Wednesday, February 8, 2017

7 Sneaky Ways to Trick Yourself Into Exercising

Hey guys,
I started a different blog to help students stay healthier despite being busy and poor.

Check it out!
http://whatthehealth-students.com

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Infinite Atonement

Th is it. I've officially been home from my mission for a whole year. While I was a missionary I learned to apply the Atonement so thoroughly in every aspect of my missionary life. It strengthened me and helped me every day. This semester I got to really learn about Jesus Christ and His life and Atonement in my New Testament class. We've been focusing specifically on His Atoning Sacrifice for the last several class periods.

If you'd have asked me before what the "Atonement" included, I probably would've told you two things:
1. The suffering in Gethsemane
2. The crucifixion

In reality, the Atonement encompasses so much more than that. Every event that occurred from when He initially felt weighed down in the Garden to when He "gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:46) is part of the Atoning Sacrifice. The betrayal, the trials, the scourging. The mere fact that He chose to live through it all makes the Sacrifice infinite (2 Nephi 9: 7-8) and also complete (Luke 23:46). It could even be argued that every day of His life was part of the Atonement as He chose to overcome temptations and trials perfectly, making it possible for Him to be sacrificed for our sakes.

Just as the Atonement is so much more than the garden and the cross, it also helps us in more ways than just sin and transgressions. While those are major things that need to be overcome, forgiven, changed, there is a depth to the Atonement that surpasses all our mortal understanding. This depth covers confusions, pains, doubts, strugglings, discouragements, failures... and the list goes on. The Atonement is infinite and I am grateful for our Savior who gave this free gift to us.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

He Lived For Us

While I am so grateful that Jesus Christ died for me, I am even more grateful that He chose to live for me. When Christ was in the depths of Gethsemane, suffering in a way "which suffering caused [himself], even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit..." (D&C 19:18) I am sure that everything moral in Him was screaming at Him to then give up the ghost.

The horrid transitioning events between Gethsemane and the actual crucifixion leave me to "stand all amazed, that for me a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died." The all-powerful creator of the world underwent scourging, stripping, spitting, and smiting (Matthew 27: 27-31) at the hands of the Roman soldiers that "...His visage was so marred, more than any man." (Isaiah 52:14).

He is the Messiah because He suffered it. He suffered it all. He did not choose to retaliate, nor did He choose to give up. He simply chose to bear it for us, that we might not have to suffer as He suffered. One of the biggest sacrifices Christ made was to live through all of it for us.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Service

Mere hours before the Savior descended into the Garden of Gethsemane to perform the Atonement He was found serving His disciples. First, He serves them symbolically by washing their feet in John 13. And then, as the Apostles are probably realizing to a small extent that the Savior's time with them is limited, as they all walk together on that heavy night, the Savior comforts them in John 14:26-27.

 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
How any person can be so giving of Himself when He knows He is about to "tread the winepress alone?" It's a lesson to us that even in our most sorrowful moments, we can still serve others. 
I'm grateful for Jesus Christ and for His example of perfect love and service. He always gave of Himself completely to those around Him, and I only hope that I can live in a way to exemplify His perfect example as best I can.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Well, that's not fair."

How often do we hear that? We need equality, we need everybody to be treated exactly the same. Interestingly though, the Lord's ways are higher than the world's ways. (Isaiah 55: 8-9) The promise of the Gospel. is that, "All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." (Preach My Gospel). Interestingly, it doesn't say, all that is unfair about life will be made fair, only that it will be made right.

In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-28), in the beginning, the three servants receive different amounts of talents. The first receives 10, the second two, and the third receives one. In our world, it's easy to look at that and say, wow how unfair! Why did the first get 10 and the last only one? But it is important to focus on what you have been given, rather than what you haven't been given.

The truth is, the Lord knows us best. He knows our capabilities and He only judges us according to our capacities. We won't be judged on a scale of Lemuel to Nephi. We won't even be judged on a scale of Cain to President Monson. The Lord looketh on the heart (1 Sam 16:7) and judges us on a scale of who we once were and who we have become. When we do all we can with what we've been allotted (Alma 29), we will hear the words of the Lord, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: inter thou into the joy of thy lord." What a merciful God. I think it's okay that life is sometimes unfair.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hypocrites

"But he that is greatest amount you shall be your servant," Christ told the multitude and his disciples in Matthew 23. After an intense run-in with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes in Matthew 22, Jesus Christ continued to teach the people the qualities of being a good leader by making known the hypocrisies of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes in their day.

