Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Simplicity is the Absolute Beauty of Sophistication.

     I once heard a saying that "If we do not plant knowledge when young, it will give us no shade when we are old."  I have come a long way since the beginning of my two years service as an ambassador of my Lord Jesus Christ.  As I sit and reflect over the life changing experiences and knowledge I have gained in my service, a few thoughts come to my mind.
     The first thing that I have recognized is how absolutely SIMPLE the gospel is.  From the time that I was just a child, I learned about God and His Son Jesus Christ.  The principles I learned have been a guideline for everything I do every single day.  I think that sometimes I lose sight of how beautiful simplicity truly is.  Then again, how many different answers are there for one plus one?
     From the basic principles of the gospel, I have found a way to understand myself.  I now know who I am, where I came from, and where I am going after this life.  And this means EVERYTHING to me!  I now know how it feels to say "The truth will set you free."
     I left on my mission with an expectation of finding some perfect answer to all of my problems, to find who I really was, and what I really wanted.  The whole time, the entire two years of my service, the answer was right under my nose.  It was the very gospel that I studied each morning and carried with me wherever I went.  Once I made the proper evaluation through the perspective of eternity, everything began to make perfect sense to me!  I must say, the feeling you get when the Holy Ghost testifies of truth is absolutely spine tingling!
      With this, I extend an invitation to those who are feeling lost, or unsure about who they are.  I invite you from the deepest spot in my heart, to take your questions and feelings to the all powerful Creator of this universe, the one and only true God.  He is infinitely loving and wants you to know the reason you are on this earth.  Don't waste another second wondering, start knowing today!  There truly is a God, and His Son is Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In Tune With the Music, and in Tune With Life.

Can you remember the last song you listened to today...? 
What was it about, and how did it make you feel?  
       Everybody has a taste in music that is unique to their own personality.  And very similar to the taste buds on our tongue that are sensitive to food, our ears can pick up on the notes that are flying through the air.  "Music, in a very mysterious way, invigorates the body and stirs the soul...   The sweet sensations of sound can heal the broken heart, and lighten the weight of sorrow."  -Elder Harris-

So you're probably thinking that this post is all about music and how it influences us right?  Well...that wasn't quite the point I wanted to make.  I am an avid guitarist and could spend hours on end playing songs and enjoying the beauty of music.  I use a huge amount of my time strumming and experimenting with chord progressions that turn into the songs I love to play, but the most critical moment of making a song happens before I even start to play.  I have to give extra care and attention to the tuning of each of the strings individually before I can even start to play.

Now I want you to think about the way you start your day.  What sorts of things do you do to "tune your strings" before you walk out the door in the morning?  I am ever so amazed at the way our world operates in the way it does.  Everybody works in their own sphere of traits and qualities that compile our great nation.  When we take a moment to pause and "tune our strings", it gives us the chance to evaluate our lives and relationships.  The way I do this each day is by a humbe prayer to my God and Father in Heaven.
Mormon 9:37

"And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

An Exhilarating Rush of Euphoria

Life is filled with a variety of exhilarating experiences that will take your breath away.  A few choice activities of mine are snowboarding and rock climbing.  Being up on the mountains gives you a feeling of enlightenment and liberation that is hard to match.  The setting of which makes it a perfect playground for me and my friends.  Take a moment and  imagine with me the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains reaching for the heavens.

"I shouldn't be the first person to tell you how much fun it is to fly down a mountain side on a board or skis.  The crystals of snow slide ever so smoothly underneath your feet.  A mist of fresh powder spraying weightless like a wave in the ocean. Feels kinda like floating."  -Elder KC Harris-

Its moments like this that make me feel good to be alive.  Its moments like this that make another day worth living.  Moments that make me realize that there is something far greater than me out there.  Something out there that has the power to create something so vast and beautiful as this planet we call home...

Alma 30:44  

"The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Photo at top right courtesy of public domain. 
Photo at mid left courtesy of http://www.utah.com/. and the Canyons Resort.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skittles and your emotions. What is your favorite flavour?

