Saturday, November 29, 2014

He Is The Gift

I remember waking up early one Christmas morning to open presents. I opened up cake mixes, a rolling pin, cupcake pans, and other cooking items. That year I had asked for an easy bake oven. I'm not sure if my parents just couldn't afford it or what, but it hadn't happened. As I opened up present after present, I didn't even think about how I hadn't received an easy bake. Throughout the day I remember baking in the kitchen with my mom all of the fun things we had just gotten. The time spent with her was special to me.

As I have reflected about that Christmas, I have pondered why it is one of my most memorable Christmas'. I have come to understand that it is because it wasn't about what I was receiving. It was about family. It was about love.

John 3:16, "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."

This special time of year is all about celebrating Christ's birth. He was the first gift. Our Heavenly Father loved us so much that he sent his beloved son, Jesus Christ, to save us.

Russell M. Nelson said, “Christmas is a time of reflection on what we can become because of God’s sacred gift. As we discover the gift, we learn of the immeasurable love of God and our absolute need for a Savior. As we embrace the gift, we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to become more like Him. As we share the gift, we follow in the Master’s footsteps, who invited all to hear His message.”

My testimony is that Christ came into this world to save us from our sins. He is the literal son of God. If we will believe in and follow him, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again one day. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this gift with all those that I come in contact with each and every day. I love my savior.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Mostly, I cannot even begin to say how grateful I am for the many blessings that I have been given. I desire to express my gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who is always there to bless me. I am grateful for his son Jesus Christ and his infinite atonement. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit that leads me, comforts me, and warns me. I am grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to make promises with God, like baptism.

I am blessed to have a wonderful, supportive family. Without them, I would not be where I am today. I am grateful for Panaca, and the wonderful people there that played a role in my conversion. I am grateful for talents, food, and friends.

Please know that this is definitely not close to a complete list of things I am grateful for. My heart is full with love and thanksgiving. There is no place that I would rather be than here in Vancouver serving my Heavenly Father and Savior. I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What Would You Give to Know God?

There is a story in the Book of Mormon that I love. There is a missionary named Aaron who is preaching to a group of people called the Lamanites. In this particular chapter, Aaron is teaching the Lamanite king. Found in Alma chapter 22 of the Book of Mormon, the king expresses to Aaron that he does not know who God is. After bearing testimony to the king that there is a God, Aaron begins teaching him about the opportunity to live with God again. I love the kings response:

This particularly struck me recently as I read this. The king was willing to give up EVERY WORLDLY POSSESSION that he had to know God and to learn how to live with him one day. A few verses later he prays to God:

This time the king expresses that he will give up things that spiritually hold him back from God. As I studied this chapter in the Book of Mormon, I could not help but think to myself, "What would I give up to know God?".

What kinds of worldly things keep us from knowing God? Is it our jobs? Material things? 

What is holding us back spiritually? Are we reading our scriptures? Praying? Attending church?

The Lamanite king had an amazing, spiritual experience that solidified a testimony of God. Most often, we don't have a miraculous experience that brings about a testimony in us. We usually have to put in effort to know God. It means we have to do all things spiritual like reading the scriptures, praying, attending church, and every good thing. We have to align our priorities and not allow worldly things to clutter our time. 

I didn't have an amazing experience to a gain a testimony of God. But through different experiences in my life, I have been able to learn that I really do have a Heavenly Father that loves me. He is aware of each and every one of us. He wants us all to know him. The best way I know of to come to know him is to pray. Ask like the Lamanite king did, and you will come to know that he is real.