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.  
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