Tag Archive: Heavenly Father


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.

Finding Success

Success is so fickle. No matter what we do it seems someone else is mores successful than us. When you think you measure up in a certain category you’ll see yourself falling short in another. That’s the natural man trying to show us we can never measure up.

All of us humans we want to be successful. I doubt there has ever been anyone born who has no goals, accomplishments, or things they want to achieve. no matter how small or short sighted we all have that desire to achieve.

Problem is things don’t always work out. People go against us, fate doesn’t work with us, the odds just are not in your favor. And yet we press on with faith that we will eventually achieve.

For me this happens all the time. I have some goals, something I want to happen and I work towards it butt life just gets in the way and it doesn’t happen. I want that taste of success in making my goals but sometimes fate just goes the other way.

In  high school I wanted to make the high school boys soccer team. There seemed no better way to find success than to be on a “real” team.

So for four years I tried out in the hopes that I would find a spot on the roster.

I tried out all four years, I never even made it past the first cuts.

Now some might say it was because I didn’t put my heart into it, I didn’t practice, prepare right or get in good enough shape for the team.

Thing is every year I went to every conditioning session for the team. I played on multiple soccer teams each year diligently going to practices to get better,  always trying to improve my skills, become the best I could.

Now I’m not saying that I was better than the boys who made the team, I’m simply stating that I did do everything I could to make that team.

But it simply wasn’t meant to be.

Every year when I was cut I  promised myself I would make the cut next year. Next year I’d be on that soccer team.

Looking back I realize now how dangerous that thinking is.

I will be eternally grateful though for one of my good friends, John who in senior year invited me to come run track with him.

It took until senior year to realize I didn’t need the soccer team to find success. Thanks to Johns invitation I had ran track with John for nearly all of the year and as a result I was able to learn and grow so much by being on the track team.

I had found success.

Not the success I thought I’d find, certainly not the success of being on the Northridge soccer team. But rather I found the success of finding a love I never would have found otherwise, I found friends who I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Now it to a purely worldly outsider it doesn’t sound like I found success.

I mean come on, I never could make the lousy high school soccer team.

But, I learned how to run, which will probably help keep me in shape for the rest of my life if i use it. I learned self confidence that I can do hard things.

I went from taking 21 minutes to run 3 miles to just under 17 minutes. That’s a success for me.

I have learned that really it doesn’t matter what achievements we receive on the outside, its really all about what you learn.

So yeah, success it doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from within.

So all of you, I challenge you to find something, anything, that you’ve been trying to achieve and it has just never worked out and find why. It doesn’t matter if the world tells find from our Heavenly Father his plan and go for it.

I know you’ll all be amazing and find the success best for you.

Children of God

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?”

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us.
It’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine,
we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

a poem by Marianne Williamson

 

This poem is powerful, it has truth and to me it is inspiring.

 

What stands out to me the most is the second stanza. Its so common in life for people to take the easy way, or to take the backseat in life and to just go through the motions. Rather than using the talents their Heavenly Father has blessed them with they prefer to be comfortable and just do the minimum.

 

This is especially huge in pianists in the Church.

 

So some background, in the Church music is an integral part of life. We sing hymns in nearly all our meetings and so what’s needed is people to lead and accompany the music and its the leaders responsibility to find those people.

 

However that is something far easier to say than to do.

 

For many Bishops and other leaders though finding ward musicians can be a challenge to say the least. To begin with there usually are only a handful of people who can play or know enough to lead the music.

 

And out of this handful there are those who don’t feel comfortable using their talent because their afraid to make a mistake.

 

So all this accounts to making it very hard to fill those callings.

 

Back at college my bishop when he learned I played the piano immediately asked if I was willing to play at church. I responded I was but I didn’t understand why.

In our ward there were several music majors, all far more talented than me. Why did I need to play when I make common simple mistakes while accompanying when there were those who will one day be master pianists in the same congregation.

 

In response to my question Bishop Hall responded, “You are needed to play, because you have the ability and the will, its not about who is more accomplished than you, all that matters in a calling is whether you will do your best.”

 

Wow, it doesn’t matter that I’m not the most skilled, it doesn’t matter that I make mistakes as we sing the closing hymn.

 

That was a new idea to me, I thought the most qualified were the best but that’s a common misconception.

 

One I had had for quite a long time.

