Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eternal Principles

It came way too fast.  President White pulled me to the side Sunday Morning for my 'exiting interview'.  Friday morning I have my exiting interview with President Nally. The following day(s), I will be released as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  In this last blog post, I wish to make note some of my conclusions.

Elder Nelson taught about the importance of establishing 'Eternal Principles'.  As a pioneering heart surgeon, he learned that in order for open heart surgery to be possible, learning the eternal principles that govern the heart was required. Just as there are eternal laws governing the heart, there are eternal laws and principles which govern all other aspects of our lives.

For us to live a successful life—composed of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual peace—God has laid out eternal principles which we can follow.  These eternal laws and principles are contained in the scriptures.

First, all men and women are children of God.  We are made in His image and likeness.  God, as our loving Heavenly Father, wants us to grow to become more like Him in this life, gaining knowledge through experience—personal or other's experience.  Families are ordained by God and essential to this plan God wants us to follow.  As we personally rely on the Atonement and example of Jesus Christ, we can have joy in our current life and in the life to come.  Personal peace and satisfaction only comes through strict obedience to God's laws.

"True happiness comes from self-control, self-respect, and positive direction in life.  It comes from a testimony of true doctrine—including who you are and who you may become—and from living according to God's plan of happiness."

If only people understood what God has promised His children.  He has promised us that if we strive to live faithful He will bless us with all that He has!  More importantly, God has promised us, we can become like Him.

These promises are made to all who are worthy to take on the Abrahamic Covenant. We do so through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  As we follow this simple gospel which Jesus Christ taught us, we live worthy to enter into the temple and have these blessings manifest to us.

I love my Heavenly Father.  I am grateful for His son, my brother, Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on my behalf.   I am grateful for the knowledge of the gospel—composed of eternal principles that enrich all people's lives.  Through the downs and ups I have experienced on my mission, I know where and how I can better have happiness in my life.  Gratitude cannot be expressed enough for those who I have been so blessed to teach and come to love.  I do love each and everyone of those I have been able to work with.  In many ways, I look up to them so much, and it is them who I have learned so much from.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the Earth.  Through Jesus Christ and His established church, God's plan of salvation can come about and all people can receive the blessings of baptism and sacred temple covenants—if not in this life, then the life to come.

These things are true.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baptism and Sacrament (Communion)

Today I had the blessing to listen to my mission president speak on Baptism in relationship with my calling.  The things which I learned were dots that I'm just starting to connect.  It all started with the scripture found in Romans 6:4 — "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

For me this scripture stresses the importance of being baptized by complete immersion in water.  The symbolism between being 'buried' under the water and then being raised again is something that I have always found to be interesting.

Putting baptism in terms of symbolism caused me to think further about the symbolism of the sacrament.  If baptism represents a rebirth or new life, how does God sustain that?  He sustains it with the 'bread of life' and the 'water springing up into everlasting life'.  I know that as I partake of the sacrament, it helps me remember the life which Jesus Christ lived...and just how 'you are what you eat', I hope that as I partake of something symbolic of Jesus Christ, that I can be more like Him, day by day.  These things I say in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen