Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What does it mean to take upon ourselves the name of Christ?

When I think about this question I think about missionaries and how their tags have their names and the Savior's name. My sister, Laura who went on a mission two years ago, once told me that on her mission a lot of people told her how horrible it was to take off your missionary tag when you get home, because you feel like you have been stripped of your title as a representative of Christ. Once Laura came home and took off her tag, she felt horrible and worried that no one would know that she is a missionary. But then she realized that she can show others that she is a representative of Christ by her actions, the way she dresses, and the way she talks. Her experience reminds me of story that Elder Holland told in the April 2014 General Conference:
"For example, a sister missionary recently wrote to me: “My companion and I saw a man sitting on a bench in the town square eating his lunch. As we drew near, he looked up and saw our missionary name tags. With a terrible look in his eye, he jumped up and raised his hand to hit me. I ducked just in time, only to have him spit his food all over me and start swearing the most horrible things at us. We walked away saying nothing. I tried to wipe the food off of my face, only to feel a clump of mashed potato hit me in the back of the head. Sometimes it is hard being a missionary because right then I wanted to go back, grab that little man, and say, ‘EXCUSE ME!’ But I didn’t.”

Being a representative of Christ means that you are living the way you feel about this gospel and not doing things that would make people think anything else. My young women leader once told a story about when she was at college. She was invited to a party and when she walked in a man said, "Drinks are in here, music is in there." She knew exactly what kind of drinks he was talking about, and thought to herself that if she went inside she could just avoid that certain room. But then she remembered back to an experience she had in Beehives, where they all stood up and made an oath to abstain from drugs and alcohol. So she decided to leave because even if she avoided the drinks, she didn't want people to think that she didn't have high standards, or that she wasn't a representative of Jesus Christ because she was at that party.

"DARE to be a Mormon. DARE to stand alone. 
DARE to have a purpose firm. DARE to make it known."

                                       -This article was written by Kaylee Adamson, a youth in the Ward

Thursday, July 24, 2014

We can become like Christ through sacred saving ordinances

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we perform ordinances. An ordinance is a sacred act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some of the ordinances are essential to our exaltation, they are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and temple marriage. When we receive these special ordinances we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord. A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and an individual or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. All saving ordinances are accompanied by covenants. When we remember to honor the covenants we have made with the Lord, we will be inspired by the Holy Ghost, and becoming like Christ will be part of our nature. 


                                  

Friday, July 18, 2014

As now we take the sacrament

The Sacrament to me is something very sacred and special. It is when we eat the blessed bread and water and by doing so we remember Jesus Christ's sacrifice for us and our sins are forgiven and we it's like we are getting a clean slate for the week. We are renewing our baptismal covenants, the promises we made to Heavenly Father when when we got baptized. 
"..By partaking of the Sacrament we renew all covenants entered into with the Lord and pledge ourselves to take upon us the name of his Son, to always remember him and keep his commandments”
-Elder Delbert L. Stapley
Before we did the Sacrament, men used to make sacrifices to God under the law of Moses. Men would choose from their flock the eldest male lamb of a pure white color and prepare it for sacrifice upon an alter.That changed when Jesus Christ was born, he symbolized the pure white lamb who is to be sacrificed to save us. In the last supper he explains to the disciples what they must now do and what his sacrifice will mean. 
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:26–28).
 That is why we have the Sacrament. We remember our brother Jesus Christ and what he did, of his sacrifice so that we might all have the chance to live again. To Return home. 
“I am a witness that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load is lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food”
-Elder Melvin J. Ballard


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baptism

I'd like to explain a little bit about baptism.  God set forth a commandment that we all must be baptized in order to gain eternal life.  Through baptism we will receive forgiveness for our sins.  Because of Christ's atonement everyone can repent, be baptized, and be healed from any guilt, sorrow or shame we hold onto.

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." - John 3:5

One must be baptized by someone holding the priesthood.  The priesthood is a power and an authority to act in Gods name.  This is the same power that John the Baptist held.

This scripture explains that we must be baptized to enter Gods kingdom, but it also mentions that we must be born of the spirit.  For a baptism to be complete one must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  This is done by priesthood holders laying hands on the head of the one who was baptized and giving a special blessing.  When someone receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost through a blessing given by one holding the priesthood, the Holy Ghost will now reside with them.  Rather than feeling the Spirit or the Holy Ghost only when praying or reading the scriptures, those who are Baptized will now always have the Holy Ghost with them.

The Holy Ghost has comforted me in difficult times.  It has confirmed to me that this is Gods church.  The best way I can describe the Holy Ghost is an overwhelming feeling of peaceful love.  

I know that through Christ's atonement we can be made clean.  I know that if you come to know that Christ is your savior, repent and are baptized you will be cleansed of guilt and you will have more joy and happiness in your life.  

Baptism click on this link for a good simple explanation of baptism.  Feel free to explore the scriptures and talks given below the description.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Draw Closer to God

"A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey these conditions." - https://www.lds.org/topics/covenant?lang=eng

In this video, Elder Nelson (one of the 12 apostles serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) talks about covenants.


In Matthew 7: 7-8, it reads: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

When I was 17 years old, I was dating a young man. For the first time, I dated a spiritual and uplifting priesthood holder. However, our leaders has counseled and commanded us to not date seriously until we are adults and have marriage as our priority. I remember I started reading my scriptures more regularly and saying my prayers. I thought I was doing all that I needed to as a disciple of Jesus Christ and I confidently asked my Heavenly Father to show me how to draw closer unto Him. When I went to youth conference ( a program for the youth that allows us to develop skills that will draw us closer to God) I had a strong impression from the Holy Ghost that told me that I needed to end my relationship. I was devastated at the time. I really liked the guy and I thought he was good for me. But after thinking things through, I realized that even though this boy may be a really good guy, I was still breaking a covenant I had made. I had sustained my church leaders and by doing so, I have covenanted to follow their righteous examples and teachings. This included the dating guidelines which I wasn't following.

In Matthew, the Lord promises that if we take the time and effort to study the scriptures (seek) and to pray (ask), the Lord will open a way for us to learn. My story is a prime example. I had read my scriptures, prayed and received an answer to my prayers on how I can draw closer to my God. The answer was difficult for me, but I have been significantly blessed through my action of following God's answer.

God had taught me that day that in order for me to draw closer unto Him and progress in life, I had to be a covenant keeper. I am grateful for His love and guidance in my life. I know that as long as I strive to do my best and keep the commandments I can be worthy to utilize my Savior's atoning sacrifice and be clean to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father. I can obtain Eternal Life by applying this principle--to be a covenant keeper.

What is sexual purity? Why be Chaste?

Obedience to the law of chastity will increase our happiness in mortality and make possible our progress in eternity. A Talk by David A. ...