Friday, July 22, 2011

Am I Gone?...No, You're Home

This funeral home has possibly one of the best names I've ever seen: Amigone. Many people who go there for the loss of a lost one may wonder that same questions, "Are they gone?" Speculation about life after death is something that I believe everyone thinks about at some point in their life. Sometimes the death of someone close or one's own personal illness can prompt these kinds of thoughts and feelings. One of the reasons why I love the Bible and Book of Mormon is because they teach me about this life and the life to come. By reading the words of prophets of old, I am able to more clearly understand God's plan for me and what I should do in this life as well as after I die. One of the biggest things I learned is that life is not the end, it is merely another step in our Heavenly Father's plan. Just as Jesus Christ died and was resurrected, we will also receive perfect resurrected bodies after we die. The sacrifice of Christ allowed all men to be saved from death and be raised to immortality. In addition to conquering this physical death, Jesus also allowed us to overcome our own weaknesses and return to God once more. By keeping the commandments of God and repenting of our sins, we are able to once again live with our Heavenly Father and enjoy peace and happiness in His presence. When I think about things that way, I realize that far from being scary, death is actually a wonderful opportunity for us to progress back to God.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nuclear Weapons

While walking down the streets of Buffalo one day I passed a church that had this sign: "This church is a nuclear weapons free zone." I found the sign quite amusing and immediately began to speculate about how many church goers brought nukes in order to necessitate this sign. I laughed at thoughts of people in their Sunday best with a Bible in one hand and a nuclear weapon in the other. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that there was a lesson to be learned from this sign. This church obviously felt it was necessary to protect itself from things brought inside just as we should screen what we allow in our minds and in our bodies. There seems to be an endless supply of "nuclear weapons" in our lives today including drugs, alcohol, and pornography. These can and will destroy our bodies and spirits if we allow them to enter and dwell in our bodies, minds, and lives. Prophets of God have always warned us to respect our bodies and guard our minds against the evils that surround us. In D&C 121:45 the Lord tells us to let "virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly." By doing this I am able to keep my mind and thoughts pure and be more receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It will always be a life-long process but as I work on screening the "nuclear weapons", I know that I will grow closer to my Heavenly Father and become who He would want me to be.