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.

 

I’m back

It has been a month exactly since my last blog post. Sorry for the hiatus. A lot has changed in the last month. Some beautiful things have happened, and change has come about. Nonetheless I am back.

I figured with my return I’d bear my testimony. I want to bear my testimony that this is the true church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that Heavenly Father guides us and that we have the agency to do as we will and to become the Consequences of those decision. I beleive in the atonement and that it is the reason for which we have all come to be, and I vow my servitude to our heavenly father and Spreading the gospel through this globe, whether is be through the web or in person, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ

 

amen

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

Yes, He spoke to a young boy in the woods

So tonight like every Monday evening I’m scheduled to go out with the Elders in my ward. We are scheduled to teach an individual on “The Restoration”. Well I decided to reread the pamphlet on the Restoration at my desk that I had in my arsenal of literature, just to refresh myself on the lesson we’d be teaching, and I came to the page where the Prophet Joseph Smith gave his account of what happened in the sacred grove:

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… 

“When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air; One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said pointing to the other—–

This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Joseph Smith- History 1:16-17

Every time I reread that record I get the chills and feel joy. having stood in the same grove of trees that the young Prophet did, I reccount my own feelings from the day my best friends and I took a trip to the Sacred Grove last March:

“Words can barely do justice for how much peace I feel in the sacred grove…

 My body and mind feel at peace. I feel completely away from the outside world! It’s beautiful. The heavy cloud cover has slightly broken to show a bit of blue and radiant sunlight!

I can feel the spirit as I walk these trails and kneel in prayer off the beaten path. The stressors of the world have no voice here. Only the serenity of God’s creation reside. I know I was heard out here in prayer.

 I know my father in heaven walks this path with me here in this grove and outside! I know Joseph Smith to be a prophet. I know there are prophets and inspired leaders on earth today as in ancient times… I can feel it in my bones everyone one of us is here for an eternal reason and I know Heavenly Father has a plan for me. And I say these things in the name of our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen”

Myself

When I reread my own account of how I felt in the grove some almost 200 years after the events the prophet Joseph Smith lived through I just am filled iwht the spriit. The testimony burns inside as I think of the events that followed. I know in my heart God spoke to to a young boy, who was an incredible tool in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Through further revelations, ordinances and commandments were given that were from our Heavenly Father to give us joy, protect us, and inevitably lead us back to Eternal Glory. As a man who’s been baptised in His name, ordained to the Priesthood, and has walked the halls of the Lords house (Temples), I know that our Heavenly Father spoke to a boy. I know that our Heavenly Father interacts daily through Prophets here on this earth today, and through the Holy Ghost gives us  revelation.

I cry out my testimony that we are our Heavenly Father’s children! We are a chosen generation where we are here to spread his word through the far corners of the Globe. We live in an age where our messagescan be sent faster than the speed of light across the world. We are his army here on the Earth.

When I think back to my feelings in the Sacred grove last March, I feel so much joy and peace. We can feel that joy every day. If we live wholesome lives. The blue print is there ladies and gentlemen we just have to discipline ourselves to follow. It’s not always easy, but as my dad used to tell me when I was younger “The best things in life never come easy!”

What started out as a structured post on the Restoration, has become a personal witness and testimony of the gospel. Obviously that’s what I was meant to write. I bear my testimony that as we follow the gospel and strive to make today better than yesterday and lend a helping hand, that we will feel Heavenly Father’s love and peace. I know this gospel to be true and I know that I am a tool in His plan. To all my friends who have questions send them this way, I’m an open book! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ

Amen

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

The Home Teaching Corner “Testimony and Conversion” [February]

Hey Everyone, So I’m trying someting new. It’s a new “monthly” installment, known as “The Home Teaching Corner” Each month, I’ll highlight my though on the First Presidency Message, and share my testimony and feelings on what I read. I write this in hopes that it will strengthen your testimony, and help you come closer to Christ. So ehre goes! BTW I will be writing about January’s in the enxt few days. I didn’t forget 🙂

This month First Presidency message was by PResident Henry B. Eyring, and it was titled “Testimony and Conversion”. When you put them together, most of the time commonly people may think, “If I have a testimony, then obviously I have been Converted to Christ.” Well in all honesty that’s only partially true…

So in my own words, to have a testimony is to believe something. For example… “I believe in Christ and Heavenly Father!” Now that is my testimony and I can scream it from the rooftops. But to be fully converted, means to live by those commandments which have been handed down to us from our Heavenly Father and follow the example of Jesus Christ to the best of our abilities on a daily basis.

I look at Testimony as the true belief in the Gospel of Christ, and I look at Conversion as the action that comes out of that belief. so becuase I have a belief or Testimony in the Gospel I’m going to follow the commandments, and have that change of Heart meaning to be converted.

It’s not enough to just have testimony. If you have one that’s awesome and you should continue to share it and hold to it. But to truly get back to our Heavenly Father, it takes pure conversion and changing of one’s heart to get back to our Heavenly Father.

And that takes everyday work. In the article it states “The Lord taught us that when we are truly converted to His gospel our hearts will be turned from selfish concerns and turned toward service to lift others as they move upward to eternal life…” So when you have that conversion, your testimony becomes a tool to use to share that good love and gospel of our Heavenly Father. You begin to experience and give off the truly love of Christ.

  • Steps to gain this conversion are-
    • Active Scripture Reading
    • Daily Prayer
    • Repentance
    • Service to others

Those are just to name a few and I’m sure we could go on and on on what to do, but I feel in my heart those are the most important. If we strive to do those on a daily basis it’ll turn our Hearts twowards the Lord and help us make those changes in our lives to return to Him in all his eternal glory.

I pray that you will seek after the activities and things that will bring you closer to The Lord, I leave with you my testimony That I know the gospel is true, and that true conversion isn’t a one time thing, but takes everyday action until we can return and experience true Eternal Glory. I love you all, even those I don’t know, and I hope these words will touch you in some way, and I know our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ loves us all, and only wants the best for us, and I leave these things 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…