For Those Struggling with Life: The Healer and the Patient Theory

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In 2014, which one were we? Were we the healers or the ones being healed? Is it possible to be both?

In 2015, which one do we plan to be? If we were one, could we be the other? Can perspective be our healer? Can Christ bring us perspective in dark times?

We all live in the same world with different circumstances, but in the end it has to do with our perspective. How is it possible that a poor family can be content and grateful? How can it be that sometimes a rich person may lack in gratitude. How come you can walk down the musky corridors of a hospital and find two types of people lying in a patient bed with two different auras?  We have the faithful that lean all their weight on the idea of miraculous intervention and we also have the patient who remains faithless due to their upbringing and their choices in life. We have people who will be reading these few sentences curious about the next sentence and others that have already checked out mentally. We have people who are followers of Christ that love to HEAR his word, but doing is another story.  What is it that defines our perspective? People have asked me all the time how to acquire peace. First of all, we must go to the Author of it; the Savior of the world. Second, Christ has the ability to give us perspective, and through His eyes we will find peace. Either the eyes to embrace suffering (Job the prophet), or the eyes of an upcoming miracle and the faith to sustain it.

In spirituality and your relationship with God, I believe the Slight Edge Theory may assist in all aspects.

SLIGHT EDGE : THE JEFF OLSEN THEORY

Here is a portion of what Jeff Olsen summarized as the Slight Edge Theory. Perhaps we know the concept, but in the end “knowing” will never be enough. President Kimball, one of the modern prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints changed a small portion of the Hymn I am a Child of God. Instead of “teach me all that I must KNOW”, he changed it to “teach me all that I must DO”.  Knowledge can be like seeing the stairs to heaven, but not using them would be the actions we took. When we apply Godly principles, we begin seeing everything from a higher level and we start seeing how God sees things.

The Slight Edge Philosophy

Excerpt by Jeff Olson

When you were a tiny, little child, you made your
way around the world on your hands and knees
crawling. Everyone around you was walking and one
day you got it into your head to give that a try.

So, little by little, you worked on developing the
skills you needed to walk. You grabbed on to
something above you and pulled yourself upright.
You stood up, holding on to a table or chair or
big stuffed animal. Wobbly and unsure, you let go,
fell down, and tried again and again, until you
stood up all by yourself. Then, you took a step.

The older people you watched took one step after
another: right foot, left foot, right foot, left
…but you managed only one step-and you crashed.

After days of side-stepping around the coffee table,
awkwardly bringing one little foot out from behind
the other while you held on to Mom’s or Dad’s fingers,
you eventually took your first couple of steps…
all alone…all by yourself…and (hopefully) to the
cheers and applause of your family.

Baby steps. One at a time. And you were WALKING!

IN THE PROCESS OF LEARNING HOW TO WALK, you
probably spent more time failing than you did
succeeding. But did you ever have the thought of
quitting? Did you ever tell yourself, “I’m not cut
out for walking-guess I’ll crawl for the rest of
my life?” No, of course you didn’t. So, why do you
do that now?

What’s different today with any goal you want and
desire you have for accomplishing anything? When
did you lose the ability to make a goal, go for it,
and get it? How come you don’t do what you did when
you were one or two years old?

The answer is alarming, yet simple:

Somewhere along the way in your life, you became
unwilling to take baby steps. You lost faith in the
universal truth that the simple little disciplines
done again and again over time would move the
mightiest mountains.

Shakespeare said “to climb steep hills requires
slow pace at first,” but now you put your trust
in achieving breakthroughs…making quantum leaps
…instant this, instant that…hitting the lottery.
You began a habit of settling for less, just because
more was so far out of your reach. You forgot about
the most proven, powerful success philosophy on Earth
– “The Slight Edge.”

WINNING IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF SLIGHT EDGE. Who can
forget that moving moment of triumph in the ’94
Olympics when American speed-skater Dan Jansen at
last overcame years of discouragement,
disappointment, and frustration to finally win the
gold medal in the 1000 meters, setting a world
record of one minute, 12.43 seconds?

Do you know by how much of a margin Jansen won?
Do you know what the difference was between the
winning world record gold medal and the virtual
oblivion of second place?

Twenty-nine hundredths of a second! That’s a very
Slight Edge!

No matter where you look, no matter in what area
of accomplishment, life, work, or play-the
difference between winning and losing, between going
down in the record books as first and best…or not
at all-the gap that separates success and failure is
always measured as … THE SLIGHT EDGE.

THE HIDDEN CHRISTIAN

Here is where the Slight Edge comes in. When you come into your Mormon faith, or whichever faith you reside in where there is a Higher Power you resort to, the climb is a long one to acquire any life with Godliness. The Hidden Christian is the man or woman  who prays when no one watches. The person who donates and doesn’t go on Facebook to announce to the world that they donated. For the Savior has called your act vain! It is the person who reads scriptures with the family and they go unnoticed since it is so early in the morning. Even when they have guests over, they go downstairs and still read the Good Book together. When the man of the household blesses his children, its in secret and never truly gets announced or made public .It is the woman who prays for her family consistently in her heart and teaches their children the power of gratitude without being boastful  of what God has blessed her with. They don’t care what day it is , they know to always put God first and they do the small prayers, the small scripture reading, the small dedications to the church and service of men. What are THESE people building? How do they build these foundations and fortresses of Zion without anyone noticing? They have intentionally made the decision to take the next verse as part of their daily routine.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:3-4

This reward may come within your lifetime, it may come after, or it may reside in both spheres. Let me tell you an automatic blessing that comes in this life.  You have acquired a fortress where the view is better from your watch tower. As you listen to the prophets of our church, you stand alongside with them to see what is coming towards your family. He allows you to be a prophet of your home and Christ encourages you to receive revelation for your household . All this will bring perspective when times get tough. Whether you have been chosen to be the healer or the patient, you have built a quiet Zion where your view from the watchtower gives you perspective.  For those of you who have created the irrational thought that because you follow God,  persecution will never come and you will be blessed spiritually monetarily and spiritually. You have been unfortunately have a entered the realm of being spiritually myopic. Some of the greatest followers of Christ went through the worst in life, but it gave them experience. In the end, all we want is peace in this life and hereafter. These Christians did not attain it mastering just the Sabbath, everyday has become a ritual to praise God and use their talents and heavenly tools during their daily living. They don’t choose God on Sundays, they realize that God created the calendar and He did not forget to wake you up this morning. The reason why I placed a photo of Jairus is because she was healed by Christ, but she also became a healer of souls for those who witnessed it. Ill repeat this again:

AS WE ARE HEALED, WE BECOME HEALERS OURSELVES DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY. BUT WE MUST REALIZE THAT WE ARE SICK AND THAT WE MUST FIND THE RIGHT HEALER .

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I have mentioned in my last post the love I have for my Saviors mission regarding the assistance of Israel in Jerusalem.  One of the greatest stories is the story of Jairus. Making Sense of the New Testament makes a great point about the different way God touches us (literally).

Between the beginning and the end of the story of the healing of Jairus’s daughter, Mark includes a brief account of an unnamed woman who suffered from “an issue of blood.” The two stories are interrelatedand share common features: Each has to do with a woman, – one older with a longstanding illness and one younger who had actually died. Furthermore, under Jewish law, both women were impure and coming into contact with either would make a person ritually unclean. The older woman had been bleeding for twelve years, and the young woman was twelve  years of age -about the age when she would be engaged- ready for marriage. In one story, the older woman touches Jesus and in the second story, Jesus touches the young woman.

Of course, this account, just as the story of the woman with an issue of blood, is about faith. Matthew and Luke may have expected their readers to consider an EARLY story- the story of the healing of the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke7:1-10). The soldier in the earlier story did not need Jesus to come to his home- his faith was sufficient- whereas the Jewish synagogue leader needed Jesus to come to his home.

I have always wondered who I would be in these historical stories? Am I the one that reached out to Christ after twelve years of suffering? Am I the person lying on a bed with people who mourn after me as if their was no hope? Am I the centurion that believes that the word of Christ and miracles can teleport to my servant miles away at an instant. Similar to water, the degree of it changes everything. Solid, liquid, and vapor of H20 could be a great analogy of how we hold our faith and the different degrees we can attain.

As we do the small little things everyday, I believe we build a solid fortress. Drinking the waters of eternal life everyday enables us to build ICE blocks around our family to protect it from the harms of the world. Yes, the world will hit, but would we rather have ICE BLOCKS or would we surrender to vapors and rough rapids?

I can’t help but think about my mother as I write this. An Oncologist who experienced Cancer during the last years of her life. God blessed her with something that enabled her to become the ultimate healer. She was not content with healing the body, she had a curiosity to heal the soul. The last 4 years of her investigating the church for one main reason. How could she cure her patients as a whole? I testify to you that she acquired WISDOM in the suffering she went through.

I know someone who had a dream about my mother a few days after she passed away. She told this person that she was worried for a close friend of hers (Vidya). She told this person that on Friday she was particularly concerned. We took the chance to call Vidya directly and tell her about the dream and that she was concerned. Vidya was left speechless but had bad news for us. “Nothing happened Friday, I don’t know why your mother was concerned” she said curiously. We hung up the phone. Five minutes later, she called back crying and said that she cut her hand deeply on Friday and that she rushed to the hospital.

My mother continues to heal and be a doctor on the other side of the veil. However, in this instance, she just made someone whole by letting her know that we live after we pass away in the flesh. Every doctor must be a patient to be a TRUE DOCTOR. Even Christ himself sunk below it all, so that HE may know how to lift us. Are we better than Him? Shall we not follow Him and learn to heal people through our experiences.

For those who are sick and going though trouble, this is how we receive Healing.:

As we heal others, GOD will heal us.

For those who are blessed and have acquired a relationship with our Creator :

As God heals or blesses us, it is our duty to heal others. For those doing the small things everyday, we have something to look forward to. Suffering in our lives will be bring healing to another. As we heal others, we become whole.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the good you have received through suffering? Have you been healed and realized that you were not the only one being healed? Share your Story and let us all be edified. Share this story and Feel Free to Comment. I love to hear stories myself and will comment when you place your thoughts on this post.

