Filling Your Soul with the Good Word of God

Friday, December 30, 2011

2 Years Ago Today

On December 30, 2009 I was standing in the Phoenix airport hugging my family with tears in my eyes. I was about to board a plane for Salt Lake City and I knew I wouldn't be seeing them for a while. For most 19 year old boys this might be the time to head off to college or a job, but for me, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I was embarking on a two year proselyting mission in Montana.
As I arrived in Salt Lake I was greeted by my two sets of my grandparents who delivered me safely to one of the most famous places in the church, the MTC or Missionary Training Center. After more goodbyes were said I was escorted by an Elder into a building. I had made it!

For many in the church the MTC is very iconic because of what begins there and the history that follows. For me, my father, grandparents, cousins and friends had all came through these very same doors as they started out missions of their own. I had heard so many stories about this place that it was a rush of emotions to finally be here for myself on my very own mission.
What happened over the next three weeks was such a roller coaster ride of new things as I spent every moment dedicated to studying and training to be the best missionary I could be. As I did that I gained new friends, new knowledge, a new increase of the Spirit, and a new love for my Savior and His church and gospel.

After all of that it was time to once again board a plane (this time a very small one) and set off for Montana and a life changing experience with the hope that I had learned enough to at least survive the next two years.      

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jesus, Help Me Take The Wheel

In the popular song sung by Carrie Underwood she tells the story of a girl who's driving and looses control on an icy road. In desperation she throws her arms up in the air along with a prayer.

Jesus take the wheel

Take it from my hands
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

While this is a touching story of a woman and her baby who are saved from getting into a horrible car crash the lyrics have caused me to reflect would God really want us to just let go of the steering wheel as we offer up a prayer?

    James 2:17-"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

I do believe God will help us if we pray, but we also need to put forth some of our own effort. There are times, like the story in this song, that He will help us fully and completely, but other times we need to be willing to do our part as well.

     Matthew 7:21-Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

So the next time you find yourself in a tough spot, or driving down an icy road of sin, don't just say Lord, Lord and throw your hands in the air hoping He'll save you. Instead say a prayer, grab the wheel, and take control of the situation as God helps and guides you to safety. In the end this will prove to be way more effective.  

Cause I can't do this on my own

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Put The Watch Away And Enjoy Christmas

This morning I went to the temple here in Billings. It was nice to walk in to that beautiful white building on a cool crisp December morning. In the temple they have lockers where you can store your belongings while in the temple. It is one of my favorite things to do to take off my watch and set it in the locker. To me it's very symbolic. The watch, in my eyes, represents time, and often the constrains it can place on our lives. So for me to take that watch off, put it in a locker, and lock it up while in the temple helps me realize that I need to forget about time and focus on the reasons I am there and the things that I can learn.
    As I did this today it also made me think of this busy Christmas season. As all of us find ourselves in the hustle and bustle of decorating, baking, singing, and Christmas programs galore let us essentially take the watch of time off and put it away. Even for just a night let us forget about worldly Christmas time and focus on family Christmas time. May I suggest a reading out of Luke chapter 2, or watching a video about Christ's birth off of I can promise as you do this you will grow closer to your family, you will remember the Savior more, and will find an increase of Christmas spirit in your home and in your life. This is a wondrous time of year, let's not let it go to waste.

  For some family Christmas ideas Click Here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Christmas with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

One of my favorite Christmas traditions has to be listening to Christmas music. Growing up in Utah we had the privileged of going to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's yearly Christmas concert. Most kids my age probably would have found listening to a choir sing for two hours a bore, but for me it was the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season! As I sat there in amazement listening to this angelic choir sing praises of Joy to the World, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Hark! The Harold Angels sing I felt something inside of me. As I continued to pay more attention to this feeling I realized what it was....It was the Spirit! I'm sure there were other times in my life when I had felt the Spirit but it was these concerts that provided me the first opportunity to recognize what the Spirit really felt like.
   Each year I look forward to this, the Christmas season, for the opportunity to, through music, relive this spiritual experience. I'm grateful for what I call "God's Choir" and their heavenly songs who's tunes and lyrics are now ingrained into my mind and heart.  This time of year is truly a great one as I am able to reflect on the Saviors birth and, with my voice, join in singing praises to Him.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Name is Mitch...and I'm A Mormon.

