Archive for February 2012

“Unto Such It Is Given To Know The Mysteries Of God” (Alma 26:22)   Leave a comment

Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.” (Alma 26:22)

     The Story of the tremendous missionary work that was performed by Aaron, Ammon, Omner and Himni among the Lamanites  is an awe inspiring story. The account of their mission is a powerful one. All in all, they spent 14 years teaching the Lamanites, and if you collectively add their experience together, their experience totalled 56 years. What a marvelous sacrifice. But their story did not begin there! Their miraculous story mirrors (In many ways) the Biblical story of Saul. President Uchtdorf  explained the story of Saul well in his talk “Waiting On The Road To Damascus“, but here is a tidbit of the story in which I will relate to Alma, Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni.

      One of the most remarkable events in the history of the world happened on the road to Damascus. You know well the story of Saul, a young man who had “made havock of the church, entering into every house … [committing the Saints] to prison.” (Acts 8:3)

      Saul was so hostile that many members of the early Church fled Jerusalem in the hope of escaping his anger.

     Saul pursued them. But as he “came near Damascus … suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

     “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”  (Acts 9:3-4)

So that scripture sound somewhat familiar to the Story of Alma and the sons of King Mosiah? Indeed it does. Let’s do a little study into the Book Of Mormon and just compare some of the moments to the story of Saul. Speaking of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, the scriptures tell us:

“And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them. And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king—” (Mosiah 27: 9-10)

So now you see some similarities, with what they ( Saul, and Alma and the sons of Mosiah ) had in common as to what they were doing to good people, and to the Lord’s church, now lets see what happened to Alma and the sons of Mosiah when an angel of the Lord stepped in:

“…as they were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a cloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood; And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them.” (Mosiah 27: 11-12)

So we get to the verse from the Book Of Mormon, out of Mosiah which could kind of go side by side with Acts 9: 3-4. It reads as follows:

“Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.” (Mosiah 27: 13)

I know this is a tremendous amount of information to use in the attempt to build-up to the title of this blog entry, but I believe it to be significant.

Ultimately, both stories produced changes in the individuals that were of significant magnitude. When Alma was about attempting to destroy both the people and the church of the Lord, it was 92 B.C. After the encounter with the angel they immediately set to work repairing all the local damage they had done, both temporally and spiritually.

Said Alma, “I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.” (Mosiah 27:24) Continuing to speak to others, also in an attempt to repair possible spiritual damage he could have done, he described his process of change through what he learned and now knew, “And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;” (Mosiah 27:25)

Having stated his understanding that was given him, Alma described to some extent the process of repentance as he had experienced it:

Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.

My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.

I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all.

Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.” (Mosiah 27: 28-31)

So now that you know the context of the past that Saul, and the past of Alma and the sons of Mosiah (Ammon, Aaron, Omner & Himni), you know the significance of the future impact they would all make. What I found most interesting, was how they started their missionary work.

And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.

And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.” (Mosiah 27: 35-36)

Alma and the sons of Mosiah were given a second chance by the Lord, and it clearly became apparent to me that they wanted the Lord to see just how thankful they were for that great blessing that we as members of the church can experience, repentance.

And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.” (Mosiah 28:4)

They were set in their minds to do all they could to bring others to the truth, and so much so that they were willing to brave the probability of death by preaching to their brethren the Lamanites.

Their faith had them convinced that the Lord would guide them. The scriptures describe just how they felt about sharing the gospel with their brethren:

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” (Mosiah 28:3)

That is an avid description of just how serious they took the gospel. I often wonder if I’ve ever taken the gospel that seriously. I have to be honest and frank here, but no, i’ve never come to the point where “…the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause ‘ME’ to quake and tremble.”

It saddens me frequently that I have taken the gospel for granted that much. Are we all at that point? Do we all appreciate just how important the gospel is to us, and just how important we should hold it, with reverence in our hearts, about how much we should share it with others? I know I have failed at being as good of a missionary as I could be. Some of the choices we have all made have had us question our legitimacy of sharing the gospel, but one thing is certain brethren, the gospel is perfect, and man is not.

