Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What, So What, Now What?

My new way of studying the scriptures!:


So What?

Now What?

WAY too often I read in the scriptures but get very little out of it. I've done different things at different times to enhance my study and this is my most recent method. At the end of reading a chapter (or any given amount) I record the answers to these three questions in my study journal. I recap WHAT I've just read with a short summary. "SO WHAT?" covers why its so important. What's the big deal? Why is that even in the scriptures? What relevance does it have in my life? etc. NOW WHAT? What good will the scriptures do me if they don't find application in my life? The introduction to the Book of Mormon promises that "a man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book." We don't come nearer to God simply by reading it! We need to apply it! Abide by its precepts! Now, each time I read, I identify one thing I'm going to do or change as a result of my study.

Its worked so far and has my recommendation to anyone else willing to try it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What are YOU known for?

"...And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end."

Its always been so interesting to me that we become known for certain things. Think back to high school where people received labels because of the sports they played, the clothes they wore, the car they drove, the friends they had, etc. As we get older we may become known for the job we have, the house we live in, or the amount of christmas lights we put up each year. 

This scripture hit me this morning because I realized what these people had become known ("distinguished") for: zeal towards God, honesty & uprightness, firm faith, and endurance! What a list! I'm somewhat apprehensive at what my friends might say they know me for... but don't many of us feel that way?
In my favorite General Conference talk called "The Love of God," President Uchtdorf said the following:

"Of all the things we want to be known for, are there attributes above all others that should define us as members of His Church, even as disciples of Jesus Christ? Let us be known as a people who love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and who love our neighbor as ourselves." (October 2009 General Conference)

While serving my mission in Pennsylvania, I met a man who typified what President Uchtdorf described. To me, this man exemplifies the Christ-like love referred to in the scriptures as charity. Before ever meeting him, he called me to introduce himself and thank me for my service as a missionary. Each time I'd see him, he'd give me a hug, look me straight in the eyes and honestly ask how I was doing. He would call as he'd travel from work, seek to know and help us personally. Those who know him cannot deny his great love for everyone. What an example!

What are you known for? And questions rivaling in importance: What do you want to be known for? How can you realize these hopes? I know it is only through the grace of Christ that such is possible. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, here goes nothin'. This blog was originally created while I served a full-time LDS mission in Philadelphia. Now though, my audience has shifted and my range of topics to blog about has grown dramatically.

In the last couple years I've found within myself a love of writing. Now that's not to say I'm overjoyed to spend hours on end on the weekends writing my English and other papers. But I DO enjoy putting my thoughts, insights, experiences, etc into words. This blog will probably turn out to be pretty random and all over the place; scatter-brained if you will. Fitting, however, because that's often how my mind works. SO to all you readers out there, ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Keeping a Daily Journal

I received an email yesterday with a wonderful story from my sister Becky:

"Just before my mission in the summer of 2005...I came home late one night after everyone was in bed, and I saw two of mom's old journals laying open on my bed. I think you or Eric had been looking for entries about yourselves for a school project or something. Anyway, I knew I shouldn't read them if they were mom's current journals, but I figured that since they were from like 1992 and 1995, it was long enough ago that she wouldn't mind. Anyway, I stayed up long into the night reading mom's journals for hours, and it was one of the most edifying experiences of my life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Testimony of Jesus Christ

The last Thursday of every month we have a missionary meeting where about 35 of us get together and receive training on different topics. A theme of this Thursday's meeting is Faith in Jesus Christ. As we are collectively preparing, we've decided to write down our personal testimonies of Jesus Christ. I felt to share it today.

I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Meaning: I know that he payed the price for sin and overcame death by his Atonement. I know that obedience to his commandments is the way by which we receive his mercy. I know it is the only through Christ that we can be cleansed from sin.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Mission is Like a Roll of Toilet Paper...

Yes, toilet paper. Bear with me.

Just as a roll of toilet paper (bath tissue for all you politically correct out there) seems to go faster and faster as it ends, so does a mission. Its flying before my eyes!

Toilet paper also, like a mission, is more valued as you have less of it left. You use each sheet carefully and preserve as long as possible. My LDS (Mormon) mission means so much to me. In attempt to save the memories, feelings, thoughts, lessons, and share them with all of you, welcome to my blog!

Red Flag!: I'm new to this. Patience is required.