Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Back in April my mom and I had the beautiful blessing of traveling to Kansas City, Missouri. While visiting Independence and the surrounding areas including Liberty, Far West and Adam-Ondi-Ahman we felt the power of ancient promises, the strength of the early stalwart members of the church and the duty we have as members of the church now to recall these people and events. And to live our lives in such a way to claim all the blessings established from the foundations of the world by our Loving Heavenly Father.

This question has often come to my mind since returning home from a mission:
"How can we have the same determination of the early saints?"
They were so willing to leave behind their homes, culture, language, professions, even relationships to face the foreboding brutality of an unknown horizon.
They were willing to do it because they knew the Gospel was true and they promised to give even their very lives for it. What was so significant about the Gospel?

I feel the beauty of the Gospel is captured as we look at the impact of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ from the very beginning of time to now. The first children of our Heavenly Father sent to earth, Adam and Eve, learned about the gracious gift of the Atonement while they were in the Garden of Eden. A transgression was made and there seemed to be no hope for resolution or to be clean again in Heavenly Father's presence. Despair and fear quickly set in. They were taught of a Savior that would be provided for them. His selfless act of taking upon all our sins and iniquities allows us the ability to repent, to be cleansed from sin and able to return back to our heavenly home.

I believe the early converts of the church felt the same heavenly relief as they each read from the Book of Mormon praying to receive a witness that it was true. No doubt that simple yet striking account of the Savior sunk deep into their very souls to provide clarity in contrast to the cloudiness of lost "plain and precious truths" through centuries of darkness.” They must have felt the purity of the doctrine and felt that heavenly light shine down and testify that there truly is a Savior. His atonement is meant to cleanse us and bring us back home. These elect souls were able to recognize the truth when it was presented to them. As the Light cracked through the darkness of hundreds and thousands of years, they did not shy away from it, rather they sought after it, were willing to give of all their earthly possessions to fully taste of the sweetness and cleansing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

They chose to follow a prophet, a man called of God and given authority to govern the Lord’s kingdom on the earth. Joseph Smith was called to be that man. Many knew he was a prophet before even meeting him, from reading the Book of Mormon they came to know that this book was from God and was delivered through His divine instrument, a prophet. Through the devastating event at Haun’s mill we learn the importance of listening to a prophet’s voice. In this case timing was essential and it was the difference between life and death. We can see today how following the council of our prophet can save us from experiencing spiritual death and help us avoid exposing ourselves to the things that deeply damage our souls and our divine nature.

Liberty Jail

In Liberty Jail we learned of the irony of its name. This was the place where four 6ft tall men were crammed into a damp, cold, diseases infested dungeon while they heard the cries of their wives and children being kicked out of their homes. The Prophet Joseph’s humble prayer and experience are captured in the scriptural account in the Doctrine and Covenants where he cries to God and asks “Where is thy pavilion?” Though dark and bleak crying for the last strand of hope the most glorious revelations were unfolded to him. “Peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment” These are words that have been the soul assuring answer to prayer as they have turned to the scriptures for countless amounts of Heavenly Father’s children. He was there in Liberty Jail with those men and He is there with us in our darkest moments too. He has suffered all of these things; He is our dearest Friend who is sitting beside us in our bleakest most miserable moments. We need Him. We always need Him.
This place was the refiner’s fire for the most significant revelations but the most joyous times.

Far West was a consecrated and holy land where the people were commanded to lay the cornerstones for a temple that would be built there. The building did not take place in any of their lifetimes. This prophecy goes to show that our Heavenly Father’s promises are sure and even more significant and expansive than we can comprehend.

“Though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievements (and do not and must not discount them now), those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing. The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this time of challenges and who overcome will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts.”
-Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Kansas City, Missouri Temple

They have left a legacy for us.
Now these fervent and valiant souls are rejoicing as they watch us fight the battles that we do every day! It is no small task and the subtle sneakiness of the adversary is penetrating even deeper into the hearts and homes of those who have tasted of the Gospel. To rejoice in the eternal realms with those who have gone before us into the eternities we need to cleanse our souls and become fortified to the evil influences that can so easily creep in.

We need to have the personal worthiness and preparation to be able to build our own little temple because there will be many when the Savior comes again. We never know when we will be asked or all that will be required. All we know is that we need to prepare our hearts to be willing to give anything that He asks of us. It could be our possessions, our time, our friends, social status, pride, and fears etc. All must be sacrificially given up if necessary to produce a bright and glorious whiteness; a holy place where the Spirit of the Lord may dwell.


Adam- Ondi- Ahman: a place of beginnings
The beauty of the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is never too late to start. We have never gone too far, there is no where we can go where His infinite and loving touch cannot reach us. The best place to start is right now.
The translation of Adam-Ondi-Ahman is “where God walked with Adam”
That can be the goal for all of us today, to start living our lives in such a way that we can feel Him close. I know that “This life is the time for man to prepare to meet God” -Alma 34:32
It seems like forever but it really is such a short amount of time. He wants us to be happy and eternal happiness only comes through Him.

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