Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Earthbending - A Steadfast Ability

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, 
Blessed art thou, 
Simon Bar-jona: 
for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, 
but my Father which is in heaven.  
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, 
and upon this rock I will build my church; 
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Here Christ is teaching Simon, to whom He gives the name of Peter which means 'small stone', and tells him that Christ's church will be built upon the 'rock of revelation'.  Revelation is only possible when you are listening to the Spirit of the Lord.  When the timing is right, the Spirit will whisper what to do, how to do it, where to go, what to say, who to talk to, as well as give advance warnings.

Earthbending demands a special connection with the earth that is achievable with neutral jing, doing nothing but waiting and listening until the right moment to strike.  By waiting and listening you can sense where things are, and when someone else who might be a threat is near by.

Sometimes however even when the Spirit does speak to us we don't listen.  Either we are too distracted by things of the world, or we hear Him and then Choose not to obey.  If we are going to have the Spirit we need to be willing to act on what He tells us to do.

For good Earthbending you must be solid like a 'rock'.  Meaning you don't just move the rocks, sometimes you let the rocks move you.  If you can bind yourself to the Earth and accept what the stones intend to do, it makes them a little more willing to act under your direction.

"Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith
nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable 
in keeping the commandments of God, 
and they bore with patience 
the persecution which was heaped upon them."
-- Alma 1:25

"No matter how the wind howls, the Mountain cannot bow to it." -- Disney's Mulan
So practice being immovable like a rock, and sooner or later the rocks will move for you.  The Spirit will tell you what you need to know, but the more willing you are to listen and then follow His instructions, the more willing He is to tell you about stuff.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Testimony of Eight Witnesses

The Testimony of Eight Witnesses

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

Christian Whitmer
Jacob Whitmer
Peter Whitmer, Jun.
John Whitmer
Hiram Page
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Hyrum Smith
Samuel H. Smith

The Testimony of Three Witnesses

The Testimony of Three Witnesses

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

Oliver Cowdery
David Whitmer
Martin Harris

The Book of Mormon

So what is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon - Another testament of Jesus ChristThe Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.

The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.

The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.

After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the hill Cumorah. On September 21, 1823, the same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.

Origins of The Book of Mormon

In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God. The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto him and obey the laws and ordinances of his gospel may be saved.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

In addition to Joseph Smith, the Lord provided for eleven others to see the gold plates for themselves and to be special witnesses of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon. Their written testimonies are included herewith as “The Testimony of Three Witnesses” and “The Testimony of Eight Witnesses.”

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3-5.)

Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.

That is what the Book of Mormon is , and why I encourage everyone to read it.

To request a Free cpoy of the Book of Mormon, go to:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Saxophones - Bigger was Better

When I was in high school I played the Bari Sax.  I played in the Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Concert Band.  (remember that one band camp :)  Quite a bit of my time was spent after school sitting alone in a practice room with just me and my saxophone named Kristy.

(this is not Kristy, it is just a cool Sax)

One of the worst parts of playing Bari Sax is the reed.  Most people start out playing on an Alto Sax, then a Tenor, then to the Bari.  The Alto has one of the smaller reeds and is rather easy to play on, even when I was in sixth grade.  The tenor is a little bigger, and I played Tenor from seventh grade until ninth grade.  In ninth grade I started out on the Bari which, in comparison to the Alto, is frankly huge.  You have more metal that the air needs to pass through, and a longer, thicker, less flexible reed.  The reed is what actually produces the sound from a Sax.  The air passing through and escaping at various points is what changes the note being played.  Normally you need to replace a reed about every 2 months.

So when you get a reed you have different options of thickness, which determines how hard the reed is to get vibrating.  Reeds start at 1 and go up in hardness by half.  I usually play on a 3 or 3 1/2.  If you pick a reed that is to soft, meaning the number is lower than what you need, then when you begin playing you end up splitting the reed because it can't handle the pressure and stress it is under.  If you get a reed that is too hard, you won't be able to make any music at all, because it takes more wind from your lungs to get it moving.

God chooses His Prophets the same way I would choose a reed.  He puts them to the test as they grow up and throughout their lives.  Sometimes the individual is too soft, and when trials and affliction come around the give way to temptation, and brake.  Sometimes they are too hard, or hard-headed, and refuse to yield to the promptings from the Spirit, and don't do as God commands.

