Thursday, January 29, 2015

Knowing the Godhead Can Strengthen Us

As the first article of faith states: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” We believe that the Godhead is comprised of three separate individuals who are one in purpose and who all want to help us in our lives.  

We also believe that we were created in the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father. In a talk about the Godhead given by President Gordon B. Hinckley he reads Genesis 1:26 which says “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). President Hinckley goes on to explain: “Could any language be more explicit? Does it demean God, as some would have us believe, that man was created in His express image? Rather, it should stir within the heart of every man and woman a greater appreciation for himself or herself as a son or daughter of God”.

Knowing that we were created in the likeness of our Heavenly Father can help us to remember that as literal daughters and sons of Heavenly Father we have infinite worth and he loves us unconditionally. When we make a mistake Heavenly Father doesn’t stop loving us, but just wants to help us get back on track so that we can be happy. We have the other members of the Godhead— Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost— to also help us in our lives and to comfort us. Christ as our Savior literally suffered for every sin and sorrow that we will ever go through and we can gain strength and power in our lives through the Atonement. The Holy Ghost helps us by not only comforting us but the Holy Ghost also testifies to us of truth so that we can have guidance in our lives. 

Gaining knowledge about the members of the Godhead can help us to know who we are and to know where we can go for help and support in our lives. 

How has knowledge of the Godhead blessed your life? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

He will give you help

Sometimes, life is difficult. We may not understand things that happen to us or to those around us. God is there, He loves us. And He will always give you help.

Do you feel God's love for you?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Finding Faith

Looking back in my life, I realize that God is gentle, caring, and patient. He is attentive to my needs. I also realized that I am slow to understand what God wants me to learn and I can be very stubborn. So the testimony I have today are truths the Holy Ghost testified to my heart over and over again throughout my life. It is hard to say when exactly I received my testimony of this gospel. However, I do remember a time when I learned a gospel doctrine to be true.

When I was about thirteen years old my grandma passed away by cancer. This was the first time, besides my hamster, that I had experienced death. I didn't understand what happened after death. It felt like I lost my grandma forever. I was devastated. I learned at church that we will see our loved ones again and that there is hope in the afterlife. During my dark and angry thoughts over my grandma’s death, I also felt hope. I hoped to learn and understand what I had been taught. So I knelt in prayer and pleaded with my Heavenly Father for understanding. I prayed to understand why my grandma couldn't see me graduate high school, get married, and see my children when all my older cousin were privileged to have her in their lives. I pleaded to understand His plan for me and to know why I was slighted in life. My angry prayers turned to sobs over months of praying and when I felt that I couldn't handle feeling such strong emotions anymore, I felt a sudden, calming peace fill my soul. For a sliver of a moment, I felt the presence of my Savior so very strongly and so very close to me. For the first time in my life, I knew that my Heavenly Father lives. That He loves me. That He is watching over me and that He is there to hear and answer my prayers. My Heavenly Father knew that I was sad to lose my grandma, but He understood my heart more than I did at that time. He knew that my prayers were in fact questioning my beliefs and faith. I wanted, for the first time in my life, to REALLY know and understand if the gospel of Jesus Christ was true. And He answered.

I know Heavenly Father lives and He loves us. I know He wants what is best for us and that He has a plan for you and me. I know He cares about us individually and deems our souls so worthy that He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us. I encourage you to take the time to find out for yourself. I know He is waiting for you to feel His love.

May you feel His love for you today. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

He’s Got You Covered!

I am currently taking a New Testament class from Brigham Young University. Right now we are reading the second half of the New Testament starting with Acts, and we read the martyrdom of Stephen, which you may be familiar with. The leaders of the Jews have accused Stephen, an early missionary, of blasphemy for preaching about Jesus Christ. The consequence of his actions was stoning, or throwing stones at him until he died from the blows.  While they are in the very act of killing him, he says these verses:

Acts 7:55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Maybe like you have, I always knew that these verses were special. I was also always amazed at Stephen’s selflessness where He asks God not to “lay…this sin to their charge”.  What incredible strength of character!

But then my teacher pointed out something that I hadn't thought of before. He asked, “What did Stephen see in Jesus and the Father’s face that allowed him to say that?”

I realized then that it wasn't Stephen’s amazing character, perfect virtue or his own efforts that allowed him to freely forgive those who were killing him. It never was. That healing love was, and is, a gift from God. That is the only place that love and strength can come from. It seems that I sometimes forget that the people in the scriptures and my leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aren't infallible; that they aren't perfect, enlightened people who worked out their own salvation. Every single one of them is exemplary men and women solely because of gift of love given to them from God.

To me, that’s a huge relief and gives me hope. It means that I don’t have to rely on my meager handful of love to get me through the day. Instead, Heavenly Father’s got me covered. It means that although it won’t be easy, just like getting stoned surely isn't, He can give me the strength I need to love others even when they hurt me.

This is true for you. I know that right now you might be in the very process of being hurt and healed over and over again. It isn't be easy to muster up love for family members every day, that coworker, or your next door neighbor. But I also thank my Heavenly Father so much, because he is close to every single one of us. Your pain is His own. He has never left your side and never will. You don’t have to worry about your own efforts to get you through; He’s got you covered. He is the one who can give you that love you need for others.