We can start to make commitments to be better representatives of the gospel, and we take it one day at a time. Start by studying the gospel every day, and we will be amazed at the progress that will be made.

I Will Give Away All My Sins To Know Thee   1 comment

Ammon Defend Sheep Lamoni Mormon

Ammon Defend Sheep Lamoni Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

Brothers and Sisters,

I was reading my personal scriptures this evening (or early morning) and stumbled upon a scripture from which derived the title to this particular entry. In the book of Alma, 22nd chapter, 18th verse it reads:

O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

This particular person speaking is the father of King Lamoni, recently converted after a short melee with Ammon in which his arm was injured. The touching part to me, is the fact that Aaron, who is teaching King Lamoni’s father, has just recently been released out of jail and had attempted to become this Kings very servant. Aaron was willing to serve the very King who previously was his oppressor. After declining that Aaron could be his servant (Alma 22:3), the king instead petitions Aaron to explain the “…generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon;”

The two items he refers to here, are the two conditions upon which Ammon had set upon the father of King Lamoni to agree to or suffer death. The first condition was arranged as such in the scriptures:

CONDITION 1:

Behold, I will smite thee except th0u wilt grant unto me that my brethren may be cast out of prison.” (Alma 20:22) This particular request came to Ammon through direction of the Lord who previously warned Ammon not to go to the Land of Nephi, because the King there would seek his life, but to instead go to Middoni and free Aaron and his brethren. (See Alma 20:1-2)

CONDITION 2:

…That Lamoni may retain his kingdom, and that ye be not displeased with him, but grant that he may do according to his own desires in whatsoever thing he thinketh, then will I spare thee;” (Alma 20:24) This I found was quite interesting, and the king later found it interesting enough that he even spoke of it and how it showed the good intentions of Ammon.

“Because this is all that thou hast desired, that I would release thy brethren, and suffer that my son Lamoni should retain his kingdom, behold, I will grant unto you that my son may retain his kingdom from this time and forever; and I will govern him no more—And I will also grant unto thee that thy brethren may be cast out of prison, and thou and thy brethren may come unto me, in my kingdom; for I shall greatly desire to see thee.” (Alma 20:26-27)

We were literally reading just how good service from willing Missionaries (both Ammon and Aaron), the good intentions of their hearts, and their desire to keep the commandments of the Lord could be deciding factors in helping others to have a desire to come to know the truthfulness of the gospel. In our own way, we all have some influence upon friends, neighbors, co-workers and other walks of life and will find that our living of the gospel, in all righteousness, our friends may have a desire to see us. The Lord will guide us in, to know just when to reach out to another.

Like we have chosen to do, they then will have a desire to pray unto the Lord in similar fashion and say in humble prayer,

“I will give away all my sins to know thee.”

May we all take the lesson that Aaron and Ammon have taught us, to be good examples- leading others to Christ– deep to heart, praying for an opportunity to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord.

We Can’t Think Our Way Sober   1 comment

**This Was The Entry I Posted On The Blog I Co-Author At The Site chipinmyheart.wordpress.com**

“To the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman, many A.A’s can say, “Yes, we were like you- far too smart for our own good…. Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on our brain power alone.” (As Bill Sees It, pg. 60)

Wow, if this doesn’t describe me, and almost every addict and alcoholic I know, I don’t know what does. I cannot recall (Full blown honesty here) any time during my use of drugs or alcohol, where Ithought I of myself was incapable of beating the addiction on my own. I thought I had it down pat, and that I knew the limits and strains of my body as well as the time and place that I could stop using.

Every addict out there (And if you disagree, you are in a hard level of denial) knows that we have vehemently affirmed that we could stop when we wanted to, only to find that we were back on the bottle, or pill or whatever the particular addiction. We had such polished resolve, and a foundation of surety that we were certain that we were going to stop- yet we found ourselves back at the bottom of the issue, and nearly in trouble if we were not already.

