My Thoughts on the Prophet Joseph Smith

(Written on May 4th 2016 as apart of one of my “Foundations of the Restoration” Institute class final)

It’s extremely important to remember that Joseph smith is so much of a vital driving force and catalyst for the Restoration of the gospel that I know and love today. I always reference that I’ve been where “They’ve walk”, referring to the countless church history
sites I’ve been blessed to go to over the past few years. At these church history sites I’ve learned so much about the prophet Josejsmithph Smith. Through this class I learned doctrinal truths about  the sacrifices and trials he went through, while leading the Saints west.

God chose an ordinary boy, with no high qualifiers to take the gospel to the world. Without him we wouldn’t be here enjoying the blessing which we receive and love. I am so grateful for the sacrifices of the Saints and brother Joseph. It is mainly to the face the gospel has saved my life. It helped change a college athlete party animal into a respectable man of faith.

pioneerWhen I hear the stories about the pioneers it strengthens my testimony and reminds me that things are not always as bad as they seem, that God is always there, and that if we follow the Prophets and the words of our Heavenly Father everything will work out.

img_1467.jpgI am so grateful for the sacred temple ordinances that I’ve had the blessings to take on myself. I know these blessings have helped me, and have done wonders for those who have not had the opportunity in this lifetime, that I’ve been blessed to serve as proxy for.

I want to close this with my testimony, that I know Joseph smith is a true prophet. That the sacrifice and trials of the Pioneers are a model of strength and pure testimony. I know my heavenly Father has saved me and my Savior lives. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Gerald R.

Grateful for the Opportunity to Serve

Sunday I was formally released from my calling as 2nd Counselor in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency in my ward. This is the same ward I was baptized into about 5 years ago. I remember hearing from a previous Bishop with such a release can come a flurry of emotions. My most powerful right now is gratitude. I will not lie, I was sad to be released.

For starters release is a term we use in the church to acknowledge our current Calling (position/job) term has come to an end. The only callings that you cannot be released from are if you are called to be an apostle or Prophet/President of the church. So local and area positions can come to an end.

It was indeed an honor to serve the brethren of my home ward. Of course releases can come without warning. sometimes followed by another calling, or the basis that the Lord saw fit for your skills and gifts somewhere else. I am planning on moving soon, and while I am sad to see my time in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency come to an end, it will allow me time to focus on house hunting and packing.

When I called my girlfriend after my meeting with the High Priest, she reminded me of something I had told her a year or so ago, that “It’s a part of serving God, and that the Lord will indeed find work for you to do…”. I pondered long and hard about it, and found comfort in the fact that indeed there will always be work for me to do in the Lord’s kingdom.  One quote, my favorite Book of Mormon quote comes to mind…

“But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it, Amen”

1Nephi Chapter 9, Verse 6

No matter what I know the Lord will guide me towards my truest potential!

As I said before, it was an extreme honor to serve my brethren, some of who helped me out and showed great fellowship when I was a new member of the church. I feel through my service in the presidency, I was taught more lessons from those good brethren. I have no idea what the next few months hold as I prepare to move to a new town, and a new ward, but I’m confident in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, and my kind and gracious Heavenly Father.

This summer has been a very emotionally draining one, and I do know I will now have time to focus on feelings I may have tried submerging regarding the loss of my grandmother. I think within the next month or two, finding myself spiritually and emotionally will be of priority. I’m so grateful for the love of a wonderful family, an amazing girlfriend, and great friends, through this. As I have said, it was my grandmother and her Christ-like example that led me to my faith. She always urged me to follow God in everything I did, and I know I wouldn’t be here without her.

Through it all one thing is for certain and that is the growth in my testimony, that I know that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are there every step of the way in our lives. I know and wholeheartedly believe that families are eternal, and that This church is true! I know that we have a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson here on this earth, and I know no matter how old I am or what my condition is, the Lord will always put opportunities to serve and teach in my path, and I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ….

Amen.

Gerald R.

 

It’s been a while…

So the last few months since I’ve written here have been full changes and challenges! I will get into that more as I write future posts. 

I recently 2 months ago lost my grandma, who was one of my best friends and hugest inspirations. She taught me to follow Christ! And I know she would want me passing along the good word in the best way I know how to. Through my words! So I’m back! 

I want to testify that I know Christ lives, and that his gospel has been restored on this earth in this time! I know that families can be together forever and I know we all have a glorious calling to do good unto others and share the gospel with those we come in contact with! In Jesus Christ’s name,

Amen

Gerald-

I promise this will not be one of those Welcome Back posts….

Long time no see Blogging world!

I have been on a bit of hiatus of late due to increased business at work, and seemingly no time for many other things. But I’m back! I can honestly say I don’t think there will be so many breaks between my posts, and I pray I can deliver spiritual posts that help others find a way through this crazy world. Through my testimony I hope I can help others.

So in the time I’ve been gone, I recently as of Sunday was set apart as the 2nd counselor in my Elders Quorum Presidency in my family ward. For those of my friends and family who are not familiar with the organization of my church, Elders Quorum Presidency headed by a President and his two counselors are leaders over the men in the ward. We serve and make sure the men and their families are doing well, and assist as needed. That’s kind of like the 50 cent gumball machine definition. (I promise a more in depth post on Church organization). But I felt so honored and humbled to be given such a responsibility and opportunity to serve in the ward I was baptized in almost 4 years ago. I have no idea what the next months or year or so holds but I know through faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father all is possible. Like it say’s in the scriptures

But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold , he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen

1Nephi 9:6

I’ve lived by that scripture these last few weeks. It’s brought me great comfort as the world around me has faced turbulence and tragedy. It has given me faith through it all, and has given me hope that no matter what is thrown in my way all will be well, and I will persevere.

