Filling Your Soul with the Good Word of God

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trust Not in the Arm of Flesh, Or In MJ's Secret Stuff

Trust Not in the Arm of Flesh, Or In MJ's Secret Stuff:  In one of my favorite movies "Space Jam" The Nerdlucks, and their boss, Swackhammer, had been seeking a new attraction for their extraterrestrial theme park and came to earth to capture the Looney Toons. In an attempt to save themselves from having to become prisoners of Swackhammer the Looney Toons challenge the Nerdlucks to a basketball game. The Nerdlucks, in order to have a chance to compete, steal the talent of NBA superstars and become "The Monstars". Bugs Bunny and the Looney Toon gang, desperate for some help, turn to Michael Jordan, who at this point had retired, for some help. This leads to an epic battle on the court!
    The Toon Squad, finding themselves down not only on the scoreboard but on themselves, at half time turn to Bugs Bunny for some help. Bugs rallies the team with what he claims is "Michael's Secret Stuff" which he claims will give them special basketball powers if they will drink it. Every member of the team takes a swig and feels as if it is really working. They run their way back onto the court with a renewed sense of happiness and determination that they feel this secret drink has given them.
         As they start the second half their play increases and they find themselves back in the game. But soon enough "Michael's Secret Stuff" is all gone and they find themselves once again frustrated. This is when Michael Jordan reveals to them that Bugs had tricked them and that the "Secret Stuff" was really just water and that if they will reach deep inside of them they can find the true talent and skills they have and need to defeat The Monstars. As they now work together as a team they are able to with real confidence in themselves now they find themselves in the game all the way down to the wire. Down by one, it is up to MJ to score the final point for his team, which he does with a long stretched arm, for the victory! The Looney Toons are saved, the NBA players get their talent back, and Michael Jordan's basketball career is revamped bringing him back into the NBA.
      In life there are times when we rely on what the world, and Satan, calls "Secret Stuff". Satan uses this "Secret Stuff", which to the world is no secret, to carefully lead us astray. We, for a moment, feel as if we are invincible, just like the Toon Squad felt, but eventually we feel the lasting negative effects of these decision. The scriptures would call this putting our trust in the arm of flesh. 2 Nephi 4:34 Lehi councils about this by saying "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." Let us put our trust in the good things of God that will not only bring us happiness now but happiness in the long run. Things like scripture study, prayer, and church are three things that we can trust in to help us find our true potential. Those three things will also help us to make good decision when Satan tried to persuade us with his "Secret Stuff". It is my hope that we will all trust in the Lord and not in the arm of flesh. If we do this we will truly be blessed and be able to find our true talent and happiness that God has to offer and we can win the game of life!   

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Uncle Rico, Leave The Past In The Past! The Best Is Yet To Come!

Uncle Rico, Leave The Past In The Past! The Best Is Yet To Come!

In the movie Napoleon Dynamite we constantly see Napoleon's uncle, Uncle Rico, trying to relive his old high school football days. He is always telling people "Yeah... Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind. You better believe things had been different. I’d have gone pro in a heartbeat. I’d be making millions of dollars and living in a big ol’ mansion somewhere, soaking it up in a hot tub with my soul mate." Uncle Rico obviously resents what happened in the past. He wished there were things he could do to go back and change the course of his life. He even attempted to use a time machine to send him back to his glory days where he could make changes and change life for what he believed would be the better.
    While this is a more extreme case, at least I hope none of us are running around recording our football skills at the age of 40, it is something that all of us deal with to a certain extent. We all have made mistakes in the past that we feel have altered our future. We, at times, strongly wish we could have a redo, a second chance to fix the things we've done wrong in our life with the hope that it would bring us a brighter future than we see. But no matter how hard we try to use a time machine to go back in time this won't work. We need to instead learn how to make a change and make the past the past.
    Elder Holland in the January 2010 Ensign talked about this. He said "The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives."
   He also said that we need to forgive and forget. "There is something in many of us that particularly fails to forgive and forget earlier mistakes in life—either our mistakes or the mistakes of others. It is not good. It is not Christian. It stands in terrible opposition to the grandeur and majesty of the Atonement of Christ. To be tied to earlier mistakes is the worst kind of wallowing in the past from which we are called to cease and desist."
   "So how do we get out of this wallowing in the past? We repent and have faith in the future. Elder Holland encourages us to "remember just enough to avoid repeating the mistake, but then put the rest of it all on the dung heap, dismiss the destructive, and keep dismissing it until the beauty of the Atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future and the bright future." He also says that "God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go."
    And through our faith we need to build on the past but never long to stay there. Have faith in the future and that God has great things in-store for us if we will repent and have faith that the best is yet to come! May we all learn this lesson, especially Uncle Rico, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

