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Saturday, January 30, 2010

"The Resurrection and the Life"

In my reading of the New Testament this week, I was struck by a very short verse in the book of Acts (Acts 13:30), when Paul is telling the story of the Savior to Gentiles in Antioch. First he explains that the Jewish rulers slew Jesus, and laid him in a sepulcher. Then, Paul writes, in spite of death, “God raised him from the dead.”
Death is a bond that the Savior broke for each of us, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians in chapter 15 of the first book: Though “as in Adam all men die, shall all in Christ be made alive.” Through His own resurrection, he broke the shackles of death, which grants each person that had a body on earth to have a perfect, immortal body, prior our judgment. The way was paved through the blood of Christ for us to return to live with Him, His Father, and our families.
We all face challenges whether they be physical, emotional, or psychological. The promise of a perfect body and healthy mind is one of the most beautiful promises of the Plan of Salvation.
Neil L. Anderson told a story that I will quote:
“Hadley Peay is seven years old. Hadley was born with a very serious hearing impairment requiring extensive surgery to bring even limited hearing. Her parents followed with tireless training to help her learn to speak. Hadley and her family have cheerfully adapted to the challenge of her deafness.
Once, when Hadley was four, she was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store with her mother. She looked behind her and saw a little boy sitting in a wheelchair. She noticed that the boy did not have legs.
Although Hadley had learned to speak, she had difficulty controlling the volume of her voice. In her louder voice, she asked her mother why the little boy did not have legs.
Her mother quietly and simply explained to Hadley that “Heavenly Father makes all of His children different.” “OK,” Hadley replied.
Then, unexpectedly, Hadley turned to the little boy and said, “Did you know that when Heavenly Father made me, my ears did not work? That makes me special. He made you with no legs, and that makes you special. When Jesus comes, I will be able to hear and you will get your legs. Jesus will make everything all right.”
Furthermore, President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught:
“It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. … If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.”
I know that Jesus will make everything all right. And that it will all work out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why Not Now?

Why Not Now?

Faith is something that we all develop at different rates, because we all work at building faith at different rates. My message today is that of urgency, why we must build faith NOW, instead of waiting until it is more convenient, when we have fewer pressures and burdens on our minds.
The reason for acting NOW can be illustrated in a quote from Michael Jordan, when asked by a reporter after a game-winning shot how it felt to make that shot. Michael answered, “It felt like the 10,000 shots I practiced had paid off.” The heroics, the glory, and his clutch weren’t hatched when he ate his Wheaties that morning. They were homegrown in gyms, early morning workout sessions, eating right, listening to coaches, and practicing for that moment when it would all pay off.
That is why we must build faith. Not because we’re trying to go to Spiritual All-Star games, but we are all seeking spiritual victories. Victories of faith over fear and doubt. The courage to turn off a movie, to turn on the lights when we’re with our significant others, wake up and go to the Temple, and get out of bed to say our prayers. Becoming spiritually strong requires a constant nourishment of faith, and faith building activities. To know how to build faith, we must first know what it is, and how we can get more of it.
“Faith,” the Apostle Paul wrote, “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Alma added that “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things.” Faith is an expression of an inner knowledge, an action word, and an example to those around us. It is an invitation to “Come unto Christ” and live by His teachings. Jeffrey R. Holland once wrote:

So how does one "come unto Christ" in response to this constant invitation? The scriptures give scores of examples and avenues. You are well acquainted with the most basic ones. The easiest and the earliest comes simply with the desire of our heart, the most basic form of faith that we know. "If ye can no more than desire to believe," Alma says, exercising just "a particle of faith," giving even a small place for the promises of God to find a home—that is enough to begin. Just believing, just having a "molecule" of faith—simply hoping for things which are not yet seen in our lives, but which are nevertheless truly there to be bestowed that simple step, when focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, has ever been and always will be the first principle of His eternal gospel.

