Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tighten It Up

President Craig calls them 3 Minute Lessons. Elder Zwick calls it, "Simplify and Intensify." President Barry called them, "Short, Powerful Lessons." I prefer KISS, or, "Keep It Simple, Silly." Our leaders keep reiterating it, each with a new name and the same concept. Short and simple lessons are the most effective.

President John Taylor said, "It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it." Preach My Gospel, pg. 182 B.H. Roberts wrote, "To be known, the truth must be stated and the clearer and more complete the statement is, the better the opportunity will the Holy Spirit have for testifying to the souls of men that the work is true." New Witnesses for God, 3 vols. (1909), 2:vii

I use a few tricks to cut down on the length of my posts.
  1. Leave out unimportant details from personal stories. This includes tangents. Often times, it sounds better if we don't add a lot of fluff.
  2. Rearrange words in a long sentence. Sometimes that can cut out the clutter.
  3. Try not using to be verbs. Such as: am, are, is, be, been, were. We depend a lot on these words, but we can do without them.
  4. Sometimes we explain something one time, and then to emphasize the point, we say it again, but in a different way. Take those sentences out and just say it right the first time.
  5. Let scriptures and quotes do their own talking.
What tips do you have?

Sharing Via Blogs ('s Tips on Blogging)

(I stole borrowed it...)

Publishing your life through a blog can be an excellent way to share with the world what being a member of the Church means to you.

Share with the world what being a member of the church means to you.

What to Share?

You can be a missionary just by being a good example of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For example, telling your friends you went to church on Sunday lets them know you participate actively in the gospel. By your everyday actions, others can also know that Mormons strive to follow Christ.

Now imagine your influence expanding even greater on a blog.

Blogging Basics

Not sure where to blog? You can use websites that are easy to use and publish with, like Blogger or Wordpress.

Don't forget to promote your blog. Ask your family, friends, and fellow members in the Church to subscribe to your blog. Share the link to blog posts on your social media channels.

Interact with your readers by replying to comments. You can also link to other blogs in your posts.

Most important, follow the Holy Ghost's guidance as you contemplate ways you can use your blog to share the gospel.

3 Tips That Will Make a Big Difference

  1. Write about your day-to-day life
  2. Update your blog often
  3. Share experiences or what you learn at Church or in your family home evening

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

Alma 30:44

By Elder Richmond

In the midst of thinking about my ideas for "Why Atheists are Sometimes Right," I was pondering Alma 30:44 (which I mentioned in the last post), and figured I'd try to do some stickies of it. I'm pretty satisfied with the end result.
--- --- ---

I know that God, our Heavenly Father, created this and all the other worlds, and I know that all of His creations indeed witness that He created them. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have to be here and to enjoy everything He has made. I so say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Richmond

This Miracle Mile


By Sister Yates
When I was in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and addressed us in a worldwide broadcast to each MTC in the world (there are 17 of them).  I will never forget that night, as I had the opportunity to perform in the Missionary Choir (which is one of the most powerful and spiritual experiences I’ve ever had with music), and the words that were spoken have changed my life, and will continue to help me on my “mile”…
Elder Andersen talked about selflessness, service, and sacrifice.  As a missionary, those are pretty much the 3 words you would hope people would use to describe what you do, and how you behave.  But what people forget is that we’re still human.  However, Heavenly Father doesn’t forget that, so He gives us our amazing mission presidents, the White Handbook (the missionaries guide to success), Preach My Gospel (the text book of missionary work), and the Scriptures (the Word of God) to help us as we serve for these 18 months or 2 years. 
What I’m getting at is:
I totally fooled myself in thinking that I was 100% prepared to serve.  I’m not talking about a repentance issue, or anything super serious like that would cause me to be unworthy to serve.  That’s not the problem.  The problem was that I had overlooked the necessity of living the Law of Sacrifice.
Elder Andersen asked one of his missionaries who served while he was a mission president in France, many years ago.  The Brother he had participate and share stories with us was so humble, and so sweet.  What I loved most was a quote by Elder Andersen, as he was questioning this Brother about the sacrifice of missionary work.  He said:
“We sacrifice what we love, and we love what we sacrifice for.”
What an amazing principle.  I testify that sacrifices are hard to make… I never, ever would have expected what my sacrifice would be, but what I do know is that obeying this Law (and for those who have been to the temple, have covenanted to obey) brings blessings we may not see until the life to come.   But I know that because I took an incredibly hard step in showing my faith to God, that He will bless me.  He’ll take care of my sacrifice, and whatever is meant to be will be.  I know that when we sacrifice what we love (whether it be a person, a thing, a hobby, an organ… whatever!) that God will accept it and bless us when it is truly a sacrifice for us to give it to Him.  The Bible Dictionary says:
“Sacrifices were thus instructive as well as worshipful. They were accompanied by prayer, devotion, and dedication, and represented an acknowledgment on the part of the individual of his duty toward God, and also a thankfulness to the Lord for his life and blessings upon the earth (see Gen. 4:3–78:2022:1–17Ex. 5:320:24).”
If we want to run the best “mile” we can, we have to sacrifice.  Do we have to know how everything will turn out? No, because then it’s not a true sacrifice.  Sacrifice is an act of devotion.  It’s putting the things that matter most to you in God’s hands, and doing your part to be worthy of the blessings that come from that action.  I know it’s hard, and it is really painful at first to A- Realize what needs to be sacrificed, and B- Give it up.  But I do know without a doubt, that this is something everyone can benefit from.
So, my question to you: What can you sacrifice?  What is that one thing that would truly show God how much you love Him and desire to serve Him first in all things?
I promise as you fast, and ponder, and pray, and then act upon the answer you receive, that you will see miracles.  You will be blessed,  and your relationship with God and the Savior will grow more than you can ever imagine.
I leave that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The Quest for Love