 

 

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Jesus Christ: The Greatest Communicator

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The true Gospel of Jesus Christ has been running in blood since 2006. To add more perspective to this statement: The Lord has made me aware of my true Identity and revealed to me the path of how I am supposed to get back to Heavenly Father. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I have gained this testimony by reading ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST.  To this day, I have convinced myself that even though the Book of Mormon , Modern day revelation , and the actual authority to possess the Holy Ghost and Priesthood, for some reason the New Testament will always be my favorite scriptures. I truly have a fond love for the Savior and reading about his 3 year ministry. The more you learn about HIM, the more you realize that it wasn’t just a three-year mission. His Mission began as soon he learned that he could be obedient to His Father and HE chose to come to this earth and become the great Sacrifice. The choice of learning that he would be a half mortal and allow his own people to betray and crucify Him would be a humbling invitation to the world he once created with precision and love.

My favorite thing about my Savior was the way he communicated. Napoleon Hill, a self-development guru and leader,  admitted that the Beatitudes is considered one of the shortest and most life changing speeches ever given in history. I would have to agree with that statement! The main reason why he gave it was to show people how to beautify the spirit. His calling consisted in bringing as many children back to the Father through his sacrifice, teachings, and by focusing on living a new life when you applied his teachings. The perfect sacrifice had words to teach which can perfect the natural man to a sanctified man that can endure Heavenly Father’s presence.

Here is my point: I love how the Lord communicates with us in his own special way.

 

THE FAITH BEHIND THE PRAYER

When I was going through some hard times, I had a prayer that felt unanswered. I committed to do as Joseph Smith Jr. once did when he was calling upon God while his brothers were sleeping. There is a hidden key lying in the scriptures that sometimes can be easily overlooked. Two words can change everything in a sentence. I once met the author S. Michael Wilcox and he wrote something very interesting in my scriptures. He wrote:

Don’t ever read the scriptures, mine for treasures in the leaves of God.

– S. Michael Wilcox

Back to  Joseph Smith Jr. praying to the Lord in a low ceiling room with his brothers. Scholars say that we can assume he was there all night since it described that Moroni appeared and gave him messages all the way until the morning. He must’ve been praying for a while until Angel Moroni showed up a few hours before the sun came up. This was not a short prayer because his heart was set that he would receive an answer. Joseph Smith Jr. had a tendency to be concerned with his sins. I have spiritual envy on how many times Joseph Smith Jr. prayed for his sins to be lifted off his back. If it wasn’t for his guilt and remorse, some of the greatest theological manifestations would not have taken place. According to his mother’s history, Joseph was not only concerned for his own sins, but as prophets before him, he was concerned for the sins of the world. What makes his prayers different from ours?

It was his confidence and full-fledged faith he had for the unseen.

In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above-mentioned twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that i might know of my state and standing before him, for I had full confidence obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.

JSH 1:29

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I was compelled to imitate the SAME CONFIDENCE Joseph portrayed when praying to my Heavenly Father under a moment of depression. I did not receive Moroni because the Lord did not find it necessary for my progression. Instead, He spoke in  language I preferred. I stayed praying on my bed with my head resting near my pillows and  I would purposefully move around if I started feeling like I was falling asleep. I lost track of time but I felt like I was praying for 20 minutes … when it happened. I felt someones warm embrace.  The Lord knew in all his wisdom that I did not to hear any words, I needed some type of  kinesthetic manifestation that would assist my mourning. He must have been standing among the clouds and legions of angels hearing the plea of my heart. He probably stood and listened and wondered how long I would stay awake struggling. As I write this, I picture my 10 month old son Hayden crying for someone to hold him. If he whimpers, we sometimes notice that the child goes back to bed (the result of a bad dream). If he starts crying, sometimes he gets distracted and he goes about discovering things, then goes about his day as if he never cried in the first place. However, sometimes there arrives a plea of desperation that can actually tugs on your parental heartstrings. You know the sound I am talking about. How fast do we come to the rescue as imperfect parents? How much faster would a Perfect Parent come if he heard our desperate plea mingled with tears? The more I pick up Hayden when he cries in desperation, the more my testimony grows that there is no way that Heavenly Father could ignore our moments of desperation.

I LOVE how the Lord embraced my whole being and knew that words would not suffice that particular day. Some people receive revelation in the scriptures they read. Brigham Young said he would receive all his revelations through his family members. Some people receive revelation through meditation during their yoga sessions. Some people receive revelation through nature excursions. The point that should be driven home: The Lord speaks to everyone in different ways. How do you listen to your loving Heavenly Father? Does he manifest himself though different ways or in a singular way? Do you wait for his answer when it doesn’t come? Do you have that faith that He will answer the night you ask? Would I be jumping to a conclusion to let you know that sometimes the Lord was waiting for you to allow yourself to cry and be vulnerable before he provided the perfect answer?

COMMUNICATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH

I would like to keep the person I am speaking about completely anonymous. I recently spoke to a friend and she said that she has decided to take a spiritual journey. She said that she has been going on an emotional roller coaster to find out life’s most important questions. She said their were moments where  she felt alone and in distress and sought for guidance. She heard a voice that said ” Go look outside.” She would look outside  and see a bright star and she felt like it was the brightest star in the night sky. She began looking at it and it would move a little to the right or left depending on the night she felt down. She decided to move her bedroom downstairs so that she can put all her musical instruments upstairs.  A few weeks later, she again started telling me about those low points in her self-esteem and this time the whisper had different instructions:

“Look up to the sky and turn your head a little to the right”

She is not a member of the church, but she followed the instructions of this quiet voice. There it was! A bright star that seemed closer this time. Our text messages had a sweet reverence to them. I never made fun of these things that happened to her.

Friend: It seemed like it was coming closer.

Myself: Why don’t you pray for it to visit you?

Friend: I will 🙂

Myself: Are you scared to know what it is?

Friend: Of course not. However, every time I looked at this star, it gave me comfort and peace. I don’t know what it is, but that voice has always been right as far as the location of that star. It always shows up when I am feeling down and it gives me warmth, hope and love.

Myself: I am guessing God doesn’t want you to suffer and gave you something to look at that gives you peace. He also knew that you would be open to hear a whisper.

Truly,  the Lord speaks to everyone in their own language.

May we embrace the great communicator, Jesus Christ. May we be open to research those coincidences and give it the benefit of the doubt that perhaps the heavens were trying to communicate with us. Maye we look forward to the way that God will communicate with us throughout our lives. How do you obtain answers to prayers? How does God communicate with you and your family? Feel free to Subscribe and share this post.

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Happy Birthday Joseph Smith Jr. ; Thoughts From a Convert

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I wanted to wish Joseph Smith Jr. a Happy Birthday today. It was only time before the itch of having to write another post came to me. A good friend of mine Moroni (coincidence) posted on his wall a reminder that it was his birthday! I get very sensitive and tender when I write about this man. What can I write about him? I have contemplated many times in creating a book that contains my personal commentary on every single sentence of the Joseph Smith History. Ever since I heard the story of Joseph Smith Jr. from an Elder, my life has never been the same. I had a small prayer in my heart where I ask Abba if he could please give me a sign. I asked him to show me that the testimony of a man I never knew could only ring true if he NEVER LOSES eye contact with me while he shares it. The Elder began sharing and he never looked away. It wasn’t only the stare of Elder Vega, it was his beaming blue eyes of a dark skinned hispanic. It wasn’t only his eyes, but it was the Spirit that came over as if time stopped. Riding in a carousel of confusion, the missionaries moved the lever and pulled me out to see why I was riding on the carousel called “Life” in the first place. The beginning of looking into Mormonism also began a stirring of my heart to exhort and preach about religious tolerance.

CATHOLIC DILEMMA & THE HUMILITY FACTOR

The most hatred I have ever read about Joseph Smith Jr. has come from the church that I came from. I still look back with compassionate eyes of their ignorance. As my friend Chris Hughes would say ” Ignorant people tend to come with arrogance”. I have found that to be true. However, If I could relate one message to everyone in the world. I would echo the words of a Lutheran Bishop.

The late Krister Stendahl, emeritus Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and professor emeritus 
of Harvard Divinity School, established three rules for religious understanding:
(1) When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of
that religion and not its enemies; (2) don’t compare your best to their worst; and
(3) leave room for “holy envy” by finding elements in other faiths to emulate. These
principals foster relationships between religions that build trust and lay the groundwork
for charitable efforts.

My message from the beginning has been a message of tolerance. So much ill has been spoken on a prophet that I truly admire. Have I ever spoken badly about your church leaders. Can we admire the words spoken by Krister Stendahl? As far as the Catholic Dilemma, many people are quick to say that we worship statues. However, we are not supposed to! I read in the Catholic Church doctrine that worship of Idols are prohibited and the worship of Saints is prohibited. We need to look at this from all angles. I personally felt like there was a story not being told about the saints. These were people aspiring to come to Christ. Most of them had histories that we were very available and journals that were accessible to us in the modern age. For example, do we know much of Christ and his childhood? Can we relate to him with just one sentence of Luke?

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. – Luke 2:40 KJV

I feel like the Catholics ,we looking for someone to relate to on a human level. Christ of course does this, but it’s nice to see it from an imperfect person. This is now what Joseph Smith Jr means to me. He is an imperfect person still loved by a Perfect Person.

We all want to bridge with those who live a holy (loyal) life to the Almighty Father in Heaven. We want to see struggles like we see struggles. We want to see someone who gives up and then finally comes back to the fold of God. We want to see someone persecuted in their faith with fine and minuet details to give us comfort at night. One of the saints I truly admire is that one I was named after. Emanuel FRANCIS Zevallos. Francis of Assisi has the most noblest live I have ever seen second to Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith Jr.  I leaned on him when Christ felt untouchable to me. Mormonism has a way to bridge the gap to prevent an impersonal relationship with Deity. Joseph Smith exhorted that we should truly find the nature of God. As we know his TRUE nature, we will truly know how we should love Him, serve Him, and one day commune with Him.

