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!

YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE FOR A REASON.

You are where you are for a reason.

We don’t necessarily have to understand why we are where we are in life.

When I say that I mean, the Lord has placed us where He has placed us for purposes known to Him. It’s up to you to discover His will for you in His grand plan.

Maybe the place you’re at is luscious, or perhaps it’s unsavory. It doesn’t matter. The Lord has a reason for this.

If you live in a terrible location, filled with crime and sin, but you’re reading this post, have made it this far into my post, and you have been following my Instagram feed, there is a reason the Lord has you where He has you.

You have righteous desires. He has taken you to an area of His vineyard where He needs you to produce good and desirable fruit. You may be among the few people in your area to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Start seeing your area as an opportunity. The Lord saves his valiant ministers. So, go be valiant and harvest your area!

”For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul.” (D&C 4:4)

The Lord doesn’t want you to question His placement for you; He wants you to get work, and He will help you understand the ’WHY.’ We learn this by reading about the Lord and His servant in the vineyard.

”And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard.

And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.”

Trust in the Lord, hear Him, and go harvest your area!

JUST HOW MERCIFUL IS THE LORD?

Just how merciful is the Lord?
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I need to continue to remind myself of this. I often beat myself up more than I probably should. I tend to beat myself up the more and more I learn of Christ, too. Isn’t that weird?
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Why wouldn’t I learn and want to have more patience and love for myself? I mean, I’m learning of Christ—the most loving and forgiving.
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This is my thought on why I do this—I would say the more I come unto Christ, the more I understand His word, the more I indulge to feed myself spiritually, the harder I am on myself when I sin.
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Why am I harder on myself when I’m doing what the Lord wants me to do?
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Because I know what’s expected of me, the more I learn of Him and His Gospel, the more I hold myself accountable. I’m harder on myself because I understand I’ve sinned. I know better when I’m in communion with the Lord.
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Let’s look at Laman and Lemuel. How many times did they have Heavenly messengers appear to them after they departed from Jerusalem? MANY!! Even the voice of the Lord chasten them exceedingly.
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They wanted to MURDER their father, Lehi, and brother Nephi. They turned their hearts away from Heavenly visitations numerous times. Why? I assume, but I say it was because they didn’t study the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They didn’t have a personal conviction of the truth.
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It didn’t matter what they saw or heard from Heavenly messengers. It didn’t mean anything to listen to the voice of the Lord chastise them. They were never converted to the word of God. They never developed a relationship with the Lord.
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As hard-hearted as they were, the Lord STILL forgave them; he still accepted their please of repentance, and He blessed them with food that they didn’t perish.
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It doesn’t matter if you’ve had Heavenly visitations. Excellent for you if you have, but as we learn from 1 Nephi 16 and so many other scripture references, if you don’t have a relationship with the Lord and indulge in the world of God, you will fall away.
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You cannot become converted unto the Lord unless you are daily studying the Gospel and pleading with the Lord in prayer. Disagree with me all you want, but I will hold my ground on this.
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Hear Him and love yourself. He does!

HE IS MY LIGHT

My wife shared this photo with me this morning. This is what she had to say about it.
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“It means that the Savior is always there to show me the way.
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He is my light and gives me that light every day, just like he gave his life for me.
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Every day, everywhere, and anytime, He is there. Not only when things are going “right” but especially when things might be going wrong.
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He has given me his light that will guide me through anything.” @kenzterry
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PC: @kate_lee_art

HOW FAST DO YOU TURN TO PRAYER?

How fast do you turn to prayer?
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In a world of temptation, it’s almost impossible to run like Joesph of old did when Potiphar’s wife tempted him.
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The Lord’s prayer simply indicates,” And ​suffer​ us not ​to be led​ into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (JST).
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The Lord will not give us a temptation without a way to deliver us. The Lord has made an “escape, that [we] may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13.).
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We do have to face temptations of every kind during our time here on earth. It’s inevitable and to think otherwise; you’d be sorely mistaken.
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Now, we must clearly understand that ”through the gift of his Son he has provided the means for us to be free from evil, even after the fact, if we are willing to pay the price.” Jeffery R. Holland.
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We all now know what the Lord’s prayer is by reading it, but do we understand what to do after offering our prayers?
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We pray to be protected, and we pray to be delivered from the adversary. So, don’t pray and then go center yourself around your weakness.
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If you struggle with drugs, don’t pray and then go to a hot spot for dope usage.
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If you struggle with lust, don’t pray and let yourself wander places where you’ll be able to activate lustful desires.
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If you struggle with alcohol, don’t pray and then go to a bar or locations that may serve alcohol.
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If you struggle with envy, don’t pray and then go to places where you’re going to wish you had what everyone else has.
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The point being, RUN like Joseph of old. I would say our world is pretty bad, so how do you just run away? Every corner you turn, it seems you can run into your problem.
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So, my suggestion… PRAY! Instead of physically running away, PRAY. Ask your Heavenly Father to deliver you from your temptations. He HAS an escape for you, but you have to HEAR HIM to find it and know where it is.
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Pray+Study+Hear Him=Escape
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PC: Ron Dicianni

TO BECOME AS THE LITTLE CHILDREN

To become as the little children.
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What an interesting and powerful teaching from the Savior.
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“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
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I have a thought on this and by no means am I correct—This is just a thought by ‘Mike.’
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Having coached little kids, there is one thing they all pretty much have in common… They all want to make the coaches proud and happy. Every one of them tries their best to do their best.
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The teams I’ve coached the kids are usually around the same age, and are trying their best to learn. Believe it or not, each of them are giving their very best to learn.
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Now, we as coaches or adults may see it a little different and wonder why ‘Johnny’ seems to be giving a little better effort than ‘Billy.’ This can seem frustrating and we may want them all to give the same effort.
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As a little kid, they don’t see it like that. They see it as they are doing their best and doing everything they are being asked to do and know how to do.
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Looking at us, as followers of Christ, we need to realize a similar example. We all learn differently, and we all progress differently.
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Our Father in Heaven is different than us and how we perceive children. He sees us as His children, and He is coaching us with perfect patience.
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A child doesn’t really get down on themselves if they have a good coach. They actually get excited when they are told they do good or need to be corrected; however, this has to be done with fairness and understanding.
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Just like Christ will correct us and judge us fairly. He only asks for us to give Him our best and have joy in the process of it all.
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Stop getting down on yourself and beating yourself up. Learn to be happy and be kind to yourself when you make a mistake.
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Humble yourself as the little children, and you will find joy and happiness in this life.
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Let Christ coach you and Hear Him!

SOMETIMES WE WON’T SUCCEED.

Sometimes we won’t succeed.

That can be a hard visualization—especially if you’re anything like me. I don’t like to lose and I definitely don’t like to fail.
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Over the years, I have experienced all of those things. I have won, lost, succeeded, and failed.
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The good thing about all of them, they’ve helped me grow to the person I am today.
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I’m going to continue on and do my best, no matter the outcome.
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As I studied this morning, I took a talk from a general conference back in 2016. It was by Elder Holland. I first read it, and then I listened to it. I typically learn many different things when I read and then listen.
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In his talk, he mentioned a few points that stood out to me.
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1st: ”With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.”
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2nd: ”Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength.”
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3rd: This is from Joseph Smith— ”The gifts of God are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep my commandments, and for them that seeketh so to do.” Elder Holland then followed up with ”Boy, aren’t we all thankful for that added provision “and … seeketh so to do”! That has been a lifesaver because sometimes that is all we can offer!”
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4th: ”If God were to reward only the perfectly faithful, He wouldn’t have much of a distribution list.”
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So, sometimes we won’t succeed. That’s fine. The Lord knows we won’t succeed in everything. That’s why He came. He will make sure we win. He just asks us to try our very best.
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He’s asks us to hear Him!

Do you whine and complain, or do you just get the job done?

Do you whine and complain, or do you just get the job done?
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I’ve read the passage over and over again about Nephi breaking his bow. Today, I thought to myself, do I whine and complain, or do I just get the job done?
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I know I’ve asked the question before about ”Are you a leader or a follower?” It’s a good time to stop and think. Are you just going along with the majority of the Saints because it’s ’the culture.’
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Do you get tough when the tough get going?
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What do you honestly believe?
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Do you believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
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Do you partake of the sacrament emblems and sincerely hold up to the covenants you made with the Lord?
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Do you witness unto the Father that you will always remember His Son, Jesus Christ?
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Why did Nephi not quit? He broke his bow, but he didn’t stop. He drove forward with God on his side. His family quit on the Lord, so did the Sons of Ishmael. What’s even more surprising, Nephi’s father, Lehi, began to murder against the Lord.
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What does that tell you? It tells me even a prophet of God can lose faith. The prophet Lehi lost faith and was severely chastised for it by the Lord!
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Nephi’s dad HIS OWN DAD lost faith for a moment; however, Nephi DROVE FORWARD!! Why? Because, he was born of goodly parents and knew his dad taught him to do hard things.
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Sometimes our family and friends are going to lose faith and ’give up.’ We need to be like Nephi and show them over and over and over again why we MUST HAVE FAITH IN THE LORD!!
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These last days are tough. Are you going to whine and complain, or are you going to do something about it?
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The Lord needs the best players on His field. You don’t have to have talent; you just have to have the heart! Hear Him!!

DO YOU STRUGGLE TO BE CHRISTLIKE?

