Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

One of the greatest secrets to happiness in the world today is learning to forgive. There is a burden and a weight that is lifted when we choose to forgive or let go of grudges we may be holding. It is important to note that Elder Uchtdorf tells us to not only forgive others, but also to forgive ourselves. At times we may feel that what we have done is past repair or that God certainly won't welcome us back because of what we've done. These thoughts and feelings are destructive and not of God. As we learn to forgive, to learn, and to move on we will find the purifying and healing effects of the Atonement operating in our lives.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Looking Through Windows

I think that one of the things we all have a hard time with is the way we view and judge others. We continually find ourselves asking the questions, "Why don't they do that the way I would?" or "When will they just figure out how to really do it?" The sad reality is that many times the fault lies not with them, but with us. Through our imperfect vision we can't see all the facts, or in other words things as they really are. President Thomas S. Monson relates Christ's parable of the mote and the beam. How many times are we more likely to identify the motes in others instead of noticing our own beams? We should all remember our own faults, weaknesses, and shortcomings and then strive to correct them. Then and only then can we sympathise with and help others in a way that Christ himself would. Then we are showing forth the pure love of Christ: charity.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why be baptized?

One of the most common similarities across all of Christianity is the concept of baptism. Each denomination may do it differently, but there seems to be a sense of necessity present in every instance. Why is that? In the end, it comes down to the life and teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. To start his public ministry, Christ traveled to John to be baptized in the Jordan River. Why John when there were many people in his day doing baptisms? The answer is because John had the authority from God to baptize. He could do it by God's power, in God's way. In addition to his example, Christ also taught, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16)." Baptism is an ordinance that is necessary for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the authority to perform the ordinance of baptism has been restored. The same authority John the Baptist held. Through it, people can be baptized for the remission of sins and open the gate to eternal life with Heavenly Father. As missionaries we follow the Savior's command to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19)."

So why baptism? Because "no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end (3 Ne 27:19)." Baptism and repentance are a gift. If we will utilize them to show our commitment and faith in Christ, we will be happy in this life and be able to dwell with him again hereafter.