Friday, September 25, 2015

How can I protect my Family spiritually?

In a talk given by Cheryl A. Esplin in the April 2015 General Conference, she likens strengthening the family to a demonstration of two soda cans. One can is easily crushed and the other remains intact. The can that is strong and can’t be as easily destroyed is the one that is filled. Likewise, in our families, we need to be filled with the spirit if we want to stay strong and not be broken by the negative forces around us. Becoming filled with the spirit does not have to be a difficult or complicated process and boils down to doing the things we know to do. This is one of the major reasons that the prophets and apostles have repeatedly stressed the importance of doing the fundamentals such as reading our scriptures individually and as a family, going to the temple, having Family Home Evening, and praying individually and together. If we do these things consistently, the spirit will fill our homes and strengthen our families and we will be able to withstand the challenges that are in the world and that may come our way.   

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Temples

LDS temples are dedicated to the Lord by selected Church Authorities for the performance of sacred ordinances. These ordinances are outward demonstrations of an inner commitment to God. We show this commitment by covenants we make with Him during these special ceremonies and by adhering to those covenants from then on. The crowning ordinance that takes place in temples is that of sealing families so they can last beyond the grave and into eternity. My greatest feelings of joy have come from making and keeping temple covenants.
   
(Article Submitted by Joshua Foster)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Blessings in Disguise


My husband will be starting his grad program this fall. Although I feel so blessed for this opportunity, there was a lot of fear and anxiety mixed in there as well. We are moving ten hours away from both of our parents. I can no longer depend on my parents for their constant Sunday dinners, random game nights, or a much needed face to face conversation without planning ahead of time and saving money for it. We are also moving out of a ward I had grown wonderful relationships with and feel loved and welcomed in.
On top of this anxiety, we weren’t hearing back from the “affordable” housing units the University subsidizes for. At this time, we had only asked for their cheapest option so that we could still live on one income. We finally started looking at other options since we had to move in three weeks and we didn’t have a place to live yet. We realized that the university’s most expensive options were still several hundred dollars cheaper than the cheapest option outside of their complex. We signed up for other, pricier, options with the university.
During this time, we had fasted, prayed (pleaded), and researched for housing options.
On top of our move, my mom and dad had to fly to Japan to support a demanding trial for my grandmother. My little sister came and lived with us while they were gone.
Have I mentioned that a couple weeks before this had happened, I had dislocated my knee and heavily sprained my right elbow?
To sum up, I was stressed.
During the most intense part of our struggle, I was able to attend girl’s camp. This was my Heavenly Father’s gift to me. The wonderful leaders who had prepared for this were the angels who wrapped up the gift and brought it to me. I am forever grateful. If I could explain how I felt inside…it would probably be a ragged dress that drooped lazily on a hanger while I dragged the hem across the dirty floor. And girl’s camp was the bright new dress to help straighten my drooping shoulders.
I was only able to attend girl’s camp because my knee and elbow was healing fast enough for me to attend and this led to me being able to heal my spirit.
My little sister was there to do little errands for me around the house and keep me giggling the way only sisters know how.
Our research of other housing options had made us aware of how blessed we were even when we got the most expensive option at the university’s housing complex (we haven’t stopped thanking our Heavenly Father since!).
And I had felt the love and care of those around me as they served me during my injury.

Although I don’t wish any trials on any one of you, I do know that Heavenly Father had given me blessings only I could have seen through my trials. I may not understand or have recognized all of His blessings throughout this time in my life, but these blessings were enough to let me know that God lives. That He loves us. He is looking out for us in all aspects of our lives. He knows where we are needed and will guide us there through any methods. You may be going through a trial right now. You may not understand why you’re going through it. You may even be tempted to wonder if Heavenly Father cares for you or even knows you. If this is the case, I hope you may find hope through my experience. And find hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ to get you through your trials. I also pray that you may be able to see your blessings, even blessings in disguise, to help you along your journey.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Roles of Men and Women in the Family

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teaches that optimal happiness comes as a result of family life. The church further teaches that families were designed by God to consist of a mother, a father, and children. As parents, such men and women have unique roles. Each role is special and essential. Fathers have the charge to support financially, protect physically, and preside, while a mother's central responsibility is in the nurture of their children. The church understands that adaptation may be necessary under less than ideal circumstances.
For example, a mother may need to sacrifice time spent with children in order to provide financially in place of a bedridden husband. Or a father may need to stay at home and watch the children as he job searches, while the mother holds a temporary job in the meantime.
Even so, we know of at least one characteristic to the family unit that God has declared through living prophets to be unchangeable. Namely, that marriage is between a man and a woman. This does not mean, however, that we are unkind to those who disagree. We believe in treating everyone with love and respect.
In addition, we love those whose desire it is to marry and have children, but who do not accomplish these goals despite their best efforts. They are not held accountable for this, and they will yet enjoy every opportunity of ideal family circumstances in the next life if they are faithful in mortality.
Please follow the link below for a one page, but detailed proclamation from former First Presidency members and Twelve Apostles of our church regarding the sacred principles mentioned above. Please also feel free to enjoy the video below, which highlights one of the important aspects of parenthood

(Article submitted by Joshua Foster)




Sunday, August 2, 2015

Why is the Family Important?

