Category Archives: Gospel of Jesus Christ

Dedication. One Who Will Never Quite

Last month in a training meeting we attended, this quote from a modern day prophet was read. What amazing dedication he has for proclaiming the wonderful news of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is such an example to me. Our message, Jesus Christ’s message, is so great and wonderful. It blesses the lives of all those you partake in it. . The Gospel has been restored! There are Prophets again on the earth! The heavens are open! Families can be eternal! Lives are being Blessed! What a wonderful message to share! Let us all do our part to share our testimonies we have of Jesus Christ. I want to see the same vision that this man saw. How about you?

“If you could only see the vision I have. I wish I had your bodies to do this work. I would run from house to house telling everyone of the gospel, and after I lost strength to run I would begin to walk, and after I collapsed from walking, I would begin to crawl, and after my knees were so bloody that I could not use them I would use my arms to drag myself, and once my muscle in my body was gone I would begin to yell…oh, only if you could see the vision as I have.” -Spencer W. Kimball

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Filed under Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Restoration

Follow The Leader


At the Sand Dunes some people ride by themselves, but most ride in groups. Some are small, and some are big. I know when my family and our group would go to the dunes we would try to organize big rides. When we go to the dunes our camp usually makes some sort of large circle (or at least some sort of circle) with all the trailers, trucks, and vehicles. In the middle of the circle is usually where the fire and everyone meets. Now back to riding. I would always love it when the whole camp would come together to go on a ride. On some trips it could be over 20-30 rigs following one after another. At the dunes, during a ride there is one leader, and he leads the way. Then one after the other people follow behind taking the same path he takes. It kind of looks like a snake winding its way through mountains of sand. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. I would love to watch a big train of sand rails whip through the dunes one right after the other.

On one occasion my friend, my little brother, and myself (a small group) were going on a ride. I was leading out and we were cruising along. Well at one point my friend right behind me decided to take another line, or path, then the one I chose. Well he went off a little ledge right down into what we call a ‘Witch’s Eye’. It is kind of like a trap in the dunes, an indent or small random hole, and sometimes, they are hard to see unless you have experience at leading in the dunes (not anyone can lead, most people can follow). My friend, who at that time did not have as much experience at the dunes as I, thought his path would be better. It was not. He hit a wall of sand, threw himself over the handle bars and pretty much knocked himself loopy (he was wearing a helmet of course). But other than that he as fine.

So what does this have to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? In life we can have many different leaders. Our parents can be great leaders to us. They have much more experience and wisdom than us. We should follow their counsel 0r other people who have spent more time in the “Dunes” of life than ourselves. They probably know where those ‘Witch’s Eyes’ of life are hidden. Now we shouldn’t follow just anyone older than us. When the blind lead the blind both are likely to fall into a ditch (Matt 5:14). Let us choose carefully who we choose to follow. Often times we should be the leader, and lead our friends in doing what is right. We can follow Prophets, both modern and ancient ones. They represent someone who knows the way. Of course we can, and should, always follow the ultimate leader, that is Jesus Christ himself. He has set the way, He invites all to “Come follow me”(Matt 16:24). If ever we get lost in the dunes of life, let us look to our savior; He knows the way home. I know if we follow Him with full purpose of heart we will be never led astray.

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Preparation, Dont Forget Your Helmet!!

When it comes to getting ready to go to the dunes there is a lot that goes into it. Usually me and my family try to split the load or responsibility to make it go faster and easier. “Don’t forget the jack” my dad might  say. “Hey, remember to throw in the extra set of Lug Nuts”  my brother will chime in. There are lots of things to remember; flags, gas, food, water, paddle tires, extra parts, helmets, goggles, GPS, camping permit, electric impact wrench, other tools, air compressor, sleeping bags, cots, and etc. I think that almost every time we went we forgot something, it was bound to happen. Hopefully we did not  forget something that was very important. Once, or maybe twice, I forgot my helmet. I regretted that one. I ended up having to use an extra one we had (I sure was happy someone was prepared for my forgetfulness). If I forgot my goggles it was the worst. There is nothing worse then trying to make due with a terrible pair of goggles that wont stop half the sand. It was about 4 1/2 hours there; so getting there and then turning around to come home to get what we forgot was out of the question. Overall, make sure to be prepared when you get to the dunes, something will always come up.