In ancient Greece, a hypocrite was actually a play actor. You know, the kind that wore the masks to show if they were happy or sad so the crowd could see them. There was no knowing who was actually behind the mask. In Matthew 23, Christ makes clear that the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes were also hypocrites. "For they say and do not..." He taught. In order to be a good leader, one must do work not to be seen of man. One must be a servant. Throughout the entire chapter we learn of the Christlike qualities of leadership, especially the importance of humility and service. I love to learn about Christ, our perfect teacher, and to learn how I can be more like Him.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Reenoks

When Christ "cleansed" the temple, that is, He threw out all the money traders etc., I've wondered if that really was the most Christlike thing to do.  Actually, it was, yes. He is Christ, and He never allows for something wrong to be going on. It's a good example for us to not let peer pressures or any other influences stop us from doing what we know is right. It was truly a miracle. Imagine the busiest market place you've ever been in, that's how it was considering that it was a time of celebration and gathering.

I imagine one of those Russian markets, called Reenoks, where people are yelling back and forth at each other, at you trying to sell you goods. There's a lot of chaos and a lot of noise. Now imagine if one person were to try to force everybody to clear out the Reenok. Good lucky, my friend.

Only Jesus Christ, the Almighty, could completely cleanse the temple. It's true for us as well. We have to let Christ cleanse our temples, our bodies, our lives. It's not an easy or comfortable process, but only through Christ can we become truly cleansed.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jesus Wept

You know those moments when you're completely overcome? When there are twists in the road ahead, when we make mistakes, sometimes bad enough to become failures. When tragedy strikes and when the stumbling blocks won't cease.

For some, it's easy to think, why would God do this to me? Or, why would He ALLOW this to happen to me?

In John 11 we read of the tragedy of Lazarus' death. The miracle of Christ raising him is astounding and faith promoting, but I would like to focus on a verse well before this miracle. As Christ takes the time to comfort Martha and Mary individually, during His interaction with Mary, He simply weeps.

Was He weeping because He was worried He might not see Lazarus again? Was He sad for His own sake? Those two simple words, "Jesus Wept" open many doors to understand the perfect character of our Savior.

One of these aspects is the fact that He really doesn't enjoy to watch us suffer. He doesn't give us stumbling blocks and trials to watch us struggle and fail, but rather He allows these difficult things in our lives because of who they can help us to become. And, as with the story of Lazarus, sometimes these things happen to us to help us turn to the Savior and witness the miracles He is ready to perform in our own lives.

So when those moments of despair, confusion, hopelessness, seem to outnumber the moments of peace, comfort, and hope, remember to turn to the Savior. To weep with Him, and to let Him perform the miracles.

Monday, October 17, 2016

wish i was anywhere but provo rn

my feet are up right now,


but this isn't my view.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Yes, No, Maybe so

It is promised all over the scriptures that when we ask something of God, we shall receive. Why, then, does it seem that oftentimes prayers go unanswered?

In Matthew 15 there is a story about a woman of Canaan who came to the Lord pleading Him to heal her vexed daughter. At first, Christ, "answered her nothing."

Have you ever experienced that? The silence that makes it seem that God isn't listening. This humble woman persists in her pleas and eventually the Lord gives her a soft no. Yet, this woman with faith asks the Lord yet again, and in verse 28 He does indeed heal her daughter.

When we pray it's so important to listen to the Lord. He knows what is best. Sometimes we receive silence, and as Elder Richard G. Scott said in April 2007, silence is the best answer. It means He trusts us with the decision. We can also receive answers of yes, not now, or no. No matter what the answer is, I know if we follow through on the promptings we receive, we will be following God's will which will ultimately bring us the most happiness.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Loaves and Fishes

Matthew 14:16
"But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat."
"And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves and two fishes."
"He said, Bring them hither to me...""

