Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Example of Faith

When I was really young, on the way the church my family and I would listen to tapes called Scripture Scouts. These tapes are awesome! The tapes take stories from the scriptures and simplify them and help us learn to apply them to our lives.They always have catchy little songs to go with them. To this day, one of the ones that I remember most says "Alma and Amulek deep inside dark inside dark and lonely prison walls, with the power of faith Alma cried, and the Lord heard his call."

Every morning we have an hour to study and learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and to help strengthen our own testimonies about what we teach. This morning, I once again read the story of Alma and Amulek. For whatever reason, I was in the right mental state so that I was able to learn an amazing lesson about faith. I know I just made a post about faith, but I felt like this was a perfect follow-up because it ties in so well with my other one!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Principle of Faith

I have always heard people say "It's okay, God is in control." And for much of my life I wondered, "How does that make it okay? It would be okay if I were in control of it or if I knew what He is planning. But how can this be okay?" One of the biggest things I have wondered this about is with people. I would often pray and ask God questions such as "Why don't I have a lot of friends?", "Why did they have to leave me? They were the one good friend I had.", and "Why are there so many mean people?" (apparently I asked why a lot).

Over the course of my mission I have had those questions answered. I have met some of the most amazing people. I have met people who have changed my views and changed my life. As I have thought back and reflected on this I realized that God gave me those hard times so that I would appreciate those that I have met now.

I know that this is a very simple and pretty small example, but one thing I have learned in my life--sometimes gently, sometimes forced upon me--is that everything that happens truly is for a reason. God is in control of everything. Everything that happens is for a reason that He is well aware of. Accepting this is an act of faith. It requires us to put our trust in God and trust that He really knows what we need and what will, in the long run, be for our best!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Parable of the Talents

I feel like I have been blogging a lot recently, but this thought has been on my mind a lot recently so I felt like I should share it and what better venue to share it than my blog?! :)

I don't remember who or when it was, but I was recently reminded of one of Christ's many parables. As I'm sure you have guess by the title of this post, it is the parable of the talents. Now, there are a few different parables that Christ tells that involve talents, but the one I want to talk about is in Matthew 25:14-29. A quick summary of the parable goes like this:
A man was planning on going on a long trip so he called three of his servants and, according to their abilities, he gave them different talents, or pieces of money. He gave five to the first, two to the second, and just one to the last servant. While the man was away, the first servant doubled his talents and so did the second, but the last dug a hole and hit the talent in the ground.

Friday, February 3, 2012

From Troll to Testimony: Aubert's Baptism

A month and a half ago, someone that I had been teaching for about a month got baptized. The first time I talked with him on chat he didn't seem very sincere so I kind of shrugged him off and suggested he go to church and read the Book of Mormon. A few days later he came back on and said that he had gone to church and that he really wanted to learn more. So I excitedly said that we could teach him.

As the lessons progressed, I realized that he was more prepared to hear and receive the gospel than I ever imagined could be possible. From the very beginning he had deep insight and understood everything that we taught. He not only understood each individual concept, but he understood the meaning behind it. I was continuously amazed at how intelligent he was!

Sure he faced some challenges along the way, but in the end Aubert was able to get baptized and is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had to teach Aubert and get to know a little bit about him. Here is his testimony and the story of his conversion!

I am Aubert, I am a 16 year-old student from Quebec, Canada, and I’m a Mormon. I was baptized on December 18th, 2011, and confirmed a member of the Church on the 25th (it was the most amazing Christmas present EVER). Let me tell you how I found the Church.

Anyone who is quite familiar with the Internet knows that the Mormon chat on is a tool MANY people use for fun. I used to be one of those people, and that is how I found the Church. I used to go on the missionary chat and ask missionaries stupid questions like: How do magnets work? I and other Internet trolls would disguise sentences like that one and ask the missionaries until they realized we were just fooling around.

One day, as a school project, I was asked to pick a religion and write a paper about it. It was quite a big paper, and after good thought, I chose the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. I decided, for some reason, that instead of simply doing a research using Wikipedia, I would read the Book of Mormon, meet with missionaries and go to Church so I knew what I was talking about. I ordered a book of Mormon, and it was delivered to me by two missionaries. I was surprised to learn there even was a chapel in my town, and I was filled with what I would later learn was the Holy Spirit when I met up with them to talk about the basic beliefs of the Church.