What’s more important?


What’s more important?
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As you think of your commitments, you’ve made to the Lord, what in your life is more important to you than keeping those commitments?
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I listened to a talk today and the following statement was made, “we will not be safe until we have given our hearts to the Lord—until we have learned to do what we have promised.” Elder F. Burton Howard.
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As members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are many promises and covenants we make. The standards we uphold may seem too challenging to the expectation of the world.
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Many members of our faith disagree and argue these standards—they simply do not understand. They have not learned to do what they have promised or covenanted with the Lord.
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The promises and covenants YOU have once made are not up for debate because YOU decide they should be re-evaluated. Do you hold a temple recommend?
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The church released updates to these questions January 2020 and can be found on the church website for review.
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Here is a question where there is much debate among the members. “Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?” This question is not up for debate. It’s a yes or a no.
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What in your life is more important than keeping that covenant? Have you learned to do what you promised? No one else but you made that commitment to the Lord.
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Here is another question. “Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?”
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What in your life is more important than keeping that covenant? Have you learned to do what you promised? No one else but you made that commitment to the Lord.
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There was a modification to another highly debated question amongst members. “Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?”
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Not only are we asked to obey the Word of Wisdom, but we are asked if we understand that which we are being asked to obey.
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What’s more important to you? Obeying your covenants and being obedient so you can hear Him or argue and becoming frustrated because you have yet to learn what you have promised the Lord you would do?
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Be safe in the Lord by understanding and keeping the commitments you promised Him. Hear Him!

There is peace in Christ

There is peace in Christ.
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There really is. As I listen and read the lyrics of this song, it immediately brings a sense of belonging—when there is no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.
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“Listen to His words, let them come alive.”
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How do you read the scriptures? Do you they come alive for you? Do you feel peace in Christ when you study them?
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When He said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Does that come alive to you?
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When He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” Does that come alive to you?
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When He said, “But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Does that come alive to you?
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When He said, “Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you.” Does that come alive to you?
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The scriptures should come alive to you as you study them and pray for them to open your minds and your hearts. Ask the Lord for the spirit to be with you as you study.
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There is no point to have the scriptures and study them if you’re not going to pray for guidance while doing so.
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As a police officer, I have tools and equipment to do my job. I am ready to do the job but if I don’t pick up the radio and communicate with dispatch and ask them details, I will go into a situation blind. They give me answers I can’t see and do not know from my current locations.
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They protect me as I do my job and provide knowledge and security.
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It’s the same thing with a loving Heavenly Father. He is my spiritual lifeline. I have the tools to do the job but they are of no use to me if I don’t ask Him for revelation to guide me into the unknown.
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There is peace in Christ and He wants His words to come alive to us.
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He has a message for you if you will hear Him!
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Art by Jon McNaughton

How would it be to walk with Christ?


How would it be to walk with Christ?
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I often try to visualize what it would be like if I walked along side the Savior. What would I ask Him? Would I talk too much or would I just listen to Him? Would He talk to me or would He want for me to engage and drive our conversation?
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There are so many questions I have for Him, not questions that question His Gospel, but more clarifying questions. I visualize myself understanding His responses and listening intently like a little child—eager to listen and learn.
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There are many things I simply don’t understand at this point in my life. I’ve prayed for many things and have faith they will be answered at the appropriate time.
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I have asked Him things in my youth, and I am just now receiving answers to them. Again, the Lord doesn’t always provide the answer to your demand when you want Him to. Everything is at His time, and His timing is perfect.
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I imagine my time being a time of peace and purpose. I visualize my fear being gone and my time with Him being complete joy and happiness.
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I visualize Him comforting others and me wanting to do the same.
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Brothers and Sisters, as the New Year approaches, try to visualize what the year would be like if you walked with Christ every single day.
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I honestly believe as we visualize great things, great things come to pass. He may not be physically or visually present, but He is with you and His spirit is guiding you.
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Make Him part of your daily routine. Think of Him as you rise in the morning, as you drive to work or other activities, and as you spend time with your families, friends, or as you’re by yourself.
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As we include Him in our everyday routine, He will teach you how to walk like He did. You’ll have a burning desire to walk like He did. You’ll become more like Him.
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I’m grateful for my Savior and my time I spend getting to know Him more and more. He loves us.
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Hear Him!
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Art by Greg Olsen

You’re not a lost cause and Christ loves you.

You’re not a lost cause and Christ loves you.
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I have family members, friends, and other loved ones who feel they’ve messed up so bad that there is no hope for them.
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That is an absolute fallacious testimony. There is only one person who wants you to believe you’re a lost cause in the eyes of your Creator, and that’s Lucifer.
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Your Father in Heaven loves you, and he is going to love you. He wants you to stop those thoughts and turn to Him.
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“The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless” (D&C 1:31–32), the Lord said, “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).
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I love my family members and friends. Repent and become clean. The Lord is waiting. Elder Packer taught us the following.
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“Some are led by curiosity into temptation, then into experimentation, and some become trapped in addiction. They lose hope. The adversary harvests his crop and binds them down.
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Satan is the deceiver, the destroyer, but his is a temporary victory.
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The angels of the devil convince some that they are born to a life from which they cannot escape and are compelled to live in sin.
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The most wicked of lies is that they cannot change and repent and that they will not be forgiven. That cannot be true. They have forgotten the Atonement of Christ.
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“For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him” (D&C 18:11).
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Christ is the Creator, the Healer. What He made, He can fix. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of repentance and forgiveness (see 2 Ne. 1:13; 2 Ne. 9:45; Jacob 3:11; Alma 26:13–14; Moro. 7:17–19).”.
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He loves you and will ways provide the way to Him; hear Him!
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Art by @alyssadawnart

We may be small in size but we are mighty in testimony.

We may be small in size but we are mighty in testimony.
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I read an honest question from an individual this morning. The question was as follows.
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“Why are there only 16 million members in a world of 7.73 billion people? Shouldn’t there be more?”
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Here is my response to this.
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I would say this… How wonderful it is we have 16 million members and growing. As we continue to see, the size of membership doesn’t stop the work from progressing.
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Let’s remember what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught in Kirtland, Ohio in 1834.
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“Brethren, I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap.
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You don’t comprehend it. It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.”
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As we can see, The Prophet Joseph Smith saw our day. The church is and continues to fill North and South America and the World. He never gave a number on membership, but prophesied the membership to fill the world.
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Don’t forget, when Christ comes, it isn’t the end, and it isn’t the final day of judgement. Tons to be accomplished prior to that day. The restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue through the millennial period. It’s not all going to be accomplished prior to the Lord’s second coming.
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“In the final day, when all is done and accomplished according to the divine purpose – after all men, the sons of perdition included, have risen from death to life and have become immortal – all men will stand before the bar of God in a final day of judgment. The eventual destiny of all men will have been determined before that day, but then the final and irrevocable decrees will be issued as pertaining to every living soul. (The Millennial Messiah, p.515).”
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“We’re witnesses to a process of restoration. There is much more to come. … Wait till next year. And then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It’s going to be exciting.”
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Hear Him!

The Standard of Truth

The Standard of Truth.
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It won’t be the first or the last time members of the church are mocked and persecuted. The same deceitful type of man will fight all their days to bring down the truth as did the men and women in Joseph Smiths’ time.
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They were angry with Joseph Smith and called him a liar and a fraud, but they still believed him enough that they wanted to follow him and steal the gold plates from him—Moroni warned Joseph of this.
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I presume the same people who fight relentlessly against the church today would do the same. They believe it enough to keep up the good fight, and if Joseph Smith, the gold plates, or angels were visiting today, they’d want to come to check it out.
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Our message is simple—pray and ask God yourself. If you believe in God, He will manifest the truth of it unto you. If it’s false, He will do the same.
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God also wants His children to be happy. If you find what the Book of Mormon has to offer is false, then leave it alone and move on until you find what God reveals to be true to you. On the other hand, if you find it to be true, be brave, and share your testimony with the world.
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God has never asked us to bring down other religions or mock members of other faiths. He has asked us to love one another.
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Why be miserable the rest of your days to prove to others your unbelief? If the Book of Mormon leads your friends and family members to do good and wholesome things, why chastise them for that? Commend them for their excellent works. Be proud that they have found happiness.
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I can testify to you that the Book of Mormon has never steered me wrong. It makes me ponder about Jesus Christ and makes me want to do better. It gives me hope that I can be forgiven and teaches me how to be pure in heart.
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There will always be naysayers and those who want to “steal your gold bible.” Why? Because you have something that the adversary doesn’t want you to have.
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The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing…
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Hear Him!

The Prophets message

The Prophets message.
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If you haven’t had a chance to read the new Liahona for January 2021, I recommend you take some time and enjoy the peace that President Nelson brings—Grow into the Principle of Revelation.
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How in tune are we with the spirit, and do we follow the promptings when they come? President Nelson followed a prompting that took him directly to the hospital after morning general conference in 2017. Ten minutes after his arrival, his friend and Apostle of the Lord, Elder Hales, passed away.
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I want to emphasize a few of my takeaways in this article from the Prophet.
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“The Lord is ready to reveal His mind to us.”
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How do we hear Him?
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First, we immerse ourselves in the scriptures.
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Next, we pray.
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Then we listen.
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I’ve mentioned the following before and will do it over and over again. This is directly from the Prophet.
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“If we will stay on our knees for a while after we finish our prayer, thoughts, feelings, and direction will come into our mind.”
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What can you do next? I’ll tell you what I do next. I write the impressions that come to my mind. “Recording those impressions will help us remember what actions the Lord would have us take.”
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I don’t record everything here on Instagram, but I do take it very seriously. I study, I pray, and I listen to what the Lord would have me write to benefit someone for the day.
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My favorite quote from the Liahona article was this, “When we receive revelation, we spend time in the presence of God as He reveals His mind, will, and voice unto us (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:4).”
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I have enjoyed being in the presence of the Lord during this challenging 2020 year. Writing these articles has allowed soothing balm for my troubled waters. I pray you all have or soon will find peace of mind and comfort in your soul.
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Hear Him!

For God so loved the World

For God so Loved the World.
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Today is Christmas day. The Savior of the world made His entrance, and thousands of years later, we still celebrate His birth.
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Not only do we celebrate His birth, but we recognize His divine nature as the Son of God.
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How would you react today if a sign was given to you that the Savior was here on earth? Would you recognize it, and would you care? Would you be in tune with the spirit, the scriptures, and the current teachings of the Prophets and Apostles?
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Over the past few weeks, we have turned our direction specifically to the Savior. It’s been a great month to feel the love of kindness and charitable acts. We’ve needed a boost to our spirits after an exciting yet, trying year.
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I can imagine we have all gone through our own personal “2020” prior to this year. We can be sure of this – We will continue to receive challenges, and our faith will continually be tried.
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We have experienced something special and unique throughout this year. Do you know what it is? We have gone through this together. What else have we gone through together? The War in Heaven.
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I can imagine it was a sorrowful time. Many of our brothers and sisters decided against the Plan of Salvation. They chose not to follow our Father in Heaven’s Plan. They elected to follow Lucifer and reject Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer.
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Brother’s and Sister’s, 2020 has been a sorrowful time for many; however, It has also brought great strengths. It’s exposed many talents and has been an incredible battle. I can imagine we have leaned on each other more than we have realized this year – Maybe very similar to how we worked together during the War in Heaven.
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Guess what? We will continue to fight the adversary, but we have the creator of the world right by our side. He is battling with us, and he has already conquered death. There is no one greater than He!
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“For Unto Us a Child is Born; The everlasting Father; The Humble Prince of Peace.”
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Merry Christmas!
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Hear Him!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve!
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I want to wish you all what was once and remains an unforgettable night 🌟. May we turn our thoughts to Luke 1:26-35.
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And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.
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To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
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And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
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And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
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And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
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And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
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He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.
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And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
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Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
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And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
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Hear Him!

The gift of freedom

The Gift of Freedom.
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I’m grateful this time of year for the gift of freedom and for all the armed forces who fought for freedom and still fight for freedom.
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Those who disagree with me and do not believe freedom is a gift, well, you’re mistaken. If you didn’t participate, you didn’t earn it. The brave men and women who sacrificed their lives, they gifted you your freedom.
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A prior Chief police of mine posted this photo. As I looked at the photo, it brought gratitude to my heart and mind.
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Matthew 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
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Why is America so important, and why do we fight for our freedoms in this land?
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Because there is a God, and in Him, there is trust. This Land is sacred ground, and our forefathers and founders of this Nation were guided here for an important reason—the restoration of the Gospel.
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Elder Holland reminds us, “The most sacred of places, will always be those locations which God has designated for holy and eternal purposes, locations where he is the “doer of the deed.”
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”These places are revered forever by his faithful children wherever they may be. America is such a place.”
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“The choicest part of this earthly creation was a garden “eastward in Eden” where God placed our first parents, Adam and Eve.”
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“This resplendent place filled with paradisiacal glory was located on that part of the land mass where the city Zion, or the New Jerusalem of the earth’s last days, would eventually be built. (See D&C 57:1–3, D&C 84:1–3; and Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:74.)”
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This Land was a gift to to us, to freely worship the God we love. In return, our Military personal and Law Enforcement officers protect the gift we have been given.
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I am grateful for the gift of freedom and the opportunity to live in the Nation where the gift of mortal life began. As you think of your freedom, turn your heart and mind to those who provide you the opportunities you have. Hear Him!

Work on your Gospel communication skills.

Work on your Gosepl communication skills.
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”You’re one to talk.” I’m just getting that out there, now, for anyone who knows me. As I’ve said in the past, I like to write about things that I need to work on myself.
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I am not perfect at any of these posts. That’s part of the reason I enjoy making them—they are personal reminders.
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I am in a position at work where I have no choice but to remain impartial on political matters and many other situations—I’m a peacemaker. My goal is to solve conflict and reach a peaceful solution.
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I can’t do this unless I am level headed and think outside of the box.
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My personal opinion is this—to succeed in life; we need to have good judgment and common sense. As we work on these two things, our communication skills will be more effective, enhance our reliability with others, and we’ll have a more efficient dialogue.
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I think of Jesus Christ and why He was so compelling to listen to. Besides the fact He is God, He spoke with absolute certainty. There was no hesitation in His message. He spoke nothing but the truth and honesty.
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You may ask why He was crucified, and if He was so convincing, why didn’t He convince everyone of the truth?
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There are several reasons, the most prominent being agency, but I believe He was so convincing of the truth that others were too angry. They were too afraid to do what was right, based on the ”societal consequences” that would follow if they did.
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The truth hurts, and many individuals have a hard time accepting facts. They don’t want to hear it, even when they know it’s right.
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Why do some members of the Church have a hard time sharing the Gospel? Fear of rejection. Fear of being shunned. Fear of losing friends or family. Fear of communication. There are numerous reasons.
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Some people will never accept the truth, even when they know it’s true. That should never stop us from working on our communication skills. The more we try, the more we will learn about ourselves and our abilities. As we practice sharing the Gospel, we will become better communicators.
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He will make our ”mouth like a sharp sword.” 1 Ne 21:2. Hear Him!

The power of Jesus Christ

The power of Jesus Christ.
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Take a minute and imagine for a second what we learn in third and fourth Nephi?
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What can we see happening? Well, we see all of the blessings of the Nephites as they overcame selfishness. They prospered in absolute and perfect righteousness.
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How long? Four generations!! Who does not desire for this to happen now?
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“And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.
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And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Ne. 1:3, 16.)
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How was this possible?
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”Therefore, I would that ye should behold that the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that he did show himself unto them oft, and did break bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them.” 3 Nephi 26:13.
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This was such an incredible period of time. One of the best scriptures follows the above.
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In verse 14, “And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than he had revealed unto the people; and he loosed their tongues that they could utter.”
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Focus on the children. Mormon tells us what happened to the children. Christ allowed the little children to speak things He didn’t even speak. What an incredible moment. The child revealing things to the adults that Christ didn’t even tell.
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Children know Heavenly things. Things Christ doesn’t even reveal unto the people. We can learn so much from them about the mysteries of Heaven if we are listening.
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As we move into the Christmas season, look at how magical it is for the children. Why is it so magical? Maybe because they left a magical place not too long ago, and it’s still all so real to them. The power and authority of Jesus Christ is comforting and compelling. Hear Him!
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Art by David Lindsley

Do the right thing at the right time.


Do the right thing at the right time.
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I remember being left behind as my brother and our friends left on their Latter-day Saint missions. I was always the youngest of our group and the last to go on my mission.
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As I was preparing to leave on my mission, my brother and my friends were just about to return home. It was almost a four-year overlap that my older brother and I didn’t see each other.
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This was a difficult period in my life. My brother and I are eighteen months apart in age, and we were and remain very best friends to this day.
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One of the most important things I’ve learned through that process was this, “In all the important decisions in our lives, what is most important is to do the right thing. Second, and only slightly behind the first, is to do the right thing at the right time.” Elder Oaks.
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My brother and my friends chose to do the right thing for themselves. My older brother served in the Kenya, Nairobi mission; my little brother served in the Chile, Rancagua mission. I served in the Florida, Orlando mission.
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For us, it was the right timing. For others, it may have been a different situation.
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Elder Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was unable to serve a proselytizing mission for the Church. He went to war with the North Korean Army at the age of 17.
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He wanted to serve a mission with his wife and planned to do so, but the Governor called him to the Supreme Court of Utah. He planned to do so with his wife after his time on the Supreme Court, but he was called the Quorum of the Twelve.
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“My words are sure and shall not fail…but all things must come to pass in their time” (D&C 64:31–32).
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We are asked to have faith. So, as we have faith, let’s have faith in the Lord’s timing.
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Elder Maxwell said this, ”Since faith in the timing of the Lord may be tried, let us learn to say not only, ‘Thy will be done,’ but patiently also, ‘Thy timing be done.”
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We lose loved ones, and it may seem too soon for us, but it’s the Lord’s timing. We don’t have to understand; we just need to trust Him. Hear Him, and His timing will make sense.
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He came into the world at the right time, and He will return at the right time.
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Art David Bowman

Don’t quit; you’re so close!

Don’t quit; you’re so close!
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Have you ever attempted something new?
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It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be a new sport, activity, driving, program at work, being a new mom or dad, fostering children, building a home, working out, or maybe a career.
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Have you given it your best and felt like your best wasn’t good enough, or someone made you feel like you’re not doing it well enough?
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Then, after you’ve given it, your all, you feel like it would be best just to give up and throw in the towel.
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How many of us have been in that situation or are currently in that situation? I know I have been, and in many cases, I’m still fighting my battles.
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Personal experience provides forward momentum.
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If you’ve never been in this situation, don’t worry, you’ll have your turn.
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So, how do I continue to move forward when things prove to be too difficult or impossible? Experience—Experience is what provides hope that everything will work itself out.
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Time has proven in my life that things have a way of working themselves out. They always do; however, you have to include the Lord in your activities. How do I know that? Experience.
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I would love to quote all of section 122:5-8 of the Doctrine and Covenants, but I’ll only use verse 7-8 for lack of space.
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“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
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The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
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Hear Him and don’t quit; you’re so close!

May our gifts be given in compassion.

May our gifts be given in compassion.
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Tis’ the season of giving. As we think of our families, friends, and loved ones, let’s also think of the gifts we are about to give.
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Are our gifts given with true love and compassion, or are they merely out of pity and for self-satisfaction?
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How many of us have been on the receiving end or giving end of a careless gift? How did it make you feel inside?
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It’s easy, and I’m guilty of it myself; however, there is still time to think of a gift to someone that you can give in compassion. I challenge you to make that effort.
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What are the principles taught by the Savior, Jesus Christ? Let me help remind all of us by sharing something President Thomas A Monson once shared.
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Let it be a time that lights the eyes of children and puts laughter on their lips.
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Let it be a time for lifting the lives of those who live in loneliness.
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Let it be a time for calling our families together, for feeling a closeness to those who are near to us and a closeness also to those who are absent.
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Let it be a time of prayers for peace, for the preservation of free principles, and for the protection of those who are far from us.
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Let it be a time of forgetting self and finding time for others.
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Let it be a time for discarding the meaningless and for stressing the true values.
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Let it be a time of peace because we have found peace in His teachings.
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Most of all, let it be a time to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the Wise Men.
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As we are seven days away from Christmas, may we all find ways to hear Him!

Keep the law of God

Keep the law of God.
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Do you trust your Heavenly Father? It comes down to just that.
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I trust my own dad here on earth because he has always steered me in the right direction. I didn’t necessarily understand why he had his kids do certain things sometimes, & he never really gave an answer—he just expected us to listen. I respected my dad & still do.
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Likewise, with our Heavenly Father. He has given direction & He expects us to follow. He doesn’t always give us an immediate answer, but it’s His will, not ours. He answers in His own due time.
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What happens when we follow a law of God and why should we?
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“Every law God has given us is of such a nature that by keeping it, we are preserved, perfected & sanctified. If we keep the word of wisdom, our bodies will be kept pure.
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If we observe the law of tithing we shall learn to be unselfish and honest.
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If we pray, we shall hold communion with the holy spirit.
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If we try to do our duty in everything, we shall come day by day nearer to perfection.
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It is only when we try to obey God’s laws that we have claim upon His mercy. Justice will take into account in the judgment every honest effort to do the will of God.” (Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, Doctrine & Covenants Commentary, Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 546.)
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There is always a blessing that follows a law we decide to obey. There is also misfortune when we decide not to—It’s your choice.
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So often, I hear, ”Why do we have to do this, and why do we have to do that?” You don’t have to do anything. You get to choose to do those things. It’s God’s law, & you need to stop questioning it.
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What’s a little coffee compared to a large soda? I don’t know, but I do know this, I don’t care. God asked me to obey what Him, & that’s what I’ll do. Stop questioning the supreme creator of your body and spirit.
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If you don’t like it, then don’t do it. You can accept the misfortune that comes along with it. If you trust God and do as He commands & expects, you will reap the rewards and blessings that come from your obedience.
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Stop challenging the Lord. Why, why, why?
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Start accepting His will—”I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands…”
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Hear Him!

If you’re reading this post, you’re hopeful


If you’re reading this post, you’re hopeful.
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I’m not saying my posts are going to give you the answers to your questions, but I hope they can give you some perspective. I also enjoy reading through your comments.
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Why do I read posts similar to mine? Hope. I am hopeful I will be able to learn about Jesus Christ. I am hopeful I will be able to bring light into my life for the day. I am hopeful I will be inspired to do good in the world.
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I read the Liahona Magazine, my scriptures, and other church material for hope. Heaven has hope that we will be able to overcome the challenges of this world. A loving Heavenly Father didn’t send a bunch of losers into the world to fail.
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We are His children, and He loves us. Think about that. He sent you and I where we are for a reason. It’s up to us to go figure it out and we can have hope in the discovery.
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He knows what He is doing with us. I believe there is a reason we are placed in unpredictable situations sometimes. It can be an opportunity for us to discover on our own. When things are unexpected, we are able to use our minds and talents to figure out the situation. We grow as we do. The unknown can give us hope.
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The Disciples of Christ followed Him; they were able to face the unknown because they trusted Christ. There is a light inside of your heart, and it will give you hope to go into the unknown.
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That light is the light of Christ. The Light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.”
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“Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God” (Ether 12:4).
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Hear Him!
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Art By Jay Bryant Ward @altusfineart

The Lord will open our eyes if we are willing to see.

The Lord will open our eyes if we are willing to see.
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Last night I took my wife on a small date. It really wasn’t much, but it lead us to a great conversation and an interesting thought.
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How open are our eyes? Do we have faith enough in our current circumstances to see that the Lord is giving us an idea of what eternal life could look like?
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At the end of March, the First Presidency closed the doors to the Temple. Were you ready for that? Were you spiritually prepared for what was going to happen? Was your lamp full?
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How many times have you said, “I sure miss the temple and wish I could attend.”
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The thought processed through my mind as I talked to my wife. It went something like this…
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There are three kingdoms of glory: the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and the telestial kingdom.
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The glory we inherit will depend on the depth of our conversion, expressed by our obedience to the Lord’s commandments.
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Our goal is to inherit the highest degree of Glory—the celestial kingdom.
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Here on earth we have temples and inside those temples exist the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial rooms.
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Our goal during this life is to be obedient to the Lord’s commandments and to be temple worthy, holding a temple recommend.
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It’s been painful and challenging for many of us. Not being able to enter the temples of the Lord during this pandemic has opened my eyes.
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The Lord has personally reminded me of what it may look like in Heaven if I don’t live up to my covenants I made with Him.
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I don’t want to be left out. I don’t want to inherit a kingdom of glory and wish I had done better to inherit the highest degree of glory.
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The Lord has personally given me this reminder. I want to go to the temple and hear Him. I also have a stronger and more burning desire to do my best in this life.
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I don’t like being told I can’t go to the temple and I know I won’t like being told I can’t enter the celestial kingdom. This has been a great reminder and an opportunity to open my eyes.

Christ provides healing comfort through adoption.

Christ provides healing comfort through adoption.
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On December 17th, 2016, our two nieces (Ren & Rilan) were sealed to our eternal family.
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I’m eternally grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity to be together, not only in this life but through eternity.
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The girls miss their mommy, and so do we, but the power of Christ’s atonement has provided healing comfort through the process.
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Adoption is something I never thought of growing up and as difficult as this may be for those involved, my wife and I knew adoption may afford a greater opportunity for these two children to live a life of happiness.
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There is a photo that depicts a little child sitting on the Savior’s knee, and the child is looking up to Him. As I considered adoption, this photo came to my mind over and over again.
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It didn’t take me long to realize these children came straight from a loving Heavenly Father, and He needed us to continue raising them, so they could help complete His work on this earth.
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It wasn’t about my needs or my wants. It wasn’t about my wife’s needs or her wishes. It was about the mission of our Heavenly Father—His will and His plan.
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Everything in this world is His. Nothing belongs to us. We are all His children, and He has asked us to look after and protect His flock.
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As we put aside our personal desires and seek our spiritual needs and the desires of our Father in Heaven, we will begin to see the eternal picture.
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As we consider adoption, may we consider the following.
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BRIGHAM YOUNG: “If any of the Gentiles will believe, we will lay our hands upon them that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and the Lord will make them of the house of Israel. They will be broken off from the wild olive tree, and be grafted into the good and tame olive tree, and will partake of its sap and fatness. … It is so with the House of Israel and the Gentile nations; if the Gentiles are grafted into the good olive tree they will partake of its root and fatness.” (Journal of Discourses, 2:269.)
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I’m eternally grateful for the gift of adoption and the trust my sister-in-law had in my wife and I before she passed away.
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We will see you soon, Alexis.
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Hear Him!

The Savior is for everyone!

