What I Believe

July 18, 2015

Today has been the most special day of my life so far. Today I had the opportunity to get my endowment. A lot that happens in the temple is too sacred to talk about outside the temple, but I will share what I can.

Leading up to the temple I wasn’t nervous, but Satan was trying to stop me the whole time. He would make me feel unworthy, he would make me think that I wasn’t ready, he made me think that it wasn’t for me. I had dear friends that were willing, worthy, and ready to help  me in this time of need. I asked a couple friends for a priesthood blessing and that helped me feel and remember that I am a Daughter of God and I am worthy and ready for the blessings that the Savior has in store for me.

The night before I went I was so excited, so ready, and I just couldn’t wait. Then about midnight my dad text me and told he his plane was delayed and he will make it to the endowment session just not the initiatory. Okay, that’s sad but at least he’ll be there for a majority of it.  A couple hour later he text me and told me his flight got cancelled and he was working on getting another flight that would be on time to the session.  Then within the hour he told me there wasn’t another way of making it the session. I was absolutely devastated.  I prayed to Heavenly Father to please help something work out. I so desperately wanted my dad there with me when I made this essential decision. So I did what I knew I needed to do. I got on my knees and prayed. I asked for peace, I asked for conformation that this is what I needed to be doing at the time. I asked for comfort. I got up off my knees and I knew that everything was okay. That for whatever reason my dad could be there, it was how it was suppose to be. I knew that I needed to continue to do what I already decided I would do.

So I went through. It was amazing. The part that really got to me and that I can share today, is that happiness comes through living the gospel. Let me explain. When one is truly unworthy to enter the Lord’s House then they are unable to receive the knowledge, joy, and blessing that comes from the temple. One of the greatest parts of being in the temple receiving those blessing was the Celestial Room. I entered last. I walk in and all the family that was there for me that day was standing there waiting for me, with open arms. So in reply, with open arms and tears flooding my eyes, I embraced each one of them one by one.  I couldn’t imagine life without them, I couldn’t imagine Heaven not having your family and loved ones. One of my best friends parents were in the session with me and I hugged her mom when I was in the Celestial room. That’s what Heaven is about. It is about being with your family and your loved ones for eternity. It’s about being in your Heavenly Father’s and Savior’s presence.

Much like my experience getting ready for the temple, life won’t be easy. You won’t always feel good enough, and some things will be hard to do without those you know are suppose to be by your side. But as you strive to keep the commandments of God, as you make sacrifices to attend the temple, as you strive to use the Atonement daily, and as you pray and study the scriptures you will make it. You will be able to reap the rewards of Heaven because you can say you gave your all. God is merciful, He loves YOU! He wants you to be able to return to live with Him and your family forever. So my word of advice, don’t give up. Give your all even when you don’t have anything to give. There are so many blessings that come as we make sacrifices for our Father in Heaven. The church is absolutely true. It brings peace and pure, real happiness to those that strive to live the commandments set with a happy attitude.

June 20, 2015

Remember the Journey: Trek 2015

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the trek. Which is basically a short reenactment of the Mormon pioneer’s journey to Salt Lake. We (as in teens 14-18 and some adults as “Ma’s” and “Pa’s” and company commanders) dress up in pioneer type clothing,  we pack all the basics in a 5 gallon bucket, then we pull a handcart for miles with no idea of where we are actually going.

All this and more, for what reason?

From this experience I have learned very essential life lessons that I would like to share. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience.

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Our first long hike on day one.

The first lesson that was taught to me was by my ma, Ma Romine. One of the first things she told us was that our family motto, or chant, was, “We can do hard things!” She told us that whenever we felt like giving up, or the load was too hard to carry to push has hard as you can and yell, “We can do hard things!”

When we arrived at the trek location it was pouring rain. I am not exaggerating when I say I was soaked the first 2 minutes outside of my car. It was raining and it was cold. My brother and I got checked into and we got our family assignments. Gathering with those in the same company, we finally were able to start putting together our handcarts. We got our handcart assembled and we got our first hike assignment and it was up to base camp. We ate a quick lunch then shortly after started up this hill. It was already harder than most of us expected but we pushed through.