That first step of wanting to believe is something that all of us in this room have. We all want to share the Gospel, read our scriptures, say our prayers, and do our home teaching. And it all begins with something incredibly simple, the desire to believe. And as Grandpa Joe said in Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, “you deserve it more, because you want it more!” When we want something to the point that we’re willing to sacrifice all that we have, we find ourselves doing the things required to keep what we want. In short, we act on our desires. Prophets and Apostles have taught this from the beginning. One famous example is the case of Joshua, who wrote that we must “choose this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
This day. Not tomorrow, or some day. There is a danger in the phrase some day, when it means, not “this day.” I’ve found that the most popular day of the week to start something new is “tomorrow.” The prophet Amulek warned of this when he wrote:

31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

King Benjamin also taught that we are immediately blessed for keeping the commandments of God, and the Prophet Joseph taught that:

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

Thus, acting now, in obedience, we are qualified to receive the help and strength of the Lord in our trials and travails. We need the Savior’s help more and more each day. Faith unto repentance, or believing that Christ will do what He says He can do (make us clean and pure), rather than believing that He is able to do something. Faith is knowing that the Lord will make good on His promises, and comfort us in our times of weakness. That He will save us. Stephen E. Robinson taught this, and I paraphrase:
Because what good is a Savior that doesn’t save anyone? It’s like a lifeguard that watches the people that He has promised to protect drowning, maybe even offering encouraging advice, like “try the backstroke!” But our Savior will dive in, and support us in our times of struggle. Though we may be spiritually thrashing, panicking, and requiring His (or in the case of the Savior, His servant’s) attention, He will never let us go. He holds on to us when we are in the most danger, and when we cannot support ourselves. If we will but call to the Master who implored, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” we will find His supporting arms around us. But we must allow Him to save us. We must say our prayers, read the scriptures, attend church, and the Temple, and serve others. We cannot merely believe that He will save us…we must allow Him to through our faithfulness. And we must turn to Him because we love Him, not because things are hard. Because we want to be close to Him for our own sakes, and not merely for His ability to bless and deliver. For that is how God loves us.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once wrote:

True love lasts forever. It is eternally patient and forgiving. It believes, hopes, and endures all things. That is the love our Heavenly Father bears for us. We all yearn to experience love like this. Even when we make mistakes, we hope others will love us in spite of our shortcomings—even if we don’t deserve it. Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us—even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will. We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.
We are all children of God, with the potential to become like Him. Sometimes we forget that. There is a family that I count as some of my best friends. This family is loving, accepting, and faithful. But they were not always as faithful as they could be. After serving full-time missions, the parents raised their children in the Gospel for many years. But slowly, through heartaches and offenses, and convenience, they slowly stopped coming to Church. They fed the missionaries once a week, and they seemed to think this was all they needed to be “active” and “faithful” in the Church. But they struggled mightily with their children, were unhappy in their personal lives, and their marriage was in shambles. With a little help from some over-zealous missionaries, they began to call to their Savior. It started with scripture study. Then personal prayer. Then family prayer. Then church attendance. Then tithing. Then home and visiting teaching. Over a period of three months, they were temple worthy once more. This family, which had been missionary-friendly for years, had come back. Not because of anything that anyone had done for them, but because they had done what they knew to be true for themselves. They were able to see what they had been missing. One of their sons is in Washington DC on a mission, and one recently returned home, after serving faithfully for two years in Texas. Their parents work in the Temple. Later, I asked them why they decided to become fully active, after all these years of inactivity. Mama, as I affectionately call her, said “because we realized that we couldn’t be a forever family based on what we had done in the past. We needed to move forward on what we knew, and act on what we knew was right. The fear that we had left when we once again tasted of the goodness of the Atonement of Christ. And I never want to feel that fear again.”
And the Atonement of Christ is the ultimate re-assurance to you and I that we can follow in the Savior’s footsteps. Alma wrote that:

11 And [Christ] shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

This is the testimony that is also in me. In the times that are most troubling in my life, I have found that the Savior is always there beside me. But perhaps the most important times when I have felt the Atonement working in my life, is when I turn to Him when I’m not in crisis. Because the Atonement is not only the lifejacket, it’s the boat that we need to be safe in our entire lives. We can’t only hop in the boat when there are sharks in the water, but to stay away from the sharks in general. We need to enjoy the sunshine, and the company that is on the boat with us. And we must invite others to come into the boat, like Lehi invited his family, to partake of the goodness of Jesus Christ, and His saving Atonement. We can do that by doing simple things; being an example to our neighbors, inviting others to activities and to Church. And the comfort that we have is that He will be with us every step of the way.

The Savior suffered body and Spirit that we could change through faith in Him. Paraphrasing the Savior’s words, to the Prophet Joseph he spoke of His experience in performing the Atonement:

15 Therefore I command you to [exercise faith]—i.e. repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

To all those who do not know where to start, I suggest this: ask the Lord in prayer where to begin. The Spirit has done a wonderful thing and prompted me to change several things in my life that are out of place. I know that He will help me overcome, as I seek Him, for He has promised that “He will go before my face, that He will be on my right hand, and on my left, with His angels round about me to bear me up.” The Savior taught this in 3 Nephi 17:7-8:

Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

What one of us does not need to be healed? What one of us does not have broken things to mend? Elder Holland once wrote:
“If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.”
I close with a poem that Elder Holland cited in his talk Broken Things To Mend
In Nazareth, the narrow road,
That tires the feet and steals the breath,
Passes the place where once abode
The Carpenter of Nazareth.
And up and down the dusty way
The village folk would often wend;
And on the bench, beside Him, lay
Their broken things for Him to mend.
The maiden with the doll she broke,
The woman with the broken chair,
The man with broken plough, or yoke,
Said, "Can you mend it, Carpenter?"
And each received the thing he sought,
In yoke, or plough, or chair, or doll;
The broken thing which each had brought
Returned again a perfect whole.
So, up the hill the long years through,
With heavy step and wistful eye,
The burdened souls their way pursue,
Uttering each the plaintive cry:
"O Carpenter of Nazareth,
This heart, that's broken past repair,
This life, that's shattered nigh to death,
Oh, can You mend them, Carpenter?"
And by His kind and ready hand,
His own sweet life is woven through
Our broken lives, until they stand
A New Creation—"all things new."
"The shattered [substance] of [the] heart,
Desire, ambition, hope, and faith,
Mould Thou into the perfect part,
O, Carpenter of Nazareth!"19

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sincere Faith

This semester at BYU I’m taking the class “Christian History in Light of the Restored Gospel.” While preparing for class, I was reading one of the textbooks, and one sentence in particular stuck out to me, speaking about Christianity becoming the state religion of Rome. It read, “Faith became easy, and sincerity suffered,” due to the newfound acceptance of Christianity. This sentence meant much more to me as a Latter-day Saint, thinking of the high standards of living that we are asked to live, as part of the same Church that the Savior established. I began pondering on what the Lord asks us to do, and why He does it.
First of all, why standards at all? Why does the Lord not accept us for what we want to do, without regards to what He wants? Why does He trust us with the gift of agency if He wants us to act in a certain way? The answer to this is found in the third chapter of the Book of Abraham:

21 I dwell in the midst of them all; I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all…
25 And [God and Christ] will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

So back to one of the primary answers to one of the primary questions: we are here to prove ourselves, that we may return to live with our Heavenly Father, our Savior, and our families. Doesn’t this make any endeavor that we are asked to go through worth it? The rewards are so great for the decisions that we make, that the expectations for blessing must be markedly higher. As President Henry B. Eyring taught:

“The Lord sets His standards [high] so that He can bless us. Think about those blessings: He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. He promises personal peace. He promises the chance to receive holy ordinances in His house. And He promises those who endure in living His standards that they will have eternal life. They will live in families in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.”

