Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dying For Happiness: Changing Lives

"You are surrounded by people. You pass them on the street, visit them in their homes, and travel among them. All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23), but they are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith will bless their families, meet their spiritual needs, and help them fulfill their deepest desires." (Preach My Gospel, p. 1)

Missionary work is a work of changing lives. There are so many people who are searching for more in their lives, and this gospel is the place to find it. It is our duty as missionaries to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." (Preach My Gospel, p. 1) Many lives are changed when a person leaves the comfort of their home to help others come closer to Christ.

I would like to focus on the lives of three main groups that are changed through someone serving a mission. The missionary, the missionary's family, and those whom the missionary teaches.

The Missionary
One returned missionary had the following to say about his mission,
Serving a mission changed my life. I came to understand more clearly my relationship with Heavenly Father. My testimony grew, and the significance of the work, of bringing souls to Jesus Christ, became eternally impressed on my mind and heart.

What is most dear to me now that I have completed my mission is the promise I made to God that I would endure to the end. I remember my mission president’s words as a group of us were soon to be released. He said he wanted us to stay worthy so we could all be together again in heaven someday. I have thought of this challenge often, especially during times of trial.

My heart is filled with gratitude. I am grateful that God has protected me and provided me with learning experiences. Many of these experiences were surprising and unexpected, but they all have stretched me into becoming more like the servant of the Lord I so much want to be. (Wang Shu-chuan
The mission definitely has an effect on you. I have changed and learned a lot on my mission. I have learned how to love people, even people that I have never met before and never seen since, I have loved them. And those people that I have loved have made such a big difference in my life, and I have learned so much from them.

I have also learned a lot about myself, and how to handle myself and my many problems. I have gained more of a trust in God and allowing him to help me with even the simple trials and difficulties in life. And greatest of all, (which may seem the most simple) I have learned that God really LOVES me, and all of us, His children, here on this earth. And that He is always there. He is ALWAYS there for us. It is us who turns from Him! I have gained a greater love for my Father in Heaven, a love that I will strive to carry for the rest of my life!

The Family
My Brother Richard, said that having a sibling on a mission has effected him in the following way.
[It] makes you think more about being a better member missionary and to take the time to have missionaries over for dinner or to go out with them more often since that is what I would hope and expect of the families where [my brother is] serving. It is difficult to pray that [he] will have success without including the members as part of that success, thus we need to be involved in our own wards so that [he] can receive those blessings.
I have heard of many changes that have come to the lives of the families of those who serve missions. Ben Truman and Jason Deere say it well in their song "In a Letter Home."
I've made mistakes you know that left me broken and I've scarred the hearts of mom and dad, but this prodigal son is doing things he's never done as I pray for mercy with all I have. Down on my knees I 'm finding answers. How could I have known? In a letter home you'd save me how did you know that I just wasn't right. You gave me the strength to break free from thousands of miles, you saved my life in a letter home... I 'm finding courage in your faith in me, and you need to know I feel your prayers. Over and over I read your words as they soften this heart of stone...That love's the thing that always mattered most, that Jesus really died to save me. Two years in a foreign land, how'd you know that you would find the most desperate man in a letter home?
I know that when I was younger and my older brothers served their missions that it had an effect on me and the man and missionary that I am now.

