What would Jesus do?

A few days ago I received a Daily Gem in my email box that got me thinking about what I can do to become more Christ-like.

Emulating Jesus to Become Men

When we consider the admonition to be men, we must think of Jesus Christ. When Pilate brought Jesus forth wearing a crown of thorns, he declared, ‘Behold the man!’ (John 19:4-5). Pilate may not have fully understood the significance of his own words, but the Lord indeed stood before the people then as He stands today–the highest ideal of manhood. Behold the man!

The Lord asked His disciples what manner of men they should be and then answered, ‘Verily I say unto you, even as I am’ (3 Nephi 27:273 Nephi 18:24). That is our ultimate quest.

(D. Todd Christofferson, “Let Us Be Men,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 48)

So what can I do to be more Christ-like?    Ask “WWJD (What would Jesus Do)?”  I find myself asking this at times.  We’ve all heard this before, but it works!  If we remember Jesus Christ at all times, our eldest brother and perfect example of man, we can strive to become better people.

You can sign up for Daily Gems Here: http://www.lds.org/listservices

The Gospel According To St Matthew: Why so many parables?

Throughout the New Testament Jesus tells many parables. But why speak in parables instead of speaking the message directly? The wisdom delivered in these parables seems otherwise impossible to convey.

In the New Testament of the Bible in Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus gives immense knowledge with the parables of the sower, the wheat and the tares, the grain of mustard seed, the leaven, the treasure hid in the field, the pearl of great price, and the net cast into the sea.

These parables seem to connect principle spiritual truths with the temporal world so we can relate to the importance of it all.
When Jesus was asked why he spoke in parables, he answered:

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Matthew 13:11-13)

The knowledge is freely given to everyone, but only those who are seeking it will receive instructions on how to obtain it. These parables contain information about the Kingdom of God and what to do to obtain it.

Additionally, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he says:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Matthew 7:6)

My interpretation of this is to not share and give precious things, such as knowledge about Heavenly Father and his Kingdom, that would not be received well to where it would be mocked and may bring harm towards your way.

Sustained

Sunday was Stake Conference. We got to sleep in an extra hour because it started at noon. The entire building was full and we ending up sitting in the back. Shortly after the first hymn and the invocation they began to read the names of members who were to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. My name was read from the short list and I felt exceedingly great joy as I stood there and was sustained by the entire Stake.

It has been a whirlwind: receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and learning, serving and growing in that capacity and now being able to be a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. And now more than ever, I will strive to be humble and obedient. As a husband and father, I understand the many responsibilities and blessings that come with the Melchizedek Priesthood: the ability to greater serve my family and others with blessings for direction, healing and comfort.

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (D&C 121:36)

Though he may not know it, a home teacher of mine set a great example in my early membership as I asked him on the spot to offer a blessing for my children. I watched him bless my children for the coming school year. I am glad to be able to be able to do as he once did.

And once again I have put my friends on the spot in asking them to confer the Melchizedek Priesthood by the laying on of hands. I also see the importance of remaining worthy-as my home teacher was able to exercise his priesthood at a moments notice and as my friends are able to confer the Melchizedek Priesthood in such short notice as well.

Truth Restored on YouTube

I remember visiting mormon.org a few months ago and I believe this is the same woman (Jennifer) that impressed me with what she had to say. Click here to view the video on mormon.org.

More of what she has to say has been posted up on YouTube a few hours ago, here they are:

Jennifer: Return to be with God

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-9_ErZBGGM]

Jennifer: Marriage is Eternal

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuGC__XDLd4]

The next video is about Oscar, a Mormon who talks about his mother passing away when he was five years old. Even though it was not enough time for them to be together, he knows that families can be eternal and that he will see her again.

Oscar: Families Should Be Eternal

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4GcBrsmwqE]

The final video is Issiah speaking about his observations of life. The monotonousness of life, the tragedies on this world and seeing the misery around him makes him realize that there has to be more to life. And I believe he is right, there is!

More to Life Than This

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8V0oh2lNA0]

These are very good videos about the questions that everyone has in life. I am glad to see the Church putting these up on YouTube to share with everyone.

 

The Importance of Going to Church

Two weeks ago, I failed to make it to church. One thing after another, after another compounded and made it impossible for me to go. This was the first time that I missed a church meeting. I remember the moment clearly.

