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.” (

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)

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