Thursday, February 26, 2009

We Testify of Christ...What The Book of Mormon Teaches About Jesus Christ

In my personal study of the Book of Mormon this year, I am attempting to mark all references to Jesus Christ.  This has been difficult only because there are so many of them!  Through this process, I have thought more than once that I would really like to share my findings with all of you.  (Think virtual overhead projector, here.)  

Recently, I discovered a blog called We Testify Of Christ that does just that.  Each entry is taken directly from the Book of Mormon and teaches of Jesus Christ.  The posts are simple and enlightening...Check it out!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We Believe In God...

My 3-year-old son Guy recently memorized the first Article of Faith.  Here he is reciting it in a brief video message to his cousins.  We hope to receive some messages back from them and from you, our blog friends, about what you believe.

PS - He addresses his little sister Autumn at the very end, if you are wondering what he says, but the question is posed to You!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fun With Food Storage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches its members to prepare for emergencies by storing food, saving money, getting out of debt, growing a garden, learning survival skills, and gathering emergency 72-hour survival kits for each family member.  Becoming self-sufficient is always the goal, so that if we lose a job or if there is an interruption in the US food supply, we will have what we need and then some to share with neighbors.

I am currently working on my three-month food supply, and I found this wonderful site that makes starting a food storage plan for your family pretty simple.

They just updated this nifty tool for calculating how much your family needs for a three-month supply.  All you do is enter meals/ingredients for one month of meals, and the excel spreadsheet that they have created tallies up the totals and creates a shopping list for you.  It's very efficient.

And if you are interested in building a one-year supply of food for your family within one year, you might want to sign up for their email check-list that keeps you on track to reach that goal.

The church also has a website dedicated to helping people meet their goals of self-sufficiency.  It's  www.providentliving.org

Monday, February 23, 2009

He Knows You.


Some people are not sure that God exists.  The term these people typically identify themselves with is "agnostic".

It's hard not knowing things.  And by nature, in this life, there are many things of which we are unsure.  But we do not have to be ignorant of the existence of a Heavenly Father.  If we want to know that He exists, all we have to do is ask

In 2003, I was jobless, living in Washington, DC.  I was trudging through my second excrutiating month of being unemployed.  My tiny stash of savings was depleated, and the bills were piling up.  One particular day, I was on my way to what would surely be yet another painful job interview--ending in rejection. 

Dressed up, but feeling very down, I sat in the metro station waiting for my train.  

The world was moving so quickly around me.  It seemed like everything that could go wrong in a young life pretty much had--and in a very short period of time.  With no job and no money, I was starting to wonder if one day I might just simply disappear.  Would anyone even notice that I no longer existed?  I was beginning to wonder. 

As my train approached, I said a quick silent prayer, "Please, Heavenly Father, I need to know that you know I am here...please help me to share the gospel with someone today..."

My prayer was suddenly interrupted by the sound of my train's doors opening.  

I quickly boarded my train, and since it wasn't very crowded, I sat in one of the roomy seats usually reserved for the elderly.  I had made a habit of reading my church institute manual during my commute, so I started reading where I left off in a chapter about the nature of God.  

At the very next stop, a woman boarded and sat to the right of me.  After a while, I noticed that she was reading over my shoulder!  She then asked me what I was reading.  I told her that it was a church book about the basic beliefs of my religion.  Before she left the train, I gave her my book, and she gave me a religious book she had been reading.  It was a nice exchange.

As she walked away, I was stunned by how quickly and completely the Lord had answered my prayer.  I was filled with the realization that he was aware of me and cared about my concerns enough to answer a simple prayer whispered in the corners of my mind in a dark lonely subway station.  He let two of his children know that He was aware of them that day.

Some people might rationalize away that little story, but for me, it was no small miracle.  It's something that I try never to forget.

The Lord takes all of us through difficult times in order to demonstrate to us that he is aware of us and that he loves us.

Just last year, I was reading scriptures with my children.  Before I began reading, I said a prayer that I would feel his love for me.  As I read a certain passage I gained even more understanding about why I went through that particularly difficult time in my life.  

This is what I read, "...I will also be your alight in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the bpromised land; and ye shall cknow that it is by me that ye are led.
  Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall aknow that I, the Lord, ambGod; and that I, the Lord, did cdeliver you from destruction..."

The words "I, the Lord, am God", "it is by me that ye are led," and "I, the Lord, did deliver you" really stood out.  They were no longer just words on a page, but a message from the Lord spoken directly to me.  I knew then that the Lord lead me through difficult times so that I would know that He is God. 

The Lord, God, Our Heavenly Father does exist.  Not only is he aware of us, but he is deeply interested in our lives.  You don't have to just take my word for it...You can ask him yourself.

------------------------------
Further reading about Prayer
Further reading about God

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Better The Day, The Better The Deed


I have always been a "grandpa's girl!"  My Grandpa would have turned 91 years old today, but he died last year (exactly four years and one day after my Grandma died...what a sweet, romantic, lovely man!)  I miss them both, but I know that I will see them again some day, as surely as I have ever known anything.  

In honor of my Grandpa, I will attempt to do things all day in the same Christ-like manner that he always did them.  This will take some concentration on my part for sure.  But I know that just trying to be a better person will bring a big smile to his face.  I miss that smile.  

My Grandpa's many wonderful qualities stemmed from his desire to pattern his life after the Savior.  His greatest strength was his ability to love others and to see and treat them as Christ would.  

