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Archive for March, 2011

The Finest Remedy

The Book of Mormon: For sale in Palmyra New York on March 26, 1830

What do you do when you’re having a bad day? Curl up on your couch and eat chocolate? Drown your sorrows in a long nap? Distract your mind with a movie or some television? Life’s challenges are unpredictable and you never know when another storm is about to hit so, what do we do? How can we find solace in the roller coaster world we live in?

President Gordon B. Hinckley teaches the power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon:

 “Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power….without reservation I PROMISE that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you have read it, there will come into your hearts…the spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolutions to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”

As a missionary, all coping mechanisms for trials are no longer within my reach. As a result, I have found the finest remedy the world has to offer: reading from the pages of the Book of Mormon. As I read, my heart is filled with peace, my relationship with my Father in Heaven is strengthened and I gain a greater testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior. Every time I have been having a hard day, and have turned to the Book of Mormon, I have found renewed vigor much greater than a little cat nap has to offer. It’s a drive that comes from the greatest source of strength in the universe–Jesus Christ.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. Not because my parents told me, or because I have to say that so that one day I can marry a Mormon boy, but because I have prayed and experimented on the teachings of the book and have felt the spirit testify to me of its truth and divinity.

So, lets open up the Book of Mormon and taste of the sweet peace it brings. I promise that you will feel its power as you seek the spirit.

If you would like a free copy of the Book of Mormon, visit this website: http://mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon/

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Mortal Weakness

How often do we self-examine to find fault after fault, weakness after weakness, and mistake upon mistake? It can become almost an hourly routine if we let it, and at the end of our self-dumping session we feel like dirt. In today’s society it seems to be that we almost have to interact with one another in this way so that we don’t seem prideful or haughty. Think about it, have you ever been amongst a group of friends and everyone is trash talking on themselves? Automatically, we begin to pick apart every single weakness we’ve ever fallen prey to, just to attempt to soothe someone else’s soul. As a result, we become discouraged, depressed and downtrodden.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that it doesn’t have to be this way. We are glorious creations created by the most powerful being in the universe who loves us with an infinite amount of love. Of course we are tempted and often times fall short. We each have mortal weaknesses that act as a “thorn in our side” (2 Corinthians 12:7) but we are taught that if we turn these weaknesses to the Savior and exercise faith in Christ and repent or change, then He can be made strong in us. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Our weaknesses are truly a lever that allows the Savior to be more fully a part of us and we become closer to Him. The Savior has made it possible for us to over come our faults, weaknesses, mistakes, guilt and shame. His arms are outstretched to us and he invites us to come and taste of His redeeming power and to feel His love.

http://mormon.org/jesus-christ/#faith-in-jesus-christ

Our Savior and our Heavenly Father want us to recognize the beautiful talents and characteristics that we have been blessed with. Nelson Mandela explains this perfectly.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be. You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, its in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our fear our presence automatically liberates others.”

So, this week, as we get up and go to work, school, family life, etc.,  think of three things you love about who you are as a child of God. Seek out the Savior’s hand to overcome your weaknesses. I know that as we do this, we will recognize more and more who we truly are and will feel more joy and happiness in everything that we do. Those we are surrounded by will feel our light and will have the freedom to recognize who they truly are. After all, we are all children of God.

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Life on Earth is short and we never know when our time will be finished. Some of us may live to the ripe age of 98 while others of us may not. Life here is beautiful and we must cherish every single moment that we have. Its so easy for us to procrastinate what we know we should do for what is easier and more comfortable. The Lord has promised us that if we serve him TODAY, follow Him RIGHT NOW, that we will find more joy in this life and we will be prepared to meet our God. It will be more challenging and will require us to work, but living each day to the fullest will bring us the greatest satisfaction. The Lord will sustain us.

So, let’s not wait for SOMEDAY, let’s choose THIS DAY to follow the Savior’s example and live the way He would have us live. Let’s not live with regrets but with our minds and our hearts focused on serving Him. I know that as we do this, our lives will be full of everlasting happiness. There are great things in store for those who love and serve the Lord.

http://www.mormon.org/jesus-christ/

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 This week has been unpredictable. As missionaries, every six weeks we have whats called a “transfer”. Missionaries are moved around into different areas to work with new companions and new people. Its an inevitable change. However, sometimes, a missionary may be assigned to one area for a prolonged period of time.

I have been serving the people of Penn Yan, New York for 6 months. The months I have spent here have been the most incredible and miraculous 6 months of my life. I’ve grown to love the people, the area, the challenges and the miracles…this has become my home.

