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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

My 2nd Son’s Baptism

This last Saturday, I had the privileged of baptizing my 2nd son, Dylan.  It was quite a different experience than the other baptisms that I have been to.  This time, it seems like it was HIGHLY organized by our stake and there were so much people that it filled the entire chapel of the stake center.

This time around, each ward took turns at the font and split up into different areas of the stake center afterwards.  Since Dylan was the only one being baptized for our ward, we ended up in the small family history / employment center room.

I also found myself referring back to my posts: My Son’s BaptismA Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect BEFORE your Baptism and A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect AFTER your Baptism to reference the prayers and procedures needing to be performed.

During the opening of the baptism service, I was impressed that my son was eager to answer all the questions by the speaker in the chapel for the service before the ordinance was performed.  The baptism had to be done twice because his toe poked out of the water.  The 2nd time I dunked him, I made sure to push him down to the very bottom of the font by his chest and knees.

Next during his confirmation, my heart was full of joy and I know my son felt the same way when telling him to “receive the holy ghost.”

I am thankful that my best friend Mike and his family could come and support Dylan in his decision.  Also glad that Mike was on hand for being a witness in the baptism and part of the confirmation as well.  I am glad to have the privilege to hold the priesthood and minister unto my family and those around me.

My son’s baptism has given me another person to look up to when living the gospel.  Together I know we will help each other grow closer to Jesus Christ.



The 180th Annual General Conference: Thomas S. Monson Talk

Saturday Session 1, Talk 1 – Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, Prophet

  • 180 years since the church was organized.
  • Told the story of how his Grandfather brought his future wife’s family to the gospel.


Obedience

I have been thinking about this verse that I read in the Pearl of Great Price all week:

And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him:

I know not, save the Lord commanded me. (Moses 5:6)

This verse sums it up pretty nicely by taking a concept that we ourselves complicate and simplifying it to its most basic core meaning.

Obedience.

I can’t believe how I never actively realized until this week how obedience is shown and taught throughout the: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.

The message is pretty clear now and I see the path I need to take as clear day.

I feel the spirit stronger than I ever have, since being baptized.



The Fabulous (Fantastic) Four

Just something that’s been stuck in my head all week.  During sacrament last Sunday, the Bishop spoke to us about what he called:

THE FABULOUS FOUR!

I like how he put it.  It immediately got everyone’s attention and then he told it how it was…

If you are not doing these four things in your life, DO IT.  Don’t do it half way, do all of it and you will be blessed.

  1. Go to Chuch EVERY Sunday, to EVERY meeting.
    Do all three hours, don’t pick and choose.
  2. Daily Prayer
    Say your prayers daily.  Say them in the morning, at night and throughout the day.
  3. Daily Scripture Study
    As you read and study your understanding and faith will grow.
  4. Pay a Full and Honest Tithe
    “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”  (3 Nephi 24:8–10; Malachi. 3:8–10)

There you have it.  The fabulous four… or what I like to call the fantastic four.  I personally feel it is wise advice in which my Bishop addressed head on.



First Post of 2010 – An Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  A lot has been going on and I just haven’t had time.  Here is what has been going on since I’ve last posted:

  • Stake-wide Ward Boundary Reorganization
    Yes, we knew it was coming since the announcement in August but I feel that once the reorganization was approved, the split came about swiftly and with an extraordinary amount of organization.  The manner in how it was done bares witness to me of the divine inspiration of our church leaders have and how this church is the real deal.
  • New Calling
    I was happy to keep what was my current calling as a Webelos Den Leader for a whole 1 week into our newly organized ward.  I was sad to get a call right after our last meeting, knowing they were going to release me from it.  That feeling was quickly replaced with excitement when I learned I’d be an Assistant Scoutmaster and working with the 11 year old boys!I was pleasantly surprised to  find out that the brother who baptized me and was mission leader when I was an investigator was now my partner with the 11 year old scouts!  We also went to our trainings together and did a December Time camp out in below-freezing temperatures.  It was a fun experience and I learned a lot.

    Now every Wednesdays we have our meetings and I am excited to be helping the scouts pass off their requirements all the way up to First Class.

