Jesus Christ, Creator

Creator: noun. One that creates usually by bringing something new into being.

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary

This week I was reading about Jesus Christ as the Creator. As the prophets said in the Living Christ, “Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3).” While studying the Book of Mormon, I learned some new things about what it means for us that Christ is the Creator.

For example, 2 Nephi 2:15-16 reads: “And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.” Christ is not only the Creator of the world where we live, He is the Creator of all the opportunities that we have in this life. He is the Creator of second and third and one hundredth chances. His grace, His enabling power, creates in our minds the vision of our eternal potential. Sure, we make our own choices, but without Christ, we would not have any choices to make.

Other sections of the Book of Mormon talk about the glory and redemption of Him who created us (Mosiah 4:12; Alma 5:15). This had me asking myself, “Do the things that we create add glory and power and redemption to God and to ourselves?” As we create things here, are we preparing for the life in the eternities? Just something to think about…

One of the most important principles of the Gospel is the knowledge that we were created in the image of God the Father and Jesus Christ (Ether 3:16). We are worth something to them because we are theirs. This is something that I think about every time I go outside. Or when I listen to the song “It Passes All My Understanding” by Cherie Call.

“It passes all my understanding all the beauty we have here,

from the majesty of the canyons

to a tiny baby’s ear.

And even when I can’t believe it, He still believes in me.

It passes all my understanding.”

There are many things that we don’t know in this life. We won’t have all of the answers until later. But we can feel confident in the things we do because someone showed confidence in us. We were worth being created and being atoned for. As we try to follow Christ, let us remember His role as Creator and let us create beautiful things and opportunities for those around us.

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Jesus Christ, Advocate

Advocate. noun. One who pleads the cause of another, specifically before a judge.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate

One of my favorite scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants is found in the forty-fifth section, which came as an answer to a prayer regarding the false stories being published that hindered the faith of investigators of the Church. It describes how the Day of Judgment will go for those who believe in Christ.

“Listen to Him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him-

“Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of Him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of Him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

“Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” D&C 45:3-5

Jesus Christ being our advocate with the Father is particularly meaningful, because it gives a little more depth to the Atonement. The promise is that if we believe in Christ and in His Atonement, then we will be saved. He wants us to be saved!

Earlier this week, a friend of mine asked people in the ward what Jesus Christ meant to them. I replied that He is not only my healer, but also my biggest fan. He wants all of us to succeed, to make the choice to succeed, and that can only happen with His help.

Another scripture that stood out to me in my study of Jesus Christ as our advocate with the Father is found in Moroni, chapter 7. In this part, Moroni is writing the words of his father, Mormon, regarding the work of miracles. He says:

“For He hath answered the ends of the law, and He claimeth all those who have faith in Him; and they who have faith in Him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore He advocateth the cause of the children of men; and He dwelleth eternally in the heavens.

“And because He hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” Moroni 7:28-29

It is a cycle, a cycle of faith. We had faith in Him in the beginning that He would perform the Atonement for us. Then, He did so. Thus, miracles can happen which increase our faith in Christ and His Atonement, which makes it all real for us again. The cycle will continue and continue until that day when we will stand before God and Christ, and we will have a perfect knowledge of the things which we had been taught.

How grateful I am to know that Jesus Christ came down to suffer for us, to know what life was like for us, so that He could stand before the Father and say, “They did the best that they could. Please, let my blood and my sacrifice make up for the rest.” This is one of the most amazing parts of the Gospel of Christ.

The Yoga Parable

“To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.” Richard G. Scott

Do you ever feel like there is a constant battle going on inside of your head? It is like the natural man is fighting the Spirit… and that he is winning. “You want to speak up? Too bad, you will always be a quiet person. You want to be kind? Too bad, you will always be a selfish person. Just listen to yourself now.” And I know that it is all in my head because I have proven the natural man wrong countless times. But, then there are other days when it becomes almost paralyzing. Why does being good and doing right hurt sometimes?

That is where the yoga parable comes into play. Have you ever tried yoga? It is hard! I know that it kind of has the hippie feel to it, but it works your body and mind and spirit unlike any other sport. You stretch to your limit…and then, you stretch some more. You bend and twist and stand on your head. It can be painful. But then, guess what happens? At the end, you get to rest. And because of all the hard movements you did before, that rest is sweeter than any other rest you have ever had before. All of the pain that was there before has disappeared… and you feel at peace.

Life is so much like that. Everyday we are stretching to become a little more like our Heavenly Father. Like Elder Scott’s quote above, that will be uncomfortable and painful. But as we get up everyday and fight a little harder and trust in the Savior a little more, then we will become more refined (even if we cannot feel it in the moment). Then, at the end of it all, we will rest, and it will be a rest unlike anything that we have ever experienced. It will be sweet and joyful and fulfilling, because you did the work that earned it. How beautiful that day will be!

So, what does that mean right now when the day is still hard? It means to be a little better than you were yesterday. It means to give your whole heart to God and to tell Him, “Thy will be done.” He has great things in store for us, greater than we could ever imagine. That gives me hope that one day the battle inside of my mind will end, and I will have been victorious.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

P.S. For this excellent talk given by Elder Scott, go to https://www.lds.org/ensign/1995/11/trust-in-the-lord.p1?lang=eng img_1534

Love and Friendship 1

What do I look for in a good friend? How many of those qualities do I possess myself?

I remember at some point during my first weekend at BYU, I was talking to Kimber and Rene about families, high school, etc. (you know, normal getting-to-know-you topics). When I mentioned that I had four younger brothers, Kimber told me that her roommate, Clara, had four younger brothers as well (and some were even gingers). We were quickly introduced and became fast friends. Look at how cute we were!100_3235

We were brought together because of our similarities, but we really became friends because she knew how to be a loving person. She opened up space in her heart for not just me, but for everyone. Plus, she was witty and smart and just quirky enough to help me get out of my shell.

I don’t know why I singled Clara out this time around. Probably because I am missing her and her family a little more today (why is Arkansas so far away?). The same things are true about so many of my friends. I have been blessed to have lots of good ones and to keep making great new ones. Here’s a list of why they’re so awesome:

  1. They make me laugh.
  2. They are honest (even if it is a little brutal sometimes).
  3. They aren’t afraid to rock out to their “jams.”
  4. They love, which means they trust and listen to, me.
  5. They are patient and forgiving and understanding and spontaneous.
  6. They get me to try new things.
  7. They are so talented, and they bless others through those talents.
  8. They let me help them.
  9. They make brownies for me or with me, just for fun.
  10. They are the lights in my life.

Now, as to how many of these qualities I possess, I’ll just keep this list here as a reminder of the things that I could work on. Then, maybe, I can be the kind of friend my friends deserve.