Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I Believe: New Year, New Beginnings

Why I Believe: New Year, New Beginnings: "This is always an interesting time of year, with the holiday rush still winding down, and the new year looming before us. It's somewhat intimidating to realize how quickly each year passes by, bringing new adventures and challenges to life. Many people use this time of year to reflect on the past twelve months, and set goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. Whether or not those resolutions last beyond the first week or two is often an entirely different story.

So what is it this year that I will focus on? For me, I look back over the last year, and I'm simply amazed at what has happened. For the last calendar year, and a little bit more time before, I have been serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has been an incredible year of growth and learning for me, and I've come to more fully realize who I am as an individual, and who the Lord wants and needs me to be.

Has this last year been perfect? Of course not. I've had many shortcomings and hard times, and I haven't always responded the way I should have to them. So one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to rely more fully on the Lord, and trust that He knows what is best for me, regardless of whether or not I can see it all at the time things are happening.

Another resolution of mine is to continue my daily scripture study and personal prayer. I never fully understood the importance of those simple actions until I began serving as a missionary. Before then, I didn't really study my scriptures as often as I should have, and I realize now how much I was holding myself back. There have been many mornings that I have received answers to my questions as I have prayerfully studied the revealed word of God. And even when I haven't received as direct of answers, showing Heavenly Father that I'm willing to put Him first in my day has helped me to invite the Spirit into all that I do.

As we face this new year, filled with hope, anticipation, perhaps a little anxiety at times, it is my prayer that we do all we can to be obedient to the Lord and turn our lives over to Him. In closing, I'd just like to share a statement made by President Henry B. Eyering, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, when he said,
“We cannot see the future with precision, but we can know what the Lord intends and what it will take [for] each of us to qualify personally to participate.”

Posted by Elder Joshua Wood

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Understanding Christ's Birth

Knowest Though the Condescension of God?: Birth and Childhood
This is a great video I've had the opportunity to watch today as further personal study into the events surrounding Christ's birth.  In this video, Brigham Young University scholars of ancient scripture discuss 
A wonderful thing about this video is how they compare the information we have from the multiple accounts in Biblical sources and other sources available through modern revelation, like the Book of Mormon.
They also discuss external historical information that makes it easier to follow some of those events.  Beyond that, I enjoyed seeing many of the historical sites that were involved in Christ's birth and childhood.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Other Wise Man

One of those books that comes out of my family's storage for Christmas is the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke.  It traces the fictitious life of Artiban, who was a middle eastern wise man or magi, like the wise men who visited Jesus Christ as a child.  It teaches a wonderful lesson that a lifetime of service is the best gift we can offer Christ, and is far more valuable for us and to him than gold or jewels.
Elder Sabin, one of the leaders over our small band of missionaries, surprised us by spending a district meeting reading the story of the Other Wise Man.  It brought back great memories from Christmases at home and ways we'd try to serve others, especially around Christmas.

I also enjoyed watching the movie, the Fourth Wise Man, which is based on the classic story.  I hope you'll read or watch it and think of ways that you can more passionately serve as Artiban did, as the Spirit prompted him throughout the story to swerve as Christ would.  If you need some practical ideas to get started, you can find them at:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Look to the Light!

At Christmastime and always, Jesus Christ is the Light of the World for all who seek Him. For more Christmas videos, visit
Originally posted on a missionary blog by Elder Dajeu

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Digital Story of The Nativity

I found these videos that some people had posted on their facebook.  I thought it fit well with the online work we do here and with the Christmas season.  I love the message at the end, the means of communication we have today is certainly much different then that of the past, but the message is still the same.  Whether being taught in a living room or in a chat room the gospel is still the same and has the power to change lives.  I am grateful for this Christmas season, and the opportunity we have to remember Jesus Christ.  It is because of Him we are here as missionaries.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Only In Our Day...

Elder Joshua Albright: Only in our day...:

Standing with some Christmas lights
Have you ever taken a step back, and looked to the many blessings that we have been given in the world around us, with the technology and abilities that we have and are able to use. Like right now at this moment, you are (I'm guessing), not sitting right next to me or anything, and yet are able to read and look at this and read it at an instant with a click of your finger. Imagine living thousands of years ago, lets say, in the day of Moses. If you didn't live right there with him, maybe if you lived only 100 miles away, think of the difficulty in getting to hear the prophet of God speak. Or being able to listen when he teaches. Now what is you lived on another continent during the days of Moses. If you lived in the americas, you would most likely not even know the name of Moses, nor that he was a prophet of God or to hear what he was teaching from God. Now look at...
the day in which we live. We have open communication through technology to all over the world, we can call and talk to people in England, Tanzania, China, with something as simple as putting in their phone numbers.