I don't know about you, but  there are times when I feel like it is impossible to do all that is asked of me. This reoccurring theme throughout the scriptures helps me to see that in reality, I can't do everything myself. Yet when I'm willing to give all I have, all five loaves, both fishes, and then wait on the Lord, He will help magnify my efforts in ways I can't imagine. I'm grateful for the Savior and I'm grateful for his never ending help and support.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Make them real

It's too easy when we're studying the scriptures to take a phrase like, "...he was brought down into the depths of sorrow..." (1 Nephi 16:25) and easily continue forward without stopping to think about what that must have been like. During my New Testament class we discussed many of the miracles that Christ performed. One of my favorite stories of Christ is the story about Jairus.


Jairus was a "ruler of the synagogue" meaning he could've been a pharisee or a chief priest. In Mark 5:23 he pleads Christ to come save his daughter. "I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live." 

While in the hustle and bustle or make their way to the home of Jairus through the people who "thronged" them, it's easy to forget the urgency that Jairus must have felt at that point. When Christ then takes the time to perform another miracle for the woman with the issue of blood, can you only imagine the frantic Jairus who knows his daughter is one the verge of death? Christ is taking the time necessary for another special daughter of God, comforting her and turning her fear to peace when Jairus is terrified of the very worse.

Which happens in verse 35: "While Jesus yet spake [to the other woman], there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, They daughter is dead: why troubles thou the Master any further?"

Jairus's world just shattered. Can't you see him collapsing slowly to the ground while the reality of losing his daughter washes over him? He was real.

And yet Jesus, the master comforter, comes and now comforts him telling him to "Be not afraid, only believe."

When we take the time to make the characters in the scriptures come to life, how much easier it is to understand the power of our Savior.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

blessed are the merciful

One of Satan's favorite tools is to make it seem that your "past self is holding your present self hostage." As my New Testament Professor explained. In the beatitudes we learn that, "blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy," (Matt 5:7). In times past when I have read this verse it has seemed more like I need to forgive those in my life who may have wronged me. In reality, that is such a small part of mercy. Often times we need to be more merciful not only to others, but to ourselves. So, the next time you're feeling down because you made a mistake or things didn't go how you hoped they would, remember that in order to obtain the mercy offered by Christ, we must first show mercy to ourselves.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

We have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing...

Imagine that you're at work, whatever your work is. And you have to work late, and by late I mean through the night. When the sun starts rising and you're ready to call it in even though it feels like you haven't made a dent in the work that you have to do, your friend tells you to keep working. Not only that, but he tells you to do your work a different way. Would you be annoyed? Cranky? Hopeless?

Luke 5:5 "We have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing..."

The apostles of Jesus Christ spent many nights toiling away, doing all they could to catch the fish that provided for their livelihoods. How often do we feel completely drowned in work and school work and the other things of this world that it's hard to see what all our effort is doing? At such times it can bet easy to lose focus on the things that matter most. And yet as we read on, we see the faith of Simon in Christ when he says, "... nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."

Luke 5:6 "And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake."

When we, like the apostles of old, show the faith by doing exactly what Christ asks of us, He will bless and magnify our efforts. So no matter how much you feel inadequate or exhausted, rely on the Savior and He will show you the way to success.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Faith is to be putin the Lord.

If you haven't heard already, there's been a lot going down in Russia lately. I served my mission in Russia and I've been home for about 9 months. Since I left the mission, street contacting, and any contact really between missionaries and members has been stopped. Did I say missionaries? Oh, I meant service volunteers. 

Imagine going from teaching lessons and investigators every day to the next day having to cut all contact with nonmembers. It breaks my heart. I've been praying for comfort and understanding, and for guidance to know what I can do from over here to help the missionary work in Russia continue. This week I received a strong answer.

I was volunteering at the MTC and one of the Elders assigned to teach me recently got his mission call changed from my mission to Kiev. He expressed his concern and doubts when he got the call change. He then shared a beautiful testimony that no matter what, the church is true, and he trusts that Kiev is where God needs him most. 

After he shared that, I read in 1 Nephi 9:6, "But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all powerunto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen."

It's true. This is God we're talking about. He is almighty, and His work will never stop.The Lord knoweth all things. And even though we might not always understand why something happens in our life, He does. It's always all part of the plan in the end. It's just up to us to trust Him.