The Savior is for everyone!
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Do you realize what a Savior means? Think about it for a moment. The literal Son of God, the Only Begotten by the Father.
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Something is begotten when it’s been generated by procreation — in other words, it’s been fathered. Wow!!
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Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Savior of the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” John 3:18.
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I mean think of this—How do so many believe in an individual without ever seeing Him? Imagine the impact He had on the people during His earthy ministry.
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His impact was so incredible that His ministry continues to influence billions of people!
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Two questions for us to consider in our minds and hearts.
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How is this so if He wasn’t the Son of God?
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What convinces and testifies to us that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
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To answer these questions, let’s ponder a scripture in Matthew 11:27, “All ​​​things​ are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither ​​​knoweth​ any man the Father, save the Son, ​​​and​ ​he​ to whomsoever the Son will ​​​reveal​ ​him.”
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So, how do we come to know God the Father and how do we know Jesus Christ was the Son of God? What convinces and testifies to us that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and the Son of God?
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John 17:3, “No man can know that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost”
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There we have it. The Holy Ghost! This is how and why—Thousands of years later, after the death of Christ, billions of us still celebrate His birth.
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The spirit of the Lord, the Holy Ghost, has penetrated the hearts of mankind since the very beginning.
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The Savior is for everyone! He will lead us home to His Father—our Father! He only asks us to hear Him, and He will guide the way.
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Art by Yongsung Kim

Be about the Father’s Business

Be about the Father’s business.
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There is so much contention in the world. When such contention arises, we often want to retaliate or fire back with our own words—proving others wrong.
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Who cares? Let it be. Leave it alone and be about our Father in Heaven’s work.
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There is no need to do anything. Success comes when we conduct our business with conviction. We can even do so in a professional and calming manner.
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How? Well, practice. Study the prophets and apostles. Study the life of Christ and emulate them—do as they would.
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One of my favorite scriptures teaches us what happens when we conduct ourselves in a Christlike manner.
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“And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul.” Hel. 5:30.
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We can all do this, it’s not always human nature, but we can do it. I promise, if I can tame my tongue, you can do the same. I’m very outspoken and have strong opinions. Over the years, I’ve become a little more gentle to my approach; however, it’s a daily practice—perfect practice makes perfect.
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“There never has been a time when it is more important for us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to take a stand, remain firm in our convictions, and conduct ourselves wisely under all circumstances. We must not be manipulated or enraged by those who subtly foster contention over issues of the day.” Marvin J. Ashton.
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One last scripture I’ll leave for our reminder.
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“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
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“Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.” (3 Ne. 11:29, 30.)
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How are we doing as members of the church or those of you from other faiths? Are we setting this example? How are we doing as followers of Christ?
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Hear Him!

Ride the Storm

Ride the Storm.
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There are many times when I don’t even want to open my eyes and see what’s before me or what’s next.
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Often, it can feel like we are right in the center of the storm, and we are never getting out. Have you ever felt like that or do you currently see yourself in that position?
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After completing a day of teaching, Jesus Christ and His Apostles boarded a ship. They began their stretch across the Sea of Galilee to teach the people on the other side. While Christ was asleep a storm came upon them.
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As we know, the Apostles began to fear the storm and they were tossed by the winds and water entered their boat. They awoke Jesus, crying, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38).
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What we know next is this, Christ arose and calmed the winds and waves, saying, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39).
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He turned to His Apostles and asked, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). Christ reminded then to not be fearful and to remember that He can calm the tossing seas during a storm.
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This same principle applies today. Where is our faith during these trying times? Are we turning our thoughts and prayers to the Lord? Do we have the faith He has asked of us?
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Hear Him and your storms will begin to calm.
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Art Unknown

Hold up the light!

Hold up the light.
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As we see many posts to ’Light the World,’ let’s keep one person in mind—Jesus Christ. I know it sounds simple, but we tend to forget the meaning of things.
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Ask yourself, what light are you being asked to hold up?
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3 Nephi 18:25—”Therefore, hold up your ​​​light​ that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the ​​​light​ which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.”
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He is the light we need to hold up—our Savior and Redeemer. Christmas reminds us of our duties to light the world with His good news. What is His good news?
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His good news is life eternal.
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Today, I desire to hold up this light by testifying of Jesus Christ, according to what I know, things I have seen, felt and heard in my life.
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The testimony I give involves MY reason and MY experience; however, you’re only going to see a first graders’ art project. It’s an impossible task to describe to you and testify to you what I’ve seen, felt, and heard in my life.
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Christ is my best friend. When I am in desperate need to talk to someone, He is always there. He is my advocate with our Father. He has never left my side. I have ignored Him, and I haven’t always done what He has asked me to do to hear Him.
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My mistakes are my own, but He takes them from me and says, go do better, Mike. He doesn’t argue with me, He just listens. When I’m ready, He gives me the advice I need. He opens doors for me that I didn’t know we’re able to be opened.
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He is there for me during my darkness. He lights my world and asks me to do the same for His world.
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He lives, and I testify to you that He does. He is watching and has carefully planned our beginning, middle, and end. There is nothing we can do that we can’t turn to Him.
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“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11: 28-30).
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Hold up the light and Hear Him!
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Art by Yongsung Kim

Partake of the Fruit from Tree of Life.

Partake of the Fruit from Tree of Life.
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I never really thought of the Tree of Life this way, but after listening to a talk this morning and during my studies, it was one of those ”no-brainer” moments for me.
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Before I get into what I learned, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.
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Why did Lehi want his family to eat the fruit of the tree of life?
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What does Heavenly Father want for all his children?
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What do the symbols in Lehi’s dream mean?
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These are some good questions to ponder and study. I’m not going to go over the answers here, but will leave it up to you.
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What I want to emphasize is the Fruit from the Tree of Life.
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Jack R. Christianson explains this so well.
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He begins with Lehi’s dream and helps you visualize the tree that Lehi saw. The tree symbolizes the love of God.
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He then asks, who is the love of God—Well, Jesus Christ.
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As we take a look at the fruit’s purpose, we know it’s purpose is to ”make one happy.”
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How does fruit hang from a tree? By the stem.
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In Isaiah 11, what is a stem referred to as being? Jesus Christ. Also in D&C 113.
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In the Book “Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon” Elder Jeffery R. Holland says the Savior literally hung from a tree.
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So, who would the fruit of The Tree of Life be? It is Jesus Christ and His atonement.
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When we partake of the fruit, what happens to us? Well, Brother Christianson concludes and says, “It makes us Happy.”
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I have a clearer perspective of the Tree of Life in Lehi’s dream. It no longer appears as a tree with beautifully blossoming white fruit. No, it’s the Savior Jesus Christ and the atonement.
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He was literally nailed to a tree—and just like the Fruit that hangs from a stem, He hung from His tree—the cross. He bore the sins of the world, so we can partake of eternal life. The delicious fruit hangs from the Tree of Life to be eaten and enjoyed.
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May we enjoy the fruit from the Tree of Life and find joy through the atonement of Jesus Christ. After all, “men are, that they might have joy.” 2 Nephi 2:25.
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Hear Him!
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Art by Annie Henrie @altusfineart

It’s okay to be a follower.

It’s okay to be a follower.
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I listened to a talk today by Jack R. Christians today.—In fact, I listened to it three and a half times during my road trip.
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In the talk, he mentions being a leader and a follower. He talks about how It’s great to lead, but a great leader is also a great follower.
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I’ve never thought of it the way he eloquently phrased it. I always wanted to be the leader, and I felt it was a personal weakness to be the follower.
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However, we repeatedly hear the Savior ask His disciples, ”Come, follow me.” Are we not disciples of Christ? If so, then we are asked to follow Him. As we are great followers of Christ, we become true leaders of His Gospel.
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I also learned today, and it provides such soothing balm for troubled times in our lives—God doesn’t have to take anything from us. Everything we have, we should desire to give it to him freely.
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Many of us have struggled with death, job loss, home foreclosure, and many other things. We ask, “Why did you take these things from us, Lord?”
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When we learn to be faithful followers of Christ, we will understand that everything is His. Each loved one we have; when they die, we give them to the Lord—knowing, He is the Father, and He will make it right. He ALWAYS has a good reason for doing things.
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Luke 18:22—”…sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”
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Again, nothing is ours. Sell it and follow Him! He clearly states what will happen—We shall have treasure in Heaven when we do.
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Brothers and Sisters, God loves you all. He wants us to know everything is going to be okay. He gave us life; He gave us mom’s and dad’s; He gave us siblings; He gave us friends and neighbors; He gave us His Son!
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Everything belongs to Him. Through His Son Jesus Christ, we can give Him everything we have and follow Him. He has provided a way to return back to Him.
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As we are true and faithful to our covenants, we will have ALL the things He has given us once again. During this Christmas season, let’s choose to be faithful followers.
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Hear Him!
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Art By, Justin Kunz

Take care of yourself.

Take care of yourself.
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One of my favorite things to be part of is my temple recommend interview. The questions I’m asked remind me to drive to become a better person. The interview process is a commitment I made with the Lord when I made covenants in His Holy Temple.
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It’s the time I can stand before His authorized servants and reconfirm that I stand firm in my convictions, my testimony, and to let Him know I honor the sacred covenants I made—for no one else, but for me only. It was my decision, and therefore I hold myself accountable to the Lord.
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All that is unfair in life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
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That’s what I love about the temple and miss about the opportunity to be able to attend. When I walk into the Holy Temple, I realize everything that is unfair in my life is going to be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
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As a police officer, I see a lot of unfair things. I meet many people who have received what I would consider ”the raw end of the deal.” I wonder at times how a loving Heavenly Father can let things like that happen. Then I remember…
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He let His own Son, Jesus Christ, atone for our sins.
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They made Him carry His own cross, then they laid Him on it, nailed His hands and His feet to the cross, and lifted it up. There He hung, and His Father in Heaven allowed this to happen.
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Why? Well, here is why.
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Prior to this mortal probation, Heavenly Father called a meeting for all his spirit children. At this meeting he explained his plan for us to become like him. Heavenly Father needed someone to be the Savior, to suffer for our sins, and to die for us so that we could be resurrected.
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Because he loved us, Jesus volunteered to be our Savior. He wanted to follow Heavenly Father’s plan and give the glory to Him.
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We have all committed to things in the pre-existence. It’s not me to determine if things are unfair. As a human, I may see them as unfair—through the eyes of my Heavenly Father, I see a more generous plan— a perfect plan of happiness.
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As we take care of ourselves, attend our meetings, serve in our callings, and attend the temple, we will understand the Lords plan for ourselves and others.

If you’re fake it will stand out.

If you’re fake, it will stand out.
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When it comes to our stance on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we always represent Jesus Christ.
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We should never be affected by someone who doesn’t understand what we believe. We are unique because we have the fullness of the Gospel. It’s unfamiliar for those who may not understand that—that is fine. Be the example.
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How do you let your friends and family know your standards?
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They know by what you do. They know because of your older brothers, sisters, parents, and people you associate with.
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Never be fake or dishonest. People can read right through you.
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If you are not true to yourself, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb; you’re going to feel uncomfortable around other members; you’re going to start making excuses as to why others are judgmental of you. When in fact, it’s really you, trying to lie to yourself and hide who you really are.
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Someone will always be blamed for anothers misconduct. It’s never the fault of the transgressor. These people, well, they never take ownership. They will live the rest of their days trying to prove what’s right, wrong.
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If I could give some words of encouragement, I would say the following.
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Don’t ever start arguing with these people. You have to stand up for the Church, but don’t get into an argument.
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Don’t get into far-out subjects.
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Don’t make yourself seem superior to others just because you don’t do the things they do. You’re to be an example, not a higher rank.
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Be normal!
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Don’t be afraid to take it slowly—just the thought of talking to missionaries can sometimes be intimidating. It can make people nervous.
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So, be normal and just talk to them about the Church—be a good friend. They will recognize your honest intent.
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And love everyone. It’s not always easy, but it’s a commandment—even those who try to bring the church down. They feel mislead because they failed to do their own individual research, study, and prayer.
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God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Not long ago, those members who fell away from the church prayed to Him, and they received a conviction from His Holy Spirit of the church’s truthfulness.
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Those truths don’t change.
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@eva_timothy

Listen to the Children

Listen to the children.
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My wife and I have noticed a rather unusual reoccurring topic in our home. It’s the topic of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
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We have discussed the second coming with our children but nothing to the extreme.
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All of us have been encouraged to find ways to Hear Him. This applies to all of us and it does include our little ones; however, how much effort do we as adults need to put into this effort than our children do?
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I personally feel and I know that my children are much closer to parting the veil that separates us from Heaven and Earth. I also know they are more tuned in with their spiritual senses than I am.
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Again, we have taught them of the second coming, but not to the level that they speak of it frequently and it’s always unprovoked—It’s unexplainable.
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My kids hear Him—they hear the spirit of the Lord; they are concerned; they are giving a welcoming warning to us all. Do you hear your kids? Listen to what they are trying to teach you. The second coming is near, and I know they sense it.
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If we can sense a change in physical and spiritual matters and see the signs of the second coming, how in tune do you think our children are? They feel it and they see it.
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As you listen to a child you develop a personal relationship and it teaches them to have the same courtesy. Just listening can give you tons of information into their little minds and what they are thinking about.
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Wise parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbors, etc… will listen and read between the lines. As you hear the children, you’ll hear their sighs, heartthrobs, and unspoken words—most importantly, you will hear Him!
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“May the laughter of children gladden our hearts. May the faith of children soothe our souls. May the love of children prompt our deeds.” President Thomas S. Monson.
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As we teach our children to walk in the light, they will teach us and lead us to do the same.
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Hear Him!
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Art by Del Parson

Have nothing but Integrity.

Have nothing but Integrity.
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How nice would it be if we honored what was written in the Deseret News back in 1882?
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“Let us be pure, let us be virtuous, let us be honorable, let us maintain our integrity, let us do good to all men, and tell the truth always, and treat everybody right.”
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Why is it so challenging to treat everyone right?
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A tribute was once written about the prophet John Taylor. It was written by George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith. Here is what was said about the prophet.
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“He met every issue squarely, boldly and in a way to call forth the admiration of all who saw and heard him. Undaunted courage, unyielding firmness were among his most prominent characteristics. … He was a man whom all could trust.”
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How many people can you trust? Is there anyone in your life that has those same qualities? I can name several.
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We need to live by principles of truth and righteousness. We can honor our society by being men and women of integrity.
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Are you a deceitful person? Do you lie to your family and friends? Are you really the person you claim to be? If so, how long will you keep up the act? Until you meet your maker?
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He knows ALL!! You can’t hide from him, and you can’t fool him. He knows what kind of integrity you will have displayed during your probation on earth.
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Be honest in your purpose. That’s one thing we can control. It’s the most important thing you can do. If you’re not, you have lost everything. Everything about you will be a lie, and you will be miserable not only here but in the afterlife. There is no place for corruption in Kingdom of God. The absence of integrity is a dishonor to your spiritual character.
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“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
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Cast out the evil, have integrity, and Hear Him!
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Art By Carl Bloch

There is no unknown in Christ

There is no unknown in Christ.
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How do we calm our troubled minds? I understand this may seem easier said than done, but it’s really pretty simple. The following scripture from the Lord teaches us how.
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“Draw near unto me, & I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently, & ye shall find me; ask, & ye shall receive; knock, & it shall be opened unto you.” D&C 88:63.
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As we serve Jesus Christ, He comes to us— It’s that simple.
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So, you’ve had a terrible day, & things haven’t worked out the way you expected them to work out. What’s your plan of action? I can tell you this, pouting & idleness isn’t going to help you draw nearer to the Lord. You’re going to need a new approach.
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As I think back to President Nelson & his challenge the week before Thanksgiving, I reflect back on all the social media posts prior to it. I read a lot of ”pouting” from grown adults—a lot of idleness, too. Everyone was pouting about our current situation instead of thinking outside of the box to make things better.
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Then, a wise man named Russell M. Nelson, the Prophet of the World, asked us to stop. The mouthpiece of the Lord told us, grown adults, to change. He thought outside of the box. He was directed by the Lord for drawing near unto Him.
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These destructive arguments & disagreements between each other are nonsense.
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The Prophet of God taught us how to change the world. The world as a whole saw social media change for seven days—members & members of other faiths.
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We listened, & we acted; in other words, we drew nearer to Him, & He drew nearer to us.
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How did this make you feel? It made me feel better about opening my social media. I was curious about what different people were grateful for & anticipated the next day to see what they again were grateful for.
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Through US & through OUR posts, we were able to feel the Lord.
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He said this to us last week, “I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful & diligent in keeping the commandments of God, & I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.” D&C 6:20.
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He loves you & wants you to know; there is no unknown in Him. Hear Him!
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Art By Mark Missman

Serve a mission.

Serve a mission.
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What a random day—My mission has been on my mind a lot recently, probably more so than it has in a very long time.
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I felt prompted to write about my mission today, and as I sat down to write, I was able to connect with a member of my mission. I will never forget my first Thanksgiving at the Castillo home. I’m forever grateful to them and all the wonderful people.
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We are often asked to do difficult things that take us away from home, uncomfortable and terrifying things. These are the times we grow and strengthen our character.
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My mission taught me I could do anything. It taught me that if I want to make things happen, I must have the drive and will power. Nothing comes easy, and I don’t think anything should come easy.
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When I say “Serve a mission,” I’m saying it not only to members of the church but to everyone. A mission doesn’t literally mean you need or have a desire to serve a mission for the Church.
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My dad never served a mission for the church; however, my dad served a mission in many other ways. He served the Lord and he served his family. He had three boys serve missions and a daughter who received a full-ride scholarship for track.
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His example of determination, hard work, and faith in the Lord was his mission.
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Do something! Go become someone and achieve great things. The sky is the limit!
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I left on my mission 15 years ago. I came home and joined Law Enforcement five months later. I was married a year after I returned home. I purchased our first home and moved in the same day we returned home from our honeymoon. We have five kids, and everything we need.
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I have been blessed every step of the way. The Lord has given me more than I could expect. He has guided me through trials and stumbling blocks. All of it because I decided to serve Him and continue to serve Him.
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Every day is an opportunity to serve a mission. If you’re thinking you missed your opportunity, you’re wrong. Start today! Serve the Lord and choose Him.
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As we serve our earthly mission, we will receive what we put into it. I would suggest you pour your entire heart and soul into everything you do.
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Look to D&C 4:1-4, and Hear Him!
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PC: @kennyjames85

Death is not the End

Death is not the end.
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I think the word ”death” is a terrible terminology. We put the fear in our minds. The word itself can sound terrifying. It can mean extinction, destruction, and the end of life.
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Why wouldn’t that sound terrible and sad? The word itself just sounds awful.
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So, what happens after death? Where do we go, and what are our loved ones doing?
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First, we need to understand what Death means. Death separates “the spirit and the body, which are the soul of man.” D&C 88:15.
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We are all going to go through a mourning process. How we individually do that is different.
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President Nelson said, “The only length of life that seems to satisfy the longings of the human heart is life everlasting…. Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.”
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The Prophet Joseph Smith spoke at a friend’s funeral and stated this: “When we lose a near and dear friend, upon whom we have set our hearts, it should be a caution unto us. … Our affections should be placed upon God and His work, more intensely than upon our fellow beings.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 216.).
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I know some may think death is the end, and that’s why the word is scary.
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It’s not scary or terrifying if you know about eternal life. We continue to live and enjoy the goodness and mercy of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
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President Nelson again teaches us: “Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven.
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Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9.) As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.”
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That’s why our message is so special. We believe in a wonderful plan. This is called the Plan of Salvation. We can return to our loved ones, and we will live, hug, hold, and kiss them again.
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Death is not to be feared. Hear Him, and you will find peace in the term “death.”
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~Dedicated to ’Mama’ Tina. I love & will miss you. (Mission Mom)

How is it done?

How is it done?
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Enos asks the question we have all wondered and thought upon. Even being taught of the Lord by his father, he still had an incomplete knowledge of how his sins could be forgiven.
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Many of us have been raised in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have gone to church, attended primary, sang hymns, or at least heard the hymns sung. We have partaken of the sacrament and have participated in scripture study. We may have been baptized by priesthood authority and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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We may be like Enos, and our hearts and mind go back to what our parents have taught us. We may find ourselves hearing their words “concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints” sink deep into our hearts, as well. (Enos, 1:3).
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How many of our soul’s hunger with the burning desire to return to the Lord and repent of our sins?
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Until you walk with Christ and return to truth and righteousness, you will always have that nagging feeling. You will never feel complete. You will only feel complete with the Gospel prevailing in your life.
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If you continue to fight against the truth, you will be destroyed, “for ​​​wo​ unto them that fight against God and the people of his ​​​church.” 2 Ne 25:14.
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If you’ve fallen away from the church, I invite you to come back, but I warn you to stop fighting to disprove that which is your unbelief—Unbelief does not hinder God.
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If you’re wondering, How is it done? You’ve been lost for so long and you’re far from the path of righteousness. How can you be forgiven, how can you return?
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Well, that voice you keep hearing “concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints.” That is faith inside of you. That’s the spirit of God. That’s your conscience. That’s common sense. It’s everything your parents taught you. It’s peace, joy, happiness, and love.
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All of those things are exactly what completes the sentence, ”How is it done?” Christ said, “Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen.” (Enos, 1:7)
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Come back to the fold of Christ.
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Your soul is hungry and the only way to feed and drink is to kneel down and cry mightily unto him! He will hear you.
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Hear Him!
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Art shared by @a_hansen113

Pray and Listen

Pray and Listen.
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We take the time to talk to our Father in Heaven, so why don’t we give Him some time to speak to us?
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I understand we are in a rushed environment, and it can be hard to make time for things, but we must make time for our Heavenly Father’s response.
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James 1:5 — 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.
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Have ye inquired of the Lord? Have you waited for His reply?
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My entire life, I’ve been asked and taught to be respectful. If I value that principle, how rude would it be for me to kneel, pray, and then to get up and continue on my day—without me giving God His turn to speak?
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How can we expect our Father in Heaven give us anything if we can’t take the time to listen to what He needs or has to give us?
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Let’s be better at this. Let’s take time to hear Him when we pray and not be so quick to move on.
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“The Lord has a way of pouring pure intelligence into our minds to prompt us, to guide us, to teach us, to warn us. You can know the things you need to know instantly! Learn to receive inspiration.” Elder Packer.
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As we take the time to listen, we will learn so much quicker how to receive inspiration.
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I’ve learned over the course of my life that spiritual things cannot be forced.
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There have been times where I’ve struggled with a problem and could not get an answer. Was there something wrong with me? Nope, not at all. I wasn’t doing anything wrong.
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Over the years I’ve learned I just wasn’t doing the right things long enough and I was forcing spiritual things.
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It was just a matter of me being confused because I simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.
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It’s okay to take no for an answer. Joseph Smith didn’t take no for an answer, and He ended up losing 116 pages of the manuscript.
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If we are prompted with ’no’ for an answer, take some time to understand why you’re receiving that prompting.
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Pray and Listen! Hear Him!
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Art by Doc Christensen @altusfineart

Families are Eternal!

Families are eternal!
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To close up a great week, it’s my honor, my blessing, and as the patriarch of my family, I give thanks to an eternal family. How grateful I am to know of the Plan of Salvation.
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Did you know there is life after death? It’s our Eternal Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness. It’s the message we share with the world as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Families are eternal!
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You may have lost a loved one and thought that was the end. I’m here to tell you; it’s not. You’re going to see them again.
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When we marry, we go to temples and with the authority of the priesthood, we are sealed.
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What makes it different than any other marriage? Well, we don’t say, ”till death do us part.” No, with this authority, we are sealed for time and all eternity.
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How did this authority come to?
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“Elijah came to restore to the earth, by conferring on mortal prophets duly commissioned of the Lord, the fulness of the power of Priesthood.
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This Priesthood holds the keys of binding and sealing on earth and in heaven of all the ordinances and principles pertaining to the salvation of man, that they may thus become valid in the celestial kingdom of God.
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It is by virtue of this authority that ordinances are performed in the temples for both the living and the dead. It is the power which unites for eternity husbands and wives when they enter into marriage according to the eternal plan.
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It is the authority by which parents obtain the claim of parenthood concerning their children through all eternity and not only for time, which makes eternal the family in the Kingdom of God.” Doc of Sal, 2:117.
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From the proclamation we read, “In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life.”
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Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
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Hear Him!
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PC: @kenibphotography

What would we do without written record?

What would we do without written records?
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I know for me, I enjoy writing, and it is a way to ease my mind. We all have something to take the stress away for some time, and writing is one of those for me.
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I give thanks to those who write and who document, especially our ancestors. I give thanks to our prophets & apostles in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and his time spent writing down revelation from God.
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Because we can write, we can “give thanks” and fulfill the prophet’s prescribed medicine to heal social media for seven days. It’s working from my end; how about your feed?
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It’s been great to read what everyone is thankful for and see the negativity disperse. We are again lighting the darkness! So, keep it up!
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Where would we be today if we didn’t have the written word?
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How would we know of the past without journals?
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Who would teach us about Jesus Christ if it wasn’t documented by oral transmission or as Job declared.
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“Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” Job 19:23-24.
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“From latter-day revelation we learn that writing sacred records and the recording of genealogy began with Adam and his immediate family. Adam and the early patriarchs had a perfect language that was both spoken and written.” Bible Dictionary.
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“And a ​​​book​ of ​​​remembrance​ was kept, in the which was recorded, in the ​​​language​ of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of ​​​inspiration​.” Moses 6:5.
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So today, I give thanks to the ability to write and document my thoughts. I give thanks to those who have inspired me and have allowed me an opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel.
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Read the writings of those who testified and testify of Jesus Christ. They have allowed us to Hear Him!

Our Attitude Decides.

Our attitude decides.
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I was never grateful for individuals in my life who told me I needed to have a better attitude. I always felt like my attitude was great; however, I’m now eternally grateful to those who told me I needed to change my attitude.
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I couldn’t see my attitude was cancerous at times, and I needed to correct it. If I hadn’t been told by family members, co-workers, friends, etc, I wouldn’t have known.
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My recommendation, don’t be the silent person. Having hard conversations will usually bring respect between you and the person who has a bad attitude. It may not happen immediately, but years down the road, it may.
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I still lose my temper at times, and I have a lot of work ahead of me. My attitude decided a lot of things growing up and through my 20’s. Even in my 30’s and I suppose my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and so on.
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I am very opinionated, and I haven’t always enjoyed my opinion being challenged. I wanted to always be right and I enjoyed verbal confrontation—I still do in many circumstances (bad attitude).
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My attitude was not always the right way of approach—I could have been better and I still can be better.
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The older I get, the softer my attitude about things is becoming.
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Elder Holland gave me guidance and I’ll always remember this, “The voice that bears profound testimony, utters fervent prayer, and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarrasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process.”
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This is the attitude we need to act on. We need to remember how painful the lashing of our tongue can be.
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Elder Holland again grounds my attitude.
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“Negative speaking so often flows from negative thinking, including negative thinking about ourselves. We see our own faults, we speak—or at least think—critically of ourselves, and before long that is how we see everyone and everything. No sunshine, no roses, no promise of hope or happiness. Before long we and everybody around us are miserable.”
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Have a good attitude and please correct me when my attitude is out of line.
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Hear him!