As Joseph Fielding Mcconkie  once said ” We cannot learn of Christ without knowing Joseph, nor we can learn everything about Joseph without revealing more things about our Savior.”

Happy Birthday Joseph Smith Jr.  Thanks for going to the woods all by yourself and caring about the sins of the world at such a young age.

 If you could say anything to Joseph Smith Jr., what would you say? What does he mean to your life? I would love to hear your thoughts and your words will be cherished here.

 

The Power of the Red Pen in my Life: God Speaks To Us in Different Ways

Wilford-Woodruff

One of Wilford Woodruff’s greatest contributions to the LDS Church is his meticulous collection of journals. For more than half a century, President Woodruff kept a daily record of his amazing adventures and spiritual experiences, marking this modern prophet as one of the Church’s most successful missionaries.  I started learning about him about a year into my conversion back in 2006.

What fascinated me about his character is his calling to write many of Joseph’s revelations while they were happening at the exact moment. Most of his journals were preserved to assist with the history of the church. I found it interesting that he used a red pen when he was being impressed by the Holy Ghost in his journals. He would sit by Joseph many weeks and sup from his knowledge and some of his classic oratory moments. There was one example where he ran out of paper and he was able to remember everything Joseph said when he spoke for two hours without any paper to jot down any notes. He hurried to the barn and began writing all the inspired points as if he had it all inscribed in his heart.

In the times of Christ…

Most people don’t realize that the apostles wrote the scriptures a few years after Christ passed away. Sometimes we have a picture in our mind where the apostles would write down everything they saw in the night-time when all the other apostles and Jesus were sleeping. This is definitely not the case. When I watched a film called The Case for Christ, they were very clear that people would pass down information for 3 generations. The microwave society we live in where we need information on our fingertips did not exist back then. Our ancestors were story tellers and they made studies where information can go down through three generations and no information was deluded or lost. We have to also remember that Jewish culture would have to memorize the scriptures before they would teach principles from it. It was very common for rabbis to memorize the whole Torah as far as a spiritual obligation and admiration for God’s words in their life. I truly love how they would accomplish such a feat!

L. Michael White explains:

We have to remember that Jesus died around 30. For 40 years, there’s no written gospel of his life, until after the revolt. During that time, we have very little in the way of written records within Christianity. Our first writer in the New Testament is Paul, and his first letter is dated around 50 to 52, still a good 20 years after Jesus, himself. But it appears that in between the death of Jesus and the writing of the first gospel, Mark, that they clearly are telling stories. They’re passing on the tradition of what happened to Jesus, what he stood for and what he did, orally, by telling it and retelling it….

The fact that we’re dealing in oral medium of story telling is very important to the development of the tradition itself because stories tend to be told in some units that can be passed along easily, easily remembered. Sometimes they may even be put in different order or you may only tell certain parts of the story. They’re indications that we may have collections of miracle stories that circulated independently and maybe collections of teachings, as well. But, probably the core of all the oral tradition is the summary of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the Passion tradition.

Oral Tradition and Modern Times

In the development of the oral tradition then, it seems that over time some of these stories came to be written down, and the use of these summary statements about the contents of the story of Jesus are what came to be thought of as the gospel, the good news, the story of Jesus. But the term gospel, or good news, itself, means just a proclamation of the information, of what happened – The Great Story. And that’s what the gospels are, a narrative tradition, the story of Jesus Christ written by those who understood oral tradition and were inspired to write what they saw many years later. Christ told them that he Comforter was coming so that they remember everything in an inspired manner. Hence, now we have scriptures that have been passed down through oral tradition where studies show we can count them as reliable.

What does this have to do with us?

We have our own personal scriptures that we write for our family. We don’t have inspired writing unless God tells us to write it, but we have stories that inspire others since we acknowledge God’s hand in our lives. After I was baptized in 2006, I found great comfort in knowing that the Mormon faith was big on journals and keeping records. I began to keep a record since 2006 and have kept over dozens of journals waiting for a time to compile my most sacred experiences and share them with the world.

Back in 2007, I was ready to go to the temple for the first time. I had plenty of doubts and questions when I first entered. I have the birth right and agency to ask such questions. This was also a time when I read portions of Wilford Woodruff’s journals. I heard about these red pen moments when he felt like inspired words were coming from Joseph Smith Jr. Sometimes he would speak inspired words and other times it would be the Lord speaking through him while his face was shining with luster. I decided to carry two pens with me: one would be for writing in my journal and the other one would be when I felt God was speaking to me. (a red pen)

I recently went to an institute class where my favorite teacher would be teaching concepts from the Book of Mormon. His background consisted of a psychology degree and family counseling. He would insert things about what the world believes keeps our family together and what our church believes. I came  questions and doubts about the temple. My bishop always told me to write a question on the top of your journal entry and to seek for the answer. He would especially tell me to do that if General Conference was coming up. I sat in congregation…hungry and desperate for answers. I wasn’t fasting, but I was so spiritually hungry that I felt like my body didn’t want to eat until I got some answers. I had a SURE faith that I would get my answer at his talk and teaching.

While he was sharing information about 2 Nephi , he paused. I will never forget what he said mid-way during his talk. (I will try to recount the exact words)

“Someone came with a question tonight. I need to divert in what I am teaching and share something personal to you guys. I would like to share with you what the temple means to me. I am not sure which brother and sister needs to hear my testimony, but I feel very impressed to tell you this. I know that the temple is the house of the Almighty God.

He then began sharing his testimony about temples. He paused. ”

I want to let that one person who comes asking that I hope you have received your answer today.”

(I was writing it all down in red pen, and started writing on cursive on the right hand side; Revelation, Revelation , Revelation.!

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Joseph Smith Jr once said:

We may come to Jesus and ask Him; He will know all about it; if He comes to a little child, he will adapt himself to the language and capacity of a little child.

People ask me all the time how does God communicate with you? I read your book 25 Catholic Mormon 26 and I am curious how He does it. I answer with the quote stated above where Joseph Smith Jr.  which talks about how God adapts his language to the way we speak. I would also like to add further: God speaks to us the way we tend to receive information and listen. If you read books, he may speak to your through your books since your head is buried in it. If you do art, he may speak to you through a painting (It reminds me of What dreams May Come). If you consistently journal, he may remind you how he already answered your prayers while you’re reviewing your day. I want to testify to you that God Lives. God is a loving Father and you are a child that has received special attention equal to your other family members. He is a perfect Father and his view of you being a daughter and son have never changed since before you were born on this earth. We are fortunate to know that Perfect Parents never turn their attention aside to those who disobey. Their arms are stretched out still. Whenever you feel low, they are there. Whenever you commit sin, they are there. We must seek Christ so that we may build a relationship where Heavenly Father and the Lord feel you are ready to endure their presence. I love how God speaks to us in these days where we need it the most. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Have you ever experienced a special or unique way the Lord talks to you? Did you write it down or have you ever shared it to your friends?  How does this knowledge that Christ talks to us in our own way help you throughout your life ? Please share this article and subscribe for weekly entries. 

 

 

 

Former Catholic Shares His Favorite LDS Books That Truly Impacted His Life

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The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.

-Abraham Lincoln

 

10 MORMON BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

 

1. BOOK OF MORMON ; Translated by Joseph Smith Jr.

Around 2005, I had two people attempt to give a blue book titled The Book of Mormon. One was not successful since my Catholic friend was present and rejected it  while highly recommending me to not even skim through it. The other gave the book to me with a challenge. He said “This book (Book of Mormon) is either a holy book or it is the biggest scam ever created in human history.” I stood there looking at it..wondering if I was going to take the stance of proving him that it truly was/is a scam or perusing with an open heart. The deciding factor of my position was to be open and humble as I read the book. I chose that route since he had everything I wanted.

He had a great family.

The warmth I felt at his house enveloped me to a higher plain. I wanted to feel that way every day.

He had wealth. The Lord had blessed him and his family.

I once even heard him say ” You buy someone’s opinion, you buy their lifestyle” . I wanted his lifestyle. He wasn’t Christ, but he was a follower of Christ and I admired his way of living.

He didn’t finish his words there. He said ” You can find out FOR YOURSELF”. He was talking about the Moroni Promise in the back of the Book of Mormon.  The promise invites those truth seekers who want to know if the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be. I took that challenge (by coupling reading and prayer)  and I finally understood the truthfulness of that piece of work was very much TRUE.  I had to independently find the answer and I came to this simple conclusion:

RELIGION IS A SACRED INTERDEPENDENT BELIEF SYSTEM WHERE EVERYTHING HINGES ON HEAVEN INTERACTING WITH A HUMAN SOUL. The Human must ask Heaven, Heaven must answer.  It is not based on the opinions of others, or someone’s beliefs, but based on an interaction with something of a Higher Order. This book is what the spiritual doctor ordered in so many ways. I love testing truth by asking heaven directly. This was one of the first times I ever questioned the truth of anything. I want to put this book on the top of the list.


2. Return from Tomorrow; Authored by George C. Ritchie and Elizabeth Sherrill

Description:

At the age of twenty, George Ritchie died in an army hospital. Nine minutes later, he returned to life. What happened to him during those minutes was so compelling, it changed his life forever.

In Return from Tomorrow, he tells of his out-of-the-body encounter with other nonphysical beings, his travel through different dimensions of time and space, and ultimately, his transforming meeting with the Light of the world, the Son of God.

Ritchie’s amazing experience not only altered his view of eternity-it has since directed and governed his entire life. One of the most startling and hopeful descriptions of the realm beyond, Return from Tomorrow may change your life for the better, too!

Notes: There is one moment in this book that changed my life. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but it is interesting to know that later the author was baptized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What he saw on the other side aligns perfectly with the doctrine my church teaches about the after-life.


 

3. The Living Christ; By Cleon Skousen VOLUME 1 & 2

Description:

Many wonderful and inspirational surprises lie within the covers of this book and its companion, Volume 2. Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Skousen had concluded that just about everything connected with the life and mission of Jesus Christ had been written. Then he began to find some scriptural treasures that had been missed. Before long he was deep into a comprehensive study of the life and mission of the Savior that finally culminated in these two volumes.

