Reject Yourself

Their cries are blown away with the wind
How passive can we be before humanity is lost?
Turning our backs on those who need love
We must not rest while healing is needed

Can you reject yourself?
Can you feel their agony?
In a world that feeds on disregard,
Heal the broken hearted

Reject Yourself ~ Killswitch Engage

As was mentioned in my previous post, being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not a once-a-week deal. It is not a mask we throw on when we attend church. It is not a few good deeds to show others that we’re good people. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a daily thing. It should be as natural and as as much a part of our lives as breathing.

Christ taught His apostles,

…The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejectedof the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:22-23)

Just as the Savior was rejected by His own people, we must reject or deny ourselves. To reject ourselvse means to place our own desires last. We must put Jesus Christ first, and by so doing we also put others first. Taking up our cross means we are ready and willing to carry our burdens and work for the Savior. And we must do this daily. Not weekly, monthly, or yearly, but daily. We must always be willing to place others before ourselves, and carry a cross when it is placed on our backs, whether it is for ourselves or someone else.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:35-36)

When we forget ourselves and make Christ and others our priority, we will find that we have gained so much more than we sacrificed. After all, what else truly matters in this life? The world will pass away, but the gospel of Jesus Christ will last for eternity.

This is something that everyone, myself included, can work on. Let us reject ourselves and put the Savior Jesus Christ above all else.

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Fellowship

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. This is true, but this fact doesn’t give anyone an excuse to avoid attending church. Just as well, and just as the phrase implies, going to church doesn’t qualify as being enough.

The prophet Moroni in the Book of Mormon wrote,

And the church did meet together oft, to fastand to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. (Moroni 6:5)

Oh, and they also went to church…

And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. (verse 6)

The members of the Church were together often, fasting and praying and discussing the matters of salvation. This was seperate from their actual worship services however.

Fellowshipping isn’t just about attending our meetings on Sunday and making the rounds of saying hello to everyone. It’s about being with one another, showing love and friendship, and concerning ourselves with the things that are of eternal significance.

If one is a Christian, he or she is not a Christian one hour of the week, or even one day of the week. Being a disciple of Christ is a way of life. It is just as much a part of our existence as the air we breathe.

As Daylight Dies

Contest the lies
We cannot be so blind
Hear their cries
Don’t wait till daylight dies.

Daylight Dies“, by Killswitch Engage

So I got a new companion; I picked him up in Great Falls. We stayed there for a couple days before driving back up to our place. When we arrived at our place he unpacked and then went downstairs to do laundry. Thirty seconds went by and he rushed back up the stairs.

“You better come down and see this,” he said to me.

I followed him down to find half the basement flooded with about an inch of water. Turns out, the water heater was leaking. Boxes and clothing belonging to the owners of the house were soaked. We ran to the neighbors and they brought over a shopvac to suck up all the water. We spent most of this morning moving clothes and boxes and vaccuming up more water. We’ll definitely need a new water heater.

The problem was simple. The water heater was about sixteen years old and had rusted on the bottom until it simply could no longer hold the water.

This water heater is a lot like our own problems. When a situation arises, we need to be sure to take care of it right away. It may be a wrongdoing, a sin that we’re covering up. It may be a problem we have with an individual that we put off and allow to fester. Whatever the circumstances, it never works out when we allow it to grow and escalate. The water heater should’ve been replaced years ago. Just the same, we may have problems that we should’ve dealt with a long time ago, but instead have been left to rust.

If we don’t deal with them, eventually they’ll leak out, often spoiling the lives of loved ones and others in the process.

Amulek, in the Book of Mormon taught,

And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34:33)

Whether it is a sin or not, we can’t afford to procrastinate the day of our repentance or our resolving. Work while it is still day.

He is Risen

As Easter soon approaches, we remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While Christmas is a time more focused upon His birth, Easter brings attention to His Atonement and Resurrection. In the Book of Mormon we read,

And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceiveby the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. (Alma 7:10-12)

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ prayed to the Father and, in a manner incomprehensible to man, took upon Himself the sins of the world. Every pain and sorrow, every sin, and every affliction of every kind was heaped upon His shoulders. The pain was so great that He bled from every pore.

