Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This is the Christ Musical Fireside

This past Easter weekend the missionaries up here in the Kalispell zone put together a musical fireside about the life and resurrection of the Savior.

Click here to download the audio of the fireside.

Make sure you click the "download file" not the large blue button.

The spirit of that fireside truly was unique; I'd encourage everyone to give it a listen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finding Christ in the Old Testament: Noah

So, leaving off with Adam, we move through the Old Testament until we get to one of the most famous prophets, Noah. When we arrive at a description of Noah in Genesis chapter six, we find that he was "a just man and perfect in his generation" ( Genesis 6:9). however, the people who lived at the time of Noah were far from having "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" These people were extremely wicked and Noah was called to preach repentance to them. He warned them of the flood, but instead of heeding his prophetic words of deliverance, they mocked him. After being instructed to build an ark, only he and his family boarded the vessel of safety. He did "all that the Lord commanded him" to do, but only a very few believed on his words.

As the story goes, animals came and boarded the Ark, and a week later the floods came; 40 days and 40 nights it rained, and only Noah and his family survived. After the 40 days and nights had ended and the waters receded, he started anew, and he and his sons were commanded to "replenish the earth" (Genesis 9:1)

So, what does this have to do with Christ? In what ways did the life of Noah mirror that of the Saviors?

Well from the beginning of his description he was "perfect in his generation" just as the Savior was perfect. he preached to people who largely rejected him, yet still he kept all of God's commandments. He built a ark, or a means of saving humanity from death, but only he and his family were saved; the ark then is a symbol of Christ's death for us and when we accept him as our Savior through baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost we take upon ourselves his name, thereby entering into his family, so to speak. So just as those that followed Noah were saved by death, so too are they that follow Christ saved from death. He is our Savior,and we can learn so much about him by reading of him in the scriptures.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Finding Christ in the Old Testament: The life of Adam

When you open up the pages of the Bible, the first person we run into is of course the first person who ever lived, Adam! in the account of creation in he book of Genesis, we read:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and fowls of the air...So, god crated man in his own image, in the image of God created he him" (Genesis 1:26-27).

So even here with the introduction of Adam we see an immediate similarity with Christ. They were both in the image of their Father.

As the story continues we read of Adam and Eve's experience in the garden of Eden and the fall that was subsequently put into effect through their actions there. Because they partook of the fruit, they became subject to death, making it possible for us to be born having that innocence wiped away from their eyes.

So like Christ, Adam took upon himself death that we might all live (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). They partook of "bitter fruit" in their respective gardens- the garden of Eden and Gethsemane-which made it possible for God's plan for the salvation of his children to move forward.

Also he is the first parent or Father of the human race, just as Christ is our Father in terms of our creation and salvation.

So Adam and Christ both:

     1. Were created in the Father's image
     2. Chose to leave God's presence to fulfill his plan of redemption
     3. Partook of bitterness in a garden
     4. Took upon himself death so that we may live
     5. Set up to be at the head, or the father of mankind

So really Adam's story is partly Christ's story, as is all the Old Testament characters.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finding Christ in the Old Testament

If you're like me, you've never spent much time in the Old Testament. If at all, the volume only seemed to contain a nice collection of somewhat interesting stories that happened a really long time ago to people in an ancient and distant land. When reading the scriptures, I almost never even cracked the pages of the Old Testament, until I learned about the message just beneath its surface.

Shortly after the death of Christ, his apostles were traveling down the famous road to Emmaus. Dejected after witnessing the gruesome death of their Lord, the apostles felt abandoned and without hope. How could Christ die before he was to redeem Israel? They were confused and troubled. Everything they had put their faith in turned out quite differently than they thought.

Then the voice of Christ pierced their doubt, and he illuminated their understanding. "What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?" (Luke 24: 14-21). To their response the Savior spoke, "O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24: 25-27).

So, if the apostles had understood the meaning of the scriptures they wouldn't have been surprised by the events of his life, suffering, and death. The scriptures were all a foreshadowing of Christ, they just didn't see how.

Also, in the Book of Mormon, one of the prophets Nephi states, "Behold my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him" (2 Nephi 11:4).

So if everything God has given to man are types of Christ, and the scriptures primary concern is to help us understand the life, character, and mission of our Savior, when we read in the scriptures, we should ask ourselves, "How does this typify, or help me understand better who my Savior is?"

When we ask this question the scriptures come alive with deepened meaning, which is why over the course of the next few weeks, I am going to point out a few of the "types of Christ" i have been able to understand since having my perspective enlarged. It wont be fully comprehensive, but hopefully some of the insights shared here will allow you in your own personal drive to better understand the Savior, to make even more discoveries of your own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Beauty of the Restoration

181 years ago today, the Church of Jesus Christ in it's fulness was restored to the Earth. This feature-length movie depicts the life of Joseph Smith, a man who helped this great work along.
There are alot of questions surrounding the life and work of Joseph Smith; Taken largely from a biography written about him along with other historical documents as primary references this video presents a moving and spirit-filled account of this man's prophetic call.
A contemporary of his declared, "In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fullness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth." He truly did a marvelous work, and made it possible for us to fully understand Christ's wonderful gospel.  
There are such wonderful blessings that have come about because God has again called a prophet in our day, and all we have to do is read the book of Mormon, pray to know of its truth, and god promises that He wont lead us astray.  
I know Joseph Smith truly was a prophet, and that the fullness the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.