  • Getting To Know New People
    I am on my outside an introvert and I keep to myself.  And seeing how church beings at 9am in the morning, it doesn’t help one bit that I am NOT a morning person.  Besides the early time we have to be at church, this has given me and others a reason to throw ourselves out there.  I like to think that on my inside I have a person screaming to get to know everyone and be outgoing.  I was happy the other weekend when I realized that I actually knew at least half the people I pass by in the hallways now.
  • New Perspective
    It’s always interesting to me how differently things can be ran by the  Bishopric in a ward.  Whichever way they go about things, one thing is for certain.  They are absolutely called by God to their positions to minister and lead the ward.

So far it seems like 2010 is off to a great start!



Giving My Children Back To School Blessings

As another year of school was starting, I grew excited at the chance to do what I hope becomes a family tradition:  Back to School Blessings.  This gives me a chance to excersize my Priesthood, to be an example to my wonderful boys, and give them peace of mind of another school year through the blessings they receive.

As the time for school approached, I ran myself through a spiritual checklist as I to evaluate my own worthiness as a Priesthood Holder.  Again, I see this as a reminder to live worthily so the blessings of the Priesthood can be accessible to those in my life.



Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

During the last few months, I often hear the question being asked:

Why do bad things happen to good people?

In two parts, here is what I understand about why this happens:

Opposition

Opposition is a part of this life.

In the Book of Mormon there is a passage that reads:

For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no apurpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the bjustice of God.
13 And if ye shall say there is ano law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not bthere is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no apurpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away. (2nd Nephi 2:11-13)

Here, we learn that for good to exist, evil must.  For light to exist, darkness must.  Opposition gives us our opportunity to exercise or agency and make choices here in this life.

The Plan of Happiness and Salvation

The plan of salvation and happiness can be used to answer this question.   In our eternal lives, our life on earth are but a few moments.  In the plan of salvation, we have come down t0 this earth gain experience.  As part of gaining experience, we all use our agency that we have to navigate through life.  Through or agency, good and bad choices are made.  We are affected by the consequences of good and bad choices, whether it be made by you and by others.

The key thing to remember is that we are all children of God.  He loves all of us.  We have chosen to come down and experience the good and bad of life.  Jesus Chris had suffered all things.  When we turn to Jesus Christ, we grow closer to him and make us stronger.  Jesus Christ personally knows and understands what we go through in difficult times because he had experienced them as well.

President James E. Faust said:

Into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful…For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process.

Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father does not like to see us suffer, however they find joy and are pleased when we learn to turn to them in difficult times.  We gain peace and comfort when we seek help from our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ.  We grow closer and stronger to them and become better and more experienced, having weathered through the tough times.



Did the Brother of Jared see God or Jesus Christ?

I was recently asked who the Brother of Jared saw when “the Lord” appeared to him. Did he see God, the Father, or his Son, Jesus Christ? Since I didn’t know the answer, I looked it up later.  It was Jesus Christ. Ether 3:16 covers it – this is Jesus Christ speaking to the Brother of Jared:

“Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.”



What are the Blessings of the Temple?

The blessings of attending the temple are set forth in Section 109 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Those who attend the temple worthily and participate in the ordinances there have the following blessings promised to them:

1)      They will feel the power of the Lord (verse 13)

2)      They will be taught words of wisdom out of the best books (verse 14)

3)      They will learn by study and also by faith (verse 14)

4)      They will grow up unto the Lord (verse 15)

5)      They will receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost (verse 15)

6)      They will be prepared to receive every needful thing (verse 15)

7)      Blessings will be poured out upon them (verse 21)

8)      The glory of the Lord shall be round about them (verse 22)

9)      Angels shall have charge over them (verse 22)

10)   No weapon formed against them shall prosper (verse 25)

11)   He who digs a pit for them shall fall in the same pit himself (verse 25)

12)   No combination of wickedness shall overcome them (verse 26)



What is The Feast of the Passover?

The Feast of the Passover was a celebration held by the ancient Hebrews to commemorate that the angel of destruction had passed by their homes when the first-born children in Egypt were killed. The Feast of the Passover also celebrates the redemption of the children of Israel from Egypt.

The book of Leviticus in the Old Testament describes the Passover:

“In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.  In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” (See Leviticus 23:5-8)

Passover is celebrated in springtime to celebrate a newness of life, the beginning of a new period of growth.

The feast of the Passover continued until the time of Christ.  After the death of Christ, the Passover became a time for spiritual reflection, as described by Paul: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  (See 1 Corinthians 5:7)

Jesus Christ is sometimes referred to as “Our Passover,” since his atoning sacrifice prevents death from having a permanent hold on us. In the Book of Mormon, Amulek describes this sacrifice: ““For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.” (See Alma 34:10)




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