After getting up the hill and getting our home settled in, we were told to grab our coat, poncho, and our dishes and head back down with our wagon. Without really knowing what was going on, we headed down the hill and soon came to realize that we were going on a hike.

This hike that we went on started at about 5:30 p.m. and we didn’t get back to base camp until about 1:45 a.m. The mud was deep and the wagon was heavy but there was no turning back and definitely no quitting.

The mud on the hike.
The mud on the hike.

Multiple times on the way up we chanted, “We can do hard things!” and others soon began to follow. At about 9:30 p.m. we were half way! We sat down, laid down, and some even slept. We had about 30 minutes to pull ourselves back together and get ready to head back. We finally got word that we had to get going again. Exhausted (mentally and physically) we got back up and we started pulling again. We finally made it to where we would have one scoop of dinner. Even though it was only one scoop and probably not the best food it was worth it.

That hike was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I did it. We did it.  From this I learned a lot about “doing hard things”.

First, the journey is long, it is hard, and it will be muddy and have hills but WE can do it. Heavenly Father has given us a support system we can pull with. We don’t have to do it alone but we must do our part. In life, there will be times where it doesn’t seem like there is an end to the hard times. But because Heavenly Father loves us, we do not have to do it alone. In fact, He doesn’t want us to do it alone. There are a lot of people trying to get where you are going. There are people who have a load to carry as well but we have to do it together. For example, my family on the trek. There were times where I felt like giving up but a sister would start singing hymns, or a brother would tell a joke that would give me that much more motivation to keep pushing. Ma was injured but she kept going and she kept motivating us to do our best. Pa would constantly check on us and ask what he can do for us and then he would do all in his power to give us the strength to keep going. We would sing, we would joke, we would struggle, we would push. The journey back would have not been possible without my family. It wouldn’t be possible without the people Heavenly Father gave to me work with.

Second, while doing hard things you must stay positive. I was so excited to go on the trek but I knew it was going to be hard. When it was raining when I got there I immediately thought, “This will be more difficult but something great will come out of it.” With my family it wasn’t hard to stay positive. But there were times that inside I would get down because it was hard. I would be upset that it was raining. I would be hungry and I thought I had a reasonable excuse to be a little upset.  I noticed as soon as I would do that the load seemed to get heavier and the journey just seemed harder. I noticed that it wouldn’t be as fun and everything just got worse. Then I remembered the promise I made my grandpa, that I wouldn’t murmur or find a reason to murmur. As soon as I remembered this, I was able to find the positive in all things. It became fun and the Spirit was able to be with me more. I was able to love my family on a more deeper level and I was able to thoroughly enjoy pulling a handcart in the rain and in the deep mud.

Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.”

We may not always have to pull actual handcarts through mud but there will always be a journey. At times it will get hard, and you may want to quit, but don’t. Have a happy spirit and you’ll soon come to realize why you are currently making that journey. It may be to make you stronger, it may be to teach you hard things, it may be to help you build stronger relationships or it may be just because you have to. Even though you may not know the reason, you can be happy but you must choose to be happy. It won’t come any other way than you choosing to keep going with a smile on your face.

With that being said  it leads to the next thing I learned in strong force while on the trek. We are never alone, even in the hardest times. The women’s pull was one of the hardest experiences the whole trek. All the men left us and we were asked to make this hike alone. Our Pa was allowed to walk beside us but that was it. We hiked up our skirts and started pulling (the following comes straight from my journal). “It was a nightmare. It was muddy, slick, and heavy. I wanted to give up then I would look up to see my sisters giving their all. I saw Ma in pain pushing through and I saw Pa walking beside us holding back tears but longing so bad to help. We kept pushing for the end. We saw our brothers, which helped me be stronger. I pushed harder, then all of a sudden the wagon got lighter and started to speed up, until we made it home.” Each little part of this was symbolic in a special way for me. Let me break it down.

