Monday, August 22, 2016

Hope In Christ~

 Each of us are made up of what I like to call Celestial DNA. We have a Father and Mother in Heaven; we therefore have their heavenly genetics.  We each knew our Heavenly parents well. We also knew and loved our elder brother Jesus Christ. I like to think that I walked and talked with them all. I believe we learned many things as a spirit child that would prepare us for our sojourn on earth. We were taught and knew our Heavenly Father's plan for us. We were to come and experience earth life. We would have a body that would house our spirit. We would be tested to see if we would obey our Father's commandments. We would have opposition in life so that we might exercise agency to choose good over evil. We knew we were to come here; learn of our Savior, Jesus Christ and follow Him. If we chose the right path we could return again to Our Father in Heaven, who created us all. 
Every human being on this earth will have an opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ while on this earth or in the spirit world. We have the great gift of agency to choose whom we will follow. 
Today's world is not an easy one to live in. We do experience great opposition. We constantly hear of disasters, wars, rumors of wars, economic declines, political upheavals, religious divisions and etc. Within our own individual areas we are plagued with hate and crimes of all kinds. Within homes, families are in crisis with fighting, abuse, divorce, and the list goes on There is an epidemic of depression and other mental struggles, plus a list of other aliments that cause concerns. As individuals we are surrounded with evil but there is also great good. 
OK, are you all depressed?
There is HOPE! 
Our purpose as missionaries is to "Invite Others To Come Unto Christ". He is our hope. With this hope we can develop Faith in Him and through His Atonement all mankind can be saved. 
In the Preach My Gospel book, pg. 117 it states: "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement. The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that you will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom. President James E. Faust taught: “Hope is the anchor of our souls. … “Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future. …
“The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death” (“Hope, an Anchor of the Soul,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 59–60)."
For all that are experiencing great difficulties and perhaps severe trials there is hope. Turn to Jesus Christ; He is the light; He is the way. Just as in this painting of Christ knocking at our door; it is up to us to invite Him in. 
For anyone out there that is in a state of depression go here~

Monday, August 8, 2016

OYM - Spreading The Good News of The Gospel of Jesus Christ~

Graphic by LeAnn@ Living Waters - Photo by Debbie @ It's All About Purple~

The Lord has said:
“Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.
“Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
“Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.
“Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (D&C 33:7–10, italics added.)

I am a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have a deep love for my Savior Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I know that this is the only true church on the earth today. I know that it is led by a modern day Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and twelve latter-day Apostles. I know that the ancient Priesthood of God has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith saw and spoke to God, our Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ in an experience entitled: "The First Vision."
It May take a few moments for the videos to load~

 I know that The Book of Mormon is the most correct and true book on the earth today. How do I know all of this. I have studied, prayed and received my own witness that it is true through the marvelous gift of the Holy Ghost
I am serving with my eternal companion in a Preach My Gospel Mission. Everyday, I am suppose to Open My Mouth (OYM's) and spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I guess the question might be asked. Why would we want to do this every day? Here is what is behind my motivation.   In the Book of Mormon, father Lehi has a vision of the "Tree of Life". 
In this vision Lehi is with his beloved wife Sariah and two of his children, Sam and Nephi. They are at the Tree of Life partaking of the precious fruit. He sees his two sons Laman and Lemuel way off in the distance. They are not on the path to the tree. He has an overwhelming love for his family and he wants them all to come to the tree and partake of the fruit. That tree and fruit represents the love of God. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Lehi wants all to partake of the Atonement and feel the love of God in their lives. He beckons to his sons who refuse. I know Lehi was heartbroken when his sons would not come to the tree.                        I desire that my own family  come to the tree and partake of this fruit. I know how delicious this fruit is.  I know that God loves all of His children. We are all brothers and sisters. We were with our Heavenly Parents in what is called pre-earth life. He wants us to all return back to Him.  He has provided a way for us to return. The path to the tree is to learn of and have faith in Jesus Christ, repent and change, be baptized, receive the special gift of the Holy Ghost and then endure to the end. This is the true Doctrine of Christ.  Along that path to the tree is a rod of iron. This represents the scriptures. If we know and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible, The Book of Mormon and other scriptural teachings this will help us stay on that path to the tree. I have a deep desire for all to come unto Christ. I do have a great love for others.  Also, in the Book of Mormon there is a story told of five young men, Alma and the four sons of Mosiah. These five men were wicked and did much damage to the church in their day. Alma's father and the sons of Mosiah's father prayed for them all to change and come unto Christ. They had a dramatic spiritual experience that changed their lives. Due to that experience they became great missionaries and desired to take the Gospel to even their enemies because they now loved them as their brothers and sisters.  This is a gospel of love. It concepts, principles and teachings invite us to Christ. In coming unto Christ we will have a deeper desire to love one another and live Christ like lives.   I am not the most outgoing person in the world. Doing OYM's is hard for me. However, we have had some sweet experiences in sharing the gospel with others and with strangers.  One day we met a girl in Costco's who was working there. She asked about our missionary badges and within a few minutes we had introduced her to the church. She was from Los Angeles, Calif. and was moving here for work. She said she wanted to learn more about the church. We had a pass a long card with information on how to learn on the internet more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I felt even more blessed when I realized I had a copy of The Book of Mormon with me. I was able to give her the book and I instructed her to read the introductory page and learn about what this book is about. I invited her to read the last two paragraphs on that page:  " We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
 Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah."
 She was very excited when I gave her this priceless book and she gave me a huge hug. 
Today, I challenged myself to take some pass along cards to a physician appointment that I had. When I arrived I was trying to figure out how to approach the subject of the church. I decided to tell them that as a missionary I am suppose to share the Gospel with whomever I meet and to give out pass a long cards.  The very first person was my own physician. I found out quickly that she wasn't a member of the church even though she has lived in Utah all her life. We had a delightful conversation. Then when I went to be checked out there were two receptionists, so I decided to approach them. I found out one was a member and one was not. I had a good discussion with them and gave out two cards. Yes, I think I can do this! It was fun today to share the gospel with others. Try it; you will like it!
For those of you who are not members of the church you can click on the link below. or look for some missionaries like us to ask more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Missionary Moments! A Trip To The Church History Museum ~

