Friday, March 31, 2017

Prepare for #LDSConf -Elder Holland: "heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever"

This weekend, Apostles and Prophets will testify of Christ and his Gospel. There will be messages uniquely for each of us. As we listen, may we listen to the spirit as it impresses upon us what message we need to hear. The speakers have sought heaven's help as they prepare, and what we hear will help us to become more like the Savior and turn our hearts more to him. 

May we all prayerfully prepare for Conference, so that we will be ready to follow the words and impressions of the spirit that come to us.

You can watch on BYUTV, at your local stake center, or online at http://bit.ly/1ZU4Yfu

If you are tweeting on twitter, use the hashtag #ldsconf to join church members on twitter tweeting highlights of the conference.


Now Enjoy this talk by Elder Holland from a previous conference


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 courtesy of https://www.lds.org

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How do Church Leaders prepare for #LDSConf and how should we? (with video)

On the Wednesday before General Conference, all of the church leaders and their spouses go through a session at the Salt Lake Temple.  After that, the spouses go home, and our leaders go to a room apart in the temple, and there bear testimony of the Savior, of his gospel, and his work.  From one who has been there at those sessions, the testimonies often go up to a half hour each.  They are not brief.  This is one way our leaders prepare for General Conference. 

That doesn't include the time spent on prayerfully preparing talks, seeking the Lord's help over sometimes months so that they will have something for us that comes from the Lord.  

How are we preparing for General Conference?  Do we prayerfully consider questions we are bringing to the conference?  Do we rely on the spirit as we are watching or listening to the speakers?  

Elder Holland has said "If we teach by the spirit and you listen by the spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you" (An Ensign to the Nations, April 2011 General Conference).

May we all prayerfully prepare for Conference, so that we will be ready to follow the words and impressions of the spirit that come to us.  For if we prayerfully watch or listen, we will be lifted, strengthened, and will have our questions answered.  

You can watch on BYUTV, at your local stake center, or online at http://bit.ly/1ZU4Yfu 

To help prepare for Conference, watch this 4 minute video of President Monson's talk from last Conference

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 courtesy of https://www.lds.org

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

#LDSConf is "A declaration to all the world that Jesus is the Christ"

From Elder Holland "a general conference of the Church is a declaration to all the world that Jesus is the Christ, that He and His Father, the God and Father of us all, appeared to the boy prophet Joseph Smith in fulfillment of that ancient promise that the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth would again restore His Church on earth and again “come in like manner as [those Judean Saints had] seen him [ascend] into heaven.” 

"This conference and every other conference like it is a declaration that He condescended to come to earth in poverty and humility, to face sorrow and rejection, disappointment and death in order that we might be saved from those very fates as our eternity unfolds, that “with his stripes we are healed.” This conference proclaims to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people the loving Messianic promise that “his mercy endureth for ever.” (Prophets in the Land again, October 2006 General Conference). 

May we all be nourished spiritually as we take the time to watch General Conference this weekend.   May we all tune in to listen to the Lord's authorized servants testify of Christ and his Gospel, and of our part in it. 

Watch it on BYUTV, at your local stake Center, or stream it at http://bit.ly/1ZU4Yfu 

If you are tweeting on twitter, use the hashtag #ldsconf to join church members on twitter tweeting highlights of the conference.

Here is a minute long video-an invitation to Conference. Dates are wrong, but the message is good.

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 courtesy of http://www.mormonnewsroom.org

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Revelation given at the Organization of the Church and what it means to us

One event of the day the church was organized was the receiving of a revelation by the Prophet Joseph Smith, which has become the twenty-first section of the Doctrine and Covenants. In this revelation the Lord manifested his acceptance of the Church and his recognition of those who were called to be its presiding officers.

The revelation reads: “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou [Joseph Smith] shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ,

“Being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith.

“Which church was organized and established in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April.

“Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.

“For thus saith the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard.

“Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer; for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works.

