Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Restitution of All Things, part 1

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" (2 Thes. 2:1-3)
Many disciples feared that Christ would come again very shortly after His resurrection. However, Paul and other apostles helped the early Christians understand that there were things that had to happen first. One of those things was a "great falling away," or also known as an apostasy. An apostasy is a period of time when the authority to act in God's name is removed from the earth due to the disobedience of God's children. The disobedience often led to the rejection and martyrdom of many prophets.

Prophets are men called of God to cry repentance unto His children. We learn in Amos 3:7, "surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." The prophets act as the mouth piece for God. No commandment would be given, nor revelation for the world received, unless it be given to the prophet and commanded of God to be given to the world.

Throughout the Bible we see a pattern of prophets called of God, such as Abraham and Moses, and then a rejection of those prophets that led to the removal of such esteemed men. It is the pride of man that causes these apostasies to occur. We see that even after the Son of Man came and ministered, and ascended into heaven, that people began to fall away and deny the words of the apostles. This led to a great falling away. Thus the prophecy of Amos was fulfilled, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12)

For centuries after the death of Christ and His apostles, many people wandered and searched for truth, but found only lies. Many died for the cause of religion. Many were persecuted and questioned for the wanting of truth. They thirsted after righteousness, but were hid from the truth because they knew not where to find it. For generations the Lord prepared the world for the last days. Before He could come the Second time He had to restore all things onto the world. The restitution of all things did take place, and the name of Christ's prophet that Christ worked through was Joseph Smith, Jr.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where Does True Happiness Come From?

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." (Mosiah 2:41)

We live in a world of instant gratification and pleasure. The law of moral ethics that once were prominent in our society have begun a steep process of decay. The line that distinguished what is right and what is wrong has become hidden with gray. We can see the disturbing effects of it as good has become bad, and bad has become good. As predicted by Book of Mormon prophets, we have many voices that are competing for our attention. "Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." (2 Nephi 28:7-8) We are being deceived by these lies that we can be happy by just breaking the commandments a little. However, no matter what the world says, "wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10)

"But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God." (Jacob 2:18)

It is sometimes very easy to give into the temptations and become part of the enticings of the world. However, we can find great hope in a scripture found in 1 Corinthians 10:13, "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able [to bear.]" He will provide a way for all of us to escape the temptations and the false happiness of the world. He has given us the ability to choose for our selves which path we will take in this life.

Our own bad choices cause us grief and places heavy burdens on our shoulders. However, as we strive to consistently keep our Heavenly Father's commandments we can be freed from the burdens of guilt and shame. We have the choice. "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit." (2 Nephi 2:27 & 28)

"And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you; And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours." (D&C 61:36 & 37)

Christ has prepared a way for us to follow. "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work." (3 Nephi 27:33) His mission in life was to pave this course for us to follow. Instant gratification and pleasure is opposed to God's plan, and they do not compare to the real joy that comes with a peace of mind, and the feeling of being spiritually clean. Look unto Christ, follow His course, keep His commandments, and then you will find true happiness. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

For God So Loved the World

My favorite scripture in the Gospel according to John in the New Testament is, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." It is found in the third chapter and sixteenth verse. It is this verse that I have used as a motto for my mission. My testimony is in the reality of a loving Heavenly Father. He truly does love us. It is not conditional on our obedience or our diligence and humility. He loves us regardless of our flaws, weaknesses, and sins. He loves us so much in fact that He did send His Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Jesus Christ, who is the Creator and Messiah, was very loved of our God. He is chosen above all others. It is He who volunteered to suffer for all our pains, transgressions, and sins. It is to Him whom we owe our lives, our peace, and everything that we have been given. Why would God grant unto us such great mercy and possibility? It is because He loves us. We can become whole through our Savior. That is why I love this verse so much. I want to share with everyone that God loves them, and He wants them to receive a forgiveness of their sins. He desires nothing more than for us to return and live with Him again. Our God is a loving God.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh Say, What is Truth?

Oh say, what is truth? 
'Tis the fairest gem
That the riches of worlds can produce
and priceless the value of truth will be when
The proud monarch's costliest diadem
Is counted but dross and refuse.

We are all searching for truth. It is what we all aim for, it is what we want to obtain, and it is what we dream about. Truth, where can one find it? How can we obtain it? What are we willing to do to hold it in our hearts and never let go? Is there a sacrifice not great enough to obtain such a blessing? 

Jesus Christ likened truth unto a mustard seed, "Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and where unto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it." (Luke 13:18-19)  

The mustard seed is a very small seed. However, when it grows it becomes a shrub that will cover any field that it is planted in. The birds that lodge into the shrubs, or bushes, do find food and shelter in their branches. It is the same with us. This small source of truth, the seed of truth, has become known around the world. Truth is found in many different sources, and it is being spread by many different methods. With 50,000 plus full time missionaries around the world using all sorts of media such as the Internet, via Facebook and blogs, standard paperback books, via pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon, and their own heart felt testimonies, they have been able to help spread the good word to all the world. They have the truth and they want to share it, and they promise that all those that will lodge onto the truth will also find the spiritual food and shelter they have been searching for.

Oh say what is truth? It is security, peace of mind, comfort in trying times, and the true direction that we should follow in this life. I bear you my testimony that the truth has been restored through a prophet that was called of God to do so. His name was Joseph Smith, Jr. He, by the power of God, translated the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, so that we may know to what source we can ultimately find truth. That ultimate source that the Book of Mormon points to is God the Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ. For more info check out

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Role of a Righteous Father

From an official statement given by the general authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," we learn of the divine role of a father. "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families." There are many great examples of righteous fathers found in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. However, I would like to write about one of those fathers from out of the Book of Mormon, his name was Lehi.
Lehi is the first prophet of the Book of Mormon. He, in the beginning had a great family. He had four sons who names were Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, and Sam. By revelation and divine guidance, he was able to guide his family out of Jerusalem and into the promised land. Though he had rebellious children, he spared no effort in teaching them the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He had a vision one night about a tree that bore the most desirous of fruits, even eternal life. Upon walking up to the tree he plucked off the fruit of it and bit into it. "And I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruits" (1 Nephi 8:12). What a righteous father! He partook of something great, and his immediate desire following this realization of this sweet treat was to share it with his family. The account given in the Book of Mormon talks more about the tree and the fruit thereof, but I choose not to focus on that until a later time. Right now I just wish to focus on the miracle that took place. Lehi continued to lead his family in the ways of the Lord. When times were tough, he remained a beacon of light to his family who struggled in darkness. Very seldom did he shirk his responsibility as a father, and in times when he was less than the example to his wife and children he repented and searched for forgiveness from his family and the Lord.
As fathers and husbands, we can not shirk on our responsibilities as parents. We can not partake of something so sweet and desirable and then tuck it away and hide it and keep it for ourselves. It is our responsibility to lead our family to the thing that will bring them true happiness, joy, and peace. The closer we come to our families, the closer we come to the Lord, and true happiness. Pray with your families and spouse, studying the word of the Lord through reading and listening to the scriptures, and go to church often with your family bear testimony to them of the truthfulness of the things they will learn.
As a special witness to Jesus Christ, I know that His gospel, in all its simplicity and glory, we greatly bless our families. For more information on how you can build a more happier home please check out