Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

I Know Who I Am

This has always been one of my favorite songs, but my favorite part of this video is the testimonies of the youth who were involved! When I was their age, I would have been way too worried about what people think to do something like this. But, in the words of my mission president, Jack R. Christianson, “I’d rather be a happy nerd than an unhappy cool dude!”

Video

My Story

I hope that in sharing this, I might be able to uplift someone who’s walking where I’ve walked. Please take what you can from it, and share it with those you know who need it most.

To choose or not to choose…or what to choose…?

Perhaps, we often neglect to recognise how much of our lives our determined by our freedom to choose.  We choose to wake up in a morning; we choose whether or not to brush our teeth in the morning; we generally choose what we’d like for breakfast; we choose to simply breathe – however, subconscious the choice.  We also have the agency to prioritise the most significant choices in our lives…

“Do you feel the Spirit telling you that what we’re teaching is true?”

“Yes.”

“So… are you going to act on it?”

“No.”

“Well… Why not?”

More or less, we have had conversations like these with just about every person we’ve taught lately. We can teach a powerful lesson, have the Spirit with us the whole time, the Spirit will testify of our message, the person will feel it… But then, it’s their choice whether or not to do anything about it. It’s almost unbelievable to watch. The natural man gets in the way of what our Spirit knows is right- whether it be insecurity, or prejudice, or pride, or any other kind of worldly roadblock.

Now, there is always that infernal concern of knowing what is a good choice to make when both choices seem harmless, or what does it matter if I make a bad choice if I’m the only one that’s affected, or why do I bother making good choices if nothing turns out right anyway?  Making blind choices is never a wise idea and Heavenly Father never intended us to stumble through life without direction. 

“…knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon…” (2 Nephi 2:26)

  We are generally educated via the examples around us – our parents, faith and the instructions God has provided through ancient and modern-day prophets – to know right from wrong and therefore choose (according to wisdom) what forces we allow to influence our choices; to decipher whether they be forces of good or forces of evil.  We are free to act for ourselves…with advice.

As teachers, watching those we love make choices that harm themselves, we’ve been given a little piece of insight into how Heavenly Father feels every day as He watches us try to fumble through life in our own way, when it would be so simple to heed His guidance. We often talk about how life isn’t fair. Who’s on the short end of the stick? Heavenly Father has given us every single tool and instruction we could possibly need, including giving us the greatest gift He could- His Son, and yet we still can’t seem to make the right choices.

   So, how do we ensure that we are always able to make a good choice?  Well, by choosing to rely upon He who is perfect and choosing to be patient and forgiving of ourselves when we do err and make mistakes; we are not perfect, but in making that decision to strive to do better the choices we make will be guided by the Spirit and the ones that mistakenly aren’t, will be covered by the Atonement of Jesus Christ – if we choose to trust in Him.

Amazing Grace Part Two!

I know I already wrote about grace yesterday, but I was studying something else this morning, and I came across this scripture:

1 Cor 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not [adequate] to be called an apostle, because I bpersecuted the church of God.  10 But by the agrace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I blaboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

And I loved it so much that I had to share it! I think we all have days that we feel like Paul, who left his wicked ways to follow Jesus Christ. Days when Satan gets us down and makes us feel like even though we know the atonement works for us, that our weaknesses might leave us less than qualified for the task at hand.

Paul recognizes that through the grace of God and his own hard work, that he was able to become a great leader and a powerful missionary. I think it’s profound that he says, “I am what I am”. How many of us accept ourselves for who we really are? He knows he made mistakes in the past, he knows he’s been forgiven of them, and he knows that through the atonement, doing his best is really enough.

Then he reiterates humbly that he is what he is because of the strength, assurance, and enabling power that God had given him.

Amazing Grace

A few years ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about Grace. She maintained that Grace is all we need to gain salvation, while I adamantly maintained that it wasn’t. The next day, another friend who had listened in, said, “I don’t think people rely on Grace enough.” I hadn’t thought much more on the subject until yesterday, when another friend repeated the same phrase: I don’t think people rely on Grace enough.

Here is a definition that sums up the explanations for Grace that I found on a number of mainstream Christian websites: “Grace is God’s unmerited favor. That is, grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve. Because of God’s grace, I receive eternal life and a promise of heaven though I do not deserve them.”

Because this is the mindset I’ve always heard, even though I know that we’re only saved by Grace after all we can do, I just assumed I was supposed to do all that I could, and then Grace was some intangible thing that would make up for it all in the end.

Then, yesterday, I learned what Grace really is! So now, I can also make the statement “I don’t think people rely enough on Grace”, but I would like to add to it: People don’t rely on Grace enough because they don’t understand it!

Grace: The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ… It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts… However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”

Isn’t that awesome? Grace gives us the power to do even more than we thought we could!

Who’s on first?

At a conference this week, Sister Shelley Nash used a great analogy to teach an even greater principle. She was attending her son’s football game, and as any proud mother would, she looked for her son from the stands. She didn’t see his typical jersey number anywhere, so she began looking for other clues to figure out which player was her man- socks, cleats, gait, haircut- anything that might help her identify him. Her inability to find her star player completely distracted her from the game. She had no idea what was happening ON the field, because she was scouring the sidelines as boys came off the field and removed their helmets. Finally, her husband arrived and easily picked out their son. Once she knew which jersey he was wearing, Sister Nash could recognize and follow him, giving her  a reason to watch the game.

Her concluding remark was, “If we know who we’re watching for, it gives us a purpose as we follow the Spirit and keep our eye on the Savior.”

We all know who Jesus is, right? He’s kind, loving, forgiving, selfless, and perfect. And He died for us. But how well do we know Him?

I’ve always thought that I knew who I was watching for, but as I’ve been studying His life more in depth over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that We can come to know Him so much more intimately than most of us do. We all know that Christ is our friend, but how good of a friend am I being to Him?

I think we’ve all had at least one relationship in our life when we put in so much effort to get to know the person, to be concerned for their welfare and ask questions to find out what’s important to them and what makes them tick- And they take and take and take, but never reciprocate. Serving someone in that way creates a love for them, and an attachment to them naturally, so it hurts that much more and is so much more discouraging to be on the active end of such a one sided relationship!

I hate the way that feels, and I would never want to be the deadbeat in a relationship with anyone, especially One who has given everything for me. On the other hand, if we DO reciprocate, those feelings of attachment and closeness will naturally develop from our side, too, creating an impenetrable bond between ourselves and “Him that loved us