Thursday, March 10, 2011

Footprints in the Sand

    One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
    When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that at times of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that these were the lowest and saddest times in his life.


    This bothered him and he asked the Lord, "You said that once I decided to follow You, You'd walk with me all the way. But during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. Why, when I needed You most, did You leave me?" The Lord replied, "My son, I love you and would never leave you. During those times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I was carrying you."

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Seven Dwarfs

How to Draw The Seven Dwarfs from Snow White

I love the classic Disney tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is a tale of a run-away princess that stumbles upon a little cottage filled with seven dwarfs. The dwarfs have names very much describing their personalities and attitudes. You have Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, and Dopey. Each have their own positives and negatives about themselves and they all have something we can learn from them about ourselves.

What about the Seven Dwarfs of the Gospel? Could there be seven dwarfs of the gospel? Could they somehow connect to Snow White's seven dwarfs?

First, we have Doc; the older, wiser leader of this clan of dwarfs. Likewise he relates to the Christlike attribute and dwarf of the gospel Knowledge. The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15) The more knowledge we have the better we are able to make decisions. The more TRUE knowlege we have the stronger our testimony of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ becomes. We must remember the plea issued to us in the Book of Mormon, "O be wise; what can I say more?" (Jacob 6:12)

Happy-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-6497352-300-300.jpgHave you ever noticed that there is a lot of unfortunate stuff that happens in this story and that the dwarfs have to do a lot of things that don't seem like a whole lot of fun? Have you ever noticed that despite that this dwarf is always happy and cheerful through the whole story? I think that's a good lesson for us. A lot of times our Heavenly Father asks us to do things that don't sound like a whole lot of fun. He might even ask us to do things that don't make a whole lot of sense at the time. Our job through all of it is to be obedient. Not just obedient but cheerfully obedient. Conveniently enough, as we are obedient to the laws of the gospel, happiness follows. "Conditions of great happiness coming from righteous living."

This shy and always embarrassed character was a little bit harder to connect to church. I was thinking of something along the lines of "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," but that didn't really seem right. What kept coming back to me over and over again is the quality of virtue. Virtue is a quality that is dropping further and further from society. Our Savior was perfectly virtuous in all of his thoughts and actions. In today's world you cannot even see a commercial without being bombarded with lude, suggestive and nearing pornographic adds and shows. Wouldn't it be nice if we were this, "Bashful" and it was as offensive to us as it would be to this dwarf...and to our Saviour. "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." (Article of Faith 13)

Ahhhhh-chooo! This poor guy can't even get a sentence out without having to let a sneeze go. Having a situation such as that requires the next of the Seven Dwarfs of the Gospel; Patience. Jesus Christ was the ultimate example of patience. He endured everything and endured it well. From the taunting of the Pharisees to the crucifixion of the Romans he took everything that came his way and never lost his patience. We don't have to go through any of that, nor do we have to outlast endless sneezes. Couldn't we practice a little more patience with our fellow man. In your patience possess ye your souls. (Luke 21:19)
I hate the yawns. I also hate being tired. This dwarf is always tired, no matter when or where he just wants to curl up and take a nap. It sounds like the perfect dwarf to talk about diligence. There are many times in this life where we will be tired. Sometimes we will be physically tired, others mentally tired, emotionally tired, spiritually tired but we still need to keep on trucking. We are still expected to live a certain way. Fatigue is no reason to become lax in the way we do things. Remember the exhortation from the scriptures, "Be not weary in well doing". As we fight through the fatigue we will actually find a physical renewal that comes from obedience to the Lord. I promise. I have seen it.

 Oddly enough I would have to say that Grumpy is my favorite of the Seven Dwarfs. The question is, "What does Grumpy have to do with the gospel?" Jesus Christ wasn't grumpy or grouchy. Grumpy is our example of what not to be. He was always irritated and knew that he was always right. We need to show the opposite traits of what Grumpy embodies. We need to be cheerful and humble. Willing to do what we need to do as it comes and as our Lord sees fit.

 You have to love Dopey, if for no other reason than that he loves everybody and doesn't know any better. That is my final of the Seven Dwarfs of the Gospel. Love is so crucially important. Jesus Christ had perfect love for all of us. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) That is exactly what Christ did for us. He layed down his life that others may live. We should love those around us and most importantly our Savior if for no other reason than that He loves us.
"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19) If only we could be a little more like Dopey. Love everyone because we don't know any better.