“Hard and wanting to quit- Sometimes in life there will be extremely hard hills, there will be slick paths, a heavy weight, and you’ll want to give up. You’ll feel as if you’re alone.”

“My Sisters- My sisters, no matter how hard it was, gave their all. They pushed with all their might because they didn’t want to give up each other. And they knew we needed each other.” They are those who are really pushing around us even when we don’t have the strength or courage to look up. We have to look up to see them, to see that we aren’t alone.

“Ma- Ma’s role was a good example of the Savior. She sprang her ankle on the Sunday before the trek and it killed her to push. She did it anyway because she loved us too much not to push.” The Savior gave His life so that He can push with us. He felt everything and more so that we can be stronger. I became stronger as I saw Ma pushing with us. The Savior should be who we turn to in the midst of pushing up the hills. He will always be there to help us through even when we feel alone.

“Pa- He reminded me of Heavenly Father. He couldn’t help us physically push. He could only watch us fight to get that wagon up the hill. You can tell it killed him. You can see the hurt in his eyes. Heavenly Father must feel similar, watching us struggle, feeling alone and he cannot physically help us.” Pa walked beside us and longed so bad to help us, all he did was whisper small motivations. He could have jumped in at any minute and helped us push but how could we learn that we can do hard things.

“My Brothers- I needed them. We came up the hill and saw them and they gave me the courage and strength to push harder. I cried when I saw them because I realized how much I need them, how much the strengthen me, and how importantly they truly are. Then suddenly, I saw our brothers running to come save us, to help us push. We need each other in life because we are answers to each other’s prayers. Heavenly Father does help us by sending angels. Right before we are about to give up, He’s there.” My brother’s helped me realize that it is okay to need help. They helped me realize that in life we need each other. That we have to trust others so that we can make our journey home to our Father in Heaven. They were a strong representation of why it is so important to have someone worthy to hold the priesthood because it is essential in our lives.

“End in sight- A lot of the hill we couldn’t see the end, but we knew where we were going. In order to get through the hard times we must remember where you are going and fight to get there.”

I can go on and on about what I learned on trek but you probably don’t want to read anymore. But I am so grateful for the trek and the blessing it has been and always will be in my life. We ended having to be rescued and it was amazing the amount of people that are always there willing and ready to save us.

I want to talk about my family for little bit. It was just amazing how after a few hours, we were able to love our family so deeply. I know it wasn’t some mistake that I had the people I had in my family. They are people I can love and depend on for the rest of my life. I was able to make eternal friends on the trek because we did hard things together.

I am grateful for our pioneer heritage who taught us what it truly means to do hard things.  They have helped me appreciate this gospel more deeply. I love my family (biological and trek) so much, I am so grateful that I get to spend eternity with my best friends. I know it is true. I know that Christ lived and died and lives again so that we don’t have to be alone. I know that life will be hard, but I know now that I can do hard things.

My brother Vince, quite the looker right?
My brother Vince, quite the looker right?
My brother Ben
My brother Ben
My Ma!
My Ma!
From the barn we stayed in the last night.
From the barn we stayed in the last night.
My brother Pedro!
My brother Pedro!
My sister Kristan!
My sister Kristan!
My Sister Paige!
My Sister Paige!

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My pain in the butt brother, Karson!
My pain in the butt brother, Karson!
My brother Patrick
My brother Patrick
The only person I got to say Goodbye to.
The only person I got to say Goodbye to.
My brother Skyler!
My brother Skyler!
My sweet sister Annie!
My sweet sister Annie!
My brothers, Pa, Grace and me.
My brothers, Pa, Grace and me.
Despite the rain my brothers playing baseball with pinecones and a stick.
Despite the rain my brothers playing baseball with pinecones and a stick.
Waiting for the rescuers.
Waiting for the rescuers.

