Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Footprints In The Sand

 My mission is drawing to a close and I've been doing a lot of reflecting on these past two years. I am posting the following poem because it rings true to me - especially during the time that I've been in full-time service of my God. 


  My mission has been the most difficult thing that I have ever done in my life. I can honestly say that there were so many times that I wanted to quit or give up. There were many times when I felt as if my prayers were not being answered and that I was left all alone. However, as I reflect back on these past two years, I have noticed that God has had a hand in my life in every thing that I've done. I have realized that my Heavenly Father has been with me the whole entire time and has never - not once - left me on my own. 



One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there was one only. 


This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish,
sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,


So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”


The Lord replied,
“The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

- Mary Stevenson

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Joseph Smith Is A Prophet Of God

  For the past 23 months I have been sharing a message of happiness with the marvelous people in Montana. This message is so remarkable and has changed my life. This message is simply that God is our Father and we are His children. He as always called prophets and he has, once again, done that in our day. In the year 1820 Joseph Smith was visited by our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. After Jesus Christ's ministry, a period of spiritual darkness occurred - preparing the way for Joseph to be the one to restore many plain and precious truths back to the earth. 
  Segment from Rob Gardner's "Joseph Smith the Prophet: Live at Abravanel Hall." This segment depicts John Taylor, friend of Joseph Smith, mourning the loss of the Prophet and his brother Hyrum in his own words.
    I stand with my head high and boldly declare that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of the Almighty God. Joseph spent his whole life giving all he had to build up the kingdom of God. Joseph, along with his family and friends, were constantly being persecuted, hated, mocked, and even killed because of the things they knew to be true. This upcoming Monday is June 27th. On that date in 1844 - 167 years ago - the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered in Carthage Jail. They were killed because of the things that they knew were true. I have never met Joseph Smith, nor did I witness his martyrdom. Although I do often times feel to say, "Oh, give me back my prophet, dear!"
    John Taylor, who was in Carthage on that dreadful June day, made the following statement about Joseph: "The Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. . . He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum (Doctrine & Covenants 135:5).
    "In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth? . . . They would NOT DO THAT! " - Jeffrey R. Holland

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Book Of Mormon

  The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a divine record that was translated by the power of God. Joseph Smith had a third grade education when he translated it. He did not have any word processors, dictionaries, or internet. He had a quill pen and a candle. It took 52 scholars and other learned men to translate the King James Version of the Bible which was published in 1611. It took them seven years to complete it - which equates to a whopping one page translated per day. The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, took one unlearned farm boy roughly 60 days to translate. That is approximately ten pages translated per day. Now, tell me that Joseph merely "wrote" it. It is inconceivable to even think such a thing.

Three men sing as if they are Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris - the three witnesses who saw the gold plates and testified of its truthfulness.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dedicated To My Father

"Papa Sarge" At The Baseball Field
  Why is it that we as missionaries are allowed to call home on Mothers Day but not Fathers Day? I don't know. But, nonetheless, I want my father to know how much I love and care about him - even if I don't get to call home and tell him.
  From the time I was a wee lad up until today, my dad has always been a hero to me. I cannot adequately express the gratitude I have for the life lessons that he has taught me. The noteworthy thing is that most of the lessons he's taught me haven't even required him to say anything. My dad is one of the best "teachers by example" that I have ever met. He's often referred to as a "man of few words." And while he may be just that, his actions have always shouted loudly to me in a positive way. He is living the quote by St. Francis who once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Montana Flooding

   For those living in Montana, this time of year has been infamous for the dreaded flooding going on around the state. From the Fort Peck Reservation in Eastern Montana, to Helena in central Montana, to Missoula on the Eastern part of the state, the flooding has been devastating. Homes have been ruined, evacuation has been more than necessary for victims, crops have been destroyed, and, unfortunately, even a few deaths have occurred. It was said in the Billings Gazette, "It takes a lot to get a Montana farmer to curse the rain, but some are beginning to. Hundreds of thousands of acres have gone unplanted due to unprecedented rains and the number of growing days needed to produce a crop is quickly dwindling." Obviously, much help has been needed.
   I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had as a missionary to help out with all the flooding. Missionaries across the Montana Billings Mission have spent hundreds of hours helping out with the natural disasters. We have been doing anything from filling up and hauling sandbags, to hauling furniture and miscellaneous items out of houses to prevent further damage.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jesus Is My Friend

   This is the greatest video I have ever seen. It would be a downright crime if you didn't take 3 minutes out of your life to watch it. And I add my witness, that Jesus is indeed our friend! Oh yes, and these dudes aren't even wearing shoes. Straight up scholars, I tell ya! Now share with your friends and family.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Miami Heat.. They Have the Potential - And So Do You

   One of my favorite missionaries is Elder Freeman. He is a scholar and a gentleman. However, he has accused me many times of "stealing" his ideas for blogging. What a silly idea, right? I can honestly say that that is not true. However, This post is completely his and I stole it word for word off his page (besides the grammar corrections that I made). Thanks Elder Freeman, sure do love ya!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Faith In God

  A couplethree days ago I had the opportunity to teach a young man who is struggling with believing in God. He came to us with a particular problem, but we soon found out that his initial concern was not the thing that we needed to address. His real problem is that he does not believe in Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ. We talked a lot about faith and what steps we need to take to develop our faith in God. This young man was, frankly, very bitter and stubborn and expressed to us that he is tired of hearing that "faith" is always the answer. My companion and I bore strong testimony that we KNOW that God lives and that Jesus' atonement is real. However, he just told us that we really do not know and that there is no way to know that God is real unless we actually see him. I promise that this is not true. We do not need to see to believe. It's important to understand that faith is not knowing. Faith is just the first step; Faith is a hope in things that we cannot see. We explained that we need to let ourselves believe. "But behold, if ye will . . .experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." - Alma 32:27
  As I listened to myself and my companion bear testimony of the reality of a living Heavenly Father and Savior, my testimony of this principle grew stronger. I don't merely believe that God lives. I don't just hope that God lives. To all who read this post, I KNOW that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Savior of the world. I know these things because I have seen too many miracles in my life to ever say otherwise. I know these things because I've felt of my Heavenly Father's love time and time again. I cannot deny what I have felt. The Holy Ghost does not lie. This surety all started with faith; It all started with me letting myself acutally want to believe.

Got Faith? Pillowcase