Friday, March 28, 2014

"Walk in Truth"


    We live in a day when those that follow the teachings of Christ are told how hateful or intolerant they are for not accepting people because of choices that don't fit into those teachings. That thought cannot be further from the truth. As Christ taught, we love the sinner but hate the sin. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes but Christ has never turned His back on us and neither should we to our fellow brother and sisters, regardless of their personal beliefs and choices. Instead of being like the two characters above, criticizing every little thing, pointing fingers, and laughing at the expense of others, let us be like our Savior who is our ultimate example, and show our love without hesitation.

     In 3 John 1, we read of two examples. One man, Gaius, was a righteous and faithful man. He did good things, not only to those he knew in the gospel but also for those he did not. He had charity for all in whom he came in contact with. Through his deeds, one knew what he believed. We know he was someone who walked in truth and did all things faithfully, according to the teachings of Christ.

     The second example, was a man by the name of Diotrephes. He was a man who criticized the Church. He went against what was being taught, he defied authority, and spoke maliciously of the leaders of the Church. He was the example of disobedience. 

     Both men had influence on the people around them. Where Diotrephes was all about doing harm to the Church and to make the leaders look bad to pull people away from the gospel, Gaius was about bringing people closer to Christ and the peace in knowing Him. Ultimately, the choice was up to the people but as one would followed Diotrephes, then they might fall into the fate many receive when they turn their back on the knowledge they once knew.

    For someone who was taught the gospel of Christ, is baptized, and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, there is nothing worse they can do than to turn their back on that knowledge and gift. Criticizing the Church and it's leaders will not dampen the influence or authority in which they have on this Earth. The only thing they will do is to cut themselves off from the God and commit themselves to the traps of the advisory and essentially bringing spiritual death.

     In Alma 39:11, we read, "Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing..." As we continue on our journey in this life, let us always be vigilant that we are not led astray and we also do everything we can not to lead others away. Let us seek to be like Gaius, to learn of Christ, then to teach of Christ through the good things we do. To always walk in truth so as to bring others closer to Christ, not because of the things we teach but by the example that we are.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"The Trial of Our Faith is More Precious Than Gold"


When I hear someone rant that life is not fair, I think of a little child throwing a tantrum for not getting their way. Why, as adults, do we feel the urge to throw up our arms and scream that life is not fair when trials come our way? We already know that it's not about being fair. We are told in the scriptures that our trials are what refine us and prepare us for things to come. I had a friend who would often say that the harder the trial, the great the blessing to look forward to. I loved this outlook because it is also what we are taught in the scriptures when it tells us that as we endure out trials in patience, we will have our blessings.

Heavenly Father hears our prayers and knows what we are enduring. We are not along in our trials. He sends comfort, peace, and guidance. He also sends protection as we seek His will in our trials. Often, it is when we seek to do his will and help others that the burden of our own trials is made lighter and easier to bear.

Christ is our ultimate example. He bore many trials, pains, and afflictions on our behalf. In his last days, his own people mocked him, beat him, and whipped him but remained silent and endured the pain. His love for them, and for us, was stronger than the pain he was enduring. Because of Christ, we have reason to rejoice through our trials. He is the light in the storm. It is not easy to stay faithful when so many around us are mocking our choices but when we remember Christ in the mist of our trial and seek to do God's work, we will be proved and receive out reward of eternal life which is far greater and more desirable than any earthly reward.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent

For me, my faith in Christ is everything. It is what gets me up in the morning, helps me to be a good person, and keeps me moving when I may want to fall apart. The scriptures have provided us with great examples of people who have shown faith and received great blessings. Here are a few that are highlighted in Hebrews 11:
  • Enoch – Verse 5 – Had testimony. Believed in God “…and the he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Because of his great faith in God, Enoch was translated.
  • Noah – Verse 6 – Showed his faith by preparing for the great flood even though he could not see it right in front of him. Because of his great faith, God warned him of was to come.
  • Abraham – Verse 8, 17 - 19 – Showed his faith by going on a journey without knowing where he was going. He went because God wanted him to go. Because he showed his faith, God lead him to “the land of promise.” Abraham also showed great faith by being willing to sacrifice his son to the will of God. He knew that he had been promised great blessings through Isaac and knew that by killing him, it would put an end to all those blessing but he trusted in heavenly Father’s plan and was obedient. He was blessed by having an Angel stopping him and providing for another sacrifice in his place.
  • Sarah – Verse 11 – She showed her faith “because she judged him faithful who had promised.” As a result of her faith, she was blessed with strength and conceived and bore a son in her old age.
  • Isaac – Verse 20 – “blessed both Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.”
  • Jacob – Verse 21 – Even though he was dying, he blessed both sons of Joseph and continued to worship.
  • Joseph – Verse 22 – As Joseph died, he knew that the Israelites would be saved from Egypt and gave instructions for his bones for when the children of Israel left.
  • Moses – Verses 24-27 – He showed his faith by leaving all the comforts and luxury of being the part of the Pharaoh’s household and following the will of the Lord in helping his true family, the children of Israel, to leave Egypt. Through his faith, Heavenly Father gave him strength and power that only comes from God to free and lead so many people for 40 years across the wilderness.
Some other great examples from the scriptures and one from my personal life are:
  • Esther – through her faith, she was able to stand before the king, without regard to her own safety, and ask for the protection of the Jews from the king.
  • Nephi – through his faith, even though he didn't know how he would accomplish all that Heavenly Father wanted him to do, showed his willingness by moving forward until the plan presented itself.
  • Sister Melea Johnson – shows her faith in Heavenly Father by smiling every day and spreading joy in every situation. Even as the rain falls all around, damping any hope of fun, there is Sister Johnson pointing at the sun rays through the raindrops. Because of her faith, she is able to see happiness and joy in all that she does and it is infectious wherever she goes. 
To show our own faith, Paul wrote in Hebrews 12:1-2, that we needed to put aside our worries, to stop doing sin, and endure with patience the trials we are faced with. Along with all that, we are to look at Christ who is “the author and finisher of our faith.” He bore our every sin and heartache, he endured the cross, and he allowed himself to be mocked because of his great love for us. It is our faith that will get us through all that we are asked to endure in this life.

In our student reading, we learn two things that help us understand the difference between belief and faith. Belief is something passive as in we have learned and believe something to be true. Faith, on the other hand, is a trust in what we believe that it motivates us to action. The second thing I learned is that we can have belief without faith but, we cannot have faith without belief. Faith, in essence is a living belief.

With faith being an action on our part, it is also a power. It is through our faith that we gain a deeper understanding of God and His works. Through faith, we gain strength to endure our trials or to accomplish a task or assignment. It is also through our faith in God that we receive the blessing that we need when we need them. He knows us because we are His children. If we will believe on Him and have faith to follow His plan, He will never leave us alone. I know this to be true from my own experiences but also from the experiences of others in the scriptures and from my personal life. What a strength they are to my personal faith.

Faith in Jesus Christ


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jesus Christ is Greater than Angels


I don’t know if I would ever question that Christ is greater than angels but apparently someone did because Paul helps us understand why Christ is Superior. In Hebrews, Paul teaches that Christ’s law of the Gospel is greater than the Law of Moses as Christ was sent here to fulfill that law. It has been finished through his Atonement on our behalf. Christ is God’s only begotten son and he is in the exact image of our Father and is heir to all things. Christ is also the creator of worlds. All these things make him more excellent in name, inheritance, and of a higher calling than that of the angels. Angels are important and they have brought many great messages to the Earth but when Christ speaks, our attention should be on what he has to say.

As were taught the Plan of Salvation in life before this earth, we knew that someone would have to come to help us return to home. We all listened as Christ and Satan both presented plans. Ultimately, Satan’s plan was rejected and he became anger causing Heavenly Father to send him away, along with anyone that wanted to follow him. Those that choose Christ’s plan then were sent to Earth to be tried and tested. Because we would be exposed to many trials and temptations, Heavenly Father sent Christ to act in our before and make up for what we could not do for ourselves. While he was here on earth, he also did other things to better help him understand what we would experience along the way. He suffered our pains and afflictions. He allowed himself to be tempted. He descended below them all to know exactly how we will feel and know how to help us in our darkest hour. He knew that we would need someone there to watch us through those moments when no one else could possibly understand.