June 6, 2015

“The temple is a point of intersection between heaven and earth. In this sacred place, holy work will be performed through selfless service and love. The temple reminds me of all that is good and beautiful in the world.”— Elder David A. Bednar

Photo Cred:// Mecayla Ramsey
Photo Cred:// Mecayla Ramsey

Today the Payson Utah Temple is dedicated. I had the opportunity to go to the open house of this beautiful temple. I got to explore every room and feel the spirit and the love of God in His house.

Being inside a temple after it is dedicated is a special priviledge that worthy members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to experience. It takes interviews and a recommend to get inside the sacred building. It has a minimum age requirement for specific ordinances performed.  During a temple Open House, anybody, members, nonmembers, young, old, anyone in the world can enter these sacred buildings and learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have the opportunity to see the beauties of the temple and feel the spirit that will be there because it the House of the Lord.

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In the temple, families are sealed to each other forever, people learn more about the Plan of Salvation and lives are saved. It may seem like a weird thing that LDS church does, it may seem like we keep secrets, and it may seem just scary for first time temple goers. But inside the temple SACRED not SECRET things are performed. Things that saves lives, families, and brings us closer to Heavenly Father. No other place on earth can one become more like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. During an open house you can see this sacred rooms and learn a little bit about the things promised because of the temple.

I fell in love with this temple the moment I saw it. It is perfect in every way. It is definitely the House of the Lord. It is the place that I always want to be and the place I will strive to always be worthy to enter.

here are some pictures that the church posted of the inside for those who didn’t get the opportunity to see:

http://www.sltrib.com/news/lds/2425147-155/photo-gallery-see-inside-paysons
http://www.sltrib.com/news/lds/2425147-155/photo-gallery-see-inside-paysons

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Because of the temple I have the opportunity to be with my family for eternity. I have the opportunity to become more and more like my Father in Heaven. I have the opportunity to learn more about my Plan that Heavenly Father and I have mapped out before I came to earth. I have the chance to be with my Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ again.

A little history blip.

“The Nauvoo Temple was the first in which ordinances such as eternal marriage and baptism for the dead were performed. This temple, which was such an integral part of the Lord’s work, was not completed before Joseph Smith died a martyr.

Construction of the Nauvoo Temple began in the spring of 1841 on a hilltop overlooking the Mississippi River. The Saints eagerly labored to receive the blessings promised by the Lord. In the baptismal font, dedicated nine months later, the Saints performed proxy baptisms in behalf of the dead.

Work on the temple continued at great sacrifice after the death of Joseph Smith, and portions of the temple were dedicated as they were completed. Between December 1845 and February 1846, nearly 6,000 Latter-day Saints received their endowments in this house of the Lord before moving west. The temple was dedicated in the spring of 1846.

After the Saints left Illinois, the temple was destroyed by fire and a tornado. The Church reacquired the temple lot in 1937 and rebuilt the Nauvoo Temple on its original site in 2002.”

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People died, sacrificed, and lived in order to build this temple. They fought for this temple to be built. They gave everything to have this temple. They soon would start a pioneer trek west to the Great Salt Lake to build a temple because they were being pushed out of Nauvoo. In Salt Lake they knew they would build a temple and build Zion once again. This trek killed many and many would die soon after arriving in Salt Lake. They knew this was a possibility. So why on earth would any one do it?

They did it because they knew it was true. They knew they needed the temple to be with their families for forever. They did it because they knew Heavenly Father had a Plan for them. They did it because they knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was (and still is) the only true church on earth! It is the only church on earth that has the power of God, given by God to do His work. They knew they had to.

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Today we may not have to die, or suffer, or be pushed out of our home because of our beliefs. We may not have to walk thousands of miles to not even know if we will make it to the temple. But we do have to fight. We have to fight to know the truth. We have to fight Satan and his tools in distracting us from attending the temple. We have to fight the temptations that will keep us from being worthy to enter the temple. We have to fight to make time to attend the temple. We have to fight to make our temple attendance our number one priority. But ultimately we have to decide because if we don’t decide that the temple is important you are fighting a losing battle.

