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…

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

Silence the Demons and RISE UP!

I want to dedicate this post personally to my Family and Friends, and loved ones who never gave up on me….

Lets start the show!

Humans are a very strange creature. We talk, we write, we walk on two legs upright, we build vehicles, we build buildings, and massive habitats. We are a pack society no matter how much we don’t want to admit it. Human beings are very different from the animals around us. Our minds alone make us one of the single greatest predators on the face of this planet. We as a species are quite amazing. Simply put it’s because we were created in Heavenly Father’s image. With the diversity in our species alone, I can only imagine how beautiful he is!

But we have something that I beleive is unique to us, something that can deter us. Now when I say unique, I look at it from the beauty and the negative. That unique feature humans have over the rest is “demons“.

Now before I go on and everyone be stirred up abotu how anyone can glorify demons, let me first clarify what I mean by “Demon”. I mean in the metaphorical sense, in things that we hold onto, or things that hold us back that haunt our minds. something even the highest General Authority has faced. Let me begin.

Every human on this planet has encounter a set-back. From the most brilliant minds, to the most humblest of individuals living extremely hard living conditions. Demons simply put are of the adversary.

Demons come in all shapes and form. sometimes they come through images on a computer, sometimes they influence the actions of others onto us, and most of the time they are those voices in our heads that tell us those words “No”, and “Can’t” and defile our self image of ourselves. Which is the opposite of what Heavenly Father wants for us.

Now the crazy beautiful thing about our demons is, that once we overcome and silence them we become stronger. Gee, that sounds so easy, you might think. Just overpower it and you can grow! It’s not entirely true.

See those voices at the end of the day that are telling you that you are less than your heavenly worth, are well evolved and aren’t as easy to destroy. In fact it takes hard work. IT takes time, and it takes a never give up faith and attitude.

So a little back story. And this is somethign personal to me,that I’ve never really publicized, but for the sake of sharing my testimony on this subject I feel prompted to do so.

Here goes story time!

Now, throughout my life right into the first few seconds of breath I’ve faced trials. I often joke knowing the details of my birth that, I either shouldn’t be here today, or I simply didn’t want to come out so I was holding onto the insides for dear life. (A little dark humor)  Well when I was born as I was coming out, I got stuck inside my mother. This shows you the strength of my mother, she didn’t give up, she kept fighting. My right arm got stuck inside of her as I was coming out, causing severe nerve damage to my right arm. The doctors had told my parents that it would either never move or it would gradually get better but I probably wouldn’t be able to do much with it.

So I guess I must have been a tough cookie… My dad and mom sent me to all types of rehabs, and physical therapists. Then one day my dad noticed my rm moved, and that changed the game forever. I kept trying and moving it better and better over the years. By the time I was in elementary school, I had almost all movement. I could turn my arm all the way over, and sometimes it would hang wierd when not in use.

So I trained my mind. Sadly other kids saw it, and made fun of it. I guess because they dind’t understand it, or I don’t know the reason. But I remember being very angry as a child. I was always so angry. I was ridiculed for something I didn’t choose, somethign that was out fo my hands. A sort of trial Heavenly father placed in front of me. For MANY years I let those voices build in my head. I let the voices of those who didn’t know my story or what I had gone through make me feel less than my heavenly God given value. I let the demons grow in my mind, and I became isolated… I was always in fights because I was so angry, ironically training myself to throw a mean left in many occasions over a right.

Now for my parents who will read this, this is probably the first time they will ever have heard of this, and I apologise. It’s been one of those things I haven’t been able to get over or talk openly about with many people.

Back to the story. Well, the demons followed me into high school. I began to train my mind as I said earlier. Most people’s ligaments and muscles and bodies move almost automatically. Certain body parts just move and move and move. Well my arm had to be trained to move with me thinking about it constantly, just to appear normal. And I did that. I trained my mind to move it manually along with the other body parts of my body that way it could look “normal”. Mainly normal to the general public because normal to me had been what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

The demons continued to shout loud throughout high school. I trained myself to be virtually amidextrious. In my mind I heard the doctors who told my parents I’d never play sports, or that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things normal boys would be able to do.

I didn’t want to be left in the dust. I was a big kid, I was relatively strong, and I decided in high school, I wasn’t going to let those voices hold me back anymore. So I started wrestling, and learned how to use my other strengths.  I adapted. I learned I could prove the doctors and the ridicule, and the voices wrong. I knew I could silence them! Most of the time, when I was hyped up during a sporing event or needed a boost, I’d tune into a channel in my mind that vocalized those voices. I’d use it to give me a boost, I’d turn it into a game to help me push through and continue to prove those voices wrong. Over the years or hardcore gym workouts and mental training, I’ve gotten to a point where you barely recognize the injury that I was dealt at birth… Unless I get lazy in my mind and forget. Which funny enough happens more times than you think, and honestly that is a blessing

See the thing is, I was truly blessed in the first place. Over my years I’ve met many people with way worse conditions than my own. People with mental, and physical conditions. And sometimes these conditions aren’t the typical. As an assistant mission leader, I’ve learned that peoples demons can stem from their doubts and insecurities. I have seen this, and I’ve been blessed with such a unique perspective that I can reach out to them.