Well, here is some hard facts. We THOUGHT we had control of our lives. We THOUGHT we had managed our addiction and our lives, and we THOUGHT that the way we were doing things was intellectually sufficient. We were dead wrong. Steps 1 and 2 prove this to us in a landslide of evidence, of which to see one needs only to be truthfully introspective. Let us review: (Step 1 was spoken of in great detail, and the focus last month, and Step 2 is the focus of this month)

1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol- That our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

So, I’d like to link up how the title of this blog, “We Can’t Think Ourselves Sober” and Step 2 “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” go hand in hand. If we truly affirm that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, then we are affirming that we of ourselves have failed to do so. To the average reader, or one not familiar with the program, you may say “Well Duh!”, but you must understand that when addiction is the focal point of any topic- the obvious solutions become the most obscure and difficult to achieve. Why it is this way to the addict is yet to be fully explained, but rest assured, we addicts will get the picture one day or face the other 3 solutions- Jails, Institutions or Death.

I have never been able to do it on my own, and it was only when I allowed my Higher Power, a.k.a God, to manage things for me when things finally started to change. This should sum it up for me today:

“I came to KNOW that GOD will restore me to sanity…. if I let Him

God Bless You Friends!

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The Gospel Answers Life’s Problems and Challenges   Leave a comment

Elder Perry: We’re excited to address the subject today of answering life’s problems and challenges that come through applying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Church Presidents have given us great hope in the past to fulfill the answers of these challenges and problems in the gospel. I’ve just selected two of those for us to consider here today. The first is from President Spencer W. Kimball speaking in April conference in 1980. He said: “May I remind all of us that if we will live the gospel and follow the counsel of the leaders of the Church, we will be blessed to avoid many of the problems that plague the world. The Lord knows the challenges we face. If we keep his commandments, we will be entitled to the wisdom and blessings of heaven in solving them” (“A Deep Commitment to the Principles of Welfare Service,” Ensign, May 1980, 92).

Brothers and sisters, I know the gospel is true. It answers all of life’s questions and problems that face us. Now, from President Ezra Taft Benson speaking to the missionaries: “I testify to you that we have the answers to the problems of the world. We know where we’re going. We’re on our way, and the Lord is directing His work through a prophet of God with special witnesses bearing testimony to the divinity of [our] Lord [and Savior], who is the God of this world, under the Father. We cannot fail in this work” (“Keys to Successful Member-Missionary Work,” Ensign, Sept. 1990, 7).

With the assurance of the prophets of God, it is clear that the course is well marked for us to apply the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. Elder Christofferson and I have decided to use a question-and-answer format for presenting and using three questions in applying the gospel through service, through rescuing, and through honoring. Of course, I will present the questions and Elder Christofferson will answer them.

It will be just a brief response in hopes that you will go forward and seek further knowledge and understanding from these questions. First, service. We apply the gospel by serving our fellowman as the Savior demonstrated in His life ministry. First, we must understand where the world places us and who we are. So the first question: Are Mormons Christians?

Elder Christofferson: Yes. Well, you’ve said that the answers to life’s challenges and problems come from the gospel and applying the gospel, which means following the teachings and the commandments and the example of Christ. And I think that it’s in this Christlike conduct and service that we present our best and most persuasive argument of our own Christianity. I know that there are those who contend that we don’t fit their particular definition of Christian orthodoxy. So be it. But our example should be such that no one can deny that the Latter-day Saints love the Savior. No one can deny that the Latter-day Saints seek to emulate the Savior. And so we demonstrate, I think, by our actions. As the Savior said, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). I happen to live, by the way, in a wonderful ward where this is really the environment and the pattern of life.

One quick example. Amy has five children, is expecting a sixth, and has had a lot of illness herself during this pregnancy. Tiffany probably has more children at home right now than anybody else in the ward. But Tiffany makes it a point, from time to time, of taking Amy’s children to be with her for a while and giving Amy some time alone to rest and recuperate. That’s a simple example, but I think if you multiply that hundreds and thousands of times, that’s what it means for us to be a Christian.

Elder Perry: Well, I think I’ll give you an A on that answer. Thank you.

Elder Christofferson: Thank you.

Elder Perry: Next question. What effect does rendering service have in our own lives?