The Investigator
The gospel heals wounds and changes lives. It has that effect on any one who allows it into their lives. Here is a great example from a woman that I have a great love for.
I want to tell you how I came from searching for the Truth since I was a teenager. I've been to almost every denomination you can think of. At 14, I knew I was in the wrong church. At 16, when I started driving, I would church hop. Sometimes I would enter a church building and the people were very friendly but that's as far as it went. I also felt like an outsider at some and even though I yearned to be part of their service, it was too clickish and I was ignored. I'd even begged members of these different churches to study with me, but to no avail. I felt like I was traveling in a foreign country where I didn't understand their language. I never would give up though and off I'd go to yet another church. Nothing changed after I was married. We both ended up church hopping. We had children and we drug them with us. That is until one day.... We had a yard sale 6 months ago and up rode two little Elder fellers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on their bicycles. They were so kind and they asked if we had any ties for sale. My husband actually went into his personal stash and let 'em pick through it. They offered to come back and help us clean up after the sale was over. We were dumbfounded but said it was okay but I didn't think they would show. We couldn't believe they actually showed back up! We had an amazing discussion and they invited us to their church service. Of course we said yes because remember we were church hoppers. We hadn't even gotten out of our car the first Sunday morning before somebody came rushing over to welcome us. Wow! I figured it was probably a fluke but no, it was a continuous stream of welcomes. I'll admit, the service was slightly different than any other church I'd been to. It was amazing! I was a sponge and soaked up every smile, handshake, and spiritual lesson. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I didn't want it to end! My heart melted when I went into this class called Relief Society and I was intoduced as a "Sister". Why is that such a big deal you ask? Well, at other churches, it was explained to me that since I wasn't a part of their church, I couldn't be called a sister. I have to tell you at this point, I knew in my heart that my search was over. How did I know this? Every time the Elders would come and teach me, I understood and believed every word. It has been so natural for me. I've been studying with little Elder fellers for almost six months. I have new Elders now that are studying with me and......... I am getting baptized this Sat! WooHoo!!!!! I am just "giddy" and I can't hardly contain myself. I can't wait to "bury" my old self and become new when I come up outa that water. Oh.....I cannot wait to receive the Holy Ghost after. Spiritually. I am the happiest I've ever been. So...... The moral of this story is: Don't lose hope and don't give up. Keep searching for the Truth and you will find it....at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Well, that's my Testimony and I'm sticking to it. I write these words in the name of Jesus the Christ, and amen.
Since Darla wrote this she, as well as her three children,  have been baptized and confirmed. They all have a glow about themselves. Oh how the true gospel can change someone's life.

Missions change the lives of all involved, the missionary, their family, and those they teach. My mission has changed my life and I will be forever grateful to God for the opportunity to serve and to grow and change.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dying for Happiness: The Mission Process

Going on a mission is a process, there is a lot of preparation involved, but every second of that preparation is worth it!

Of course the preparation for a mission begins from a young age, in primary, like with singing the songs, "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission," and "We'll Bring the World His Truth." Also, gaining a testimony of the gospel was a large part of the preparation for a mission. For the purposes of this post, I will talk about the preparation right before going on a mission. However, I do not want to minimize the importance of having the desire to serve, and having the knowledge and strength in order to do so. For anyone who is planning on going on a mission, or should be planning to go on a mission, start now. Start now to prepare, to learn how to study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, how to get answers to your prayer, and how to follow the Spirit. All things that you will treasure on your mission. And start right now by gaining a testimony of this great gospel for yourself! The promise of Moroni is not exclusive to certain people. "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5) We all can and all must receive a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

On the Album, "The Work: A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries" Brother Jason Deere wrote a wonderful song about gaining a personal witness of the truthfulness of the gospel before serving a mission. The song begins about how he knows that everyone expects him to serve, and that is great, "But I still need to ask, just for me, I'm down on my knees, asking my Father above to hear my plea. Can I have a witness just before I do this? Let my soul acquire its humble desire, let my heart burn like fire, once more before I leave."

God will answer your prayers, he has answered millions of people's prayers, he has answered mine, and he will answer yours. Ask Him!!

For me, the preparation leading up to submitting my papers started as I went to speech therapy, with Dr. Susca (See Trial of My Life Part 2.) I had to learn how to talk again, so that I would be able to serve a mission. Once I got to BYU I met with my Bishop there and than began the paper work process, which included much typing and filling out all of the information that the Church requested. And then of course all of the dentistry and medical work that needed to get done. Then finally after a few interviews those papers got sent in. And I waited...

And waited. Those two weeks were some of the longest two weeks ever. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I went to Rexburg Idaho to spend Thanksgiving with my brother, his wife and our grandparents. And of course, it came while I was in Idaho. So it sat in my apartment until Saturday afternoon when I finally got back to my apartment. Not long after, that letter was ripped open, and read to a few friends that were there with me, and to my family over the phone. "Dear Elder Jordan Lyman Dye, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are assigned to labor in the... Tennessee Nashville Mission."
So I had the call, now what? My first thought, was that is not in a foreign country, and then, where is that, and oh, I like country music. To be perfectly honest, Tennessee is not what I expected by any means, and I especially didn't expect to go English when all of my brothers went Spanish. I was a little disappointed. The next day was Sunday, and church was great. As I sit in Sacrament meeting while the priesthood passes the bread and water I read my patriarchal blessing, and that day, I had a special experience. As I got to the section that talks about me serving a full-time mission it felt as if the paper said that I was supposed to go to Nashville Tennessee. I knew at that moment that the calling to Nashville English speaking was of God, and that it was where I was supposed to be. Since then I have had many experience that have confirmed that I was called of God to be here!

Then, from that moment I needed to make sure that I stayed pure and strong so that I would be ready to represent the Lord in Nashville! After returning home from school, I was endowed in the temple. The nearest temple to us back home is an hour and a half away, a blessing, but I was worried that I would not be able to attend very often before I went on my mission. Thanks to a close friend, that worry was taken away. He owns his own business and he was able to leave work early once a week so that we could go to the temple together. That was such a special experience, that I cherish so much, even to this day. We had the opportunity to have good conversations about life and the gospel on our car rides and to be blessed and uplifted by our service in the temple! The temple is a special place and I am so grateful for the blessings and strength that I received there to stay strong and be prepared to serve my mission.

The Sunday before I left I gave a talk in church, then that night I was set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Then off to the Missionary Training Center. Wednesday morning my parents took me to the airport in Modesto California where I then flew to Salt Lake City Utah, my roommates from BYU picked me up from the airport and took me to the MTC in Provo and the missionary experience began.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Come Listen to a Prophets Voice

"Twice a year, modern-day prophets and apostles gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, to speak the words of the Lord. " (1)

General conference only comes twice a year, and this weekend is it!!!!! I am so excited for conference!!!!

So what is general conference anyways?

General conference is a time when we get to listen to a prophets voice! Conference is five different sessions spread across two days. The sessions include, "Messages... given by the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church." (2)

"The messages, which are broadcast to the world, are prepared under the guidance of the Holy Ghost and are directed to every person, in every country, in every circumstance. Everyone has something to gain from general conference, according to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He says that with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, each individual participating in the conference is entitled to personal revelation. 'If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you,' Elder Holland says."(1

Conference is a time where we get to gather as friends and families to hear the sacred words from the prophet and apostles. It is a time of peace love, revelation, instruction and introspection. Conference is especially exciting while on my mission! My companion describes it as the super bowl for missionaries!! It definitely is exciting now, but it has been exciting in the past as well. I remember in April of 2009 my priests quorum made the trek to Salt Lake for the conference! It was a wonderful experience. We had the opportunity to see the sites of the area, and prepare to hear the prophets voice!

It was special to be there in person, however I remember for many years growing up watching conference in the church building, and while at BYU watching it on a laptop in my living room with my roommates! No matter where we have the opportunity to watch, whether it be at the conference center, in a church building, or in our own home, we can feel the spirit of the conference! 

Just as the people in 3 Nephi 11 who, "While they were thus conversing one with another... heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard... And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not. And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came. And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard."

The third time, they understood the voice, because they opened "their ears to hear it and their eyes were towards the sound thereof." So it is with general conference this weekend. We can hear the words of these great men and women that will speak to us, but if our ears are not opened and if our focus is not on them and the spirit we will not understand the things that God wants to tell us!!!

There is a God and he loves each and every one of us. He has something to tell us this weekend no matter who we are or the background we came from, or the position we are no in! I know that is true! I have seen in over and over at conference time, when I open my ears to hear, and my eyes to see!

You can watch conference at a church building near you, or online at lds.org.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dying For Happiness: Happiness Can Be Found

Happiness can be found in our lives! I know that is true, I found it in my life and I know that you can find it in yours as well! I was able to go from discouragement and despair to happiness and hope, and so can you!!!

 Elder Wirthlin talked about four ways that can help us find happiness in our lives. We can learn to laugh, seek for the eternal, understand the principle of compensation, and trust in the Father and the Son.

