Monday, January 21, 2013


While teaching Gospel Doctrine on Sunday I had an ah-ha moment about the nature of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ.  When the Father and the son appear together, the Father speaks first introducing His Son - witnessing of Christ's divine nature and then commands that we listen to the words of our Savior - the teacher.

When Christ is baptized the Father speaks - witnessing of His Son's divinity:

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."  - Matthew 3:17

After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ he appears to the inhabitants of Bountiful after they hear the voice of God:

"Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name - hear ye him." - 3 Nephi 11:7

When Joseph Smith, knelt to pray at the age of 14 seeking guidance regarding which church to join he received a divine answer after God the Father & his son, Jesus Christ appears unto him in the Sacred Grove.

Once again Heavenly Father speaks:

"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 spoke unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him!" - Joseph Smith History 1:17

Another important relationship to recognize is ours with the Father and his son.  As the Father directs us to listen to the Son - He instructions his son to teach, we have an obligation to listen to the Son recognizing that it is through Him that we can return to our Heavenly Father's presence.  It is like a link between us and the Father.  Jesus Christ is the mediator between us and the Father.

Lastly, the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, plays significant roles when God the Father & Jesus Christ are present.

The Holy Ghost bares witness to each of us truth.  He was present at Christ's baptism in the form of a dove.  He is ever present when we seek the guidance and direction of our Father.  He is there when we need peace and comfort.

Jesus Christ often reminds us of the nature and purpose of the Holy Ghost.  He also testifies that the Holy Ghost is an individual personage.

"We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost."

It is also important to know that we can have one-on-one experiences with our Heavenly Father and with his son, Jesus Christ.  We can know them intimately and be taught at their feet.  These opportunities come through constant prayer and scripture study.  The Lord is merciful and will hear and answer sincere desires.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


"Yet will I not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands."

- Isaiah 49:15-16

The Savior's promise to us that we are never forgotten.  The Savior has asked us to come unto him and to know him for a surety.  We can have an intimate relationship with the Savior as did the Nephites in Bountiful:

"Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know... and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety..."

- 3 Nephi 11:14-15

There are several actions that occurred at this time:

1)  one by one
2)  see
3)  feel
4)  know

1)  one by one -  this is significant.  When we approach the Savior it is a personal experience.  Our testimony of the Savior is individual and sacred.

2)  see - As we study the life of the Savior and commit to becoming his disciple our eyes are opened and we see who he is.

3)  feel - The life of Christ was filled with compassion and kindness towards all.  When we emulate His life we begin to feel love towards Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and others.

4)  know - Knowing of a surety the Savior is significant.  Most people walk this earth without knowing Jesus Christ.  Our testimony of the Savior is a blessing.

The one-on-one experience with the Lord need not be a future event.  Every time we turn to the Savior seeking answers to prayers; seeking forgiveness and experiencing the blessings and miracles of the atonement we are experiencing a one-on-one experience with our Savior.  These experiences bring us closer to Him.  This is an opportunity to know Him in a very personal way.

The Third Nephi experience was not meant just for twenty five hundred people.  The Lord's invitation is extended to each of us:

"Ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see."

3 Nephi 18:25

The Lord invites each of us to have our own one-on-one experience with Him, to feel Him with us, to see Him along the way.

Monday, January 7, 2013


One of the exciting things about teaching Gospel Doctrine again this year, is the opportunity to study the Doctrine & Covenants.  One of the goals for this course of study is to become better disciples of Jesus Christ.
My New Year's Resolution this year is to become one of his Disciples.
"The fist step on the path of discipleship begins, luckily enough in the exact place where we stand!"
-  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This blog is a continuation of the posts on Drawing Closer to Him.  The purpose is to share with you my journey in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. 
After teaching the Book of Mormon last year and gaining a stronger testimony of my Savior, I now have a desire to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
The path to discipleship is a very individual process, a deeper journey than simply coming closer to the Lord.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a lifelong process that will ultimately define who we are.
One of the best ways we can draw closer to the Lord is by turning to the scriptures.  As Nephi and his posterity often referred to ancient scripture in their writing I will do the same.
I once heard that we not only need to consider our ancestors and ensuring their salvation, we need to consider our posterity; leaving them a legacy for them to read and ponder over.
The Lord invites:
"... and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
- 3 Nephi 9:14
Accepting the invitation to come unto Christ leads us through a transformation.  In reality, the process is one not just of coming but really of becoming.  As we come unto Christ, we become something more.  Something better.  We become His.
"We do not really grasp who we are until we know whose we are."
-  Truman G Madsen

Friday, February 3, 2012


President Spencer W. Kimball once said:  "The cultivation of Christlike qualities is a demanding and relentless task -- it is not for the seasonal worker or for those who will not stretch themselves, again and again."

