Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Miss My Friend

Two years ago today I lost my good friend, Samson.  I miss my white tailed fluffy friend.

Samson was the best dog in the history of mankind.

  I hope you are having fun romping through the fields in heaven.  I'm looking forward to the day I get to graduate and see you again!  God be with you till we meet again my dear friend.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Fake News

"There’s also something happening here that is perfectly illustrating a point that I’ve been making for a couple of years. And that is that the American media has become the power center and the source of energy and guidance for the American left. Not the Democrat Party, but the media. The media gives the marching orders. The media are the activists. The media are not involved in news. The media are not reporting anything. The media have become full-fledged advocates of one particular thing.

"They are not reporting anything. They are supporting the one particular thing they want, and they are ridiculing and condemning and lying about anybody who is not on the same page as they are. The Democrat Party used to be the organism that represented the American left and other people in the left followed the lead of the Democrat Party. Today, it is the media that is leading. And the reason this is important is because many people don’t know it. Many people don’t realize it.

"Most people think the media is the news. Most people — well, I hope not most — but a sizable number of people think that when they turn on cable news or the three nightly newscasts, or now the late night comedy shows, that they’re actually getting news. And they’re not. They’re not getting anywhere near what is news. They’re not even getting correct facts. People tuning into cable news, the three nightly newscasts, or reading the big newspapers, are simply reading radical activism that is disguised as news and perpetrated as news because of the people who are presenting it." 

--, February 16, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Scripture of the Day

I listened to this Scripture the other day.  I decided to look it up since it goes along so well with my Second Coming post I did not long ago.

Mosiah 27:31
Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Truth Endures

A week or two ago I read an article in The Church's newsroom online.  There were some really good quotes in there and I wanted to share them.  I just haven't taken the time to reread it and collect the quotes.  But it's been on my mind for a while so I decided to do it today.

It was a talk given by Elder D. Todd Christofferson entitled "Truth Endures".  Elder Christofferson has become a favorite apostle of mine.  He reminds me of The Six Million Dollar Man in his voice inflections and the way he raises his eyebrow when he speaks. I grew up watching The Six Million Dollar Man as a kid in the 70s and Dad and I are currently watching the series at night on video. There's something comforting in an apostle with the characteristics of one of my childhood heroes.

It's a very well written and inspired talk. Well worth reading in its entirety.  I'm going to post some of the things that stood out to me but you can read the entire talk here:

Truth Endures, Elder D. Todd Christofferson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, An address to Church Educational System (CES) religious educators at the CES broadcast, “An Evening with Elder D. Todd Christofferson,” held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on January 26, 2018.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
"I would like to speak to you this evening about truth. The Church Educational System is dedicated to teaching and inculcating truth, especially those most salient and fundamental truths that are the underpinnings of eternal life. It has always been important not only to teach but to defend truth, and in our time that need seems to be growing."

"The first thing we should understand about truth, then, is that a knowledge of truth in any significant measure requires divine assistance, either through the Light of Christ or by the aid of the Holy Ghost. Given our limited mortal capacity and resources, if we are unaided by revelation, we simply cannot achieve a comprehensive knowledge of things as they were, are, and will be, and how any one thing relates to how everything else was, is, or will be."

"I believe that most, if not all, of the truth we are able to discover comes through divine help, whether we recognize it or not."

"I turn now to the Savior’s declaration, “the truth abideth forever and ever.” In section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord declares, “All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.” I take this to mean that all truth, including the truth that governs our present sphere, exists independent and apart. It is unaffected by my preference or your opinion. It stands independent of any effort to control or change it. It cannot be lobbied or influenced in any way. It is a fixed reality."

"Now, where do we find ourselves in today’s world as we seek to teach and affirm truth, especially spiritual truth?

"In much of the world, relativist thinking has become a dominant philosophy. By relativism I mean the view that ethical or moral truths are relative, that they depend on the attitudes and feelings of those who hold them, and that no one can judge the validity of someone else’s “truth.” You hear a lot of talk these days about “my truth” and “his truth” or “her truth.”"

