Thursday, August 30, 2012

SAST Link Up Party

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Abide In The Lord's Territory

I had been invited to a summer swim party held by a family in my church. Lots of church members attended, and everyone was having a great time. At one point, some young women arrived at the party, and changed into their swimsuits. They had chosen to wear very immodest swimwear, and were happily snapping pictures of each other in them with their friends. Soon after their arrival, one man turned to his wife and told her he needed to leave. He was very uncomfortable being around women so immodestly dressed. So the couple hastily packed up their things, said their goodbyes, and left.

I'm sure this was a difficult decision for this couple. Everyone was having fun and enjoying themselves. It seemed like a simple thing to just ignore or avoid these young women during the party. But this man could see the shades of grey in this situation. He didn't want to have these images stuck in his mind forever, and I'm sure it would be really awkward to greet someone at church when all you can remember is how they looked in immodest clothing.

Ulisses Soares, a leader in the LDS church, states, "Our daily question must be, "Do my actions place me in the Lord's territory or in the enemy's territory?" If we are in the Lord's territory, we will have no desire to do wrong. If we are in the devil's territory, we lose the spirit of the Lord, and even our ability to think or reason properly can become impaired.

We know that Jesus Christ was sinless. But the scriptures say he experienced temptation of every kind, even more than mortal men can handle. So how did he remain sinless? He did not give heed unto the temptation. Pure and simple. He saw the temptation, he turned his back on it, and thought about it no more. If Christ can do that, experiencing more than we are capable of, then surely we can do that as well.

Let's take up the challenge to become more like our Savior. Follow His example to seek after that which is good and right, and abide in the Lord's territory, so we can always have the Spirit of the Lord with us.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

SAST Link Up Party

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Endure To The End

"And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day."
— 3 Nephi 27:6

Endure to the end.

I didn't like this phrase as a teenager. I didn't really understand what it meant. I always pictured some terrible beast of burden, struggling through the mire, getting caught up in the muck and being sucked down to his death. I particularly remember giving my Sunday School teachers grief whenever they taught a lesson about this. "But what does it mean?" I would shout. "What are we supposed to endure?"

My parents divorced when I was 15. At first I was very supportive of my mother in this decision, but soon I spurned both of my parents and wondered if it were possible for any adult to have a loving, lasting marriage or a happy, fulfilled life. Enduring to the end meant suffering through grief and pain until you die. And that's all that life had to offer.

Today I'm no longer a rebellious teenager, I have found the love of my life, and together we have built a loving marriage and family. I have learned that life has SO MUCH to offer, both good and bad. I have learned that it is possible for two adults to build a loving, lasting marriage. I have learned that life is not just grief and pain, but pleasure and joy as well. 

But most importantly, I have learned what 'endure to the end' really means. It means to remain faithful to God. No matter what happens, what bumps and jolts you travel over, be faithful unto God. Trust in His abiding love, and have peace in your heart. Do not give up, do not fear, do not doubt, do not let go. Just trust in the love and devotion our Savior Jesus Christ has for you. He died for us. He wants us to succeed, and He will walk with us daily if we choose to walk with Him.

Life is a beautiful journey. It's not something just to be endured, but enjoyed.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Am Blogging For Christ

This is a beautiful video I just ran across this morning. Isn't it wonderful how many ways we can share the message of Jesus Christ all over the world?!?

With love,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SAST Link Up Party

Hello again everyone! I'm back from my summer vacation, and I have hit the ground running, getting everything in order for the beginning of school. There are school supplies and new shoes to buy, vaccinations to get (sshhh! don't tell the kids!) open houses to attend, and backpacks to pack.

But first, let's take a minute and enjoy a link-up party!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things in Common

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."
— 2 Nephi 25:26

I have received many comments to my blog that start like this—
"I don't agree with Mormon theology or doctrine, BUT I do agree that Jesus Christ is our Savior...."

