Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two witnesses

I'm grateful for the scriptures. I'm thankful for the validity they provide of the Savior. That he literally raised from the tomb and unlocked the gate of death that held us captive. What a great gift! What an awesome knowledge that we have of that.
Today I want to focus my thoughts on witnesses. In the scriptures Christ says (speaking to his Apostles), "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."(Matthew 18:16) This verse is related to the Apostles when they are dealing with members of the early church, that if they didn't believe that they had done wrong, to bring a second or third witness. Anyways, my point is that every word should be established in the mouths of two or more witnesses. In a court case, if there is only one witness against the defendant, there really is no chance of being held guilty. And Christ knows the importance of having multiple witnesses.
The Book of Mormon is a second witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ. It upholds the Bible and tells of His divine mission as the Savior of the World. Some people may say that we have the Bible, we don't need any more. Or that we should not add to the Bible (see previous post). But in 2 Nephi 29:8 it says "Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also." God's word is truth. And it is the same. And it is forever, so if you want to try and discredit the Book of Mormon because it speaks the words of Christ, go ahead and try. Thats what I do as a missionary, is invite people to read the Book of Mormon and test it like Paul says in his epistle to the Thessalonians (5:21) "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good". Test it out and see if it is truth.
I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith translated it by the power of God. And I know that anyone who is willing to do the work to know if it is true, can have the same type of experience that I had in learning the truthfulness of this glad message.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gollum.... and the Godhead

Alright, well its another day, so I guess I'll post another blog. So last night I was talking with Elder Akina and I had some thoughts come to me. We were talking about the TG Godhead, and how others understand the Godhead.
Because in the scriptures Jesus says that He and Heavenly Father are "one", people take that very literally and say, OK they are the same. Well the concept of the "Trinity" is not one found in the New Testament, but rather it is a man formed view of God. Harper’s Bible Dictionary records that “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].” (Paul F. Achtemeier, ed. (1985), 1099)
Anyways, I was thinking about all the different situations that are recorded in the New Testament when Jesus is speaking to  Heavenly Father and how weird it would be to think that He was actually talking to Himself... I mean, when He was hanging on the cross he asked Heavenly Father for the forgiveness of those who were crucifying Him. And then later when he is still there, He cries out "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"(Matthew 27:46)
It just doesn't make sense to me (Heavenly Father and Jesus being the same person). And then I thought about Gollum in the Lord of the Rings talking to himself.. I know that drawing that parallel is boarder line blasphemous, but that is how I see it. God our Heavenly Father is one with Jesus Christ in every sense of the word, other than the same physical body. As Elder Jeffery R Holland stated in his October 2007 General Conference talk, "We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings."
Some of the evidences I gave earlier show this point, also during Christ's prayer for His Apostles after the last supper. As recorded in St John chapter 17 ( "18 As thou hast asent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
 19And for their sakes I asanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
 20Neither apray I for these alone, but for them also which shall bbelieve on me through their word;
 21That they all may be aone; as thou, bFather, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be cone in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be aone, even as we are bone:"

If you'll read the whole chapter, it will give you a clearer understanding of the whole verses I just shared. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two distinct individuals who have their own separate bodies. Another testament to this point is Joseph Smith's first vision in the Sacred Grove where he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.  I know the scriptures are true and that they are further proof that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom established once again onto the earth preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah!

Once again, if what I said doesn't make complete sense to you and you think I'm wrong, read this and it will explain it much better than I can

Friday, April 15, 2011

DO NOT take away from or ADD to.....

OK, so there are people who have legitimate concerns about the Book of Mormon because it "adds" to the bible, and according to Revelations, that is a BIG no no... Well first off, we "Mormons" believe the Bible to be the word of God. So yes we agree with that statement in the Bible... So now let me explain this... (this is all basically being taken from a talk given by Elder Holland an Apostle)

If you will just imagine with me that we are watching all the chaos that is happening when Christ returns to Jerusalem. There is a HUGE gathering for the Passover (a major religious holiday for the Jews). The Pharisees and the Sadducees have just stirred the Jews into a blood thirsty frenzy, and caused a very strict to the rules Jewish people, to completely forget/ignore the proper channels which they were supposed to go through to have a trial, and illegally condemned Christ to death.

