Friday, November 28, 2008

Repentance: To Gethsemane and Back

Vaughn J. Featherstone, Stockholm Area Conference, Official Report, August 17, 1974, 71–73.
My beloved young friends, you have just heard from one of the
great holy prophets on the earth. [Ezra Taft Benson.] What will you
do with his words?
Since I received this assignment, I have asked myself dozens of
times: “What would the Savior say if he were here and had this
opportunity to address you? What would he have you hear, and
what would he have you leave knowing?” I have spent a great deal
of time in prayer, and I hope that I might deliver that which you
should receive.
I think first the Savior would have you know that he cares. I
believe he would want you to learn and gain strength from him and
give your soul unto him.
To Gethsemane and back
A few months ago, a little over a year, I had the opportunity of
going to Mesa, Arizona, and there at a stake conference I
interviewed a young man. The young man had committed a major
transgression and needed to be interviewed by a General Authority
before going on a mission, as any young man going on a mission, if
he has committed a transgression, must be interviewed by a
General Authority. So I interviewed this young man. . . .
As I got into the interview, I said to him, “Now, my dear young
friend, there must have been something in your life that caused you
to have this interview. Would you mind telling me what that was? I
want you to be very honest and frank with me.” And then he kind
of laughed, and he said there was not anything he had not done.
And I said, “Well then, let me be more specific. Have you had
sexual relations?” Then he very haughtily said, “Yes, I told you
I’ve done everything.” I said, “How many times?” And he said,
again sarcastically, “Do you think I numbered them?” And I said to
him, “My dear young friend, I would to God you could if you
can’t.” He said, “Well, I can’t.” I said, “How about
homosexuality?” He said, “Yes. I told you I’ve done everything.” I
said, “Drugs?” He said, “Everything.”
So I said, “Why do you think you are going on a mission?” He
said: “I’m going on a mission because my patriarchal blessing says
I’m going on a mission. I have repented. I don’t do those things
anymore. I haven’t done them for the past year. I’ve been living the
law of tithing; I’ve attended my meetings; and I’ve repented. And I
know I’m going on a mission.”
I said: “My dear young friend, do you suppose that we could
send you out into the mission field with all those fine young men
who have never violated the moral code? Do you suppose we could
send you out to have you brag and boast about the things that
you’ve done? You haven’t repented. You’ve just stopped doing
something. And I said, “As far as we’re concerned, we just cannot
permit you to go out in the mission field.
And then he started to cry, and I guess he cried for several
minutes. Finally, when he finished crying (and I did not say a word
while he cried) he said, “I guess that’s the first time I’ve cried since
I was five years old.”
I said: “If you had cried like that the first time you were tempted
to break the moral code, maybe tonight you would be going on a
mission. But I’m sorry; we just cannot send you out.” I said: “You
need to go to Gethsemane and back first. Once you have been to
Gethsemane and understand how the Savior suffered for those
things which you so haughtily laughed about and sarcastically
responded to my questions, after you have been to Gethsemane,
you will understand what repentance is. You haven’t repented,” I
said, “and I’m surprised they ordained you an elder, after this track
record you’ve had.” And then I said, “Besides this, I’m not sure but
what they should have held a Church court [now called a
disciplinary council] for you.”
“Now,” I said, “they have ordained you, and all those things
have taken place, and repentance is possible. But you find a girl
and forget about a mission; you find a girl, and then hopefully she
will marry you. But you tell her about your past, because it isn’t a
very pleasant one. And after you have married and you have
children, try to spend the rest of your life proving to the Lord that
you are repentant.”
And he looked up at me, and he said, “There is no way that I can
go on a mission?” And I said, “No way at this time. I’m sorry, but
that’s just the way it is. I want you to know we love you, and we do
care about you. And someday you will thank me for making sure
you had to go to Gethsemane and back.”