Notes: My second favorite book of scriptures is THE NEW TESTAMENT. If I could turn the hands of time, I would go back to the time of Christ in his ministry and I would love to associate with him for the 33 years he lived on earth. I find such wisdom in everything he did. However, I have heard people say that some of his sayings are hard and difficult to understand. They wish the bible was easier to read. I found this book to have a story-like feel to it so it helps the reader smell the dust of Jerusalem.


 

4. The Second Comforter; authored by Denver C Snuffer Jr. 

The Second Comforter describes the process, as set out in the Gospel of Jesus Christ taught through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is an Odyssey through the greatest principles, ordinances and meanings of the Latter-day Saint faith in a comprehensive narrative. It will change the way you think of yourself, and of your life.

Notes: If you want to know what Joseph wanted every saint to accomplish, this is the book to read. I have found more reasoning behind all of the things we do in this book..more than any other book I have read. I now have a new goal in my life: to see the face of God for myself. This book teaches the purest form of what Christ and Joseph Smith Jr taught in regards to be personally mentored by Christ himself. I love how Denver speaks from experience and not from theory. He is a true witness of Jesus Christ.


 

5. Joseph Smith The Prophet, authored by Truman G Madsen

 Here is the printed version of the “Joseph Smith tapes.”

More than all else I have written or recorded, these cassettes have engendered a return wave, international in scope, of responsive letters and comments. Apparently we live in a new era of catch-all listening: the padded earphones of the “Walkman,” the car-cassette playback, the ever-faster computer access to ever-larger “databases.”

Recurrent questions include these: Where were the lectures given? To whom was I talking? Why was the material recorded instead of written? Whence my long-standing interest in Joseph Smith? How is it that I talk as if I know him? How reliable are the many documents I cite, and where can they be found? Where might one go to read more? The most frequent query has been, “When are you going to publish the lectures and provide the sources?”

The lectures were delivered at Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center during an Education Week. That a goodly number came to give eight hours of undivided-or even divided-attention to these two-a-day classes was a manifestation of the richness of the subject. The audience was “in-house.” With them I could begin with presumptions and assurances which to others would have appeared startling. But between the lines I was also thinking of many who had posed penetrating queries about Joseph Smith over the years, both in and out of the classroom. They were an “invisible” audience. And at certain points it is apparent that I was addressing them, in a kind of underground conversation, more than those present.

Note: One of the greatest writers of our time. The Spirit is very strong when you read this book. It’s a “surface” book as far as information about Joseph, but the moments he shares of his life are classic. I would recommend this to a new convert; but not to a LDS scholar or seasoned LDS member.


 

 

6. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling , authored by Richard Bushman

Founder of the largest indigenous Christian church in American history, Joseph Smith published the 584-page Book of Mormon when he was twenty-three and went on to organize a church, found cities, and attract thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Richard Bushman, an esteemed cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, moves beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud to explore his personality, his relationships with others, and how he received revelations. An arresting narrative of the birth of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling also brilliantly evaluates the prophet’s bold contributions to Christian theology and his cultural place in the modern world.

Note: This is the Joseph Smith book that truth-seekers are looking for. I believe this book coupled with Truman’s version makes a great take on the 2nd most influential and religious leader of all time.  It has an unbiased look at Joseph Smith jr. and since we are in the information age; it brings great context to why Joseph did certain things. How can we understand someone who lived in the 1800’s without adding cultural context. These context notes that Richard makes invite the reader to forgive some of Joseph’s follies and helps us understand that prophets are not perfect, nor do they ever claim to be in religious scrip. Loved this book! If you want the quintessential book on Joseph Smith Jr, you’re searching is done.


 

7. Doctrinal Commentary of the Pearl of Great Price , authored by Richard D. Draper

Although the Pearl of Great Price is relatively short, its scope is remarkably broad, recording revelations to prophets in several dispensations – from Abraham and Moses to Joseph Smith. It provides deep and powerful insights into crucial Restoration doctrines, particularly doctrines relating to the plan of salvation. Three authors who are experts in ancient cultures bring you this verse-by-verse, even word-by-word commentary, the most thorough and reader-friendly treatment available. It will immeasurably enrich your understanding of such doctrines as the nature of God, pre-mortal life, the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement, the establishment of Zion, the Last Days, and the Second Coming.

Notes:  The scriptures were meant to be analyzed and something you prayerfully go into. This book opens up the scriptures like I have never seen. The Pearl of Great Price is not accepted as scripture in the world yet. It is a true gift to our generation that grew up after Joseph Smith Jr. was born. I saw thousands of insights that I overlooked reading the Pearl of Great Price! Amazing Read! My favorite chapter is the one talking about the Joseph Smith History. 


 

7. The Atonement: A Personal  Search for the Meaning of the Atonement, authored by W. Cleon Skousen 
Latter-day Saints have a unique insight into the real meaning of the atonement of Jesus Christ, thanks to The Book of Mormon.The key beginning place for understanding the Atonement is in Alma 34. Here,Amulek is teaching about sin and repentance, and the need for a great and last atoning sacrifice.Amulek then makes this alarming comment in verse 11: “Now there is not anyman that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another.”It’s a startling comment that flies in the face of traditional Christian understanding about the atonement. If no man can shed his blood to atone for the sins of another, then what exactly did Jesus do? Did he not shed his blood for all of us? How do we reconcile these two conflicting ideas?As a young missionary serving in England in 1930, W. Cleon Skousen had a lot of questions about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Every Easter, young Cleon would listen to the story of the suffering the Savior had to endure and wondered why all of that torture on a Roman cross was necessary.Some years later he arrived in the mission field at age 17 with the same questions still stirring in his heart and mind. And then one evening, Elder Skousen found himself riding the train with his mission president, Elder John A. Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Skousen decided to ask this Apostle for help in understanding the Atonement.From that encounter began a lifelong pursuit for knowledge that eventually resolved all conflicts and questions about the sacrifice of Jesus, and uncovered the true foundation stone for his atoning sacrifice.The Atonement relates W. Cleon Skousen’s search for understanding, and how a kind and patient Apostle of the Lord led him step by step into realms of discovery and insight that were almost lost to generations of Latter-day Saints.W. Cleon Skousen includes all of the source materials for his delightful and moving presentation, and shares them happily for those with a desire to embark on the same sacred journey. It is a wonderful, beautiful, and very personal search for the true meaning of the Atonement, by W. Cleon Skousen.

What are your favorite books? I am always looking to expand my horizons, but these are the ones that had a huge impact on my life. I am glad that GOODREADS is setting up a social network where people can share their favorite books and quotes. If you have a book that revolves around the Mormon faith; please share in the comment section below. Also, share why it had such a great impact on your life.

 

The Cosmic God Whispers: 3 Scriptures to Show How God Cares About YOUR Small Joys and Pains

 

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Human Tendency in the 21st Century

“I can’t believe you guys would worship statues of Christ and Mary” many people would comment in the past. Growing up as a Catholic, we had traditions from our families and traditions that originated from the Catholic Church docrine.  32 Years ago, I was baptized in a pool of water with the clergy assumed doctrine that I had Adam’s transgressions tainting my fiber. I was put into the waters (as clean as Christ was his whole life) into the waters of baptism.I  was never really encouraged to dive into the scriptures and find out what our mass was talking about; I lingered on the outrageous yet common idea that Christ was “out there” or ” far in the distance”.  Something that could be even worse is the thought that I was talking to an imaginary person who really didn’t exist! I would then join the classes of the man who hungers in the street who became delusional since his family  has left him to rot. He speaks to himself due to loneliness and some sort of chemical imbalance stemming from malnutrition.  One of my biggest fears is that everything I learned was just a lie. If my belief in a God were to be real, it had to be experienced where Heaven would interact with me. At this point, I was just trusting the words passed down from those that raised me and my trust had to grow larger as my logic increased. Why wouldn’t God fit into my human logic? Have you heard that from your friends before? This is a scenario I have encountered before but refuse to drop any names to continue to be privy to others and their privacy. The point is this: God is not out there, he is closer. There are a few scriptures that have shown me that is he cares about the little things. YOUR little things. Your small prayers when you think He is not listening. The small things you enjoy…He created. His signature of creations were meant to please you and all they all should point to Him. We are living in a masterpiece where we tend to ignore the artist.

Here would be my response:

A: Yah, I don’t go to church anymore, i grew up.

B: What do you mean you grew up? Everyone grows up and is maturity your diagnosis or are you saying that Christians are ignorantly falling into a false belief?

A: Yes, exactly. You can’t really believe this stuff..can you?

B: Your right. Unless…..

A: Unless what..it just can’t be true! God creating a world and we all have a judgement that will come over us? I just want to live and have fun.

B: So does God. God wants you to have REAL joy. The scriptures are not there to bind you, but to free you. I don’t BLAME you for feeling that way. You have been taught by the “flesh and blood” of society. We are taught in our faith to come to Him and experience in heaven. We are in a lab and if we mix the right elements ( repent and faith) we can come to God and KNOW for yourself that He exists. This is where it all begins. The words from the scriptures are alluding to the fact that these people sought God and met Him. They knew him like you know your best friend. They didn’t find God from listening to their parents, their priest, or any type of preacher. They read the scripture themselves and they said to themselves ” God visited this people…why not me?”.

A: So Heaven has to open and you actually have to experience God?

B: He cares about your small joys and pains..he is closer than you think . The God that created hundreds of world like these and created universes is a loving Parent waiting to hear your voice. He loves you more than you think. He loves you like you were His only son.

A: I never knew.

B: I’ve been there. That is where we all started. We only know what we tended to trust on this earth. The earth is not where we want to go; heaven should be our goal. The allocation of  heavenly things is a personal venture I recommend you to take. He is only a true prayer away where you are fed up trusting the earthly things. Come as a child to Him and He will never upbraid your petition. He never shewed away a sick or sinful person; His hand is always stretched out.