PC: Walter Rane @altusfineart

Never short yourself an opportunity.

Never short yourself an opportunity.
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Opportunities are probably the most significant things I am grateful for. If you aren’t looking at each day, each setback, or each new challenge as a window of opportunity, you’re missing the point of life.
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I want to share a few paragraphs from a motivational speaker I admire to the highest degree.
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“How do I deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeats, or other disasters? I actually have a fairly simple way of dealing with these situations, summed up in one word—“Good.”
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Didn’t get promoted? Good… More time to get better.
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Didn’t get funded? Good… We own more of the company.
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Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good… Go out, gain more experience, and build a better resume.
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Got injured? Good… Needed a break from training.
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Unexpected problems? Good… We have to figure out a solutions.
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When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: “Good.” —Jocko.
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Now, I want to say the same thing about the Gospel. You transgressed? Good… You get to talk to your Heavenly Father.
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You sinned? Good… You get to talk to your Heavenly Father.
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You failed to pay your tithing? Good… You get to talk to your Heavenly Father.
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These are ALL opportunities to talk to your Heavenly Father, and let Him help you.
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These are opportunities to become a better person and grow closer to the Lord.
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You’re not a failure because you messed up. You’re only a failure if you don’t seize the moment and see it as an opportunity to become someone better.
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Hear Him!
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PC: Larry Winborg

Agency is what I am grateful for.

Agency is what I am grateful for.
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The Gospel is full of beautiful things; however, none of it would exist without agency.
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In the Gospel topics, we learn what the agency is.
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“Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without agency, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior.
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With it, we are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” (2 Nephi 2:27).
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Agency is everything—we can’t give thanks or receive thanks without it.
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President Nelson gave us a seven-day challenge, and we are given the agency to experiment with the challenge or not. It’s not being forced on anyone.
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I like to use my agency to follow directions. We may not understand the direction at the time, but I know our prophet wouldn’t give us guidance or a ”prescription” unless he was inspired to do so.
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With agency, we can choose to do good, or we can choose to do mischievous acts.
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We can choose when we want to be happy, or we can choose how long we want to be sad.
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We have the agency to do anything we want—nothing is holding us back.
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With agency comes consequences. You can still do anything you want, but you’re always going to have a consequence follow.
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Now, that sounds contradictory—We can do anything we want, but there is a consequence? Let me explain.
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We have the agency to choose our consequence. We have the agency to follow Jesus Christ and His example, or we can use our agency to follow Satan and his followers.
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The consequence comes by our action. We have agency to choose our actions and most of the time, we have agency to plan ahead.
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I give thanks to my Savior today and being willing to be our Redeemer. He accepted our Heavenly Father’s Plan. A plan to allow agency. Through His atonement, we can make mistakes. He has given us a safe way home—through him.
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Sometimes we will use our agency and make mistakes and sin; however, Christ provided a secure way to be forgiven. He has given us an option to use our agency and repent.
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Hear Him!

“We” need thee every hour.

‘We’ need thee every hour.
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I am grateful for prayer. Sure, there are times I feel like I’m alone during my frequent ”calls home.” It’s these times I need to sit and ponder—what would my Father in Heaven do?
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When you can ask yourself that question, you allow Him to teach you what He would do. Many times, it’s not the answer you’re expecting or wanting; however, it’s Him telling you what He would do.
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I want to give you an example from my life.
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When my sister-in-law was taken home to Heavenly Father, she left her two beautiful girls to remain on earth. There was a decision to make between my wife and I. It was the only decision and best decision—we would adopt the girls.
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Before we decided anything, there was a small possibility to separate the two. This was not an ideal option in my mind, and we didn’t want to traumatize them more than they already were.
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My wife and I had a home of our own, and the choice to keep it or sell it and moving in with my inlaws to keep the girls together were our options.
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I remember praying and asking Him what He would do. The only answer that came to me was He would move in for some time if He were in my shoes.
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Was this ideal? For that time and those circumstances, it was. It kept the two girls together, and it allowed the oldest to decide to live with us voluntarily. She was able to see well beyond her age that she wanted a mom and a dad. She wanted the same opportunity her little sister was going to have.
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When we STOP thinking about ourselves and what WE want, when we pray, we will hear Him. When making small, medium, or big decisions, ask Him, ”Lord, what would you do?”
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Be prepared to get an answer you don’t want to hear. I promise you; you’re going to know it’s the right answer because you won’t want to do it, but you know it’s the right thing to do.
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It’s at those times, you will hear Him.

Spiritual and Physical Shape.

Spiritual and Physical Shape.
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I have experienced both. There have been times when I’ve been in phenomenal physical shape and spiritual shape. There are also times when I’ve been in terrible physical shape and spiritual shape.
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I recognize the difference when I’m either-or.
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There are many things about sports that I love. It’s the physical conditioning, self-discipline, and the spirit of team camaraderie.
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These things have taught me I have to be in good spiritual shape and good physical shape. If I’m not well balanced in both, I’m never going to accomplish my stewardship.
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I have a family, and I have many responsibilities. The stronger I become physically and spiritually is going to dictate how I manage everything I’ve been called to do.
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I want to be righteous. I want to be physically conditioned. The two have to go hand in hand for me.
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I want to be among the righteous followers of Christ.
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I want to become numbered among the elect who gain the assurance of exaltation.
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This is my calling and election. It began when I chose to be part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I joined the camaraderie of the Gospel. When I did this, I made a covenant with the Lord to be a Gospel steward in my family.
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I will do the following: “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end” (2 Ne. 31:19–20).
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The scriptures call this process making our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:4–11; D&C 131:5–6).
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I hold the spirit of God in my physical body we call a temple. I want my spirit to have a healthy place to reside—a place of confidence and accountability.
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As I stay in shape, I remained disciplined. I train my mind and body to allow the spirit to speak clearly. Spiritual and physical shape is what has always enabled me to hear Him!
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PC: Larry Winborg

You’re doing fine, but we can improve.

You’re doing fine, but we can improve.
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I am grateful for conversations with my grandparents. Today, I had a chance to talk to my grandma. We talked a little about hope and current events.
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She has always encouraged my writing and reads everything I write. Usually, she takes the time to respond to my thoughts.
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My grandma said this about my writing.
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“It’s been an amazing outlet for you, and I don’t know about others, but some of what you share really gets me pondering different areas of my life and mistakes I’ve made.”
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This was my reply to her.
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“I want people to ponder and know that things will be okay, and there is still time to make significant life changes.
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Our life experiences, some good and some bad make us the unique sons and daughters of God that He wanted.
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We are all different, and we are all on earth to help each other with the mistakes and successes we have made.
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It’s inevitable—we will make a mistake. He wants us to grow from those mistakes and help others who may go through the same mistakes or help others avoid our same mistakes.”
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That was a small portion of our conversation. I share this with you because it’s okay to be different. It is okay for us to take ”the road less traveled.”
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Being disciples of Jesus Christ is hard. “The road more often traveled” is the easy way, more stable way, but “the road less traveled” the road Jesus Christ wants us to take; that’s the road which will yield fruitful results.
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Free yourself from the conformity of others. Jesus Christ invites us, also—“follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” “they straightway left their nets,” “forsook all, and followed him” (Matthew 4:19, 20; Luke 5:11; see also Mark 1:17–18).
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You’re doing fine, but as you leave your nets and everything else to follow Christ, you will improve your life more than you can comprehend.
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Hear Him!

We believe in one true Church, and that is the Church of Jesus Christ.

We believe in one true Church, and that is the Church of Jesus Christ.
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We are not taking away the truths of all other churches. There are truths to each of them, but they do not have the keys or authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ.
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They have the form of godliness and are doing many wonderful things, but they do not have the Gospel’s fullness.
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How do we know this?
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Joseph Smith taught us—”I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all ​​​wrong​; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those ​​​professors​ were all ​​​corrupt​; that: “they ​​​draw near​ to me with their lips, but their ​​​hearts​ are far from me, they teach for doctrines the ​​​commandments​ of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the ​​​power​ thereof.” JSH 1:19.
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What then is our position and what stance do we take?
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“The position that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the earth is fundamental.
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Perhaps it would be more convenient and palatable and popular if we were to avoid it; nevertheless, we are under a sacred obligation and a sacred trust to hold to it.
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It is not merely an admission; it is a positive declaration. It is so fundamental that we cannot yield on this point…
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The gospel might be likened to the keyboard of a piano—a full keyboard with a selection of keys on which one who is trained can play a variety without limits; a ballad to express love, a march to rally, a melody to soothe, and a hymn to inspire; an endless variety to suit every mood and satisfy every need.
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How shortsighted it is, then, to choose a single key and endlessly tap out the monotony of a single note, or even two or three notes, when the full keyboard of limitless harmony can be played.
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How disappointing when the fullness of the gospel, the whole keyboard, is here upon the earth, that many churches tap on a single key. The note they stress may be essential to a complete harmony of religious experience, but it is, nonetheless, not all there is. It isn’t the fullness.” —Elder Packer.

Is living the Gospel Hard?

Is living the Gospel hard?
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Yeah, it can be.
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Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ requires a lot of work and many times it requires a lot of sacrifice.
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Sometimes it’s challenging to find the motivation to live the commandments and make those sacrifices.
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Some days I want to fulfill my calling and wonder why others struggle to do the same. Then in the same breath, I want to be released and do nothing.
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We are all human. We have a roller coaster of emotions. We have good days, and other days, not so much.
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There are leaders in the church that I wish I were more like. They just seem to excel at everything they do; however, they are no different than you and me. They probably look at us and wish they were more like us.
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Everyone is good at something. That’s the critical thing to understand. We all need each other’s example.
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We often make the Gospel harder than it needs to be.
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It doesn’t matter who you are or what stage of life you’re at in life. You have the choice to find your own motivation. You have to cultivate your faith in the Savior. His gospel is up to you.
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He isn’t going to force-feed it to you. Whatever effort you put into it, you’ll yield the results of your actions.
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“Answers to our sincere questions come when we earnestly seek and when we live the commandments. Our faith can reach beyond the limits of current reason.”Rosemary Wixom
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“As you continue to be obedient, … you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek.” President Nelson.
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If the Gospel seems hard, follow the above two quotes. Then, hear Him!

How will you welcome Him?

How will you welcome Him?
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I’ve always thought about this question—How will I welcome the Savior?
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A poem that has always had a significant impact on me is ”Footprints in the Sand.”
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I’ve tried to live my life in a way that I include Him in everything I do. I don’t want to be caught off guard when he comes. I want to welcome Him like I’ve had Him by my side the entire time. I don’t want it to be a surprise when He shows up.
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It shouldn’t be a surprise. We know He will be here soon. So, how are you going to welcome him?
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Here is the poem:
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One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
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After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
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I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
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“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way.
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But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
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He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
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When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”

A Voice Speaks from the Dust.

A Voice Speaks from the Dust.
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I love the Book of Mormon. I also love the Bible. The Bible taught us many revelations about a special gift the world would receive. The gift I am talking about is the Book of Mormon.
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If you haven’t read the Book of Mormon, I challenge you to do so—member or non-member friends. I promise you will draw closer to God as you read it. I can get you a copy or connect you with a copy of your own.
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Isaiah spoke: And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
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I want to share a paragraph out of the book The Millennial Messiah: a chapter on the Book of Mormon and the Second Coming—By Bruce R McConkie.
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Behold, what wonders God hath wrought! Truth springs out of the earth; the gold plates are translated by the gift and power of God; and the voice we here is one that whispers from the dust.
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It is the voice of all the Nephis, of Alma and Amulek and Abinadi, of Ether and Mormon, and Moroni—of all the Nephite and Jaredite prophets. It is the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, who ministered among the Nephites, inviting them to feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet and to thrust their hands into his riven side.
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It is the voice of doctrine and testimony and miracles. It is the voice of God speaking to men through the Book of Mormon.
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The Book of Mormon is another testament from another fold of ”sheep.”
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Christ said it himself, ”And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
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The people of the Book of Mormon are among those other sheep he visited with his Gospel. They, too, wrote of Christ and preached Christ—Just like the Prophets and Apostles in the Bible did.
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You can hear Him as you study and pray about both. He Lives!
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Christ’s Gospel is not just for one specific Continent; it’s for the entire world. He visited not just the people in Jerusalem after his resurrection, he visited his other sheep, too.
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@art.outthere

Start taking your Priesthood seriously—Rise Up!

Start taking your Priesthood seriously—Rise Up!
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Never before in my life have I felt the need and the importance of the priesthood in the world.
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The need for each and every one of us to honor our priesthood, is crucial right now. We need to magnify our callings, and contribute wherever we can to advance of the cause of truth and righteousness.
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Until we take our priesthood seriously, there won’t be peace throughout the world.
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Sisters, we need your help. You can’t sit back and hope your priesthood brethren will take action. You need to hold us accountable and make sure we are doing what we are responsible for doing.
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The priesthood is a great responsibility and privilege. We’ve been trusted to have it come back to us during our dispensation. The dispensation of the fullness of times!
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“No men outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have this priesthood or the authority to speak or act in the name of the Lord.
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I tremble and fear as I stand before you and think what this body is and represents—tremble because of the great responsibility placed upon the priesthood, and fear because we are not doing all the Lord would have us do.” President N. Elton Tanner.
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Think of that and let it sink in.
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***No men outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have this priesthood OR the authority to speak or act in the name of the Lord!***
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Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength To serve the King of Kings.
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Rise up, O men of God, In one united throng. Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong.
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Rise up, O men of God! Tread where his feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of Man, Rise up, O men of God!
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Hear Him!

Love what is right.

Love what is right.
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“And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the ​​​integrity​ of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.” D&C 124:15.
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I was reading an older Ensign article the other day, and it’s fitting how we continue to go through the same trials.
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Do we seem to be getting any better or only worse?
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Are we the same and not really getting better or any worse?
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Is there even a chance our society can even heal at this point?
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What do you all think?
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As you read that opening scripture, what caused Hyrum to be the way he was?
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What a blessing it is to be one who loves that which is right.
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One of the important messages I have been pondering on includes the following by Marvin J. Ashton.
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“There seems to be a tendency among many of us in our society today to live by compromise, rationalization, comparison, and self-justification.
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Love of right has been replaced by love of acceptance and convenience.
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Some mistakenly think the pathway of safety is somewhere between the path of righteousness and the road to destruction.
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Others seem to have convinced themselves that the way to perfection is reached by traveling the highway of compromise.”
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When will you reaffirm the great truth that God’s paths are straight?
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What are you waiting for? The invitation has been given.
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These things not only provide safety, but they also lead to happiness and eternal progression.
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Hear Him—What a blessing it is to be one who loves that which is right!

God’s Kingdom is Order.

God’s Kingdom is Order.
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I think, as adults, we have a different perspective on what order is and what freedom is.
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When we were kids, freedom to do whatever is what was enjoyable. That’s how I remember it. I didn’t want to be told what to do or how to do things. I wanted to be free!
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As I’ve grown older, I appreciate order and the reason behind it. This thing we label as ‘order’ gives me freedom.
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“There is nothing so important in the kingdom of God as order; yet the tendency today is to resist law and order, which must be maintained in the kingdom of God if we are to be pleasing in the sight of the Lord “Be one,” the Lord said, “and if you are not one you are not mine.” The only way we can be one is by following the leadership of the Church as the Lord has directed.” Harold B Lee.
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I honestly don’t know how much clearer it gets than that?
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If we can’t keep the laws of the land, what makes us think we can maintain the laws of God when we return to His kingdom?
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It’s not even about wanting to be a good citizen and obeying the laws of the land. It’s about the desire—the desire to become like God.
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If we want to become like God, we need to do our best on this earth to be like Him. We need to have a strong desire to maintain law and order. He doesn’t want this worldly chaos in His kingdom.
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So, we have to fix our actions and align them with His will. How would He act and what kind of citizen does He want you to be?
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Law-abiding! That’s the kind of citizen He wants you to be.
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Did you know that every problem people have can be solved by talking to Jesus Christ? Every problem!
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Every problem that afflicts us, our world, and our country, they can be solved if we will only talk to the Lord and then, just important, listen when the Lord answers.
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Hear Him!
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Art: Guatave Dore

Today is Veterans Day—My Grandma also passed today. (time lapse for post)

Today is Veterans Day—My Grandma also passed today.
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The older we get, I think the bigger picture begins to enlighten our minds. There is a much broader understanding of God’s plan for us—at least for me, that’s the case.
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I want to thank all of our wonderful Veteran’s for the sacrifices they’ve made so I can live in “The Land of The Brave. Home of The Free.”
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I’m sure, as you enjoy today, you’ll have floods of memories come back to you—some good and some not so good. The important part, you’ve blessed us with your service.
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Today, I reflect on the memories of my Grandma. She married my grandpa—a Naval Veteran. When my grandpa passed away, she re-married. Her next husband was a proud U.S. Naval Veteran of World War II serving as Crew Captain of over one-hundred confirmed PBY plane rescue missions in the South Pacific.
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My Grandma outlived them both and took charge of her own “family army.” She was strong and had a powerful testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She wasn’t afraid to share her testimony of the restored church. She lead her own army of God here on earth and helped drive forward the work of the Lord.
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Today is a great reunion in Heaven. She has been welcomed home by many loved ones; most importantly, her husband, her son, who passed away as a baby, her parents, and so many friends.
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It’s also a sad day for all who mourn her passing. She can now tend to her Heavenly garden, which we all know will be beautiful when we see her again.
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To all of you military Veterans, the Savior said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
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Many of us carry heavy burdens. Some have lost a loved one to death, and some have lost many to death. To you I say, Hear Him!
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Grandma Nae, you share a special day with so many Veterans. I love you and I’ll see you soon—Mikey.

Mental Health

Mental Health
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How old are you, and what were you doing in your early twenties, or what do you expect to be doing in your early twenties?
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What if everything came crashing down on you around that time?
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What if you had severe mental health and had exhausted every resource in the community?
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What if at the age of twenty, no service provider was willing to work with you, and no rehabilitation center was willing to accept you into their program?
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What if you were too ’high risk’ to work with?
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What if you had no other option—No accepting insurance provider, no housing, no means to pay, or maintain medical assistance?
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What if this was you, or maybe this is you?
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What if you had so many encounters with Law Enforcement that the only thing they could do was take you to jail because medical facilities would release you quicker than jail?
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Brothers and sisters, there is a severe mental health crisis in our Nation and our individual communities.
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We often overlook individuals who are torn apart on the inside yet, look so normal on the outside.
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What are we to do, and how do we fix the way we currently see this problem?
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How does the Savior see them, and how would he want us to fix it?
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I don’t have the answers, but I do know a tunnel in a mountain doesn’t magically appear. It is going to take all of us to make it happen.
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There are not enough resources. The water barrel is dry, and people are suffering. Many times, there is no physical place to turn.
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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
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Never give up! God loves you so much, and if you’re ready to change your life, there is a way! God is the way. Let Him prevail!
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Art: David Bowman

Laughter will always win.

Laughter will always win.
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In this world of darkness, anger, and frustration—we live.
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I’ve experienced many days of my own personal darkness, as I’m sure you all have.
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We don’t have to remain in that state and I refuse to live in a world of darkness. Just because it’s dark, doesn’t mean I can’t be my own source of light. I only succumb to darkness if I allow it to prevail over me.
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I enjoy laughter. I enjoy having fun and doing enjoyable things. I am always pulling some sort of joke.
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”Mike, are you being serious right now?”
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That’s my favorite question. Everyone knows my sense of humor, and no one knows when to take me seriously.
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I understand how difficult things in life can be, but I also realize there is a lot of laughter to partake in.
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Have you ever tried laughing at a certain situation? I’m extremely cynical (part of the job title I work in, I guess) and I have to make light of certain situations.
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A few weeks ago, we were in-route to a protest that was getting out of hand. We armored up and my subordinate looked over at me. I could tell he was a little worried about the unknown, and he asked me a question.
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”Sarge, have you ever had to do anything like this in your career?”
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Instead of lying and saying, ”I sure have, let me tell you my war stories.” I said, ”Oh no, first time!”
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He looked at me in disbelief and we both busted up laughing to tears. He came to his supervisor for moral support and guidance; however, he got the truth, and his fears were eased away, thanks to laughter.
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I’ve learned over the years, if we can laugh at things, we can usually live with It. Humor can help us improve our perspectives, and often, it may just lighten our load.
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“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Prov. 17:22).
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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “Jesus found special joy and happiness in children and said all of us should be more like them—guileless and pure, quick to laugh.”
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Like my story, we are all going to find ourselves in situations we have not anticipated and we may not be sure how to handle it. I promise, If we can laugh, we may find that at least some of the handling takes care of itself.
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Art: @gregolsenart

Do what Christ would do.

Do what Christ would do.
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My personal opinion—We are too wrapped up in doing what we personally feel is right, not necessarily what Christ expects us to do.
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It can feel good to voice our opinions and argue our cause; Especially, when people begin to cheer for what we say. There is a time and a place to do such things.
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Driving forth the mission of God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, is the message we should be sharing.
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Hate, discontent, unhealthy disagreements, violent protests (physical or verbal), and anything else is not of Jesus Christ.
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The Lord warns us, and we better start paying attention. Read Isaiah 45:8-9
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“Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!”
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Every action, every deed, every thought, and everything else must be aligned with Jesus Christ. We can’t treat this lightly. I don’t know about you, but I will answer to Him SOON, and I want to say I treated people the way He would have.
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So, take a look at where you are at this very moment. Are you sharing dividing messages on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Are you sharing dividing messages to your communities?
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Or… Are you spreading messages of Love, Hope, and Joy? Do you pray for your enemies and seek ways to help them? Are your gatherings for hate or love? Is your message to the world the message of Jesus Christ and His second coming?
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What kind of message are you sharing right now in your life?
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Here is my message today.
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I love you—I want peace and harmony. I pray we can find ways to work together and stop dividing each other from the message of eternal truths. We need to lift each other.
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I know Christ lives, and He loves perfectly. He cares about our situation, and when He comes, we must be ready.
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Will you recognize Him in your clouds of chaos?
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Hear Him!
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Art: English School

Husbands, you have a huge responsibility.

Husbands, you have a huge responsibility.
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Sure, it can be extremely challenging. Challenge is something my wife and I have gone through our entire marriage.
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It probably would be a lot easier if I were more cooperative and not so stubborn. I admit to being the donkey of our relationship—she knows that, too.
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As hard as it can be, has been, and probably will still be, I don’t want to live without my eternal companion.
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How are you and your eternal companion preparing each other? One day, one of you will pass through the veil before the other. Have you taken measures to prepare for that? Do you communicate and plan well for that time? It’s inevitable, so think about it.
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When we keep our temple covenants, then, come what may! Why should you worry? If not, and you are off track, you should probably remember the covenants you made with your wife and what you promised her.
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To all of you wonderful wives—those who may be struggling from a husband who decided to lie to you and the Lord. Learn from Elder Faust.
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Elder James E. Faust taught, your husband “must bear the responsibility for the train of consequences which inevitably follow if these covenants are not honored.”
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We need to recognize the sacred role the Savior himself put on womanhood. A woman is a nurturer by the way they are created. A husband should find specific things his wife is doing and gently reinforce her sacred role as a woman.
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Now, read this carefully, brothers and sisters.
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Elder Richard G. Scott spoke during an interview with Sheri Dew.
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”I don’t believe that the temple ordinance guarantees that we will be together forever. There will be a time, before that holy spirit of promise makes it eternal, where we will be in the presence of the Savior, as individuals, and there will be a choice.
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Whether we continue with the sealing or not, and I want to do everything in my power to qualify so that she will choose for that sealing to be eternal.”
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I pray I can do the same here during my mortal probation. I pray I will do things to convince my wife to choose for our eternal sealing to be eternal.
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Hear Him!

We pierced through the darkness.

We pierced through the darkness.
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I need you to think about this.
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The Gospel of Jesus Christ was REJECTED.
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The Son of God was killed.
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Why?
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Because the world was SO WICKED!!
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What happened next? They killed the Apostles and prophets, and we entered into a spiritual dark age. (2 Thes. 2:2–7).
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“For over seventeen hundred years on the eastern hemisphere, and for more than fourteen centuries on the western, there appears to have been silence between the heavens and the earth.” Talmage.
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If the world was wicked enough to reject Christ, His Apostles, and prophets, how evil do you think it got over the course of Seventeen Hundred years?
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Scripture ended, apostasy spread, and the church that Christ established during His earthly ministry ceased to exist. ( 2 Ne. 27:4–5).
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How powerful is God? Powerful enough to re-establish His Gospel.
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He restored His Gospel as evil prevailed, and darkness swept the world for centuries.
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“Wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing.
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A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world (Ether 8:18–25).
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As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil.
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As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure (See JS—H 1:45; D&C 1:9).
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But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally, truth will triumph.” EZT.
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Hear Him!!
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Art @reflectionsofchrist

God Will Prevail!

God Will Prevail!
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It’s as straightforward as that if we are in-tune with the spirit, immersed in scripture study, and earnestly seeking out our Heavenly Father in prayer.
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Joseph Smith taught us one of the most powerful lessons.
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I know I’m not alone when it comes to political matters and trying to figure out what is true and what is false.
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Joseph Smith felt a similar way with religion when he was a young boy. His example gives me hope and it should give you the same hope.
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Are you like the young prophet who is in desperate need of a loving God to ease the pain?
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“In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” JSH 1:10.
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If you find yourself asking that same question, this is what we learned from Joseph Smith.
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“While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, 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.”
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Joseph Smith was able to receive an answer. We, too, will be able to receive a response.
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God loves us and He is here for us.
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He will prevail!! Let God Prevail!! Hear Him!!
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Art by @kalenewalker @artoutthere

Have you feasted upon the scriptures?


Have you feasted upon the scriptures?
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President Nelson spoke in General Conference about his time spent feasting upon every related scripture related to the Gathering of Israel.
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This is a powerful message and a strong example for us to follow.
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We may have our own “feast” we are trying to consume. Whatever it is, are you doing it with all your heart, mind, and soul?
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President Nelson shared a personal study with us. A study that has captured his mind for more than 36 years.
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“I have studied the gathering, prayed about it, feasted upon every related scripture, and asked the Lord to increase my understanding.” President Nelson
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How about you? Have you done everything to receive new revelation and understanding of what captures your mind?
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Amazingly, we can always learn more. We can also be delighted when we find a new insight. Never stop and never give up. Continue learning about the things that capture your mind.
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I was asked a personal question last night by one of you wonderful followers. I want to share my response with everyone.
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The question: Have you ever been in a situation where you had a hard time making a decision/choice? What did you do? Or what had helped you to make the decision?
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My response: You’re Not Messing Up God’s Plan for You.
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That’s about the best answer I have for you or myself. God doesn’t measure us against any decision we make or don’t make.
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He wants us to talk to Him about the decisions we have to make, and He wants us to ask Him ”help me make the decision that is going to best further my mortal progression.” (I would add Eternally, as well).
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Once we’ve included Him in the decision process, we need to make a decision and trust the Lord will steer us in the direction of His will.
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As we include Him, feast, study, and pray, we will make decisions which will help us learn and progress (right or wrong). We will hear Him, and new insight will come.
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@eva_timothy @altusfineart

What has the Gospel taught you?

