Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Little Miracle

Today I was given a blessing by the laying on of hands by someone with the Priesthood authority of Jesus Christ, which was restored to the Earth through original apostles Peter, James, and John when they conferred it upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. It was amazing. I felt the Holy Ghost while I was being blessed. I received my own little miracle. The person giving the blessing spoke of something specifically that no one knows fully about. My wife only kind of had an idea, but did not know. It was one way that the Lord reminded me that the blessing came from him and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church on this Earth.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Concern for Others

My two year old daughter is having some tests done. It is nothing big. Today she was at a children’s hospital having an x-ray and a lady in the waiting room began asking my wife why they were there. My wife told this lady about the procedure that my daughter may need. This total stranger told my wife she would pray for my daughter. She even asked twice for my daughter’s name and wrote it down. What an amazing example of Christ-like behavior! We would all be better if we could follow the example set by this stranger. Whoever you are, thank you for your faith and your prayers in my daughter’s behalf.

Monday, January 15, 2007

One True Church

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (New Testament | Ephesians 4:5).

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (New Testament | Ephesians 2:19 - 20).

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Old Testament | Amos 3:7).

Does it not only make sense that only one faith is the true faith of God and that this faith should be “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” who rely upon Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, to hold the foundation they provide sure, that it will not fall?

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the “one faith” of God on this Earth. I testify that we do have apostles and prophets who lead the church based upon inspiration from Jesus Christ. I testify that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus the Christ. I share this with you in his name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Prospering in the Land

My car leaks. I guess that is what you get with a beat up old Honda with 230,000 miles on it. I’m not sure where it leaks, though I think it is somewhere near the front of the trunk. I hadn’t noticed this problem living in Utah because it doesn’t rain too often and the snow is more likely to stick and later slide off of the car. The result, living here in Tennessee, with our torrential downpours, is that the back two seats in my car become soaked. Then it is so humid here, it is nearly impossible to keep them dry. This creates a very uncomfortable situation in the mornings where I have water on the inside of my windows. This creates an interesting dilemma. I have to either dry the windows off so I can see, which leaves my windows very dirty and really affects visibility when it is light out (I usually leave home before dawn) or I have to do my best to see while the heater slowly takes the water away. I usually choose the latter.

Back to the point, my car leaks. Because of this, when I am home and know it is supposed to be dry during the day, I leave all four doors and my trunk open. During nights when the weatherman says it will be dry, I usually leave two or three windows cracked. (I prefer not to leave the forth cracked because it’s messed up and takes way too much effort to roll back up—more fun with my car! You should see it when I pull up to the drive through window and must open my door.) The other day it was not supposed to rain. All day it was bright and sunny and I had left all four doors and the trunk open. That evening, I went out to close my doors and the trunk, then crack the windows for the night. It was also not supposed rain over night. Something told me not to leave me windows open. I hesitated as I went to unroll my window. I felt again that I should not leave them open. So I left my windows closed. As you would expect from this story, it certainly did rain, and rain quite hard that night.

I know, it might seem silly to some people, but this is a big deal for me. I’m in graduate school. It has not been easy on my family to go from two incomes to virtually no income. This old car with, I remind you again, 230,000 miles, must last me at least another year and a half. I recently read Alma 48:15: “And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land.” I feel like the Lord is prospering my family and I in the land as we do our best to keep his commandments. I am very thankful for this promise the Lord has given us, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Alma 46 is a chapter well known to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because “Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites” (Book of Mormon | Alma 46:11) raises the “Title of Liberty” and takes it to the people. However, what struck me while reading this chapter today was not the Title of Liberty story as a whole, but the way in which Captain Moroni prepared to deliver this proclamation of liberty to his people. Moroni prayed with not a going though the motions prayer, rather “he prayed mightily unto his God” and “poured out his soul to God” (Book of Mormon | Alma 46:13, 17).

Moroni’s prayer also reminds me of Enos who, when desiring a remission of his sins, said: “My soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul” (Book of Mormon | Enos 1:4). Then he wrote: “And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (Book of Mormon | Enos 1:5).

I know because I have experienced it several times that our Father in Heaven knows us well. He can and will assist us just as our father on Earth will. I have “poured out my soul” to God many, many times and in this intimate position, I have always been given the assistance, strength or comfort I needed to carry on by our Heavenly Father. This truth that I know without a doubt I share in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Overcoming Life’s Difficulties and Hardships

I recently read this passage which reminds me of overcoming challenges in life:

“And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee . . . and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage. And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them” (Book of Mormon | Alma 43:48 - 50).

I know in my life I have many times felt that everything was coming for me. I wanted more than anything else to run away—to take the easy way out. Sometimes I have, and the problem continued to follow me until I chose to confront it. However, when I pour my heart out unto the Lord, he does ease my burdens because he loves me! Heavenly Father has many times over blessed me with freedom from the problems in life that are my bondage. Sometimes the problems did flee from before me quickly, as the Lamanites did in Alma 43 above, other times it took much longer. The Lord knows exactly what I need to learn in every situation and circumstance. He eases burdens and strengthens us if we will but exercise faith in him to do so because he loves me, you, and each and every other one of his children on this Earth. Take for example the people of Alma:

“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Book of Mormon | Mosiah 24:15).

The part I love most about this scripture is not the part about the Lord easing the burdens of the people, it is that “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” What humility! I would speculate that being cheerful and having patience concerning our burdens makes the Lord more likely to assist us further.

I know that Heavenly Father lives. He is truly a loving God who knows each and every one of us. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father will make our burdens light, that he will give us the strength to overcome our weaknesses and our fears, and that he is truly concerned with our individual wellbeing if we will but exercise faith and call upon in prayer. Heavenly Father has eased my burdens countless times. I do not think it would have been possible for me to overcome some situations in my life without his hand and his guidance. I am so thankful to have a Father in Heaven who cares so deeply for us! If I could be but 0.00000000000000000001% of the skilled parent he his to my children I have been entrusted with on this Earth, how blessed would I be! I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ each know me personally and love me and I love them too with a love that grows daily. I share these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.