Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's in a Name?

name: a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known.

Have you ever thought about your name? Where did it come from? In most cases it came from your parent(s).

Let's say your name is Joseph. Have you ever asked your parents why they gave you that name? Perhaps, they just liked the name but usually there is a deeper connection than that. Perhaps they hoped you would emulate someone else they already knew with that name?

Helaman, a Book of Mormon prophet, named his children for that very reason:

   "Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.
   Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them." (Helaman 5:6-7)

However, the name that is brought up in the book of mormon more frequently than any other is Jesus Christ. I have found no other book that teaches so powerfully and so frequently of the Savior. It is a modern witness that Jesus is the Christ which is the most important name because:

    "...Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved; wherefore, all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day; wherefore, if they know not the name by which they are called, they cannot have place in the kingdom of my Father." (D&C 18:23-25)

May we continually remember him and be grateful for his sacrifice so that we may return to our Father in Heaven is my hope at the close of this month of thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rescue missions (Final): World's Greatest Rescue

Can you think of a time where you were rescued in life? I know I can!

Although I was a very young boy at the time, I can still remember my father cautioning me to stay away from a pit of coals as I ran by in a hot pursuit of tag. I remember vividly the pain of, later, sliding right into home plate (also known as the previously noted pit of hot coals). My father leaped from his chair and pulled me out within a matter of seconds. The pain was excruciating and the damage was instantaneous. Yet to this day, I distinctly remember the feelings of inexpressible joy and love for my father, as he lifted me out.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Leaving others to Serve the Lord

Among the many difficult moments that a missionary experiences is heeding the Lord's call to serve new people in a new location. Recently the spirit of the Lord called me away to Laurel, MT. So in loving memory of the wonderful experiences that took place, I thought I would share a few of them with you.

One of the more memorable experiences of service was helping fix the sewage/ holding tank at our homeowners place! It was a tough job but with the help of everyone we got the job done relatively fast (roughly 45 minutes).

Fixing our homeowner's sewage system

I was praying hard that they
wouldn't drop me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rescue Missions (Part 2)

Some rescue missions are a successful and some are not. When and why do they fail??? I know of at least one reason, in which Elder Carter and I were involved.

It was a normal sabbath morning... or so we thought. We prepared for the day and went to church like always. When we got there Elder Carter and I noticed that there were quite a few members missing from the congregation, along with most of the bishopric. Half way through the meeting the only bishopric member on the stand, left the meeting and never came back.

Crazy, I know.

So we ended the meeting on our own; singing the closing hymn and having the benediction. After the meeting was over Elder Carter and I soon discovered the reason why there were so few members at church and why the Bishopric was no where to be found. The boy scouts and their leaders had never returned home the previous night from their 20 mile hike.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rescue Missions (Part 1)

The other day Elder Carter and I were knocking on people's doors in an effort to spread the message that God speaks once again through modern day prophets and apostles! Upon arriving at a certain house we heard a peculiar noise...

What was it? The answer... a kitten stuck in a tree!

Isn't it cute!
Due to the fact that it was a complete stranger's home and because I was afraid the poor thing was going to keep climbing higher, as they often do, I quickly raced up the 10-15 ft of branches to get it down; rather, than take a picture first. So instead I took a picture of a different kitten that lives at our home.

I can still hear the mew's of detest at this frantic kitten's plight. As I reached up and heroically grabbed the kitten, it immediately began to fight and protest. However, upon reaching the safety of solid ground the kitten began purring and rubbing back and forth against my leg. Delighted, I took roughly thirty seconds to embrace the new found devotion. Elder Carter and I walked up to the owner's door and knocked. Meanwhile, the kitten shadowed my every move and continued to rub against my leg.

When no one answered we decided to continue with our original plan of sharing the marvelous news that God has once again restored his true church on the earth today! Jokingly, I pointed to the kitten and commanded it to wait for its owner. To my great astonishment, it did precisely just that.

Like that kitten, we all find ourselves needing to be rescued in life. The Savior has provided the way for us to be saved from sin. Through his suffering we can wash away feelings of doubt, shame, or guilt that comes with sin and in its place find faith, joy, and confidence. Jesus Christ has provided a way for us to be rescued and brought back into the prescence of our loving father in heavern (God). When we experience this relief of being rescued from sin, we too feel those same feelings of devotion to the Lord as that small kitten. We will follow his commandments because we have full confidence that he only wants what is best for us!