To read more of Elder Holland's talk "The Best Is Yet To Be" Click Here

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Draft

The NBA Draft is tonight. For a young college basketball player this is the night dreams can come true. This is the night a player not only finds out if they are going to get to play in the NBA, but to which team they will be adding their skills to. What a nerve-racking experience it must be for one to wait to hear his name called. Likewise, this is a long and nerve-racking night for NBA team owners, GM's, scouts, and coaches because this night, and the events that take place, could determine the success of their team for the next five to ten years. This is especially tough for them because often those who do really well and get picked really high in the draft don't always end up being the superstars in a very talented and tough league to play in.
    There are many examples in the history of the NBA draft of this happening. The most famous case of this came in 1984 when Sam Bowie(Who?) was drafted number two by the Portland Trailblazers while the Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan with their number three overall pick, and the rest is history. Michael Jordan went on to change the sports of basketball by winning multiple championship titles filled with many MVP trophies while Sam Bowie had an average NBA career.
   There are times in our lives when we are faced with a draft of our own. We need to truly scout out our options of what is going to be best for us in our lives, and our team. For some they choose to draft a player who, to the world, looks appealing at times but in the end will destroy a franchise. This player is Satan and anything he supports. Never practicing(no church attendance), a ball hog(selfishness), and contention are just a few of his attributes. We need to avoid this temptation and draft a true superstar. We need to draft Jesus Christ onto our team!
"With the 1st pick in the draft of life(insert name) selects...Jesus Christ!"
    When we make that draft choice we need to make Christ our top pick and the "Center" of our team. He, unlike Satan, will always step it up in crunch time and be there for us. Whether it be to make a big shot, to rebound our missed shots, or assist us, He is a very reliable team-mate. He is one that can change not only our team, lives, but the whole league, world.
 "Choose you this day whom ye will draft, but as for me and my team we will draft the Lord!" This is the only guaranteed successful draft pick, for our team, in our lives. This is one I can guarantee you because I've seen the impact He's made on my team, and it's something no one else could offer. I know if you will draft Him, though the game will not be easy, you will come out on the winning end. You will see the blessings that come to you, and your team, and you will never want to trade Him. Instead you'll sign a life long contract to Him, which will be the greatest decision you will ever make. This is what will lead you to become a true Champion!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God Will Never Fire Us, The Coach

God Will Never Fire Us, The Coach-In today's sports world, teams are always looking to make it to the top as soon as possible. They seek after the glory, fame, popularity, and riches of being the best; of being a Champion! The more teams seek after this, the more they try to pick out their team's flaws to make a change. It used to be that a team would pick out those flaws, or weaknesses, over time. This was known as the rebuilding stage of a team, program, or franchise. Once upon a time this was the way to work your way up to stardom and championship status. Times, however, have changed. 
     As sports leagues get more and more competitive teams are looking for a quicker fix. Is it the defense they need to change? The offense? The pitching or the hitting? Often times as the head honchos, owners and GM's, look over their organization they decide to go straight to what they believe is the root of their team's problems, and they fire the head coach. More than ever we are seeing what's been coined as the "coaching carousel" take its effect. A team looking for a quick fix will look at their head coach with a "what have you done for me lately?" attitude. Despite the previous success of this coach and his team, or the steady improvement, the coach is canned, or fired, for often times a younger, trendier coach with new playbooks, schemes, and training methods. This all done with the hope that his new ideas and coaching will bring over-night success. While this quick fix sometimes works, see Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Often times though the problems linger, players still under perform, and before you know it that coach has been let go also, and a new coach is brought in. That's why it's called the "coaching carousel".

