Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Such Lessons the Little Ones Can Teach!

    Some years ago, David Lawrence Mckay shared a story about his grandchildren at bedtime. Grandpa was given the privilege of helping with prayers. The three-year-old knelt at Lawrence's knee and began the precious ritual. When the simple, earnest prayer was over, the child remained kneeling and silent. Unusual! Most scramble into life again with demands for stuffed toys, bedtime stories, drinks of water, and yet another goodnight kiss. Not this one. The silence persisted until Grandpa questioned why the child didn't pop  into bed.
     "Sh-h-h, Grandfather. I am listening!"
     Ah-ah! And shouldn't listening be part of all communication? Particularly with Heavenly Father. Such lessons the little ones can teach.

-Written by Elaine Cannon-


     I have this friend at school that is not a member of our church. One thing that I love is that she's pretty open about religion, and feels comfortable talking about it, even though she really isn't affiliated with any religion.
     One day we were talking about baptism, and we were explaining why we wait until the age of eight to be baptized. Another friend near me said,
     "We want to make sure that kids know what they're doing and that they believe in the church."
     The girl who had asked replied,
     "But you can't really expect an eight year old to say that they know that the church is true, at least not with real conviction."
     I then interrupted.
     "It's true," I said, "Not all kids will say that they know that the church is true. The important thing about waiting until they are older is that they know what baptism is. They understand the significance of the choice that they are making to be baptized, and understand the promises that they are making by doing so."

     You know how, in hindsight, there's always something you would add? (That's how it is for me, at least!)
     I was thinking after... I would never underestimate the testimony of a child. In fact, they sometimes appreciate the gospel more than older people.
     As people grow up, they are influenced by what the world says. As their own knowledge increases, they sometimes start to doubt, and think that they are smarter than their church leaders. It's a sad thing.

The thing about young children... is that they trust perfectly.
     I know that when I was a young child, I didn't know all that I know now. My testimony has grown so much since then, and different experiences have helped it to grow.

There are a few things, however, that I did know.

I never doubted that there was a God.
I never doubted that Christ was the Savior.
I knew that God loved me.
I knew that families are forever.
I never doubted that there was life after death.
I never doubted that Gordon B. Hinckley was God's prophet.

     These were things that I could bear my testimony on. True, I was lacking a lot of knowledge... but it didn't matter. I believed that the things that I learned in church were true. As I gradually matured, and as my testimony matured... I could say-with conviction- that I knew that the church was true. 

      And for those of you with children who feel like everything you say goes in one ear and out the other...

Neil L. Andersen said:

“If a child is not listening, don’t despair. Time and truth are on your side. At the right moment, your words will return as if from heaven itself. Your testimony will never leave your children.
“As you reverently speak about the Savior—in the car, on the bus, at the dinner table, as you kneel in prayer, during scripture study, or in late-night conversations—the Spirit of the Lord will accompany your words.”

    To finish... never forget that to enter God's kingdom, we must become as little children.
Matthew 18:2- And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4- Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5-  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

Little children... always trusting... never doubting...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scripture Marking Saturday RETURNS!!!

     You can read some of my old Scripture Marking Saturday posts here or here or here... they are generally pretty short posts where I just share a scripture and explain a little bit... Anyways, today I wanted to share a list of scriptures... (And if you are my facebook friend- which you probably are- you've already seen this, but oh well) :)