What has the Gospel taught you?
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If there is one thing the Gospel of Jesus Christ has taught me, it’s never to give up. It’s to keep pursuing my goals and dreams. It’s to turn the other cheek and ignore the negative influences.
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The Gospel has given me a sturdy platform to work from. Most of all, it has given me peace of mind. I don’t care what transpires during this lifetime. Of course, I want things to go my way, and I like to see my desires come to pass; however, it’s okay if none of it goes that way.
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Why?
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Well, because I know none of it is my will. The only thing that matters is the will of the Lord and if my goals are aligned with His. Otherwise, It’s doesn’t matter.
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Do you think the Lord cares who wins the Presidental election, the Governor of your State, or who wins in the NCAA and NFL?
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I care, but He doesn’t. Sure, those things will make me happy here in this life—That’s it!
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What He does care about is you and I. He cares how we treat each other. He cares about our scripture study and personal prayer. He cares about our mental health and spiritual wellbeing.
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God has always made it clear that it is our choice whether or not to obey. He knows our heart and He wants us to return to Him, and so as we seek His guidance, He shows us how to do just that. He is always trying to give us what we really, truly want. But it is always our choice.
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If we seek His guidance, we will understand all the things I mentioned don’t matter to Him. His Gospel is what matters to Him. He wants us to study it and take His Son’s name upon us.
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He wants us to hear Him. As we hear Jesus Christ, we will know that everything will be okay, and we can make it. He loves each of us. He wants us to get along and find Him together in all we do.
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Don’t get wrapped up in the world. Embrace the Gospel and receive the fruit it bears.
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The Gospel has taught me everything I need to know at this point in my life and it will only continue to teach me as the days go on.
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Hear Him!

PC: Brent Borup @altusfineart

Your mouth hasn’t been shut, so preach the Gospel.

Your mouth hasn’t been shut, so preach the Gospel.
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Do you have a “Mormon” son in your home? A boy who is 10 and preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood in the year they turn 12?
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When I heard that announcement nearly two years ago, my thoughts went to Mormon. He was considered a trustworthy boy. Ammaron came to him and laid out his course for the next 14 years.
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When he was 15 years old, the Lord took away His disciples, work of miracles, and healing. There were also no more gifts from the Lord. The Holy Ghost ceased to come to anyone. (Mormon Chapter 1).
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Can you imagine being Mormon? He was a 15-year-old kid who was given a massive assignment at the age of 10. Imagine having the task of going to a specific location in 14 years, obtaining a record for future generations (plates of Nephi), and scribing everything you have learned concerning the people.
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Then imagine this, you turn 15, and all the miracles, healing, gifts, and Lord’s disciples are gone. Then you’re visited by the Lord, and He gives you a taste of His goodness.
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What’s your first reaction after that visit? Probably the same as Mormon’s—Endeavor to preach the gospel to the people.
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However, you’re unable to, and your mouth has been shut—being forbidden to preach to your people.
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Take some time and think about that for a few minutes.
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The Lord trusts our Youth. He has always put His confidence in the youth. We need to do the same. We need to look at our young children, like Ammaron looked at Mormon—Sober child, quick to observe, trustworthy.
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If we can’t do that, we need to pray to have our minds opened to understanding from the Lord. He looks at them like that, and He has trusted them to hold the Aaronic Priesthood at that age.
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Now, your mouth hasn’t been shut, so preach the Gospel!
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We have full advantage of doing what Mormon could not. Our mouths are not forbidden. We have miracles; we have the priesthood; we have gifts of the Lord; we have disciples; we have a Prophet of God to guide us!!
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Take advantage of this time in history! We are a blessed people.
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Hear Him and preach His gospel!

The Dark Side


  • The Dark Side.
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    Today is Halloween, and with that comes the ”spooky, haunted, evil, and devilish” components.
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    Halloween is a fun day—so let’s not take what I’m about to write out of context. This is just my attempt to make a ”Halloween” post. Celebrate the holiday and enjoy your time spent with friends and family. Light your bonfires, wear your costumes and have fun warding off the ghosts.
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    What I want to express is something that comes as a reminder to all of us, especially to our youth. There really is a dark side, and it’s not something we should entice.
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    Elder Packer said the following.
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    “A warning: there is a dark side to spiritual things. In a moment of curiosity or reckless bravado some teenagers have been tempted to toy with Satan worship. Don’t you ever do that! Don’t associate with those who do! You have no idea of the danger! Leave it alone! And there are other foolish games and activities that are on that dark side. Leave them alone!”
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    A few posts ago, I wrote about making the right decision and worrying about yourself and not what others think of you. Now, here is what Elder Packer encourages.
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    “It is the courage to run away from unworthy things when you will be mocked for doing so. That courage is laced with wisdom. We had to gain it from experience; you need it now.
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    You have an alarm system built into both body and spirit. In your body it is pain; in your spirit it is guilt—or spiritual pain. While neither pain nor guilt is pleasant, and an excess of either can be destructive, both are a protection, for they sound the alarm “Don’t do that again!”
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    We need to recognize these alarms. We sometimes make mistakes and as humans, we feel we are doomed and our mistakes are everlasting. Satan wants you to believe that. It’s not true. He wants you to be miserable, just like he is miserable. Just like his evil hosts are miserable.
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    Every stain will come out. Christ’s blood has secured that promise. He asks you to come unto Him and follow His teachings.
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    Have a happy Halloween!
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    Hear Him!

“Even when we think we cannot rise up, there is still hope.”

”Even when we think we cannot rise up, there is still hope.”

Elder Uchtdorf continued, “And sometimes we just need someone to look us in the eyes, take our hand, and say, “You can do it now!”
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Here is my attempt to the world and all of you who follow my account—Rise up and do it now!
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Even if you are at your lowest of lows, you can rise up, and you can do it now!
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“As long as we are willing to rise up again and continue on the path, … we can learn something from failure and become better and happier.” Uchtdorf.
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We have a lot to be grateful for. Having the chance to even ”Rise Up” and be forgiven of our sins is one of the greatest gifts we could have ever been given! The atonement of Christ is to be utilized and not pushed away.
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Why would we not jump at that chance?
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I feel it’s a lack of knowledge. If the world understood the atonement, there would be more peace and happiness. People would be rising up and continuing on the path.
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What path? The path to exaltation and eternal happiness. Christ paved the way for us! We have a God telling us to Rise Up and move forward. He is giving us opportunity after opportunity to become healed through his atoning blood.
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My goodness!! You screwed up. Who doesn’t? Oh, you screwed up 10-1000 times? Yeah, that means you’re trying!! It doesn’t mean you give up—it means you RISE UP!! You do it again and again. Stop getting discouraged and Rise up!!
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Get over the quitter personality and mindset. Is that what you are? Is that what you want to be known as? I sure don’t.
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Do you think God gave life to ”quitter” children? I mean, think about that for a few seconds. Did the God of this world and other worlds breathe life into quitter children? We. Are. His. Children!! I know he doesn’t he want quitters.
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We can rise up, and we can do it now. We can do it together, and we do it by hearing Him!!
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PC: Doc Christensen @altusfineart

“Your dad is my hero.”

”Your dad is my hero.”
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I have grown up in a law enforcement family. My dad served thirty years as a police officer. I am going into my thirteenth year, and my older brother completed his tenth year.
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My entire life, I’ve heard great stories about my dad. Never once have I listened to a negative one. My dad and I sometimes joke about his career, and I tell him, “if you weren’t such a kind guy, you would have promoted higher than you did.”
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To each their own—the stories I receive prove on a far grander scale, he was a more impactful leader without all the heavy brass.
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I was sitting in a training class today, and a well-seasoned officer approached me. He asked me if my dad was “Steve”(to protect his name), and I confirmed he was indeed my dad.
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He said, ”I want you to know your dad is my hero. He changed my life and the course of my career over fifteen years ago.”
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I didn’t know how to reply besides saying my dad is my hero, as well. I asked him what it was my dad did to make such an impact on his life.
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He swallowed hard, and with tears in his eyes, he said, ”I was going through a hard time in my career, and administration was coming down on me. Your dad told me something I’ve used over and over in my life and my career. He said, ”Well, prove them wrong.”
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He didn’t expect me to understand how powerful the statement was to him, but he wanted to let me know that my dad was his hero.
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Life is interesting.
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Life is short.
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Life is precious.
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I have been told countless stories about my dad over the years. The kind acts and deeds he went about doing. There is a reason he is my dad.
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There is a reason you are you, too! Whether you’re a dad, mom, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt—it doesn’t matter. You are somebody and somebody needs you. You may never know who you help along the way. You may never know what impact you had during your journey. You have a purpose!
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How do you want to be remembered?
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Are you looking for recognition?
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Do you seek your own interests and put yourself before others?
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What kind of person do you want to present to the Lord when he comes?
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For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
(John 13:15)

See people through a new lens.

See people through a new lens.
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Throughout my entire career, I’ve seen people at their worst—their lowest of lows. Never have I experienced a call for service where someone wanted to tell me about how great their day had been.
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Why don’t we take some time and try to figure out what the underlying issue is? Not just in my profession but in everything we do?
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Why are we reluctant to communicate with individuals we don’t know? What is holding us back from pursuing a conversation with our Heavenly brothers and sisters?
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What makes us so uncomfortable to engage other people and get to know their strengths as well as their weaknesses?
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You meet a homeless man or woman. Your first thought might be, ”Oh, let me give them money for food or a hotel.” That’s an assumption. You assume that’s what they need. You may read their poster, and it says, ”Starving, need food.” Now, it’s no longer an assumption because you read their poster, and that’s what they need, right? Wrong!
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The intent in your heart is good, but would you sit down with them and get to the bottom of what’s causing their homelessness or mental health needs? Who’s responsibility is it to take care of each other? Is it Law Enforcement? Is it the Mental Health workers? Is it the Church Clergyman/woman? Is it the hospital?
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Who’s responsible?
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We all are.
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If that’s true, why do we fear to engage our communities and help our brothers and sisters in crisis? Giving a couple of bucks for a burger isn’t solving any problem. It’s putting a bandaid on a wound. We aren’t stitching it up and fixing the injury by doing those things.
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What would Christ do? Drop a couple of bucks in their bucket and go on his way?
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We can make a real difference in our communities and our Nation if we take time to slow down.
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We can make a real difference in our communities if we stop judging and fearing one another.
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We can make a real difference in our communities if we take time to engage and meet new brothers and sisters each day.
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We can make a difference in our communities if we truly do our best to walk with the Savior and do as he commanded us to do.
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See people through a new lens and Hear Him!
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PC: Unknown

What are the treasures to be found by raising our vision?


What are the treasures to be found by raising our vision?
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What an interesting thought. Can you name some of the treasures? If so, I want to hear some of them in the comments on this post.
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Stephen looked upward: “Being full of the Holy Ghost, he looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55.).
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What a wild world we live in. I say wild because that’s how a large majority of people live. There is no control or discipline. Many live believing in no consequence. Trust me; there is always a consequence.
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Elder Faust spoke in General Conference and said the following: “My heart and understanding go out to our young people. They have to cope with a darkness, and moral fog as dense as many of us can ever remember. We live in a world where success seems largely measured by possessions.
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The standard of the common thief, “What can we get away with?” has become the standard for many in the world rather than what our own integrity ought to demand that we do. What has happened to self-respect and personal integrity, which would not permit even entertaining the idea of doing cheap or small things?”
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Heber C. Kimball recorded the following vision was manifested to Joseph Smith as near he could recollect.
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“He saw the Twelve going forth, and they appeared to be in a far distant land. After some time, they unexpectedly met together, apparently in great tribulation, their clothes all ragged, and their knees and feet sore. They formed into a circle, and all stood with their eyes fixed upon the ground. The Savior appeared and stood in their midst and wept over them, and wanted to show Himself to them, but they did not discover Him.”
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What would have happened if they looked up? They would have probably seen Jesus Christ crying and feeling the same pain and suffering they were going through.
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Brothers and Sisters, look up! He is with you. Look towards Heavenly treasures as you raise your vision. The treasures here on earth are temporary. The ones you can take with you are your family. Look at them and treat them as your treasures!
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Hear Him!
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PC: @eva_timothy

The Book of Mormon has never guided me off the path to righteousness.

The Book of Mormon has never guided me off the path to righteousness.
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There are many worldly things, and I’ve guided myself off the beaten path—not The Book of Mormon. When “controllable” things go horribly wrong, it’s usually 99.9% my fault. When I make choices, I need to take ownership—so do you.
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Every time I’m indulged in studying The Book of Mormon, there is a different awareness in my life. I see things more apparent than usual. There is an undoubted sense of peace in my life. How can this be if the book were of the devil’s doing?
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I would like those who believe the book is of the devil to sit down with me and listen to my life story. When I am done, I would like to gather their notes and see what wicked things I’ve done by abiding by the precepts of The Book of Mormon. I would like them to rip my character apart for all the horrible things they wrote down.
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The only things that would be on their notepad would be things I may have participated in when The Book of Mormon wasn’t at the center of my heart. I’m lead to do good things. I’m asked to do hard things. I’m warned to love those who do wrong to me and love them regardless.
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Find out for yourself. Moroni 10:3-5.
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“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how ​​​merciful​ the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ​​​ponder​ it in your ​​​hearts​.
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And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ​​​ask​ God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not ​​​true​; and if ye shall ask with a ​​​sincere heart​, with ​​​real intent​, having ​​​faith​ in Christ, he will ​​​manifest​ the ​​​truth​ of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
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​​​And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may ​​​know​ the ​​​truth​ of all things.”
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Stop listening to the world and listen to Him. I testify to you The Book of Mormon is the world of God. The Bible and The Book of Mormon complement each other like your left hand to your right.
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Hear Him!
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PC: Cary Henrie @altusfineart

When the light turns on, the darkness vanishes.

When the light turns on, the darkness vanishes.
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It’s true—walk into a dark room and turn on the light. Did it take a few seconds to vanish, or did it do it immediately? The answer is the latter.
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That’s what happens when you decide to follow Christ. Don’t get me wrong; you’ll have to continue turning on the lights, and sometimes your light bulbs may go out, but you have to monitor and repair continually.
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Sometimes you’re going to have to step into the darkness to pull a friend out or a family member out. It might not be easy to get to them; it may seem impossible with the darkness; however, use your intellect—bring the light with you.
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As you continue to study, pray, and seek the Lord, you’re going to have the light to do things that seem impossible. “With men, it is impossible, but not with God: for with God, all things are possible.” Matt 19:16–26.
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Once you know how to turn on your light, you’re not finished. You need to turn on the light of the world. There is work to be done. There is darkness in this world and a lot of it. We need to move forward and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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Christ lives, and so does His doctrine. His Church is here on earth, and the same established principles and saving ordinances are here to stay!
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We have a Prophet of God to lead us and to help show us and teach us where to shine our lights and how to do it the most effective way.
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“The ultimate power rests with the Lord and with His Priesthood, with His servants. That idea should be an encouragement to members of the Church when they are intruded upon by forces that are evil and dark. Ultimately the power of light can hold them in abeyance.” (THT, p. 123).
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Hear Him!
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PC: Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave @altusfineart

Are you ashamed to partake of the fruit of the tree?

Are you ashamed to partake of the fruit of the tree?
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Have you shared what you learned today with someone, or were you ashamed of what you did?
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Did you read your scriptures today and discuss them with a friend, or were you ashamed of what you did?
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Are you going to bear your testimony to a member, less active member, non-member, or are you ashamed?
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When your friends ask you if you’re a “Mormon,” are you going to say, “I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” or are you ashamed to be a member of Christ’s church?
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There are so many things we can be PROUD of!! Partaking of the fruit of the tree of life is nothing to be ashamed of.
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When we feel ashamed because we “don’t fit in,” just remember your purpose. God isn’t going to force you to follow His commandments; he isn’t going to force you to have faith in His Son, and He isn’t going to make you read scriptures or pray to Him.
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The Devil wants you to feel ashamed. He wants you to turn away from the Lord and listen to your peers. He wants to deceive you.
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“He has no power over us unless we permit him.” (Teachings).
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He is going to try and manipulate our choices in life—we have consent!! He has no ultimate power over you unless you consent to it. That’s why God rejected Lucifer’s idea. He didn’t want an atonement. He wanted agency to come without the Saviors Atonement.
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“During all of the taunting, the abuse, the scourging, and the final torture of crucifixion, the Lord remained silent and submissive. Except, that is, for one moment of intense drama, which reveals the very essence of Christian doctrine.
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One can only imagine the quiet majesty when the Lord responded to Pilot. “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:11).” Packer.
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We, too, have power. It’s the power of the atonement that the devil will never have! Hear Him and be not ashamed to follow Him!

Take a look at the stars, and you’ll know God foreordained you

Take a look at the stars, and you’ll know God foreordained you!
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It’s been an excellent week for me, as I hope it has been for each of you. I’ve spend several nights camping under the stars and listening to the sounds of nature.
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There is one thing I was assured of—God loves His people! We sometimes don’t look hard enough, or we get caught up in the noise of our current circumstances (work, school, and even church assignments), forgetting to recognize and thank Him for everything we have.
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Why wouldn’t we have a purpose in God’s plan? Look at the stars and ask yourself that question. You’ll realize you do almost instantaneously. We are not alone in the BIG universe—sorry science.
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Joseph Smith said, “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the grand council of heaven before this world was.” (Teachings).
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Elder McConkie taught—”All those who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in this life were, as Alma teaches, “called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God,” because they were among the noble and great in that premortal sphere. (Alma 13:3.)”
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Paul taught—faithful members of the Church, those “that love God” and “are called according to his purpose,” are foreordained “to be conformed to the image of his Son,” to be “joint-heirs with Christ,” and to have eternal life in our Father’s kingdom. (Rom. 8:17, 28.)
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The greatest talents we can have are these—the talent for spirituality—the talent to believe and accept the truth—the talent to desire righteousness.
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You can know you were foreordained, but it’s going to take effort on your part. Study, pray, and ponder. Accomplish His will by “a listening ear and to give heed to the words that fall from the lips of those who wear the prophetic mantle.” McConkie.
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I promise as you do these things, you’ll find comfort and peace through your current circumstances. You’ll know God has foreordained you and He needs you to accomplish His will.
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Hear Him!

Hard work yields a result, no matter the outcome.

Hard work yields a result, no matter the outcome.
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The past few days, I’ve hiked and walked more than I have for several years. I’ve climbed some steep areas and have had very little sleep.
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As I’ve done this, I’ve realized a few things about myself: I can push myself to do hard things. I have prepared my mind and body for the physical and mental challenges, and I am happy with whatever outcome I get because I’ve worked my butt off.
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The physical ‘in hand’ reward isn’t always the result of hard work—sometimes we don’t get a physical ‘in hand’ actual reward.
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Why put in the effort and work your butt off to have nothing to show for it?
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Rewards are not always tangible evidence of great effort. This is part of my personal belief that participation trophies are garbage. They are not earned. They are given to anyone.
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What was the reward Christ received for the Atonement? Was His expectation for completing the Atonement a personal reward? Think about those two questions.
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Have you thought about them?
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Now, ask yourself this: Do you only do things in hopes of an award? Sure, it’s nice to obtain an award after hard work, don’t get me wrong. The message I’m trying to deliver is that we shouldn’t expect an award for everything we do.
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Life is going to challenge us; we are expected to be obedient to God and His laws. Our reward isn’t a physical ‘in hand’ award for our obedience; however, it’s much more significant—It’s called eternal life!
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Doctrine and Covenants 64:11, “And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God ​​​judge​ between me ​​and thee, and ​​​reward​ thee according to thy ​​​deeds​.”
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Doctrine and Covenants 31:12, “Pray​ always, lest you enter into ​​​temptation​ and lose your ​​​reward​.”
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Doctrine and Covenants 6:33, “Fear not​ to do ​​​good​, my sons, for whatsoever ye ​​​sow​, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow ​​​good,​ ye shall also reap good for your ​​​reward​.”
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To that, I add, Hear Him and receive your reward!
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Art by Annie Henrie Nader @altusfineart

With faith, we do as the Lord directs.

With faith, we do as the Lord directs.
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There have been some instances where I have thought, “How is it possible to take the message of the gospel to the entire world?” I would assume I am not the only person to have thought this.
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It’s really beyond any of our comprehension. There are things I’ve done in my own life that I would have considered impossible, yet, I’ve accomplished the task.
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How is that so? The hand of God. That’s how. That’s how ‘unbelievable’ things occur. That’s how we will bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world.
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Elder Boyd K. Packer, who said: “Since baptism is essential there must be an urgent concern to carry the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
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“We accept the responsibility to preach the gospel to every person on earth. And if the question is asked, ‘You mean you are out to convert the entire world?’ the answer is, ‘Yes. We will try to reach every living soul.’
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“Some who measure that challenge quickly say, ‘Why that’s impossible! It cannot be done!’
“To that we simply say, ‘Perhaps, but we shall do it anyway.’” (Ensign, Nov. 1975, p. 97.).
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Where there is a will, there is a way, only this time; it’s not our will. It’s the Lord’s will. Why would he allow a way for us to carry His message to the world? The answer is simple; He will.
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We need to have faith and not question the Lord and His will. Everything is in His time and His way. We just need to “put our shoulder to the wheel.” If we’re willing to make a strenuous effort and work hard, putting our faith in Christ, we will accomplish His work.
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Hear Him and share the Gospel!
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Artist Unknown

Life didn’t go the way you planned—so what?

Life didn’t go the way you planned—so what?
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I remember the first real interview I had. I was 21 and dumb. I was interviewing for my first job as a police officer. I will never forget the question they asked me, “What is your five-year plan?”
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I had no idea. I wasn’t married. I had no kids. I was living with mommy and daddy. I was fresh off of my mission. I had a girlfriend (my wife now).
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None of that mattered, and that question was stupid. It’s still a dumb question (my opinion). If anyone were to ask me my five to ten-year plan right now, I would tell them to focus on the moment and plan for the week or month.
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Let me tell you why.
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I don’t control God. I don’t control what curveballs are thrown into my life. I don’t control mother nature. I don’t control most administrative changes. I don’t control the economy.
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How was I supposed to predict that 4 years later, I would leave them for another police agency? How was I supposed to predict that 6 years later, my sister-in-law would pass away? How was I supposed to predict my wife and I would have two kids and adopt two more (My sister-in-law’s babies)?
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My life didn’t go as I planned—so what?? I never expected my life to go a certain way. I learned from a young age that I didn’t have much control over significant life-altering events.
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God is and always has been in control. The minute we realize that you can let go of the wheel and punch the gas. Let Him steer! You operate the vehicle and let Him guide your path.
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When you pray, layout your goals for the day, the week, and the month. He wants to know what “work” you’re putting in. Then ask Him to let you know if you need to make changes and if so, ask Him to show you. Talk to your Father in Heaven! He loves you. You are His child.
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When significant changes come, embrace them and work through them with the Lord.
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“Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” Elder Holland.
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Hear Him!
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PC: Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave @altusfineart

Have you committed to standing strong and firm in your faith?

Have you committed to standing strong and firm in your faith? You’re going to be challenged by your peers, and the world for being a member of Christ’s Church. Be ready for it.
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People are going to ridicule you, but privately they will respect you for your standards. I’ve seen this time and time again in my own life. We are not, and we do not have to be the same person we were 5, 10, 15 years ago.
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Who says you can’t change? I’ll tell you who. It’s someone who wishes they had your determination and will power. It’s someone who isn’t strong enough to make the right choices for themselves. It’s someone that wants you to fail with them. It’s someone with no discipline.
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You’re going to be persecuted, ridiculed, mocked, scorn, and shunned. Most people won’t even know why they are doing so, and some will laugh at you for being a member. The worst will be those who have tasted of it’s goodness and fallen away from it.
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People who have read the Book of Mormon, believed in it, were brought to the waters of baptism because of it, and have decided to trash it; they will try the hardest to bring you down with them.
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To those individuals, I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry because they personally believe they were misled by another person. They feel someone convinced them to say ”I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the restoration. I know we have a living Prophet and Apostles on earth today. I know the Gospel is true.”
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I’m sorry, but that is taking no ownership for your own actions and choices. That’s you blaming someone else for something you chose to do. You chose to read the Book of Mormon, you chose to pray, you chose to say you had a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you chose to make covenants with God. No one else, but you!
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Never in my life have I chose to do something so significant and make such serious choices and then blamed someone else and called them misleading. I choose to do my homework and if I’m wrong, I don’t blame anyone but myself.
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“No member of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon” JFS.
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Hear Him!

Why does God not intervene?

Why does God not intervene?
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I’ve been asked this question more than I can count. It’s usually one of two things—it’s either God’s fault or God doesn’t exist.
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Listening to Elder Holland during General Conference, the answer was given. I’m going to share a few quotes from his talk.
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“He is pure love, gloriously personified, and Merciful Father is His name.
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“Well, if this is the case,” you might say, “shouldn’t His love and mercy simply part our personal Red Seas and allow us to walk through our troubles on dry ground?”
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I think that’s a fair question. Why can’t we walk on dry ground and just skip over any hardship we are given? He is a God of all the above and can provide help at any time.
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“The point is that faith means trusting God in good times and bad, even if that includes some suffering until we see His arm revealed in our behalf.” Elder Holland makes some excellent points.
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Here are my thoughts: If you trust God during the good times in life, why can’t you trust Him during the hard times? It’s almost as if He doesn’t exist when the test begins. Individuals become spoiled brats who disregard Him when the times get tough—My advice: stop throwing a temper tantrum and secure your faith in God. You’re either in, or you’re out. You can’t love Him only when things are good for you.
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Here is why God doesn’t intervene on everything—like the answer or not.
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“One’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free.” It simply will not work “to glide naively through life,” saying as we sip another glass of lemonade, “Lord, give me all thy choicest virtues, but be certain not to give me grief, nor sorrow, nor pain, nor opposition.
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Please do not let anyone dislike me or betray me, and above all, do not ever let me feel forsaken by Thee or those I love. In fact, Lord, be careful to keep me from all the experiences that made Thee divine.
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And then, when the rough sledding by everyone else is over, please let me come and dwell with Thee, where I can boast about how similar our strengths and our characters are as I float along on my cloud of comfortable Christianity.
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Christianity is comforting, but it is often not comfortable.”
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He does love you. Hear Him!