  • Learn to Laugh
     There are times in our lives where we just simply don't feel like laughing. We are sad or hurt, and by golly we are going to stay that way! How wrong. Attitude is a choice, and when we learn to have a good attitude about our circumstances, whether they be good or bad we will better be able to endure through and overcome our trials! This was demonstrated in my last two posts, (see Trial of my Life Part 1 and 2) as I was negative about my stutter and angry at the world, things got worse, not better. However, when I decided to change my attitude things improved and got easier! It was hard to laugh, but I was able to learn to make light of some negative situations in my life. When people would tease me, I would laugh with them, which often would catch them off guard, but it made it easier for me to handle it! After stuttering severely while reading out loud in class, I began to smile and chuckle rather than put my head down and beat myself up inside! This happiness helped me to make the change with more ease!

  • Seek for the Eternal
    Elder Paul V. Johnson said, "[Trials] are vitally important to the process of putting on the divine nature. If we handle these afflictions properly, they will be consecrated for our gain" (1) All of the trials and afflictions in our lives happen for a reason. There is something that we can learn from each of them that will prepare us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. Seeking for the eternal in the midst of our trials makes a large difference. Just as Joseph Smith, we must remember that, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high." (D&C 121:7-8) And, "that all these things shall give thee experience,and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"(D&C 122:7-8) Christ truly has descended below everything that we will ever go through, and is therefore qualified to help us on any and every trial we go through! Seeking for the eternal is a huge help in being happy, because we are able to see that there is purpose in life and there is a purpose for our trials! This principle helped pull me through, because I knew that there was more. I knew that I was more than just some kid who couldn't speak like everyone else. I knew that God knew who I was, that he loved me, and that he had a plan for me!!! As I sought for the eternal, I was able to see past the cloud of darkness and see the light of Christ's love shining on the path that I was supposed to travel on!

  • Understand the Principle of Compensation
    "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way." (2) In the case of Job, "the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10) The Lord will compensate us for our loses and sacrifices, He will also do it in his own way. We will receive the things that really matter most, which are not always what we think we need or deserve in the moment! I was compensated for my trial! I did not receive flawless speech like I thought I needed and deserved, but I gained peace, humility, patience, love, and understanding through my trial. And since then I have received so much more, one of which is that my stutter is now manageable! The Lord does compensate us through our trials. The blessings may not come in the moment, but they will come!
  • Trust in the Father and the Son
    "I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 36:3) Trusting in God plays a big role in finding happiness through trials. We must trust that this trial will actually be for our good, and that we will actually be able to over come it and grow from it! Our heavenly Father Knows us and loves us and we must trust him that he will do with our lives what we need. He can see all things, many things that we cannot see at the time. I had no idea at the time of my trial in High School that I would be on a mission and find several people who I could immediately relate to because they also had a stutter. I had to trust that God knew what He was doing when he put this trial on me, and I had to trust that he would help me through it, which he did!!! "The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in. He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong." (2) I know without a doubt that we are loved! God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us. They love me, and they love you! Trust in them, and they will help you!!!

"I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, 'Come what may, and love it.'” (2)

I know that these things are true, and I know that these four principles can help us be happy and love life, no matter what happens! I know that applying these things can be hard at times, but I know that they help and that we can be happy in the midst of our trials. I saw it in my own life, and I know that it can happen in yours!

As we turn to Christ and his Gospel Happiness Can Be Found!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dying for Happiness: The Trial of My Life ~ Part 2

A continuation from: "The Trial of My Life ~ Part 1"

So now that the commitment to God was there, the work began. Once a week I had therapy with Dr. Susca, and then the hard part, implementing what I learned into my regular speech. I had to begin to stutter, and I had to be okay with stuttering in front of my friends, peers and adults. It was hard, but with the newly found happiness and positive attitude it began to become easier. I am so grateful for good friends who supported me through this trial, and did not show frustration or annoyance towards my stutter. One friend even said, "It never really bothered me, and sometimes I even found it fun to try and guess what he was trying to say."  One funny experience that I remember in this time, trying to stutter and not hide it was with this same friend.

I loved Jamba Juice, I mean who doesn't, it is just so delicious, but there was always one thing that I hated about. They ask for your name to put on the order. It is proven that with many people who stutter one of the hardest things to say is there name. I was no different. So this one time, we go to Jamba Juice and order, and she asks for my name, JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ... I pause and try to get my composure. JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ, I tried again, but it was just not coming. Third times the charm right? JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ, nope, still not happening! Then my friend stepped in and said my name to the lady who I am sure was frustrated by this point. It was a hard experience, but as we left we all laughed about it, and made light of the whole situation. Again, I am grateful for friends who made my trial easier and more fun!

