Over the past little while my testimony of everything has been tested greatly. I would venture to say that I have been going through what they call "The Refiners Fire." The scriptures teach "Ye cannot behold with your natural aeyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the bglory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much atribulation come the bblessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be ccrowned with much dglory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." (http://lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/58.3?lang=eng#2) However, after much testing and tribulation I have felt overly compensated and blessed by the Lord. I wish to share in appropriate detail about an experience I had two days ago at a missionary meeting called "Zone Conference" (it's where a large group of missionaries gather together and receive instruction on how to better serve the Lord). As a matter of fact, I did not see this experience coming at all. This experience brought me back to a remembrance of my personal conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A fellow missionary gave a training in which he invited us to ponder and think about the most powerful spiritual experience in our life. I thought back to how I became converted to this Gospel. To give some brief background: I was born and raised within this church and always stayed active. However, during my youth I did not live the standards that the church has set forth. I merely put on a show and a mirage for people. This continued until after I graduated High School. There came points where I felt very low, miserable, and discouraged about who I really was and what I really was doing. I decided to seek the available help provided in the church for those who need repentance. As I sought help from leaders and other brothers in the church who struggled as I did, change began to happen and it still is one day at a time! That I testify is true!!!
During zone conference many instances flashed through my mind of when I felt the power of Jesus Christ rest upon me and my fellow brothers in the church as we all were striving to change our rebellious ways. Never in my life had I felt the Savior's love in this way! I knew that He was there beckoning me and my fellow brothers to change and more importantly extending a merciful arm to us. The following scripture describes what happened two days ago: "...they...did shed tears of joy because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them" (http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/6.12?lang=eng#11). I was blessed by the Lord to "shed tears of joy" in remembrance of the tender mercies that He has blessed me with!!! I have a testimony of repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ!!! It has changed who I am today! I am thankful to be forgiven of past sins!! I know that the Savior will restore your peace as you come unto him!! I know that He lives and pray that something from this post would be of benefit to you!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
"Latter-day Saint temples are aesthetically beautiful buildings with meticulous landscaping. Everything about the architecture is designed to honor God and complement the local community.
Temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses throughout the world where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities — and where visitors are always welcome. Temples are used solely for the performance of sacred ordinances and religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God, their family and others around them.
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are houses of the Lord, the most sacred places on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to living Christian principles, emphasizes personal spiritual growth and increases devotion to family" (http://gilbertmormontemple.org/gilbert-temple-details.html).
What a blessing it is to have temples spanning across the Globe!!! They are sacred edifices where divine instruction and actions take place! Within the walls of the temple individuals perform ordinances (outward expressions of inner commitments to follow Christ) for their own salvation along with the salvation for those that have passed on. Ordinances are performed by priesthood authority (the power God gives man to act in his name). When someone takes part in an ordinance they make covenants or promises to follow God; and in return, God promises them blessings. One such ordinance is baptism for the dead. When we either become or are faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we are blessed with the opportunity to stand in proxy of those that have passed on and be baptized in their behalf. This heavenly transaction does not force the person on the other side to accept the gospel; instead it gives those individuals a choice to accept the gospel and live the associated covenants therein. Families are also made eternal within the temples.
Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, God and Jesus Christ restored the power to seal or bind things together on earth and in heaven. The Savior stated to the ancient Apostle Peter "And I will agive unto thee the bkeys of the ckingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt dbind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/16?lang=eng). By virtue of modern day revelation we know that this scripture refers to the sealing power. Husbands & wifes along with their children can be sealed together for time and all eternity by this God given power that is spoken of in the Holy Bible. Think of the magnitude of this concept!!! An eternal family and marriage; never to be broken as long as the participants are faithful!
I testify that temples are literally Houses of the Lord!!! As I have wrote this I have gained a stronger testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and declare without reserve to you that it is true today!!!!