Do you struggle to be Christlike?
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I have a strong love for the Savior, and I enjoy studying the scriptures, the words of our prophets, and 98% of the time I listen to church hymns.
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I am also stubborn. I yell, argue, and get frustrated with anything and everyone 99% of the time. This very well could be from my career choice in Law Enforcement.
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On the job, I have to put my best game face on. I have to be professional in all of my conduct and duty-related assignments. Sometimes, I have to pretend to have no emotion, or I have to smile (when inside I’m probably boiling).
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When I come home, I get to try and decompress. A good majority of trying to decompress means I yell, argue, and get frustrated. I understand that not everyone is like this, but I am. I struggle to be Christlike.
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I struggle to be Christlike because I am not Christ. That may sound terrible, but it’s true. I am Mike. I am just a man who struggles and is trying my best during my time on earth.
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Jesus Christ set the perfect example for us, and He has commanded us to become as He is. Every day, I try to have more faith, hope, charity, patience, humility, purity, diligence, and obedience.
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As I learn of Him and seek to develop His attributes, I know I will become the dad, husband, brother, son, and friend, He and our Heavenly Father, would like me to be.
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He is my brother, and I look up to Him. It doesn’t mean I am Him—nor do I want to be Him. I want to be Mike. I want to walk by His side and learn from Him.
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As I struggle to be Christlike, I learn who I am. I find ’the Mike’ my Savior needs me to be. He’s given you and I different personalities, qualities, and ideas. He needs to use us all in different ways.
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Don’t give up. He will help us become who He needs us to be. Hear Him!
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PC: Pacific Press

CELEBRATE THE PIONEERS

Let Us Celebrate Pioneer Day!
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Today is a day of remembrance! May our thoughts be turned towards the Mormon Pioneers.
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This day commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois, and other locations in the eastern United States.
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I feel blessed to be where I am today. As ponder on everything I am doing and have done, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the pioneers.
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They paved the way here in Utah. What would have happened if they never arrived in Utah or never had the courage to listen to the voice of the prophet, which is the voice of the Lord?
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They did so many things and suffered things I hope never to have to. Why did they do all of this? My thoughts go to the hymn,” He is Risen.” I’m my opinion this was and is the driving force of our Pioneer ancestors and for the continued faith of the Saints today.
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He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory.
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I testify to you that our Pioneers loved Jesus Christ, and because they listened, I am where I am today. I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do unless the restored Church was on the earth today. Jesus is the head, He has risen, and we have a duty to perform! We need to let the whole wide world know!
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Hear Him!

WALKING WITH CHRIST

What would it be like to walk with Christ?
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I have often thought about this very thing. I also hear many people say they can’t wait for Christ to return; however, I see many who don’t even walk in the steps of righteousness.
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What does that even mean? “I can’t wait for Christ to return.”
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I think the real question we should be asking ourselves is this: “Am I even prepared, and what am I doing right now to prepare to receive Christ when He does return?”
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We all can say we want Him to return—Would you know him if he did return?
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Do you treat Him as a best friend at this very moment? Do you include Him in your life every day? Is He your center of gravity?
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What are you doing to prepare? Do you know what He did when He walked on this earth? Do you know what He did in preparation for this world? Do you know what He will do for you after this world?
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Do you study His life and His Gospel? There are so many questions we need to be asking ourselves.
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If you don’t know Him right now, why do you think you will know Him when He returns?
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So, I ask again—What would it be like to walk with Christ?
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He has shown you how. He has given us the perfect example of how to walk with Him.
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I suppose I could list out the many ways of what it would look like to walk with Christ. That would take the fun and joy out of it!
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He wants us all to gain a relationship with Him. If you haven’t gained a relationship with the Savior of The World, now is a perfect time!
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Jesus Christ is the perfect example for each of us. We are told to become like Him, “to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6).

WHY WE NEED A PROPHET

Why we need a prophet.
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Sometimes I think we either take this for granted or we don’t understand how blessed we are. For those who don’t understand, pay close attention, and ask questions.
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Let’s learn a little from Elder McConkie—A prophet is a living witness of the divine Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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He is one who knows by personal revelation that Jesus is the Lord who worked out the infinite and eternal atonement by which salvation comes.
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This ”testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10), and one so gifted and so endowed has power, if need be, to ”prophesy of all things.” (Mosiah 5:3).
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A prophet is a legal administrator who has been called of God to represent him in teaching the doctrines of salvation to men on earth.
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He is one who is empowered to perform the ordinances of salvation so they will be binding on earth and sealed everlastingly in the heavens.
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It is his privilege to receive revelation, to see visions, to entertain angels, and to see the face of God.
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How can a church be the Lord’s Church unless it receives revelation from him?
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(References: The Millennial Messiah)
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PC: Doc Christensen

IF NOT YOU THEN WHO?


If not you, who?
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These sweet individuals are my centerfold. You can start at the beginning or the end of my book, but you’ll always find that my story leads to them. Let me explain why with a scripture.
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”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:11–12.)”
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So, with that scripture, I learn that I have to have the best defense—I have to teach them how to protect themselves and how to protect our family.
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I echo what Harold B. Lee said about this scripture. Paul implied that our most deadly contest in life is not with human enemies, which may come with guns or bombing planes to destroy us, but with enemies that strike out of darkness and may not be perceived by human senses.
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What is your best armor of defense?
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I laugh when people say I have an entire army with my big family of 7. It’s true; I do have a significant command, and they are well equipped.
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My family is always training for battle. We are always learning new skills and acquiring new weapons. We do this through prayer, scripture study, family discussions, and individual interviews.
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We know what each other’s strengths are because we train together. We learn who does what best, and we shift ourselves around to provide the best defense.
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We continuously build our temple to keep the enemy on the outer gates, and when we leave our home, we suit each other up so we can stand firm and continue to fight the adversary when we are separated.
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The leaders of our army begin with our 17-year-old, Rilan. Then to our 11-year-old, Ren. Next, our 10-year-old, Emma. Down to our 7-year-old, Warner. And last but not least, our 5-year-old, Hallie Rose.
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They prepare every day, and as their Dad and Mekenzi as their mom, we make sure they have the best equipment to protect themselves.
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Prepare your families, and if you’re off the beaten path, get back on it and start now. I’ve said it over and over; it’s never too late until it’s too late. Right now, it’s not too late!
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Agency is given to all, but what we choose to do with our agency will determine our return.

OUR ABRAHAMIC TEST

What is your Abrahamic test?
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As you think about that question, I want you to turn your mind to Abraham and the test the Lord put him through. Would you be like Abraham and be so willing to follow the Lord’s direction?
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We all will be tested and go through our own ”Abrahamic test(s).”
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Joseph Smith taught many things. A few things he taught are that ”Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens.”
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He taught that our trials will be trials of our faith equal to that of Abraham—Why is this?
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Again, we learn from him, ” Trials will only give us the knowledge necessary to understand the minds of the ancients so that ancients will not have whereof to boast over us in the day of judgment, as being called to pass through heavier afflictions; that we may hold an even weight in the balance with them.” (Teachings)
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Are we going through a trial together? I feel safe to say yes. How are you doing with the worldwide pandemic? How are you doing with the protests? How about the earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and everything else?
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Where is your faith? Are you doing what the Lord is asking you to do? Are you willing to be as Abraham and draw your sword and complete your test?
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”And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and God will feel after you (He will come looking for you), and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heartstrings, and if you cannot stand it, you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God”(Teachings).
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Again, I ask, how are you responding to your own personal trials? How are you responding to shared trials? The Lord is sifting the wheat from the tares during COVID-19, Nationwide protests, and everything else.
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Hear Him and rise up to your Abrahamic test(s)!

HE IS YOUR GREATEST FRIEND

He is your greatest friend.
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As your friend, I have many things to say to you, but also, as your friend, I do not have the right to interfere with your life.
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I can only advise you based on my own experiences and out of love and compassion.
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As we proceed through this life, you may feel it is automatic to do so, but I assure you it is not. It’s more than just ”proceeding through life.”
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The way you conduct your life is, to a great extent, how you as parents, grandparents, and all of those who you associate with conduct their lives. The example they set is by in large how you will live your life.
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The most important example anyone will ever receive or set in life is what is taught in the home. I understand everyone has different circumstances, but even if you were not taught by example in the home, it doesn’t mean you can’t do so in your home.
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If you’re not taking the time to hear Him and study His word, pray to Him, and teach these things to those of your home, it’s time to repent. Start today, and get moving. We don’t have to be perfect, but we can strive for perfection.
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Brothers and Sisters, I bear you my testimony. I promise that as you kneel down in prayer with your family, teach them about the Lord, and seek knowledge and understanding, kernels of wisdom and pearls of great price, you will receive the power to destroy the adversary.
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You will have the strength and courage to do all that the Lord has in store for you. God lives, and he has a plan specifically for each of us. He’s waiting for you to listen and follow him.
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The Lord is our greatest friend.
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PC: Greg Olson

THE ADVERSARY PUSHES AS WE SPREAD

The adversary pushes as we spread.
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We are not welcome—I can tell you that much. On this earth, you and I are NOT welcome. Before the fall and since the fall of Adam and Eve, the Devil has been an influencer.
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The message of the gospel is his worst enemy. That’s why it’s our most reliable tool. We have to use it to win!
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Christ and His Apostles were slain because they taught saving truths. They instructed the multitudes how they could earn and gain everlasting life—life eternal with the Father. They taught us how to become like Him.
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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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The devil has had his way for an extremely long time. Well, guess what? The Heavens have re-opened, revelation, and prophecy is once again on earth.
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Christ has His establishment once again. The Lord is fulfilling His promise that His gospel shall be as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands.
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This is overwhelming to the darkness. WE ARE FRUSTRATING him and his followers. Good for us! Keep it up. The harder we fight, the harder they fight, as you can clearly see! Look around you. These current events are because they are angry with the righteous!
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Imagine putting a spoon full of sugar in something sour? It would ruin the flavor. That’s what we are doing. The more we preach the Gospel, the more we spoil and destroy the evil intentions of the adversary.
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Sure, it’s going to be a little challenging to spread the message of the Gospel—You have to remember, we’ve just come out of complete darkness. The Heavens have reopened after a long period of apostasy. There is work to be done!
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Add your light to the darkness! Hear Him!
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PC: @brent_borup

What is Your Divine Destiny?

What is your divine nature and destiny?
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We are all sons and daughters of loving Heavenly Parents. This means we all possess some measure of a divine nature. We are created in the image of God.
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We learn from scriptures and even our current Prophets that we were taught in the spirit world. This means we have been prepared for this world and anything and everything that we would encounter on this earth.
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To me, that’s hugely reassuring. It comforts me to know that I have the tools in my toolbox. When deception, distractions, and discouragement comes, and it will, I will be able to ’tap in’ to my divine nature. I will be ready to conquer the adversary.
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I continue to reinforce prayer, scripture study, obedience to the Lord. The reason for this is because it’s fundamental. They are literally the tools we have to utilize if we want to protect ourselves.
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Those three things allow us to hear Him! They allow us to protect ourselves and receive personal revelation. We can’t find out what our divine nature and destiny are without the core fundamentals of the Gospel.
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We have to be diligently studying the word of the Lord and seeking Him out in constant prayer. The combination of ’Faith and Works’ will empower you to open the doors of Heaven and the mysteries to the kingdom of our Heavenly Father.
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Remember our tools: Prayer, Gospel Study, and Obedience.
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Remember the tools of Satan: Deception, Distraction, and Discouragement.
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Figure out what is distracting you, and discouraging you, and you will figure out how quick you’re being deceived.
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Pray for guidance and study your scriptures, and you’ll have a desire to be obedient to the Lord. Then you will figure out your divine nature and destiny.
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PC: David Bowman

Purge Your Temple if It’s Filthy!

