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Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Beach

I flew into California Wednesday, met my family, and had a tearful reunion.  Though I miss all of my families I've been serving for the past two years in the South, I'm grateful to be back home with my family.

The following morning, I did something I hadn't done in two years; I went to the beach.

While meditating on all that the Lord has blessed me with, I noticed that there are so many characteristics of the ocean that are in similitude of our Father in Heaven.  For example, the waves of the ocean.

The waves are always moving.  They are always in motion.  They are, in a very real sense to me, eternal.

The scriptures teach us that "the course of the Lord is one eternal round (1 Nephi 10:19)."  He doesn't change.  He is always there, no matter what.  He is real, and I know He lives!  He will never part from His work and glory (see Moses 1:39).  His love is eternal.

The next aspect I noticed of the ocean's  nature is it's power and majesty!

It is massive!  The ocean is all powerful, just as our Father in Heaven is the Almighty in his power (see Job 37:23).  Yet despite how powerful and all-knowing He is, He chose to take upon Himself the title of "Father" out of His love for us.

The other quality of diviity that I saw upon the waters was the peace it brought.

The peace of our Father in Heaven "passeth all understanding (Phillipians 4:7)," and is a peace that the world cannot give to us no matter how hard it may try (see John 14:26-27).  By sending us peace through the Comforter, we receive real peace that can comfort us through pain and sorrow, heal our broken hearts, and touch our souls with illuminating power.

More important than any other characteristic that can describe our Father is that "[He] is love (1 John 4:8)."  He lives, and He is so real.  I love Him dearly, and His infinite love is something I cannot even begin to comprehend.  His love stretches to all His children, for we are all brothers and sisters, descendants of a Divine heritage!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Balancing Our Lives

Today is my last day as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

For the past 24 months I have dedicated my life to the Savior.  Though I wish I could wear this name-badge for the rest of my life, I need to go home to my family.

I love this work.  I know it's real.  I know it's true.  I know it is the literal work of the Master, Jesus Christ.  These past two years are the only time in my life that I can dedicate my entire life to the work of the Lord.  In my next chapter of life, I will need to learn how to balance my life with the Gospel, my studies in school, my future family, my career, whatever community I may be a part of, so on and so forth.

In Isaiah, we read:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord... my ways [are] higher than your ways... (Isaiah 55:8-9)."

If the Lord wanted me to serve a full-time mission for 80 years and not have to worry about bills or taxes or raising a family and what not, He would have made a way for it to happen.  But in His higher wisdom, I will have to prioritize and balance my life according to what matters most.

In closing, I feel as the Apostle felt when writing his final epistle to Timothy:

"...the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Timothy 4:6-7)"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Deer in the Road

A couple of days ago, Elder Price and I were traveling early in the morning to Eldorado, IL in order to attend a meeting.  As we were driving, we saw a deer running through the black morning across the highway!

In much panic I swerved our little Toyota Corolla to the left, just barely missing it, and we continued on our journey.  Needless to say, I've never been so thankful for a safe journey and heaven's protection.

During the most trying of times, gratitude is an attribute we can always attain.  Early on in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi travels across the great waters with his family towards the promised land.  During their trip across the sea, Nephi counsels his older brethren to cease their rudeness and to remember the Lord, to which his brethren respond aggressively by tying him upon the ship's mast.

For four days Nephi is tied up to the mast!  During those four days, the Lord starts causing the storms to rage, the winds to howl, the rain to be unleashed from above, and the ship to start to lose it's course.  After four days of being bound, Nephi's brethren release him. and though Nephi's wrists and ankles are exceedingly sore, he recounts:

"...I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions. (1 Nephi 18:16)"

No matter what we go through in life, we can always live in "thanksgiving daily" (see Alma 34:38).  No matter what time of the year it is, no matter what we go through in life, we can always count the many blessings which we receive daily from our Father in Heaven.  When we do so, "it will surprise [us] what the Lord has done" (Hymns 241).

"Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:3-4)"

Friday, November 18, 2011


I am grateful to have been taught the Gospel while in my youth.  The years when you just start to 'grow up' are so pivotal to what our future will have in store for us.  My parents taught me to have good friends, and I am so thankful that the Lord blessed me with tremendous friends who have been strong examples for how I can live life to the fullest.

The importance of righteous teaching at a young age is made very evident in the Book of Mormon with the story of Helaman and the Stripling Warriors.

There was a bloody war amongst the two nations of the Book of Mormon.  The Nephites were defending their freedom, liberty, families and religion against the assaulting Lamanites.  In need of strength, two thousand of the sons of the Ammonites (who left the Lamanites to join the Nephites) volunteered to defend their brethren and go to war.

In there many battles, these young warrior's commander, Helaman recorded that while all of his youthful army received many wounds in the fierceness of battle, "not one soul of them... did perish... (Alma 57:25)."

Not only were these young warriors made mighty in war, but in his epistle to the chief commander Moroni, Helaman recounts:

"...they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.  Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him. (Alma 53:20-21)"

Though the world diminishes and demeans the value of our youth, our Father in Heaven knows the strength and potential the young of the world have.  They are so precious to Him!  Think about the worth these youth have in the eyes of God, and how they are "examples of the believers."

"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12)."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Day

This past week has been more stressful than most.  When I woke up last Tuesday, I just felt sick!

Elder Price and I still went out and worked and labored and walked and talked to people all day, but by the time we came in at night, I was just worn out and physically exhausted.  The one thing I looked forward to most was collapsing onto my bed.

Between the time I fell asleep

to the time I woke up, however, something miraculous happened: the sun rose and a new day had begun!

Even though I still haven't fully recovered yet, there is always something special about a new day.  It's a chance to start over, begin new, take a fresh approach on life.  A new day is encouragement to make this day even more special than the day before.

A new day is symbolic of repentance.

The prophet Lehi taught that "the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh... (2 Nephi 2:21)."  The days we experience life are days given to us so we can change in order to prepare to meet our Father in Heaven (see Alma 34:32).

We all make mistakes, and when we sin we become unclean.  The prophet Nephi taught that "no unclean thing can dwell with God... (1 Nephi 10:21)."  When Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane the night prior to His crucifixion (see Luke 22:41-44), He made it possible for us to become clean and to begin a new day in our lives, free from sin.  In these latter days, Christ has said:

"For behold, I... have suffered these things for all [mankind], that they might not suffer if they would repent; ... Which suffering caused myself... to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore... (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16, 18)."

I am so grateful for every new day I am given.  I stand in need of Christ's atonement every day, and I am so thankful that I can start fresh as I repent and follow the Savior.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jesus Christ vs. Ancient Empires

Throughout all of history, men of power and position have longed for the gift of immortality. 

Rulers and tyrants have erected towers, monuments, and palaces for personal glory and vain ambition in an attempt to never be forgotten by the world.

However impressive their works may have been, palaces fall,

empires crumble,

and memories fade away.

Death is the one enemy that could never be defeated in battle.

In contrast to the life of sovereign rulers of old, the life of Jesus Christ was one without worldly ambition or self admiration.  In a lowly manger he was born of the virgin Mary.

Though He was the Son of God long foretold would come by prophets of old (see Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, 1 Nephi 11:18, Alma 7:10), He came in the form of a servant (see Phillipians 2:5-10). 

In His kingdom, He taught that "he that is least among you all, the same shall be great (Luke 9:48)."  He taught that we should "love one another (John 15:12)."  He showed us the way we should live our lives (see 2 Nephi 31:7).

Jesus Christ taught "My kingdom is not of this world... (John 18:36)."  Christ conquered not with war and bloodshed, but with peace.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you... (John 14:27)."

Though Christ was the perfect example of love and compassion, He was rejected and "slain for the sins of the world (1 Nephi 11:33)."

However, Jesus Christ conquered the enemy that could not be slain and was raised after three days by the "power of his resurrection... (Philippians 3:10)."