I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple. I am grateful that I know that I can one day be with my family for eternity. I am grateful that I have a Father in Heaven that loves me enough to offer His world to me. I grateful for the temple and how it reminds me that there is so much more beauty in the world than we may ever understand. I know that the temple is worth fighting for and that is what I am doing. I am fighting to be worthy to enter the House of the Lord.

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April 15, 2015

My God is a universal God.

Today in my art class a poem was read. She was nervous, she was humble, she was scared. She read the poem and it expressed things she has gone through in her life, from being in the lowest of the low situations. She then talked about her Jesus, how He picked her up, how He gave her hope, how He loved her. She’s not LDS, and she doesn’t have to be because that is my Jesus too. That is the same Savior that died for me and died for her. So we can both be forgiven, lifted, and loved. It was beautiful that someone that does not have the restored gospel in her life still can bear testimony of pure, true, beautiful doctrine that as we turn to Christ, we listen to His words, trust Him, and call out His name, we have the chance to be forgiven, loved, and lifted.

I am so grateful for the light of Christ that is in EVERYONE, no matter who they are. That was the light of Christ that was within her. The Spirit was able to bear testimony of what she knew was true. What is true. Because of Christ, everyone can be forgiven, loved, and lifted. I am grateful for this lovely lady for bearing her testimony unknowingly and sharing with my class of who she knows Jesus Christ is to her and can be to others.

She inspires me to bear testimony at all times. People listen and people care. Because that light of Christ, that divinity that is within each one of them draws their heart and attention to truth, to Christ.

“Bear testimony at all times, and if necessary, use words.”- Joseph Smith

April 8, 2015

I’ve really slacked on blogging lately but here are some things that have been on my mind.

1.) General Conference was this last weekend and Oh! How beautiful it was! There were so many truly inspired talks. I was able to attend the Saturday morning session of conference. I didn’t come with questions like I normally do because all the questions I had, had been answered before conference came. But I did, however, come with an open heart ready to act on things that I heard and felt.

-First, I learned a lot about faith. “Be willing to take the risk because that is where faith comes in.” “Choose to believe it.” “Belief is an active choice, it is a test of sacrifice and trust.” Those are just a couple quotes from my journal, but through those I am gaining the courage to do some things that may scare me. A mission for example, I know that is what I am suppose to do but I also know it is going to be hard and scary but that’s okay, because I HAVE FAITH in my Father in Heaven’s Plan for me.

-Second, I had the opportunity to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead Friday night before conference. Oh! That was wonderful. I was able to open my mind and heart to receive God’s word. I was able to take the things I heard that weekend and apply it helping those around me, my future children, and the people I will teach on my mission.

-Third, I was able to receive a witness that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church will the fully restored gospel of Jesus Christ on earth today. That because it is, we do have a PROPHET OF GOD to teach us and help us know the will of God. I gained a pure testimony that we have a Prophet called of God to guide us in returning home to our Heavenly Father.

General Conference is one of the greatest blessing I can possible have and I am so grateful for the blessing of it. It is here to inspire us to be better, to love better, be true disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to help us know the path to return to our Father in Heaven.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/04?lang=eng

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This weekend was also Easter. The most beautiful and meaningful day of the whole year. The day we celebrate because we can try again. We celebrate that we can try again but without Jesus Christ this would NOT be possible. Christ was beaten, torn, bruised, mocked, denied, and left alone so that we can try again. The only perfect person to walk the earth in all of history, died and suffered for us. He did this because He LOVES us more than any one can ever imagine. Not only did he die and suffer for us but He also lived. He lived before death perfectly as an example and a light for us to strive to replicate. But He also lived after death, He rose again on the third day so that we too can live again. We can return to our Father in Heaven, we can be with our family again, and we can be just like Him one day. Because He lives, I can do hard things because I can try again and again and again. “So today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced—to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins. That victory is available to us because of events that transpired on a weekend precisely like this nearly two millennia ago in Jerusalem.