Elder Christofferson: Well, the focus in service always has to be outward. We’re thinking of what we can do to help others, but there’s no denying that it has an effect on us at the same time. There’s something about empathy and compassion, I believe, that changes our perspective, that adds courage and strength, I think, to deal with our own needs. It refines us. It sanctifies us. President Marion G. Romney said once, you’ll remember, service is not just something we do to get into heaven, but service is the way of life in heaven. You know, it’s God’s way of life. It’s what we do there.

Christ Himself, of course, came not to be ministered unto, He said, but to minister. And I’m thinking—I marked this before I came in—the words from Amulek. In chapter 34 of Alma, he talks about, after prayer and all the other things that are part of our worship and how we live, he said, “After ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and the afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those … in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as the hypocrites who do deny the faith” (Alma 34:28).

By the way, the best service, I think, that we render should happen at home. That’s where it needs to be the most constant and the most consistent.

Elder Perry: Well, let’s try the third question in this section. People of other faiths may share our values. Are there ways we can join with them in Christlike service?

Elder Christofferson: I think that’s very natural. There doesn’t have to be an agreement on all points of doctrine for us to collaborate with and work with others. My own experience is that I’m a better person through that kind of association. I’ve had many opportunities in the different places that I’ve lived around the country and outside the U.S. to work with other groups, people of other faiths and, in some cases, no faith, I suppose, but people of real goodwill. And as I said, I feel like I’m a better man for it. And the Church organization really lends itself to group service. Our quorums and wards and all the organizations really do facilitate and prepare us to lead out and, in some cases, to join others. But we’ve had a lot of experience with this, as you know, and that’s not just on the local level, but internationally all across the world. We’ve linked with Catholics and evangelicals and Muslims and secular groups and individuals. I believe this really is, as I said, a natural outgrowth of our Christian service and our following Christ in living the gospel.

Elder Perry: Well, all right, let’s go to the next section on rescuing then. We apply the gospel by rescuing others in spiritual and temporal needs, again, as the Savior demonstrated. First question: In what way is the rescue effort central to our beliefs?

Elder Christofferson: Well, again, we’re talking about the gospel providing the solutions to life’s challenges, to our needs. And to me, the key to all of that is the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. We rely on His grace to overcome sin, to overcome suffering, to overcome even death. And part of applying the gospel in our lives, I believe, is to participate in this redemptive work, His redemptive work, with Him. And that means individually, as parents, as quorums, as wards, as stakes—whatever the case may be. Our effort is to redeem people—help Him redeem people from spiritual needs, but also from temporal needs.

That’s all part of the rescue, I think, and as we read in the handbook, for example, the bishops’ storehouse is just one example. The bishops’ storehouse is all of the goodwill, the talents, the time, the resources of members—whatever they’re willing to contribute, to give and help with that redemptive effort. So we’ve spoken of service. I think this is the ultimate in service, and it’s with good reason, I think, that President Monson urges us onward in this. You know in our Thursday meetings in the temple, we conclude with those reports of our activities of the prior week, and it seems without fail, with everything else he may have been doing as President of the Church, there’s always something of an individual ministry and an effort to rescue.

He’s visited someone in a nursing home. He’s given a blessing. He’s been at a funeral. He’s called someone he knew was lonely. All of that, I think, is a great example of what it means to have this—our participation in the redemptive work of the Lord—as central to our lives.

Elder Perry: Well, let’s try what is the role of the priesthood quorum in this rescue effort?

Elder Christofferson: Well, to me, the quorums have a central role, a leadership role. The presidents of quorums, of course, have keys. And they’re empowered with their counselors to build a quorum brotherhood and to reach out and include all the members and the families of those quorum members, whether they’re active or not, and strengthen them in the gospel covenant. Again, helping them understand how the gospel can be in their lives and assist them in overcoming their challenges.

I don’t know; to me, the rescue is really what the oath and covenant of the priesthood means. Magnifying the priesthood and the ordinances that the priesthood performs is central to that rescue. You’ve taught frequently about the role of quorums and the ward council in rescuing. Do you want to say anything about that today?