So, Christ is crucified and His followers are sent into hiding. Then, the rest of the bible happens. First, we have the acts of the apostles. They go and preach repentance and baptism. We have the account of Saul, who is visited by Christ Himself, and sent to preach. After the acts, we have all of Paul's epistles to people. Along with epistles written by Timothy, James, John, Peter, Jude, and the revelation given to John.

Today, we are lucky enough to have these books from these great men. These epistles were all written at different times and different places. And eventually these epistles all came together, gathered by I don't know who, and put into a volume, and labeled the Bible!

So the scripture in Revelations that says not to take away from or add too is clearly talking about the book of Revelations itself. It was not a declaration for the rest of time saying that the windows of Heaven are shut and no more revelation will be given. On the contrary, the Bible itself says that whenever a man speaks under the influence of the Holy Ghost, it is scripture.

The windows of Heaven are open. God speaks! not spake. And His mouthpiece is the Prophet Thomas S Monson today! If you do not think that there is a need for a Prophet, look at Amos 3:7 and see what that says.

I know that God lives and loves us. That He loves us so much that He sent His only son to suffer, bleed, and die for all of us.

PS: Here is a link to Elder Holland's talk... it'll make more sense than I can

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Christ and the Restoration

"He is not here: for he is risen" (Matt 28:6)

Jesus Christ was resurrected that first Easter morning and has shown Himself to both His disciples in Jerusalem and in the Americas. He later returned to America, this time with His Father to Palmyra New York and they showed themselves to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
         I had an interesting conversation with a woman on her doorstep the other day. She told me that she did not believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and that there is no need for a Prophet today. That a Prophet will not give you salvation. And I agree with the last sentence. That a Prophet can not give me salvation. Because salvation only comes in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. However, Jesus has taught us that we must do certain things to inherit the Kingdom of God. That we must be baptized (John 3:5) Also, He taught that the saving ordinance of baptism must be performed by one who holds the authority (priesthood) to do so. And because the priesthood was taken from the earth shortly after the Saviors death and resurrection, there was a need to restore those keys and priesthood. Thus, God would need to call another Prophet to restore what once was lost for us to receive the ordinance of baptism.

The Priesthood is on the earth today. It has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and will not be taken again. The sky is blue and the church is true.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Poem For You

So let me preface this, 1 I am not very good at this, so don't judge. 2 if I combine two words, say it fast to yourself so it will end up rhyming... and 3..... enjoy! (PS: no title... suggestions are welcome in the comment box)

When we cross the veil
we forget who we are
Born to our family
we bring light from afar

But Satan and his angels
know us real well
They know who we were
before we crossed the veil

So they'll do all in their power
to tempt us to sin
We'll fight and we'll struggle
and sometimes give in

But because of our Brother
who offered Himself
We can repent
and gain spiritual wealth

Be healed through His power
forgicen for sin
Have heavenly moments
when the veil is real thin

And as we get older
and grow spiritually
We'll become that Son or Daughter
we're destined to be

Cuz before the veil
when Satan wastossed out
The whole host of heaven
let out a great shout

Cuz we got the chance
to have an earthly home
And God wants to hear from us
so He gave us a phone

Our prayers are answered
by our loving God
He loves all His children
me, you and even Todd

So let us remember
where we came from
The plan God has
and what we can become

Thursday, April 7, 2011


So last night I had the chance to play some basketball. And whenever I play basketball I ALWAYS make an attempt to dunk. Usually after I've warmed up and played a game or two. (So i don't pull anything... Man I feel like an old man) And its not like I can do it every time. Its really weird, sometimes I can, and most of the time I can't. Anyways, I was thinking about that last night and I had this comparison come to me, so I thought I'd share it. Dunking a basketball (for me), compared to feeling the Holy Ghost.

