Monday, March 10, 2014

Sacrifice: It's all about perspective

The best people I know have, throughout their lives, made sacrifices
of various natures. That of a hard working dad and a tender hearted mother
The way they honored their sacred commitment to one another. 
The sacrifice of time and effort they made to make our house a home built on high
moral standards. Teachers of every nature who with inspiration taught
to gain knowledge based on righteousness.
Within in the Gospel of Jesus Christ it seems we are expected to give,
tolerate and sacrifice so much. The lists of tasks, responsibilities
and duties goes on and on.
Within the 'task complete' 'success check-mark' or the 'finally that's
over!' We miss the real treasure of seeing how our sacrifice and
effort has been accepted of The Lord.
These words of our Loving Savior which were pressed upon my heart at a
sacred and pivotal time in my life have been vital to me as I have
continued in the service of The Lord.
"In the end it will seem no sacrifice at all, only a blessing"
The nature of God is that of One who is all- knowing, omnipotent and
merciful. All seeing, all prophesying and all FULFILLING.
His promises are sure and reach far beyond our mortal comprehension.
    This sacred and special time of mortality when we get to grow and
experience, cry, love and overcome; we have to opportunity to find
God's eternal blessings in his simple but steadfast words,
"If ye love me, keep my commandments"
-John 14:15
The commandments are calculated for our ultimate happiness.
When we align our will with Gods, we will see greater power in our
lives to resist temptation and develop Christ like attributes. We will
find eternal joy as we fulfill the sacred roles He has given each of
us, as a friend, a family membrane and most importantly as
a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The blessings from heaven with rain down and be all for our gain.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Good Shepherd

 A major reason I love springtime is because of
all the beautiful new baby animals.
One of my favorites has always been lambs.
The Scriptures often refer to sheep to represent
us as Children of God.
Here, in mortality, we can often get lost and confused
just as sheep may wander away from their flock.
There is a need for a Shepherd.
Shepherds still, as of old, go before the sheep, and the sheep follow,
the master calls and the sheep instantly recognize His voice.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son,
Jesus Christ, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life."
-John 3:16
Jesus Christ truly is our Shepherd.
Through His Gospel
He will lead us home back to
our loving Heavenly Father's presence.
He has felt every pain that we will ever feel,
that is why there is no need for us to wander alone.
"and he will take upon him their infirmities,
that his bowels may be filled with mercy,
that he may know according to the flesh how
to succor his people according to their infirmities"
-Alma 7:12
The Saviors invitation is real and it is available to all of us.
Pray to our Heavenly Father in His name
you can have relief to your soul, comfort, guidance and peace.
He knows us and longs to run to our aid when we call.
I am the Good Shepherd, and know my sheep,
and am known of mine.
as the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father:
and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice;
and there shall be one fold,and one Shepherd.
-John 10:14-16
 The Book of Mormon is another testament of the
divinity and the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
On the American continent He beckoned the same invitation:
"Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins,
and be converted, that I may heal you? 
-3 Nephi 9:13
Let Him heal your heart. Trust Him.
He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and truly
The Good Shepherd.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sacred Promises

God loves us so much that He has provided temples for us 
 where in these last days, through priesthood authority, 
we are able to make sacred and saving ordinances or promises
with Heavenly Father necessary to return back to His presence.

A couple months back a dear friend of mine and I 
put aside the craziness and stress of a daily schedule 
against the literal winds and storms of life,
we walked up the hill to this beautiful place.

Inside we felt God's love and goodness as we performed 
proxy ordinances of baptism for those who have passed away.

We were reminded of the promise we made to 
"Stand as a witness of God at all times,
in all things, and in all places.
That ye may be redeemed of God...
that ye may have eternal life."
-Mosiah 18:8-10
As we stepped outside those doors my soul longed for that 
wonderful Spirit to still linger.
Much to our joy we saw how the winds that we 
had pushed through to make it up the hill had turned into
the last afternoon sunshine being illuminated 
by a rush of storm clouds that had passed over as we were inside.

