Sunday, June 1, 2014

If the Savior Stood Beside Us... He Does.. Actually..

        Hi everybody… so lately I have been a little distraught and sad at some things I’ve been seeing on the internet and just around me in my everyday life and even some things that I do. The things I’m going to tell you I hope help… originally their principals we find in the scriptures and in talks I found there but everything else is what God has inspired me to say. I have been seeing so much irony and so much confusion and so so much sadness it’s really depressing sometimes. Sometimes I think “What in the world would Heavenly Father say if he came down right now and saw what we as a people are doing sometimes?” Can you imagine? He sees everything we do, at all times. Everything we look at on the internet, everything we tweet, everything we post and repin, every text we send and call we make he hears and sees. Every bit of gossip we pass along or rumor we weave and every judgment we give he knows, he was watching. Every thought we think, every feeling we feel, he knows. He knows. How incredible. Lately I have been thinking of the song “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” haha initially I thought “If the Savior was standing beside me I might wet myself or turn cherry red” hahaha but really I started to think about it and really.. what would we do if the savior stood beside us? What would we not do? What would we do more of? What would we try harder to be? “If the savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do, would I think of his commandments and try harder to be true? Would I follow his example? Would I live more righteously? If I could see the savior standing watching over me.  If the savior stood beside me, would I say the things I say? Would my words be true and kind if he were never far away? Would I try to share the gospel? Would I speak more reverently? If I could see the savior standing nigh watching over me. If the savior stood beside me, would my thoughts be clean and pure? Would his presence give me strength and hope and courage to endure? Would his counsel guide my actions? Would I chose more worthily? If I could see the savior standing nigh, watching over me. He is always near me, though I do not see him there. And because he loves me dearly I am in his watchful care. So I’ll be the kind of person that I know I’d like to be if I could see the savior standing nigh watching over me.” 
       First of all I would like to talk about the meaning of one of my favorite quotes " I'm a Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it." . What does that quote mean? What could that possibly mean? First let's talk about the "I know it". What are we talking about when we say "I know" I am a Mormon? First, remember back to when you were baptized, remember the promise we make when we are baptized? We take it upon ourselves to remember Jesus Christ and God, to take upon us their names and stand as examples of them at all times and in all things and in all places. By saying we know we are Mormons, we are saying we know whose we are, we know why we are here, we know who we ourselves are and we know our worth. We are taking upon ourselves the name of our father, and of our brother Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We are bearing testimony of our knowledge and belief of them and our faith in them. Knowing this, knowing we have PROMISED to stand as an example of him and remember him, and knowing we PROMISED to take upon us his name, why then, if we say this so proudly, do we still do many of the things we do? How do you yourself know these things? None of us are perfect, in fact we are far from it, but it is our RESPONSIBILITY to TRY, to become better, to change and to refine ourselves. For me, doing this means having faith even when it's hard. Trying to be positive even when the temptation is so strong to be negative. Doing the opposite of what I feel and being kind when the temptation is so strong to be impatient. I do not always succeed but I try and I get better and many times I do succeed. It is the small victories that lead us to gaining the bigger ones. God wants us to believe in him. That is the first step and part. We need to throw away our ignorance and come to him, we NEED him. When we say "I know" we are acknowledging our need for him. Knowing this why do we ourselves say "I believe in Christ" but yet rely on our own judgement? Why do we ourselves say "Modest is Hottest" so proudly and yet dress immodestly with out a blink of an eye? Or say it while wearing short shorts and half of a shirt? Why do we say "The gospel is so true!"  When we ourselves are not and have not been living it? Why do we say to others "Swearing is bad stop it!" When we ourselves think it's okay to post swear words in our tweets and on our facebook posts and flip off cameras? Is this standing as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places? No. This is just a mockery towards God. Why then do we say the next line of this quote? "I live it?" Do we live it? Do we live what we "Know"? 
        Let's expound on what we know, or believe to be true in this church. First let's read the 13th Article of Faith, which reads; "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." What does that say? It says that we believe in being Honest, True (loyal), Chaste, Benevolent, Virtuous and doing good to everyone. What does it mean to be those things? Below I am going to put the dictionary's definition of these words:
Honest - free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.
True (Loyal)- giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.
Chaste - (Summarized) Being pure and morally clean
Benevolent - well meaning and kindly. Benevolence - disposition to do good
Virtuous - Having or showing high moral standards. Synonyms - goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity, rectitude, honor, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, purity.
          Let's talk about these. First, honest. What would it mean to believe in honesty? It would mean to live honest, to be honest in all things. To be honest means to tell the truth, to push away ignorance, to be truthful with yourself, with others and with God. It means to recognize reality and not be ignorant of it, it means to take responsibility for our actions and not try to hide them with lies and "Secret combinations". Second, True or loyal. What would it mean to believe in Truth ( loyalty)? It would mean to live in truth and loyalty to others, to not turn your back on others and things, to not give up on people or on God. It means to perservere, to have faith, to be fair, to endure, to preserve goodness. It means, in accordance with God, to stay loyal to God to trust him, to have faith in him, to believe in him and to obey him with exactness, showing endless devotion to him and his work. Third, Chaste. What would it mean to believe in being chaste? To be chaste means to live a chaste live, to be morally clean, meaning in all things intimate and sexual, including how we dress, because how we dress can promote these feelings or invite certain people or situation. Being chaste means having abstinence before marriage, it means staying pure and clean and not materializing sacred God given gifts such as procreation and our bodies. It means, remembering our worth and having enough self respect and confidence to show it by covering up. It means not dishing a piece of ourselves out to everyone sexually or by the eye. It means honoring our