Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Announcement of the Mortal Advent of the Savior of the World, even Jesus Christ

What would it have been like to have heard the tale told by Mary?  The scriptural account says the following: 

"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest" (Luke 1:30-32).

With those words were announced privately the mortal advent of the Son of God into the world.  He who dwelt in the heavens above condescended to come to earth to dwell for a time.  

He is the Only Begotten of the Father, sent as a baby to grow, and ultimately to save us from our sins, to redeem us, and to help us return back to our Father's presence again. What started in Bethlehem was planned from before the foundations of the world, and would change the world forever. And it still changes lives.

May we all be grateful for how he has changed our own lives, and seek to change others for the better through service and kindness, simple acts of caring, and pure Christlike love.

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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

Meme courtesy of lds.org

Monday, December 11, 2017

"And wrapped him in swaddling clothes..." Oh that the whole world could know the import of that Sacred Night

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn" (Luke 2:7)

Oh that the world could know of the import of that sacred day, of what happened eternally because of the birth of that child, the Savior of all. May we spread the gospel with all we know so that others might know of the peace of Christ.

I sometimes wish like Alma, "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!"

But that is not the way it is done.  It is done one by one, as our leaders have stated.  Please take the time to share your testimony of the Savior this Christmas, and the message that he still lives, and watches over the children of men, working for the salvation of our souls.

You may be the instrument in God's hands to bring others to Christ, though you may never know it.

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 lds.org

Saturday, December 9, 2017

May Christmas point us to the Savior of All, the Redeemer of the World

At this time of year, may we all be grateful for the Savior.  What a wonderful time of year to reflect on he whose birth we celebrate.  It reminds me from the following, taken from The Living Christ, the Testimony of the Apostles: 

"We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world." 

With all of the beauty that comes with the lights and tinsel and trees, may they all point us to the Savior of Mankind, the Redeemer of the World, to the King of King and Lord of Lords, who has ransomed us, and beckons all to "come unto him" and to "partake of eternal life," to live forever in the presence of God with our families.  

Christ is real.  He lives.  He is as real as the sun rising in the morning, and has the power to reach into the eternities, and yet comfort the tenderest soul.  He is indeed, as President Monson has said, involved in the details of our lives.  

This Christmas season, may we take a moment as we look at the tinsel and the lights, and reflect on the Savior, of what his birth means to us individually. 

May we see the good he has done in our lives, and take a moment to express our gratitude to him and the Father in heartfelt prayer.  May we draw close to him, through the spirit.  

And, as our prophet has urged us to do, may we determine to follow his example and serve others, lift and strengthen them, and help lead them closer to Christ as we do.  

May we ever remember that, and follow him, this season and always.  

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S
  
When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 Temple Square at Christmastime.  More can be found at https://www.lds.org

Friday, December 8, 2017

From President Monson: This Christmas Season we should rededicate ourselves to Christ

At this sacred time of year, and always, may we follow the counsel of our Prophet, President Monson: “There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ.

“Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.

“Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.

“Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or distress, wherever they may be.

“Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. We will live again because He came.

“Because He came and paid for our sins, we have the opportunity to gain eternal life.” (President Thomas S. Monson, 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional)

May we ever follow the Savior, is my prayer.  

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 a son is given by Howard Lyon  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

President Monson: "The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, the promised Messiah..."

"With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment—a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child was to become the King of kings and Lord of lords, the promised Messiah—Jesus Christ, the Son of God."— Thomas S. Monson.

Christ is the source of this great endowment.  He has power over all.  Often as we see the wickedness in the world, we wonder.  But the closer we get to the Lord, the more we will see he is over all, and we are preparing to return to his presence.  No King, no amount of money, nothing can stop Christ's work from progressing.  And Christmastime is a wonderful time to remember that and more. 

Every little thing that is done good is influenced by the power of the Atonement. He who created the universe came into this life as a tiny baby, as do us all, and made it possible for us to return to our Father in Heaven again if we will but follow him, do his work, and serve others. May we ever do that, and feel of the love of our Savior for us.

This Christmas, and always, seek him who is the creator of all good, and who has power over all. This once tiny babe who is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, the promised Messiah, even Jesus Christ.  

Find out more this Christmas about Christ at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 Christmas at the Washington DC Visitors Center, courtesy of lds.org

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On that holy night - by President Uchtdorf

"Think of the simple yet dignified way our Heavenly Father chose to honor the birth of His Son. On that holy night, angels appeared not to the rich but to shepherds. The Christ child was born not in a mansion but in a manger. He was wrapped not in silk but in swaddling clothes.

