Filling Your Soul with the Good Word of God

Friday, September 30, 2011

General Conference: The Super Bowl of the Church

The 181st semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is this weekend. This is like the Super Bowl of the church! You've got to watch it! We're talking Apostles and Prophets delivering messages to us from our Heavenly Father. General Conference has something for everyone. So watch with an open heart and willing mind and the Holy Ghost will impress upon the things that you need to take from the talks and messages you hear. I love General Conference. I love the chance to hear from these great men of God and I know you will too.

Check it out. Sat. Oct. 1 at 10am and 2pm and Oct. 2 again at 10am and 2pm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Family Night and Monday Night Football

For most Americans Monday means one thing...Monday Night Football. The NFL's biggest match up of the week on national television for all to see. However for members of the LDS church Monday means something a little different. It means FHE or family home evening. This is a night set aside by the church and families to spend time together, have a gospel lesson, some fun, and the always desired treat. Interestingly enough these two Monday night activities were officially started the same year.    
    In September 1970 the Priesthood Bulletin announced that in a recent meeting the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve approved the setting aside of Monday night for holding family home evening throughout the entire church. Likewise, the 1970 season of the NFL officially had a televised Monday night football game each week and promoted it as Monday Night Football. The very first official Monday Night Football game was held on September 21, 1970. Is it any coincidence that these these two Monday night events were started the same year? Could be for good or bad.
     Bad:If we look at the family in the world we live in today we see that it sure has changed a lot. The typical family no longer eats together let alone spends a night together. Our schedules have all become filled with more and more activities that take us away from the family. Satan uses any tactics he can and could very easily use something good, Monday Night Football, to keep us from doing something better, spending time with our families.
    Good:Now I'm not saying we shouldn't watch some good old American football on Mondays but let's make sure our priorities are straight. If you want to watch some football here are some tips to getting the best of both worlds, family and football.(This is especially for the husbands and fathers out there)
  1. Get a DVR: This allows you to hold your Family Home Evening and have fun with them and then go back later and watch the game. God has given us these inventions for a reason. haha
  2. Make Monday Night Football a part of your evening: After spending some time together teaching your children, reading scriptures, having a gospel lesson, singing songs, and playing a game, have a little treat while you sit down to watch some football.
  3. Read Davis' Daily Bread: Use Davis' Daily Bread's gospel football analogies to teach a lesson and then watch Monday Night Football while helping your kids see the comparisons you just taught about during the game.     
As parents lead out and show your family that they are more important to you than Monday Night Football and apply these three steps you'll get to enjoy spending time with your family along with the big game which is always a win, win.
         For more info on FHE and different activities Click Here

Friday, September 23, 2011

Good,Better, and Best Footballs

Good, Better, and Best Footballs: When my dad was in college he worked on the BYU equipment staff for the football team. He tells a story about HeismanTtrophy winning QB Ty Detmer. During the week leading up to Saturday's game each quarterback is able to go through a cart full of footballs and pick out which ones they want to use in the game. Many of you may be asking why do they do that? Aren't all footballs the same? In many ways they are. They are all brown, made of synthetic leather, have laces or ties, and are all....well, football shaped. But once placed in the hand of an expert quarterback, like Detmer, he sees a lot more than we do.
     My Dad tells about how Ty would feel each and every football very carefully. He would place his fingers on the laces and feel the grip of each ball. He'd even toss them in the air to see what kind of spiral they had. After carefully examining and going through each football he'd pick out the very best ones.
    My dad continues his story by saying that one week they put a little mark on a football Ty had rejected the previous week to see if he'd pass it up again. Sure enough each week, without Ty even knowing, he would reject the ball again and place it back in the bin. So is every football the same? Not in Ty Detmer's expert hands and eyes. There are good footballs, better footballs, and best footballs, and Ty only played with the best!
    Likewise we will face many decisions in our lives. At first they may appear like the pile of footballs. What difference does it make in which one I choose. It doesn't really matter is what we often times will tell ourselves. But just like the expert QB we need to get picky at times for our own benefit.
     Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a talked titled Good, Better, Best . In this talk he states "As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all.
Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. When the Lord told us to seek learning, He said, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118)"
    Just as we should look for the good, better, and bests in life God too will look for this in the end. The more we can learn to make the best choices the more likely we will find ourselves living with him when all is said and done. I promise if you will make the best decisions in life the best blessings will follow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Don't Be A Christian Bandwagoner, Be Loyal

