Sunday, January 20, 2013

To become as He is, We must also do the things He did

So today in church I gave a talk about how becoming as He is, we must also do the things He did. It helped me know what I need to do better and what I can do to be more like Him. I felt inspired to share it with you.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare posed the question “to be or not to be…?  Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy, said “To be, or not to be” is a very good question. The Savior poses the question in a far more profound way, making it a vital doctrinal question for each of us: “What manner of men and women ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.(3 Nephi 27:27)” The first-person present tense of the verb be is I Am. He invites us to take upon us His name and His nature.

To become as He is, we must also do the things He did: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do(3 Nephi 27:21)”

To be and to do are inseparable. As interdependent doctrines they reinforce and promote each other. Faith inspires one to pray.

One thing the Savior often denounced was doing without being- calling them hypocrites: “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mark 7:6).” To do without to be is hypocrisy, or feigning to be what one is not- a pretender.

Conversely, to be without to do is void, as in “faith, if hath not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:17)” Be without do really isn’t being-it is self-deception, believing oneself to be good merely because one’s intentions are good.

Do without be-hypocrisy-portrays a false image to others, while be without do portrays false image to oneself.

The Savior chastised the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe”-something they did-“of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23).” Or in other words, they failed to be what they should have been.

While He recognized the importance of do, the Savior identified be as a “weightier matter.” The greater importance of being is illustrated in the following examples:

  •   Entering the waters of baptism is something we do. The be that must precede it is faith in Jesus Christ and a mighty change of heart.

  •   Partaking of the sacrament is something we do. Being worthy to partake of the sacrament is a weightier and much more important matter.

  •   For the young men, ordination to the priesthood is an act, or do. The weightier matter, however, is power in the priesthood, which is based “upon the principle of righteousness (D&C 121:36),” or be.

Many of us create to do list to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s.

Christlike to be’s cannot be seen, but they are the motivation force behind what we do, which can be seen.

An example of becoming as He is, and doing the things He did is Service. There are so many ways you can serve. In the For Strength of Youth it says you can serve by sharing the gospel with others. You can serve by doing temple and family work. One of the most important services you can give is within your own home.  

He loves everyone, He prays for us, and continually serves us. He finds opportunities to express His love.  He knows who we are and who we can become. He invites us to act in faith and live the truths He taught. In all His teachings, He focused on helping His followers love the gospel with all their hearts. He is our example and mentor.

 I know that as we love others and pray to Him and serve others and find opportunities to teach the gospel and to try to become as much as we can like Him and go to church and study our scriptures that we are becoming more like Him and we are doing the things He did. 

I would like to bear my testimony that we will be blessed if we do all these things. I know that as I study my scriptures that I learn more of what He did for others and what I can do so that I can be like Him. I know that the Savior loves each and every one of us and wants us to return with Him again. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Things I am grateful for

I am really sorry it has been awhile! Life catches up to you and I have been sick a lot lately. I wanted to blog about 5 of the most things I am grateful for.
 1'st Thing

           I am grateful for the opportunity of doing missionary work. Missionary work can come in all different ways. An example is a girl in my Spanish class was talking about how we have a lot of Mormons at our school. My friend overheard and asked me if I was Mormon. I say with a proud yes and she got a little excited to know. She has had questions but didn't really know anyone that was Mormon so she asked  me a bunch of questions. I answered all of them and I feel that I was able to answer them to the fullest because I read and study the scriptures. Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve said, "Keep your faith. Look for the good in your situation. Do something kind for someone. Seek Christ devoid of wrapping and tinsel." I know that this is a really important opportunity to help people this time of season. When you serve your fellow beings, you are serving the Lord. Another quote about missionary work that stuck out to me is, "The purpose of our missionary work is to help the children of God fulfill a condition prescribed by our Savior and Redeemer." I know that as we do missionary work, we are helping His children to be able to return with Him in Heaven someday. This past October they made the announcement that young men can serve a full time mission when they are 18 and young women can serve a mission when they are 19. I was excited when I heard that because the young women's age was 21 and the young men's age was 19 and so this will give young men and women a greater opportunity to serve a full time mission. I found this quote (the picture) and it made me really think hard about it. I was sad to think that my older brother and sister were leaving on a full time mission next year but was excited that they get to go and serve the Lord. When I read this, it helped me to think yeah I will miss them when they are gone, but they are teaching people so that they can be with their families for eternity. Even if we are not old enough to go on a full time mission, doesn't mean we can't be missionaries. We are missionaries NOW! I am grateful that I get to help the Lord by doing missionary work.

 2nd Thing
                 I am grateful for my family. My family is everything to me. I know that they will always be here for me and that we will be together forever.“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." When I think of the word family I think of trust, laughter, strength, success, peace, patience, love, miracles, and joy. I am greatful that I have a strong relationship with my family. They always are there for me and I have fun with them all the time. Another quote I really like is, "In family relationships, love is really spelled T-I-M-E." I know that family relationships does take time but it is worth the time. The more you spend with your family, the closer relationship you will have with them now and in the future. I know that my family will always be with me forever.

 3rd Thing

                  I am grateful for my friends.In the past I have struggled know what true friendship is. An experience I had was that in 6th grade, I had some pretty amazing friends. The school year went so quick and before you know it, it was summer. That summer I hung out with my two best friends. I talked to my other ones on email but didn't really do anything with them. It was about time to start 7th grade and I was super excited to see all my friends. Most of my friends had different classes. The first day of school was terrible. I got there and I would try to talk to my friends but it was like they forgot me because they became friends with the more popular. I struggled and cried for many days. It was one day a girl in my math class was sitting by me and we started talking and be became instant friends. To this day I am still best friends with her and because of her example and helping me, she showed me what true friendship is. This quote goes right along with the experience I just told you. I know that the friends I have today will always be there for me and will let me bring the best of me out. I know that friendship is really important and you shouldn't let someone you call a friend shape your whole life. Know that there will always be someone there for you. Heavenly Father was my best friend and still is. He helps me though trials that I have and the hard times in life.

4th Thing
          I am grateful for the scriptures. The scriptures have taught me so many things through life. I know that I have learned to study the scriptures, I have found things that apply and help me though everyday life. I am grateful that this year I had the chance to go to EFY which is a church camp that is very spiritual but fun. I know that while I was there, it showed me the importance of scripture study and ever since then, I have kept a scripture journal. Looking though the scripture journal made me realize what things I needed at that time and that I could just go back to my journal and see what I need to hear. I am especially grateful for the scriptures when I am going through trials. I know that every time I am having a hard time, I rely on the scriptures and my answer is always there. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know that as I read my scriptures, it truly helps me to resist temptation and fight it off. I know that it will help me on the path back to my Heavenly Father.

5th Thing
        Last but not least, I am grateful for my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I know that they help me with everything. I am that I can pray to my Heavenly Father for guidance and He will answer every time weather it is though scriptures or something else someone says. I know that I can always rely on them to be there for me and that they will never leave me alone. I know that as I was struggling with the whole friends thing, that He was my friend and never left me. I know that they are always there for you and will always love you more that you and I will ever know. I know that He knows me better than I will ever know myself. One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 19:26 which is the picture above. It says,"With God all things ARE POSSIBLE." I know that even though it seems things are not possible that God makes ALL things POSSIBLE!

This year I made a new years resolution to blog 2-3 Times a month. I really want to share the gospel and so this will give me an opportunity. Thanks everyone! I like you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! I am looking forward to be able to blog more!