Saturday, July 27, 2013

With Healing In His Wings

After studying the New Testament in my high school seminary class last school year, I knew that reading the New Testament one time through would never be enough. If you haven't read the New Testament for yourself, I challenge you to read and study it. Even if you haven't gotten the chance to read it lately, do it. It's a beautiful book of scripture that contains pure testimony from those who knew Christ firsthand. It testifies that He is the Son of the Living God, and more importantly, that He lives.

Chapter 19 of the Book of John is an account of the Savior's suffering and death. This one of the hardest chapters in all scripture for me to read, but comfort came to me when I searched a cross-reference from the footnotes in the scriptures. It is found in the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ, and another book I highly recommend reading. One of the Lord's prophets, Nephi, writes "Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on His name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name." (2 Nephi 25:13, Book of Mormon, italics and bold added)

In my weekly Institute class (a class for young adults to learn more about Christ and His Gospel) we were challenged to find a scripture that would help someone we love to resist and avoid the enticements of the flesh. I sat and pondered and finally came up with Isaiah 53:3-5.
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not...Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted... But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him: and with his stripes we are healed."

Why would that help? It's the very reason I'm posting today. It's because Jesus Christ IS the reason. He's why we have everything, why we are given so much. He is the Master Creator and Teacher, He is the King of Kings and the Holiest of Holies. He is our Savior.
He didn't suffer without a cause. He suffered for us, for when we are weak it is through Him that we can become strong. Ever feel like giving up? Don't. The Savior didn't give up when He chose to suffer for you. Is it hard to fight temptation, to overcome sorrow, to believe that very bands of death have been broken? Yes. Yes it is. In fact, it seems rather impossible. But in the end we must remember, "with God nothing is impossible." (Luke 1:37; KJV)

If you are sick, if you are worried, if you are failing, please remember that Christ HAS risen with "healing in his wings". Please remember if you are suffering that "with His stripes we are healed". If you can, if you will, and if you recognize the pure joy that comes from our Savior, echo with me the voice of the prophet. "My soul delighteth to prophesy concerning Him... and my heart doth magnify His holy name."

"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father.. that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24)

Please feel free to visit to watch Bible videos. They strengthen my confidence in Christ and I'm sure they will do the same for you.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

our Savior's love

Last night we went to the airport to welcome back my brother's best friend from his mission in Fiji. Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (commonly known as "Mormons"), are called and set apart by men of God to go serve and share for two years the happy message of Christ's Gospel back on the earth today. Truly they are hearkening unto the Master's call and promise. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have command you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:19-20; KJV)

I can't wait until the day I get to serve, but for now I know that I can listen and obey to the Savior's words, right here, right now.
I read today in John when the disciples of Christ leave Him, for He has proclaimed that He is indeed the Savior of the World, the Son of God. When Jesus asks the twelve if they "will also go away" , I am humbled by Peter's sweet reply: "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life... And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:67-69; KJV; bold added)

Have you ever really thought about the Savior and His purpose? I've been taught about Him since I can't remember when but He became real to me these last couple years. I absolutely love reading, studying, and pondering Him and His great ministry. Surely He was greater than a mere prophet, surely He was literally the greatest thing that has ever happened in all of existence. and what's cool, what's REALLY cool to me, is that He isn't some obscene, greater than thou, unreachable figure. He came down and suffered for us, died for us, and was raised again so that we might be too, but did He leave us there and drop us like flies? OF COURSE NOT! The Resurrected Lord and Savior of all the earth, of every nation, cares about YOU. Loves YOU. Wants to have you clasped in His arms. Will you come?

A great point was made by Brad Wilcox when he said, "There is no place for sin in heaven. There is a place for sinners who are willing to confess, learn from mistakes, sincerely progress through a repentance process, and welcome the power of the Atonement." The greatest Being who has ever walked the earth saved YOU from your sins. He saved us all out of pure love. Are we willing and wanting to use this miraculous gift of repentance He gives us?

Sometimes I feel super inadequate. Like, really. I get all down in the dumps and can't think of anything positive about myself or anybody else. I wonder why the Savior even bothered to make such a sacrifice for me, an imperfect teenage girl who continues to roll around in the mud pit of imperfection and sin. And then I realize that's precisely the point. That's exactly why He did it! So that when we realize, "hey, I don't like this mud pit! It stinks, and I'd do anything I can to get out of it" He reaches out to us, grabs us by the hand, washes us off, and sets us on the path back to Him again. But it won't work unless we put in some effort. We never have to feel inadequate or unworthy if we are striving to feel His love.

God is good. Great. Wonderful, Powerful, Smart, and Kind. I am so thankful He sent His Son for us, or else we would all be lost and fallen souls.
Some believe in the Trinity. If that is what you believe, please understand that I am not undermining you or criticizing your beliefs in any way. I have many friends who believe in this concept. But I have studied, listened to modern-day prophets, and KNOW... Absolutely know, that they are two Separate beings. Do they have the same purpose? Absolutely! They want us back with them... but better than we left them. And through their Genius Plan, Jesus Christ has given us a way back to return to the Father.

Thanks and glory be to God.

Please, if you have any comments or questions about our beliefs as Latter-Day Saints, comment(appropriately)below and I can answer/address them! Please also feel free to search or for more answers. God will help answer them if you honestly seek.

My final scripture to share (after this extremely long post) is in 3rd Nephi 27: 14 (This is found in the Book of Mormon; a companion to the Holy Bible and another testament of Jesus Christ)

Jesus says: "And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me". He wants us to come home. He wants YOU home.
Let's make Him proud.