"I think you would agree that the philosophy of moral relativism has made great inroads in our time. “Not judging” has become an almost unchallengeable standard for conversation and behavior. But in reality, we all make judgments about what is right and wrong, and not just for ourselves, but for the people and the society around us. Laws and systems of law, even political systems, are the embodiment of moral values and perceived truths. In a pluralistic society, we may debate what values should be enshrined in laws or regulations and what is right, or wrong, or true, but in the end, on any given issue, someone’s view, or some group’s view of truth, prevails and everyone becomes bound by it.

"Moral relativism just doesn’t work if there is to be order and justice in society. Can murder be wrong for most but right for some? Is a thief entitled to keep what he steals and continue stealing because he believes robbery is right for him, especially since he grew up in an underprivileged circumstance? Or taking note of something very much in the news today, is a man entitled to sexually harass a woman because he finds it consistent with his personal sense of right and wrong?

"“Well,” one might say, “you are talking about things that are generally accepted as wrong. There are some self-existing values that inhere in human existence that are the basis for laws against murder, rape, theft, and other actions that injure people or interfere with their legitimate pursuit of happiness. These are essential and universal human rights that negate any individual right to the contrary. It is only beyond these acknowledged human rights that moral relativism applies, where each individual may define for himself or herself what is right or wrong.” But this line of reasoning makes the point that there are in fact moral absolutes, whether you call them universal human rights or something else. At least some truths and moral concepts exist apart from personal whim or preference. The only debate, really, is what they are and how far they extend. What we refer to as moral relativism is actually an ongoing debate about tolerance: What actions and differences should be tolerated in society and in human relations?"

"Our calling, and it is ever more urgent in this environment, is to teach the truth of moral concepts: what they are and how far they extend. We prize truth on any subject from any source, but eternal truth, especially as it bears on the meaning and the purpose and the conduct of life, we must obtain from God. Moral relativists generally see no role or relevance for God in this discussion and typically doubt that He even exists. It would be most inconvenient for them if He does exist, and even more so if He speaks to man. One can only think about truth as relative if God is not around.

"Pew Research recently reported that for the first time, a majority of Americans (56 percent) say it is not necessary to have religious belief to be a good person. “‘God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality,’ said Greg Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, in his post about the findings.”

"I’m sure we would agree that people who are atheists or who otherwise have no professed religion or religious belief can be, and most often are, good and upright people. But we would not agree that this happens without God. As noted earlier, whether someone likes it or not, believes it or not, or is even aware of it or not, he or she is imbued with the Light of Christ and therefore possesses a common sense of right and wrong that we sometimes call conscience. The Savior said, “I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” We also read: “And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.”"

"President Boyd K. Packer, in the article I quoted earlier, taught:

“Every man, woman, and child of every nation, creed, or color—everyone, no matter where they live or what they believe or what they do—has within them the imperishable Light of Christ. In this respect, all men are created equally. The Light of Christ in everyone is a testimony that God is no respecter of persons (see D&C 1:35). He treats everyone equally in that endowment with the Light of Christ.”"

"Moral relativism does real harm as it acts to diminish conscience. If acknowledged and followed, conscience will lead to ever greater light and truth. But ignoring or suppressing conscience obviously leads one away from light and truth and into denial, error, and regret. Pretending there is no fixed, objective truth is nothing more than an attempt to evade responsibility and accountability. This is not a recipe for happiness."

"What Alma described to his son Corianton as “remorse of conscience” is real, and Budziszewski points out that attempts to suppress conscience or relieve the remorse, short of repentance, do not succeed in the end. We see it in people pretending that what they know to be wrong is not wrong. They may intentionally repeat a sin again and again in an attempt to drown out the voice of conscience. Some may pursue perpetual distraction by immersing themselves in social media, video games, or constant music in their ears to avoid any quiet moment when conscience might speak. We see it in rationalizations to which there seems to be no end, either in number or creativity."

"Beyond pretending, distracting, and rationalizing, people may try to get others to participate in the guilty act as a way of justifying themselves. They “don’t sin privately; they recruit.” We could say that Satan is the master recruiter, “for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” Most troubling are those who insist that “society must be transformed so that it no longer stands in awful judgment. So it is that they change the laws, infiltrate the schools, and create intrusive social-welfare bureaucracies.” Well did Isaiah warn, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Thus, Budziszewski concludes, it is our efforts to suppress the powerful forces of conscience and rationalize guilt that propels society ever deeper into the moral abyss. I would add it also accounts for the anger that increasingly erupts in any attempted discussion that implicates societal standards and norms."

