Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Patience - Children

"Patience means active waiting and enduring. 
It means staying with something and doing all that we can 
working, hoping, and exercising faith; 
bearing hardship with fortitude, 
even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. 

Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"
Many times in Life we seem to put ourselves in a position we need something but have to wait on others before we will be able to get it.  If we are always trying to move forward it becomes easy to forget that we sometimes need to "be still and know that [He is] God."(Psalms 46:10)

Even when we are pained from seeing someone else struggle, we might be able to help them more by allowing them to figure it out and being patient with them, even if we already have a solution.

“We should learn to be patient with ourselves. 
Recognizing our strengths and our weaknesses, 
we should strive to use good judgment in all of our choices and decisions, 
make good use of every opportunity, 
and do our best in every task we undertake. 
We should not be unduly discouraged 
nor in despair at any time when we are doing the best we can. 
Rather, we should be satisfied with our progress 
even though it may come slowly at times.”
-- Joseph B. Wirthlin
I sometimes struggle because I feel that I am not 'good enough'.  A good friend showed me the other day that even if I do something stupid every now and again, it doesn't make me a bad person.

There are 168 hours in a week which is 10,080 minutes.  Even if I was to do something stupid for 30 minutes a day, only 2.08% of my week was stupid.  If 60% was a passing grade, I think most of us are at least C average because we spend roughly 30% of our time in bed.  Knowing that I was doing much better than my brain thought I was has helped me to move forward, feel better about who I am, and what I do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baptism - A Contract

What is a Contract?

A Contract is a Legal and Binding agreement with a set of terms and conditions.

Contracts are often used to regulate money, such as when you buy a house or a car.

The Contract to buy a House usually states how much Money will be paid each month, and the number of months it will take until all payment is completed.

This means that as long as you are paying off the house, you are in Debt to whoever you signed that Contract with.

The Lender is willing to pay for the House as long as you do whatever is part of the Contract.

You agree to their terms by Signing the Contract, and in return receive the House.

With Baptism it works much the same way.  We agree to take Christ's name upon us, to represent Him at all times, and keep His commandments. 
 He agrees to give us blessings, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

If we simply skip several payments, we would lose the house.  If we are not being obedient and keeping the commandments, we will lose those blessings and the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Contracts are written out by someone who has the authority to do so.  Baptism must also be performed by someone holding the Priesthood and be Authorized to do so.

Until we are done paying for the house we are technically under bondage to our Contract.

Christ has already paid the price for out sins, and we will not be able to truly repay Him.  But He is willing to forgive all of our debts if we are obedient, and He will make our burdens light and deliver us from bondage.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Westley = The Gospel in Action

The Atonement of Jesus Christ includes His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross, and His Triumphant Resurrection.  Without this Atonement all mankind would be lost.

Lost is Bad

However, due to the Reality of this Atonement all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Westley in "The Princess Bride", used the Atonement in his everyday life.

He bested Inigo's Steel...

He defeated Fezzik's Strength...

He then out-thought Vizzini...

These three will represent all of our Pains, Afflictions, and Temptations.

How did Westley overcome all these things?

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people."

By obedience to the Commandments we can all overcome the trials in our life.

"And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice;
for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men,
yea, the pains of every living creature,
both men, women, and children,
who belong to the family of Adam.
 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men,
that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
 And he commandeth all men that they must repent,
and be baptized in his name,
having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel,
or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God."

Just as Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen caused lots of pain for Westley, the devil is always there trying to make us feel like we are worthless or that we should simply give up.

Right after they went through the worst day ever, Count Rugen goes and makes things worse.

But though the Atonement, even when we have fallen for a time there is still hope.

This Hope is in the Resurrection.
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world,
yea, even a place at the right hand of God,
which hope cometh of faith,
maketh an anchor to the souls of men,
which would make them sure and steadfast,
always abounding in good works,
being led to glorify God."
-- Ether 12:4

May each of us study the Scriptures and Pray often, so that we too can have these blessings of the Atonement in our life.

It is by obedience that we may receive our own 'Happily Ever After'.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Pokemon Prayers - Energy and Evolution

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said,

“[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but . . .
unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A
desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an
understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal
choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are
meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to
the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in
which they pray for guidance and don't receive it. For example, this is likely to
occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either
choice is acceptable.

“We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator
has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we
receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment.
Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord
has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or
bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation”
(“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13–14).

Don't always look for revelation, but make sure you follow it when it comes.  Make your own descisions, or your are just flipping coins for whose influence you are following.

This post will draw on the game of Pokemon.  If you are unfamiliar with the game I will try to give you enough knowledge for it to make sense.

The most important part is that you are trying to Knock Out your opponent's Pokemon before they Knock out yours.  You do so by using attacks that are specific to each Pokemon.

We will be using four Pokemon for this demonstration.  Hopefully Prayer and Revelation will be more understood than before.

Each Pokemon has a specific type of Energy that it uses.

We all have our own strengths, talents, and abilities that God has given us to use in order to help others.

Sawk - Praying and Doing

So if Prayer is wat you use to Energize your Spirit, having Energy (or Praying) doesn't exactly help much unless you have a specific course of action that you are going to do.

