Filling Your Soul with the Good Word of God

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Leap Of Faith: Mega Ramp

One thing I look forward to every summer is watching the X-games. Though I don't participate in skateboarding, BMX biking, or dirt bike riding myself it was always amazing to watch the things these xtreme athletes could do. One event that always blew my mind was the "Big Air" skateboarding competition. The Big Air competition takes place on a giant mega ramp. A mega ramp is a ramp that has a 30-foot drop in, a 25-foot gap and an 18-foot quarterpipe. 
A Leap of Faith No Doubt!
(Click to view full size)
       As the skateboarder takes off down the 30 foot drop in he starts to fly down the ramp quickly gaining speed. He then approaches the first ramp where he is launched off over the gap and into the air. At this point the skateboarder pulls of a sick first trick. As gravity starts to take hold on his body he is quickly headed back down to earth.  At the point that most humans would worry more about which bones they're going to break the skateboarder lands the trick and then quickly heads into quarterpipe where he hopes to seal the deal with one more gnarly trick, all while riding a thin peice of wood screwed down to four small wheels. All of this will either amount to a skateboard ride of glory or a ride in an ambulance.
     I've thought about this event and have tried to fathom the skills, determination, guts, and potentially lack of brain cells it must take the cause some one to even attempt a big air mega ramp. Then again I think about some of the things I do in my life. Some would call it crazy to believe in and follow the words and commands of what some would label a so called God. There are those out there who would rather place their trust in themselves then someone they can't see. But for me it's simply faith. 
   Just like the skateboarder, it started out as a leap of faith. I had to pray. I had to read the scriptures. I had to go to church. I had to put God, in a sense, to the test. I never really doubted, which crazy enough is how most skateboarders that attempt the mega ramp feel, but I wanted to see that he was truly there for me. And as I prayed, and as I read, and as I went to church I felt something. It wasn't the sense of victory or accomplishment a skateboarder must feel, though that must feel pretty cool. It was the Spirit, The Holy Ghost, that confirmed to me that there is a God who watches over me. And as I continue to go throughout life I find other times when I feel like I'm flying down a spiritual mega ramp on my skateboard. And when that happens I know I can trust in God and he will help me to a safe landing.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You A Few Degrees Off?

President Uchtdorf in the April 2008 conference related the following story:"In 1979 a large passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. Unknown to the pilots, however, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles (45 km) to the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better look at the landscape. Although both were experienced pilots, neither had made this particular flight before, and they had no way of knowing that the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m).
As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the instruments sounded the warning that the ground was rising fast toward them, it was too late. The airplane crashed into the side of the volcano, killing everyone on board.
A few degrees can be the difference in a spiritual flight or spiritual crash
It was a terrible tragedy brought on by a minor error—a matter of only a few degrees. 
Through years of serving the Lord and in countless interviews, I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, in marriages, and families often comes down to an error of only a few degrees." 
       In life we make decisions every day big, and small. These decisions can keep us safely on the flight path of Christ's Gospel or lead us unsafely towards a volcano of sin and spiritual death. So the question is how do we know where our flight path is leading us and if we are deviating off course?  

    My mission President, President Gardner always says" If you're doing good, you'll feel good and if you're doing wrong, you'll feel wrong. What is that feeling? That feeling is the spirit. The spirit will guide us and help us to determine if we are a few degrees off. Just like a pilot needs to watch their instruments and gauges we too need to watch our thoughts, words, and deeds(Mosiah 4:30) As we consistently examine ourselves and continually work at staying on our Heavenly Father's path we will find the blessings of safely and happiness in this life and the life to come. This is my prayer and my promise in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

   To read President Uchtdorf's full talk Click Here.   Click Here  to follow the best compass of all Jesus Christ.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Christlike Attributes—the Wind beneath Our Wings

Have you ever wondered what makes the church move forward and upward as it continues to grow? Is it the structure and organization? Is it the social aspect? or is it something more? President Uchtdorf helps us learn it is something more basic, along with helping us learn how an airplane flies.
     He says "During my professional life as an airline pilot, I sometimes had passengers visit the cockpit of my Boeing 747. They asked about the many switches, instruments, systems, and procedures and how all this technical equipment would help such a huge and beautiful airplane fly.
     As with all pilots, I enjoyed the fact that they were impressed by the apparent complexity of this plane. To the visitors in my cockpit, I would explain that it takes a great aerodynamic design, many auxiliary systems and programs, and powerful engines to make this flying machine equal to the task of bringing comfort and safety to those joining the flight.
    To simplify my explanation by focusing on the basics, I would add that all you really need is a strong forward thrust, a powerful upward lift, and the right aircraft attitude, and the laws of nature will carry the 747 and its passengers safely across continents and oceans, over high mountains and dangerous thunderstorms to its destination."
     So we now know an airplane can't fly off of cool buttons and gadgets alone. Obviously they have a purpose, but when we get down to the basics it's the thrust, upward lift, and laws of nature that help a plane to get up into the sky.
   Just like the church it's members can't survive on organization and social life along. "Living according to the basic gospel principles will bring power, strength, and spiritual self-reliance into the lives of all Latter-day Saints."
   So what are those basics principles? President Uchtdorf first points out faith and Christlike attributes. He says "Individually, we need to first “follow Him,” and as we do this, the Savior will bless us beyond our own capacity to become what He wants us to be. Developing Christlike attributes in our lives is not an easy task. The test comes in practicing what we proclaim." 
    This brings us back to the airplane. President Uchtdorf finishes by saying "I spoke of focusing on the basics. Christlike attributes are the basics. They are the fundamental principles that will create “the wind beneath our wings.” As we develop Christlike attributes in our own lives, step-by-step, they will “bear [us] up as on eagles’ wings” (D&C 124:18). Our faith in Jesus Christ will provide power and a strong forward thrust; our unwavering and active hope will provide a powerful upward lift. Both faith and hope will carry us across oceans of temptations, over mountains of afflictions, and bring us safely back to our eternal home and destination."
     I too know as we look to the basics of faith and becoming more like our Savior, Jesus Christ, that's when our spirituality will really take off and soar!
         To read the full talk given by President Uchtdorf Click Here

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

President Uchtdorf, Pilot Me Mini Series

In 2004 Dieter F. Uchtdorf was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Later, in 2008, he was called to serve as the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church. But before his time of church leadership President Uchtdorf was a man of flight.
   In 1959 he joined the German Air Force and received his pilot wings in Big Spring, Texas, and fighter pilot training in Phoenix, Arizona. Later he joined Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot. He worked as an airline captain from 1970 to 1996 holding many executive positions including senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot of Lufthansa German Airlines.
    Because of his countless hours of flight, and his dedication and love for aviation and God, President Uchtdorf has many stories, and analogies, that he has used in many different LDS General Conference talks, to help us learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of this Davis' Daily Bread is taking you soaring through the clouds on the wings of President Uchtdorf and his stories in a mini series titled "President Uchtdorf, Pilot me."
   Check back frequently over the next few weeks to read some of these stories and learn from the wise counsel of Pilot President Uchtdorf.

Click here  to learn more about President Uchtdorf.
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