I felt anxious like I was missing something-and I was. The feeling I had was like I was trying to start a car with no gas. It just didn’t work. I felt empty for the remaining of the week. I felt drained. I literally felt my spirituality slipping away.

I looked forward to the next Sabbath all last week. After making it to Church yesterday, it felt like a fresh breath of air. Taking the sacrament to renew my covenants was the best feeling. Last Sunday was Fast and Testimony day as well. Hearing the testimonies of other Church Members literally filled my spiritual reservoir. I really enjoyed the second and third hour classes.

I’ve realized that going to Sacrament, Gospel Essentials class and Elders Quorum is a definite need in my life. This three hour block nourishes my spirit and strengthens my testimony. Anything else that involves the Church or its members is a bonus!

It is true that obedience to Heavenly Father brings joy, peace and happiness.  I can see why Jesus Christ said:

The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27)

Famous Mormons

While browsing around last night I found an interesting website about Famous Mormons.

Here are a few celebrities that I already knew were active Latter-day Saints:

Here are a few celebrities that I didn’t know were Latter-day Saints and are Inactive:

  • A.J. Cook – Actress – Final Destination 2, Tru Calling
  • Eliza Dushku – Actress – Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Bring It On, Tru Calling
  • Kelly Packard – Actress – California Dreams, Baywatch
  • Paul Walker – Actress – Varsity Blues, Pleasantville, She’s All That, The Fast and the Furious

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on YouTube

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appears in seven videos that have been posted on YouTube addressing common questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aka “Mormons.”

 

Are Mormons Christian?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUs407sadoY]

 

 

How are Mormon Beliefs Similar to Other Christians?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNTPHK3ydIE]

 

 

Do Mormons Worship Jesus Christ in Their Church Services?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUs407sadoY]

 

 

How Do Mormon Beliefs Differ From Other Christians?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZGY_uSuH_g]

 

 

Does the Church Support Political Candidates?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nEQBDyYjXw]

 

 

Why Do People Say Mormonism is a Cult?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EValAeeZuFE]

 

 

Is There Scientific Proof Authenticating the Book of Mormon?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AQTr9oB8lw]

Christianity, Mormonism, God and Jesus Christ

Bold statements seem to be coming up everywhere that:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not Christian.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in a different God.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in a different Jesus.

Here are my thoughts based on simple facts:

Definition of Christian:

Dictionary.com defines Christian as:

of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.

We believe in Jesus Christ and that he is the son of God and that only through him we can be saved.

Your God, Our God:

Through personal testimony, we know that the Book of Mormon restores the full gospel to men today. We also believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. How can it be said that we believe in a different God and Jesus? The Book of Mormon writes of the same Jesus and God as in the Bible Old Testament and Bible New Testament. The same God that created our Earth. The same Jesus that suffered on the cross for our sins. Just another testament.

Simplify your View:

Liken your hearts to a child. Go back to the basics. Realize that God, Heavenly Father, loves you so much. Being a perfect being, he is fair and just. It does not matter and we do not have to argue about the Trinity of the Nicene Decree. The point is, he is our Lord God. He is our Heavenly Father. He gave his only son. His son gave himself for us.

Agency & Diligence:

In the eleventh article of faith it states:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

It is up to yourself to decide what you believe is right or wrong. Just make sure you are informed. Make sure you are informed by gathering all the facts. Make sure you ask the right questions. Look at the Church History: the good and the bad. I realized that the Church, even though divinely inspired and restored, is ran by man–the son of God. We are not perfect beings, but we are striving to be.

Look at the successfulness of the Church today. How can anything built on a lie ever prosper to the magnitude of this Church has reached in such a short amount of time? It is now, because it is true.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20)

How It All Ties Together:

With that being said, when investigating the Church, it helped to realize that God, being a perfect being that loves us all, would give us a fair chance. What he wanted us to do is exercise some faith, have sincere intentions and to find out personally.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:7-10)

I asked for bread from my Heavenly Father. I prayed about it. Sincerely. Afterwards, I received my answer without a doubt. I was fed good. I was given the truth.

Conclusion:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christian. We base our lives on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in God. If your father was a police man, but someone else called him a constable or a peace officer, his function is still the same.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in Jesus. He is the begotten son of God. He died for our sins. Through him we are saved.