Hi my name is Mitch, I'm originally from the Salt Lake City area of Utah but have had the chance to live in Chicago,IL , Idaho Falls,ID , and for the last six years in Queen Creek,AZ where I spent most of my growing up years. I Love Sports, especially BYU football and basketball. Go Cougars! My family and friends would call me addicted and I'd probably have to agree. You can find me most nights sitting on the couch watching sports with my Dad and friends.
     I also love to play sports. I played baseball and basketball when I was younger but in High School I found a love for swimming and tennis and competed on both teams.
Some of my other hobbies would include camping, fishing, making movies, and eating. There's nothing better then watching a big game and chowing down on many of my favorite foods.
    I've put that all aside for two years though as I am currently serving a mission in Montana and loving it. Its been a great experience to be able to share my beliefs with others and I am truly cherishing this time I am dedicating to the Lord.
     I was born into the church and have a very strong background of faithful family members. I always felt like the church was true because of the strength I saw it brought to me and my family. As I continued to read the Book of Mormon I felt time and time again the feeling of peace brought about by the Spirit. After finishing the Book of Mormon I took Moroni's challenge and prayed to know it was true and I felt the same feelings that I had felt my whole life and while reading The Book of Mormon; that the church was true and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was something that could continue to help my family and I in our lives. I am so grateful for all that Jesus Christ and his Gospel has done for me. I know I wouldn't be the person I am today without it.
     Before my mission I lived my faith every day by setting a good example and showing others through that example what I believed. Now as a missionary for the church I am able to teach and invite others to learn more and share my testimony with them every day of how Christ's Gospel and his restored church has blessed my life and I love it!
    My Name is Mitch, I'm currently serving a mission in Montana. I love sports, food, and my family.....and I'm a Mormon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Look Forward With Faith

All of us are traveling down a road called life. It can be a joy ride, a thrill ride, or a car wreck depending on how we handle the up hills, down hills, sharp turns, bumps, and pot holes of life.
     Sometimes we feel like we can drive anywhere we want and have freedom and success. Other times we think we're driving solo with no co-pilot by our side and we feel nervous or frightened about what lies ahead. But as we continue to make it through those sharps turns and speed bumps we then look back through the rear view mirror and realize God and Christ have been there all along guiding us through a route that we may have never taken without their quite encouragement and guidance through the Spirit. So how do we make it so that instead of looking back through the rear view mirror and finding them we look forward through the windshield with faith and follow the road less traveled?
     We all would like to think we have enough faith in our driving until we hit a snow storm and that windshield starts to become blurred. I think back to this last winter and being an Arizona boy it was my first time driving in the snow. When you drive in a snow storm your personal vision is reduced drastically. Because of this you have to be very tentative, slow down, and use your windshield wipers to keep the snow from building up on your windshield. These three steps and a prayer will help you keep the faith to press forward and make it home safely.
      In life we hit storms of temptation, sin, laziness, or whatever Satan can throw in our path to reduce our vision and cloud up our windshields. If we will become aware of the distractions, slow down before we act, pray, and wipe away those temptations we will have a clear path to follow the guidance God and Christ give us. The more we can follow their guidance during the drive and have faith instead of looking back to the past and realizing they were there the whole time easier our road to travel will be. So have faith, travel smart, and enjoy the ride.       

Friday, November 4, 2011

Priesthood Lockout

NBA opening week! Ahhh! Professional hoops back again Time for the holiday season! The excitement has been building for big marquee match-ups like Kobe vs. Lebron, Celtics vs. Heat, and to top it all off the debut of the college basketball player of the year, Jimmer Fredette! So quick turn on your TV, grab a soda, and maybe even your thundersticks because it's time for some NBA Basketball!.....
      (chirp).....(chirp)......(chirp)....oh wait.....the nba is in a lockout. 
Due to recent labor desputes between players, owners, and league officials the NBA season has been halted, stopped, and put on hold until the parties can come to an agreement over  revenue sharing and the structure of the salary cap. The owners and league have their agenda and will let the players resume play once the players can agree to the terms of a contract.
   Sometimes a similar lockout occurs. God has allowed men to be players in helping him in his eternal work. Using his authority and priesthood power through them, here on the earth, these players are able to baptize, confir the Holy Ghost, administer the sacrement, give blessings of healing to the sick, and perform other ordinances in the temple. 
     In the Doctrine and Covenants section 121 we read these words from God about this Priesthood. He states"That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
   That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man."
   So we see that if a holder of the Priesthood of God tries to use it in any other way then God would have him use it or if he tries to use it without being worthy just like the NBA that players priesthood is put into a lockout. Well then how does one receive that Priesthood authority again in his life? Through repentance hopefully he will bring his life back into harmony with the terms of his contract with God to hold and use that Priesthood again. Just like hopefully the NBA players can come to an agreement and take the court sooner then later.   
         To read more about the Priesthood of God visit Elder Wahl's blog The Ice Cream Truck and The Squad Car: Authority
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