Friday, January 13, 2017

Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet

The Mormon Channel made part of Elder Holland's April 2015 General Conference talk to a video.
You can also see the video by clicking here.  

Without safety ropes, harnesses, or climbing gear of any kind, two brothers—Jimmy, age 14, and John, age 19 (though those aren’t their real names)—attempted to scale a sheer canyon wall in Snow Canyon State Park in my native southern Utah. Near the top of their laborious climb, they discovered that a protruding ledge denied them their final few feet of ascent. They could not get over it, but neither could they now retreat from it. They were stranded. After careful maneuvering, John found enough footing to boost his younger brother to safety on top of the ledge. But there was no way to lift himself. The more he strained to find finger or foot leverage, the more his muscles began to cramp. Panic started to sweep over him, and he began to fear for his life.

Unable to hold on much longer, John decided his only option was to try to jump vertically in an effort to grab the top of the overhanging ledge. If successful, he might, by his considerable arm strength, pull himself to safety.

In his own words, he said:

“Prior to my jump I told Jimmy to go search for a tree branch strong enough to extend down to me, although I knew there was nothing of the kind on this rocky summit. It was only a desperate ruse. If my jump failed, the least I could do was make certain my little brother did not see me falling to my death.

“Giving him enough time to be out of sight, I said my last prayer—that I wanted my family to know I loved them and that Jimmy could make it home safely on his own—then I leapt. There was enough adrenaline in my spring that the jump extended my arms above the ledge almost to my elbows. But as I slapped my hands down on the surface, I felt nothing but loose sand on flat stone. I can still remember the gritty sensation of hanging there with nothing to hold on to—no lip, no ridge, nothing to grab or grasp. I felt my fingers begin to recede slowly over the sandy surface. I knew my life was over.

“But then suddenly, like a lightning strike in a summer storm, two hands shot out from somewhere above the edge of the cliff, grabbing my wrists with a strength and determination that belied their size. My faithful little brother had not gone looking for any fictitious tree branch. Guessing exactly what I was planning to do, he had never moved an inch. He had simply waited—silently, almost breathlessly—knowing full well I would be foolish enough to try to make that jump. When I did, he grabbed me, held me, and refused to let me fall. Those strong brotherly arms saved my life that day as I dangled helplessly above what would surely have been certain death.”

My beloved brothers and sisters, today is Easter Sunday. Although we should always remember (we promise in our weekly sacramental prayers that we will), nevertheless this is the most sacred day of the year for special remembrance of brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins. Against the background of this story reported by John and Jimmy’s family, I express my gratitude for the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledge events in the divine plan of God that led up to and give meaning to “the love Jesus offers [us].”...

You can read his full talk here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

5 Mormon Beliefs by James the Mormon

I found this video on my Facebook page and I want to share it on this blog.  The video talks about some of the things Scott and I will be teaching the people in Belize when we are on our mission.
You can also view the video by clicking here.  

These are the words that are in this video:

People all over the world have debated back and forth about what Mormons really believe. So what draws people to a faith that is often misunderstood, and sometimes peculiar?

Like many other religions, Mormons believe that we are all spiritual children of God and that we can talk to God through prayer. But we don’t believe that this is a one-way conversation, everyone can receive answers to prayers in many different forms. The direct influence of God in our lives is called ‘personal revelation’, and we can rely on this constantly.

Mormons have a completely unpaid ministry in local congregations. Every position in the church, from the bishop to the teachers, is voluntarily filled by members who have other jobs and responsibilities the rest of the week. Missionaries travel to almost every country, for 18 months to two years, and pay out of pocket to serve the communities they are sent to. Mormons around the world actively participate in the community and church services all without compensation. We believe in trying to serve others the way that Jesus did, whether they are members of our faith or not.

As Christians, Mormons believe in the Bible written by prophets called of God to lead His people. But doesn’t God love His children just as much now as He did in the Old and New Testaments?
God has not gone silent. He still provides guidance through His prophets on the earth today. This helps us navigate the unique challenges that society faces now.

Every six months Mormons gather for a meeting, known as General Conference. The words of the Prophet and Apostles are broadcast worldwide and made available to everyone. Check out their words for yourself on, and see what you think.”

One of the most comforting doctrines of Mormonism is that we don’t believe in a “Hell” of fire and brimstone, or that God “sorts” souls into Heaven or Hell. We believe there will be a perfect combination of justice and mercy together, not eternal suffering.

We also believe the gospel will be shared beyond the grave, and those who did not get the chance to learn of Christ, or believe in Him, will be given the chance to learn. Work is done in temples across the world, in the hope that those who have passed on will choose to accept Christ. This belief instills comfort that all people may fully enjoy every blessing of our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.

Music by J. Scott Rakozy:
Standard YouTube License