Tag Archive: Jesus Christ


Never Give Up

Sorry its been so long since I posted anything, sometimes stuff comes up as a missionary and you just don’t get all the things done you want to.

 

Regardless you shouldn’t give up.

 

Giving up is one of the worst things you can ever possibly do in life. Giving up on your dreams, you love, on life or hope.

 

So often people dream, they want to be awesome and great and have fun.

 

For today will you look up, remember that you can be great. You are a child of God after all, its your heritage.

 

Don’t give up on your dreams, goals because you can reach them. You can do all that you set your mind to, just keep going, by doing the small and simple things and persistently doing that which is good we will reach what we are working towards.

 

Be happy, remember God, work hard.

 

After all as that wise prophet Nephi has said,

Joy

Life isn’t meant to be endured, its meant to be lived.

Advertisements

So this last Sunday Elder Pemberton and I were talking with Brother Le Bel, our Ward Mission Leader about church standards and doctrines. So while we were talking Bro. Le Bel made an interesting statement that really stood out to me.

 

“As much as we like to think we aren’t like the children of Israel, we are. How often do we look for exact rules or ask how far is the limit on various things.”

 

That made me wonder, there often is a lot of gray area that is left open to members of the Church. Yes we have a prophet of God who leads us but how often are exact stances left unsaid.

 

I’ve realized more and more on my mission its very often.

 

We aren’t given exact rules because you don’t learn anything with rules, you can always find ways around the rules. So there’s this dilemma you face, which path to follow, which way do you go.

 

Which way do you go?

Which way do you go?

So lets compare life to this path a little.

 

Neither one is particularly special, one goes left and one goes right and both look to be about the same. Without some further knowledge or outside help you’ll be making the decision of which way you choose to go blind.

 

So to the uninformed hiker either path is good.

 

We can be like this in life.

 

When we come into this life we don’t have knowledge, we’re born with a clean slate and we come here to learn and get experience.

The great thing about this life is that we don’t have to go at it alone. We have the instructions and leadership that we need.

 

Our Heavenly Father has given us the scriptures to guide us home. In the Book of Mormon we can learn life lessons from the writings of prophets and just ordinary people who tried to live their faith in their every day life.

 

So the hiker with the map will be able to look down the map, see what the terrain with each path is like and know which one is the best one to take.

 

In real life the Church provides us with the necessary maps, resources and other such stuff that we’ll be able to find our way on our own. But they don’t force you to follow the “straight and narrow”.

 

We have to figure things out on our own, we can always ask our Heavenly Father and he’ll give us the answer but not when we think we need it.

 

Our Heavenly Father has given us the tools to figure out right and wrong on our own, he wants us to learn and grow and that’s what he’s going to let us do. He’s going to let us work for answers.

 

Work can cure a lot of things

Work can cure a lot of things, and not just cattle

So maybe that’s one reason life is so hard, so confusing and without exact doctrines defined by our prophet and the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

We already have the tools to find them, they’re in the scriptures and its our job to find them.

 

I know that by studying the scriptures we can find answers to many of life’s greatest questions and always know that what we are doing is right.

 

How do you learn what is right and wrong?

Christ and Satan

Image

May I start off by saying i absolutely love this picture, unfortunately I have no clue so I can’t give them proper credit. If anyone knows where its from let me know and I’ll give due credit.

 

So onto why this photo is so good.

 

For me it embodies the fight between good and evil, Christ leading the forces of good and Satan the forces of evil. Of course we all know how the conflict will end but that doesn’t change the fact that the war is well underway in all our lives.

 

There are three main things that stand out to me in this picture, the first is the eyes of Christ and Satan.

 

First Christ’s eyes, he’s staring directly into his brothers eyes. His eyes seem to be saying, “What are you doing? You had your chance to become like Father, if you had followed his plan you wouldn’t be miserable. You blew it.”

There is not a shadow of doubt in Christs eyes, he knows the outcome with every fiber of his being. All he’s waiting for is his Father’s word and he’ll end the war and a new age of peace and love will begin.

 

Now Satan.

At the first glance he looks all big bad and scary. I won’t lie if I saw someone that looked like that walking down the street it would give me the chills.

 

However look closer at his eyes.

When I really look into Satan’s eyes I don’t see anger, power or any of the other emotions I’d expect from him.

 

I see fear.

 

He knows he’s lost, he knows his Heavenly Fathers plan will win and that means he loses. He knows its a lost cause but because of his pride he will never give up the fight to make us as miserable as possible.

 

Another thing that really stands out to me in this picture is Christ and Satans aura’s.

 

Satan’s aura is dark, red and doesn’t permeate and stay around. It just kind a fades when it gets closer and closer to Christs aura.

 

Now Christs aura doesn’t seem scary, isn’t overpowering yet its always present. I think of the aura’s kind a like light. It looks peaceful, in a state of tranquility.

 

Darkness and light.

They simply cannot be in the same space as each other. It is impossible.

 

As soon as light comes into a room the darkness flees, even a simple candle flame will immediately dispel the darkness in a dark room with no windows or other possible sources of light.

 

Just like how light will always overpower darkness, so too will Christ and good always overcome evil.

 

Evil may seem like its going to win, it may be dark but eventually the light will come and the darkness will be no more.

Now you can over analyze anything and I probably am over analyzing this but still that doesn’t make the symbolism I find any less meaningful to me.

 

I don’t know if the painter of this picture meant for the eyes, the auras or anything in the pictures to truly have deeper meanings. Maybe the painter just painted a really cool idea they came up with.

 

It doesn’t matter.

 

It has meaning to me because I can see those things in the picture for myself. Who knows, maybe completely different things will stand out to you and maybe all your’ll see is two guys arm wrestling.

That’s the beauty of our Heavenly  Father’s plan of salvation. It gives us the agency to experience things for ourselves.

Agency is so essential in our lives, that’s the ultimate gift our Heavenly Father has given us. So use your agency to learn good from wrong. More on Agency can be found here and here’s an apostle on agency if you want.

So get out there and experience our Heavenly Fathers creations to the fullest.

Life won’t be easy, but when we let Christ help us out we know that we will win.

So who’s side do you want to be on?

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.

 

Path of Life

Path of Life

So many people ask why is this life so hard, why do bad things happen to good people, why would our Heavenly Father allow so much suffering to go on? All of these questions come down to a very simple answer. Agency. The freedom to choose. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and yes that does include everyone on this earth, that he won’t restrict our ability to choose what we’re going to do. Now that will not make us free from the consequences but others choices often will hurt us. So yeah this life is hard but that’s what will make the good so much the sweeter. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us all and that through Christ we can be one family again in Heaven. To quote an ancient prophet “Come unto Christ.” Its through Christ we will be able to get through life, through Christ we will be able to survive all the craziness that life throws at us.

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.

image

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.