Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Profound words from our leaders about Gratitude

At this time of year, may we remember President Monson's words, "to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." (The Divine Gift of Gratitude, October 2010 GC)

Gratitude is the most important thing we can have in our hearts. It gives us life and connects us with our Father in Heaven, and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Here is more of what the church says about gratitude:

“He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious” (D&C 78:19). Gratitude is an uplifting, exalting attitude. People are generally happier when they have gratitude in their hearts. We cannot be bitter, resentful, or mean-spirited when we are grateful.

We should be thankful for the wonderful blessings that are ours and for the tremendous opportunities we have. We can be thankful to our parents, family, friends, and teachers. We should express appreciation to everyone who has assisted us in any way.

We should thank our Heavenly Father for His goodness to us by acknowledging His hand in all things, thanking Him for all that He gives us, keeping His commandments, and serving others. We should especially thank Him for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, for the Savior's great example, for His teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help, for His infinite Atonement." (Gratitude topic page)

At this time of year and always, may we ever remember to have gratitude in all things, and especially for our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Monday, November 20, 2017

"these are men whose hearts swell with thanksgiving to God"


At this time of year when our hearts become thankful, it is helpful to get a glimpse of the gratitude our church leaders have. 

Elder Bednar says the following about prayers of gratitude with the other General Authorities: "The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests. As I am blessed now to pray with apostles and prophets, I find among these modern-day leaders of the Savior’s Church the same characteristic that describes Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon: these are men whose hearts swell with thanksgiving to God for the many privileges and blessings which He bestows upon His people (see Alma 48:12)."

May we follow the example of our leaders, not just at this time of year, but always.  May we be like Moroni of old, with hearts swelled with Thanksgiving to God for the many blessings bestowed upon us.  

Want to find out more about Christ? The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is the Word of God. I know it to be true. God Showed prophets what to include in the Book of Mormon for our day. Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Pictures courtesy of lds.org

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Elder Melvin J Ballard's account of Meeting the Savior and feeling the prints of the nails...

Elder Melvin J. Ballard, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, relates the following experience he had of meeting the Savior and feeling the prints of the nails in his feet: “I had sought the Lord . . . and that night I received a wonderful manifestation and impression which has never left me. I was carried to this place—into this room. I saw myself here with you. I was told there was another privilege that was to be mine; and I was led into a room where I was informed I was to meet someone.

As I entered the room I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious being I have ever conceived of, and was taken forward to be introduced to Him. As I approached He smiled, called my name, and stretched out His hands towards me. If I live to be a million years old I shall never forget that smile. He put His arms around me and kissed me, as He took me into His bosom, and He blessed me until my whole being was thrilled.

As He finished I fell at His feet, and there saw the marks of the nails; and as I kissed them, with deep joy swelling through my whole being, I felt that I was in heaven indeed. The feeling that came to my heart then was: Oh! If I could live worthy, though it would require four-score years, so that in the end when I have finished I could go into His presence and receive the feeling that I then had in His presence, I would give everything that I am or ever hope to be!” (Melvin J. Ballard—Crusader for Righteousness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 65-66.)

The Savior Lives! He is Real, and from the Prophet Joseph Smith on down, people have been able to see him, or to feel of his presence through the veil.  He is there.  It is worth every sacrifice to be able to feel what it is like to be in his presence.  May we all be worthy of that.

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Or, Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Friday, November 17, 2017

"The Standard of Truth has been erected..."

Our Savior, Jesus Christ is the author of this great Latter-Day Work, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  He spoke prophetically when he said “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny many defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited very clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (Quote is The Standard of Truth by Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church, 4:540 quoted in "The Truth of God Shall Go Forth," Elder Ballard October 2008 General Conference)

We live in a time where many tell falsehoods things about the restored church, and it is mocked and ridiculed both by other churches and the media.  Yet it still continues to bring converts, because the true seekers after Christ will find it.  It will just continue to grow, one by one, testimony by testimony.

This gospel will never again be taken from the earth.  It will grow through the millenium, when Christ himself comes to rule and reign.  He today stands at the head of this church which bears his name, and yet is personal enough to be able to touch each of our lives individually through the spirit.

As Elder Packer says, the mind of man cannot conceive of this great latter-day work.  God it the author of it.  It was he who planned this from before the foundations of the earth, to redeem all who would come unto him.  It was him who planned that all would have that opportunity to accept him as the Savior and Redeemer of the World.  And he was central to the plan. 

