Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baking Conversion

In order to make something (or in this case "bake" something) you need to have the proper ingredients. If I wanted to make a PB&J I wouldn't buy the same ingredients as I would if I wanted to make an omelet. Similarly, I need certain ingredients in order to have a true conversion to something, or in other words to gain a testimony of something. In this case and more specifically we are going to focus on baking a conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

First you need flour; it plays a huge role in this recipe: the flour is a thickening agent, it helps the outcome to become more tangible. Flour represents the scriptures. If we are to have a conversion to something we need to be well acquainted with the doctrines of it. Studying the scriptures consistently are necessary in this process.

The second thing you need to add is sugar to sweeten things up a little. If you focus on love and look into this message with a charitable outlook, you will be adding just the right amount of sugar to help you have a sweeter, more joyous conversion. Love of God and of all men is so important in any testimony, it helps you see things as they really are, without a tinted lens.

A good recipe almost always includes a pinch of salt. The scriptures refer to an instance where it is said, "...even if ye can no more that desire to believe in my words let that desire work in you"(Alma 32:27). Even if it is just a "pinch" at first, allow desire to enter into you while testimony-baking, it will bring a greater savor to that which will come to be faith.

Once you get through the dry ingredient you need to add milk, or in this analogy, intent. when you add milk to a mixture it binds the different things into one substance. I guess you could say that it has a "stick-to-it-ness". When we have real intent, we show God that no matter what he tells us to do, we will do it. We have an intention to act and this is necessary to truly gain a testimony of something.

I have often heard the jingle, "the incredible, edible egg" and i don't think we always give this ingredient it's just credit. You can use an egg for anything! It is versatile in the hands of the wielder and patient to do whatever it is asked to do. If we are to gain a testimony of something we have to be willing to be patient to God's timing. We often expect an answer to come immediately, but that is not always the case. Answers will come when God wants them to, according to His own will.

The last ingredient is the specific flavor for which your end product will be known. We have to decide whether we want a chocolate cake, a vanilla cake, a fun-fetti cake, etc. You cannot begin baking a cake if you don't know what kind you're making! The same rings true when you want a testimony, you have to be specific. You have to know precisely what it is that you want a testimony of. If you don't, how could you ever gain a testimony of it??? If you didn't know whether you wanted a testimony of Faith, Repentance, the Book of Mormon, or of Joseph Smith being a prophet you could never really gain one.

Now that you have all the ingredients is all done?? No it isn't! If you mixed together this tasty batter then left sitting around it would never be finished. You have to put it into the oven for it to all come together. In order to know if this Gospel is true you need to come to church to find out. Church is like the spiritual "oven" in a conversion process; it where everything else really comes together. The heat in an oven bakes the ingredients until it creates a solid substance. This is done by prayer. As you kneel down before the Maker and plea to Him in mighty prayer your testimony will be solid and your conversion firm.

Upon realizing that this "Conversion Cake" is most delicious, you will want to share it with others, you will feel a "great desire to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth" (2 Nephi 2:8).
You need not suppose you can only "bake a conversion" once; you can do so as many times as you want until the entire world has a chance to taste the testimony that will be radiating from you. Until that time, I wish you the best of luck in Baking your Conversion!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Day Without the Son

It only takes a few days without sun for a plant to begin to die. Photosynthesis immediately halts and within a few weeks of not having the sun, all smaller plant-life would cease. One variable was changed. Just one. The sun sustains life on this earth. If the sun were to dissapear, a chain reaction would occur and eventually the human race would cease to exist. One seemingly small change, one massive result.

Let's take a look at it in another way: We have a Great Creator: Jesus Christ. The only times we feel warmth and see light in our lives is because He is in it (whether we realize it or not). Jesus is the "light and life of the world... a light that is endless that can NEVER be darkened"(Mosiah 16:9 caps and bold added). We must walk by this light, otherwise we cannot see the path in front of us. Unlike the solar system's sun (which one day could burn out), the Eternal Son (Jesus Christ) will never fail us. Never do we need to worry about one day waking up and the Son not being there. He will continue to shine forever!

Sometimes we make choices, however, that distance us from the Son. We knowingly and willingly reject His light by our actions. When we do such, we do not have the benefits of the Son-light in our lives. Consequently, spiritual photosynthesis stops and within a few days we are filled with despair and darkness. We starve our spirits of the much-needed nutrition that can only be obtained from Jesus Christ. Eventually our spirituality would die. We cannot let this happen! Let us turn our faces again to the Son and feel of His warmth and light. Repentance is granted to all who "come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits"(3 Nephi 9:20). Every living creation on this earth knows that life will stop without our sun, let us see the wisdom in that and never go a day without the Son.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's My Identity?

"I am a child of God"
I wish that i could sing those words! In fact, hardly a days goes by that i don't! These words pass through my head on a daily basis and i can't help but to feel an enormous amount of gratitude and love for my Father in Heaven. God is our Father, and we are his children.
Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5: 48). and then later when he appeared to the people here in America he said, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).
Our loving, literal Father in Heaven wants us to become "perfected in [Christ]" (Moroni 10:32), his only Begotten Son. We are his children. God has many, even innumerable, creations yet he chose us to carry his characteristics. We alone carry his attributes. What love! We are to be "joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17); therefore, we are entitled to all that the Father has. His Kingdom awaits his children.
Just as a father would wrap his arms around one of his children coming home for the holidays, our Father in Heaven's greatest desire is to wrap his arms around us and tell us, "Welcome home" at the end of our stay here on earth. I testify that His love is perfect. I also testify that i am one of His sons. I know that each and every one of us is individually loved of God.
"Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way..."