Throughout the scriptures we read stories of individuals who have sought the Lord literally and have found him.  The finding blessed them in different ways.  Some were healed.  Some had increased faith.  Some were fed.  Some had loved ones restored to them. There are others who have sought the Lord on a spiritual level.  This is a little less tangible.  However, the blessings have been great.

The searching was not easy.  In most cases it required great faith and great patience.  The Lord has promised that for everyone who truly seeks after him will find him:

"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."  - D&C 88:63

Many who have sought the Lord, had such great faith that they were blessed to be in His presence.  They were face to face.  After the Lord revealed himself to these men they were instructed in eternal principles.  These accounts and principles are recorded in the scriptures.  A study of these events will better prepare each of us and show us the path to the Lord.

I believe that each of us is given the same promise as revealed by the Lord through Joseph Smith -  that if we draw near unto the Lord we shall see his face:

"Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will."  - D&C 88:68

The great prophets of old and the latter-day prophets have all testified of Christ.  If you listen to their words carefully you will know that they have sought after Him and have found Him.  They know the Savior intimately and He knows them.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


While I continue to study the scriptures and the writings of the prophets I came across a passage in the Book of Mormon that I had highlighted some time ago:

"Wherefore, for this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph, that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand.  Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand; and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of God; and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which are written.  For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we  know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."  - 2 Nephi 25:21-23

As I re-read this passage I was reminded why I started this particular blog.  I have a strong and an abiding testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his mission on earth.  I have a responsibility to share that testimony with others and I can do that by writing it down.  Sharing my testimony with my family, friends and other members of the church provides blessings to both myself and others.  As a parent I have a sacred duty to teach my children about Christ and to help them to believe in Christ.

I remember giving a lesson in Relief Society many years ago and sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ.  Part of that testimony included my declaration that I was not afraid to share my belief in Christ or my testimony of principles taught by the Savior.  I am not afraid. 

I have been prompted on many occasions to share my testimony with others.  When I listen to those promptings my testimony becomes strengthened.  There have been powerful sacred moments when Spirit speaks to Spirit.  Truth unfolds and touches both the giver and the receiver.  A better understanding of Eternal principles enters the mind and touches the heart.

Our individual testimonies of the Savior should ever be present in our hearts and minds.  We should be ready and willing to share them when prompted by the Spirit.  Nephi records why:

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." 

- 2 Nephi 25:26

This blog is a record of my testimony of Jesus Christ.  The Lord promised Nephi that his record would be kept and preserved and I believe that the promise is extended to each of us as we record our testimonies in our journals, scriptures, study guides, etc. 

President Spencer W. Kimball counseled members of the Church:

"We renew our appeal for the keeping of individual histories and accounts of sacred experiences in out lives -- answered prayers, inspiration from the Lord, administrations in our behalf, a record of the special times and events of our lives.  From these records you can also appropriately draw as you relay faith-promoting stories in your family circles and discussions.  Stories of inspiration from our own lives and those of our forebears as well as stories from our scriptures and our history are powerful teaching tools.  I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grandchildren, and others throughout the generations" ("Therefore I Was Taught," Ensign, Jan. 1982, 4).

My challenge to you:  Keep a record of your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Share your testimony in writing so that it is preserved and can be handed down to your posterity.  Read what you have written, assessing your personal growth and testimony of the Savior.  You will find strength in dark times when you reflect upon what you have written.

"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ." 

 - 2 Nephi 25:23

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


King Benjamin said:

"There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.  And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ."  - Mosiah 5:8-9

Through the ordinance of baptism we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments.  As we keep our part of the covenant, God promises the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, a remission of our sins, and being born again.

