Sunday, November 28, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

    Well I know that some people would say that this post is coming a little bit too late but tonight as we were visiting with one of our investigators, Sister Dotty Watts, I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and I felt like I needed to share a little bit of my thoughts. At about this time, we are in between two different Holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both Holidays we should be giving thanks for all that we have. Tonight, we watched a Christmas video called Joy to the World and it was a moving testimony of the gratitude we should have for the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ.
     In this DVD, it pointed out the birth of Christ in the Bible and then talks about the prophecies given in the Book of Mormon that Christ would be born and the signs that accompany it. I wont elaborate too much at this time about the different signs but if you would like to dig deeper it is in Helaman 13-15. The point is that our Heavenly Father really wanted everyone to know that He has sent His Son here to this earth to save us. It talks about it in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and even by the mouth of our modern day beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. So as we look forward to this wonderful Christmas season, always remember what you are celebrating. We are celebrating the fact that our Heavenly Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth. I love this time of year but I hope that we can keep this Attitude of Gratitude always with us!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Become As Little Children

     As of late I have really been pondering about how wonderful and pure children are so I thought that I would write about a few. I am the proud uncle of about 16 nieces and nephews and I am so proud of each and every single one of them. I love each one of them with all of my heart. They mean the world to me.
     Here is a picture of two of my Nephews, Joseph (left) and Derek (right). Every night, these little boys pray for their Uncle Mikey. They have so much faith and I can feel their prayers as I have been on my mission serving the Lord.

      This family is just the cutest ever. (From Left to right) Jane, Faith, Jacob, and Sage all exemplify being obedient to everything that they are asked. They care for each other and look out for one another, always making sure no one is getting into trouble. They are so much fun to be around and you can feel the Spirit within their sweet countenances. Little Jacob was just born about 2 months ago now and also is a wonderful example of Purity.
      This is little Corwin Porter. He is the biggest bundle of energy and loves you perfectly. He is always looking to be like his older brother Berkley. He is always wanting to be where the excitement is. I havent seen this little boy since he was about 2 months old but my love for him grows every day because of how wonderful and pure he is.
    These kids are goof balls but I love them for it. (From Left to Right) Kaylee, Emma, Sage, and Berkley. They are among the oldest in their respective families. Kaylee is always going, Emma was the first of the Grandkids to follow the example of their Savior by being baptized just recently. She was so excited for her baptism and could hardly wait for the day. She knows that Jesus is her Savior. Sage is always making sure everyone is alright and loves to be a great helper. Berkley is one that I hear about a lot. This is the man that takes copious notes whenever he goes to church meetings. He is always wanting to go work with his father. Most of all, he loves the Gospel and he has a very strong testimony of that Gospel. He knows that Jesus loves him, and that his family can and will be together forever. He is such a good big brother!
     You may wonder why I am talking all about my nieces and nephews right about now. Thinking of them really helps me see as Jesus Christ sees. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus Christ gives an answer to the question, who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. It says, "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In Mark 10: 14-16 he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of God".
     These little children are perfect. They have nothing wrong with them and they ARE the greatest in the Kingdom of God. It states this quite well also in Moroni 8:8, "Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them".
     I testify that if we become converted to the Lord as these beautiful children are then we will be able to obtain all the blessings that our Heavenly Father wants us to obtain. If you would like to learn more about how you can become closer to your Father in Heaven and your Savior Jesus Christ please visit http://mormon.org/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God's Words...Never Cease


     One of the things that brings me comfort through my life is that God is never done speaking. God is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. He has always used Prophets to reveal his word. Every time the Church was on the earth or the fulness of the Gospel was being preached, God has had a prophet. They are Men of God and they are valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ. These prophets literally speak to God. They receive Revelation from God and then reveal God's will to his children. They are also given authority from God to do what they do. In Ephesians 4:11-14 it specifically tells us that God will have Prophets on the earth until we all come in unity of Christ. We are not there just yet. God still wants to Guide us today through prophets. I know that there is a Prophet on the Earth today. I know that he receives that revelation and has that Authority. I affirm my testimony that God lives and that the heavens are NOT closed but that they are open even still. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it has brought me so much joy. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baptism of Angelica Lopez