He has also allowed us a wonderful support system through his church. We can receive an added measure of faith, peace, joy, etc. through the Lord's servents- his prophets and apostles. Furthermore, we can receive these feelings through our fellow church leaders and members who will continue to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. We can feel at home!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chrono Trigger: Alternate endings

The concept and story line for Chrono Trigger makes it one of the best video games EVER! As you may have guessed from the picture above, throughout the game you find yourself traveling through different time periods; traveling from 1000 A.D. where the game begins to 600 A.D., 2300 A.D., back to 600 A.D., to 12,000 B.C., etc. 

The game starts as Chrono, the main character, is spending an ordinary day at the fair with Marle (princess of the kingdom). While there they find Lucca and her father demonstrating her new teleporter at the Millennial Fair. When Marle volunteers to be teleported, her pendant interferes with the device and creates a time portal that she is drawn into and disappears in a rift between time. Their journey to rescue the princess leads from one thing to another until ultimately they are placed in a position to save the world from utter destruction.

Throughout the game you are posed with different dilemmas and how you respond to them actually changes the final ending to the game. Our life on earth is similar.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The key is in the "p"

The phrase watching your p's and q's has been passed down for generations.

For little children this phrase reminds them to make sure they haven't switched the letter "p" with the letter "q" and/or vice versa.

For more experienced writers in the English language, it helps us remember to check our work before we turn it in; it helps us prepare for the grade that we will receive.

However, the letter "p" plays a much more prominent role in our lives than you might, at first, suspect. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Overcoming Unexpected Changes in Life

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by change? I know I do!

This week in Greybull, Elder Carter and I had a pretty unexpected change in our everyday routine of being a missionary; we hit a curb and blew out our tire! After getting our heart rates to drop back to normal we called our vehicle coordinator, Elder Ives, to receive council and wisdom on how best to proceed. In the meantime, we had a jack and spare tire to help us get by until our car would receive a replacement tire.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Plunge

Ever jump off a really high cliff? If so, than you have experienced the nervousness that accompanies your first attempt when jumping a new cliff. Your heart beat starts racing as the adrenaline pumps through your body. A battle begins to take place within yourself as what you will do. 

Either you will gain the exhilarating experience of plummeting, through the air, into the water or you will walk away, the same as you came.

Committing 100% when cliff jumping is imperative. If you don't fully commit during take off than you risk the possibility of hitting the cliff side or other undesirable obstacles, before reaching the water. Furthermore, if you are jumping from high enough, than you had better point your feet down or dive appropriately so that you will emerge from the water unscathed. You must be committed from take off, through your airborne descent, and finally upon entering the water itself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How do YOU Walk on Water?

So the idea for this post all started as I thought about one of my favorite stories in the new testament; Jesus Christ walking out on water to meet his disciples. He of course, performed such a miracle through his faith. As he approached his disciples he told them, "be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."

Peter, like so many of us, answered by saying, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee..." Upon hearing the master bidding him to "Come," he proceeded to walk on water. The winds blow and Peter's faith begins to decline and with it, so does he. He then cries out to the Lord saying: " 'Save me.' And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him..."

Despite Peter's loss of faith I can not help but admire his efforts. He was willing to push forward with faith in Jesus Christ; to accomplish something that he had never before, set out to do. Each of us have similar experiences in our lives; where we are trying to walk on water through tumultuous times.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Music of the Soul

Few songs have touched me as deeply as this song: "Death shall not Destroy my Comfort."

Ever since I was a child I can remember hearing it performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and being overwhelmed with a love for my savior.

I felt that he knew who I was and that I meant something to him. He was aware of me personally. Like a red tulip against the backdrop of a hundred white lilies; I was noticed and I would be taken care of just the same as the other flowers.

I know that we are each children of our Father in Heaven who cares very deeply about each of us. He showed that love by sending his only Begotten Son to earth who would suffer on our behalf out that same love for us; his brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Ultimate Battery

"It keeps going, and going, and going!" 