Purge your temple if it’s filthy!
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All too often, I see people waiting for direction. People are waiting for someone to move their chess pieces for them. Why is this?
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Christ has laid it out there for us. He has told us what to do and how to do it. He provided a perfect example of what you should be doing.
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He never said,” wait and sit idle.” If Nephi can say,” I will go and do the things which the Lord commanded,” then so can we!
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Don’t avoid work and be lazy. Get up and get moving. There is work to be done, and Christ has no reason to enlighten your mind with His spirit until you put forth the effort.
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We are to act, not be acted upon. The scriptures, conference talks, ministering, and everything else don’t work unless you access them. You have to open your scriptures and read them physically. You have to push play and tune in if you want to listen to a talk. You have to come out of your comfort zone and say ‘hello’ to people.
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Lead by example—show others who you are! Set the tone moving forward and be a light to everyone you come in contact with. Make them ask, “Who is this person that generates peace, joy, and kindness.”
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The world needs people to lead! There are too many followers of man. We need more followers of Christ. Don’t let Satan prevail. Turn the darkness into light!
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We need to remember “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Ne 3:7.
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Sitting idle and waiting for your pieces of chess to be moved isn’t going to change the hearts of the people—the world needs you! Christ needs you to stand up for truth and righteousness.
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We can’t just give up, so get up and act with all your might! Through courage and lots of teamwork, we will win and bring light to the darkness. I’ve learned many lessons over my life that I’ve never forgotten. One of them being: NEVER QUIT WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH!!
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It doesn’t mean you get to throw in the towel. Satan is waiting for it—he’s saying,” join my team, you wimp.”
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We have the best example of what to do when things get tough. Read about Jesus Christ and what He did when things got tough!

DRAWING CLOSE TO THE SAVIOR

Are you drawing close to the Savior?
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Do your actions represent Jesus Christ?
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I would say around February this year; I started asking myself this same question. I couldn’t give myself an honest ”yes.” Not all of my actions represented Him—they still don’t.
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I was lost in all the noise of this world. For too long, I had been doing things as a ”formality.” I am still working on myself, and I have a long way to go.
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Why would I change my course of action, and what made me desire to do better?
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That’s not an easily answered question. There are many moving parts to it. I hold a church calling, attend my meetings, pray as a family, and many other useful things. I guess you could say I was still ”ahead of the game” in many ways.
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This just wasn’t enough, and where I am at today still isn’t enough. I need to know more, and I have a desire to know of the mysteries of Heaven. Before, it was just ”be an example to your family.” Life felt busy, and my time was occupied. I made excuses not to study the doctrine of Christ. I’d read a couple of scripture passages, and called it good.
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A simple answer to why my course of direction shifted—I love my wife, I love my children, and I want to provide them everything. How can I know what I need to do for them if I don’t have daily communication with the Lord?
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If I’m not studying the mysteries of Heaven and exploring, I mean embracing, soaking it all in, pleading with the Lord to know His will for me, how can I receive daily revelation for myself and my family? I can’t, and neither can you.
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We have to be faithful; we have to do the hard things; we have to follow the Lord.
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”If we are true and faithful in all things, we can see and feel the very things that came to those whose words we have canonized.” (The Millennial Messiah).
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We are asked to prepare—Watch & be ready. We don’t know when the Lord will come, but we are to await his return like it was destined for our day. ”Every faithful person lives until the Second Coming of the Son of Man,” Bruce R. McConkie.
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He is coming. Study His words and listen to the Prophet and Apostles. He comes as a thief in the night.
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Submit— Become as a child—Learn from the Lord—Hear Him

CHANGE YOUR TACTICS

Is your heart too hardened to change?
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So what if you’ve lived a rough life. Today is the day you change your tactics. Today is the day you pick yourself up and change the course of your life.
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You’re afraid of what others may think about you, I understand. I also understand what’s more important, and that’s the purpose of this life—giving our will to the Lord.
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Recently, I have been asked how as a police officer I deal with all the protests, how I stand on the front line and get yelled at, spit at, and have items chucked my direction.
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It’s definitely not easy, but as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, isn’t that what we’ve been dealing with since day one?
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My entire life, I’ve been laughed at for being ”A Mormon.” I have high standards because of the things I was taught. It took me a while to embrace those standards, and I’m still doing my best to embrace them.
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I have had great people before me who have paved the way, so being a ”Mormon” would be a little more accepted.
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The same applies as I hold the front lines. I look to the future, and I am taking the beating for those of the future generation.
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Nothing will ever match what Christ did for us. He paved the way for our eternal salvation. He taught Peter what was more important, and that was becoming a fisherman of men.
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He asked Peter and his disciples to change the course of their lives and to follow Him.
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Change your tactics!
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Are you going to keep doing the same things if your life doesn’t seem going the way you want it? I would hope not.
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Turn your life around and stop worrying about what others will think of you. Are you here on earth to please them or to please God?
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In the end, you will meet the Lord, and He will love you, but don’t wait until that day to show Him how much you love Him.
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I always keep this quote from Elder Holland nearby.

”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.”
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I am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hear Him!

DO WE TALK ENOUGH OF JESUS CHRIST?

No matter how much we say of him, it is still too little.
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I was reading a story of President Benson this morning, and after three heart attacks, he went away to New Mexico to rest.
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One morning he wasn’t found in his bedroom, and those he had been staying with went out to look for him.
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When they found him, he was found several miles away and under a pine tree. He simply left the house to spend the morning with the Lord. With tears running down his cheeks, he said,” Five years ago today, I was called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I just wanted to spend the day with Him whose witness I am.”
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How many of us arise and spend the day with the Lord?
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When was the last time you decided you were going to visit with Him?
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When was the last time you talked to Him about the scriptures and asked Him to reveal what His plan for you on this earth was?
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Do you talk enough about the God who triumphed over death for you?
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Was His Atonement necessary enough for you that you’re willing to talk about Him every single day?
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Do you trust Him to deliver you out of your troubles, and if you do, how are you showing your gratitude to Him?
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Are your deepest desires to serve the Lord, and do you refuse to be compromised by other considerations?
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As you consider these questions, discuss them with the Lord. If you need to get back on track, do so now.
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Do you talk of Christ, do you rejoice in Christ, do you preach of Christ, do you prophesy of Christ, and do you write according to your prophecies, that others may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins?
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John 3:16-18.

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.
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17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
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Hear Him!

DECIDE TO FOLLOW CHRIST

How do I decide to follow Christ?
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I live in Utah, and as many of you Utahns have read, our area Presidency has asked us to wear masks.
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I’m not perfect, brothers and sisters. I am far from it. I don’t have all the answers, and I assume I won’t until the 2nd coming is here.
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What do I have? I have good friends, I have great family members, and I have a wonderful wife. I lean on them every single day for my inspiration. They keep me grounded, and if you know me, that’s extremely hard for me.
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I don’t understand what’s happening in this world besides chaos and confusion; however, I do know the Lord is aware of it all, and he’s watching HOW I RESPOND—I want to respond to all of these requests. I have feelings of frustration and anger, just like many of you.
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Because I have great family members, I get quotes like this from Harold B Lee: ”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 “the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory” (D&C 21:6).
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My wife also asked me to remember the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s and how hard it must have been for them to do what they did: ”As a testimony to God, the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s buried their swords and all their weapons of war deep in the earth.” Alma 24:17–18.
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I want to follow the Lord’s leaders, and I sustain them in their callings. Following guidance can sometimes feel overbearing in my heart and my mind. I don’t want to follow grudgingly, and for that to happen, I have to do what I’ve been asked. I have to pray, fast, study the word, and in return, the Lord will soften my heart.
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He will also soften your heart and allow understanding.
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I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.’ (Doc. and Cov. 82:10.) He operates by law and not by arbitrariness or caprice.
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Hear Him!!

CONTINUE TO CLIMB THE LADDER

You made a mistake, so what?
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I think a lot of us (yes, including me) decide to climb the ladder, and when we start our climb, we look down. Are you guilty of this?
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How many of you are like me and look down? I do this almost every time. I get a pit in my stomach and wonder why I decided even to climb.
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I’m afraid of heights (If you’re not, think of something you’re scared of). I only climb a ladder when I absolutely have to.
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Well, looking at my life, I am on the Lord’s ladder. I absolutely have to climb this ladder; I have no choice unless I don’t want to return to His presence.
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Let’s say each step of the ladder is a new revelation. To obtain a new revelation, I have to trust the Lord and then put forth the action. I have to lift my leg and place my foot on the next step.
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Looking down is a ”mistake.” When I look down, I can’t go up. Like I said before, I always look down. I can’t help myself. I make ”mistakes” every single day.
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That’s why the Lord’s ladder has a harness. It’s secured around my waist because of His Atonement. As long as I have faith, I can make it to the top, and I keep progressing on the upward climb. I’m going to make it.
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His steps continue to give me hope and courage. With each faithful step, I make up His ladder; the Lord helps pull me closer with the harness He has around me—He’s not going to let me fall.
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He is going to allow me to look down, though. Our Heavenly Father gave us agency. It’s okay to look down. It teaches us to learn. Our mistakes are what we learn from. The higher we climb, the more mistakes we see as we look down.
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When you make a mistake, look back up, and begin your climb. Don’t allow yourself to step down the ladder. You’re still making progress on the upward climb, but you need to repent and move upward.
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It’s easy to just get off the ladder, and if you do, guess what? The ladder is never going to go away. You’ll always pass by the ladder and have a feeling to get back on. Listen to the spirit; He is telling you to get back on and begin your climb to the top.
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He will harness you in and pull you to the top, as you have faith in Him. Each step is a new revelation.
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Hear Him!