Well, he left, and I am sure he felt that I was one of the cruelest
people in the world, because I had kept him from that thing which
he had desired. He had told his friends that he was going on a
mission, and I had deprived him of this great thing. I told the stake
president and the bishop to hold his mission call and to suggest
other courses of action for this young man. Then I left.
About six months later I was back down in that same
community again. I remember as I went down into the community
and spoke at the Henry Eyring lecture series in the institute there,
after I had finished speaking, several of the young adults came
down the aisle, and I stood shaking hands many minutes. All of a
sudden I looked up, and I saw this young man in line.
Now I remembered him, and I remembered his sarcasm; I
remembered his haughtiness; I remembered how he had laughed
and joked about this thing. All of those thoughts, every single
particle and detail of that interview, went back through my mind.
Now, if I interviewed any of you and you had truly repented, and I
saw you two or three weeks later, I would not recall the interview, I
would not remember it because the Lord said, “I, the Lord,
remember [their sins] no more.” (D&C 58:42.) And those that have
repented, he takes it from our hearts, and he takes it from the hearts
of the leaders, and he will take it from your heart. But because this
young man had not repented, I guess that is the reason I
remembered every particle and detail as though it had happened
just a few moments before.
As he got to me, I bent down over the front of the stand like this
and shook hands with him. Tears came to his eyes, streamed down
his cheeks; almost a holy glow was in his countenance. I said to
him, “You’ve been there haven’t you?” And then, as he cried, he
said, “I have been to Gethsemane and back, and I’m more grateful
to you than I could ever tell you. Thanks so much for what you
have done for me.”
Well, I wept somewhat in my heart. Now if it had not been for
the Savior and the miracle of forgiveness, this young man would
have carried those transgressions down through eternity. We ought
to love the Savior. We ought to serve him for this reason alone.
Now, if you make a serious mistake like this young man did,
chalk one up against yourself. But you had better chalk one up
against Mom, because she failed. And you better chalk one up
against Dad and the bishop. Chalk one up against the stake
president, because each one of them failed you, and they all care
about you….

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This was given to anyone who works for Ford motor company, the church is going places forseen by the prophets in all ages. Any publicity is GOOD!!

L.D.S Facts from Ford Motor Company
An interesting article written by Ford Motor Company for their employees from the 'Ford Interfaith' group as a message about the Church. The Ford Interfaith group promotes unity by sharing information from all faiths and features these types of articles about all religions and faiths from time to time.QUICK FACTS & INTERESTING TIDBITS About The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsFleeing continued mob attacks, 158 years ago today the first Mormon pioneers desperately started their Westward trek from Illinois in the dead of winter. Of the 70,000 who began this 1300-mile journey, 6,000 were buried along the way, including many children. The following are quick facts and interesting tidbits about this now flourishing church.OVERVIEW* Named "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"; informal nicknames are "LDS" or "Mormon."* Believes it's the Lord's restoration of original Christianity as foretold to occur before Christ's Second Coming.* Core focus is that Christ and His teachings bring happiness in this life and exaltation in the next.HISTORY* In 1820 14-yr-old Joseph Smith told of a vision of God and Christ foretelling a church restoration.* Organized in New York in 1830, the church moved to near Cleveland, then near Kansas City, then Illinois.* Fleeing Illinois, Mormon pioneers founded Salt Lake City in Utah and over 600 other Western communities.SALT LAKE CITY* Temple Square in Salt Lake has over 5 million annual visitors, more than the Grand Canyon.* The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the world's most famous and has the world's oldest radio program.* The Salt Lake Temple is the most famous, but there are 128 other temples built or underway.* Home of the world's largest genealogy database; visit it online or through 3,700 free branch libraries.ACTIVE CONGREGATIONS* Sunday services entail a three-hour block of three meetings; about 27,000 congregations exist worldwide.* Highly vibrant programs exist for youth, children, singles, men, and women; very strong family focus.* Everyone has a calling; some surveys show LDS have the highest U.S. attendance and service rates.* Families receive personal fellowship visits at home from other members on a monthly basis.FINANCES* Members tithe 10 percent, plus donate generously to the needy the first Sunday of each month.