grand heritage and honoring our God given gifts, not misusing them and not abusing them but having reverence for them. You do not wear a thousand dollar dress to school everyday or just everywhere and anywhere, it will get ruined and it's uniqueness and beauty will soon become boring and normal. WE ARE NOT TO DO THAT WITH OUR BODIES AND WITH SACRED GOD GIVEN GIFTS. Next, benevolence. What would it mean to believe in benevolence? To believe in benevolence would be to believe in doing good at all times and being Christlike. To be benevolent means to try our best to and at the same time make it a habit to love and help others. We take it upon ourselves to love and give charity. And last, Virtuous. What does it mean to believe in being virtuous? It means we live virtuous lives. To live virtuous lives it to keep our standards high, it means to live in the world but not become of the world, it means we respect ourselves enough, love God and trust him enough, and want to return to him enough to keep the commandments and to "Live" what we "Know". Are we living what we know? When answering this question remember that we believe in being honest and not ignorant. So, I will ask again, are we living what we "Know"? If we answered yes truthfully, great, good job, Heavenly Father would be proud, happy even. If we answered yes ignorantly.. we may want to reevaluate and start being willing to try. If we answered no truthfully, to us I also say heavenly father would be proud, because we have pushed away our ignorance and pride and are recognizing our weaknesses and recognizing what we need to work on. In actuality, none of us are perfectly living what we know, so really none of us should have answered yes, in the scriptures it tells us that we are blessed when we are aware of what we are doing wrong and try to fix it and become better. Evaluate and reevaluate. It is hard but it is worth it, you gain so much more. If the floor is muddy, saying it is not is not going to change the fact that it is muddy and needs to be mopped up.
                   And finally "I love it". I think this is the one that is the most understood out of the three. If we love the gospel and we love God, we are going to live what we know, we are going to strive to become better and strive for goodness. Loving what we believe in and live is proof to God and to others, a confirmation that what we believe in and live we know to be true, because it has made us happy and made us love it, it has made us better people and changed us for the better. To love it, means to cherish and honor it, to live it, to preach it and to share it. To love it is to know it and to know it is to live it. 
                 I love you all so much, God loves you all so much and he wants us to come unto him, he wants us to put away our ignorance and our pride, which are the foundation of all evil and come to him. We need to stop. Do you want to know why? It's all over in the scriptures. The people in the scriptures had the same problems. They were prideful and ignorant, they kept secrets for each other and tried to hide their sins so as not to reap the consequences, they stoned humble servants of God who tried to help them and bring them back to God. These very servants preached that if they did not repent, destruction and captivity would come upon them, the people never believe them but low and behold after little time passed it did. Their people were killed and taken hostage, their lands were confiscated, they were imprisoned, they were driven out, their children were kidnapped and disaster wrung out. I know, that if we do not as individuals and as a nation turn back to God, there will be destruction and captivity and sadness, far beyond anything we can imagine. If we do not turn back to God, Satan will tighten his hold tighter and tighter until it will feel near impossible to break through when the struggle will be so much more immense whereas it would have been easier to turn back when we had just begun. I know we can always turn back to God and that he will always welcome us back, but I can tell you now, it will not be easy, and the further and further in we go, the harder and harder it will be to come back, but that doesn't mean we can't. I pray for you guys and hope that we will all turn back to God, every time we get off the path I hope we stop and come back. We need to stand up for what we know is right but not do it to get personal gain or recognition, stand firm in our beliefs and our religion and not just because it's the cool thing to do but because it is the right thing to do and it is what God wants us to do and what will make us happy. I can feel it!!! :) 
                I would now like to bear my testimony, that I know this church is true. I know that it is the church with not just some of the truths but all of the truths that God has given to man. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he gave and devoted his life to the restoration of the gospel and the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon and that he was chosen of God to bring them forth and that the translation of the plates and finding of them was indeed a miracle and a true and real event. I know that this man did not die in vain. This book that he brought forth through the power of God and the bible, that was also brought forth by the sacrifice of men and through the power of God, has the power to change our lives forever if we let them and if we study and live their principals and put them to practice in our lives. I know that God lives and loves us and that we lived with him before we came to earth and that we will live with him again when we live and complete this mortal life. I know that Jesus Christ lives and died for us and that because of him we can repent of our sins and come back to God and can live with him again for eternity. I know that for him to not have died in vain, we must take into practice the enabling power of the atonement and repent. I know that we are children of God and that none of us are perfect but that if we try our very hardest and work together we someday can be and that someday we will be washed clean. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet and that he, his councilors and the Quorum of the Twelve are just ordinary people like us, called of God to lead and help in an extraordinary work and  that if we heed their councils and listen humbly to their teachings we will be able to further resist temptation and stay on the straight and narrow path. I know this church is true and I know that if we live its principals we will be happy. It has taken me a long time to realize that, but now that I have I never want to go back. I know this gospel is true with all my heart. Yo se sin ninguna duda en mi mente que Dios vive y que Cristo vive y que nos ama y que sin el yo no podia hablar espanol a todas las misioneras esta semana y todos en la iglesia hoy. Yo se que con su poder, todo es posible. Yo se que con el, podemos cambiar nuestros maneras y nuestros vidas. Yo se con todo mi corazon. Yo digo esto, en la sagrado nombre de Jesus Cristo. Amen. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Nobody said that it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Isaiah 7:9

"You must become the rock the river cannot wash away." —Richard J. Maynes #ElderMaynes #ldsconf

This is for any form of addiction, the addiction of drugs, unkindness, pride, lust etc. Satan works the same way for every temptation. 

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