The family is ordained of God and is central to His plan for the eternal destiny of His children. This divine plan makes it possible for individuals to return to His presence and for families to be united eternally.  In The Family: A Proclimation to the World it states at the beginning that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. 

David O. McKay stated that "No other success can compensate for failure in the home"  It's no stretch to say that a person has a serious advantage in life if they come from a loving, supportive home. Many people still succeed though they come from less-than-ideal family situations, but having our basic needs met, knowing that our parents love us and learning life lessons at home make all the challenges of day-to-day living that much easier to face. Likely, as an adult you want a happy home for your family.

This is no coincidence. God organizes us into families so that we can grow up in happiness and safety, and so that we can learn to love others selflessly—the key to true joy. Within the family is the best place to learn to love others the way Heavenly Father loves each one of us.

God's Church exists to help families gain eternal blessings. We believe the greatest blessing He gives us is the ability to return to live with Him in heaven with our families. We follow our Heavenly Father's will because that is how we earn this blessing.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What is an ordinance in the Mormon church?

In the Articles of Faith which are 13 major points of belief for the Mormon (LDS) church, the fourth one mentions ordinances.  "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."  


An ordinance is a sacred, formal act that has spiritual meaning. Ordinances are performed by the authority of the priesthood and under the direction of those who hold priesthood keys. Ordinances help us remember who we are and remind us of our relationship with God. They help us come unto Christ and receive eternal life.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Faith Over Fear



We really are living in a time of great spiritual darkness and it can take a lot of faith and courage to stand strong in a time when our beliefs are being attacked and our values are being considered outdated at best and hateful at worst. It can be easy to start doubting what we know to be true when faced with such heavy amounts of opposition and hostility. However, we need not give into fear and discouragement. As Richard C. Edgely stated in the October 2010 General Conference:   

“When our sacred doctrine and beliefs are challenged, this is our opportunity to become acquainted with God in a most private and intimate manner. This is our opportunity to choose….I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith.  

Faith is not something that will just come to us but it is a decision. And when we are choosing to have faith, fear can have no place in us. Choosing to have faith invites the Spirit and he can testify to us the truths of the gospel. There are some things that we don’t yet know but that is okay. It doesn’t mean that the gospel isn’t true; it just means that we don’t have all knowledge revealed yet, but in time we will, according to the wisdom of God.   

I would like to reaffirm what Elder Edgely exhorts: “So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”

Submitted by Aimee Foster


Friday, May 22, 2015

What is God like?


If we want to know what God is like, we can simply look to the attributes of what his Son, Jesus Christ possesses. In General Conference of October 2003, Elder Jeffery R. Holland stated: "It is the grand truth that in all that Jesus came to say and do, including and especially in His atoning suffering and sacrifice, He was showing us who and what God our Eternal Father is like, how completely devoted He is to His children in every age and nation. In word and in deed Jesus was trying to reveal and make personal to us the true nature of His Father, our Father in Heaven."

He goes on to discuss how the Savior's action's give us a glimpse into the passion and love Heavenly Father has for us: "Feeding the hungry, healing the sick, rebuking hypocrisy, pleading for faith—this was Christ showing us the way of the Father, He who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness.” In His life and especially in His death, Christ was declaring, “This is God’s compassion I am showing you, as well as that of my own.” In the perfect Son’s manifestation of the perfect Father’s care, in Their mutual suffering and shared sorrow for the sins and heartaches of the rest of us, we see ultimate meaning in the declaration: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Watch Elder Holland's entire talk:


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Can any of us ever really be perfect?

In the sermon on the mount, the savior taught us to "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Mathew 5:48). But can any of us ever really be perfect? We all make mistakes and fall short but on the other hand, would God give us a commandment without providing us a way to accomplish it? Luckily he has provided a way.

Moroni 10:32 reads "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." Although none of us are perfect, the Savior is. We rely on his perfection and grace and make us clean and able to return to live with our Father in Heaven.