Elder Perry: Well, I love elders quorums and high priests group leaders. They lead the quorums, and those quorums need leadership. All too often we don’t give them the proper place in our congregations to understand the great leadership role they have. And I hope that we elevate an understanding of what they’re doing in bringing forward the rescue effort in our Father in Heaven’s kingdom. And I hope they have longer tenure than they currently experience today.

Elder Christofferson: I agree. I would say, by the way, what the quorums are doing really is equipping people with, again, to understand the gospel and apply the gospel in overcoming life’s challenges.

Elder Perry: All right, final question in this phase. Are there similarities in the rescue effort directed toward the less-active members and our missionary outreach to nonmembers?

Elder Christofferson: Well, I’m glad you linked those because I think they are one in the same. In the one case, the effort is directed toward those who have had the gospel in their lives and we’re bringing them back to the Savior. And in the other case, it’s bringing them to Christ in the first instance. But in the end, it’s all the same work. And I would say, by the way, that you’re really not saying to people, “Come and start over with your life.” In some cases, maybe so, but mostly, generally what we’re saying is, “Keep what you’ve got—all the good that you’ve built in there over the years and that are part of your life to date—and we’ll add the rest. We’ll provide the balance of what the Savior provides through His gospel.”

Elder Perry: All right, let’s take our final section, honoring the covenants we make with God. Your first question: What is the role of temples and temple covenants in empowering us to meet and overcome life’s challenges?

Elder Christofferson: Well, in overcoming challenges, I would say the temple and the ordinances of the temple are the ultimate application of the gospel of Christ. I say to people that one of the blessings of the temple and its ordinances is the perspective that it provides. When we go to the temple, we leave all of our cares and problems and issues and concerns at the door. And when we come back out, they’re still there. We have to pick them all up and they haven’t changed, but what has changed is ourselves. And we’ve added spiritual strength, I think, and capacity and a truer perspective on life and what it all means, and maybe the big problems don’t seem so big anymore and the little ones that we thought didn’t matter, we better deal with it before it does become something too big.

The other thing, though, I think, is there is a divine power associated with those covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants says that in the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and I would think particularly those of the temple, the power of godliness is manifest. And among other things, I believe that means there’s a godly influence, a divine power that flows into us when we make those covenants and keep them.

So it’s a place of renewal. It’s a place of revelation. Temples can only fulfill their purpose really if we are prepared. People are sometimes critical about our temple worship, claiming it’s unduly secret. But the access is limited not for secrecy, but just to assure preparation. We really need to be prepared and mature spiritually to make those covenants and then to keep them. They’re very sacred.

Elder Perry: All right, what is the role of covenants in achieving true conversion?

Elder Christofferson: To me, they’re the path of discipleship. The core of all these covenants is obedience and well up to and including sacrifice and consecration, but in a word, obedience. And it produces over time, in my view, this change from natural man to Saint. And I don’t believe there’s any other way, any other path that that can happen. To me, it produces a great deal of faith in a person to know that he or she has the promise of God, personally, to him or her, individually, apart from anyone else. We make these covenants individually, one by one.

I read some years ago an article in a French newspaper, and it was talking about our work for the dead. And it said what the Mormons do is they take rolls of microfilm and they plunge them in a bucket of water and pull them out and all those people are baptized. I thought, wow, think of all the time we could save. But it doesn’t. That’s not the way it works, because these covenants are individual, because the promises of God and our promises to Him are person-to-person, one-on-one.

And to me, that produces faith. You have His promise. You know He can’t lie. You know He will fulfill His promise, and that, to me, helps us deal with the here and now. Whatever may happen now, we know what’s coming in the end, and we can deal with it.

Elder Perry: All right, your final question: What does it mean to practice in honoring our covenants?

Elder Christofferson: I remember one of our Brethren said once, “We go to the temple to make covenants. We go home to keep the covenants.” And to me, in practice, keeping covenants is, again, primarily something that happens at home in the marriage and in the family. But we’ve been discussing the application of the gospel in rescuing and serving and ministering in obedience. To me, all of those things are what it means to keep our covenants. And I would mention especially an ongoing repentance that’s facilitated by the sacrament.

