Good Afternoon.

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. My baby sister was the one who inspired me to write again. She asked for the url to this blog, and it hit me I hadn’t written in my blog since just after the passing of my grandmother.

This page still serves as a gospel resource for me. Somewhere I can share my testimony with the world. That testimony has been tried and tested these last 8 months, but that testimony that I know the Gospel is true, and that Jesus Died for our sins is still real in my heart. I know all this to be true, and I plan on writing more in the future. But until then, I bear this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen…

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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.

 

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

Thoughts from Sacrament “Fast and Testimony- Love one another”

i know it’s later in the week than I normally post my “thoughts from Sacrament”, but it’s been a crazy week and I’ve been quite busy, but nonetheless here I am! I hope every has had a good week.

It was a wonderful Fast and Testimony sacrament meeting. The spirit was extremely felt as members of the ward bore thier testimonies in front of the entire congregation. One Testimony in particular, and it was that of the new Elder, Elder Levy, pronounced (LEE-VEE). He’s a really good guy, and I see him doing very well on his mission. He spoke about finding his own particular path to the gospel. That it wasn’t just a straight route, and just reinforced the notion that the path to salvation you going to take many turns and dips, but because of the Atonement of Christ we can always find our way back. And that just touched me so deeply.

I got up this weekend and bore my testimony. But I specified it down to one of the most imporant aspects of the gospel, that is the commandment Jesus Christ gave and that is to “Love one another.”

So saturday I had the opportunity to go to the temple with my friend jason, and it was just such a wonderful way to start the day. It definitely help3ed me to get into a more spiritual mindset heading into Fast sunday.

Well after I left the temple, I decided to go see the new Temple model that was built to show the inside of the building. The 9 ft display was just incredible, and so exact. Right down to the paintings. I was incredibly impressed. I had found out from the sister missionaries that work there that the elders from my ward were there, and I decided to wait for them to chat them up before I left.

Well I found myself in front of the statue of Christ, and I was halfway deep into my music and the other half jsut mesmerized by the statue. Examining the scars from his hanging on the cross, and just the spirit that came from the image of Christ. I then remember hearing the recording. I remember most importantly the scripture that was quoted coming from the speakers of the

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”

John 13:34 

I remember those words sticking in my head, and I just thought about it all weekend afterwards. It’s something that I think the rest of the world needs to hear. It’s something I think along the way the world has forgotten.

This commandment of loving one another is at the root of the gospel of Christ, for through the Atonement, Christ proved that he is love. He is pure love. therefore through loving our neighbors we become his disciples. When we take the charge of becoming disciples of Christ we take on the call to arms to spread his gospel and his love.

We can make a change ladies and gentlemen. We can love one another, and spread joy in this world. The 25 years I’ve been on this planet, I’m pretty sure the United States of America, the land I call home has been in some type of conflict. That’s not even counting the years before hand. We as followers of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ must spread that love to make this world a better place. We can’t wait for someone else to start the charge, we must start TODAY!. Change starts from within.

I know through love we can change the world. It we decide to love as compared to fall into contention, we can make a difference. It’s nto always easy, but through our heavenly Father all is possible! Follow that great and wonderful commandment for the betterment of the world and your own life.

I know this Gospel to be true, and that through Love we can make a difference. I know our heavenly Father loves us so much because he gave us his only begotten son. I love this gospel and I love that my Heavenly Father has blessed me beyond measure, and I leave these things in the name of Jesus Christ name

Amen…

Thoughts from Sacrament- “Hope”

So this Week’s installment of “Thoughs from Sacrament” is on the subject of Hope! It was a good Sacrament service, and I gto to hear a talk from a good friend of mine! So here goes…

So I feel whenever the term hope is brought up in a non-spiritual concept, it’s defined with the want and desire for something to happen, yet often times is hindered by a sense of doubt. For example, we may say “We hope for a raise or promotion at work”, or “I hope I can pass this final…” In both phrases as you read there’s a sense of uncertainty that both outcomes may not happen. To be honest until Sacrament, and really studying hope out for this post, I lived in that uncertainty when applying Hope. I always thought of hope as the belief in an outcome that may or may not happen. That is indeed the misconception of the word in the word outside of a Gospel manner.

When speaking in Gospel terms, the word “Hope” is “sure, unwavering, and active” as said in the manual “True to the Faith” It also goes onto in this same section that Prophets of old have spoken of having a “Firm Hope”, and a “Lively hope” It goes on Later in this section as spoken by the ancient Prophet Moroni “Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a betterworld, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of Faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in bood works, being led to florify GOD (Ehter 12L4)”

So lets look a little closer….Hope is derived from faith; faith in Heavenly Father who is the father of all things possible, and all things before present and future. So lets look at it like this, with the belief that Heavenly Father is the eternal and all knowing and all doing, and hope deriving from a faith in heavenly father, then Hope no longer becomes a a matter of “what if”, but a matter of “When”.

That changes one’s perspective and one’s take on Hope. It definitely changed the context how I use Hope. So when combining my personal testimony and faith to the word, I’ll use it in a sentence “I have hope that scripture study can enlighten the non-believer.” or “I have hope, with regular daily prayer, the Lord will be by my side”

The word Hope is a very tricky word when not truly understood from a gospel point of view, and honestly sounds more delightful with the Faith support it deserves.

Let us Remember having Hope in something is not a bad thing. It’s not something to be ashamed about. Hope is something every human being needs to survive this crazy world. The Hope in a better tomorrow.