Saturday, June 25, 2011

Faith; Its Easy... Like Building a Puzzle

I was recently reading a 2011 April General Conference talk, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, titled "Waiting on the Road to Damascus". The talks subject is centered on not waiting for a miraculous experience to clear up any questions or doubts we may have in regards to our faith. Many may know that as a missionary I rely heavily on analogies to portray the workings of the Gospel. I'd like to spend some time focusing on the powerful analogy that President Uchtdorf presents in his talk, comparing our steps of faith to the construction of a puzzle.

When starting a puzzle you most always start with the border or edge pieces, its almost essential to the overall accomplishment. You could compare this first step, the starting of our faith with a scripture in Alma 32:27, "But behold if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words (the words of Christ), and excersise a particle of faith, yea even if ye can no more that desire to believe (starting our puzzle), let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that you can give place for a portion of my words (our border is completed)."
While working on our puzzle we know that some pieces come right after the other, and some often stump us (If your like me it's way often) at where or what piece goes where. Our Testimony (a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost) of the Gospel can like wise at times come easily or can take time and effort. I dunno about you but when attempting a puzzle an overall result (picture on the box) is too often required to guide me through this task. Likewise after we may have started our journey ,by desiring faith and experimenting on the words of Christ, it comes to a point where we need to take the steps necessary for baptism by immersion, by the Priesthood of God, to continue adding pieces of faith to our masterpiece. When we are baptized we receive the Holy Ghost (our picture of the puzzle) to help lead us to further finding and placing our spiritual experiences to the growth of our knowledge of the Savior.

This is essential, the Holy Ghost knows perfectly the workings of God and Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 28:10-11). With his constant companionship we can endure life's trials, doubts, and temptations and can be lead to our overall joy of completing our puzzle.

I would like to end with a portion of the talk I have been inspired by,"The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle- one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us- not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed.
This can be our experience if we move forward with faith and do not wait too long on the Road to Damascus."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Silver Surfer Perspective One

My favorite comic book hero (recently) has been the Silver Surfer. I think what makes me so drawn to this character is his heroic change of heart and turn around. I like to think of it compared to those, sometimes difficult and drastic, changes to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the comic/movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the Silver Surfer makes a pact with Galctus, to help prepare other planets for destruction, in hopes to save his own planet from that very fate. he is given powers and a childhood dreamed mode of transportation (his surfboard) to help with the task. His job is to prepare the planets for easier "digestion"(so to say) for Galctus. In turn you can imagine how many civilizations and planets destruction the Silver Surfer is greatly responsible for. Soon it is time for the Silver Surfer to prepare earth for its destruction.

When the Silver Surfer comes to earth to open the door of doom, he is met by the heroic team called the Fantastic Four comprising of The Human Torch, The Thing, The Invisible Woman, and Mr. Fantastic. After the capture and rescue of the Silver Surfer the team gains favor in the sight of the Silver Surfer. In hopes to save the near extinction of life as they know it the Silver Surfer puts all he has, his life included, on the line in the final battle with Galactus.

With the Silver Surfer's triumphant turn around and victory over evil his mighty change of heart brings him to a life of good.
I can only imagine the hope the Silver Surfer had (if this were real) as he gave up evil in an epic battle (really you should watch it!) for good. If the Silver Surfer didn't act on his "good intentions" the destiny of the world would have been all together very tragic.
Most of us may be partial to a line from a Fall Out Boy song which says, "the road outside my house is paved with good intentions". I think that line can be accompanied with a quote from Elder Steven E. Snow's Conference address titled "Hope", "Our hopes can lead to dreams which can inspire us and lead us to action... Hope alone does not cause us to succeed. Many honorable hopes have gone unfulfilled, shipwrecked on the reefs of good intentions and laziness." Let us better our eternal fate by acting on the hope to live the gospel standards and do what is right.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Understanding A Mormon: W of W

Everyone seems to have difficulty understanding why Mormons (Latter Day Saints) do what they do. My purpose today is to talk about a topic that many people are like, "What? You guys ask too much."
I wanted to start of talking about cars... cause that's pretty much all I think about... except while I'm on a mission (in case my Mission President is reading ;). But I want to talk about a situation. Imagine you need to go somewhere not near where you live. Lets say you need to go to an interview for a job or a movie role that you are very well qualified for the position and you are sure you'll ace it. If you can make this trip you will be able to grow and experience new things. But you're broke and you ain't got no way of getting there.
Luckily a friend who loves you very much knows how much you can benefit from this trip so he goes out and buys you a nice new reliable car to get you through the trip. so this car is pretty cool, it smells all new, the paint is all shiny, B-E-A-Utiful!

Now, of course you are very grateful for the opportunities this car presents, and you know your friend is very particular about his cars and keeping them in pristine condition. Now hopefully you'd be respectful and grateful enough to not smoke in the car! Or spill a Pepsi in the car and put off the cleaning (hopefully, you'd be more respectful to not spill Pepsi in the first place! ;) Hopefully you would take care of it to honor and show appreciation to your friend.
On February, 27 1833 the Lord reinstated a code of health, so to say, "Showing forth the will or God" known to us as the Word of Wisdom. In the New Testament of the Bible in 1 Corinthians 3:16 we learn, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Comparing our bodies as a temple give us and idea of how much God values them. We are taught that we had to get a body to progress in this life, learn what pain, happiness, sorrow, guilt and all that fun stuff is. Without our God given bodies we wouldn't have been able to make this trip. Thus stopping our progression.
As a follower of Jesus Christ when the Word of Wisdom was given, we were instructed to refrain from putting certain substances in our body namely, tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol and illegal drugs. If you understand anything of how Heavenly Father feels , giving us our "car"(body) to make this much needed trip, we would follow gladly his desires to help keep it clean and in top condition.
I can only imagine at the second coming when God and Christ  are "preparing" our "bodies", "cars", "temples", however you want to look at it, for the Resurrection and they cry at some of the things they have to clean or repair because of the amount of appreciation we showed for this wonderful opportunity.
So pick out your favorite car, for me I'd like to think of myself as a Mercedes Mclaren SLR
 Yeah I can see that, for my brother it would probably be a Saleen S7...

Except with a moustache of course.
Now that you have your car picked out recognize what God has given you to make this trip and show gratitude through how you treat it! That is just a little analogy of why Mormons do one of the things they do. I know that this is true because I live it and feel of its blessings. Thank You for attending Mormonism 101 with Professor Trujillo.
I got in trouble by my sister for not putting her on. I also one uped her choice of car!

Ford Raptor for a BOMB sister!!!