Thursday, September 15, 2011

Authority to Baptize

 Authority in Christ's church is so key because it allows saving ordinances, such as baptism, to be performed and be valid in the sight of God.  There was a reason for Christ going to John the Baptist to be baptized, because John held the priesthood authority, or in other words he was authorized to do so.  Not just anyone can perform baptisms, it is like an ice cream man turning on his music and flagging you down to give you a ticket for speeding, he does not have the authority to do so. But when a police officer turns on his lights and sirens and pulls you over to give you a speeding ticket, he has been authorized to do so.  Now, priesthood authority is not gained by any amount of school or receiving a certificate of certain achievement.(Hebrews 5:4)  Priesthood authority is given from one who currently holds that priesthood and when authorized he can then give it to another. For example, an unlit candle cannot simply catch flame, instead you must take another candle that is already burning and use it to light the wick of the other.  Similarly, that is how it works with priesthood power: there must be a source. 

The time after the death of Christ and His Apostles when the priesthood authority was taken from the earth is called the Great Apostasy.  It wasn't until John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith on May 15, 1829 and restored the priesthood authority to Joseph Smith that he could then perform valid baptisms.  I know that this priesthood authority is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Baptism is necessary to return into the presence of God and must be performed by proper authority.  Christ lives and is our Savior, this is His authority and His church.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Trust in the Lord"

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

So often in my life I think I know what's best for me or I think I know what I need, but it's at those times I need to remember to look to the Lord.  There have been countless times in my life when something happens and in the moment I'm not sure why but that is when I must completely rely on the Lord.  As I do this everything works out, no matter how hard the road or how long, as I trust the Lord I can get through and come out on top.  Sister Elaine S. Dalton, the General Young Womens President of the Church, relates this story from her own life:

"As a young girl I followed my father everywhere he went. I always admired how dedicated he was to the Lord. He set a high standard for me of selfless service. He took a week off from work every year. However, instead of going on a trip, he would ask my family to help him paint the widow’s house next door. This is just one example of many acts of service. He was always thinking of others.

When I was in high school, my father became very ill. I prayed constantly and asked Heavenly Father to bless my father to get well. He was in the hospital for one month, and then he passed away.

This was a tragedy for our family. To us it didn’t make any sense because we needed our father. I prayed to understand why this happened and why Heavenly Father hadn’t answered my prayers. It felt to me like the heavens were silent. I didn’t get an answer to my prayers. I felt that Heavenly Father had left me all alone. But I continued to pray.

A year later I attended a sacrament meeting where the speaker read a scripture from Proverbs:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6).

The Spirit witnessed to me that this was the answer to my prayer! I needed to trust the Lord. It took a long time to receive that answer, and it wasn’t the one that I had wanted, but it was the most wonderful answer to prayer. I wasn’t supposed to understand why this happened. I was supposed to trust in the Lord.

When you trust in the Lord, you can do anything—even if it is really hard—because He does direct your path. He’ll walk by your side. He’ll hold your hand. He will send His angels to surround you. That’s my testimony. And it is true for all of us."

It is through prayer and trust in the Lord that we can get through times such as these.  He knows us best. He knows our hearts and what we need.  He will always help us on the path to return to live in His presence once again.  I know this is true.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Please take a minute to watch this video and listen to the song while pondering about your feelings towards our Savior.  Christ lived and still lives today.  I know that is true with all my soul.   I have felt His redeeming power and there is nothing that can compare to it, He can give us the peace and joy that we long for.   I love Him so much and I am grateful for His love.  Feel free to share your comments about how you feel about Jesus Christ and what He did for you.

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.  (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who Am I?

There came a time last year when I was in a new place, with new people and an all new life.  For the first time I did not have the comfort of returning to my own home and my friends and family were thousands of miles away.  It was at this point in my life that I found out who I really am. 

One day after feeling so overwhelmed and alone I did the one thing that I knew would help.  I got on my knees and prayed to my Father in Heaven. I poured my heart out to Him, as I did so He filled me with joy beyond description and I felt His love as never before.  Not too often in my life do I receive an answer to a prayer in an instant but without delay at that very moment of need my Father comforted me and gave me an understanding of who I am.  I realized that day, deeper than ever, that I was truly a child of God.  I discovered my true relationship with Him and the potential I have as one of His sons.  Since that day I have never doubted what I can do, I have never doubted His love and I have never felt alone.  Through that experience I gained a greater understanding of the scripture found in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."  You and I alike are children of God, it does not matter what the world thinks because they do not know your heart.  Our Heavenly Father does and as we go to Him in prayer He will show us exactly how He feels about us.  I testify of our divine nature as a child of God and our worth is beyond that of the world. Below is a video of an Apostle of the Lord teaching us through the story of the ugly duckling that we have unmeasurable worth.   