The simplicity of that first Christmas foreshadowed the life of the Savior. Though He had created the earth, walked in realms of majesty and glory, and stood at the right hand of the Father, He came to earth as a helpless child. His life was a model of modest nobility, and He walked among the poor, the sick, the downcast, and the heavy laden.

Though He was a king, He cared neither for the honors nor the riches of men. His life, His words, and His daily activities were monuments of simple yet profound dignity.

Jesus the Christ, who knew perfectly how to give, set for us the pattern for giving. To those whose hearts are heavy with loneliness and sorrow, He brings compassion and comfort. To those whose bodies and minds are afflicted with illness and suffering, He brings love and healing. To those whose souls are burdened with sin, He offers hope, forgiveness, and redemption.

If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was—ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. 

During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves. May we remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power." - (President Dieter F Uchtodorf Christ and the Spirit of Giving)

May we all come to the Savior, and seek to serve others this season, and always.

Find out more this Christmas about Christ at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P 

More 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 Behold the Lamb of God by Walter Rane, courtesy of lds.org

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

"Unto You is Born this day...a Savior, which is Christ the Lord"

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:11-12)

Have we found the Savior, as those shepherds did long ago?  And have we shared what we have found with others?  

The gift of the Savior was a gift for all of God's children, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).

After the gift of our lives, our souls, our happiness, and eternal life with our Father in Heaven and families that the Savior has given to us, what gift will we give to him and to others? So many out there who need to be lifted, and who need to feel the love of the Savior.

May we serve them, love them, and help them return as well.  Pick something you can do this Christmas season to serve others.  Then quietly go about doing it.  Make that your gift to Christ this season. 

Find out more this Christmas about Christ at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 God So Loved the World by Simon Dewey, courtesy of lds.org

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Angels of Christmas

Nativity figures from their box are retrieved,
Near a crackling fire on a Christmas Eve.
Each is unwrapped with excited haste,
Then slowly, carefully, thoughtfully placed.
The scene comes to life when viewed by a child,
The babe seems to stir, and the mother just smiled.
Safeguarded here and kept far from danger,
The baby is kissed and laid in a manger.
This night is for children,
and their spirits can lift us,
They are the magic, the guardians,
the “Angels of Christmas”
-Greg Olsen, the artist of this picture.

When seen through the eyes of a pure-minded child, Christmas becomes more meaningful as we remember what the season is really about. May we ever remember him, this season, and always.

Find out more this Christmas about Christ at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 Angels of Christmas, by Greg Olsen, who also wrote the poem.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

How to Prepare and how to watch this year's First Presidency's Christmas Devotional

What a sacred opportunity we have to watch Apostles and Prophets and disciples of Christ testify of the divinity of the Savior at this holy time of year.  

We, as a church, get to commemorate Christ's birth through talks and sacred music from the Tabernacle Choir.  This is a perfect start to a season that should center around the Savior, on service to others, and should be a sacred time for all of us.  

This year's Christmas Devotional is on Sunday December 3rd at 6 PM, MST. 

To prepare for the devotional and to celebrate the Christmas season, you can download and share 5 free Christmas songs from the Mormon Tabernacle choir.

During the Devotional, you may also tweet highlights on twitter using the hashtag #ChristmasDevo

In addition to being broadcast to stake centers, the devotional will be available live on BYUTV online or through your local cable provider.  It will also be streamed online on lds.org, and on the Mormon Channel via their website, YouTube Page, mobile app, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.   

Video and audio recordings of the devotional—along with text from the messages in English, Spanish, and Portuguese—will also be provided on https://broadcast.lds.org within a week. These recordings may be used as part of local unit or family Christmas celebrations and gatherings.

To find out more about the devotional, see the announcement page in the Church News

Find out more this Christmas about Christ at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 lds.org

Friday, December 1, 2017

"And there were shepherds, abiding in their fields..."

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2 8-11)

The shepherds heard the announcement by the angel, and heard a multitide of the heavenly hosts proclaiming the birth of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Creator of all things from the beginning, starting as all of us do, as little babies. 

May we ever be grateful for that sacred moment.

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 lds.org

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What Isaiah saw about the Babe in Bethlehem, and the growth of his Great Latter-Day Work

Read what Isaiah saw about the Savior, and see what started with humble beginnings has grown in our modern day into the Kingdom of God on this earth.  

Isaiah saw this in vision as he wrote "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Over 2000 years ago, the Savior of the World was born in a humble stable, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His coming had been prophesied of by Isaiah and many other prophets. 

The Savior came, as Isaiah also said, "to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound," (Isaiah 61:1) and he did that for both the living and the dead. 