* Clergy and all other congregational positions are unpaid (however, much of the janitorial is paid).* The church has no debt; all buildings are paid for in cash (average of two new congregations a day).* The paid positions in Salt Lake are famously low-salaried; funds are frugally used and tightly audited.HEALTH CODE* With a health code from 1833, LDS avoid alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, coffee, and tea (herbal tea is ok).* This 1833 code also teaches grains (especially wheat), fresh fruits and vegetables, and sparing use of meat.* A UCLA study showed that active LDS live longer than most Americans, men by 11 years, women by 8.* Utah is 50th in smoking, alcohol consumption, drunk driving, heart disease, cancer, and sick days.EDUCATION* With four colleges, Utah's BYU with 30,000 students is the largest single-campus private college.* BYU Independent Study with 130,000 students is North America (340 web courses, 530 via mail).* Seminary, a daily class usually held around 6:00 A.M., serves 376,000 high school students.* There are Institutes of Religion at 1,950 colleges worldwide that serve 367,000 college students.* The church operates schools in parts of the Pacific Ocean and Mexico for 10,000 students.* Utah is 50th in spending per pupil, but first in adults that graduated from high school and attended college.WOMEN* In 1842 the "Relief Society" was organized; it's the largest women's organization in the world.* Wyoming was first to allow women to vote; Utah was second, two months later, in 1870.* Women preach from the pulpit and serve as organization presidents, teachers, committee chairs, etc.SHARING CHRIST'S GOOD NEWS* 61,000 missionaries serve in 165 countries; 93 percent are college-age; 22 percent are female.* Unpaid and paying their own way, most work 65 hours a week for two years, often in a new language.MEMBERSHIP DISTRIBUTION* LDS are 70 percent of Utah, 30 percent of Idaho; after Catholics, LDS are the largest sect in 10 states.* The church has 5.5 million members in the U.S., making it the fourth largest individual U.S. denomination.* Some memberships: New Zealand 95k, Japan 115k, UK 175k, Philippines 500k, Brazil 900k, Mexico 925k.* Worldwide 51 percent are female; about 55 percent are not Caucasian; about 70 percent are converts.MEMBERSHIP GROWTH* For the last 15 years, every day an average of 800+ people worldwide joined the LDS church.* Half of the growth is in Latin America, but the rate of growth is highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.* Worldwide membership just passed 12 million, a tenfold increase in 50 years.* In 1984 a non-LDS professor estimated 265 million members by 2080; so far growth has been faster.* As this growth has been steady, he said it will be the "first 'new' major world religion since Islam."CHARITY/SERVICE* Members in need obtain welfare from the LDS Church (thus Utah government welfare spending is very low).* LDS donate time at 220 welfare storehouses or canneries and about 400 farms (a FL ranch is 312k acres).* There are 210 employment centers placing over 175,000 people annually, and 64 family service centers.* The church operates 46 thrift stores, in part to provide employment for the disadvantaged.* The 61,000 missionaries spend half a day each week doing non-proselytizing community service.HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE* Over 200 million pounds of food, clothing, and medicine were donated in the last 20 years in 147 countries.* Almost all of this help is to non-LDS; LDS charities also work with and donate to many non-LDS charities.* Very rapid disaster relief has been given in 144 major disasters since 1986.* Almost 3,000 welfare "missionaries" work without pay in 55 countries (farm instructors, doctors, teachers...).* LDS charities fund a wide variety of projects like drilling water wells or funding small business startup loans.* New in 2001, members in poor areas can get low-rate college loans; 10,000 loans have been made to date.GRAB BAG* Utah is first in: charitable giving, scientists, household computers, children with two parents, and birth rate.* Noted LDS included five senators, the Osmonds, Gladys Knight, Steve Young, and the inventor of TV.* LDS played a key role in the 2002 Winter Olympics; the chair is now the governor of Massachusetts.* Hawaii's #1 tourist site is the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center (Tonga and the Samoas are one-third LDS).* LDS have sponsored Boy Scout troops since 1913; 23 percent of all Scout troops are LDS.* The BYU Women's Cross Country were national champions or in second place each of the last seven years.DETROIT AREA* The Detroit metro area has 30 congregations; the Dearborn chapel is on Rotunda by Ford's Building #5.* Detroit has a temple, storehouse, cannery, employment and family service office, and family history libraries.* LDS include former Governor Romney, three former Lions quarterbacks, and hundreds of Ford employees.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amazing paper I had to write when I interviewed a baptist preacher.
Chris Isaacs

I have to say that when I received this assignment, I thought of people that would be easy to get a hold of just to do the assignment. Then I remembered how sincere our teacher Brother Embry was about perception checking. So I thought about what matters more to me than anything in the world, which is my religious belief. I went to the Rexburg chamber of commerce to get a list of local churches. I called many of them with no luck. Finally I spoke to pastor Chris Isaacs, of the Upper Valley Bible Church in Saint Anthony, Idaho. In this paper I will be explaining Chris Isaacs and his background, why he holds the view he holds and my feelings about meeting with him.
Chris Isaacs was born in Idaho. Believe it or not Chris was born and raised a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. He explained that his family was never really active members of the church but they did attend on occasion. Religion had never meant very much to Chris, until he was in a jail for his third DUI. He was at the lowest point in his life. Following this experience he went on a quest to find truth. He knew that two people couldn’t both be right. He read the bible while meeting with the local pastor of the Upper Valley Bible Church. After studying the Bible, he felt as if he were called to the work of God or approved to do his work! Chris Isaacs pinpointed that the Bible was one hundred percent truth.
He then explained to me his beliefs. The Holy Bible is the truth we have on the earth. It is unchangeable and all we need to know the will of God. You cannot have faith if you do not have the Bible as the foundation of your belief. What about the people that never hear the truth? Chris used the scripture Rom 2:11-12 and Rom. 13:8 to explain his belief. No one can be saved by their works, we are only saved by Jesus Christ when we accept his will and accept him as our lord Rom 9:30. There is absolutely no way that any works you or I do can save us in the kingdom of God. He believes that no one can obtain perfection. Implying that God was once a man as we are is false, and any one who believes that is not Christian! We will never become perfect if we accept Jesus because then we would be with him but never perfect. He then began to tell me why he believed that the LDS faith couldn’t be right. The people on the American continent are not from Jerusalem descent, which has been proven by scientists. God would never call another prophet as described in Heb 5: 1. He now speaks to us through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is not absolute for you to be saved in the kingdom of God. Joseph Smith was a fraud and the things that he did were wrong. A true prophet would never do them. At the end of the discussion Chris was determined that I understand that the Bible can never be added to for any reason. He does not believe in continuing revelation. In conclusion he said there were three core beliefs he has.
1. Jesus is God.
2. Salvation can only come by grace.
3. The Bible is unchanging truth. " Meaning it has not changed."
I tried hard to understand why Chris believes the way that he does. It is hard to feel hard feelings for someone who truly and sincerely believes something. Even though Chris and I hold different views on a lot of things. I have come to the conclusion that Chris was at a very low point in his life. He wanted something greater and he grabbed a hold of the first piece of truth he could find. I think many of us do this often with small things in our daily lives. Chris holds the views he holds because he studied the Holy Bible and interpreted it in his own way. I respected that the Bible was the foundation of everything he believed. I was so grateful for the opportunity I had to meet Chris and to be able to better understand why he believes the things he does. When I First sat down with Chris it was so hard to not say anything when he would read a scripture and it would be a completely different interpretation than I had. It truly takes humility to listen to someone else’s views on something that means so much to you. No wonder in Mormon it states that, "Charity never faileth." I came to understand what it means to first seek to understand. For the first time in my life I was able to just listen to what someone believed with out having to make sure they knew the way that I thought it should be. I realized how prideful I am when I won’t listen to anything unless they are willing to hear my point of view first. Overall this was an amazing experience; it changed the way I will communicate with people for the rest of my life. Chris Isaacs is a great man with great faith in Jesus Christ. I close with D&C 123: 12
" For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it."