I can promise you that as we strive to associate with the, "Seven Dwarfs of the Gospel" that we will be happier in our lives and will see the blessings of the Lord flow freely.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Question of the Day: Eeyore or Tigger.

So here we have the tow opposite ends of the spectrum in the Winnie the Pooh stories.

First, we have Eeyore; the ever-present pessimist who seems to have the attitude, "Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could". No matter what, something is always bad for Eeyore. Nobody loves him, nothing goes right, his house constantly gets knocked over, he always loses his tail. Everything is always bad and nothing is ever good. On the other hand we have Tigger; the energetic, bouncy, happy Tigger. Tigger seems to look at the world as bright and sunshiny. He finds the silver lining in even the darkest clouds. There is something good about every situation with this one-of-a-kind "T-I-double Ga-errr". He always joyfully exclaims that, "the greatest thing about Tiggers is I'm the only one!".

Let us hope that is not the case.

So...which are we? Are we Eeyore? Does everything seem to work against us? Or are we Tigger? No matter what happens we are the ones to handle it?

God did not create us or put us into situations so that we will be miserable all of the time. "Men are that they might have joy," is what God has in mind. (2 Nephi 2:25) We need to become a little more like Tigger and find those silver linings. I promise they are there.

I promise that as we begin to try to FIND the good in every situation we will become more like Tigger; bouncy and happy. Doesn't that sound like a better way to live?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who's Honest John?

I have always loved the movie Pinocchio. One of the most interesting and appealing things about it is not only the entertainment aspect but also the many lessons that we can learn from it.

Pinocchio and Jiminy - Friendly Fun We start with Pinocchio, a puppet brought to life, who wants so desperately to be a real boy. He starts down the right path. He's got his conscience Jimminy Cricket, he's got his books and he's off to school. He's on his way to becoming a real boy!

Was Pinocchio was being 'groomed' by his cartoon pals? As he skips down the path with his trusty conscience, joyfully heading to school, he meets Honest John, a fox who distracts him from his goal. He convinces him that an actor's life would be so much better than going to school. Despite contrary suggestion and guidance from his conscience he decided to pursue this life as an actor.

Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy - boy, cage, cartoon, Disney, Fairy, movie, puppet, wandAs the story progresses we see that an actor's life is not all it's cracked up to be. He ends up trapped in a cage with no choice, whatsoever, of what he can do. He remembers his friend Jimminy Cricket who always told him to just, "give a little whistle". Well, Jimminy comes back to him and manages to get the fairy that brought Pinocchio to life to get them out of this jam. Pinocchio goes home with the determination that he will go to school now.

Pinocchio, and the donkeyIt happens again. Pinocchio is off to school when good ol' Honest John comes along and convinces him that he doesn't wanna go to school. He wants to go to Pleasure Island where all the real fun is. Pinocchio veers off the path again and makes the journey to Pleasure Island, which is not very pleasurable at all. They think that they are free and having a good time, smoking, drinking and playing pool when they suddenly realize that they are turning into donkeys.

Pinocchio realizes once again that he has made a mistake and he needs Jimminy Cricket, as Jimminy tries to help him they end up being swallowed by Monstro, a giant whale. As they manage to escape
 the whale Pinocchio has finally learned his lesson, goes to school and becomes a real boy.

Now what in the world does all this have to do with us?

We really are not that different from Pinocchio. We become distracted from the goals with the greatest prizes by things that seems better at the moment. As we strive towards our own goals and ambitions we have our own "Honest Johns" that come along and distract us down a path that turns out to not be as amazing as was hoped. Much like Pinocchio, as we ignore our conscience and follow these "Honest Johns" we find ourselves separated from the guidance of the Holy Ghost and our conscience.

So who are the Honest Johns out there? All the things that distract us from our destiny to live with our Heavenly Father. Riches. Alcohol. Drugs. Recreation on the Sabbath day. I promise you that all these things are just gilded treasures. Worthless things made to look like they are greater than what we currently have, or can receive without them.