This confirms what is taught to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith in D&C 130:

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

And by King Benjamin in Mosiah 2:22:

…he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

We don’t keep commandments to “pay back” Heavenly Father, or to earn the earthly acclaim of men. We keep the commandments because it is all He asks us to do. King Benjamin continued:

23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

We are not saved by works, but rather by the faith that performing works grows. Though it is the Atonement of Christ that ultimately saves us, we are saved by His grace after “all we can do.” That means that we are asked to do hard things. To do things that we don’t understand. To do things that may not make sense to us. But by doing these things, it means that we can return to live with our families in the presence of God.
Follow the Lord’s direction in John 7:17, that “if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” The only way to gain a testimony is to live the principles, and test them for themselves.
Joseph Smith once wrote:

Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly thingsWhen a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.

So why does the Lord require us to do hard things? Because He wants us to return to Him. Let us re-double our efforts to show our faith and sincerity, as we seek to serve the Lord and each other.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

He Will Help Us

Each day we are faced with an extraordinary number of decisions. Some are simple, such as the cereal to eat, or the route to take to school or work. But far more likely than not, the decisions that we make have life-altering consequences. I know that I feel that way now, much more than I did when I was younger, when the big decision in life was would I play football or soccer at recess. Now, when faced with decisions of lifelong and eternal commitments, I still wonder sometimes, “Where can I turn? How shall I make a decision?”
The easy answer is to turn to section nine of the Doctrine and Covenants, which reads:
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…

It would be so wonderful to me if this were what happened on each occasion that I went to the Lord with a question. I’m not suggesting that the Lord is not answering my prayer, but rather suggesting that sometimes His answer is not the one I am seeking. I often find myself praying with a phrase somewhat like this: “here’s what I want to do, so this will happen. Is this right?” While this dialogue yields answers, I wonder if I should re-phrase and change the way that I approach our Father in Heaven. But that isn’t the point of this particular blog; I suppose that what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think that the Lord wants to make every decision for us.
In combing through Preach My Gospel for weeks at a time, I never once found instructions on how the Spirit will lead us (my theory: because it’s different for each one of us). There are a set of rudimentary instructions found throughout PMG, and the scriptures, and the words of God’s inspired leaders. I would sum them up as follows: (actually, before you read that, remember that I am not exactly an authority on anything spiritual, I am just drawing conclusions from MY experience, and may not be typical of each person’s approach. Find what works best for you)

1. Keep the commandments. The Spirit does not strive to be with God. He uses a still, small voice that can be drowned in the cacophony of day to day dealings, including anger, spite, sins of omission or commission, or just plain not doing what we know we should.
2. Ask for help. For as it reads in Matthew 7…
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
While this may sound contradictory from my statement saying that Father does not want to make every decision for us, that does not mean that He does not want to help. He may not be able to absolve us of the burden we carry (this is mortality, a time to prepare to meet God and be tested after all) but He can make our backs strong, our will more secure, our testimonies of His love ironclad, and lead us to the answers we seek.
3. Read the Scriptures. When reading the words of the Savior, and those who testify of Him, the Spirit will inspire our hearts and minds in ways that can not happen on our own volition. Often I will be reading a passage, and think of someone that I need to call, or of something that I need to do, and when I’m paying particular attention, know what I need to do.
4. Ask those you trust for help. When the Lord promised us that “angels would be on our right hand, and on our left hand” I don’t think that He meant only the hosts of heaven. I believe that He meant those around us that love us and want us to be happy. If I’m ever able to “pay forward” half of the things that others have done for me, I would be somewhere on par with Mother Theresa. Though I still struggle with a streak of pride and independence, I seek to ask those that I know care about me (parents, bishops, roommates, friends, teachers) what their opinion is. I find that they have the courage to tell me whether a decision is good or bad, or at least tell me how they see the situation so that I can make the decision by myself.
5. Ask for a blessing. The Lord has given it to His servants for a Reason.
6. Follow your instincts.

