Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's God All About and How Do I Know For Myself

God is there, regardless of what you and I believe but it's far too important a subject to base on the beliefs, convictions or words of other people. Even worse than the convictions of other people could be your own preconceived notions. There's a lot of differing opinions on the subject of God, and among it all there's the truth but how do I know and what do I do when I find out? 

The truth about God will continue to exist, even if we ignore it--but is that really what you want to do? The responsibility remains whether we choose to ignore the truth, or act on it. Consciously ignoring the truth will change everything from that moment in time, acting on the truth will also change everything but only you can decide the direction of your changes and only you will know the feeling you're left with in your heart, after deciding. Find out the truth and you'll have to act on it, act on it and everything takes on a new perspective. 

Beliefs are important but my beliefs are of little consequence to anybody else but me and although I have been blessed to know for myself that God lives, cares and does answer prayers, I can't give that conviction to anybody else. I can try to convert some of my feelings into words but words are a poor match for something this great. Nothing I can say will do my personal knowledge any justice or truly share what's in my heart, because I myself am nothing more than a person with nothing more than words and their unfortunate limitations.

I could try and share some of my reasons, some of the history of how all this came to be available to people like you and me, or some of the events that brought this into my life. I could even share some of the great miracles that has happened consequent to my seeking divine intervention on the behalf others, I could share some of the events that you would call impossible but that is not how it works. The way it works is that you might hear something that might interest you, it might seem right and you might think that it should be right. If it is right and you indeed want to know, your whole world could change and this makes it of paramount importance but you must first open your heart. 

I have witnessed God answer sincere and honest prayer and know that only God and I share the greatness of those moments, because no words can express such an experience with sufficient impact and power; no words will give you a sufficient foundation to believe it and know it, the way I believe and know this to be true. 

Learning to pray is a process but anybody can do it, learning to listen to the Holy Spirit is a matter of preparation and you must be prepared to accept and act on an answer. Often, an answer to prayer can be found in the scriptures and the Holy Spirit will help you recognise this. A wise man and man of God once said that if you want to talk to God, pray, and if you want answers, read the scriptures.

It comes to this: If you want to know about God, seek Him. If you want to know how God operates, read what He has done; If you are ready to pray and ready for an answer, ready to accept truth and live by it then do so. 

If you want to know if God is there for you, if He can and will answer prayer, ask Him! It's all true but if you want to know for yourself ask God in sincerity, honestly and with an open heart and you can know too. 

Elder Jepsen - God gives me peace, balance and purpose

I love life as a missionary. There is so much to do and now after having been a missionary for almost nineteen months there is still so much to learn as I am just beginning to get some perspective on the true meaning of an infinite learning curve. As a District Leader I appreciate the efforts and hard work of missionaries in the district and benefit greatly from hearing their stories of both failures and success and I can relate, because all missionaries experience both ups and downs many times during their missions. They are good, experienced missionaries that I can rely on, trust to do their part and they make our district great. 

I have some good people to look up to in the Washington Spokane Mission. Our leaders are great and I have a great appreciation for our Mission President, he is truly amazing and I couldn't wish for any better. He's a good man and I support his leadership. 
We've had to do a lot of finding in our area this last little while, as many of the people we were teaching have turned us down. It's helpful and inspiring in times like this to remember that when one door closes, others often open. As long as we keep doing our part, God will help us find the people that seeks Him, that He has prepared for us to teach. 

We are here to teach and there is a lot of people seeking the peace and balance that God has to offer, although sometimes they might be unaware that what they are seeking comes from God. But, with preparation, prayer, God's help and an open heart, we will find them and help them find that peace and balance again. 

That's why I love what I do and why I find it rewarding, even on days where the obstacles seem to dominate my view. God gives me peace, balance and purpose and there is no greater moment than when I experience others make that same discovery for themselves. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

What Does It Take To Make a Mormon Missionary and What Does He Do?

As of February 2013, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints operates  405 missions around the world. 

To quickly update the info image posted to the left: The current number of missionaries has risen to  60,000 young men and women serving full-time missions since this very informative picture was made.

When they come to your door, please take the time to hear what they have to say. Their message is worth a listen.

Missionaries teaches, serves where needed and assists in disaster areas, when extra hands are needed and they do this every day of the week, every week and every month and year for the full duration of their mission. They do this voluntarily and they are not payed to be missionaries but they do have a purpose. Like an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints once said: "Every truth that a missionary... teaches is only an appendage to the central message of all time--that Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, the Holy Messiah, the Promised One, the Savior and Redeemer of the world."

The missionaries do this service in the hope that as a result more people will have better lives and find more peace and happiness in their day. 

Don't be fooled by their young age, they bring eternal wisdom in the words of God, they bring a message that can conquer agony, distress and confusion. 

While it is true that we must develop endurance and strength for our own good in life, many problems can be avoided, many of our questions and worries can be answered simply and easily, just ask the missionaries. This might sound like an easy way out or even unlikely but if that's what you think, why don't you give it a try and ask the missionaries?

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