Friday, June 24, 2011

Not Just A Book, The Word of God

There is a movie about the Book of Mormon called "How Rare A Possession".  The movie depicts the stories of how Parley P. Pratt and Vincenzo Di Francesca came to know the truth of the Book of Mormon.  They are truly remarkable stories, the one of Parley P. Pratt, a man who had his life going for him and set off on a journey to find the truth and came across the Book of Mormon. Of his experience he said this, “I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. I knew and comprehended that the book was true… My joy was now full.” Through the Book of Mormon he had found the truth that he set out to find. 

The other true history is of Vencenzo Di Francesca, this one longer and more in depth, a truly remarkable story.  Vencenzo was an Italian Protestant minister in the early 1900's.  He gave up his ministry for a book without a name, the book was the Book of Mormon but because of the missing cover and title page he knew not the title nor the origin. Some 20 years later he came across the word “Mormon” in a dictionary and from there found the source of his beloved book.  Without the title or origin he still knew it to be true.  He said, "I read and reread, twice and twice again... At the end of the day, I locked the door of my room, knelt with the book in my hands, and read chapter ten of the book of Moroni. I prayed to God, the Eternal Father, in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, to tell me if the book were of God, if it were good and true...I felt my body become cold as the wind from the sea. Then my heart began to palpitate, and a feeling of gladness, as of finding something precious and extraordinary, bore consolation to my soul and left me with a joy that human language cannot find words to describe. I had received the assurance that God had answered my prayer and that the book was of greatest benefit to me and to all who would listen to its words."  Vincenzo received his answer from the source of truth Himself just as we all can.

I leave my witness with those of Brother Fancesca and Brother Pratt, which is I know the Book of Mormon to be true.  It truly is another testament of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know this through the power of prayer, I have asked our Father in Heaven and He has in reality answered my prayers.  I bear this witness to the world and do so in the name of Jesus Christ.

To read the full of account of Parley P. Pratt go to:
To read the full account of Vincenzo Di Francesca go to:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Father's Love

My dad is the greatest dad on earth.  I just want to share a small part of what he has done for me in my life.  My dad taught me through his example.  I learned from his example: hard work, respect of others and the way to live a righteous life.  He never had to say much but he just lived and I watched.  He always gave and gave and never asked for anything in return.  He always supported me in my righteous desires and helped me make the right choices, even if I didn't always listen.  He corrected me when I needed it but always out of love.  He taught me about Christ and helped me find the way to return to live with God again.  As he serves others he never does a job half way, it is always his best.  There is a song by Brad Paisley called “He Didn’t Have To Be”, there is a line in there that I love it says, “Lookin’ back all I can say about all the things he did for me is I hope I’m at least half the dad that he didn’t have to be”  I love my dad, I hope someday I can repay him for everything he has done for me. 

There is so much more that my dad is and that he has done for me but now I want all to think about our Father in Heaven.  How much has He done for each of us individually?  What does He want for all of us?  I think of all my dad has done for me and how much he loves me, then I think how I can’t even comprehend how much my Father in Heaven has done for me or how much He loves me.  It is incredible.  He watches over us and is there for us every moment.  We can pray and converse with Him always and He wants us to.   I love my Heavenly Father and know that He lives.  He loves us all so much and blesses us. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father sent me to the father I have here on earth.  Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and especially to my dad!

 Here is a video of a father who loves his son and helped fulfill his dreams. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hold On!

When I was about 12 years old I was involved in the 4-H program showing horses. The first year I had two different horses, the first passed away and the second had bad knees. So my dad and I were searching for a new horse.  We found one for a great price, a little mare named Babe.  She hadn't really been rode for quite some time but she was a beautiful horse.  When I was test riding her she was great except she didn't like going faster than a walk and would give a few bucks if I tried moving her faster.  We decided we could work with that since she was a great deal.

 Not too long after we took her home I was riding her with my dad watching and we were beginning to work with her.  Well Babe did not like that and was throwing a fit.  No matter if I tried moving her faster or controlling her she would buck and jerk trying to throw me off. At one point she about knocked me off by running into a lone tree in the middle of the field.  I remember we went at it for a while so I just held on and it was getting kind of scary, especially for the 12 year old boy I was.  After a while of being scared and tired I ended up in tears and begging my dad to let me get off but he said, "No you stay on, hold on and show who's in charge." I tried again and again but she kept trying to throw me off and wouldn't cooperate.  So I begged my dad some more to please let me get off but once again he told me to, "stay on, hold on and show who's in charge."  So I did, even though I was so mad that my dad wouldn't let me get off. After many tears and many close calls Babe calmed down and became submissive to my command.  She wasn't perfect but I was able to ride her without major problems.  Over the time I worked with her and her with me she ended up taking me to the Utah State Horse Show competition.  We ended up receiving several ribbons and placing in the top 20 of the state.  We became great friends and had a lot of success together.

