Saturday, November 18, 2017

Spiritual Death

“Some young people are amusing themselves to death – spiritual death.“ Dallin H Oaks

This does not only apply for the youth, is adults are just as guilty of close to it. We all need to put down TV, games, Netflix, or whatever your favorite distraction is and start building the kingdom of God. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Living Bread Which Came Down from Heaven - By Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Reading The Living Bread Which Came Down from Heaven - By Elder D. Todd Christofferson in Voice Dream

The Living Bread Which Came Down from Heaven - By Elder D. Todd Christofferson Highlights

“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”

To eat His flesh and drink His blood is a striking way of expressing how completely we must bring the Savior into our life—into our very being—that we may be one. How does this happen?

First, we understand that in sacrificing His flesh and blood, Jesus atoned for our sins and overcame death, both physical and spiritual. Clearly, then, we partake of His flesh and drink His blood when we receive from Him the power and blessings of His Atonement.

The doctrine of Christ expresses what we must do to receive atoning grace. It is to believe and have faith in Christ, to repent and be baptized, and to receive the Holy Ghost, “and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.” This is the gate, our access to the Savior’s atoning grace and to the strait and narrow path leading to His kingdom.

But figuratively eating His flesh and drinking His blood has a further meaning, and that is to internalize the qualities and character of Christ, putting off the natural man and becoming Saints “through the atonement of Christ the Lord.”

As we remember and honor His atoning sacrifice, we should also contemplate His sinless life.

This suggests the need for a mighty striving on our part. We cannot be content to remain as we are but must be moving constantly toward “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Like King Lamoni’s father in the Book of Mormon, we must be willing to give away all our sins and focus on what the Lord expects of us, individually and together.

To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ means to pursue holiness. God commands, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

If we yearn to dwell in Christ and have Him dwell in us, then holiness is what we seek, in both body and spirit. 

President Thomas S. Monson has stated, “We are the product of all we read, all we view, all we hear and all we think.” We seek holiness as we take up our cross daily.

Sister Carol F. McConkie has observed: “We recognize the multitude of tests, temptations, and tribulations that could pull us away from all that is virtuous and praiseworthy before God. But our mortal experiences offer us the opportunity to choose holiness. Most often it is the sacrifices we make to keep our covenants that sanctify us and make us holy.” And to “the sacrifices we make” I would add the service we give.

President Marion G. Romney wisely explained: “Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made.”

Partaking of the Savior’s flesh and drinking His blood means to put out of our lives anything inconsistent with a Christlike character and to make His attributes our own. 

As a simple but thoughtful hymn urges us:

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.

By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be;

thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Power of the Scriptures

This is my daughter, Cessilee, who is 8 years old and who got baptized yesterday. My daughter, Lacie, took this picture and I think it is just stunning, and I had to make a quote out of it. By the way, those are her brand new scriptures and she is super excited to read, ponder, and of course highlight them with her new highlighter pen. 😀

An unfortunate thing happened at her baptism, my mother was asked to give the talk on baptism, had some circumstances that caused her to be late and unable to do the talk. Several months earlier I had given a talk at my nephew's stake baptism, and posted it to my blog and so I agreed to fill in for her. Check out my talk on baptism here,

As the scriptures have been on my mind, I found this great quote to go with the photo of Cessilee. By Richard G. Scott, "Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one's ability to overcome the challenges of life."

Two recent things have really brought to my mind the power of scriptures. The first was a book that I have been reading called Mr. Mormon, where he used the scriptures and their role in his conversion and then to answer many questions he had through his life. His use of scriptures to show how science process the Gospel was really interesting. The second, was Cessilee's baptism, and the talk that I gave. There are some powerful scriptures on baptism that I shared in my talk. Contained within the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price are such treasures of wisdom and knowledge that not even during a lifetime can all truths be learned or explored. As time goes on, the words will only grow in power and authority and the world should take heed how they treat those words because they will condemn them at the great and last day. For they clearly testify of Christ and his glorious life, mission, and Gospel. This is a plea to all who have read their words to read them again and again, and have them sink deep into their souls. And then, for those who have not yet enjoyed their words, to put off all your doubts and fears and resistance and start today to bask in the power that freely flows from their pages. 

Now, just a quick word to those who have once enjoyed the sweet fruit of the Gospel and have allowed themselves to turn away from the Gospel of Christ, I beg of you to open the scriptures with a new determination and desire to find truth, and God will open them unto you again. Remember, Uchtdorf's counsel, to "doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith."

