Unchangeable

“For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.” Moroni 8:18

Isn’t that one of the most comforting things you’ve ever heard?  We can trust God because He is constant!  He is not partial, He is not variable, He is not transient.  His nature will never suddenly change.

He is 100% here for us 100% of the time.

Think of it!  Because He is unchangeable, He is 100% trustworthy.  I know I can give my whole heart to Him because unlike some of our relationships in mortality, I know He will not go anywhere.  He will not become disinterested in us, He will not give up on us.  He will always be there!

God loved His children in the past, and He loves His children today.  He spoke to prophets in the past, He speaks to prophets today.  He performed miracles in the past, He performs miracles today.  He gave us commandments in the past, He gives us commandments today.  He led a church through His Son Jesus Christ in the past, and He leads a church through Jesus Christ today.

Doesn’t it all just make sense?!

So today, make the decision to trust Him.  You will never regret it, because He will never fail you. ♥

trust

Be blessed!

True Freedom

“And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever.” (2 Nephi 2:26)

With the celebration of the independence of our country a couple weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about what true freedom means.

Freedom: noun, the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved; personal liberty,
as opposed to bondage or slavery

In a way, all of us are in bondage.  All of us are slaves to physical death; there is nothing we personally can do to stop its grasp from eventually overtaking us.  Because none of us are perfect, we are also subject to sin, which brings a slavery in an of itself.

If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that I cannot free myself from these two things.  I alone do not have the power to erase my transgressions or to raise myself from the grave.  If I did not have a Savior, I would be stuck in the “grasp of…that monster, death and hell” (2 Nephi 9:10).  And yet, out of such great love, Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice overcame the effects of both these.  Because of Him, I can be freed from sin and from death.  I can be freed from guilt, shame, regret, sorrow, hurt, sadness, anguish, and despair.  Because of His infinite compassion, I can become free forever if I but choose to follow Him.

So brothers and sisters, LIVE FREE.  Turn to Jesus Christ, and I promise that He will liberate you from any mental, spiritual, and emotional bonds that you may find yourself bound in. ♥

It Will All Be Worth It

“And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ.” (Alma 31:38)

I don’t know what afflictions each and every one of you are going through.  I don’t know your lives, I don’t know your fears, your worries, your circumstances, your weaknesses, or your challenges.  But I know someone who does–the Savior, Jesus Christ.  And I have come to learn in a very real way that no matter how many afflictions we have, no matter how long we feel we have suffered, all of those afflictions will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ.

What does this mean to me?  It simply means that it will all be worth it.

I promise you that you will not struggle forever.  Press forward!  Trust in God!  Pray to Him!  Look to the light!  Just like the Lord promised Alma and his brothers during their own afflictions, He will strengthen you.  The moment will come when you will be filled with the purest, divinest joy–the joy of Christ that comes as one lives faithful to His teachings.

It will all be worth it.

So to all you who are feeling like your afflictions are starting to pile up:  take heart, for that means that you have an even greater amount of joy ahead to swallow them up!

Look to the Light!

“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

My simple plea to you today, my friends, is to never let darkness overcome you.  Walk in the light. Choose the higher path of happiness.  Look up towards the Son, and let His love and His light brighten every step you take on your earthly journey.

Photo: "The path to eternal life may not be an easy one to follow with all the worldly enticements about us, but when we consider the rewards and blessings we gather if we travel the narrow way, it is worth every sacrifice we make." ~Delbert L. Stapley

I promise you, He is there.  Jesus Christ is not only the light of the entire world, but the light of our own individual worlds.  His light permeates what we may think to be even the darkest, most desolate corners of our souls.  He is my emblem of light.  He is the reason I have not fallen into darkness, and He is the reason that I will never, ever have to.  Neither do you.  If we choose to follow Him, we have His sure promise that we will never walk in the dark!

“There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things.  It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.  This is ‘the Spirit of Jesus Christ,’ which gives “light to every man that cometh into the world.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Hope of God’s Light)

So go forth, and spread sunshine!

“The Most Joyous to the Soul”

To all those who are seeking for love, to all those who simply want to feel valued and appreciated, to all those who desire eternal happiness, you may ask the questions:

Where can I find that kind of pure, unfailing love? What will bring my heart enduring joy?