Monday, May 18, 2015

What does it mean to have faith in Christ?


Having faith in the atonement of Christ is the main reason we are engaged in the gospel and should be the core of our individual testimonies. In his book, "Believing Christ," Stephen E. Robinson states, “We often think that having faith in Christ means believing in his identity as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. But believing in Jesus’ identity as the Christ is only half of it. The other half is believing in his ability, in his power to cleanse and to save – to make unworthy sons and daughters worthy. Not only must we believe that he is who he says he is, we must also believe that he can do what he says he can do. We must not only believe in Christ, we must also believe Christ when he says he can clean us and make us celestial.”

Friday, May 15, 2015

Having Clean Hands and Pure Heart


In General Conference of October 2007, Elder Bednar discusses what we can do to have clean hands and a pure heart:
“The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses much more than avoiding, overcoming, and being cleansed from sin and the bad influences in our lives; it also essentially entails doing good, being good, and becoming better. Repenting of our sins and seeking forgiveness are spiritually necessary, and we must always do so. But remission of sin is not the only or even the ultimate purpose of the gospel. To have our hearts changed by the Holy Spirit such that “we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually”, as did King Benjamin’s people, is the covenant responsibility we have accepted. This mighty change is not simply the result of working harder or developing greater individual discipline. Rather, it is the consequence of a fundamental change in our desires, our motives, and our natures made possible through the Atonement of Christ the Lord. Our spiritual purpose is to overcome both sin and the desire to sin, both the taint and the tyranny of sin.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/clean-hands-and-a-pure-heart?lang=eng)

Psalm 24:3-4 reads “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How can I make my prayers more meaningful?

Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to communicate with him.  We do that through prayer.  You can carry a prayer in your heart and pray at any time.  You can and should also have a special moment set aside to pray to Him in quite and solitude, such as in the morning when you rise or just before going to bed.  God is always pleased to hear from us no matter the situation.  Our prayers shouldn't be repetitive meaningless words or phrases that we don't think about, but sincere heartfelt pouring of your heart.  Telling him of the things your grateful for.  Things specifically from the day you have just had.  Feelings your are currently going through.  Thoughts and questions.  He wants you to share with him so that he can share his guidance through that Holy Spirit.  Next time you get on your knees to pray, instead of repeating the same thing, share with him your deepest emotions, thoughts, questions, repentance from specific sins, and praise and gratitude to Him.  Your relationship with God will become closer.  You will hear the Spirit speak to your heart more in you life.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

How do I receive revelations from God?



Have you ever wanted to feel inspiration and have your prayers and questions answered by God?  Each of us is entitled to personal revelation to help guide us in our lives.  You can learn how to feel and hear inspiration from God.  First we must prepare ourselves by setting aside time to study scriptures and ponder, and to pray.  

There are many different ways one might hear the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes he goes us feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, faith, or hope.  See Galations 5:22-23.  The Holy Spirit may give us ideas to the mind, or occupies the mind and presses on the feelings.  Good feelings and enlightening your understanding of things as in Alma 32:28.  Sometimes a feeling of replacing darkness with light and gives comfort to your soul.  

How do you recognize a thought from the spirit vs otherwise?  Gordon B Hinckley said, "You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit--that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God."

I have found for me, answers to my prayers often come as a burning feeling such as in this passage from D&C 9:8-9

 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
When I was young and choosing which Collage to go to, I went to the Lord and asked him in prayer after studying out in my mind a few options.  I knew a lot about my choices.  I thought before approaching in prayer that the one closest to my home would likely be best, but wanted to know for sure if it was the path God would suggest.  I asked if this school was the right decision and I did have a stupor of thought.  My mind felt uneasy.  It didn't declare "No!  This is not your path"  It just felt wrong.  When I then prayed about another option, my heart felt so at peace.  It was unexpected, but I knew it was God speaking to my heart.  


I encourage you to spend time studying, praying and pondering.  Try to listen for the Spirit in your life, which is there to speak to us all if we listen with more than our ears.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

What is the Purpose of LDS Temples?

LDS temples are dedicated to the Lord by selected Church Authorities for the performance of sacred ordinances. These ordinances are outward demonstrations of an inner commitment to God. We show this commitment by covenants we make with Him during these special ceremonies and by adhering to those covenants from then on. The crowning ordinance that takes place in temples is that of sealing families so they can last beyond the grave and into eternity. My greatest feelings of joy have come from making and keeping temple covenants.


(Article Submitted by Joshua Foster)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Why was a restoration of Christ's church needed?