Christ conquered death.  Because of Jesus Christ, physical death cannot have victory over us.  Speaking of this resurrection where our corruptible bodies will be perfected, the Apostle Paul wrote:

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:53-55)"

We have "victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:57)" over death.  The grave has no victory!  We will all receive perfected resurrected bodies that will not be subject to pain, disease, or hurt (see Alma 11:41-45).  As we follow what Jesus Christ taught, we will conquer spiritual death and gain "eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God. (see Doctrine and Covenants 14:7)"

I know my Savior lives.  Because He lives, I shall live again.  I love Him dearly.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Is In A Name?

What is the significance of a name?

A name can tell you a lot about someone or something.  A name can teach you history, culture, and characteristics of some person, a certain place or area, or anything in general.  For example, the name of the city of San Francisco alone can teach us quite a bit. 

San Francisco is Spanish for Saint Francis and is named after the Catholic Saint Francis of Assisi.  The name teaches of San Francisco's history of being founded by Catholic priests from Spain who settled there in the 18th century.

Names of people can also give you historical insight of their genealogy.  My mother's maiden name is Bunker. 

In the American Revolutionary Ward for Independance there was a brutal battle that helped dictate America's chance for victory at a place called Bunker Hill.  That hill was named after my family.  Also, Bunker is derived from the French "Bon Quer", which translates to "Good Heart" in English.

My father's name actually has quite some meaning as well. 

When analyzing it, most would think that it is of English or Welsh origins and tells of ancestors that lived in a land of many wells.  The fact, though, is that my dad was an actor, and when he changed his life around to follow Christ, he legally changed his birth name to his stage name, Chris Wells, and changed it a little farther to the name I know him as and have carried on from him: Christian Wells.   

Just as my dad changed his name in order to follow Christ, we likewise promise to "take upon [ourselves] the name of Christ, by baptism" (2 Nephi 31:13).  In other words, we promise to be Christians when we are baptized.  To be a Christian is more than simply acknowledging that Jesus Christ was something special, but to represent Him and His teachings in all that we do.  A follower of Christ will "bear one another’s burdens... mourn with those that mourn... comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and... stand as [a witness] of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [they] may be in (Mosiah 18:8-9)."

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)"

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I love my family.  As I go around as a missionary talking to many many people, I become sorely troubled at the distances people may place on certain members of their immediate family.  In many homes there is much hurt, much sorrow, much pain, and many who lack faith or trust in each other.  However, I am grateful for the fact that my parents and my two brothers are my best friends in the world.

I am also grateful that most of my brothers and sisters whom I come in contact with here in the Bible Belt are loving caring people who put their family first.

Why are families so important to us?  For me, it is the first place where I learned the basic necessities of life: how to eat, how to walk, how to share, how to play, how to love.  The home is the first experience that we have in this mortal existence, and for that reason God placed us in families to be a protective safeguard from the dangers of the world.

God loves each and every one of us.  He knows us personally and loves us with a perfect love.  He is the Father of our Spirits, and because He wants us to experience the same joy which He has, he has given us the opportunity to create our own families here on Earth.  Imagine the love a young couple have for their newborn...

God gives us an opportunity to gain a glimpse of the Love which He has for us by allowing us to raise His precious children.  God knows that this preparation of creating and raising a family is central for us to "prepare to meet God" (see Alma 34:32).  In fact, Heaven is in reality a continuation of the ideal home.

Because God knows that we find joy in our family relationships, He intends for them to not last 'til death do us part', but for time and all eternity!  It is through the sealing keys which Christ gave to Peter (see Matthew 16:19) , who in turn restored them to the prophet Joseph Smith (see Doctrine & Covenants 27:12-13) that our families are able to be sealed to each other after we depart this time of mortality. 

In fact, for our homes to be eternal, it is to be done in the Lord's house; holy temples dedicated to the Lord.

