Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Recently I finished reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover. As I finished the last chapter, I contemplated the final words of Moroni and the concluding message of the Book of Mormon. In his final words, Moroni uses the word "exhort" eight times. To exhort someone is to urge, recommend, advise, or counsel urgently or strongly. Moroni exhorts the readers of the Book of Mormon to remember Christ and His gifts and goodness to the children of men, to pray about the things contained in the Book of Mormon in order to receive the confirming witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, and to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.

The miracle and the wonder of the Book of Mormon is that the readers to whom Moroni speaks are us; we are the target audience of the Book of Mormon. Mormon, who compiled the Book of Mormon hence the name, saw our day and saw the trials and situtations that we would face and chose the counsel from the prophets in the Americas that would help us the most. The Book of Mormon was written for us, to us, "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations" (Title Page of the Book of Mormon).

The Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. In the 1999 October General Conference, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk entitled, "A Testimony of the Book of Mormon," which describes how the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Christ.

The testimony offered by an apostle of the Lord in this week's article is true. I've read the Book of Mormon numerous times in my life and I know that each page is filled with testimony and teachings about Jesus Christ. Living by the teachings set forth in the Book of Mormon help the reader live a more Christlike life. The Book of Mormon is true. The words contained therein are scripture.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer

In the April 2007 General Conference, apostle Elder Richard G. Scott gave a talk entitled, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer." (Links to Windows Media Player and Quicktime Player videos.)This talk wonderfully defines prayer, beautifully illustrates how we can use prayer to communicate our sincere desires with our Heavenly Father, and clearly describes the manner in which we receive answers to our prayers.

Many people understand and use prayer differently. Even those who profess no belief in God or a Supreme Being utter a plea to a Higher Power during extreme situations. However, when we understand our relationship with God, that is, that He is our Father and we are His children, prayer becomes natural and instinctive (see Bible Dictionary: Prayer).

Prayer is a strength to us during our sojourn here on earth. Prayer is one way in which we express our love and gratitude to our Heavenly Father for all He does for us. Prayer is the means by which we ask for the desires of our hearts. We should pray during good times and during hard times. Prayer is not simply a last ditch effort to ease our pain or to get what we want. Prayer is how we communicate with our Father in Heaven and how we build our relationship with Him.

As for receiving answers to prayer, read what Elder Scott has to say. I testify that the principles and doctrines taught by the Lord's apostle are true. I have tested each of these principles numerous times in my own life and I know that the Lord loves us enough to answer our prayers.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Lord's Day

The article of the week has to do with a commandment which I believe to be one of the least-followed commandments: remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy. I hope to have a Sabbath-day post up soon so I won't elaborate much on the Sabbath day right now. For now, read "The Lord's Day," a talk given by President James E. Faust in the October 1991 General Conference.

President Faust was an apostle of Jesus Christ and counselor to the prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley. In his talk, he discussed the different ways we can and should keep the Sabbath day holy and emphasized why this commandment is so very important.

Another prophet, President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) said, “The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected. To fail to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, pp. 96–97.)

I know from personal experience that life is better, smoother, and less stressful when we keep the Sabbath day holy. Living this commandment may appear as a giant sacrifice to some and completely impossible to others, but because it is a commandment, the Lord prepares a way that we may accomplish the things He commands us and we are blessed and happy when we keep the commandments.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love One Another

I know it's the second video posted this week, but it's what I needed when I first saw it, maybe it'll be good for you too.

Remember that you love those whom you serve. If you are struggling with any unpleasant feelings, service is the key to cheering up, for you can't be in a bad mood when willingly doing something for someone else. Remember that "when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?

This video is a compliation of exerpts from a talk given by President Thomas S. Monson in the most recent General Conference. This talk was featured as the article of the week a few weeks ago.

Think of the motto, "have I done any good in the world today." Doing good does not only relate to helping victims of large disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, although helping them is a wonderfully Christlike thing to do. Doing good can also be done on a much smaller scale in relation to our neighbors or family members. Everyone could use a kind and helping hand.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "we believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost" (Articles of Faith 1:1).

The article of the week is a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland entitled, "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent." Because Elder Holland's talks are more powerful when you listen to or watch them, I have included the link to the video for Windows Media Player and Quicktime player.

The article this week clearly sets forth that we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are Christians in every sense of the word. Indeed, as one Book of Mormon prophet stated, "we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26).

In this talk, Elder Holland teaches a number of doctrines about the Godhead and specifically Jesus Christ by expounding the scriptures, especially verses in the New Testament. As an authorized servant of Jesus Christ, even an apostle of the Resurrected Lord, Elder Holland speaks the truth and what he says is scripture same as the words of the ancient apostles whom he quotes.

I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. He is the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world. I am a Christian and I strive to be like Jesus, to develop His attributes, and to become perfect through His Atonement.

To those of you who do not know your beliefs concerning the Godhead, I challenge you to ponder long and hard the scriptures and your life and come to know your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. No other action will have a greater effect on your life.