When you need to feel loved...........................................................John 15:13
When you need to resolve conflicts................................................Matthew 18:15
When you need help in school........................................................D&C 136:32
When it seems like your problems will never end..........................D&C 121:7-8
When you need the right answer....................................................James 1:5-6
When you need to make a decision...............................................D&C 9:8-9
When you need confidence...........................................................Proverbs 3:5-6
When you want blessings..............................................................D&C 130:20-21
When you are afraid......................................................................D&C 6:36
When you need comfort................................................................Isaiah 49:15-16
When you need to receive revelation............................................Alma 26:22
When you are stressed out.............................................................D&C 10:4
When you need to develop a testimony........................................Alma 32:28
When you need strength................................................................Ether 12:27
When you need to know how the atonement works......................Alma 42:22-25
When your prayers aren't being answered....................................D&C 98:1-3
When you need a role model.........................................................Alma 53:20
When you want to be treated better..............................................3 Nephi 14:12
When you are feeling judgmental.................................................Matthew 7:1-3
When you are unhappy with a leader...........................................Mormon 9:31
When you need to get over your weaknesses..............................Ether 12:27
When you need a testimony of the Book of Mormon..................Moroni 10:3-5
When people disappoint you.......................................................Luke 23:34
When you need to win against Satan...........................................D&C 10:5
When you need faith in the prophet............................................D&C 21:4-5
When you need proof there's a God...........................................Alma 30:44
When you need courage to share your talents.............................D&C 60:2
When someone has wronged you..............................................D&C 64:9
When you need a sign................................................................Ether 12:6
When you need to correct someone...........................................D&C 121:43-44
When you need mercy...............................................................3 Nephi 9:14
When adversity is overwhelming..............................................D&C 122:3-8
When you want to please God..................................................Mark 12:33
When you need to get more out of your efforts.........................2 Nephi 32:9
When you need to know the purpose of life.............................Moses 1:39

     There you go..... 35 new scriptures to mark!! That's 35X more than the last Scripture Marking Saturday! Yay!

PS: This took FOREVER to type!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Come Come Ye Saints

I love the movie 17 Miracles... it is a very inspirational movie that really strengthened my testimony and made me very, VERY grateful to the saints who sacrificed so much so that we can have the gospel today. So many people take the knowledge that the gospel brings us for granted...

 The Martin Willie Handcart Companies suffered the highest percentage of deaths of any emigrant parties to go west...

"Our pioneer ancestors sacrificed virtually all they had, including their lives in many cases, to follow a prophet of God."
-M. Russell Ballard

     It amazes and humbles me that these people were SO faithful- that they were willing to do whatever the prophet asked them to... no matter what. 
     They suffered SO much... there were deaths every day, people who became incredibly ill... they were also persecuted constantly... I have no doubt that all of those saints were changed forever from those experiences.

D&C 101:15- And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.

     I know that we question all the time why people doing good things- people following the prophet- suffer, and sometimes die... that last powerful scripture is why.

     Sometimes God also lets the righteous suffer and maybe die so that the wicked will be condemned. The terrible things that they did to the saints will be a witness against them at the last day.

     Another thing that always amazes me is how courageous and positive the pioneers always seemed to be. Of course they questioned, and were sometimes probably angry and frustrated and confused.

But they were also oh, so faithful and obedient. And they also turned to God in their trials.

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil or labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this and joy your hearts will swell —
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;

And soon we'll have this tale to tell —
All is well! All is well!

We'll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the West.
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed.
We'll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;

Above the rest these words we'll tell —
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain;
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell —
All is well! All is well!


“I will never get over being thankful to them; I hope you never get over being thankful to them. I hope that we will always remember them. . . . Let us read again and again, and read to our children or our children’s children, the accounts of those who suffered so much.”
- Gordon B. Hinckley  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

100 Years of Seminary

“Seminary gives me the strength to continue to keep moving forward in the straight and narrow path in spite of the difficulties and challenges I encounter. The things I have learned in seminary are the stepping stones and preparation for a greater and more profound knowledge of the gospel.” —Dia Lacno, seminary student in the Philippines

     I love seminary. If I could just go to that class over and over again the whole day... I definitely would.  I really learn so much. 
     This year we are studying the Old Testament. I learn so much about the gospel in church, but it's really nice to just go through it all, front to back, and discuss everything. I now know all these stories from the Old Testament that I didn't know about before. Many I've heard, but I could now explain most of them with more detail. 
     Gaining more knowledge makes me more comfortable sharing with others. It also makes it easier for me to answer questions... 

