The Power of The Holy Ghost

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Prayer is incredible! I’m slowly starting to grasp how powerful it really is. Prayer truly invites the spirit into our lives and nothing can beat the feeling of having the companionship of the spirit.

There’s a darling woman in the ward I am currently serving in that just might be Marilyn Monroe’s twin. We had visited “Marilyn” twice before and she had gladly welcomed us in, but she seemed very hesitant to come to church. On our third visit, her walls came down and she told us how she didn’t feel worthy of her Savior. She constantly felt abandoned by God because of the decisions she had made and she didn’t have the desire to come back to church because she felt she no longer deserved to feel the spirit. My companion and I bore our testimonies and left her with the most heart-felt prayer we could muster. We told her about the spirit we felt in the room right then, but she told us she sadly couldn’t feel it.  We left her home that day feeling a bit defeated. So when Sunday rolled around and Marilyn walked through those church doors, you can bet our jaws just about hit the ground.

Later that day she told us her side of the story…
I was unwilling to believe I was worthy of God’s love ,and loving myself. The sister missionaries came to my house and offered to pray with me. The next morning I felt different. I no longer felt absolute hatred for myself. After 32 years of feeling unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness, I was able to be at peace and not judge myself. I was able to truly forgive myself. Sometimes the Lord shows up at our doorsteps in the form of missionaries, neighbors, or even strangers. That day, the missionaries were my miracles.”

Though it may have taken more time than we had anticipated, that prayer and the spirit that prayer invited into Marilyn’s home worked a miracle. The Spirit came and witnessed to Marilyn that she truly is a daughter of God, and therefore is worthy of the Savior’s Atonement. The Holy Ghost does more than comfort and guide us, He provides a “remission of (our) sins by fire” as Nephi tells us in 2 Nephi 31:17.

Joseph F. Smith describes the power of an experience with the Holy Ghost beautifully: “When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase.”

I know that feeling the Spirit is not something casual or small. It is powerful, incredible, and a gift from God. I am sincerely grateful for that third member of the Godhead, that not only leads and guides me, but has the power to sanctify and purify each of us. I pray that each of us will make more of an effort to invite the spirit into our lives. And I say these things in the sacred name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

The Power of God on Earth!

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When I was about 10 years old, my father almost died, an experience I will never forget. My dad had just had surgery to repair his ACL in his knee, which he tore playing basketball. The night after the surgery, mom and I were making dinner for dad, when we hear movement upstairs. I want to check it out and got to the bottom of the stairs and immediately knew something was wrong. Dad was at the top of the stairs on his crutches pale and weazing. I yelled for my mom, she came rushing in and got to the top of the stairs just in time to catch him before he collapsed.

                As swiftly as she could, with very little assistance from my father, carried him out to the van all while telling me to get her purse and keys. I watched as my mother put my dad in the back seat of our astro van, he was so pale and was struggling for air. My mom slammed the door shut, grabbed her purse from me, told me to call grandma, then jumped in the car. I watched her speed away from our house and around the corner, leaving me there on the driveway wondering if that was the last time I was going to see my father alive. I began to cry.

                Miraculously my mother was able to make it to the hospital clear across town without hitting a single red light. At the hospital they were ready for him and quickly found out that he had a blood clot that had gone to his lungs, extremely dangerous and life threatening. They wanted to life-flight him to a hospital in Salt Lake City (25-30 min away by ambulance) that could really help him, cause our hospital is small. Thankfully they couldn’t life-flight him; he had to be taken by ambulance. You might wonder why I say “thankfully.” I say that because my uncle, a worthy priesthood holder, was in the ambulance that night and was able to give my father a blessing.

                My father remembers feeling like his chest was about to burst and breathing was near impossible.  They put him into the back of the ambulance and he was sure he was going to die. He remembers my uncle suddenly by his side and asked him if he would like a blessing. My father nodded. My uncle quickly placed his hands on my father’s head, and pronounced a blessing of healing upon him. The moment he closed the blessing with “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen,” my father took a deep breath and the pain was gone!

                My mother who had been trying to keep up with the ambulance, praying and crying, wondering if her husband was even going to be alive when she made it to the hospital. When she walked in, she found my father sitting up and joking with the staff, as he does, relief flooded over her and she began to cry. The doctors told them that when he go to the hospital in Salt Lake City, the blood clot was nowhere to be found.

                I know that just as God has given his power and authority to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and other prophets throughout history; that authority and power is once again here on the earth and it’s called the Priesthood. It was restored through Joseph Smith who was called of God to be the first prophet of our day. He was given that same priesthood authority that Jesus Christ gave to his apostles while he was on the earth. ImageThis priesthood allows us to be baptized into the kingdom of God and to have the opportunity to live with our families forever. Along with these marvelous eternal blessing the Priesthood, just as it had with the apostles and prophets, has the power to heal and perform many mighty miracles.

