Sunday, January 30, 2011

sharing the gospel

    Today I am going to share with you some thoughts I have had on sharing the gospel and how vital it really is.  I was lead to do this, after I watched a video "by small and simple things." In it President Henry B. Eyring shared some insights about sharing the gospel with your friends.


   "All of us who are under the baptismal covenant have promised to offer the gospel to others.  Sometimes, fear of rejection or of giving offense looms before us like an impassable obstacle. Yet some members clear that barrier with ease.  There is no single pattern in what they do. There is no common technique. Some always carry a Book of Mormon to give away. Others set a date to find someone for the missionaries to teach. Another has found questions which draw out feelings about what matters most in life to a person. Each has prayed to know what to do. They each seem to get a different answer, suited especially to them and to the people they meet." 

     "The Lord trusts His true disciples. He sends prepared people to His prepared servants. You have had the experience, as have I, of meeting people where you were sure the meeting could not have been by chance."

      President Eyring later said "Pray for the chance to encounter people who sense there could be something better in their lives. Pray to know what you should do to help them. Your prayers will be answered. You will meet people prepared by the Lord. You will find yourself feeling and saying things beyond your past experience. And then in time you will feel yourself drawing closer to your Heavenly Father, and you will feel the cleansing and the forgiveness the Savior promises His faithful witnesses. And you will feel His approval, knowing you have done what He asked of you, because He loves you and trusts you."


   I know that we all can be a tool in sharing the Gospel, it doesn't matter how much we know, all that matters is that we have a testimony.  The lord never said that he commands his knowledgeable children to share the gospel, he commands all his children who have tasted of his love to share it. 

    The lord has blessed us with the great gift of the Internet and social networks which makes communicating and sharing the gospel fast and easy.  It is a non-threatening way to invite people to learn of the gospel and receive answers to their questions.  I invite each of you to share the gospel with one of your friends either in person or via the Internet and partake of the great joy our Father in Heaven has promised us.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

living as an amputee

We all have trials in our life, these can either bring us down or lift us up. I was inspired by the story of Jarem frye, as his trial was one that brought him to great heights

May we all endure life's trials with faith and courage, afterall that is why we came here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living prophet or dead prophet


Which one is more important to us, a living prophet or a dead prophet?

    President Ezra Taft Benson once spoke of "14 fundamentals in following the prophet" you can read the whole talk by clicking on the link Obedience to the prophets.   I want to talk about one of these fundamentals today.

   The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet:


      We learn a great lesson about this from the scriptures. In the times of Noah it was easier for the people to believe in the dead prophets, but it was difficult for them to believe in Noah. We know that because of their incredulity they did not survive the Flood.

       The living prophet will always counsel us to read and listen to the words of the past prophets and will never say anything contrary to that which they have said.  The reason however that a living prophet is more important is that he reveals to us what the lord wants us to hear now, while also revealing things past and things to come.  He has the power given to him to lead the lords kingdom on the earth today.  In Amos the we learn about the great importance of a prophet, it says "surely the lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7) We in these days need the lord to help and guide us, but he won't do this except he reveals it to a prophet.  And only a living prophet can receive this counsel.

   I know that Thomas S. Monson is the lords prophet and that he receives revelation from god for the whole earth.  The Lord promised us that if we believe in the holy prophets, we should have eternal life ( D&C 20:26)  I know that this is true!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Faith vs. Science


Can faith and science really o-exist together? Many people say that the two do not mix. I am here too say that they do, that you can't believe in the one without the other and that the more of one you learn the more knowledge you will have with the other. I love this example by Sergio Sanchez:

May we all have faith in the creator of this universe and all things pertaining to it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two prayers come together

     Today we saw a miracle of the Lord which came to us because someone prayed earnestly seeking to find truth in their life.