A: (The man goes near a bed and starts praying)


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THE FIVE SCRIPTURES THAT SHOW THAT GOD CARES ABOUT THE LITTLE JOYS AND SORROWS OF OUR HEART

16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart

D&C 59:18

For those not familiar with verse, it belongs in the modern scriptures the Mormons possess. It’s a beautiful verse! Joseph Smith Jr is not someone who brought God down to our level spiritually, but he showed us that He is closer than we all expected. His first act that God did when he restored this church was to forgive the sins of a young 14-year-old boy. That is what weighed on this young boy Joseph. Ever since God’s appearance to Joseph Smith; it gave him confidence and permission to keep asking QUESTIONS. He wondered the reasoning behind his environment and what he should focus on when the Sabbath day arrives.  As God tell them how they should fast when necessary and pray often…He reveals this wonderful scripture that invites people to the idea of why he made certain things. Nature. He cares about you enjoying the view! When you got out of the car that one day to enjoy the rainbow or certain nature event, He smiles. If your alone when you enjoy nature, just know that you don’t have that entitlement to be by yourself. He made that nature moment to hopefully question why you enjoy placing your eyes on the  beauty of Nature. The Author of Nature pleads that you see him in the scenery. I love knowing that God gave us small pleasures that requires no money, just our senses and transportation. Don’t ever lose that child in you where you appreciate Nature for what it is. When you smile at nature, this is why God made it….just for you.

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Jesus Wept.

-John 11:35

My favorite two words in the scripture. If you have never read the New Testament..please pick it up. Read Chapter 11 and understand that the Christ arrives in a very interesting scene. He receives word that his brother-in-law Lazarus has died suddenly and he begins to cry. Lazarus was not only family, but also a very good friend. However, since age 12 he was very aware that he is about his “Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). Early on he was tutored by Angels and heaven to understand many things (prophecies) that he would have to accomplish. He would raise people from the dead was one of them. He came to this small meeting of mourners with sensitivity. Lets make this more REAL for the reader. He comes to your moments where you are down and crying and cries with you. As the book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus counseled: We must learn to just listen and not be quick to fix (paraphrasing). So is the methodology of Christ in this situation and for millions of situations that will arise for him to continue to do his appointed job; to bring consolation to his brothers and sisters. I love these two words in scripture. It shows the way God heals people, and the way God heals you. Avoid the allusion that he came to just console you, he comes to cry first and then He will lift you up. Just as he raised someone from the dead, he can raise hope from out of the ashes for you and your family. He is a God of miracles and I purposefully wrote that in the present tense. Nothing has changed..not even for your self-sabotaging thoughts that He is otherwise.

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14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

3 Nephi 11: 14-15

Jesus Visited the Americas? Yes, he most certainly did. I believe the Lord visited more people than just those in Jerusalem and those in the middle Americas. I believe he visited others and this assumption comes from reading the Book of Mormon. Does he love certain people or does he not love the whole world? The reason why I love these scriptures is the attention to detail he had with everyone WAITING on him . The key is that bountiful was a sacred place where believers a few thousand awaited for Him to come and visit them. As long as we are searching for that loving God; He will come to you and he doesn’t pass you by and ignore you. He lets you touch him and his wounds so that you may know that he suffered for YOU.  When he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he thought about you over 2000 years ago. It is humbling to know that he is that personal. I want to compare with the preacher who practices priest-craft and asks for people to tithe to his account and can only reach the rich seats. Jesus comes not to accept tithing nor to only talk to the few people he will call to be his disciples. The people who were waiting for his words and for his touch. We need to remember that God has waited on us before we waited on Him. When he allowed you to come to his church, His faint words could still be heard.. “Don’t forget about me”.

 

We have a loving God that is more personal than your best friend on this earth. He feels even the smallest pains you go through and wants to deliver happiness before you even ask for it. The scripture is not about how God loves the human race, more importantly it is a journal of those that actually walked and talked with God. He is not a ghost present everywhere, he has a body that is perfected and awaits for more than just acknowledgement of your spiritual pedigree..but he waits your friendship. Real Friends are there when the world walks out on you.

Helen Keller said it best about God’s character:

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Lets enjoy the friendship of one who appreciates your small joys and consoles even in your smallest pains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-order Your Copy of 25 Catholic Mormon 26: The Spiritual Journey Surfaces

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 25 Catholic Mormon 26 Pre-Order Announcement

Pre-Order the most anticipated Book 25 Catholic Mormon 26 In the NEXT FEW DAYS! The Announcement will be made very soon to the Loyal Followers of this Blog first! If you haven’t subscribed; then make sure to put your email on top to subscribe to get the news first. We will be announcing it to the Social Media outlets a day after. These books will be already sold out by then; I wanted to give the BLOG FOLLOWERS an advantage since you have been reading my posts and adding your input to nourish my soul as well. I will announce the official link where you can purchase the BOOK. This is just a preliminary post before the actual launch.

The day has finally come! Next Century Publishing has decided to launch with the option to pre-order 25 Catholic Mormon  having our first 100 Books to be signed by the author. There is a  blog that will be written about the official launch which should be in the next few hours where you can actually purchase the book. I am deciding to do book signings in Las Vegas and Utah after the official launch which will begin in September.

One of the most revered authors in LDS history,  Richard Bushman,  took the time to say a few words on this book.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR RICHARD BUSHMAN:

Richard Bushman published widely in early American social and cultural history before completing his biography, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Among his books were From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765 and The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities. He teaches courses on Mormonism in its broad social and cultural context and on the history of religion in America, focusing on the early period. He has special interests in the history of Mormon theology and in lived religion among the Mormons. He has taken an active part in explaining Mormonism to a broad public and in negotiating the tensions between Mormonism and modern culture. Richard Bushman has written one of the most definitive books on Joseph Smith Jr and provided an objective view of one of the most controversial characters in Human History. He was one of the most revered writers in LDS history for this work that took him nine years in the making. This is what he had to say about 25 Catholic Mormon 26:

“Emanuel Zevallos is a man of great passion. That comes through clearly in his retelling of his conversion story from Catholicism to Mormonism. In these pages readers will encounter head on his strong convictions.” – Richard Bushman; Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling


C.S.Hughes; The Man Who Baptized Me and Forwarded 25 Catholic Mormon 26

 

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ABOUT C.S HUGHES:

C.S. Hughes is the Chairman and CEO of C.S. Hughes International, a personal and professional development company specializing in helping individuals and organizations enjoy higher levels of success.

C.S. Hughes is a highly acclaimed author and international speaker who has conducted more than 1,000 professional speeches, workshops and seminars all around the world. He has trained more 300,000 people worldwide with audiences in number from 15 to 15,000.

He speaks on the subjects of leadership, success, mindset, creating wealth, sales, self-esteem, goals, network marketing, law of attraction, motivation and personal development.

Prior to starting C.S. Hughes International, C.S. was the Founder of a sales and marketing company which he grew from zero to nearly 40,000 distributers all across North America.

C.S. is the creator of the One Minute Mentoring program, an international success coaching program with more than 3,000 students and clients across the globe.

– See more at: http://www.cshughes.com/about/#sthash.DivFHsSm.dpuf

C.S. Hughes is the Chairman and CEO of C.S. Hughes International, a personal and professional development company specializing in helping individuals and organizations enjoy higher levels of success.

C.S. Hughes is a highly acclaimed author and international speaker who has conducted more than 1,000 professional speeches, workshops and seminars all around the world. He has trained more 300,000 people worldwide with audiences in number from 15 to 15,000.

He speaks on the subjects of leadership, success, mindset, creating wealth, sales, self-esteem, goals, network marketing, law of attraction, motivation and personal development.

Prior to starting C.S. Hughes International, C.S. was the Founder of a sales and marketing company which he grew from zero to nearly 40,000 distributers all across North America.

C.S. is the creator of the One Minute Mentoring program, an international success coaching program with more than 3,000 students and clients across the globe.

– See more at: http://www.cshughes.com/about/#sthash.DivFHsSm.dpuf

C.S. Hughes is the Chairman and CEO of C.S. Hughes International, a personal and professional development company specializing in helping individuals and organizations enjoy higher levels of success.

C.S. Hughes is a highly acclaimed author and international speaker who has conducted more than 1,000 professional speeches, workshops and seminars all around the world. He has trained more 300,000 people worldwide with audiences in number from 15 to 15,000.

He speaks on the subjects of leadership, success, mindset, creating wealth, sales, self-esteem, goals, network marketing, law of attraction, motivation and personal development.

Prior to starting C.S. Hughes International, C.S. was the Founder of a sales and marketing company which he grew from zero to nearly 40,000 distributors all across North America.

C.S. is the creator of the One Minute Mentoring program, an international success coaching program with more than 3,000 students and clients across the globe.

 

EXCERPT OF C.S. HUGHES in his FORWARD:

As you will read in this book, Emanuel has had to make great sacrifices in the face of heavy opposition to follow the course he is on. He had to abandon the church and the culture of his fathers, to give up his dream of becoming a Catholic priest, and to take a walk down the dark road of loneliness into the light of love. That walk in the darkness has been rewarded by many special experiences, including being able to influence the baptism of his angel mother. 

In the following pages, you will learn about these stories, and many others that have made up the fabric of Emanuel’s new life, and those that would lead him to his current path. You will learn about a soul-crushing crisis that would soon rear its head in his family, one that was met with unprecedented strength, strength that can only be enjoyed by those with a proper understanding of God’s plan.

At 25, he was Catholic. At 26, he was Mormon. But more important than what church he attends on Sunday, he is part of the Lord’s Kingdom on the earth today. He is a powerful witness for the Lord and his restored gospel. 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK: 

When I was younger I wrote some very interesting things in my journal. I began writing poems that disturbed my parents greatly. One of the poems involved a series of thought-provoking questions:

Who is God?
What is love?
Why do we live in families?
Why am I here?
If I don’t know these things, there is no reason to live.

