Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Hidden Hand of the Lord

Latter Day Saints are very aware that everyone has a loving Heavenly Father, and he wants to lead and guide us in all of our lives. I have come to realize more and more that because of this fact, God works miracles around us whether we realize it at that time or not. This last Sunday was one of those experiences for me.
LDS churches are usually pretty full of happy people conversing one with another. Because I am new to the area, I really don't know very many of the people that attend at my chapel. I have gotten to know some great Latter Day Saints, but with so little time available compared to how many people attend I really haven't come to know most. The great thing about my experience is it is due mostly to my missionary companion, Elder Riley. He has been here in the area for less time than I have.
Elder Riley and I were waiting for the meeting to start, we had about five minutes left until it did. I was quite ready to just sit and wait for the time to pass, but Elder Riley had something else in mind. "Do they have greeters at the doors?", he asked. I said, "No, they don't." He responded with, "I want to go do that right now before the meeting begins." My response to that resulted as "Why?". In my head I was thinking that it wouldn't accomplish that much, there was very little time that we could actually use, and we might as well just grab a seat and wait. We had a brief discussion about it and he simply decided that it was what should be done. I decided to go along with the idea and followed him to the doors to join him. I very soon came to realized that Elder Riley was being guided by the hand of the Lord.
We walked over to the door and in the instant that we reached it a young lady walked in. Elder Riley greeted her with a hand shake and a smile and simply said, "Hi." She turned to him and responded, "Hi, I'm new." In the discussion that then followed we came to know that she had never been to an LDS church before and she was wanting to learn more about it; other than the little information from online sources and missionaries from our church working online, she had never really been able to come to experience what a "Mormon Church" was like. We were grateful for the opportunity to be right there for her and assist in helping her have a good experience. She has really felt the Spirit of the Lord move within her and teach her. Since that experience, she has decided for herself that she knew that she wanted to be Baptized into the Church.
Heavenly Father knows what is going on in our lives. He wants to help us have joy in this life, and in the life to come. A scripture that has always illustrated that for me would be, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. " (Proverbs 3:5-6) As we strive to live our lives the way that God wants us to, it allows him to have greater influence in our lives. I know that my experience with Elder Riley wanting to go greet at the door was pretty small and insignificant, but it was a miracle for me, and it opened up the door for great experiences to follow. I love realizing little things like that, because they are all just one more testament to me that God lives, and he knows what is happening in out lives.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Promised Blessings

As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I am able to meet a lot of different people, who all come from a vast variety of backgrounds. Many times these people do not want much to do with another religion or to learn more about the " Mormon Church ". But there are those who do, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to share what I know to be true with these people. God wants so much to bless and help all of his children, and I testify that as everyone learns more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and how it is Gods Church on the earth today, that we open ourselves up to be able to receive many more great and wonderful blessings from God that are available. God blesses us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, or Christs sacrifice when he died for our sins, and because of that we receive strength.
I experianced an instance of this just recently. I know a woman who is wanting to be baptized into the Church, and as she has been preparing to do so she has been trying to quit smoking for a couple weeks. Before she began we taught her how the Lord promises to help us fulfill all his commandments, and how the power of prayer would be a great strength to her quiting smoking as she asked the Lord for the strength to stop." Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you " (Matthew 7: 7). She felt prepared and had the desire to quit, so she began to try.
It was very difficult for her. She had many stressful situations and distractions that influenced her to not be able to stop like she had hoped. She would go for a brief time without but then fall back into the habit, she was struggling greatly with her addiction. We would talk to her and try to encourage her as best we could while continuing to teach her true principles, but her desire to quit just wouldn't stick.
She called us one night and she and I discussed for a time about how it was such a struggle. I asked her what she felt she could do to help with the situation. She then confessed to me that she had not been praying like she knew she should be. As she told me this I remembered the scripture that says, " I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise " (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10). She was loosing a promise from the Lord as she did not consistently pray to him for strength, and was allowing herself to be influenced by the wrong sources, just as 2 Nephi 32: 8 teaches " ....For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. " So she decided that she needed to pray. As she began to involve prayer in her efforts to quit smoking the Lord blessed her and gave her the strength she needed. She has been cigarette free from around that time to the present.
She is a child of God, just like you and I, and God is wanting to bless us all. He has given all of us promises, that if followed, we will be able to have such greater joy and peace than we ever had before. I know that to be true. God loves you, and will work great miracles in your life as you learn more and do all that he asks of you. And I say that in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

To learn more about Gods promised blessings to all of us, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to: