Mar 17, 2012

YOU are a Child of God.

Have you ever had a moment where you really felt God's love for you and you really knew that you were His child?

I had one of those moments a few days ago.

I had a rough day. I was feeling alone, sad, and super inadequate in my calling as a missionary. It was one of those times that I wondered if I was even making a difference. I went into the bathroom and got on my knees. My Heavenly Father and I had a long conversation. I poured out my heart to Him. I told Him exactly how I felt. I told Him I felt alone. I told Him I was having a bad day. I told Him that being a missionary was hard. I made some promises with Him that I would do better. I begged for His help. His spirit, and His guidance throughout the rest of the day.

As I got up off the floor, and began to fix my make-up, the words to a song I haven't even thought of for years came into my head.

Walk tall, you’re a daughter, a child of God.
Be strong—please remember who you are.
Try to understand, You’re part of My great plan.
I'm closer than you know—reach up, I'll take your hand.

In that moment, I could not deny that my Heavenly Father was aware of me. I could not deny that He loved me. I felt Him close by, and I knew that I could do it. I knew that all of my problems weren't solved, but WITH Him, all things were possible. I knew that I was His daughter.

That knowledge made all the difference.

Feb 26, 2012

Choose Faith!

What is faith?

Why does it even matter? Why is it SO important that it is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

In the Book of Mormon, in Alma 32:21, it says,
"And now as I said concerning faith- faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

How can we have faith in things that we can't see, and yet know that they are true?

I don't know a lot of things, but I know the important things. For example, I can't see God, I never have, but I know He is there. I know He answers my prayers. I never met Joseph Smith, but I know he was a prophet. I didn't live during the time of Jesus Christ. I didn't get to touch the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet. I didn't see Him suffer in the Garden of Gethsemene, but I KNOW that He died for me! I KNOW that He lives! I didn't hear Alma the Younger's conversion story or hear Samuel the Lamanite prophecy of Christ's coming, but I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that it is a book written by God's prophets, and not just a good story. It is another testament of Jesus Christ.

Is that faith? Absolutely!

Did I always know these things? No way!

The prophet Alma compared the word of God to a seed that must be nurtured by faith:

"27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith?"

Faith is a choice. Faith is action. Just like Alma said, we need to awake, arouse, experiment, exercise, desire, work, and plant- all of which are action words!
"Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours. So I say, choose faith! Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and unseen, and choose faith over pessimism. (Faith-The Choice is Yours, Bishop Richard C. Edgely, November 2010)"
Please watch this video about Jesus Christ! 

Dec 30, 2011

Book of Mormon Testimonies.

If you haven't read the Book of Mormon, read it! I know that it is true with all of my heart. I love this book.

Dec 26, 2011

Jason's Testimony.

I wanted to keep my testimony honest, truthful and detailed. I was raised in the Church by my mom and grandmother. We were always off and on Mormons. We would go for stretches and then stop. My father didn't join til I was 14, so it made it harder for my mom. I wasn't raised with the overwhelming sense that I must and should serve a mission. I met a friend in high school .... OK a girl, and she really got me very active in the Church my junior year in High school. I decided on my own to serve a mission. It wasn't an easy decision but yet my heart was always at ease and comforted in what I decided. My mission defines who I am today in so many ways. I gained the first part of my testimony of the Church on my mission. Kneeling down in someones home the first time you meet them to pray and ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God is powerful. One time without my companion knowing I actually was doing the prayer for myself too, with the investigator. Wow!! The spirit was amazing, I knew then my answer.

The mission was great and I gained a foundation of a testimony through it. I came home and married a nonmember and shocked a lot of people. I made some choices after that led me to feel guilty and ashamed, so I allowed myself to fall away from the church. After my kids were born and at an age where they could pray with me, we started nightly prayers together. I was away from the Church for over 12 years.