The moral of the story is no matter what you are dealing with it can be fought. It may not have the result you are personally looking for, but you can fight. Sometimes the insecurities are what kill us, but we can fight it. Demons don’t have to hold us back. We don’t have to hold on to it.

So let me get in your face for a second!

I don’t know what you’re personal demon or hang up is. If you want to talk about it, that’s cool, I’m willing to listen and offer my thoughts. But I want you to take from my story and from the stories of others, don’t let the demons get to you. Virtually we feed the demons when we give into those temptations, or start to give up. No keep fighting! The Lord is on your side. Whatever you are dealing with, you can beat it. IT may not go “away” btu you can control your own life. the demons don’t have to tear you down any longer. RISE UP

I didn’t ask for my condition. In fact I’m 100% sure none of us asked for our various conditions, diseases, addictions, and shortcomings. BUT, we can control our reaction. We can either lie over and take it, and be burdened by our pitfalls and pains, or we can RISE UP and stand against.

I’ve been fighting since the moment I took my first breath, and I’m not in the business of quitting. I’ll keep fighting, the question is WILL YOU!?

I’ll close with my testimony that our demons and situations can be beat and made to work for us. We just have to keep fighting. As long as we try The Lord will stand on our side. I’ll also leave you with a quote I heard last night….

“There’s an election going on at all times. Heavenly Father is voting for ya, the devil is voting against ya, and you cast the deciding vote”

Senator Orin Hatch “March 15, 2015 “Why I Believe” @ The Washington DC LDS Temple Visitors Center”

You cast that deciding vote, don’t give up on yourselves. I say these things in the Name of Jesus Christ…Amen.

RISE UP      

Gerald

Thoughts from Sacrament “The Sacrament”

First off I’d like to acknowledge that even though I work for one of the biggest I.T. companies in the country that it took me 3 months to figure out I could change my picture in the above box to the picture of the lovely DC Temple I took a year or two ago!

It’s been a crazy month to be honest. The East coast has been getting slammed with winter weather advisoryWeekend storms that for most have either postponed, or cancelled Church services all together. It was something that I had never seen before. In the three and a half years I’ve been in the church I’ve never seen Church cancelled.

SnowWell we were sitting in ward council Sunday, and there was snow and ice coming down. The ward Mission had organized an activity at the Visitors Center to watch the Film “Meet the Mormons”. Something Jason had been working hard to organize. We were all proud of it. Alas a winter mix threatened to cancel it.

Well as I was saying we were sitting in our weekly pre church ward Council meeting trying to decide what to do about Sacrament. Should we cancel it? Should we abbreviate it? What about the Break the Fast potluck dinner, or the activity? Most of these questions took precedence during the meeting. Then I remember my Bishop something along the lines of this…

“Yes the Talks and the sharing of testimonies are important, but the Sacrament is the main reason we come on Sunday. The most important ordinance we can take every week. That’s most important”

Those words stuck with me. It was fast Sunday, so I had decided in my head I was going to get up and speak. But he made me realize something, we come to Sacrament meeting to partake of the Sacrament and remember the Sacrifice our Savior Jesus Christ did for us.

So there we had it, We had our opening hymn, the opening prayer, Partook of the sacramentsacrament, then the closing hymn and then funny enough I ended up giving the closing prayer. It was short, but it was powerful, because it helped me personally remember the sole reason why we are in church on Sundays.

sacrament 3I think some times the true meaning of Church services gets overcrowded with social aspects and other things. We should come to Sacrament meeting with our prayers and our broken hearts and contrite spirits ready to renew the everlasting covenants we made at baptism and repent and prepare for the new week. I dare say it was the best sacrament meeting I’ve attended. And no I’m not saying that because we got out early, (I  actually ended up being there until like 330).

The Truth of the matter is, no matter what happens in our lives our focus should Jesus always be on the Savior. Seeing how I didn’t get the opportunity to do it Sunday in Sacrament I want to do it now, I know that this gospel is true, and I know that our Savior lives. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father in heaven who is always looking out for us, no matter how far we turn from him. I know sharing the gospel and missionary work is a path to happiness, for I have felt the joy in missionary work. I know that we are all here for a reason, and have a capacity to make this world a better place, and I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ

Amen.

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I hate to do stupid little things to a blog post meaning to be spiritual, but I wanted some feed back on the new design route I’ve taken. Let me know what you think in the Poll here below. Stay blessed and Stay safe! I love you all! Even those I don’t klnow.

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