Beginning in the spiritual anguish of the Garden of Gethsemane, moving to the Crucifixion on a cross at Calvary, and concluding on a beautiful Sunday morning inside a donated tomb, a sinless, pure, and holy man, the very Son of God Himself, did what no other deceased person had ever done nor ever could do. Under His own power, He rose from death, never to have His body separated from His spirit again. Of His own volition, He shed the burial linen with which He had been bound, carefully putting the burial napkin that had been placed over His face “in a place by itself,”10 the scripture says.

That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.” – Elder Holland.

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-04-1010-he-lives-celebrate-easter-because-jesus-christ-lives?category=topics/easter&lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/where-justice-love-and-mercy-meet?lang=eng&media=video#watch=video

March 28, 2015

General Women’s Conference.

Miracles happened in the old testament, miracles happened in the New Testament, miracles happened in the Book of Mormon, but they didn’t stop there.

Nessa and I went to women’s conference without tickets. We planned on standing in the standby line to try to get tickets. We find a lady on temple square and she asks us if we were in the standby line and we tell her we were trying to find it. One thing led to another and Nessa and I find it and this lady comes back and we let her and her daughter in front of us. We are standing waiting in line and a lady ask Susan (our new found friend) if she needs 3 tickets.. exactly the amount Nessa and I need for us and Melinda. She accepts them and then offers them to us. We insist she keeps them. The joy and love from her daughter and herself is totally worth giving away our chance at Women’s Conference.

We are waiting in the tabernacle, first in line, praying that we get tickets for this conference. Eight minutes before the conference starts , a kind elderly man with a gentle smile comes up and asks us to come with him. We follow and and get out the door and he hands us three tickets! Heavenly Father blessed us and answered our prayers.

It was a blessing to attend Women’s Conference and it was a blessing to meet Susan and her daughter.

Love. Pray. Have Faith. Believe in Jesus Christ and Believe Jesus Christ. Make Friends. Trust. Live.

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March 26, 2015

The House of the Lord

I am in Provo. Today Vanessa Harris and I went to the Provo temple to do baptisms for the dead.

There were at least 50-65 people in the room. The baptismal font was closed off by glass and the glass was soundproof. I sat in the pews waiting for my turn. I began to read in the Book of Mormon. I read about Captain Moroni and what kind of man he was. I read about the cities he fortified and the people he loved and defended. I read about the 2,000 stripling warriors, their courage, faith, love, and devotion to not only the Lord but their parents. They fought with courage and trusting that the Lord would deliver them.They put their faith in God’s Plan and did not doubt.

While sitting in the pews I received some very important personal revelation that I will share. The temple is how we become comfortable in the Celestial Kingdom. It is literally God’s house, it is where He lives. God also lives in the Celestial Kingdom. So what better way do we have to prepare for the Celestial Kingdom than the temple. Like the temple, one doesn’t have to be perfect to live in the Celestial Kingdom, they just have to be worthy and striving to be perfect. As we attend the temple we are becoming familiar to what it will feel like and maybe what it will look like while in the Celestial Kingdom. The symbols, the feelings, the sounds, the reverence that are in the temple are similar to what living with the Father will be like.

I want to live my live so that I am ALWAYS worthy to enter the Lord’s House.

Strive to be worthy to always hold a temple recommend and you will know that, even though you’re not perfect, you’re on the right path.

The temple is my favorite place to be.

I love to see the temple. I love to be in it. And soon I will make covenants with my Father in the House of the Lord.

I left the temple and the sun was just setting. It was perfect. I knew I have a Father in Heaven with a Plan for me. I knew that is where I needed to be. I knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint is the true church on earth.

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March 14, 2015

I was reading Alma 28: 8 and it is explaining Ammon and his brother’s experience on their mission and this is what it says, “And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever.”

I love this because so much of our time is focused on our sorrows, suffering and affliction here on earth, but we don’t remember the results of a faithful life even through the hard times. We forget that we can have incomprehensible joy, safety from Satan, and have the Savior with us forever.

