Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let The Atonement Bless Your Life

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The Lord works form the inside out.  The world works from the outside in…The world would mold men by changing their environment.  Christ changed men, who then change their environment.  The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.” 
I love Alma 5:14, 19  “Have ye been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? …. I say unto you can you look up, having the image of God engraven in your countenances?
I have had this mighty change of heart and want his image engraven deep in my soul and countenance, in hopes that all who know me will be able to see.  I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay my debt, he kept those wounds to show all mankind when he returns again.  We are forever embedded in the palms of his hands.  A resurrected Christ who could have been made whole, yet kept the wounds in his hands, wounds caused by me, I are forever embedded in the palms of his hands.  The least I can do is have his image engraven in my countenance.
I Nephi 21:19 …”I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
I am grateful for the Atonement.  I know my Savior suffered for me, my sins, and felt everything I feel.  When I am discouraged, he already felt that, when I’m lonely, sad, hurting, he felt all those as well.  I love the verses in Alma 7:11-13
11. “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth accoding to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.”
These verse teach me my loving Savior fulfilled this horrible pain and experience to save me. He loosed the bands of death, and because of his mercy he will allow me to use this great gift, the Atonement, to be cleansed from my sins and be made clean. I am thankful for this gift, that we may use his cleansing power to be made whole.  I am nothing without the atonement but gain everything if I choose to use it; for that I am grateful.  I want to be better and through continual repentance hope to be washed clean as often as I fall short of living the way I know I ought to be.

Let the Atonement bless your life. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

How can we ever pay the debt we owe to our Savior?

How can we ever pay the debt we owe to our Savior?  Joseph B. Wirthlin spoke on Earthly Debt and Heavenly Debt.  He said, “The Savior paid a debt he did not owe to free us from a debt we can never repay. Because of Him, we will live forever. Because of His infinite Atonement, our sins can be swept away, allowing us to experience the greatest of all the gifts of God, eternal life.”

How can such a gift be repaid?  What could I possibly do to ever repay my Savior for the debt he paid for me?  In Mosiah 2:20-21, King Benjamin said, “I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that god who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another…..if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.”

Why then serve him if I can never repay this debt? 

I believe my debt to him, is my daily life, living the gospel of Jesus Christ in all my actions and words.  My service does matter, it does bless the lives of those around me. I know I can never repay my debt fully, but I know my Savior will bless me, after all I can do, and he will make up the difference for all I lack.
The Savior was much more than a man walking into the Garden of Gethsemane, he was the son of God, having power and strength to accomplish something far greater than any mortal could ever do.  Only the literal son of God could fulfill this incredible gift of the Atonement.  The Savior loves me and you enough that he aligned his will with Heavenly Fathers, making it possible for all of us to return to him if we take advantage of His gift, the Atonement.

When we serve with pure intent, love in our hearts, we may not be able to fully repay our debt but I believe he is proud of our efforts and they are acceptable to him.  Serving with the right intentions, not to get gain or promote ourselves we come to know our Savior better, and want to live as he lived, and be the example he was.  Our efforts will not be in vain, he wants to give us everything he has, and he will after all we can do to live righteously. I am grateful for the Atonement, I may not be able to repay my debt, but living my life as a willing servant with his name embedded on my heart, he will accept my poor efforts and make them whole. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Uncertain Paths

Through the Book of Mormon we have been provided with additional scripture and a second witness of our Savior Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon is a guide and road map back to our Heavenly Home. It also gives us valuable information exposing who Satan is, his works, and how he tries to lead us off the path and misdirect our journey, in hopes we will not make it home.  
Satan uses many tactic to lead all those he can through flattery, false churches, false teachings, pride, sin and denying the power of God. Today, many are blinded by the words of man verses the words of God. If we do not follow the road map given to us by our Heavenly Fathers Son, we will in fact find ourselves misdirected to an uncertain path.

One way we can stay on the path and truly be guided home is through prayer. Prayer is essential in not being deceived and staying on the path. 

In 2 Nephi 32:8-9
“…For if we would hearken unto the spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray’ for the evil spirit teacheth him that he must not pray.”
“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate they performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”

When I have decisions or cross roads in my life, I counsel with the Lord.  I may not get an immediate answer, but I always get answers.  There are times when I have had a continual prayer in my heart the entire day.  I don’t stop talking to my Heavenly Father.  Prayer and a close relationship with our Heavenly Father are two things I have found to stay on the path back home.

What does “praying always” mean to you?

What causes us to fall victim to the spiritual dangers around us?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Don’t Be Blinded

We cannot be blinded by the conditions of this world.  Satan’s influence is real and he will attack each of us, we have to be prepared and equipped to fight him.                                                                             
In the talk, Do Not Fear, Elder Packer quoted the Apostle Paul, when he prophesied of “perilous times” in the last days (2 Tim. 3:1), and he warned, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12)
Paul’s wisdom is for us today, we live in perilous times, and if we spend our life “wrestling” with the things of no value we will have many regrets.  It’s easy to get side tracked from what is right and accept evil for good and good for evil.  We live in a day where many people are followers and lean on man for understanding instead of God.  Why is it, even when we know what is right, we still get side tracked and lose our eternal perspective? 
“Wo unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”    2 Nephi 14:20  
It is surprising how many people look the other way and do not care about God’s laws.  They profess a belief in God, but only on their own terms.  Good for evil and evil for good is becoming the norm.  It makes it easier to sin. The Ten Commandments are looked at as an old thing, pornography and bad movies have become acceptable, yet are destructive to society and families.
“Wherefore do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.  Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.”   2 Nephi 9:51    
The world would have us believe the things of value are materialistic, that which money can buy.  The Lord tells us to invest in the things which are lasting and which will not perish.  We cannot and will not find the most valuable things amidst the filth of this world, it darkens our spirits and leaves us empty.

As we combat the evil one, through scripture study, worship, prayer and obedience, we put on spiritual armor to fight Satan and his followers.  I know the scriptures are of great worth, feasting on them and delighting in the gospel of Jesus Christ brings the greatest blessing to my life. I gain strength to conquer the evils that so readily surround me.  I do not want to live with regrets when there is so much more to life.  I, like Nephi, know my flesh is weak but I also know in whom I can trust.  To combat the evils that surround me I must stand on the Lords side.


December 2014 We did it!  After 2 1/2 years we finally got a family photo :) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Family Christmas Bucket List

In no particular order:

1. Family talent show/Christmas party
2. Skype Jeff
3. Family 5k
4. Make and decorate gingerbread houses
5. Game night
6. Date night (kid-less)
7. Pictures with Santa and train ride at the railroad park
8. Watch Christmas Vacation
9. Family service project
10. Make/eat pomegranate/avocado salsa
11. Organ Stop Pizza... anyone, anyone? My kids loved it last year, so I thought it might be fun.
12. Gingerbread houses
13. Push-up contest

I was going to say car caroling, but we don't have a big enough car for that anymore. :(  Other ideas are welcome, but we can't let the list get out of hand or we won't have time for it all. Have I forgotten any essentials?

P.S. Be on the hunt for white elephant gifts. I already have ours and I loooove them.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wes and the Union Pacific, January 22nd

 This kid loves trains!  Future
railroad engineer.

Union Pacific Yard,
7th Street downtown by the
Ball park.

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park