Thank you Brother Embry you will never know how this assignment help me understand the importance of seeking to understand people and their views. This gave me a reality check, or as the book states a perception check.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Repentence a gift from God !

Wow, I cannot believe that repentance is taught seventy-one times in the Doctrine and Covenants, that is amazing how one can read something and not even catch something that is stressed seventy-one times. I also looked up the definition of mechanism. “The sequence of steps in a chemical reaction,” I really enjoyed this definition, as I thought of repentance like this. I was reminded that we have to complete all of the steps in order for the chemical reaction to work. For example, without faith, the first principle of the gospel, we would have no desire to repent and so on. A great scripture that was mentioned was D&C 15: 6 and D&C 16:6 . I remember so many times during my mission when I was discouraged or even let down by someone we had been teaching. Turning to this scripture gave me comfort to know that when it is all said and done I was doing what would be of the most worth to me. To be honest since I have been off my mission I have not been as good as I should be at declaring repentance to those around me. I have to remember that it will always be my duty to declare repentance to those I come in contact with. I sure am glad that the Lord feels so strong about repetition; I can be so forgetful at times I am happy to come across the same things over and over again. I believe that repetition is how we personally keep ourselves in check. I feel just as Elder Burton on this subject, how you can say that you have repented of your sins but you still feel guilt and sorrow. It must be the natural instinct of men to feel this way when we know we are hurting someone who cares about us. We have to remember that the lord promises that he will forgive us and remember our sins no more, “D&C: 19.” I know that when God makes a promise he keeps it no matter what. Therefore, when we truly repent, God will completely forgive us and our guilt will be swept away. I personally believe that the second step is the hardest part only because normally you hurt people that you love the most. To go and tell them what you have done often is relieving and peaceful. But how does the person that you have hurt for so long feel? I also believe that restitution should take place with every little sin. This is the second step. What do you think about this? I believe that the lord is just and fair, and that is why it takes more effort and is harder to repent for more serious transgressions. I just loved the example Elder Burton used with a cut on your arm. I know that we have to be patient during this process and we have to look forward to the day when we will again be free from the guilt that weighs us down. We must not dwell on our sins because it will only make us feel unworthy and feel that God does not care about us and no longer loves us. I also believe that as we learn to always abound in good works and strive to make good choices we will begin to live as a true disciple of Christ and put off the natural man. A question I have about the last step is: when we meet someone we care about and love and will possibly spend the rest of our life’s with, at what point do you tell them things you have done before in your life that could affect them? I do believe that our Father in Heaven loves and cares about the smallest things in our life. He wants to reach out and help us overcome our sin.
Repentance- A Gift From God. President Benson had some great insights. I never thought that Godly sorrow could be one of the gifts of the spirit. Now that I take a second to think about it, why would it not be. The Lord only gives us gifts to help us progress while in this earthly state. I just do not understand how that gift would be used? Would you be able to help others feel Godly sorrow as part of your gift? Wow, I loved when he said, “Godly sorrow is a prerequisite for repentance.” There is a lot of meaning behind that sentence. Do you have any insights? And/or what are your thoughts on those insights? What is President Smith implying when he says, “He has lost something which can never be regained.” Another great sentence is, “how many people that live in their sins try to hide behind them.” Do we really think that we can hide from God? We might be rich and loved in this world for being a sinner and a liar. But there will truly be no reward in our Father’s house. I believe the sinner will be with the sinners and will be unhappy and will in every sense of the word be dammed. Now I know what you are thinking you can’t say that. Let’s think about it when something it dammed it cannot move, it is stopped in one spot. If we fail to repent we will not be able to progress; we truly will be stuck and will be dammed. We must also do all we can to live like the prophets. We cannot just do well because we will face this great punishment if we do not obey. We must follow the Saviors example and be obedient because we love God and strive to be with him and with our families forever.