During Christ's ministry upon the Earth he brought light back to a world where many had stopped living the commandments of God.  He proclaimed the gospel and called upon twelve men to be his apostles, including Peter, James, and John.  After Christ's death, his apostles carried the gospel throughout the land, baptizing and starting congregations.  Eventually though, the original Church of Christ began to fade away.  All but one of the apostles were martyred.  The apostolistic priesthood authority to bestow priesthood keys was lost from the Earth, as well as many of the teachings of Christ forgotten.  This period of time is called "the Great Apostocy" and brought to earth what we refer to as the Dark Ages.  Without Gods divine direction, Christianity had to rely upon human thought to interpret scripture and many truths were lost, confused, and fought over. Many false ideas were taught as the Gospel truth, when in reality they were ideas of man.  Centuries later, inspired people, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin recognized that practices and doctrines had been changed or lost and tried to reform the churches to which they belonged.  But without the authority of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, His gospel and church could not be returned to their original form.  There needed to be a restoration of apostlistic authority, priesthood keys, and revelation from God.  This is why the Lord restored the church in our day through Joseph Smith.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

What is the Law of the Fast?

The scriptures are replete with admonishments from the Lord to give of our substance to those who have less than what is needed to get by. We can do this in many ways. Often, it will be a direct response to a perceived and present need. Other times, we will discern opportunities to give in complete anonymity. The Lord has provided a way to do so each month in the form of fast offerings. On generally the first Sunday of every month, we fast from food and water for 24 hours. The term fast offerings refers to the money we would have spent on the two meals we chose to sacrifice during our fast. We give a minimum of that amount to the church as fast offerings, which administers it to the poor. This differs from the tithing we pay, in that tithing stays with the church to pay for things like the building of chapels, whereas fast offerings are used only to help the needy

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How Do I Stay Focused On the Right Message?


James 1:8 reads: "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." The ASL sign for “distracted” involves your head turning from side to side, as if you are trying to catch everything flying past you. This scripture makes me think of that – your head will be turned by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). Because you are trying to see everything, you will lose the empowerment to focus on or do anything.

Similarly in the world, we are bombarded by conflicting messages. Because of this, many in the world choose to throw out the idea of an absolute truth. They think to themselves, "Whose to say what's right and what's wrong?" and never really develop a strong moral compass.

Fortunately, this is not the case: there is right and wrong. It is empowering. Because Heavenly Father gave us the gift to know good from evil and to choose, we can really make a difference in the world. We can live our lives with confidence. We can stand up for what we believe because we really can know that our lives are right.

Don't be obsessed with every new thing, but hold fast to the light and truth you already know. God gave you that knowledge and it is more precious than anything the world can teach you. Try to follow the virtue of openness as taught in the scriptures: that of having an open, humble, broken, teachable heart.

Submitted by Karen F.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Week


The last week of Jesus Christ's life changed the world forever.  See how each day can help us better understand His miraculous mission--then and now.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Because He Lives



Jesus Christ lived. He walked the Holy Land, working miracles and teaching truth. Then He was crucified. But His death was not the end. Because of His Resurrection, we will live again. Because of His sacrifice, we can rise above sin to experience true joy. Because He lives, we can find His help and healing every day of our lives.


I love this video because it shows how jesus is not just here to heal us from sin but from pain.  He is here for us, then, now, always.  He is here for you.  Call on him.


No matter where you are , Jesus Christ's love is universal.  Show us where you see His influence in your life.  Share your experiences on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #BecauseHeLives.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How do I repent?


I remember when I was a teen I started to feel such a weight from sin. It was a heavy burden to carry, but although I'd learned about the steps of repentance as a child I had never really put them into practice.  Repentance is a personal and private thing, and as such I realized that I'd never witnessed an example of it, and that made it hard for me to go about using it in my life.  

As the burden of sin accumulated and weighed me down to depression I knew I must implement it in my life to feel free and clean again!  I studied the book "The Miracle  of Forgiveness" and got the courage to pray for forgiveness myself.  I remember my first prayer of repentance to God so well because for the first time I could feel Gods love comforting me almost as if it were a physical presence.  I poured out my soul and cried on my knees for what felt like an hour and felt my burdens lifted when I finished.

After that experience, repentance became a part of my every day life and prayers to God and it feels much less dramatic than the first time but every bit as freeing and lifting of my soul.  My relationship with God has become so much more personal close and real since implementing repentance in my life.