Who will they really know?

Who will they really know?
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Do your friends, families, relatives, co-workers, and those you may serve church callings with know who you are?
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Are you the same person at church as you are at work? Are you the same person in your home as you are outside of your home?
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Why is it so difficult to be true to yourself? What holds you back from staying true to the spirit that dwells inside of you?
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Are you kind to people only when you are around them, and when they turn their back, do you talk about them in negative ways?
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Ask yourself if you do this, ”And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” 2 Nephi 25:26.
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Do you represent those things, and when push comes to shove, do you stand up for Christ and hold to the iron rod?
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“We invite you to be a major part of sharing the message of the ongoing Restoration of the Savior’s gospel. . . . The time to act is now. This is a hinge point in the history of the Church, and your part is vital.” —President Russell M. Nelson.
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How clear does it need to be? We are at a hinge point—According to a dictionary, “A hinge point is the point where something literally pivots. It’s the turning point where you are going to see a significant change take place.”
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So, are you going to make the pivot and be part of the significant changes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? We are in the final days, brothers and sisters. Running out of time is happening.
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I want to remind you of another important reason to be true to yourself and a major reason to ask yourself, ”Who will they really know.”
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“As President of His Church, I plead with you who have distanced yourselves from the Church and with you who have not yet really sought to know that the Savior’s Church has been restored. Do the spiritual work to find out for yourselves, and please do it now. Time is running out.” — President Russell M. Nelson
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Hear Him!

“Our individual exit routes from this life vary; so does the timing.” Elder Maxwell.


“Our individual exit routes from this life vary; so does the timing.” Elder Maxwell.
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A few posts back, I spoke about trials. I spoke about praying for trials and recognizing them when they come. No one WANTS a trial & is excited to enter the fiery furnace, but we “receive no witness until AFTER the trial of your faith.” Prophet Moroni taught us this in Ether 12:6.
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Maxwell taught, “Those who emerge successfully from their varied and fiery furnaces have experienced the grace of the Lord, which He says is sufficient (see Ether 12:27). Even so, brothers & sisters, such emerging individuals, do not rush to line up in front of another fiery furnace in order to get an extra turn!
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However, since the mortal school is of such short duration, our tutoring Lord can be the Schoolmaster of the compressed curriculum.”
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Life is uncertain—We don’t know what will happen in the next five seconds, days, months, or years. There are going to be days we are happy or sad. We are going to be allotted certain things from the Lord.
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“But behold, I am a man, & do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.” Alma 29:3.
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Here are some things we could potentially be allotted or we may be directly effected by.
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Brain tumor, breast cancer, paralysis, hearing loss, blindness, mental illness, PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, dementia, autism, OCD, ADHD, eating disorders, mood disorders, & more.
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”There are many who suffer so much more than the rest of us: some go agonizingly; some go quickly; some are healed; some are given more time; some seem to linger. There are variations in our trials, but no immunities.” Maxwell.
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That’s the fiery furnace, brothers, and sisters. We don’t know what we get until we enter it. We also don’t get to choose if we enter it or not—It’s unavoidable. We can either enter it with the Lord or enter it without Him.
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If you’ve chosen to enter it without Him or entered it not knowing who He was, I promise you He is waiting for you. Find Him & Hear Him as you go through it.
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His loving Father allowed His Son, our Redeemer & Savior to go through the fiery furnace for ALL of us.
Art W Maughan

Never Stop Fighting

Never stop fighting.
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Today is a special day. It’s my firstborn’s golden birthday. Emma was born on Ten-Ten-Ten, and today she turned Ten.
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She is the most competitive of all my children. Her fight to win in everything she does is ridiculous but comical.
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We have talked about trials in our life, but I don’t think we’ve thought about the trials we are given in our infancy.
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Emma was born and immediately taken to the NICU at St. Mark’s hospital. As a first-time mom and dad, there was some worry, fear, and emotion.
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Three of the closest times I’ve felt to a loving Heavenly Father were the days my children were born. Emma’s birthday was a day I felt His presence the most in my entire life.
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They took Emma, and after a while, I was able to go to the NICU to see her. I remember walking into the room filled with babies, and I walked over to Emma. A nurse didn’t guide me over, and there was no name tag placed on her station.
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There she was, fighting for what I believed to be her life. Cords everywhere, oxygen in her nose, and IV’s attached.
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A few minutes after standing there, the caretaking nurse walked over and placed a personalized decorated nametag on her station.
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At that moment, I realized I had no clue initially if that was my baby or not. I had just walked into a room with babies and happened to stop at my daughter’s station.
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As a dad, I couldn’t tell you which baby is which. If it were left up to me, I probably would have gone home with all the wrong children, if they weren’t tagged—Not with Emma, though.
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There was a connection with my daughter the moment I saw her. When I saw her in the NICU, I did not doubt. I knew she would be just fine.
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Emma has turned out to be one of the strongest, smartest, and healthiest kids. She came into this world with a trial, and she has been loved and blessed for the past ten years.
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To the parents who are in similar situations, know your Heavenly Father has a plan for your child and you. Sometimes the outcomes are not what we expect, but it is His will. Hear Him and know through Him, you can find comfort.

My Brother’s Keeper

My brother’s keeper.
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What do you think? We definitely know the answer from Cain. We also know what our Father expects from us in his question before Cains questions back to him.
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God expected Cain to know where His brother was. He wasn’t asking a rhetorical question, although it could appear that way, since God knows all; however, He genuinely wanted Cain to answer His question.
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Cain replied, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9).
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What do you think? Are we our brothers’ keepers?
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After general conference, maybe there is a great understanding of this. We were asked and counseled in many talks to love our enemies and do good to those who wrong us.
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Let’s take a look at a few scriptures: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 19:19).”
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“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17).”
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“Our service to others may not be so dramatic, but we can bolster human spirits, clothe cold bodies, feed hungry people, comfort grieving hearts, and lift to new heights precious souls.” President Thomas S Monson.
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I’m here to tell you, WE ARE OUR “BROTHERS KEEPER.”
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It’s part of the purpose of life. The plan of eternal happiness is bringing everyone home to our Father’s kingdom. Why do you think we do missionary work if we aren’t our “brother’s keeper?” Why share with them? Why help people?
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The Lord is asking us the same question today as we fight one another in this contentious world we are facing. So, next time you decide to do wrong to another individual, remember the words of our Father in Heaven, “And the Lord said unto Cain (YOU), Where is Abel (YOUR HEART) thy brother?
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Artist unknown.

I Never Left You

I never left you.
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Sometimes we feel obligated to be someone everyone else expects us to be. We get entangled in everything but the main focus—Jesus Christ.
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He wants us to be ourselves. He doesn’t want me to be you, nor does he want you to be me. He wants us to be unique.
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About two weeks before general conference, I issued a challenge to a dear friend. I challenged her to draw a photo of Christ. As she’s struggled with anxiety, mental health, and other extreme trials, I asked her to try to hear Him. She accepted the challenge and has focused on the Savior for the past few weeks.
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In this photo, we see the pure heart. We see a daughter of God. We see the emotion of a daughter of God. We see firsthand, through her eyes, how she sees the Lord and how she knows He sees her.
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From the artist, “At first I went at it to create something people would want to see…but I felt no connection doing it that way. I thought about it, and then it ended up coming out as a personal experience. This past year, I felt alone; however, I knew I was being watched from above, even though I felt alone in my pleas.
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I would take off and hide to avoid capture after running in the street, and I would just sob. I cried—My pleas of putting to rest that “horrible part of my brain” felt ignored. I cried that I was hurting people.
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I was so upset and angry that I could continue doing this despite it being against my moral standards and beliefs.
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Whatever it is, there was a reason I was left to behave that away. There’s a reason why I’m uninjured and alive. There are so many reasons why things happened the way they did.
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I look back now and realize I wasn’t alone. I never was. I didn’t recognize it at the time, because I assumed the spirit surely wouldn’t stick with someone making the choices I did.
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That’s why I have named this photo “I never left you.” “
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Art by Courtney Earnhart

Hold on to Your Integrity

Hold on to your integrity.
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We will be thrown some real curveballs, and some things will seem attractive at the moment, but may not be honest—They may jeopardize your integrity.
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“Blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right.” (D&C 124:15.)
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This is a lesson we can all learn from. We need to make decisions that are honest and align our decision based on God’s will.
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I grew up in a home where integrity was practiced. My parents were very good examples of that. My dad was a police officer for thirty years; he was a part-time fireman and he served many church callings.
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My mom was the keystone to our family and made sure we all held high standards in our home. I don’t know where to begin with my mom, but if it weren’t for her, her family wouldn’t be where they are today.
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Together, they raised three boys who all served honorable missions. They also raised a daughter who has done some incredible things.
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”To me, integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant.” Elder Wirthlin.
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How willing are we to be like Job? “Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.” (Job 27:5.).
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Are you willing to lose everything and hold on to your integrity? Family, friends, work? What is more important to you?
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It may come down to that one day for some of us. Do you take credit for work you didn’t do? If your co-worker or subordinate do something great, are you going to give them the praise they deserve? Or, are you going to take the credit and take the promotion you didn’t earn?
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Our leaders demonstrated true integrity this past weekend. They could have avoided topics on race, the constitution, protests, and so many other things; however, they didn’t. They addressed them like a hammer to a nail. They maintained their integrity.
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Hear Him!
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Art by Dale Parson

What has Jesus Christ done for you?

What has Jesus Christ done for you?
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Some of you may be struggling with this question. You may wonder if Christ even exists or you know he exists but you may feel He doesn’t bother to comfort you.
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Why should you return to Church activity? People are cold to you; you don’t feel welcome, or maybe you see people who are hypocritical in their day to day activities. It simply could be that the Church just doesn’t meet your needs. Maybe you’ve read literature from outside sources that you find contradicting. There could be several reasons.
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With all the reasons you may have, what do you expect to receive from Jesus Christ, from His Gospel, from participating in His Church?
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The social experience at Church can be pleasant, but you’re going to be disappointed if that’s the reason you’re attending sacrament meeting and other class instruction. I don’t know what to tell you. If your sole motivation for going to church is socialization, you’re wrong and need to reconsider the purpose.
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Reconsider what Jesus Christ has done for you. Did Jesus Christ Atone for His sins? Think about that—Was His purpose on this earth for Himself? Did He come to this earth to socialize and entertain Himself with the desires and will of man? When He was mocked and ridiculed, did He stop teaching His Gospel? Was He offended?
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What has Jesus Christ done for you? Are we that selfish that we “serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly” (Rom. 16:18).
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You went inactive—so what. Come back! Christ didn’t leave you, quit on you, or turn you away. So don’t do it to Him. He knows there are cruel and selfish people amongst His fold. Did He quit when Judas betrayed him?
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Christ NEVER gave up on you. He NEVER will give up on you.
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He loves you. Don’t be offended and give up because you feel betrayed. Christ pressed forward after Judas betrayed Him. He completed His Father’s will. He atoned for our sins and was resurrected. We have eternal life through Him only!
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The guy who wrote the anti-literature you read, did He provide a plan for your eternal happiness, or was His plan for you to fight the Church of Jesus Christ the rest of your days and prove it wrong? Hear Him and come back!

God Loves All of His Children

God loves All of His children
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It’s as simple as that—There were some incredible talks this morning during our first session of general conference. The message I took from each speaker was the fact that God indeed loves all of us.
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We are in the center of some unusual times, but our prophet assured us, “unusual times can bring unusual blessings.” That is such sound advice. We need to listen to that and look for opportunities to find the unusual blessings we are receiving. I know I have seen them in my own life.
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We need to be prepared, as well. Our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ wants us to have our lamps full. They don’t want us to be left out. They want us to enjoy the rich blessings that will come when Christ reigns again in glory on this earth.
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Our Father in Heaven also wants us to be honest with ourselves. They are there to help us along the way. If we are honest with ourselves, we will be open-minded and ready to receive the revelation He has for us and wants to bless us with.
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One of my favorite take-aways from this conference was from Elder Rasband—Let’s do everything we can to hold a current temple recommend. This is extremely important because it’s EFFORT, and the Lord loves EFFORT. As we work towards obtaining and keeping a present temple recommend, we are going to have the blessings of being “recommended to the Lord.”
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Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He provided us scriptures to understand His will and plan for us. If we expound our studies of the scriptures, we will be prepared to receive blessings, revelation, and comfort, knowing we are worthy to be “recommended” to the Lord.
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Elder Oaks drove home an excellent example which proves our Heavenly Father and Savior love ALL of the children. Christ himself taught us to “Love our enemies.” Now, why would he ask that of us unless He himself loved ALL? He truly does.
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It’s not easy to love if we don’t understand why we should love. If we can’t love our enemies, we need to search our scriptures harder, pray for understanding, and make attempts to mend relationships with our enemies. We will only be blessed as we do what we are asked.
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Hear Him!
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Art by Harry Anderson

Avoid Temptation Today

Avoid Temptation Today!
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Tomorrow is General Conference. Whatever temptation you may have today, do your best to avoid it and change direction!
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“We look forward to General Conference… It’s a time that will be forever remembered.” Elder Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
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What are you willing to do TODAY to prepare your mind spiritually and maintain the presence of the Holy Ghost? That statement by Elder Andersen is a message from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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The twelve Apostles are His Special Witness. They are seers and revelators. They testify, preach, and baptize in His name.
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You can take that message from Elder Andersen as a direct message from the Lord. The Lord is telling us this conference is a time that will forever be remembered!
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I plead with everyone to take that message and do whatever you can to prepare for tomorrow and Sunday. Avoid any temptation today and go into this weekend READY to receive the message from our Prophet, Apostles, and leaders.
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The past six months have been life-altering for me. I have a deeper connection with my savior Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven. I feel their direction in my duties at home and work.
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I am not perfect; I still argue with my wife; I still get frustrated with my children; I still struggle with personal choices; I still need my savior’s influence every day.
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Having changed course over the past few months, I have found the “Iron Rod.” If you’re lost and drowning in life, I urge you to find the Lord. His message is located in the scriptures; He is waiting for you to kneel in prayer.
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Find the Iron Rod this weekend. Avoid temptation today and HEAR HIM!

Drugs and Suicide

Drugs & Suicide
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One of the most common things I’ve seen in my career is drugs and suicide. They are also two of the most common things I’ve experienced in my life that have interrupted happiness.
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I’ve lost my friends and family members to the two categories. Many times, I’ve asked myself what I could have done to prevent it, and I’ve beat myself up for years.
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I still don’t have a best answer for myself or anyone who many have experienced the passing of a loved one due to either of these.
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It doesn’t get easier, either. You just learn how to manage it better.
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One thing I have learned, everyone is going to battle their demons. Sometimes, we hide them so well that no one but God will ever know.
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A second thing I have learned, we can all reach out to someone and offer assistance or just an ear to listen.
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A third thing I have learned, I am not in control of my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t make their decisions, and I don’t need to know exactly why they allow overdose, suicide, murder, sexual abuse, pandemics.
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Now, here is the best thing I have learned, and I’m still learning. I will learn how to manage these interrupted times of happiness. As I align my will towards the Lord’s, I’ll have a better understanding of these things.
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It’s not my will but His. Nothing I do is my will. The quicker we can learn that, the easier it will be to manage devastating moments.
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That’s what I love about the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have hope! The plan of salvation is the plan of eternal happiness. We have the opportunity to live again with our loved ones.
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It brings me great comfort, knowing this life isn’t the end. We need to hear Him! As we do, we will manage better and our faith in Christ will increase. We will gain testimonies of our own and know he broke the eternal bands of death and rose again! We will, too. He has shown us the way.
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Art by Annie Nader

What do We Fear?

What do we fear?
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“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:6–7.).
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Wouldn’t that be nice? I know I’m not entirely without fear, and I haven’t met anyone who can say they are.
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Paul understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew his purpose and his purpose was to be faithful to the Lord. He reminded Timothy of this about the time he was “ready to be offered.”
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We are each unique in the sense that we all have different levels of fear. We also fear different things. Some have a fear of death, failure, loneliness, or being mistreated.
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Whatever your fear may be, you’re not alone in it. We also need to remember that fear does not come from God. It comes from the adversary. Fear is motivated by evil and unrighteous influence.
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Our Heavenly Father has given us power! “What power? The power of the gospel, the power of truth, the power of faith, the power of the priesthood.” Gordon B Hinckley.
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The following three paragraphs are words to live by from President Hinckley.
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“We have nothing to fear when we walk by the light of eternal truth. But we had better be discerning. Sophistry has a way of masking itself as truth. Half truths are used to mislead under the representation that they are whole truths.
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Innuendo is often used by enemies of this work as representing truth. Theories and hypotheses are often set forth as if they were confirmed truth.
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Statements taken out of context of time or circumstance or the written word are often given as truth, when as a matter of fact such procedure may be the very essence of falsehood.”
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I promise as you learn to hear Him, you will overcome these fears and your faith will continue to grow stronger than you could imagine.
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Art By Doc Christensen

Forty Years of Effort

Forty Years of Effort.
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The Lord loves effort.

President Nelson instructed the children during the last conference, “the Lord loves effort because effort brings rewards that can’t come without it.”
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I have witnessed many individuals expecting to be given everything without putting forth effort—from sports, work, school, and other activities.
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We need to listen to the Prophet. He is literally telling us what the Lord wants us to hear. When he was asked if being The Prophet was hard, he responded and said, “Of course it’s hard. Everything to do with becoming more like the Savior is difficult.”
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That is no different for us. Being me “Mike Terry” is hard. Being YOU is hard. Why is that? I would hope because we are all trying our best to become like the Savior.
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When you’re following the Savior the best that you can and life becomes challenging, GOOD! That means you are doing the right thing.
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The Prophet went on to teach, “It takes effort, a lot of hard work, a lot of study, and there’s never an end. That’s good! That’s good, because we’re always progressing. Even in the next life we’re making progress.”
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Have faith, brothers, and sisters. If the Prophet tells us to have effort, it means the Lord is telling us he wants to see the effort.
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We are going to be okay. We are not being asked to kill ourselves over things. He is only asking us to be diligent in doing His work.
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I echo the same words of President Nelson, “I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.”
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Do your best to hear Him, and He will guide you to your true potential as you give forth your best effort. When I look at the Salt Lake City Temple, I see the effort. The effort put forth still blesses our lives today.
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Art by Dustin Lyon

Listen to the Prophet!

Listen to the Prophet.
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As I went back and listened to April’s General Conference, a few things stood out to me. Nothing too new, but still powerful guidance.
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Hear Him! Words spoken by God the Father.
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To whom? To Joseph Smith.
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Who are we to hear? Jesus Christ, His Son.
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Why? Because God the Father was there to support His Son in the great work of the restoration of the Gospel, He is one with His Son, and His Son is one with His father to coordinate this great mission. Together, it is their will to bring to pass the eternal life and salvation of man.
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“We pray that you will begin anew truly to hear, hearken to, and heed the words of the Savior. I promise that decreased fear and increased faith will follow.” Pres. Nelson
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If we are doing those things, we will know things are in the Lord’s hands and always have been. He wants us to hear Him because He is trying to tell us to BE CALM.
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When I look at the current situation we are in, I feel the present pandemic has been controlled to a much better degree then it was. I also think our caregivers have felt and seen relief. Our economy is also in great shape. We are nowhere near the economic challenges we faced in 2007-2009.
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I also feel life has been pretty normalized (for my family). We can go to restaurants, work, play sports, and have family gatherings. Again, this is what’s happening for me.
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I feel blessed by participating in the worldwide fasts. I personally feel blessed by following the guidance of the Prophet and leaders of the Church. I feel blessed by doing my very best to hear Him daily!
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“I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.” President Nelson.
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If you are still struggling, don’t give up. We all have challenges and tribulations. Keep going and know the Lord is there. Satan would like you to believe otherwise.
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“Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb. Amen, Amen, and Amen,”

Learn the gospel by searching the scriptures.

Learn the gospel by searching the scriptures.
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Growing up, I was surrounded by other kids, teenagers, and adults who were well versed in scripture. They had scripture after scripture memorized. Many could even retell almost every gospel story.
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I felt inadequate many times. I could memorize a few short passages of scripture, but a few days later, POOF gone—remembered no more.
This drove me nuts, and to this day, I still get somewhat frustrated.
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Over the years, I’ve seen many of those well-versed ‘scripture scholars’ fall away from the gospel—It has always blown my mind.
(Prepare for over-exaggeration) They have the entire Bible/Book of Mormon memorized, while I am still trying to figure out if Nephi cut off Laban’s head with a sword or knife. Get the point?
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I came across an article from President Marion G Romney, Records of Great Worth. Let’s read what he has to say.
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“When Jesus told the Jews to “search the scriptures,” he was talking to men who prided themselves on their acquaintance with the scriptures. They had spent their lives reading and memorizing them. They could and did quote reams of scripture in support of their apostate rules and rituals. They had wholly failed, however, to discover their true message.”
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I have never been able to memorize, quote, or recite passages of scripture, and I’ve never been ‘quick to the draw’ in a scripture race; however, I have searched the scriptures. Memorizing has never been a goal for me. Not because I don’t want to, but it serves me no great purpose.
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Studying the scriptures serves me great purpose. Let me share one more message from President Romney.
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“Learning the gospel from the written word, however, is not enough. It must also be lived. As a matter of fact, getting a knowledge of the gospel and living it are interdependent. They go hand in hand. One cannot fully learn the gospel without living it.”
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Hear Him and learn His gospel by truly studying it.
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Art By Doc Christensen @altusfineart

The Captain of The Poor

The Captain of the poor.
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Have you walked amongst the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden, and the disadvantaged? I have.
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For the last three years of my career, I have mingled with the hungry, worked with those seeking refuge, and learned from their circumstances.
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I’ve learned there are two types of individuals—service resistant or service compliant.
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I understand every situation is different for every individual. There may be many reasons for being service resistant instead of service compliant; however, my duties are to offer services to everyone and continue offering—never giving up.
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People change over time. Many of us have a different perspective one day and a completely new perspective the next. At a present time, we may not be open to advice, suggestions, or assistance, but a month or a year down the road, we change our minds.
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Why give up? Did Christ give up? Where would he be if he was here today? I’ll tell you where he would be. He is the Captain of the poor. That’s where you find Him.
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There are many neighbors, friends, and sometimes family members who fit many of these categories. How will we know this unless we are serving them?
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Elder Holland told the story of a family in dire need of help—life or death situation. ”They were out of food, having only one spoonful of sugar and a saucerful of cornmeal remaining in their possession—Mom made mush out of it.
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When that small offering was consumed by her famished family, she washed everything, cleaned their little dugout as thoroughly as she could, and quietly waited to die.
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Not long thereafter the sound of a wagon brought Mom to her feet. It was their neighbor. He said he had a feeling they were out of food, so on his way into town he’d had a sack of grain ground into meal for them.
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Shortly thereafter another man arrived with two bushels of meal on his shoulder. He told the mom he’d been extremely busy but the Spirit had whispered to him that her family was suffering, so he dropped everything and came running.”
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How in-tune with the spirit are you & are you following the Captain of the poor? Hear Him. One day, they may become service compliant. Never give up!

The Soldier Who Stood By

The soldier who stood by.
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“Never had the Lamanites been known to fight with such exceedingly great strength and courage, no, not even from the beginning.” (Alma 43:43)
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There were some extremely difficult circumstances during these battles; however, Captain Moroni went on and led the Nephites to victory over the Lamanites.
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As we look a little further into Alma, we learn of a soldier who saved Captain Moroni. He was on standby when Zarahemnah rushed forward to kill the Captain. (Alma 44:13.)
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He wasn’t just hanging around but he was alert to his surroundings and ready to act. If he wasn’t prepared, his Captain most likely would have died by the Lamanite sword.
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What’s interesting about this chapter is it relates to all of us? Are we on standby? Are we prepared to protect the word of the Lord? Is your guard up, and are you ready for battle?
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What kind of soldier in God’s army are you? Do you pay attention to the warning signs? Do you physically and mentally prepare for the last chapter on earth? Are you preparing the way for the Lord and His second coming?
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There are many things we can be doing, but are we doing those things? How are you trying to hear the Lord? Are you so wrapped up in the media and trying to do everything you can to find an argument or prove your point about everything?
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What good is it doing us to argue our point on social media? Is someone making you baked goods for proving your point? Are you receiving any awards for proving your point? Is proving your point, stirring the pot, or joining in on hateful arguments helping you hear the Lord?
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I’ll tell you what it is doing. It’s taking the spirit away from you. It’s blocking your mind and shutting out the opportunity to hear Him! Contention is of the devil, and you’re making him proud. It is his goal to anger your mind and soul.
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A soldier in God’s army stays prepared and is invaluable. Don’t be a bystander in the Lord’s army. Be mindful, be watchful, be humble, be kind, and be ready!
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Hear Him and be prepared!
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Art By Andrew Bosley

Let’s sustain one another!

Let’s sustain one another!
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What an idea! Is it too hard for us to lift one another and hold someone up when they have hit life challenges?
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Several years ago, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin felt the love of his fellow Apostle, Russell M. Nelson. During a talk on charity, his health and age challenged him at the podium. It wasn’t long after he began to shake uncontrollably that his friend, now President Nelson, stood behind him and held him up!
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It’s a moment I’ll never forget. I am sure many of you will always remember. It was an act of pure love. Elder Wirthlin most likely would have tumbled over, but he completed his apostolic message to the world. All because he was sustained by President Nelson.
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Elder Holland taught, ”It is no small thing to “sustain” another person. The word literally means to “uphold” or, if you prefer, to “hold up.” When we sustain life, we nourish it, we keep it going.
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When we sustain a friend or a neighbor or a stranger in the street, we give support, we share strength, we provide help. We hold each other up under the weight of present circumstance. We bear one another’s burdens under the heavy personal pressures of life.”
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We have many great examples of this we can remember. In these current times, there has been and there still are many opportunities to sustain our families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
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Matt 5:44, ”But I say unto you, ​​​Love​ your ​​​enemies​, ​​​bless​ them that ​​​curse​ you, do ​​​good​ to them that ​​​hate​ you, and ​​​pray​ for them which despitefully use you, and ​​​persecute​ you.”
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Look for opportunities to sustain, uphold, or hold up. Hear Him, and He will lead you to those He needs you to help.

It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to raise your kids.