     Every day of the week we each experience a great variety of emotions.  I like to think of our emotions like they are Skittles, each emotion has a specific color and taste!  Of course you could replace "Skittles" with any delicious assortment of goodies that you like.  The point being, that we have many options and a great variety of emotions we can experience each day.  Wouldn't it be great if we could pick out the exact color and taste we wanted all the time?
     Of course, life doesn't always play out the exact way we want it to.  BUT that doesn't mean that we can't make a choice to be happy.  All we have to do is sort out our Skittles and pick out the one that tastes the best to us!  Peace and love are two feelings that I have a strong desire to obtain in my life, and even greater is my desire to see peace and love in the lives of the people who I care about.  It is often these feelings that drive me to be the very best person I can be.
     But there is one question in my mind.  Where do we get our Skittles from?  Hmmm...  The Skittles that fill my bag come from the things I do throughout the day.  The people I see, the thoughts I have, the things I read, they all contribute to the amazing assortment of Skittles that fill my mind.  What flavor of Skittles have you filled your mind with today?
     I am astonished at how sensitive our thoughts and emotions can be.  One smiling face can make someones terrible day turn into a happy day.  One loving embrace from a family member can leave you with a feeling of warmth and empathy for hours to come.  What greater thing could we ask for than to live our lives in peace?  Well.....WE CAN!!
     Don't waste another moment of your time wondering if you will ever be happy again.  You can drown all your sorrows and pains if you turn to God and His Son.  A fantastic way for you to turn to Christ is to read the Book of Mormon.  It testifies of Christ and His love for us.  Please accept my invitation to start reading today, I promise that if you do, you will feel more peace and love in your life!
     To accept a free copy, click on the posted link and request a copy today.  http://www.mormon.org

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Search For the Truth

     My whole life I have always wondered what the purpose of life was.  I often thought to myself  "How did everything that exists come to be?  And if there was a beginning, what came before that?"  Whenever I think about these things I usually end up with a raging headache!  There was no way I could truly comprehend these life questions without some help.
     I was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I lived up to the standards of the Church for the most part of my life and had the support of most of my peers.  But not everything I had learned made sense to me, and I found myself questioning the things I was taught.  There came a time where I had to decide whether I was going to follow Christ and His Church, or start making other plans.  I wasn't going to sit on the fence and wait for the wind to decide on which side I would land.  I wanted to make that choice myself.
     It seems that the human mind is only capable of focusing on a few things at a time.  My brain is no exception!  When I am thinking deeply about something, I examine it at every possible angle.  I won't allow anything to distract me from the goal at hand.  In this specific case, the salvation of my soul was at stake.  Don't even think for a second that I didn't put my whole heart into discovering the truth!
     The scriptures, namely the Bible (King James Version) and the Book of Mormon were two of my main sources for guidance.  I already knew in my heart that Jesus was and is forever the living Christ.  I will never deny the witness in my heart that He is there.  This testimony will forever be sewn into the fibers of my soul, and I am constantly re-affirmed of this truth by the Holy Ghost.  Even as I write this story I can feel the warm burning sensation that the Spirit brings.
     Having put forth a significant amount of study and prayer, I decided to pray to God and ask Him if the Church I was raised in was indeed Christs restored Church.  I can remember clearly the very moment I kneeled down and began to pour out my heart to my Father in heaven.  I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and continued to pray, asking if the Church had been restored.  My heart felt as if it were going to jump out of my throat and my hands were shaking.  And all in an instant my mind ran as clear as the sky on a cloudless day.  I felt overwhelmed with peace, it was very enlightening.
     The answer I received was one that I understood.  It felt similar to the Spirit I feel about Jesus Christ.  My mind was cleared of all of my doubts and question, leaving me with one very simple thought that the Church was indeed the true Church.  God answered my prayer because my intent was real.
     This experience is my personal witness to any who reads this that The Church of Jesus Christ is the one true Church on the earth today.  You have the recources available to you to begin your study of the truth.  If  you have any doubt in your mind, dont waste another day of your life wondering!  God is there and He wants you to ask Him in the name of His Son Jesus Christ if these things are true.
     If you would like to receive a free copy of the Bible or Book of Mormon please go to http://www.mormon.org/ and request them.  I bear my witness that Jesus is the Christ and the things I have said are true, I pray that you may come to find the truth that millions have already witnessed for themselves.  If you would like a missionary like myself to come and talk with you and your family about these things, please request a visit from mormon.org.  I again testify that these words are true and I say them in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dealing With Every Day Problems

