Sunday, September 7, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
9 Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
(posts from my two months in Monroe are on the way)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Esther, a Jew, was chosen to be queen in Persia (an empire stretching from India to Ethiopia) to king Ahasuerus. His right hand man, Haman, hated the Jews because they would not bow to him and decreed that they should all be killed. Not knowing that Esther was a Jew, the king agreed to let Haman carry out this order. Was it chance that Esther, a Jew, had been chosen as queen to be in the king's court so that she would be there at the right place and the right time to save her people? Mordecai phrased it best in a letter to his cousin Esther (which he raised as "his own daughter") saying, "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14). The Lord had lined things up perfectley for Esther to be there to save His chosen people. I don't think it was chance.
Let's go back to March 6th. CJ came to Spanish Fork to meet me as I was finishing class. We were going to go to the temple later that evening, but decided to just go right then. Luckily we had amazing friends to watch the girls who were willing to take them right away. We wanted to hit the 2:00 pm session, but made the 2:30 instead. It was a great time at the temple. April (hiring time) is just around the corner and the nerves of 'will I make it or not' were very high. I spent a lot of time thinking and praying in the temple about seminary teaching. As we left the temple an elderly woman approached us. She was wearing a crocheted beanie, a crocheted scarf and an older brown coat. She was also holding what looked like a sack lunch. She asked if we were going across town--which we weren't--since we just live down the street from the temple. I started to say, "No" and was outvoiced by my wife's answer of "Yes!" I then, lulling through my "no" added, "But we could," with a smile. We headed to the car and as CJ told this woman, Barbara, that I was trying to become a seminary teacher she said that her husband was a seminary teacher. And if that wasn't enough, she also told us that she used to be a hall advisor at the dorms, just like CJ is doing now. Coincidence...?
On the drive we learned about her family's background, where she was from, etc, and also explained who we were, our backgrounds and where we hailed from. Barbara who is now 78, although she claimed 77 saying that she wasn't going to have anymore birthdays, was very fun and an engaging conversationalist. She asked about the youth at Spanish Fork and then very matter of factly said, "Let's sing the songs of the Bible." When we finished with Malachi, she didn't miss a beat, quickly saying, "Now the New Testament." It was so fun. We were very excited to have met a new friend at the temple and glad that we could help her get back to her home. As we pulled up to her apartment building for her to get out she said, "I'll pray for you to be a seminary teacher."
March 7th, 7:10 am (the next morning). I'm in bed, but semi-conscious. I got up because I thought I heard the phone ringing. I went to check the caller id to see the name of my "pre-service" leader on it, having just called a couple of minutes earlier. I quickly called him back, wondering why he'd be calling so early. "Oh" I thought to myself, "he must be calling to confirm my next observation date." After only a matter of seconds, he asked if my wife was awake. I quickly got her and we both got to hear the offering of a full-time contract for me to teach seminary. The excitement was unbelievable. He explained why the offer was coming over a month early and told me that I would be going to Monroe, Utah to take the place of a teacher on medical leave. He explained what all would happen and what would happen the rest of the day and then that was it. I hung up the phone, turned to CJ and said, "CJ, do you remember that old lady from the temple yesterday...She was from Monroe, Utah."
That day I got observed by Bro. Vellinga (he said if I didn't do good he was taking it all back--no pressure right). I was teaching Esther. When we came to Mordecai's question I recounted this story to the class. Bro. Vellinga spoke up from the back of the class, "No, really? Was she really from Monroe?" (a valid question, what are the odds, since there are less than 2,000 people living there). He then said, "Now, what time were you at the temple?" I, caught off guard, stumbled through my memory and came up with, "From 2:30 to 4:30." He then went on to explain that he found out the day before (March 6) that they needed to hire someone. He was praying about it and trying to see who it should be. He felt good and turned in my name to the people in Salt Lake. Bro. Vellinga was in Arizona and didn't get home until around 11 pm that night. He checked his email and had received a "yes" confirmation email from Salt Lake at 4:35 pm. I don't know how He did it. But at the time that we were in the temple, and at the time we were with Barbara and she said she'd pray for me, he was in Arizona praying about it and they were in Salt Lake praying about it. I don't know how He lined it all up, but He did. We went back and found Barbara a few days later to tell her our story (only knowing where her apartment complex was, it was another miracle when she just happened to walk out of the locked complex right when we drove up). She nearly collapsed in shock and said, "I really did pray for you!" She was thrilled to show us pictures of what we know and love as Monroe, UT. I don't know why I need to be in Monroe right now, but I know I need to be there. I know that God is lining up events, people, etc. for each one of us. I pray that I'll have the trust and the confidence in Him to allow His will to be done always.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So, Josiah was a good guy before he even had the scriptures. But when he discovered the scriptures he was able to come closer to God through covenants and help his people rid themselves of iniquity.