Reading these words, my family thought I was melancholic and hid these poems from my sight. They stored these poems in their bathroom cabinets. Fortunately, I found the poems later while I was cleaning the house. Finding them years later, it awakened something that needed immediate remedy. I truly believe that these poems were reflections of my inner spirit crying for the truth. I did have a hope that someone in heaven wanted me to find the truth and that it was available somewhere. Where do I start? One God and so many religions! Is this a journey where I travel alone? Do I continue being a Catholic and continue to climb up the chain of authority? I can become a Catholic priest or I can take an oath of poverty and become a Franciscan. I would be choosing to be poor on earth but would that make me rich in heaven?

All these questions came with a price.

25 Catholic Mormon 26 is a transparent look into the journey that answered my questions from my childhood poem. In these pages, you will not only see what I personally found, but I believe it will give a glimpse of what everyone must go through to reach higher levels of happiness.

 


Excerpts of the Book:

*** THE SEED OF TWO MEMBERS***

Returning to military school, I worked very hard, sleeping only three hours a day for three years. During that time my GPA was a 3.5. I was at the third highest position in the entire school. I worked tediously to gain the first position and often fell into a perfectionist depression. A mix of sleep apnea and my persistence in proving to my parents my true potential led me into this depression. At times, I felt like I was avoiding God’s light, hoping my eyelids would glue themselves shut, never to see God’s beauty again. It was at this low point of my life that I received my testimony that God and Jesus Christ exist. One day in my bedroom, for the first time ever, I began to pray with words from my heart and disregarded the formal rhythm-oriented prayers I had been taught. My UN-ordered words and pleading to my Lord began: God, I know it is not just for me to ask for a sign or miracle to happen to see if you exist. I’m not worthy to call upon your power, and to mock the word faith. But I need you, please understand. I want to be a positive influence for hundreds of people in this school. If you help me to make this happen, I will never doubt your power or the power of your Only Begotten Son.

For the next seven months I was inactive in the business due to my hunger for spiritual knowledge. I read many books, all about spirituality. Thus my savings and checking account went to zero. Money lost its value for me for a time because of this distraction. My life for these seven months consisted of reading spiritual books, breathing, eating, and sleeping. The library became my safe haven until I learned about the church.

*** HE INVITES US IN***

The same light in Moses’ countenance when he came down from Mount Sinai is available to all saints who persist in engaging in the Temple’s ordinances. As Moses desired the Israelites to see the face of God, we too must seek the face of God.

All the learning in the world will not enhance our joy if we never learn who we really are. We can’t do this task alone. Many believe that revelation is a thing of the past. It isn’t gone and I know that. As long as we’re progressing and trying to make an effort to visit Him, He will help us along in our spiritual progression. The knowledge of the creation, the council in heaven, and our first Parents will enlighten us beyond measure. Where we came from spiritually will aid us in the full measure of where our Creator wants us to go. All these questions are answered and symbols are portrayed in the Temple in a manner that our souls will never forget.

Our own body can be a Temple of our Creator if we allow it to be. The D&C states: “The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even Temples…” If we envision ourselves as a mini-temple, carrying back the light and revelation we received in the House of God, then we would see things the way our God sees us. I feel more comfort knowing (for myself) that we may bring this peace to our habitations. I know he wants us to bring the peace back to where we live, where we work, and back to our family and friends who don’t know about the gospel. The countenance that reflects our knowledge allows our souls to shine without restraint.

*** FINDING SOLACE WHEN SOMEONE PASSES AWAY***

My mother had owned this principle from a very early age. My father took the approach of intense gospel study, and my mother became more of as student through her actions and learned the nature of God in that manner. Everyone was Christ to her, and she found elation in serving God’s children. My mother admired people who served, whether they belonged to a church or not. She looked for like-minded people who wanted to assist the needy. Whatever religion they belonged to, her instincts to assist those who were less fortunate were innately manifested. Service became the keystone of her religion and she didn’t care where it came from or who received it.

The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. taught, “It is our responsibility to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them.”That perfectly describes my mother. But there was still something missing in my mother’s life. It began with understanding that she must continue to improve her craft as an oncologist and hematologist. She searched for words that would comfort one who was moving from a cancerous body to their spiritual journey they were about to embark on.

 

Another reason she was interested in looking into the Mormon Church was because of her fear that I was going to be lost because of my new faith. She believed that I might resort to a completely different lifestyle that would hinder our fundamental relationship. Acknowledging these two concerns, one must recognize that these were selfless concerns. Her quest did not start because of a search for truth but to enhance her connection with those she had stewardship over. In many instances, members of the Mormon Church would agree with this statement: “I was not looking for the church; the church found me.” We all have unanswered questions in our life. Yet we forget that God may have the answer for you dressed in two young men or women with name tags. These would be the missionaries representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who preach the gospel.

***WHAT IF***

What if Jesus came to you and asked, “Whom do you say that I am?” If you notice, he didn’t give too much credence to the rumors about his identity. These rumors showed him that his close friends did not have their own personal witness of who He truly was. Nothing has changed. We live in a world where people try to convince us to join their church, convince us that there is no God, or convince us of their beliefs without missing a special component that makes us true believers. Revelation, or in other words, a direct answer from Heaven is what He implored us to utilize! Jesus added his two cents by not finishing their rant about what people are saying. He says “BUT.” In other words, that’s not the way you go about finding out. WHOM DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?

After Simon Peter gives a bold answer, we get the key to finding out how we truly acquire truth. And Simon Peter answered and said;

Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father, which is in heaven.

Therein lies the key. Jesus says we are blessed only if we don’t seek answers from flesh and blood (friends, family, and neighbors) to reveal the ultimate truths about his divinity or our personal divinity, but that we resort to get our answers from our Father in heaven. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t received a feeling that Jesus is the Savior. Don’t beat yourself up if you believe this life is just to be happy and that church has no place in your life. Don’t beat yourself for having a negative outlook on any type of church system. It is expected to entertain these ways of thought, because we have been inundated with the opinion of “flesh and blood.” Where is our answer from our Father? Why haven’t we heard from Him or sought a direct answer from Him?

True religion is bonding with heaven on a real spiritual and physical plane. Not just petitioning the Lord and asking, but having the faith to listen to His answer after the prayer. To have the audacity to wait for an answer is the rarity of our century, yet it’s the ultimate key to building a relationship with God and His Son. What type of friend would you be to dictate rules where only you can speak and they must only listen?

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THANKS:

If I could share all the struggles that went through writing this book, I could write another book. I have learned more about myself in the last 6 years then all my life as a Non-Mormon. I am truly grateful for the hyper-active growth that I didn’t appreciate at the time, but now appreciate it more than ever. To show my appreciation to God, I have decided to start writing another book called  33 Lessons 34 Years .  I am excited to announce that I will share all the lessons I have acquired while being Mormon since 2006. This book is just the beginning. I want to thank everyone for all their support. The people who have subscribed kept me up at night reflecting on spiritual matters. The fact that you write me and share your insights helps me more than you think. If you want to understand the core of my book..here it is : Everyone should take a few months or a year off to find him or herself.

I would like to call it the 25/26 Movement.   However, the movement should match the age of when you decided to see where truth takes you. My book is just a slice of what could happen when people move the world aside and start searching for righteousness. We tend to have the world burning in the oven when the kitchen we reside in is burning down as well. Our soul has questions and we are in control of when we want to start looking for answers. You don’t have to be rich to go on a spiritual journey. Just decide to be open to all faiths and all religions and start reading and praying. If you need to visit a different country; then so be it. If you need to meet with different priests, then let it be. If you need to read a different scripture, listen to a talk, or start taking long walks.. just make spirituality your first priority for a certain time. My book is the result of this type of living and it has changed the last few years of my life. I still look back wishing I could do it again. The truth is: I can if I want to. I pray that you feel the Spirit when you read this book; this book should be shared for those looking to hear a journey where I questioned everything. During my spiritual journey,  I started writing a small abbreviation at the bottom. Till this day, I live this philosophy and live it with reverence and awe, not with cynicism nor skepticism.

K.Q.E.

KEEP QUESTIONING EVERYTHING

Thanks again for all your support. I will be announcing the official launch in a few days (it could be a few hours)  so that you can pre-order your signed copy.

 

The Exit Of My Story; The Entrance Of Yours : THE 25/26 PROJECT

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“You don’t know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I

cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don’t blame any one for not believing

my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it

myself. I never did harm any man since I was born in the world. My voice is

always for peace.”  – Joseph Smith Jr.

My story about my conversion story to Mormonism is about to released in a book called 25 Catholic Mormon 26. I have taken my soul wrenching moments and glimpses of ever-increasing peace to allow myself to be vulnerable on paper for the sole purpose of “strengthening my brethren”.  Joseph Smith, our prophet that restored the Church of Christ in 1830, had the audacity to say that no one knew his truly known his history. I can see where he is coming from. In the most recent years, the Joseph Smith Papers have been written and has given an inside look on all the works of Joseph Smith Jr.  However, the prophet passed away back on June 27, 1844. It has a little over 200 years since this information has finally leaked out. I believe that what he was saying had to do with the fact that he was tutored by angels, tutored by Christ, and tutored by heaven more than any other prophet, save Jesus Christ.  As prophets of old in the Book of Mormon, many of the things taught to him were kept inside his heart and mind to ponder alone.

Brigham Young, in the book Discourses of Brigham Young, had the same advice about personal revelation. He shared something that truly changed my perspective on what we should and shouldn’t share to our friends and family. In a paraphrasing manner, he basically stated that the secret to prayer is to know when to hold your tongue after having a revelation from Christ. He wanted us to pray  for discernment to know when we should share heavenly messages and when we should retain the information to ourselves due it’s sacred nature.  He believed that the reason why the saints of God around him didn’t receive as much communication from heaven is due to their lack of discernment and that God also needed to trust the petitioner.

I was quite impressed by this idea and I have prayed about its truthful veracity and it suffices me to say that I know that Brigham Young was sharing a special key that could serve all of us no matter what faith you come from. Some truth was meant to be shared, while other truths were meant to be engraved. Some truths were meant to enhance the mankind,  other truths were meant to nourish your own soul for the enhancement of your spiritual DNA.