I'm very lucky to have seminary as part of my school day, But I know that whatever your situation, you will be greatly blessed if you choose to attend daily. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Something Sacred For You, Is Sacred For Me.

     I heard a new song on "Soft Sunday Sounds" today. It was the first time they had ever played it, and 
I. Loved. It.
     I decided to write a post based all around that one song, but to my dismay.... it is a pretty new song... I could find no videos on youtube, no mp3s to embed... I couldn't even find lyrics on the internet...
Long story short... I can't actually make that song part of my post.

I did however, find it on iTunes... So I bought it, listened to it ten million times, and wrote down the lyrics. It's not as good as the song, but it's as good as it is going to get...


Some kids grow up around bibles.
Some grow up with the Quar'an.
Some light candles, and some wear a star, 
But I think we all understand...
We all want to make it to heaven.
And I've got this feeling in me
That we've all got a bit a shot to get there 
If we all act reverently.

Cause something sacred is always sacred, 
Even if it's not sacred for me.
I've got to let you believe what you want to, 
Or I give up that right I can see.
And all I care for and all that's close to my heart, and make me agree...
That something sacred to you, 
Is sacred to me.

I think you know what I'm saying. 
I'm sure you've heard it before.
We can all live in this place if we must stay inside... 
Lock up our doors.
Whether your goal is Nirvana,
Or whether it's someplace above...
In all of the good books we all read, 
We learn that the best way to live is with love.

Cause something sacred is always sacred, 
Even if it's not sacred for me.
I've got to let you believe what you want to, 
Or I give up that right I can see.
And all I care for and all that's close to my heart, and make me agree...
That something sacred to you, 
Is sacred to me.

So I, I'm going to celebrate you.
And I'm going to love how we're different.
Cause you, you've got your own point of view.
And I'm free to have mine.

So... something sacred is always sacred,
Even if it's not sacred for me.
I've got to let you believe what you want to, 
Or I give up that right I can see.
All I care for and all that's close to my heart, and make me agree...
That something sacred to you, 
Is sacred to me.

Something sacred to you... is sacred to me.


Some kids grow up around bibles.
Some grow up with the Qur'an...

"Something Sacred"
Aaron Edson


      This is pretty different from the messages that I usually share, but I think that this song teaches a FANTASTIC lesson...

     A couple weeks ago, one of my YW leaders taught me a very valuable lesson. She said that if everyone had some sort of religion, worshipped some sort of god, or had a set of morals... the world would be a better place. No matter if that religion is yours or not.

     Of course we know that we have God's full and complete gospel on this earth... that doesn't mean that people of other religions don't believe and practice good things.

     If you have a friend of some other religion, and they just aren't ready to accept a new way of thinking, don't feel like they are in terrible shape or aren't going to heaven. If they worship and love God, they are in better shape than most of the world. Maybe they will accept the gospel at a later date, or maybe they won't accept it until they get to heaven. Either way, give them some credit for the efforts that they are making to live their life in a way that would be pleasing to Him.

     That wasn't a super long thought, but I think that it is important for us all to realize that.

I will keep my eyes out for that song! I will keep checking for videos/mp3s!!! 

Remember, it is on iTunes, so even if you don't want to buy it, you can listen to about 1 1/2 minutes of it as a sample on there...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You Know Enough

    The following is a story in his talk that wasn't shared in this video, but I really liked it... 

"I once visited a mission in southern Europe. I arrived on the day a new missionary was preparing to return home at his own insistence. He had his ticket to leave the next day.
We sat together in the mission president’s home. The missionary told me about his challenging childhood, of learning disorders, of moving from one family to another. He spoke sincerely of his inability to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. Then he added, “Brother Andersen, I don’t even know if God loves me.” As he said those words, I felt a sure and forceful feeling come into my spirit: “He does know I love him. He knows it.”
I let him continue for a few more minutes, and then I said, “Elder, I’m sympathetic to much of what you’ve said, but I must correct you on one thing: you do know God loves you. You know He does.”
As I said those words to him, the same Spirit that had spoken to me spoke to him. He bowed his head and began to cry. He apologized. “Brother Andersen,” he said, “I do know God loves me; I do know it.” He didn’t know everything, but he knew enough. He knew God loved him. That priceless piece of spiritual knowledge was sufficient for his doubt to be replaced with faith. He found the strength to stay on his mission."

