Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Look to the Light

  At this Christmas time, and always, our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world for all those that seek Him. Let us put forth an earnest effort to let Him add light to our lives and to let His light reflect towards others through us.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Prophet's Lesson on Service

  King Benjamin tells us in the Book of Mormon that when we serve our fellow-men, we are also serving God. Christ tells us in the New Testament that when we do something to the "least of his brethren" we are really doing it unto Him. God has given us the most wonderful gift ever - the gift of his precious Son. How grateful I am for that priceless gift. Let us show are thanks and give back to our Heavenly Father by serving His children. President Uchtdorf once said, "love is the altitude of our discipleship." Especially at this holiday season, let us show love to those around us. Let us never pass up an opportunity to serve someone around us.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Spirit


   At this time of year, It's so easy to get caught up in commercialism and gifts. It seems as though society is losing focus of why we really have Christmas. We all know the true reason, and that is Jesus of Nazareth.
   I wrote the following poem this morning during my personal study time:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"A String and a Tuna Fish Can"


The following story is one that I read this morning during my personal study time. I got very emotional while reading it and felt a great sense of appreciation for all that I have. I have taken so much for granted and this story helped me realize how blessed I really am.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Shall We Give?

  At this Christmas season we must remember Jesus Christ. We must reflect on who he is and the indescribable love and generosity He gave to us by coming into the world to be our Savior.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Desire on Fire

As a mission, we have a goal of saving 1000 souls by the end of the year. We have a little more than a hundred to go. We know we can do it! We just need to keep giving our all and keep the motivation up. Elder Lanham and I felt it necessary to send out an epistle to all the missionaries in our zone to excite them about the work. Our zone theme for this transfer is "desire on fire." We wrote this epistle with our new theme as the main focus. Enjoy! :)

Chapter 1
The zone leaders of the Billings Zone exhort and encourage their fellow missionaries to increase their desire to carry on in the work of God; the definition of desire is set forth;  a plea for kindled desire is issued.

Elders Lanham and Sargent, called to be zone leaders of the Billings Zone of the Montana Billings Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through the will of God and Larry Gardner - our President.

2 Unto the Elders and Sisters of Billings and the surrounding areas, to them that are called and set apart as missionaries. We Salute thee.

3 Greetings from your zone leaders. We are grateful for your examples and your diligent, long suffering service. Word has reached our ears of a recent, great celebration of feasting and Thanksgiving, in this the eleventh month, the twenty and fifth day, in the year of our Lord two-thousand and ten. We pray thine merrymakings were satisfactory and fulfilling.

4 Now we come before thee in soberness and in a Spirit of instruction. It pains us that we must use so much boldness of speech, as did Jacob of old; for we have not written unto thee this day that thou shouldst trifle with the words that we shall speak, but that thou wouldst hearken unto our words.

5 Our words shall hiss forth from the border of Canada down to the outskirts of Lander, for a standard unto MBM missionaries.

6 And because our words shall hiss forth – many of the Lord’s anointed shall say: Desire! Desire! We have desire and need no more desire.

7 Thou fools. Have ye obtained desire save it were by fire?

8 Even so Desire, if it hath not Fire, is dead, being alone.

8 And now as we said concerning desire, desire is the condition of being motivated.

 10 If any of you lack desire, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 11 But let him ask with fire, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed, so that it washes upon the fire and puts it out.

 12 Though we speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not desire, we have become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 13 And now abideth dodgeball skills, effective tracting approaches, desire, these three; but the greatest of these is Desire.

14 Elders and sisters, we have put ourselves upon a pedestal and are determined to save one thousand souls. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except thy desire be kindled, and that apathy be removed. Son of perdition!

 15 Saints of Montana, we say unto thee, lift up your heads and rejoice! Be of good cheer! Do not allow the frozen tundra to hinder your progress! Remember, no unhallowed snowflake can stop the work from progressing! We remind you courageously that many are called, and few are chosen. Along the same lines - many are cold, but only few are frozen. If thy desire be on fire, thou hast no need to freeze!

16 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a desire which is on fire.

