Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Word Is Commitment

"A truly committed person does not falter in the face of adversity. Until one is committed, there is a chance to hesitate, to go off in another direction, or to be ineffective. Members within our ranks who are committed to living the gospel of Jesus Christ will not be affected by the rationale of hecklers.

Our enemies are becoming more hostile with each passing week. They seem intent on not only deceiving the uncommitted among us but on leading astray even the elect. They criticize our leaders. They scoff at what we consider to be sacred. They mock ordinances and covenants we know to be true and holy. They delight in discovering and sharing human flaws and frailties among our leaders past and present rather than acknowledging and benefiting from the truths they taught. They go to the tree, and instead of enjoying the fruit thereof, they point out the scars discovered on the tree trunk.

Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked. (See Gal. 6:7.) We have no intention of quarreling or demanding equal time to refute. We invite the dissenters as well as all others to open their eyes and see the beauties and thrills available to those who walk in His path looking for the good.

We all have eyes, ears, and minds to lift, lead, and love. Total commitment to God and His ways will not permit us to engage in destructive criticism, retaliation, or undue disgust. We should commit ourselves to marching shoulder to shoulder in the battle to save soulswithout destroying, condemning, or belittling." -Marvin J. Ashton

I was so impressed to share these profound words of wisdom spoken from a man with great love for this gospel. Brothers and Sisters all around the world, we MUST be committed to this gospel! We must not falter in the face of adversity! Every week our enemies are combining against us! Even the elect are in danger. As we become committed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we will be protected and we shall not be deceived. Let us march shoulder to shoulder in the battle to save souls! We are here for a righteous cause and we are not here to condemn or belittle each other! I hope and pray that we can all be a little kinder and stand a little taller as we commit ourselves to this gospel and to His children. This life is hard but it is through our brothers and sisters that we are able to endure... marching shoulder to shoulder in the same cause. The word is commitment.

In closing I wish to share Elder Marvin J. Aston's testimony,"The word is commitment. To be something, we must be committed. God is our Father. Jesus is our Savior, and this is His Church. May we commit ourselves to living Christlike lives regardless of the environment or opposition I pray, in the worthy name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, amen."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done

Be not afraid by Greg Olsen
"As we endure physical suffering, we are increasingly aware of how many wait upon each of us. To all the Marys and Marthas, to all of the good Samaritans who minister to the sick, succor the weak, and care for the mentally and physically infirm, I feel the gratitude of a loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. In your daily Christlike ministry, you are waiting upon the Lord and doing your Heavenly Father’s will. His assurance to you is clear: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in faith." (emphasis added)

"Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine. Let us therefore be kinder to one another and kinder toward ourselves. Let us remember that as we wait upon the Lord, we are becoming “saint[s] through [His] atonement, … submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”" (emphasis added)

"...I express gratitude that “in my Gethsemane” and yours, we are not alone. He that watches over us “shall neither slumber nor sleep.” His angels here and beyond the veil are “round about [us], to bear [us] up.” I bear my special witness that our Savior’s promise is true, for he says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” May we wait upon Him by pressing forward in faith, that we may say in our prayers, “Thy will be done,” and return to Him with honor. In the holy name of our Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus Christ, amen." (emphasis added)

This talk was given by Elder Hales on Sunday morning of this last conference. I have no words to describe the great impact this talk has had on my heart! I remember how I felt listening to him speak and the feeling gets greater and greater as I review it. I feel as though the urge to stand on top of a mountain and shout, testifying of the truths Elder Hales has spoken! We must wait upon the Lord! Sometimes this concept is harder for us grasp and we become so bitter and unwilling to submit ourselves to Him who has trodden the wine press! We must press forward with faith in Him who knows us better than we will ever know ourselves. The promises are sure and everlasting as we wait upon the Lord. His angels are here and we are not alone. We shall mount up with wings as eagles. Let us be kinder to each other and more importantly kinder to ourselves! We are royal sons and daughters! Wait upon Him in faith.... The blessings of this Gospel are so sweet and beautiful! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good, Hymn 293

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee

For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.