I can testify to all that no matter what you face in life, The Lord will show a way. If you trust in him and hold onto his counsel and guidance you will have a light through the storm of life. You can find peace in Jesus Christ the savior and our Heavenly Father.

It feels so good to write again on here, and I look forward to continuing as I continue to grow! Hope you all have a great day!

Gerald

Team Pioneer Log- Bro-Trip 2.0= Success!

So this will be a multi-Part Blogging Series on the accounts and experiences of the trip. So sit back, check back and get ready! It’s gonna be awesome. So I thought I’d start off with the first moment. So come along as I reccount an amazing journey!!!!

brotrip3Bro-Trip 2.

It was 2030hrs on Tuesday the 14th of April when we set out on a 16 hour journey westward in search of spiritual enlightenment, and strengthening bonds.

Colleen and Lauren, had just dropped David and I off and Jared was waking up from  brotrip4 his nap. Across the country Kevin our 4th was flying from Utah to St. Louis in preparation to meet us in Iowa City our first stop before Nauvoo.

After the girls left the three of us (David, Jared and I), said a prayer and then we bbrotrip2egan our Journey west, nothing could prepare us for what was to come.

Sorry for the Hiatus

Yup the title says it all. Now I could say that I’m saving all my typing for this wonderful trip in 5 days, but that’d be a lie. And that’s a sin, and that’s not cool as well. No I’ve been legit distracted and busy, and I took some time off. But as the season gets warmer, and the Earth wakes up during the months of spring into Summer I’m sure there will be countless more posts.

Plus those of my readers that remember last year’s instagram/facebook flooding of pictures and posts from the Palmyra roadtrip will know there will be much to type and read in the coming week.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you, and bearing my testimony. I love you all, and hope all of you are doing well

Gerald

Free Write (2/11/2015)

As most of my regular readers and friends know, I serve in my singles ward as an Assistant Mission Leader. I’m 25 and I’m a convert to the church. I love my calling, and I love serving in the capactiy that the Lord allows. So my calling and situation in my ward is really awesome and I wouldn’t trade it. It allows me to serve others and share the gospel, and seriously quite honestly, what more could you want?

So in January, I decided to do a self assessment of myself, and also after a regularly PPI, or a Personal Priesthood Interview, with a member of the Bishopric. I wanted to better magnify my calling, and do more service and work. I wanted to give more of myself so that I could carry out the Lords plan.

So I decided to get better at reading the scriptures, praying more, and start making it to my meetings on time, no excuses, and go to the temple more regularly.

Well I’ve been doing those things, and I’ve seen the change, and it’s awesome! I see it makes my relationships with people more better, and I just feel so more connected to the spirit, and able to hear it’s promptings so much better.

So Sunday we had the Monthly Stake Missionary Correlation meeting, and we were prompted by the Stake President to begin praying more for opportunities to share the gospel. But not just pray in general, but to pray everyday, and also to share our testimonies>

So usually most people gain full testimonies of things through basic action and reaction. So I took my Stake President’s council on praying for opportunities to share the gospel…

Lo and behold if it didn’t take three days for something to happen and that council to come to pass.

So I get to my office, and sit at my desk and start the daily ritual of turning my computer on and setting up my stuff for work, when a friend of mine who I ahd worked with at a previous job and had went to high school came up to me. HE lifts shows me “The Restoration” pamphlet handed out by every missionary usually on the first visit.

He asked. “this is your church right?”

I quickly replied, “Yeah dude,” At first I thought he had gotten the one I usually leave on my desk, but came to find out he had indeed met with missionaries, who had helped him at a time, referring to them as angelike in their timing and thier service when his car broke down. I was floored. This person is a long time friend, and here he was telling of this powerful experience he had just had. We shared a few more words and then I finished logging in.

Quickly I felt prompted to give him the Book of Mormon I kept in my desk for just this type of sitation. I wasn’t sure if they had given him one, but I decided to take a chance. I held the book in my hand, a little nervous, as anyone is before sharing a big part of their faith. I decided to just do it. I went over to him when I had a little bit of time, and I hadned him the book, explained a little about it, and then he shared he was going to be coming to church next weekend. He’s married so there wouldn’t be a visit to the singles ward. I told him I’d love to go if he’d have me there, and if he had any questions that he could come to me. He was gracious and thanked me.

It was such an extraordiany experience. I have had many missionary opportunities, but it really cemented my testimony on the daily prayer of such opportunities.

Simply put the Lord is going to put those opportunities in front of his disciples when the time is right. Pray for such opportunities, stay versed in the gospel to the ebst of your abilities, and keep yourselves in a lifestyle and mindset to recieve direction and inspiration of the spirit, and you will indeed have the fire and power of Heavenly father, and be a great missionary.

Being a missionary is not just putting on a name tag, as Elder Neil L. Anderson in the April 2013 General Conference talk said-

If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” And returned missionaries, find your old missionary tag. Don’t wear it, but put it where you can see it. The Lord needs you now more than ever to be an instrument in His hands. All of us have a contribution to make to this miracle” 

We can all be representative of Christ without putting a suit on. In my experiences with sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, the best missionary work comes from everyday disciples of Christ like you and I. We will see the blessings that come to one’s life when they accept Christ, and we will also feel the joy of missionary work.

I testify as you choose to lift your voice in the name of Jesus Christ that you will be empowered and you will have the Holy Ghost with you to direct your actions in conjunction with God’s plan. I bear my testimony that the gospel is true, and that we can all spread the message of love and salvation in the example of Christ, and we can lead other’s to salvation through our daily actions and words. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ…

Amen