I can promise you that if we follow our conscience, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we qualify ourselves for that companionship more often. The reason most people fail is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment. What do you want most?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happily Ever After

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Over the years I have been exposed to many beautiful languages—each of them is fascinating and remarkable; each has its particular charm. But as different as these languages can be, they often have things in common. For example, in most languages there exists a phrase as magical and full of promise as perhaps any in the world. That phrase is “Once upon a time.”
Aren’t those wonderful words to begin a story? “Once upon a time” promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the enchanting words “And they lived happily ever after.”
Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?
“You are a beloved child of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose.” 1
Those words are true! They are not made up in a fairy tale! Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”
But such a blessing does not come without a price. It is not given simply because you desire it. It comes only through understanding who you are and what you must become in order to be worthy of such a gift.
For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
cinderella scrubbingCinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.
In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle. 
In each of these stories, Cinderella and Belle have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?
Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?
In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy.
You need to know that you will experience your own adversity. None is exempt. You will suffer, be tempted, and make mistakes. You will learn for yourself what every heroine has learned: through overcoming challenges come growth and strength.
It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.
I understand that, at times, some may wonder why they attend Church meetings or why it is so important to read the scriptures regularly or pray to our Heavenly Father daily. Here is my answer: You do these things because they are part of God’s path for you. And that path will take you to your “happily ever after” destination.
“Happily ever after” is not something found only in fairy tales. You can have it! It is available for you! But you must follow your Heavenly Father’s map.
I give you a promise that as you accept and live the values and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, “[you] will be prepared to strengthen home and family,And the day will come when you turn the final pages of your own glorious story; there you will read and experience the fulfillment of those blessed and wonderful words: “And they lived happily ever after.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disney Magic Kingdom

Disneyland...The Happiest Place on Earth.

I love Disneyland. I can remember the excitement I felt when we drove up. It just creates a spirit of happiness. As you approach you start to hear the cheerful Disney music, you see hedges trimmed in the shapes of Mickey Mouse, Dumbo and Goofy. I can barely contain my feelings of elation. It is a place where you can let your hair down, have fun, be a kid. It doesn't matter. I once watched my father, a grown man with children and grandchildren, SPRINT from the parking garage to the gates of the park. Nobody cared. Everybody else was just as excited.

Ok, ok, I'm sure all of you are thinking, "Elder Davis are you a missionary or a sales rep for Disney?" 

My point I was getting to was that why should those feelings revolve around a park that you visit maybe once in a lifetime? Why can't we have that excitement and happiness all the time?

What if our homes were that way?

Couldn't it happen? What if that's how it was? Every time you come home at the end of the day you were so excited to be there! As you drive up you are just filled to the brim with joy and exhilaration! You know that waiting there for you are the people that you would most want to spend time with...your family.

I promise you that this can be the case. If you focus your life and family around the proper things I can promise you that your home will become your "Happiest Place on Earth". Your family will be closer together. I promise you that no matter what your life is like. Single or married, children or not. If you base your life around the gospel of Jesus Christ your home will become your safe-haven and you will want to go there. Our homes should be our happiest place. Our families are whom we should want to spend our time with. I promise you there is a way. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Something More

The Little Mermaid Wallpaper - the-little-mermaid wallpaper

For those of you who know me you knew it was only a matter of time until I posted something that had to do with Disney. This song is from the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, it is about Ariel wanting MORE. She talks about wanting more, and how some think there's something wrong with her for wanting more. As you read the lyrics I want you to think, "What does this have to do with me and why is he posting this?"

Maybe He's Right
Maybe There Is Something The Matter with me With Me
I Just Don't See How A World That Makes Such Wonderful Things
Could Be Bad

Look at this stuff
Isn't it neat?
Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the girl
The girl who has everything?

Look at this trove
Treasures untold
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Looking around here you'd think
Sure, she's got everything

I've got gadgets and gizmo's a-plenty
I've got woozits and whatzits galore
[You want thingamabobs? I've got 20!]

But who cares?
No big deal
I want more

And ready to know what the people know
Ask 'em my questions and get some answers
What's a fire and why does it
[What's the word?] burn
When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love
Love to explore the shore up above?

Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of that world

What would I give to live where you are
What would I pay to stay here beside you
What would I do to see you, smiling at me
Where would we walk
Where would we run
If we could stay all day in the sun
Just you and me
And I could be..
Part of your
I don't know when
I don't know how
But I know something's starting right now
Watch and you'll see
Someday I'll be
Part of your

Alright! What do you think? She sings about all the THINGS she has but she wants more. There are many that would connect that to selfishness...get it sel-fish-ness...she's a right. Alright anyway, I hear it and I think how she wants something of greater substance in her life. The THINGS don't satisfy her. She wants something more something greater. Here's the question of the hour... "Do we?" 
Do we want something more or are we simply content with our material possessions.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;
 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(3 Nephi 13:19-21)

I can promise you that as we look past our materials and we "want more" that we can some day be "part of that world". Not part of the human world but part of the world where our Father in Heaven lives and it can be us and Him and we can walk, run and ask all the questions we want. 

