Friday, June 24, 2011

The Dependable Pen

I have been using Zebra pen's for a couple 18 months now. I refuse to use any other pen. One word explains my reasoning: dependable. I call it "the dependable pen". Catchy phrase huh? Every time I put the pen on the paper, it writes. EVERY stinkin' time! It never fails. If I need to write a phone number down, it's ready. If I need to write a note for someone really quick, it's ready. My Zebra pen is never "not ready". I don't have to worry about it not being ready to go, at the drop of a pin. I would definitely recommend this pen to anyone.

By recommending this pen to you, I obviously think pretty highly of it right? I wouldn't recommend something to you if I didn't have full confidence in it that it would perform to perfection every time. There is an example of this in the Book of Mormon. Mormon is describing the "horrible scene" of the wickedness of the Nephites to his son Moroni. He tells Moroni that he can not recommend them [Nephites] to God because of their wickedness and perversion of all that is good. And in verse 22 he says something that has so much meaning to me, "..I recommend thee unto God.."(Moroni 9:20-22). This one little sentence made me think to myself, "Am I good enough to be recommended to God when he needs me?" Are we doing the things that allow God to call on us when he needs us the most. Will we be ready? We need to be like "the dependable pen" and be ready for use when we are called to serve, in any way!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


So any of you who know me know I am NOT musically inclined in any way, shape, or form. I "attempted" the trumpet in 4-6 grade and failed miserably. Mom said I was good, but she's mom. She has to say that. I've tried to branch out and be somewhat musical while out here on my mission. I have learned how to play the top hand on the piano, but not fast enough for anyone to sing along with. I'm getting better though. I've had a lot of companions on my mission that have been extremely musical. Elder Garcia was in a band before he came out, Butler can sing, Willey can play guitar, and Unga can sing too. But he's Tongan so he doesn't count. All Tongans can sing. Any who, when I was with E. Garcia we joked around about making a band after the mission was over. E. Garcia would be lead guitar, I would play bass, and E. Barney would be on the vocals. The only song title we came up with was "This Book Is True", referring to the Book of Mormon. This would be one of those screaming songs, at least when you said, "This book is true!"

Those four words could not be any more correct. The Book of Mormon has been attacked maybe more than any other book in religious history, but it has stood it's ground. In Joseph Smith's final hours before he was martyred in the Carthage jail, he found solace in the pages of THAT..VERY...BOOK! If he would have written that book himself, would it have been able to calm his soul like it did?? I think not. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the everlasting Gospel and is here for us to read and learn from. It testifies of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his divine mission to save the souls of men.

You can learn about anything on the Internet now. By reading this blog you might have learned a little bit about the Book of Mormon. But you can not know it is true for yourself without putting it to the test. To know for yourself, you must read the Book of Mormon, and then if you "...ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 10:4). I challenge all who have ever heard anything about the Book of Mormon to not take any one's word for it. Find out for yourself. God will tell you the truth. He can not lie.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We've had some pretty crazy weather coming through Montana lately. For instance, last night we had some pretty impressive clouds, wind, and lightning. It was pretty amazing.

 It was also very obvious. I think you would have to be blind, deaf, and pretty much a vegetable to not see these weather phenomenons around us. But even though they are present, we still receive warnings from the news stations on the television and radio letting us know that they are here and that there is potential danger.
Sometimes we hear about the people who heard the sirens go off, saw the warnings, had ample time to get to shelter or out of harms way, but didn't. When I hear this I think to myself, "What in the world were they doing?" I think this is how Heavenly Father feels when he sends us so many different kinds of warnings and news updates, and we shrug them off. Next thing you know we're in harms way, or we've dug ourselves a pretty big hole that we need help getting out of. If we would have read those warnings (the scriptures) and heeded the news anchor's (the prophets) message, we could have been safe! It seems too simple doesn't it. Alma 37:44 reads "For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land." We have everything we need to prepare and be led to safety, happiness, and eternal life.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Will You Answer?

So let's say you're sitting at home watching your favorite television show or reading  your favorite book or whatever it is that you like to do. All of the sudden, you get a knock at the door. You don't have a peep hole so you ask, "Who is it?" The man on the other side of the door says, "I have come to invite you to come live with me, my Father, and all of his children. You have lived with him before, but you probably don't remember. He loves you so much that He sent me to die for you. I have paid the price for your sins. I'm not sure you completely understand what that means, because if you did you would be using that gift more. I have been knocking at your door for quite some time now and I'll keep knocking until you answer and follow me. I promise you that you will be much happier if you do. It won't be easy, in fact, I can promise you that you will experience many hardships and trials along the way. It would please your Father and I if you came. However, it is your choice."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


'Twas a sheep not a lamb that strayed away
In the parable Jesus told,
A grown up sheep that had gone astray
From the ninety and nine in the fold.

Out on the hillside, out in the cold, 
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought
And back to the flock, safe into the fold
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd brought.

And why for the sheep should we earnestly long
And as earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger if they go wrong
They will lead the lambs astray.

For the lambs will follow the sheep, you know, 
Wherever the sheep may stray
When the sheep go wrong it will not be long
Til the lambs are as wrong as they.

