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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

I know the Christmas season is past, but I wanted to share this anyway.  I wrote this for the December edition of our ward newsletter.  I think it’s a great message, regardless of the time of year. 

      I love the Christmas season!  People are generally more cheery, and friendlier and more caring towards their fellow man. There’s always this feeling of love and warmth in the air.  But, why is that?  I’m sure some of it comes from a sense of obligation to act that way this time of year.  But, I would submit that much of that “Christmas Spirit” comes from a renewed focus on Jesus Christ.  After all, Christmas is the celebration of Hischrist3 birth.  What a glorious event that was!  On that night, the birth of a tiny newborn baby forever changed the course of humanity.  In a stable, so lowly, our Lord and Savior was born.  We all know the events and story.  I’d like to speak to you about another aspect of Christmas that we may often overlook, especially in this season. 

      The mere event of Christ’s birth is wondrous and miraculous.  The Son of God was born upon this earth.  What a blessed event!  And, we celebrate it accordingly.  But why?  (I know it seems like an odd question, but bear with me for a moment.)  If Christ had grown up, and been an ordinary man, would we still celebrate His birth over 2000 years later?  No, of course not.  We celebrate His birth because of His life.  We celebrate His birth because of His death and resurrection.  We celebrate His birth because He was no ordinary man. 

Think about it for a moment.  Christ was born into this world to be our Savior.  In what is probably the most quoted Christmas scripture of all time, Luke 2:11, we are told just that.  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”  He was our Savior from the beginning, and for that Heavenly hosts praised Him and rejoiced at His birth.  Christ’s role in this earthly life was to be our redeemer; to make it possible for us to return home. 

The Lord, Himself, told the Nephites of this, proclaiming, “…and this is the gospel with I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me (3 Nephi 27:13).”  He came into this world because it was the will of Heavenly Father.  The scriptures go on to say that the will of the Father was for the Atonement, death, and resurrection to occur.  So, while Jesus lived an amazing life, and taught the Gospel, and established His church here, His main purpose for coming was the Atonement. 

The Atonement is something that most of us can’t properly comprehend.    It is the ultimate act of love and mercy.  We often think of the Atonement as something just for sins.  Because of the Atonement, we can be forgiven of our sins.  However, the Atonement isn’t just about sin.  It is so all encompassing.  In Alma 7:11 we read this about the Atonement, “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.”  Simply put, the Atonement is for everyone! 

So, this Christmas season, remember that were it not for the atonement of Christ, we wouldn’t really have reason to celebrate His birth.  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much, and because of that, they were willing to give us the ultimate gift.  Let us never forget that or take it for granted. 

I bear my testimony to you that the Atonement is real and that the Savior loves each and every one of us.  Through the Atonement of Christ we can all return to our Heavenly Father.  And, because of the Atonement, our lives can be blessed and changed, if we will only apply it.  I love this truth and I am so grateful to have the Gospel in my life!  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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I recently heard a song on the radio that made me stop, and reflect, and smile. In a world so filled with anger and bitterness and anti-religious sentiments, I found this a welcome refuge from the storm. I Saw God Today, by George Straight, is a song about a man who stops to notice all the amazing things around him, and realizes that what he is really seeing is the work of God. It was beautiful.
After listening to that, I began to reflect. Truly, everywhere we look, we can see the wondrous works of the Lord. Indeed, all things testify that there is a God. It is so comforting to know that we have a loving Father in Heaven, and His Son, Jesus Christ, who created this earth. When I really stop to think about it, and observe the little things, my testimony grows.