Each week we renew the covenants we make by partaking of the sacrament.  Partaking of the sacrament weekly is a commandment.  It helps us remain worthy to have the Spirit with us always.  It is a weekly reminder of our covenants.

Jesus Christ introduced this ordinance to His Apostles just before His Atonement.  We can read the account of the Last Supper in Luke 22:15-20.  After the Lord introduced the ordinance of the Sacrament he offers an example to the Apostles.  In John 13:4-15 we read another account of the Last Supper. 

After Jesus washes the feet of the Twelve He says:  "Know ye what I have done to you?  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."

The service rendered by the Savior caught the disciples by surprise.  The washing of the guests feet was considered a lowly act.  An act that only a servant would have performed for the master of the house.  As the Savior had always done he used this act of service as an opportunity to teach.

When we engage in service we are representing the Savior.  We are doing as he would do.  To take upon the name of Jesus Christ we become true disciples.  Our commitment to true discipleship is evidenced when we can consecrate our lives to the serve the Lord.  We have opportunities daily to show this commitment:
  • We can speak kind words to each other
  • We can seek opportunities to serve or help another
  • We can listen for and follow the promptings of the Spirit
  • We can find opportunities to help ease another's burden
  • We can give comfort
  • We can stand as a witness
Several years ago when I was the Young Women's President the annual theme was:

"Be steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works."

The complete verse reads:  "Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Ominpotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all."  - Mosiah 5:15

Our good works are a reflection of who we are.  We honour our names.  We honour our family names.  And we honour the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Today, more than any other time, we have many distractions.  We have little or no time for things that matter most.  At some point we need to push aside daily chores, work responsibilities, time wasters, etc. so that we have time to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

This requires a little bit of sacrifice on our part.  The Savior has asked many to stop what they are doing so that he can give them what they need.  He asks us to be actively engaged in developing a relationship with Him.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "My desire today is for all of have more straight forward personal experience with the Savior's example.  Sometimes we seek heaven too obliquely, focusing on programs or history or the experience of others.  Those are important but not as important as personal experience, true discipleship, and the strength that comes from experiencing firsthand the majesty of His touch" ("Broken Things to Mend," Ensign, May 2006, 70).

We need to stop and listen.  We need to pray about what we have been taught by the Savior and then act.  We need to do as the Savior.  When we live our life as the Savior did we will know Him better.

George Albert Smith, the eighth President of the church, understood at a very young age how to live as the Savior did.  He knew the Savior intimately.  At the age of 34 he made a list that he called his "personal creed". 

When I read the list of 11 ideals that he committed to live by, I realized that he was modeling his life after the Savior's.  And it wasn't just a list.  President Smith was exactly what he committed to being.  He knew the Savior intimately and he emmulated the Savior, a testament to his committment to make the Savior a major part of his life.

Do you have a place in your life for the Savior?  If you do just one thing from President Smith's list you will be one step closer to knowing Jesus Christ; developing a personal relationship.

George Albert Smith's Personal Creed

1.  "I would be a friend to the friendless and find joy in ministering to the needs of the poor.

2.  "I would visit the sick and afflicted and inspire in them a desire for faith to be healed.

3.  "I would teach the truth to the understanding and blessing of all mankind.

4.  "I would seek out the erring one and try to win him back to a righteous and a happy life.

5.  "I would not seek to force people to live up to my ideals but rather love them into doing the thing that is right.

6.  "I would live with the masses and help to solve their problems that their earth life may be happy.

7.  "I would avoid the publicity of high positions and discourage the flattery of thoughtless friends.

8.  "I would not knowingly wound the feelings of any, not even one who may have wronged me, but would seek to do him good and make him my friend.

9.  "I would overcome the tendency to selfishness and jealousy and rejoice in the successes of all the children of my Heavenly Father.

10.  "I would not be an enemy to any living soul.

11.  "Knowing that the Redeemer of mankind has offered to the world the only plan that will fully develop us and make us really happy here and hereafter, I feel it not only a duty but also a blessed privilege to disseminate this truth."

Find a place in your life for the Savior.  Follow His example.  Drop your nets and follow Him.