     God has given so much knowledge to His children in these latter-days.

     There was once a time that I felt like I knew very little of the gospel... I knew the important things, but I still felt like I had a lot to learn. Although this is still true, I've learned a very valuable lesson since then.
     I was once watching one of those "I'm a Mormon" videos... it was about a woman who had joined the church when she was an adult. At the end, she said that she was an avid blogger... I was curious, so I looked up her blog. In her posts, she sometimes shared new things that she had learned about the gospel. They were all things that I had learned when I was like... eight.

    Through reading her blog, I learned that even though I sometimes feel like I have limited knowledge, I know more than most people in the world know.

There is a reason why there are only a handful of missionary discussions required before baptism. The truth is... you don't need to have deep knowledge of the gospel to know that it is true.

     Learning the gospel takes a lifetime, and even then, I won't know everything there is to know. I can only understand things that make sense to me right now, on earth. Because of this, there are many answers to deep questions that God doesn't reveal to us. He does this simply because we would not be able to comprehend.

     Even though I have a ton to learn, I know that I know enough. I know enough to make it back to Him.
I know the commandments I must follow.
I know that I can repent when I make a mistake.
I know that God loves me.
I know that families are forever.
I know that we have a true prophet of God.
I know that I know enough. 

Even though I have a lot to learn... I'm grateful for the knowledge that I have now. I think that we should all remember how lucky we are to know what we know, even if we don't feel like we know a lot...

PS: You can read Elder Neil L. Andersen's entire talk here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

America the Beautiful

2 Nephi 1:5,7- Notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands…Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever. 

      I don't know why I was given the privilege of living here in the United States, but I know that I am so blessed to live here. Guys, we are so lucky. 
     Alexis De Tocqueville wrote: "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."     

     It's true... there are a lot of things going on in our country right now that are not good. Our political system needs some work (lots), our economy is bad, people are lowering their standards and tempting us to lower ours... 
I think that sometimes people get caught up in all of the awful things happening in our country right now, and they forget that they are living in a choice and blessed land. If we keep striving, as individuals, to make our country and world a better place... to put God and country first... we will be able to make America great again. 

In the meantime, never forget how lucky you are. You are so lucky to live in the circumstances that you live in. And just to give you an idea...
(And I know that I listed the following things in this post... but I know a lot of you didn't read that, so here it is again...)

- If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.
- If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
- If you can attend a religious meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death... you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.
- If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of this world.
- If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealth.
- If your parents are still alive and still married... you are very rare, even in the United States.
- If you can hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
- If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder... you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch.
- If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.


God has performed many miracles for our nation. It is obvious that if we put our faith in Him and trust His judgement, things will work out for us.  

The following are excerpts from the book Seven Miracles That Saved America by Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart...

“At critical times in our nation’s history, God provided miracles to save us. And there are miracles yet to come,” according to the book. “This country was too important to the future of mankind to let it fail. Despite our weaknesses, which are many, and our failings, which have existed since our inception, God has been willing to intervene so that this nation might survive.”
No man is perfect. And neither is any nation. Yet, despite our weakness, we are still, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the last, best hope of earth.”

This is a fantastic book... and I looked up the seven miracles that they listed so that you could read them...

