May 31, 2011

Necessity of Christ’s Atonement

The Savior praying in the Garden of Gethsemane

In teaching about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, President Boyd K. Packer stated:
“I seldom use the word absolutely. It seldom fits. I use it now—twice:
“Because of the Fall, the Atonement was absolutely essential for resurrection to proceed and overcome mortal death. The Atonement was absolutely essential for men to cleanse themselves from sin and overcome the second death, spiritual death, which is separation from our Father in Heaven, for the scriptures tell us … that no unclean thing may enter the presence of God.”

To learn more about the Atonement and about our Savior, who provided this everlasting gift, read President Packer’s article “Who Is Jesus Christ?” in the March 2008 Liahona, a special issue focused entirely on Jesus Christ.

May 27, 2011

The Small and Simple Things

In the Old Testament, Naaman was the captain of a Syrian king’s army. He was also a leper.  He sought out how he could be cleansed from his leprosy and an Israelite maid told him to seek out the prophet Elisha.

"So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." (2 Kings 5:9-10)

Personally, if I had this horrible disease I would try anything that I could to get rid of it.  I found Naaman's response interesting:
"But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage." (2 Kings 5:11-12)

Naaman thought that Elisha would just come out and heal him.  He also questioned the cleanliness of the Jordan river and wondered why he didn't have him wash in cleaner water.  How many times do we question what our leaders ask us to do?  I like the response one of his servants gives him.

"And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." (2 Kings 5:13-14)

Naaman was asked to do a simple task and his servant reminded him how easy it was.  How many of us want to do the big things, but skip over the little things?  In closing, I would like to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon that complements these verses from the Bible.

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." (Alma 37:6-7)

I testify that small and simple things bring to pass the greatest things.  How do we gain a bigger testimony in the Gospel?  We gain it by doing the small things: reading scriptures, praying, going to church.  It doesn't all come at once just like when Naaman had to dip himself seven times.  It takes diligence and motivation.  I know that if we do these simple things that we will be greatly blessed.

Small and Simple things

May 24, 2011


Recently in the Bigfork area, a lot of people have been concerned with flooding.  Flood preparation has been on a lot of people's minds and the community has had some meetings to discuss how to help prevent and protect before it's too late.  Elder Wells and I have been involved in helping by filling sandbags.  As we were helping out I couldn't help but think of the following scriptures in the New Testament:

Matthew 7:24-29:
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

Jesus is saying that we need to hear and do the things that he has asked us to do.  If we do, we have a solid foundation that won't fall when the storms of life come.  If we don't, then we have no such promise and we will crumble under pressure.  We also show our love for the Savior by keeping His commandments and serving other people(John 14:15).
Another great scripture that explains what the rock is, is found in Helaman 5:12, which says: "Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

I testify that if our foundation is on Christ and we do what he asks of us, we cannot fall.  Even when the storms of life come down on us and we have no one to rely on, we still have Him.  He is always there for us and we can trust Him.  Whenever I've experienced difficult times in my life, I've found that the scriptures and prayer help me get through it.  Let us prepare ourselves spiritually now, so we don't have to worry when the floods come.

May 19, 2011

How to Move a Mountain

How to Move a Mountain

(Cherie Call)
When I was young I heard the stories
About the people who could make the mountains flee
And every now and then, someone would tell me
I could do the same if I believed
So one summer night, I looked out my window
And I closed my eyes and listened to the wind blow

And I tried to move a mountain
I wished for it to crumble at my feet
I tried one thing after another
but I couldn't shake a leaf

I never knew that the mountain
Had a lesson it would teach
Cause as tall as I got, I still lived in its shadow
I watched it tower over me
Till one summer day, I thought I heard it call me
So I closed my eyes and then changed into my blue jeans

And I learned how to move a mountain
It was harder than I dreamed it would be
But I set one foot down past the other
Till the mountain was under me
And I felt like I could see forever
When the truth hit my senses suddenly
This mountain wasn't nearly the first one that I'd moved
God had seen my victory
Every time I put my weaknesses behind me
And I close my eyes and let His mercy find me

I know how to move a mountain
I have to fall down on my knees
Then I get back on my feet and head on upward
Till I make it to the peak
And the mountain's under me
I love the messages that this song has behind it.  It wasn't really about moving the mountain at all, but moving ourselves above it.  It's all about our perspective and how we view our lives.  Are we going to just going to sit around and hope that something happens in our lives, or are we actually going to DO something about it?
Ether 12:30  "For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith."

Listen to the song: "How to Move a Mountain"

May 17, 2011

Answers to Prayer

Today I was reading in the Book of Mormon about how our prayers can be answered.  Alma has a great explanation of how not only our prayers can be answered, but our questions as well. 
Alma 5:45-48
"...Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me."

I underlined several things that stood out to me, one of them being the question, how do we know if our prayers are being answered.  Alma gives the answer in the next verse saying that it is through the Holy Ghost, fasting, praying, and the spirit of revelation.
He then goes on to say that it has been revealed to him that the words that their fathers had spoken were true according to the spirit of prophecy as well as by the Spirit of God or Holy Ghost.   After that he concludes by bearing his powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement:

"I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name."

I know that these scriptures are true and I know that we can all know they are true by praying about them.  Receiving answers to our prayers takes effort and the Lord recognizes and blesses our efforts.  I know that prayers are answered, because mine have been.  I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

May 14, 2011

The Civility Experiment

I like how this video shows how we shouldn't judge each other as well as how we should treat our fellow men.  Learn how civility and kindness go much deeper than appearances and quick judgments.

