Filling Your Soul with the Good Word of God

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Prayer of Faith Shall Save the Sick

Eight years ago this week my sister, Lauren, at the young age of eight was admitted to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She had recently been diagnosed with a rare skin disease called PLEVA but what was even more rare was that it was trying to take over her body by breaking down her immune system. After only a few days in the hospital they admitted her into the intensive care unit, intubated her to help her breathe, and put her into an induced coma.
    As I stood there for weeks and watched her as she lay there unconscious with tubes and IVs of every kind coming out of her the only thing I could do was pray. At the young age of 12 I quickly gained a strong testimony in prayer, fasting, and in priesthood blessings. Through these I came to know that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were aware of me. They knew my situation, what I was going through, and what my parents were going through. More important He knew what my sister was going through. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon in Alma 7:11-12 that reads: "And 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 death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind 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." I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, knew the pains and afflictions that my family and I were going through. When I went to Him in prayer this is when He was able to succor, or comfort me. This is what brought peace into my life at this difficult time. And it was this peace that built my faith. I soon had the feeling, despite the odds and what some doctors would call hopeless, I knew she would be ok!
    Some may question how that was possible at such a rough spot in my life but to me it because so simple. I was able to gain faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was able to gain faith in my Heavenly Father's plan for me. I knew that no matter what happened, if my sister lived or died ,that I Would see her again! My family was sealed together by the Priesthood of God both on earth and in heaven. That same priesthood was what could save her life if we offered up a prayer of faith (James 5:15).
I know that it was by that prayer of faith and through the priesthood that she was healed. I know it is by faith that miracles still happen. I am grateful for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the Priesthood of God that is on the earth once again today. I know it's real. I am grateful for my sister Lauren. She is my hero. I'm grateful for the faith she has, that she is an example of the believers (1 Tim 4:12), and that she is alive and well today.
    The Book of Mormon states in Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness, I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know that my faith has been made stronger because of this experience. And though it was a tough thing to go through at the time I know I that I was humbled and am a better person today because of it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's in a Name?

When you hear the names Hitler, Judas, or Satan what's the first thoughts that come to your mind? When you hear the names Christ, George Washington, or Nephi what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? It's amazing to see how much can be represented in what some would call just a name. But our names are more than something to set us apart from the next guy or girl. Our names represent our values and morals, beliefs, and or deeds whether for good or evil.
    If you simply take your last name for example it can link you to hundreds of ancestors. For me this makes me feel a great responsibility to uphold my last name of Davis for the good of my parents, grandparents, and past Davises have brought to it. For some this may be the case, for others it may be an opportunity to change the reputation their last name holds by changing their actions from previous generations.
   In the Book of Mormon we learn that Helaman gave his sons the names of Lehi and Nephi so that they could remember the original Lehi and Nephi and follow their example of righteousness. In Helaman 5:6-7 we read:
    "Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.
 Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them."   
     Besides us all having a last name there is another name we should strive to take upon us, the name of Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ we should take upon us His name at all times, and in all things, and in all places. We should strive to represent His name and example by patterning our lives after Him.
    As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a representative of Christ I bear His name on me at all times through the name tag I wear. When people see this tag and the name of Christ they are watching me to see if I am representing Him properly. I'm automatically held to a higher standard because of the name I wear.
    Those of us who don't have a visible name tag should still act as if we do. We should never be ashamed to be found as a bearer of His name and should always strive to uphold His reputation. Just as with our names we can uphold Christ's name with the honor and respect it deserves or we can let it become just another name. The choice is ours.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday is a Special Day

Saturday is a special day is a well known part of a line from a children's primary song. But why is Saturday such a special day? The song states that it's because Saturday is the day we clean the house, shop at the store, wash our clothes, and shine our shoes so we won't have to work until Monday.
   As a kid I always felt like this song was used as a joke or an excuse to get me to do chores. But as I've gotten older I've realized the importance and truthfulness behind this song. Section 108 of the Doctrine and Covenants states: Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God. In order for this to happen we need to prepare ourselves both physically and spiritually for Sunday.
    Physically we can prepare ourselves by getting our house cleaning, yard work, and shopping done. This ensures that we don't have to do these things on the Sabbath. When we do this the stresses of a messy house or buying food for the next week are gone and our Sunday can be fully dedicated to the Lord.
   I know a farmer who told me that he doesn't work on his farm on Sunday. This means Saturday is his busiest work day. He said he knows the Lord blesses him for not working on Sunday by making Saturday a more productive day than the other previous five days of the week combined. This farmer, with help from the Lord, truly makes Saturday a special day.
    Along with physical preparation we need to spiritually prepare ourselves. If our actions are not in harmony with the Lord's teachings on Saturday night how is that going to help us prepare for Sunday? Especially when worthiness to bless and partake of the sacrament is so important. I know many young men who've told me they won't participate in the partying, drinking, and immoral activities of Saturday night because they know the next day they have a priesthood duty to be worthy to bless, pass, and partake of the sacrament. They look at it as a blessing in their lives because it's kept them on the straight and narrow path.
    So why is Saturday such a special day? Because it's our "get our work done day" so we can be ready for Sunday. 
"Saturday" music and lyrics link: Saturday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet

This last Sunday I was privileged to speak in the Dillon 2nd ward. Knowing that I would soon be getting involved with our missions new online proselyting pilot program I wanted to let the members know why I would be online and how they could help.
   I based my talk off of a commencement address given at Brigham Young University–Hawaii in 2007 by Elder M.Russel Ballard titled: Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet (link below). In this talk he asks an important question of how will we use Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and the Internet in general to share the gospel? As a missionary and a big user of the internet I see why the church would be pushing for church members to get on line and share their testimonies with others. This month's Ensign focuses on and how it was created for the 6 billion people in the world to be able to meet a Mormon and in a way have a conversation with one. Elder Ballard said we need to join the conversation "There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we can not stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches."
    I believe this is the first and easiest step to member missionary work. So my challenge to everyone would be to follow the counsel of Elder Ballard, join the conversation. Create a profile, share gospel related things on blogs, in emails, and on Facebook and Twitter. You never know when you may plant a seed or get someone asking questions.
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