Wednesday, June 8, 2011

God Loves Us! So Don't Give Up!

I was in White House yesterday and we were talking with a lady who has been going through some hard times in her life. We had previously been going over and trying to strengthen her faith and help her see the positive in life. When we showed up yesterday she was in a way better mood than normal. We asked her how things were going. She began to tell us a story of how after months and months of struggling financially she got all of her bills paid off. We asked her how it happened. She said that some of her family that lives with her were blessed to get jobs a few weeks ago. She told us that that wasn't enough though. She said that some how God had provided for her. She said that she had been staying up late every night just praying and asking God to provide for her and her family and to get her out of this situation. Then a few weeks ago she felt that maybe God was tired of hearing her and that maybe she should give up. But she kept praying and kept on working to get the bills paid. Then a miracle occurred and she pulled it off some how. She was so grateful and happy that God had provided for her.

I thought of how this has worked in my life. At times I want things so bad and it seems like I am never going to get them. I keep praying and working hard doing the things that God asks of me and then my answer comes. The answers always come when we are ready for them. At times they come when it seems we are ready to break but God always provides. It is just up to us to keep working hard and not to doubt. Satan loves to get us to doubt because that weakens our faith and causes us to miss out on the good gifts from God. We have to hold strong and stay focused on our goals and desires. When we have done all that we think we can do our loving Heavenly Father will step in and do the rest. He will grant us our righteous desires. We just have to know that all things are done according to God's will and pleasure.

I know that God loves us. I know that he will provide for his faithful children that cling to him before, during, and after their trials. We should pray and tell God our desires, we should ask him for help when things get hard, and most of all we should continue to thank him for the things he provides us with. I know that God will provide for our needs we just need to rely on him.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

As Clear As Mud

So today I was chatting with Sister Hutchings and she had me share an experience I had a few months ago. Here is the experience.

So I was with Evan in Shelbyville, TN. We were driving around one night looking for a house. We passed the house and needed to turn around. Evan saw a roundabout driveway and decided to pull around in there. Well we got in the driveway and the car started to slide so Evan stopped. Well we got stuck in the mud. So I had to get out and push. I couldn't move the car it was really stuck. A teenage boy came out of the house and asked who we were looking for. I told him no one but we just were stuck in their driveway. He went in and got his uncle and they helped me push the car out. After we got the car unstuck I talked to the uncle whose name is Marco. He told me that he and his family had talked to missionaries before about a year ago but the family he was staying with told the missionaries not to stop by any more. He said he was still interested and invited us to come back in a few days.

We show up for our appointment and teach Marco and his wife about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We talked a lot about prayer and how God will answer our prayers and guide us in our lives. Marco then told us a story. He said that a few weeks ago he had been put in jail and was going to get deported. Marco prayed hard that he wouldn't have to leave so that he and his family could stay together. Well because of some sever snow storms the people that were coming to get him were unable to make it. So the just decided to release Marco. He told us that he prayed and told God he would do the right things if God would just let him be with his family. In jail Marco began to study the Bible with a religious group there. He signed up to have them come visit him at his home after he got out. Well a few weeks had pasted by and the two guys never showed up. Then we showed up stuck in the drive way. He saw and felt that as an answer to his prayer. He knew that God sent us there to him and his family to share the gospel with him.

It was a great experience. Marco and his family started coming to church and began to see that blessings come it from keeping the commandments. Marco received a steady job and he and his family were happy. After a month though Marco and his family began to drift away from the church and eventually stopped meeting with us.