“For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.

“Wherefore it behooveth me that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery mine apostle;

“This being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name—

“And the first preacher of this church unto the church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews also. Amen.” (D&C 21.)

The Prophet further records: “We now proceeded to call out and ordain some others of the brethren to different offices of the Priesthood according as the Spirit manifested unto us: and after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ,’ organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament.” (DHC 1:79.)

From that day, the church has grown to over 15 million members, millions of copies of the Book of Mormon printed in over 100 languages, and the Gospel, that stone cut without hands, rolling forth to cover the earth.  It will never again be taken from the earth, and it has Christ at its head.  It will continue on into the millenium, and the saving ordinaces of the dead will continue then until the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. 

May we ever be grateful for that. 

Want to 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 artist unknown

Monday, March 27, 2017

"To Bind up the brokenhearted..." is what our Savior does

Please read the inspiring message from the Painter of this picture:
Robert L. Millet said, “The cosmic Christ who creates and redeems worlds without number is the same gentle and good Shepherd who goes in search of one wandering lamb. He who holds all things in his power is the same who stills the storms of the human heart by a healing touch” (Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth, p. 34).
Indeed, Elder Howard W. Hunter observed “whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 93).
According to Millet, “God has never promised us a life of ease or an existence free from strain and anxiety. We have not been promised that we would be spared bitter potions in this life. We have been assured that we are not alone and that if we trust in and rely on his mighty arm, we will be empowered and comforted in our trials; we will eventually be delivered out of bondage. “And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions”. 
Truly, “The Lord . . . gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth p. 35). -
Picture and Message are by Sandy Freckleton Gagon available at https://sandyfreckletongagonartblog.wordpress.com/
Scriptural reference: Psalm 147:3
Want to 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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to prepare for Tonight's Women's Session of General Conference

The General Women's Session of General Conference is tonight at 6 PM MDT for all sisters above the age of 8. Sisters, as you prayerfully listen or watch, your hearts will be touched and your souls inspired as you listen to messages about the Savior and his gospel, and your part in it. 

You can watch on BYUTV, at your local Stake Center, or online at https://www.lds.org.  Speakers have been chosen by apostles and prophets, and are under the inspiration of heaven. 

Brethren, we need to support the women in our lives so they can watch this session.

You can tweet highlights of the Meeting using the hashtag #ldsconf, or you can follow the church's new snapchat account as well.

A day or two after the meeting, archives will be posted to gc.lds.org for download.  

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Savior pleads for us to "Come unto Me..."

The phrase Come unto me appears many times in scripture.  It is said so many times that we would do well to listen to them.  Probably the most well known of the Savior using this phrase is in Matthew 11:28 where he says "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 

To better understand the depth of these words, Elder Talmage in Jesus The Christ calls this invitation the "greatest outpouring of spiritual emotion."  Here the Savior is entreating us with all he has in him to come unto him and find rest. 

He who spent his whole life comforting, healing, and teaching the sick, afflicted, poor, and downtrodden is aware of us and our trials and sins.  He took them upon him in the Garden and on the cross.  He has already paid the price for our sins, our trials, and all that we may go through. 

And just as he did for others when he was on earth, he still beckons us to come unto him and find rest.  As we do, we will feel of the joy that flows from him, and we will feel of his love.

May we ever Come unto Him, and feel of his love and comfort, is my prayer. 

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 unto Me by John Zamudio

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"I will encircle thee in the arms of my love"

In a Revelation given to Oliver Cowdery, the Lord said the following:

"treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love." (D&C 6:20)

Elsewhere, in the New Testament, the Lord says that if we love him, we will keep his commandments.  The promise given to Oliver Cowdery is included in our canon because it is for all of us-do we love the Lord, and keep his commandments so we will be encircled in the arms of his love?  

That happens here on earth when the spirit comforts and lifts us in our trials, and lifts us in all other things we may be doing.  We can feel in this life as if the Lord were right there, comforting and lifting us.  

And in the next life, if we have been Faithful, we will inherit the Kingdom of heaven, as Revelations says.  And we will be able to be encircled about in the arms of the Lord's love.  

May we ever keep the commandments, and be able to have the love of the Lord with us forever, 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 in the arms of The Lord by yongsung kim

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and head."

How well do we invite the Lord to make us clean? Here is the following account from the Last Supper:

"He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

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.

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean" (John 13:4-10).

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." 

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer

Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration.  While we revere him as a prophet, we do not worship him.  God the Father and his Son Appeared to him, ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of times, with all of the blessings of previous gospel dispensations, never again to be taken from the earth.  The long night of apostasy was over.  God be praised for what he did with this unlearned but faithful boy who became a man.  And so, fittingly, we sing the following:

    1. Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
    Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
    Blessed to open the last dispensation,
    Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
   
(Chorus]
    Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
    Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
    Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
    Death cannot conquer the hero again.

    2. Praise to his mem'ry, he died as a martyr;
    Honored and blest be his ever great name!
    Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
    Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame.

    3. Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
    Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
    Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
    Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.

    4. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
    Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
    Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
    Millions shall know "Brother Joseph" again.
    Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872
    Music: Scottish folk song

May we ever be grateful for what the Lord accomplished through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  For Christ has suddenly come to his temple again, and we, and all the inhabitants of the earth, are the recipients of his priceless eternal gift of salvation and exaltation.

May we ever be grateful for that, is my prayer.  






You may read more of Joseph Smith's history by clicking here.
 

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 was drawn using the Prophet Joseph Smith's death mask as a pattern, and drawing from paintings then extant.  Picture by Chad Winks

Monday, March 20, 2017

How we help Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the World

"Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. (D&C 43:34, other scriptures ). Both to Prophets and in his ministry, the Savior declared that he was and is the Savior of the World.

And he will come again. We are "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"

When that glorious day comes, no matter what side of the veil we may be on, may we be ready to greet him with joy, having done all that we could to build his kingdom by serving others, lifting them, and by "strengthening the feeble knees" (Elder Holland)

In this way, may we all truly love the Savior, so that he says to us at the last day "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40), and as is said in verse 46, gain eternal life. 

The Savior loves all of his children, and longs to lift each of them, and we are God's hands on earth. We have a "mandate to serve" as President Monson says (and does).

May we do that and feel of the spirit in this life, and the warm embrace of our Savior in the world to come. 

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

To meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Resurrected Christ by Walter Rane, courtesy of https://www.lds.org/

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Our Good Shepherd, who restoreth our souls

Our Shepherd is our Savior, our Redeemer, our all. He is the author of our salvation, and intimately connected to each of our lives. He has felt exactly your pains, sorrows, sins, and beckons for you to come unto him and have your burdens lifted. 

He loves you with a love you cannot comprehend until you have felt it. And then comes a remembrance of his love, that love that extends from before the foundations of the world into the eternities. 

He is the good Shepherd. What wonderful words of peace and blessings come from him. May we ever follow him so that goodness and mercy may follow us, and we may dwell in the house of the Lord forever, as the psalm says:

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." (Psalms 23 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ps/23 ).

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 Beside Still Waters by Simon Dewey available at Altus Fine Art by clicking here

Friday, March 17, 2017

"Behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing"

The Savior, Jesus Christ, showed the prophets of the Book of Mormon our day, because he knew what we would need to know. Listen to Moroni: "Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you. Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing" (Mormon 8:34-35)

Moroni also gave us the promise of the Book of Mormon, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:4-5).