What is spoken after the first scripture of this post is often not mentioned.  Isaiah says "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end..." (Isaiah 9:7)

This once tiny baby is our Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty God, and has restored his gospel to the earth in these latter days, never again to be taken from the earth.  This great latter-day work goes on still, for the living and the dead through missionary work, strengthening the members, and through the work for our ancestors in temples. The Book of Mormon has been translated, and leads people to Christ.  The prophet Joseph said the following of how that relates to the Power of God on this earth:

"Let us take the Book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field, securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time; let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth, yea, even towering with lofty branches and Godlike majesty, until it, like the mustard seed, becomes the greatest of all herbs. … God is sending down His powers, gifts, and angels to lodge in the branches thereof” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 301).

This work will continue unabated, as President Monson says, until, as the Standard of truth says, "The Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

At that time, the work begun from before the foundations of the world will be complete, and the Sons and Daughters of God will dwell with him forever, as recorded in the Bible and Modern Revelation. It is incredible what started with one tiny baby in Bethlehem, indeed started long before that, before the foundations of this earth.  

Become engaged in serving others, and in the work of the Lord. At this Christmas season and always, may we ever seek out the Babe in Bethlehem, our Savior, Our Redeemer, our all.  And may we ever serve him.  

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 lds.org

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Christmas Message from President Monson-Still Time to Serve

How much have you been able to give to others and to the Savior this last year? As this year’s Christmas approaches, can you say that you have followed the Savior more this year, and have served others more? Make that your gift to the Savior this year and help #LightTheWorld  

Have we gone to the temple more, have we given more of ourselves, have we helped make others’ lives better? That is the true spirit of Christmas, and should impel us to be better all year through.

There is still time to serve. As the Prophet has said, “There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved."

So take some time. Think of those who are sad, lonely, need help and help them. Do a kind deed for someone else.  Take an extra trip to the temple to help someone else return to the presence of the Father. Share the gospel in whatever way you can, and you will catch the true spirit of Christmas.  

As the Prophet has said, you need only take off the last syllable of Christmas and it becomes the spirit of Christ. 

May we live with that this Christmas season, and all year round.  Find out how to #LightTheWorld this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

The video where this picture came from is below, with a Christmas message from President Thomas S Monson

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 The Mormon Channel Youtube Page.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is Given...Wonderful, Counsellor"

My heart thrills at the words first spoken by Isaiah and later immortalized in Handel's Messiah:

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

He truly is all of those, our wonderful, Mighty God, and the prince of our peace.  

As Isaiah Prophesied elsewhere, Christ came and gave to us a priceless gift. His life, and in so doing, saved all of ours. Because of him we can return home to our Father in Heaven again. For with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).  

This Christmas season, take the time to pour your hearts out in gratitude to our Father in Heaven for the blessing of the Savior in your life. Let your Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ know how much you love them. Then, take a moment to wait and feel of the love they have for you through the spirit. 

Then share that love with others through the Christmas season.  Lift, strengthen, and encourage others as the Savior would do if he were here. That kind of love changes you forever, and I hope and pray that it might for all people, at Christmas and always. 

For one day we will meet this Wonderful, Counsellor, our Savior and Redeemer, and oh how our souls will thrill as we hear the words, well done, thou good and faithful servant...enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Matthew 25:21). 

Here is a video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing "Unto us a Child is Born"

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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

Find out more about Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

Picture courtesy of lds.org

Monday, November 27, 2017

"And there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus"- The Promised Savior about to be born

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed...And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child" (Luke 2:1-5)

The Prophesied of Savior was about to be born.  He is the true reason for this Season.  Without him we wouldn't have Christmas.  We are the recipients of the priceless gift of his birth, life, ministry, atonement, death, and resurrection, and triumph over sin and death.  No more sacred events have ever been recorded than than these, both in the old world and the new.  

This year, make a determination to study more of his life, to learn more of him, and to follow him.  He is real, and is active in our lives, more than we know.  Remember he is the God of the whole world, yet individual enough to touch our tender hearts.  

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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

Find out about ‪Christ this Christmas at http://bit.ly/1jE0F7S

Picture is Journey to Bethlehem by Joseph Brickey

Saturday, November 25, 2017

This Christmas, do as Christ would do if he were here, and #LightTheWorld (with video)

What will you do this Christmas to follow the example of Christ, and the example of our Prophet? 

Christ spent his whole life lifting, strengthening, and encouraging the sad, the downtrodden, the heartbroken, and the sick and the afflicted.  He provided the perfect example for us to follow not just at Christmastime, but always. 