Sawk is capable of doing up to 100 points of damage, but it all depends on a coin flip.  If we pray and receive Energy from the Lord, but then we don't make our own decisions and act of our own will, we will probably not reach our full potential.

"Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself."

Gothita - Prayer and Sincerity

Gothita is able to put the defending Pokemon to sleep with a single Energy, but won't do any damage.  With two energy you have the chance to do damage to the opponent.

If I only prayed a little bit, or when I was in trouble with something or someone, I can put down an Energy, which would allow me to deal with something that bothered me in the moment, but I will never win because I can't defeat the enemy that is attacking me.  With more sincere Prayer I would have more Spiritual Energy, and thereby be capable of withstanding the advances of Satan.

Armor of God - Ephesians 6:10-18

Psyduck and Golduck

Praying for guindance all the time without working out your own solution is kinda like loading up a Psyduck with extra power.  No matter how much you pray you will still only be able to use the same attack, which only needs one energy, and half the time you hurt yourself.

But if you work out a solution you can have Psyduck evovle into Golduck. 

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed,
not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Some personal effort makes it so you can heal yourself but without prayer you still dont get anywhere.

Golduck becomes more powerful as you give him Energy. Having done the required effort on your part by evolving, Energizing your Spirit through prayer will help you come off Conqueror.

"Pray always, that you may come off conqueror;
 yea, that you may conquer Satan,
and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan
that do uphold his work."

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Stargate Ships - Progression

X-301 (Death Glider)
The X-301 was created by salvaging a crashed Death Glider, and was designed to be a small space fighter.  They then McGuyvered it with some parts from Earth and the first flight was a disaster.  They figured out that the Goa'uld (the bad guys) had hardwired their ships to prevent them from being stolen.  Thus when we gave it a test flight, it didn't act as desired.

Goa'uld Human Hybrid = bad - due to being half good half bad, not a viable vessel.

The F-302 was the first all Earth space ship, and as such it had a few problems.  It was designed after the model of a Goa'uld Death Glider, but without the alien components it was much better.  While it did exactly what it was designed to do, it was still just a small fighter.

Human Intercepter = Good - short range fighter, but excellent maneuverability.

F-303 (Prometheus)
The F-303 was the first Earth vessel capable of going long distances quickly.  Prometheus was our only line of defense if a invasion was attempted for a time.  They knew that in order to protect those on Earth they would need something more than a Fleet of 302s.  This was the first step of becoming an intergalatic power player.

'Flagship' = Better - Higher firepower, Asgard Sheilds, could carry a few F-302s, good base ship for planetary defense.

F-304 (Daedalus)
The F-304 was the upgrade from the F-303.  It was made so we could utilize upgraded Asgard weapons and cloaking technology, and both Amercia and Russia had these in the skies.

'Mothership' = Best - Faster with its space travel, more firepower, better shields, more room in the flight bay for F-302s, and better agility in combat.

So as we can see, if you are trying to build a spaceship, you need to get rid of the bad or evil parts.  You still only have a small ship when you start, but by putting in a little extra effort you will be able to 'upgrade' your little ship into a little bit bigger ship.  Then you can upgrade that into an even Better ship.  Keep going until you have the Best ship you can.

You are the Ship.  Kick out the little alien rascals and be a 'pure' you.  You can't begin to grow spiritually if you hold onto the wickedness inside you.

Things work out better when you dont have evil aliens in you.

Satan is the evil alien.

"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in his holy place? 
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully."

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Purity, Meaning of

In most Role Playing Games (RPG's) you have the option of 'upgrading' your character.  Most people simlpy go through the game and upgrade the ability they need the most at that time.  Some abilities might include things such as agility, strength, stealth, and health.  Some games have the option of using Swords, Bow and Arrow, or Magic.  These games give the opportunity to decide how you will fight your enemies.

Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses.  Swords have powerful attacks, but you have to get up close.  Bow and Arrow is a ranged weapon, but you do less damage.  Magic is both powerful and ranged, but certain armor can usually withstand its effect.

What does it mean to be Pure? 

- free from foreign or inappropriate elements

Is there more than one meaning of Pure?
- clear; free from blemishes
- free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind
- unmodified by an admixture

While some people use a blended form of combat, many people pick a single type and stick to that only.  These is called 'purists' or 'Pures', because they have only a single combat method.

By playing a 'Pure' game you have the advantage of not wasting upgrade points on attributes that you dont really use.

In Real Life, we also have to make the choice of what we are going to do with our time.  We can upgrade our Strength by working out.  We can upgrade athlectic ability by practice and by watching others.  We should upgrade our Spirit by reading the Scriptures, Praying Daily, and going to Church.

While we need to do other things in life in order to have money to live, we can remain Pure in Heart by obeying the Commandments of God.  By being Pure we can better receive revelation and have the Holy Spirit's guidance in our lives, so that we know how to best use our 'upgrades'.

Sometimes we make mistakes, and that makes the Holy Spirit leave.  Through the Atonement of Christ we can be Clean and Pure again.

If we Keep our lives Clean and Pure we will have the blessing of the Lord.  The only thing we need to do is remove those items in our life that draw us away from our Father in Heaven.