That wasn't the ending Sister Hutchings was anticipating. We began to discuss the situation. We talked about how God works these miracles to put people in the right place at the right time. God made sure it snowed so Marco could stay with his family, He made sure the snow melted so the drive way would be muddy, He lead us to a new area and house knowing we would miss it and have to turn around, and He had prepared Marco spiritually to receive the gospel message we have to share. As we talked about this I began to see times where God has prepared the path for me to reach my goal or when he had placed me in the right place at the right time to find someone or something I needed. God knows each of us personally. He knows exactly what we need. He sees the big picture and has the way planned out for us to receive joy. But ultimately it comes down to us and what decisions we make. It is up to us to see these miracles from God. To recognize these instances that aren't coincidences. Then it is us to us to act on them. As we have faith to take the step on the own know path that God has laid before us He will prepare the way for us to receive joy and happiness. God does this for us because he loves us and he wants us to be happy. It is up to us to stay focused though. Hard times will come along the path. We just have to rely on God and work through them. Great blessings will come along the way that cause us to forget the great things God has done for us. This causes us to forget about God and go after things of the world. This will lead us off the path God has directed us onto. So it is up to us to always rely on God, to pray to him for guidance when things are hard and to thank him for all our many blessings when things go great. We need to look at the moments in our lives and see where God is leading us. We need to work to see the big picture so when hard times and distraction come up we can clearly see where God is trying to lead us in our lives. If we let the trials and things of the world distract us from the big picture our vision will only be as clear as mud. And if that is your view it will be hard to follow God. I know through prayer and scripture study that God will guide us and help us see the big picture. We will also receive the strength and guidance we need to stay on the right path. We just had to work with God and trust that path he leads us on.

Friday, June 3, 2011

All Good Things Come From God, And Frustration Isn't A Good Thing.

Today I was up in Elkton, KY teaching a lesson. It was the second time I have met with this guy and at times it is hard to get your point across to him. I'm not going to lie it can be a little frustrating. But today I learned a few things as I was there.

We are trying to help him quit smoking but there is this hang up. Last week when we went over I was trying so hard to get this guy to understand the importance to quit smoking. I was asking a lot of questions and felt like I was interrogating him so I just gave up because I didn't know were to go from there. It ended alright though.

So this week we are over there and it was kind of starting off the same way but this time I paused and thought to myself, "why am I getting frustrated with this guy?" I realized there was no reason for it. I mean it was my fault for not explaining it well enough to him. So I stopped and we prayed. After the prayer I just began talking with him about Jesus Christ. I established what he understood about the Savior. Then we read verses Alma 7 11-12. We focused on the part were it speaks of Christ suffering our pains and temptations. We established a common ground and went from there. We taught him about faith and about the Saviors love. The spirit was so strong and the man's faith began to grow. When it all started he wanted to finish his huge bag of tobacco but by the end of it he wanted to get rid of it so he could show his faith in Christ and grow closer to his savior. It was a way spiritual lesson and a great experience for all of us.

I learned a few things from this experience. The first was that charity truly never fails. I changed my attitude from trying to push this guy to see how smoking is bad. To lovingly teaching him of what Christ expects and of Christ's love for him. I know that that love changed everything. I testified of the saviors love and he felt it was true. By the reaction on his face you could tell that the Holy Ghost touched his heart proving Christ's love to him. I know that Christ loves us all and will give us all the strength and comfort we need to sacrifice our worldly desires to follow him. Christ wants us to dwell with him for all eternity and because of that desire he lovingly gave his life for us. So we should lovingly give our lives to follow him. It is hard but that is why Christ suffered so we could receive strength and forgiveness.

I also learned that the Holy Ghost is truly what changes peoples lives and desires. Like I said before you could tell the spirit touched this man. He know that he receive a great feeling and that it was from God. This feeling strengthened his desire to draw closer to his savior and because of the Holy Ghost he was willing to change. The Holy Ghost was key in my part as well. Once I went about it with love the Holy Ghost guided me to exactly what needed to be said to touch this man. God knows exactly what we all need to hear and feel and Christ promised his servants that the Holy Ghost will give them what to say in the hour they needed it. Jesus also promised that the Holy Ghost will bring all things back to our remembrance.  The Holy Ghost will bring us closer to God and guide us to the path of righteousness.

It also showed me that we all have weaknesses and make mistakes but when we recognize them and turn away from them God will for give us and strengthen us. I know that God loves us all. I know that he will forgive us of all of our sins if we turn unto him and turn from our sins. I know that all good things come from God and it is up to us to seek them out. I know that the Holy Ghost will guide us on to that path that leads to God. We have to do our part by studying it out. I know that God will send the Holy Ghost to answer our prayers. We just have to pay attention to the good feelings that come. All good feelings come from God. Feelings of fear, doubt, anger, and frustration come from the devil. We need to try to turn from these feelings. At times we fall short but because of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can be forgive. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he suffered and died for us all. I know that through him we can live with God and our families again. I know that if we read and study the book of Mormon we will come closer to Christ.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fixin' To Get Some Faith

So I have been talking about desire, hope, and diligence. Now I want to talk about how they all tie into Faith. Faith is a great thing that we can never get enough of. It is by our faith that God works miracles among us. Christ taught that if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move mountains (Matt. 17:20) and that would be a pretty sweet miracle.

