The Mormon Channel

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


In the Disney Pixar movie Ratatouille, Remy (left) and his father get in a heated exchange.  Remy wants to be a gourmet chef in Paris, and his father is worried about the bigotry that rats receive from humans, especially in the kitchen.

During their exchange, Remy's father concludes to his son that humans disliking rats is part of nature, which is something you can't change.  Remy goes on to say:

"Change is nature, Dad."

In our day, the world is constantly changing.  I first became a missonary 21 months ago, and since that time there have been SO many changes!  The Giants won the World Series(!),

the 49ers got a new head coach,

iPads have come out,                              there's some sort  of internet  thing called 3G or 4G or something , and Taco Bell's 5 Layer Beefy Burrittos are no longer 89 cents. :(

All in all, while some of these changes may be exciting or neat or lame, the principle of change can be scary at times.  Even though I am still living in the United States, the world will be completely different from when I left San Francisco in November of 2009 to when I return in 3 months.

The Lord requires us to make changes in our lives, which is a process called repentance.  To repent is to change our will and to allign it with God's will.  It requires us to be humble, to be teachable and requires a lot of trust and courage.  It's not easy to make positive changes in our lives, but repentance is a positive experience that brings us so many blessings.  We feel God's love and the reality of Christ's Atoning power.  We feel more at peace.  Whatever guilt or sorrow we may possess are swept clean.  We know of a surety the Lord keeps his promises as given to the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 1:18-19):

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:"

So how do we begin the process of repentance?  I like to follow call this the ABCD's of repentance.  It includes:
  • A: acknowledge the sin
  • B: be sorry
  • C: correct the wrong
  • D: don't do it again
As we make these changes in our lives, we experience happiness!  Look at this video and look at how these individuals were able to make changes in their lives to bring them true happiness.

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42)"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I just talked to one of my friends the other day.  She's a waitress at an Italian restaurant here in Marion, and we were talking about how hard she works just to get tips at the end of the day.  I've had other friends who are waiters/waitresses and I guess they get paid less than minimum wage because they make the bulk of their money on tips and such, so in order for them to make money they need to wait on other people well enough to receive a good tip.

To wait on a table is a very active job that requires a lot of patience, attention, remembrance, cleanliness, diligence, stamina, and even personality.  Likewise, the scriptures tell us constantly to "wait upon the Lord."  I think too often we feel like we need to stand around and passively wait for the Lord to do His thing before we do anything.  In reality, to "wait upon the Lord" is an active process that requires us to be diligent, obedient, faithful, service-minded, hopeful and patient.

The Lord expects us to do our part.  In modern day revelation, we learn this important principle:

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.  Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; (D&C 58:26-27)"

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a passive Gospel, but one of action!  As we actively wait upon the Lord and continue in patience, then we will see the blessings of heaven opened unto us.  Watch this video of Dieter F. Uchtdorf talking about an experiment performed at Stanford University in the 1960's:

"Keep the commandments; trust in God, our Heavenly Father; serve Him with meekness and Christ-like love; exercise faith and hope in the Savior; and never give up." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Service and Joy

Jesus Christ has been the means by which I have been able to find joy.  I love Him so much, and because He is the life, He is the means by which we can enjoy life.

What is it we can do in this life to receive a fullness of joy?  How can we feel as though we have a sense of purpose?  Ponder these questions as you watch this video about how Lisa is able to keep a smile on her face.

We can choose to be happy, or we can choose to be miserable.  Service is a tremendous way to experience joy, for that is the life that Christ led.  In fact, the prophet Mormon in the Book of Mormon teaches us that "charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever;"  Just as Lisa said, "Service is not just a series of acts, but a lifestyle."  When we focus on others and what they need, we forget ourselves in the Lord's work.  When we do so, the Lord's promise becomes a reality:

"But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (Matthew 19:30)"

When we place ourselves last, the Lord places us first.  As I've been able to render service as a missionary, my joy has been unmeasurable.  Even for those moments before I decided to serve a mission, I'm grateful for those numerous opportunities I've been given to exert my love of Christ in the form of action.

Gordon B. Hinckley"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." 
 ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Inner Goodness vs. Outward Appearance

Watch this short testimonial of a man who nearly lost his love because he was focused on what was less important:

Now look at this real life experience a lady had with a homeless man in Central Park, NYC:

"...Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature... for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reaching the Prize

Elder Duke and I have started running every morning.  I'm not big into running or anything, but I am big into eating, which means that I am big.

Even though we're running on a daily basis, it's difficult for me.  We run to the town square and back; about a mile and a half journey.  What becomes a seemingly hard journey becomes so much easier when I see...

... the town square itself!  My journey all of the sudden becomes doable when I can see the objective I am working towards.  I've started a tradition where I actually touch the bell tower when I make it to the half-way point.

GOAL ACCOMPLISHED (well, half-way at least)!!!  When I am able to see the goal that I'm striving to achieve, it suddenly becomes possible; it becomes a reality waiting to happen, we can reach the prize.

In our Earthly adventures, what prize are we working towards?  In Phillipians 3:14, the Apostle Paul states:

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

The Lord teaches us in modern revelation that "there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation (D&C 6:13)."  As we set our sights on our eternal goal of eternal life to become "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)", we receive strength and confidence that we truly can do "all things through Christ [who] strengtheneth [us] (Phillippians 4:13)."  In fact, ponder the promised blessings we receive as we keep our eyes single to the Glory of God:

"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.  Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him... (D&C 88:67-68)"

I await that day when I shall see my Savior.  I love Him, and I know that nothing is impossible with His support.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Angels in the Outfield: a lesson on Word

As a kid, I watched a lot of good movies that taught me a lot about morals and what needs to be stood up for.  In particular, I loved being able to watch sports movies.  In the movie "Angels in the Outfield", a kid named Roger is given to a foster home.  Despite the kind and sweet heart of his foster mother and the friends he's been able to make with the other foster kids, Roger desperately wants to be with his father again.  When Roger asks his dad "when are we gonna be a family again?", his dad replies:

"I'd say when the Angels win the pennant."

As the plot unrolls, the embarrassing Angels, through a score of miracles and divine interventions (literally!), start making a remarkable roll towards actually winning the pennant.  Shortly before the end of the season Roger and his father meet up to settle their custody issue, and it turns out that...

...his father isn't true to his word.

Our word is important.  When we make promises we need to keep them.  The evil Lamanites, when warring with the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, would rather fight to their own destruction than make a promise of peace they weren't willing to keep (see Alma 44).  How strong is our own word to those that we give it to?

The one person we can rely on unconditionally is our Father in Heaven.  He is infinetly trustworthy.  His word is better than gold; His word is "a lamp unto [our] feet, and a light unto [our] path (Psalms 119:105)."  When we follow the word of the Lord, He makes this special promise:

"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise (D&C 82:10)."

The Lord keeps His promises.  Let us put our trust in Him continually.  Let us be like him and be men and women of our word, trustworthy at all times.