After continued effort on my part and counseling from Dr. Susca I began to get my stutter under control, the proper way, not by hiding it. I was able to talk  more freely and with more confidence, and I was able to communicate my desired thoughts.

Mom continues, "We will be eternally grateful for Doctor Susca's willingness to help get Elder Dye on his mission.  He is not a member of our church, but he knew about the pressures missionaries would face, so he would 'test' him.  Question his faith, and put him in uncomfortable situations in order to teach him how to respond."I was able to talk again, which I knew meant that I would be able to serve a mission. A goal I always had, but an achievement that seemed far distant for quite some time. How could I serve a mission if I couldn't talk? Well, God is love, and He loves us, and he will "Prepare a way for [us] that [we] may accomplish the thing which he commandeth [us]." (1 Nephi 3:7)

Mom concludes, "As parents it's sometimes very difficult to watch our children suffer.  I'm so thankful for a son who did not give up on his desire to serve a mission. Who did what it took to be prepared and for wonderful people willing to accept him and his challenges.  I know when we take our problems to the Lord we will be directed in ways that we would never have thought of on our own.  The Church is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ can bring joy and happiness to our lives if we keep the commandments and rely on the Lord."

"If [we] will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put [our] trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind... he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver [us] out of bondage." (Mosiah 7:33) Whether that bondage be a speech impediment, an addiction, an inappropriate relationship, or any other trial that we can face in this life, through Christ, there is a way out! That I know!

If there is any one who reads this that has questions that I could answer or a trial that through my experience might be able to help you through, PLEASE let me know. Leave a comment or email me, jordan.dye@myldsmail.net.

To read the Previous Posts in the Series and learn about upcoming posts, check out the Series Page.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dying for Happiness: The Trial of My Life Part 1

"Elder Dye was a late talker." Said my mother. "He only said a few words until he was 3 years old and I tried to put shoes on him that were too small. He said 'Mommy, these shoes owie my feet'. I was shocked. He really could talk. He started speech 'therapy' in kindergarten and was doing quite well. The only problem was that he had a slight hesitation when he said certain things. He stopped speech in the fifth grade. He said it wasn't helping anymore and he didn't like missing classes."

For as long as I remember I have had trouble with my speech. I had the hesitation, or stutter, from a young age. My mother is right, I quit going to speech in the fifth grade because I thought it was a waste of time and didn't like missing class, but mainly because I did not like being the outcast in my class, having to leave to go learn how to speak like everyone else already did. So the hiding began. I began to substitute words that I could say for words that I thought I would stutter on. I got quite good at this. Actually really good at it. For a while my mother did not know that the stutter was a problem because I hid it from everyone. I hated being the outcast.

My mother continues, "When he was a junior in High School the 'hesitation' started getting worse.  We really did not know where to turn for help."

My mother asked if I wanted to go back to speech therapy at the school. I told her "NO WAY! They don't know what they are talking about and don't know how to help me." So the hiding continued. After hiding my stutter for so long, it began to get harder and harder to hide it. In my Junior year, with the added stress of High School life, and being involved in many other things, the efforts to hide my stutter began to come to no avial. There began to be more and more words and sounds that I would stutter on and less and less ways I could get around it.

For most of my life I was a happy person and mainly had a positive attitude about things. But as the stress increased, so did the stutter, and as a result my positive attitude began to decrease.

"By his senior year it was so bad it was difficult to watch him speak.  His face would become distorted as he tried desperately to express himself.  It became very worrisome to all of us." Said my mom.

As the stutter and difficulty to speak continued to increase, depression also began to increase. As depression increased, so did my stress level, which as stated earlier made my stutter worse. So as you can tell, it was a cycle that continued to get worse and worse. In the midst of this deadening cycle, other things in my life also began to change. I noticed that I was not reading the scriptures as much, and my prayers were quite pathetic when they happened. I began to wonder if God really loved me, and I had come to the conclusion that I was probably viewed as an outsider, even to God. From the experiences earlier in my life, I knew that there was a God and I knew that he had power. But I began to make my self believe that He no longer cared about me! It got to the point to where I knew that something had to change. But I did not know where to turn.