Neither Penn State or God
has given up on
Joe Paterno who at the age
of 84 and in his 61st year
of coaching is still going strong.
   How grateful I am that God, our Heavenly Father, does not operate this way. He will never give up on us! Despite the constant mistakes we make He will always be there to lift us up. As we make slow and steady progress to gain faith, repent, and come unto Christ, we can be champions someday with Him in His kingdom. He is right there next to us. We don't have to feel like we're in "the coaching hot seat". If we will strive to put our best effort forward he'll be there to say fear not. It is my hope and prayer that all of us will put forth our best "coaching" effort to be able to return to Him. By studying the playbook, scriptures, the game film, words of the prophet and apostles, and attend practice, church, we can become our best. And in the end giving our very best is all that He asks of us to be a true champion!       

Friday, June 17, 2011

Elder Davis and Elder Holbrook's Spiritual Center Top 10

Here's a Davis Daily Bread "Spiritual Center" Top 10 of Gospel Sports Blogs of the first half of the year.

My Jersey Sponsor by Elder Holbrook

 My Football Story, Ouch by Elder Garcia


Everyone Gets a Ring by Elder Hunsaker

Now That's a Beard by Elder Greco

Endure to the End by Sister Nestman

Spiritual and Basketball by Elder Lee

Gospel According To A Sports Guy part by Elder Elmer

 Under Dog Theory and the Atonement by Elder Nelson

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Reset Button of Video Games and Repentance

Anyone who has ever played video games before knows that there are times in the game when you have to complete a level or a task. As we try to conquer a villain or beat the other team in a game we quickly realize that we're getting beat and that our player is about to die or our team is about to lose. This almost always leads to frustration and anger to the point of yelling at the TV or maybe even throwing the controller across the room (Don't deny it gamers, this really does happen). As this anger builds up we start to spiral down the path to GAME OVER! but No! We won't let that happen! As we realize that maybe those awesome video game skills aren't so awesome we get prideful. Before we could ever accept that we lost we take the cheap way out....we hit the reset button.
I'll admit it I've done it before. Playing my favorite game, NCAA Football, there was no way I was going to let my BYU Cougars lose a game! Now that I've matured and so have my virtual football playing skills I'm less likely to take the cheap way out and reset a game. But when I get down early or am about to lose late in the game that temptation is always there to hit the reset button.
      Some would say unfortunately we are not living in a video game world. This is the real deal. There is no reset button in life that takes us back to birth to try again before our game over. As we travel through this level we will encounter many obstacles. Some will be easy to overcome, others will be very difficult. As we continue on though we can't let ourselves get caught up or bogged down in life. We can't get angry or upset with the difficulties of this level to the point where we want a restart because there is no restart to life like there is in a video game. However Christ has provided a type of restart.
        Alma 34:32-33 says that this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witness, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end" If we want a restart to life we need to take part in the atonement of Jesus Christ by repenting. Through repentance we can become clean. Our minds, bodies, and spirits become clear of all anger, sorrow, guilt, and pain. We are given a clean slate thanks to Christ and a new start of life. As we go about preparing to meet God we will continue to learn and grow and improve our skills. We will be able to defeat this level and return to live with God where there are no Game Overs because of the reset Christ offers and not that of a video game.
             To learn more about the "Reset Button" of life Click Here

