I love being American. Especially here in Montana. I have thought a lot on Freedoms, Soliders and patriots who have gone before us. Our founding Fathers for example. I then think of my good friend Mark. He is now serving in the Army of this great Nation. I hope that this post is read by him as well as all of those who are fighting for the cause of Freedom.
There was a solemn moment in every ones heart of what it means to them to be a part of this Land of Liberty. The Song Proud to be an American by Lee Greenword. Speaks for us in those words...
If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
While reflecting on some of my memories from the mission I came across a letter that I received a couple three months ago. The exact message is to be shared at a different time, but the theme I got was. Have I Changed? That is great question.
Have I Changed?
Have any of us changed for the better? Well that is the question, one that I pose to you. Have you Changed for the Better? I believe that we all go through different events in our lives that make us who we are today. So to answer that question within just a few short months I have changed for the better. I am a better person now then I was yesterday. I heard a quote that makes the difference for me now.
"If you are not progressing forward, you are going backwards."
Let us now take into our lives that quote and make sure that we are becoming the Sons and Daughters of God that He wants us to be.
Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time. What would bring some one to say that? To me it would come from a person who is having a hard time with work or school or life in general. I can't depict it any better then this awesome video.
Life as we see it may be extremely inconvenient to us. We may see things such as
long lines at the grocery store, or even
an unceasingly long stop light
All of these things try our patience. They make our lives inconvenient. We oft times say "Oh come on hurry up." Or "Why do I need to be patient." Though we ask these questions let us remember our Saviour who fasted for 40 days. And Satan cam tempting him. Saying.. "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Now Christ had not eaten in 40 days. You think that he would be just a little hungry. His response was perfect. "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." What a perfect response. I believe that there is a lot to this. I mean it would of been so much easier if Christ did so, for if he did so he could of satisfied his need for he needed to eat. That was convenient as we call it, but he choose the correct way. He did everything to the "T" as we call it of his Father's will. He followed and obeyed with exactness. Even Christ himself asked. "..O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." I believe that speaks volumes. Let not us shirk away from being patient, but let us Endure Well.
With Father's day being tomorrow. I wanted to express some of my feelings towards my own Dad. He is very much a hard worker. He taught me my work ethic. He "voluntold." my brothers and I to go help with a lot of projects that we felt interfered with our golfing. Which it did put us off later then what we wanted to be. We could of spent countless hours on that course, but my Dad in his wisdom, told us that we had more important things to do. We felt like it was drudgery. It was hard to put off something we loved. We however did it. maybe not with smiles on our faces, but you can sure count on that Dave had his three boys there. I don't remember all of the people we helped or even there names. But i do remember a couple three things that I learned. First and foremost. When someone needs help your plans change to what there plans are.
Think of it like Batman. Whenever he Saw the "Bat Signal" he dropped what he was doing and went to see what the problem was.
Second. Just because it's late at night, the Job must still roll on. I have had the problem throughout my mission. When we get a move going or there is flooding to be taken care of. We don't stop at 6:00 Pm for the night. We Go till we get the Job done, Or we drop from exhaustion.
Lastly, when people need HELP they can call on me to get the Job done. When People at home needed something in a pinch. My Dad was right there to help. Of these things. I have learned from my Dad. He has shown me how I must live. And more importantly how I must live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you Dad.
Think of a time that you told a little lie to your parents, or some thing else that you knew was wrong. We start digging a hole for ourselves. I have heard of the quote. "The first Law of Holes. Is when in one, stop digging!" These small actions at the time may seem innocent and that it is no big deal. Though some people justify their actions. We need to realize that we often live far below our potential. Though we know we do. How do we correct that and come to the level we are capable of being at? The answer is actually really simple. "For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land..." That is the answer. Is to keep the commandments of God. Then shall we be blessed by the Lord. Now once we know what we must do to get out of the hole. How do we do it?
I believe that we must rely on Christ. Who preformed the Atonement. He suffered for both you and I. He is "The way, The Truth, The Light." Might I add another, He is the ladder that allows us to progress upwards. He is the one who we must look to in our time of need. "No matter how Dark the night, the Dawn is always invincible." Christ is that shining light. Let him help in your time of need. Because He has already been there and suffered that.
