Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Am a Child of God

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows to late.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with hime once more.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

Words by Naomi Randall, music by Mildred Pettit

Friday, January 27, 2012

Changing Perceptions

This beautiful video is about Deon Davis, a proud aboriginal man from Australia.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2 Nephi 2:27

"Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil."

Agency is freedom of the soul, the unfettered right to choose. It is essential to the plan of salvation. Righteousness cannot be forced because, as Lehi taught, if there is no opportunity for wickedness, there can be no opportunity for righteousness (2 Nephi 10:23). What could righteousness possibly mean if it were forced upon us? The attributes of godliness are developed only when coupled with the ability to choose. The Savior's redeeming sacrifice grants us the opportunity for eternal life—but only if we choose to follow him. The righteous followers of Christ cleave unto that which is "honest, true, chaste, benevolent...virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" (Article of Faith 13); whereas the companions of evil seek for that which is foolish, false, carnal, sensual, and devilish. That which is of Satan debases. That which is of God exalts and purifies. This is the day to freely and wholly choose the Lord and his righteousness.

When Ye Shall Receive These Things, p. 89

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How the Gift of Agency Works in Our Lives

Here are several scripture references for you to personally study and ponder on how the gift of agency works in our lives. Pray for the Holy Ghost to testify to you that these scriptures are true.

  • Our mortal life is a period of testing to see how we will use our agency. (see Abraham 3:25)
  • Our Heavenly Father gave each of us the Light of Christ so that we may know good from evil. (see Moroni 7:12-17)
  • Because "[we] are permitted to act for [ourselves]," we are responsible for our actions. (see Helaman 14:30-31).
  • When we choose to disobey God's commandments, our options decrease, and we may become captive to wickedness (see 2 Nephi 2:29; John 8:34)
  • Our Heavenly Father "will not suffer [us] to be tempted above that [we] are able; but will...make a way to escape," provided we choose to resist the temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • We must humble ourselves and "pray continually" so that we can resist temptation. (see Alma 3:28)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Choose Ye This Day

Henry B. Eyring, a disciple of Jesus Christ, urges us to seek God's help to overcome complacency and discouragement and find joy in serving Him today.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Agency is Essential to Our Eternal Progress

Our Heavenly Father has given us agency. This ability to choose for ourselves is an essential part of the plan of salvation.

In the premortal Council in Heaven, our Heavenly Father presented His plan, which included the principle of agency. Lucifer rebelled and "sought to destroy the agency of man" (Moses 4:3). As a result, he and those who followed him were cast out. The rest of us chose Heavenly Father's plan, which allowed up to come to earth and gain a physical body. It also provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, who would atone for our sins. Through repentance we could be forgive. We shouted for joy! (see Job 38:7)

How we use the gift of agency in mortality affects our eternal happiness or misery. The scriptures teach us that "there is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven..., upon which all blessings are predicated" (Doctrine & Covenants 130:20) — and to this law there is also "a punishment affixed" (Alma 42:22). Therefore, when we choose our course of action, we also choose the consequences of our actions (see Galatians 6:7). Although consequences may not be immediate, they will always follow. Choosing to follow God's commandments leads us toward peace and eternal life. Choosing to accept Satan's temptations leads us toward sin and heartache.

The Old Testament prophet Joshua set the example for us when he said, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
taken from the Ensign Magazine,  June 2010

Sunday, January 22, 2012

An Anchor To Our Soul

Walking in The Light of Testimony by Harold B. Lee

" The time is coming and facing you right now...when except you have that testimony of certainty that these things [the gospel, the Church, and so on] are true you will not be able to weather the storms that are going to beat upon you and try to tear you from your moorings today. 

But if you know with all your soul that these things are true... you will know who Jesus your Savior is and who God your Father is; you will know what the influence of the Holy Ghost is. If you know those things you will stand as an anchor against all the storms that shall beat upon your house, as the Master's parable described. That one who hears His words and keeps His commandments shall be as the house that was build upon a rock, and when the storms came and the floods beat upon the house and the winds blew, it fell not, because it was founded upon a rock. 