But every now and then, when you find the right reed with the right thickness, you can play for 4 or 5 months without getting a new reed.  With a Prophet, only those who follow the Lord and keep His commandments are chosen and ordained unto this calling.

" For many are called, but few are chosen."

"Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen.
And why are they not chosen?
Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world,
and aspire to the honors of men"

As I stated the air escaping through various points is what creates different notes and makes the music pretty.  This could be related to each of the Apostles having their own personality.  Each individual will express the gospel in their own words.  So it is all music, but with a little flavor. 


Sometimes you might find that someone claims to be telling you the truth when they don't really know.  It's kinda like they are trying to play a certain note but they don't know the fingering.  When you are playing a Sax the worst thing that can happen is not knowing where to put your fingers.  You have to put all your fingers in the right spot or you do not sound very good.

So the feelings you get when someone is talking about the Gospel is how you know what is right, and what is not.  The Spirit testifies of Truth.  (John 15:26)

"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind
and in your heart,
by the Holy Ghost,
which shall come upon you
and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation;
behold, this is the spirit by which Moses 
brought the children of Israel
through the Red Sea on dry ground."

You don't usually have a Saxophone in a Symphony.  Everyone has their own part in life, but in a Symphony they just don't like the sound of a Sax.  I don't really know why they don't put a Sax in a Symphony, and I don't know how exactly this relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but all things denote that "there is a Supreme Creator."

"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fire Bending - It's a Talent

"And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one;
to every man according to his ability"

I am a Fire Bender. 

Just in case any of you are unfamiliar with what that actually means, I shall try to explain.  Avatar The Last Airbender is a cartoon based in a world where people can manipulate, or Bend, the four elements of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air.  Each nation has individuals that can Bend that specific element, but the Avatar can Bend all four elements. 

Airbending is the aerokinetic ability to control and manipulate currents of air.

Waterbending is the hydrokinetic ability to control water, as well as its many forms.

Earthbending is the geokinetic ability to manipulate earth and rock, in all its various forms.

However I said that I was a FireBender.

Firebending is the pyrokinetic ability to create and control fire.

Fire is the element of power, consisting of overpowering force tempered by the unflinching will to accomplish tasks and desires.  Firebending is the most dangerous of the four Bending elements.  Firebending represents energy and life, not rage and anger. 

Fire is also a symbol of Power.  The Holy Ghost is represented as a Baptism of Fire, being the Power that cleanses your Spirit.

"Then he called his twelve disciples together,
and gave them power and authority
over all devils, and to cure diseases."

" I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:
but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:
he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:"

Firebenders use their internal body heat as a source of their bending.  Firebending power comes not from physical size nor strength, but rather from the very control of one's breath.  In order to Firebend properly, one must have "inner fire", or a drive and purpose in what they do.

So you are probably wondering, How does someone learn to Firebend?  Most people learn from their father or other close family member.  Some learn from an instructor.  Others learn from ancient Firebending Scrolls.

This is a Firebending Scroll.

These Firebending Scrolls are like the Scriptures.  They are a record of how to Firebend, written by someone who learned from a Dragon, the original Firebenders.  Much like the Prophets and Apostles writting about their interaction with God.

These are two dragons, Firebending Masters, teaching Zuko and Aang.

Learning from a Master helps us to understand exactly what you should use your Bending for, and increases our abilities.  Much like the Apostles learning from Christ.

By reading the Scriptures, and praying to our Heavenly Father, we can each find how we should be using our own Bending element to better serve others.  We have been given talents, and we need to use those talents or they will be taken from us. (Matthew 25:25-28)

Read the Scriptures and learn of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then Pray and let the Master teach you how to use that knowledge in helping others.
Firebending is one of those things that I enjoy, and so I do the best I can in warming up others on a cold day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Me and My Dad - Live to Learn

I have learned a lot from growing up.  I didn't always want to learn anything, but my Dad taught me somewhat whenever we did anything together. (1 Nephi 1:1) What I gained the most is what I need to do in order to survive the trials that come after me all the time.

So this is me and my Dad.  He is teaching me the ways of the master chess player.  He is also teaching me the ways of life.  I think I was losing at this point, but that would depend on what losing is.

Losing to me is not learning from what you did wrong last time.

Losing to me is not being happy that you got to play the game in the first place.

Losing to me is not playing again just because the other guy is better than you.

WINNING on the other hand, is when I would intentionally get every piece killed off without putting my King in jeopardy, just because Dad took my Queen on his third move.