Lets get back to Joseph Smith Jr’s quote and lets analyze further. How long did it take to transfer information in those days (circa 1830)? How many interruptions would mail go through to get a message across the country? Have we not improved on this inconvenience? We are living in an era where stories and messages may be transferred quickly from one person to another.  Stories of faith, stories of trial, and my personal favorite….stories of both.

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But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.    Luke 22:32


THE 25/26 PROJECT

When Jesus said that to Peter, he was already an Apostle and a seasoned disciple of Christ. For those not familiar what that means, let’s just say that Peter already had an amazing calling appointed to him and he knew that Jesus was the Savior of the world. Why did the Lord say “WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED?”  Didn’t Peter become a convert 3 years ago when Christ first started his ministry? Jesus had the intention of sharing to all of us in the world that conversion is a continuous process and not a one time event (like most Christians believe) . For those not of my faith; your spirituality is either increasing or diminishing in nature. No stagnant position is available at any time and that luxury does not exist . Everything in this universe is pulsating or moving according to its nature or away from it’s purpose. I believe we get converted more than once and I believe Jesus was teaching it with the intention of having an audience. We are the audience once we read the scriptures and the Lord wants to do something once we receive light. He asked us that as soon as we get touched by heaven or enlightenment, we are to strengthen the people around us.

My book will officially commence an idea that I have hidden for a while. I would like create a social media platform that will allow people to share their story. The premise of my book involves my conversion, but my message is that all men and women could share their experience. When did YOU take your spiritual journey? Have YOU taken a spiritual journey? Have you committed to a time to take one where you can see where Truth will take you? Could their be an option where you share your stories and others you can keep their privacy? Perhaps if you want to hear a conversion story from a religion their could be a Search Cloud where you can find stories to enlighten you in your journey?  I am coming together with a few friends to make this platform available. When you make a commitment to taking this year of discovery you can write your numbers (?/?) Mine was (25/26); when will be YOURS? I pray that my journey will inspire many people from around the world to share their story.

This is where it could begin… (right now). If you can summarize your story in the comment section below; you can begin the trend. It doesn’t have to be long.Just let it be an introduction before we officially launch our site.  You can also just share if you are NOW inspired to share a spiritual journey one day and a projection of when you would like to take it and give it a hashtag .

#(30/31)

#(58/59)

#(12/13)

Two numbers next to each other will begin to have more meaning than ever. When you feel like recruiting people to this idea of embarking on a spiritual journey and sharing it on a social network..it could be a very simple process.

This is what it could look like:

Excited to go to Florence. I can’t wait to visit some of the monasteries in Italy and maybe going to a few spiritual buildings with my wife. #(54/55)

I am excited to hear conversion stories and hear where truth leads people. I don’t care what religion or belief you end up in after your “year of asking”. I do care that my message gets across that as we gain spiritual insight, it was meant be shared and not hoarded. Share your story or share your intention with the hashtag. Excited to read all your posts and your thoughts on this social media launch. Ill start:

Excited for my wife and I to go to Jerusalem in 2015. We want to go and discover all the faiths that emanated in the region where Christ did his ministry. #(33/34)

Your turn? Feel free to share what you feel inspired to share.  If you already had a journey; share what you have found so far.

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The Day Satan Spoke To Me: The Origin of Victims and Those Who Take Responsibilty

Sweating Bullets, Shooting Blanks

If you were not a Mormon, all the horrible things that have happened recently would have never taken place. Renounce your faith, it has only brought you misery.

– Satan

We have two ways of living this life:

A life of blame where we tend to let someone carry a fabricated burden to not shave anything off our ego. In contrast, we can live a life where we take responsibility which will empower us to move from our situation and from thinking we are a victim of this life. I personally don’t want to give the power to anyone else and I would rather feel empowered at all times. I have heard it once before that you can get a backdoor testimony of God. What does that mean? Sometimes before you find God, you find someone lurking that would like to enlist you in his army (SATAN) . Some people believe it’s a blessing because all of a sudden the receiver sees both worlds of good and evil as a very tangible and real existence. Others would  rather not embark in this way of gaining a testimony and would have rather stayed in an ignorant world. Knowing Satan and God exists could be a blessing and a curse. I have found it to be a blessing because it confirms what I believe, studied, and pondered my whole life. Do you suffer because you have sinned, or do you suffer because it was meant to help you grow to be more like Heavenly Father? I remember when my mother got baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I had family members say that the reason she was dying of cancer was because she chose a false religion. Was that comment really necessary? Was it true? I doubt it with my whole soul. People tend to blame when it would rather be more beneficial to take responsibility. My mother took responsibility of her spirituality and took a four your journey to find herself. She had her share of experiences where she knew that God and Satan truly exist…and they have made her a better person. Not everything you suffer comes from God, and not everything you go through is punishment for sin. We must acknowledge that we live in world where both worlds of evil and good interact on a daily basis. The underworld and the heavens have the same time to represent themselves and manifest themselves freely.

So how did Satan find me?

I have decided to not disclose some of the horrible things that have happened to me in the last three years, but a revelation came to me a few weeks ago that I would like to share. As I was praying in my room, I started reflecting on all the hard times. In fact, I started reflecting on all the people who have inflicted high amounts of spiritual pain in my life. One by one, they visually appeared in my mind and I started thinking about where I met them. What was my mindset when we connected? Who was I being? What were my beliefs that would eventually allow them to make a wound on my side? I tried to stay in a neutral mindset about them since I have already forgiven them..but someone did not want me to forgive them. Someone from the dark realm wanted me to hold a grudge inside. I have heard this saying once before :

Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

– unknown

These negative thoughts filled my mind and then a clear thought came into my mind. It was such a loud thought..I almost thought it was a voice.

If you were not a Mormon, all the horrible things that have happened recently would have never taken place. Renounce your faith, it has only brought you misery.

– Satan

It was not a voice from the God that typically portrayed a loving voice in my life. The quiet peace I usually felt after hearing a voice never came. It was a different feeling that made me feel a temporary happiness (since I was about to blame something else other myself, but I know in the end it would lead me to utter misery. Satan is not obvious to lure you into his wrath by giving you negative thoughts about yourself. He entices you with empty promises and he entices you since he has been existent from Adams time until now. Unlike humans who have come here and enjoy a veil over their memory; Satan never achieved a body, nor received a veil. He has remembered everything since he has been created. Only God can hear our thoughts, but Satan doesn’t need our thoughts to sway us. He only needs to review the history of mankind, typical follies,  and review the moral asphalts we tend to fall in. We are nothing new to him as far as the ones being tempted. His social experiment of over 6,000 years has enabled him to easily deploy the most persuasive ways to bring out the worst in us.

I have come to the conclusion that Satan is right. If I wasn’t Mormon, I would not have met these people. He’s right. However, since I know he is the king of half-truths, I began to weigh the pros. I have attained beautiful things in the midst of dark times.

  • I have gained peace when times were rough. I never lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • I acquired a family that has taken me to a new level of happiness that cannot be explained, only experienced.
  • I have felt the Holy Ghost countless times and a voice saying ” In the end, you will come out on top”. That surety has pulled me through, He (HEAVENLY FATHER)  doesn’t allow me to worry too long, because he shared his visions of me succeeding.

My overall view of life is that I must enjoy all the blessings and count them on a daily basis. My feelings of gratitude have been genuine in all aspects. I have enjoyed being loyal and attempting to keep the promises I have been given from God. Does Satan not know this? Does he ignore all the blessings that have out-weighed all the negativity brought to me?

There is a great Old Testament story of a man who walked very closely with God. His name was Job. He was a very rich and prosperous person and Satan made a wager with God that if Job had everything taken away from him..he would renounce his love for Him. Satan took everything, while God remained steadfast in his belief that He knew Job and He knew he would never turn away from Him.

  Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.

 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.

Job 13:13-16

I stand with Job as far as renouncing my faith. I dare not! I love how my joy has increased since 2006 and I have never felt more alive since I got baptized. I don’t want an easy life..I want to grow. I want to be pushed by the winds of Satan only to be caught stronger by the arms of my Savior. Every time I get up from his embrace, I am stronger than before knowing that it is He who catches and preserves me from day-to-day. Let both worlds speak louder in their microphone so that I may learn to discern what will bring my heart closer to everlasting joy. Whatever faith you are in, don’t renounce your beliefs because of a whisper from the adversary.

CHANGE YOUR THINKING.

He only talks to those that are moving forward. Everyone else is already enlisting and he is not concerned with those that are already in his line. He is concerned from those walking the opposite direction. Napoleon Hill said it his own way:

In EVERY adversity, there is an equal or great benefit.

I would add : Every Time Satan provides some sort of adversity to your life, God will equally play his part and is ready to bring you to a higher level.

The greatest spiritual tragedy of our day resides in not seeing His Holy Hand because we keep dwelling on what has been done to us by our adversary. Only when you are driving towards God, does the adversary hitch hiker show up in your passenger seat. Its our turn to unbuckle his safety belt, swerve, and open the car door while continuing to stareat your destination. God did not put him there, Satan put himself there. My prayer is that we get closer to scriptures, close to prayer, and never renounce the faith you have in the Almighty. He has high hopes for our success and His whisper will always trump the one that wants you to suffer. We have a permanent residence in the House of our Father and we have decided to walk back to His house before we were even born. Keep your promise.

Dear Atheist, I Am a Christian and I Have a Confession

 

InBruges

If your a Christian and reading this, my apology and confession that will be stated to Atheists comes from my sincere beliefs I have acquired through prayer, study, and heavenly manifestations. If your an Atheist, I love you and my faith in the teachings  of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints have a different view on those who don’t believe in God. I am not excusing the members of our church for not approaching you to share the Gospel. This is probably since we did have an extermination order (Missouri Executive Order 44) a few hundred years ago where we were legally pushed to leave a state (forcefully if necessary) To this day, Mormons are considered part of a cult and not considered Christians by some ignorant populace. In a figurative sense, if you got kicked out for stating your opinions on a “non-existent God” and were kicked out of a church or clergy..then we would be probably be following behind you for our beliefs. You would be dismissed for your “non-beliefs”, we would be kicked out for our belief in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith Jr, and for our theology. As my mother would say ” Where their is truth, their will be persecution.” I would like to spend the time to share why this Mormon loves Atheists.

