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

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- “Finding Happiness in the Gospel”

So I was sitting in Sacrament this Sunday where the topic had alot to do with the plan of Salvation and agency, but my mind was taken back to how the gospel of Jesus Christ has shaped me throughout the last few years. So therefore I will be sharing those thoughts in this weeks installement of “Thoughts from Sacrament”.

AS you all know, from a previous blog, I was a convert. I always had a belief in Christ, well for the most part before my baptism. But I didn’t have any real personal guidance. My parents and my grandparents were amazing and tried to guide me. But for some reason or another I decided I knew better, and well I didnt. I kind of just went with the wind, and did whatever felt right in the moment. I was very short sighted in the early years of my adulthood. As I told the Sunday school class I taught, before accepting Christ into my life, the only things that mattered to me in college was throwing a 16 pound metal ball at track meets (Shot put) or what party I was going to. Didn’t have a strong career plan outside joined the Baltimore City Police dept, and even that was up in the air.

When I think about everything that happened or I went through before I found faith in a higher authority, I am not ashamed…. In fact I’m grateful for those trials. Those trials got me to where I am today.

To some the commandments that are given aren’t easy. And honestly it’s very true. There are some commandments that are harder for some. When you think of the Law of Chasity which means (No Sexual relations before marraige), or The Word of Wisdom (No Alcohol, drugs, or harmful substances, no coffee or tea) or the Law of Tithing (10 percent of your income to the church, for use of upkeeping holy buildings and welfare programs), Keeping the Sabbath day holy (Attending church meetings on sundays, not shopping, and other activities that dont promote the spirit.) some of those can be hard to follow. And there are many others, but those are just a few. To be honest when they were presented to me before my baptism, I was a little nervous on if I could follow them, and it wasn;t easy. But I see the light in my life when I do follow commandments, because I have a testimony that they come from God for the betterment of my own life.

When I think about it, you truly need a testimony on each Commandment to truly be able to follow them. For example in January’s Ensign, the 1st Presidency’s message main focus was on “Following the Prophets”, well that’s a very Broad Statement, because we can go back almost 200 years and to be honest they’ve said many things. So what you have to do is break down what the Prophets have said.

So 1st off, the point is gaining a testimony that there are Prophets on the Earth today. Today in 2015 it is President Thomas S. Monson.  For me, i remember the first time I truly felt a spirit about him, was the first time I heard him speak in the October 2011 Conference before I was baptized. I felt it in my heart that he was indeed a great man, and called of God. Through study of the gospel and lessons with the missionaries I knew this man to be a man of god. And in my first monthly installment of Home Teaching I’ll go more in depth.

Well once I had a testimony in the Prophets, I started to gain a testimony of the commandments. But just learning them wasn’t enough. I had to live the commandments before that testimony to grow.

Everybody is different. Some will have problems in one area, but strive in another. That’s just how life is. But there’s the saving grace that our Heavenly Father knows we’re not perfect. We’re going to slip up from time to time, and that’s where the Atonement comes in, for someone has already died for our Sins. All he asks in return is that we strive to be better everyday, and to be honest that’s not a bad trade.

So once you’ve made these changes, and found a testimony, and continually try to follow the commandments you will find Joy. One of my favorite scriptures comes from the Book of Mormon says this

O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gateand continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life” 

Jacob 6:11

We’re all on the path to make it back to be with our Heavenly Father. We will all have different paths to take on this journey, we will see different trials, and different joys, but one this is constant and that is the Word of God. That is the Gospel and his commandments. For they come from him that we must obey. For when we obey these commandments we shall be blessed.

So I will leave you with a challenge…  I love challenges therefore I offer them out as well. Pray on a commandment you may be not so good at. Pray hard and seek out a way to become better. The mission is not to be perfect today, but to be better than you were yesterday, always striving for Eternal greatness.

Gospel Principles- The Gift of the Holy Ghost

So I felt impressed to share with you my thoughts on the gift of the Holy Ghost. A few months back I gave a talk in sacrament on the subject, and I felt that it was a good talk. So here’s that talk! (This talk is from October of 2014)

Good afternoon. Today I was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. I’d like to introduce myself formally to those of you who may not know me.

My name is Gerald Royster. I’m the assistant ward mission leader. I currently work for Verizon as a DSL tech support agent and im currently in school for computer networking. I was born here in Maryland and as of October 30th  I will have been a member of This church for 3 years!!

As I said in the beginning I was asked to give a talk on the holy ghost. And I’d like to do things semi unorthodox before getting into the bulk of my talk by bearing my testimony of the holy ghost and how much of a spiritual compass it had been to me and.truth be told it was what brought me to this pulpit after all my 25 years of life. Amen…

Think of a GPS. A GPS can get you from point A. To point B. GPS are pretty awesome. Your cars GPS is good for. You the best possible route .

Much like the holy ghost…..

Think of life as a road. A series of high ways, overpasses and back roads. Our personal destinations are to live and return to our heavenly father.

The holy ghost is Our constant companion to get us back it’ll help give us detours in moments of struggle and strife. But like a GPS in the middle of nowhere sometimes it can falter and we may find ourselves. Off track. The holy ghost can. Work the same way when we find ourselves in situations we know we shouldn’t be in.