He was soon betrayed and brought before Pilate and others. Though Pilate found no fault in Him, the people cried out, “Crucify him!” He was stripped of His clothing, whipped, humuliated with a crown of thorns and mockery, and made to carry His own cross until His mortal body would no longer allow it. After the scourging, He was crucified on Golgotha. The One sent to redeem the world was betrayed and killed by His own people.

But then, Sunday morning came…

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. (Matthew 28:1-8)

The Lord Jesus Christ had risen and broken the bands of death. I bear testimony that Jesus Christ lives, and that He will forever live as our King. Yes, He died for us. But more importantly, death could not contain Him. He lives for us. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, lives.

Feast Upon the Words of Christ

Ever wish that life itself had a manual? Well, your wishes have come true! There is a manual that you can hold in your hands and read for yourself! It’s called… the scriptures! The scriptures consists of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and modern revelation from living prophets!

Perhaps that was a bit of a corny way to introduce God’s holy writ, but it’s true. The holy scriptures are one of God’s gifts to mankind. The prophet Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, said this,

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tellyou all things what ye should do.

Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.

For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 31:3-5)

Now, of course, the scriptures don’t always contain literal answers to every problem, question, or concern we may have. But the scriptures are a portal to the Holy Ghost. The Spirit speaks through those words, and when we open up the Holy Bible or the Book of Mormon, we can feel the power and testimony of the Holy Ghost. He teaches, He enlightens, He edifies, etc. When we’re under this unfluence, our minds and hearts and opened and we can understand and comprehend so much more. In this way we can receive answers to all our problems.

I know this to be true. I testify that through the scriptures we can know all things that we should do.

“And ye shall also forgive one another…”

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

(Matthew 6:14-15)

There is more to forgiveness than having God forgive us of our sins. Forgiveness also involves us forgiving those that have wronged us. It’s not always an easy thing to do. The “natural man” within us doesn’t like to let things go. Holding a grudge, or holding a wrong deed over someone’s head to cause them endless guilt, is often our view of justice. But this isn’t so. We know that it’s not our place to judge, so we are commanded to forgive others.

In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Alma this:

And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation. (Mosiah 26:31)

If we cannot forgive others of personal and often minor offenses, how can we expect our Heavenly Father to forgive us of our disobedience to His commandments? Let us not judge one another, but instead love and forgive one another. In this way can charity, the pure love of Christ, abound within us.

A Second Witness

The Book of Mormon is something that is often misunderstood. I’ve met a lot of people that refer to it as the “Mormon Bible”. Some people don’t think that Latter-day Saints even believe in the Bible, or that we don’t put the Bible into any high regard.

Here’s the truth: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” ~ Joseph Smith (Articles of Faith 8)

The Holy Bible is the word of God. Mormons firmly believe this. We love the Bible for what it contains, especially concerning Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry and the dealings of His original twelve apostles. Through the centuries it has gone through numerous translations and unfortunately has been, to a degree, altered by man. It is a miracle that it has survived throughout the years. No doubt God has preserved it. But corruption has entered in. Many precious truths that it once contained have been changed or removed by those under the influence of Satan.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, is exactly what the subtitle suggests. It is another testament. The Bible contains the Old and New Testaments; the Book of Mormon contains Another Testament. It does not add to or take away from the Bible, but is simply more of God’s word. The Book of Mormon serves to support and complement the Bible, and it gives important and necessary doctrines that the Bible lacks. Together they go hand in hand to testify and teach of Jesus Christ.

If you don’t believe me, read the Book of Mormon. See for yourself what it contains.

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

The Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ. Read it and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, find out for yourself. I can promise you that if you do so sincerely, wanting to know if it is true, and having faith in Jesus Christ, you will receive your answer.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (1 John 21:25)

The Restoration: Of Knowledge

A bit of wise counsel I’d like to share from Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet.

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. (2 Nephi 9:28-19)

Pride cometh before the fall. This is true in all aspects of life, including education and knowledge. I’m sure many would agree that, today, society as a whole has shunned the wisdom of God. We have come far in such a short amount of time. Technological and scientific advances are astounding. More and more information is being discovered each day. But are these truly our advances, or are they blessings from God?

As our knowledge has moved forward, our faith in God has taken a decline. Jacob’s words are true. We no longer hearken to the counsel of God, but instead have made steps to remove Him from our societies. We think we don’t need Him, when in reality every step we’ve made has been because of His love and kindness.

