Monday, April 25, 2016

Article of Faith Four

The blessing of having these Articles of Faith, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is found within living the truths held by each individual declaration. Article of Faith number four defines the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Seeing everything in life through the light of faith in the Savior, gives substance and meaning to every life experience. When I am consciously seeking to develop my faith in Jesus Christ, I see and comprehend my divinity more clearly. I am not lost. I am not alone. I am not without purpose, and I am not without strength. Phillipians 4:13 testifies, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I believe "all things" includes participating and choosing the path Christ has outlined and lived Himself.

Each of the other principles and ordinances referenced in this Article of Faith give us basic direction concerning necessary choices in mortality for exhalation in eternity. 

Article of Faith Four:  
"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."

As I have participated and participate in these first principles and ordinances of the gospel, I have gained knowledge of where true happiness comes from. I have been given the courage to repent and try again each day. I have found solace and peace by the power of the Holy Ghost, and I have felt what strengthening my faith in the Savior can actually do for my soul. And that is beautiful to me. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Articles of Faith Two and Three

If you missed  the first post on the Articles of faith, take a look at last Monday's post. I mentioned that each Monday there will be another Article of Faith discussed. But today, I would like to share both Article of Faith two and Article of Faith three. The doctrine in these articles of faith are somewhat related, and shed important light on the principles discussed.  

Article of Faith Two:

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. 

As children of God, we are not held accountable for the sins of others, but are fully accountable for our own sins and choices under the gift of free agency given to us by our Father in Heaven. He knew that we would make mistakes and struggle with turning our hearts to Him, and in great mercy, He provided a Savior. This article of faith is the main reason why infant babies have no need of baptism. They are innocent and are blessed under the atonement of Jesus Christ until the age of accountability at eight years old. 

This is a great truth that God has given to His children today. We all come from Father Adam and Mother Eve, yet we are not tied to their transgression of partaking of the fruit in the Garden of Eden. And they will not answer for our sins. God expects us to learn of Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. Gaining this knowledge will bring to light the truth that each son or daughter of God must choose for themselves good or evil and whether they will allow the the grace of the Savior to have full sway in their lives. In connection with this, we have the third article of faith. 

Article of Faith Three:

We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

Heavenly Father knew that his children would need a way to overcome sin, and he provided for this by sending His perfect and only begotten Son in the flesh to atone for our sins and, mark the one and only way by which we may return to live with our Father in Heaven again. We are not saved by baptism alone, or any other single event. We are saved by daily obeying the laws and ordinances within the gospel Christ has outlined, and applying the atonement of Jesus Christ daily by the works of faith. 

The atonement of Christ is the single most important event that has ever happened or will happen in the history of the world. This is the greatest act of love ever to be or to have been. 

Elder James E. Talmage, served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1911 to 1933, and he described these principles this way,

 "The application of the atonement to individual transgression, whereby the sinner may obtain absolution through compliance with the laws and ordinances embodied in the gospel of Jesus Christ, is conclusively attested by scripture. Since forgiveness of sins can be secured in none other way, there being either in heaven or earth no name save that of Jesus Christ whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, every soul stands in need of the Savior's mediation, since all are sinners. 'For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' said Paul of old, and John the apostle added his testimony in these words: 'If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.' "

I testify that taking responsibility for our relationship with Christ, pleases our Father in Heaven. He gave us the greatest gift of all when he sent His Son to show us the way and change everything for the race of all mankind through the completion of the infinite atonement. For now, if nothing else written here speaks to you, I know that accepting the invitation to come unto Christ and allow the atonement to fill your life will be enough. 

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blessings Within Adversity

The purpose of life is to gain a physical body and be tested in all things so that we can qualify to return to God.

No matter what you call it; opposition, adversity, trials, problems or just plain life—none of us are immune from its sting. No individual or group will escape pain, suffering or sorrow. And, while it is true that there are consequences attached to our decisions, our earthly circumstances are not a reflection of how much God loves us. It is simply, part of the test.

It is important to note that without opposition nothing has meaning. How can we know joy without pain, happiness without sorrow, or prosperity without poverty?

As we are able to shift our perspective from “Why is this happening to me?” to “What am I supposed to learn from this experience?” we gain the faith and the strength to overcome each trial, one prayer and one day at a time.

The Prophet Joseph Smith gave us this characterization of himself:

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force…Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty.”

Adversity is a master teacher. However, it is up to us to decide how long it will take to learn, and what price it will cost us before we succumb to each lesson.

Our Savior Jesus Christ has shown us the way by setting a perfect example and atoning for our sins. He overcame sin and death, and has paved the path back to our Heavenly Father.

This knowledge has brought peace to me as I toil with all of God’s children through this life. I am so happy to know that with Christ as the pattern, and God’s plan, that all things will work for my good.

How glorious it is to know that we can all reach our potential through overcoming adversity and placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

-Posted by Nathan McConkie- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Articles of Faith

The Articles of Faith come from a letter written by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842 to an editor named John Wentworth. They were first published in the Church’s Times and Seasons newspaper in Nauvoo and have since become part of latter-day scripture.

As we continue to post about life and the gospel, we would like to share the previously mentioned articles of faith on this blog. There are thirteen articles of faith, or belief statements included in the doctrine of the church. Every Monday for the next thirteen weeks, we would like to share one of these articles of faith.
 We welcome any questions on these statements, and hope they will shed further light on  the divine doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Article of Faith 1:
             We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and                 in the Holy Ghost. 

Elder L. Tom Perry, an apostle in the church, recently passed away, but left us with many great insights to the gospel. He said of the first article of faith, 

"The first article anchors our belief in God, our Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. How grateful we are for a knowledge of Supreme Beings that rule and govern this world. Our belief does not come from the speculations of men about the existence and nature of God, but from firsthand experience from the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. His experience clarified for mankind the existence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Thus to the world came the vision that three personages comprise this great presiding council of the universe and have revealed themselves to mankind as three separate beings, physically distinct from each other as demonstrated by the accepted records of their divine dealings with mankind. 

We know the occasions where they have been in evidence to mankind as three distinct personages. It is clear that the Father is a personal being possessing a definite form of body, parts, and spiritual passions, that Jesus Christ was with the Father in spirit before coming to dwell in the flesh, and through whom worlds were made. He lived among men as a man, with all of the physical characteristics of a human being. After His Resurrection He appeared in that same form. The Holy Ghost, also called Spirit or Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of God, Comforter, or the Spirit of the Truth, is not tabernacled in a body of flesh and bones but is a personage of spirit. The Holy Ghost is a witness of the Father and of the Son declaring to man their attributes, bearing record of the other personages of the Godhead."

The truth declared about the reality of a Father in heaven, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost has brought a peace and assurance to my life that feeds every other spiritual and physical need I have in this life. I know that God is my father, therefore, prayer becomes personal and holy as I know I am speaking to a person of flesh and bone. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ and I receive answers through the gift and blessing of the Holy Ghost. This process has directed, healed, and blessed my entire life. One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon invites, 

" Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. "
                                -Mosiah 4:9

I also know God lives. I know Jesus Christ lives. And these things were testified to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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