Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas I have been thinking about the recordings of Christ in the scriptures. Jacob, a prophet in ancient America, stated: 
"For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us."

I decided to record my testimony of the Savior this year, and I would like to share at least some of it with you, maybe all. It is the most important thing that I can share with any of you, because it is the most valuable thing I have:

Recently, two parts of the Plan of Salvation have stuck out to me more than ever before. First, the vitality of gaining a physical body has really sunk in. Second, it has deeply impressed me that Heavenly Father sacrificed and punished His literal Son. The fact that the Anointed, Chosen Son of God was the one to suffer for our sins displays the infinite mercy of Our Father. Christ must have been the most precious gift that Heavenly Father could have offered. They had worked hand in hand since before the world began. How great the pain must have been for the Father to withdraw; not to mention the payment for our sins - which overcame justice.

We lived with God, so why did we have to leave? To gain a body and experience. Then, why couldn't He just pick us back up there when our lives are over? That would destroy justice, and He would cease to be God. He is perfectly just. The options were to either leave us as spirits, not knowing the complete joys of a physical body, leave us in a fallen, sinful state contrary to the nature of happiness for eternity, or to sacrifice His most precious Son. This decision was made before the Creation of the world.

My testimony of the Savior is the most precious possession I have. I draw this conclusion because there is nothing else that, if taken from me, would suck so much joy and peace out of my life. Even with my family, life wouldn't be enough without Christ. But, without my family, though excruciating it may be life could be worth living because of My Redeemer. 

- I am not weak to say that I desperately need a Savior. Every living soul needs Him. Those who do not realize it, though they may convince themselves they are fine, or even comfortable, are left on their own, powerless to take hold of everlasting happiness and peace. They will be miserable. Everybody will eventually confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God; they will confess the need for a Savior. Those who still do not accept Him will be lost forever, but those who humble themselves and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether on earth or when they have the chance after this life, will be inheritors of an eternal life of joy and peace and freedom from all sorrow and cares. -

I know that He lives and loves me. I know that the love that has brought about such great mercy is charity. To "be possessed of charity" is not to have the capability to love as God does, but to feel God's love for self and all humankind so strongly that one may know how to treat others in a Christlike manner and find joy in so doing, due to the sincerity and integrity of heart by which the person acts. This charity is the greatest of all because it has played the most pivotal role in bringing mercy to our souls through the great Plan of Redemption.

I know that My Savior understands me and will do anything possible to rescue me. Looking at where I am today, I know that His grace is a real power. I know that He called Joseph Smith to initiate this marvelous work and wonder, and that a man can certainly draw closer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon than by any other book. I know that faithfully doing so will bring about the Plan of Mercy upon us and will transform us into inheritors of eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God, because it came at the cost of sacrificing His Holy and Most Precious Offspring; The Gift.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Area

So, on thanksgiving, I arrived in Sturgis, SD. This place is awesome. Elder Emmett, who I knew before, is my new companion, and we are going to work great together. He cares a lot about missionary work and the gospel! We also work in some surrounding towns, including Deadwood and Lead, which are beautiful. They are in the Black Hills, and really, the towns were built on very hilly terrain. Lead was built there out of convenience for Miners who worked there back before the automobile days. The houses there are beautiful! I took a picture of the town, but the library computers here won't accept my camera, so I'll have to figure something else out for next week.

I just want to take a minute to talk about the Christmas season. The Church has put out a Christmas website ( with a 2 1/2 minute video called He is the Gift. The site is centered around the pattern: Discover the gift, embrace the gift, and share the gift. Last night, the Church also put on a Christmas devotional that we got to watch over satellite. It was full of  beautiful music and great speaking from Church leaders. I would invite you to find it on Beforehand, I was feeling a little bit dull. I think that's the right word. I wasn't sad or upset, but there was something weighing on the back of my mind and draining my energy. I was not my cheerful self, and I have no idea what was causing the negativity. But, the devotional brought me some peace. At night, I still felt that weight, though. It was time for my nightly prayer, and here's the experience I had, in words that I shared with my Mission President:

"I was praying, planning to communicate with Heavenly Father about some of my weaknesses and some minor concerns with the gospel that came up, but as I was expressing my shortcomings, I literally felt something stopping me. I tried a couple more times to express different things that were on my mind, but I was prompted to stop and listen. As I waited, familiar yet personal words were put in my mind. They were so clear, and it felt so different than if I were just remembering or reciting the words on my own. I have the words recorded somewhere, but here I'll just say that the Spirit pierced my heart with these words and peace overcame me. I had no more desire to dwell on my weaknesses or even seek guidance on the concerns I had been having. I now feel better prepared to go and help others discover and embrace the gift of Jesus Christ."

As I went to church services and the devotional, I discovered the gift of Jesus Christ through learning about and listening to words about him. Through prayer, I embraced the gift. Now, I wish to share it with everybody. Please go to and at least watch the He is the Gift video. I hope some of you have already seen it.

I'll end with my testimony of Jesus Christ that I have gained from experience and the Holy Spirit of God. We all have burdens in our life, and we all need spiritual cleansing. We suffer from the weight of past sins and unresolved emotional pain. I have felt all of that. I know that relief from any of this can be found through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as His power gave sight, hearing, and health to those whom he ministered in life, the power that comes from his ultimate atoning sacrifice grants us spiritual healing when we come unto Him. If we embrace the true gospel, His grace will make us whole from the negativity that seems to be stuck to us. You may pretend to mask these feelings of guilt and pain from the past, but unless you have embraced Jesus Christ and been changed by Him, they still linger in your soul and they will forever. Let Him help you and heal you. I know that as you discover and embrace the sacred teachings of His gospel, you will find relief and healing, which will make room in your heart for peace and joy beyond understanding or explanation. This process is the only way to be prepared to enter the Kingdom of God when you meet your Creator face to face.