Mom continues, "I asked him what he was willing to do and he said anything.  I have a good friend whose a speech pathologist and she suggested I do research online to find help about stuttering.  That is really the first time I heard the word Stutter. After much fasting and prayer I found the name of a Dr. Michael Susca who taught at the University of Pacific in Stockton California. About 45 minutes from our home. I called what I thought was an office number and discovered I had the cell phone number of Dr. Susca. After talking with him for an hour and then talking it over with my husband and Elder Dye, we decided to take him up to Stockton for an evaluation. Dr. Susca said that Elder Dye had learned how to cover his stutter and he had run out of techniques.  He then said he needed to learn to 'stutter his brains out.' It was a blessing in our lives to find such a respected and qualified person to help our son."

This was when things began to change. I realized that I was a normal person, even if I didn't speak like most other people. I learned that Dr. Susca had a stutter as a boy and now is 100 percent fluent. Hope began to enter into my life. Although, my attitude was still negtive and I was still quite depressed. So I decided that I needed to turn to one more person to help me through this. The person who knows me and what I am going through.

As I prayed I asked if he was there and if he knew me. In a way my prayer was that of the Children's song, "A Child's Prayer." "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?" I felt a warmth and love that I had not felt before. I knew that God was there, I knew that Christ knew what I was going through. I learned that the atonement was there for everything we suffer in this life, not just our sins. (see Alma 7:11-13) I learned that there was a way out, and that Christ was willing to take me on the path out from this depression and trial, if I was willing to let him. So on we went. I began to pray more and read the scriptures more, and through this was when I knew without a doubt that the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true.  I saw my attitude begin to change, I felt happiness and peace that I had not felt in a long time! I knew that I was not an outsider!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dying For Happiness: The Blessings of Service

"Calling yourself a Christian brings with it the duty and the privilege of a lifetime of service.

"Jesus Christ said, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:13). This doesn't mean we have to die to show our love for our friends. We lay down our lives every time we put someone else's needs before our own. (And the 'friends' mentioned in the scripture above can be understood to be everyone we meet, since Jesus also commanded us to 'love one another.')

"We lay down our lives through service. Church members have many opportunities to serve. We can do small acts of kindness for our neighbors, take part in community service, fulfill responsibilities within our local congregations or contribute to the Church's large-scale humanitarian efforts. These actions, whether great or small, let us feel the happiness of connecting with our brothers and sisters and remind us that God often allows us to be the answer to someone else’s prayers." (Mormon.org/service)

I know that service to others brings so much happiness into our lives. From a young age my parents taught me the importance of serving others, and how to do it. From helping at every move and planned service project in the ward, to quietly helping others in time of need, to reaching out to the community and sharing the light of Christ.

I have loved to do service, yes, I like many teenagers had my moments where I didn't see the point if I wasn't getting an immediate reward. However, I learned that the rewards from selfless service are great. The happiness that it brings to me and those I serve is enough for me! Two of my favorite yearly service opportunities were the City Clean up Day, and the Christmas Basket Project. At these two projects I got to see directly the blessings and happiness that it brought into the lives of those we served. My great friend, Cathee was the one in the community who organized these two projects. She is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but she knows the importance of helping others. I got to work closely with her over the years and grew to love her greatly. One summer she asked me to do something for her, and I could not say no. She asked me to be a youth representative on the Board of Directors for the Hughson Family Resource Center. I then spent many hours volunteering at the center and helping others who were less fortunate than I. I also had the great opportunity to team up with other youth in the community to help make the lives of youth and children in our town better!

It was such a great experience for me, I learned and grew so much through that service. I am eternally grateful for Cathee and others who gave me a chance, as a youth to grow and be blessed through service. For I know that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17).

To read the Previous Posts in the Series and learn about upcoming posts, check out the Series Page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dying For Happiness: The Priesthood

As I continued to grow in the gospel, my knowledge of it's power and strength grew. This knowledge especially grew when I received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was an amazing feeling as a twelve year old boy to know that God trusted me enough to give me his power and authority to help bring others unto salvation. What a great responsibility. This song sums up being a young man who holds the priesthood in a great way.