Have you ever completed a great accomplishment and then said. "I did this all by myself?" No need to answer that question, but I can say that i personally I have done and said that. Now when we look at it. It doesn't seem so bad to say. It may not mean much else to other people. But this brings about Pride. Which always end's with. "therefore I am better then you." I can only speak from first hand knowledge and let me tell you the pride of one's heart can destroy him or her. What a terrible thing to fall victim to. All because we had divine help. We seek to say. "Oh look how good I am, look at what I did." Friend's let's stay away from this attitude. Let's look to God in our victories. I purpose that we take the stance of the Savior when He the Only Begotten of the Father said. "...O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Here He is, the man who rose Jairus' daughter from the grave, He who healed thousands! Yes, here he suffers, for us. He let his Heavenly Father's will. Take the lead. My friend's. I believe the same. Let us take upon us the will of our Father in Heaven. To be teachable and humble is the best way to be in this world of Unknown. I love this quote that I am sure all of you have heard before. "Swallow your pride. It contains NO calories."
Oh mother dear. How can we explain just how we feel. About the things you have done to protect and shield us from this world. We remember your warm embrace. What it felt like to be in your loving care. Now we are abroad. Far away from "home". No need to worry because you held us as babies. Our hearts drew close. Now we are far apart, but hearts are ever so close. So thank you for putting up with us, and helping us get on our way. Remember that book. "Oh! The Places You'll Go." I remember the words and how they have rung so true.
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Elder Hepworth or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
I have left on my mission, begun my life. Like so many Young People out there. Trust me Mom, We will be okay. So let's get on our way, because today is our day!
"Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you're beyond the need of God's grace." This wonderful quote reminds me a lot a missionary who helped me become who I want to be.
It has shown me that no matter how many "bad" days that I have. I need to cherish them all. Because in those moments you see the lord's hand in your life. What outstanding words that have been uttered. What an amazing insight. That we are never away from God so far that he can't simply reach out and touch our lives. I have seen this over and over again in my life. Also in other's lives. I know and add my witness that God lives and that he loves us. That we are never far away. He is always within reaching distance. I know that Hope is a real thing.
I know that God loves us. And that if he have Hope. All will be okay because we know that there is always another dawn.
What better reference to use then a scriptural reference from the Master teacher on this subject of Love.
On one occasion an inquiring Lawyer of the law asked the savior,
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"
The Savior responded: "thou shalt love love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
"This is the first and great commandment.
"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
What a terrific response! How clear he laid that answer out! Though some people do ask "Who is my neighbour?" It's the people you pass by everyday. Those people, who sometimes you honk your horn at cause they cut you off while driving, or whatever that case may be. I will say that if people followed that simple commandment that Christ himself gave. The world would not have 99.9% of the problems it has today. Though we face opposition in our lives, and we are faced with trials. We must, focus on that Love of God. If we will, but simply try to emulate his love and do as God would do. I know that things in life would be easier. I know of this because I have felt his love. I know that God is real, and that he loves and knows each and everyone of you. I also know that every single person in this world has the capactity to feel God's love for them. He does love you. When you think that all is lost and no one is there, pray, ask God that he might show unto you his love. He will if you seek after it. As I said once before. "Truely, the Love of God surpasseth all understanding"
Forgiving is hard to do. Especially when you have someone close to you, do something that hurts you. Maybe it is physical harm or spiritual harm. None the less, we must forgive. To me I believe that forgiveness is a divine attribute. It is better defined as to excuse someone from blame for an offense. The Lord commands us to repent of our sins and seek His forgiveness. He also commands us to forgive others. Now the part I want to break down a little more is to forgive others. To say that you were sorry and to admit that you are wrong is in my point of view the hardest thing to do. Cause we don't want to be wrong. That is part of Pride. My favorite pride quote is "Swallow your pride, it contains no calories." The opposite of pride is humility, which is what we need to forgive. Once you have truly humbled yourself. You will be able to say some of the sweetest words that can be uttered in this existence "I'm sorry." It's a humbling experience to say that at first, you almost have to force yourself. Though it is hard, the Lord has commanded it. To me it is what the Lord commands or bust. I know diligence in keeping the lord's commandments results in blessings. I have seen them first hand. I know and testify of God's love. Though it is hard to forgive, forgive we must.
As I have come to learn more and more on my mission a recurring theme has been there from the start. In fact it is something that ll of us make on a daily basis. That is choice. Some choices are insignificant, such as what shoes do i want to wear today, what kind of cereal do I want from breakfast? These are small choice in our everyday life. Though we have plenty of these small choices we do not realize what big choices we want to make. Our everyday choices lead us to who we will be tomorrow and the next day. I know that by making good decisions today will lead to a happier tomorrow. I do know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that all of us can come to a wonderful understanding of happiness! I know that I am personally happier because of the great goodness of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is because of a few big choices that have lead me to what I firmly believe in. This quote by Henry B. Eyring sums it up well. "My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me” - Henry B. Eyring