Saturday, October 22, 2011
Through his Sacrifice, Jesus offers relief from guilt, pain, and all the unfairness we experience in life, and in the scriptures he tells us about how to access the fullness of his sacrifice for us. To experience the freedom that comes from a remission of sins, He says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16). Baptism is the key to unlocking happiness in this life.
So what is Baptism? Good question! Baptism is a covenant or promise with God. We promise to keep his commandments, and he promises to give us a new start, but this time with His Spirit more fully with us. Everything in our past is washed clean by Christ's sacrifice, and we get a clean slate.
We follow Christ's example by being baptized by immersion; the same way Christ was baptized. Paul informs us that the reason for immersion is to symbolize Christ's death, burial, and resurrection: "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). It symbolizes our new life in Christ; our spiritual re-birth.
Another key component of Christ's baptism was who did the baptizing. He was baptized of John the Baptist because he had the authority to baptize; this is important to make covenants valid. That authority to baptize is on the earth today, and has been restored through Joseph Smith.
Why Should I be Baptized? Baptism is the gate whereby we enter into God's fold, and become his disciples: "Wherefore, do the things which...your Lord and your Redeemer should do; that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son" (2 Nephi 31:17-18).
What joy comes through baptism! We can be cleansed from sin, and enter the path to eternal life. If you're searching for happiness the Savior says, "Come follow Me." His is the path to happiness. Follow his example, be baptized, and you too can feel the joys of eternal life.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
But what a good question to ask; are we in good hands not only in respect to our car insurance provider, but in all aspects of life? Who do we look to for support when we find ourselves in another one of life's accidents? Where can we go to get the best coverage policy?
Unlike the car insurance world with multiple competing companies, there are only a couple of options for life coverage, and Nephi, a Book of Mormon Prophet, tells us about the option with the best policy. He says,
"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh...therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee."
So the Lord promises us if we trust in him, he'll give to us liberally or generously. Whenever our ride through life takes a bumpy turn or if we have a head-on collision with adversity, we have a lasting promise from God that if we do our best to try and follow him, He'll be right there with us.
God's got pretty good coverage, but what about the competitor? What about the world? How does their coverage compare? As it turns out it's not much of a policy at all. If your claim costs them any sort of inconvenience they're slow to answer. You're too much of a liability for them. So, I'm with Nephi when he says, "I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh."
To God, you're never too much of a liability. He's there for you and all you have to do is trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). So ask yourself that question: "Are You in Good hands?" Or better: Are you In God's Hands? Because he's the only one with them outstretched.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
But having a tall glass of OJ isn't the only thing that helps perk me up in the morning; In fact, no morning is truly a Tropicana morning for me if I neglect to open God's word and feel his Spirit. There's something about daily, and more specifically morning scripture study that helps me maintain and optimistic and positive attitude throughout the day.
So crack open God's word as you sit down to enjoy that refreshing glass of OJ. Have a real Tropicana Morning. Your morning will be better, your day will be better, and you'll only be closer to God as a result.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
As I reflected back upon the fun I had mixing vinegar with baking soda, I remembered what the prophet Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, taught us about faith in Alma chapter 32.
In this chapter Alma teaches us that if we "awake and arouse [our] faculties, even to an experiment upon [his] words, and exercise a particle of faith...even if [we] can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in [us], even until... [we] can give place for a portion of [his] words" (Alma 32:27).
"do his will, [we] shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether [we]speak of [ourselves]" (John 7:17). By developing our faith like this we, we build confidence in the promises the Lord makes to us in his scriptures, and look for opportunities to put him to the test. It's what I like to call the spiritual scientific method.
So if you're ever wondering just how people say they know something that seems unquantifiable, just remember that Faith isn't a perfect knowledge of things, but a hope for things that aren't seen, but true. However, just because they aren't seen doesn't mean they can't be experienced! When I say I know something is true such as the reality of God, or his Son Jesus Christ, it once started out as a hypothesis (faith) that as tested grew to a sure knowledge. So mix a little spiritual baking soda and vinegar, and I can promise you your volcano will overflow with spiritual knowledge.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
As I was thinking the other day about some of the ways the Devil tries to break us down, I though about this comic, and how true this idea is: that we can be happy and have joy independent of our circumstances no matter how terrible they may seem.
So, How can we be happy even when we're faced with the fiery darts of Satan? How do we keep from letting the weighty circumstances of life pull our joy from us?
“Wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. …
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” (Eph. 6:11–18.)
The Lord has given us a way to protect ourselves, and we can put on the spiritual protection we need through prayer and applying the principles taught in the scriptures, so you too can look like that happy guy above!
Monday, August 8, 2011
Later on after we started talking about how Christ's church has been restored, we talked about how God has always called prophets to teach his people, but he was having a tough time understanding why prophets are so important; and then it hit me: We're the guitar, and the Lord sends us prophets to make sure our life-strings are in tune.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ was designed by our Heavenly Father to bring harmony and happiness into a chaotic and grief-stricken world, and prophets were historically called to be the bearers of such great news; and today God has called a prophet to help us tune ourselves amidst the unique challenges we face in the world of today!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Albus Dumbledore, who invented a way of using the Patronus to deliver messages.