Now to apply it to the Gospel. Preparation is key. After all, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet god (Alma 34:32). We can prepare for all kinds of things. We can prepare now to answer when a friend asks us if we want to try a drug. Answer that question now with a resounding “NO!”. We can prepare for the future. Get our life in order; get out of debt, start a food storage, build family relationships, and many other things. There are countless stories in the Bible and Book of Mormon about being prepared. I love the story of the Jaradites in the Book of Mormon and how the Lord commands those people to prepare to cross the sea. (Click here to Read the whole story, it is great.) When I forgot to bring my helmet my chance of getting hurt drastically increased. When one forgets their paddle tires at home they are going to get stuck all the time. If something breaks down and you don’t have your tools then your are going nowheres. So it is with life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can offer you protectection (like a helmet), help give you propulsion in a sticky situation (like paddle tires), help us see clear when the sand storms of life are blowing all about us (like Goggles), and help repair spiritual damage through the atonement (like the proper parts and tools). We just need to be prepared, and put in our effort, then all of these blessings can be ours.

Preparation leads to blessings. One quote that I really like goes like this, “when the time for performance is at hand, the time for preparation is over”. Let us not find ourselves in the middle of the sand dunes with no Helmet. Let us not be found at the hour of performance and our preparation is little. When we are prepared, we shall not fear!

 

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Sand Dunes……..


Maybe it’s because my time serving as a missionary is winding down and I have been thinking about activities I miss, or maybe it is because it is just plain fun. Either way I have been thinking about the beautiful Sand Dunes of South Eastern California. To some, the dunes might look more like a barren waste land, but not to me. First off, to anyone who has never been to the Imperial Sand Dunes nestled in the corner of south-eastern California just outside Arizona and just off of the Mexican Border (in fact many of the dunes run over and into Mexico) I would recommend going. They are the best. It is one of my favorite hobbies. I’m not sure how long ago my family started going to the dunes. My dad and his family and friends went way back in the day, the days of three-wheelers and Volkswagen Buggies. I remember when we (me and my siblings) started though. It was pretty new to us, we had recently built a new sand rail and wanted to give it a try. Well lets just say from that first trip till now it has been a family hobby and things have progressed and enlarged.

For those who may not be too familiar with the Sand Dunes people go there to ride just about any kind of motorized vehicle. Quads and dirt bikes are probably the most popular. But there are a lot of sand rails, side-by-sides (Ranger, Razors, Rhinos etc), souped up golf carts, Tricked out jeeps, and any thing else that can go “vroom”. Sometimes it can get pretty busy, especially on big weekends like Thanksgiving and New Years. There are advantages and disadvantages to it being busy verse not busy.  Now it has been over two years since I have been to the dunes since I started my service as a full-time missionary for the church. I miss it at times, more so in the winter, but it is worth it to give that up for two years. The other day I had an idea of relating The Sand Dunes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Brilliant! I have decided to break it up into multiple posts because that way I won’t overrun anyone and I can keep it concise. So stay tuned, some posts will soon follow!

Click Here to Check out My other Sand Dune Blog Posts!

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Filed under Gospel of Jesus Christ, Sand Dunes and The Gospel, Various

“No Atheists in a Foxhole”

The other day I had the opportunity to go on team-ups in Dillon, Mt with Elder Landbeck. That Tuesday afternoon we had the opportunity to visit an elderly couple. I wont guess their age for I am a horrible guess at such. But while we were there visiting we started talking about religion and the role of it. It wont be fair for me to talk about all we talked about with this elderly gentlemen for privacy sake, but suffice it to say he did not believe in organized religion. “But” he said, “I am no Atheist”. He went on to say a quote that really jumped out at me, and one that I wont soon forget. He said, “I don’t care who you are, there is no such thing as an atheist in a Fox Hole. Trust me”.

Now that got me thinking. He didn’t really say anything else about it and I didn’t ask. We just moved on to another subject. An Atheist is “A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings” (Dictionary.com). Now I believe him, I really do. I think that it is no coincidence that when people are put in a horrible situation their first instinct is to call on their Father, their Father in Heaven. God. Now why is that? How is it that someone who never claims to believe in God or to ever call upon him do so in a Fox Hole? I think a scripture in The New Testament says it best, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).  Our spirits have an instinct that is above natural tendencies. When things boil right down to it we know who we are. Maybe it takes being put in a fox-hole in the middle of World War II with bombs going off all around us to help us realize it. Maybe it is a loss of a loved one. Maybe it is a feeling of loneliness or remorse. Whatever it is we know that we are the sons and daughters of God. And when we find ourselves in trying times we have a spiritual instinct on whom to call, our Father who art in Heaven. That is why I believe there are no atheists in a foxhole. Take heart, whatever your “Fox Hole” in life might be, our Father in Heaven is always willing to listen and to help. Call on Him, Pray to Him, I know that He hears every prayer.

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Filed under Encouragment, Gospel of Jesus Christ

Why am I knocking on your door???

Have you ever been rudely interrupted by a knock on your door or a ringing of your doorbell only to find two young men in suits standing on your front door step? Or maybe two young women? They were probably dressed very nicely; suits or just white shirts and ties? I’m sure they introduced themselves as representatives, or missionaries, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know because I am one of these young men. I have knocked on many doors and talked with many people on their door steps.

