Monday, July 24, 2017

"But if our lives are spared again, to see the Saints their rest obtain..."

Today is the day we commemorate the early saints coming west after the horrible persecution they faced in New York, Missouri, Ohio, and Illinois for just wanting to live the principles of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of them lived and were willing to die for the Savior they loved so much. May we all be modern-day pioneers and follow their example, and take joy in the words of the Hymn Come, Come ye Saints. 

At the last day, after a life spent in the service of the Savior and others, may we be able to declare with Joy "All is Well"

Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell -
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell-
All is well! All is well!

We'll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away, in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the saints, will be blessed.
We'll make the air, with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we'll tell -
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-
All is well! All is well!

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 Ever Onward by Joseph Brickey

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Our Father, Which Art in Heaven..."

The Lord's Prayer, his prayer in the Americas, and our prayers.  No matter how many times I hear it, I am moved by the Lord's Prayer, as it gives an example for us.  He says "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (3 Nephi 13:9-13, also in Matthew 6:9-13).

Additionally, the prayers the Savior prayed in the new world, when he appeared to the peoples of the Americas could not be uttered.  Here is the account:

"And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father." (3 Nephi 17:17)

I often wonder what those pleadings of the heart were, coming from the heart that is the purest of all.  These prayers and more, including the intercessory prayer (Blogpost on it here) stir our souls, and can show us how our prayers can be more meaningful. 

How often are we nourished and fed through our prayers?  We can often feel of the spirit of the Lord as we pour out our hearts and let the Lord know of our pains, our deepest righteous desires, and he will send the spirit to comfort, strengthen, and lift us in our trials.

Some of the most sacred moments I have experienced in life have come through prayer.  I believe that when we pray, if we will pray in Faith, we experience a little bit of "becoming one" with God, as he asked for in the intercessory prayer.  We feel him near, and feel the power of his love, and the love of the Father.   

May we all pray to our Father in Heaven, in the name of Christ, and be able to feel of their love for us.  

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 Lord's Prayer by Liz Lemon Swindle

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Sacred Life and mission of the Living Savior

Over 2 millenia ago, a tiny baby was born into the most humble of circumstances. This royal son, the only begotten of the Father, was not clothed in silken robes, but was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. He was prophesied of by many ancient prophets. He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Truly unto us a child was born, and the Government of Heaven and earth was upon his shoulders. His name truly is Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Of his kingdom there is no end, for his coming into the world had been planned from before the foundations of the world, and the effects of his life will give life to all of humankind and will stretch into the eternities and beyond.

But his life was not to be easy. He taught with power, performed miracles, and showed the love of God to all he met. Yet the Pharisees and Saduccees, instead of accepting him as the promised Messiah, said his miracles were done by the power of the Devil.

But this was foretold as well. As Isaiah says, he was despised, rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…and with his stripes we are healed.

Betrayed by his own, abandoned by all, he faced the indescribable agony of the atonement, where his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. Then he faced the abuse of the Jewish leaders, the flogging of the Roman troops, and yet meekly he still succumbed to the horrors of crucifixion.

He was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. During that time he went to his father, and to the world of the Spirits of the just. He organized his work there, that others might know of the good news of his triumph over sin and death.

After 3 days, the prison doors were rent, and he became the firstfruits of them that slept. Angels rolled back the door of the tomb, and reported he is not here, he is risen, and beckoned all who came to the tomb to come and see the place where the Lord lay.

He appeared to many, apostles and disciples alike, and then went to visit the other sheep in his fold, the people of the Americas and other places. Prophets in those places had testified of his coming and death, had seen in vision what the Savior, the fulfillment of prophecy, would do.

He taught them his gospel, and organized his church there, with all of the saving ordinances that he brought to the old world, and then ascended into heaven.

This once tiny baby still lives today as the Savior and Redeemer of the World. And he has restored his gospel, once lost for millennia, to the earth today. The lord whom ye seek has suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant.

Prophecies are again being fulfilled at his hand, inspiring the minds and hearts of men and women all over the world. His greatest desire is to draw men to him so that they might feel of the love of God that emanates from him. That each person on the face of the earth might feel of his love through the spirit. The fullness of his New Testament Gospel is again on the Earth, to bless the lives of all who come unto him. And it touches each individual heart with the tenderness of a God who is aware of each of us, and involved in our lives more than we know, but can if we open our hearts to him, and do his work.

He said to Peter that if he loved him to feed his sheep. There are many out there who need the bread and water of life. As the prophet says, we are God’s hands on earth, with a mandate to serve. As we serve others, they are able to feel of the love of God as well. It softens them.

This is one of the keys that Christ knew, and was willing to give his life for. He tirelessly served others, and as we serve others too, we will come to know this great key to happiness in this life and in the next. And we will become like Christ as we do.

When we meet him face to face, how wonderful a time that will be for us as we see that we have become like him. To embrace him and to join with him in rejoicing as we realize that we have been dependent upon him our whole lives, and his power has lifted us, and will for eternity.

And how wonderful it will be to know that those whose lives we have touched will also be able to dwell with the Savior and us again. That is the secret of life. To become connected to those around us, bound together by the Love of the Savior.