     What if I told you that I could help you solve your life's problems?  Seems impossible right?  WRONG!!!  There are solutions to every problem we face, and all we need to know is where to look for answers.  Don't give up, happiness is just around the corner!
     We all know what it feels like to have a bad day, when it seems like nothing is going your way.  You search for something or someone to help you through the pain.  Sometimes you find the answer you want, and sometimes nothing changes.  But there is hope! Hope that the future holds something much greater and better!
     I can testify that there is someone out there who cares about you.  He is our loving Father in heaven who sent His only Son to earth to die for us.  His Son Jesus Christ went through an immeasurable amount of pain so that we could follow His gospel and be cleansed from sin.  I know that if we turn to Him that we will find peace and happiness in our lives.  I have seen it happen a countless number of times in my own life and in the lives of those whom I love and care about. I urge you from the bottom of my heart to repent and turn to Christ!
     There is more power in the Atonement of Christ than we could ever understand.  No matter what problems you are facing in life, Christ can help you through them.  The first step is believing in Him and His atonement!  I know this is the truth, and that Jesus truly did bleed and die for each of us!  We just have to be willing to show Him that we will follow His gospel.  Don't waste another second, start today by learning more at www.mormon.org

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

     What do the scriptures teach, and why are they so important?  The scriptures teach us about God and His Son Jesus Christ, they are the way that we can strengthen our faith in Them!  Jesus suffered for our sins so that we might repent and become clean again.  I know that this is the only way that we can return to live with God again someday.  I know that Jesus is the true living Christ!
“In the end, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ—faith that They exist; faith in the Father’s plan for our immortality and eternal life; faith in the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which animates this plan of happiness; faith to make the gospel of Jesus Christ our way of life; and faith to come to know ‘the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent’ (John 17:3).”  (Elder D. Todd Christofferson; of the Twelve) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Power Up With The Scriptures Today!

"Just like Mario, sometimes we get down....."

     The scriptures are something that I have often studied when I needed help or guidance. They are the words of the prophets who testify of Christ and His gospel. They help me draw nearer to God and bring peace to my life. There is great power in these inspired words!
     One thing I will quickly promise anyone, is that if you will study the scriptures whether it be the Bible or The Book of Mormon, for even a short length of time in your day; you will see a personal application of what you have read. The scriptures apply to all of Gods children whom He loves dearlyThey were given to us so that "we might believe" and have direction in life.

"Let the scriptures be your power up today!"

Luke 24: 27, 32, 45
27 "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." 32 "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" 45 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures."

     I love the feeling or the "burning in the heart" that I get when I read the scriptures. It reassures me of Gods love and the plan He has for me.  I have never been lead astray by the scriptures! They have always brought me to the understanding that I needed.  What greater gift can we find from our Heavenly Father than these scriptures, His amazing word! 
     I encourage everyone who reads this message to spend some time today reading the scriptures. Test it out and see for yourself if you can't find an application or bennefit from what you have read! Go to www.lds.org to read from the Bible or the Book of Mormon if you do not have a copy. To receive a free copy of either of these scriptures, you can go to www.mormon.org and request them to be delivered to your home free of charge.  The Book of Mormon has answers to all of life's greatest questions. Read a section of it today and feel the power of these inspired words!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Soo Happy You Could Explode!