                I am so grateful that my uncle was a worthy priesthood holder and that through him the power of God was manifest. I know that it is through this power that my father is still here on the earth.  I know that our Savior lives and loves us so very much. I know that we can come to know that the power of God, the Priesthood, is here on the earth again through a modern day prophet.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and through him Christ’s church was restored in its fullness here to the earth. I know that any person who desires to know can come to know these things are true as they pray to our Heavenly Father and he will manifest the truth of these things unto us through the Holy Ghost.   I know all these things and share them humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Lighthouse

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The Captain had sworn he’d never be stuck in this situation again.

He had taken his small ship out to fish earlier that morning. He had been having good luck too, and by noon, his barrels and nets were full. While his attention was on his work however, he failed to notice the gathering black clouds, and how far he had drifted from the shore.

Now the black clouds had become a raging Storm. Its fierce winds and crashing waves rock the ship to and fro, threatening to sink it. At first the Captain assumed he could withstand, that he could withstand the Storm. But after a few hours, his strength is failing him, his ship is taking a beating, and the Storm is only growing stronger.

At last he decides to head for the Harbor. He looks and looks, but in every direction there is just darkness. The low hanging clouds block any light from above, and the crashing waves obscure the view of the horizon.

But then, between two rolling waves, he thinks he sees something on the horizon. A pair of gleaming lights. They appears for just a second, then they’re gone. The Captain hesitates, then turns the ship toward the direction of the lights. Had he really seen it? How could he know he was going in the right direction?

During the next grueling hour of navigating the wind-tossed sea, he sees that gleaming light again. His confidence begins to grow. It must be the Lower Lights that mark the Harbor. As he gets closer and closer, the low hanging clouds clear out for him to see, at last, the shining beam of the Lighthouse. Of course it’s light had been shining throughout the storm, but because of the great distance The captain had but between himself and the Lighthouse, he simply couldn’t see it.

He makes it through into the Harbor at last, and ties his battered ship to the dock. As he steps onto solid ground, he falls to his knees in gratitude for both the Lighthouse and the Lower Lights which guided him to safety.

Lighthouse in Storm

Many of us have been in the same situation as the Captain. We leave the safety of the Harbor of the gospel in order to seek after worldly treasures. We often don’t intend to go afar off, but as we get wrapped up in our quest we may not notice the distance we put between ourselves and God. God’s love toward us is ever shining, just like the Lighthouse, but because of the Storms of life and the situation we put ourselves in, we often fail to see it.

Often times it takes another to show us the way back. Our friends, family, or others that desire our safety can direct us home. Like the Lower Lights that mark the entrance to the Harbor, their love for us may not shine as bright as God’s, but as we seek after their love and their example, it can bring us back in view of God’s love.

I know God is our loving Father in Heaven.  His love for us is constant, and his position has never changed.  We’re the ones that drift away from him, not the other way around.  I know that as we seek after his light, we can find the safe “Harbor” from the storms of life.  I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Christ’s Suffering In Gethsemane Covered SO Much More

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    The Atonement truly is the biggest miracle in our lives. I love it with all my heart. It’s something that is so infinite that I do believe we will be learning and accepting and utilizing it differently for the rest of our lives.

    We’ve recently began teaching and serving a darling woman that lives in our apartment complex. A week ago she sent us a text that said she was ready to give up. In other words, she’s been contemplating suicide and was reaching a scary point of desperation. In the past year, this woman has been through two brain surgeries and her entire world has been flipped upside down. Immediately after receiving the text, my companion and I got on our knees and prayed for guidance on how we could help. We decided we needed to change our plans and go straight over to see this woman hoping we could help.

    With Cynthia laying in her bed, we sat cross legged on the floor of her bedroom talking with her. We began teaching a lesson about our

    Christ's loveSavior, Jesus Christ and His infinite Atonement. So often we only focus on the part of the Atonement that covers our sins, but  that. Our Savior experienced and understands each of our pains, sicknesses, emotions, trials, and burdens just as Alma tells the people of Gideon in Alma 7:11-13. I felt inspired to tell Cynthia about my experience in the garden of Gethsemane six months ago on my study abroad to Jerusalem with BYU. I testified of the knowledge I gained while sitting in that incredible place. I told her about the reality of our Savior and how I knew that He knows exactly how she is feeling. I pulled out the olive leaves I have pressed in my scriptures that the gardener gave us from the garden and pulled off a leaf. I told her that in the moments she doubted, all she needed to do was hold on to that leaf. Jesus Christ lived and died for each one of us. He is real. He knows her and He knows you. We asked her if she would let this leaf be a reminder for her. As she held tightly to that leaf, tears began to fall down her face as she nodded. Sister Hibpshman and I began to sing a few hymns just like we did in the Garden of Gethsemane when I was there and just let that beautiful spirit fill the room.

    We then handed darling Cynthia a Book of Mormon, testifying to her that in our darkest moments…this book gives us the strength to carry on. She finally opened up and agreed to read it. And guess what? That olive leaf is now her book mark in that Book of Mormon. I love our Savior Jesus Christ and the hope He gives each one of us because He understands every burden on our shoulders. His Atonement is real and can bless us in every aspect in our lives. This I know to be true and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.