GIVE YOUR WILL TO GOD

What can we give to God?
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Growing up, my mom would read the book “The Giving Tree” to me. I’ve read the book many times over the years.
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The tree was always happy to see the young boy return and was still willing and glad to give everything he had to the boy.
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The boy knew the tree provided essential things for him when he would visit. He trusted and returned to the tree because the tree never failed him—he would have everything he needed.
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At the end of a good life, the boy returned and just wanted rest. So, the tree provided just that.
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”Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
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This life can give us unique challenges and difficult burdens. At the end of our lives on earth, our Father in Heaven will provide us with rest with Him in his kingdom.
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How can we make sure of this and what can we give to the Lord during our time on earth when He has given us everything?
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A few scriptures and a quote from Elder Maxwell will help enlighten our minds.
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We can submit our flesh and our will to God when we are “anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of [our] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27). Indeed, we should be “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us]” (Mosiah 3:19).
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”The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give’ are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.”
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Just like the tree gave everything to the boy when he returned and asked, our Heavenly Father asks us to talk to Him in prayer. He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He asks us to Hear Him and submit our will to Him.
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And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
Alma 5:25

YOU MUST BATTLE EVERY DAY

You must battle every day.
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Yesterday, I had the opportunity to witness a miracle happen. It only happened because of a will and a desire.
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Maybe later, I will have an opportunity to describe in detail how these events transpired. I can tell you this: we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).
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Did we choose or have an opportunity to select the course of our life on earth? We don’t know; however, there are a few things we did know. We had the agency to choose God’s plan or rebel and go with Lucifer. We also know some were foreordained to individual offices or callings (Alma 13:3-9).
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I’ve never been able to find a scripture or heard revelation saying we made prior commitments to people or selecting parents and spouses. Outside of the one choice, we did make, to follow our Heavenly Father’s plan, I don’t know.
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I choose to believe I knew many of my brothers and sister’s and I committed to them that I would do everything to help them return to the Lord during my time on earth. So, if I haven’t found you, I am searching for you.
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We will find our way home to our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost and the truth he brings to us. To have his companionship, we must be clean. There is no other option if we want his influence in our lives. That means WE MUST BATTLE EVERY DAY!
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We have to exercise our faith in Him; We have to repent. Don’t be scared to do this. Embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Don’t shut out His love and sacrifice. He wants you to find joy and happiness.
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“Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever.” (1 Ne 10:21).
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Battle every day to Hear Him; Walk by faith and not sight!

DO YOU RECEIVE REVELATION?

Do you receive revelations?
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Let me ask you this, as well. How do you know, and how can you say Jesus Christ is your savior and the Redeemer of the world?
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The only way you can say Jesus Christ is Lord is by the Holy Ghost—Plain and simple.
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I have heard it many times ’There is no such thing as modern-day revelation or spirit of prophecy.’
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How can this be so? How can you profess that Jesus is the Christ and your Lord, without the Holy Ghost manifesting this truth to you? Well, you can’t.
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The Holy Ghost (great spirit or whatever terminology you want to use) testifies of truth and righteousness.
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We learn in 1 Corinthians—’no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost.’
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So again, I ask. Do you receive revelations? If you profess, you believe in Jesus Christ; you receive revelation.
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Joseph Smith taught— ‘No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator.’
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I testify to you, just as I know Jesus Christ is my Savior, Joseph Smith received a revelation to plead with the Lord.
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In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, Joseph wondered, ”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?”
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Joseph Smith did exactly what he was supposed to do. He studies it out on his own. He studied the scriptures. He then prayed, and during his prayer, he saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
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By the power of the Holy Ghost, Joseph Smith continued to receive revelation and prophesy unto the Nation.
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The Holy Ghost continues to inspire men seeking to know of the Kingdom of God. We have a Prophet on Earth today to help guide us. He has asked us to “Hear Him” the voice of the Lord. As we hear Him, we will receive personal revelation through the Holy Ghost.
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I testify to you just as Joseph Smith prophesied, that the gospel will roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. D&C 65:2
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With over 16 million members worldwide and as of April 2019, the Church has 162 temples. Hear Him!

MY TESTIMONY

How imperative is my testimony of Jesus Christ?
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I remember as a young kid, we prayed as a family, we went to church as a family, and I had no doubt this ”Jesus Christ” my parents taught me about was extraordinary.
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I could teach you about Jesus Christ, but I wouldn’t have room to do it; Instead, I’m going to share a small portion of my testimony with you.
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Faith – I have faith in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. My faith is rooted deep because I have spent many hours on my knees. I have absorbed Gospel teachings. I have come to know the Lord, and I know he loves me.
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Repentance – I wouldn’t be where I am today without my faith, allowing me to understand and accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I don’t have ’good days’ without mistakes. Because I make mistakes, I need a Savior. He has taken my errors and sins upon Himself. Without His everlasting Atonement, I wouldn’t be able to make mistakes and return to my Heavenly Father’s presence. He broke the bands of death, and because of His love, He asks me to repent and be free.
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Baptism – After being baptized, I have been able to renew my covenant of baptism each Sunday. Each week, I continue to covenant with the Lord. I promise Him that I will ALWAYS remember Him and KEEP His commandments. In return, He has promised me that I WILL HAVE His spirit to be with me. I need Him every week. I need to repent so I can Have His spirit with me, especially as a husband, a dad, and a police officer. I can’t do any of those things each week without Him.
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Endure – As I build my faith more every day, I want to strive to keep the commandments. The more I study the Gospel; I want to honor my baptismal covenant. I want to honor my priesthood authority. I want to raise my children the same way I learned of Jesus Christ. I want to honor my temple endowment and marriage covenants.
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I know the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are true. They bring me great joy. I’ve personally prayed and can testify to you that Christ lives. He loves us, and because He does, He has restored His church and priesthood once again on earth.
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Hear Him!
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Mike Terry

THERE WAS NO GREATER PROPHET THAN JOHN THE BAPTIST

There was no greater Prophet than John the Baptist.
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Christ said so himself. Jesus acclaimed that John was ’A burning and shining light.’ He also said there was not a greater prophet born of a woman than John.
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Who is John, and why was he so important? He was a link between two dispensations. John was given specific keys when he was only eight days old.
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His father, Zacharias, wasn’t able to give him the authority he received because he didn’t even possess it. A Heavenly Angel came down to confer upon John these keys.
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This authority wasn’t just the Aaronic Priesthood. It was powers and authority to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and ’prepare the way of the Lord.’
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John was extremely special. We know about Christ and the order given by Herod to kill all infants that were two years and under. John was able to escape this order, just like Christ was—They were only six months apart in age.
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John baptized and prepared the way. He was the same person to appear to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in our dispensation and give them the Aaronic Priesthood.
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John was the man selected and talked about in the scriptures who would prepare the way for Christ. He was chosen to baptize Christ. He was also foreordained to be a martyr in the cause of Jesus Christ.
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Who is John? John came forth from the tomb at a time immediately following Jesus’ own resurrection, and John is referred to as being “with Christ in his resurrection.”
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One day, we will be able to read the record prepared by John the Baptist. The fullness of his record is still to be revealed. (Elder Orson Pratt discussed the records of John yet to come forth, and President John Taylor, in his book Mediation and Atonement,)

WILL THE CONSTITUTION BE DESTROYED? NO.

Will the constitution be destroyed? No.
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This has been repeated by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, and other leaders.
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The Lord, however, is making his investment in each of us.
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It’s time for us to be bold and and stand for what we believe. Do you believe in God the Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ? THEN DECLARE IT!
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Back in 1976, Elder L. Tom Perry suggested ”if we are not in the beginning stages of the fulfillment of this prophecy, we are at least in the stages where we are preparing for its fulfillment.”
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What prophesy was he talking about? The prophesy that the Elders is Israel will be found holding the Constitution of the United States to the Nations of the Earth, after the people have torn it to shreds. (The Gospel Kingdom).
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That’s correct; the Priesthood and the people of God will save the destruction of it.
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Inspired men from God created the Constitution. They brought God into the process of all of it. Because of that, it’s His, and He will fulfill His prophecy in due time.
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I would say we are much closer to this than in 1976 when Elder Perry said we were in the beginning stages of this prophecy or at least preparing for it. Almost 50 years ago.
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“The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 147.)
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In 1831, the famous French historian Alexis de Tocqueville said:
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“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
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Will we stand up together? Will we be counted with those who would preserve this land of the free through the righteousness of its people?
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Have a great Independence Day!

Fortify Your Homes & Teach Your Children.

Fortify your homes & teach your children.
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It’s a sad thing to see, and I see it more and more. Parents are passing their duties to teach their children to the babysitter, church leaders, school teachers, and whoever else.
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We can have a beautiful home on the outside, and we should. We should also have a beautiful, Christ-felt, spirit-filled, and parent-lead home on the inside.
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If you’re a parent, RISE-UP! You have a responsibility. We have the duty to make sure there is cleanliness and godliness in the home of our family members.
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Our biggest blessing we can give to our children is teaching and training them in the way of the Lord. Lead them and guide them! Don’t shirk your responsibilities to others.
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Always be training; Constantly be vigilant; be a companion and the ‘watchmen’ of your children. As you do, you will have a home intact and be able to bless your children in the Lord’s way.
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The doctrine is crystal clear. If parents do not teach their children—their children—they will be held responsible. D&C 68:25.
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This is not my opinion—This is the word of God.
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Take the time to love your children. Teach them about the Savior and what he has in store for them. Teach them to walk in the light of his love. Teach them to pray to the father above. Teach them to know about the right things.
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President Harold B. Lee has said it this way: “Just as a flood-lighted temple is more beautiful in a severe storm or a in heavy fog, so the gospel of Jesus Christ is more glorious in times of inward storm and of personal sorrow and tormenting conflict.”
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Being a good Christian means, we must be good citizens of our country. Let’s teach our children to be that person.
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PC: @eva_timothy

HOW SECURE IS YOUR TESTIMONY?