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“All about us there are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute.”
~President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Mission of Saving,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 59

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
~Matthew 25:40
Today I went and worked for the second time in the Humanitarian Service Room over at the Deseret Industries on Craig and Allen. It was really awesome! I just wanted to share my experience with you all, and encourage you to go, if possible.
Today we worked on making quiet books that will be sent out to orphanages. It was a blast. Not only did I get to work on solving some problems they were having with the books, but I got to do a fun and creative activity, have fun, and be spiritually uplifted. Last time I was there, I worked on finishing a baby quilt and worked on making handles for school bags. I thought that would be disastrous, as I was working on a commercial sewing machine, but the Lord must have been with me because it all worked out well. It was good practice, too. I have to tell you that these two experiences have been so rewarding, I can’t wait to go again! It’s just really gratifying to know that what I am doing will help a child somewhere. Sometimes we get so caught up with all that we have, that we forget how truly blessed we all have been. We have so much. It just feels so right to give something, even if it is just my time.
They have a picture on their wall there of a sweet little girl holding a little towel like she would a baby doll. The towel had been wrapped around something that had been sent over there. Since she didn’t have a doll, she just used the towel. That story touched me so much. I want to do whatever I can, in my own small way, to help people like this little girl and her family. There’s just something really right about it.
Both times I’ve gone, I haven’t wanted to leave when I needed to. I would gladly stay there all day and more, if I could. I have had a ton of fun, and been very gratified. I would really encourage anyone who has a spare hour or two to go down there, and help. I think most of us could probably find and hour or two a month. There is so much stuff to do there, and you can kind of pick and choose what you want to work on. They have all the materials, and all they need is the manpower. I believe you can even get stuff to take home and work on and bring back. You can also donate things there to be sent to Salt Lake, like hygiene kits, newborn kits, etc.
They are open right now on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm, but according to their newsletter, they are looking to add Mondays and Fridays soon. You can also schedule an evening if you wish (649-8191 ext 134). They ask that you schedule for big groups, but individuals can just go in whenever. Go and try it. I promise you’ll love it!
For people that are not in Las Vegas, click here to find out how you can help. (And, you do not need to be a member of the Church.)
For more information on the Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, click here.

 

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February 7, 2008, was a day of mourning for conservatives everywhere.

The campaign of Governor Mitt Romney, 60, was cut short Thursday, February 7, 2008, when he announced to CPAC that he was suspending it. After he served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, he began his campaign. In February of 2007 he announced his candidacy, and was a welcome addition to conservatives. His campaign was strong from the get-go, and weathered many storms. When the focus of this candidacy became his Mormon religion, he didn’t back down, but instead faced those who criticized his faith. His candidacy was for so long the bright ray of sunshine in an otherwise grim Republican field. In a time of immense Reagan nostalgia, Romney gave many conservates/Reganites great reason to rejoice. Indeed, Mitt Romney was, in the end, the only hope for true conservatism to be back in the White House.
His campaign is survived by his wonderful family, who supported him all the way; all the volunteers that spent so many hours working on his behalf; conservatives everywhere, who miss the great Ronald Reagan; his 286 delegates; the Constitution; patriotism; hope for another run; hard work; faith; and love.
Memorial services were held in the hearts of many!

It is clear that Mitt Romney loves his country!

“It is the common task of each generation – and the burden of liberty – to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.
“To this task, accepting this burden, we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the Earth.
“Thank you, and God bless America.”

~Mitt Romney
CPAC, February 7, 2008

“And if you believe that as I do, that our source of strength is our people, then when America faces a new generation of challenges like we do today you don’t look to government. You don’t look to make government bigger. You don’t look to make government stronger. You look to make the people stronger. Because that has always been and will always be the source of our destiny. And when we need to call on the strength of America we look to strengthen the American people …
“We rise to the occasion time and again. Whatever we face, whatever challenges we have, there is no challenge greater than that which can be achieved by drawing upon the spirit of the people of America. This is the hope of the world. We will always be such.”

