Repent and be Baptized

“And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God (3 Nephi 11:37-38).”

These two versus do indeed say the same thing. I learned growing up that whenever my mother said something twice, it meant that she was serious. How much more serious must Christ be here? We inherit the kingdom of God when we repent and are baptized in his name, with the proper priesthood authority. I was baptized when I was ten years old into another church, so I can testify to the difference in spirit when the proper authority is not there. I can hardly remember anything from that day, but I can still tell you today how I felt on April 22, 2012 when I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know it is the spirit that has made all the difference. As I remain true to the covenants I made that day, I know I will be blessed. I testify that when you repent and are baptized by the proper authority of God, you can feel and receive the spirit, and you can be blessed by our loving Heavenly Father.

Love you tons.

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The Lord is my Light

“And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led (1 Nephi 17:13).”

We can take this verse as literally or as symbolically as we choose. We can read it as Nephi being promised that as long as he keeps the commandments, God will guide him through the wilderness, or we can liken it unto ourselves. As long as WE keep the commandments, Heavenly Father has promised his guidance throughout our lives. This world is a wilderness, and we have no clue what’s coming, but Heavenly Father does. He has promised that as long as we turn to Him and keep His commandments He will help us. We can follow the guidance that He gives through our scripture study, just as Lehi and his family followed the Liahona. When we have faith and diligence, we can find our answers in the scriptures. I can testify that as you put your trust in the scriptures, you will find the answers to your prayers.

Love you tons.

The Love That Never Changes

There are many different types of love, but the greatest kind of love you can show someone is the love their Savior has for them–a love unfeigned and unconditional. I strive to love every single person in my life and let them know how important they are to me. There are many different forms of love, but when I say I love you to someone it will always mean the I respect them as a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father, and that I see their potential to be a king or queen.

As a society, we put so much pressure on love. I tell many people that I love them and I do not mean, “let’s spend the rest of our lives together I’m in love with you,” but that I see them the way Jesus Christ sees them–as a son or daughter of a glorious King, destined to become a great and glorious person.

This is not to say that it will be any less importantwhen I say it to the man i’m going to marry. When I do say it in that way it will mean the same thing–I see you filled with divine potential–but it will also mean that I see him as the worthy priesthood holder that Heavenly Father knows will help me to create my eternal family.

My little sister often used to say, “Nobody loves me,” when she didn’t get her way, which would break my heart because I love her quite a lot more than she realizes. We need to remember that loving someone does not mean you are obligated to do certain things for them or that they are obligated to do certain things for you. We must remember that loving someone does mean that you respect them, that you see their divine potential, that you know that Heavenly Father loves them, and that you are willing to help them in whatever righteous cause they hold dear.

There is a great children’s song, “I’m Trying to be Like Jesus” which talks about how to be like our Savior. Very simpoly put it tells us to “love one another as Jesus loves you, try to show kindness in all that you do, be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught.”

In our mission as missionaries we end every conversation with “love ya, bye.” I feel that this is important because as representatives of Christ we should be striving to show everyone the love of Christ, even to our fellow missionaries. Because of this, I have decided to end all of my future correspondences with an expression of love for those people to whom I am writing. I tell a lot of people that I love them, not because I have lost the importance of that word, but because I truly know the importance of that word, and I am trying to be like my savior and redeemer Jesus Christ. Think about what love means to you, and tell those you love that you love them. And always remember that Jesus loves you,

and so do I.

 

Guardians of All Things Bright and Beautiful

You often hear complaints about double standards in the church because so much emphasis is put on women and virtue. I decided to look into virtue though because it was in the preach my gospel as a “Christ-like attribute.” If Christ had it then why should we be upset about it being deemed our (women’s) responsibility to guard?

 
In the personal progress journal that young women keep it defines virtue as “a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It includes chastity and purity.” It does not say that that is all virtue is.
 
Society defines virtue as having sexual morality, but when I looked up the definition for virtue (admittedly I asked Siri) sexual morality was the third of four definitions listed. The first definition it gave me was “the quality of doing what was right and avoiding what was wrong.” The second definition was “any admirable quality or attribute” which reminded me of the words “Christ-like attribute.” The fourth definition after sexual morality was a “particular moral excellence.” 
 
When thinking about the talk recently given by Elaine S. Dalton called “Guardians of Virtue” I thought about how changing the word virtue would change people’s perception of her meaning. Instead of guardians of sexual morality, it could mean guardians of doing what’s right, or guardians of Christ-like attributes, or even guardians of moral excellence. All of those things sound wonderful, but people hear her say guardians of virtue and think she is criticizing young women and saying they must have a pure spotless past, present, and future, and bringing double standards into this mix. I don’t think that’s what she is saying at all. 
 
In Mark 5:30, Jesus feels virtue leave him. I don’t think that he felt his sexual morality leave him. The footnote for virtue in that verse says a Greek translation for the words power or strength. Now, young women, think about being the guardian of power and strength! Think about how doing the right thing always, having Christ-like attributes, and being sexually moral can give you that power and strength! Now think about where we get power and strength, i.e. The Holy Ghost. We are the guardians of all of the things that promise us the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. 
 
Doctrine and Covenants 25:2 has a footnote from virtue taking you to two words in the topical guide: virtue and Zion. A footnote in section thirty for virtue takes you to the topical guide for holiness. We, sisters, are the guardians of Zion; the guardians of holiness! Why are these things that we must find faults with? 
 
In Alma 31:5 it talks about “the virtue of the word of God.” If we are asked to be guardians of virtue, are we not also asked to be guardians of the word of God? There are so many different meanings to the word virtue. We need to stop jumping to the conclusion that the church is setting up double standards.
 
Some people think that when we emphasis virtue in our young women we are showing a double standard, but do we not emphasize all of these things in young men as well? Do we not ask them to always do what is right? to obtain Christ-like attributes? to be sexually moral? I promise you that we do. 
 
We are asked to be guardians of virtue in the same way that the men are asked to hold the priesthood. We are all given responsibilities and duties, things to cherish and protect, and they all come down to holding the same moral standards. Heavenly Father loves all of us, and has asked all of us to do specific things based on what He knows us to be capable of; based on the talents He has given us, but we are all equal in His eyes, and has asked all of us to do the same thing: if ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).

“A People Prepared for the Lord”

I know that Heavenly Father prepares people for this gospel. I know this because I was one of those prepared people. I know that He is mindful of all of us, of all of our needs and wants, of all of our strengths and weaknesses. He knows us all by name. He knows the names of all those people who are being prepared. We can know them too if we ask. I was prepared to receive this restored gospel. If you know me before I joined you would never have placed me leaving school for any reason, let alone to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. No one know I was being prepared. I didn’t even know, but Heavenly Father knew that i was ready, and all that I needed was that push, and I got it. I got such a strong spiritual witness, not because I asked for it, but because I was ready for it. We need to help prepare those around us. We can’t know who is ready without asking Heavenly Father. You might not realize that someone you love is prepared to hear this message.

Something we have been doing in our area is meeting with our members and helping them pray for missionary experiences. When we pray and ask Heavenly Father to help us to have missionary experiences, then He will help us. You do not have to try to get someone to read The Book of Mormon or even get them to meet with the missionaries. A missionary experience can be as simple as inviting someone to a fun church event, institute/seminary, or sharing a really fun thing that happened at church. Always remember that the greatest way to be a missionary…is to be a good example.