Learn more of how families can be together forever and what we can do in this life to work towards an eternal family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Lesson on Nails and Individual Worth

The other day, Elder Price and I helped a family get their roofing replaced!

It was a hard project to get all of the roofing off the roof and what not, but it was fun!  As we were getting all of the roofing off the ground around the house, I began to notice that there were nails strewn about everywhere!

As I began picking them up, I began to think:

I have to pick all of these nails up one by one.  There are a whole bunch to find, but I have to find them one at a time.

As I kept picking these nails up off the ground, I realized that's the way our Savior labors.  He suffered for all of us, but He did so on an individual basis.  Through Him our Father in Heaven created cosmos and galaxies and worlds and planets beyond number (see Hebrews 1:1-2).  Through the vastness of the eternities, His most important work is us.  He knows His sheep, and He goes out to gather the one.

"Brothers and sisters, the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)"

Friday, October 7, 2011


Growing up in San Francisco, I was raised by goodly parents who taught me to pay my loyalties to the great and mighty San Francisco 49ers.

Though the football team has had tremendous success in NFL history, it is the original 49ers of the mid-1800's (for whom the team is named after) that I wish to focus on.

California is known as the Golden State because of the rumors spread throughout the world around 1848.  It was told that there was an abundance of wealth to be gained by simply picking up golden nuggets that were strewn all about Northern California.  That was the exception, however, as there was generally little more than flecks of gold to be found, and most who left their homes or countries to obtain some "easy cash" left disappointed.  However, some, obtained great wealth.

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33)"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So imagine you are cruising down the highway in your SWEET Ford GT 1000!

As you're speeding down the freeway, all of the sudden you see an ice cream truck pull up next to you with his music BLASTING like crazy!!!  He's signaling for you to stop and pull over, so you do, thinking he might be giving you some free ice cream!  Instead...

he gives you a speeding ticket!  Now would you honestly be inclined to pay that speeding ticket if an ice cream man gave it to you?

Now imagine you're blazing down the freeway in that sweet supercar of yours, and then you hear sirens and notice that red and blue lights going off.  Yep, the coppers got you... :(

You would DEFINETLY feel more inclined to pay that ticket, wouldn't you?  That's because that cop has the authority from the state to issue speeding tickets.

How does this analogy apply to the Gospel?

Just as the state gives authority to police officers to issue tickets and so forth, the Lord gives His priesthood authority, or the permission to act in His name, to worthy men here on Earth.

So how does one obtain the priesthood?  The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, teaches us that:

"And no man taketh this honour (the priesthood) unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Hebrews 5:4)"

So how did Aaron receive the priesthood?

By revelation and by the laying on of hands (see Exodus 28:1 and Articles of Faith 1:5). 

Aaron didn't receive his authority by paying to go to school to receive a degree (like Simon the magician attempted to do [see Acts 8:18-20]) .  The twelve disciples whom Christ gave the priesthood to did not receive their authority by simply feeling inspired to go and do something (Christ taught them "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you..." John 15:16).  They received the priesthood through Jesus Christ, who held the authority, by the laying on of hands.

Why is authority important?  Even though the ice cream driver was trying to do what was right and keep the road safe, and though his intentions were perfectly good, he did not do it under the direction of the state.  When Jesus Christ was baptized, he went "from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him (Matthew 3:13)."  Christ came from Galilee to "Bethabara beyond Jordan (John 1:28)", which is about 50 miles, to be baptized by John the Baptist because he held the authority to baptize.

That authority was lost when Christ's church fell away into apostasy, but that same authority to baptize which John the Baptist held has been restored to the Earth!  In May of 1829 John the Baptist himself appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry and ordained to them "the Priesthood of Aaron (see Joseph Smith History 1:68-72)."

What our bold claim is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on the Earth which holds the priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism and the sealing of families for time and all eternity.  If this is true (which I know it is), this message is the MOST important message the world has ever held!  You can know for yourself and allow the missionaries to teach you wherever you are.  I promise it won't hurt.