~Mitt Romney
Final Speech as RGA Chair, November 30, 2006

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President Gordon Bitner Hinckley, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away tonight. He was surrounded by loved ones and died of “causes incident to age.” He was 97 years old. He lived a life worthy of the highest glories of God. He has now joined his Heavenly Father, his beloved wife, and the prophets of old.
I joined the Church in June of 1996, when I was 14 years old. I immediately loved President Hinckley. Such a sweet and wonderful man that I have come to adore and admire. Whenever I heard him speak, I could just feel the Spirit so strongly and you could hear in his voice and see in his eyes an amazing outpouring of love for all of us. He genuinely loved all the members of the Church, as well as all mankind. He was inspiring. He was an active and strong leader. I couldn’t believe how much he was constantly doing, even in his 97 years of age. I’m sure his strength was given to him from the Lord. He will probably best be remembered for as the “Temple Prophet.” In a span of just a few short years, he more than doubled the amount of temples to over 120 worldwide. He was also known for his book Way to Be! He outlined some important things we need to “be,” like be clean, be honest, be smart.
He was an amazing man, and left an incredible legacy, and I will miss him.
Here’s the article from the Chruch’s website.

I’d like to post his testimony. It is truly uplifting and inspiring.

“I hope that all of you will remember that on this Sabbath day you heard me bear my witness that this is God’s holy work. The vision given the Prophet Joseph in the grove of Palmyra was not an imaginary thing. It was real. It occurred in the broad light of day. Both the Father and the Son spoke to the boy. He saw Them standing in the air above him. He heard Their voices. He gave heed to Their instruction.
“It was the resurrected Lord who was introduced by His Father, the great God of the universe. For the first time in recorded history, both the Father and the Son appeared together to part the curtains and open this, the last and final dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.
“The Book of Mormon is all that it purports to be—a work recorded by prophets who lived anciently and whose words have come forth “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Book of Mormon title page).
“The priesthood has been restored under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John. All the keys and authority pertaining to eternal life are exercised in this Church.
“Joseph Smith was and is a prophet, the great Prophet of this dispensation. This Church, which carries the name of the Redeemer, is true.
“I leave you my testimony, my witness, and my love for each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
~President Gordon B. Hinckley

April 1, 2006, Sunday morning session of the 176th Annual World General Conference

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Another Christmas gone by, and I feel bit strange about it this year. We really didn’t have much in the bank for presents, and made the smart decision not to use the credit card this year. We got the kids 2 things each, which is less than we’ve ever done. Oddly, though, they were all just thrilled with those 2 things, and couldn’t care less that there weren’t more. At first it was hard for me; I wanted to get them so much. But, I soon came to realize that the amount of presents doesn’t matter. Santa still came. The kids were ecstatic Christmas morning, and quantity didn’t matter. It was really very touching to me, and the big slap in the face I needed.
I’ve always loved Christmas! As a kid, I just knew it meant presents and a big dinner. But, my parents always taught me about the real meaning of Christmas. As I grew, I learned to appreciate it more and more. After I joined the Church, my testimony of the Savior and the glorious events of His birth grew even more. Over the last year and a half, I’ve gained an amazing testimony of the Atonement, and my appreciation of and love for Christ has grown to levels previously unimaginable for me. I have such gratitude in my heart for Christ and ALL He gave to me, and all of us!
Sadly, I’ve lost sight of all that over the last couple Christmases. Not my conscious decision, but by getting carried away in all the gift business. I’ve commented to a few people that this year and last year, it just hasn’t “felt like Christmas.” I’ve had this longing for something that has been missing out of the holiday. At first, I thought it was missing those family members that aren’t with us. While that may be part of it, I realized that my problem was I was focusing most of my attention and energy on things that really didn’t matter. What I needed to do was focus on the Savior, not just His birth, but His whole life, death, and resurrection. What magnificent events!
Once I re-focused on what mattered: Christ and my family, I felt at peace again. I had no stress, no worry, no sadness about Christmas. I felt joy in my heart, and wanted to shout from the roof tops, “Glory to God in the highest!”

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
~Luke 2:8-14

To learn more about the Savior, please click here.

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Mitt Romney gave an AMAZING speech this morning, and I recommend that you all watch it! It was truly moving and inspiring! The man looked and sounded absolutely presidential! His words and message must have resonated through the hearts of millions of Americans! Even Chris Matthews liked it. You’ve got to check it out!

Click here to view the Gov. Romney’s speech!

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