Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is it for a good reason?

I was reading the Book of Mormon today and I came across an interesting verse.  In this verse the prophet, Alma, is fighting in a war with his people, the Nephites.  At this point Alma is fighting one-on-one with the leader of the opposing army.  As is common in life-threatening situations Alma cries to God to protect him, "O Lord, have mercy and spare my life".  Clearly Alma doesn't want to die right at this moment.  But what caught my attention was Alma's purpose to continue living.  He continues, "spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people" (Alma 2:30).  Alma wasn't fearing death, he simply had more to do with his life.  He was the leader of the Nephite Government and the Church at that time.  He knew that his life being preserved would be a great blessing to many others.

The most important part however is how Alma backed up this statement.  He eventually gave up his role as the "Chief Judge" to devote his life to the ministry to which he was called.  He convinced many to come unto Christ and enjoy the blessings of the Gospel. 

So when we really want something; riches, talents, knowledge, etc. ; we need to consider why we want it.  If it is to fulfill God's purposes, God will likely assist us in attaining that when we come to Him in prayer.

I know that as we seek to do God's will, we will see His hand in all we do.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Spirit World

God has a plan for each of us.  That plan is perfect.  As we follow God's commandments and read the scriptures we can learn more of that plan.  In the scriptures that plan is referred to as the plan of redemption, the plan of happiness, the plan of salvation. 

Part of that plan takes place in what we call the spirit world.  In a conversation with his son, Corianton, the Book of Mormon prophet, Alma taught about the spirit world.  It was revealed to him by an angel of the Lord that "the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, ... whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life" (Alma 40:11).  I know that this is true.  We will reside in the spirit world.  We will live for a time without our bodies to await the eventual time when our spirits and or bodies will be united for the rest of eternity.  But before this resurection we have the incredible opputunity to learn more.  We will be taught of Jesus Christ.  We will learn his gospel.  All men will have the chance to accept the glorious message of the savior. 

We should not, however, delay the process of accepting and acting on the message of Christ's gospel.  As the prophet Amulek taught we should not "procrastinate the day of [our] repentance until the end".  "For that same spirit which doth possess [our] bodies at the time that [we] go out of this life ... will have power to possess your body in that eternal world" (Alma 34:33-34).  We can draw from Amulek's teachings that it will not be an easy thing to accept and live the gospel in the spirit world.  Thus, we should do all we can while in this life to follow Christ's teachings and prepare for eternal life (see Alma 34:32).

I am truly grateful for the mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has provided the way for all men to return to Him.  I am thankful for His atonement.  I thank God every day for his glorious Plan of Salvation and for His son who makes it all possible (see John 3:16). 

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Iron Rod

In the beginning of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi and later his son, Nephi, see a vision of a "Tree of Life".  Leading to this tree is an "iron rod".  This rod provides guidance along the only path to the Tree of Life.  There are many distractions along the way but only by holding fast to the rod of iron can anybody hope to taste of the fruit of the Tree of Life.

In explaining the symbolism of this vision, Nephi says that the "iron rod is the word of God".  "The word of God" as recorded by His prophets is called scripture.  In the light of the restored Gospel we have four books of scripture which we call the Standard Works.  These include The Holy Bible, The Book Of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.  In addition to these books of scripture, Christ's living Prophets and Apostles provide us with "the word of God" for daily guidance and direction for our time.

If we can ever hope to reach the Tree of Life we must hold fast to the iron rod.  We must treasure the word of God.  We must read and learn from the scriptures.  We must follow the counsel of modern-day prophets.  We must resist ALL distractions that can and will come along our ways.  To dwell with Heavenly Father for eternity and truly enjoy the fruit of the Tree of Life we must stay on the strait and narrow path leading to Him.  Luckily, we have an iron rod to help us along the way.

And when temptation's power is nigh
Our pathway clouded o'er
Upon the rod we can rely
And Heaven's aid implore
(Hymns #274)

None can escape the mist of darkness.  But as we proceed, holding fast to the iron rod, we can make it.  I add my testimony that Jesus Christ lives.  He has spoken to His prophets in ancient times and He does so now.  Following the counsel of these prophets is how we return to live with our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Through Christ We Can Be Cleansed From Sin

The miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ never ceases to amaze me.  I am forever grateful for Jesus Christ's sacrifice for me.  That is what's been on my mind lately.

Jesus Christ died for us.  That statement and many of similar effect are used a lot in describing the atonement.  That statement is true.  Jesus Christ offered his life as a ransom for all the inhabitants of the Earth.  But there is so much more to it than that.  The events of the atonement began in the garden of Gethsemane.  Our savior suffered more pain than any mortal man could ever handle.  Christ suffered the punishment for the sins of the world.  The punishment that is attached to each law of God must be carried out.  Jesus Christ has taken care of that for each of us.  I know that this is true.  But we are not releived of all responsibility of overcoming sin.  For more on the atonement see

The only way to take advantage of the infinite atonement that our Redeemer performed for us is through sincere and lasting repentance.  We have the promise that if we come unto Christ and repent we can be forgiven of those things that hold us back from him.  We can put the blessings of the atonement into our lives and receive eternal life.  The Savior himself said in a prayer to His and our Father in Heaven that "this is life eternal, that [we] might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

I bear witness that the principle of repentance, as taught through the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way we can truly "know ... the only true God".  I know that with repentance, prayer and daily study of God's words (the scriptures), we can "know ... Jesus Christ, whom [God] has sent".  And because of this repentance and obedience to God's commandments we can gain that blessed "life eternal" of which Jesus Christ spoke.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I am Elder Hunsaker

Hello friends.  I am Elder Hunsaker.  I am a missionary serving in the Montana Billings Mission.  I am currently serving in Missoula, MT and I love it.  Before I came to Missoula I spent 6 months in a small town called Livingston, MT.  I worked hard and faced a lot of adversity throughout my stay in Livingston.  I love the people there and hope to return someday.  Before Livingston I served in Powell, WY.  I loved it there also.

  I've used different forms of the word, "serve" thus far and I'd like to expand on that thought.  While in Missoula, I talk to people, on the street, on their doorsteps, in their houses, anywhere.  My goal is to teach them about God's restored church.  Yes.  Our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ have restored their church to the earth.  They have called a prophet, who holds the authority to act in God's name for the salvation of His (God's) children.  This authority was lost to the world for centuries and it is restored in its fulness, never to be taken again from the earth.  With this authority came the structure God intends for His church and ordinances, such as baptism, that cannot be performed without this priesthood authority.  For the past year I have shared this and more glorious truths with God's children in Wyoming and Montana.  By doing this I am serving these people.  I am helping them to come closer to their Father in Heaven and their Savior Jesus Christ.  I am also serving God by aiding His purposes.  This service may seem selfless but from it I have gained more than anybody could imagine.  I have seen Christ's gospel change lives.  I have seen it change my life. 

I love this service.