"I am a Child of God" Mormon messages video

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The House of the Lord

"I love to see the temple,
I'm going there someday.
to feel the Holy Spirit,
to listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
a place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while i am young,
This is my sacred duty."

I learned these words as child, but never quite understood the importance. A temple can be described as a place where heaven touches earth. Our loving Father in Heaven has given us a place of refuge to rest from the cares and stresses and evils of the world. Think of it as a safe zone where you can find peace, and in a sense that's exactly what a temple is: peace.

Among other things, the temple is important because it makes life-saving ordinances (or sacred acts exercising God's authority [priesthood]) available to those who have passed on. There are many who have been born, lived, then died without hearing about Jesus Christ. They, too, are entitled to the same blessings and given the same opportunity as everyone else. This is what is meant in the scripture in Malachi 4:6 that says, " And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers...". We have the opportunity to "turn our hearts" to our ancestors and to participate in ordinances such as baptism in thier behalf. What a blessing this is! God is truly a just and loving God!

In the temples we can also be sealed as a family forever through the same priesthood authority. Marriage is meant to go far beyond "until  death do you part.." for "what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"(Mark 10:9). When joined together in the temple by the priesthood, true love can extend through the ages and past the grave. One can feel the comfort in knowing thier true love will always be there for them. I know that this is true!

" I love to see the temple,
I’ll go inside someday.
I’ll covenant with my Father;
I’ll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
A family is forever."

"Why Mormons Build Temples." Mormon Messages Video

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moments that Matter Most

Every single moment matters. There is never a time where the phrase, "I'll just do this now because it is inconsequential and won't have any effect on me or my progression" is even valid. It is important for us to appreciate every small thing. The difference between being 1st place and 100th place in the Olympic 100 meter dash is only a fraction of a second. Happiness or Despair hang in a moment's time.

Our God is aware of us at every moment of time, day and night. He knows our needs and we would be wise to come to know our own needs as well; for it will humble us, make us aware of our ultimate dependencey on Him, and allow our Father in Heaven to work miracles within us (Ether 12:27). Look around you and see The Creator's hand in everything around you. Don't take for granted the small moments that govern who we are. By "small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise" (Alma 37:6).

Trillions of molecules make up a beautiful rainbow. So also do many small actions make up who we are. With the Lord's help, we can become the most beautiful masterpiece

"Moments that Matter Most" Mormon Messages Video:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Day of Reckoning

Many fear when the "Day of Reckoning" will be....will it be tomorrow? Next week? In a month? Will it be in 2012??? When? When? When????

The Answer: Every Day! Every Day! Every Day! We are always accountable to the Lord. At every single moment of every single day we need to assess where we stand with God at that moment. We Should be striving to be closer to Jesus every second. "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." Moroni 10:32

If you make a daily habit of doing this, you have NO NEED TO FEAR, for "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." 1 John 4:18 The Day of Reckoning is now, but the Faithful have nothing to fear.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Road to Emmaus

After the Resurrection of Jesus, there walked two disciples together along a road to a small town called Emmaus, "...and they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him." Luke 24:14-16 Jesus inquired of what they were discussing, "What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?" said He. They, thinking he must be a stranger, explained the coming of one of Nazareth who was "mighty in word and deed". I can almost feel the exasperation of the two men as they told of His death and their utter confusion at the announcement that He was no longer in the tomb.

Jesus expounds the scriptures to them, but it is not until he breaks the bread for them that their eyes are finally open and they see Him for who he truly is. We find ourselves in this same situation daily. The Savior of Mankind is there walking with us, but we often do not have eyes to see Him. We get too caught up in our own wisdom or our own understanding that we ignore the Spirit that is emenating from Him.

May we keep ourselves in a place spiritually and physically that if Jesus came to give us direction(whether in the Holy Spirit or through one of His servants it is the same) we would recognize Him and follow His guidance.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Use your Talents

An ancient prophet/king of the Ancient Americas in the Book of Mormon once said, " And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you." Mosiah 2:25  He also says, "... he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?" Mosiah 2:24

Without God we would be nothing. He created even the dust from whence we came. This morning i thought to myself: How can we merit any talents then if we are always "still indebted unto him"? It is because He wants us to succeed. He gives us talents to use for the benefit of others, not ourselves. He knows that in order to reach the height of our potentials, we will need to have certain talents and abilities, so he gives them to us according to our desires. That's the key word: DESIRE. We don't have to be perfect, only to strive for perfection. President Joseph F Smith Said it best: "I do not expect that we can be as perfect as Christ, that we can be as righteous as God. But I believe that we can strive for that perfection with the intelligence that we possess, and the knowledge that we have of the principles of life and salvation." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City, Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 132; italics added.) Each Talent is a tool for us to use to become Perfected in Christ. We are expected to use the talents we have and multiply them.

As we exercise our talents and seek to develop them, we will find ourselves become more and more like the Savior. SO USE YOUR TALENTS!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Reason for a Title

In the Book of Mormon, a Righteous and Fearless leader rent his own coat to create a title to which the people could look for a cause: "And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole." Alma 46:12

In these modern times, we too must raise our own "titles" to remember what we are fighting for. And so i name my blog thus: "What Greater Work is There?" because there is no greater work than the salvation of souls, and no one else capable of answering such a call as a modern Army of God. This is god's work.

"Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free." Doctrine and Covenants 128:22