The Book of Mormon was kept and preserved, and hidden away by Moroni and revealed by God for us in our day. The Book of Mormon is not just another Book of Scripture. The word of God, as given from the Savior to his prophets, has been given to us so that it might speak the truth to generations seeking after the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

To truly find out more about the Christ of the New Testament, 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, March 16, 2017

Christ our Savior, the Firstfruits of them that Slept

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (1 Corinthians 15:20 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/15.20)

How glorious are the words spoken by the angel, "He is not here: for he is risen!" (Matthew 28:6 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/28.6)

The Savior had triumphantly claimed the victory over sin and death, so that all would be resurrected, and if we repent, to gain eternal life and exaltation.

What wondrous words proclaimed this ultimate, eternal, infinite triumph.  

May we ever follow Christ, follow his commandments, and stand strong for our beliefs.  He will ever be at our side as we do.  For he lives, and seeks to help us return to him and the presence of the Father.  The victory has already been won.  

May we ever remember that.  

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 "The First" by Jared Barnes

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A story about how our Father in Heaven and Christ are there to lift us

When we have trials, do we realize that we have a Heavenly Father, and Savior Jesus Christ who can help us through our trials, and rescue us when we feel like we are drowning?  Here is a story about a woman who came to realize that.  

"When I was eight, my parents divorced. My dad and I had always been close. At the time, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to not have my father involved in my everyday life. And it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that my dad would not be there to baptize me or participate in many other important events.

Seven years later, there were still times when I would sit to write something about him in my journal, but the feelings of love and sorrow were so strong I couldn’t. It was awful being that completely miserable.

During the 1999 April general conference, Elder Jeffrey Holland’s talk about the importance of a father really struck me. As I listened intently to Elder Holland, my eyes filled with tears. I felt the Spirit surround and comfort me. I realized I did have a father who is always here for me, my Heavenly Father. I was embarrassed that my stubborn thoughts about living a fatherless life were blinding me to the fact that Heavenly Father was waiting to be my support and friend.

Often when we are faced with one of life’s many trials, we focus on the negative effects it has on our life, I was using my parents’ divorce as a reason to be unhappy.

I realized I was drowning in a sea of self-pity, hoping for some miraculous change to come. But I eventually realized that the only way things would change was if I changed. Hardships are what you make them become: a never-ending problem or a chance to learn and grow. As I prayed and grew closer to my Father in Heaven, I realized that I was learning and growing. What a comforting feeling it is to know that when I kneel down to say my prayers, there is always someone who is willing to listen to me and help me. Both my mortal father and my Heavenly Father live far away, but One can hear my silent pleas for guidance." (Carrie Schaffer, Always My Father, New Era, May 2005)

May we ever have faith that our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ are there for us, to strengthen and lift us and to lift us when we feel like the weight of the world is upon us.  

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Yongsung Kim

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Mortal Advent of the Redeemer of the World

Not just at Christmas, but all year long is the time to reflect upon the Birth of the Savior into the world, and take some time to ponder the blessings that were about to come to all the inhabitants of the earth.  Luke 2 records;

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Jud├Ža, 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.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

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 in the inn.

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.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:4-19)

This was the mortal advent of the Savior of the world, he who would bear our burdens, and redeem our souls.  He who would reconcile us to God.  HIs church has been restored to the earth in this latter day, with all of the blessings and ordinances from the ministry of the Savior.  

May we ever be grateful for him is my prayer.  

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Yongsung Kim

Monday, March 13, 2017

How we can be blessed through prayer

Do we avail ourselves of the power of prayer?  It is our way of communing with our maker, who hears the silent pleadings of our heart, and will answer our prayers.  Scripture says the following of prayer:

"let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day" (Alma 37:36-37).

What peaceful promises.  May we ever pour out our hearts to the Lord, and he can and will answer our prayers in his own due time, and may we pray often, and our hearts be drawn out in prayer all the day long, that we may be blessed from on high.

May we ever do that, is my prayer.

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Yongsung Kim

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I am the Good Shepherd, and I lay down my life for the sheep

The Savior is the Good Shepherd. He teaches of this below, and what he was and is willing to do for us.  

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" (John 10:14-18).

