Saturday, May 27, 2017

It's Not You, It's Him

That awkward moment when you have to ask the guy in your ward who was trying to date you a year ago to set up an interview with the Bishop for a Living Ordinance recommend so you can marry a different guy in the ward. #Mormonprobs

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Connect to Jesus Christ

Romans 1:9 states "that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." According to this scripture, if one simply proof texted it -- meaning they took it out of context and focused one that one single verse on which to base doctrine--one could say that all we had to do to be saved would be to declare that Jesus is the Christ and that He was resurrected. As important as that is, it is certainly not enough to save us.
 In Greek, the word "confess" would more accurately be defined as "covenant" or "connect. So although it's important to confess that Jesus is the Christ and believe on Him and His Atonement, salvation comes from connecting ourselves to Him. When we live our lives in harmony with His life and teachings, we become more like Him and therefore will be worthy to receive salvation.We must do more than confess; our lives should be a greater example of our conversion to the Lord than our words.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Good Works

Romans 2:13 states, "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified". In class on Thursday we discussed faith and works and why they're important. Brother Griffin stated that works won't save us, but they will bring us closer to Christ which will then make us more like Christ. Becoming more like Christ and coming unto Him are what save us, meaning that faith and works are necessary, but it's because of their outcome. This changes the way I see good works to letting them change me and make me better. We can all let our works change who we are, not just what we do.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Shoes of a Soldier

As we studied the crucifixion of Christ this week, I thought of something interesting from John 23:34. After Christ has been bruised, beaten, ripped apart, and mocked by the Roman soldiers, He implores His Father on their behalf. While they are in the act of parting Christ's raiment and casting lots, Jesus prays, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." As soon as I read that, suddenly I stood in a soldier's shoes as I came to the pearly gates of heaven and looked into the eyes of the very man whose identity I had marred beyond recognition to be judged of Him. To know what I had done and to finally fully understand what I had done, then to remember vaguely hearing Him use one of His final breaths to pray on my behalf would be too painful to bear. Yet I know that if I were that soldier, as I was bowing at His feet begging for forgiveness, my kind, tender, loving Savior would lift me up and bestow an undeserving amount mercy upon me. We are not much different than the soldiers. Let us be more aware of what we are doing, the affect we may have on others, and the affect we may have on ourselves. Come unto Christ, be saved, be forgiven; repent and forgive as your Redeemer so mercifully forgives you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Come Unto Christ through His Atonement

Christ performed the Atonement so that we might be saved if we come unto Him. Lately, however, it's been said that we need to come unto the Atonement--the Atonement will heal us. It's true that because of the Atonement we are able to be saved, but it is not the Atonement that we must come unto. In Matthew 11:28-30, Christ exhorts, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." In verse 29 Christ clearly teaches that we must learn of Him and find rest in Him by taking His yoke upon us. That's the true beauty of the Atonement. I'm so grateful to Christ for sacrificing and performing the Atonement, for in doing so He has come unto me by suffering all that I have suffered. All that's left now is for me to come unto Him, which can only be done through the use of His Atonement.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Faith of a Samaritan

I've always enjoyed the story in the Bible when Christ comes to the Samaritan woman because I viewed it as Christ loving all people and not having prejudices, which is all true. This week, however, I learned another lesson from the woman herself and her incredible faith.
When Christ first comes to the well in John 4, he requests that the woman draws water for him to drink. This is a Jew not only speaking to a Samaritan, but having the audacity to ask a favor from one. She initially refers to him as "a Jew", emphasizing the strangeness of the situation. As she talks with him and as he teaches her, however, the way she sees him changes and she calls him Sir, then prophet, and then Messias and Christ.
As she comes to know Christ, her faith grows and she can feel the Spirit confirming that what He says it true and that He is the Christ.
This woman, who was raised to despise Jews and accept their hatred toward her as well, had a heart prepared to accept the Christ when He came.
As we discussed these ideas, I thought of how I could better prepare myself. I asked myself if I would recognize the Christ, if I was close enough to the Spirit and it would speak to me and I would know right away. I don't know when I'll see Him again, but I hope that when I do I'll know with whom I'm speaking.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Parables of Christ

This week in my religion class we focused on the parables that Christ taught during His earthly ministry. We dove into the parables of the lost sheep, coin, and son. We dug deeper into the parable of the good Samaritan, and we came to better understand the various parables of the talents. I learned much from all of these parables, many things that I had never before considered or understood. But what I loved most from discussing these was the meaning and purpose of parables in general.
We are taught that we are judged according to our understanding. We interpret the parables in the way we need at the moment we study them. This also applied to the Pharisees, whom Jesus loved also, despite their hatred and persecution. He was giving the Pharisees a chance by allowing them to learn according to the level of understanding that they could handle.
This is just another example of the immense love Christ has for all people. No one is bad enough that He hasn't suffered for them or that he won't give them a chance at redemption. He is the most merciful and loving.