Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Testimony of an Apostle of Jesus Christ

This is one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard.

I add to my testimony wholeheartedly to Elder Holland's. I know the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is the word of God because the Holy Ghost has borne witness to me over and over again of its truth and authenticity. I invite you to study the words of this book and discover for yourself whether it is true (the full text is also available online). For, "by their fruits ye shall know them".

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Constitution and Right Freedom Originate from God

I believe, as do my fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that God has blessed us with prophets today, just as he did in the Old Testament days before Christ, during Christ’s ministry with the 12 apostles, and briefly after Christ’s ministry as the apostles continued the work until they were killed by the people.

As we learn in the book of Amos:
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Our Father in Heaven has blessed us again today with prophets and apostles. In revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ explained how the Constitution of the United States of America was written according to his will, based upon “just and holy principles” by “wise men” that Christ himself put in place to create the Constitution. These were the same men intricately involved in leading the redemption of this land from English tyranny in the Revolutionary War. The exact words of the Savior:
According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles . . . And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
The prophet Joseph Smith also brought forth convincing evidence that he is a prophet of God, called to restore his true church on the land. This evidence is the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We learn more in the Book of Mormon about God’s influence on America as an ancient military general and prophet named Moroni once blessed this land while praying to God that “the blessings of liberty [will] rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land”.

We are all blessed to live in this land, which has been ordained by God as a land of freedom. The Constitution was inspired by and is ordained by God. Our founding fathers were led by his spirit to create this blessed document that is the standard and foundation of our laws. May we all stand up to defend our Constitution that God himself has blessed us with.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Today's Attempts to Take Away Our Freedom Are Not New

"Jared rebelled against his father, and came and dwelt in the land of Heth. And it came to pass that he did flatter many people, because of his cunning words, until he had gained the half of the kingdom

And when he had gained the half of the kingdom he gave battle unto his father, and he did carry away his father into captivity, and did make him serve in captivity;

And now, in the days of the reign of Omer he was in captivity the half of his days. And it came to pass that he begat sons and daughters, among whom were Esrom and Coriantumr;

And they were exceedingly angry because of the doings of Jared their brother, insomuch that they did raise an army and gave battle unto Jared. And it came to pass that they did give battle unto him by night.

And it came to pass that when they had slain the army of Jared they were about to slay him also; and he plead with them that they would not slay him, and he would give up the kingdom unto his father. And it came to pass that they did grant unto him his life.

And now Jared became exceedingly sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.

Now the daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert, and seeing the sorrows of her father, thought to devise a plan whereby she could redeem the kingdom unto her father.

Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair. And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?

And now, therefore, let my father send for Akish, the son of Kimnor; and behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, and I will please him, that he will desire me to wife; wherefore if he shall desire of thee that ye shall give unto him me to wife, then shall ye say: I will give her if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.

And now Omer was a friend to Akish; wherefore, when Jared had sent for Akish, the daughter of Jared danced before him that she pleased him, insomuch that he desired her to wife. And it came to pass that he said unto Jared: Give her unto me to wife.

And Jared said unto him: I will give her unto you, if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.

And it came to pass that Akish gathered in unto the house of Jared all his kinsfolk, and said unto them: Will ye swear unto me that ye will be faithful unto me in the thing which I shall desire of you?

And it came to pass that they all sware unto him, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and by their heads, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life.

And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.

And they were kept up by the power of the devil to administer these oaths unto the people, to keep them in darkness, to help such as sought power to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms.

And it was the daughter of Jared who put it into his heart to search up these things of old; and Jared put it into the heart of Akish; wherefore, Akish administered it unto his kindred and friends, leading them away by fair promises to do whatsoever thing he desired.

And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;

For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man.

And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites.

And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.

And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.

Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

Source: Ether 8

Friday, April 17, 2009

General Conference Highlight Video

This is an exceptional summary of the words of today's living Apostles and Prophets, spoken at the most recent conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"May We Declare Ourselves to be More Fully Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ"

Please enjoy this powerful message.

"May we stand by Jesus Christ "at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death" (Mosiah 18:9) for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone."

Monday, April 06, 2009

Are Mormons Christians?

Are Mormon Christians? Judge for yourself by this statement from a modern-day prophet:

"The fundamental principle of our religion is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why is it expedient that we center our confidence, our hope, and our trust in one solitary figure? Why is faith in Him so necessary to peace of mind in this life and hope in the world to come?

"Our answers to these questions determine whether we face the future with courage, hope, and optimism or with apprehension, anxiety, and pessimism.

"My message and testimony is this: Only Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified to provide that hope, that confidence, and that strength we need to overcome the world and rise above our human failings. To do so, we must place our faith in Him and live by His laws and teachings."

Ezra Taft Benson, "Jesus Christ: Our Savior and Redeemer," Ensign, June 1990, 2

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Mormon Church's Response to 'Big Love'

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as The Mormon Church or the Mormons. Tonight the HBO series Big Love will portray a scene meant to imitate some parts of the ceremony members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in while attending the sacred temple. I do not know what exactly Big Love intends to portray nor do I know anything regarding its accuracy. What I do know of and can speak authoritatively on are my own personal experiences in the temple.

I know the temple is the house of God. I can feel the Lord's presence nearer whenever I am in a temple stronger than anywhere else I have ever been in this world. When I attend I feel a peace in my soul, unlike any other experience I have had, regardless of if the temple is in Atlanta, New York City, or Stockholm. This peace is the true happiness God intended for each of us to have. It is the feeling of the world and this life making sense. There is a direct correlation between my temple attendance and my ability to live a Christlike life. The more people that are able to prepare themselves to enter the temple and consistently worship there, the better place this world will be. I know this is true from the bottom of my heart and depths of my soul through my own personal experience.

The Church has published an official response to the 'Big Love' episode. More importantly, it has released the following video, Why Mormons Build Temples.

I hope your Sabbath day has been one spiritual one and I hope we can all love one another a little bit more.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why We Should Pay Our Tithes

"As we faithfully pay our tithes, the Lord will indeed open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. I want each of you to know, and especially my children and grandchildren, that I know, as my grandfather did, that if you always pay an honest tithing, the Lord will bless you. It will be the best investment you will ever make."

--Sheldon F. Child
, "The Best Investment," Ensign, May 2008, 81

I testify to you that the Lord has "open the windows of heaved" and poured a blessing out upon my family and I many, many times because we have paid our tithes. I know this is a true principal, and I testify of if in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Gift of Life

Adoption is about love. There are so many willing parents who are unable to have children or add to their families that would love to raise a baby. Yet millions are murdered through abortion each and every year. Please watch this touching story.

Read Tamra's story here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why We Need Prophets

Prophets are a clarifying voice needed now more than ever with a constant stream of messages reaching us in all directions from a combination of the old and new medias. Prophets bring us God's word. God did not stop revealing his word to men at the end of the New Testament. He is a living God! Man cannot shut his mouth, for God loves us too much to let us go without his teachings and loving influence!

The Holy Bible says: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). By God working through his prophets, we know which of the many messages in this world are from him. Please enjoy this video by Seth Adam Smith highlighting the prophets of this dispensation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Personal Attributes of Jesus Christ

While reading in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, a book of modern revelations given to God's prophets for mankind beginning in 1823, I have read many attributes of the Savior Jesus Christ that feel very personal. What makes many of these seem so personal is that many of them are Christ speaking of and describing himself. These passages help me draw nearer to him.
I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore 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.

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not (6:20-21).

Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins;

Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer (29:1-2).

Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made;

The same which knoweth all things, for ball things are present before mine eyes;

I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me (38-1-3).

Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—

Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life (45:3-5).

And the Father and I are one. I am bin the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I in you.

Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall (50:43-44).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Words of the Savior

I love to read the words of the Savior Jesus Christ. It causes my heart to be so uplifted when I read the collection of modern revelations received over the past 200 years found in the Doctrine and Covenants. For I know that man and man's philosophies cannot stop God from speaking to his children on this Earth. God loves us too much to cut us off, to leave us without prophets, revelation, and doctrine.

These are some of the words of Jesus Christ found in the Doctrine and Covenants that move me deeply:
For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men (19:16-19).

For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him (18:11).

Hearken and hear and behold what I, the Lord God, shall say unto you, even Jesus Christ your Redeemer;

The light and the life of the world, a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not;

Who so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons of God (34:1-3).
I love reading about the Savior's sacrifice for us in the first person. He is a perfect example of a servant. He took upon himself a burden so great that even he almost could not bare it! Then he gave himself no credit. No, the Savior gave all glory for this insurmountable task he completed to his father, our Heavenly Father.

If we could all serve others that completely, in pure, unconstrained humility, as the Savior did in his great example, this world would be an amazing place, where the Holy Ghost would dwell unconstrained, hearts would be softened, and love would abound.

I know that Jesus Christ lives! I feel is presence dwelling within my heart now as I study and contemplate his words and write what they mean to me. I know that Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us individually with a love so great we cannot comprehend. If nothing else brings you self-esteem when you are down, knowing the Savior can and will! I have personal experience with this when I suffered from the pains of depression. Jesus Christ truly knows how it feels. He can and with sympathize with you and share all the love he has to offer with you. I testify of this truth from the knowledge gained by my own personal experience that I continue to appreciate more as I think back upon it. I share this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Book of Mormon Parallels to American Society

This morning I was reading Alma chapter 9. In this chapter Alma is calling the predominantly wicked people of the land of Ammonihah to repent. As part of his sermon, Alma said:
Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation, how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.

Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness?

And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?

Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.
I found this passage interesting because I find myself thinking just about the same thing about society in America today.
Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation, how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.
It seems that this nation is becoming more wicked every day. Our fathers, the founding fathers of this great nation, were God-fearing people. It was never their intent that the name of God should not be spoken in public places nor that prayers to the almighty should be banned. The intent of the founding fathers was that a religion should not run the government, which would effectually take away the freedom of the people to follow the religion (or the religion of no religion) of their choice. Our founding fathers wrote the constitution and laid the framework of this nation based upon the commandments of God. Yet we enact laws countering the commandments of God.
Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness?
It was not just dumb luck that led to what at the time was Christopher Columbus' vision of a new world. No, Columbus was led by the hand of God to America, and no one in this nation seems to remember, acknowledge, or believe this (see also 1 Nephi 13:12). For example "Columbus Day" is rarely honored or observed, yet many want to create a holiday for Barack Obama because of his position and race.
And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?
Without the hand of God, there would be no United States of America. We had no business winning the American Revolution. The only reason we won was through the will and power of God and our founding fathers' faith in God and God has continued to preserve this nation.
Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.
We have fought wars, we were attacked by by terrorists in 2001, Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, yet the United States of America has stood strong. Our people have never been taken into bondage. We have not ceased to exist. There is only one reason why, the power of God.

God is real, he lives! I love that I can see his influence in my life every single day if I will but simply look. God's creations are all around us. He shows us his love through his spirit and through the love, kindness, and service of others. It is my hope that the people of this nation will not forget our creator and his daily influence on our lives, that through him we are free to choose most things in this great and promised land of freedom. This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Prophet's Sense of Humor

For me it is comforting to see the wonderful sense of humor of the Prophet and President of God's church on this Earth.