One of the most important tasks of mortality is to learn to choose for ourselves. If the Lord directed us firmly in every decision, it would defeat the purpose of His plan.

I know that decisions are hard. I know that the Lord knows the answers and that He will lead and guide us in paths that will return us to Him, if we will be worthy of His Spirit.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pressing On

Not to be a downer or anything, but the year 2009 was a hard one. Between the economy’s struggles, friends and family making choices that I don’t understand, broken hearts, and broken dreams it seems like it was tougher than most years that I can remember.
But this year was also one of the best, with being re-united with friends and family after returning home from a mission, good jobs and bosses, and great classes and professors.
The important thing to remember, in this first blog post (since my goals post was technically in 2009), is that we must press on. In a popular song it proclaims, “To go back to where I was would just be wrong, I’m pressing on.” So must we all be as we move forward in 2010.
Miracles will happen as we do everything that we can to do what we know to be of good report, and to be honest and praiseworthy. As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, and His ability to do what He says He can do, we will see our prayers answered. Though not always answered in the ways that we expect, or desire, they are answered. Thus, as we exercise an active belief in the Savior, He WILL save us. Could he really be called the Savior if He never saved anyone? But He can only save us if we do all things with “real intent, having faith in [Him].” The prophets before us understood this, as evidenced from a small list of miracles listed by Moroni in Ether 12:

13 Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth. [They were in prison, persecuted for their faith, and they prayed for deliverance]
14 Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. [A few pages before, it looked like they were to be attacked by the same Lamanites.]
15 Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. [Years of missionary service that resulted in the conversion of a nation.]
16 Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

Noah built the ark. Moses parted the Red Sea. Daniel survived the Lion’s Den. Joseph Smith kneeled. And we all do what we feel prudent, though as Nephi, not always understanding why we’re doing what we are doing, for “faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”
While I was serving my mission, I was teaching a student from China. She did not understand English very well, but she understood enough (along with the help of Church videos in Mandarin) to make basic commitments, and keep them. Then, after a lesson on prayers and blessings, she asked for a blessing, in preparation for her final exams. In the blessing, Bing-Na was promised that as she read the Book of Mormon and prayed in both English and Mandarin, that she would become fluent in the English language. While this wasn’t the original reason for the blessing, I knew that if she did what the Lord asked, that it would come true. It did. She went from single word sentences, to being able to participate in a calling (in the nursery) shortly after I was transferred from the area, and bore her testimony in a fast and testimony meeting.
And I will probably drive everyone crazy with mission stories, but there’s one more that I feel like I should share. Last January, President Dyches challenged each companionship to fast, pray, and work to have two investigators with baptismal dates in the next 3 weeks. I remember thinking to myself, “that will take a miracle! How will we have two investigators to prepare for baptism, when we’re only teaching one person right now? Not only that, but our zone will all need 1-2 more baptismal commitments to reach this goal!” After a stirring meeting on miracles, following counsel from Priesthood leaders, and testimony being born on the reality of miracles, each companionship knew that we could reach our goal. We fasted twice, and prayed as fervently as possible. Elder Carter and I worked, watched, fought, and prayed with all our might and zeal. We extended baptismal commitments to each person that we taught, and nothing happened. Our lone investigator declined our invitation. And then, the Lord intervened. We were able to set two baptismal dates in first lessons with new investigators. We were able to watch faith grow in their hearts and eyes, and while visiting Portland with my parents, I was able to participate in Kathy’s confirmation. What I thought was impossible, was possible through Him.
Let us all work towards seeing these miracles. Let’s pay our tithing, and serve in our callings. Let’s offer encouraging words to those in toil, and offer a helping hand. For what use is faith, if we don’t use it, for as Moroni wrote: “whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” If we believe that they will happen, let’s expect that they will happen.