 

Bishop Hall taught me right there. A wise man imparted the simple truth to an 18 year old boy that is true for every child of God no matter the situation.

 

Use the talents God has blessed you with to bring light to others.

 

By keeping that light hid we serve no one and we should want to serve everyone.

 

Just as Christ taught in Mathew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”

 

So use that light, that talent that God has given you and inspire others. You might make mistakes but that’s okay because as others see you striving to be the best you can be you will be that example they need to let their light shine forth.

 

So no matter what you are asked to do, do it and know that as you strive to do your best and use the talents your Heavenly Father has given you you will be living to your potential.

 

Your potential as a Child of God.

 

So use your talents, be wonderful, magnificent, amazing and serve with all your heart might mind and strength. I can promise you it will be worth it.

 

After all you don’t want to just go through the motions in life, you want to live life to the fullest and that dear brothers and sisters is done by using all your talents and abilities, not just some of them.

 

So go be amazing. You are a Child of God.

 

Child of God

What we all Want

So as a missionary we get the great opportunity to go out and help people.

Our calling is quite literally to do what Christ would do were he with the very people we are with. Now of course I don’t do this perfectly or even very near perfectly but I’m trying. So while trying to be a true representative of Christ there are a few things I have noticed that are common to many, many people.

The biggest desire, the most wanted thing I notice people in life want is stability. They work so hard to try and have their own permanent possessions, they work to have a stable relationship with their friends and family. Its a constant fight to preserve that stability in life.

This desire for stability is also present in our spiritual natures. So many people want some big, huge, constant thing. Only problem with that is, that’s not how this universe works.

The way I see it is, Anything worth doing is worth doing well and anything worth doing well is going to take some effort to do well.

So that’s why we can’t just wake up and have changed because the universe’s laws don’t work like that.

There are eternal laws that everything obeys, yes everything. An example for me of one of these came to me in the form of playing the piano. I remember the first time I decided I was going to learn a real performance song. Its name was Song of the Ocean, by Jon Schmidt.

Song of the Ocean has 8 pages in it. That’s 8 pages I have to learn to complete the song. Now I in my foolishness thought I would be able to go about learning it as I had previous easier songs. Playing the whole thing through multiple times till I had the muscle memory of it.

 

Well I was wrong.

 

I had to learn it page by page by page by page. It was tedious, it was time consuming and it was hard. My family can attest that for the first week I had to focus merely on the first two pages to get the underlying theme down so I would be able to play it throughout the harder parts.

 

This relates to life and everything because nothing comes without work. In order to learn a song on the piano, you have to practice, in order to have a strong relationship with your spouse, you must show them that you love them. In order to know if there is a God, you have to put some work in there to find him.

 

God is our loving Heavenly Father but just like any good parent he does not coddle us. He wants us to get up and try to find him. He’s left us search lights, hints, notes and all sorts of things to help us but we have to follow those hints, those lights in order for them to do anything. If we just sit around waiting for something to happen, you will never find that stability you seek.

 

That’s why we as missionaries we invite people to pray, to read the scriptures and come to church. Those are just some of the ways you will find our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And I promise you there is nothing that will bring as much stability as this. If you are waiting for something to happen for you, you will be waiting until the end.

 

So just like how I couldn’t learn Song of the Ocean in one day, you probably won’t find out Heavenly Father in one day. You’ll have to work for it, you’ll have to make an effort to come to him. His arms are open and reaching out to you  but he won’t force you to come into his arms.

 

I don’t know all of you reading this but I do know this about you. You are a child of our Heavenly Father, and the way to find the most peace, the most stability, in our lives is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’d love to talk with any of you if you have any questions about what I’ve written so always feel free to message me.

So if you’re looking for peace, stability, hope, joy or comfort, Christ always stands with his arms open. So in the words of an ancient prophet.

Come unto Christ and be perfected in him. Please do, it will be worth every moment of heartache and trouble to come to the Prince of Peace.

 

So this past week Elder Dobson and I were asked why there aren’t crosses on the Mormon Chapels?

Well I will do my best to answer this question but none of this should be taken as LDS doctrine nor as anything binding, its just my views and beliefs.

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Well before we get into crosses and religion why not find out where did the cross come from, what did it originally represent, and what made it the symbol of Christianity.

