Monday, February 20, 2017

Put Christ First, February 20, 2017

Hey y'all!

This week was great! I must talk about the obvious topic that happened, Neil L Anderson speaking to our mission and also another meeting where he spoke to the stakes in north Texas.

Dallas Daze

Alright so this week we were driving some elders to the meeting and on the way back we were talking about batman because we saw a ad for the batman lego movie on a store building as we drove by. Well we were makin jokes and this elder we were riding with was like what if batman voiced the scriptures well then he was all, "who was Jacobs wife again?" Then in the batman voice (he does a really good batman voice) he's all "RACHEL!!!! RACHEEELLLL!!!!!!" We all lost it laughing and it was fantastic. They were super cool and that day was just a bomb day. 

As for the Elder Anderson meeting, He talked a lot about the subject of this rising generations of people don't believe in Jesus Christ. He gave statistics on how 82% of his generation believe in Christ, In his resurrection, and his Atonement. And how my generation only 54% believe in Christ and those things he did. It's unnerving to think that people are losing faith in the savior of the world. So he talked a lot about staying grounded and how we need to do that. He said periodically ask yourself. Do I really believe in Jesus Christ? Do I really believe in his resurrection and Atonement? Do I really believe that he restored his gospel to the earth and we have a true prophet? Do I really believe my prayers will be answered? It is imperative that we believe in him. And if you cannot firmly answer that right now, build your faith. How we do that all starts with prayer. Are your prayers lacking? In Elder Anderson's words, "be over zealous in prayer!" Are we praying in gratitude and thanksgiving to our father in Heaven daily? Are we asking for his help each moment? Are we turning to the source of all light and strength or are we relying on our own fire to stoke itself? The key to building faith is asking help for it from God, and when you do that you will then be at step two. Faith comes by obedience. But ye receive no witness until after a trial of your faith. Are you being obedient? What things are we lacking in? Think of it this way. We all have about 10 balloons we need to keep up in the air. If you've ever tried to do this you'll know that it is difficult to keep them all at the same level. It's much this way when we seek to follow the commandments. Sometimes one drops lower than the other. Repentance is hitting it back up, keeping it afloat. Repentance is NOT BAD. that is the plan of happiness! Repenting! So we discover what we need to do to be obedient by studying Christ, reading his words and doctrine found in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, the pearl of great price and the Doctrine and Covenants, don't forget any one for it is all put together that we receive the full gospel but start with the Book of Mormon if you haven't, it's the keystone of our religion. Study everything Christ said and did, start somewhere and read, don't forget a day! It's imperative to your happiness because happiness comes from repentance but how can we repent if we don't even know what to repent for? We must read and study what color balloons we need to keep in the air and when one falls, hit it back up! This comes from the scriptures. Now when we learn of things to be obedient of we will find acts of disobedience, it's natural we are not perfect, so don't say well dang it I am done, no! I repeat this because it's important, repent! The plan of happiness only works because Jesus Christ came, what did he allow us to do? Repent! A leads to B, B leads to C, C leads to D. Therefore A leads to D. Repentance leads to happiness! And we only can repent if we Pray to god often, study his words, and change what is not in accordance. As you repent and as you live obediently, you will come to say as I can now, I do believe in Jesus Christ, I do believe in his resurrection, I do believe god answers my prayers, I do believe it! And if you don't at the moment but want to, that is okay! It's only bad if you stop trying! Stay grounded in the gospel is the whole message behind what Elder Anderson said! We are losing too many souls to Satan because many forget to lay a brick down each day to their foundation of Christ! Nothing is more important than Christ! He is the rock of our salvation upon which if men build, they CANNOT fall! Well how can you build on a foundation if the foundation is never laid in the first place? Each time you pray, you lay a brick, each time you read a verse, you lay a brick, each time you resist temptation to be obedient, you lay a brick, each time you choose good no matter how small an act, you lay a brick. We cannot afford to lose our souls in these last days for Christ is coming again and we will be miserable unless we follow the plan of happiness given to us by our loving heavenly father and simply choose happiness, choose obedience, choose repentance! NOTHING is more important! Work is not as important, school is not as important, money is not nearly as important, chores are not as important, nothing. Not a single thing is as important as Christ and following him. Now those things I listed do rank in importance after Christ, but Christ must be the head of our lives, for "if we have not chosen Christ in the end, it DOES NOT MATTER what we have chosen." Nothing can compare with Christ. To put him at the head of your lives, you be a PRO. Pray, pray always, pray in your closets, in your fields, in your homes, be over zealous in prayer. Ask for help! it opens up the windows of revelation and guidance in your life, it lets the light in! It's hard to do the second part and read if you don't have light to read! So first, pray, second read. Why read? Read because how will you ever know what to be obedient to if you never read the words Christ spoke on what to do? How can we develop a relationship and follow a man that we know nothing about? How can we know what mistakes not to make if we do not read about people making them before us? We read so we can come to know our savior, so we know what to repent of and how to live. How awesome Christ really is. When you come to know someone you come to love them. And when you come to love the savior, your life will change. If we don't read, we don't know what to repent of, if we aren't repenting, we aren't happy. Because Christ came so we can repent, and he is the key to the plan of happiness. So read! Read a verse, read a page, read a chapter, whatever you can muster now! And third, obey. You have the light in your life, you've read about what Christ has said that if we will follow, he has promised blessings in other words happiness in our life. So then just do it, nobody like to be miserable. If I said eat this steak and you'll be happy and you said, "nah I'll eat my cold can of beans instead and be miserable," how stupid does that sound?(generally people like steak over cold beans so if you for some reason don't I apologize and invite you to see what I'm saying ;D)  In the words of elder Holland, "don't do anything stupid." Obedience has a negative connotation but God has said, "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when we do not what I say, ye have no promise."  What does the Lord promise through obedience? Well a few are, relief from guilt, relief from pain, joy, eternal families, eternal marriage, unity, purpose, direction, light, blessings, righteous desires of our own, in D&C he LITERALLY promises us, "the fullness of the earth is yours," as we keep the sabbath day holy. WHO DOESNT WANT THOSE THINGS?!!?!? And it all comes from being obedient to the simple commandments god has given us and when we do, he literally can't not bless us. He is bound when we do what he says! Now I understand how hard it is sometimes to do these things, we are not perfect, we battle our natural man, it's a struggle. But that's why we have repentance. Try, try try try, seeketh to do so, and when we stumble, repent and keep going. And do not read about the deception of Satan and say, "oh that may happen for weak people but that could never happen to me," because what your really doin is fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy when he says, "Woe unto them that say All is well in Zion!" When we say this it is how the devil as the scriptures say, "carefully leads us down to hell." The day is coming, and I honestly say the time is here that the very elect will be deceived. Personally I don't see myself classified as a "very elect." And if they're being deceived and led away.....great news for me! It's all about relying continually on God. Don't fall away, and the way you do it is by laying the brick foundation of Christ, brick by brick may seem slow, but as you be a PRO, you lay a brick for each act of good you do. And when you repent, you build up the walls around you. Soon you will have a house built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ upon which if men build, they can not fall. The winds of Satan are here, his mighty shafts in the whirlwind are beating upon us. Many are losing faith on the only name under heaven given by which man can be saved, that being Jesus Christ. The only name, Jesus Christ. Not work, not school, not movies, not cafe rio, Jesus Christ. 