This is the energizer bunny slogan. No matter what energizer bunny commercial you watch on television you will find that despite the conflicts, obstacles, or adventures- "it keeps going, and going, and going."

Just as the energizer battery continues to keep the bunny going, we must let our faith in Jesus Christ (The Ultimate Battery) propel us forward through the difficult times in our lives. 

I love the words of a modern prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson, who said simply enough: "My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith;" and so it is.

I know that despite the natural disasters, political concerns, and everyday trials in life; we can be assured that through our faith in Jesus Christ- we will be okay. In my personal life I have seen my family and myself endure difficult things and it has always been through our faith in the Savior that we have had enough energy to just "[keep] going, and going, and going." 

Those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ by keeping his commandments and enduring to the end- like the energizer bunny- will receive "the greatest gift of God..." (D&C 14:7)

Eternal life.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Honesty: do You have it?

May this be a reminder of what we already know. Integrity and honesty are invaluable. If everyone in this world was honest and had integrity the world would be a completely different world. Let us help that process by making sure we are and example to those around us.

The Lord's Team

Ever wonder what it would be like to be on the Lord's team? This video demonstrates that very concept as starting rival quarterbacks Teren Bingham (Thatcher High) and Brandon McEuen (Safford High) decide to serve on the Lord's team while still competing on opposite teams. Check it out!

Let us all do our best to reach out to others in a desire to bring others closer to Christ in all situations.

Why do we serve missions?

Part of Being a Latter-day Saint, is having a knowledge that you are led by a prophet who speaks with God personally. He is one who can receive revelation concerning the affairs of the world and helps in our efforts to receive personal revelation on our own from God. Here is his message on preparing to serve a mission. Why do so many young men and women of the LDS faith feel a desire to serve missions? The answer varies for each one of us, but most of them choose to serve out of a deep rooted faith that we can and should bless the lives around us with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Why I chose to serve a mission:

Growing up I have always been aware of the Love that my Savior has had for me. For as long as I can remember I was hearing stories about Jesus Christ and his love for me and how I could turn to him if I was ever sad or mad and he would help me to feel happy again. I knew that he was real and that he was my friend. That was my understanding of him as a child. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

He Will Help You

This message was put together with the intent to help all those who are trying to or have had to cope with death. Whether recent or long ago this message of the resurrection applies to each and everyone of us. I love the scripture shared at the very end of this video: "The grave hath no victory and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ." I know that because of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, that all will rise again to live.

Listen to the words of a modern Apostle and Prophet of the Lord: "It is true. We live to die, and we die to live again. From an eternal perspective." May we all trust in the glorious truth that Christ took upon death so that each and everyone of us may live again. How full of love our God and Creator must be to provide his son, a perfect sacrifice to bear the burdens and pains of lives so that we too might live again if we follow him.

I also love this video because it shows a young man, Darren, reaching out to the Lord in anguish. It shows him struggling to overcome one of the hardest trials he will possibly ever encounter in life. Yet, through the grace and love of God he finds peace. He is assured through the power of the Holy Ghost that "Beans" is alright and that he just like our Savior wants us to live our life to the fullest.

I so testify with gratitude in my heart that this is true; in the name of our Mediator, even Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Reflection; What do You See?

The ability to look at one's life and evaluate what he/she sees with honesty and integrity, is critical. All too often in life we overlook the things that are of true importance.
A wise prophet of God once stated: "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.1" With that understanding we can see the importance of being able to look at the path we are on; the life, we are living.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Message: Following Jesus on Twitter

This is a great video clip that show's the life of Jesus Christ through twitter if it had been there during his life. Cool perspective and really helps remind you of what an amazing life Jesus Christ performed on our behalf! Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enduring to the End

One might ask: "What exactly is enduring to the end?" It is simply continuing to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, making commitments, and following the Spirit. Once we have been forgiven of our sins, through baptism, we should try every day to remain free from sin so that we can keep the Holy Ghost with us. By following the principles of the gospel, we can draw closer to God, conquer temptation and sin, and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost more abundantly.

Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a pattern of living. It is more than once in a lifetime commitment but rather continual process of learning and growing closer to God each and every day as we strive to live our lives in a righteous manner. As we do so, our lives are filled with peace and joy and during our struggles we are uplifted and strengthened by the spirit of God that dwells within us. As one learns to "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ... and endure to the end," we are promised, "Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Nephi 31:20)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost

Jesus taught that we must be baptized of water and also of the Spirit. Baptism by water must be followed by baptism of the Spirit (Holy Ghost) or it is incomplete. The Holy Ghost has a sanctifying, cleansing effect upon us. Those who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and remain worthy by keeping the promises they made during baptism can enjoy His companionship throughout their lives.

The Holy Ghost testifies of Christ and helps us recognize the truth in life, providing spiritual strength and helps us do what is right. He is the Comforter, comforting us during times of trial or sorrow. He warns us of spiritual or physical danger. The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of our Heavenly Father's most precious gifts. Through the power of the Holy Ghost we can feel God's love and direction for us. This gift is a foretaste of eternal joy and a promise of eternal life.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baptism, Our first covenant

Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance both prepare us for baptism and confirmation. Baptism is a covenant. God has always required His children to make covenants. A covenant is a binding and solemn agreement between God and man. God promises to bless us and we promise to obey Him. Keeping covenants brings blessings in this life and exaltation in the life to come.

Jesus taught that we must be baptized by immersion for the remission, or forgiveness, of our sins. It is an essential ordinance of salvation. No person can enter into the kingdom of God without being baptized. Christ set the example for us by being baptized himself by John the Baptist. Baptism is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior. In a similar way it represents the end of our old life of sin and a commitment to live a new life as a disciple of Christ. When we are baptized we begin the process of being born again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Repentance- the second principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, to change our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are not in harmony with God's will. When we repent we feel godly sorrow, then we stop doing things that are wrong and continue doing things that are right. The apostle Paul explained this concept to the saints in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10. We can return to live with God the Father only through Christ's mercy, and we receive Christ's mercy only on conditions of repentance.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Faith in Jesus Christ

Perhaps one of the most basic principles of any religion is the concept of faith. Faith as denoted from the scriptures, "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." (Alma 32:21) Every single person exercises faith in some way each day.

It can be in as simple as flipping a light switch on. You cannot see the wires in the walls that are connecting that light bulb to electricity but you exercise faith when you take the action to flip the switch. After you have done it enough times it becomes an expectation that when you flip the switch, it will turn the light on.

Faith in Jesus Christ is the same way.  Having faith in Christ includes having a firm belief that He is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world. As we accept and apply his atonement (His suffering, death, and resurrection unto the saving of our souls) along with his teachings- we are exercising faith. It will bring a light into our life far beyond that of a light bulb. The light that Jesus Christ offers us is the hope that we can receive Eternal Life and once again live with our Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Road to Eternal Life

In a world of so many voices and opinions it can become difficult to know which of them is right and true. My purpose today is to define and declare the true doctrine of Jesus Christ concerning our journey through life and in returning to live with God once more in heaven.

In our Articles of Faith as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we read: "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." (Article of Faith 1:3)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Come unto Him

I have always loved music. It always seems to touch me in a special way. This clip is a song titled "Come ye Disconsolate" sung by Jason Barney. It depicts the story of Jesus Christ appearing to the people living on the American Continent as recorded in the Book of Mormon in 34 A.D. (3 Nephi 11). It is stirring in its lyrics, depiction, and the comfort it can give to us all.

I know that this event truly happened and that Jesus Christ is the savior for all. That he is the savior of "whom the prophets testified [would] come into the world." He appeared to these people and healed their sick, blessed the children, and prayed in behalf of them. I know that through him we can all return back to our Heavenly Father and that in him we can find true peace in our lives.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why Works?

I would like to start this post by posing a question. What is the point of Jesus Christ teaching and ministering about loving your neighbor, God, enemies, etc. If he would abolish the need for such actions through his pain and suffering in the Garden, his dying on the cross, and his resurrection three days later? Why teach the parable of the good Samaritan? (Luke 10:30-35). If it doesn't matter, why would Christ teach it? It is because Jesus Christ never, took away our personal responsibility to do good works in this life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Revealed Answers to Life's Great Questions

Questions of the soul may include such questions as these: Is there really a God? Did I exist before I was born? Will I live after I die? What is the purpose of life? Is Jesus really the Savior? Other questions may focus on more temporal needs: How can I improve my relationship with my spouse? How can I find work to support my family?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ helps us answer both kinds of questions. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, particularly, addresses questions such as these:

- Is there a God? (Alma 22)
- What does Jesus Christ expect of me? (2 Nephi 9)
- How can a belief in Jesus Christ help me? (Alma 36)
- Is there life after death (Alma 40)
- What is the purpose of life? (Alma 34)
- Why does God allow evil and suffering to occur? (2 Nephi 2; Alma 14: 9-11; Alma 60:13)
- Does my infant need to be baptized? (Moroni 8)
- Does God know me? (Alma 5: 38,58)
- Does God answer prayers? (Enos 1)
- How can I find peace and joy? (Mosiah 2,4)
- How can my family be happier and more united? (Mosiah 2)
- How can I balance my family and career? (3 Nephi 13)
- How can I strengthen my relationship with my spouse? (3 Nephi 14)
- How can I avoid the evils that threaten my family? (Alma 39)
- How can I avoid sin? (Helaman 5)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Temple: The House of the Lord

If you're wondering what a temple is, this article is dedicated to helping you learn, know, and feel of the sacredness and sanctity of temples around the world. You will find that every temple will have the phrase, "Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord" inscribed on it somewhere. The temple is just that, the house of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. It is a very sacred building that is set "apart" from the world, both literally and spiritually.

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple
If you were to visit a temple it would look much like the picture to the right. The temple itself will have been built with extreme care and exactness. The walls will often be white resembling the holiness of the building itself or beautiful stone perhaps, suggesting the rock (Jesus Christ) we must build the foundations of our lives on. The landscape surrounding the temple will mirror the beauty of the temple itself and will be maintained and carefully tended too. Even the location of the temple will often convey the message that it is "apart" from the world. It is often set upon a hill, overlooking the city/town it resides in and/or away from major highways and roads. Lastly, the inside of the temple will be exquisitely clean and quiet.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Relationships in our Lives

Have you ever stopped to think about all the people you have come to know throughout life? I have done this a time or two in my life and again the other day. The more I study it out in my mind the more I come to find I appreciate the role they have played in my life.

Each and everyone of us has a unique personality, background, and point of view. Part of being a christian is to be "willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life." 1

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Priorities: where do your's lie?

Life is filled with activities, tasks, and people looking for our time and participation. One of the hardest things for me in life has been to decide what i would and would not allow to take my time. Sometimes we have to choose between what is good and bad. Often times, however, life is faced with making a decision between the good, better, and best choices in life.

We should recognize the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives. 1

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Devout Obedience to the Lord

Obedience is part of our everyday life. Everyday you will make some choice to be obedient or not, to someone or something. Growing up as a child you are often faced with the choice to be obedient to you parents rules or not.  Later in life we may have jobs with rules to abide by or contracts with terms to meet. Our choices in life will either result in a positive or negative consequence.

God works the same way. Throughout the history of mankind God has given his children commandments. As they followed his commandments they were blessed and received the positive consequence that comes, any time we follow God in our lives. We find that our faith and testimony in him grows, we feel his love for us, and our demeanor becomes more Christlike. Allowing us to face the challenges and trials that we experience each and every day of our lives.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Through God's Eyes

Seeing ourselves as God sees us is imperative. It enables us to see the divine potential within each and everyone of us help us through the trials that each day presents us. This idea is illustrated in the life of Moses:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Be ye holy; for I am holy."

Christ being the Great Exemplar for our sojourn on Earth said, "Be ye holy; for I am holy"(Peter 1:16).

The question that follows this seemingly impossible task probably goes something like: "how can I, a sinful, imperfect mortal, be holy?" Certainly being holy within ourselves and achieving Eternal Life, where we dwell in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father, resides in the depths of every Christian heart. The answer, lies within the very One who commanded us to be holy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"He who hath ears, let him hear."

In the scriptures, the ear is often used as a symbol of a person’s ability to hear and understand the things of God. 

Thanks to Elder Greco, this phrase has been instilled within me recently; as whenever I don't understand what he is saying he repeats that very phrase; "he who hath ears, let him hear," to me. The savior used these very words in Matthew 13 after giving the parable of the sower. 

When asked upon by his apostles as to why he spoke in parables "he answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given...