I don't know about you but this song from me is one of great meaning and it touches my heart so strongly. When I read the words to this song I am immediately brought to the faces of those in my life that has touched me for good. The Lord has blessed me with so many great influences and examples. He has blessed me with, "Christlike friends, whose gentle ways Strengthen our faith, enrich our days." They truly do strengthen my faith and enrich my days.

"For worthy friends whose lives proclaim devotion to the Savior's name, Who bless our days with peace and love, We praise thy goodness, Lord above." Do you have friends like that? I look at this and think of one specifically that has had such a great impact on my life. No matter how hard her life has been or how hard it might be right now, her life still proclaims devotion to the Savior's name. She could give up and fall away but she wont because of her love for the Savior Jesus Christ and what His name means to her. I want to be like her one day. She blesses the lives around her with peace and love. I do praise the goodness of the Lord above for bringing her into my life. I know that she is a woman of God and that angels are sent to us to bless our lives and help us grow along the way. She is a Christlike friend who strengthens my faith and enriches my days.

I love at verse 3 and I am brought to tears. " When such a friend from us departs, We hold forever in our hearts a sweet and hallowed memory bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee." One of my greatest friends now resides in Heaven where she watches over me and those she loves. I know that the work she is doing there is far greater than anything we could EVER accomplish here on earth. She is my greatest example of devotion and love for friends. When she left this mortal experience it was one of the hardest things I had experienced. But, because of the sweet memory of her in my heart I have been brought nearer to the Lord who loves me above all. I am so grateful for that understanding and knowledge. I know that I will see her again but in the process I have come to know the Savior more.

The point is that God is SO good to each of us. We can all think of those special people in our lives and it is because of Heavenly Father's love for us that those people exist in our lives. We need to understand that we are never alone. Heavenly Father has not only blessed us with the presence of angels in each one of our lives but He has also blessed us with His friendship and the friendship of our Brother Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Savior, Jesus Christ as my best friend. I hope that I might be able to continue being His friend and in turn become your friends as well. I know He lives and loves us. Have a great week!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

God Speaks.

I don't know about you....but, I am loving EVERY moment of conference! Through God's chosen servants we have heard the voice of the Lord and felt of His infinite love for us. Conference is but a small moment but has eternal importance and changes the course of our lives forever if we let it. I am grateful for the truth that has been spoken and for the peace I have felt in my heart as I have listened and allowed my heart to be filled with the message for me.

If there is one thing I wish to echo it is the message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that we matter to Him. "It may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the universe.... but we are everything to God." No matter how invisible we may feel we are NOT invisible to God. Our Heavenly Father sees us as the beings that we are capable and designed to become. He sees us as His children.

When thinking about what President Uchtdorf has taught us I am reminded of the Christus statue at temple square. Look at this image.... What do you see?
Christus Statue at Temple Square

In the background I see worlds without number and all the wonders of the world. I see the beautiful and miraculous creations of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I see the awe that the naked eye captures. As astounding as these things may be to us... look at Christ. Where are His eyes? He is looking down. He is not turned around to view all of these so called beautiful and miraculous creations. For those of you who have had the opportunity to go to temple square and stand in front of this statue know what I am getting at with this. As you stand in front of Christ... He is only looking at you. You are the only thing He cares about. Yes, those things behind Him are amazing and we are at loss for words for those things but in Christ's eyes we are more than those things. We are worth His sacrifice. We are worth saving. We are worth the price of death, persecution, and betrayal. "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God." Our souls. God wants us to know that we DO matter to Him! Now... THAT is miraculous and beautiful. His love is matchless. I love Him. I live for Him.

Now to close these are the words from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, " As our conference comes to a close, I ask you to reflect in the days ahead not only on the messages you have heard but also on the unique phenomenon that general conference itself is--what we as Latter-day Saints believe such conferences to be and what we invite the world to hear and observe about them. We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks,that for our time in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit,"the will of the Lord,... the word of the Lord,... the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.""

Conference will come to a close tomorrow. I hope that we can reflect on the messages that have been taught to us by our Heavenly Father and that we can understand what we testify and believe to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. We do testify that God lives and that He does speak to us today. Enjoy every last second of this Conference! Listen to what God has for you! I love you all! May God Bless you! :)