I hope everyone sees what I'm saying here. Things in life are important, but often times we as mortals put our priorities such that we miss a couple days of prayer, we feel that other things occupy the time in which we can read a verse or two. Some times we see obedience as not the most popular thing to do and nobody likes to be ostracized, but fear not, Jesus himself said, "And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." We put other priorities though they are important, above the most important name and priority of all, that being the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ. But it's that simple, put Christ at your head, and you will be saved. His is the only name under heaven given. First seek ye the kingdom of God, then seek ye riches. Not the other way around. It's the plan of happiness. I testify that if we do not have Christ as our head, if we do not be a PRO in other words, if we do not follow Jesus Christ and repent, be baptized by PROPER authority or take the sacrament after baptism, if we do not follow Christ, your life will be filled with stress, trial, lack of strength to meet those trials, unsatisfaction, temporary happiness, and woe. Satan offers you a ride in which he throws you high in the air and ya feel great but you then come crashing down hard and it takes more and more throws into the air to feel the rush. But God offers as elder uchtdorf said, "he will place you on his shoulders and carry you home." He will carry you to greater heights and you will feel the rush if wind in your face with your feet grounded on solid foundation. He will carry you home. Too many are being deceived, and too many are losing their way. So please, stay firm in your faith. Christ is first, and everything else will fall into place. You will have trials, you will have temptations. But personally, I trust in the strength of Christ to get through it a heck of a lot better than mine. Humble yourself and pray always, sacrifice whatever you must to say those prayers and read a verse or two. Love and happiness requires sacrifice, but as Abraham was to sacrifice his son, he received his sacrifice back and much much more. Whatever you need to do to put Christ first, please do it. Life is so much more enjoyable, trial or not, when you follow the plan of happiness. It can be hard, but it is simple and you can do hard things, because you are a child of God and he loves you. I want you to know I believe in Christ, I believe in what he did, and I know that lasting happiness comes when we follow him. When we be a PRO. Just choose happiness! Who doesn't want that? I know life is far more than heart ache with a few good times spread throughout. It's opposite. Life is a joy and sometimes sad things happen, but even then your life will ALWAYS be filled with joy. Happiness is not temporary, not when its from Christ. Can we just follow him please? I don't want anyone to be lost, and you will be unless you put his gospel as your first priority. You will not have a lasting happy life unless you do. Because any other happiness is temporary, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so are his blessings he offers. I testify of this that Jesus is the Christ, that if you will put him first, you will be happy in all ups and downs of life, things will work out, and you will not be deceived. You will be less stressed. And you will come to know just how real all this truly is. I know these things because I'm currently experiencing them. I give you my witness in Jesus' name, Amen.

Love Elder Hiatt