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.”