President Thomas S. Monson
Now God has prophets and apostles on the earth at this very time, to lead and guide all of His children. He didn't stop loving us, He still does. And look at how much God has given us in our day to spread His word, and to hear from His chosen representatives on the earth. It was so awesome just 2 days ago, to be able to watch the prophet, and his counselors from the TV, to see the Christmas Devotional. If you haven't had a chance to watch that, please watch it, it was so great and the Spirit was truly strong as I watched and listened to the prophet of God on the earth. Click here to watch =)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Videos

Christmas Videos by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
With Christmas coming up soon, I'm going to continue trying to dedicate Missionary Media to videos about Jesus Christ and the true focus of Christmas.  You've probably noticed the new banner for Christmas videos.  That banner leads to a small collection of shorts videos for the Christmas season.  My hope is that you'll watch them, share them with some friends, and share your thoughts about your favorite ones in the comments for this post.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do You See Him As He Is?

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. [1 John 3:2]

When I teach about our Heavenly Father, one of the first things I always ask to get people thinking is about how they picture him in their minds.  Watching this, I also thought about how we picture Jesus Christ in our minds.  What they physically look like in our minds isn't as important as the characteristics we relate with them.
As a missionary, we emphasize the attributes of faith, hope, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, obedience.  This are the qualities of Jesus Christ that we work to develop in ourselves.  As we picture Jesus Christ, do we think of him displaying these qualities?  Many of the artists in these portrayals of Christ captured these and other qualities.  As the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth approaches, let's focus our attention on Jesus Christ.  Through the holiday, we'll see many depictions of him.  Let's stop and think about the Christ-like attributes we see in the depiction, and behold more than just the scene.  As you see those attributes, think of ways that you can develop them in yourself, so that when you see him, you will be like him and see him as he is.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movie Monday- Christmas time is here again!

In honor of the holiday season I thought I would start off with one man's musical tribute to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Handel was a composer who lived in the 1700s. He was a talented musician who was able to master the violin and organ at a young age. He started writing operas in Italy and later moved to England where he enjoyed early success. However, as he grew older his audience became less and less interested in his works. For the majority of his life he spent his time fighting off creditors. It was only after he suffered, and recovered from, a stroke that left his right arm temporarily paralyzed that he wrote a piece that is world renowned today and one of the best pieces of music ever written. Handel's Messiah.

May we all remember this holiday season the wonderful gift of having Christ live on this earth, and may we also use Handel as an example of perseverance that we might also be able to glorify God in our own individual ways as we strive to follow Him.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Standard of Truth: Kids and Christmas

The Standard of Truth: Kids and Christmas:
"The Christmas season is HERE! It is my favorite time of the year. This is a great video with some cute kids and their thoughts about Christmas. We can learn a lot from Children! During this Christmas season I hope we can all direct our thoughts and actions towards Jesus Christ. For He is after all, the reason for the season."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

To bring the world His truth: Safety for MY soul

To bring the world His truth: Safety for MY soul:
The Testimony of the Book of Mormon

  1. Have you ever wondered if the Book of Mormon is the word of God?
  2. Was Joseph Smith a prophet?
  3. Did he really see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ?
Watch this Video Clip

Joseph Smith gave his life for our Savior Jesus Christ. He died for him like unto apostle's of old. Remember the history of Paul? He was well to do in the Jewish culture. His birthright, education, and standing in the Jewish community was of high honor. He said, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, " He was taken later in life and killed for what he manifested to be the word of God.

Many of the Apostles were martyred, for the sake of Christ, and God.
Andrew and Bartholomew, both being put to death by Crucifixion. James, Son of Alphaeus, was stoned to death by the Jews. James, Son of Zebedee, was killed by King Herod. The brother of James, John the baptist, was beheaded for the ministry. For the Cause of Christ.

We see that these men died and sealed their testimonies with their very own blood. Joseph Smith being a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, sealed his testimony with his OWN blood. The work of the ministry can and will move forward. Joseph Smith brought back the small and simple truths that were lost, taken and misunderstood to be understood. Through Joseph Smith, Christ could bring back His gospel to its fullest. By reading the Book of Mormon, you can pray about its message and gain your own conviction.

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.)
"Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. "
I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I know those who receive an answer of it's truthfulness will have many questions answered. I know Heavenly Father loves us, and he wouldn't leave us here alone not knowing the secrets of Him. He called a Prophet to guide us in these latter-days. I know through our Savior Jesus Christ, we can receive salvation, and the comfort in these comfortless days. Please comment and write your testimony of the Book of Mormon. Feel free to write your thoughts.