-Christopher Columbus’s “against all odds” discovery of the New World and the undeniable hand of God that led him here.
-  Jamestown – the English colonists’ survival of the “starving time,” which assured that America would be settled by a religiously oriented and religiously tolerant people.
-  A summer fog: How an unexplainable fog shrouded the East River on an August morning, allowing General George Washington and his army to escape annihilation at the hands of the British troops.
-  The epic events that led to the miraculous creation of the United States Constitution, forever establishing the United States as the “shining city on the hill.”
-  Abraham Lincoln and the Battle of Gettysburg: At a time when it looked like our fledgling democracy was actually going to fail, God answered Lincoln’s desperate prayer for a victory at Gettysburg an event that literally changed the future of the world.
-  The Battle of Midway: The incredibly unlikely scenario that played out in this famous World War II battle, paving the way for the Allies to win the war.
-  Half an inch: How an assassin’s bullet barely missed President Ronald Reagan’s heart, sparing his life and allowing him to go on and play a key role in defeating communism, smashing the Iron Curtain, and “tear[ing] down this wall.” 

There have no doubt been many more miracles...

And also... thank you to all of those valiant men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedom. I know that we sometimes take it for granted... I promise that I'm trying not to.

There She Stands [*] by Michael W. Smith on Grooveshark

There She Stands - Michael W. Smith

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trials (Part II)

I did a post a while back on trials... you can find it here. It includes an awesome video that I really love.
      I mentioned before that I usually find things that would've gone perfectly with my posts after I already posted them... (really annoying) :) Since then, I've discovered this song about trials that I can totally relate to... it's beautiful and touches me every time I listen to it.

      I know that this is a very short post... mostly because I've already done a post on trials... I just had to share.
     My favorite part is at the end, when everyone holds up their signs. It reminds me to always give people the benefit of the doubt. Most of those people didn't look scarred on the outside. Because we humans are often very judgmental, we get annoyed when someone doesn't act the way we think we should.
Maybe someone being cranky and snappy. Maybe they are just being boring. Maybe we are bugged because our neighbor doesn't care enough to take care of his lawn. Maybe you see someone at the store who is very poorly dressed.
We sometimes jump to conclusions and think that we know everything about someone just from what we see on the outside. Don't forget that you never know what someone is going through.

EVERYONE goes through hard things. Some people go through very hard things. Don't judge them until you get to know their story.

"I used to pray He'd take it all away, but instead it became a beautiful heartbreak."

Modern Day Miracles

2 Nephi 27:23- For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.

     I have so many thoughts and things to say on this subject... but I'm having a hard time putting them into words... let's see how this goes. I'll probably think of something else tomorrow that I should've added... it usually works that way! :)

     Our God is a God of miracles. We know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We also know that He is no respecter of persons. (By the way... it says both of these things in the Bible.. meaning ours isn't the only religion that believes these things.)
Why then, do people think that God would perform miracles long ago, and not now? These people are sadly mistaken. 

     I know that miracles happen. With God, all things are possible. It may not be as drastic or noticeable as what happened to the girl above, sometimes our miracles come as tender mercies that may be hard to recognize. Make an effort to recognize His hand in your life.

     Men who hold the Priesthood are often an instrument in the Lord's hand, and are used to bring to pass miracles.

"Miracles are everywhere to be found when priesthood callings are magnified. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes. Whom God calls, God qualifies."     - Thomas S. Monson

The following video is a perfect example of a Priesthood miracle...

     We hear of things everyday. Things that shouldn't have happened, but did. Lives spared, or lives made better in some way. 

     Miracles happen all around us... They happen All. The. Time. 

     One last thing I would like to add... 
2 Nephi 10:24- Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

Never forget... God knows more than you. Sometimes things may be a burden to you now, but will be a blessing for you later... maybe even a miracle. Trials give us a different perspective on life. A new perspective often leads to people re-prioritizing their lives. If a trial can bring someone closer to God... that certainly seems like a miracle to me. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012: Arise and Shine Forth

D&C 115:5- Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;

     So what does it mean to "Arise and Shine Forth"? 
If we keep the commandments and serve God faithfully, then we will shine with the light of Christ. We will be able to receive his image in our countenances, which is something that I'm sure you want. 
Be a good example! People will start to look up to you, and you will truly become a "standard for the nations". People will wonder what sort of religion could produce such an awesome person. 
Don't be ashamed of the gospel! Be proud of this church that you are a part of, and share its glad message with others!!