It is true, we need to learn our duty by the Prophets voice. We have opportunities to serve and to lead, even as a youth. It was such a great learning experience for me to learn and grow as a person and in the gospel through having those responsibilities. Due to the Priesthood I learned from a young age how to lead others in accomplishing a purpose. I was then able to take that trait into all other aspects of my life and lead in different ways throughout my life. When I was 17 one of my friends learned about the church and decided that he wanted to be baptized. He asked me if I would baptize him.
Of course, I said that I would love to. Although I was excited I was also a little nervous. I was a teenager, and I would be performing an ordinance for this friend that is required to live with God again. It was a great thought to know that God trusted me enough to allow me to do such an important thing! I felt so good after the baptism, and it helped me to better understand the priesthood and the blessings that come with it! I know that the Priesthood is real and that it truly is the power of God! I know that it can bless all of our lives if we allow it, whether we hold the Priesthood or not.

To read the Previous Posts in the Series and learn about upcoming posts, check out the Series Page.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dying for Happiness: The Younger Days

In 1991 there was a young couple who were about to have their fifth child. There were some complications and the child decided to be stubborn and want to be different. He would not turn in order to come out of his mom in the proper natural way. The father of the child laid hands on his wife and by the Priesthood of God which he held, gave her a blessing. There were many people who told this man to bless that the child would turn in order to come out properly, however, in the blessing the father was inspired to say that the child would do what was best for him and his mother. On the morning of January 18 a beautiful baby boy was born, by cesarean section. At the time of birth the mother lost a lot of blood due to the bursting of a vein. Doctors said that if it had not been for that stubborn baby boy, the mother's life would have been in great danger, and could have easily died. Due to the power of priesthood that the young father held, the boy and mother were both alright. Today that boy is 20, still stubborn, and by the same Priesthood that his father held on a mission to preach the gospel to all he can.
Yes, that stubborn little boy was me!

As you can tell from that account, I have always had the gospel in my life, and the priesthood has always been close to my heart! I was raised in the church, and taught often by my parents of the truthfulness of the gospel, and the blessings that come from keeping the commandments of God. Growing up, the gospel was always a big part of my life. We took time to be together and teach each other of the importance of the Gospel. Yes we did it at specific times likes family prayer and family home evening, but we also did it every day. In everything we did we taught each other! Living the gospel was a joy for me, I loved the spirit and happiness that I felt and how close I was with my family!

Another way I learned of the gospel was at course at church! I loved primary and particulary loved singing the songs! I learned many valuable lessons from those simple songs. One of my favorite is A Child's Prayer, which teaches that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.

When I turned eight, I was baptized by my father who holds the Priesthood of God. I don't remember much about that day, but I know that I was happy and peaceful! I also received the gift of the Holy Ghost, which was a huge help in my life.

Even from a young age, I knew that God was there, and I knew that the Gospel brought me happiness!

Next Post in the Series: "The Priesthood"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Dying for Happiness" the Series

Welcome to "Dying For Happiness," the new series featured on the blog "Dying" For Happiness!
It will feature the process of growing up, searching for happiness, finding it, and sharing it!

The series will include the following posts, which will be posted periodically between now and August!

The Younger Days
The Priesthood
The Blessings of Service
The Trial of My Faith
We can Find Happiness
The Mission Process
Changing Lives
Trials That Never End
Miracles Never Cease

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Dad!

My Dad is the greatest! As I think about the things that he does and the amazing example he is, there is no other way to describe him then amazing! Well, I guess incredible, wonderful, great, outstanding, fantastic, marvelous... I think you get the point! I love my dad!!!

He loves people more than almost anyone else I know. Growing up my mom and I would sing in the choir, which practiced before church every Sunday, my Dad did not sing, because we wanted to have the time to go and talk to everyone that was at church that day, to hug them and tell them that he loved them! And he was ALWAYS sincere! With that love, he would do anything for anyone. I still remember going with him and my brothers to help people move. I am sure that my Dad has helped hundreds of people move, he was busy, but there was always time to serve! What an example of service he is. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have had to serve, and the lessons of service I have learned from my Dad.

My brother Richard says this about my Father, "I have a lot of great memories of Dad, especially on camp-outs and family outings. One thing I really always loved though was that he would always be willing to shoot hoops, kick a soccer ball or catch a baseball after a long day of work and sore wrists. It meant a lot to me that he'd do that for us and spend time with us whenever possible."