It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to raise your kids.
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I listened to a few different talks today, several by Elder Jeffery R Holland and one by his son, and recently sustained General Authority Seventy, Elder Matthew S. Holland, also President of the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.
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These talks made me reflect on my childhood and how I was raised. In one of Elder Jeffery Hollands talks, he recounted a time when he came home and made a big mistake. Instead of a softer approach, he took a different approach.
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I believe it was an approach he was destined to take. He may feel differently, but it allowed him to dream that night (which he said he never did). His eyes were opened, and he learned just how important his son Matthew was to him. He woke up in sweat and tears, and ran to his sleeping son.
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”There on my knees and through my tears I cradled him in my arms and spoke to him while he slept. I told him that every dad makes mistakes but that they don’t mean to. I told him it wasn’t his fault I had had a bad day.”
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Elder Matthew Holland told a story about muddy feet, and his mothers repeated warnings to stay off her floor; she was cleaning. Matthew forgot about her request and trampled through the home with dirty feet soon after.
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He went to his room and was worried about what would happen next; however, his mother came in, and he started the following, ”Mom, you don’t love me.” To which she replied, “I do love you, and I’ll do anything to prove it.” She then picked up my filthy, muddy feet and kissed them.”
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These stories reminded me that I have the sole responsibility, along with my wife, to teach our kids. It’s no one else’s responsibility. I can guarantee Elder Holland is proud of his son Elder Holland. Love your kids, and teach them to hear the Lord.
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Christ taught us how he learned.
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”Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” John 5:19.
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Art work by Danny Hahlbohm

The Price of Peace

The price of peace.

Today’s subject is the price of peace. Why? Because we are living in a destructive world with major concern for peace—and our transparent failure to grasp it.
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We learn from two leaders of the past, Paul and Isaiah. Paul taught, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7.)
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Before him, Isaiah said, in “a dream of a night vision … as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty.” (Isa. 29:7.)
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I was reading an old article and the main thing that stood out to me was this. Why is it that our generation, with all its vaunted learning, has failed so miserably in its pursuit of peace? The only answer I can give you is that we are not willing to pay the price for it.
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Is that true? Think about it. Are you willing to pay the price for peace? What are you doing to pay for that price in your in daily routines?
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What is the opposite of peace?
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Here you go: conflict, contention, disputation, strife, and war.
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Are we paying the price for peace?
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The Apostle Paul said this and I think they are very similar to the above, ”adultery, … lasciviousness, idolatry, … hatred, variance, … wrath, strife, … envyings, murders, drunkenness, … and such like.” (Gal. 5:19–21.)
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All of these are contrary to peace and harmony to the laws and will of God. So, STOP!
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How do we feel the spirit? Paul again teaches us what it’s like to feel peace and the spirit, ”But the fruit of the Spirit,” continues Paul, “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” (Gal. 5:22–23).
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Don’t we all want those things? It’s harder to hate and it takes more effort, in my opinion, than it is to find peace.
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President Romney once said, ”Yet, even as we try to teach the gospel of peace, we see that most people would prefer to focus on other aspects of the problem. Even so, we should not live a life of despair and gloom. We should enjoy life in the light of revealed truth. Keep ourselves advised as to what the Lord has said about the price of peace.”
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Hear Him and you’ll find peace!
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Art by Robert Pack @altusfineart

Do you ‘bore yourself’ when you pray?

Do you ’bore yourself’ when you pray?
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This was a thought I came across today as I studied a BYU devotional. I’ve studied a few recent talks by Elder Joseph B Wirthlin.
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I was able to meet and shake hands with him and his wife during my mission. His daughter was my mission president’s wife.
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It’s ironic how things work and what a small world we live in. My mission president was my mother’s doctor and delivered me at birth. Nineteen years later, he was my mission president.
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Now, the grandson of Elder Wirthlin, & son of my mission president & wife, is my children’s dentist.
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I was able to visit with Dr. Farnsworth yesterday during their dentist appointments. We talked quite a bit about his grandfather, so I decided to study a few talks he gave.
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He caught my attention in one of them when he asked the congregation, ”Do you bore yourself when you pray?”
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As funny as that sounds, and no matter how hard I laughed, I had to consider his question. I honestly think I have done this on many occasions.
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There are times I just pray to get it over with because I know it’s what needs to be done. Many times they are not heartfelt. How embarrassing! Here I am, talking to the creator of my body and spirit, and I’m bored. Wow!
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Let that sink in a little.
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Has it sunk in?
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Okay, maybe it has, or perhaps it hasn’t. For me, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I will view my prayers a little differently.
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I know how to pray, and I enjoy my time spent counseling with the Lord; however, I have often felt ’bored’ in doing so.
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I have found that the Lord expects me to do my homework before I ask for His help in prayer. By doing this, I am prepared to address Him with good dialogue.
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”The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, and think of what we are praying about and for.” Hinckley
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Heavenly Father speaks to us and puts us in places where we will find reminders. My reminder came from visiting with Elder Wirthlin’s grandson yesterday at the dentist. I’m thankful I was able to hear Him during our discussion.
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Art By Jay Bryant Ward

Do you enjoy being challenged?

Do you enjoy being challenged?
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While I was on my mission, I had the opportunity to shake President Russell M. Nelson’s hand during a mission conference.
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I’ll never forget the experience. It’s burned into my memory. I looked him in the eyes, and he looked right back into mine. From that moment on, there was never a question for me—he was then and is now a Disciple of our Lord.
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I remember him and his wife speaking to us. One of the things I remember changed my life. It was in regards to prayer and trials.
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We were challenged to pray for a trial. We were also counseled to remember that once the trial came, to remember; we prayed for it.
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They taught us that once we pray for a trial, the hardest part is to remember that we, in fact, prayed for the trial. The next step in the process was to thank Heavenly Father for the trial and next to endure it.
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After we prayed for the trial, remembered the trial when it arrived and thanked our Heavenly Father when the trial arrived, that’s when the blessing would come.
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I have accepted this challenge many times over the years. Sometimes this has brought incredibly challenging trials, but the rewards were tremendous.
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There were times I questioned the trial and asked the Lord why He gave me such a trial. I have always been reminded, ”Mike, you asked for the trial, you idiot.”
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The Lord always reminds me & allows me to humble myself, thanking Him for helping me grow spiritually through my test.
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There is no limit on what you can ask the Lord. You can ask Him for a small trial, medium trial, big trial. He may give you a more significant trial than you even ask for. Why? Because He is all-knowing. He knows what you can handle & what you can’t.
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Don’t be afraid to receive great trials. The Lord is waiting for you to come to Him and grow in His bounteous love and blessings.
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Look at the trials we are facing today. Have we taken the time to thank the Lord for this Pandemic? Have we taken the time to thank the Lord for the other tumultuous noise around the world?
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It’s time to remember and hear Him. Thank Him for these great trials we are facing. ”For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” Ether 12:6

Choose Christ & Become Who You are Meant to be!

Choose Christ & Become Who You are Meant to be!
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If you want to make a correct choice, choose Christ. “Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee” (Moses 3:17).
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You’re not forced to choose Him, although you already did once. You’re free to change your mind, and no one is stopping you. Let me say that again; NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU.
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We may choose liberty and eternal life by following Jesus Christ. We are also free to choose captivity and death by following Satan. (See 2 Nephi 2:27.) The right to choose between good and evil and to act for ourselves is called agency. (Gospel Principles Chap. 4)
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Satan and His followers are not standing in your way if you decide to go against the Lord and His teachings—It’s clear roads ahead for you. At least that’s what He wants to lead you to believe.
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Why do we get the opportunity to choose? A few reasons: If we were forced to choose the right, we would not be able to show what we would choose for ourselves. Also, we are happier doing things when we have made our own choices. (Gospel Principles Chap. 4)
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That doesn’t mean the end results will bring us happiness. Our actions & our choices here on earth will determine our results when we meet our Maker.
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President Howard Hunter instructed: The Lord’s invitation to follow him is individual & personal, and it is compelling. We cannot stand forever between two opinions. Each of us must at some time face the crucial question: “Whom say ye that I am?” (Matt. 16:15.)
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Our personal salvation depends on our answer to that question and our commitment to that answer. Peter’s revealed answer was “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Many, many witnesses can give an identical answer by the same power, and I join with them in humble gratitude.
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But we must each answer the question for ourselves—if not now, then later; for at the last day, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ. Our challenge is to answer correctly and live accordingly before it is everlastingly too late. (End Quote).
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Endure the hard road and follow Jesus Christ. Choose to hear Him & you’ll find eternal happiness.
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Art by K&J Lightweave

Why Are We So Judgmental?

Why are we so judgmental?
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Help me understand this and I am not perfect by any means. I have some repenting on my end to do for my actions.
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I get it; we are humans. As humans, we are susceptible to sin and error. On the other hand, we are children of God! Take a moment and think about that statement.
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You and I are children of God.
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We are children of God.
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God is our Heavenly Father.
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We come from Heavenly parents.
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So, why do we fight each other here on earth? Do we think our Heavenly Father put us in a boxing ring and said, ”Fight each other.”
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Did He put us here on earth and say, ”Call each other names, kill each other, hate each other.”
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When will we grow together and begin to love one another? We are children of Heavenly beings, and we need to start acting like such.
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I listened to a suggested talk from my recent post. @mike_claudia, thank you for this great suggestion. I’m going to share a few quotes that I found valuable. All are from Elder Elden Tanner.
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“Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say: ‘I know something good about you,’ And then treat us that way?”
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”It seems common practice for people to talk about their friends and neighbors and to criticize their seeming peculiarities and weaknesses.”
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”The reason we cannot judge is obvious. We cannot see what is in the heart. We do not know motives, although we impute motives to every action we see. They may be pure while we think they are improper.”
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”It is not possible to judge another fairly unless you know his desires, his faith, and his goals. Because of a different environment, unequal opportunity, and many other things, people are not in the same position.
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One may start at the top and the other at the bottom, and they may meet as they are going in opposite directions.”
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”Have you forgotten who you are, and what your object is? Have you forgotten that you profess to be Saints of the Most High God, clothed upon with the holy priesthood? Have you forgotten that you are aiming to become kings and priests to the Lord, and queens and priestesses to him?  (The Gospel Kingdom [1987], pp.229-230;) John Taylor.
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Hear Him!
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PC: David McClellan @altusfineart

What Kind of Christian Are You?

What kind of Christian are you?
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We’ve all heard the scripture, ”Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matt 7:15.
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The same applies to you and I. The scripture continues, and we learn how to identify someone that is fake, ”Ye shall know them by their fruits.” verse 16.
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Here is my pitch: Are you the kind of Christian that enjoys the title and goes with the culture or are you the kind of Christian the Lord asks you to be?
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As I read ”The Godhead and Plan of Salvation” by Elder Oaks, the following statement stood out crystal clear.
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”It is not even enough for us to be convinced of the gospel; we must act and think so that we are converted by it. In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ challenge us to become something.”
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My favorite part, ”We must ACT and THINK so we are converted by it.”
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You can read all the scripture you want. You can pray all you want and you can go to church every Sunday; however, that means nothing if you don’t ACT.
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You are never going to be truly converted to the gospel or the Lord of you don’t apply the scriptures to your daily activities. You are never going to hear the Lord in prayer if you pray like you’re ordering fast food. You are never going to renew and feel cleansed by the sacrament if you’re just going for ”status quo.”
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Don’t be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you have no intention of applying the principles of the gospel to your life, why waste your time?
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No one is forcing you to go to church. I’d have much more respect for someone who isn’t going for cultural purposes to ”fit in.” You have your agency, so be true to yourself.
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Of course, we want everyone to come to church, to study the gospel, and to hear the Lord; however, the sour attitude and non-contrite behavior have no room.
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The Lord is sifting, and if you think your sheep’s clothing will hide the wolf, you’re wrong. He will reveal our true selves. Be an example and be a true Christian.
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He will cleanse His temple!

You’re either with Him or Not!

You’re either with Him or not!
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It’s going to come down to just that. Tonight, tomorrow, or when you have a free moment, ask yourself, ”Am I with Him or not?”
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Those who oppose the Lord’s Church oppose Him. To reject the apostles and prophets who are sent to preach the gospel is to reject Him who sent them.
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Elder Bruce R. McConkie shared the following.
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”To be in opposition to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on moral issues is to link arms with Satan and to fight against God. On this point, we must speak plainly and bluntly—there is no middle ground; men are either for Him or against Him, and those who are not for Him are against Him.
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The Lord will not fail His people.”
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How are you armed? Are you armed with righteousness? If so, you’ll have His power and His authority to conquer the whore of the earth. If you don’t think that whore is surrounding you, open your eyes and look around. You can’t miss it. It lurks at your door, around every corner, and turns you make.
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Hear Him! Stand in holy places and find peace in Christ. He is the Master, and He is your guiding light.
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Sure, there are wars and rumors of wars. We know this; however, there are prophets, apostles, scriptures, and revelation. The Lord will return, and when he does, are you going to be too late?
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You’re either with Him NOW, or you’re not going to be when he returns.
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PC: Grant R. Clawson

How Strong Are Your Roots?

How strong are your roots?
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I can’t think of a time in my life where strong roots in the Gospel of Jesus Christ are needed. I can bet many of you feel the same way. So, how strong are your roots?
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Let’s be honest with ourselves. If we are not rooted deep in the word of Jesus Christ, we will be scorched. We don’t stand a chance against the adversary or the hardships we are going to face if we aren’t submerged deep in the word of the Lord.
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”If we are not rooted in the teachings of the gospel and regular in its practices, any one of us can develop a stony heart, which is stony ground for spiritual seeds.” Elder Oaks.
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I have friends and relatives that I’ve seen come and go. They go strong for a period of time, but for some reason, their roots wither away and die—lack of proper care and nutrition to their soul.
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Let’s refer to Elder Oaks one more time. He talks about deceitfulness and riches.
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”Wherever we are in our spiritual journey—whatever our state of conversion—we are all tempted by this. When attitudes or priorities are fixed on the acquisition, use, or possession of property, we call that materialism.
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So much has been said and written about materialism that little needs to be added here. Those who believe in what has been called the theology of prosperity are suffering from the deceitfulness of riches.
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The possession of wealth or significant income is not a mark of heavenly favor, and their absence is not evidence of heavenly disfavor.”
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The root of all evil is not money but the love of money (see 1 Timothy 6:10).
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There are many things we need to do in order to have deep roots and remain strong. Take an in-depth look into your heart. Are you honest, and do you hear the word of the Lord and keep it?
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We must be praying, studying and applying our scripture reading, serving, and by regularly partaking of the sacrament. This allows for His Spirit to be with us always.
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These things must be done, and we have no wiggle room to neglect them. Hear Him!
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PC: Doc Christensen @altusfineart

Walk in the Lord’s light, not yours.

Walk in the Lord’s light, not yours.
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I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up in my emotions and lose sight of the bigger picture.
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If we are not careful, we can get pulled under the exhaustion of our efforts, and everything we are trying to accomplish never seems to be produced. Then our heart lets loose its grip, and motivation slips through our fingers, but why?
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It may be different for everyone, but for me, it’s usually when I’m walking in my kindle of flames and not in the light of Christ.
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We are human, and sometimes we forget who to thank. As the years go on, I am getting better at recognizing which light I’m walking in. I can’t do anything alone—everything is the will of my Father in Heaven.
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If you want to enjoy a warm fire and are struggling to get more than a spark, you have to bring the right equipment and materials.
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The same in life. If you want to produce good things and return to the presence of your Maker, you need to include Him and every tool he has provided you during your mortal journey.
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Isaiah 50:11, this teaches us what happens when we try to do things without the Lord and take credit the upon ourselves.
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”Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.”
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Hear Him, and he will make your fire the perfect heat for you.
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PC: Simon Dewey @altusfineart

WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU?

What kind of person are you?
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Have you done any good in the world today? Sometimes we don’t realize the impact we have on others, in our communities, or the world.
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I was reminded yesterday of a time when I made a difference. I don’t recall the event, but I was grateful to have this wonderful person re-share an act of kindness. I’d like to share part of it.
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”When I found out I was pregnant halfway through senior year, and by someone that was… let’s say, less than savory by reputation, at the time… everyone talked.
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People were brutal. My life was literally turned upside down—consequences of my own choices, of course. But, a hand full of people were there for me, regardless.
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I saw you at the gas station one night; we were both getting gas. You greeted me by saying, “I heard you’re expecting a baby—I remember you had health problems, and you thought you might not ever be able to have kids. How cool. Congratulations!”
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”You were the ONLY person who said that. My friends were super supportive, but you were the only one, ever, that congratulated me on the new life I was bringing into the world. I don’t forget that stuff.
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Those conversations like we had at the gas station we’re what helped me through one of the darkest times of my life. The kindness and compassion of others is what saved me—it changed me. Compassion to this day is one of the most important things to me in this world.”
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I ask again, what kind of person are you?
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As a teenager, I lived two types of ”Mike’s.” The one I knew I wasn’t, and the one I knew I should be. I’m grateful I was the ”Mike” I should have been that night. Other days and nights, I know I wasn’t, and I reach out a sincere apology to those I may have set terrible examples for.
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We try to fit in with the culture, friends, and society. Sometimes that seems much safer than following Jesus Christ. I’m still fighting that battle every day. That’s why it’s so important to hear Him. Study, pray, and listen.

It’s simple—follow the Prophet!

It’s simple—follow the Prophet!
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I enjoy starting my day with a conversation about the gospel. Many of you have seen comments from my cousin @tgf05.
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This morning we both searched for a specific quote that was on his mind. We finally found it, and I took a few minutes to ponder the one my cousin was searching for, but also a few others I found during our hunt.
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My main thought from all of this was, ”Why is it so hard to follow the prophet?”
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My cousin’s thought was, ”If we as members can’t obey over something that has zero effect on us, I can’t imagine what will happen when he asks us to do something hard.”
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Now, before a temper tantrum is thrown, let’s think about both of our thoughts.
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I’m sure we can come up with a million reasons to pushback against what we are asked to do by our leadership, especially the Prophet. Let’s take Covid-19 and mask-wearing, for example. Do I want to wear a mask? No, I absolutely can’t stand wearing one. I can come up with another million reasons why I am against it.
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With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at two Prophets of old—Abraham and Nephi.
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Do you know where I’m going with this? How many of you think Abraham was STOKED to get direction to sacrifice his son? Do you believe Abraham had a million reasons going through his head as to why this was a bad idea? I’m sure he did; however, he was obedient and was stopped by the Lord just before he drove a knife into his son’s chest.
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Nephi? Yeah, I’m sure he felt the same way about killing Laban. Guess what, though? The Lord didn’t stop him from executing that direction.
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So what’s our big problem? I bet Abraham and Nephi would have exchanged us directions. I’m almost confident they would have thrown on a mask over what they were asked to do.
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I don’t understand direction sometimes, but that’s not the point. The point is obedience.
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”You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that… HBL, See D&C 21:6

TAKE A MOMENT TO REMEMBER 9/11

Take a moment to remember 9/11
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We can be people of peace. We can be followers of Jesus Christ. He was the perfect example of peace.
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There most definitely are going to be times when we must stand up for what is right and the civility of our Nation.
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We enjoy our freedom and civilization. On 9/11, those things felt infringed upon and we were ready to do what Moroni did. He rallied his people together. They did this in defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty (see Alma 48:10).
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President Hinckley spoke to us during this tragic event. He said the following.
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”Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable.
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Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed.
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We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him.
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He has declared, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.”
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We came together as a Nation then, so why can’t we come together as a Nation today? We can. The Lord will guide us if we let Him.
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We must stand against evil in these perilous times. Just like we did when our Nation went under attack.
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President Thomas S. Monson confirmed, “Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.”
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Our duty is to him Him! ”Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

HAVE YOU USED ANY REMEDIES?

Have you used any remedies?
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I’ve had the opportunity to provide, assist, and witness many priesthood blessings over the years. As I read through a talk by Elder Oaks, I gained some really good understanding.
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Here is a story told by Brigham Young that Elder Oaks referenced in his talk.
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When a person requested a priesthood blessing, Brigham Young would ask, “Have you used any remedies?” To those who said no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed,” President Young replied.
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“That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed.
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It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and then to ask my Father in Heaven … to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.”
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Elder Oaks added in an additional and insightful concept, ”Of course we don’t wait until all other methods are exhausted before we pray in faith or give priesthood blessings for healing. In emergencies, prayers and blessings come first.”
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One last important reminder from Elder Oaks to the preisthood brethren.
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”Fortunately, the words spoken in a healing blessing are not essential to its healing effect. If faith is sufficient and if the Lord wills it, the afflicted person will be healed or blessed whether the officiator speaks those words or not.
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Conversely, if the officiator yields to personal desire or inexperience and gives commands or words of blessing in excess of what the Lord chooses to bestow according to the faith of the individual, those words will not be fulfilled.”
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Align yourself with the Lord and you will Hear Him and provide a blessing according to His will. For the receiver of the blessing, have you used any remedies?
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PC: @eva_timothy

Why Are We So Quick To Forget?

Why are we so quick to forget?
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There is one answer to this question, and it’s Satan. I think back to September 11, 2001. It was a day we remember, and we will never forget; however, many individuals remember the day and the events but are forgetting or have forgotten the spiritual experiences of that day.
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September 11 was a day that brought our country together. As tragic as it was, some miracles took place. One of the biggest miracles I can remember is people loving one another. Everyone was helping everyone. There was no divide.
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Our Nation was able to battle together, and we fought through these events together—we were able to move on and press forward!
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Now, let’s take a look at the Nephites. They experienced a night without darkness; however, this miraculous event eventually began to fade away, too, just like the day our Nation was brought together through a tragic event.
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Having said this, not everyone will forget the powers of Heaven that brought our Nation together, and not everyone will listen to the deceitful enticing’s of Satan.
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In 3 Nephi 1:22, ​we learn the following, ”It came to pass that from this time forth there began to be ​​​lyings​ sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those ​​​signs​ and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the ​​​more​ part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.”
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Brothers and Sisters, look at our Nation now. There is great turmoil amongst many. Why is this? Again, it’s because of Satan. There is also great peace, but where can that be found? It can be found in the scriptures, through unceasing prayer, and in your own home.
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The only way to forget the miracles that occur in your life is to stop listening to God—when you give up and stop trying to ”Hear Him.”
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3 Nephi 2:1-3 sends out a great warning of what happens when we take Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation out of the equation.
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We are fighting each other today, and it pleases one person, Satan. It’s not of God. He has asked us to hear Him. ”A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another.”

Love One Another

Love one another.
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Yesterday, as I sat in my garage watching the BYU game, we were also having a neighborhood party.
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There was a larger than usual gathering, and it was nice to see—many ward members, neighbors, and friends from different locations.
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I learned of two things that bring people together—football and food!
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There were no real arguments that I observed, just people having a joyous time. Everyone was outdoors and mingling. Kids were running around and screaming. For a minute, I thought we were in some state of Heaven. It appeared as if the worldwide pandemic was over, and there was no hatred towards one another.
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Yesterday was a tender mercy, and I hope everyone can soon have similar experiences.
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Ministering to each other was what I saw in the crowd of family and friends. “Caring for the needy is less about giving away stuff and more about filling the need of human contact. Like the Savior, you are the best gift you can give others in need.” – Sister Eubank.
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Remember that He invites “all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:33). Make room and create inclusion.
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These are things we need to always remember. We are brothers and sisters. We are not above each other and we are never better than someone else.
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To truly honor Jesus Christ, we need to do as He did. He would reach out to everyone with loving compassion and mercy. There is no doubt we can do this daily, by what we say and how we act—no matter where we are.
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We must try to be a little kinder, more forgiving, less judgemental, grateful, and more generous to our communities. There are so many who need to feel the light of Christ.
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Our goal is two things—Hear Him and help others to do the same!
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Love One Another!

Parents of missionaries may lose their loved ones

Parents of missionaries may lose their loved ones.
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Here is an interesting fact you may not know— Every time a Police Officer goes to work, they say goodbye to their family for maybe the last time, and I’ve accepted that fact. As a young boy, I accepted the same fact with my dad, and some day’s I cried.
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The same fact goes for missionaries. When they hug and say goodbye, it may be the last time they see their families and friends.
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President M. Russell Ballard said the following, ”Parents have always known the risk of losing a loved one serving in the mission field due to accident or illness.
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Missionaries live among the peoples of the world; and even with the protection of the members, they also can become innocent victims of acts of violence. We must not judge the people of any nation or region because of the irresponsible, cowardly acts of terrorism perpetrated by a few.” (October 1986 GC).
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I have been both a missionary and a police officer. How do I do my job? How do I handle the stress of everything? How can I go to work knowing I may not return?
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These are all questions people ask me. There is only one response—” And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.” D&C 98:13.
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Everything I do, I do my best to serve the Lord. Our life on earth is temporary. We are going to die. It’s inevitable if you didn’t realize that.
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Christ served his mission; his Apostles served their mission; Joseph Smith served his mission; and I’m serving my mission. Just like YOU are serving YOUR mission.
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Our hearts go out to all of the parents and families who have lost their loved ones in the mission field. We love you and pray for you.
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”The increased visibility of the Church in the world brings a variety of new challenges. However, you parents and prospective missionaries have no reason to be fearful and to feel that serving a mission is unusually dangerous or risky.
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The battle to bring souls unto Christ began in the premortal world with the war in heaven. (See Rev. 12:7.) That same battle continues today in the conflict between right and wrong and between the gospel and false principles.” —Ballard.
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Hear Him!

Wait for a second, Dad!

Dad, wait for a second!
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The older my son gets, the more love I have for him, and the harder it is for me to say goodbye.
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He wanted to spend the night at his grandma’s, so we agreed, and I took him over. The entire ten-minute ride, I kept gazing back at him through the rear-view mirror. I noticed how big he was getting, and how much I love my son.
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As we drove and I looked back at him, I tried to imagine what he was thinking about as he looked outside the car window.
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We arrived at grandma’s house, and he sat close to me on the couch before we departed ways. He held my arm and sat quietly as grandma and I talked.
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It was time to go, and I gave him a big hug and kiss goodbye. He said,” I love you, Dad,” as I stood up and made my way to the door—I’m a big soft heart, and I have always had a hard time leaving my kids, especially my son. He’s my best friend.
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I made it to the front door and as I opened the door, I heard his little voice yell, ”Dad, wait for a second.” Then I heard his little feet sprint across the floor and turn the corner. He ran into me like a ton of bricks and gave me a big hug. He reassured that I knew he loved me by saying, ”I really love you, Dad.”
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I looked down to see he was fighting back the tears, as he knew I’d be leaving him overnight. I knelt down and gave him a big hug and kiss and reassured him the same thing, ”I love you, my buddy boy.”
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As I drove away, I had a comforting feeling that my son would be just fine. I also had an overwhelming feeling that my Heavenly Father was once in the same position, telling me goodbye before I left for my mortal period on earth. I’m sure it was an extremely emotional time.
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We don’t remember how that all happened, but we have the scriptures to teach us of the love He has for us. “Let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. … For God is love” (1 John 4:7–8).
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Just like I knew my boy would be just fine, our Heavenly Father knew we would be just fine, as we ”packed up our bags.” He loves us, and He is perfect. His plan is perfect. He has perfect love.
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Hear Him, and you will know and feel of His perfect love for you, too.