So...are you willing to WANT MORE?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Child's Prayer

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.

Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

Jesus Is the Christ

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.

I absolutely love this song. Each and everyone of us is a child of God and he wants to hear from us. He is all-knowing all-powerful. He still loves us and wants to hear from you and I. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Bird Cage

A pastor in a small New England town entered his church one Easter morning with a rusty, old, bent bird cage. He set the bird cage on the pulpit causing a few raised eyebrows. Then he began to speak.

“Yesterday morning, I came across a young boy who had 3 scared birds in a cage shivering from the cold. I asked him, what do you got there? ‘Just some dumb old birds!’ ‘What are you going to do with them?’ ‘Tease em, play with em, and pull out all their feathers!’ ‘Then what are you going to do?’ ‘Feed em to my cat, he likes birds!’”

I went silent for a moment and asked, ‘How much would you like for those birds?’ ‘Oh, you don’t want these, they’re ugly and can’t even sing!’ ‘How much?’ came my definite reply. The boy thought for a moment and then said, ‘$10.’ I reached into my pocket and gave the boy $10. The boy took the money and then vanished. I then picked up the cage, walked to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a small grassy spot. He opened the door by gently tapping the bars to the cage, and coaxed the birds out into the grass.”

That explained the bird cage on the pulpit. Then he proceeded to tell this story...

“One day, Satan and Jesus were walking and Satan had just come out of the Garden of Eden. He was gloating and boasting. ‘Yes sir, I caught me a whole world full of people. Set a trap that they just couldn’t resist. Yep, got them all.’ ‘What are you going to do with them,’ came the reply. ‘Gonna have some fun with them; teach them to hate, hurt, and kill each other.’ ‘Then what are you going to do?’ ‘Oh, then I’ll destroy them and bring them down into my kingdom.’

Jesus paused. ‘How much do you want for them?’ ‘Oh, you don’t want them. They’ll just hate you, spit on you, mock you and kill you. They don’t want you.’ Jesus paused and looked straight at Satan, ‘how much?’ Satan suddenly realized, looked at Jesus and sneered, ‘All your tears, all your blood, all your footsteps, all your strengths, all your life.’

Jesus paid the price, picked up the cage and opened the door”

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our Focus

Some people focus on their family. Other people focus on their careers. Some people focus on their string collection. Everyone devotes their time differently. What kind of things are central in your life? What do you focus your time and efforts on?

Well I have a little story for you about 2 different people and what they focused on. 

Once upon a time there was a man named King Benjamin. King Benjamin had a large kingdom and was a very good king. The thing about King Benjamin was that not only was he a king he was also a prophet. King Benjamin had been king for a long time and had grown very old, he knew that he would soon die. He loved his people and his kingdom very much so he decided he was going to talk to them one last time. So he had a large tower built next to the temple so he could have them all gather around and he could talk to them and teach them. All the people gathered together and when they came up to the temple, "they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another.
 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them". (Mosiah 2:5-6) So all of these people had come together with their families and had their tent doors toward the temple and their prophet.

So that is half of the story,here is the other half...
There once was a man named Lot. He lived and traveled through the desert. Eventually, after traveling "Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly." (Genesis 13:12-13) Lot pitched his tent toward a city that was so wicked that it lead to its destruction. 

Now, here is the question...What does this have to do with us? God honestly does not care what physical direction our house (or tent) face. However, it does show a much deeper devotion and focus. Lot and his family wanted the things of the world. King Benjamin's people wanted the things that matter most. What do we want?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Man on a Wall


What does this term mean? It's heard so often in religion. I have spoken of following the teachings of the Prophets. But what is a Prophet.

Well here we go...
A Prophet is a man called of God to teach us what God would have us do. So here's the best example I can come up with...

I want you to picture a giant thick wall. Now put God on one side of the wall and all of us on the other side. We don't get to have face to face conversations with God. We can pray and he can answer through thoughts and feelings but we don't have face to face conversations with him. Now imagine God putting one of the men from our side of the wall on top. That is a Prophet. He can turn and see and hear what God has for us to know and then he can turn around and share with us what God has told him.