"Attempts to repress conscience are not only futile, but if people understood things in their true light, no one would ever want to try. I mentioned near the beginning what Lehi taught about trying to escape punishment and misery by denying the reality of sin— “if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall … say there is no sin.” If we could erase the law, or truth, as those fighting against conscience are trying to do, we could indeed get rid of guilt or punishment, or misery. But remember, as Lehi cautioned, without the law there would be no upside to our existence either. We would erase the possibility of righteousness and happiness. We would erase creation and existence. Obviously, the idea of erasing or eliminating truth is nonsense, but there is a way to eliminate misery while preserving the opportunity for happiness. It is called the doctrine or gospel of Christ—faith in Christ, repentance, and baptism, both of water and of the Spirit.

"We must help our students, in the Savior’s term, “do truth,”—that is, wholeheartedly embrace the Light of Christ that is in them and welcome the added light and truth that come through the Holy Ghost. Resisting, rationalizing, and pretending will not do. Only repentance and obedience to truth can deliver the “authenticity” many covet. Only repentance and obedience to truth can preserve and enlarge our happiness and freedom."

"John records the Savior’s powerful promise “to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Knowing and following the truth most assuredly does make us free—first, free from the bondage of ignorance and sin, and then free to pursue every good thing until we receive the Father’s kingdom and all that He can give. Knowing that Jesus is Himself “the way, the truth, and the life,” the most significant meaning of the truth making us free is that by His grace, He frees us from death and hell.

"The Lord declared, “Light and truth forsake that evil one [ending the bondage of sin]. … [But] that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.”"

"There really are only two options. One is to pursue truth by heeding the words of Christ—“He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” The other is to be taken in by the adversary and attempt the impossible—to find happiness in his fictions. One cannot succeed in life here or hereafter by ignoring the reality of truth, but some, actually a lot of people, try it—it just looks so much easier than repenting. But only repentance and obedience to the truth of God free us from a fantasy world that is destined to fail, “and great [shall be] the fall of it.”

"The core truths, the central realities of our existence, that we must teach and re-teach with pure conviction and all the power God gives us are these:

  1. God, our Heavenly Father, lives, the only true and living God.
  2. Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God.
  3. Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem His people; He suffered and died to atone for their sins.
  4. He rose again from the dead, bringing to pass the Resurrection.
  5. All will stand before Him to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works."

Truth Endures, Elder D. Todd Christofferson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, An address to Church Educational System (CES) religious educators at the CES broadcast, “An Evening with Elder D. Todd Christofferson,” held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on January 26, 2018. (Emphasis added)

Well said Elder Christofferson. I would encourage you to read the entire talk by clicking the link above.  There are stories and quotes from others which I didn't include.

Truth is absolute.  There is no "your truth" or "my truth" or "his truth" or "her truth".  There is just simply truth.  Truth comes from God.  Whether you like or believe certain truths or not is irrelevant.  You cannot change truth.  It really is that simple.

That's my two cents.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Little Red Riding Hood 1977 Eastmore Elementary Production

Dad found this newspaper clipping and brought it to show me.  He asked me if I remembered it.  I certainly do!  It represents the extent of my reluctant acting career.  :-)

I remember being scared and not wanting to do it but I think everybody had to have a part. I even remember the costume that mom made for me. I played Little Red Riding Hood's mother.  Check out my sweet threads.  (I'm the cute girl on the far right in the photograph)

As you may recall I recently did a blog post (10/27/16) on my kindergarten teacher's obituary.  Perhaps one of the reasons I remember Mrs. Craven is because of this (traumatic) experience.  I do remember her being a nice teacher though.  Despite making me act.  :-) I don't remember for sure but I think I had one line.  That was more than enough for me.

This article appeared in the Orem Geneva Times on April 28, 1977.  Over 40 years ago!

Oh the memories.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day everybody.  This morning Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.  So get ready for six more weeks of winter.

I don't know why I like this silly holiday so much but I love Groundhog Day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Doctrine, Policy, and Prophets

A short while ago I read an article in the Deseret News.  It was something about a movie premiering at Sundance Film Festival.  Somehow one of the members of the band Imagine Dragons was involved in making the movie.  I know nothing about the band or their members but apparently this guy was or is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  None of that is news worthy but I give you that background because one thing that he said in the article is what prompted me to write this blog post.

