Tag Archive: Christ


Why am I so Blessed?

My life is awesome, I love it and I want to make the most of what God has given me.

Why am I the one who receives all these choice blessings though?

I was raised in a home with two parents who loved us, we never seriously struggled financially, our extended family was supportive. I was given the freedom to choose what activities I wanted to do and what friends I wanted.

I was given every opportunity to do activities in high school, I was raised in a home where I was taught about Christ and his Gospel from a very young age.

Why?

I’m not any more special than the homeless man we see whenever we go to Walmart to shop, I’m not more valuable than the criminal facing 10 years in prison, than the prostitute who was forced into that sort of living.

I’m just like them, we’re all children of our Heavenly Father.

Christ and a Child

So why?

Why we’re they not born into loving homes comparable to mine?

Why are there children born who will struggle every day to fight off hunger and sickness while I have been given so much.
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, I wish I did but I don’t.

All I know is I am blessed, extremely blessed and odds are so are you.

Maybe I’m blessed and others are not cause our Father knew they were strong enough to get through those things and I am not. Maybe it’s because I needed to learn certain lessons only learned in a life of safety while they needed to learn the opposite.
And maybe we’re all in our own situations because of our predecessors choices.

God has given is this amazing gift of Free Agency. The ability to choose, to learn good from evil.

Sadly while that gift can being amazing learning and blessings it can also bring devastating results. One mans actions brought the world to its knees, and so it is today.

Just think of a world where everyone loved one another, where each and every human being was seen as a child of God. There would be no domestic violence, no wars, no unloved children.

It’d be glorious.

So today I want you all, to go out of your way to be kind. Remember that everyone is your brother and sister. Absolutely everyone.

Yes even that driver who just cut you off as you we’re getting I work.

Yes even that man who you find so very very creepy.

Yes even that woman who you know could be better if she just tried.

Yes even that murderer who was just sentenced to life in prison.

They are still your Heavenly Parents children.

They’ve made a few mistakes, so have you, love them all the same.

I know there is a plan to get us all through life, that Jesus Christ is the Savior and that through him we can be healed.

In Jesus Christ’s name Amen.

That One

Wow its amazing how much there is too learn. I remember way  back before I had left home thinking I was ready to go and serve my mission, be the best Elder ever, come home, go to school and ride off on that adventure called life.
I’m going to focus a bit more on that first part, the part where I was leaving off to go on my mission. Early on in my mission as I was serving in my first area I wondered, why am I not making a difference? Why are people not listening to us? Why, why, why? I felt like I was sinking like Peter when he was going to Christ.
Jesus and Peter
During this time of hardship and frustration my trainer and ultimately one of my best friends shared this story with me and it changed me and it still changes me, even though I’ve known this for months.
    A young man was walking down the beach at sunrise with his grandfather. It was low tide, and there were many creatures to be seen. They laughed, talked, and explored the tides, until they reached a spot where thousands upon thousands of starfish covered the sandy beach.
     “Grandpa? What is going to happen to all these starfish?”
Starfish
     “They are going to dry out and die on the beach, then high tide will come and wash them all up and it will happen again tomorrow.”
     “That’s awful! Isn’t there something we can do?”
     The young man then picked up the nearest starfish, and hurled it as far as he could into the ocean.
     “What are you doing? There’s no point. You can’t save all of them, it’s just the way it has to be.”
     The young man continued. He threw another starfish in the ocean, then another, then another.
He wasn’t going to give up that easily.
     “You can’t save them all, it doesn’t matter!”
     The young man threw one more starfish into the ocean, turned to his grandfather and said,
     “It mattered to that one.”
     He turned around and threw another starfish. Without a word, the grandfather bent down, picked up a starfish, and hurled it into the ocean.
   Sometimes being a missionary you feel like the grandfather, you see so much filth, so much sin and so much bad you just want to give up. You want to quit and go back to a blissful ignorance. However as disciples of Jesus Christ we have a responsibility to help those we see in need.
In honesty this has gotten me through the hardest times on my mission. There have been many times when I’ve felt like I’m not doing anything, nothings changing and since it never has it never will change.
But that one. One thing I can promise is that you will make a difference to that one, you will find that one.
For me, I’ve found that “one”, you can find that one who needs a hand, a shoulder to cry on, the one in need of comfort. When you serve them and help them you’ll know, you’ll know the difference.
The great thing about this work is that its not our work, we aren’t in charge, we have the Godhead at our side. As it says in D&C 68:6, we will be standing right alongside our Lord Jesus Christ.
We will make a difference, not because it is our work or we are that strong, but rather because when we side with Christ we know that good will prevail.
When you feel like your not making a difference or not doing enough just remember,
It matters to that one. 
Starfish 2
Only thing is missing is a Frisbee

Only thing missing is a Frisbee

I love sports. Sports to me just are something amazing. When two teams, individuals or whatever are competing in fair, honest and skillful competition it just seems to be one of the most beautiful acts. I could spend hours and hours playing different sports and they just never got old and its not like there is one best sport, all have good things in them, we all just have favorites.