Rest for the weary traveler

Rest for the weary traveler.
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If you’re in my same shoes, it’s nice to come home from work and plop down. The past few months have been tiresome, and many of the days, I lack the sleep I need. Why?
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For me, it’s the anticipation of ’what’s next, what’s to come?’ The emotional anxiety that comes from our current events and often the feelings of despair. What kind of life will my kids have to endure?
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With that, how do we find rest and how can we overcome these emotional roller coaster rides?
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In April of 1980, President Kimball spoke of the exact same thing our current Prophet Russell M. Nelson has been teaching us.
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”Our success … will largely be determined by how faithfully we focus on living the gospel in the home… That is surely true and, in like manner, we will be spiritually successful to the degree that we are good neighbors and good friends to those in the household of faith and to our nonmember friends.”
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It’s that simple.
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When you are weary, pick up your scriptures.
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When you are weary, pray to your Father in Heaven.
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When you are weary, try being obedient to something you may not be doing.
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When you are weary, live the Gospel of Christ.
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There are so many things we CAN be doing.
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“Like a welcome, green oasis to the weary desert traveler is the gentle invitation of our Lord: ‘Come. . . .learn of me; . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matt. 11:28-29),’ “
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Over the past few month, I have taken note from Elder Henry B. Eyring. He spoke of a time when he was prompted to write his thoughts for his future posterity.
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Writing has helped me not only study my scripture differently, but it’s helped me become closer to my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It’s also helped me to hear the spirit and follow Heavenly promptings.
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Whatever it is that helps you find rest from being weary, act today. Know you are loved, and you’re a child of God.
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Hear Him and be not weary!

God gave us weaknesses, but why?

God gave us weaknesses, but why?
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There are many days I ask, and I’m sure you ask yourselves the same thing, ”Why this weakness? Why couldn’t it be something else?.”
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I know I’ve asked myself this over and over as I sat through school and struggled with mathematics, reading comprehension, science, and test-taking.
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I have a lot of weaknesses, and I know everyone else does, too. The verse that led to my question is: “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
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Who has had this happen—weaknesses becoming strengths? I sure have.
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Read Ether 12:24. It talks about Moroni and how difficult it was and how much anxiety writing gave him. He knew very well that the brother of Jared was given a gift to write.
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He was afraid he would be mocked for how he wrote by the Gentiles. However, he was promised his writings would become strong. Moroni and Joseph Smith were not educated, writers. If you’ve read the Joseph Smith Papers, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
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D&C 46:11, ”For all have not every ​​​gift​ given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.”
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We learn that we don’t have every gift but every man does receive a gift.
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Joseph Smith said, “in weakness have I blessed him” (D&C 35:17), and “out of weakness he shall be made strong” (2 Ne. 3:13).
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When Joseph and his brother Hyrum began the journey which would lead to their deaths, Hyrum turned the page down on the same promise of the Lord to Moroni: “Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.” (Ether 12:37.)
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We all have weaknesses. In these weaknesses, we find the Lord and what He has in store for us.
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PC: Susan Edwards @altusfineart

I’m Not Sure Our Country Will Survive.

‘m not sure our country will survive.
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If I had a nickel for every time I have said this or I’ve heard others say this, I’m sure I’d be a living wealthy.
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Last night as I was studying a passage from Gerald N. Lund, I again was humbled. He told a story of the problems our nation was facing in 2008. As a General Authority Seventy, he was sitting at lunch; his conversation turned towards the current events and the ”Crash of 2007.”
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During the conversation, a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sat down with them to eat. He didn’t say much of anything, and the conversation went back to the problems in the United States.
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Someone then made a statement, and it perked up the head of the senior Apostle. The statement was this, ”With the high debt crisis our nation holds, I’m not even sure our country will survive this.”
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The Apostle then placed down his fork, and Gerald Lund recalled to the best of his ability the following statement, ”Brethren, the United States of America is the country where God chose to restore His Church. Without the freedoms and protection, our Constitution offers, we would not exist.
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Without the affluence of our people and the generous contributions they make to the kingdom because of that affluence, this Church could not continue its global operations.
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So, this nation is not ever going to completely fail, because then God’s work would fail. We will have our problems, some of them very serious ones, but no unhallowed hand can stop this work.
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Cheer up. God is at the helm. Do not fear!”
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What a comforting story to hear. We are living in scary times as the mortal man sees them; however, if we see these tones through God’s plan, they are not scary.
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The more we learn to hear the Lord, the less frightened we will be. I’m grateful to know that God will not fail. The nation he established will not completely fail. This is where he established His restored Gosepl.
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Find comfort and hear Him!
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PC: Robert Barrett @altusfineart

GET OVER YOURSELF

Get over yourself.
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O wretched man that I am! 2 Nephi 4:27
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I would like to believe that my soul is similar to Nephi. I love the Lord, and my soul delighteth in the scriptures and all things of the Lord.
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The Lord has been good to me, and I’m not alone in the many good things He has given His children.
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Then there is a wretched side of me. As much as I study, as much as I pray, as much as I try to do good things, I sorrow because of my flesh, and like Nephi, my soul grieveth because of my iniquities.
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How many times have we just had a phenomenal scripture study or offered the best prayer of our lives to the Lord, to only have our minds revert us back to our sins?
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How many of us continue to drive forward after that happens? How many of us ’throw in the towel’ and give up, saying, ”I tried, but God isn’t there and doesn’t answer my prayers.”
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STOP!
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GET OVER YOURSELF!
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KNOW IN WHOM YOU HAVE TRUSTED!
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God is your support, and he leads you through your afflictions. He is preserving you for His purpose, not yours! If you’re reading this and have made mistakes, GOOD! The Lord hasn’t given up on you because you’re still alive.
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If you’re still alive, you have purpose in the Lord! He will fill you with love. He hears your cries.
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How do you pray to God? Do you pray with all energy of your heart? Do you kneel down to your Heavenly Father and tell Him how strong you’re going to be, and do you present your plan to accomplish His goals?
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Stop worrying about your ”life goals.” Start living the goals your Father in Heaven has laid out for you. How can you find these goals? You can turn to the scriptures, the prophets, and, most importantly, PRAYER! He will give you personal revelation to the goals He needs you to accomplish during your mortal probation.
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Learn to hear Him!
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Nephi 4:15-35 teaches you how to get over yourself and how to pray to the Lord.

WHAT IS IT YOU FEAR, AND WHY?

What is it you fear, and why?
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There is an analogy about the wolves and the fear people have of them. What causes this fear?
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What makes you fear a wolf? Have you been bitten by one? Have you ever heard of someone that has been bitten by a wolf or even killed by a wolf? I know I haven’t. Never have I heard of a wolf attack on a human.
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So, what is it that causes this fear?
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I am going to speculate, and it’s okay to agree to disagree. I am afraid WE are the reason. We gossip, spread false rumors, and in our mind, we create a fear that shouldn’t even exist.
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We do things like this all the time. We spread fake news and rumors, which instill fear, anxiety, and hate. Instead of finding the truth of things, we are too quick to ”ask google” or ”phone a friend” for the answer.
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Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it that hard to study things out and find the answer for ourselves? The right answer, that’s is! Looking up legitimate articles with backing documents and sources can be fun! It can also stop the fear of ”wolves” we bring on ourselves.
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We often fear things and people because we do not know them.
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We learn in the scripture not to fear. To Abraham before Isaac was born, the Lord had said: “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield.” (Gen. 15:1.). We also know Jacob feared going into Egypt, but why? The Lord said to him, “I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.” (Gen. 46:3.)
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I truly believe that one of the reasons the Lord has given us these great scriptures is because he would have us put aside fear: “The glory of God is intelligence.” (D&C 93:36.
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Fear someone? Learn more about him. Fear cancer? Learn more about it. Then fight it. Fear death? Learn more of eternity.
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Do you fear these things? Then learn to hear Him!!

AS AN ADULT, DO YOU DESIRE TO GO TO THE TEMPLE?

As an adult, do you desire to go to the temple?
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I want share a story which was once shared to President Harold B. Lee.
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A watchman employed on Temple Square gave me this note.
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“One morning not so long ago I was sitting at the desk of the temple gate house reading when my attention was drawn to a knock on the door. There stood two little boys, aged about seven or eight years.
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As I opened the door, I noticed that they were poorly dressed and had been neither washed nor combed. They appeared as if they had left home before father or mother had awakened that morning.
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As I looked beyond these little fellows, I saw two infants in pushcarts. In answer to my question as to what they wanted, one of the boys pointed to his little brother in the cart and replied: ‘His name is Joe. Will you shake hands with little Joe?
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It is little Joe’s birthday—he is two years old today, and I want him to touch the temple so when he gets to be an old man he will remember he touched the temple when he was two years old.’
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“Pointing to the other little boy in the other cart, he said this: ‘This is Mark, he’s two years old, too.’ Then, with a solemn, reverent attitude rare in children so young, he asked, ‘Now can we go over and touch the temple?’ I replied: ‘Sure you can.’
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They pushed their little carts over to the temple and lifted the infants up, and placed their hands against that holy building. Then as I stood there with a lump in my throat, I heard the little boy say to his infant brother, ‘Now, Joe, you will always remember when you was two years old you touched the temple.’ They thanked me and departed for home.”
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I’m grateful for this reminder. How much of a desire do I have to ’touch’ the temple? I can tell you this; I miss going.
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May we all continue to fast & pray for our temples to continue opening. Hear Him!
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PC: @palms_and_lace

WE ARE ONLY ON EARTH FOR A MOMENT

We are only on Earth for a moment.
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We are not going to be on Earth forever—forever is what we have to look forward to after this life. How are you spending your time?
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I can promise you this; you will spend a lifetime afterward reflecting on the choices, things, actions, and everything else you did during your time on Earth.
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Elder Gary E. Stevenson told a story about an Olympic athlete. He spoke about all the preparation the athlete went through for years and years.
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When the Olympics came, her event would take about four minutes to perform, and for the rest of her life, she would reflect on those four minutes. Elder Stevenson continued.
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”It may seem unfair that her entire Olympic dreams hinged on what she did during just four brief minutes. But she knew it, and that is why she prepared so diligently. She sensed the magnitude, the urgency of her four minutes, and what they would mean for the rest of her life.”
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We are no different. Here we are on Earth trying to accomplish what we prepared for and accepted to do during our pre-mortal existence.
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Our time on Earth is no different than the short amount of time the young lady had during her Olympic game. So, how are you preparing and how are you doing?
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One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon teaches us this exact thing. In Alma 34:32, we learn, ”For behold, this ​​​life​ is the time for men to ​​​prepare​ to meet God; yea, behold the day of ​​​this​ life is the day for men to perform their ​​​labors​.”
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The Apostle Paul backs this sentiment and I think it’s fantastic. He says, ”Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
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I, too, urge you to run! I also recommend to myself that I pick up the pace! We are at the finish line, brothers and sisters! You’re in the middle of your four-minute ’Olympic Event.’
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Hear Him and WIN! Be proud of what you’ve done at the end of your race. The Lord is at the finish line, and He’s bringing you home!! Go get Him!!

Don’t jump ship because you took ‘a wrong road.’

Don’t jump ship because you took ’a wrong road.’
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Sometimes taking ’a wrong road’ isn’t necessarily ’the wrong road’; ’it was just ’a wrong road.’
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We are all going to take a road that is going to challenge us. As we are on this road, we may feel and wonder as if we are lost—we are not lost, we just took the wrong road.
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Those feelings of being lost are the promptings of our Heavenly Father, through the spirit, to turn around.
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Jeffery R. Holland shared the experience he once had. As he was out on a trip with his son, they took ’a wrong road.’ They went about 400-500 yards before they hit a dead end and had to turn around.
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They wouldn’t have known which road was wrong unless the road they were on came to a dead-end, forcing them to correct their path and turn around.
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We are all going to experience a ’fork in the road,’ and we are all going to make a decision. Do we go left or right? Sometimes the only way to know the right way is by taking ’a wrong road.’
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The Lord needs us to learn for ourselves and make decisions for ourselves. Sometimes He even allows us to go a little further than 400-500 yards before we realize we need to change course. He wants us to learn how to hear Him!
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In 2 Nephi 2:27, we learn a few things from Jacob as he speaks to his sons. We learn we are free to choose between two different roads. The first: We are free to choose liberty and eternal life. The second: We are free to choose captivity and death.
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We can choose to turn around and take the other road, being grateful for our experience we learned while traveling down ’a wrong road.’ The Lord is helping us get on His road to eternal life. It’s up to us to recognize the two roads, and we can do that by hearing Him.

Come back—You need the blessings of the restored Gospel!

Come back—You need the blessings of the restored Gospel!
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Whatever it is that has driven you away from the Gospel, I can promise you; God loves you.
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I get it—Salt is salt and sugar is sugar. They are two separate things; however, they both serve a great purpose.
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If I put sugar on something that was intended to have salt on it, I’m probably going to be disappointed. I’ll have to scrap my meal and start over.
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If I put salt on something that’s supposed to have sugar on it, I’m going to get the same outcome. I’ll be disappointed it and I’ll likely have to start over.
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There are going to be times when you experience similar things in the Gospel. It’s not the Gospel that’s disappointed you. That’s where the line is drawn—The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect.
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It’s the people who gather in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that are far from perfect.
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One of my favorite talks was given by Elder David A. Bednar ”And Nothing Shall Offend Them.”
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In his talk, he refers to ’choice.’ it’s stuck with me ever since and it was very clear in my mind. WE CHOOSE TO BE OFFENDED.
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”To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.” Bednar
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If you haven’t felt insulted at Church, then I need to come to your ward. It’s almost inevitable, and it’s up to us how we respond. These things can and most likely will happen. We can respond by being offended or we can react by realizing we are not at Church for anyone but ourselves and the Lord.
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Yes, that can be hard. It’s hard to attend a place where you may feel don’t feel welcomed. I’ve been in that situation many times in my life; however, when I go to Church, I go to commune with the Lord, and most importantly, I go to partake of the sacrament.
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The salt may have a bad reaction, but the sugar may be just what you need. There are both kinds inside the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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If sin stunk, the chapel would reek!
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Return for you and no one else. Enjoy the blessing of the Gospel. The biggest blessing being the sacrament. Your promise you made with the Lord at baptism. Do you keep promises?
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Hear Him!

Just Be Obedient

Just be obedient.
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This has always been a significant debate—The word of wisdom. I’m not going to write this post based on that necessarily but I feel it’s a good start.
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Why don’t I drink alcohol, why don’t I chew tobacco, why don’t I smoke cigarettes and cigars, why don’t I vape, why don’t I drink specific tea, and why don’t I drink coffee?
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I’m not going to get into a debate on why I choose to avoid these things, because it’s a personal commitment I’ve made. I don’t expect those not of my faith to understand, but what those of my faith and those not of my faith may understand—OBEDIENCE to God.
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Elder Bruce R. McConkie has taught:
Obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest. It consists in compliance with divine law, in conformity to the mind and will of Deity, in complete subjection to God and his commands. To obey gospel law is to yield obedience to the Lord, to execute the commands of and be ruled by him whose we are.
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There may be things I disagree with. There may be church policies that make me scratch my head. There may be laws instituted by the Government that make me cringe, but guess what? I believe blessings come from being obedient.
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We may not have an understanding or we may have a small understanding, maybe we have a perfect understanding of why we are asked to do certain things. Whichever it may be, we are asked to be obedient.
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Try it! Even if you don’t understand why. Be obedient to it and converse with the Lord about your decision to try being obedient to something you struggle to understand.
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”A knowledge of truth and the answers to our most significant questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God… Many of us, however, learn through experience the wisdom of being obedient.” President Monson.
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Hear Him and learn to follow the Lord, even when you don’t understand His laws. He will help you understand.

How important is your religious freedom?

How important is your religious freedom?
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Take a moment to think about your religious freedoms. Now take a moment and picture your life without them.
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Do we need to make a list of what would happen to our Country and the world, or is it self-explanatory?
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Look at what’s happened to our country during the pandemic. For some time, we were forced to stay home and unable to attend church services with our congregations.
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Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been blessed to have a prophet to prepare us for this transition; however, our rights have still been infringed upon.
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Look at what’s happening around us. Things don’t look pretty. Once God is removed from the picture, bad things begin to happen—It’s not a coincidence.
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”As society continues to move away from eternal truths and God-given commandments, we can’t predict all the consequences that may result if religious freedom and the right to act on our beliefs are taken away.
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So we need to raise our voices to defend religious freedom. If we don’t raise them for the protection of religion now, vital religious freedoms will be lost.
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When we join the cause together, we can make a difference that will protect religious freedom not just for Latter-day Saints but also for followers of all religion.” (Religious Freedom Section of Gospel Library).
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Elder Bednar warned there is a danger in limiting a religious organization’s right to gather. “Gathering, in short, is at the core of faith and religion. Indeed, if the faithful are not gathering, sooner or later they will begin to scatter. And because gathering lies at the very heart of religion, the right to gather lies at the very heart of religious freedom.”
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Hear Him!

How often are you casting stones?


How often are you casting stones?
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I am pretty sure I’ve cast my fair share of stones over the years. Sometimes I feel guilty after doing it, but I don’t take responsibility to apologize and make things right.
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Pride is a strange thing—especially when you’re the prideful one and can’t see it. I’m sure there have been many times where I have been the prideful guy, and who knows I still may be.
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I think it takes a stronger individual to pull you aside and say something. Christ was the one who set that example.
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We remember the story of the scribes and Pharisees, who brought unto Christ the woman taken in adultery. They thought they were smarter than Christ and tried to set him up. Moses’s law said to stone the lady.
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They were so prideful that they thought they would make Christ appear as if he was wrongdoing and making the wrong judgment. How can you outsmart the Son of God? You can’t.
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These scribes and Pharisees needed to be humbled and Christ did just that. He helped them see how prideful they were to think they were above the woman who sinned.
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He said it perfectly, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” John 8:7. This was a perfect answer from a perfect person.
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”Convicted by their own conscience, they left on their own, not driven away. They went out one by one—not to find stones but to nurse their spiritual wounds.” Elder Marvin J. Ashton.
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Let’s try to remember this situation as we deal with our friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and in our callings. The Lord loves us all, and we are not the judge of our brothers and sisters. Lose your pride and hear Him!
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PC: Yongsung Kim

Who’s Going to Release You?

Who’s going to release you?
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Growing up, I remember going to watch my Uncle ride bulls and bullfight. The best memories were watching him as the clown as he saved the cowboy.
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The bullfighters dressed as a clown, and after each bull ride, this person distracted the bull so the cowboy could escape the arena safely. My Uncle was that guy!
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I could only imagine how long 8 seconds on the bull must have felt, then, however long it must have felt if you got hung up and tangled in the rope.
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Imagine the aggressive bull tossing and spinning all while your hand is tangled up. The only thought would be,” Where is the bullfighter who’s going to save me?”
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I think as we trudge through our roughest days, we sometimes feel like that lonely bull rider. We are trying to hang on for that 8-second ride. Sometimes we get thrown, tangled up earlier than we wanted, and we need help!
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We may wonder where our Savior is. He is there, just like the bullfighter. We can’t always see Him because we are just trying to endure the pain as we are being dragged along by whatever curveball life has given us.
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The most important part to remember, He is there. Just like the cowboy knew before he got on the bull—if things went bad, the bullfighter would be there to save him.
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Our Father in Heaven gave us a Savior, too. That’s what we need to remember. We didn’t sign up for our ”bull ride” without knowing we would be provided a safety measure.
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Just like the bullfighting careful monitors the cowboys ride, our Savior is monitoring our earthly journey here in mortality. He will come when we need him.
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He’s going to let us enjoy our ride, but He will come when things go bad. He will also come when the ride is over—making sure we get back to safety, and we are out of harm’s way of ”the bull.”
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He will be there to release us when we are snagged up. It will be important when that time comes to be able to listen to Him and Hear His instructions when He’s there to help free us.
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”…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…” Alma 7:11–12

He is proof that we will overcome our storm(s).

He is proof that we will overcome our storm(s).
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We are all battling through some of the gnarliest days in history. Not only do we have personal battles, but we have all the unexpected encounters. The world continues to toss us to and fro.
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The year 2020 could remain unscathed from any other year that I’ve seen or may see. Or, it may just be the start. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of so much going on. It’s definitely historical, and we are alive to witness it.
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Anger, arguments, frustration, contention, pain, suffering, rioting and looting. Pandemics, pestilence, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and floods.
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The list just continues. During these times, my mind always goes to Christ and His Disciples on the Sea of Galilee.
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He could have let the sea swallow them up. He could have chosen new disciples to get the job done. Why didn’t He?
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I would assume He could do the same for the rest of us. Let us get swallowed up by the current events—some likely will, but not at His expense.
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In essence, Jesus was testing the disciples’ faith. Just like he is testing ours now.
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Why did Jesus walk on the water? To show His disciples that the very thing they feared, the raging sea, was simply a set of steps for Him to come to them.
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Why did Jesus calm the sea a year earlier? Same reasons.
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Peter and the other disciples went on their journey because the master requested it.
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Are we, too, not on a similar journey through mortality? Is it not our response to His divine will?
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We are in a similar situation as the disciples who were on the ship. Of course, they were aware of the dangers of traveling on the Sea of Galilee. They knew of the possibility of sudden storms. So do we!
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Christ will come. He is building our faith, and the trials of 2020 will cease—when He is ready for them to stop!
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It’s His will. Not ours! The master knows the tempest is raging. He is sifting to find His valiant servants. Hear him!
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PC: Julius von Klever

HOW ARE YOU DAD’S DOING?

How are you dad’s doing?
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I know I’m not the only one, so if you have ideas, I want to hear from you in the comments.
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“If I were asked to name the world’s greatest need, I should say unhesitatingly; wise mothers and … exemplary fathers.” David O. McKay.
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I am FAR from an exemplary father. I can be the coolest dad because of my profession, my home gym, muscles, truck, green grass, and whatever else my kids deem ’awesome.’
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But, what example am I setting when it comes to righteousness? Are you a righteous father?
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Wouldn’t we all agree that the influence of a righteous father is just as valuable?
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I wouldn’t be shy to believe that our, ”children’s intellectual, emotional, and social development, masculinity and femininity, even the ability to function effectively in a future marriage, appear to be influenced by the father’s personal relationship with the child and with the child’s mother.” Spencer W Kimball.
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In this picture, you see me coaching my son. It’s his first-ever football game, and I’m like a charging bull out of the chute. I expect him to know the game, but I quickly realize he doesn’t, and his 7-year-old alligator tears humble me.
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We need to remember they aren’t always teachable, that they won’t always listen. And often we have to take them on their terms and at their times.
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How do we show our kids a righteous father? I would say the more we draw close to them, and the more time we spend with them. Take time to make time.
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Some of the excuses we sometimes make are, ’not enough time, frustration, preoccupied with other matters.’
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Don’t be afraid to pay attention to your kids. Always take time to share personal experiences with them and, most importantly, do things with your children. Set the example! You can be the ’cool’ dad by setting the righteous example.
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Your children will grow up, but they’ll never outgrow the need to spend time with their father.
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The Lord Jesus Christ never failed his church. He was never untrue to anyone. He was faithful & gave all.
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If we follow Christ’s example, they will respond to our loving & exemplary leadership. It will be automatic. We won’t need to demand it.

IS IT OKAY TO SHOW EMOTION?

Is it okay to show emotion?
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Unless you’re my mom, dad, or siblings, you wouldn’t think I have a soft bone in my body. Okay, maybe my wife and kids have seen that side.
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Law Enforcement has definitely hardened me up, and I’ve learned to shut down my emotions. Occasionally, I’ll get a call for service or deal with a certain situation that punches me in the gut; however, I swallow the frog in my throat and push on.
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The older I get, the more I’m beginning to soften up and open up. It’s a weird change and I’m not exactly sure how comfortable I am with it, but it’s not anything I can really control.
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As I participate in family history and read stories from my ancestors, that’s when things begin to change the most. Almost as if they are incredibly close by.
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I recently read an article my Uncle wrote about my Grandpa Bob (Mom’s dad). He died a month before I was to turn 12, and I still have great memories of my Grandpa.
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Before he died, he sat all of his grandchildren in front of him at his home. As he sat in his rocking chair, I remember very vividly sitting in the family room, listening to him talk to all of his grandkids.

He told us how important it was to stay on the path. He also mentioned a part that stuck with me. He was talking about family members losing their way in the Gospel of Jesus Christ; however, he followed up and was confident when he said, ” They will find their way back.”
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I don’t remember his exact quote, but I never really understood why he was worried about his grandchildren leaving the Gospel.
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I always kept that thought in my head, and when things have been difficult, my Grandpa’s words have refreshed in my mind.
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I believe he was inspired to say what he did that day. He has been a huge reason for my continued activity in The Church. I have never wanted to disappoint him. I truly believed as a kid/teenager, he was there for me, and as an adult, I know he continually watches over me.
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May we all be filled with the spirit of Elijah, which is ”a distinctive influence of the Holy Ghost that draws people to identify, document, and cherish their ancestors and family members – both past and present.”- Elder Bednar. Hear Him!
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PC: K.Turner

What are even a few million humble followers of Christ as compared to billions of unbelievers?

What are even a few million humble followers of Christ as compared to billions of unbelievers?
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The road is long, and the adversary is going to impede your entire journey. You’re going to face obstacles, and you’re going to have to deal with them.
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With the millions of faithful followers, how do we withstand the powers and pressures of things like communism and Islam, of Buddhism, Confucianism, and all of the sects of a world Christiandom?
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How can we preserve our integrity and ways of worship in the face of atheism and infidelity, organized crime, and when we are subject to governmental controls of education, unemployment, and the plagues of war in this wicked world?
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These are all ideas I’ve studied, as I read from the words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie. Great things to ponder.
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Is it even possible to gain a perfect knowledge of God and His Heavenly Kingdom while we consider and personally face all of those above issues and conflicts?
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It is!
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”Members of the earthly Church ”who overcome by faith” shall be members of ”the church of the Firstborn” in the highest heaven of the celestial world. D&C 76:53-54.
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Such persons, however, need not await that celestial day to gain a perfect knowledge of God and His Heavenly Kingdom.”
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So, how is this possible? In the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn how. Let’s look at D&C 107:18-19.
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”The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—
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To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant.”
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The Lord’s church is on earth again, and it has the most influence for good upon man and nations in our day. We are a ”standard for the Nation.” D&C 115:5.
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The authority of the Priesthood is what separates Millions compared to the Billions. It’s what makes that long road bearable and will allow you to get to your end destination—the kingdom of God.
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Hear Him & Walk with him. You will find the Kingdom of God on earth!

The Fear of Death Can be Comforted by Fearing God.