Apparently the movie is about LGBQT (or whatever that acronym is) people.  The guy from Imagine Dragons said that he hopes the new prophet (Russell M. Nelson) watches the movie.  Implying that if perhaps he watched that movie he might have a more positive view on the LGBQT lifestyle. And thereby change Church policies regarding LGBQT issues.

This really bothered me for several reasons.  First of all, Church policies cannot contradict Church doctrine. And doctrine will never change.

Secondly, this is not the Prophet's church.  This is the Lord's church.  He is at the head and He leads and guides His Church.  So President Nelson's opinion is irrelevant in changing Church doctrine. Not that his opinion would ever go against Church doctrine.

Church doctrine, Gospel doctrine will never change. Jesus Christ has taught the same doctrine from the beginning of time.  It never wavers.  I don't know why this is such a hard concept for people to understand.

Perhaps because they confuse Church doctrine with Church policy.  Yes, policy can change with time depending on the needs of the members and the Church.  For instance, missionary age.  This has fluctuated over time.  It was recently lowered to allow for more missionaries in the mission field.  Another example is temple recommends being valid for two years instead of one.  This eases the burden on local leadership in conducting temple recommend interviews.  These are policy changes.  Not changes in doctrine.  Know the difference.

 The law of chastity is doctrine.  It has never changed and it will never change.  Homosexuality will always be considered sinful.  That has never changed and will never change.  (Same-sex attraction is not a sin, but acting on it -- thereby breaking the law of chastity -- is.)  Marriage is between a man and a woman.  It always has been and always will be.  Granted, the laws of the land may change -- and in fact have changed to allow same-sex marriage -- but God's laws will never change.  Even if homosexual marriage is recognized by the law of the land, it is not recognized by God.  Homosexuality is still a sin in His eyes.  It always will be.

It's very straightforward.  Doctrine doesn't change.  Not hard to understand.

The prophet doesn't create doctrine -- he just teaches it.  The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles don't create doctrine -- they just teach it.  I don't see what's so confusing about that.  This is the Lord's church, it's His doctrine.  If you've got a problem with His doctrine take it up with Him, not with Church leaders.  They don't have power to change doctrine.  They just teach it.

Another thing that bothered me is the implication that our previous Prophet and Church leaders were not loving and not accepting of all people.  And that perhaps the new prophet might be if he saw their movie.  That's absurd.  Prophets and Apostles are full-time servants of the Lord and His Church.  You'd be hard pressed to find more Christlike people on the earth.  President Monson and President Nelson love and accept all people.  This is what Christ taught.  This is what they teach.  Christ loved sinners and so should we.  Obviously we don't condone the sin, but we are to love the sinner.  We are taught to love everyone as our brothers and sisters.  Easier said than done but nonetheless that is doctrine.

On a personal note, I went to medical school in San Francisco.  Many of my professors, clinicians, and patients were LGBQT.  I grew to have a much greater understanding and compassion towards them.  It is possible to love and care for those whose lifestyle choices contradict God's laws.

Everyone is welcome in the Lord's church.  Yes, there are laws, God's laws, that govern His church.  To remain in good standing in the Church we must be striving to live God's laws.  But to imply that doctrine should be changed to allow for sin to be tolerated in the Lord's church is absurd.  Blasphemous even.

Heavenly Father loves all of His children.  Our Savior, Jesus Christ, loves all of His brothers and sisters -- so much so that he atoned for each of us. This is His Church and His Gospel and His Doctrine.  The Prophet, First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are His servants.  They do His will.  Even if the Prophet did watch their silly movie, doctrine wouldn't change.  Nor could it.

That's my two cents.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Second Coming

The second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be much different than the first.  The first time Jesus came to earth, He was a helpless baby, born under humble circumstances, who had to be nurtured and learn and grow.  His ministry was meek, yet He managed to teach His gospel and many people followed Him.  Many people also mocked and rejected Him.  At the hands of His fellow men, He was scourged, spit upon and crucified.

Of course, the atonement was a necessary part of our Heavenly Father's plan.  Jesus knew before He came to earth that He would take upon Him the sins of the world and atone for each and every one of us who has ever and will ever come to earth.  This He agreed to in our pre-mortal existence.