 

So what does my love of sports have to do with changing , well a lot actually.
In Ultimate Frisbee there are many different ways to throw the frisbee. You throw the Frisbee to work it down the field and your ultimate goal is to have a team-mate catch it in the end zone.

Throwing a Disc

Throwing a Frisbee

In Ultimate there are many different throw types but the most common ones are flicks and backhands. Anyone can pick up a frisbee and usually they’ll be able to throw the frisbee one of these two ways.

It will fly fairly straight, not wobble till the end and can get to the destination.

It will be a good throw. However when the game is on the line you don’t want just a good throw, you want that throw to be absolutely perfect. You want it to be your best throw you’ve ever thrown.
This is where the change comes in.

 

Before the game, before you need to be ready you can choose to be good, you can choose to put in some effort to get better or you work your tail off in an attempt to be the best.

 

You can decide at any given moment you want to change. That you need to act different and be a different person.

 

In our mission we have a phrase, Good, Better, Best. Taken from Elder Oaks talk called Good, Better, Best.

 

At any time we can decide whether we want to settle for being good, or whether we want to be the best.

I like being the Best, what about you?

I like being the Best I can, what about you?

We can live forever just going about doing what we’ve always done or we can strive to be better and work at improving. This change, this becoming better has a name.

Repentance.

 

When we repent and try to become more Christ-like, become perfect we change for the better. There are so many ways to become more like Christ. To list a few, when we serve others, study the scriptures, when we make God the center of our lives, when we stop worrying about things and start taking care of people. All of these ways force us to look outward and change.

 

Change for the better.  Now we won’t become perfect overnight, you don’t become the best you overnight without work. It takes work, so much work.

Work, work, work

Work, work, work

 

We always have someone on our side who will never let us down. When we want to change to become better we have Christ, the perfect coach, motivator, leader to help us become better.

 

Christ always stands at the door knocking and ready to come in and help us, but its up to us to let him in. In order for him to change us we have to let him in.

So will you let him in?

He's ready are you?

 

So for me and for most other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints there can be a lot of ways living our faith can be hard.

This would be me, a normal Mormon boy

This would be me, a normal Mormon boy

 

Being a born and raised member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormon many people have asked why am I a member.

 

Those who tend to have an unfavorable outlook on the Church and all members will say I am just a member because it is what I was raised with and I was brainwashed into it.

 

Others will say that there are many great benefits received from the Church by being a member and that would be why.

 

Others say that it might have a peaceful feeling and it’s what feels good to me.

 

Yet others will say how I am a member because I couldn’t handle reality without a crutch and that crutch being my beliefs in deity.

 

And still more will say I am merely following in my families footsteps because my family would be disappointed in me if I left the Church.

 

Whenever I encounter these sentiments I have many thoughts but one thing that always comes up is how none take into account that I might have been able to use my free will, my agency to choose to be in the Church and have that belief in Christ.

 

To be quite frank, if I hadn’t believed this Church was Christs church there is no way I would have kept going as a teenager. For a long time I didn’t know that this Church was true, I didn’t know that there were indeed prophets on the Earth, I didn’t even always know if Heavenly Father really was there.

 

But I wanted to know.

 

However throughout this time I believed it might be true. I had lived in the Church, seen my parents examples of living the Gospel and I had seen many of the blessings that the Gospel brings. Despite all of those examples, I still couldn’t say I knew my Heavenly Father knew me, that this was Christ’s Church and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

Effort

 

It took studying and work for me to learn that all of this is as it claims it is. It took my own actions     to get me motivated to serve a mission and to stay a member of the Church.

 

 

 

That’s the thing so many people do not get about Christ and life in general.

 

The good things, the things that actually last take that hard work. Knowing that God is there, that Christ really died for us, that will take work.

Work can cure a lot of things

Work can cure a lot of things

One of my grandmothers was a firm advocate of this. One of her favorite quotes that permeated my families lives and mine was entirely about this principle.

 

 

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and anything worth doing will take time to do.”

 

So what is ultimately important is not so much about the stuff of Earth. But the knowledge we can gain about our Heavenly Father, Christ and the morals that can only be learned from right and wrong.

So what are you doing that is worth doing well?

 

Christ and children

Christ doing whats worth doing

Christ’s Experiance

This past month I hit a low.

 

I became frustrated at what I was doing and for a bit I just wanted to quit and give up. However some very wise Elders I know were there for me in my time of need and they helped me up. They gave me the strength I needed to keep going even though things weren’t the best. I was able to lean on them and start back up.

 

After a bit of reflection I started thinking about how Christ has felt everything. Absolutely everything and how much that really is. That meant that Christ knows what I felt when I was feeling down, he knows what I felt when my grandpa died and knows what its like to grow up in the 21st century. He knows it all. That’s why he’s able to comfort us and help us through the Spirit and through others. He knows exactly what will help us the most in our times of need.

 

A talk I heard once by Sister Okazaki in Church, spoke on this subject of what Christ has felt. Sister Okazaki you could tell from her talk had come to know what Christ had done. She said,

 

“We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family.

But we don’t experience pain in generalities.

We experience it individually.

 

That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you.

 

He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election.

 

He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid.

 

He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia.

 

He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced napalm in Vietnam.

 

He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.

 

He knows all that.

He’s been there.

 

He’s been lower than all that. He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections.

 

He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.”

 

Whenever you feel no one can help, no one knows what you are feeling turn to the Savior. Turn to Christ and he will come to you and heal you. All that is required that you let him in.

 

Will we be converted that he may heal us?

 

Will we let the Living Waters of Christ come and quench our spiritual thirsts.

 

I promise you that if we let Christ into our lives, we will be able to overcome every difficult day we have. It may not be easy but you will get through it. So keep with it.

 

Godspeed my brothers and sisters and just keep going.

 

So just remind yourself that you’ve been through hard times and you’ll go through them again. But with Christ you will be able to do it.

Getting through rough days

Getting through Rough Days

Christmas and Service

Sorry its been so long since I posted but E. Pemberton and I have been super busy with the Lords work.

 

So as we all reflect this Christmas season I’d like to share my testimony of Christmas and what it and Christ means to me.

 

I once heard the best place to start a story is in the middle so that’s where I am going to start.

 

Every Christmas my family does a number of things that make it special to me and all of them we do together which is what makes them so great.

One of my favorite things we do is a Secret Santa (hopefully none of the people we did read this). I absolutely loved doing this.

 

I mean what kid when they’re little doesn’t love to ring someones doorbell and run, its just so exciting.

So for many years I didn’t understand this really, I mean it was fun but I never understood how it was really all that Christmas related.

It wasn’t until I was well into high school did I realize why we did this Secret Santa.

 

A lady whose family we had been being Santa to had been asked to speak at church the Sunday after Christmas.

During her talk she mentioned us. Her Secret Santa’s.

 

She spoke how we had brought so much joy to their family that season and how even though sometimes meals or bedtime had been interrupted by the occasional doorbell it had made her kids so happy. Everyday in December she told how her kids had asked when Santa was coming, when they could catch Santa.

 

I learned that even this was service.

We were caring for her kids and showing them that someone was out there playing with them. That someone wanted her family to be happy. It was super special because I learned that though I got so much happiness, I was able to bring others more.

I was able to be the tool to bring a bit of that magic of Christmas to those kids lives.

 

Its kind a like missionary work, the Gospel, service or any Christlike attribute.

 

Even though we give of ourselves we get much in return. We are able to lighten others loads and help them feel our Savior’s love.

 

So that’s what Christmas to me is all about.

 

Remembering our Saviors love and trying to help all my brothers and sisters to feel the love our Heavenly Father and his Son have for them.

 

So this Christmas try to serve your brothers and sisters more.

 

Find someone whose load needs to be lightened and as you do that I can promise you that as those you serve feel our Fathers love you will too.

 

So Christmas, that great holiday. It means so many different things to so many different people but to me, to Elder Logan Longhurst it’s very simple.

Christmas means love.

Being Exceptional

So when I first became a missionary in the missionary training center or the MTC, my group was headed by a branch president, someone who presides over meetings, offers us advice and keeps going in the right direction. Basically he oversees us. My group was lead by President Stice.

 

Now President Stice was in his early 50’s, like a coach who is extremely firm in his beliefs but doesn’t force them. He always would explain them and try to help us see why he acted the way he did.  He does it his way and tried to be the best example he could for all of us new missionaries. He would use enough fire to really get our attention and to motivate us but not enough to really hurt us.

 

So our first night in the MTC he asked us a simple question. “What type of missionaries do we want to be?”

 

Pretty simple question right?

 

Now this was our first night so keep in mind we were as timid as little rabbits still venturing into the great unknown of missionary life. So as you can imagine it was pretty silent for a little while.

A couple of the bolder souls started trying to give answers . “Good, obedient, diligent, the best.” were some of the answers.

 

President Stice looked at us in a loving but firm way and informed us of what answer he was looking for.

 

“Exceptional.”

 

“I want you all to be exceptional missionaries. It’s easy to be an average missionary but to be an exceptional one, that takes something special but it will make all the difference, I promise.”