If we can prepare ourselves each week with whatever we need to resolve or repent of or confess and deal with in the week prior to Sunday, and then go to the sacrament meeting, partake of those emblems of the Lord’s Atonement, blessed in the power of the priesthood, I think that we not only renew the covenants, we receive again the promised remission of sins and the Holy Ghost as our guide through life. That’s keeping covenants.

Elder Perry: Well, wouldn’t you like to bear your testimony to what we’ve said?

Elder Christofferson: Thank you. The gospel really does have the answers. It’s what we’ve been talking about, serving and ministering and ordinances and keeping covenants. And over time, it does transform us. It adds to our capacity over time to deal with problems. It really helps us prevent and avoid, as you quoted from President Kimball, I think it was, avoid a lot of the issues and challenges of life and to draw upon divine assistance. And to me, the key is the gift of the Holy Ghost. We have this blessing, this constant direction and help and comfort and gifts of the Spirit to carry us through life, whatever may come.

That is our tutor in applying the gospel, our guide and our comfort. And my testimony is that the Holy Ghost and His powers are real; that the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive power is real; and that God, our Heavenly Father, who loves and has prepared the way for us through the gospel is indeed our loving Father and He lives. And I bear witness of all of that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Perry: I join Elder Christofferson in adding my testimony. The gospel has been restored. This is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the Head. He leads and guides and directs us in the work in which we have responsibility. This is the dispensation of the fulness of times. He’s given us the way, the truth, and the life for us to follow.

I bear solemn witness that He leads and guides and directs us, and He gives us answers to all of life’s problems and challenges, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Posted February 14, 2012 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

When Marriage Is Worth Your Most Earnest Effort   Leave a comment

In battling the stages of “Im doomed” or “It’s doomed” scrutiny, that Satan and his angels seem ever eager to hand out, I found out that in no particular situation was I at all counted out unless I myself gave up. When did I want to give up? When the going got tough. 

This was certainly present starting several months ago. Although I knew very well that the adversary only had as much power and influence over me as I give him, I began to do a little “Stinkin Thinkin” (As we call it in AA/NA). 

I figured, if only for a short period, “Man…. sin is sin, and i’ve gone this far, whats this to me now?” I could feel myself doing a little of what Paul warned against. I’ve never seen it better put than Elder Holland addressed it, so please allow me to quote him,

“Paul pleaded with those new members…that we cannot sign on for a battle of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight—a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless. Paul says to those who thought a new testimony, a personal conversion, a spiritual baptismal experience would put them beyond trouble—to these he says, “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” Then this tremendous counsel, which is at the heart of my counsel to you: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. …

“… If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

“… We are not of them who draw back unto perdition.”

How foolish of me to ever at any point consider drawing back or giving up! Elder Holland continued by sharing…

“In Latter-day Saint talk that is to say, Sure it is tough—before you join the Church, while you are trying to join, and after you have joined. That is the way it has always been, Paul says, but don’t draw back. Don’t panic and retreat. Don’t lose your confidence. Don’t forget how you once felt. Don’t distrust the experience you had. That tenacity is what saved Moses and Joseph Smith when the adversary confronted them, and it is what will save you.”

When the going gets tough, where did my thoughts get me going? Well, Satan is a relentless individual bent on the destruction of my soul, my wife, indeed the entire fabric of my family. But what was important was the recollection I had, and it came from that same talk Elder Holland gave, that I remembered this critical and crucial part:

“…opposition turns up almost any place something good has happened. It can happen when you are trying to get an education. It can hit you after your first month in your new mission field. It certainly happens in matters of love and marriage. It can occur in situations related to your family, Church callings, or career.

With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”

My wife, my kids and the eternal welfare of everything precious to me was dependent upon a decision to get better! It was a decision only I could make myself. I love them, and the Savior, so I made the choice to get and feel better- nomatter the cost. The following video shows why I knew I could do it if I tried and I wanted it bad enough.

I’ll end this entry with the video brethren! God bless you all. (If you cant get the video in your email, simply visit the blog at plainvieweq.wordpress.com)

Posted February 1, 2012 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

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