Don't Ride The Christian Bandwagon, Be Loyal: After this past weekend's BYU vs. Utah football game which resulted in, what I've been told, was a dismal, one-sided, loss for my fellow Cougars it's been interesting to see what's since transpired. It started with stories I heard about people from other wards complaining about BYU. One speaker even said, "How can I speak about faith after BYU's performance?"
     Then the Elders I serve around on preparation day telling me how BYU will never be any good and will never amount to anything and on, and on, and on! I then get on Facebook to do my online proselyting and am bombarded with comments all over my Facebook news feed from individuals saying they are no longer going to watch BYU football, and how they aren't going to cheer for them any more. By the time I had witnessed all of this my true blue heart was just feeling crushed. This caused me to reflect on some lessons I've learned on my mission about loyalty.
Loyal: characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.
 As a missionary we come in contact with a wide variety of people. Something I've noticed is that the world today lacks true loyalty. We, as missionaries, talk to many people who say they are Christian. As we continue to talk to them we find out that their actions are not so Christian, and then they complain that they aren't seeing His hand in their life. To use a sports term maybe you could call them bandwagon Christians.
   When they feel life is going good this is when they praise God and say how great He is, but when the losing streaks of life hit they're down in the dumps cursing Him. Similar to what we're seeing with what I'd call the "Sunday to Sunday BYU fan". The Sunday after BYU wins they are their biggest fans at church and the Sunday after a loss their fan-hood disappears. To use another sports term they have a "what have you done for me lately" kind of fan-hood. Sadly many of the worlds so called sports fans, and Christians, fall into these categories.
Christ, the most loyal fan of all.
     If we look at God and Christ they are the exact opposite. No matter what we do, good or bad, they will always be there for us. They are not band-wagoners, they are loyal fans of all of their children. They want to see us improve and succeed. Don't get me wrong when we play bad, in terms of obeying their commandments, they are disappointed, but that disappointment will never lead to dis-fellowshipment. They will allow us to go through the rough times and losing streaks of life though because they know it will strengthen us(see Ether 12:27) and make us better. 
      In order for us to gain their help during these rough times we need to show our loyalty to them, and by praying for help and striving to keep their commandments. Whether we feel we're currently winning, or losing, in the end our loyalty will make us true winners. So stop riding the pine of the Christian bandwagon and loyaly strap yourself to the rock of Christ with faith, and actions, solid in Him.        

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Football Armour of God

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Prompting To Audible In Life

The Prompting To Audible In Life: The Indianapolis Colts recently lost their first game of the NFL season. This, more than likely, was due to them being without their star quarterback Peyton Manning, who recently had neck surgery. Manning is very valuable to the Colts for many reasons but what sets him apart from any other QB is his amazing ability to audible, or change a play before the ball is snapped.
    As Manning leaves a huddle with his team and heads to the line of scrimmage he immediately starts to dissect the opposing teams defense. In his mind he's asking himself what type of defensive formation they are getting into. 4-3? 3-4? Nickle? or Dime? Are there any signs of blitzing linebackers or safeties? Are the cornerbacks playing tight or loose coverage? The answer to all of these questions will determine if the Colts run the play they originally selected or if they audible.
      After looking over all of his options and deciding to audible Manning's magic begins. Manning will then start to orchestrate his offense around to give them the best chance to be successful. He'll start to yell out signals and commands and point in different directions and give hand signals. "Green 18 left Omaha stack strong !!!"As the running back, receivers, and tight ends are moved around and change into position, and before the play clock expires, hike is called, the ball is snapped, and the play is underway.
      In our lives we find decisions to be made all of the time. Some are big while others are little. Others are important and can weigh heavily on our lives while some are trivial and have no impact. As we step up to the line where we have to make a big decision often times we've already made a choice in our mind of what we desire to do. Similar to Peyton Manning stepping to the line of scrimmage having already chosen a play.
      This next part is key though. Just as Manning diagnoses the situation very thoroughly we too need to look over the decision we are facing. Is this what God would have me do? What consequences could come from this decision? Are they good or bad? As we do this the Holy Ghost has the chance to whisper to us, in his still small voice, the "play" we should run. Sometimes, like Manning, we will need to audible or change our course from our original plan. Following the spirit and following through on a potential audible will bring great blessings. We may not recognize it at first but over time these good decisions, prompted by the spirit, will lead us to a "touchdown" of eternal life in the "endzone" with God.
Click Here to watch a Mormon Message about the voice of the spirit.
To read more about the Spirit and how to receive prompting from it Click Here.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th: A Nation Turns to God For Peace