Three days after He was laid in the tomb, He arose and was resurrected.  As a resurrected being, He appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem as recorded in the Bible.  Then He also appeared to the people in the Americas as recorded in The Book of Mormon.

We have been taught, as it is well-documented in Scripture, that Christ will come again.  He will again descend from heaven and come to earth.  This is known as the second coming.  But this time, He will come in power and glory.  When He comes again, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ.

Isaiah 45:23
"... That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."
The Prophet Joseph F. Smith said:
"... the coming of the Savior to reign upon the earth, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ." ¹
Doctrine and Covenants 88:104 
"And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth—for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying: Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come."
Speaking of "the hour of his judgment", the following Scripture makes very clear the state of the wicked at the judgment bar of God.

Alma 12:12-15
12 And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged according to our works.
13 Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.
14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.
15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.
Clarifying even further concerning the state of the wicked, and more specifically covenant breakers, at the Lord's second coming, President Joseph F. Smith warned:
"I … testify, that unless the Latter-day Saints will live their religion, keep their covenants with God and their brethren, honor the priesthood which they bear, and try faithfully to bring themselves into subjection to the laws of God, they will be the first to fall beneath the judgments of the Almighty, for his judgments will begin at his own house.
"Therefore, those who have made a covenant with the Lord by baptism, and have broken that covenant, who profess to be saints and are not, but are sinners, and covenant-breakers, and partakers of the sins of Babylon, most assuredly will “receive of her plagues,” for it is written that the righteous will barely escape [see Revelation 18:4; D&C 63:34]. This is my testimony in relation to these matters. We rely upon the word of the Lord in these things, and not upon the word of man, for not only have angels, but God Almighty has spoken from the heavens in this our own age of the world, and we know his word is true." ¹
That's a very strong warning from a prophet of God.  I strongly suggest that if you are not doing your best to keep the commandments and have broken covenants with God that you quickly change your ways and repent lest it becomes too late and the wrath of God comes upon you.

For those of you who subscribe to the eat, drink, and be merry philosophy that think you will be saved no matter what you do because a loving God wouldn't punish his children, think again.  Or for those of you who choose not to believe in God altogether, you may want to reconsider.

There certainly are consequences to breaking God's commandments -- whether you believe it or not, the consequences are the same.

Our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, are all loving and merciful but they are certainly not pansies.  As evidenced by the following scriptures:

Doctrine and Covenants 63:6, 32-34
6 Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the rebellious fear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God.
32 I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.
33 I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man;
34 And the saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire.
Whatever your philosophies in life are and whatever you choose to believe, it doesn't matter.  Truth is truth.  I'd much rather be on the Lord's side when He comes again, because whether you believe or not it will happen.

The question that all curious minds want to know is, "When will He come again?"  The answer is nobody knows.  Elder Ballard, one of the Lord's ordained apostles, said that he doesn't know and if he doesn't know, as one of the Lord's twelve apostles, then he submits that nobody knows.  So, anyone who claims to know when the second coming will be, is lying. The Scriptures make this very clear.

Doctrine and Covenants 49:7
I, the Lord God, have spoken it; but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes.
Matthew 24:36
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 
Granted, there are plenty of signs of the times given in Scripture to give us clues as to when He will come again.  A good analogy is a pregnant woman.  A pregnant woman knows she will give birth, but she doesn't know the exact date.  As her time to be delivered draws nigh, she knows it will be soon, but she still doesn't know exactly when.

As more signs of the times are fulfilled and prophecies come to fruition, we know we are drawing closer to the second coming. We know we are in the 11th hour, even at the very end of the 11th hour. But just like a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy, we don't know the exact time frame, only that it is soon, even imminent.  The second coming could be tomorrow, it could be many years from now.

But, it doesn't really matter.  As long as we are living righteously and doing our best to follow God's commandments and keep our covenants, then we are prepared.  It has been said that "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30)

If you're not prepared, I issue this warning, "therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end" (Alma 34:33).

Doctrine and Covenants 41:4
And I will be your ruler when I come; and behold, I come quickly, and ye shall see that my law is kept.
Several places in Scripture mention the Lord coming quickly.  This can be interpreted several different ways but either way it's best to be prepared.  Procrastinating your preparation will result in devastating eternal consequences.

