Monday, May 23, 2011

Soul Meets Body- Death Cab and the Gospel

"Cause in my head there’s a greyhound station
Where I send my thoughts to far off destinations
So they may have a chance of finding a place
where they’re far more suited than here."
     -Death Cab for Cutie, "Soul Meets Body"

So I don't know about y'all but I absolutely love Death Cab. If anyone hasn't listened to them I highly suggest looking into "Plans" one of their better albums. But I didn't write this blog to promote their music-although it's great! I wanted to talk about some insights I had after pondering one of their more popularly known songs.

Well If you're like me, then alot of times you struggle with your thoughts. Sometimes it really annoying, especially when you're trying really hard in the middle of a temptation to keep your mind where it's supposed to be.

I know that thoughts lead to desires, which motivate actions that develop character, so if we can maintain positive and wholesome thoughts then naturally we become optimistic and more Christlike people.

Boyd K. Packer a modern day apostle explained that our minds are like a stage where our thoughts are constantly being acted out. They key to maintaining good, wholesome thoughts is to use discretion as to who we allow to play on our stage.

So for the thoughts we don't want playing on our stage, imagine yourself at a bus station. Picture the bus driving up, and waving goodbye as the unwanted thoughts board the bus to a far away place- a place where they're "far more suited" than in our minds. What powerful imagery his conjures up- to envision the departure of the unwanted and the arrival of the good and the wholesome! So take Death Cabs advice. Send the negative thoughts away. Put them on that bus and wave goodbye. The ticket is one way, and it will allow that stage to feature much better acts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Well this past week, i was driving down the road like I do every week we have the car in whitefish, and all of the sudden I see those infamous lights.

I pulled over and the officer walked up to me asking the usual: "So do you know why I pulled you over?"  I certainly hadn't been speeding so i told him that I had no idea.

As it turned out, I neglected to stop at a stop sign for which I received a ticket. Ah, it was terrible, but he had the right to issue me a ticket because he's the cop. It did, however, make me feel a little better when an ex-cop who worked for the same police department- as he was driving us home the next day- got pulled over in the same spot for the same reason.

Which got me thinking about authority...What would have happened if the situation had gone a little differently; what if I still unknowingly ran the stop sign, but instead of seeing those awful police light I heard children's music blaring and the ice cream man coming up on me fast.

I'd probably pull over not understanding what was going, and maybe to take advantage of an opportunity for ice cream! But if he had gotten out of he car and tried to write me he ticket, I most certainly would have laughed. He can't do something like that; he doesn't have the right authority.

So it is with the gospel of Christ. Christ gave his apostles authority (Luke 9:1) to govern the church and to baptize. How important it is then to have this authority! How much more exciting then is it to know that that authority was lost after the death of the apostles was restored through Joseph Smith.

What a wonderful thing it is to know that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored as well as the authority to act in Christ's name for the salvation of God's children. And you can know too! The evidence for the restoration of that authority is the Book of Mormon. If you read it, think about what it teaches, and pray about, you too will know it's true

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spongebob and the Gospel

The other day a bunch of us missionaries were all talking about cartoons that we used to watch before we came out on our missions. A couple of classics came up, Doug, Rocko's Modern Life, and then someone brought up Spongebob. We all started talking about which episodes were our favorites, and one of he missionaries talked about the episode where Squidward has his first Krabby Patty. As I was thinking about it, i realized that in this "Green Eggs and ham" story there was alot of similarities between Squidwards experience and the experiences of soe of the people I've been able to meet in Montana.

So in this episode, Spongebob learns that Squidward has never experienced the joy of eating a delicious krabby Patty. Squidward is a stubborn and bull headed as he normally is, drawing on assumptions rather than actual experience to form his opinion of the krabby patty. Spongebob tries to explain to him that he's missing out on a wonderful experience by not even trying the krabby patty to see if it's good.

So, reluctantly Squidward takes a bite. Nervous, afraid that he could have been wrong in his previous assumptions, but also recognizing that he did need to try the krabby patty experiment before he could know for himself whether it was good, he took a bite.

After taking the small bite Squidward's reaction was undeniable. Spongebob noticed right away the transformation in Squidward despite Squidward's attempts to hide it. Even more reluctantly than trying the krabby patty Squidward admitted that he enjoyed what he tasted. But the effects were too much for him to contain.

He couldn't get enough. He loved the experience so much that it began to permeate every thought; he became obsessed with eating more and more crabby patties until he eventually exploded.

While the teachings of Christ won't make us explode when we open ourselves to the beauty of His message, it will stir in us a desire to learn more, to have more fully in our lives his presence, but oftentimes people are afraid to take that small bite. They may think that either because they have already made up their minds like Squidward they do not need to try because they already "know," or they may be afraid of actually enjoying the thing that they're trying.

There is a chapter in the Book of Mormon: Alma chapter 32, which states:

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words...
  Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed... behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

So don't be a Squidward; try it out! See if you like the taste. See if it grows within you, and see if it is good. 

Don't be afraid the results. The only thing that'll happen is that you'll know for yourself. 

Click on "krabby patty" to try for yourself the experiment, and learn whether or not its good. I know I've tried it, and just like Squidward i can't get enough; that's why out to share it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Reality of the Resurrection

This past week I've been doing a lot of contemplating on he nature of the Savior's suffering, death, and resurrection in light of some tragic news that I received at the end of last week. My cousin Jay, who was serving in he military, died.

And there's that awful word: Death. The end of our family; the end of all hope; the end of everything. or, so It would be without Christ. 

Chapter 15 in 1 Corinthians gave me tremendous comfort, and I'd like to share what comforted me with any that need that same comfort.

"Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present"  (1 Corinthians 15 3-6).

 [But] now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God...
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death
For he hath put all things under his feet." ( 1 Cortinthians 19-27).

Adam may have brought death into the world when he partook of the fruit, but even death has been conquered by the Savior, and we have witnesses to his resurrection all throughout the scriptures. Christ's death- the reason for it- was so that we could all live again. He conquered death so that we too might conquer death. I know I'll see my cousin in the future, and that hope comes through my Savior Jesus Christ. 

He is the "Resurrection and the Life," and because of him, we too will live again.