So today was the baptism of Angelica Lopez. It was a very spiritual experience and she has really taken huge steps in changing her life. She has been taught by missionaries for some time and decided after much prayer and thought that she wanted to draw closer to her Heavenly Father through baptism. he has followed the example of her Savior Jesus Christ in being baptized. In 2 Nephi 31:5-7 is states:
 5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being aholy, should have need to be bbaptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be cbaptized, yea, even by water!
  6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
  7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be aobedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
I am so happy that she decided to take this step in her life. I am so grateful I was able to be a part of it also. Her father is Jose Lopez, he received the Priesthood this morning so he could baptize his daughter. It was a wonderful experience and it is something that is going to bring their family together and one day Together Forever!
This is what its all about!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Only True God & Jesus Christ Whom He Has Sent


I add my testimony to Elder Hollands, I know that Jesus Christ lives. I hope that as you all watch this video that you may feel of Gods infinite love for you as I did. As you feel of that love, I would love to invite you learn more about that by visiting http://mormon.org/

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Pearl of Great Price

     The gospel is referred to as a pearl of great price and it left me to wonder just what does that mean. Why does the savior compare the kingdom of heaven to a pearl as in Matt 13
 45 ¶ Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

  46 Who, when he had found one apearl of great price, went and sold ball that he had, and bought it
         What exactly is this pearl of great price? The other day I learned how a pearl is made, Within a mollusk a pearl is formed as a defense mechanism against a possible irritant such as a parasite. In order to protect itself the mollusk creates a protective barrior around this "parasite" or "irritant" and in time this forms a pearl.
 I found this process by which a pearl is created to be very interesting and I wondered how often we look at the kingdom of god as an irritant. How often we look at the commandments as an irritant when by keeping this commandments we are creating a protective barrier around ourselves and thereby become a pearl of great price!
      God gives us commandments out of love because Our Heavenly Father knows all things and therefore he does know how we can protect ourselves from the deadening affects of sin. A mother or father will give certain rules or restrictions to their children because they have experience regarding those things they are restricting. For example a mother tells her son not to play in the street because of the danger of getting hit by a car. A father does not allow his daughter to date until she is of age. These so called "restrictions" are quite liberating. We must abandon this notion of a harsh unloving god who gives us rule after rule.
         One of these commandments that many people often misunderstand is the word of wisdom. Many people know that we as mormons do not drink coffee, alcohol, tea, and we wont smoke. Many look at this commandment as a huge restriction but actually by not using those substances we liberate ourselves from the deadening effects of addiction and many other dangers from this unwise decision. The reason why the lord calls this commandment or revelation "the word of wisdom" is because our all knowing heavenly father has given us this commandment out of wisdom just as a wise mother or father gives the rule to "not play in the street" out of wisdom.
       This commandment and other commandments are not restrictions but tools to sanctify and perfect us. We are on this journey to become more like our savior and God has given us ways to do so, by keeping these commandments we of ourselves become this "pearl of great price". The savior speaks of a man who sold EVERYTHING he had to obtain this "pearl of great price" in the parable listed above. Now obviously the lord does not expect us to sell our home and car and all our "worldly" items, but he does expect us to sacrifice our sins and forsake them. "Sell our sins" in a sense that through our forsaking of our sins we lay hold upon the great gift of the grace of Jesus Christ. By  forsaking our sins we obtain this pearl of great price or rather we become a pearl of great price.
       I think this principle of becoming a pearl of great price is beautifully illustrated within the Book of Mormon: Moroni 10:
 32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be eperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
     To become perfect in Christ! Now that is your pearl that is created over a period of time by surrounding what appears to you to be an "irritant"(The commandments) with your obedience and this obedience creates this feild around you, sanctifying you day by day and protecting you until you emerge in the kingdom of god as a pearl of great price.
        I hope you can all continue to become a pearl and continue to be perfected in Christ so that you too may one day be at rest and have a fulness of joy in the kingdom of our father!
     
     If you would be interested to learn more about our "unique" message to the world then visit  http://mormon.org/