"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house,; and it fell: and great was the fall of it: (Matthew 7:26-27)."

Teachings of  Presidents of the Church – Harold B. Lee, p 44

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We Ever Pray For Thee

We ever pray for thee, our prophet dear,
That God will give to thee comfort and cheer;
As the advancing years furrow thy brow,
Still may the light within shine bright as now,
Still may the light within shine bright as now.
We ever pray for thee with all our hearts,
That strength be given thee to do thy part,
To guide and counsel us from day to day,
To shed a holy light around our way,
To shed a holy light around our way.
We ever pray for thee with fervent love;
And as the children’s prayer is heard above,
Thou shalt be ever blest, and God will give
All that is meet and best while thou shalt live,
All that is meet and best while thou shalt live.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My New Life

Stephanie Nielson, survivor of a near-fatal plane crash, shares her story of a beautiful life centered on faith in Jesus Christ and love of family.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alma 40:11

" Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life."

The Book of Mormon bears witness that life does not end when one goes through the experience of physical death. It is the common lot of all who come into this life. Everyone who is born must, sooner or later, die. We are born as helpless infants, and we depart helpless in the face of death. In the purest sense, however, there is no death, and there are no dead. When living things die, they do not cease to be—they merely cease to be in this world. Life goes on. 

Death is a transition, a change in assignment, a transfer to another realm. When we die, the spirit continues to see and act and feel and associate; it is only the physical body that become inactive and lifeless for a season. And so our term death describes things from our limited mortal perspective. From an eternal perspective, there is only life.
When Ye Shall Receive These Things, p 285

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Doors of Death

The Doors of Death by Elder Russell M. Nelson

"Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body.

"Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. "This life [was to become] a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God." (Alma 12:24) But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. 

"Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home required passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Corinthians 6:9)

"As seedlings of God we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven. Our limited perspective would be enlarged if we could witness the reunion on the other side of the veil, when doors of death open to those returning home. Such was the vision of the psalmist who wrote, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." (Psalms 116:15)

"As a special witness of Jesus Christ, I testify that He lives! I also testify that the veil of death is very thin. I know by experiences too sacred to relate that those who have gone before are not strangers to leaders of this Church. To us and to you, our loved ones may be just as close as the next room—separated only by the doors of death."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Until We Meet Again

I have a testimony of the power of the resurrection. Through the power of the Atonement of our most beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, everyone we have ever loved and lost to death will be reunited with us, in our physical bodies, here on earth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Death is a Part of Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness

We have come to earth to learn, to live, to progress in our eternal journey toward perfection. Some remain on earth for a moment, while others live long upon the land. The measure is not how long we live, but how well we live. Then comes death and the beginning of a new chapter in life. This new chapter leads to that glorious day of resurrection, when spirit and body will be reunited, never again to be separated.

Christ said to the grieving Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (John 11:25-26)

"Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." (Alma 40:11-12)

taken from April 2010 Ensign Magazine

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself

Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself by George Albert Smith

"Brethren and sisters, if the gospel of Jesus Christ, as delivered to you, has not planted that feeling of love in your hearts for your fellow men, then I want to say that you have not enjoyed the full fruition of that wonderful gift that came to earth when this Church was organized.

"If we find a man or woman who has not succeeded in life, one who is weakening in his faith, let us not turn our backs upon him; let us make it a point to visit him, and go to him in kindness and love, and encourage him to turn from the error of his way. The opportunity to do individual work among us as a people is present everywhere; and there are few men and few women in this Church who could not, if they would, reach out a little farther from the circle  with which they are identified, and say a kind word, or teach the truth to some of our Father's children.

"You cannot drive people to do things which are right, but you can love them into doing them, if your example is of such a character that they can see you mean what you say."

— George Albert Smith, President of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church — George Albert Smith, p 14, 16-17

Saturday, January 14, 2012

With Songs of Praise

With Songs of Praise by Penelope Moody Allen and Newel Kay Brown

With songs of praise and gratitude
We worship God above,
In words and music give our thanks
For his redeeming love.