Friday, June 10, 2011

Learn To Trust Others Around You, Even If They're A Donkey

Learn To Trust Others Around You, Even If They're A Donkey-
As the children of Israel were journeying through the wilderness they came to a resting spot near the land of Moab. The king of Moab, Balak, was afraid of the children of Israel so he sent princes out to persuade the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites and protect the land of Moab. As Balaam contemplated what he should do he sought God for guidance through prayer. God told him "Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed."(Num. 22:12) When Balaam woke in the morning he told the princes that the Lord had warned him not to go with them. The princes returnd to Balak and told him what Balaam had said. Despite this Balak was persistent and sent more honorable princes to convince Balaam to journey with them to Moab and to curse the Israelites. They also offered him great riches for doing so. Balaam prayed once again to God to know what to do. The Lord again told him not to go, but this time Balaam did not listen.
Balaam and his donkey
    As he awoke in the morning he saddled up his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. God was upset with Balaam and his actions so He placed an angel in the way of the path to Moab. When Balaam and his donkey came to the angel the donkey saw the angel and turned and ran into a field. Balaam, not being able to see the angel, rebuked the donkey. Again they headed down the path and the angel was on the path again and the donkey, seeing the angel again, ran off again. Now a third time they journeyed down the path and the donkey saw the angel and fell down. Balaam, being very frustrated and angry, began to beat the donkey and the Lord caused the donkey's mouth to be open and the donkey spoke to Balaam saying, "Am not I thine donkey, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?" And Balaam's eyes were opened and he saw the angel. The angel said if it was not for your donkey who had seen me and stopped your journey to Moab I would have had to kill you.  Balaam was grateful to the donkey and God for sparing his life. Balaam prayed to the Lord for forgiveness and asked what he should do. God directed him as to what he should do and say in Moab instead of following Balak's command and he and the children of Israel were blessed for following God.
      Through this story of Balaam we learn that the Lord uses others in our path, or around us, to guide us. The Lord knows that we can't learn on our own so he places good parents, grandparents, Bishops, church leaders, teachers, coaches, and friends to help us. How many of us have had questions that we've asked God about and he's given us an answer through someone else. Many of these people around us and in our lives have experienced similar situations that we're going through. Instead of treating them like a donkey we need to open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to the help they are offering us. As we do so we will see that the Lord is guiding others to help us. As we walk down the path of life we are not alone. God is with us, our friends and our family are with us. The sooner we can accept their help down the path of life the better off we will be.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Three Stones That Will Defeat The Goliaths Of Life

The Three Stones That Will Defeat The Goliaths Of Life-The classic Bible story of David vs. Goliath is one that most of us have heard before. David, the sheep herder, who is not only small but young, learns of big bad Philistine, Goliath, and how he's been picking on the Israelites. While the rest of Israel's army hangs back in fear of the giant Goliath David puts his trust in the Lord and a few stones saying "he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine" and "the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands." (1 Sam. 17:37,47) And the rest of the story is history! David after being mocked by Goliath uses his sling to throw a stone at Goliath and the stone kills him! The ultimate under dog story!
   So what can we learn from this story and David's stones? In our lives we will all have Goliaths. We will all be faced with trials and challenges that seem GIANT! They seem impossible to over come! We, as the Israelite army, see no point in fighting the fight any more and we want to give up and give in. There are three little "Spiritual Stones" that can help us to over come these great Giants of life.

PRAYER- A great way to overcome the Goliaths of Life is through prayer. Prayer is direct communication with our Heavenly Father. As we are going through the struggles of life He wants to hear about it. He wants us to express to Him what we are feeling and how He can help. Through our prayers and His spirit we can find comfort and guidance in our times of need.
Scripture Study- We can rely on the words of God and the Prophets in the scriptures to bring us comfort and knowledge. We can learn from others experiences and trials in the scriptures and see how God helped them through those and then apply them to our lives. This is also where God will sometimes reveal things to us for our lives as we read.  