How secure is your testimony?
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I have been asked several times to read anti literature—especially when it comes to Joesph Smith.
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I always get the questions, ”did you know this, or did you know that he did that?” Well, of course, I’m aware because people like you have told me my entire life!
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So, to those individuals, I thank you for saving me time reading material that is unnecessary.
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Now, my question to you—Before you read anything contrary to the doctrine of the Church, have you been faithful in daily prayer & study?
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Have you read/watched every piece of literature from ALL the Prophets & Apostles of Christ (past and present)?
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Do you pray and fast sincerely? Then ask the Lord which of the material you should read—gathered material from a disgruntled activist, or the Book of Mormon and content from the above mentioned?
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”From time to time, members of the Church are deceived and led astray because they have no substantial foundation in faith, and lack knowledge of the gospel. Skillful deceivers, under these conditions, prey upon the weak and destroy the little measure of faith which they possess.” JFS-Answers GQ
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Study the material that brings you joy and happiness.
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I’m not about to read or listen to something when I’m told,” This will tell you why the Church is fake, why Joseph is a false Prophet, why the Book of Mormon is evil.”
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That’s like hearing, ”Here you go, fill your soul with anger, and learn how you’ve been lead astray for years and years. This will help you lose all hope and faith. This will make you contend and argue the rest of your life with those who have a testimony of the things you once had.”
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I’m not sorry, either. I don’t owe apologies—until I have read every last book, article, or journal from ALL Prophets, ALL the Apostles, I won’t entertain blasphemy from someone who hasn’t done the same.
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I ask, have you read the entire Standard Works, 7 Volumes of Church History, 27 Books of the Joseph Smith Papers, the Bruce R. McConkie’s 6 series of The Millenial Messiah, Jesus the Christ, or the Miracle of Forgiveness? General Conference talks?
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Are you engaged in fast, prayer, temple attendance? Hear Him. He won’t mislead you.

OPEN YOUR DOOR TO HEAVENLY GIFTS

Will you open your door? He holds Heavenly Gifts!
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Have you figured out your Heavenly Gifts?
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What are you doing at this moment in your life to find the Gifts of Heaven your Heavenly Father has for you?
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Have you found one, two, three, or are you at a loss and have no idea what gifts you have?
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I love the teachings of Moroni. He teaches us that God works by ’Power,’ but only will He do so according to our faith in Him.
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What are some gifts you may recognize in your life?
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Here are some gifts from the Spirit of God:
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Teach the word of wisdom.
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Teach the word of knowledge.
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Exceedingly great faith.
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Gifts of Healing by the same Spirit.
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Ability to work mighty miracles.
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Gift to prophesy concerning the word of God.
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I am beholding of angels and ministering spirits.
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The gift of ALL kinds of tongues.
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Interpretation of languages and divers kinds of tongues.
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He teaches us that all of these gifts come unto every man SEVERALLY, according as he will. (Moroni 10:7-18)
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Do what is right; Read, pray, study the doctrine of Christ, and be the best person you can be. The Lord wants to bless you. You have gifts from Heaven. Make the necessary change in your life to find and recognize the gifts God has and will give you.

FOLLOWING CHRIST MEANS TAKING THE HARD ROAD

Eva Timothy – Art

Following Christ means taking the hard road.
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If you think following Christ is easy, you’re not on the right path.
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Following Christ means taking the hard road—the uphill climb.
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This road means to do what is right for you and for others.
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We all know what the other road is. It’s easier to go downhill (unless you have bad knees, but you can flip-flop which one is harder for you😉). The point is, so often, the adversary comes knocking and shows us the easier path.
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He wants us to to be weak in every moment. He wants to break us down and give into our desires and give in to our temporary stay on earth. He wants us to find gratification in the things ”of the world.”
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Jesus Christ won’t allow that. He calls for you to be strong and bold and disciplined. He won’t allow the Devil to infringe on His plan. It’s only because of evil that we accept weakness or tolerate breakdown.
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Satan wants you to feel like Jesus Christ is your worst enemy. He wants you to feel every single step uphill. He wants you to curse the Redeemer.
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Why? Because he knows what’s at the top of your climb. It’s everything he knows he will never have!!
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Christ is your best friend! He will take care of you like no one else can!
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He will show you His path and teach you how to find strength in your weaknesses. He will enlighten your mind and give you health, intelligence and most importantly, He will give you JOY AND HAPPINESS!
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Jesus Christ will put you on a path to Freedom!
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PC: @eva_timothy

JOSEPH SMITH DESERVES RESPECT

Why Joseph Smith deserves respect.
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This can be a topic of debate, and I understand that. I’m not looking for a negative discussion, and I’m not looking for opposition to this. Bear with me!
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I’ll share a few reasons I respect him; although I won’t scratch the surface, I intend to drive you to study his life. You won’t be disappointed. The first reason I respect him is that he was tough as nails—He wasn’t a wimp. Physically and mentally, he exemplified unreal strength.
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A major typhoid outbreak struck New England between 1811 and 1814. Joseph ended up recovering from this but developed a life-threatening bone infection. He was seven years old at the time.
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He refused sedatives and cords to bind him to a bed, asking instead for his father to hold him and for his mother to leave the room. The doc. removed nine large pieces of infected bone, and fourteen other fragments worked their way out of Joseph’s leg before it finished healing. (Church History Topics)
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Only 5 of his and Emma’s 11 children lived past the age of 2. One child (adopted twins) his death was likely the result of a combination of measles and exposure to the cold air when a mob attacked Joseph.
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Have you ever thought about being tarred and feathered? Joseph went through this experience. Then he had friends scrape it off his skin. He was also at church the next morning and faced the mobsters who were present in the congregation. He also baptized three individuals that same day.
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From my previous post, we learn about his lockdown in jail. He battled through all of that, too.
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He was a formidable person; he had a command presence; he had a steel character. “He possessed the most indomitable perseverance; he wasn’t intimidated; he was the Captain, no matter what company he was in (The Papers)
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All of these events takes a man of God. He never wavered and held true to his convictions of his vision of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. He was a martyr in the cause of truth.
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His message presses on. The Book of Mormon is true. Take time to study Joseph Smith.
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If you want to learn about strength and perseverance, I suggest you study the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

THE FUTURE OF AMERICA ; WHICH LEGACY WILL YOU LEAVE?

Kevin Carden Art

What legacy do you want to leave for your children?
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It’s hard for me to explain to my children what’s going on in OUR Nation. They didn’t understand why they had to miss the last part of their school year.

My 4-year-old thought she was in trouble. She was sick a week before lock down and missed school. She thought she was the reason for not being able to see her friends in pre-school.
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My family isn’t the only household. There are so many others with personal stories.
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Missionaries were sent home, businesses were shut down, church was ’canceled,’ work was moved to home, jobs were lost, and the list continues.
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In the middle of all of this, we had a massive earthquake where I live.
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My kids were worried about all of these things—Then they had protests and riots to process.
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As a dad, I have to save the day. It’s my job. Just like all of the mom’s and dad’s. How have you done that?
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Have you taught your children about the American dream? Have you taught your children about Jesus Christ?
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Who allows us to follow our dreams? I would say WE do. Our Heavenly Father gave us agency. Our actions in society determine the outcome. We can either destroy ourselves or allow God into ALL of our activities.
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”In God We Trust”
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When I think of America the Beautiful, I think of a loving God. I think of a place the Lord created for us to enjoy.
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So, I ask. Are you enjoying America? If not, why and what can you do personally to make a small difference?
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The answer is not hate and violence. The answer is love and Christlike behavior.
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Patriotism is trying always to give more to the Nation than we receive. It is selfless service. — Ezra Taft Benson
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When we safeguard the Heavenly Nature of Freedom, we shall have peace on earth good will to men. — Thomas S. Monson
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What example and legacy do you want to leave for the future of America? Let’s think of these things as we enter the week of Independence Day!! Happy 4th.

THE LORDS ARMY NEEDS YOU

Does The Adversary Have You Where He Wants You?
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The Lord is waiting now for his soldiers; will you volunteer?
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I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I’ve discussed it with my wife and I’m very aware of an external power and influence surrounding me.
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It’s taken me a few months to make the necessary realignment in my life and I’m still working on it.
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As I’ve done so, I’ve received what I expected, opposition. It’s been like that every-time I’ve turned my focus to the Lord. Anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety, and the list goes on and on.
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Why is this? I am studying the word of the Lord. I’m doing my best to align my mind and spirit with what the scriptures teach, what my parents have taught me, and my leaders in the church.
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Not everyone is ready just to forgo Facebook, modify an Instagram account to share personal messages and thoughts of the Savior, or try to remove themselves from the negativity in the world—news media apps, unnecessary e-mails, etc…
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What is the easy answer? For me, that was the easy answer—I was telling my loving wife the other day, I feel the adversary more present now than any other time in my entire life.
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I’m good with this. Matter of fact, I’m more than good with this. For the first time in my life, I’m able to recognize the two powers—the Lord’s power and the power of the Adversary.
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Even though I recognize this differently, it’s still strange.
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I felt less frustration and anxiety prior. I think once the adversary has you where he wants you, he releases his wrath to make you feel like everything is right in your life. When in fact it’s not.
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I talked this over with my cousin this morning, and he agreed. He said, ”Satan cares for no person. Once he has you, he moves on and abandons you to go get someone else.”
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Look at your current life. Does Satan have you where he wants you? Or, are you fighting him to align yourself with Christ? War isn’t easy. We are engaged in the biggest war.
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”We are all enlisted till the conflict is o’er;
Happy are we! Happy are we! Soldiers in the army, there’s a bright crown in store; We shall win and wear it by and by.”
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The Lord is waiting for soldiers; will you volunteer?

THE PEACEMAKER

Who is the most exceptional example of a peacemaker?

My little sister reached out to my older brother today and me. Growing up in a Law Enforcement family, she has a deep love and respect for what we do and what she’s seen her daddy do.

She wanted to let us know how proud she was of the two of us and how we represent our communities.

She presented the story of Alma and Amulek and how the two of them reminded her of us. They took all the harassment and abuse until the Lord delivered them. My sister’s prayer was one day the Lord would do the same for her brothers and that we would be rewarded for our hard work.

I love my sister. She always worries about her family and has a heart of Gold.

When I look at what my brother and I do, I look to the Savior and His mission. He was the greatest example of a pacemaker—Do I align myself with Him as I conduct my personal business and my professional business?
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I love the Lord and I try to act in ways that would make Him proud of my conduct.

Christ was a peacemaker and He was crucified.

”I remind you that Jesus Christ is the God of love. He came to bring peace to the world, but said himself that his word was really a sword, because men would fail to understand it and use it properly. He taught that because people would not comprehend his message, quarrels and misunderstandings would divide them.

For this reason there is a great need for peacemakers in the world who know and understand Jesus Christ and who comprehend that the purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was to make it possible to restore all persons, if they would follow him, into the very presence of God, the Eternal Father.”
Theodore M. Burton

One of the most important teachings of Jesus Christ is his statement: “Blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (3 Ne. 12:9.)

