Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

The atonement is the greatest act ever to be performed on this earth.
It is the means by which we are liberated from death and hell.
It is the only way for us to return and live with God.
It is the ultimate act of service.

      It's hard to believe that the sacrifice of someone else is enough to pay for our sins. Its hard to trust in everything God reveals through his prophets when we ourselves cannot see God. Even though it is hard, I know its worth it.
      As part of life we all sin, or do things contrary to the will of God. No one who has sin can live with God These things are not up to our interpretation of the "law" and there is no moral relativity. There is simply the law of God and satan's counterfeit, 2 options. A prophet in ancient america explained that without law, and punishment for breaking the law there could be no good or evil. Without set rules everything would be null and void. How could we do good if there was no good? How could we learn and grow without making any decisions? If there is no option, how can you make a choice? And if these things dont exist, then there is no point in our being here on earth. Because the purpose of life is to learn and grow.
       Now that we are in this situation of learning and growing we will inevitably fall, we're human. And after we fall what do we do? We cannot live with God again. It's against the law, we are sinners. Without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we would be cast out forever. The process of getting back up is called repentance. When we correct our mistake, to the best of our ability, Jesus Christ makes up the rest and allows us to live with God again. How great a gift!
      I have sinned, many times (hopefully not too many  : ) ...  ) When I sin I feel guilty, that is part of the punishment. If these laws of God were not real why then would I feel guilty? Some may say that it is my conscience and my upbringing, that may be true, but consider this. I was in my living room the other day thinking about something I had done wrong. I felt bad, I wished I could take it away, I wished that I had never done it. In my attempt to fix the problem I offered a prayer to God and asked his forgiveness, thinking on the atonement I explained to God that I believed it was possible to have the guilt removed. When I finished praying I still felt terrible. As I was sitting at my desk thinking of what more I could do, I had a feeling of peace, the guilt was swept away, I was filled with the happiest feeling of peace and assurance that everything would be OK. Now, if my conscience had caused my feeling of guilt and the law of God didnt really exist, how then could I suddenly have my emotions change after doing virtually nothing on my part? There is no other explanation besides this: God exists. His laws are real. Jesus has the power to take the sin and guilt away.
       I know these things are true, just as I know that I have a heart. I feel it.
Seek the atonement.
It will change your life, as it has mine.

p.s. This the greatest act in all of time is mentioned by name once in the Bible.. (twice in spanish). And it is mentioned 39 times by name in the Book of Mormon! If you seek Christ, read the Book of Mormon.
It's free!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NOT Jersey!

For the first time on my mission I am leaving the garden state which I have loved so much. I will be living in Newark, Delaware! I'd like to share some of my feelings on leaving and also on mission life in general.
Thoughts on life as a missionary:
+ The hardest part is leaving
           We come to live with, love and strive to become the people with whom we serve. At this point in my mission I have 100% Mexican blood. (Maybe a little central and South America, and perhaps a dash of the islands.) The point is I love the people I’ve met, after spending only hours with them. The hardest part is saying goodbye.
+ I will never work harder in my life.
            When I return home I will have a heap of responsibilities, yes. But, none of the things I do as a normal person carry the same weight as what I do here and now every hour of every day. I wish I could retain the missionary lifestyle for the rest of my life.
+ We have the truth.
             This is a bold statement, I know, but in these 20 months as a missionary I have done as much gospel study as I imagine anyone would do in a lifetime. Through this study I have come to learn 2 things
1. God exists
2. If you ask him a question, He will answer.
With those 2 things I would like to say that I have never met anyone who took the time to search for answers from God and was not led closer to him. In addition to that, I have never met anyone who, in an attempt to come closer to God, has read the Book of Mormon and NOT felt that it is the very word of God.
I've seen it in others and I’ve felt it in my own life. The Book of Mormon draws us closer to God our heavenly father. For this reason I know that we have the truth, and nothing can take that away.

After all this time I thought that I would have some great and deep understanding of theology. However, in reality I have gained merely a love for others and an assurance that I am doing what God would have me do.

This is all fine and good, but what do we do about it. I understand that all 5 of my readers have some sort of knowledge about these things. (3 of which are elders). So my statement is more of an invitation: Come unto Christ, seek him and you will find him. By nature of my calling, I am available to listen to anyone who wants to be heard. Find me on facebook :)