Background image by: Aaron Rigsby

In closing, I just want to bear my testimony that I know that the Gospel of Christ is true and that the scriptures and prayers are the methods whereby we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, to bear it's witness as a member of the Godhead of the truthfulness of the risen Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ and His Father who has sent Him. Christ lives and guides me each and every day through his spirit, and my joy is great in the knowledge of which He has given me through the scriptures and in my daily walk with Him. This is a plea to all, to come unto Christ, and enjoy this same and even greater joy that I feel. I love this Gospel and will serve God continually. Join me in this my spiritual crusade to more fully come unto Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How great is the nothingness of men

I was reading this morning and came across these amazing verses of scripture. As you read them, really ponder these words and let them sink deep into your heart and soul. 

Helaman 12:3-8
3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths!
6 Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.
7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
8 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.

What do we want as a reward after this life? Do we want to enjoy eternal life or settle for anything less than that? We must decide today. We must not wait or procrastinate the day of our probation.

Helaman 13:38
But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.

What are we seeking for? How are we spending our time while in this life? We must be bold and fearless in our discipleship. We must not deviate from the path, we must also help others to join us on the path. As I write this my heart aches for those that read this and then make no real changes. We can't afford to just coast along any more. The more I learn about Christ and are taught by the spirit about Him and His mission, I feel to shout His name from the house tops and plead for all who hear or read my words to "take massive, determined action" (Tony Robins), and come unto Him. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Needs before Us - By Bonnie L. Oscarson

The Needs before Us - By Bonnie L. Oscarson Highlights

We are often more concerned with how many followers and likes we have than with putting an arm around a friend and showing love, concern, and tangible interest.

if we are not vigilant in how we use our personal devices, we too can begin to turn inward and forget that the essence of living the gospel is service.

We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class.

The impression was this: ‘What you have done is a very good thing. Now go home, walk across the street, and serve your neighbor!’”

How much value is there in fixing the world if the people around us are falling apart and we don’t notice? Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to meet their needs.

President James E. Faust said: “Serving others can begin at almost any age. … It need not be on a grand scale, and it is noblest within the family.”

Showing kindness and concern for your siblings and parents helps create an atmosphere of unity and invites the Spirit into the home. Changing the world begins with strengthening your own family.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson has taught, “A major reason the Lord has a church is to create a community of Saints that will sustain one another in the ‘strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life.’” 

While at times we are called upon to help after a major disaster, on a day-to-day basis we are encouraged to look for opportunities in our own areas to lift and help those in need.

Remember that some of the greatest needs may be those right in front of you. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Beware who you listen to

Mosiah 2:32
But, O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and ye list to obey the evil spirit, which was spoken of by my father Mosiah.

It is so easy to fall into contentions and this scripture helps us realize that there is no contention that does not put us into vulnerability with the evil one. Let us watch our words and continue to strive to be more Christlike. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Don't let your past, determine your destiny

Last night at Sunday Dinner I was talking with my brother in law and Father in law about Peter and how he needed to go through what he did and deny Chrust three times to prepare him for the mission he was about to embark. He needed to know what it really meant to be a disciple of Christ in all situations both public and private. My brother in law showed me this picture, and I asked him to send it to me. 

What an awesome picture of Peter in the background. You can almost feel his pain and anguish that he suffered. This morning I searched for the perfect quote to compliment this amazing picture and I found this quote by Confucius, "Don't let your past, determine your destiny." We all have things in our past that we have guilt or remorse over, but we simply can't allow them to determine who we will become our what we will accomplish in life. 

Many times our past is filled with so many mistakes or shortcoming that we have been conditioned that that is who we are and nothing can change that. It reminds me of something I often share with my clients, to help them break free from their part. In training circus elephants they will put a stake in the ground and put a rope around their foot and tie them to the stake. They learn at a young age that they can't break the rope. Interestingly, when they get older and stronger the rope doesn't get bigger, it stays the same size, because but they are so conditioned that they can't break the rope that they won't even try.

We can and must realize that we are not confined by our past nor our strong conditioning. We can and must like Peter rise from the ashes of our past and our conditioning and step into the greatness of our potential. 


Sunday, October 29, 2017

The greatness and genius of America

My brother in law, Randy Roberts, posted this on Facebook today. 

"In the year 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous French historian, came to our country at the request of the French government to study our penal institutions. He also made a close study of our political and social institutions. In less than ten years, de Tocqueville had become world-famous, as the result of the four-volume work that he wrote, entitled Democracy in America. Here is his own stirring explanation of the greatness of America:

      “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Prophets, Principles and National Survival, compiled by Jerreld L. Newquist [Salt Lake City, Publishers Press, 1964], p. 60.)"

It is so true. America became great and remains great because of its reliance on God to protect and preserve it as a free nation. We need to be very careful that we are fighting for our freedoms and building our relationship with God and His son, Jesus Christ, so we can continue to decieve that protection and preservation. 


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Believing Requires Action

I love this quote. We can't afford to be idle in our service and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. There is a great work before us as we prepare for the second coming and we must be active and take constant action.