Church- Through attending church each Sunday we can partake of the sacrament to have God's spirit with us through out the week. We can learn from the different lessons and talks that are shared, and find comfort and peace in knowing that we have a family at church who will be there to support and help us at all times.

I know as we use these "Spiritual Stones" and God's help we can overcome the Giant trials in our lives. It's a great blessing to have these stones by our side and if we will take them out and use them we will find the happiness that we seek as we defeat the Goliaths of Life. I can promise this to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

To Watch a video on Prayer Click Here
To Learn read the scriptures Click Here
To Learn how to worship with us Click Here

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Behind Enemy Lines: The Sons of Mosiah

Behind Enemy Lines: The Sons of Mosiah- When we hear of someone going behind enemy lines we think of the brave men and women of the the armed forces risking their lives to go into enemy territory to carry out a dangerous mission to protect their family, friends, and their country. Though the mission will be tough they know it is necessary to preserve freedom, even if it means their lives. While I commend these mighty men and women for their courage I want to tell you about another group of men willing to risk it all to save their brothers, even if it meant going behind enemy lines.
    The sons of a Nephite king, Mosiah, came to their father, after being converted (Mosiah 27), to tell him the desire of their hearts was to go among their relatives, the Lamanites, to bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God and stop the contention among the two groups of people (Mosiah 28:2).
   The Lamanites were known as a hardened, ferocious people who delighted in murdering, robbing, and plundering. They were a covetous people and idol worshipers who's hearts were set on anything but God.(Alma 17:14-15) Despite this "the cause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption." (Alma 17:16) As they departed they took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare these things unto them with the Lord's help.(Alma 17:12) They didn't go without their challenges and struggles though.
    Ammon, upon arrival to the land of Ishmael, was captured and put into prison (Alma 17:20). Aaron, while teaching in a synagogue had many try to contend with him and eventually in Middoni was thrown into prison where he suffered many trials (Alma 21). Despite this "the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct." (Alma 21:17)
     Ammon through service to a Lamanite king, King Lamoni, was able to teach about who God was. He was also able to teach and testify to him about the creation and the plan of redemption. Eventually the king granted Ammon the right to teach all in the land and many were baptized and they became a righteous people. (Alma ch.17-19)
    Aaron, after being freed from prison with the help of Ammon, went on to teach King Lamoni's father. By answering his questions about God and how to obtain eternal life he was able to bring knowledge to the king's whole household and they were all converted. The king then granted religious freedom to all the land. In total the sons of Mosiah were responsible in converting seven Lamanite lands, and brought thousands to the knowledge of God. "For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren." (Alma 23:7)
    Thus we see that the Lord is willing to help us accomplish great things no matter how dangerous, as long as we will trust in and follow His ways. Through the courage and dedication of the sons of Mosiah they were able to soften the hearts of many hardened lamanites and help them find joy in Christ. Let us all press on and follow the example in being diligent in whatever the Lord calls us to do even if it requires going behind enemy lines.
     Let Us All Press On

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Montana Mormon Rugby Team Brings Home the Championship

Montana Mormon Rugby Team Brings Home the Championship
Mormon Times: MISSOULA, Mont. — Standing at the sacrament table Sunday morning, cousins Jackson and Collin Kanenwisher still appeared battered with scrapes, black eyes and sunburns. Jackson’s brother, Spencer, winced a bit while ushering at the chapel doors. Collin’s brother Beau was limping slightly as he passed the sacrament with the other deacons.
The day before, the Kanenwisher boys and their high school teammates clenched the Montana state title for club rugby in a fierce battle that ended 41 to 15. The Bitterroot Warriors, a majority of whom are LDS Church members, had a Cinderella season and are leaving the field with more than a trophy.
Organized two seasons ago, the Warriors' first players included the Kanenwisher cousins and their best friends, brothers Zander and Adam Smith. They recruited from each county high school but had the most success signing up church friends.
Boys from four LDS wards in four high schools joined the team and set the standard for leadership, language and commraderie.
Nick Recht, who will attend BYU-Idaho this fall, had an outstanding performance in the semi-finals of the round-robin tournament, held on the University of Montana rugby fields in Missoula. He scored one try off a kick from fly-half Collin Kanenwisher and then scored in the final minutes with a kick that toppled into a hard-fought victory over Kalispell 8 to 7.
“The championship was great, but I was really proud to beat Kalispell,” Recht said. “We were the only team to beat them earlier in the season, and they are a mean, dirty team. They really are bigger and better than us with a few players that were really hard to play against, so our goal as a team was to beat them in the second round. We weren’t really thinking beyond that.”
Recht was recruited to play with the boys he attends seminary and church with and discovered a love for the game that had a lot to do with his teammates.
“I just love the diversity of rugby,” he said. “You can kick, pass and tackle and then run in every position, but it’s the team itself that made it pretty fun.
“Our team captains Spencer and Zander always told us to ‘keep our heads’ and represent Bitterroot in a good way,” he said. “When things got intense, some of the players start playing pretty dirty in the rucks, but our captains didn’t want us to let it get to us or give in and play dirty back.”
Before every game, the Warriors grouped in a circle on the field for a prayer, “and that really made a difference,” said Recht.
Charlie West, a member of the team and not a member of the Mormon church, said praying before each game “brought us together as a team and helped us play better.”
He said playing with so many sets of brothers “made practices a lot more interesting.”
The five Fadely brothers from a Stevensville ward 25 miles north added strength and character to both the high school and junior high Warrior teams. Twins Mitchell and Marshall and their younger brothers Preston, Ethan and Jason also played rugby.
“We were all really exhausted playing three full games in one day,” said Mitchell Fadely. “But we were at church and excited to tell everyone. My dad even had it announced in priesthood meeting. I think our last match against Simms was the best we’ve ever played. We’ve really improved over the season, thanks to our coaches, and we were all in really good shape to still have enough energy to play three games and win.”
Freshman Beau Kanenwisher who played scrum-half scored a try during the first minutes of the championship game after a pass from his cousin Jackson.
“We’re naturally better because we’ve been playing (sports) together for so long,” he said. The rivalry between the younger brothers and the older brothers motivated them to make their captain brothers proud.
“They don’t act like it, but I know they’re proud of us and how we play,” said freshman Adam Smith, and then added a story when he was glad to have his brother back him up. “These massive guys on the other team were picking a fight with me, but then Zander and Jackson came flying in. It was pretty cool.”
Stephen Curdy, a Hamilton High School junior and Blodgett Canyon Ward priest, talked about his experiences in sacrament meeting the day after the championship. The assigned topic was integrity, and he had no problem finding symbolism from rugby experiences.
“In the finals we played Simms who play with a lot of sportsmanship and integrity,” he said. “They made the game a lot more enjoyable, and our team had the goal to play the same way.”
While fledgling teams across Montana competed during regular season, they were learning the game at the same time. The resulting matches were sometimes brutal with multiple fouls, both intentional and unintentional.
“At times it can be pretty hard to keep your standards when the other team is playing dirty and swearing,” said Mitchell Fadely. “But it’s important to keep your head and not play dirty or else your team is pretty much hated throughout the whole state.”
Twelve-year-old Preston Fadely joined the rugby club this year and loved playing with other Mormons from the valley. “They were great examples,” he said. “I’m definitely going to keep playing rugby because I love everything about it. I love the sportsmanship, I love the whole game and how it’s played.”
As for next season, when his brother Spencer steps down as captain, Jackson Kanenwisher said, “We’re excited but there’s no pressure.”
Added his cousin Collin, “We figured out how to play right and we’ll do it again.”
    For more stories from the Mormon Times including another Mormon rugby story Click Here
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...