May we ever be grateful for what the Lord revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Because of that, we have blessings that ages of people yearned for, but could never find, but will have the opportunity to accept.

And both we and they will be able to return to the presence of the Lord, to dwell with him and our Father in Heaven and our families forever.  To be able to do his work, and to inherit all that he has is the blessing extended to all who seek after him.

Seek Christ.  Find him.  And devote your lives to him is my hope and prayer.  And then share that light with others.

Want to find out more about Christ? The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is the Word of God. I know it to be true. God Showed prophets what to include in the Book of Mormon for our day. Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

picture courtesy of https://www.lds.org

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My own Psalm of Nephi, and each of us has a similar psalm inside of us

I love the psalm of Nephi. It reminds me of the blessings I have received from the Lord.  I spent some time away from the church, and when I look at that time, those were dark days.  I came back, but this time, I felt like I was truly converted and committed.

Since that time, many years ago, I have experienced the Light of Christ, and the power of the spirit in my life in an incredible way, and as I was reflecting upon those blessings, I realized they sounded like my own personal psalm.  Here it is-it may be much like your own psalm;

When I was in trials and suffering, the Lord comforted and lifted me. 

When I was sick, he healed me.

When I was afraid, he comforted me with his love.

When trials suffered long, and became too hard to bear, he helped me find a way out.

When I was weak, and lost hope, he saw my faith, and strengthened me.

He brought me back when my heart rebelled against him, and my heart will be forever grateful. 

In visions, he has shown himself to me, and through the spirit, I have come to know him.  My heart soars when in his presence, and I would give everything I am to return to him one day. 

He has shown more of his plan for me and for the salvation of the children of men, and my heart has rejoiced at the Goodness of my God. 

My heart, and my whole soul belong to Him.  He is my rock, my fortress, and has ransomed me with his blood. 

He has filled me with his love, and granted my greatest desire, to help to lift and strengthen others, and to provide opportunities for others to come closer to him. 

Word do not have the ability to convey my love for him, my God and my Savior, nor can they begin to convey the love he has shown to me and to all who come unto him.  He whose love stretches from before the beginning of the earth into the eternities and beyond beckons to all to come unto him.

Oh that all of the world could know him! Oh that they could come unto him and in him find rest.  For that is what he has given me.

With all my heart, I invite all to come unto Him.  Learn of Him, Follow him, Feed his sheep, and give yourselves to him.  For in him is our greatest joy. 

This is my psalm.  As we reflect upon our lives and our testimonies, I believe each of us has our own personal psalm inside of us.  As we remember the Goodness of God, we will remember his goodness to us, and our psalm will have begun.  Write it down.  Save it and treasure it.  And share it as you feel directed by the spirit. 

With all my love,

Mike Ballard

Find out more about Christ. Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Calling by Yongsung Kim, available at Foundation Arts

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How we can be "encircled about eternally in the arms of his love"

The scriptures relate the following tender passage about what happens when we seek out the Lord.  We are "eternally encircled in the arms of [our Savior's] love." As Nephi says,  "I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love" (2 Nephi 1:15)

The more we seek after the Lord, the more we do his work, the more we can be encircled in the arms of his love here through the spirit.  Which of us has not wanted to be encircled about by the arms of the Lord, through the spirit?  Have we not yearned to feel that connection to God?

Our whole lives as we diligently seek him out, and as he instructs, follow him, and learn of him, we can be strengthened and grow close to him, until it is time to return home to him.

Then, at the last day, we can be encircled in the arms of his love again as he embraces us.  President Eyring says it so well:

"We will on the Day of Judgment stand before the Savior, face to face. It will be a time of joy for those who have drawn close to Him in His service in this life. It will be a joy to hear the words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I so testify as a witness of the risen Savior and our Redeemer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." (Come Unto Me, April 2013 General Conference)

Additionally, Elder Melvin J Ballard had an experience where he embraced the Savior, and these are his words about that: "He put His arms around me and kissed me, as He took me into His bosom, and He blessed me until my whole being was thrilled...Oh! If I could live worthy, though it would require four-score years, so that in the end when I have finished I could go into His presence and receive the feeling that I then had in His presence, I would give everything that I am or ever hope to be!” - see more at the following blogpost.

May we give everything in our whole souls for the Savior, and his work, and be able to feel of his warm embrace at the last day. 

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and head," a modern-day application

How well do we invite the Lord to make us clean? Scripture records the following about the Savior making us clean, and there is an application for us in our day. 

