Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Delicious Rolls and Apostasy

My mom is a really good cook.  While I was growing up she would make lots of good stuff.  Every holiday, she would make crescent rolls.  They are SO good.  As a young tot, I would often volunteer to help in the afore-mentioned rollmaking.  Now, when I say "help" I mean grabbing stuff out of the cupboards (sometimes with the help of a chair for the higher pantry space), melting butter, or rolling up the crescent rolls; just menial tasks suited to my limited ability.  My mother would lovingly prepare the dinner and let me help and learn how to make my way around a kitchen.  This has helped me tremendously in life.  Especially on my mission, I have surprised myself with my limited but adequate cooking skills.  I have taught myself how to fry fish, make omelets and once I even made a bread pudding, which was quite yummy. 

I would like to relate this concept of learning how to cook with the way God teaches us.  We are given a lot of freedom in our lives.  But, like my mother in the kitchen, Our Heavenly Father is ultimately running the show.  Every success we have in life is because of His loving mercy.  When we help others, attend church, and read the scriptures, we are "helping" Him fulfill His eternal purposes.  He even sent His son Jesus Christ as a perfect example to do this.  Through this we grow and learn to be more like Him.

But back to the rolls.  Everybody loved those flaky little morsels of buttery goodness.  And they made it known, mostly by devouring them from off the face of the table.  I would then let the rest of the family (or other house guests) know just who made those rolls.  "I made those rolls" I would say with a grin fixed firmly on my smug little kisser.  I didn't really make those rolls, but I wanted all the credit for myself.  If I had been in charge of making those rolls, dinner wouldn't have been nearly as good.  But my heart "swelled with great pride unto boasting" (Helaman 13:22).

I think it's really easy for us to fall into this same trap in the way God helps us.  When we follow God, we see success.  Many people, and even entire civilizations, take that success for granted and attribute it to their own hard work and labors.  This is how apostasy begins.  When we don't acknowledge God's hand in our lives we start to move away from Him.  While our efforts definitely help, and we can see the difference they have made, without God, none of the joy we have would be of much worth..

I pray that we can all be wiser than I was as a young child.  I hope we can recognize God's hand in our lives and accept His divine assistance.  I know as we do this with faith in Christ we will see increased blessings and heightened joy in our daily, menial tasks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Families are Forever

If you know anything about the LDS church, you know that we have a strong focus on family.  Families are essential to God's Plan of Happiness for all of His children.  Families are essential for our spiritual progression through this life.  The world is very willing to teach children all sorts of things.  Many things kids can learn in school or on the playground are not exactly in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Profanity, pornography, and downright blasphemy run rampant through our society today.  Without parents teaching moral values in the home, there'd be nowhere to learn them. 

As important as families are here on earth, God has a much more glorious plan for us as brothers and sisters, parents and children.  When a man and a woman are married through the power of God's priesthood, that family can be sealed to each other for all eternity.  The same precious relationships we enjoy in our earthly life will be continued hereafter.  This can only be done, however, through faith in Jesus Christ and love towards each other.

I know that God lives and loves us.  He has made it possible for us to stay together as a family forever.  I know this to be true.  God's priesthood is restored.

For more on eternal families see

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Redeem Them From Their Sins

I read a great chapter of the Book of Mormon this morning.  Nephi & Lehi, the sons of Helaman, were getting ready to preach the gospel full-time.  There is a lot of chaos at the time and this is what they decide will be the best help to these people.  As they are preparing for their ministry among the Nephites and Lamanites, they recall the words of their father in relation to such work.  One part especially stuck out to me.  Speaking of the people whom Lehi and Nephi will teach, and all of God's children, Helaman says that Christ "should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins" (Helaman 5:10 italics added).  This inspired statement tells us how repentance works. 

Christ will receive us if we come unto Him
To truly repent we must do our best to stop doing what we know is offensive to God.  We must press forward with faith in Christ to overcome the problem that is holding us back.  Just as in the parable of the prodigal son, Christ is willing to help us and wants us to return to Him (see Luke 15:11-32).   But we need to be willing participants in our own repentance and salvation.  In this way Christ saves us not "in" but "from [our] sins".

I know that Christ lives and repentance is real.  Our Savior's atonement is what makes it possible.  I know that God loves each of His children.  He is willing to forgive us if we come to Him in sincere repentance and forsake our sins.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm in Havre

So I got into Havre on Tuesday evening.  It was really cold.  It was very negative outside in the degrees.  It felt like my earlobes might fall off and shatter on the ground.  I was convinced that this is the coldest place in the universe.  It made me think of why I'm out on a mission.  I would never willingly submit myself to such harsh conditions.  I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would live here.  Don't get me wrong, the people I've met are great and it's a lovely little community, but it's really cold. 

I'm here because the Gospel is true.  Jesus Christ lives and His church is restored!  God has called me, through His prophet, to serve here.  He loves all of His children, especially those who live in really cold places like Havre, MT.