“What possible pearl could be worth such a price—for Him and for us? This earth is not our home. We are away at school, trying to master the lessons of “the great plan of happiness” so we can return home and know what it means to be there. Over and over the Lord tells us why the plan is worth our sacrifice—and His. Eve called it “the joy of our redemption.”Jacob called it “that happiness which is prepared for the saints.” Of necessity, the plan is full of thorns and tears—His and ours. But because He and we are so totally in this together, our being “at one” with Him in overcoming all opposition will itself bring us ‘incomprehensible joy.'” – Bruce C. Hafen (General Conference April, 2004)

March 9, 2015

This is my talk from this last Sunday and it just sums up what I love about church and why I love it so much.

In 3 Nephi 11 Christ visited the people of the American continent and in verse 13-15 it reads, “And it came to pass that the aLord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world. And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.” He invited each one of them to come one by one and see with their eyes and feel with their hand so they knew that He did complete the Atonement for each one of them individually.

In the 2012 October conference Walter F. Gonzales said, “This commandment is just as important for us today as it was for them in their day. As we come unto Christ, we can feel and “know of a surety”—not with our hands and eyes but with all our heart and mind—that Jesus is the Christ.” So Christ has extended that invitation to us as well, but why would we do this? Personally I can think of a few reasons  that I have found for myself why I want to do this, but one that has changed my life is, that by coming to Him one by one we are able to feel of His love for us. One of the most important ways I have found that I can come unto Him is every Sunday through the Sacrament. Elder Holland recounted a dream that Elder Orson F. Whitney had, he says, ““One night I dreamed … that I was in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony. … I stood behind a tree in the foreground. … Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, He passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed … : ‘Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt.“As He prayed the tears streamed down His face, which was [turned] toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I wept also, out of pure sympathy with His great sorrow. My whole heart went out to Him. I loved Him with all my soul and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else. “Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or scolding, asked them if they could not watch with Him one hour. …” Sacrament is the remembrance of our Savior’s suffering. It is our time to watch with Him.

Sacrament an hour in which we can pray to our Heavenly Father in a more meaningful way. Prayer is fundamental at all times, but the Spirit present in that hour of the sacrament is an opportunity to elevate ourselves closer to Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we focus our thoughts on the Lord, it is, in a way, accompanying Him at the moment of the agony He endured when taking upon Himself our sins. It is a time to acknowledge the pain He suffered for us. We are able feel the overwhelming love of our Savior Jesus Christ during Sacrament, we can be with Him, and know for ourselves His love of us.

Sacrament is our time to feel complete forgiveness of our sins. Partaking of the sacrament is crucial to our journey of Enduring to the End. It is our time once a week to start again, and to try again harder with more strength to accomplish the thing we have set our hearts out to do. I know as I have tried to focus more of being with my Savior during Sacrament I am able to feel more deeply His love for me. I am able to know with a certainty that He is my Savior and that it is through Him that we feel our Father’s love and how we can feel peace and feel forgiveness of our sins. The Savior did die for me, and He died for you so that we don’t have to suffer through this life if we live our lives right and apply the Atonement regularly. Sacrament means everything to me and I am grateful for the special hour set aside to be with my Savior in the time none were with Him. Sacrament reassures me that I always have someone there for me, because He took the time in the Garden of Gethsemene to know us One by one and sacrament is our time to get to know Him more deeply and more personally. I know the Father sent Jesus Christ so that we can feel the peace of His forgiveness and so that we can, one day, return to our Father in Heaven. I bear witness that Christ is our Savior and our only way of feeling complete forgiveness of our sins and returning with our Father.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

February 24, 2015 

I believe that God does answer your prayers, unspoken or not. I know He dies hear them and He so excited for you to receive those answers. I also know that sometimes you have to be patient while finding those answers. God has His own timing and it is absolutely perfect. I know that one day you’ll look back on all those “unanswered prayers” and find that He was answering them the whole time with all the little things. I believe prayer works. 

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