President Benson said, "Studying and searching the scriptures is not a burden laid upon us by the Lord, but a marvelous blessing and opportunity."
How are we doing at this? Does it seem like something we just know we're supposed to do? Something on our checklist? Or, are we looking at this as a "marvelous blessing and opportunity." I LOVE the scriptures. I know that they are true and that they contain God's revealed word to His prophets. I know that they apply directly to us and have the answers we need. My brother-in-law, LaDon, shared an interesting statistic with me once about scripture reading. He said that before President Hinckley's challenge to the Church to read the Book of Mormon, only 30% of members of the Church were having daily scripture study. During the challenge it increased to up to 70%. However, once the time of the challenge was completed we returned back to 30%. Well, that's easy, just tell President Monson to challenge us again, right? Well, let's remember Doctrine and Covenants 58:26= "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant." Also remembering that we already have been commanded to "meditate therein day and night" (Josh. 1:8), and to "search the scriptures" (John 5:39), and to "feast upon the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3), and to "search these commandments" (D&C 1:37). That's one from each of the 4 standard works. Then we have the rebuking and condemnation that came in section 84, which was also reiterated by President Benson (meaning that we were still under that condemnation).
So, we've been commanded. Maybe we just need more convincing. So, here are six reasons, from the scriptures, on why we need the scriptures.
1. Psalms 19:7= "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." CONVERSION
2. 2 Nephi 3:15= "For the thing [scriptures], which the Lord shall bring forth by his [Joseph's] hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation." SALVATION
3. Romans 5:14= "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written of our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." LEARNING
4. 2 Timothy 3:16= "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." DOCTRINE
5. 1 Nephi 1:12= "And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord." THE SPIRIT
6. Helaman 37:44-45= "The word of Christ...will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss." DIRECTION
I know that I can do better at studying my scriptures and I hope that I will. I am grateful for them and how much they have helped me and know that they will continue to do so. Now, I'm sure most of my audience is not struggling with this aspect in their lives, but I am sure that we all know someone who could use a boost. Let's encourage others to partake in the "marvelous blessing" that is scripture study.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Look at 1 Samuel 17:48, "And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine."
How could David, who was "but a youth" run to meet Goliath who was "a man of war from his youth," a "champion," not to mention over 9 feet tall and carrying over 150lbs of armor and a spear with a head weighing fifteen pounds???!?!? David ran, because he was prepared.
Have you seen Hoodwinked? If not, you need to. It's hilarious. If you're close by come borrow it. It's great, although some would question its existence, it really is pretty funny. Meet one of my favorite characters:
A goat that can only sing. He sings a song about being prepared. He says, "This lesson must be shared, to be prepared....And unless you got a spare, you only got one life so handle it with care." Whilst singing this melodic and very catchy tune he demonstrates his preparedness with his different horns: "Horns that hold my keys, I got horns that when I turn 'em right, they help me watch t.v." The point is, he got thrown from a mine cart and would have fallen to his death. However, we see the goat flying through the air with helicopter horns and hear him saying (singing?), "I was prepared." His preparation saved his life.
What then was David's preparation?? It wasn't horns. But stones. Stones that he trusted. David, although young and small compared to his opponent was confident that "The Lord that delivered [him] out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear...[would] deliver [him] out of the hand of this Philistine." He refused Saul's armor and sword, and chose instead a proven method, a sling and stones. He carefully chose five smooth stones from the river. Good thing too, what if the first had missed. He was prepared. But it was more than just bringing back-up stones, it was the fact that David knew and understood who the Stone was; who the Rock of his salvation was. Verse 47 "the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands." David knew Christ would fight for him. He knew that Christ had already won the battle. John 16:33 reads, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
David ran, because he had the Stone at his side. I know that if we have Christ at our sides that we can run with confidence towards whatever Goliaths we might face. I know that Jesus truly performed an atonement through which we can be saved and delivered from all our enemies.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Harry Potter quidditch goggles...
Disneyland, Disney World, and Disneyland Paris...
A good schnike...
(No comment necessary)
Fun seminary activities...
Remembering our first home...
My beautiful eternal family...
Knowing the Gospel is real!