In love, God the Father and Jesus Christ restored The Church of Jesus Christ to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. The heavens are wide open, and revelation is being poured out through living prophets and apostles and through ourselves. The priesthood authority that Jesus Christ personally brought during His earthly ministry is back in full force.

From the early 19th century until the present time, just look at all the advances we have made! The fact that all of the remarkable inventions and discoveries began the same time as the Restoration of Christ’s gospel is no coincidence.

I know that these blessings have sprouted because Jesus Christ’s church is once again on the earth. By recognizing God and Christ in all things, our knowledge can bring us further blessings. Let us not shun Them from society, but bring Them back, because “to be learned is good if [we] hearken unto the counsels of God.”

Distractions and Dentifrice

One of my favorite books is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Written in the ’50s, it takes place sometime in the future, when books and literature of all kinds are shunned from society for what’s considered the good of humanity. Instead of putting out fires, firemen start them. They find houses containing books and burn them to the ground.

The main character is a fireman named Guy Montag who, at a certain point in the story, secretly takes a book from one of the houses to satisfy the curiosity torturing his mind. It happens to be the Holy Bible. He decides to take it out and read it on a subway car. He turns to a random page and his eyes fall upon Matthew 6:28, part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which reads,

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

He tries to read the verse, determined to place it within the bounds of his fluttering thoughts, but it’s impossible. A commercial is playing over the subway’s speakers. “Denham’s Dentifrice!” repeats over and over. The hollow-minded passengers around him tap their feet to the commercial’s tune; their mouths subtely twitch to the words. “Denham’s Dentifrice! Denham’s Dentifrice! Dentifrice! Dentifrice!”

Desperately, Montag attempts to shut out the obnoxious advertisement. But the voice and the music is too loud and distracting. In frustration, Montag stands up. “Shut up!” he yells to the speakers. The passengers, shocked, stare at him blankly. The commercial plays on, mocking Montag’s cry.

The subway comes to a halt, and Montag slips out quickly, the only word he can recall from the verse… “lilies…”

Distractions are all around us. Some of them are obvious and blaring, like a commercial for “Denham’s Dentifrice!”. Others are more subtle, slowly pulling our thoughts and hearts away from the things we should truly focus on. Satan will use every tactic available to keep our minds distracted and away from the things of God.

Just like Peter lost sight of the Savior and began to sink, we allow the world around us to take our eyes away from Jesus Christ, away from our Father in Heaven, away from the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, and away from our friends and family.

1 John 2:15-17

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Let us keep an eye single to the glory of God!

Coming Off the Mountain

The Book of Mormon is overflowing with stories we can relate to and learn from. One I’d like to share is the story of Amalickiah (Uh-mal-i-kye-uh) and Lehonti (Leh-hone-tie). Amalickiah was an evil, blood-thirsty, power-hungry man. All he wanted to do was become king of first the Lamanites and then the Nephites, so that he could bring everyone into bondage and under his control. He accomplished half of his designs; he did take the throne of the Lamanite king. He had to do a few things though, before he could accomplish that goal.

The first thing he had to do was take control of Lehonti’s army. Lehonti and his men were Lamanites, and they didn’t want to go up to battle against the Nephites. So they went up to a mountain and refused to fight. Well, the Lamanite king gave Amalickiah an army and commanded him to battle Lehonti. But Amalickiah had other plans. In Alma chapter 47 verse 10 it reads,

And it came to pass that when it was night he sent a secret embassy into the mount Antipas, desiring that the leader of those who were upon the mount, whose name was Lehonti, that he should come down to the foot of the mount, for he desired to speak with him.

The embassy went up three times, and each time Lehonti refused to come down to the foot of the mountain. They were fixed with a determineded resolution that they would not be made to fight against the Nephites. Amalickiah wouldn’t give up though. Since being straightforward didn’t work, he decided to try something a bit sneakier. In verse 12 it reads,

And it came to pass that when Amalickiah found that he could not get Lehonti to come down off from the mount, he went up into the mount, nearly to Lehonti’s camp; and he sent again the fourth time his message unto Lehonti, desiring that he would come down, and that he would bring his guards with him.

Lehonti decides to go along with it and comes just a little ways down the mountain. Amalickiah tells Lehonti to surround his men during the night, and that when they wake up in the morning, he (Amalickiah) would surrender his army to Lehonti, on the condition that Amalickiah would be made second-in-command.

