Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"If Ye Love Me"

Christ lives.  I know that.  Through living prophets, He has restored His church to the earth.  Along with that church were restored some of Christ's "plain and precious" doctrines that were lost to the world (1 Nephi 13:40).  These were not lost all at once but over time, after God's priesthood authority was lost.  One of these deals with obedience.  Obedience is key to fulfilling God's purposes.  God knows what will make us happy and he gives us commandments to help us.  He gives us these commandments through prophets (See Amos 3:7).  When we follow the commandments we see the blessings God has promised us and we please our Father in Heaven.

This Principle can be seen in earthly laws.  When driving up to an intersection you could ignore the legal traffic restrictions and drive right past a stop sign.  But in doing this you're taking the chance of a hefty fine, costly damage to your vehicle, and even bodily harm to yourself or your passengers.  The laws are there to protect us.  God's laws are the same way.

  I know obedience is essential to fulfilling God's will for us.  I know He loves us and gives us commandments for a reason.  I beleive the words of Christ when He said "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"With Real Intent"

I've been thinking a lot about prayer lately.  It's amazing that God wants to hear from us all the time.  He really is our Father and we really are His children.  He loves us as any father loves his children.  When we pray to God, He listens.  One problem that a lot of people (including myself) struggle with is getting too casual in their prayers.  Sometimes, I catch myself using "vain repetitions, as the heathen" (3 Nephi 13:7).  One way we can avoid this is to pray "with real intent" (Moroni 10:4).  When we have "real intent" in our prayers we really mean what we say.  We really want the blessings for which we are asking.  We really need to talk with our Heavenly Father.  And we Really Intend to act on the answers we receive. 

If we come unto God "with real intent" and actually put thought into our prayers He will bless us.  Christ has given us this promise: "And Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, beleiving that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you" (3 Nephi 18:20 emphasis added).  I know that this is true.  God has answered countless prayers of mine and He is willing to bless all of His children.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peace, Be Still

There is an awesome story in the Bible about Jesus Christ and His apostles.  They're all traveling together in a boat.  Jesus was asleep in the back of the ship when a storm started.  It was such a rough storm that the disciples were scared for their lives.  They woke up the Savior and asked "carest thou not that we perish?" (Mark 4:38).  The apostles saw no hope of getting through the storm.  Unless Christ did something about it, they were going to perish.  What Christ did next should be of great comfort to all of us.  "He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm"(Mark 4:39). 

We can all take a lesson form what Christ did here.  As we are going through hard times, Christ is there for us.  When the winds of doubt are blowing and the waves of temptation come crashing in on us, we have comfort in our Savior.  Even when it seems impossible and nobody is there for us, the love of Christ can "rebuke" the storm and say in our lives, "Peace, be still".  I know this, and I know that it is always available.  Jesus Christ is truly the son of God, and the Savior and redeemer of mankind.  I pray that we can recognize Him when He helps us and not say as the questioning disciples, "What manner of man is this?" (Mark 4:41). 

He is the Christ.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Arise and Come Forth Unto Me"

In the Book of Mormon there is a touching account of Christ's visit to the American continent.  It is shortly after His ressurection and ascension into heaven.  The Nephites and Lamanites had just been through terrible hardships.  There were many eathquakes, fires, and other natural disasters and a great darkness covered the land the entire time.  All the survivors gathered around the temple.  While they were there Jesus Christ appeared to them.  Shortly after He arrived, Christ invited the entire multitude to "Arise ad come forth unto [Him]" (3 Nephi 11:14).  Accepting his invitation, the entire crowd, one by one, approached Christ and felt the prints in His hands and side.  I love the reaction of the people, they "did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come" (3 Nephi 11:15).  These people knew Christ before He came to them.  They read the words of the prophets, they knew what He would be like. 

Jesus' plea, "arise and come forth unto me" is applicable to all of us today!  We must read of Him, learn of Him, and speak of Him.  We must arise from the darkness of sin, the confusion of the world, and the very real temptations of Satan.  We must understand our true potential and go forth unto Jesus Christ.  I know Christ lives!  As we learn more of Christ and truly "arise and come forth unto [Him]" we, as the Nephites  can "cry out with one accord saying, Hosanna!  Blessed be the nameof the Most High God!" (3 Nephi 11:16-17)