Now does it make sense why we would want to listen to a Prophet? He receives guidance and direction from God, who sees the beginning from the end. God has always worked this way. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

I bear witness to you that as we listen to the Prophets we will have the guidance and direction we need to live happy and successful lives.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Baseball Players Prayer

"Dear Lord,

Help me to be a sport in this little game of life. I don't ask for an easy place in the line-up. Play me anywhere you need me. I only ask that I might give you 100% of all I've got. If all the hard drives seem to come my way- I thank you for the compliment. Help me to realize that you won't let anything come my way that you and I can't handle together."

I can promise you that the principles in this prayer are true. I can also promise that if we go about our lives with this attitude rather than the attitude of..."Why me?", "Why can't I get all the breaks?", "God, give me this and this and this or else I don't believe anymore!"...we will have a greatly blessed and directed life and we will be much more happy.

I love you and testify this to you in the name of the Lord and Master; Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Special Family

Family. What do you think about when you hear this? A lot of people think of family dinners or holidays. Maybe you think of crowded houses and arguments. Regardless, everyone has a family. The question is, how do we make our families closer and more loving? It seems to me that our families should be something more than merely 4, 5, or 6 individuals that just happen to share a last name and live under the same roof for a few years. But how do we do it?

"The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." When we come to the realization of this then we understand more how important it is to build our families. Having a loving close knit family takes effort. Making a special family takes a special effort. Since families are central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny and happiness for us the adversary is taking extra steps and strides to try to tear families apart and make it harder for them to succeed. If you don't believe me just look at the divorce rate in this world.

So once again the question sits before us...How do I do it? Well, here is your answer.

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."

My friends and family I don't know what else to tell you. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in it's fulness and simplicity is once again the answer. Not only is it the answer to success in our individual lives, it is also the answer for success in our families.

So what do we do? What are our actions in this? I promise you that if you sit down with your family and read from the scriptures (Bible and Book of Mormon), have family prayer, have family dinner, go on family activities, have a designated night as a family night, go to church you will have a closer family. I know that if this is not something you have before done it may not make sense. I can testify the truths of it to you because I have seen the blessings in my family as we made this simples steps. I have also seen the consequences of not doing it. My family is not a perfect family, but we are an eternal family and a loving family and it is because of following the simplicity of the teachings of the prophets.

I love you and leave this testimony and promise with you as an authorized representative and disciple of Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hold to the Rod

Have you ever thought, "It would be amazing if there was just a definite path or guidebook or something like that for life"? What if there was? Would you follow it? What if it wasn't the most popular thing in the world but it was still the way to success and happiness? Would you withstand the pressure and stick with it?

Guess What...

There is. There once was a Prophet named Lehi who had a dream about that very thing. He saw in a vision a rod of iron that led on a straight and narrow path, through mist and darkness, along the banks of a river to a tree "whose fruit was desirable to make one happy". (1 Nephi 8:10) Fruit that "was desirable above all other fruit". (1 Nephi 8:12)

Awesome right!? A rod of iron that you can hold onto along a straight path through the darkness and mists! That's what we were looking for!

Here's the thing...
 On the other side of the river is a great and spacious building filled with people pointing and laughing at those who stayed on the path and held to the rod.

"I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost." (1 Nephi 8:26-28)

These people had found what they were looking for. They found the path, the guide, they tasted the happiness they had arrived! The problem was it wasn't popular. It wasn't the way of the world. It wasn't how everyone else thought they should do things.

My family and friends, brothers and sisters. Does this happen to us? Do we reject the guide that we need so desperately in our lives. I tell you that a lot of the time we do. In Lehi's vision the iron rod resembles the word of God i.e. the scriptures and the words of the Prophets. That is our guide that lead us along the path that leads to our happiness and success, the Tree whose fruit is desirable above all other. In closing I leave you my testimony in love that I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real. That the mists of darkness in this life are real. I testify to you that the Gospel is delicious to the taste and is more desirable than anything else we will find. I promise you that it brings happiness and success not only in this life but in the life to come. So I invite you to hold to the iron rod, to follow the straight and narrow path and not be ashamed.

I love you.

I promise and testify you these things in the name of Jesus Christ.