Friday, October 29, 2010

The Name's Elder: 1 Nephi 7 - Does God Answer Prayers?

"I will call attention to what may be a common insight in chapter 7. But it is common because it is good. It is important. It is powerful. Lets look at verses 17 & 18. Nephi has been tied up and left for dead. What a great situation to be in. I'm sure he's thanking the Lord for these tribulations. Ha!

So what does he do, well of course, he PRAYS for help. He asks the Lord for the strength to "burst" the bands he is held bound with. But are they burst? Not so much. We read that they are but "loosed". Now this is a small difference, but we can learn a big lesson from it. Does the Lord sometimes answer our prayers according to our needs, and not necessarily according to our wants? When it comes down to it, all Nephi needed was to be freed from being bound. He didn't necessarily need strength to break the bands. Do we sometimes ask the Lord for something we want, and he gives us something a little different? Do we recognize that our prayer has been answered, or do we look beyond the mark, having our heart set on what we wanted?

S. Michael Wilcox expounds this principle extremely well in a talk given as a devotional at BYU-Hawaii. He references Luke 11:9-13. When we ask for bread, God does not give us stones. The same principle applies in all things. When we ask for bread, the Lord gives us bread. He fill our needs. But sometimes we may be so focused on getting marble rye, that when He gives us whole wheat, we don't accept it. It becomes a stone. (Read the whole talk HERE, its fantastic but reallylong)

In Nephi's case, I hardly think he's about to be upset about not receiving strength to break the bands as he asked. Surely he is thrilled just to be free. I hope we will all accept the help and guidance the Lord offers us, and not be so focused on what we want, that we don't recognize that He has likely given us, or surely will give us, what we need. The Lord answers in His own way, in His own time. But He does answer. And He does so according to our faith (v.17). May we trust in Him that He will always give us bread, no matter what kind.

Does God Answer Prayers?

By Elder Kunz

See this blog at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Elder Meza: Tune Before You Play

Let's chat: Tune before you play

When I was in high school I took a guitar class. The teacher was awesome! He was the orchestra teacher and the guitar teacher. He played all the instruments very well. My first year of Guitar he taught us all techniques and music theory (of which I don't remember much). The first weeks we learned about the notes, quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, rests, eight notes, time signature and a lot of other things. One of the most important lessons was hot to tune. We played the E note which is the sixth string and the lowest note. We would also have to sing the note to memorize the sound.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Patience!!!

Why Patience!!!!

"We have all heard the saying "patience is a virtue", but how many of us believe that? How many of us are truly patient? I know that I am not, that is something I have had to learn the hard way. Most of the people I look up to are able to realize that if you are impatient, it doesn't make anything happen any sooner. My dad is a great example of this. My dad and I golf alot together, and if golfing doesn't teach you patience I don't know what will. The hard thing about golf is that when you hit a bad shot, if you get mad or if people in front of you are slow then you play worse. My dad would just stand there and talk to me if there were slow people in front of us and I realized that those are great oppertunities to talk to each other. If we are impatient and are focused on the people playing faster, then we miss out on some wonderful time to talk and get to know each other. The Lord has given us a promise if we are patient. In Alma 32 verse 43 it says:

Then, my brethren, ye shall areap the brewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth cfruit unto you.

Here Alma is talking about prayer and scripture study and that if we are patitent and diligent in doing those two things, then we will feel good. We will feel the love of God and it will be fruit for our soul. It will make us happy beyond belief. That to me shows how important patience really is. My hope for all of us is that we will learn to stop and smell the roses, and appricate the time when we have to wait."

By Sister Sara Barras

See her blog at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Make Your Own Mormon Message"

The call for members to share the gospel on the internet by creating their own videos that explain our beliefs has been brought to a higher level.  Most members have seen the variety of entertaining Mormon Messages that have been produced through official media. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is calling out to members to create their own Mormon Messages and post them on YouTube.  As an additional incentive, the Church has started an international video contest that will pick finalists and award prizes to the members with the best videos.  The Church looking for submissions from individual members, auxiliary groups, or whole wards and branches.
Here is a great example by the Palmhurst Ward in the Las Vegas Nevada Sandstone Stake.

We shouldn't be worried if we feel our videos are amateur or we don't feel that they are the same production quality as the official Mormon Messages.  There's actually and amateur category.  I know mine will fall in it.  "The power of personal" is exactly what we're looking for and the Mormon Messages should reflect who we are.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to keep them from being sloppy either.
For mine, I've started working on a message about what my parents have taught me about the resurrection.
Also, the Church has given specific guidelines for using approved music and use of copyrighted materials.
Before you begin, I'd recommend looking through the Church's existing Mormon Messages and videos already posted on YouTube for ideas.  You'll also want to become familiar with the guidelines the Church's audiovisual department has given to be eligible.  If you have an idea that does not meet these requirements you can still make it to share if it doesn't break any copyright laws.

It doesn't take much equipment to get started either.  If you have a digital camera or webcam, most have a record feature or you can make a slideshow of still photos.  There's lots of free software out there like  Windows Movie Maker or One True Media that you can use to sharpen it up, add simple effects, and make it more professional.

When you're all finished with your Mormon Message, you'll need to post it publicly on YouTube and fill out the Entry Form to submit your video for the contest.  Be sure to invite everyone to see it.
Let's see what we can make!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Attending Church

Interested in checking out a Mormon Church meeting for the first time and don't know what to expect?
...or are you bringing a friend to church and want to get them ready?

This video by Mormons Made Simple will show them exactly what to expect.  It's sure to get you really excited to go tomorrow too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Elder King: The Infinite Power of Hope

The Infinite Power of Hope:
"Hope is an assurance that all things will work out for our good. It is a trust that the Lord's promised blessings will be fulfilled in our lives. Hope gives us the strength to press on even when life is difficult, dark, or discouraging. I've always found comfort in this scripture from Romans 15:13, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost". This video from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is very moving and assuring. His words about hope are enlightening and inspiring and have brought peace and light to my life. I'm grateful for the Lord's Church again on the earth and for living apostles and prophets who testify of His living reality and His ever existing influence in our lives." - Elder Bryson King

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Featured Media: God's Truth Has Been Restored on Prezi

Elder Tyson Boardman was the first missionary to begin proselyting online in May 2008.   He returned home in May of this this year, but before leaving he created a valuable tool for teaching principles from the first missionary lesson.  This Prezi goes over God's pattern for revealing truth to the world, how Jesus Christ chose Joseph Smith to restore His Church, and how each of us can learn the truth of the Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Lessons

Are you just looking to learn what the missionaries will teach before committing to meet them in person?  Currently meeting with the missionaries and want to review?  Preparing for a mission and want to see how to prepare, or learn how to teach?

Monday, October 11, 2010

O, That I Were an Angel!: Publishing Media as a Missionary

Gideon Burton, an English professor at BYU, who has been acting as a mentor to missionaries who work online, inspired me to create this new blog for posting media created by full-time missionaries and member missionaries working to share the message.

On Tuesday, August 10, 2010 he posted O, That I Were an Angel!: Publishing Media as a Missionary. He challenged missionaries to use and create personal media for their teaching. Since then missionaries serving online has responded by creating a variety of videos and presentations for explaining our beliefs in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.