The fear of death can be comforted by fearing God.
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Is it that straightforward? I would say it is. When we think of ”fear,” we are not talking about being scared. Fearing God has an entirely different meaning.
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It is not fear in the normal sense of lack of courage, but rather love, respect, and reverence. Undoubtedly, fear of God in this sense can dispel all other fears.
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Good to know! We can learn about this in a few scriptures. The first, ”the Lord is with us: fear them not” (Num. 14:9).
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The second, ”It shall be well with them that fear God” (Eccl. 8:12). I can list off several more, but these are a great source.
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My Uncle and I had an experience when my Grandma and his Mother passed away. I won’t go into detail about our experience, because it’s something sacred I share with him; however, we can both attest that there is life after death.
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We experienced something that brought peace to both of us that day. I had no sadness or fear that I would never see her again. I know for surity she lives beyond death.
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Things are not by chance. They are by divine purpose. ”Your Divine Purpose will help you stay in heavenly focus, resulting in spiritual fulfillment and joy. You were born into this life with a unique and divine purpose. Put into motion by a loving Heavenly Father, your divine purpose, when thoughtfully and prayerfully pursued, can be a source of immeasurable joy.” Richard Anderson.
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The more you come to know God the Father and His Son, the more you will understand your divine purpose and the fear of death will be understood. You will know the purpose of it.
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The plan of salvation is as real as the skin on your bones. Someone created that skin and bone of yours, just like that someone created the Heavens and the Earth. There is nothing to fear when you decide to fear God. Nothing will matter more than serving Him.
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We will die and we will return. The plan of salvation teaches us we will be together again for all eternity. My Uncle and I will see my grandma and his Mom again. Just like mothers will see the children they lost in infancy, again. Fear not and Hear Him!

PC: John McNaughton

Our Father in Heaven Gave You Talents.

Our Father in Heaven gave you talents.
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It’s true. You may disagree and say you have no talent, which is wrong. One of my favorite things to do is watch America’s Got Talent, American Idol, The Voice, World of Dance, etc…
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I enjoy seeing people perform and discovering their talent. I would say our Father in Heaven enjoys seeing His children find the talent He gave them. Think about it; why would He not give you talents? You’re His child. You’re to become like Him!
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You can be talented in many ways. They may bless others; they may calm yourself; they may even be spiritual and not physical.
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I have no idea when you’ll find your talent. I have no idea when I’ll find all of mine. What I do know is that you’re Father in Heaven knows. Don’t negatively question Him and what He is doing for you.
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”Our talents differ. To some is given one, and to some another. You cannot all be Gifford Nielson on the football field or Kresimir Cosic on the basketball floor, but you can excel in something.

From your ranks will come our outstanding educators, attorneys, musicians, businessmen, physicians, statesmen, farmers, and scientists.
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You probably have gifts and talents that you have not yet discovered or that are dormant. These must be awakened.” Elder Henry D. Taylor.
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Sometimes you’re going to have to work for you’re talent. That’s the great part of life. We are trying to discover who we were before this life. You are going to have to try and move boulders to find your talents.
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God loves you, and He is going to help you discover your talents. Why? Because He gave them to you and He needs you to use them.
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I can imagine how often fear, envy, and procrastination prevent us from exercising the gifts and talents with which the Lord has blessed us.
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Stop fearing. Hear Him, and He will help you find your talents!

Stop Panicking. He Has Enough For You, Too.

Stop panicking. He has enough for you, too.
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As we think about the lesson, Christ taught the multitudes of 5000 people by feeding them; Christ never ran out.
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Isn’t that the lesson He wants all of us to learn from Him? He has plenty for all of us, with several baskets to spare.
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What is it that He has for us?
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His grace—It’s sufficient for all of us. As Jeffery R Holland mentioned in a talk he gave at Stanford University earlier this year, he said, ”Don’t worry about whether His miracles have run out before helping little old you. Don’t panic. He has plenty of blessings to go around… Be believing and enjoy His offer of the ”bread of life”!
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How do we all think God the Father and His Son feel when we believe things are that way, that they have no more for you?
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I know I have a personal relationship with my dad, and I can go to him for everything. My brothers and my sister do the same.
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He usually lets us figure things out on our own, but he always works his ”dad magic,” and by the end of the conversation, we typically feel much better.
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I believe our Father in Heaven is very similar. I don’t think he’s just going to give us the answer, but he’s going to let us work for it. In return, He has given us a ’big brother’ to show us the way.
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Christ has more than enough for all of us.
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Holland went on to say, ”I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds God the Father and His Son, the Savior of the World, when They find that people do not feel confident in Their care or secure in Their hands or trust in Their commandments… We have a duty to be cheerful.”
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You panic when you don’t read your scriptures and study the gospel. It’s that simple.
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When you begin to do what the Lord asks, you’ll see how much food is in the basket. The food has always been there, but where have you been?
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Happiness, strength, achieving your destiny, and successes can all be yours. The Lord is amongst us and asks,” Where goest thou?” what is your response to Him?
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My response is, ”Wherever you are, Lord.”
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Hear Him and follow Him. He is right there, and the basket of His grace is full.

THE CLOCK IS SET AND YOUR TIME IS GIVEN

The clock is set, & your time is given.
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We don’t have forever on this mortal journey. Our time will expire, just as it began.
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How you chose to live your life here on earth is entirely up to you. How do you want to be remembered, and what legacy do you want to leave? Better yet, how do you want the Lord to present you to the Father?
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We will all return and be judged according to our works here on earth.
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Did you know there is a difference between transgression and sin? Well, there is. Adam transgressed. He did not sin. He chose to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
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Even though both sin and transgression will bring a consequence, it’s essential to understand the difference. Adam chose to transgress so he could become like His Father in Heaven, knowing good and evil. The test of mortality was then placed in front of him.
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Adam and Eve went on to experience spiritual death, a separation from God.
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Now, here we are. Going through the same test. As we think of those we admire and have lived ordinary lives, many aren’t wealthy and never have or had prominence in this world.
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What sets them apart from everyone? I feel safe to say ’Faith and Family.’
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At least for me, when I think of the people I look up to, they match that description. Those are the people I admire and want to become.
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Never live the life of ’It might have been.’ it’s never too late to change. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. Look back to Adam—he transgressed, he didn’t sin.
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Maybe you took the wrong turn in life and need to turn around. Do it!! Just because you are on a different course, doesn’t mean you can’t change directions.
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Don’t fear the future! ”If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” – D&C 38:30.
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You only need an outline of the plan of happiness, then do your best to Hear Him and he will show you which way to go.
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You’re going to step off some sort of roof, and it’s probably going to hurt. There are consequences for doing things. Just like Adam transgressed; however, he did it for the greater cause. I’m sure it hurt to leave his Fathers presence.
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Turn around and follow Jesus Christ!

Contention in our families drives the spirit of the Lord away.

Contention in our families drives the spirit of the Lord away.
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I’m probably the most guilty of this in my family. I can always find a way to stir the pot, whether I’m trying to or not.
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I read an article today from B.H. Roberts. In it, he talks about a time when Joseph Smith was troubled by contention.
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David Whitmer recalled: “One morning when he was getting ready to continue the translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done.
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Oliver and I went up stairs, and Joseph came up soon after to continue the translation, but he could not do anything. He could not translate a single syllable.
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He went down stairs, out into the orchard and made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour—came back to the house, asked Emma’s forgiveness and then came up stairs where we were and the translation went on all right. He could do nothing save. He was humble and faithful.”
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As I thought this morning, I pondered on some of the different companions of contention?
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Here are a few I considered—contention of war; contention and dissension; contention and the shedding of blood; contention and disturbance; contention and lack of peace; contention and taking up arms; contention and difficulties; contention and pride; contention and wickedness; contention and strife.
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I find it interesting to study the lives of our prophets, especially Joseph Smith. Think of all the contention he had to face. One contention he had to face, many of us have to face—the tension between in-laws.
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Joseph had tension between Emma’s parents because he refused to let them see the gold plates.
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Another contention many can relate with is financial needs. Joseph Smith had to hold off on translating the book of Mormon to take care of those matters.
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Some may relate to the Joseph Smith and Emma when they lost a baby and she was in frail health. I can imagine the contention this could have caused.
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Ezra Taft Benson reminds us, ”Contention in our families drives the spirit of the Lord away. It also drives many of our family members away. Contention ranges from a hostile spoken word to worldwide conflicts.”

GOD TRULY LOVES YOU

God truly loves you.
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We were not so long ago in our Heavenly Fathers presence. We don’t remember, and that’s the point. I can’t remember what happened 10 minutes ago, so I don’t expect to remember what happened 34 + years ago.
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We were also in the age category of 1-5 years old. We don’t remember very much about it if we even remember anything at all.
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Every now and then, smell, location, or even a current experience will bring us back to our childhood or earlier years. We have an ”ah-ha” moment—a sweet or sad moment when we remember our personal history.
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There is no difference in our pre-earth life. Every now and then, our minds are enlightened, and we receive information and revelation from our Heavenly Father.
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We are all influenced from early childhood by certain individuals. We are taught to read, write, eat, tie our shoes, math, English, sports, and so many other things. This is part of our physical journey here on earth.
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We progress and know how to do many things because of our childhood experiences and lessons.
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Now, let’s look at our spirits. Where did they come from, and what were they doing before joining their mortal bodies?
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Our spirits, you, me, us, were in the presence of our Heavenly family. We were learning, progressing, and listening to our Heavenly Parents. We learned their voices in a way we learned the voices of our earthly influencers.
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We know we loved our Heavenly Father because we followed his plan. Part of his plan was to provide a Comforter during our mortal journey—the Holy Ghost.
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Just like we remember bits and pieces of our childhood, the Holy Ghost gives you protection, love, and peace of mind from your Heavenly Father. He testifies truths to you. The best part, He helps you find your Heavenly gifts during your stay in mortality.
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He helps you discern truth and steers you away from trouble. The best part of it all—He reminds you what the voice of the Lord sounds like. Be obedient, and you’ll be able to hear Him more abundantly in your life.

Being rested is essential to having the energy necessary to reach perfection.

I believe that being rested is essential to having the energy necessary to reach perfection.
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I am one to burn myself out quickly. I set a goal and work until I finish it. It doesn’t matter what it is; if I want it done, I’ll get it done.
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I have done this many times, and I still do it. I burn myself completely out and neglect my other duties.
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I think we can do this with our assignment here on earth, too. Hopefully, we are trying our best to be Christlike. Have you ever caught the spirit to a point where you want to do nothing but become the best person you possibly can?
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This is a fantastic feeling, and it’s great when that happens!
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Sometimes we find ourselves on a dead sprint and begin to tire out. That’s normal! You can’t run at a race 24/7. At least I can’t. If you can, I want to know your secret.
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We need to find a balance, and I’m not the one to tell you how to do that. I genuinely believe that’s a life experience you have to figure out on your own.
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I can suggest you pace yourself. After years of trial and error, I have learned that I need to have many solutions available. I burn out on one thing and move to the next, instead of finding ways to combine them all and be well-rounded in everything.
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Yes, we can learn to wisely choose the solutions that work best for the situations we are facing each day. Over the years, I have learned to follow King Benjamin’s counsel to “see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.” (Mosiah 4:27)
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Always start your day with prayer, and talk to Him about your plans for the day. Ask Him to guide you and try to hear Him.
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I promise you the Lord will help you learn how to balance your life. It may not be overnight, but gradually you will figure it out.
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In Him, you will find rest and be perfected.
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Unknown Artist

What Has He Done For Me?


Maybe you have this question, and in addition to this question, I ask you—what do you expect from Jesus Christ?
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If you’re looking for something of a temporal nature, I can assure you; you’re going to be disappointed.
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This will be easy to remember—persons who belittle the value or importance of the Gospel and are seeking temporal gain “serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly” (Rom. 16:18).
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Those of you who seek the spiritual nature diligently, in order to provide spiritual blessings to your fellow men, and serve the Lord, will rarely be disappointed.
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I have been blessed throughout my life. My membership and participation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have opened many doors.
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A few examples of what the Lord has done for me.
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For nearly 13 years, the Lord has brought me safely home to my family after work. As a police officer, I walk out the door every shift, and my family trusts in him to bring me back home.
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He has given me three of my own beautiful children and two of my sister-in-law’s beautiful children, to adopt, and raise. At the same time, she serves the Lord on the other side of the veil.
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He has given me eternal life and a guidebook to return to His presence. He atoned for me and my sins.
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He has provided His mouthpiece. A prophet and apostles. They walk the face of the earth today and speak to us. They teach of Him and guide me. I testify they are living disciples of Christ. Following their guidance has brought me extreme help and hope. In doing so, it has made me a better person.
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I don’t expect anything of temporal gain. The spiritual gain is sufficient for me. Trust in Him and hear Him!

DON’T COMPARE YOUR MORTAL JOURNEY TO OTHERS.

Don’t compare your mortal journey with others.
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Too often we hear some of the following.
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They have this and I don’t.
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They have that and I don’t.
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Why isn’t the Lord blessing me abundantly like he does everyone else?
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I walk righteously, but I see my neighbors in sin.
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I’m a member of His church, and I’m faithful; however, they are inactive or not a member, and they are abundantly blessed.
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Life is easier for them than it is for me.
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How many of us have been caught in this trap? If you think like this, it’s not Christlike behavior, and you should probably consider repentance. This is what the adversary wants.
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It’s an ignorant notion to believe God loves others more than you.
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The Savior was born in a manger. That’s right—a place where cattle and horses eat.
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”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; which truth shineth.”
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The Savior of us all. The Son of God. The King of Kings. The Judge of the world. He was not born in a beautiful Palace or a hospital. He wasn’t meant to live, but killed at childbirth at the order of Herod. He was crucified for teaching His law—the law of the Kingdom of Heaven.
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Why does God bless others more than you or your circumstances seem worse off than others? Ask yourself this: why didn’t Christ complain about the hand he was dealt from His Father, from God? We, too, accepted our role on earth.
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Sometimes our prayers are not quickly answered, or sometimes they are. Just remember, how quick were Christ prayers from His Father answered? He hung from the cross and at one point, he cried aloud, ”My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
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Don’t turn away from the Lord, and don’t blame Him for how or when He decides to answer your prayers. Hear Him! And if you can’t hear Him, keep trying.
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The adversary will push but the Lord will carry you.
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PC: Thomas Blackshear II

CHILDREN LEARN FROM OUR EXAMPLES

Children learn from our example.
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I had a few Sunday meetings today, and one of the thoughts brought to the table was children watching the adults.
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I’m used to this. As a police officer, I get the opportunity to see the faces of little children light up! They see me in uniform or driving in my patrol car. It’s fun for them to hear the sirens or see the flashing red and blue lights.
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They love to see the duty belt with all my gear. The shiny badge I wear is intriguing to them. They all want sticker badges and police paraphernalia (no, not that kind 😉 ).
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I’m not just a ”dad, friend, neighbor, coach, etc.” I am an example.
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This goes for every single one of us, and we all need to start seeing ourselves as that. We are examples! You’re being watched, and the children are taking notes.
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What are you doing around the home?
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What are you doing in the neighborhood?
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What are you doing at work?
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What are you doing as a coach or a leader?
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What example do you set in ministering efforts?
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What do you talk about when children are present?
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I believe you get the point. You are an example!.
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One of the best examples we have is, of course, our Savior. He wants the children to come to Him. He wants to teach them His way. As a child, I was taught about Jesus. I had pictures of Him all around our house. I learned of His great example.
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I was taught of His example by my parents, my siblings, ward members, scout leaders, grandparents, friends, mission companions, mission president, neighbors, and the list continues.
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I followed the excellent examples. I had so many great examples in my life that I knew when someone was setting a bad example.
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I testify that you are the future of our children. Those children who know you, they watch you.
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The children learn from us! Hear Him, and He will teach you how to teach them!
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PC: @weistling

If we live beyond death, why should it be strange that we lived before birth?

If we live beyond death, why should it be strange that we lived before birth?
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How do we comprehend a premortal and postmortal life if we don’t study and understand God’s plan for us?
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If you don’t believe in life before birth or life after death, how do you explain your knowledge and existence? Something living created you. A living matter or substance created you—so what created that matter and substance?
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It’s simple—a loving Heavenly Father created you. If you you believe in scripture or don’t believe in scripture, consider this…
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What are the odds a male and a female were created in the beginning? That just happened to be luck? No, there was no ’luck’ about it. You can’t produce children without a male and a female. So again, I ask, how do billions exist on earth without a divine plan? We can’t.
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”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26–27).
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There you have it. You and I have the image of God. Just like you take on the characteristics of your earthy parents, we take on the attributes of our loving Heavenly Father.
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This life will end, and we will return to live with our Heavenly family. Just like we did before we were born into this life.
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We must know these things!
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”Without a knowledge of the gospel plan, transgression seems natural, innocent, even justified. There is no greater protection from the adversary than for us to know the truth—to know the plan. (Our Fathers Plan; Boyd K. Packer).
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I invite everyone who has left the Gospel to come back. In times like these, the world needs you. Christ needs you and wants you to hear Him. He overcame death for you.
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It’s time to listen.

Did you answer the Apostles call to present an offering to the Lord?

General Conference concluded 125 days ago.
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Why is this a significant thing to remember? For me, I had a change of heart. How about you?
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Did you answer the Apostles call to present an offering to the Lord?
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123 days ago, I solidified my offering I would present to the Lord, and I haven’t broken my commitment to Him.
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You may be wondering what I’m talking about, or you may know precisely what I’m talking about.
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Elder Ballard, a member of the 12 Apostles, addressed us during the Saturday morning session. At the end of his talk, he asked us to do something extremely important.
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”As we listen to the Spirit during this 200th-anniversary celebration this weekend, consider what offering you will present to the Lord in righteousness in the coming days. Be courageous—share it with someone you trust, and most important, please take the time to do it!”
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There are only a few people I’ve shared my ”offering to the Lord.” Those of you whom I’ve shared, by now, you know I’m committed.
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I took the time to listen to an Apostle of God, and in return, I’ve been blessed tremendously. There have been many things come into my life over the last 123 days that I can’t describe.
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My Father in Heaven has guided me to a better place. The adversary has been more present and robust than I’ve ever felt; however, the voice of the Lord has been clear.
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Through the loud noise, I have reminded myself to stay focused on hearing Him. I’ve done this through prayer, daily study (more than I’ve ever done in my life. Yes, more so than on my mission), and music.
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I know I have a loving Heavenly Father, and I know more than I’ve ever known that Jesus is the Christ. He is the Savior of the world & my best friend.
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The scriptures are a guide through life, and I am indeed grateful to have testimonies from Prophets and Apostles in both the Bible and Book of Mormon.
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I’m honored to hold & understand the priesthood authority. How blessed we are for a young boy to have such faith in God that he was trusted to bring to pass the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to earth once again for the final time.
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I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be true. Hear Him!

WHAT KIND OF CROSS DO YOU BEAR?

What kind of cross do you bear?
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I want everyone to know that it’s okay to have affliction and responsibilities—some of us may have several crosses to bear.
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It’s all about our willingness to accept these crosses and the direction we go. Are you picking up your cross and moving it towards the greater good?
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Christ moved his cross all the way to Golgotha. We may think,”yeah, but he moved it to His death.”
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Sure, if we look at it that way, He surely did move his cross to where He would die.
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However, we need to look at it differently. He didn’t just move His cross to His death sentence. He moved it to the finish line!
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Christ had one goal in mind and that was moving His cross up the hill of Golgotha for US!! He moved it in the direction of the better. The better being, the completion of the Atonement.
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We all are burdened, but Christ has told all of us, ”And he that will not take up his cross and follow me, and keep my commandments, the same shall not be saved.” D&C 56:2.
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You may have lost a family member to suicide.
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You may have lost a loved one to cancer.
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You may have lost a loved one to drug/alcohol overdose.
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You may have cancer.
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You may be blind, deaf, or lack mobility.
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You may have deep depression or struggle from post-traumatic stress.
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You may struggle with financial setbacks.
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You may be hated for racial ethnicity or career choice.
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Whatever cross you have been given. It’s going to be okay!! I promise you that.
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The Savior promises you that! It’s why He didn’t stop. It’s why He kept going! He moved forward His cross for you! He moved it in the direction of eternal salvation!
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He will give us strength, peace, and ease our burdens during our unruly responsibilities and burdens in this life.
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He asks you to hear Him! He has been resurrected and is coming! Be prepared and move your cross towards Him!!
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PC: Peter O’Neill

ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT THE LORD’S WORK?

Are you serious about the Lord’s work?
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I think about my commitment to Christ and if I’m serious about it. Some days I do better than other days. Some weeks I do better than other weeks. Some months I do better than other months.
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When I look at some replica photos of Christ, I feel determination. I see someone who wins and doesn’t lose. I also observe focus.
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One question I ask myself is this—Do I see me?
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When we look at Christ do we see ourselves? Obviously, we are not Him, but are we becoming like Him?
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Do you take the time to do a self-evaluation? Have you ever done a self-evaluation? How does your self-evaluation rate? Are you becoming like Christ?
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A few posts back, I talked about wanting to be myself and that I am not Christ. Which is absolutely right; however, I still want to become like him.
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What does that look like and how? President Uchtdorf explains it pretty well.
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”To follow Christ is to become more like Him. It is to learn from His character. The Savior invites us to learn His gospel by living His teachings. Ancient and modern prophets described it with three words: “Keep the commandments”—nothing more, nothing less.”
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It seems pretty simple because it is that simple. We, as mortal beings, make it complicated. We make everything complicated.
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I think we are safe to say that if life were easy; it wouldn’t be hard.
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Accept that it’s going to be difficult. Christ accepted that and was determined to win. He did win! He conquered the world. How do we know this? We know by studying what He told us.
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”In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”—John 16:33
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Measure up to the teaching of Christ, and you will have His help in doing so. You’re not perfect, so accept that.
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Elder Eyring taught us three words that he learned from his wife, do you know what those were?
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”Try, try, try!!”
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He went on to say a wonderful thing about his wife, and he gave us all hope.
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”I think that she will find, when she sees Him, that our Savior has put His name into her heart and that she has become like Him. He is carrying her through her troubles now, as He will carry you through yours.”
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Hear Him!!

TAKE A MOMENT TO ENJOY YOUR FAMILY

Take a moment to enjoy your family.
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A lot is going on, and I don’t think anyone will argue with me. Sometimes, we take our frustrations out on those that matter the most to us.
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Work, sports teams, church callings, or any other activity can cause stress. This stress sometimes carries over to your family responsibilities.
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Take a few minutes to enjoy your family. You may be a chapter of scripture away from helping them receive revelation for tomorrow.
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Same with prayer. Don’t forget to take a minute or two to gather your family and kneel down and pray with them.
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It may be a hug from you that gives them the comfort they need to push forward. Don’t forget to hug your loved ones tightly.
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It is possible to indulge and overprotect our children; however, it is impossible to give them too much real love. They will appreciate every second of it.
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I don’t know who said it, but this always stuck with me, ”children need love most when they seem to deserve it least.”
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The goal is to lead by example and build the future here on earth. There is no better way than to do it in our houses.
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Not only should we love our children, but we should also help them feel our love. In response, our children will show us by their actions how that love affected them.
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The world can be chaos, and sometimes our homes can be chaos, but I’d rather enjoy the chaos at home than what the world offers.
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One day the opportunity to enjoy what you once had may be gone. Focus on each day and make it the best.
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Find ways to hear Him with your loved ones.
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PC: Susan Comish

Beware of Counterfeit Revelation

Beware of Counterfeit Revelation.
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This is a real thing. Our Heavenly Father wants us to hear Him and provide revelation to us.
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The Devil also wants us to hear him and give us revelation.
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Yes, Satan can give you revelation. President Packer reminds us, ”Be ever on guard lest you be deceived by inspiration from an unworthy source. You can be given false spiritual messages.”
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Scary to think about—Elder Mark. Peterson (Former member of the 12 apostles) cautions us on this. ”Satan does give revelation to us, evil revelation, to put us off the track, to lead us astray, and to ease us into sin… Satan is definitely a revelator.”
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How do we know which is which? Who is talking to us? We all know Satan is cunning. He isn’t necessarily going to give us a revelation that’s utterly contradictory of our Heavenly Father—Just subtle differences. He will continue to do this until you follow him.
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“Satan whispers to us that we are failing if we are not perfect (sometimes even as we pray).” Gerald N. Lund.
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So, how do we know who is speaking to us? Is it revelation from Heaven or the Devil?
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Think of your own father or mother. If you don’t have a relationship with them, think of someone you confide in. Do you know their voice? Do you know the tone of their voice? Do you know them so well that you recognize it’s them and their advice?
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Our Heavenly Father wants you to know Him that well. He wants you to hear Him. As you study His word, pray to Him every day, and as you listen to His Prophets, you will know who He is.
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You will recognize when something is ‘off’ and not lining up with the doctrine of the Lord. His voice will be so distinct in your mind and your heart that you will know it’s Him speaking to you.
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We live in a loud world. Our Father in Heaven is calming and provides soothing balm for troubled waters.
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Be not deceived by the Devil. If he enters your mind, tell him hello and sing him a church hymn or read him a verse of scripture! Tell on him—pray to your Father in Heaven to dismiss him.
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You will know the difference as you follow His commandments and His teachings, just like you know the physical feel and voice of your earthy loved ones.
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📷:D Gerhartz

Focus on the healing and redemptive powers found in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I have been following Operation Underground Railroad, and as a dad of four girls and one boy, my heart aches for those of sexual abuse.

My job as a Police Officer is to protect and to serve. Some of the hardest moments are finding out I was ’too late,’ even though there was nothing I could have personally done to prevent the situation.

The calls I’ve taken personally are the ones where abuse is involved. Those are the calls that hit home.

I am by no means a therapist or psychologist, but I have been in Law Enforcement for over a decade. I have learned some valuable things.

Many times, I have either personally done this, or I’ve seen others do this.

When someone is abused, don’t become part of the problem. I understand we may be close to the individual of abuse, and our intents seem right, but take a step back for a moment.

We can’t assume we know how to fix someone’s problems. It’s also not fair to believe that individual is using their abuse as an excuse to ’act out’ (for lack of a better phrase).

Sister Ann E. Pritt said the following, ”Many who have been abused find it difficult to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost as well as to feel answers to prayer.

Although they may interpret this as a lack of Heavenly Father’s love, there is another explanation. A basic defense children use against sexual abuse is to shut down their feelings, helping them to get through the trauma.

Yet this response also cuts them off from positive feelings. As a result, those who have been sexually abused may have difficulty feeling the love of Heavenly Father, His servants, and other nurturing people in their lives.

Sexual abuse can lead to deep spiritual wounding in other ways. People who have experienced such abuse may develop erroneous ideas about Heavenly Father, doctrines of the gospel, and their own worth.”

I’m grateful for those who have found ways to battle and conquer abuse. Jesus Christ knows you personally, and His Atonement can heal your wounded soul. Hear Him, and you won’t be alone in suffering. He will find you, even in your darkest moments. So many love you!