Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy BirthdayJoseph

On Dec. 23, 1805, as much of the world was preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, another baby boy was born. Like Jesus, this 19th century baby came forth in humble circumstances and in an obscure village.

Though the world didn't know it at the time, the birth of Joseph Smith Jr. would initiate what is arguably the greatest and most far-reaching chain of events in the history of Christianity since the Savior's mortal ministry itself. 

That infant would grow up to hold the apostolic office and thus be a special witness of Jesus Christ, the first mortal man on earth with such authority since the deaths of Peter, Paul and other New Testament figures. But Joseph's role would have further significance, he being the man who, under the direction of Jesus Christ, received the keys of the gospel's restoration in latter days and of the prophesied Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. It was a role with transcendent magnitude, fulfilling scriptural prophecy.

Joseph was foreordained to be a witness of Christ at a pivotal time in world history (see History of the Church 6:364; 2 Nephi 3:7-11).

I am eternally grateful for the work that Joseph Smith has done on this earth. Contrary to popular belief, I do not hold Joseph higher than my Savior, Jesus Christ, however I do hold a very deep and dear part of my life to the man that made the fullness of the gospel possible; whose obedience and perseverance, despite ridicule and persecution brought forth the amazing book I am able to read freely today.

I feel an incredibly strong connection to this man and will continue to spread this beautiful gospel for all to see.  I love you Joseph!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Overpowering the Goliaths in your Life

Gordan B. Hinkley. Ah what I wonderful man. How I wish I would have been a member of the Church when he was Prophet. I love reading his talks.  Lately I have been struggling spiritually. There it is out. We all go through these times and if you say you don't, you are lying! I was at church early for ward council when I overheard a woman giving a talk in the family ward. I didn't hear much of her talk but I did hear her reference the talk, Overpowering the Goliath's in our Lives, by Gordan B. Hinkley. What a name for a talk. I knew right then and there that we all have Goliath's in our lives... therefore, we should ALL probably read that talk.

Just like he mentions in his talk- I am sure you all know the story of David and Goliath. I think there are always going to be things in our life that the world will tell us we can't overcome. Nearly ever single sin or transgression in our life begins with something small... then we start to lose the spirit and begin to justify our actions. If we are lucky, we catch these stumblings before it gets too far. President Hinkley recaps a story:

I recall an assignment some years back to restore the blessings of a man who had been excommunicated from the Church because of his sin. He came to my office with his wife. I spoke with them individually. I asked him how it all began. He held a responsible position in the Church. He was likewise a professional man with high responsibility in the community.

His trouble began, he said, when he picked up a pornographic magazine to read on the plane. It intrigued him. It appealed to him. He found himself buying more of these things. Then he sought out movies which titillated him and excited him. Knowing his wife would be a party to none of this, he went alone. He found occasion to leave town and go to other cities where he could more easily indulge his desires. He then found excuses to stay late at his office and asked his secretary to stay with him. One thing led to another until he succumbed.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, he sat across the desk from me and cursed the day he had read that first magazine. He spoke of his love for the wife who had forgiven him and remained true to him. He spoke of his love for his children, who had been shamed and embarrassed by his actions. He told of the hell through which he had walked from the time of his excommunication. He spoke of his love for the Church and his desire to enjoy again its full blessings.

In the presence of his wife, I placed my hands upon his head and in the authority of the holy priesthood restored his priesthood, his temple endowment, his temple sealing, and all other blessings which he had formerly held. This strong man sobbed like a baby under my hands while his wife, with her hand in his, wept like a child.

At the conclusion of that blessing, they embraced one another and he asked her to forgive him. She said she had forgiven him and that she loved him and always would.

They were happy when they left, happier than they had been in years. And I was happy too. But I thought of the terrible price he had paid and of the price he had exacted of his family through his foolishness and transgression.

Don't let the world make you think you can't overcome something. Remember who are you, a child of God. Remember that you can overcome all things, no matter how small or large.

My world... my thoughts

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