He has given his life for us.  He had the power to save himself, but he laid his life down so that we might be saved, protected, lifted, strengthened, and redeemed. 

May we ever be grateful for that is my prayer.

See the following video about this

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Yongsung Kim

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Lesson the Savior taught here-you cannot go further than the Savior's redeeming love

There are a couple of lessons in the parable of the woman taken in adultery.  First the account:

"And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:3-11)

Do we tend to judge others unrighteously? Do we look down on others?  If we see someone sinning, we should think of the peace they would have by obeying God's commandments, and have a desire to invite them to come unto him.

And for those who think their sins are too grave to be forgiven, think again.  The Savior saved this woman so she could be forgiven.  As Elder Holland says, you cannot go further than the Savior's redeeming love.  

May we ever rely on the Savior, and not judge others harshly, is my prayer.  

You can watch a video about this below

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Yongsung Kim

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Heart wrenching trials? "I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death..."

What happens when trials threaten to overcome us?  How can we continue when times get so hard we sometimes feel like giving up?

Elder Wirthlin gave a talk some time ago about the Friday of the Crucifixion giving way to the glorious light of the Sunday of the Resurrection, and how it relates to us and our own trials.  He said;

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth....

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come." (Sunday will come, October 2006 General Conference)

I add my testimony to Elder Wirthlins that the Savior can lift and comfort us through the spirit as we turn to him, and even during those times it feels like he is far away, he isn't.  

He can relate to all of the pains you could ever feel, because he felt them, too.  You are not alone in your trials and hardships.  He is there.  At a future day, you will be able to embrace him and you will know then that he has lifted you and has strengthened you, and your heart will be full of gratitude at that time as your heart is healed.

That we may ever have Faith in the Savior is my prayer. 

Entire talk by Elder Wirthlin at https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/sunday-will-come

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

President Nelson-Use the scriptures to prepare for the Presence of the Lord

"During the January 2017 Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, I challenged those watching to increase their testimony of the Savior by taking time each week to:

Study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament.

Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament.

Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon.

Study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.

I promised those listening that if they would proceed to learn all they can about Jesus Christ, their love for Him and for God’s laws would grow beyond what they could currently imagine." 

President Nelson then talks about doing it himself, studying 2,200 scriptures in 6 weeks, and then talks about how it will prepare us for being in the presence of the Savior.  He speaks as someone who has experienced this.  He says:

"in a coming day, you will present yourself before the Savior. You will be overwhelmed to the point of tears to be in His holy presence. You will struggle to find words to thank Him for paying for your sins, for forgiving you of any unkindness toward others, for healing you from the injuries and injustices of this life.

You will thank Him for strengthening you to do the impossible, for turning your weaknesses into strengths, and for making it possible for you to live with Him and your family forever. His identity, His Atonement, and His attributes will become personal and real to you.

But you don’t have to wait until then. Choose to be one of His true disciples now. Be one who truly loves Him, who truly wants to serve and lead as He did. I promise you that if you will study His words, your ability to be more like Him will increase. I know this is true."

May we become one of the Lord's disciples by studying his words, and following his example, and by becoming like him.  And when we are in his presence, we will know that we have become like him.  

May we ever do that, is my prayer.  

The whole article may be found at https://www.lds.org/blog/i-studied-more-than-2200-scriptures-about-the-savior-in-six-weeks-here-is-a-little-of-what-i-learned?lang=eng

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren..."

In this picture, we see the Savior seeking to lift and comfort a little child. Little children love the Savior completely, and the Savior seeks to help and lift them.  

How do we help lift others, and Love God?  In Mark 12:30 the Savior says the following of the most important laws of the Gospel: 

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."

He follows with the second great commandment "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

How well do we live these commandments?  Do we give our whole souls to the Lord, holding nothing back?  

Psalms echoes this promise "Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." 

Also, do we seek to serve others through a kind word or deed, do we seek to lift others in whatever way we can? 