This past week, the transfer came and my companion, Sister Stone and I were called to serve in Penn Yan for another transfer. We were pretty surprised because I had felt so strongly that I was being prepared to leave. Missionaries typically stay in their areas for 6 months or less and I had been here for quite some time. But, after praying and searching the scriptures, we felt so much peace and we felt that it was 100% where we needed to be.

Sometimes in life, however, the unexpected comes and we are all required to make changes without much preparation. Just yesterday, our Mission President, President Jack R. Christianson, called us to ask us if we would pack up and move to Palmyra to serve the people of Farmington, New York. We were SHOCKED! We had just settled in for another set of six weeks and thought that this would continue to be our home. President Christianson informed us that through a process of prayer and searching, he felt that the Lord needed us to move to serve the people in Palmyra and that a set of young men–Elder Myers and Elder Hoffman, would come to move in to our area. So, this morning, Sister Stone and I packed our bags and cleaned up our apartment and are preparing to move tonight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this experience and I have learned so much. In life, we rarely have control over every single detail. We expect for our lives to be one way or the other but, how often are we sorely shocked by abrupt changes in our lives? We are tested and tried to see how willing we are to leave everything to follow the Savior. It is a test of our faith when we are asked to pick up and move, or take a new job in a foreign place, attend a new school, lose a loved one or experience any kind of drastic change.

The only constant in this life is CHANGE. But, when we found our lives on Jesus Christ…we can be certain that we will always have a friend to walk beside. The Savior will carry us and will comfort us as we experience the twists and turns of life.

So, when life changes come your way, kneel down and pray. God will show you the way. He is preparing us for the things that are to come. He will never leave us. Reach out and take his hand.

I know that although the future is unexpected, there are miracles waiting to happen as I put my faith in my Savior. He lives!

May we find joy in the journey as we experience the changes of life!

http://lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/finding-joy-in-the-journey?lang=eng&query=only+constant+life+change

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The Marathon of Life

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you felt that you were running a marathon and had reached the end of your rope? Ever felt alone as if there was no one beside you to cheer you on?

This woman shares with us her knowledge that we are never alone. Our Savior is our friend. He’s carried our trials and challenges. When we cry out to Him in prayer, He will reach out His hand and we will gain the strength the move forward.

Like this woman, how often when the going gets rough do we start beating ourselves up? We’re struggling because we’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, thin enough, spiritual enough or whatever enough. We can rely on the Savior and He can pull us out of the darkest abyss if we will just look forward to the glorious potential our Heavenly Father has in store for us.

Trials, heartache and pain are part of our Earthly existence.  But, finding  joy in the journey is our CHOICE.

So, this week I’m going to look for the little miracles every single day and strive to express gratitude for the simple things in life. Will you join me?

I know that looking for the Lord’s hand in our lives will help us to see exactly how much hope there is for our futures. He hasn’t sent us to fail. He loves us with an infinite amount of love!

www.mormon.org

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As a Mormon missionary, I teach people about Jesus Christ and invite them to read a book called THE BOOK OF MORMON. Many people when they hear about the Book of Mormon, confuse it as a replacement for the bible and call it “The Mormon Bible” or some think its a set of guidelines for Mormons to follow like some sort of  Mormon Handbook, and others just think its some sort of novel written by a man named Joseph Smith.

 Well, truth be told, the Book of Mormon isn’t really any of that–it is simply an additional set of scripture which testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ. It is ancient record of the American Inhabitants that adds another witness of our Savior as the Son of God and our Redeemer. During the time of the Bible, there were people living here in America. They, too, knew and prophesied of the coming of the Savior.

The book begins in 600 BC with a family leaving Jerusalem. They travel to America and begin life here in the Americas. After Christ was resurrected, He appears to these people and teaches them the SAME THINGS as He did in Jerusalem. God speaks and deals with His children in the Americas just the same way as He did in the Old world. And, He continues to speak to us in the same way today through a modern day prophet. It makes sense, don’t you think? If God is the same yesterday, today and forever…and if He loves all of His children, then He would continue to speak to us today.

The Book of Mormon has seriously changed my life. Every time I open up this book, I am always filled with this peaceful feeling that encourages me to do good. Sometimes I don’t understand all of the words but I am ALWAYS edified. I find strength and courage to move forward and I find the confidence to trust in God and believe that there really are good things to come. The book is true. Try opening it up sometime and allow God to speak to you. I promise that He will if you let Him!

Check out this link to learn a little more about The Book of Mormon:

http://www.mormon.org/book-of-mormon/

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