Archive for December, 2014

Why We Thank God

Some people feel like they are the ones who work for everything they have.  If they put food on the table, they chalk it up to their own merits.  After all, they are the ones who go out and work.  Having a job is how they make money to eat.  Why thank God for anything then?

The reason why we thank God for our food is because God made us require food to live.  But God also created many things to eat.  God could’ve been cruel by not creating anything to eat.  We would be doomed to die of starvation.  Mortal life in a body of flesh and bones would be a harsh existence with no food.

And any money we earn by working is because of talents that God instilled in us even before birth.  So by earning money we are using the skills and powers that God blessed us with.

So we should thank God that He created so many things for us to eat.  And we should thank Him for giving us talents that allow us to get jobs so we can earn money to buy food.

We should thank Him for all our blessings.  Family and friends are something to be thankful for.

We should also thank God for sending His Firstborn Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.  God sees the blood shed by Jesus and feels better about the sins we commit (if we pray unto repentance).

Be sure you thank God for all your blessings this holiday season.  Thank Him for the food you eat.  Thank Him for the talents he gave you.  Thank Him for family and friends.  Be thankful that you have a roof over your head and a bed to sleep on.  God even made sure that water would be abundant on this planet so we would always have something to drink.  He was not a cruel God by making us needing food and water but with nothing to eat and drink.  God is perfectly loving.

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My Visit To Primary

Primary is where I saw kids as young as 5 years old go during the second hour of church services at an LDS service.  I usually go to a Sunday school class but on one particular occasion the teacher of my class wasn’t there.  Most of the people in my class weren’t at church either.  it was just me and our ward’s 2 missionaries.  So they let us visit the kids in Primary.

I sat down and watched them give talks and prayers.  They’re pretty smart.  They even read something out loud from the Articles of Faith that was posted on the wall.  This is pretty difficult reading for a 5-year-old.  I was impressed.

I know these kids are really blessed.  They are learning how to pray properly at such an early age.  And it must make them feel good to give talks just like they see their grown-up parents and family do.

The missionaries said something about prayer, and the kids really seemed to listen.  The missionaries asked them what they pray about.  And one of the kids said it was private stuff.  I laughed.  That was a hint to me that these kids really do pray.

I feel like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really knows how to teach young children.  I testify that Primary is truly a blessing for all the kids involved.

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Mormons and the Trinity

I received a testimony of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being separate personages when I read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ baptism. Jesus is present, and the Holy Ghost appears in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father is heard when he says, “This is my beloved Son.” So all 3 members of the Godhead appear as separate personages in the baptismal accounts.

Knowing God’s true nature has given me great spiritual power. I feel like I am closer to God as I worship him as the 3 separate personages that he is. For they are all equally God. There is only one God, as the Book of Mormon clearly states time and time again.

By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

“More than any other group in America, and despite very large theological differences with orthodox Protestants or Catholics (Mormons are not Trinitarians, to name just one basic belief), the LDS church is far more effectively passing on classic Christian cultural beliefs, attitudes, and practices about marriage.”
(http://www.nationalreview.com/article/394510/mormon-advantage-maggie-gallagher)

Do we agree with Maggie Gallagher that “Mormons are not Trinitarians”? (see, http://bycommonconsent.com/2012/03/12/mormonism-a-trinitarian-religion/)

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Priesthood Blessing

I was told by somebody at church that I should contact my home teacher to get a priesthood blessing for these panic attacks I keep getting.  My home teacher came over just ten minutes after I called him!  Very prompt.

I feel so blessed to be a member of a church that gives each of us a home teacher to count on for spiritual purposes.  I don’t have any other priesthood holders in my family.  None in my house.  I am a convert and I’m the only member of the church in our household.  I am thankful to still have access to a priesthood blessing.

My head was anointed with oil that was set apart for healing.  My home teacher gave me words of inspiration during my blessing.  He said he hopes that my mind is quickened and that these panic attacks go away.

As a convert, I want to testify to anybody who is thinking of joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that you will not be forsaken as a member of the Church.  There will always be people willing to help you out with whatever you may need.

I have faith in the priesthood.  God wants all male members of the church to have some authority to act in His name.  God guides us men through the priesthood to help each other grow stronger.  I believe that our priesthood helps us in the mission to fortify all saints.

I ask anybody reading this to pray for me that these panic attacks go away.  Thank you.

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The Tempting of Jesus in the Desert

Before Jesus began his ministry, he goes to the desert to fast for 40 days.  This was an amazing feat.