WINNING is saying, "Dad you're better than Me, but I am going to play anyway."

WINNING is when the conversation goes something like this...

"I beat you." - Dad
"I took your Queen." - Me
"Queen doesn't matter if you don't protect the King." - Dad
"So, maybe he was a stupid King and I wanted you to destroy his entire army and take him out of power because he didn't do his job right." - Me
"I still beat you." - Dad
"So, I got rid of the stupid King so now I get a Smart King and then I can beat you." - Me

That is a WINNING conversation in my book.

While I was growing up me and my Dad played chess all the time.  I remember one day we were supposed to be fixing the sprinklers in the backyard but we took about 4 hours and eat Sandwiches, play chess, and watch M*A*S*H.  Mom was a little less excited when she got home and nothing was done, but me and Dad were happy because we spent time doing something we enjoyed.

I also remember times in school when the only way I knew how to explain something was through chess.  If it didn't have something to do with taking out that guy in order to move in on the King then it didn't matter.  Everything I ever used I had learned from my Dad.

About a year ago, before my mission, me and my Dad started playing Starcraft together.  Almost every morning I would get up, eat breakfast, and turn on the computer to get on FaceBook.  After about 20 or 30 minutes, I would hear almost the exact same thing,

"Sure." - Me

We would then play Starcraft for about 4 hours, and then go do chores.  My Dad should probably stick to chess, because playing 4-5 rounds of Starcraft a day, for about 2 months, he only ever 'won' about 30 games, while I 'won' about 200 games.

However my Dad won every single time to me.  Even though the game said he lost because I had killed off all his little army dudes, he never stopped playing with me.  He was always ready to say, "you cheated, do it again", even when he knew I didn't cheat he was alwasy trying to learn how I was beating him.

So as long as you learn from what you fail at, you never fail at all.  You never 'lose' if you 'Won' some knowledge.

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ,
we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ,
and we write according to our prophecies,
that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

This is what I have learned from My Dad.

Friday, July 15, 2011

General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

General Authorities are those individuals who God has put in place to govern the affairs of His kingdom here on Earth.  This is done by Revelation. (Matthew 16:17-19)

The true Church of Jesus Christ must have Prophets and Apostles.  Christ set up the Church this way when He was on the Earth, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8,Mormon 9:9)

Once upon a time the Children of Israel were met on the battle field by Amalek.  During the battle we see how the First Presidency of the Church works in unison.

"And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."

So we see that Moses was the Prophet at the time, and he had two others by his side to help him.

This is the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.  Left to right, President Henry B. Eyring, President Thomas S. Monson, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  President Monson is the Lord's Chosen Prophet on the Earth today.

The First Presidency presides over the entire Church, and is directly over the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are, President Boyd K. Packer, Elder L. Tom Perry, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder M Russell Ballard, Elder Richard G. Scott, Elder Robert D. Hales, Elder Jeffery R. Holland, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Neil L. Anderson.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest governing body in the Church (the First Presidency being the highest).  Apostles are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, called to teach and testify of Him throughout the world.  They travel frequently, addressing and encouraging large congregations of members and interested nonmembers, as well as meeting with local leaders.  When they are not traveling, members of the Quorum of the Twelve counsel together and with other general Church leaders on matters affecting the worldwide Church, such as missionary work, temple building, spiritual and temporal welfare, and much more.

There are also Seventies, who are assigned to manage things in specific areas around the world, and to help the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  The Presidency of the Seventy is over all other Seventies.  There are Seven Presidents, and no counselors, in the Presidency of the Seventy.

The Presiding Bishopric is the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood throughout the Church. The Presiding Bishop and his two counselors also serve under the direction of the First Presidency to administer the temporal affairs of the Church.

You can view a picture of each of the General Authorities at:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Repentance - Tough on Sins

Everyone Sins, but not everyone Repents. 
Without Repentance you cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
-- Romans 10:13

"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
-- Luke 13:3

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
-- Mark 16:16

"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Armor of God -- Fight for Your Life

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
-- Ephesians 6:10-17

Loins girt about with Truth.  In Biblical times to 'Gird up your Loins' would be to wrap the bottom of you cloak into your belt, and by doing so you would be more able to move about and perform the days labor.  You really don't want your clothing to limit your movement in battle.