Preparing for the Lord's second coming is a continuous process.  Whether you're already preparing by doing your best to keep the Lord's commandments and follow Him or if you need to change course and get back on the right path, we all need to work everyday at preparing to meet our Savior when He comes again.

If you're not on course, I admonish you to turn your life around and get on course. It is imperative that you do so, your eternal destiny is at stake. Time is of the essence, do not procrastinate or it may be too late.

For completeness sake,  I want to go back to the beginning and briefly mention a few of the things that will occur at the Lord's second coming.

1 -- He will come in power and glory and He will cleanse the earth of wickedness.

Speaking of the second coming, the Old Testament prophet Malachi said:

Malachi 4:1
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
We know that the Lord will cleanse the earth with fire at his second coming.  The wicked will burn as stubble and be destroyed in the flesh and the righteous will be raised up to meet Him.

2 -- Jesus Christ will judge His people.  

We know there will be at least a partial judgment at the Lord's second coming.  The righteous and the wicked will be divided. The righteous will remain with Christ on earth.  The wicked will be destroyed and cleansed from the earth.

Revelation 20:4-5
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. 
3 -- At His second coming, the Lord will usher in the Millennium.

The Millennium is the 1,000 years that the Lord will rule and reign on earth. At His second coming the righteous will be caught up to meet Him. His coming will begin the Millennium.

4 -- He will complete the first resurrection.

At the beginning of the Millennium, the righteous will be resurrected. Those who qualify for celestial glory will be resurrected at the beginning of the Millennium.(The morning of the first resurrection).  Those who qualify for terrestrial glory will be resurrected sometime later during the Millennium.  They will remain on earth with Christ during the Millennium.

"The wicked who are living at the time of the Second Coming of the Lord will be destroyed in the flesh. They, along with the wicked who are already dead, will have to wait until the last resurrection. All of the remaining dead will rise to meet God. They will either inherit the telestial kingdom or be cast into outer darkness with Satan (see D&C 76:32–33, 81–112)." ²

5 -- He will take his rightful place as King of heaven and earth.

"When Jesus comes, He will establish His government on the earth. The Church will become part of that kingdom. He will rule all the people of the earth in peace for 1,000 years." ²

"When Jesus Christ was born, very few people knew that the Savior of the world had come. When he comes again, there'll be no doubt who He is." ²

Make no mistake about it, Christ will come again.  He will come in power and glory.  We must be prepared to meet Him.  Because it is so important, I want to reiterate the best way to prepare to meet our Savior:
"The best way we can prepare for the Savior’s coming is to accept the teachings of the gospel and make them part of our lives. We should live each day the best we can, just as Jesus taught when He was on the earth. We can look to the prophet for guidance and follow his counsel. We can live worthy to have the Holy Ghost guide us. Then we will look forward to the Savior’s coming with happiness and not with fear. The Lord said: “Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come. Behold, I come quickly. Even so. Amen” (D&C 35:27)." ²
As I mentioned before, preparation requires daily effort.  Yet it is very simple.  Live each day the best you can and strive to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In doing so, we have no need to fear.

I'm very much looking forward to the second coming of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  The more quickly He comes, the better. But, until then I will live each day of my life trying to follow Him.

It is my hope and prayer that all of you will also live each day preparing to meet the Savior by living His gospel and keeping His Commandments to the best of your ability.

That's my two cents.


1 -- Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith Chapter 44: Preparing for the Second Coming of Christ

Sunday, January 21, 2018

I Am a Child of God

Every child blessed to be raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints knows that they are a child of God.  It is a fundamental doctrine taught from the very beginning.

I am very grateful that this is something I have always known. Unfortunately many people have forgotten or don't know this simple fact.
"We live in a world that can cause us to forget who we really are. The more distractions that surround us, the easier it is to treat casually, then ignore, and then forget our connection with God....
"In today’s world, no matter where we live and no matter what our circumstances are, it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God. Knowing that will allow our faith to flourish, will motivate our continual repentance, and will provide the strength to “be steadfast and immovable” throughout our mortal journey."  -- Donald L.Hallstrom, I Am a Child of God, April 2016
Knowing that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father -- children of God -- is core to our existence in mortality.  Without this knowledge my life would be much different.  Knowing that we are children of God brings a level of confidence and security and happiness that cannot be found anywhere else.