Mark 1:12-13

12 – And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

13 – And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

Matthew Chapter 4 and Luke Chapter 4

Both these chapters from the Gospels explain in detail how Jesus was tempted in the desert.

First, the devil tells him to turn stones into bread.  After all, Jesus was very hungry trying to fast in the desert.  But Jesus responds that it is written that man lives not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

The devil then took Jesus to the top of the pinnacle of The Temple.  The devil tries to get Jesus to throw himself down.  After all, if Jesus was truly the One, God wouldn’t let him die.  He would send angels to keep him from falling.  But Jesus responds that it is written that one should not tempt God by asking him to perform miracles unnecessarily.

Finally, the devil tries to get Jesus to worship him.  But Jesus responds that again it is written that you should only worship the LORD your God.

Luke 4:18

18 – The Spirit of the LORD is upon me…

After fasting for 40 days and being tempted of the devil and resisting each time, Jesus was full of the Spirit.  Jesus quoted this Scripture and said it was about him.  He was ready to begin his ministry.  The Gospel of Matthew describes angels ministering unto Jesus when he finished his trials in the desert (Matthew 4:11).  But when Jesus reads these words that the Spirit of the LORD is upon him, he officially begins his ministry.

We should all strive to have the Spirit of the LORD upon us like Jesus when he is quoting this Jewish Scripture.  We should also remember his 3 responses to the devil when he is tempted in the desert.  Man does not live on bread alone, you should not tempt God, and you should only worship God.  Man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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Matthew Ives: Video: HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher: The Hypocrisy of Evangelical Christians

No one really wants to hear an Atheist talk about what Jesus commanded us to do. At least we try to have a relationship with Jesus.

Pretty funny, though. He has knowledge of Jesus’ sayings from the Gospels which is pretty impressive. But did he read the one that said “Judge not that ye be not judged?” (Matthew 7:1) Why is he judging how good of Christians some people he doesn’t agree with politically are?

Well Matthew 7:2 says that Bill Maher should be judged to the same extent that he was judged. Thus, I will judge how good of an Atheist he is.

I know some very good Atheists who believe that this is our only life and after we die we don’t live anymore. Thus, they respect everyone’s right to life and happiness. Bill Maher, on the other hand, says he’s in favor of anything that reduces the amount of people on the freeway. That means he’s pro-death.

Bill Maher is not a good Atheist. He couldn’t even judge another Atheist worthily. How dare he judge Christians.

FreeState Plus WordPress Blog

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m going to be careful here, because there some actual Christians who I actually respect, including Protestants and Evangelicals and who are also still living. And when I think of Christianity and Christians as someone who isn’t, I think of these people and I think of their groups. And all of those charities that they run. That house the homeless, feed the hungry, some groups even go as far as educating the ignorant so they can get themselves a good job. All things that the so-called Christian-Right and a certain segment of the Tea Party views as socialism or communism.

When I think of Christians, I don’t think of Michelle Bachmann, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, all these so-called leaders of the Christian-Right. Who go out of their of putting people down and hating and saying so many horrible…

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Catholic to Mormon

My name is Daniel, and I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was born and raised Catholic but got baptized into the LDS church when I was seventeen back on March 17, 2001.  I stopped going to Mormon church when I was in my early 20s.  I lived with a girlfriend and that is disapproved in every religion I know about so I stopped being religious.  Well, I eventually broke up with her and moved back in with my parents.  I went to Catholic Mass with them for a while and that is when I realized that I wanted to be faithful to my baptismal covenants I made when I was baptized Mormon.  I couldn’t stand thinking about Christ in a church I only partly believed in.  Catholic Mass is great, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s not exactly how God wants his church ran in the latter days.  I knew I had to come back to the fulness of Christ in the church I fully believed in.

I am now 31 years old.  I started going back to church earlier this year (2014).  I am in a great ward with lots of friendly people.  The people in my ward have changed since the days I first got baptized.  But they are definitely full of the spirit and I love them all.

I was saved partly by watching Big Love on HBO.  On one episode it shows Bill reading a Book of Mormon that looks like the ones the LDS Church publishes.  It was blue and reminded me of the first Book of Mormon the missionaries who converted me gave me.  On another episode it shows Bill giving his son the Aaronic priesthood and this is when I knew I wanted to be faithful to my receiving the Aaronic priesthood back when I was 17.  I also watched the episode where Barb goes to the temple and it shows an endowment ceremony.  I read later online that the Church disapproved of showing this and I regretted watching it, but I became very jealous of Mormons who have done this ritual.  I wanted to be one!