That is just a few parts of what the birth of the Savior means to us. 
To read what a prophet says about Jesus Christ, go to https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/he-is-risen

His gospel is on the earth again, and to find out more, click here


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

Read the book Jesus The Christ online at https://www.lds.org/manual/jesus-the-christ or get the audio mp3 for free at https://www.lds.org/media-library/audio-interim/jesus-the-christ

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 Light of the World, by Brent Borup, available at http://www.brentborupstudio.com/lightoftheworld.html

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Beatitudes: Peaceful words for Saints in a Troubled World

As we become more like the Savior, we are able to take such comfort in such scriptures as the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the mount: 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:3-12)

Such peaceful words for those saints in a troubled world.  What peace can we find in these words?  to obtain mercy, to be called the children of God, and many more words of peace.  May we prayerfully study those, and remember them, and in them find peace. 

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 Keeper of the Gate, by Greg Olsen

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"...enter thou into the joy of thy lord"

May we all look forward to that day, after a life of service, when we enter the Kingdom of God.  The scriptures say of those who have served the Lord and rely on his grace,  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant...enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21). 

The scriptures further teach that he will wipe away all our pain, not just in the millenial day, but afterwards “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelations 7:17). 

May we seek out the Savior, and follow him, so that we may have peace in this life, and at the end, be welcomed by his warm embrace into the Celestial Kingdom.  We will then be able to dwell with our families, our ancestors, our posterity, and our Heavenly Parents forever.  What a wonderful promise.  

Want to learn 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 is Abide with Me by Greg Olsen

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"A Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with Grief" so he can comfort us in our trials

The Savior has experienced everything we can ever, and is so loving as to be able to reach into the depths of our souls and heal the pain we do not show, the sorrow that is only able to be healed by him, the fear only calmed by him.  This is the Power of the atonement, to change people's hearts.  He knows. 

As the Prophet says "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief...Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows...But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3)

May we ever turn to the Savior in all things, and be comforted through the spirit, be lifted, strengthened, and truly loved by a Savior who is real, and is there for each of 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

Picture is Christ walking on the shoreline, by Greg Olsen.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Savior's plea to come unto him and drink of the living water

The Savior said of those at Jerusalem how oft he would have gathered them as a hen gathereth her chickens, and they would not.  (Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34).  How saddened he was that people had not come to him. 

Similarly, he longs for us to come unto him, and to feel of his love for us.  As we do, he lovingly heals our pains, comforts our hearts, and soothes our souls.  Come unto him and drink of the "living water" that he offers us, that we may never thirst again.  (John 4:11, John 7:38, more)

He is the Wonderful Counsellor spoken of by Isaiah, he who was bruised for our iniquities, and who with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53, Mosiah 14, Isaiah 9:6).  He pleads with each of us to come unto him and find rest (Matthew 11:29). 

May we ever do that, and find respite from our trials, and find rest from our troubles and the problems of the world.  May we always come to him to have him help us in all things, to be able to feel of the spirit near, and so that finally, we may return to live with him again. 

"I testify that Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, was and is the Only Begotten of the Father, the Lamb of God. He chose from before the foundations of the earth to be your Savior, my Savior, and the Savior of all we will ever know or meet."—Henry B. Eyring, "Always", Ensign, Liahona, October 1999

Read more about Christ in the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. Find out for yourself 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 O Jerusalem by Greg Olsen.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Christ and the Children in the Americas

I love this picture because it is a reminder that this actually happened. Christ blessed the children in the Americas in Third Nephi.  The account:

"And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

And when he had done this he wept again;

And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children." (3 Nephi 17:21-25)

A future chapter records that these children later: "they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them." (3 Nephi 26:16)

The scriptures tell us in Matthew 18:1-3, and echoed in this month's First Presidency Message that we must be converted and become as little children in order for us to be saved in the Kingdom of Heaven.  May we ever do that, and experience the love of the Savior and our Heavenly Parents Forever.   

May we ever do that.

This comes from the Book of Mormon. Along with the Bible, Christ's 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 Come and See by Del Parson

Friday, July 14, 2017

Do we accept the Savior's invitation to "Abide with Me?"

How often do we live our lives so that the Savior would be welcome?  How often do we invite him to Abide with us?  I think of the second verse of the sacred hymn "Abide with me;"

Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.

O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

Not just before bedtime, but always, may we invite the Savior to abide with us, to watch over us, to comfort us, to lift us, and to help us to become better.  As we serve others, and as we seek to know the Savior, through the spirit, we will come to know him better, and will feel a joy beyond compare.

And then, at the last day, he will be there to welcome us back to the presence of the Father where we will abide with our heavenly parents, our Savior, our families, our ancestors, and our posterity forever.

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

Picture is Abide with Me by Del Parson

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the World (message by Howard Lyon)

Read the powerful message about this picture by the artist, Howard Lyon. 

For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. - Proverbs 23:11

As I was drawing this piece, I imagined an encounter with Christ.  I pictured the Savior’s face and what it would be like to look into His eyes.  I thought of His humble birth and the crucifixion.  I tried to visualize Him at Gethsemane and resurrected at the garden tomb.  His life was one of contrasts, a King of Kings born in a manger.  He had the power to command the elements, but he condescended to redeem us all.

This drawing was done with charcoal and white chalk.  Charcoal has been used by artists for thousands of years.  It is the humblest of drawing tools.  Wood is consumed by fire and then compressed into sticks.  It makes a rich black pigment.  The white chalk is also an ancient drawing tool and is a perfect and pure white.  It provides a contrast with the charcoal that adds depth to the drawing.

It reminded me of the symbolism of the burnt offering, wherein the pure and perfect sacrifice was placed on the altar and completely consumed by the flames.  Christ, the Son of God, lived humbly and placed his perfection upon the altar of Gethsemane in our behalf, doing what we could not.  Through His offering, that which is stained and burnt becomes pure and white.-Howard Lyon

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 Redeemer by Howard Lyon, used with permission, and available at his website