At the Last supper, after eating, Christ rose and took a towel and water, and began to wash the disciples feet. The scriptural account is as follows:

"Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." (John 13:6-9).

I love Peter's responses.  Impetuous, protective, and valiant Peter first doesn't want the Savior to wash his feet maybe because he believes it is beneath the Savior to do that.  But then, when he understands what the Savior is doing, he wants to be completely clean.

Do we sometimes act like Peter? Not allowing the Atonement of Jesus Christ to operate in our lives? 

When we know the true power of the Atonement, and the cleansing power of the spirit, it is often figuratively our spirit says, as Peter later declares, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and head." And he who descended below all things waits for us to figuratively say just that. 

How wonderful that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed every whit from our sins and iniquities, and comforted in our trials and afflictions.

May we ever avail ourselves of that, and reach out in prayer always, is my prayer. 

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is The Servant by Yongsung Kim

Monday, November 13, 2017

Do we let the Savior lead us? He beckons to us...

The Hymn we love so well says "Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene--one step enough for me." 

The Savior can lead us.  In fact, he repeatedly invites us to follow him, and to partake of the living bread and water that flow from him.  

We can be nourished as we follow the Savior, follow his path, and walk in his footsteps.  

He has repeatedly said "I am the way, the truth and the life" and reminds us that only through him can we be saved.  

I close with my testimony that the Savior is real, that he loves us, and only though him can we return to our heavenly home with our families.

He did what is written in the scriptures that he did, and many other things that cannot be written.  He is the Savior and Redeemer, and praise be to his name forever for redeeming all who will come unto him.

He stands at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ, and he with the father appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith to begin the restoration of his church in our day. 

That we may ever follow wherever the Savior leads is my prayer.

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Wherever he leads me by Greg Olsen

Saturday, November 11, 2017

To become as little children-a story "you need to pray to Jesus to help you"

How often do we trust our Father in Heaven as little children trust their parents?  One time when I was having a hard time, and I felt like I was at the end of my rope, my then 5 year-old daughter came up to me and trustingly said "You need to pray to Jesus to help you," as she put her little hand on my arm. 

What a powerful lesson to trust the Savior.  Do we get so caught up in life that we forget simple faith?  The Savior had such love for children, and it is easy to see why.  They have such simple, pure faith, and are quick to respond to the spirit.  The Savior said of children that "their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)

The Scriptures also say to "learn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart" (Matthew 11:29) Little children are this way all the time, hearts thirsting to learn about the Savior, and they are meek and trusting.   

Some of my most spiritual experiences have come as I went to the Lord, totally trusting and having faith in him as a little child.  It is as if the windows of heaven were unlocked to me as I trusted him completely and had faith as a little child. 

It has been said that when we are a child, we spend all of our time looking forward to being an adult.  And, if we are to take the Savior's admonishment literally, we spend the rest of our lives trying to remember how to become as little children. 

That we may be obedient, trusting, and may we feel the Savior close, through the spirit as we become as little children in our pleadings to him, is my prayer. 

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is "No Shoes" by Del Parson. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Do we love the Lord, and do what we need to show that love to him?

I can only imagine what the Apostles were thinking and feeling without their master when he was crucified. What would they do? So they went back to what they knew best, Fishing.  And so the Savior taught them, and specifically Simon Peter what their life mission would be about.  To a lesser degree, his counsel applies to us as well in our day. First the Account from John;

"But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes."

John said to Peter "it is the Lord," and when Peter saw it was the Lord, he cast himself into the sea, and swam to him, with the other apostles trailing in the boat.  Peter wasn't willing to wait. He loved the Lord so much he wanted to be with him right away.  We are much like that.  Who would not want to be in the presence of the Lord?

On the shore, after eating of the fish, the Savior said the following to Peter;

"Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."(John 21:4-6,15-17)

The Savior often teaches by repetition, and as he asked Peter, he similarly asks us to "Feed his sheep." That principle applies to us in our day, and that is how we show our love for the Savior. 

President Eyring has said "When we offer succor (help) to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him." (April 2015 General Conference).  What a priceless truth, and echoed in the Bible, as we do it unto the least of these, we do it unto Christ (Matthew 25:40).  That we lift him when we lift others. 

We can do this in our families, and by reaching out to others who are downtrodden, and need lifting and comforting. There are so many ways to serve others, and here are some ideas.  I hope and pray that when we see others in need, that we follow the Master's instruction to "Feed my Sheep."

May we ever do that, is my prayer.   

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Cast your nets, by Greg Olsen