The most important thing I did to get me to revert back to my Mormon religion was visiting the Gilbert Temple during their open house.  Before the temple is dedicated, and only Mormons in good standing can go inside, they let the public tour most of the building — even the celestial room.  It was so beautiful!  It made me feel good that people build such majestic and gorgeous structures for God.  I also felt the Holy Ghost with sweet jealousy for Temple-attending Mormons.  I felt like I was doing something Jesus would do.  Even when he was just 12 years old, Jesus got lost from his parents in the Temple.  Many of God’s people have had the privilege of worshiping in a Temple.  In Solomon’s day they had Solomon’s Temple.  In Jesus’ day they had the Temple at Jerusalem.  Now, we have Temples all over the world.  And the one that opened near my house is evidence of God’s majesty in the latter days.  I am so lucky that I got to visit.  At the time, it felt like that was the only way I’d get to go to see a Temple.  But now I know I might get to go someday.

Back in June of this year I tried to contact the missionaries online because I wasn’t sure what I had to do to be Mormon again after being inactive for so long.  On June 30, 2014, they visited me and told me I just had to go to the ward I always went to.  They arranged for somebody to give me a ride to church.  I was so blessed.  For some reason, I thought I might not be able to go.  But there they were providing transportation so I wouldn’t have to wake up my parents so early on their day off work.

Sometimes my mom drives me to church but I am fortunate enough to also have people in the ward who still give me rides from time to time.  I love being Mormon!  3 hours of church every Sunday is not too much for me.  I love every minute of it!

And since I’m still living under my parents’ roof I respect their religion and so I still go to Catholic Mass every now and then when my mom goes to the one in the afternoon.  I’m still at my church if my parents go to the Mass at noon.  Our ward goes from morning to noon.  But if my mom had to work Sunday she goes to the one in the afternoon and I go with her.  But I don’t take the Eucharist.  I get the body and blood of Jesus at Mormon church through what they call the Sacrament.  And I don’t say some of the Catholic prayers I don’t believe in.

Anyway, some Sundays I actually am at some sort of church for 4 hours!  And I have been going to Christmas rosaries with my mom.  Not to brag or anything.  I’m far from perfect.

I don’t fully participate in the Catholic services.  I will say the Our Father because that is in the Bible.  But I don’t pray the Hail Mary even though the beginning to it is also in the Bible because I am not the angel Gabriel to be saluting Mary like that.  Nor am I Elizabeth declaring the fruit of Mary’s womb to be blessed.  But the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth did indeed greet Mary like that as recited in the Hail Mary, so I have no problem sitting with people praying a rosary.  What they do doesn’t seem like idol-worship to me like it does to some Mormons.  Sometimes I do cringe when they pray a prayer called Hail Holy Queen, though.  Hey, I gave it a chance to please my mom and dad!  I’m just not Catholic.

But I’m definitely a Mormon.  I love everything we do at an LDS service.  Nothing makes me cringe.  All of it makes me feel the Holy Ghost fully — especially the singing.  I was invited to sing with the ward choir a few Sundays after church and it made me feel so good that people wanted to hear me sing!

Like I said, I love everything about the Mormon Church.  I love how the Sacrament is administered.  The white cloth that covers the bread and water trays represents Jesus’ funerary clothes.  It is administered by adolescent males just like how the Levites were commanded to be priests as early as adolescence.  All males are called to have the priesthood in LDS doctrine.  Even I hold the priesthood which makes me feel like God wants me to have the authority to think about him and praise him.  I am so thankful for the priesthood.  It is one of the things I love about being Mormon.  I love my Sunday school class because we always have different people and I’m learning Gospel essentials.  I was surprised that they wanted me to attend Elders Quorum because I am not an elder.  But the bishop tells me that, if I am worthy, I can be ordained to the office of Elder and receive the Melchizedek priesthood and go to the temple someday!  This makes me so happy.  Lately, it’s this hope of going to the Temple that is what I live for.

The purpose of this blog is to help me stay strong with the faith.  I was reading in the Bible where Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  True Christians have in them a spirit of poverty.  I feel so guilty using modern-day luxuries such as TV and the Internet.  I feel like God only wants me to use these decadent machines for spiritual purposes.  So I try to only watch religious programming on TV.  And I want to start this Mormon blog.  I’ve had a couple spiritual journals since I started being Mormon again this year.  I want to start publishing online so I can share my faith with the world.  Enjoy.

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