Lehonti agrees and surrounds Amalickiah’s army at night. When they wake up they become afraid and decide to join with Lehonti’s band. So… how does one become leader if he’s second-in-command? Easy. He kills the leader. Verses 17 to 19 read,

Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to appoint the second leader to be their chief leader.

And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.

Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader and their chief commander.

Amalickiah had cleverly played out his entire scheme, and it worked. So what are we to learn from this story? For us, Amalickiah is Satan. We are Lehonti. Satan wants us to come off our mountain. He doesn’t want us to stand in high places, places of spiritual security. He tempts us, sometimes in obvious ways. Sometimes he tells us to come directly off of the mountain. This usually doesn’t work. When something is obviously wrong, it’s easy to just say no.

That’s when Satan gets tricky. He tells us to only come down part way, and bring our guards. When Satan can’t get us with obvious things, he tries to bring us down in small, subtle ways.

Just a litte bit, it won’t hurt. Just this once, it’s no big deal. You can stop anytime. No one will know.

These are all things that Satan tries to put into our heads. He’s clever, and sometimes we’re tricked, as Lehonti was. Lehonti fell for the trap because he let his greed get the best of him. We often do the same thing, allowing our physical appetitites to distract us from the gentle cautions of the Holy Spirit. Lehonti’s decision cost him his life, and it was in degrees. Our own decisions to give in to Satan’s traps can lead us to spiritual death, and it is often in degrees as well.

May we learn from this lesson. Be watchful and aware. Satan is always tempting us, trying to get us to come off the mountain. We must ignore him and instead listen to the voice of the Shepherd, Jesus Christ. When we build our foundation on Jesus Christ, listen to the Holy Ghost, and pray continually to our Father in Heaven for strength, we cannot fail.

No Giving Up

So your scars fade away
You soaked up the pain
A better person ’cause you lived through those days
And now you know what it’s like to prove
You can overcome anything that gets to you
Well it’s alright
We’re sayin’ our goodbyes
To the past and everything that ain’t right
We won’t waste another day
With all these silly things in our way

There’s no giving up now!
Do you really want to give this all away?
Can’t you ever see things in a different way
Somedays?
No giving up now!
Such a beautiful thing to throw away
You should think things through
Over and over again

No Giving Up“, by Crossfade

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like giving up. Hard times come and go. Such is life. When those hard times do come, we should always desire to be the optimist. Look at the beauty in life. Look at the blessings we’ve been given. We alway have so much to be thankful for. When Christ came to the Americas after His resurrection, He taught many of the same things that He taught those back in the “old country.” And of course He would; it’s the same Gospel after all.

Enduring to the end is a common phrase among Latter-day Saints. It refers to living our lives in harmony with Christ’s gospel, to the best of our abilities. It involves having faith in Jesus Christ, turning to Him in all walks of life, repenting daily of our sins, and keeping God’s commandments. It is the day to day things, the little things, that add up over time.

3 Nephi 15:9

Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

With enduring to the end, there is no giving up, now or ever. Live each day at a time. We must not dwell on the past, but instead look steadfastly unto Christ. It is through Him and only Him that we can receive eternal life.

The Poetic Corner: Descend and Comprehend

I was searching through some of my old poems this morning and came across this one. I wrote it last March. It’s not terribly clever, but I like a couple of the rhymes. 🙂

Of My Own Design

tension strains, wings beat

but my feet won’t pull free

of the weeds.

 

when i break

You take me in

hold me tight, tell me it’s alright

despite my sin.

 

when i lose my way

You call my name

too many times i ignore Your voice

a selfish choice, pride i should swallow

but the echoes remain for me to follow.

 

i’ve tended only so much

and spent too much time at rest

does this labor speak

for the burning in my chest?

 

when I fall on my face

You hold out Your hand

bring me up to my knees

so i can prepare to stand again

 

The message I wanted to get across is obvious. Jesus Christ is and will always be there for us. In revelation given by the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith, we read in Doctrine and Covenants Section 88 verse 6,

He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth

Through His Atonement, Jesus Christ descended below all things. He felt all pain, all sin, and all sorrow that accompanies them. He comprehends all things. For myself, this has made all the difference in my life, knowing my Savior has understood my heartaches every step of the way. He understands yours as well, and His hand is always outstretched to pull us back up when we fall.