Repentance Makes Us Free. I believe that we are all guilty of making excuses for ourselves when we sin. I know that I am guilty of this. I have so many times said, “if only my body didn’t make me do that;” when really my body was strong the whole time. I want to share an example of this; I do this in all humility. During my mission I was given an assignment to watch over others missionaries. During this time we had wonderful missionaries in our mission that for the most part tried to do what was right. There was one elder that I was always worried about. I would wake up in the middle of the night worried about him. One night I awoke at three in the morning with a horrible feeling that we needed to go down to this elder’s apartment. He had been doing things that jeopardized his missionary service. Him and the mission president worked things out. Then two weeks later I started waking up in the middle of the night again, worried about this Elder, and again we caught him doing the same thing that had jeopardized his missionary service weeks before. I spent every minute with that Elder until he got on a plan to go home. I asked him why he gave in to the temptations he told me that he was physically being an Elder by going out working during the day. In other words his body was strong. Then at night his spirit gave into the temptations. He explained it as if his body knew the whole time he should not be involved in what he was doing. Truly the body is strong it is only when we first give in through the spirit. It goes right along with repenting in the spirit world. We are told it will be harder first of all because we will not have our physical bodies. I don’t completely understand this so if you have any insights I would love to hear them. If you want to read more about this a great talk is second chance theory by Elder Bruce R. McConkie look it up, it has a great explanation. I completely agree that no unclean thing can be in the presence of God the Father. If there is any desire to live with your Father in the life to come we must repent now and put off the natural man. I am reminded that God knows all, and strives for us to be with him and our families. We must repent now in order to live with him, which we know is the greatest gift God has to offer his children!
Repentance: To Gethsemane and back: First, what a great story of the healing power of the lord Jesus Christ. The general authority that told the boy the truth had such great courage. That young boy would have gone on a mission and it would have done him no good. I believe that repentance takes a lot longer than we sometimes think. I also believe that when we walk to Gethsemane and back, and truly forsake our sins, the healing power takes place. I do not know of a more powerful experience then the one shared. Lets make sure that we apply it into our lives by repenting and doing all we can to live like the Lord would live. One last story I have was when I got into the mission field. I was excited and enthusiastic about the gospel. I went into my first area and the members did not want to help us with missionary work. My companion and I set up appointments with all the members to stop by for a short visit. We read everything we could about the Atonement. We came across a quote by Elder Eyring that said, “If you are talking about anything that matters you are talking about the Atonement.” We then tied missionary work into the Atonement. We committed members to repent of all of their sins, with emphasis on missionary work. There were mixed feelings among the members in the ward. Some chose to be angry when we told them to repent. When we spoke with the bishop he thanked us and told us that the members should have been telling one another to repent. We must warn all for the kingdom of God is at hand.
Monday November 10 2008,

This weekend was amazing, Tyler and I went to the federal reserve caves with all of our F.H.E sisters on Friday we all piled into my 3 setter truck. Six people in a small truck is not the best idea but it all worked out. On Saturday we watched a movie with some friends, what really happened was everyone was watching a movie and I was taking a test online that ended up taking me almost 2 hours I had to write six essays about different communication skills,than answer 30 multiple choice questions. I think I did good but even if I don't my teacher will let me do some extra credit. Only because I took Marks advice and became his best friend he loves me and I am aways stopping by during the day just to chat for a minute.Thanks for the advice Mark. On Sunday our F.H.E sisters had Tyler and me over for dinner it was way better than what Tyler and I cook. Another great weekend in Rexburg Idaho!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

To day will be the second day i have a blog! This week school was great I was able to get caught up in all my classes I only have to take 2 tests this next week so I am happy about that. I am going to take an interpersonal comm. test today some time.

I pretty much can't com plane about my life its great!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My first blogg we will see how it works