    It all started early this morning when me and my companion, Elder Harper, said a prayer before we set out for the day. We prayed and asked our Father in Heaven to "lead us this day to someone who is being prepared to receive the Gospel."  Then we set apart for our day.  We tried to visit some people, but we had no success.  Then we decided to visit someone quite a bit away from where we were.  Usually we would have driven to save time, because we had many people to see that afternoon, but being blessed with beautiful 70 degree weather in the middle of January, we decided to walk all the way to the house and talk to people along the way.  It took us about 40 minutes to walk to the home and when we got there no one was home.  So disappointed we started the long walk back. 


      Between walking we talked to about 15 people I'd say.  Then just within about 30 seconds from our car up pulls this lady into a driveway in front of us.  When she got out of the car we started talking to her.  We told her we were missionaries from the LDS church and had a message of peace about the Savior Jesus Christ.  We then went on to testify of the Restoration of the Gospel.  When we told her a little about our message she said "you know it is weird that you are here."  we asked "why is that?" she said, "I am a spiritual person and I have been looking for a path in life, and this morning I prayed and asked god to send me a path and help me know what to do."  I then went on to tell her about our morning prayer.  We knew then it was no coincidence that we both met this day.  She invited us to come back and share more about the message.

     I know that there is no such thing as coincidence, just moments where god remains unrevealed.  He will lead the honest seeker to truth.  I know that God answers prayers, today he answered two of them!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

throw out your expectations


        This is a picture of Vince Carter dunking over 7'2 inch Frederic Weis in the 2000 summer Olympics.  This dunk has gone down in many peoples books as the greatest dunk of all-time.  I love basketball and I loving watching great dunks, I have seen many good one's in my days of watching basketball.  This one stands out to me alot because of the fact that the man was 7'2... SEVEN FOOT TWO!!  Vince Carter is one of the greatest dunkers of all-time, but he didn't just wake up one morning and say "I am going to dunk over a 7-footer today."  It took his life up to that point of practice and work for him to be able to rise to new heights.  He truly overcame a very large obstacle!!  Vince Carter is also a great example of not putting limit's on ourselves.  Too many people think jumping over a 7 footer is an impossible feat, which is why we will never accomplish it.  But Vince, He didn't see it that way.  The sky was the limit.

       Elder Bowen, a general authority of the LDS church, spoke to us a couple months back about how we need to throw out our expectations and not limit ourselves.  He gave an example of flees and how when you put them in a container they will jump up repeatedly and hit themselves upon the ceiling of a container.  Then after a while they jump just high enough so they barely don't hit the lid of the container anymore.  Then you can take off the lid and all the flees will stay in the container by themselves.  Eventually one might throw out it's expectations and jump out of the box and slowly the rest will also. 

    We are the same way, we think that at times things are impossible and we will never be able to do it.  In this life we have expectations of what we can be, and the things we can do.  These limitations we see hold us back from our true potential.  If we could only just get rid of these expectations and see what our Father in Heaven sees in us, if we could only see our divine potential that we have.  We would be able to accomplish so many great things and bring about much good in this world.

     I think one of the biggest things that hold us back from our potential is the mindset of "oh no one can do that" or "I could never be like that, it is to difficult, even impossible." 

     I just think of the story of Roger Bannister,  before May 6, 1954 no person in history ever ran the mile in under 4 minutes.  Many people said it was physically impossible to ever do it.  But on May 6 1954 Roger Bannister became the first person to ever run a mile in under 4 minutes.  The interesting thing however is that after he did so just 46 days later his record was beaten and within that year over 5 people accomplished the feat.  So all it took was one person to set their mind to and then many others had the faith necessary to accomplish as well.

    I know that we can be that one!  if we feel something is impossible because it has never been done or we feel it is too hard, we just need to think " I will be the first."  Trust in God and in your divine nature, he has promised us that "if ye have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me" (mor. 7: 33)  May we all have trust in that promise and believe that nothing is impossible with the lord.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's true isn't it. Then what else matters?