     Here's another video that explains the theme very well...

I think that this is a fantastic theme for 2012! Share the gospel with others! Never forget that just one person can have a great impact in another's life!



You can download a free mp3 of or sheet music for the above song here.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Living Up to Your Potential

     I found this beautiful song, and just had to share... so I decided to do a post reminding everyone of the potential that they have...

     Wasn't that beautiful? I could feel the Spirit very strongly while I listened to that song. I thought that it went along with this topic, because it reminds me that God is proud of the good choices that me make. Unlike us, He sees the whole picture. He sees us for what we can become.

     Let's recall the stories of Gideon and Samson. (You can read about them in Judges in the Bible.)

Gideon first... In Judges 6, it tells you that the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel, and had for several years. God tells Gideon that he will be the one to defeat the Midianites.

  12- And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

 14- And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

      Let me point out that Gideon was a poor man. When he was young, I'm sure that he and his family never imagined that he would be the one to defeat the Midianites. God had great things planned for him though, and was also waiting to bless him if he would be obedient. 
     So how did Gideon react?
15- And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

16- And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

    Gideon chooses to do what God has commanded him to do. It seems impossible to him at the time, but he has faith and it ends up working out... just the way he was promised it would.

Now Samson.
     This story is probably better known... It starts with an angel of the Lord appearing to Manoah's wife, who was barren, and telling her that she will have a child. 

Judges 13:5- For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

     As a Nazarite, there are certain things that you are not supposed to do. You aren't supposed to cut your hair, for one. One of the other things is that you can't marry out of the covenant.  
     Unfortunately, the first decision that we see him make is to marry out of the covenant. 

14:1- And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
2-And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
3- Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

     Anyways, it would take a lot of explaining for you to know the whole story, but the main events are as follows...
- Samson starts hanging out with Delilah (bad), and she cuts his hair during the night.
- Because Samson has broken many commandments, he can no longer live up to his potential. 
- Samson does end up killing many people, including some Philistines, but he also kills himself, which kinda stinks.


     So what is my point in telling you these stories? I want you to look at the difference between these two men. Both are born with incredible potential, and both get the chance to reach that potential. One, however, doesn't recognize the fact that he was born for great things. Thinking that he is smarter than God, he breaks the commandments. Because of this, he was not able to reach his full potential. 

     I want you to know that God sees great things in store for you. Like I said before, He sees you for what you can become. Like Gideon and Samson though, you must keep the commandments and trust in the Lord before you can reach your full potential. He will then reward you with all of the amazing blessings that you have earned. 

     Never forget that God sees you different than the world sees you. He wants so much for you to follow His commandments so that you can live with Him again. He wants to give you blessings. I know that it pleases Him so much when we are worthy enough that he can reward us with these wonderful blessings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Always Have His Spirit to be With You

      I'm going to apologize ahead of time... this is a very wordy post. I just have a lot of thoughts that I want to get down, and not many pictures/videos to share... bear with me!


 One time that I felt the Spirit very strongly was when I went to EFY. We spent the whole week doing things that would spiritually uplift us. We had lessons and classes, but also played around and made many new friends.

   On the night that we had our testimony meeting, we first listened to and sang many songs. We talked about how we could take home and remember the lessons we had at EFY and also the things we felt there.
     Afterwards, we all went into separate rooms and began our testimony meetings. You could feel the Spirit so strongly that it seriously almost felt tangible. It was awesome. As more people got up to bear their testimonies, the Spirit grew and grew until it may have been the strongest I have ever felt.

     One girl got up to bear her testimony and said she knew the Church was true. "How couldn't it be?" she had said.

     I realized then how true that statement was. Sometimes you feel the Spirit so strong that it is impossible to say you don't know the Church is true. Then, in your times of doubt, if they ever come, you can think back on those experiences and remember the truth that was once manifest to you.

     You don't have to be at EFY to have profound experiences and to feel the Spirit. You just have to be living a good life and be doing things that would draw you closer to the Savior. Then, you can have times when you feel the Spirit so strongly that it is impossible to deny. You too, can say that you know the Church is true because, "How couldn't it be?"