I realized last night that when I prepare myself physically beforehand, my chances of dunking greatly increase. One week I decided that I really wanted to be able to dunk, so I spent that week not gorging myself and ate "healthy" (that term is used VERY lightly and is relative to a missionary diet). But the same can be said for feeling the Holy Ghost. When we prepare ourselves spiritually, we increase our chances of having a very spiritual experience. An example would be doing something like "fasting" (not eating or drinking for 24 hours prior) to get yourself ready for church or something else. And fasting is not supposed to be just going hungry for 24 hours, when we fast we should have a purpose (like a special blessing for someone). So whenever I get myself ready physically, I have a much better chance of dunking. Likewise whenever I spiritually prepare myself for an experience, I greatly increase my chances of feeling the Holy Ghost.

Also, when I am more consistant in playing basketball I have better results. If I get the opportunity to play more than once a week, my vertical just gets better... I don't know how to explain that, but it just does. Likewise when we are more consistant in trying to feel the Holy Ghost, our ability to feel it increases. I guess that can really be compared to anything really... The more you practice at something, the better you become at it.

Not actually me... but kinda
And last point, when I actually dunk, I feel on top of the world. Yes I am white, and yes my BMI (body mass index) has me listed as obese, but when I overcome that and dunk, it makes me feel awesome. And whenever I feel the Holy Ghost touch me and prompt me, I feel great. There is no better feeling than that. The peace that it brings and wonderful feelings it gives are second to none. And that is why I love fast and testimony meeting (1st sunday of the month in church), because I have usually prepared myself by fasting and because of that I have prepared myself to have a spiritual experience.

I really hope this made sense to you. Sometimes I have things pop in my head and i feel like I should share it, but if you liked this, I'll try to keep it coming!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daytons Legs

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" - Sir James M. Barrie

What an incredible kid. Someone who was taught from the time he was a child to love his neighbors. Whats most impressive is that he applied the knowledge that he had. That kind of loving service and is hard to match. By doing this, by serving his brother, Spencer allowed himself to be the miracle for someone else.
I hope that someday I can look back on my life and see that I have been able to do something miraculous for someone else. I hope that I will be able to apply the lessons that my parents have taught me in my life. So that I can become a better person for it. And then ask myself this question, (taken from Alma 5:14) "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances?" Can we see that we've changed our hearts and have been spiritually born of God? And have we been able to receive His image in our countenances?
As we serve our brothers and sisters, we serve God. (Matt. 25:40) "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have adone it unto one of the bleast of these my cbrethren, ye have done it unto me." I know that as we serve those around us, God is pleased and smiles down on us. So lets receive God's countenance in our image by being His hands here on the earth.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Testimony

Well I thought it would be a good idea to follow up my last series of posts with something that the others were lacking.... SIMPLICITY!.. You can really go into great details about the Gospel. You can prove points up and down, using the scriptures and even scientific studies and books, but that will not build a "testimony". A testimony is yours. It is what you think, feel, believe, and know. And it is my testimony that Jesus is the Christ. That He is the one who came into the world to fulfill the words of ALL the other Prophets before Him. That He took upon Himself, not only the sins of the world, but ALL the pains, sufferings, and afflictions, both physical and emotional that ALL mankind would endure. Jesus Christ is the light and life of the world. He is the "Bread of Life" and the "Fountain of Water" that is springing up into everlasting life. I know, because of recorded history, study and prayer, that He was literally resurrected from His borrowed tomb, and that He broke the bands of death for His people.

I believe in miracles and that there are miracles all around us. I believe that we can be the miracle for someone else. That if we will live according to the principles set forth in doctrine given by Christ that He can and will help us find those in need. Just like the Good Samaritan, we can be a miracle to someone else. And if we look close enough, we will see God's hand in our lives. We will see the path that we've taken and how we've been guided to those who changed, and will change the course of our lives. I love being a missionary and spreading the Good Word!