I liken this experience to life and how it may seem sometime.  So often life tries throwing us off, to the point where we just want to quit.  Whether its trials, temptations or the load of everyday life, we must never give up. When life gets hard and we don't think we can take it anymore we must "stay on, hold on, and show who's in charge."  Just like the story with Babe if we don't give up and press forward then the reward will be wonderful.  After the work and being tossed around come the blessings.  Just as my father urged me to stay on and hold on, we all have a Father in Heaven who pleads with us to do the same in life.  No matter what happens to us we can always ask for His help and He will answer. I know that as we do so the reward will be beyond anything imaginable.     

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Modern Day Moses

Thomas S. Monson: A Prophet of God

In the Bible we read of many prophets who taught the word of God and held the priesthood authority of God.  Some are examples are Adam, Noah, Moses and Abraham. These men are blessings from God. They help us know of Him and His gospel.  Prophets are the mouthpiece for God here on the earth. Just as we give heed to their words, if a prophet speaks today wouldn't we also heed his council and guidance?  We have a prophet on earth today, Thomas S. Monson, and he has been called of God to be a prophet today. He is the president of the Holy Priesthood here on earth.  Just as the prophets of old, President Monson teaches the word of God and holds the priesthood authority of God. Just as the ancient prophets testified of the coming of a Messiah, our prophet today testifies that He did come and that He lives.  He teaches and testifies that He will come again to reign on earth. I know that Thomas Monson is a prophet of God.  As we follow his council, which comes from above, we will be blessed. To learn more of President Monson follow this link:
The following video is modern day apostles and the prophet testifying of Christ. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Honor Our Mothers

Happy mothers day to all mothers out there!  This is such a great day to honor those women in our lives who have impacted us the most through years of caring and nurturing. Now I understand that not all have the ideal situation with their mothers but each of us have a woman in our life who has changed us and helped so much and that is a woman to call a "mother" as well.  Mothers have such a divine role from God to bring His children into this world and then raise them in righteousness.   We should give such great honor and devotions to our mothers.  As always the greatest example of this that we have is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He loved and served His mother all His days on the earth.  Two specific accounts of this are first in John 2, this is where Christ and His Apostles are attenting the marriage and His mother comes to Him and says in concern, "They have no wine."(John 2:3) Now Christ's response is this, "Woman, what wilt thou have me to do for thee? that will I do"(JST John 2:4) Jesus then turns water into wine to calm his mother's concern and come to her aid.  Wow, I just love that passage. The very Son of God when His mother comes to Him and desires help responds with such a willing attitude and says, What can I do for you?  Whatever it is I will do it.  That is the same attitude we should have, simply out of love and respect for our mothers.  Then on the cross the Savior again shows us how much His mother meant to Him.  In John 19:26-28 it reads, "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the diciple 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. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst."  At this moment Christ turns His mother over to the care of John for the rest of her days.  One of the last things He made sure happened before He carried on to fulfill His purpose was to make sure that His mother was taken care of, that she would be provided for.  In these two accounts our Savior truly teaches us the worth of mothers in our lives.  Let us learn from Him and serve our mothers out of love.  We could never repay all that our mothers have done for us but we can do everything possible to try.  I love my mother so much.  She taught me how to have fun, how to live, how to love, and taught me the Gospel.  The teachings of my mother have shaped me into who I am today.  I owe her so much.  I wish all you mothers a Happy Mother's Day, and especially to my mother so far away. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

He Is Risen!

At this time of the year the flowers bloom, sun breaks through the clouds and the streams flow.  There is beauty all around and God's creations are everywhere to be seen.  Even with all this transforming beauty the best part of it all is the celebration of our risen Lord.  We celebrate the wonderful and joyous phrase that Matthew gives, "He is not here: for he is risen".  Christ who had died for all of us was resurrected three days later and even now does live!  As a hymn says, "He lives, he lives, who once was dead".  What great hope that gives us, knowing that because Christ overcame death we can too and death is not the end.  This is one of the things that I love about the Gospel is that it is full of hope for us, a future to look forward to.  That is what the resurrection of Christ offers, a hope for the future. I know that Christ lives.  He truly is our Savior and Redeemer.  Without Him we would all be lost.  We do not need to be as Thomas when he said, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."(John 20:25)  We can know He is the Risen Lord if we just have the faith.  Thomas was allowed to feel the marks of our Savior but the Christ said to him, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."(John 20:29)  Let us believe without seeing, we can know and "feel" those marks without actually seeing Jesus Christ.  I have a knowledge of this,  He does live and He is the One who sacrificed Himself for us and rose the third day.  Enjoy this Easter season for it is a time of gratitude, joy and hope!