A sweet and favorite primary song of mine came to mind:
I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
and ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again...
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away
and I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
Even though we had to step 'back into the world' in a way
with its storms and craziness.
I could look at the storms as a means to be cleansed by the rain.
Through covenants we can be in the world but not of the world. 
God always keeps His end of the promise.
As we fulfill our end and always remember Him.
We can feel of His sustaining power in our lives.

There is no better way to live.

"Sacred covenants are to be revered by us, and 
faithfulness to them is a requirement for happiness." 
-President Thomas S. Monson

Friday, February 21, 2014

This is the Way

Everyday we talk to new people we ask them,
"What is the most important thing to you?"
They answer without hesitation or a second thought "My family."
We nod our heads with a smile on our face.
We sometimes ask "How do you know that God loves you?"
with a grin they often say, "Well I'm alive, aren't I?!"
The world was created and the Gospel was restored so that
FAMILIES could be together FOREVER.
Our Loving Heavenly Father has said
"For behold, this is MY WORK and MY GLORY to bring to pass the
-Moses 1:39
It is innate within all of us to have the desire or
 the VISION of being with our families forever.
God has provided us a way to achieve this,
like most things it comes through DISCIPLINE
 Challenges and adversities, changes and adventures that are all a part of mortality
are ultimately all part of God's plan.
We can grow and become who God wants us to through
Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism for the remission of sins,
 receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End.
When we do these things, we achieve our DESTINY
To live with our families and all those whom we love
in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
in a state of never-ending happiness
That's God plan, He's made it possible.
Make it yours.

"This is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now behold this is the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, and the only and true doctrine of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
-2 Nephi 31:21

Thursday, February 13, 2014

God's Light

We live in a crazy world today.
Sometimes we may feel as though our own sins or mistakes or the poor choices of others leave us feeling dark, empty or abandoned.
There was a night in history where one man, The Son of God prayed and suffered in Gethsemane for the sins of mankind.
He took upon Himself everything, every paper cut and every heartbreak.
All the evil in the world was gathered there and still
In your individual personal battles today, whatever you may be facing recognize that
It has already been overcome,
Pray for God's strength to help you get through.
You will feel Him there.
God's Light overcame everything once, let that same light penetrate and eliminate your fears and concerns.
The Saviors words and true and real "I am the Light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not." -Doctrine and Covenants 6:21

"God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn..."
 Photo taken near Queenstown, New Zealand
"Even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances, God promises the hope of His light—He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

King's Peak

This past summer I joined with family and friends in  climbing the tallest mountain in Utah.
We were starting off on a big adventure, standing at the base and I had no idea how I would endure that long of a hike- I had never gone that length nor that altitude before. 
The whole way my hand was in the grasp of one who had walked this trail before, enduring every valley, hill and summit that I would encounter. He had been where I will go.
 I did not think I would be able to do it, I had doubts and I really didn't want to go forward but he believed in me, he knew I could do it and he promised me that he would never leave my side.
He held my hand the whole way.
When I would get tired and wonder why I was doing this I would just look at him and I would remember why I was out there. This same man who led me all the way and was willing to walk every step with me and gave me encouragement and assurance whenever I needed.
He promised me that the end would be well worth it. I didn't know what exactly would be there at the end but I knew if I could be with Him the rest of forever no doubt all of these labors and every step would be worth it.
The climb was necessary to make our relationship even stronger.
There's a reason why we can't quite see the end yet.
All I know is that I am on a journey. Someone is holding my hand and guiding me because He wants me to see and feel the great fulfillment and view that comes after putting exercising faith in Him.

This mortal life is similar to this mountain trek. Right now we can't see the end result- all of the wondrous glorious blessings which our loving Heavenly Father has in store for us.
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." -1 Corinthians 2:9
All we can do is love and trust the One who marked the path and lead the way for us. Even those moments when exhaustion over takes your body, your hiking up a steep hill and still can't even see the top, or even if dark storm clouds loom overhead.
Our Savior, Jesus Christ is always there with us, He has overcome it all so that we don't have to do it alone.
words to my favorite hymn #41
That glorious rest will then commence
Which prophets did foretell,
When Saints will reign with Christ on earth,
And in his presence dwell
A thousand years, oh, glorious day!
Dear Lord, prepare my heart
To stand with thee on Zion's mount
And nevermore to part.
Hiking King's Peak, Summer 2013