Friday, September 27, 2013

Repentence, Why we need it

Today i wanted to share the importance and the steps of repentance as given in Preach My Gospel.  Repentance is one of the biggest principles we teach as missionaries.  The reason that it is such a big deal for us is we all sin.  We all make mistakes, and we all need our Saviors help.  With out the Atonement and the gift of repentance we would not be able to return to live with our father in heaven.  When we ask people to repent and when i repent myself there are certain steps you must follow to truly repent.  Not everything can be taken care of by just saying a prayer and asking for forgiveness, this is a necessary step but not the whole formula.  So what is the first step of repentance?
1) Recognition, this can actually in my opinion be one of the hardest steps of repentance.  We need to recognize we have sinned, or wronged someone.  This takes an act of humility and honesty to yourself.  This is a very important first step because until you recognize you have sinned you cant make things right.

2) STOP, stop what it is you are doing and strive to never do it again!  This isnt to say if you do do it again then you cant be forgiven but notice it says strive to never do it again, if your heart is in the right place and you are doing your best heavenly Father will do everything he can to help you out.

3)Confess, Depending on what the sin is, a sin where you have hurt someone or yourself you need to confess your sins.  For those small sins confession may only mean confessing to our Heavenly Father that you have sinned, for those more serious sins we made need to confess to Priesthood leaders.  If you have hurt or offended someone the confessing can also be part of the restitution process and you confess to that person to help make things right.

4) Make Restitution,  this one is a difficult one to put into words.  This is something you must decide what needs to be done.  If you have damaged something or hurt someone you have to make restitution to that person.  But if it is a sin that only affects you, how do you make restitution?  I  am going to leave that question open to your own answers.

5)Acknowledge the Savior,  It is only through him we can have repentance of our sins.  he took on our sins for us!  These steps are not easy steps, but was it easy for Christ in Gethsemane?  No!  He took on the pains of our sins and afflictions and satisfied justice.  If it wasn't easy for him to suffer for our sins why would it be easy for us to seek repentance?  Compared to the suffering the Savior went through these steps are very simple, but they require humility and sorrow and your self striving to do what is right.

Repentance does not always mean making big changes. Often it simply requires an increased commitment to live according to God’s will. True repentance does not always happen quickly; be patient with yourself as you strive to do what is right and correct mistakes you make. As you repent, you will experience a change of heart. You will no longer desire to sin. You will come to know that you are a child of God and that you need not continue making the same mistakes over and over. Your desire to follow God will grow stronger and deeper.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rules VS Principles

Recently we were taught about the difference between rules and principles.  What I learned about the two I thought was very neat and an eye opener for myself.  So I want to share what I learned with you because it has benefited me in my life.

RULES:  What is a rule?  Well in the dictionary there are many different meanings for the word rule.  But the one Im going to is it says rule .  That does not sound like a good thing to me.  A rule is a very direct and easy to understand concept.  The law says don't speed.  That is a rule, and one that is easily understood.  It means don't speed.  It is defined, and if we do break it there is a consequence.  In this case you can get fined.  Rules are controlling, when we follow rules we are controlled and are given do's and don'ts, they chain us down.

PRINCIPLES: What is a principle? Principle: a fundamental, or primary law from which others are derived.   A principal is a very open ended concept, it requires exercising our agency and deciding for ourselves what it means.  to relate it to my first analogy.  The principle behind not speeding is to keep us safe.  So what if that was the law when driving?  stay safe.  That is the principle of the law and in theory if we were all smart and made wise decisions, "O be wise, what more can I say." Jacob 6:12, Then that is all we would need is this one simple principle which tells us to be safe.  If we follow principles we are free to make our own decisions and we wouldn't need rules to tell us all the do's and don'ts we would be satisfied to just stay safe!

We are human however, and we are prone to make mistakes.  We are given the principles, but we often don't understand them.  So we have to be given rules.  These rules however are not here to bind us down, but to help us understand the principle.  Our Heavenly  Father gives us a principle, Come to earth, be righteous and return to live with me, with a body.  That should be enough to tell us everything we need to know.  Is what I'm doing helping me to return to my father in Heaven or not?  Sadly we don't always make the right decisions, so our Heavenly Father gives us rules to follow so we can return to live with him.  I'd like to encourage everyone to try to understand the principle behind rules.   When you understand the principle you are made free, and you are using your own agency to make righteous decisions.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What is the Atonement?

"As used in the scriptures, to atone is to suffer the penalty for sins, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him or her to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of carrying out the Atonement for all mankind. Because of His Atonement, all people will be resurrected, and those who obey His gospel will receive the gift of eternal life with God.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Know that God Knows whats best for you.

I just wanted to take a moment and share this.  Sometimes it feels as though we have to make our own decisions as best we can.  But that is not true, and to responce to that feeling I am going to use this little story by Elder Kent D. Watson of the Seventy,
"Our Heavenly Father knows each of us and will always be there for us. He was with us in the beginning. He knows us as we were then. He knows us as we are now. And He knows what we can become. (See D&C 93:23–24.)
When President Thomas S. Monson graduated from college, he received job offers from major multinational companies. In deciding where to go, he made his decision a matter of prayer. He has taught: “There are factors within you and within me, even basic principles with which we have been imbued from our creation, which seem to call out and demand of us our best. Those particular years and those cravings and those bits of inspiration seem to be telling you and me, ‘Seek the best in life. Look for opportunities where you can be of greatest service.’”4
Shortly after graduation, he had the opportunity to become a commissioned officer in the United States Naval Reserve, which meant he would need to be released from serving as a counselor in a bishopric. He prayed again and conferred with his former stake president, Elder Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Lee counseled him not to accept the commission as a naval officer. President Monson obeyed, declined the commission, and requested to be discharged. Not long afterward, he was called at age 22 to be the bishop of his ward.
President Monson has taught that our decisions determine our destiny. He said: “I would not be standing before you, had I not followed the counsel of a prophet, had I not prayed about a decision, had I not come to an appreciation of the important truth: The wisdom of God oft times appears as foolishness to men. But the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right.”5
Our Heavenly Father knows us. He is there for us. If we seek Him, we will find Him. If we ask, He will answer. When we do our part, He is sure to do His part in pointing the way and answering the question, “Whither shall we go?”"

When we ask ourselves that question where should we go?  If we study out the answers in our own mind and try to find the best possible solution and the present that to our heavenly father he will let you know if the decision you have made is the right decision.  He wants us to succeed and he knows what we need to do to reach our full potential.  Trust in him.

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I am currently a missionary in the Phoenix Arizona Mission.