17 Well, we sure do love ya. We can make it!
With love,

Elder Lanham
Elder Sargent

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kids and Christmas

    Christ has always loved children. When He was on the earth He interacted with them, talked with them, and blessed them. He even counseled us that we need to become submissive, meek, humble, patient, and full of love - as a child is. At this Christmas season, let us direct our love and feelings towards the Savior Jesus Christ. We must be like a sweet, innocent child who is full of love.
    This short video brought a smile to my face, and made me stop and realize how grateful I am for the birth of our Savior. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Reality of Christ's Atonement

  Approximately 83 years before Christ's birth, the prophet Alma prophecied of the Savior's divine mission. He states in the 7th chapter of the book of Alma that ". . . he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. . . And he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
  No passage of scripture, regarding the atonement, has ever been so poignant to me than has this verse from the Book of Mormon. I know that Jesus Christ took upon himself all of my sins. However, the atonement is so much more than that. As I continue to learn more about this great and eternal sacrifice, I have realized that the powerful atonement not only allows us to repent, but it brings us "at one" with our Father in Heaven. Christ knows exactly what we are going through in times of distress and discomfort. He has the power to heal us from spiritual and temporal wounds. We may not be able to ever fully understand or comprehend what He went through, but we can feel of the love and power that comes from his sacrifice on our behalf.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Being Christ Like Through Trials

  Jesus Christ was perfect. However, this does not mean that he was exempt from facing temptation and experiencing trials. In fact, I feel that no mind can possibly comprehend all that He went through for us.
    We do know, from the scriptures, that the Son of God sweat drops of blood as he suffered for us. Elder Bruce R. McConkie states that the Savior's suffering "continued for some three or four hours. After this—his body then wrenched and drained of strength—he confronted Judas and the other incarnate devils. . . and he was led away with a rope around his neck, as a common criminal. . . to be judged. They took him to Annas, to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod, and back to Pilate. He was accused, cursed, and smitten. Their foul saliva ran down his face as vicious blows further weakened his pain-engulfed body."
  With all that being said, it absolutely amazes me how the very Son of God reacts to life long torment and abuse. Matt 27:12 states: "And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing." Truly, Christ lived what he taught. In His "sermon on the mount" the Savior counsels us to turn the other cheek, even when we are rightfully wronged. Let us apply this Christ like attribute to our lives. When the Savior "was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but commited himself to him that judgeth righteously. (1 Peter 2:23)
  "We don't get to choose all our challenges, but we get to choose how we react to them."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christ Centered Christmas

   From now until Christmas I am making it a concious effort to learn more about my Savior Jesus Christ. In the LDS King James Version of the Bible, there is a topical guide at the back of the book. In the topical guide, under the title "Jesus Christ" there are 18 pages with different topics regarding the Savior. I am prayerfully studying each topic by reading all the scriptures that it references. I am devoting at least 30 minutes a day to learning more about Jesus and coming closer to Him.
   Each day, on my blog, I will post my thoughts from my morning studies. I am so thankful for Jesus of Nazareth. I am grateful for this opportunity to come closer to Christ and I invite all to join me in learning more about him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Daily

 At this Thanksgiving time, I am so thankful for my family. Due to my mission rules, I have very limited contact with my family and have only heard their voice twice in the last 16 months. However, I feel that this time apart has only brought us closer and has made me realize how much I do love and appreciate them. I've met so many people out here in Montana and have seen some "rough" life styles. I am grateful for my parents who raised me in an environment where principles of Jesus Christ were taught and lived on a daily basis. I am grateful for the support my siblings and parents have for me while I'm a full-time servant for my Heavenly Father. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for their constant support, prayers, thoughts, letters, and emails. Nothing they do goes unnoticed and I couldn't ask for a better family.
  "Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done." We are all so blessed in many different ways. Let us all make a special priority at this time of year to ponder and express to others the things that we are most grateful for.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Find Out Spiritual Truths for Yourself

The twelfth prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Spender W. Kimball, addresses this topic in a talk given in 1978:

It is a good question which has been asked by millions since Joseph Smith phrased it: How am I to know which of all, if any, of the organizations is authentic, divine, and recognized by the Lord?

He has given the key. You may know. You need not be in doubt. Follow the prescribed procedures, and you may have an absolute knowledge that these things are absolute truths. The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and obey his commandments and teachings. Revelation is key. God will make it known to you once you have capitulated and have become humble and receptive. Having dropped all pride of your own knowledge and wisdom, having acknowledged before God your confusion, having humbled yourself (lost your feeling of self-importance) and having surrendered yourself to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to begin to learn. With preconceived religious notions stubbornly held, one is not teachable. The Lord has promised repeatedly that he will give you a knowledge of spiritual things when you have placed yourself in a proper frame of mind. He has counseled us to seek, ask, and search diligently. These innumerable promises are epitomized by Moroni in the following: "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:5). What a promise! How extravagant! How wonderful!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

   I am a disciple, representative, and missionary for Jesus Christ. I am currently serving for two years in the marvelous state of Montana and have never found so much happiness and meaning to life. I can boldly and proudly say that I am a member of Christ's true church. I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that He is the Redeemer of the world. Through his incomprehensible atoning sacrifice, we can all find the peace, comfort, and love that we all yearn for.