It pleases me to hear that I find this important common ground with readers. To all of you who find yourself in agreement with this statement, I want to assure you of one thing —

Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. If there is one thing that frustrates and saddens me more than anything else, it is the false belief that Mormons are not Christians. The first principle of Mormon doctrine is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has provided the means where we can come back into the presence of our Father in Heaven. He has atoned for the sins of the world, and it is by the grace of His atonement that we partake in the resurrection of the dead and can receive remission, or full forgiveness, of our sins.

There are a lot more things that comprise Mormon doctrine, but this is the core of our beliefs. For all of you out there who are wary of Mormon doctrine and theology, please accept my witness of Jesus Christ and don't be afraid anymore. Without Jesus Christ, we wouldn't have a religion. Without Jesus Christ, we don't have salvation. 

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I stand united with all other Christians around the world, no matter what belief system you adhere to. Let us focus on the things we have in common, not our differences. A house divided against itself cannont stand. Be open and welcoming to all those who profess a love of and faith in Jesus Christ, and make the "house" of Christianity across the world strong and unshakeable.

With love,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Patterns in Scripture

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance.."
— Alma 26:22

Throughout the scriptures are patterns. This particular verse shows an excellent example of an if/then pattern — IF you adhere to a gospel principle, THEN you receive a blessing.

Let's look at this scripture to find the IF portion of the pattern.

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance.."

This pattern has four gospel principles that are essential for the pattern to work:

1. Repentance — This is a very important, yet simple gospel principle. When you do something wrong, or sin, you must realize that your actions were wrong, apologize, and make things right. Three simple yet crucial steps.

2. Exercise faith — In Ether 12:6 it says, "I would show the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for he receive not witness until after the trial of your faith." God will not bless us until we show we have faith in Him and his power. This must happen first before He can bless us.

3. Bring forth good works — If you are exercising faith, then you are bringing forth good works. Did you catch that second pattern? If you have faith in Jesus Christ, then it is the natural result that you are acting on it. For example, if you have faith that God answers prayer, then naturally you will pray for help from God when you need it. The cause (faith) will bring its own effect (good works). Good works don't save you, because they are the natural result of faith. It's the faith that saves you. If you truly have faith in Jesus Christ, you will naturally be drawn to prayer, scripture study, self sacrifice, good thoughts, etc. You won't be perfect at it, because the natural man is corrupt. To perfect yourself, you will have to work at these things, but your faith will naturally bring these effects, and the stronger your faith becomes, the greater the good works will manifest themselves in your life.

4. Pray continually without ceasing — again, this is one of the natural results of having faith in Christ. It is a habit that does need practice, but the greater your faith, the more willing you will be to turn to God in prayer at anytime and in any circumstance.

Let's review and focus on the THEN part of our scripture—

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance.."

There are three blessings here that are a result of the four gospel principles we have discussed:

1. It is given to know the mysteries of God
2. It is given to have things revealed that have never been revealed before

These first two I have listed together because they both require personal revelation. This scripture states that God can reveal mysteries to us, things we have never known before. How does he do that? By the power of the Holy Ghost. Moroni 10:5 states, "By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." That is the job of the Holy Ghost — to manifest truth to us, whether it is truth we have already heard or not. I have personally experienced this blessing as I have read the scriptures. The Holy Ghost will speak to my mind and help me understand what I read (mysteries). I will suddenly see different facets and aspects of the words I read that I have never seen before (things revealed), and see ways to apply the words to my life or find answers to prayer as I read.

Isn't this just a wonderful blessing? A promise to receive understanding and knowledge and wisdom from God – and all just by exercising our faith day by day, bit by bit. What a powerful promise!

3. Bring thousands of souls to repentance — This part of the pattern brings it around full circle. Do you remember what the first part of the IF statement was? That's right, repentance! And now that you have been through the entire pattern, you have the opportunity to bring others through the pattern, and let it repeat and repeat unendingly. How amazing is that! I personally have not brought thousands to repentance, but I always pray that my blog is a vehicle or instrument in the Lord's hands to bring about His will. Who knows? Maybe this message will touch one person's heart today and bring them to act on the pattern, then they will touch someone else, who will touch someone else....

Today I challenge you to work on this pattern in your own life, and look for more patterns in scripture. See how many ways you can enrich your life today.

With love,