So last night Jared and I were out a an Apple festival earlier that day with my girlfriend and her friend and used the GPS to get back home. And we wanted to take a route the GPS didn’t want us to take. We wanted to take a route that would avoid the tunnel because we didn’t know if we had cash. Sadly they don’t take credit. I mean it is the 21st century.

So anyways we tried going our own way and the GPS kept saying no go this way through the tunnel of 895 after trying our own route the GPS kept rerouting us and eventually we gave in and took the route probably best. Luckily I had a ten tucked in my wallet from earlier.

The holy ghost works the same way. When we start trying to take our own route, that could possibly lead us in a bad direction it tries to get US on track. Now if we hadn’t listened to the actual GPS we would’ve ended up in Baltimore city and who knows where we would’ve ended up.

The scriptures in doctrine and covenants 130 verse 22 say

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Being a personage of spirit allows to holy ghost to be any where and everywhere. Think of a constant companion that’ll always be with you. It’ll help ya out and like the GPS anology get you from point A to point B. But it’s powers can be weakened when we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be.

Think of a loud party. A large house party. As your driving your friend is telling you, “maybe we shouldn’t go here. This seems like a bad idea”. You continue on your way. Yet you can hear his voice loud and clear in the comfort and safety of our cars. But you dismiss his council

You get to the party and as you walk up the lawn his voice a little bit more faint yet you can still hear it says “look man THESE people are up to no good. We could just go home and play video games or do some studying for that big test. I just don’t think we should be here”. You’re not inside the party. But the closer you get to the door more louder the music got. You hear conversations in the background. You even here some loud laughter and familiar voices. You push that counsel away again.

You open the door to the party and the music overwhelms your ears. People come to greet you pushing your friend to the side but you can only faintly hear his voice say “please let’s get out…” by that time you’re so engaged in the party your friend is virtually non existent.

Eventually you find yourself engaging in less than righteous activities… Only to wake up with a headache, some half memories and a heart full of regret and sorrow. Because you didn’t listen to that friend.

That friend is the holy ghost…. He’s with us always but his influence can be weakened when we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be.

Elder Robert D Hales in the April 2013 conference said
“Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved. Standing obedient and strong on the doctrine of our God, we stand in holy places, for His doctrine is sacred and will not change in the social and political winds of our day.”
.
Now it is important to remember that these holy places aren’t always geographical. It can mean avoiding certain websites, and certain forms of entertainment. We must always be in constant search of the companionship of the Holy ghost!

We live in a day and age where values of man are being rewritten… But Our heavenly fathers values cannot be rewritten. No they stand eternal.

I wouldn’t be where I am without the companionship of the holy ghost. Before I was a member I sought out this church. A few of you know this story…

I was about 19 or 20. It was 2008 In the news they spoke about our church and they also spoke about a radical sect. I’m a writer and have always had a curious mindset. I was so curious as to number 1 who were the Mormons and number 2 why in the world won’t they stop talking about them… I me an other church’s were in the news at this time. There was the Catholics and a radical sect of the Baptist church in the news but no it was this mormon church that made me so curious.

Hbo had TV shows about this extreme sect where they virtually villanized our church. I was so confused why they villanized the Latter Day Saint Church.

So I sought out answers. I began researching. I swore I studied out the lds church better than the mid terms due around that time.

Well after months I discovered something. I discovered a book .I went on mormon.org where it offered a Book of Mormon. I hit the accept offer button, entered my address and number and that was it. Little did I know that I had created a digital missionary referral. I also ordered some dvds that never came…. But most importantly that book was the book of mormon.

One day my door bell rang. I opened the door up to 2 elders driving a red Ford focus. They told me they were with the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. They gave me the book and we said a prayer and then they left.

The whole time I thought the Book of Mormon was going to show up via UPS or FedEx. I was wrong.

They kept calling. I was an insecure 20 year old kid. I was nervous and scared what people would think If I were taught by these elders. At the time in was preparing for college football and a million other excuses that I could think of.

I went off to college after dodging those elders. Believe it or not I enjoyed that hbo show. At the time it was as close to the church as I could get. I was smart enough to know the differences between the two sects And wanted to follow the true lds sect. .

Like I spoke about the party that’s how college was for me. It wasn’t always a party but it was cloudy and loud spiritually. I became an insomniac abd in those late hours alone I was on the net taking a personal inline course teaching myself about the church.

I came home that summer and things spiralled out of control until I asked a friend who was a menber if I could truly learn.

She invited me to the visitors center and then through conference where I heard our prophets voice. 1 month later on october 30th 2011 I was baptised.

A week later I received the full gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands and baptism by fire.

Brothers and sisters the Lord wants us to return to him. And he sent us the holy ghost to get back to him. He sent the holy ghost to a 21 year old boy at an overpriced school in a four bedroom apartment that now stands before you as a man today. The voice was faint but it was just enough to get through. It was enough to get me here

It guided the prophet Joseph smith towards the restoration and guides each and every one of us today and everyday. Its our jobs to live in a lifestyle that can harness that constant companionship . .

3 years later and I still know this church to be true. I know that the gospel is alive and we are led by men directed of God and the holy ghost. I know the holy ghost to be our companion forever and I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ… 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.