The beautiful answer can be found in the scriptures, in the words of an angel speaking to a prophet of the Lord who had similar questions:

“Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.  And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.” (1 Nephi 11:21-23, emphasis  added)

I know from the bottom of my heart that God is there.  He loves us, and that love passes all understanding.  So in this time of Valentines, turn your heart towards your Great Creator, and let Him fill you with His infinite love!

 

Becoming New Through Christ

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

It’s January.  You know what that means?  It means it’s the perfect time to start over–the perfect time to resolve to become the people we want to become this year.

How do we do that?  Well, first of all, we need to start off being honest with ourselves.  So can we all just get something out of the way?

ALL of us have issues.  Let’s just admit it!  All of us have scars.  All of us are broken in some way.  All of us “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  All of us need to improve.  And none of us can do it on our own.  (Phew!  Glad we got that out of the way.)

Next: how can we expect to move forward if we are still carrying the past with us and dragging our burdens behind us?  Answer: we can’t.  It’s just like C.S. Lewis said: “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

Expectation: Easy, right?  Just leave it behind and move on!
Reality: NOT EASY.

We cannot truly move forward when our heart is heavy with scars, bitterness, regret, pain, sin, fear, disappointment, or any other kind of burden we carry.

But how do we overcome all these things and become free of them?  How do we slowly erase these scars until our broken heart starts to heal?

Here’s a glorious thought: what if you could be given a new heart?  What if there was a way that you could keep all the wisdom and experience and lessons you learned from your trials, but have the burden of them completely taken away?  What if you could take your broken, tired, and weakened heart and exchange it for one that is strong, pure, free, and whole?

News flash: YOU CAN.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is not just to pay the price for our sins, but it is help us truly become something.  It gives us the chance to become new and clean over and over again each day, so that we may have the strength and the capacity to continue moving forward–today and always.

What a beautiful promise!  Because of Jesus Christ, we do not have to be a slave to the past.  We do not have to be a slave to sin, to death, to heartache.  Because of Him, every day we have the chance to leave yesterday behind and begin again with a fresh start.

So what do we have to do in order to receive that gift? Give our heart over to Him!  Not just some of it, not just what we want to give, but all of it.  If we truly want to move forward, we have to trust God enough to put our lives entirely in His hands and live the life that He has commanded us to live. (See also Mark 8:35).

I can promise you as someone who is trying to become new through Christ everyday that His promise in Ezekiel is real.  I have felt His redeeming power take my broken heart away and give me one that is new and whole.  HE IS THERE, and He will help you!

So let go of the past.  Give your heart over to Him.  This year, resolve to become new through His grace.  And I promise you, there will be far greater things ahead than any you will ever leave behind ♥

BRING ON 2014!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

His Grace Is Sufficient

“Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.” (Jacob 4:7)

If there is one thing I have learned over and over again on my mission it is that I am so weak.  Despite my attempts to be perfectly Christlike, I still struggle.  I get frustrated.  I make mistakes.  I doubt.  I come up short.  No matter how hard I try on my own, my weaknesses still seem to find their way right to the spotlight.

Discouraging?  It could be.  But it’s not.  Here’s why.

One Sunday years ago when I was in church, I remember someone teaching me this principle from Elder Hafen: “As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger.  If you’re seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you’re moving nearer to God, not farther away.”

Seeing weaknesses is not a bad thing.  In fact, as we turn to Christ, seeing weaknesses is a good thing because it helps us recognize that it is only through His infinite grace that we can become strong.  It means we recognize that we need to change and it is in that moment that we can turn to Him to help us do so.

I know that I am not perfect.  But because He is perfect, I don’t have to be.  Because He is perfect, I can give my very best effort and He will transform it into enough.  His mercy and Atonement is sufficient for all of my weaknesses.  Put simply, “The grace of Christ is sufficient—sufficient to cover our debt, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us for as long as that transformation process takes.” (Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient)

Does that mean we don’t try? No.  Does that mean we focus on our weaknesses and let them overwhelm us?  No.

To me, it means I believe in Christ, I trust in Him, and I follow Him.  It means that I am humble and have faith that through Him my weaknesses will be made strong. (Ether 12:27)

So if you ever start to feel down or like you will never be good enough, don’t give up my darling.  You are not doing it on your own ♥

“More than anything, do not think you cannot do this. Do not let giving up be an option. Focus on Him, knowing that you will be blessed with the best ever created. What you know and what you have is enough for His help and guidance. You are always worthy of your God’s love. Prioritize. Turn to Him. Experiment. Act. Focus. Commit. Try. Hold on.” ~Al Fox, You Are Enough