No matter what happens in my life, what trials and tragedies I face, I have the sure knowledge that I am a child of God.  This knowledge not only makes life bearable but enjoyable.  I know I can conquer trials and journey through mortality with confidence.  Because I am of Royal birth. I am a literal spirit daughter of God.  I am of infinite worth.

This knowledge is priceless.

Tragically those without the knowledge that they are children of God tend to struggle with self worth.  If you are struggling with your self-esteem, remember who you are.  Remember that you are a child of God and are of infinite worth to Him.  He loves you unconditionally as His child.

I submit to you that the best way to increase your self-esteem and feel good about yourself is to first remember that you are a child of God and second to keep His commandments.

It's a very simple formula yet so many people struggle with self-confidence, anger, and unhappiness simply because they don't know or remember that they are a child of God and they don't keep His commandments.

As Elder Hallstrom said, it is easy to become distracted and forget who we are in today's world.  But if we simply remember our identity as children of God, we will be strengthened in our mortal journey, our self-worth and confidence will increase, and we will be much happier as we navigate through mortality.

That's my two cents.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Limbaugh Quote

I really like this quote by Rush Limbaugh today so I thought I would post it:
"Liberal Democrats demand that they make decisions for people based on their contempt for average, ordinary people. It’s part of the arrogant, condescending attitude that liberal Democrats have. Their utopia, by the way, is predicated on the fact that you have no choice. Their utopia exists only when they tell you what you can and can’t do, and offshoots. 
"See, I believe something differently, folks.... 
"I believe free people, constitutionally free, American definition of free, meaning we have a Constitution that limits the government. The government cannot encroach on our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, by virtue of our founding documents. I believe free people are, by and large — there are exceptions to everything — virtuous. 
"A free people, a free individual will more often than not do the right thing..." -- Rush Limbaugh, January 18, 2018
I can't help but see the Gospel parallels.  Liberal Democrats subscribe to Satan's philosophy of taking choice and freedom from people.  It's no wonder they are always angry.

People who are free to choose, who retain their God-given agency, are by and large virtuous.  In other words, they tend to do the right thing.  I find it interesting that Rush Limbaugh pointed this out.

By my own observation I've noticed that those who turn from God by their own willful rebellion also tend to become Liberal Democrats.

It's interesting that those who throw their own freedom away want to take everyone else's freedom away from them.  Misery loves company I suppose.
"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."  -- 2 Nephi 2:27  
That's my two cents.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New First Presidency

This morning our new First Presidency was announced.  Of course we all knew that President Russell M. Nelson would be set apart as the new Prophet and President of the Church.  He selected as his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks as his first counselor and President Henry B. Eyring as his second counselor.

President Oaks, President Nelson, President Eyring

President Uchtdorf resumed his place in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Since President Oaks is now the.President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder M. Russell Ballard (Now President Ballard) will serve as acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles because President Oaks is now in the First Presidency.

Elder D. Todd Christoffersen did a good job of explaining how the hierarchy of the Church works when the prophet dies.  Apparently there are a lot of people who don't understand it.  It's very straightforward and predictable allowing for a smooth transition when the prophet dies.

I'm grateful for these amazing, righteous men who dedicate their lives to serving the Lord and his Church.

That's my two cents.

Monday, January 15, 2018

26 years

26 years ago today I embarked on a wonderful journey.  26 years ago today I entered the Missionary Training Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and began my service as a full-time missionary.  Best decision I ever made.

I feel so blessed and privileged to have been able to serve the Lord full-time for 18 months.  It certainly benefited me and my life much more than anything I ever did on my mission to help others.

 A couple pictures from my missionary farewell on January 12, 1992.

I strongly urge anyone who is worthy and able to apply for missionary service.  It is an amazing privilege and blessing.  It is certainly worth any sacrifice necessary to be able to serve full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

That's my two cents.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Daily Message

"The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Daily Message

"Once we enter into covenants with God, there is no going back. Giving in, giving up, and giving out are not options. In the kingdom of God, there is a standard of excellence for exaltation. It requires valiant discipleship! There is no room for average or complacent disciples. Average is the enemy of excellence, and average commitment will prevent you from enduring to the end."
—Kevin W. Pearson, "Stay by the Tree"