The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it has for over 30 years, has produced several advertisements. But unlike previous years, this round of advertisements feature recent converts to the Church discussing their experiences. If you're having trouble with the videos, you can see both by clicking here and here.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
One of my favorite movies is "Fiddler on the Roof." In it, Tevye, a Jewish dairyman with five daughters in late-czarist Russia struggles to maintain his traditions as the world changes around him.
Early in the film, as he is making his last Friday deliveries, his horse pulls up lame and Tevye must yoke himself to his dairy cart while his horse walks beside him. While pulling the cart, Teyve looks heavenward and says,
Dear God. Was that necessary? Did you have to make him lame just before the Sabbath? That wasn't nice. It's enough you pick on me. Bless me with five daughters, a life of poverty, that's all right. But what have you got against my horse?Really, sometimes I think, when things are too quiet up there, you say to yourself, "Let's see. What kind of mischief can I play on my friend, Tevye?"
Sometimes, I feel a little like Tevye.
In the commotion of life, I'm often moments away from a much-needed rest when the Lord decides to play a little mischief on me. It happened after I graduated from BYU when despite excellent grades I couldn't find a job. It happened when instead of going back to BYU or the University of Utah for law school, I ended up at Baylor. And I can feel it happening now.
Since the day we came to Baylor, my wife and I have looked forward to returning permanently to Utah. And lately, I've been feeling very Utah-sick. It's October 21 here in Waco, and it was 88 degrees. The leaves on the trees are still green. But in Utah, I'm told, the air is crisp. And the mountains are a mosaic of fall foliage. It snowed yesterday.
I miss Fall in Utah!
But I don't think I'll see a Utah Fall for some time. Even though I interviewed for several positions in Utah this summer, that horse has pulled up lame. And now I find myself yoked to an unexpected burden.
Yet I know that what at first blush seems mischievous is really part of a better plan. For no matter how well-thought-out my plans are, the Lord's will is always best. Sometimes, it's His will to test my patience and faith. (See Mosiah 23:21). Thus, it's my privilege to "submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord," as hard as it may be. (See Mosiah 24:9-17).
And Christ has promised rest to those who are yoked to life's struggles. He said,
So, like Tevye, I must yoke myself to my cart and move forward knowing that I'm not pulling alone. For a Sabbath awaits. It may be in the Fall of Utah's mountain valleys. Or it may be the rest which comes only after a life well-lived.
But a Sabbath awaits.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
My friends, I hope you took advantage of the opportunity to listen to modern Apostles and Prophets as they taught us the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you missed it, you can still enjoy their messages because they are available on the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The conference was glorious. Henry B. Eyring, formerly a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was called to be the second counselor in the First Presidency, and Quentin L. Cook was called as the new member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to take the place of President Eyring. As I listened to each speak, I felt the power of the Holy Ghost testifying that Jesus Christ Himself called them to their new positions.
As I watched General Conference, I felt impressed to share with you my testimony:
I know that God lives. He is our Heavenly Father. He knows us by name and loves us personally. He is a personage of Spirit, and that Spirit is tabernacled in a tangible, exalted Body of flesh and bone. He has a face which we will see. He has arms which ache to hold us. And He has a heart filled with love for us. I know it.
I know Jesus Christ is God's Son. I know that although He died upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus overcame the bonds of death and was resurrected. His Spirit and Body were reunited, never again to be separated. He has a face which we will see. He has arms which ache to hold us. He has a heart filled with love for us. And His hands, feet, and side bear the tokens of His Messiahship. One day we will feel those prints.
I testify that Jesus Christ paid the price of sin. He has satisfied the demands of Justice so that He can extend grace to us. Through Him, we can overcome the effects of sin and become perfected. And because He was resurrected, we all will be resurrected. Our spirits and our bodies will one day be united, never again to be separated.
And just like He did anciently, I know that Jesus Christ has called Apostles to lead, guide, and direct His Church. The first Apostle of this era was Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph saw Jesus face to face and received the keys of the kingdom which had been bestowed upon Peter anciently. But Joseph was not the only Apostle of this era: there have been approximately one hundred others. Today, the chief Apostle is Gordon B. Hinckely. He holds the same keys as Peter held and that Joseph Smith held. These Apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators. And if we heed their words, they will guide us in the ways of truth and righteousness until we return to the presence of God. God speaks to these modern Apostles and Prophets just as He did to the ancient Apostles and Prophets.
I testify the Bible is the word of God. It is a true book. It teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It teaches that there is no other way whereby we may be saved except in and through Him. I love it and the the peace and power I feel as I read it.
And I testify that God has provided us another witness to testify of the Divinity of Jesus Christ: The Book of Mormon. It is a true book. It teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It teaches that there is no other way whereby we may be saved except in and through Him. I love it and the peace and power I feel as I read it. And it is through the Book of Mormon that I know Jesus Christ lives and is the Savior of the World.
I testify that Jesus Christ has restored the fullness of His Gospel and has restored His Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.
I know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the ordinances of the Gospel, we can return to live with God, our Heavenly Father forever. And by that same power, we can be united with our families eternally, not only until death parts us.
My friends, you can also know these things are true. I promise you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that if you will study the Book of Mormon, ponder its teachings, humble yourselves before God, and ask Him in the name of Jesus Christ, God Himself will manifest to you the truthfulness of these things. For I know them by this power.
As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, I know these things are true. Are you willing to discover the truth of these things for yourself?
Please accept my invitation to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder its teachings, and to ask God if it is a true book.
For a free copy of the Book of Mormon, click here. The link to request a Book of Mormon is at the bottom of the page.