Well the earliest relics we have of a cross is from ancient Egypt, called the Egyptian Cross or an Ankh the symbol of the life, regeneration and the sun. Its found in ancient hieroglyphics and often was associated with the Egyptian sun god as his symbol of power. The Ankh was much like the Roman cross except instead of it having the 4 bars the top bar ended in a loop.

Another possible birthplace of the cross is ancient Greece. We don’t really know what it represented to them but we know it was imprinted on coins as early as 1500 B.C. and it was 4 bars of equal length. The coins mainly were found around Athens and its nearby villages.

The last cross I’ll be going over is the Roman Cross or the type that Christ was crucified on. The Roman Cross has the standard 4 bars with the bottom one being twice as long as the top 3 that are all the same length. Interestingly enough the cross first became prominent in Christianity about the 3rd century AD thanks to Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge. A brief summary of the story goes like this, Constantine and his army were marching down through modern Italy on his way to Rome to fight to become the emperor of all Rome. He was worried that he would not be able to conquer, after all he was the invader and his army was tired from its long conquest. He prayed for help, a way to conquer and come out victorious.  His prayer was answered by a cross appearing in the sky with the words burning on it “Conquer by this.” Still doubting he was visited by Christ in the night who told him the same thing and as a result he used that emblem as his and he conquered and become emperor and the cross became a symbol of Christianity.

So first and foremost I’ll state my beliefs on the whole crosses, the cross represents death, it was how Romans killed people in a spectacle to scare people away from opposing Roman beliefs. Being crucified wasn’t a fun, quick, easy death.

It was brutal, absolutely brutal and ruthless.

It took hours of agonizing torture for those crucified to die and they wouldn’t die from the nails, they died from exhaustion, from pain, from their bodies being completely destroyed. It was a horrible way to die.

Why would we choose to have the object that Christ, our Lord and Savior hang on our walls, our churches and be in our lives is beyond me. Yes Christ died for our sins and myself and all members of the LDS church are grateful for that but that doesn’t mean we remember his death, we remember his life, what he did and most importantly That He Lives. Nothing has greater meaning than this statement, the fact that Jesus Christ the Son of God lives means that we too will live again and that death and hell could not keep him down. He broke the chains of death that had held humanity in its grasp for so long.

So is the cross important to Mormons, Yes, however we choose not to remember the cross so much as to remember the Son of God, the perfect sacrifice, our Savior. He died on the cross for all of us and that’s what’s important, not the way he died but the fact he has Atoned for every sin, every mistake, every pain we’ve done, felt, or seen.

So no we don’t have crosses in our churches, in our churches because we remember Christ rather than the cross. I know that Christ performed the Atonement so that we can all be free from our sins one day and return to live with him again. I know this to be true and so can you. I know through the power of prayer and I testify that you can find out the same way I did. So try it out. Ask your Heavenly Father if he’s there, if he loves you and if Christ really performed the Atonement. Just try it.

nature

It passes all my understanding. Its simply amazing to know that we have a Heavenly Father. As the apostle Paul taught in Acts 17:29, we are the offspring of God. That is very simple in that it means to me that I am his son. With all the imperfections that I have, all the mistakes I make and all the times I doubt in myself or God does not diminish this fact.

As a missionary I have the great opportunity to go out and share the Gospel of Christ with others and so often people don’t have that realization, that ability to see themselves as more than “John Smith” or whatever their name. More than just a someone. Once someone realizes that they have Heavenly Parents they will be able to come to terms with themselves and not be so hard on themselves because of mistakes made in the past and when they make mistakes in the future they will want to be better and realize they can be better through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love quotes, I love when people smarter than me come up with some quick and easy sentence or paragraph that sums up my feelings that would normally take me two pages to express. Without further ado this is a quote that has helped me through many hard times in my life and I truly do believe that the man, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is an apostle of God and truly inspired.

“Don’t you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I would like all of you to know that this is so true. I know it through the power of prayer and I know that all of you can too, if we keep trying, keep doing our best and never ever quit things will be all right. Christ has overcome the world and that means he can carry us through it. If we endure to the end while living the Gospel of Jesus Christ then we will be able to be with our families for forever. I love my Heavenly Father and I am eternally grateful that he sent Jesus Christ, my elder brother to make it so we can all return home.  So don’t quit. You are the son or daughter of loving Heavenly Father.