And so with the sheep we earnestly plead
For the sake of the lambs today
If a sheep is lost, what a terrible cost
Some lamb will have to pay.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Merge Your Account

I read in a book titled "Believing Christ" about the process of becoming perfect. Well guess what, no one on this earth is perfect! Not your mom (although very close), your spouse, your bishop, or even the prophet. Jesus Christ is the only perfect person to walk the earth. We beat ourselves up trying to become perfect, but what we don't realize is that it's not us that does the perfecting. It's our Savior, Jesus Christ. We have to turn ourselves over to him. What's ours is his, and what's his is mine. My will, my sins, my imperfections, my heart, all of that is his. Perfection and the kingdom of God are mine. But we must merge our accounts for any of this to happen. Think of it as a checking account. I'm awful with money, anyone who knows me can tell you that. So let's say I'm in the negative, not too much of a far stretch. Well Christ is always in the positive. His assets are limitless, while I'm full of liabilities. So without him, I'm in trouble. But once I merge my account with his and take His name upon myself, my "account" is immediately in the positive. I am perfect. So perfection in our sense doesn't mean without sin, but it's what's in our heart. Do we thirst for righteousness? That is all we can do. And what do we do when we are thirsty? We go get a drink! So let's drink up the Gospel and go about bringing forth much righteousness!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What are your anchor points?

I heard an awesome analogy from someone the other day. He asked us about spiritual experiences that had happened recently that we were willing to share. Then he compared them to anchor points. Rock climbing is where the expression "anchor point" comes from. It refers to a point where the climber inserts a hook into the rock at a certain point, kind of like a checkpoint, and then moves on. This way, if the climber falls, the rope will catch on the most recent anchor point and keep them from falling to the ground. So in a sense, the climber can never fall further than the anchor points. The really powerful spiritual experiences we have are few, but they are SO vital. They serve as our anchor points. When we are backed up against a wall, in a tight spot, or the cards just aren't going the way we want them to and it seems like we're gonna hit "rock bottom", our anchor points are what catches us. They build our testimony whether we know it or not. We can only fall so far when we have our anchor points to catch us. I'm so grateful for the anchor points in my life that keep me from falling all the way to the bottom. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, namely the Atonement, and my family are the biggest anchor points for me. I love them both so much! What are your anchor points?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Unselfish Service

Service is not about what we get from it, but what we give to others. The Savior was the perfect example of unselfish service. May we duplicate his example and give to those around us. Not just our friends and family and those close to us, but also to the stranger in the grocery store who drops something, and even a a simple act of holding the door open for someone. These are things that should come as instinct in a true disciple of Christ. Let us try to be THAT disciple.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is kind of a long poem, but it is so good. My brother sent it to me a year ago. He ran track and cross country and so he could relate. I love how inspiring and thought provoking this poem is. It's called "The Race" and it's written by D. H. Groberg. Enjoy...

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”

But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”

So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”

So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.

Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.

For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sin and Adversity

There is a monumental difference between sin and adversity.  Sometimes, these two different scenarios may come at the same time, but they are not the same.  In Bruce C. Hafen's Ensign article titled "Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ", he discusses a continuum ranging from sin to adversity.  One end, sin, being the highest degree to which we are at fault.  And at the other, adversity, we may bear no responsibility at all.  We are solely responsible for our choices in this life, wrong or right.  When we sin, it is because we chose to.  We disobeyed one of God's commandments and now face consequences for that sin, whether temporal or spiritual.  It is our opportunity and duty to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ and be forgiven for our sin completely.  This includes having a change of heart and forsaking the sin.
When things happen to us because of other people's choices, this is known as adversity.  Adversity is primarily given to us from a loving Heavenly Father.  This may sound odd, but he loves us so much that he wants us to keep getting better and improving.  And we all know that to do so, we must be pushed.  He will NOT push us beyond our limits, he has promised us this in the scriptures.  But we must be tried and tested to prove worthy to live in the kingdom of God.  Adversity may leave a bitter taste in our mouth, just as sin, but it is important that we learn the difference between the two so we don't beat ourselves up.  Give yourself credit.  If you are trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ to your best ability, that is ALL you can do.  You will be blessed for your diligence and your faith.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Decide Your Future

So many people are afraid of the future in these latter days, but there is no reason to be afraid. If you are afraid, it is because you do not have faith in yourself. You, and only you, decide what will happen in the future. We have been given the great gift of agency, this is what allows people to make their own choices. They may choose to harm you or someone you know in any way, but only you choose how you will react and what you will take and learn from that experience. So, in all actuality, you decide your future. An article in the January 2011 Ensign titled "Make Yours A Great Life" by Elder Paul V. Johnson couldn't explain this topic any better. "Your future is not determined by the conditions around you. It is determined by your faith, your choices, and your efforts. Yes, you live in challenging times, but so did Mary, Moroni, and Joseph Smith. You don’t have to be carried along in the current of the times. The Lord can and will help you set your own course. The challenges you face will serve to strengthen you as you move forward with your life. Each of you has a bright future, a future you cannot now fully comprehend....People who go to work with faith, knowing the Lord will bless them if they do what’s right, are the ones with a bright future. The title of the last conference address given by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve, (1917–2008) explained how these people handle challenges: “Come What May, and Love It.” Elder Wirthlin said: “If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love your trials

Thanksgiving '09 I heard someone bear a testimony that will stick with me forever. This individual said, "I am so grateful for my trials and tribulations." This statement startled me and caught me off guard to say the least. I had never heard someone say that they loved trials. Why on earth would you say that? Sure, I know we have to have them and everything, but that doesn't mean I like them. I thought about what he said. I know there are many people that are a lot worse off than I am or have been, but I have been through a lot. Granted, most of it was all self inflicted, I put myself through a lot of grief and pain. I came to realize why this person said they loved trials when I came across this scripture today in Romans 5:3-4, "...but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:". Because of the things that I've experienced in my life, I am able to have hope. Hope in a better tomorrow. Hope that someone is there to listen to my problems and succor me. That someone is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The world is not over when a life changing event happens, or when our chips are down.  Look at it as an opportunity to learn something. God is teaching us something, and it's up to us if we are going to figure out what it is.  I love the ability to grow and learn, no matter how it may come about.