Read President Thomas S. Monson's full address, "Charity Never Faileth" @

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tinted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am lifted up in prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me and when He returns for His own He will have no problem recognizing me. 
- Elder Henry B. Eyring

The Falcon, Prophet, and Holy Ghost

There once was a mighty king who enjoyed hunting more than anything. He had a trusted friend, a falcon, whom he would take on his hunting trips. The falcon had been trained to fly high above the hunters and alert them to where the game was.
  One day the king took his trusted men and his prized falcon out to hunt. After a day of traversing the land the hunters became disoriented and lost their way. They were tired and thirsty, so when they heard the sound of rushing water
they were overjoyed. They discovered a
pool of clear water with a steady stream of water splashing into it. The king took his goblet from  the servant's pack and bent to catch the clear, cool water and once more the falcon swooped down and knocked it from his hand. By know the king was extremely angry and asked for his gun. The bird that he considered his friend had spilled his water for the second time. The king wondered why the falcon had turned on him.
  The king attempted to fill his cup a third time, but the bird again knocked it from his hand. The king lifted his rifle to shoot the falcon, yet just as he was about to pull the trigger his servant called for him to come and look. The king walked up the hill and behind some trees, above where he was to have taken the drink. In the river was the decaying carcass of an elk. The water that had looked so fresh and inviting could have easily killed him. The falcon could see farther than the king, and had warned him of the danger.

  This is the same with a prophet. Things may look good to us, but in actuality can be harmful. The prophet is who is going to warn us.

  This story can also be related to the Holy Ghost.  While the falcon did warn the king of the danger that he could not see, a lot of the time the prophet is not there to help us make decisions.  The falcon can be symbolic of the Holy Ghost as well because of it's immediate promptings.

My testimony is that we have both working in our lives today.  The prophet gives us the knowledge we need to make right choices, while the Holy Ghost confirms everything that he tells us.  I know that if we follow both of these heavenly influences that we will be protected as we go through this dangerous world.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

Many people are very superstitious about Friday the 13th.  The fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.  The fear stems back to several different unfortunate events that have been assumed to have happened on that particular day.    
"There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
As for Friday, it's well known among Christians as the day Jesus was crucified. Also, some biblical scholars believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on Friday. Perhaps most significant is a belief that Abel was slain by his brother Cain on Friday the 13th." (National Geographic)
It's hard to say whether or not these events happened on these days.  Maybe it's just coincidence, but I'll just believe in the things that we know from the scriptures.  We know that prophets throughout the scriptures used symbolism to teach about Jesus Christ and that the meaning behind the numbers can be used as symbols as well.  Some of the scriptural symbolism behind the numbers are listed below:

Number Scriptural Symbolism
1 God, Genesis, beginning
2 Christ, opposition, deliverance
3 Holy Ghost, Godhead, solid, divine protection
4 Earth (North, South, East, and West; 4 elements; divisions of day; seasons, and etc)
5 Grace (4+1)
6 Man’s imperfection (6 times, Savior is charged with having a devil inside, serpent in Hebrew has 6 names)
7 Oath, spiritual perfection
8 Abundance, Covenant, beginning, new
9 Judgment
10 The Law, Order (10 Commandments)
11 Discord, disorder (12-1)
12 Priesthood authority, governmental perfection (quorum of 12 holds all Priesthood keys)
20 Expectancy (i.e. 20 years Jacob waited to get wives and payment)
30 The right moment
40 Probation, trial, renewal (40 days ark)
200 Insufficiencies   

May 7, 2011

Mothers Day

Mother's day is a special holiday when we celebrate our mothers.  We get to honor the women in our lives who mean the most to us and thank them for all that they do.  With both this and the recent Easter holiday in mind, I would like to relate the following scriptures: 
"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." -St John 19:25-27

While Jesus was on the cross, He made seven statements:
-"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
-"Woman, behold thy son!"
-"Behold thy mother!"
-"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
-"I thirst"
-"It is finished!"
-"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Of these seven statements, two of them are directly about Jesus making sure that his mom will be taken care of.  Jesus "commended her to the care and protection of the beloved disciple, with the words, 'Woman, behold thy son!' and to John, 'Behold thy mother!'  The disciple tenderly led the heart-stricken Mary away from her dying Son, and "took her unto his own home,' thus immediately assuming the new relationship established by his dying Master."
It is important to notice the love that Jesus showed to His mother, especially at this painful time of his life.  Our mothers also deserve this attention and I'm grateful for this holiday that helps us to show it. 
I am personally grateful for my own mother and all that she has done and is doing for me.  I have always admired her example and relied on her testimony growing up.  She had a great influence on me deciding to serve a mission and has supported me through it all will letters and packages, for which I am very thankful.    No offense to all of you other moms, but I have the best one!  I love her and hope that she has a great mother's day.
Love ya Mom!   

May 5, 2011

I 'knead' thee every hour

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." -John 6:35

Jesus Christ is mentioned as the bread of life multiple times in the scripturesMy favorite comparison is found in the 6th chapter of John.  Here Jesus is talking to the Jews about the Manna that was provided for their fathers in the wilderness.  Jesus proclaims in verse 48 that He is "that bread of life."  He then goes on to explain that "if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

I was listening to the song "I Need Thee Every Hour" the other day when I thought of replacing the 'need' with 'knead.'  This made me laugh at first, but then I thought of the correlation of the song with the actual meaning.  The chorus of the song says:
"I need thee, O I need thee; 
every hour I need thee; 
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee."
Kneading is an importance process in making bread and is necessary for mixing the ingredients and adding strength to the dough.  'Kneading' our Savior does the same thing for us.  It adds spiritual strength to us as we are pulled and stretched in different ways.  Yes, I know this blog was a stretch as well, but you get the point.  We 'knead' our Savior and we 'knead' to eat the bread of life in order to gain eternal life.  Let us all come unto Christ by living His Gospel.

For more Daily Bread, check out Elder Davis' blog:

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