Then come before God’s presence!
With singing worship him!
Express the heart too full to speak,
In one exultant hymn.

The Lord has said a heartfelt song
By righteous ones is prayer;
A hymn unites us and invites
The Spirit to be there.

In former days glad hymns were sung
By seed of Abraham;
The Saints shall sing, when Christ shall come,
The new song of the Lamb.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Fire Still Burning

Brandon Flowers — a rock and roll singer, a husband, a dad, a Mormon

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Moroni 10:4

" 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."                                                                            Moroni 10:4

Moroni's promise is perhaps the best known, most frequently quoted scripture in the entire Book of Mormon. It is the closing witness of a prophet of God. The truth of the book rests on his simple, sublime assurance. He gives us the key to open the door of light and truth: a sincere heart and real intent. Seldom will a person who approaches the Book of Mormon with a skeptical mind or a desire to prove it false come away with the witness that is delivered by the sweet whisperings of the Spirit to a humble and honest seeker. It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that we know when something is true or not. It is b the power of the Holy Ghost that we can have discernment. If we sincerely seek, humbly ask, and truly desire with all our hearts to know the truth, we will find it within the pages of this sacred scripture.

When Ye Shall Receive These Things, p 392

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Personal Revelation and Testimony

Personal Revelation and Testimony by Barbara Thompson

"Most often personal revelation will come as we study the scriptures, listen to and follow the counsel of prophets and other Church leaders, and seek to live faithful, righteous lives. Sometimes inspiration will come from a single verse of scripture or from a line in a conference talk. Perhaps your answer will come when the Primary children are singing a beautiful song. These are all forms of revelation.

"Our testimonies fortify us and strengthen us as we face challenges in our daily lives. Some people struggle with difficult health problems; some experience financial problems; others have challenges in their marriage or with their children; some suffer from loneliness or unfulfilled hopes and dreams. It is our testimony, combined with our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our knowledge of the plan of salvation, which helps to get us through these times of trial and hardship.

"The Lord desires to bless us with guidance, wisdom, and direction in our lives. He desires to pour down His Spirit upon us. Again, for personal revelation we need to desire to receive it, we must not harden our hearts, and then we need to ask in faith, truly believe that we will receive an answer, and then diligently keep the commandments of God. Then as we seek answers to our questions, He will bless is with His Spirit."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Feeling the Holy Ghost and the power of the Spirit

Have you ever wondered exactly what the Holy Ghost feels like? How do you know when you are feeling its presence and influence? Here are some individual experiences to help you understand this beautiful doctrine more fully.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Holy Ghost Testifies of Truth

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones (see Doctrine & Covenants 130:22). He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter. He works in perfect unity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

As a personage of spirit, the Holy Ghost can be in only one place at a time, but His influence can be everywhere at the same time.

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught, "Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten."

It is also through receiving the Holy Ghost when we repent and are baptized that we may be sanctified. Sanctification is the process of becoming free from sin—pure, clean, and holy— through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see Moses 6:59-60). We are sanctified as we yield our hearts to God (see Helaman 3:35).

taken from March 2010 Ensign Magazine

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Living What We Believe

Living What We Believe by George Albert Smith

"In the midst of the unsettled condition, the uncertainty that is in the world, if there ever was a time when we should examine ourselves, to find out if we are doing what the Lord would have us do, it is today; if ever there was a time when we should be sure that we are in the pathway of eternal life, it is now. We can't slight these opportunities. God will not be mocked. When he has offered to us a gift, when he has placed within our reach a blessing, when he has invited us to partake  of a feast and we ignore it, we may be sure that we shall suffer the distress that will come to those who refuse the blessings of the Lord when they are offered.

" Let us be humble and prayerful, living near to our Heavenly Father, and evidence our belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ by living up to its principles. Let us evidence our faith in God, and in the work He has given to the earth, by a correct and consistent life, for after all that is the strongest testimony that we will be able to bear of the truth of this work."

— George Albert Smith, President of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church — George Albert Smith, p 6-7, 9