Monday, June 16, 2014

He Lives

Today in class we talked about the crucifixion and of Christ. Christ suffered many hours on the cross, and he was hung next to two thieves. As Christ hung there, many people mocked him saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he be the Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35). One of the thieves also railed on him and said, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us” (Luke 23:39). This is similar to earlier in Christ’s life where Satan tempted him and told him to prove that he was the Son of God by performing a miracle. These people wanted a miracle. The thieves wanted to be saved. But what is an even more impressive miracle is that he stayed on the cross.

Many people say that they are grateful that Christ died for them. This is true and I am also grateful for this. But if Christ had not suffered just a little bit longer the Atonement would not have been complete, infinite, and eternal. I am grateful that Christ chose to live a little bit longer. Because of this He was able to save and redeem all of mankind. He could then be resurrected and live for eternity. And because He lives we all can live too.

Another interesting thing I thought I’d is from one of my missionary friends. She told a story that one of the elders in her mission shared. He said that in his anatomy class he learned that there is a film of a water-like substance around the heart. When the heart ruptures this film runs down the left side of the body. After Christ had died one of the soldiers pierced Christ’s side and blood and water spilled out of his body (John 19:34). Christ’s heart ruptured due to all of his suffering. He is the only one to truly die of a broken heart. He went through so much because he loves us so much. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Infinite and Eternal

Today in my New Testament class we talked about Christ’s Atonement. It was incredibly hard and painful, but it was necessary for our salvation. Christ asked if there was another way. Unfortunately, there wasn’t. But he did the will of the Father and “with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Alma 34:10 perfectly describes the Atonement, “For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.”

The words infinite and eternal are key. It means that the Atonement can help everyone. It will cover any sin, pain, sorrow, sickness, affliction, temptation. Anything and everything that is holding us back from perfection can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Today in class I checked Instagram on my phone and saw that one of my inactive friends wrote a blog post about coming back to the church. I got really excited and started to read it. This young man converted to the church when he was 18. He had such a strong testimony and was fired up about the gospel. He was called to serve a mission, but returned home early because of doubts about his testimony. He began investigating other churches and did things that are contrary to the standards of the church. But now he has come back to the gospel and is working on building his testimony again!

I was so touched by his story and his testimony. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think about the Atonement (since that was what we were talking about in class). My testimony of the Atonement was strengthened so much from reading this blog post. I know that no matter what we do in this life, we can always come back to the gospel. We can become clean again through our faith and obedience. The Atonement truly is infinite and eternal. Because of it we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and partake of eternal life.

If you want to read his story and testimony visit! It’s really inspirational and I highly recommend reading it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Give What You Can

In John 12 Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Christ’s feet with very expensive oil. Judas Iscariot was upset that Mary wasted that oil. He thought it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Judas explained his frustration to Christ, but Christ said to leave her alone. Mary gave what she had to Christ and he knew what a sacrifice it was for her. He accepted her offering gratefully and without asking what else she could have done with the money.

 Many people who are not members of the LDS church criticize our motives for building temples. They think that we should take that money and give it to the poor. Well, we have lots of humanitarian and welfare services in the church that help the poor and the needy. But the temples are to help the poor in spirit. Yes, temples are very expensive, but that is because it is the Lord’s house. We want to make sure that it is the best we can offer, and we will spare no expense to do that.

Members of the church are asked to give 10% of their annual income to the church as their tithing donations. These funds are used to do many things in the church, including to build temples. The tithing that I pay is very small in comparison to the cost of building a temple. But I give what I can, and my offering is still accepted.

When we go to the temple, we are filled with the Spirit of the Lord. We go there to learn, to be inspired, and to receive answers to prayers. It truly helps to strengthen and support the poor in spirit. I can testify that it is the house of the Lord. I can feel His spirit and His blessings every time I go. So please give what you can to help build and run these beautiful temples. Your offering is enough and will be accepted.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Prepare Now

In Matthew 25 Christ gives three parables to prepare for the Second Coming. I am going to focus on the first one, which is the parable of the ten virgins. There are ten virgins that are preparing to meet the bridegroom at a wedding. The bridegroom represents Christ and the ten virgins represent all of us. Five of the virgins were prepared with oil in their lamps, and the other five did not have enough oil. The five that were unprepared asked for the others to spare some oil, but they did not receive any. They went to buy some oil, but by the time they got back the rest of the group had left for the wedding. The unprepared virgins knocked on the door and asked to be let in, but the Lord answered, “I know you not.” This can also be interpreted as “ye know me not.” They were not let into his presence.

The oil in this parable represents our testimonies or level of conversion. Those that have strong testimonies, are fully converted and active in the gospel will be more prepared to meet Christ at the Second Coming. Those that are unprepared will not be able to borrow someone else’s testimony. They must become converted for themselves.

We do not know when the Second Coming will be. It may be tomorrow, it may be after we die. Either way, we need to prepare ourselves now to meet the Savior. This means doing whatever it takes to gain a strong testimony and to be fully converted to the gospel. We must prepare ourselves well and become true disciples of Christ. Get to know Christ now. Learn of Him and His teachings from the scriptures. Pray to Him daily. Establish a relationship with Him. And then when we finally meet the Savior He will say, “I know you,” and we will be able to enter His presence. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole

Luke 17 gives the story of Christ healing ten lepers. All of the lepers desired to be healed, and they were. But only one went back to Christ and thanked him.  Christ then told this leper, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” He was not only cleansed, but was made whole because of his faith. He received both the physical and the spiritual miracle.

There are two points I want to make about this story. The first is that a lot of times as members of the church we simply go through the motions. We go to church, pray, read our scriptures, etc. and we are blessed for doing these things. Just like the nine lepers, we are still cleansed. But are we made whole? We do all these things, but sometimes we lack the meaning behind it. We don’t really think about what we do and why we do it. So make sure that as you live the gospel, you are truly living it. Make sure you know the reason behind what you’re doing. That way you can be more fully blessed and can be made whole through your faith.

The second point I want to make is about gratitude. In this story, ten lepers were healed, but only one took the time to thank Christ. The leper that thanked Christ was blessed even more because of his gratitude. We are extremely blessed but a lot of times we take these blessings for granted. I lot of times I have to stop and remind myself how blessed I am. Heavenly Father pours out so many blessings to us every day, so make sure to take the time to thank Him. Heavenly Father loves us so much, and we can show our love for Him by thanking Him for these blessings and by being worthy to receive them.