The Mormon Channel

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.