     In my seminary class recently, our teacher asked for us to share about a time when we had felt the Holy Spirit. A few of us shared, but there actually many kids who, when asked, said that they had never felt the Spirit. This is so sad to me! I want people to be able to recognize the Spirit and to have the happiness that the constant companionship of the Spirit brings. 

     My seminary teacher then told us of something that he had heard taught at a fireside... (Jon Schmidt was the one speaking... even better!) :) 
     I loved the piece of information that he shared. He pointed out that we all were blessed, at baptism, with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We all feel the Spirit all of the time. Usually when members of our church say that they are feeling the Spirit, what they are really feeling, is an increase of the Spirit. It's the Holy Ghost touching their heart in a special way.
     When you go somewhere that you shouldn't be, or do something that you shouldn't do, sometimes you get a sick feeling inside. That's when you feel the Spirit leaving. This happens because the Spirit cannot dwell in unholy places. 

     You see, even if you don't realize it, as long as you are living your life righteously, you are feeling the Spirit all of the time. It's a gift that was given to you when you were confirmed. 

     I know that the Holy Ghost is real, and a wonderful gift that God has given us. I pray that you never take that gift for granted. Listen to the Spirit. It will give you comfort and testify to you that things are true. Follow it's promptings. I've heard, and I'm sure you've heard, many stories of people who's lives were saved or altered for listening to the Spirit. Never be doing things that might make you unworthy to have the Spirit with you. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Song of the Heart

  I love music. Playing the piano is one of my favorite hobbies, so I've been wanting to do a post on music for a while now...

D&C 25:12For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

     I believe that one of the easiest ways to feel the Spirit is through uplifting music. Many of the times when I've felt the Spirit strongest in my life were when I was listening to good music. 
 President J. Reuben Clark Jr. of the First Presidency taught, “We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.”

     Never forget that music can set the mood in your home. Just as spiritual uplifting music can create a great feeling and atmosphere in your home, loud and sometimes inappropriate music can create contention and put people in a bad mood. 

     Music is one of the best ways to invite the Spirit, and also helps you to worship. There is a reason why we sing so many hymns while worshipping at church. Just as a spirit of worshipping God should be carried throughout the week, it would also do us good to sing and listen to hymns frequently during the week.

     Music helps us to learn. Many of the beliefs of our religion are spelled out in our hymns. Try sitting down some time and reading the words of the hymns. They always have beautiful messages that can comfort us and teach us gospel principles.

     Work and exercise to music. Music always makes things more enjoyable, and can make it more fun to work and do things that wouldn't have been as fun before.

     Plain and simple, music adds beauty to life. 

PS: I used this article while writing this post... it's a good one.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Look Not Behind Thee

Be prepared for a post with lots of media...

     To be honest, I used to think that New Year's was the most pointless holiday ever. "Wow... the date on the calendar changes... That happens every day. What's the big deal?"
     I think that I now know why so many people like celebrating the new year.

     Everyone has things that they wish they were doing better on. Everyone probably has things that they are guilty or ashamed about in their past.

Many people let the new year motivate them to do better on whatever they are struggling with.
For many people, a new year means a new beginning. 

     I love the above video. It talks about how important it is to look to the future. Don't dwell on things of the past, because frankly, they don't matter anymore.

     My favorite Disney movie is Meet the Robinsons. While writing this post, I realized that this movie is the perfect example of looking to the future.

Watch this clip from the movie...

There may be things in your past that you are not proud of. That's okay. 
   As Billie Robinson so perfectly put it, "From failing, we learn."

    Please listen to the song that I've posted below, and focus on the words. I cried the first time I listened to it.... It is now one of my favorite songs, and the perfect reminder to forgive yourself so that you can move on to bigger and better things. 

Little Wonders by Rob Thomas on Grooveshark
Little Wonders - Rob Thomas

Happy New Year everyone.


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