    I wish too talk today of a situation that many people we meet face.  It is that of, fear of losing certain things for the gospels sake.  These fears go for many things:  Family rejection, broken friendships, activities not in harmony with the gospel.  Sometimes people even get to the point where they have a burning testimony of the Gospel and yet choose not to follow due to these reasons.  We as recently as last night talked with a man who faced this situation, his family did not approve of his decision to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We talked for a long time with him, then upon returning home a story from one of our prophets came to my mind.
Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of meeting a young naval officer from Asia. The officer had not been a Christian, but during training in the United States, he had learned about the Church and was baptized. He was now preparing to return to his native land.
President Hinckley asked the officer: "Your people are not Christians. What will happen when you return home a Christian, and, more particularly, a Mormon Christian?"
The officer's face clouded, and he replied: "My family will be disappointed. . . . As for my future and my career, all opportunity may be foreclosed against me."
President Hinckley asked, "Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?"
With his dark eyes moistened by tears, he answered with a question: "It's true, isn't it?"
President Hinckley responded, "Yes, it is true."
To which the officer replied, "Then what else matters?"

      What else does matter?  We know that Jesus is the Christ. He is resurrected. In our day, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the priesthood of God has been restored. We have the gift of the Holy Ghost.  We know that the promises of the Lord are certain and will all be fulfilled.
       We all have things that do matter to us, and these things are very important.  We must have trust though that the command our Savior to follow him will bring eternal blessings, and that the things we must do or give up to follow him will all be worth it.  
      I love the example of Peter and Andrew when the savior invited them to "Follow me: and I will make you fishers of men."(Matt 4:19)  then after this simple invitation "they straightway left their nets and followed him."(Matt 4:20).  then after this the response of James and John when the Savior called them. "They Immediately left the ship and their father and followed him."(Matt 4:22)
       These men left their careers and even family members at the simple command of the Savior to follow him, he gives us this same simple invitation.  Will we be as obedient as Peter, Andrew, James and John? 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There hath no temptation taken you

     Yesterday, we had a really cool experience, the kind of experience you pray for as a missionary.  We were on our way to visit someone, when we got a phone call from a man who formerly investigated the church.  His family is all members and he is not.  He told us it was urgent and that we needed to come over as quick as we could.  I didn't know what to expect or what was going to happen.  When we got there we sat down and the first thing he said was "I had an Epiphany and I know that I must be baptized.  What do I need to do?"  I knew from talking with past missionaries that he had a serious drinking problem, and that was one of the reasons that he never wanted to join the church.  We started talking about him giving it up, and in full humility he told us "I really want to, and I know I need to, it is just too hard for me I believe."  We tried our best to talk with him and encourage him.  A scripture came to my mind, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."(1 cor. 10:13)  

    I told him that with God's help, he would be able to quit. He was comforted by this scripture knowing that he isn't the only one that has gone through this. We set goals with him to be able to quit and work towards a day in which he could be baptized.  I could see the hope in his eyes and the desire he had to truly change.  In my personal study today I was thinking of scriptures that I might read with him to continue to give him hope.  I read these comforting words from Alma chapter 34 in the Book of Mormon "And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.   And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety..."(Alma 34:15-16)  

    I know that whatever we go through in this life, whatever trial and temptation we have, we are not alone and god will not throw at us more than we can handle.  I know that through the mercy of Christ, we can be encircled in the safety of the arms of our Savior.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The foolish things of the world


    Do these five missionaries look foolish to you?  If you are thinking to yourself, "why yes they do!"  That is a correct answer, these five missionaries, myself included, are "Foolish" and I am so grateful to be called such.

    This past week in one of my studies I was reading from 1 Corinthians 1:27 in which the apostle paul says "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty" As I read this I was thinking, "why would God choose foolish people?"  It became immedietely clear to me that he was reffereing to missionaries as those foolish things of the world.

   As a missionary, I am a living witness of this.  I am not that smart as to the things of this world, I do not know that much by the worlds terms, I am still in the process of learning these things.  There are a couple of things that I do know though;  I know that my Father in Heaven lives and loves me, I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, and I do know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I may not know much more, but luckily, I don't need too.  As a missionary I have talked to so many people with a higher IQ than myself and many that have much more knowledge, and yet I have been able to teach them and bring a joy into their life that they have never had before, and in turn they have thanked me for the blessings in they have recieved because of the gospel in their life.  This is direct fulfillment of that scripture.