 

Now this doesn’t just apply to being a missionary, it can go for everything. So think about what type of student you are, what type of worker you are, spouse, brother, sister, discipleship of Christ.

 

Just like its easy to coast through being a missionary. Doing what’s required what everyone else does, just going with the flow. Being average.

 

I however want to focus on being a follower of Christ.

 

Do we live as Christs followers at all times? Do we really do what Christ would do? Do what Christ wants done?

 

Of course the answer for all the time is no. We all make mistakes we’re human. The important thing is are we trying. Are we trying to be exceptional followers of Christ?

 

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is being exception. During those hard times when everything goes wrong, when you feel you just can’t do it by yourself. When you feel you just can’t stop making mistakes.

 

Its during these times we need to remember, God gave us our weakness’s.

 

In Ether 12 we are taught we’re given our weakness’s by our father so that we can grow. We grow in the hard times because its in the hardest situations that we learn the most.

 

Just like the finest steel is forged in the hottest fire so are the strongest testimonies and strengths are forged in the hardest of times.

 

An apostle of the Lord taught this in his talk of Come What May and Love It. In this talk Elder Worthlin taught that when we are going through those hard times we can choose to be discouraged by it or we can choose to move on and learn from our experiences.

 

As we learn to love the hard times with the good we’ll be able to grow, in faith, in strength and in understanding of our Father’s plan for us. We will become exceptional sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Our father may have left obstacles in our paths, mountains to climb but I promise you, if you rely on Him you will be able to overcome.

 

In closing I would ask you all to watch this video, “Mountains to Climb” and try and relate with those in it. Think of a trial you’ve had or are having in your life and after seeing how these people overcome think how the Gospel can help you just as it has helped them. I promise that with the Gospel of Christ as the center of our lives we will be able to overcome our mountains.

We can be Exceptional.

Fear vs Faith

 

So I was reading one day looking for something that stood out to me and saw a blog post by a fellow missionary that read.

 

“This morning, while I was doing some household chores, I got to thinking about the War in Heaven. I have often wondered how Lucifer could justify going against our Father. And then it hit me, like a ton of bricks.

 

He was afraid.

 

He was afraid that he wouldn’t measure up. He and those that followed him were afraid that they would be among those that didn’t make it back to our heavenly father. Fear drove 1/3 of the hosts of heaven to be banished, rather than face mortality.”

As I read that I realized something. We were afraid too. But we overcame that fear. We fought it back, knowing that, come what may, our father loved us, and he would never set before us anything that we could not accomplish. That he would guide us. That the atonement would bring us home.

 

So, what I learned is that, whenever you are afraid, just remember, you are brave. Come whatever fear you face, just imagine how afraid you would have been, coming to earth, knowing that you were going to forget everything, and start new. You are Heavenly Father’s child, and he will never put before you any

thing that you cannot overcome.

 

You are braver than you think.

 

So bravery and faith go hand in hand, as taught by Elder Nelson here, if we have faith we will be able to overcome the trials in life. We will have the bravery and the courage to stand strong in our beliefs.

 

When our faith in Christ, when we can trust Christ with all our hearts we will be able to overcome all trials. We already did it once. We trusted him enough in the pre-earth life now we just need to have that trust in him for this life.

 

So as the prophet Alma taught in the Book of Mormon, faith doesn’t have to start big, it can start as small as a simple belief. If you can desire it to be true then you will be able to find out if it is true.

 

From small and simple things great things come. So have faith, be brave and go forth with courage.

 

You already chose to trust in Christ once, you were brave enough to trust him once. So trust him now.

 

I know that if you will try to pray, if you will simply desire to find out for yourself you’ll be able to find that faith. You will be brave.

 

Remember your braver than you think and with Christ your strong enough to overcome anything.

 

So to close, hold on, you’ll get through it. As Elder Holland said 

Holland picture

I know this is true, Jesus Christ is my big brother and my Savior.

Starting Up!

Hello all, this blog is coming to you straight from Arizona.

I am a missionary in the Arizona Phoenix Mission, a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I get the great opportunity to go out and serve my Lord, Jesus Christ for two years of my life. I serve with various other young men who age from 18 to 25 as we go around trying to help our spiritual brothers and sisters.

A lot of people however have misconceptions about what life is like as a Mormon Missionary so that’s what this blog will simply be about, life as a missionary down in Arizona. If you ever have questions about the Church, about what we believe or what it’s like to be a missionary feel free to ask. We as missionaries will answer any question as best we can and we promise to never be offended.

Included in this blog will be stories from my time serving in the mission, quotes and pictures that are particularly powerful and whatever else I feel could help anyone who reads this.

If you ever want to ask a question directly to me you can contact me via my email of logan.longhurst@myldsmail.net

Hope you enjoy