I know there must be others who have, for any number of reasons, not experienced this miracle in their lives.  I challenge you to set aside some private time to confess your sins to God in prayer either tonight or before this week is through.  Ask for his forgiveness with true sorrow for your sin and intent to change your ways.  After this, (or sometimes before) you should seek restitution, or in other words "right the wrong."  If you've lied, then confess. Stolen, then return. Been cruel, then be kind. If your having a hard time knowing where to start or how to right the wrong seek confidential and nonjudgmental advice from your local LDS Bishop. No problem or question is to big or too small. He is there to help you understand how to use Gods gift! How to implement the atonement and feel free and clean.  I'm so greatful for Jesus sacrifice for you and for me.  I know God loves you!! I know that he will forgive you.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What is Repentance, and How Can It Help Me?

Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for our sins so that we can repent. Repentance is a change of heart and mind that brings us closer to God. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and sincere desire to obey His commandments. 




Why is it even necessary to repent and how can it help me?

We all sin, no matter how hard we try.  Jesus is the only being who has not sinned.  Yet we are commanded to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect, to return to the kingdom of God.  Sin also carry's a heavy emotional burden on each of us.  So how can anyone, since we are all imperfect return to God and feel free of sins heavy burden?  Through repentance.  God is a both a merciful and a just God.  We must be punished for our own sins according to justice, but to be merciful he sent his Son Jesus Christ to suffer for us in our place.  We can only be forgiven through repentance.  This is why it is so important! "He suffered and died for our sins, but without repentance all of his anguish and pain on our account are futile." (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p 145)  

This video below does an amazing job of explaining what the atonement is for.  It portrays of the analogy Elder Boyd K Packer used in his April 1977 conference address of a young man who fails to pay his debt (representing sin) and is saved from the grasp of justice (the punishment of God) through the mediations of a friend (Jesus Christ).



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What Does It Mean To Have Faith In Jesus Christ

In order for our faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to trust Him and obey His commandments. Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Perfectionism and Faith


I have struggled with the need to be perfect in my religion since I was a little child. I thought I had to be perfect in keeping God's commandments so I could go to the Celestial Kingdom (Heaven) and be worthy of His love. But, when I knelt to pray every night I was filled with an embarrassing and demoralizing recollection of all the ways I had messed up and fell short of my lofty goal. Perfectionism had damaged my relationship with Heavenly Father and my self image. 

It was during my Senior year of high school that I finally realized I had a problem. I hadn't recognized perfectionism's extent in my life before. Now that I was aware of it, I was at an even greater loss for how to change. Stumbling across this passage one day in my Seminary class was a little answer to my prayers.

If you want context on how this passage fits in with Paul's epistle, read Philippians 3:7-10; it really helps! I would copy and paste it but I don't want to freak you out with the length of my spiel. 
In those verses above, Paul's basically saying that every earthly thing he has gained in his life really doesn't mean anything to him. Because, in the grand scheme of things, it's not important so long as he has Christ and His resurrection.
But here's the AWESOME passage:
Philippians 3: 12-15
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
I learned back then what I continue to remind myself of now: this is the attitude I'm supposed to have in the Gospel. I do not have to act and am not responsible to act as through I have already obtained perfection. I have not obtained the resurrection of the just, as Paul said in verse 11. That is the only time and way I will ever be perfect. But, I "follow after", that I can become like Christ.
This is what we are supposed to do: we are meant to "forget...those things which are behind, and reach... forth unto those things which are ahead." This is EXACTLY what we are meant to do when we make mistakes. We aren't supposed to beat ourselves up about and dwell on them. When we do that, we only continue to live in the past and we can't progress. We're stuck.
Instead, we "press toward the mark for the prize" - the wonderful opportunity to become like Christ.
"Be thus minded..." and then, if we have that attitude in the gospel, "God shall reveal even this unto you". He will reveal His mysteries to us.
How blessed I am to have a God who does not care about perfection! He has already provided the perfect life for my salvation through His Son. He has given me the perfect opportunity to learn and grow; this life is a safe environment to experiment, fall, and then use His hand to pick myself up again. That is how my mortal experiment is meant to be viewed. It is the chance to press forward unto Christ and fail many times because His passion (aka atonement) has made me safe.
When we are blessed with this outlook, life becomes so much easier. We better understand why we are asked to be obedient as a disciple: it is not to prove or justify our salvation, but only to seize the wonderful chance to become more like Him. It changes our prayers from a dreaded time of guilt and inadequacy to a moment of peace, trust and joy in repentance with my Father. It makes all the difference in our relationship with Him.
I promise that our Heavenly Father will one day make us perfect through the power of the passion/atonement of Christ. I take great hope in that promise. But the resurrection has not happened yet. Instead, I am filled with joy when I realize that my job now, as Brad Wilcox once said, "We are not earning heaven, we are learning heaven."

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. ...