Saturday, November 19, 2011

Is Christ Out Of Christmas?

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is quite easy to forget the purpose behind it. People are wrapped up in buying gifts and making plans. Time is spent cooking and cleaning. Activities include building snowmen or setting up nativity scenes and through it all, it would appear that the meaning of Christmas is overlooked. It would seem that other than Christ's name in the word He is almost entirely left out... or is He? I'm going to show how ordinary things in Christmas can help you remember the Savior. Here is a list of the things done at Christmas that I have found help me remember the reason for the season;

1.) Santa Claus. How in the world does jolly ol' Saint Nick have anything to do with Jesus of Nazereth? Well, lets begin with His clothing. He wears a red suit with white trim. He comes to all the world to bring gifts (Jesus gifts are way better).
Notice anything?
Next, let's think of the song "Santa Claus is coming to town". In the song these words are said,
"He's making a list And checking it twice; Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice...He sees you when you're sleeping He knows when you're awake He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!..." Well, these same things are said of the Savior. His list is in the Book of Life and He will be judging you based on whether you've been "naughty" or "nice".

2.) Frosty the Snowman. Okay so Santa Claus was a little out there, but Frosty? How could Frosty the Snowman possibly have anything to do with Jesus? Well, sit back and I'll tell ya. The song "Frosty the Snowman" says this,
"Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,
He was made of snow but the children
Know how he came to life one day...
Frosty the snowman knew
The sun was hot that day,
So he said, [Let's run and
We'll have some fun
Now before I melt away.] For Frosty the snow man Had to hurry on his way, But he waved goodbye saying, [Don't you cry, I'll be back again some day.]" Do I even have to point out, how this clearly refers to the Saviors life on Earth and then His Second Coming? 

3.) Crazy Shopping! So Frosty, eh you stretched that out a little bit, and Santa was on the verge of pathetic, but I'm still reading this because my Ipod is charging, so I can play Angry Birds and I have nothing better to do. Well as it turns out even through ridiculously long lines we are still able to find Christ in this. Imagine this, it's 2011 years ago and there is a line this big, lined up outside of a little stable outside of Bethlehem, where they are waiting too have an opportunity to see the Savior. Just like Zacharias at the temple. 

Just so you know the purpose of this blog wasn't to say "Look! These are hidden messages inside of Christmas!" This blog was to get you looking for things that help you remember the reason for the season. There are probably tons of other things that I could've said, but I'll let you find those things and share them with your friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism...

Unification in the primitive Church of Jesus Christ was not as easy as it seemed. This is apparent because of the apostate practices that soon arose and over time false precepts and ceremonies became binding traditions that led to the destruction and ultimately the demise of the Church. My purpose in writing this blog isn't to go into detail about what happened to Christs church after this apostasy had set in, but why the Apostles were so desperately trying to hold it all together in a sense. Paul teaches us in his epistle to the Ephesians,

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive"

-(Ephesians 4:11-14)

Modern day prophets.
Their relentless efforts to unify the saints was just as Paul stated; to come to a knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, and to keep us from being deceived. If we were to take this and apply it into the world today we would easily find that we are not in the unity of the faith. Even those of the Christian faith cannot agree on the same principles and doctrines. And if there is no unity, deception can creep in and can lead the souls of the children of men to an eternal destruction. However, God is not going to allow that to happen. In the above quoted scripture God gives us the solution to this problem. The answer is apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. 

The  Twelve Apostles today.
We can find comfort and peace knowing that if we are being led by prophets and apostles, we are not in the plains of uncertainty and will not be "tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine". So now we have some clues as to where the true body of Christ really resides. When we look around traditional religion and find neither prophets and apostles or a God who speaks, we then know what we need to seek.

That is the importance of the message that we as member's of Jesus Christ's church reestablished today, have to share. We have prophets and apostles. We have a God who, in His love, has reached out again to the children of men and are calling them to Zion. I know this to be true and invite you to consider the evidence that God has done just this; that He has called apostles and prophets today, that God continues to speak and is not bound by the false doctrines of men. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Was Jesus Plan B?

Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden.
Throughout the course of my mission I have come to find that many people not of our faith believe that the Fall of Adam and Eve was the worst thing that has ever happened and that it thwarted God's "original" plan. I will show you how the Fall of Adam and Eve was not an accident nor was it a mistake, but that it was a crucial and necessary part of God's original plan.

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things...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..." (1Peter 1:18-20)

This scripture teaches us that Jesus Christ was foreordained, before the world even came into being, to give His "precious blood" for our salvation. So if He was foreordained to be the sacrificial lamb, then what was He going to be sacrificed for if it were for nothing less than the Fall of Man? 

God has a foreknowledge of all things, why would God put two people who were going to fail, and thereby condemn all of us unnecessarily, to lead off His supposed plan of felicity? He didn't "hide" the knowledge from Himself. Nor was He unaware of what would befall mankind. The simple fact of the matter is the Fall of Man was part of His grand plan for us.

The Council in Heaven where Jesus was chosen to be the Savior
Jesus Christ' sacrifice, for us, wasn't "Plan B". It was exactly planned out and was part of God's Original Plan to have us become like Him. I know that Jesus Christ was prepared and was chosen to be our Savior. I love Him and I would invite you all to consider the evidence of this truth for yourselves. 

Do Mormon's Believe In A Different Jesus?

Well, I have encountered this question several times since being on my mission. The conclusion I came up with is this, there are several types of Jesus that people believe in. I'll try and make a list of the types of Jesus, I have heard people describe. There are several different attributes Jesus has, but I put the most relevant ones pertaining to our Eternal Salvation.

The type of Jesus that requires absolutely nothing from us, but saves only those who believe in Him, through His grace.
The type of Jesus that reflects a lot of the attributes of todays world so that all types of people will be drawn to follow Him. 
The hellfire and damnation Jesus, that only allows those who obey the commandments with a Pharisaical type of diligence, to be saved.
Contrary to the previous one, the all loving Jesus, who doesn't care who you are, what you act like, or what you do because he loves you, you are saved.
The type of Jesus that realizes we are all mortals and therefore doesn't condone sin, but rather it is justified because of our nature.

Well, this is the Jesus we believe in.

He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. (2 Nephi 2:6-8)
He lives this very moment and has a resurrected body of flesh and bone. He is not a Spirit, but is a distinct and seperate Being than from Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. (3 Nephi 11:14-17)
He has Atoned for our sins and is mighty to save, but His grace is conditional upon our effort to follow His example. (2 Nephi 31)
His name is the ONLY name by which we can be saved. (2 Nephi 25:19-20)
He was foreordained before the Earth was even created to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. (Ether 3:14)
Most importantly, He suffered for our sins was crucified for our sakes and was resurrected that we may find life in Him. (Mosiah 3:5-9)

I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe He lives this very moment and that He is the Author and Finisher of my faith. I know He died for me and that He loves me.