      Many people have asked me before, why do they send out missionaries when they are 19 years old?  Wouldn't it be better if they sent out missionaries when they were like 50 so they know more?  As I read and pondered this scripture I realized.  It isn't about how much we know.  It isn't our sophistication or our knowledge that gives us power to teach the gospel.   What gives us power is our faith and our humility, these are the great qualifiers. 

    I know that by "Small and simple things, great things are brought to pass." (Alma 37:6-7)  As we are willing to serve the lord, no matter how "Foolish" we may be.  The lord will take who we are and use us for his divine purposes. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

If ye have not charity

     A subject on my mind today is that of faith, this has been on my mind because we taught it 4 times today to different groups of missionaries.  I have learned so much about faith just in these past 24 hours alone.


       Faith is a principle of power. God works by power, but his power is usually exercised in response to faith( see Moroni 10:7).  He works according to the faith of his children.  Doubt and fear are opposed to faith.  I have seen this so much in my life, and especially on my mission.  I think about the times when I have had great faith in something, there were small miracles wrought because of that faith.  There have been other times when I felt like something was too hard or too out of reach.  Because of this doubt, they were.  Without that faith I couldn't have Gods power and thus accomplish what he needed me too.

     There are many examples in the Book of Mormon of people who exercised great faith and saw mighty miracles.  Ether chapter 12 sums most of these up   "For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead..." (vs. 7)  "Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth..." (vs. 13)  "Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost..." (vs. 14) "And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth his finger he could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared..." (vs. 20)
These are just a few of the miracles in the Book of Mormon all wrought by faith.


  There is however another principle that is essential to performing and seeing the miracles of God.  In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 it says "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of  prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."  I love this scripture because it teaches us what our motives must be in order to recieve have God's power to be with us.  Our greatest motivator has to be love, without it we are nothing.  I have learned this so greatly on my mission, I have truly developed a love for all the people I serve.  Because of this love, and my small faith, I have seen miracles.  I am so thankful for the lord and his love for me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

He and we

       Today I am letting Elder Hobson write my post for me, so enjoy!!

      Recently, I have been pondering on a certain principal I will start by using a scripture. In 2 Nephi 31:10 a prophet named Nephi explains why our Savior was baptized and why it is so important to follow his perfect example. Nephi actually had the privilege of envisioning an account of Christ's own baptism. During this same experience he also hears some of Christ's own words. "And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me." Many other times throughout the scriptures our Savior Jesus Christ asks us to follow Him. Now, why does he ask us to follow him? In every case it is because of His pure love for us. In every case it is for our benefit and for the benefit of those around us. He knows what we should do; He has done it all (3 Nephi 27:21). He knows perfectly how to succor us because he perfectly suffered for us (Alma 7:11-12). He is the perfect example.


        I am going to somewhat change the pace now by using two other passages of scripture. In 1 Nephi 8, Lehi (Nephi's father) has a prophetic dream concerning mainly his own family and the world. In verses 5-9 Lehi is asked by a man in a white robe (Jesus Christ) to follow him. Later, he finds himself traveling in a dark and dreary wilderness while following Christ. Lehi then states he had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, he began to pray unto the Lord that He would have mercy on him. His prayer was answered and he was relieved from his discomfort. Now, hold this thought.

        In Matthew 14:28-31 is the account of Peter walking on the water. 28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.

        Ok, let's try to wrap this up now. Christ is the Lord and He has given His ALL for us. He invites us to follow him in every way. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Growth means growing pains. Lehi and Peter were both asked to follow Him. In both accounts they experienced "suffering" and "discomfort" and in both cases they asked for the Lords help. Their prayers were granted as our prayers can be granted during our life's trials. I receive comfort from knowing that whenever I am following in the footsteps of my Savior, He is right in front of me leading the way and when I feel like falling He will turn around and pick me back up every time I feel too weak to carry on. I testify that He has truly given his all for all of us. He can be with us always if we choose it, if we follow Him. How much closer could you get to anyone than by following them? I love Him, I want to be with Him.