourself. You can not receive revelation for other people unless you are authorized by God. There are many accounts in the Old Testament where a king or general will ask the Lord's chosen prophet what God's will is for him and his people. Prophets have the authority from God to receive revelation for others. Apostles of Jesus Christ also have this authority. This is how they knew what to say and how to correct the saints in different areas in their epistles to the leaders of the church in those areas. So it is easy to understand that without that prophetic, and apostalic authority the doctrines of Christ's church were changed over time. This also helps us understand why people believe God answers their prayers yet revelation has ceased. After the apostles died revelation did cease because no one else at that time had the authority to receive the revelation needed to lead and guide The Church of Jesus Christ. In 1820 the heavens were once again opened! God had called a prophet to restore The Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. Jesus Christ called twelve apostles to be His special witnesses in the latter days. Since the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ with His priesthood authority there is an unbroken chain of succession in preisthood authority from the first prophet called in this dispensation (Joseph Smith) to the current prophet Thomas S. Monson, as well as a succession of twelve apostles since the restoration to now. Jesus Christ's chosen prophet and apostles walk and speak on earth today! Please listen to them and then pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him to "reveal" to you if these men are in fact His prophets and apostles. God can not lie and if you believe He answers your prayers then listen to these men, ponder their message, and ask God for confirmation that they are what they claim to be. I know that if you have real intent when you pray and ask in faith for this personal witness from the Holy Ghost He will answer you, I promise you this. I bear my witness and testimony to you that these men are prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ. http://lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today/what-are-prophets-testimonies?lang=eng
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Part of the atoning sacrifice that our saviour, Jesus Christ, made was conquering death. He is the only person who was capable of giving up His life in submission to the Father and then take it up again through resurrection. If He had not done this none of us would be able to be reunited with our bodies after death. We would remain as spirits which defeats the purpose of us coming to earth and getting a physical body. How glad and grateful should we be that Jesus not only was capable of breaking the bands of death but, that He succeeded. The atonement, and His death and resurrection was not an easy thing to do. It took a lot of love and a lot of sacrifice from both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for having the Sabbath day set apart to worship our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the Easter Sabbath so that we can remember the resurrection and atonement of our Saviour as we worship Him. I testify to anyone and everyone who reads this that HE IS RISEN! I know Jesus Christ LIVES! and He has once again established His church and kingdom on earth, just like he has done several times before. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is HIS church. He leads and guides HIS church by His chosen prophets, seers, and revelators now in our day the same as He has since the fall of Adam and Eve in their days. Jesus Christ's chosen prophet in our day spoke of Christ and the resurrection last year in April. Please take the time to read and ponder his words. http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/he-is-risen?lang=eng Thank you for your time and reading my blog.