Sunday, December 28, 2008


Last night I had the opportunity, with my family, to attend the baptism of a 22-year-old man in our ward (local church unit).

It was a really nice experience, and reminded me of my own baptism just over 12 years ago. I really felt the spirit as we sung "I Am a Child of God" (which Seth sung really loudly - quite cute), heard a talk on baptism, witnessed the baptism, heard some nice piano music, heard a talk on the Holy Ghost, and sung "The Spirit of God" (one of my favorite hymns).

It was great to see a convert, like me, join the Church. He's just taken the first step on a wonderful journey.

Baptism is one of the "first four principles and ordinances of the Gospel."
They are:
  • Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Repentance
  • Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins (by one with authority)
  • Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost (also by those with proper priesthood authority)
The first two of those are principles, the latter two are ordinances.

Now, our new convert will continue to progress, including ordination to the priesthood, endowment in the temple, sealing (temple marriage) and enduring to the end.

Following that, exaltation and eternal life.

I'd say that's an awesome first step on an amazing journey with eternal consequences.

Once baptized, you are perfectly clean and sinless. Of course, you will make mistakes and fail as you are subject to your weaknesses, shortcomings, and temptations. But as you sin, you can repent and be forgiven and be cleansed again by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And each Sunday at church, you can renew your baptismal covenants as you listen to the sacramental prayer and partake of the sacrament (bread and water that represent the body and blood of Christ).

During the administration of the sacrament, it's important to take a genuine, honest personal inventory, to think about the ways you could do better, repent of your shortcomings, recommit to do better, and think of Jesus and all he has done for you personally by paying for your sins.

I am so thankful for Jesus, and I love Him. I am so glad that I have been baptized by one with proper authority, received the Holy Ghost, and continued on that path by being ordained to the priesthood, receiving my endowment in the temple, and being sealed to my eternal companion.

Now I'm just working on enduring to the end!

I have a lot of shortcomings, and I am so thankful I can rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ to make me whole as I repent. I sure need it - I'd be lost without it.

Baptism is "the gate." The path beyond that gate is not always easy, but is always worth it. I highly recommend it. If you are interested in being baptized and joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I invite you to take the preparatory lessons from the LDS missionaries serving in your local area.

You can arrange to have them come over and teach you by following this link. (That site also contains lots of great information for you to explore on your own.)

It's worth checking out - you've got nothing to lose by trying, and everything to gain!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

What does that mean, anyway?

Well, it is simply my way of expressing a desire that your Christmas be a happy one. But what makes you happy?

For me, it's all the things I mentioned at the bottom of this post, especially the family.

Of course, with Christmas, we remember the reason for true joy, Jesus Christ.

Each year in early December, the First Presidency of the Church has a special event held at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, called the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. It is a program of special music and talks. It's really a great way to feel the Christmas spirit. I invite you to click on the link above to enjoy the program!

As Nephi said, "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." That is what Christmas is really about - the Savior.

There are many great scriptures associated with the birth of Christ. It can be enjoyable to read Luke 2:1-20 on Christmas Eve. Also, I offer these great Christmas messages, here and here. And here's one more. Okay, and just ONE more.

Guaranteed to touch your heart, these are really wonderful messages that are worth taking a few minutes to read, especially if you're struggling with feeling the spirit this Christmas due to all the other attendant concerns, frustrations and distractions that come with the season.

May these great words be my gift to YOU this Christmas! They have made a big difference in my life, and I hope they can for you, too.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Update: How Do You Know That You Know?

I just came across this great talk, and wanted to share it with you as a supplement to my earlier post.

That's all for now. Expect a Christmas post sometime soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


No, not the "Book of" - the last book of the New Testament (as compiled). What I'm talking about here is revelation in general, and more specifically revelation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Revelation is, put simply, communication from God to man. This is most commonly achieved through the Holy Ghost. Here is an excellent piece on the subject - worth the read.

There are different types of revelation, ranging from personal revelation to revelation given to the entire Church. In each case, the revelation is specific to the sphere of influence of the receiver. For example, each person is entitled to receive revelation that applies to his or her self, a parent may receive revelation that applies to the family, a bishop receives revelation for the ward, a stake president for the stake, and the president (prophet) of the Church is the only one entitled to receive revelation that applies to the whole Church (all 13.5 million members).

All things are in their proper place and order.

It always troubled me, prior to learning of the LDS Church, that all the other churches believed that God stopped talking to man 2,000 years ago, and hadn't been heard from since. It didn't sit right with me that our Father would just leave us to fare on our own with no further contact. That didn't feel right to me - no loving father would do that.

True, there was a long period of darkness, known as the Dark Ages (or in the Church as
the Great Apostasy) during which there was very limited communication from God. But that's a lengthy subject for another post.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the earth that believes in ongoing revelation - that God still communicates regularly with man, and guides His Church by revelation. It is, after all, His Church, not man's.

I know that these things are true because I have experienced them for myself. That is, I have received personal revelation - many times, in fact. And I can attest to the reality of revelation given to my bishops in the past. And I definitely know that the revelation given our prophet is true and right for the Church.

I know this because I have felt the powerful confirmation of the Spirit, letting me know it's true, as sure as I know anything is true.

I am very thankful to be a member of the Church, with ongoing revelation, because I know that in these times, we need sound guidance more than ever.

My Family

My Family
THIS is what it's all about. (July 2013)

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