WORLDS WITHOUT NUMBER

There are worlds without number. Christ being the creator of every single one of them.

Not just ’one’ planet inhabited by Heavenly Fathers Children, but an ’infinite’ number of planets.

We know Moses ”beheld many lands: and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof” Moses 1:29-35.

Enoch said it pretty dramatically in Moses 7:30. Millions of earths like ours.

Of ALL the worlds created, why did the Savior choose our planet to complete the everlasting Atonement?

”And worlds without number have I created; I also created them for mine own purpose”
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”And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest.”

It’s interesting to me that He didn’t reveal this to even Moses. We live on the same earth as Jesus Christ once walked. A speckle of dust in His universe, and he chose to complete the Will of His Father on our Land.

We are asked to have faith in Christ and His redeeming atonement—So are those of other worlds. Amazing!

Christ is good! Hear Him!

YOUR REVERENCE TO GOD

How deep is your reverence to God?

As you read the message that President Romney shares, think about your reference to the Lord—Especially in these final days here on earth. What difference are you making and what legacy do you want to leave behind?

”Reverence may be measured, I think, by the quality of one’s veneration for the object of his reverence. If this be true, then the more one loves God, the deeper will be his reverence for Him.

One who has profound reverence for the Lord loves him, trusts in him, prays to him, relies upon him, and is inspired by him. Inspiration from the Lord has always been, and now is, available to all men who have a profound reverence for him.

Columbus, discovering America, moved under the Lord’s inspiration. So did the Pilgrim fathers. Washington sought and obtained God’s inspiration at Valley Forge, as did Lincoln before Gettysburg. The men who set up the constitutional government of the United States did so under the Lord’s inspiration. He was the source of their wisdom.” Pres. Marion G. Romney

UNJUSTLY CONFINED

Are you anxious or feel unjustly confined?

Maybe we have felt some of these feelings over the past four months and still feel them. I know I do.

When I’m told, I have to wear a mask, stand six feet apart, walk down a particular aisle in the grocery store, or confined to stay away from my family and friends.

It’s been a roller coaster, and it’s brought a lot of irritation to the table. One of the most frustrating things for me is returning to church services with restrictions.

I understand if we don’t set forth the best example, we will be criticized by the world. I understand all eyes are on the Latter-day Saints and what we are going to do.

Being criticized by the world is nothing new to members of The Church. It’s never going to stop, and it’s only going to get worse. Are you prepared?

I think of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, Caleb Baldwin, and Sidney Rigdon at Liberty Jail. They were unjustly confined for four and a half months!

During the hardest conditions, the Prophet and his companions were imprisoned in a stone dungeon measuring 14 by 14 feet, with a ceiling just over 6 feet high. Only two small barred windows allowed light and air into the cell.

I have no way to really compare my physical experience with those six men; However, I can compare my spiritual experience. It’s through the growth I’ve made in the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the past four months.

The government confined us to the most extreme measures any of us have seen in our lifetime. Even so, I still don’t want to know how those six men in Liberty Jail felt.

How did Joseph Smith feel? I compare my experience to Joseph, while he looked to the Savior.

Joseph learned that his sufferings were still not comparable to those of the Savior, as the Spirit whispered to him: “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” He was taught that in the end “all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”

The Savior said, . . . “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward”

THE FATHERS PLAN

Who will be my Son?

It’s interesting to me when I think of the plan of the Father. I have heard many times from members as they talk about His plan and how it was presented.

Let’s be clear. It’s the Father’s plan. There were not two separate plans. When I say that, I am saying that there was not a plan presented by Christ and a plan presented by Lucifer.

God ordained & established His plan. He is the author, and no one gave him suggestions otherwise.

How do we know this? We study Joseph Smith.


”God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge.” (Teachings, p. 354)

So from this, we know that God was before us, and His plan was taught to all of us.

When He asked ”whom shall I send” to be the Redeemer?Abr. 3:27. That’s where I think the confusion of ”two plans” is taken out of context; however, this is only when Christ and Lucifer came forward.

Christ spoke first and said he would do his will. He said he would be the one to go down as the Son, the only begotten in the flesh and atone for the sins of the world. He said he would do this and all the glory will be to His Father.

Lucifer then spoke and said he would go and redeem all mankind, and that one soul wouldn’t be lost. But, he wanted all Gods honor and upon return, he wanted to sit at his throne and be like the most high God. ”I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” Isa. 14:13-14

The rest we already know. Christ was chosen, and HE IS OUR REDEEMER!

THE GREATEST BLESSINGS IN LIFE

  • What is the greatest blessing that has come into your life?

    The greatest day for me is the 23rd of August 2008. I was able to kneel at the alter in the Lord’s temple with Mekenzi. That day I received her as my eternal companion.

    I want you to imagine our pre-mortal life. We were once with our Father in Heaven. During this time, he observed and studied us. He knew us so well that he knew how we would respond to his laws when we were in his presence.

    We had the knowledge that he was our Father and that the teachings presented to us came from him. During our time with Him, we walked by sight and not by faith.

    Here we are on earth—He’s finding out how we’ll respond when we walk by faith. We are outside his presence and can’t visually see or hear Him.

    Guess what? We don’t get the personal counsel that we once received from him.

    So, how do we know what to do? Well, we have an opportunity to utilize the greatest thing given to us. We have our agency. That means we choose things on our own. Scary? No, not really. Our Heavenly Father is still there and expects us to counsel with him.

    We have a lot of decisions to make during this life and we need to include the Lord. Before we bring him into our final decisions, we need to do our homework.

    ”I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
    “But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong.” D&C 9:8-9

    How did I select Mekenzi as my wife? I didn’t sit down and think about how to get revelation, inspiration, fast or pray to the Lord to manifest to me who I should marry. I didn’t even think about doing that. That’s not how the Lord operates.

    I went and found her myself. I made the initiative to date her and get to know her. Eventually, I made the decision that I needed to marry her. I did as the Lord directed. I studied, I counseled with him after my studies, and He manifested to me it was right.

    Study the Bro. of Jared. How did he obtain light?

WE MUST ENDURE TO THE END

We must endure to the end.

Have you ever heard the phrase ”Endure to the End?” I used to teach this towards the end of missionary discussions as a fifth element of principles and ordinances of the gospel.

Of all that our Father in Heaven might have said, He stressed endurance. Why?

God has repeatedly said He would structure mortality to be a proving and testing experience. Abr 3:25; Mosiah 23:21. He tests us. He’s going to make us prove to him that we can do hard things.

Do your homework—How can we expect to get something without earning it? We all want things but we have to show and prove ourselves.

What are some things he may test us on, and have you experienced any of these things? I know I have experienced all of them.

Illness, injustice, insensitivity, poverty, aloneness, unresponsiveness, being misrepresented and misunderstood, and, sometimes, even enemies.

I guess we can ask ourselves how we can develop love, patience, humility, mercy, purity, submissiveness, justice—since they all require endurance for their full development. The answer is—CHRIST!

He is the only way we can endure and develop in all of those things. We need to have patience with ourselves and submit ourselves to His word. Find ways to love yourself and pace yourself.

We can’t be perfect overnight; however, we can decide to turn ourselves over to Him overnight.

George Macdonald has said, ” God is easily pleased, but hard to satisfy. As a Father, God is delighted with our first and further steps, but He knows how straight, how narrow, and how long the ensuing path is. Again, how vital endurance!”

Today, let’s all decide to further our steps in the work of the Lord. Let us seek ways to understand and follow His will!

IT’S TIME TO DUST OFF YOUR SCRIPTURES

It’s time to dust off your scriptures.

If you don’t know where your scriptures are or don’t have any, let me know, and I can get one to you.

If you don’t know where to begin, that’s perfect, and there are some exciting times ahead of you!

We learn a lot in the scripture about faith and how to have faith. A few of my favorite verses are from Alma. He teaches us about this, ”Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

You don’t have to have a miraculous life event happen to open your eyes and believe in Christ. This right here is everything you need, ”Even if ye can no more than desire to believe,” Alma declares, “let this desire work in you, even until ye believe.”

I’m in no way moving a mountain, so I know my faith is less than a mustard seed, ”Jesus said, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

The key to that last paragraph is simple. If I can move a mountain with the faith that small, imagine what we can do with the faith half the size of a mustard seed—Even with just the dust of the mustard seed.

We all have to start somewhere. If you can’t yet say you know the teachings of Christ are true, and can only believe they are, your belief is the first step toward conviction!

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not perfect. I’m definitely not perfect; however, I seek to know my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. What I believe is true to me and I testify it can and will bring happiness to the world. Hear Him!

FULFILL ISAIAH’S PROMISE

Are you helping to fulfill Isaiah’s promise?

”The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” Isa 11:9

Elder Oaks is an Apostle of the Lord who says things the way they need to be told. I always look forward to his direction.

In a conference talk he gave in 1989, he addresses their current time. I was two years old when he addressed his concerns for our current state as a world at whole.

It’s been 31 years since he addressed this issue. I can see how the knowledge of the Lord in the day to day activities is diminishing. Back in the ’80s the people we’re experiencing an explosion of knowledge about the world and its people.

This of how fast that explosion has taken off over the last 31 years.

This knowledge is great; however, like Elder Oaks noted, ” the people of the world are not experiencing a comparable expansion of knowledge about God and his plan for his children.”

How important is this statement now? It’s been 31 years. What our world truly needs is ”not more scholarship and technology but more righteousness and revelation.”

So, the question I ask is, what are you and I doing to help fulfill Isaiah’s promise?

It’s this simple.

God has promised that if we ask him, we will “receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that we may know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.” (D&C 42:61.)

What impedes the world from this? There are three things, in my opinion— 1. Our self desires. 2. We fear man more than God. 3. The charm of the Devil.

We have seen so much ’smut’ on social media—What stops us from filling social media with the word of God?

The Book of Mormon teaches that those who diligently seek shall have “the mysteries of God … unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” 1 Ne. 10:19

Have a wonderful Monday. Hear Him!

LISTEN AND HEAR HIM

Heavenly Father wants us to listen and hear Him.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.

And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the ​​​right hand​ of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever.

For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

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.

”This invitation and promise is one of the most oft-quoted of all scripture and has been of untold comfort and reassurance to millions. Yet there were those among his hearers that day whose vision was so limited that they could see only a carpenter’s son speaking of a wooden yoke.