We recently took some good friends to the Church History Museum in downtown Salt Lake City.  The Church History Museum was renovated not long ago so we were excited to visit it. Wow, we soon found out that it had changed a lot and there was so many exhibits to see. It took us a couple of hours to go through and it was so interesting and a fantastic experience. 

Here we are with our friends, John and Jamie inside the museum~
 I took a few photos while in the museum and then I will also give some great links for more information. If you ever get a chance to visit here; I would highly recommend it.

We first watched a 7 minute video in an 180 degree round theater of the First Vision. It was so inspirational that it brought tears. Joseph Smith wrote more than one account and this video shows that in a clear way. This video is only shown in this museum. 

There were so many lovely paintings in the museum that you have to go to see them all. Here are three paintings in a collage representing moments in the beginning of restoration of the gospel. First one is the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery baptisms, second one is restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood and the third one is receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. 
 There were many displays on The Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith received the Gold Plates from the Angel Moroni. He translated these plates and then they were printed into the Book of Mormon on a press such as the one in the upper left corner. This collage shows a Dictaphone and a typewriter in the bottom half; thus showing the advancements in how things have been  written through the years.  Of course, we now have our marvelous computers. The Gold Plates are a replica of what they may have looked like. 
The History of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the early days are poignant. We suffered great persecutions for our beliefs. The church moved from New York, then Ohio and finally settled in Missouri. After a while there began to be contentions and as they increased there was an Extermination order by Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri in the Fall of 1838. Below is the original order and then it was finally rescinded in 1976. The members of the church were driven from the state of Missouri following that order.

 The saints then gathered in Nauvoo, Illinois and build a beautiful city with a grand temple. Again tensions arose and our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were killed in the Carthage Jail on June 27th of 1844. Later the Saints were again driven from this city and thus the sad story of their pioneer trek to the desert of Salt Lake Valley.

The Nauvoo temple as they left it.The photo next to it is one of the Sun Stones from that temple. The temple was destroyed by fire in 1848. The Nauvoo temple was rebuilt in 2002. 

The Nauvoo Temple today~

The 2nd floor of the museum has displays of the 15 Prophet Presidents since the Prophet Joseph Smith. Each display showed various artifact from their lives, pictures of them through the years and what their main accomplishments were during their presidency. I enjoyed those displays a lot.  

The top left photo is a display of President David O. McKay's life. He has always been one of my favorites. I love his double breasted white temple suit. He was very involved in forwarding missionary and temple work. The upper right photo is a picture of a stone in Scotland that had a profound impact on President McKay. It is one of my favorite stories.
"While serving as a missionary in Scotland, David O. McKay had an experience that gave him the motto he used for the rest of his life... “What E’re Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.”After he and his companion returned from visiting Stirling Castle, they passed a building where, above the door was a stone with the carved inscription: "What-e'er thou art, act well thy part." This message struck David O. McKay forcefully, and he decided to devote himself completely to always doing his best in whatever responsibility he had." ~Maskery & Lund
Another President that I loved was President Gordon B. Hinckley. My husbands Dad; LaMar Williams worked with President Hinckley in the Missionary Department for many years. He, under President Hinckley's direction help to develop the first temple films. The lower right picture displays his involvement in the increase in building of temples throughout the world. The lower left hand picture is of a podium made out of a tree that President Hinckley had in his backyard. 
Here are some of my own experiences in meeting various prophets. The first prophet was President Ezra Taft Benson. He married and sealed us in the Salt Lake Temple in 1967. We later visited him at his office two years later. He was a marvelous man and a great patriot. He was known for his love of The Book of Mormon and his desire that we all read and study from it's pages. 
When I was a nurse, I had the privileged of being the charge nurse on the wing that President Harold B. Lee was a patient in. I was able to visit with him briefly. He was such a kind and wonderful prophet that we all loved. 
I did shake hands with President Howard W. Hunter at a fireside one evening. He was very inspiring. 
I enjoyed the moment that I met President Joseph Fielding Smith inside the apartment building where he lived. He lived just down the hall from my husband's parents. We met them as were going in for a visit. He was with his wife, Jesse Evan Smith. At the time we had two little boys. The youngest was a baby in a carrier. President Smith asked to see him. Sister Smith said; "You better not let him, he will a make him cry. She then peered in at our son and he was smiling. Then President Smith looked at him and he did cry. It was a fun moment. 
I have had the privilege of being in the presence of President Gordon B. Hinckley more than once. He attended the funeral of both my mother in law and father in law. Both times I was able to shake his hand. He spoke at my father in law's funeral. My children had the sweet experience of singing at that funeral and were able to shake his hand and talk with him briefly.
As you can tell many memories of these great men and their presidencies came back to me when viewing these displays. 
We had such a fun time with these dear friends and it was a wonderful day of learning. 
Later in the evening we were able to attend and be part of a baptism. Here is a picture of the man that was baptized by the missionary that we team taught with. 
Elder Robinson, Clint a nephew that baptized Kevin and then Elder Dutton assisted with the baptism. 
 This was the end to a perfect missionary day!


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