Another example is every day, at about 5 PM, when his health permitted, President Monson would leave the church office building, and travel to an assisted living center, or another old folks home, and visit the widows and the elderly, just as he had done his whole life. 

He followed the Master's injunction to lift and to serve others.  Can you see the hand of Christ influencing our Prophet in these Christmas initiatives?  He is showing us the way to true Joy in this life, and the world to come. 

How will you #LightTheWorld this Christmas season?  And will you keep those habits all year round?  Each day, do something to lift and strengthen others.  Maybe you donate to a charity organization.  Maybe you bake well, and are able to bake things for people.  Maybe you see someone who is weighed down with the cares of the world, and you help them to know that they are not alone, and you help lift them, and turn their hearts to Christ.

Maybe you go to the temple to do the work of someone who has passed on, so they may be lifted.  Maybe you help the little kid down the street who stubbed his toe.  Maybe you notice the good things other people in your family do.  Maybe you donate your money or time to the local homeless shelter. 

The list goes on and on. You have a special and sacred gift, given you from God.  There is a way that you can lift and strengthen others.  Find that, and use it to lift others as the Lord would do if he were here.  I promise you that your life will fill with the joy of the Lord, and you will find the true spirit of Christmas, or as President Monson says, "The Spirit of Christ." 

Here is this year's #LightTheWorld campaign video, with tons more ideas of what to do to help and lift others.  May we do that this time of year, and always.  


You can find out more this Christmas about the Christmas Initiative each day with something new, including a new video each day from now through Christmas at mormon.org

When Christ was born, the people in the American continent saw the star, and had another sign of his birth, a night of light, even though the sun had set. This was prophesied by prophets in the Americas. Read more by clicking here http://bit.ly/J8J59P

More 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 Mormon.org

Friday, November 24, 2017

#LightTheWorld, How Christ and President Monson served others, and how you can too

Last year during Christmas millions served others, and helped to #LightTheWorld as the Savior would do if he were here. 

It did so much good the church is doing the same thing this year, with the same hashtag.  It focuses on service to others and on sharing the Light of Jesus Christ with others.  It begins today, Friday, November 24th, 2016 (today) and runs through Christmas Day.

Together we can #LightTheWorld and lift others.  It helps us to ask ourselves "what would the Savior do if he were here," and "What gifts do I have that I could share with others this Christmas season?"  We are his hands on earth today.  Each day on mormon.org will be a new video with ideas about how to serve others.  More about what we can do is below, and with tomorrow's post.

One thing you can do is to invite your friends to visit https://www.mormon.org.  There is a new Christmas Video just put up today, and every day through Christmas.  It's also good because nonmembers can chat with missionaries about the gospel there.

You can also find resources for you or even for your ward such as an Advent Calendar for service, Pass-Along Cards and Posters, and you can even download the video for viewing and sharing at https://www.mormon.org/download

And in addition to sharing, find a way to serve others this Christmas season. 

This is exactly what President Monson has done his entire life.  When he was able to, every day he would leave the church office building about 5 o'clock and go to one of the many senior centers or assisted living centers to visit and to lift the widows and elderly. 

As our prophet followed the Savior's example in lifting others, so each of us has a unique gift, a way that we can serve others this Christmas season.  It is our way of following the Savior's instruction to lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees. 

May we ever do that, both at this time of year, and always.

Here is last year's video.  

 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

President Monson's words about how we show Gratitude to Christ

The best thing I have read about Gratitude is from our prophet, President Monson, about gratitude for the Savior.  He states:

"Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love...

to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.

As I close this morning, it is my prayer that in addition to all else for which we are grateful, we may ever reflect our gratitude for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His glorious gospel provides answers to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do our spirits go when we die? That gospel brings to those who live in darkness the light of divine truth.

He taught us how to pray. He taught us how to live. He taught us how to die. His life is a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved.

Ultimately, He stood alone. Some Apostles doubted; one betrayed Him. The Roman soldiers pierced His side. The angry mob took His life. There yet rings from Golgotha’s hill His compassionate words: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Who was this “man of sorrows, … acquainted with grief”? “Who is this King of glory,” this Lord of lords? He is our Master. He is our Savior. 

He is the Son of God. He is the Author of Our Salvation. He beckons, “Follow me.” He instructs, “Go, and do thou likewise.” He pleads, “Keep my commandments.”

Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His words. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.

My sincere, heartfelt prayer is that we may in our individual lives reflect that marvelous virtue of gratitude. May it permeate our very souls, now and evermore. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen." (The Divine Gift of Gratitude, October 2010 GC)

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 from http://www.mormonnewsroom.org

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