Have you ever wondered why they were standing there talking to you in the rain, snow, or sunshine? So why do we take the time to go from door to door to talk to people like you? Why do we face rejection? Why do we interrupt your meal, nap, or any other activity? Why do we sometimes chase you down on the street  to try to talk and get to know you?

The answer is simple. We know how much the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed our lives and we want you to have the same blessings. Christ commanded his apostles shortly before his ascension back into heaven to “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 commanded you” (Mathew 28:18-19). After his resurrection he asked Peter three times if Peter loved him. Peter’s response was obviously yes. Christ’s response was to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). There are countless scriptures that teach, command, and exhort those who have faith in Christ to invite others to come unto him. But for me at least, it is a little bit more than just that.

If you went to a restaurant and tried a new dish (Perhaps a Monte burger from Montana Club) and loved it, or Maybe you could even say to yourself that it was the best meal that you have ever had. Would you want to keep it a secret or tell everyone you know? I know I would want to tell people. That is how the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is for me. It is sooo good! Though it is a commandment to do missionary work, to me it is even more then that. I KNOW that anyone who accepts our message, or in reality Christ’s message, will be happy! Our message is unique; it includes modern day prophets, restoration of priesthood, another testament of Jesus Christ, and answers to life’s greatest questions.Their lives will be blessed in so many ways! I cannot keep it to myself! That is why we knock on your door. That is why we go from door after door after door. That is why we face rejection, harsh words, slammed doors, and disappointment. That is why we may chase you down on the street and seem like we are crazy. That is why we don’t give up if you tell us to come back some other time.  It is simply because we want you to have what we have. We are not out here for ourselves. We want you to find happiness in this life and the kind of happiness that lasts through the eternities. We want to invite you to come unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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Covenants Lead to Blessings

The other day I was talking with a friend about covenants. Hold on a second, just what exactly is a covenant? I like to think a covenant is a two-way promise. A pact, promise, or agreement you could say. A dictionary might say: “an agreement, usually formal, between two or more personsto do or not do something specified”. Now the context of the covenants we were talking about was a little different from most conventional covenants. Usually covenants, pacts, promises, or agreements are between two people or two groups or parties. We talked about how unfortunate it is that people sometimes have a less than  reliable record on keeping their promises. Thus, we have lawyers, contracts, and an endless supply of paperwork. This got my mind thinking. The covenants I’d like to talk about have a little more purpose and power than conventional ones. When we make sacred covenants in the church we are not covenanting with another person in the church. We are covenanting with God. Unlike imperfect humans, God will not slack on his end of the deal. We might slack, but he will not. He will keep ALL, EVERYTHING, he promises to do.  The Lord has stated, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). There are many covenants we can make with the Lord but one that comes to my mind is Baptism. Here is a simple explanation of baptism: when we are baptized by immersion we make a covenant with God. We promise to be a witness for His name, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. In return He promises us to always have the Companionship of the Holy Ghost (what an amazing blessing!) and to have our sins washed away. Of course we need to be baptized by proper priesthood authority; a lawyer might know the law but cannot pull someone over and give them a speeding ticket. In a similar respect Jesus went to John to be baptized and not one of the Pharisees or Jewish leaders. When we are baptized by proper authority all these blessings can be ours. Not to mention many other blessings that come from baptism and membership in Jesus Christ’s restored church on the earth today. Sounds Pretty good to me.

Well, Elder Freeman you just don’t understand, One might say. I have a lot going on. I have finals coming up. Plus I have been sick lately, and work has been keeping me extremely busy. Not to mention my family has been having financial problems recently. I definitely don’t have time to think about baptism nor prepare for it. Plus, I’m not even sure if The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints is the one true church!

Even though these are all real concerns, and can cause a decision like baptism to seem like a huge step or choice, God will help you! This is something He has commanded of us. Why wait? If I offered you a vitamin that would improve your health dramatically would you wait for a later time to obtain the benefits? If we wait till all things appear to be lined up just perfectly it may be too late, or things may never line up. Why hold off on blessings? With all the hardships and trials we face in life the Gift of the Holy Ghost will help us! The countless blessings that result from keeping the commandments will make our lives much more easy and bearable. I know that when we put God first, when we put first priority on Him, everything else will fall into place; including Family, friends, finals, and health. When times seem the hardest what better time to decide to follow Jesus Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). If you’re not sure that the LDS church is true or not, that’s okay. Take the time to find out for yourself. Ask your Heavenly Father if it is true. I know that it is. I know that making covenants with God blesses our lives. I know that this knowledge has changed my life and that it can change yours as well. Even if the time doesn’t seem right, why wait? There is no better time than now!

(Not an Actual number. Try mormon.org to learn more)

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