Lonely Love

By Elder Frazier

There are times in our life that we feel that we are the only ones out there. We feel that we are the only ones next to us on our path. However, we never are. In my life, I have found it difficult at times to realize this factor.  When we turn to the Lord, we can find strength that there is someone out there for us. There is someone walking the path with us. As a junior in college, I found my self depressed. I had hit a bottom low for my self esteem and I struggled to see how I could deal with everything. I went to my doctor and she put me on an anti-depressant, which soon became known as my happy pills. At this time in my life, I was a full time athlete, I was working 30 hours a week, and I was a full time biology student. My plate was a little too full. I had put my self in a depression from too much stress. I struggled to feel accepted and just was angry for many reasons. However, I was never alone. My savior, Jesus Christ, was always there for me. He was there to help me and I as turned to him, I was able to find strength. I was able to see the benefits and blessing that come from my Savior. I love how the Bible tells us that all we need to do is Knock! He will open the door to us every time. The Lord will never reject who we are. The thing that got me out my depression was prayer. I prayed to him and asked for his help. I wanted to feel happy again and I wanted to know that I didn’t need to depend on a pill to do that for me. Truth be told, while I was on my pills, I never fully felt happy. My emotions were different than my thoughts. I needed help from Savior to feel happy. It was a work in progress but I had to learn how to relay on Jesus to find that happiness again in my life.In the Book Of Mormon, the end of 2 Nephi, there many references to how the Savior has his arms open to us at all times, no matter what we do. Our Savior loves us and all we need to do is turn to him. 


Monday, December 2, 2013

by Grace

What if?

by Sister Eddington

I had an opportunity to attend a baptism this evening that changed my life forever!
The bishop of the ward got up and told a little bit of a story that really rang true to me.

Each one of us, in our search for truth/knowledge have had to ask at one point in our lives: "what if?"

Often, these questions lead to great knowledge:

What if the sun doesn't actually go around the earth? 
What if the earth was round and not flat?  
What if we ate this weird mold to cure infection?  
What if we tried chocolate and peanut butter together?

Now, if these questions had not been asked, we would not have gotten very far in science. What about religion?

What if God exists?  
What if He really did love me enough to send His Son to die for my sins? 
What if Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?  
What if He really does love me enough to give me direction today through a living prophet?

His story took me to a time when I had begun to ask different questions:

What if I have been lied to all of my life?  
What if this whole Joseph Smith thing is just a hoax?  
What if the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not really His church? 
What if the Book of Mormon was just made up by Joseph Smith?

These are the hard questions.

However, they are questions that each of us needs to address at one point or another in our lives. 

Having taken the rough road--the one where you ask both kinds--I testify that we can receive answers to those, because I did!  I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but I don't want you to take my word for it. Do what I did! Ask the questions, do the homework, and "receive" the answers :)

It all comes from faith. We must "experiment" upon the word (Alma 32:26-27).