In exchange, all that He asks of us is to know Him, obey his commandments, and never forget why He did what He did for us. As we build our faith, obey His words, turn to Him during our times of need, He will be there for us. The angels only do what is asked of them. Christ, knowing what we went through personally, knows exactly how to help us in our darkest hours. I know that through Him and all that He did on our behalf, we can not only get through our trials here on earth, but we can return home to Heavenly Father to live with Him again.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Be Thou an Example of the Believers"

Sermon on the Mount - Picture from LDS.org
When Christ taught on the earth, He had many people flocking to hear what he had to say. As I think about those people and wonder what it would have been like to live during that time, I wonder if I would have sat at His feet to listen to the words He had to say. Would I have followed Him? Would I have been an example of a believer? I would like to say that I would be, that I would be no different than I am today, having lived my life believing in Christ, though I have never seen Him with my own eyes. Today, I live through faith, I do my best to follow His commandments, and I seek to do good things while repenting when I have fallen short, so that I can be an example of a believer to someone else who may be seeking His peace in their own lives.

Picture from lds.org
How do I show that I believe? As a little girl, I have always been taught that my body is a gift from God. It was created in His imagine. As I treat my body with respect and follow His commandments, I have the gift of the Holy Ghost to always be with me, to reside in me. Any disrespect of myself or the teachings of Christ, I will lose the gift of the Holy Ghost in my life. Once this life is over, at the time of resurrection, I know that my body will be made perfect and that my spirit will once again be reunited with my body. It is a gift and I must remember to always treat it with the respect I would give any gift I receive that is special.

Another way I show of my faith in Christ is by never letting my guard down on the things that can distract me from the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are many temptations out there that the adversary is using to get us to “depart from faith” (1Timothy 4:1). He knows that when he can get us to follow him, not only will he have us, but he will have generations behind us. We must always be on the lookout for these seducing spirits and doctrines of the devil; because, if we are not careful, they will make us spiritually blind making it harder for us to find out way in this world (1Timothy 4:1-5).

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Timothy 4:12)



Picture from lds.org
Today, our missionaries are going out younger than ever. Many wonder if they are mature enough to handle the things they will face as they try to bring others into the gospel fold. This scripture found in 1 Timothy reminds us that age does not matter in teaching others the gospel. When someone is worthy and willing to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost will work through that person, regardless of age. I can’t tell you how many times my heart has been touched by someone who is only a quarter of my own age. When we make our lives clean and worthy for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, nothing else matters, especially for the one ready to hear the message that needs to be shared.

Many times, Christ taught that we cannot serve two masters. In 1 Timothy 6:7-11, we are taught that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). To me, this means that when we love something, this being money, we put it above everything else. We put it above our families, our responsibilities, and God himself. Everything we do is focused on how we get more money rather than what Heavenly Father wants us to do. To counter this, Paul gave counsel that can help us not have a love for money take over our hearts. He said that we should not be high minded or conceited, to not think of ourselves as better than someone else. We should not trust uncertain riches but trust God as His rich blessing are sure. We should always to seek out opportunities to serve others and always be generous. We should also always be looking ahead and being prepared for life’s trials. In The Book of Mormon in Jacob 2:18-19, we are further taught to always put the kingdom of God first, being promised that our needs will be taken care of as we put His needs above our own. As we are blessed, we should have the intent to do good things with those blessings and take care of the poor. As we focus more on Christ, our thoughts are less centered on the things of this world and money, and more of showing love for one another, which is the second greatest commandment; but, ultimately shows our love of God as well.

from lds.org


There is so much around us to distract us from being who we are meant to be. Satan is hard at work to keep us from obtaining all that our Heavenly Father wants for us because he is angry. He wants us to be as miserable as he is but we don’t have to listen to him. We can be “an example of the believers” in all that we do. Through our reverence for the gift of our bodies, in keeping the commandments, and to seeking to do good, we can have all that Heavenly Father is waiting to give us. We are His sons and daughters and He is ready to give you your blessings. The only thing you have to do is decide if you’re ready to be a believer too.