A yoke which, from time to time, he had undoubtedly hewn and shaped from heavy wooden timbers for the oxen of these same men who were listening.

He invited them from drudgery to pleasant service; from the well-nigh unbearable burdens of ecclesiastical exactions and traditional formalism, to the liberty of true spiritual worship; from slavery to freedom; but they would not.” President Hunter

Our Heavenly Father wants us back, and he has given us clear direction, so listen.

The Savior’s Redemption and Resurrection bring us back into the presence of the Father, where we will be judged by Jesus Christ.

Sources:
1 John 2:1, Moroni 9:26, John 5:20, Matt 11:28–30, Elder Talmage, Brian K. Ashton

IT’S OKAY; DADDY’S HERE

Grandpa Shayne and Emma

”It’s okay; Daddy’s here.”

Those are the words I can remember hearing quite often—When something wasn’t quite right, or I needed my dad.

My dad was traveling on the Governors Executive Detail for the majority of my childhood. My mother often had to play both roles, mom, and dad.

It was my senior year, and I was preparing for my seminary graduation—I was asked to give a talk. I remember my dad being out of town, so he wouldn’t make it hear me speak.

Graduation arrived, and it was my turn to speak to the congregation. I remember walking to the pulpit and wishing my dad could have been there to hear me.

I placed my talk down on the stand and looked out to the congregation—Everyone was waiting to listen to what I had to say.

As my eyes wandered over to the door entrance of the chapel, I saw a handsome feller standing in the doorway—My dad!

My dad had permission from the Governor to drive from St. George, Utah, to my seminary graduation. He arrived at the meeting house just in time for me to give my speech.

I concluded my speech, and my dad had left to go back to St. George.

He did this several times during my lifetime. Randomly showed up to say, ”Mikey, it’s okay; daddy’s here.”

Similarly, I have a Father in Heaven who likes to do the same. When I need them the most, they show up. They present themselves, and then they go.

“Fatherhood exposes us to our own weaknesses and our need to improve. Fatherhood requires sacrifice, but it is a source of incomparable satisfaction, even joy.

The ultimate model is our Heavenly Father, who so loved us, His spirit children, that He gave us His Only Begotten Son for our salvation and exaltation.

Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Fathers manifest that love as they lay down their lives day by day, laboring in the service and support of their families.” Elder Christofferson

The person in my life who exemplifies service in the church, a Police Officer (retired 30 years), and a Father who magnifies his priesthood, is my dad.

Fatherhood requires sacrifice, but it is a source of transcendent love, even joy.

My dad holding my 1st born😊

HEAVENLY FATHER ANSWERS PRAYERS IN OUR MOST PAINFUL MOMENTS

Will Heavenly Father be there during our most painful moments?

If you ask Lynne Smith, she will share her testimony with you.

”After my back surgery, I was struggling because I couldn’t take pain medicine.

I wasn’t getting restful sleep at all, suffering from insomnia. At about 3 weeks post surgery, I slipped out of bed so as to not waken my spouse.

I went into the extra room and plead with Heavenly Father to take me home.

At around 5 am, after being up all night, I was finally able to go to sleep. At 8 AM, I woke up knowing what the problem was that was keeping me awake.

I was having an adverse reaction to the muscle relaxers. I didn’t take another one after that moment and was finally able to get rest.

Heavenly Father DOES hear and answer our prayers. He DOES know our needs, but most importantly, I learned that night, He DOES know us by name.

Now, when I hear the children say in their testimony, “He knows us by name,” I say Yes, yes, He does.”

I’m grateful for Lynne and her testimony of our Heavenly Father. Like Lynne, we may come to a point in our lives where we plead,” Take me home.”

How do we pray, and what should we remember as we pray? Mormon warned us of the following, ” if anyone shall pray and not with real intent of heart … it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such” (Moroni 7:9).

He then taught us how to pray, and that’s, ”With all the energy of heart” (Moroni 7:48).

May we all learn a lesson from Lynne as we face our challenges. Rise up and hear Him! @ferron_peach

LOVE CAN MAKE YOU A CHAMPION

How can “Love” make you a champion?

This is interesting to think about. Can love make you a champion? I would say love can give you anything you want, but it comes with a price.

Growing up, I played with some of the best football players in the State of Utah. Since we were eight years old, we were dominating teams and winning championships.

We won 4 consecutive little league titles and went 46-4. The last year we played together, we lost to Olympus. It’s a loss I don’t think any of us will ever forget.

Losing that game and only three other games in 5 years, taught us, boys a big lesson. They reminded us we were able to be defeated and what getting beat felt like. It taught us discipline and how to fight hard if we wanted to win.

We moved through High School together, and in 2002, our opportunity to play for the State Title was given to us; although we started the year rough, losing the first couple of games.

I’ll never forget our huddle during a practice and we committed to never losing another game that year. The love we had for each other would push us to a victorious year. We were brothers on the field and came together as a family.

As we came into the Championship Game being held at the University of Utah, we had the chance of redemption—Playing Wasatch, a team we lost to early in our season.

This was the most important game of our lives. If we lost, we would regret it forever. We win, and we would remember it forever. We made every play as though it were all-important—Tooele became State Champions that year over Wasatch!

I share this story because ”love” for each other is what made us Champions all those years. Working together to solve problems is the only way to accomplish great things.


President Monson said, ”In this world in which we live, there is a tendency for us to describe needed change, required help, and desired relief with the familiar phrase, “They ought to do something about this.” We fail to define the word they. I love the message, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

BEING ALL IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

Can you be LGBT & ”All In” the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

I am going to ask you for patience and forgiveness if I say or do anything to offend anyone throughout this post today.

This past week I listened to a podcast from @allin.podcast featuring @mrcharliebird with the host @mojo7795.

This raised a lot of questions in my mind because I simply didn’t understand how you can be ”All In” and LGBT.

I talked with my wife about this, and she knows my opinions can be brutal and sometimes unrighteous; however, she listens and suggests loving guidance.

Yesterday, I had a neighborhood buddy stop by my home to visit (Not uncommon in my neighborhood) When we were in the garage talking, my wife Mekenzi, went to get the mail. As she walked back, I noticed she was carrying the new Ensign edition, New Era, and The Friend.

For a moment, I stopped talking to my friend, and stared at her hands and the stack of mail she had. I had a feeling come to my mind that I needed to make sure I read every page of the new Ensign edition.

I’m grateful I acted on that prompting. I’m grateful I felt like I could rely on my buddy to help me understand a question I was having in regards to LGBT. Although I don’t fully understand, I’ve learned this morning that I don’t need to worry. I am not God. I didn’t create His children. What I do know is I am His child, and He has commanded me to love every one of His children.

I give thanks to my wife, my friend, and my parents for being open-minded and helping me see things from a different perspective.

The article in the Ensign is titled “I Experience Same-Sex-Attraction” and inside the article is this quote by Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

”With that perspective in mind, the choices I make are not based on my same-sex attraction, but on how to be a true disciple of Christ with same-sex attraction”
Bouke A. Ecoma Verstege

Heed the counsel and teachings of our Prophet and His Apostles. I know Elder Christofferson is a true Apostle of God, and I testify of what he says to be true through seeking the Lord in prayer and study.

The Lord works in mysterious ways and answers our questions when we humbly ask him.

WE MUST REMAIN RIGHTEOUS

Why must we do our best to be righteous?

Life is a day-to-day operation. We wake up, and we face whatever comes our way. Some of us have a routine, and some of us simply expect something new thrown at us.

Regardless of what your new day brings, there is going to be an enticer, an influencer, a tempest or whatever you may choose to call it.

I like to call it what it is—Satan and his aides. They are present, and they are evil. They will lure you into doing what’s contrary to the Master.

So, why is it essential to remain righteous and steadfast in the work of the Lord?
Elder ElRay L. Christians said the following about Satan and his followers.

”No doubt they may know our inclinations, our carnal tastes, and desires, but they cannot compel a righteous person to do evil if he seeks help from the Lord. Too many try to blame Satan when in reality the fault lies within themselves because they yield to his enticements.
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He delights in introducing to the world innovations and practices that lead to unhappiness and misery, all the while making it appear that such evil practices are now acceptable.”

It’s more than just “important” to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s our key to the kingdom of Heaven. If you’ve misplaced the “key,” the Lord will help you find it through His teachings. His scriptures provide the keys and allow you to hear Him.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. When people are persecuted for for loving righteously, Jesus declares “theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” – Matthew 5:10

I welcome the persecution, as should we all. “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36).

PROPHETS REVEAL THE TRUTH

What happens when a prophet reveals the truth?

In the last few weeks, I’ve read and listened to several discourses given by Ezra Taft Benson. He’s a powerful speaker and relays the message of the gospel the way I enjoy hearing it.

Here is a thought from President Benson to end our Wednesday.

”As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them.”

I’m thankful for my testimony of a living prophet. Just like President Benson, President Russell M. Nelson is our true living prophet today. I’ve read and listened to every single General Conference talk he has given. He is the mouthpiece of the Lord, and I testify to you that the Lord guides him.

This talk can be found on BYU speeches: Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet — EZRA TAFT BENSON

TURN YOUR LIFE OVER TO SCRIPTURE

What stops you from turning your life over to the scriptures?

I’m not a perfect person; none of us are. We can be consumed by the day to day formalities and procedures. We can get wrapped up in what the world expects from us, what we think our friends expect from us, what our neighbors, family, and everything else.

When do you say ENOUGH? We all make mistakes. We are on this earth to discover who we are. One of the biggest challenges we are going to face is standing up for ourselves.

I know for me, I have made questionable choices. Peer pressure has and still does get to me, at times. Are we hypocrites when the day comes that we ”find the scriptures” and ”our hearts desire a change?”

Are we hypocrites because we tell our friends, family, neighbors, ”I’m sorry for things I’ve said or done, but I have been reading and studying the scriptures, and because of this, I have a clear understanding that I have been misleading. I apologize to you for my previous actions, but I need to move forward in the way of righteousness—The way of the Lord.”

What holds you back from doing this? What stops you from changing your life and handing it entirely over to the Lord and His scriptures?

”Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He can deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their soals, and pour out peace.” – ETB

The Lord needs you. Whether you’re a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not. Stand up for truth and righteousness!

