Saturday, July 30, 2011

God's Plan for You: Jesus the Christ Part 2

As if the agony of Gethsemane wasn't enough, Christ still had a rough road to trek. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the 12 Apostles says, this about the Savior's final journey to Golgotha and His crucifixion...

The Savior's heart-throbbing suffering and death on the cross is triumphantly finished with His conquering and overcoming of the grave! Just how important was it that Christ was resurrected and received His body? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain."

Why is that? Why is it so important that Christ be resurrected? Because if He was not resurrected we could not return to live with God! Death and hell would still hold sway and we would be doomed to suffer and become as Satan is. 2 Nephi 9:8 says, "For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more."

The crucixion and death were an important part in Christ's Atonement, but if there had been no resurrection then all of what He had suffered in the Garden and on the cross would have meant nothing. But, He did it. Don't let that go to waste. Accept His Atonement by following His gospel which simply is, having faith in Him, repenting of your sins, be baptized by someone holding that authority He gave His apostles, receive the Holy Ghost and then strive to keep His commandments until the end of your life. My next blog will focus on the blessings of the Atonement so stay tuned! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

God's Plan For You: Jesus the Christ Part 1

This is one of the most sacred yet challenging topics in the gospel of Jesus Christ to discuss, not because it's controversial, but because it is hard to put in words much less text the suffering, agony, and death of Jesus Christ in our lowly behalf. The prophet Joseph Smith said, "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."This will be a three part blog because of the doctrinal importance and fundemental principles that need to be understood about Christ's Atonement.

The first part of this great atonement started in the Garden of Gethsemane, it was here that Jesus of Nazereth suffered for our sins, it was there that the Lamb of God bled from every poor, it was there that Jehovah from the Old Testament suffered and trembled insomuch that an angel came to assist Him, it was there that He faced the wrath of the Almighty God in our behalf. We don't have a whole lot of knowledge about what occured in that Garden 2,000 years ago, but nearing the Garden Christ told His disciples, "I am exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death..." That is hard to comprehend that one could become that sorrowful, to the point where your soul is in so much anguish that you would want to die, much less to feel that way for something you didn't do.

Just how bad did the Savior of the world suffer in Gethsemane? Christ says this, "Repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink..."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

God's Plan For You: Why On Earth Am I Here?

Believe it or not there is an answer to this question. There are specifically 2 reason's for us being here on Earth. Both of them deal with where we came from and where we are going, so if you haven't checked out my blog, "God's Plan For You:We Lived Before This" it will help you understand this blog. So the first reason I will explain for us being here is the objective to get a body.

You may wonder, why would getting a body be a reason for us being here, well if we remember God has a corporeal body, or a tangible physical body. And we wanted, in the pre-earth life, to be like our Father and get a body just like His. So He prepared a way for that to happen. Adam and Eve were introduced to the world and with their transgression those spirit's from Heaven were now able to receive their bodies. We have our bodies here on Earth and they will be with us in the next life because of Jesus Christ's Atonement.

The other reason we are here is to progress in righteousness. We are here to be tested and to see if we will obey God's commandments at all costs. We are faced with trials and obstacles everyday so that we can become stronger in our faith and our relationship with God. God said to Jesus Christ after creating the Earth," And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them..." Unfortunately we all mess up and make mistakes, hence the Roman's scripture,"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" Clearly we all have fallen short of the glory of God and are not qualified to enter into the presence of God and abide with Him through all eternities, but there is hope and help that would allow us to overcome sin and death. And that is... through the atoning blood of the Good Shepherd, even Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God's Plan For You: Adam Fell That Men Might Be

Many people have different theories relating to the first parents, Adam and Eve. I would like to show you how they are a part of God's plan and how what they did was a liberating and actually was best thing they could have done. The Book of Mormon teaches us that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve didn't have the capacity to have children or the ability to increase in intelligence.

2 Nephi 2:22-23 explains, "And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." These scriptures clearly explain that Adam and Eve had no room to grow.

Without Adam and Eve's decision to eat of the fruit, we wouldn't be here. I don't know everything about what went on in the Garden of Eden, but I do know that it was a good thing that they ate. Some may argue that it was an accident and that wasn't how God's plan was supposed to be, but 1 Peter 1:19-20 says, "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you..." Christ was foreordained before the world was even formed to what? To make an infinite Atonement for Adam's fall. It was part of the plan. But, because of their decision that gave room for the possibility of sin and death, but with that they also allowed rightness to grow within us, and because of the pain we experience in life we are able to feel joy. My next blog, "God's Plan For You: Why On Earth Am I Here?", will teach us the purpose of life and the purpose of our creation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

God's Plan For You: We Lived Before This Life?!

Alright, there are times in are lives that we learn something so profound it completely changes our lives forever. This can be one of those moments. I promise you if you are able to understand, accept, and apply this plan it will change your life for the best. That's right the best! The first part of this is to find out where you are and where you want to be in this plan. God's plan for you is for you to return to Heaven to become like Him. Notice the word I used, return. I use this word, because if we go to Heaven it will be a return. That's right, we were in Heaven before we were here.

If that is true and we lived with God, then why would we ever want to leave? The answer is simple. We were created by God to become like Him and receive a fulness of joy, but we couldn't obtain that joy in the condition's we were in. You see God has a physical body, similiar to ours, but His is glorified and perfect! We wanted to have those same attributes and God wanted us to have them as well, so He prepared a way for us to be able to obtain a body like His and live with Him just as He lives. This way was through Jesus Christ and it involved Adam and Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden, Jesus' suffering and death in our behalf and our choices that determine who we will be and where we will go after this life.

We decided that this plan was what we wanted to do and as a result the Earth was created by Jesus Christ. This is probably new knowledge to those not of our faith, but I testify that this is true. Like I said this is one of those things that can change your life forever, but it is an extensive plan and will definately require more than one blog. Stay tuned for next week's blog, "God's Plan For You: Adam Fell That Men Might Be".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ash Ketchum Vs Lt Surge!

Lt. Surge
In the Pokemon television show Ash Ketchum had a quest, he was out to be the worlds best Pokemon trainer. This would be a tough feat, being the best, but the road to the being the best was lined with opposition. One of the main oppositions that Ash faced was Gym Leaders, basically the strongest Pokemon Trainers in the area that got progressively harder and harder until he defeated all of them (which was 8). Ash usually won his matches, however Gym Leader's were especially challenging for him, one in particular was Lt. Surge. Lt. Surge specialized in electric-type Pokemon. They were generally speedy and powerful. However his Raichu, his main pokemon and Pikachu's evolved form, was fast and extremely powerful. So when Ash faced him with his Pikachu, he lost. The battle was over before it began and Lt. Surge cleaned him up. Ash was faced with a difficult decision. there was almost no way he could beat him. He could either give up on his quest and return home or he could replan his strategy and keep pressing forward. Well despite the opposition which laid ahead of him he pressed on. He came to find out that Lt. Surge had evolved Raichu too soon and in return wasn't as fast as Ash's Pikachu. So Ash redrew his plans and used Pikachu's superior speed to overcome the seemingly unbeatable Lt. Surge.

Well, this is a story with a moral. Don't give up! Even when it would appear that all hope is gone and that the odds are stacked in the favor of the opponent, don't give up! Why? Because you have too much to lose! You have more to lose than just a Pokemon battle, eternity hangs in the balance! So keep up your chin and take the battle to the Savior. He fought the battles for the people in the Old Testament, surely He would do the same for you. Moses says this in Exodus 14:14 "The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." We can overcome our battles and the Savior makes this promise to all those that overcome their trials and the battles in the world, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."