Can you remember back to a moment of your life where you felt your happiest?  What was it about that one moment in time that made it so special and unique?  Life is meant to bring us happiness and joy from our experiences.  Remembering our experiences and lessons can often lead us through our troubles in life.
     One of the greatest joys I have in my life is knowing that Christ is there for me. He lived a perfect life and was completely sinless. Having faith in Him brings me peace and happiness.  Our faith in Him will lead us to change our lives and our hearts.  My faith in Him has brought me to a level of happiness I never thought imaginable.  No matter what comes my way I always know I can overcome the challenges I face!
     Having a faith in Christ includes a belief that He is the son of God and the Savior of the world. The only way that we can return to God after death is through Christ. When we have faith in Christ, we accept what He taught and apply it in our lives. Faith in Christ leads to action! 
     I love what Alma has taught in the Book of Mormon. In chapter 32 verse 27 of Alma it says: "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." So if we want to know if what Jesus taught is true, we will experiment and try living how He says we should.
     I am one who has "experimented" with Christ's teachings. I have given a significant effort to obey the commandments and live how Christ has taught. I gotta say that I have noticed a big difference in my life because of it. One thing that I notice is that I am happier and have a better outlook on life because of it. It is almost like someone literally helps pull me through my challenges.
     I extend an invitation to all those who wonder if Christ is real and what He taught is true; to take Alma's sound advice and experiment with Christ's teachings. Live what He taught and see for yourself if it is true. I can promise that you will notice a difference in your life. It is through my experience that I know that Jesus is real. He loves you and wants you to find happiness in His teachings.
To learn more about Christ and what He has done for us please go to www.mormon.org.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Life Changing Experience and a New Identity

     I can't believe how crazy and intense life can be at times.....  But through all of the pain and heartache the world brings,  I have found what life truly means to me.

"I often wonder why these  special  moments  move us in the way they do."-Elder KC Harris-  Why do so many human beings have to experience death and sorrow to understand what life is all about?  Where does the life lessons and mistakes of the past become part of our lives today?  The following is a very personal story of myself and my experience of staring death in the face.  It moves me in a way that I cannot fully understand and I hope and pray that you can find the lessons that I took from it.
     I was attending Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah. I was nearing the end of my 3rd term of the school year. I remember taking lots of tests and being under a lot of pressure to study for each of my exams. Prayer was one of the last things on my mind as I was always busy with school, work, and of course being with friends. I often found myself completely drained and tired at the end of the day. 
The stress of life seemed to build and build until it felt like I couldn't take anymore. On one day I walked into my classroom and waited for class to start. I didn't feel right inside and I started to get queasy. There was a bitter taste in my mouth and I knew I needed to go home and lie down. So I called the school office and went home to get some sleep.
     After a few sick days, my symptoms only got worse. I threw up multiple times a day and I couldn't eat without vomiting later. Over time my throat was so sore that I couldn't even swallow. The pain was so bad that all I could do is lie in bed. I remember experiencing a very painful burning in my chest and just praying that I could stand the pain long enough to fall asleep.
My worried parents took me to see our doctor who admitted me into the hospital. It had been nearly five days since I had gotten sick and we still had no idea what was wrong with me. The doctors had to feed my body through a little tube that stuck into my arm since I couldn't swallow anything. I had never felt so thirsty and hungry in my life!
I remember talking to the doctors about what was wrong with me. They told me I had a severe case of herpes simplex (cold sores) in my esophagus as well as acid reflux and ulcers. In order to help my body fight off the virus they had to give me a chemical that would stop the herpes virus from multiplying. The downside was that the chemical would stop some of my bodies cells from multiplying as well. It was risky, but we trusted in the doctors experience.
My parents and family stayed by my side the whole time I was there. It was a scary thing not knowing if you were going to wake up the next morning. I prayed each day and remember telling God I would accept whatever happened. After my prayers, all of my fears would just drain away. I felt calm and at peace.

     After a few days of the treatment, I started to show signs of improvement. My throat still hurt like nothing I had ever felt before, but I was getting better. It took two weeks before I could start to eat and drink again, which allowed me to finish my recovery at home. I was pale as a ghost and had lost almost 25 pounds.
My parents had later told me how close I really was to dying. If we had waited another day to go to the hospital, my body wouldn't have had the energy to go through the treatment I did. God answered my prayers and the prayers of my family. He was there for me the entire time, I could feel it inside me.  This moment of my life drives me to my knees each day I remember how merciful God was to me and my family.

"And all God asks in return is an open heart and a willing mind..."