The second part of my Testimony came after I went back to Church in Southern California. I made a lot of stupid choices in those 12 years. Its funny because the first 21 years of my life I was squeaky clean and innocent, then after the mission....even having a testimony like I did, I mess up. Anyways, I got really sick about 6 months after going back to Church. The kind of sick where you wonder if you will live another day.

One Sunday I was so ill I couldn't attend Church with the kids, so my wife decided to take them. I was blown away but couldn't comprehend the magnitude of her willingness to go. Amanda came home that day and told me the Bishop talked about the importance of reading The Book of Mormon. I was like wow, she went to Church without me and she paid attention...I better open my book of Mormon.

I started reading in the most dark hours of my life, where I was so sick with anxiety, and the medications I was on didn't help either. The Book of Mormon got me through some very tough nights. My testimony grew of the absolute power that resides in the Book of Mormon. I also gained a bigger testimony that I wasn't alone and I had a friend in Christ who was there with me the whole way. I wouldn't have made it out of those times without Him.

In this season when we celebrate His birth, my heart is filled with gratitude towards Him. I would feel like Mr. Kruger in his presence where I just continue to thank him over and over for what He has done for me and my family.

I know this Church is the only true church by which men can truly come to know their Savior and Redeemer. I am truly blessed with that great honor of knowing.

I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, and brought forth The Book of Mormon in our day to be a beacon in dark times.

I know the Atonement is real and have a strong testimony and understanding of it.

I share these things and my Testimony in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.


Dec 22, 2011

Chase's Testimony.

This is the testimony of my best friend Chase and how he came to know the Book of Mormon was true.

"I was in my senior year in high school and I had never read the Book of Mormon. It never even occurred to me before that I didn't have my own personal testimony about the church and the scriptures. That year in seminary I had a great seminary teacher, Brother Montoya, in all honesty he is the only seminary teacher I truly connected with. One day he gave this lesson that hit me on such an emotional and spiritual level. It was one of those moments that you get chills because the spirit is so strong. In his lesson he talked about how President Hinckley was urging everyone to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and how you yourself could obtain your own personal testimony of its truths and teachings. During this lesson it came to me that I had passed up so many opportunities to read the Book of Mormon, and I made a promise to myself that I was going to read it.

So my journey began, and I started reading the Book of Mormon. I kept thinking to myself that I just didn't feel that I was getting the full meaning and power behind what I was reading. But then I knew what I was missing- prayer!  I prayed asking to feel that what I was reading was true and that the spirit would help me understand everything. When I did that a whole new view and understanding was opened to me, and it was amazing. Up to that point in my life, I had never felt the spirit hit me that strongly. As I read I learned so much and I knew, thanks to my Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, that what I was reading was true.
Chase and I!
It took my about a year to finish it my first time because I really wanted to take my time, and make sure I wasn't missing anything. But still to this day, and for the rest of my life, I know that I can turn to the scriptures for answers to any questions I may have. It never ceases to amaze me that I could have a question or be struggling with something, and that day I could open my scriptures and find the answer I was looking for. The Book of Mormon is a true testament of Jesus Christ. I am eternally grateful that I have this book of answers and knowledge and teachings in my life. The Book of Mormon has helped my testimony grow so much and I know this book is true. I don't know what I would do without it in my life, but I never have to. The Book of Mormon will always have such a strong presence in my life. I love this book. I suggest to anyone who hasn't read it- Do! You do not know what you're missing. The Book of Mormon is here for us- for our benefit and it will and can help you the way it has helped me."

If you would like to request of free copy of the Book of Mormon to read it for yourself, click here!

Dec 14, 2011

The TRUE spirit of Christmas.

Let's take a minute to slow down and remember the REAL reason for the season!!

Dec 10, 2011

Al Fox.

I just wanted to share with you all an awesome blog I found.  Al Fox is AWESOME! Her testimony shines!! THIS is the reason I am doing what I am doing, because I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives! It changed hers.  It changed mine. Watch her videos, share them with your friends! Check out her most recent video that she made about her conversion story.