My CONFESSION IS SIMPLE: I AM SORRY IF CHRISTIANS HAVE RUBBED YOU THE WRONG WAY OR IF YOU HAVE BEEN SPIRITUALLY VIOLATED BY A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU WHAT YOU MEAN TO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS (MORMONS).

I have a sweet lady in mind as I am writing this post. She certainly has inspired me in more ways than one. She clearly told me that she was an atheist. We were able to share our beliefs in a polite manner and we were both edified in our reunion. Why can’t this happen more often? Did she feel the love I have for her. She is probably accustomed to Christians approaching her with potentialities of damnation. As Christ would say:

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7) 

We need to be a group of people that tolerates different beliefs and respect those who choose not to believe.

I would write a letter to all my atheist friends and it would have an apologetic tone to it. It has to have that tone, because as Christians, we have done a ton of damage. Although I am biased towards the Christian faith, I would like show you how I would try to bandage the wounds of any Christian that has done harm to you. I can do that by not only stating my personal beliefs, but by also introducing some things I have learned outside my specific faith.

 

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Dear Friend,

I want to apologize for those Christians that have tainted you in a despicable way. I am here to tell you what my faith has taught me about those who do not believe in God. First, I want to start on how I visually see you.

1. We are all children of God: PRE-MORTAL LIFE

The life before earth life. All men and women lived with God as his spirit children before coming to the earth as mortal beings. This is sometimes called the first estate.

 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job: 4-7) 

An interesting thought to entertain is what got you hear to this earth? I don’t expect for you to believe what I am saying…but please humor me and understand where I have gained the reverence for all people. WHO ARE THE MORNING STARS? You were a morning star (according to our theology). We all were or we wouldn’t be here. We all sustained the Savior Jesus Christ as our leader and our Redeemer. Have you ever met someone who you knew had potential, even when they might not see it themselves. That is how I look at my Atheist friends.  I don’t share their potential unless we are talking about faiths, but I must make something clear. I am not alluding to the fact that Atheists need to know this doctrine, they just need to know that we as members see it this way. We all have a “veil” put over us where we don’t remember speaking boldly about Christ or sustaining him as our chosen Leader.  Recollection only comes through the Holy Ghost and we must be willing to be a truth-seeker to the things we fear. Fortunate for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we only baptize those who receive a witness. As far as believing anything, the church asks us to pray for wisdom. (James 1:5)

2.  CASE FOR CHRIST AND AN ATHEIST C.S. LEWIS :  Lee Strobel is not a Mormon but I happened to run by his DVD called CASE FOR CHRIST when I was looking into other faiths. My background is in Catholicism and I felt I reached a ceiling in spirituality. I was shocked that someone who was Atheist took a logical journey to discover Christ that took him two years of researching. He has a journalistic approach (almost like an inquisitive yet skeptical detective or lawyer) to approach the history of Jesus the Christ. Here is a trailer of for his movie. I tried to trick myself that I didn’t believe in God to see if this movie would move me and the way Lee questions his own findings  kept me enthralled throughout the whole movie. Here is a trailer of the movie.

I love how C.S. Lewis put it and this challenge needs to be accepted to be appreciated:

     I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
     We are faced, then, with a frightening alternative. This man we are talking about either was (and is) just what He said or else a lunatic, or something worse. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form. (C.S.Lewis; Mere Christianity)

Have you ever heard that quote before? Did you know C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest Christian writers of all time and yet he was an atheist at 15? Something must have happened to him for him to write a book called Mere Christianity. It was very known by his family that he was also very “angry that God didn’t exist”.

I would highly recommend that movie CASE FOR CHRIST  for someone who just wants to hear a story about an atheist convert. It’s probably free at a local library to rent and it didn’t have the preachy feel to it. It was just fact layered that would entertain an honest seeker of truth. In fact, Lee Strobel almost quit his investigation and his wife started feeling tension at home because he honestly didn’t want their to be a God for one main reason. This reason will be stated within the movie.

3. TOLERANCE AND THE ARTICLES OF FAITH: I think Christianity should be brought up when friendship is first established. A Christian should be as excited to learn about other faiths, as he expects others to be excited to hear his.  My mother once said as she was looking into my faith (MORMONISM)  at the age of 63:

Seems like Americans always need to have their hand in everything. Now your telling me that Mormonism started in the Americas and Jesus showed up here as well? I am definitely not surprised that America claimed that since we are always trying to bring more power to our country!

I Love you mother and love your honesty. However, she was very unaware that we were the most persecuted religion in America’s history. As far as persecution goes, we are the most attacked verbally on social media as well. Satan is quite aware that times have changed, so we continue to be attacked in a more civil manner.

Two years before he died, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote a letter to a newspaper editor, John Wentworth, who had asked for information about the Church. Joseph wrote 13 statements regarding our beliefs. My mother loved how we could just pass along these cards that had them all stated.

Ever since the Articles of Faith were written, they’ve inspired and directed us in the basic principles of our gospel. They enhance our understanding of certain doctrines and help us commit to living them. They invite further thought. And they’re a good tool for explaining our beliefs to people unfamiliar with them.

ARTICLE 11.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

I would like to add something on this article. We allow others to not worship as well. It is not mentioned here but if this suggested complete tolerance of worship, we must give tolerance to those who don’t worship. You will never hear us from a pulpit bashing those who do not believe in what we believe. You are always welcome to state your opinion and we will not damn you to a place you don’t believe in anyway. I love this article. I have embraced this article since 2006, from the time I was converted into the Mormon Church. I know that God would ask us to not be judgmental and to be a faith where we embrace all children of God.

4. Abstinence

The largest attacks that derive from Christians to Atheists has been damning their current lifestyle. You cant do this, you can’t do that, you can do any of this because God said! Blah ! Blah! Blah! Let me tell you one of my favorite quotes from Joseph Smith, our founding prophet, that might shock you! He was counseled by God himself to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, and hot drinks (coffee) and he began preaching it at a time where everyone did that. Not an easy job in my opinion. Although he did this, he realized he open a can of worms in regard to those who struggled with this commandment. Judgmental  He called intemperance a “monster” and the “bane of humanity”. The Lord gave Joseph Smith instructions on how to He “never interpreted the revelation as demanding of total abstinence, but stressed moderation and self-control.” (Abraham Cannon, Journal, Oct 1,1895; Church History Library). Though Joseph rarely used tobacco, some unconfirmed evidence suggests that he may have once preached a discourse on the Word of Wisdom (abstinence of tobacco, coffee, and alcohol) and then, to make a point, smoked a cigar. (Abraham Cannon, Journal, Oct. 1, 1895, Church History Library) Here is the key:

Joseph urged intemperate Saints to be temperate and tee-totaling ones to be tolerant.

In other words, we as members of the church, we should not force your abstinence on anyone else or curse those that don’t understand the law we abide in.  For example, if promiscuity is done by a non-member; they are not damned. If you have acquired a testimony for fidelity through the power of the Holy Ghost, then you are judged according to the light you have received.  You might think…Ignorance is bliss!! I knew it!! The happiness enjoyed on the other side of the fence of ignorance may lead you to more happiness, but you will never know unless you seek your own testimony. The Gospel taught to the Mormons or the early saints is not a procedure where we believe the flesh and bone of our family and inherit beliefs blindly. Of all the faiths in the world, we are asked to test truth and question it coupled with the Holy Ghost. So if you have ever been accused of sin, I apologize. We are only held to the light we receive through a personal witness. My challenge to my friends is why not try to live these commandments we live? Try it for a whole year and see if your not a happier person? If your not, go back to your old ways. No one should judge you except for God himself. I have found more happiness in the last 8 years, than the other 25 combined since I acquired my faith through those Mormon missionaries.

5. Millennium (The Thousand Years of Peace)

I believe this will be the biggest surprise of all!  In our canon of scriptures, we are taught that God will come again and reign for a thousand years. However, who are the people that will remain on the this earth? Their is a stigma that pervades our society that needs to be eradicated. It has been rumored around these delicate ears and it has hurt every cell in my body. This doctrine supposedly states that people who don’t believe in God will not be with us during these 1000 years.  Are these Christians trying to impose a fear-based faith by sharing that doctrine? In my eyes, this is completely false.  Joseph Smith Jr communed with the Lord in the 1830’s and was concerned where his brother would go since he passed away before the Gospel was restored. He wondered what would happen to him and to those that don’t believe in his faith.. In the book called Gospel Principles it states:

Because of the destruction of the wicked at the Savior’s Second Coming, only righteous people will live on the earth at the beginning of the Millennium. They will be those who have lived virtuous and honest lives.

Can I be the devil’s advocate for those who are not Christians and who don’t believe in God? If you are a good person and serve humanity, we will see you at the Millennium more than the Christian who judges and sins behind closed doors. Whatever faith you live (or if you have no faith), lets just be good to humanity. Lets serve one another and forgive easily. We were meant to love our neighbors in every capacity and I would like to echo what Joseph Smith stated in his last Article of Faith (Article 13).

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

My biggest prayer is that we can rid our own judgements to the children of God. Let us focus on being a world-wide group of people that learns to build bridges faster than create separation. My Book 25 Catholic Mormon 26 is not about convincing you to join Mormonism. It will be released this summer!  Its about the story of someone who took a year off to find truth. My greatest admonition is that everyone (no matter what faith you have or don’t have) to take some time off to find truth wherever it may lead you. In this post, I did recommend you ( my atheist friend) to look at a movie and ponder on some Mormon doctrines. I just wanted to show you the spirit behind our eyes when we see you. I respect your thoughts and your opinion, and I truly love you. I didn’t seek religion to be religious, I was looking to find Happiness. I personally found what I was looking for and happier knowing what I learned in my faith and knowing that I should learn to love everyone. We should be able to share our beliefs without getting offended and we should awaken the truth seeker in all of us.

Love,

Your Brother