Today is the anniversary of another special day for me.  Nine years ago today I went to the temple for the first time to receive my endowment.  It was neat to take this special step on my Grandpa's birthday with him and the rest of my family by my side.  Temple ordinances make it possible for families to be together forever, and I look forward to the day when I will be reunited with all of my loved ones. 

Jesus Christ: The Central Figure of the Book of Mormon


Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Book of Mormon.  

The purpose of this inspired book of scripture is to testify and teach of Him, and it does this quite thoroughly--referring to our Savior, Jesus Christ once every 1.7 verses.

Of course, the beauty and power of the Book of Mormon is found in more than the quantity of references to the Savior.  The concepts and truths taught about Christ in this book are profound and life-changing for all who diligently seek confirmation of its teachings.  

In my personal study of the Book of Mormon this year, I have made an effort to highlight all references to Jesus Christ, but He is mentioned so often, that I have found highlighting each and every reference to be quite a daunting task.  

Luckily, someone else has already combed through the text of the Book of Mormon and listed some astonishing statistical information about the number of times Christ is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Here is a link to her article and an excerpt:

"Being aware of the number of references to Christ, having an understanding of the meanings for each name, and knowing when his influence can be greatest upon the earth can inspire reverential awe for our Savior. The witness of his divinity, however, must come personally to each of us—we cannot rely exclusively on the testimonies of others. The conviction that Jesus is the Christ occurs only when God, the Eternal Father, manifests the truth of it “by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Moro. 10:4.) To the prayerful and the sincere, the Book of Mormon bears a powerful testimony that “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.”


Table 1  Average Number of References to Christ’s Name Per Verse of the Book of Mormon

Books

References to Christ

Number of verses per book

Average number of verses per mention of Christ’s name

First Nephi

474

618

1.303

Second Nephi

591

779

1.318

Jacob

156

203

1.301

Enos

22

27

1.227

Jarom

8

15

1.875

Omni

20

30

1.500

Words of Mormon

15

18

1.200

Mosiah

492

785

1.596

Alma

1,012

1,975

1.950

Helaman

225

497

2.209

Third Nephi

293

788

2.689

Fourth Nephi

42

49

1.167

Mormon

188

227

1.207

Ether

220

433

1.968

Moroni

166

163

1.018

TOTAL

3,925

6,607

The above figures show that some form of Christ’s name is mentioned in every 1.7 verses of the Book of Mormon.


Table 2  Names for Jesus Christ as Found in the Book of Mormon

Names

One Specific Verse Using This Name

Total Number of Times the Name Appears

1. Almighty


2  

2. Almighty God


4  

3. Alpha and Omega


1  

4. Being


5  

5. Beloved


2  

6. Beloved Son


3  

7. Christ


312  

8. Christ Jesus


1  

9. Christ the Son


1  

10. Counselor


1  

11. Creator


7  

12. Eternal Father


4  

13. Eternal God


6  

14. Eternal Head


1  

15. Eternal Judge


1  

16. Everlasting Father


3  

17. Everlasting God


2  

18. Father


31  

19. Father of heaven


1  

20. Father of heaven and of earth


2  

21. Founder of Peace


1  

22. God


1,351  

23. God of Abraham


5  

24. God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob


2  

25. God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob


1  

26. God of Isaac


5  

27. God of Israel


11  

28. God of Jacob


6  

29. God of miracles


1  

30. God of nature


1  

31. God of the whole earth


2  

32. Good shepherd


8  

33. Great Creator


2  

34. Great Spirit


18  

35. Head


3  

36. Holy Child


1  

37. Holy God


2  

38. Holy Messiah


2  

39. Holy One


8  

40. Holy One of Israel


40  

41. Holy One of Jacob


1  

42. Husband


1  

43. Immanuel


2  

44. Jehovah


1  

45. Jesus


113  

46. Jesus Christ


51  

47. Keeper of the gate


1  

48. King


4  

49. King of heaven


1  

50. Lamb


34  

51. Lamb of God


35  

52. Lord


1,350  

53. Lord God


104  

54. Lord God Almighty


4  

55. Lord God Omnipotent


1  

56. Lord God of Hosts


5  

57. Lord Jehovah


1  

58. Lord Jesus


2  

59. Lord Jesus Christ


14  

60. Lord of Hosts


52  

61. Lord of the Vineyard


33  

62. Lord Omnipotent


5  

63. Maker


5  

64. Man


1  

65. Master


7  

66. Mediator


1  

67. Messiah


28  

68. Mighty God


3  

69. Mighty One of Israel


1  

70. Mighty One of Jacob


2  

71. Most High


1  

72. Most High God


5  

73. Only Begotten of the Father


4  

74. Only Begotten Son


5  

75. Prince of Peace


1  

76. Prophet


6  

77. Redeemer


37  

78. Redeemer of Israel


1  

79. Redeemer of the world


2  

80. Rock


7  

81. Savior


8  

82. Savior Jesus Christ


2  

83. Savior of the world


2  

84. Shepherd


1  

85. Son


44  

86. Son of God


51  

87. Son of Righteousness


3  

88. Son of the Eternal Father


2  

89. Son of the Everlasting God


1  

90. Son of the Living God


4  

91. Son of the Most High God


1  

92. Stone


2  

93. Supreme Being


1  

94. Supreme Creator


1  

95. True and Living God


1  

96. True Messiah


2  

97. True Shepherd


1  

98. True Vine


1  

99. Well Beloved


3  

100. Wonderful


1  

TOTALS

3,923