Existence and Repentance

The walls of a church don’t make it holy.
It’s what’s authentic that completes the sum of its parts.
Don’t excuse yourself from life today on the pretense of your past.

You’re hurt. You’re broken. That’s alright.
This might be what it takes to wake you up.

“Existence”, by August Burns Red

Making mistakes is inevitable. God does not expect us to be perfect. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to Atone for our sins, allowing us to repent. A negative connotation is often placed upon repentance. Sometimes it’s viewed as a punishment, but this is not so. The original Hebrew word that was later translated into what we now know as “repentance” included the root verb shuv, which means “to return”.

Repentance is not at all punishment, but is a process of turning one’s self around and coming back to God. Of course, it does include sorrow, but that sorrow should be godly sorrow. Paul, as usual, gives us some good insights…

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (1 Corinthians 7:9-10)

Paul says that godly sorrow worketh repentance, which leads to salvation. Being broken down, being hurt, being grieved, are actually good things, when we take them in the right light. Feeling sorry for yourself, or feeling sorry because you got caught, etc., are not ways in which we feel godly sorrow. Godly sorrow involves having a desire to change ourselves, to turn ourselves around, change our ways, change our mindset, and change our hearts.

Through these ways, repentance is not a punishment, but is a joyous opportunity to come closer to God and to our Savior.

In the Book of Mormon, there was a young man named Alma, who went about trying to destroy Christ’s church, spreading lies in order to get people to sin. He was struck down by an angel and for three days seemed to be dead. When he regained his strength, he proclaimed that he had been forgiven of his sins. It was a difficult process, because of the evils that he had done, but repentance brought him indescribable joy. I invite you to read his account that he gave to his son,

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. (Alma 36: 18-21)

I know that daily repentance is necessary if we desire to become close with God and Jesus Christ. But it is not punishment. It is not a chore. I am grateful that I can repent. I know that repentance is a blessing to us. If you’re hurt, if you’re broken, that’s alright. That’s often what it takes to wake us up.

An Ever-Growing Wonder

So let us restore each other,
not with haste, but gently,
for an empty cup cannot fill another.
A blank canvas will later be priceless,
and the love that we build will be endless.
Though we all stumble, we will not fall.

“An Ever-Growing Wonder”, by We Came As Romans

God is love. So what better way to become closer to God than to show love? And who better to show love to than others, God’s own children? King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon couldn’t have stated it better when he said,

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)

Serving others is a win-win for everyone. When we serve others, we’re serving our God. When we serve others, we’re blessing their lives and making the world a better place. When we serve others, we’re building ourselves up. An empty cup cannot fill another, but service fills our cup so that we may pour our heart and soul into another.

As the Apostle Paul said,

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)

We are all of the household of God. We are not strangers. There are no foreigners. For we are all children of the same Father in Heaven. Let us serve one another, that the love we share may be boundless. I echo King Benjamin’s words; when we are in the service of each other, we are in the service of God. Let our service for and love to each other be an ever-growing wonder in our lives.

Ask of God

This last weekend was amazing. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear from a living prophet of God, apostles, and other church leaders called of God. Of course, the things they say are not to be taken by their word. We must search and study their words and listen to the Holy Spirit of God to know that they are true. As I watched and listened to conference, I can testify that the Spirit was present. Two hours is a long time to sit… and I’m somewhat of a fidgety person. When one session is over, I’ll admit I’m slightly relieved. However, it is also, for a moment, a depressing feeling.

When each session ends, I can without a doubt feel the power of the Holy Spirit lessen. It is always a testimony to me of the divinity of the Prophet’s and Apostles’ callings.

When Joseph Smith was in a position of uncertainty, wanting to know which of the religious sects was right, he came across a verse in the New Testament, which reads,

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

He did so (that is, ask of God) and received his answer in a marvelous way, in which he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.

I am certain that you and I will never have such a thing revealed to us, in that manner. But we can know truth which just as much surety as if we had seen a vision. A Book of Mormon prophet named Moroni stated simply,

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)

If you did not participate in General Conference, I invite you to watch it online at lds.org. Listen to the Prophet’s voice, and the voice of the Apostles and other leaders. Ask God if their words are true, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know if they are truth.