“Perhaps the Lord needs such men on the outside of His Church to help it along,” said the late Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve. “They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else.
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Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the truth, while others remain unconverted … the beauties and glories of the gospel being veiled temporarily from their view, for a wise purpose.”

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

A TEMPLE IS SACRED NOT SECRET

A temple is a sacred place, not a secret.

So, how do we explain that to family and friends who are not of our faith?

If you’re in my shoes, you’ve been asked questions like ”What do you do in the temple? Why can’t I go into your temple?

These are a few questions I like to ask in return to those inquiring about the temple, if I’m asked.

1. Did you know throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples? It’s true and you can find out for yourself in these few scriptures: 1 Chronicals 22, Ezra 3, Zechariah 6:13, and 2nd Nephi 5:16, Helaman 3:14.

The temple is sacred and we learn about this in the scriptures, as well. D&C 134 37-40.

2. So, why can’t someone just go in and see the temple?

Even our own members can’t just go inside the temple. It’s something we must all work towards and become worthy to do so. Since the temple is a sacred place where sacred covenants are made, one who enters must be a Church member who is spiritually prepared and living Church standards.

There are sacrifices we make to enter and keep in order to enter the Holy Temple of the Lord. Living worthy of entering the temple includes living a pure life, being honest, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and paying tithes and offerings, among other requirements.

There are so many things completed in the temple that bring peace to the minds of many individuals, including myself.

3. Did you know a temple is dedicated prior to opening? There is an open house, also!

4. What does that mean to you as a member or non-member who can’t go inside of a dedicated temple?

It means visitors are welcome to walk through and see what the interior of the temple looks like! During that time, you can ask questions and see the beautiful artwork and craftsmanship with your own eyes.

I would recommend any and all to take time to see a temple during an open house. The Lord loves and welcomes all those to his house. He also wants any and all to partake in the saving ordinances of His everlasting Gospel.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, and take time to hear Him today.

MAKE A FRIEND

Mike and David – August 2008

Who is a friend you will never forget?

In August of 2005, I left on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was called to serve in the Florida, Orlando Mission, Spanish speaking.

One of the greatest blessings during my mission (or curses 🤣😬) was this brother. Not long before I left on my mission, he was being taught by missionaries. He was baptized and left his home in Ecuador and came to the United States of America.

David Chuki will always be a friend and a brother to me. He taught me how to speak Spanish and spent nearly a year with me going on visits to our assigned area.

David was at the temple when I was married, let me borrow his car when I returned to visit Florida and continues to check on me 15 years later. He is back living in Ecuador, but the friendship remains.

Elder Rasband advised all of us that a very important element of our experience in the gospel is the friends we make and the mentors we follow.

The only way to have a friend is to be a friend.

During our times of trouble, be a friend. The Lord set forth that example for us. Now, let’s follow him!

GIFT OF LOVE

Do you have the gift of love?

I don’t assume I have been given the gift of love, because I know I haven’t. I wish I had, though. It would make life on earth a little easier.

When I think of those blessed with this gift, I think of several Prophets & Apostles. My mind surely goes first and foremost to our Savior, Jesus Christ. The perfect example of love.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”John 15:13.

I think of President Nelson and the love he has had for people his entire life and throughout his career.

I think of our late Prophet, President Monson. He exemplified love.

I even think of those who were before him. President Gordon B. Hinckley. I can still see him waive to the congregation with his cane.

President Hinckley once said, “ We pray for one another that we may go on in unity and strength. If we do so, no power beneath the heavens can stop the onward progress of this great kingdom.
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I pray that we shall never be wanting in our faith, in our devotion, in our love for the Lord and his work, and in our desire to serve unitedly for the advancement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Have a great Monday and remember to show kindness and seek ways to love thy neighbor as thyself.

THE FINAL INNING

PC: See Photo Autograph

Are we prepared for the final inning?

Yesterday, I posted a complete opposite depiction with Christ. We are living in a time of wars and rumors of wars (D&C 45:26). If you would like to call yourself an experienced fighter of war or even a veteran, I would say you’re 💯 correct.

We all fought a war in Heaven before we came here to earth. We were spirits without physical bodies. Our war was most likely seen as a war of words, debating, persuasion, and even different battles of ideas. Without a physical body, I can’t see our war being violent in reference to swords, guns, bombs, and things of that nature.

“Make no mistake about it, you are a marked generation, There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us,” he said. “Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been so well organized.” – ETB

Do we see fighting with weapons today, yes; however, I have seen and been part of ”Wars” potentially similar to the one we had in Heaven. Did He save the best for last? The one’s who can fight wars with words, ideas, debates, and persuasions?

Well, I personally believe so. Here is a useful reference that I have heard time and time again throughout my lifetime.

”God has saved for the final inning some of His stronger and most valiant children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. … You are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God.” – EZT

We are not only fighting amongst ourselves here on Earth during our mortal probations, but an entire host of to include the Dragon and his Angels.

In Revelations 12:9,11 we learn where Satan went once he was cast out of Heaven, ”And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

In verse eleven, we can see that we were part of a winning battalion. We chose Christ and our Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness, ”And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

We will win this final battle!

Come Out of Babylon

“Come out of Babylon and be not partakers!” Rev 18:4

There is no particular city today materializing Babylon. Babylon was, in the time of ancient Israel, a city which had become sensual, evil, and faithless.

Sound familiar to anything in today’s world? What an deceitful thing is this culture in our communities. It permeates our environment.

As the Lord has said: “They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world” (D&C 1:16).

So, how do we avoid this wickedness? How do gain a celestial inheritance? We all need to understand that all of us who gain eternal life must believe in Christ, accept his everlasting gospel, live in harmony with its laws, and **devote our whole souls to the cause of righteousness.**

Here are my thoughts on how we do this.

God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil individuals spread throughout it.

You can live a virtuous, productive, and a very righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness.

”You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness in a world awash with evil.

If you choose to concentrate on the dark side, this is what you will see. Much of the world is being engulfed in a rising river of degenerate filth, with the abandonment of virtue, righteousness, personal integrity, traditional marriage, and family life.

Sodom and Gomorrah was the epitome of unholy life in the Old Testament. It was isolated then; now that condition is spread over the world. Satan skillfully manipulates the power of all types of media and communication.

His success has greatly increased the extent and availability of such degrading and destructive influences worldwide.” Elder Richard G. Scott

Are you prepared for John The Revelators Vision? Rev 19:11-16—The Heaven’s will open, and He will come. The time to hear Him is now.

MISSIONARIES

(PC: Mary Ann Wright)

My thoughts go to the missionaries this morning.

Who are the Elders and Sisters? They have black name tags and walk your communities. Have you listened to their message or do you run inside and pretend you’re not home?

This is why you should take the time to listen to them!

Did you know scriptures are made from prophetic utterances, both written and oral? It’s true. We read in Doctrine & Covenants 46:13 – To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

The Elders and the Sisters bear testimony of Jesus Christ. When a testimony is borne by them, and when they are moved by the spirit, the message they share with you is scripture.

They are given keys. These keys are the right to enjoy the blessings of communication with the heavens and the privilege and authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to preach the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.

Not everyone can just go do what our missionaries do. In Doctrine & Covenants, we learn, “Again I say unto you that it shall not be given to anyone to go forth and preach my gospel, or to build up my church except he be ordained by some one who has authority …”

D&C 68:4 – ”whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.”

Take time to listen to the missionaries. They bring a saving message. They bring a spirit into your life that you may not have experienced before.

I was once a missionary, and I have seen lives changed, and I have witnessed these ”Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.”
2 Nephi 32:3

REVELATION

Are we seeing revelations come to pass and prophecies being fulfilled before our eyes?

We all need to seek the spirit of revelation in order to understand and read the signs of the times.

It’s the only way we will know when He will come again. By seeking Him and trying to understand which of His words have reference to millennial cleansing of the earth.

By understanding, that could come through prayer, scripture, music, or a variety of ways.

As we do our part and try to hear Him, He will open our minds to the words which have references to the earth in its final celestial state.

The prophecies are being fulfilled and transpiring before our eyes. Understanding what is going on in our world will help ease the fear and give you peace of mind.

Hear Him!

HEAL OUR LAND

As a firsthand witness to the riots and protests—A question came to my mind during my study of the Book of Mormon. It comes from 1 Nephi 3:7

“The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.”

With all the hate, anger, and frustration in our Nation right now, one of the greatest commandments comes from a few different scriptures:

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye ​​​love​ one another; as I have loved you, that ye also ​​​love​ one another.”

The first and second greatest commanded:

Matthew 22:39, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Going back to Nephi, we are promised: The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.

My question: Without Christ physically coming back for the Second Coming, is there a way for us to find love and bring peace to these protests and riots? If so, what is “the way” the Lord has prepared for us (our nation) to accomplish His commandment to Love, thy neighbor as thyself.

The Lord promises a way to fulfill that commandment of loving our neighbor as ourselves.

I have my ideas on this, but want to hear from you all. PC: by Robert T. Barrett

THE IRON ROD

Do you ”cling” or ”continually hold fast” to the iron rod?

It’s not enough anymore to brush through a few pages of scripture. We need to continually be studying the word of the Lord.

We learn in 1 Nephi 8:25-28, the first group partook of the fruit from the tree of life and became embarrassed because people like their friends, family, or neighbors were scoffing at them. This first group fell away. Then the second group didn’t fall away.

Why is this? Why did the first group make it to the tree, partake of the delicious fruit, and fall away to peer pressure; however the second group didn’t fall?

”Even with faith, commitment, and the word of God, this first group was lost—perhaps because they only periodically read or studied or searched the scriptures.

Clinging to the rod of iron suggests to me only occasional ‘bursts’ of study or irregular dipping rather than consistent, ongoing immersion in the word of God.”
Elder Bednar

Do you despise shame? Let’s face it; those who fell away were too worried about what others thought of them.

Many have asked me,” Why did you change your Instagram?” The answer is simple—I need to focus. My focus hasn’t helped me hold steadfast to the iron rod. My focus only had me clinging to the iron rod.

Some have little faith which then fails, because they can’t stand the peer pressure, the shame and scorn heaped upon them by the world. They simply cannot learn to despise the shame of the world.

I’m here to tell you; I despise the shame of the world.

Do you hear Him? If so, it’s time to hold steadfast and stop just clinging. A few verses of scripture a day WILL NOT CUT IT.

President Nelson said it perfectly, ”TIME IS RUNNING OUT.”