Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Title of my Blog...

...comes from a song written by President James E. Faust called "This is the Christ":

They heard His voice, a voice so mild;
It pierced them through and made their souls to quake;
They saw Him come, a man in white,
The Savior who had suffered for their sake.

They felt the wounds in hands and side,
And each could testify; This is the Christ;

This is the Christ, the holy Son of God,
Our Savior, Lord, Redeemer of mankind.
This is the Christ, the healer of our souls
Who ransomed us with love divine.

I read His words, the words He prayed
While bearing sorrow in Gethsemane;
I feel His love, the price He paid.
How many drops of blood were spilled for me?

With saints of old in joyful cry
I too can testify; This is the Christ;
This is the Christ, the holy Son of God,
Our Savior, Lord, Redeemer of mankind.
This is the Christ, the healer of our souls
Who ransomed us with purest love divine

When listening to this song I have always been affected by how true that statement is to me. I feel that I could stand up with the same conviction as those who had the opportunity to feel the prints in the Savior's hands and proclaim "This is the Christ". I do not need to see Him physically face to face to know that He is the Savior of the world.

That unshakable conviction for me has come through reading The Book of Mormon. In the first page of The Book of Mormon it states that its purpose is for "the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ". I'm not sure I've read a book that has realized its purpose in such an effective way.

As I think about the coming forth of the translation of The Book of Mormon - another testament of Jesus Christ, another affirmation of our Heavenly Father's watchful care, a testimony of His continuing revelation to a world that is full of such confusion and turmoil - I see it standing up with The Bible and proclaiming "I too can testify; This is the Christ". With The Book of Mormon's hand of support and courage to stand up next to The Bible and proclaim lost truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it seems that the Bible, worn from the hands of men desperately trying to disprove another set of hands holding the same Bible, would give a sigh of relief and with a grateful heart, turn to The Book of Mormon for assistance in clearing things up and in sustaining it.

^ picture drawn by Elder Adam Sherrow

Surely all who love The Bible can celebrate in the coming forth of The Book of Mormon. Surely all who have held fast to the truth that God is not a God of confusion, but a loving Heavenly Father can revel in the sweetness of another testament that clarifies the fullness of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and testifies of Our Father's continued watchful care.

This blog is for me to proclaim that I too can testify of Christ...and that it is through The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, that I am able to do it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why I am a Missionary

When contemplating my first post I kept thinking about the letter I wrote before I left for my mission. It gives greater clarity into what it is that I do as a missionary and why I, personally, have chosen to dedicate 18 months of my life to this great work...
 19 year old boys that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) are expected to serve a full-time mission for 2 years. Girls do not have the same obligation but are still given the opportunity to serve at the age of 21. I feel as if I have been waiting for my 21st birthday forever. The desire to serve a mission fills my entire being - it feels as if it reaches through every vein even to the tip of each toe. I can not look at all the blessings of my life, the overwhelming truth of the atonement, the relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father, and the blessings that come through my Savior Jesus Christ and sit still knowing that there is work to be done. After everything the Lord has done for me, how can I not give 18months of my life completely to Him?

When I know that there are people in the world that do not understand that they are children of God, that Jesus Christ suffered and died that they might be redeemed, that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored once again to this earth, that they can kneel down and pray to their Heavenly Father knowing that He loves and understands them - or in other words that there are people that do not understand who they truly are, why they are here, and where they are going - or in other words that there are people that do not feel truly happy and truly peaceful - I must get up and help them find the peace and happiness that they seek. I must help Heavenly Father's children return to Him. I must help in the cause of Christ. So I guess my one sentence answer to this loaded question would be - I am serving a mission because of the deep love and gratitude I have for my Savior, and the love and concern that I feel for Heavenly Father's children. I recognize that the Lord has a need for service in His work. I prepare myself, pack my suitcase, and stand before Him; Here am I, send me.

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer - that the atonement is real and makes it possible for us to continue in our quest to be more like Him. I know that I am a daughter of God. That my Heavenly Father knows and loves me - that He hears and answers prayers. I know that true and lasting happiness comes from living in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ - the message of Christ, the message I bring is a message of happiness and a message of family. I am so grateful for the truths that I know through the assurance and peace of the Holy Ghost - that Heavenly Father provided a plan for us to be happy and to be with our families for eternity. He provided a Savior for us as a way to return to Him. I wish I had the words to express my love and gratitude for all of these truths. I believe in a God that loves - and therefore a God that continues to speak. He has not left us to wander on our own - He continues to speak to us this day through latter-day prophets. I know with my whole heart and soul that Christ has restored His gospel yet again on the earth through His prophet Joseph Smith and blessed us with another testament of Him through The Book of Mormon. Studying The Book of Mormon alongside The Bible, and striving to live a Christ-like life has helped me come to know Him in a way that is so personal and sacred to me. I challenge you all to assess the role of Christ in your life and work to strengthen your discipleship. I challenge you to get down on your knees and talk with your Heavenly Father and feel of His concern and love for you. I challenge you to work harder to be the person the Lord needs you to be. I, too, take this challenge.

I know all of these things to be true and that is why I go. I work to bring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who seek joy and peace. I strive to aid Christ in His mission to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I stand as a witness of the healing powers of the atonement. I know that He lives.

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:
                                 but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15)