The Breastplate of Righteousness.  The Breastplate covers your Heart and Lungs, as well as other vital organs.  When the scriptures say that in the last days, "men's hearts shall fail them", (Luke 21:26) it is because they do not have their Breastplate protecting them.  Your Righteousness, which is your diligent obedience to the Commandments of God, will protect you from having your heart fail you.

Feet Shod with Preparation of the Gospel.  When the Hebrews were 'Preparing' to leave Egypt they were told to eat the Passover.  This was done with their Shoes on their feet and their staff in hand, and you ate while standing.  This is because even though they had not yet received permission to leave Egypt, they were planning on going somewhere.

Whenever I go home for anything my Mommy always gets frustrated with me because I never take my jacket off.  This has several reasons behind it, but the first and foremost reason is because I like having my jacket on, even in the middle of the summer.  Then there are the reasons that are actually logical, like my jacket is somewhat a safety object and i am more comfortable around people when I am wearing it.  My jacket has all my stuff in the pockets, my keys, my iPod, my phone, and an assortment of other things for the day.  My jacket is what prepares me to go do what I need to later, and I don't take it off just because I am going to sit down for a few minutes.


A Shield of Faith.  You must have Faith in order to be equipped with your best defense, your Shield.  This Faith is required because when you put your Shield up you cannot see your enemy.  You cover your head and most of your upper body to block the opponents sword, but also block him from your eyes.

Much like when Luke Skywalker puts the BlastSHIELD down and cannot see the remote, but must follow the promptings within, or his instinct, to know what to do.


The Helmet of Salvation.  The Helmet protects YOUR BRAIN.  There are a few things we need to know in order to return and live with our Heavenly Father.  First is that Jesus Christ is His only Begotten Son in the Flesh.  Second is the Plan of Salvation.  Once you have a Knowledge you must protect it and continue learning.

The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  The only offensive weapon you have in the Armor of God is the Sword of the Spirit.  In combat your sword is your life, you need it in hand if you are to fight the foe. 

If you do not have your sword and you go up to battle anyway, your only option is to try and block the blows of your enemy.  Sure you have your other Armor, but how long can your Shield last when it is being beat upon repeatedly.  How long do you think it would be before your breastplate either came loose, or perhaps had a small gap between the plates where the enemy's sword found a way through.  How long before your legs grew tired and you trip over your own feet.

The answer, not very long at all.

Without the Spirit you begin to lose faith (Shield), it is harder to keep the commandments (Breastplate), and you become less prepared for the fight (Feet Shod).  Once you lose these other pieces of Armor you are an easy target and then POOF, you die.  When it comes to the Armor of God you die Spiritually, and Christ is the Light and Life of the world, therefore the only way back is through His Atonement.

So remember to always have your Armor, and be on Guard.
God will protect you, IF you are doing what is Right.

"And it came to pass that I said unto them 
that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked
according to the truth
and the righteous have I justified
and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; 
wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard
for it cutteth them to the very center."
-- 1 Nephi 16:2 (emphasis added)

The Scriptures are the Word of God.  Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  God teaches only Truth, and therefore the Wicked take the Scriptures to be Hard.

Keep the Commandments, Read the Scriptures, and do whatever it takes to truly have the Spirit with you at all times, in all things, and in all places.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.
Truth will fight your battles for you, as long as you keep it close by, and in your Heart.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Prayer is How We Talk to Our Father

Do you like it when you talk to your parents?  Do you like it when your kids talk to you?

Does your Heavenly Father like it when you talk to Him??

We are all children of our Heavenly Father.  He loves us and cares about everything that we go through, every single day.  If we look to Him and ask for His help, He is always ready to help us.

All we need to do is Ask.  (Matthew 21:22, Moroni 10:4-5)

We should also give thanks for the blessings we have already received.  It makes heavenly Father even more happy to give us more blessings.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am the Light and the Life of the World

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life."

"Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle,
and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

"The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble."

He who walks in Darkness, knows not where he goes.  But if you have received the light of Christ, the Words of Christ shall tell you all things that ye should do. (see 2 Nephi 32:3)

"For we walk by faith, not by sight"

Saturday, July 09, 2011

He Will Take Upon Him Their Infirmities

I love this picture.  Christ loves the world, and everyone that lives in it.  But when He has suffered for all of our sins, and we go about as if we don't care, I am sure that He has wept for the pain that He can not keep back from us.  If we go on and make bad choices that go against His Commandments, then we cause the burden to be that much worse for our Savior.