All of us remember where we were September 11, 2001. It is a day that will live on in our minds forever as we rewind and play back the memories of that awful day. Even I, at the age of 10, remember watching history unfold in front of me on my family's television screen. From the initial plane crash, thought to be an accident, to the second plane crash, to the Pentagon, to Pennsylvania, all of these images of terrorism flashed by leading up to the ultimate horror of so many lives being lost as those two iconic towers, along with a country and its people, had their world turned upside down, and came crashing down. America, the land of the free, the home of the brave, was now left in the dark, and in fear that September day. As the country mourned the loss of those, at the time, known and unknown there was only one place people could turn to find solace. "In God We Trust" was something Americans had always heard before but now it was time to start living it.
       The Book of Mormon prophesies of America and its freedom by saying "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ." September 11th was a brutal awakening for all. In order for us, as Americans, to remain free and find the peace through our struggles, caused by these horrible events, we needed to serve and trust in God once again, just as our forefathers had done.
     As the nation turned to prayer, church, and singing anthems of praise such as "God Bless America" something amazing happened. Despite the hurt, despite the pain, despite the fears and tears, America became knit together in unity and in love one towards another through God.(Mosiah 18:21)
     Now here we are 10 years later. Where do we stand today as a country? Do we still trust in God, or have we allowed our faith to slip once again? I often wonder if we, as a country, as a nation, need an awakening yet again. Let us hope and pray that it doesn't take a similar series of unfortunate events to refocus our attention on the true ruler of this nation. Instead let this 10 year anniversary of September 11th cause us to reflect on that dark day. Let us take the glowing embers of the fire, the lessons learned, and leave the ashes behind. Let us reflect on our relationship and faith in and with God. The words and counsel from the third verse of our nations national anthem should be our guiding star.
       Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
Let us fear not. God is with us. He will give us aid and be our guide if we will come and put our trust in him once more. This is my promise, this is my prayer. God Bless America! Let us never forget September 11th.  In the name our our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Watch this video below to see how one man's September 11th experience changed his life for the better. Also Click Here to learn more about viewing The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 9/11: Rising Above concert. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

LDS Head Coach's Playbook of Principles

"Navy head coach's playbook of principles" from the Mormon Times: Walk past the football coach’s office Monday around 4 a.m., and you will find him alone, his back to the door, studying a book on his desk. It’s in the quiet solitude of those predawn hours that Navy’s head man, Ken Niumatalolo, becomes immersed in his playbook.
Not his football strategies, his scriptural playbook, the Book of Mormon.
“It’s his personal time. No one will bother him until he turns back forward in his desk,” said Barbara Niumatalolo, the coach’s wife. “If something touches him, he goes back to it during the day. It’s usually something he needs to hear to prepare him for that day.”
       Daily scripture study is just one of many key strategies in Niumatalolo’s personal playbook of principles. Devotion to family, church service and living the gospel have helped the Mormon coach endure the rigors and stress of the college coaching lifestyle from Hawaii to Annapolis, Md., for almost two decades. Much of his success can be traced to something he learned at an early age.
“For me, growing up as a member of the church, I always knew as long as you are obedient, the Lord will bless you and everything will work out,” Niumatalolo said. “Gospel principles are universal.”
      To read the rest of Coach Niumatalolo's story Click Here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tailgating: Feasting on the words of Christ

It's the opening weekend of college football. Along with all of the sights and sounds of this big weekend comes the smells of college football. For many fans this comes in the form of tailgating!
 Tailgating is a long tradition among fans as they congregate together to pump themselves up before the game as well as feed their stomachs. Tailgating is really big in college football, especially in the south, where often they dine on ribs, pulled pork, and good ol' southern cookin'. Out west often you'll find hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, chips, dips, and drink. You name a food and a tailgater has it.

    For my family and I, all big BYU Cougar fans, we always get to the stadium early before a game to tailgate. We find a place to park the car, set up the grill, throw the pig skin around and have some fun while getting fed. I have many fond memories of tailgating and it has definitely become a family tradition.

   There is something else we need to feast on besides just food in our lives though. Nephi, a prophet in The Book of Mormon, taught us to feast upon the words of Christ when he said "Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." If we can learn to have a spiritual feast this will help us have the spirit more in our lives and will lead us to what God would have us do. It's great to enjoy a good tailgate before some football, but whatever you do don't forget to be spiritually fed as you feast on the words of Christ.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Two A Days: Prayer

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”-Vince Lombardi

Two A Days: As football season is quickly approaching, teams from all levels are getting geared up and ready for the season. From the peewees to high school to college to the NFL ranks, all are getting ready for their season. To be ready before the season starts they work hard to practice and refresh their skills and knowledge of the game the best they can. For many teams this means two a days. Two a days is when teams have practice twice a day as they put as much effort as they can into preparing, the month before the season. This is a grueling process for football players as they are put through drills and run plays almost all day long. This very tiring and challenging series of practices really prepares the players and is a great start to their season.
   There is something else that we should practice twice a day, and not just before football season.  This would be communication with our Heavenly Father. Our two a days of life should come through prayer. Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, gave this counsel to his son: "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." As we do this we will see ourselves become stronger both physically and spiritually. We will see the guiding hand, like a coach, the spirit, in our lives. As we pray twice a day and make it a habit in our lives we, like a football team, will become more united with our Heavenly Father and our season of life will be a success. This I can promise you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
           To hear a testimonial about prayer Click Here

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