In the Book of Mormon the prophet Alma teaches us a lot about faith. He said that faith is hoping for something we can't see (Alma 32:21) (Also see Heb. 11:1). So we haven't seen Jesus Christ and we haven't experienced what eternal life is but we still hope that Christ saves us from our sins and that we can live forever with God. So because of this hope we chose to act. This action is our faith. If we want to receive eternal life we have to follow Christ teachings. Applying these teachings into our lives is showing God our faith. As we apply the teachings and exercise our faith we will receive the things we hope for. Living a Christ like life will bring us the eternal life we desire.

Like I have said before it all starts with a desire (Alma 32:27). We have to desire that Jesus Christ is our savior. This desire causes us to act to learn more about him and what he has done. Reading the scriptures is a sign of our faith. Then we will receive knowledge which will help our desires to grow.

Now yesterday I talked about how diligence is working hard and being positive. Faith is about work. If we are to do the things the Lord requires of us it requires us to change and improve. Now improvement doesn't come easy but as we strive to become better and live the standard God has asked us to live we will receive strength from Jesus Christ. That strength is a blessing that comes from our faith (Ether 12:27).

The apostle James teaches us that we show our faith by our works (James 2:17). It is by these works that we show God our willingness to follow him and to accept Christ as our savior. We demonstrate this faith by keeping the commandments, repenting, being baptized, studying the scriptures, serving others, and praying just to name a few. As we do these things God promises us blessings.

Now we could have all of the faith in the world and pray and pray for something to happen but if it is not God's will it will still not happen. God says if we have faith we can do what is expedient unto him (Moro. 7:33). We have to always remember that God's ways our higher than ours. We shouldn't put our faith in the outcome but we should put our faith in God. We should have faith that no matter what happens God will bless us as we do the right things. We need to have faith that God sees the big picture better than we do. We need to have faith that God being the loving Heavenly Father he is will provide us with a greater blessing than we desired. I know that God loves us and will give us exactly what we need. We just have to exercise our faith to do the right things. I know God will provide. We should all exercise our faith by reading the Book of Mormon. I know that as we do so God will bless us with a greater knowledge of our savior. I know that our faith will increase and we will find the path God has laid before us to receive the greatest of blessings. So find a Book of Mormon today and read it and pray about it and ask God if it is true. I know that as you do the Holy Ghost will touch your heart to teach you of its truthfulness.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being Diligent Bring Success

So today I was studying up on Diligence. In Preach My Gospel it says, "Diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work." I thought of those four traits individually. The one that stood out to me the most was energetic. I found it interesting that being energetic would help you to be diligent. When I thought of what energetic was I thought of a little puppy just running around, going crazy, jumping all over the place, and just being happy. The happy part really hit me. I saw the truly being diligent requires a positive attitude. If we are working or doing anything with a negative attitude or grudgingly we aren't going to do a good job or get much out of it. But if we are positive and happy it makes everything go better. So I realized that we need to find joy in all that we do. When we are working towards our hopes and desires if we do it with a positive attitude we will be able to overcome the obstacles that stand in our way. On the other hand if we are negative and upset the first trial that pops up will throw us off track. Then we won’t reach our desired goal.

Then I saw how being earnest tied in with the positive attitude. If we are working for something for the wrong reason we won’t receive the true reward or the joy that comes from accomplishing the task. If we truly desire to reach something, we will be earnest in working for it. That will help us have the positive attitude needed to do the Lords work.

I figured steady and consistent were pretty easy ones. We just have to work as hard as we can. As we steadily work for our desires we will gradually improve. With that consistent improve me we will be able to achieve the desires that we have. The positive attitude fits in here as well. We must look on the bright side of things as we work. As we do we will notice the silver linings, the blessings of God, and the little miracles in our lives. We need to focus on our gradual improvement not our faults and weakness. Seeing the great change in ourselves and those we work for will give us greater motivation to continue working harder and thus improving our weaknesses.