I promise you that every day you plead with Heavenly Father on your knees you are looking into His and your Savior’s face. I know that the love you so desperately need is there and will change you. And I promise that as you let His love change you, you will start look more like them than you can realize. 
                                                                     -Submitted by Karen F.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

We are children of a loving Heavenly Father

God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power and knows all things. He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)

Our Heavenly Father is a God of judgment and strength and knowledge and power, but He is also a God of perfect mercy, kindness, and charity. Even though we do not know the meaning of all things, we can find peace in the sure knowledge that He loves us.

One of life's great questions is "Who am I?" One of our children's Primary songs answers this question beautifully - "I am a Child of God, and He has sent me here." The knowledge that we are children of God provides strength, comfort, and hope.

You are a literal child of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life. As His child, you can be assured that you have divine, eternal potential and that He will help you in your sincere efforts to reach that potential.

As children of God, we have a special relationship with Him, setting us apart from all His other creations. Seek to know your Father in Heaven. He loves you and He has given you the precious opportunity to draw near to Him as you pray. Your prayers are heard and they are answered!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Don't be afraid to live your religion - no matter what that may be!

It seems too often that we, humans of the earth, are a people who are crippled by fear. I myself am no stranger to it. Fear is so common to us and is shared by all but is still uniquely ours.

I can remember a poignant time when I felt myself constrained by the familiar bounds of fear – that in regards to my faith. I was 13, gangly, with a wavering self-confidence to match. I was neither popular nor unpopular. I was stuck between the person I knew I was and the person the crowds wanted me to be. Most of the time, I felt terribly lonely.

My beliefs certainly were not the way to become popular. I was a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or a Mormon. This wasn't unique, however – almost everyone in my school was as well. Rather than solidifying the standards and beliefs of our church, the familiarity with the doctrine often seemed to engender the opposite: people were cold, crude, and ridiculed the things I held most sacred. Being “Mormon” was not a distinction – it was spectrum full of varying levels of commitment to the teachings of Christ. Most of us wanted to be good, but not too good, as that would single us out for vicious teasing. No one wanted to be branded a “Molly Mormon”. Those kids were little goody-two shoes; people who sucked the fun out of everything and were looked down upon.

I was so afraid of being called a Molly Mormon, and sometimes I was. I knew that the church was true but didn’t always want to show it for fear of being teased. Though I never did anything terrible, I didn't live as true to my knowledge of God as I could have. Sometimes I was quiet when I should have spoken up in defense of Christ.

          I understand so much more clearly now – most of my misery came because I didn't always stick to the things I knew to be true. I knew I had a Heavenly Father who loved me and knew my name. I knew I was His child. I knew that I had a Savior: Jesus Christ. I knew God wanted me to become the best person I could possibly be. He wanted me to be true to Him, which would also mean being true to me.

         The experience of Peter and John so adequately explains what I was facing and what I needed to do. The leaders of the Jews had brought the two apostles before them and threatened them, demanding that they stop teaching of Christ.

Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

And then, a page turn away, they boldly restate their determination to follow Christ:

Acts 5: 29 ¶Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Obey God. Don’t be afraid to live your lives true to your religion, whatever it may be. Whether you are Buddhist, Muslim, Christian or more, never let the opinion of man hold you back from following God the best way you possibly can. Don’t let your fear hold you back; it will only make you miserable. God loves you. He loves you where you are and knows what’s best from you. His sole purpose is to help you develop into the wonderful person He knows you can be. Though our beliefs on how to worship God may differ, I promise you that if you are true to the knowledge you have, you will be happier.

So it was with me – after that dreadful year of middle school and in the safety of a summer afternoon, I made a promise. I told God that I would show my love for Him on the outside no matter the consequences; that I would obey His rules first rather than hesitating under the glare of my peers. That following school year marked the turn of a new chapter in my life. Though I didn't know who I was in full, necessarily, I had decided who I was going to become: a disciple of Jesus Christ and someone who is in His gospel to end.
                                                                             -Submitted by Karen F.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Tender Mercies of the Lord

I am often amazed at the many tender mercies I witness in my every day life. Little things that help me know that my Savior lives and He loves me! Sometimes it's as simple as a beautiful sunset that I happen to see just before it disappears behind the mountains, or a sweet word from a loved one - just when I need it. 

What are the tender mercies in your life?

Monday, January 5, 2015

What we know about the nature of the Godhead

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the holy Ghost." (first Article of Faith) These three beings make up the Godhead. They preside over this world and all other creations of our Father in Heaven.

The true doctrine of the Godhead was lost in the apostasy that followed the Savior's mortal ministry and the deaths of His Apostles. This doctrine began to be restored when 14-year old Joseph Smith received his First Vision. From the his account of that First Vision and from his other teachings, we know that the members of the Godhead are three separate beings. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bones, and the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.

Although the members of the Godhead are distinct beings with distinct roles, they are one in purpose and doctrine. They are perfectly united in bringing to pass Heavenly Father's divine plan of salvation.

I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that he did see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He talked with them, learned from them, and restored their true doctrine to the earth. I am grateful for his courage to ask a simple question and have faith he would receive an answer.

What are your thoughts of the Godhead?

If you would like more information about our beliefs of the Godhead, the Prophet Joseph Smith's life, the First Vision, or the Restoration of the Gospel, please visit:

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