Thursday, December 30, 2010

The New Year

It's almost 2011!  That's the new year!  Times like this always remind me of changes I've made in my life.  Changes are good but only if they're for the better.  The prophet Moroni has invited all of us to "come unto Christ, and be perfected in him" (Moroni 10:32).  These are the changes we should all be making in our lives.  If something brings us closer to Christ, it is a good thing. 

After coming unto Christ, we are to "be perfected in him".  The word "perfect" seems unattainable but Christ has commanded us all to "be ye therefore perfect" (Matthew 5:48).  The only way we can do this is through repentance.  Christ has suffered for every wrong choice we've ever made.  We don't need to suffer for those sins because of Christ's atonement.  As we accept that atononing sacrifice we are truly "perfected in him"!  I bear my witness that Jesus is the Christ.  He lives and loves each of us.  As we begin this new year I urge all reading this to "come unto Christ, and be perfected in him".

Friday, December 24, 2010

Be of Good Cheer

Today is Christmas Eve.  Tonight will be a night of much pageantry and celebration.  Much is spoken of Santa Claus, reindeer, presents, candy, trees, elves and mistletoe.  But this Christmas Eve I would like to focus on "The Night Before Christmas" 2010 years ago on the American continent.

A sign was prophesied to come declaring Christ's birth to the Nephites and Lamanites.  There were many who did not beleive in Christ and they persecuted those who did.  The wicked populous assigned a day when all the people who beleived in Jesus would "be put to death except the sign should come to pass".  This obviously caused quite a commotion among the beleivers.  Like christians in the time of Christ and today, their faith was tremendously tested.  The day before that dreadful day, the leader of the church, Nephi, took the oppurtunity to offer up his heart to the Lord.  He was understandably worried about what was happening the next day.  The Lord's answer gives me comfort, "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world" (3 Nephi 1:9,13). 

"Be of good cheer".  That was what Nephi needed to hear and that is Christ's message to all.  No matter the trial, Christ invites us to "be of good cheer".  Even when releif seems inpossible, "be of good cheer".  Jesus Christ truly has overcome all.  As we come closer to Him we will be happy.  No matter what our circumstances may be, by following Christ we will find joy.

I know that Christ was born of Mary at Bethlehem.  I know He healed many people and performed many other miracles.  I know Christ died for us and I know He lives for us.  And this Christmas Eve I invite all humble followers of the Christ to "be of good cheer" and trust in our savior.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Look to the Light

This Video is great.  It shows how Christ can make a difference in anybody's life.  It shows how anybody can find Christ and refocus on what is important.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joy to the World

It's Christmas time!  It's the best.  I love seeing all the lights around the neighborhood.  I love the Christmas trees lit up in people's windows.  I love the seasonal cookies.  I love the fresh snow (except when I'm behind the wheel).  I like fudge too.  But the best part of Christmas is the music.  I firmly beleive the immortal words of the movie Elf, "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear"!

Heavenly Father sent His son to the earth.  Jesus Christ is truly the Savior of the World.  This time is set apart by christians (and some non-christians) everywhere to celebrate His coming into the world.  One song that illustrates the joy we should all feel is Joy to the World. 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her king!
Let every heart prepare him room,
And saints and angels sing.

I love this hymn.  Jesus Christ is the king of kings.  I hope we can all follow the advice given here and "prepare Him room" in our hearts.  That is the true Christmas spirit, when Christ enters our hearts.  When this happens is when "saints and angels sing" together the praises of our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ.

I invite anybody reading this to take time amidst all the cookies, fudge, lights, presents, and reindeer to listen to and ponder on these oft-sung Christmas carols.  Your burdens will be lightened and your life will be happier as you more fully understand and accept the importance of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Behold the Lamb of God"

When Jesus Christ came to John the baptist, John recognized Christ, as the long-foretold messiah.  When the baptist saw "Jesus coming unto him" he exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:29).  John knew that Jesus was the son of God, the savior of the world.

Let's rewind 600 years to the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi.  Nephi was shown visions of a lot of cool stuff.  He was shown the birth, life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ.  While seeing the savior's birth, Nephi "looked and beheld [Mary] bearing a child in her arms".  An angel then proclaimed to the prophet those same words used by John the baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the son of the Eternal Father!" (1 Nephi 11:20-21).

In this time of holidays and shopping, festivities and presents, it is good to remember why we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, was born of Mary.  I invite all to follow the example of Nephi and John.  "Behold the Lamb of God"!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The church of Jesus Christ

When Christ was on the earth he established a church.  It was called after His name and built on His doctrine.  He called twelve apostles (Matt. 10) to help govern the church.  As the church grew, Christ called "other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face" to declare Christ's message abroad (Luke 10:1).  After Christ's death, the twelve apostles were left to govern the affairs of the church in the savior's stead.  The group of twelve apostles was meant to continue on as illustrated in the first chapter of  the book of Acts.  Matthias is called to fill the vacancy left by the traitorous Judas Iscariot.  Somewhere along the line, the priesthood; held by the apostles; was lost.  The church over which they governed was corrupted and distorted.  Over hundreds and even thousands of years, many Christian churches were established and spread around the world.

In our present day, Christ has established His church to the earth.  He has restored the priesthood through John the Baptist and three of His original apostles.  He has restored the keys of baptism and the apostleship.  The church of Jesus Christ is on the earth.

One remarkable thing I've noticed of Christ's restored church is that it's the same wherever you go.  I grew up in Pennsylvania and attended church my whole life.  When I went away to school and attended church there, I was amazed that it was very much the same church.  On my mission I've attended church in Montana and Wyoming and guess what, it's the same church.  Vastly different people gathering to worship in tremendously varied locales around the world are all unified in their love for, their testimony of, and their devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.  His Kingdom is on the earth.  It will continue to fill the world.  And the doctrines will be kept pure through the leadership and church government established by Him from whom it came.