To be diligent requires hard work and sacrifice on our part. The great thing is that we don't have to care the load and the work all by ourselves. The savior is there to lighten our loads and ease our burdens. As we live his commandments and rely on him for help and support it will come. What more could be ask for then the Son of God to be by our side and work shoulder to shoulder with us. What can bring us more joy than know that the Savior loves us enough to suffer and work for us and that God loves us so much to send his only begotten son to do so. I know that this brings me great joy and comfort in my life. I know that as we rely on the savior and work hard we will reach our desires. We will find great joy and love in our lives. We just need to work hard doing the Lords work and what he asks of us. I know that as we do so we will win the prize. The prizes of this life are our righteous desires that bring us closer to God, but we will also receive the greatest prize from God of eternal life. To be with him and our families forever. What a great prize that is. I know that God loves and cares for each of us and will help us reach our desires as we diligently work towards them. So let us stay positive and work hard.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Miracle That is You!

So I was studying last night about miracles. One cool thing I got out of it is that we are all a miracle. Life is a miracle. It is a great blessing from God. How we got here we really don't fully understand. Plus this life isn't it we still have the life to come after we are resurrected, which is a miracle.

Our life here on Earth and our future in the eternities all relies on what we do. God has given us the freedom to choose for ourselves. Based on our choices we can have eternal life in the presence of God or to be cast out of God's presence for eternity. Our choices in this life affect how we see and feel about things. We can choice to be positive and look on the bright side of things as we do we will find joy, our faith will grow, and people will enjoy being around us. We could be negative and cause ourselves greater stress, doubt the things that can be accomplished causing our faith to be weakened, and run all of our loved ones away by being such a grouch.

We also have the ability to seek after things of God. In opposition to that we can seek after things of the world. As we seek after things of the world them will bring us momentary happiness, gratify our pride, and make us feel good about ourselves. But as we seek after things of God that is when true joy comes to us all. We must choose to follow God. As we do so times might be hard but the things of God will bring us everlasting joy. One thing that comes to my mind is families. Our families are a blessing from God. At times they might cause us pain and suffering. They might cause us to stress and worry, but in the long run they fill us with joy and love. A joy and love that can last for all eternity if we live the commandments of God and follow his teachings.

I do know that we have the freedom to choose but we don't have to walk the path alone. If we are choosing the right Jesus Christ will be with us to strengthen us and support us in our endeavors. I know that God loves us and so does our savior Jesus Christ. I know that our families our ordained of God and that if we follow God's teachings and live right we can dwell with our families, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father for all Eternity.
(Check out 2 Nephi Chapter 2 and and

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Do We Really Rely on Jesus Christ Enough?

So the other day I was having a sweet conversation with a guy down in Altamont, TN. We were talking about how life is hard at times.  We came to the realization that we make life harder than it really needs to be. We talked about how we rely on ourselves to get through these trials. That we beat ourselves up to much when we do wrong.

Jesus Christ promised that he will not leave us comfortless (John 14:18). All we have to do is rely on him. Jesus Christ will give us the strength we need to get through our trials (Matt. 11:29). Christ suffered everything we would ever go through for us so that he would be able to make our lives easier (Alma 7:12 also see verse 11). I know that Jesus Christ is always there for us and that he will never leave us alone. It is up to us to call upon Him and ask him for the strength and comfort that we need. I know that He will guide us through our trials as we humbly follow him.

We also talk about how we need to focus on the positive in life. That we need to look at the good that we have done but keep in mind how great we can become. God doesn't want us to be sad. God's purpose is to give us joy (2 Ne. 2:25). To give us this joy our Heavenly Father sent his son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for our pains, trials, sins, temptations, and all other horrible things we would face in this life that would keep us from having joy and receiving Eternal Life (John 3:16). Through Jesus Christ we can be forgiven of our sins and our short comings so there is no reason to dwell on them. We just need to seek his forgiveness, through prayer, and then strive not to make the same mistakes. We should not dwell on those things we have repented of because Christ doesn't. Christ promises not to mention those short comings to us if we truly repent of them (Ezekiel 18 verses 21-22).

So let us all rely on the Lord more. Let us pray more often with real intent. Let’s turn from our wrongs and rely on him for support through our trials. I know that our Savior is always there for us. I know that he will ease our burdens and make our lives easier as we trust in him and keep his commandments. I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins and loves us all. Let’s seek the joy in our lives that comes from living how God would want us to live. I know that the Book of Mormon will bring us that joy because it does bring us closer to Christ. So check it out. Jesus Christ lives today and loves and cares for us all.