There is no sweeter blessing in life than giving our lives for the work of the Lord.  Putting aside the movies and Television, and instead, using our creativity and prayers to find more ways to serve the Lord, and to serve others.  

If we determine to do that, ways to serve the Lord and serve others will come to us as we pray and ponder the scriptures, and seek him out in prayer.  We may decide to join an online support group to help support others going through hard times.  We may decide to share the gospel with others.  We may decide to spend more time at the temple.  There are a million other things we can do, but as we leave behind the things of this world, the spirit will impress upon us ways that we can help.  

Remember the scripture that says "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40).  

President Eyring has echoed this when he said "When we reach out to succor anyone, the Savior feels as if we had reached out to succor him." 

I promise you if you will give your lives to the Savior, and seek to do his will, you will see miracles happen in your life.  You will see his hand working for you and for others.

But most important, you will feel of his love for you as you team with him to help others.  And you will come to know Christ.  You will come to know of his reality. And will be able to feel of his love.  

The only greater joy will be when, at the last day, you embrace him, and enter his kingdom, having done his will.  What joy will enter our hearts at that time.  

May we ever Love God and serve others is my prayer.  Then we, like the child in the picture, may feel of the presence of the Savior again.  

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Yongsung Kim

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Prophet Joseph's vision of the Celestial Kingdom

"The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell.

I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire;

Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son.

I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold.

I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept;

And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.

Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;

Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.

And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven." (D&C 137)

What a wonderful revelation!  That all who would have accepted the gospel will be heirs of the kingdom of heaven, even if they didn't receive it here.  How just and merciful is our God.  May we do the work of the Lord in temples and with Family History Work, or indexing, and help do the work of our ancestors, so they may return to the presence of the Father and Christ.  

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are for us as well

In Genesis 22, we are told about Abraham's experience where the Lord tells him to sacrifice his only son Isaac, whom he loves, as a burnt offering to the Lord.  

What torment went through his heart as he ascended the mountain to sacrifice his only son?  

So he went with men, and then finally, alone with Isaac, and was doing what the Lord asked, and was told to stop and not to hurt him.  And then, the Lord provided a Ram for the Sacrifice.  

What peace must have entered into the heart of Abraham at that time, and then when the Lord gave the following promise:

"By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:16-18).  

In modern revelation, we are told that the Blessings of Abraham are available for us, his seed, and for all those adopted into the house of Israel.  We find that these blessings came from the beginning of time, even to Adam (Abraham 1:3) and that Moses 5:10 says that Adam spoke of these same promises given to Abraham and prophesied that all the families of the earth would receive them.  

We don't have to give our only child to the Lord, but may we ever be grateful for Abraham, whose faithfulness gave to him and his seed the priceless blessings given above.  

And may we ever follow his example, being willing to give everything we have to the Lord, if asked.  For in return, the Lord will give us everything, including our families, for eternity.  And this will come through the promises given to Adam, Abraham, to the Early Church, and today, starting with revelations given to Joseph Smith-blessings that will never again be taken from the earth.  

What a glorious promise.  

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 by Harold Copping

Friday, March 3, 2017

Christ is the Strength of Israel, and will redeem his people

Christ is the strength of Israel.  Psalms says the following about him "the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people." (Psalms 68:35).

In Joel we read that before the second coming, the Lord's voice will roar from Jerusalem, and the earth will quake, "but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." (Joel 3:16)

In the doctrine and covenants, we are told the same thing, that even though the judgements of God will come upon the earth, that "my people shall be redeemed and shall reign with me on the earth." (D&C 43:29)

What peace these scriptures give us.  Even though the world is in turmoil, the Lord will redeem his people before and during the second coming.  It helps us to have faith in the future.

May we ever follow the Lord, and trust in him, he who is the strength of Israel.  

May we ever make Christ our Rock, for he is our salvation.  

Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him?  Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth 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 Strength of Israel by Brent Borup