We always did things together as a family, and it was almost always outside. My Dad taught me how to shoot a basketball, swing a bat, hike, load a backpack, repel, start a fire, and so many other things that have to do with nature and being out in it. He taught me to have a great appreciation for God's creations and find joy in them!

My dad taught me how to change the oil, brakes, alternators, fuel pumps and water pumps on our cars, since it seemed like they would always go out!

My dad taught me lots of things, but most of all he taught me the things that matter most. How to love others, the Lord and the Gospel. When my brothers and I were younger he would sing us to sleep. He would always sing the primary song, "I Wonder When He Comes Again." I love this song so much, and get emotional almost every time I hear it now!

My Dad just had such a sweet way to share the gospel even with us! He taught us how to share the gospel with others, and the importance of missionary work. My Dad was always involved in missionary work, serving his own mission then constantly supporting the missionaries and sharing the gospel with those around him. He also taught us consistency and the importance of reading the scriptures. Here is Richard again, "I would have to say though there is one memory of Dad that always stands out, that is of Dad's Book of Mormon that he takes to work to read for lunch each day. I've heard him tell stories about being mocked and ridiculed and having to eat alone. I still feel a great sense of pride and love for Dad when I picture the dirty, worn pages of his Book of Mormon by his lunch pale when he comes home. I think of his dedication to the Church, his love of God and our family.... priceless memories of someone standing up for what is right and good. Love you DAD!"

My Dad has taught me everything I need to know and do to help me return to my Heavenly Father.

I love you Dad!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Only A Father

I love my father! I remember hearing stories from my mother, that when I was younger and Dad had to fix the car or something,
I would always be right next to him with my little plastic tools, because I wanted to help, and I wanted to be near my father. It was always a great experience and we grew together. I remember doing things with my dad and having a pretty good relationship with him. But, when I was a teenager, things began to change. In my eyes the words to one of my favorite songs at the time fit me perfectly. It was "Perfect" by Simple Plan:

"Hey dad look at me
Think back and talk to me
Did I grow up according to plan?
And do you think I'm wasting my time doing things I wanna do?
But it hurts when you disapprove all along

And now I try hard to make it
I just want to make you proud
I'm never gonna be good enough for you

I'm sorry
I can't be perfect"

That was how I felt, like no matter what I did it wasn't good enough for my father. It seemed as though we disagreed on almost everything!

Looking back, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be, but it wasn't the best it could be. After high school I went to School in Utah at BYU, 700 miles away from my father. I attended Priesthood Session of General Conference and listened to the talk "Father's and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship" by Elder M. Russell Ballard. As he talked, the guilt and remorse came into my heart. I knew that I had not been the son I should have been, and this whole time I had blamed it on my dad! As soon as I got back to my apartment I called my dad. Come to find out we both had thought the same things during that talk. We talked and cried on the phone that night and I committed myself to improve my relationship with my father. It is true "I can't be perfect," I messed up and still do, but our relationship grew. I love my dad so much, and still think about the things that I missed out on in my teenage years. I have realized how much I took that special bond between a father and a son for granted. But I truly know that my dad loves me, and I love him so much! I do have great childhood memories with my father. You can read some of them in my post tomorrow!

I know that I am not the only youth who took my relationship with my father for granted. If you are one of those youth, or know one, plead with them to strengthen their relationship with their father, it will be one of the best things they will do. Here is a video about a young man, striving to strengthen his relationship with his father in response to Elder Ballard's same talk that touched me!

I think often this same type of thing happens between us and our Heavenly Father. We disagree, grow anger and begin to turn away. Sometimes we feel like he doesn't love us anymore or that we can never live up to who he wants us to be. We take that deep relationship we can and should have with him for granted. But I testify with every fiber of my being that we can live up to who he wants us to be, we can please him, and we can have a deep rooted relationship with him. Just as I repaired my relationship with my father, so can all of us repair our relationship with our Eternal Father. Our elder brother suffered for us that we can repair relationships, both here and in the eternities! Access the atonement and heal wounds!

There is no time like the present to build and strength relationships with our fathers, both the one here and the one above!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Look Through Heaven's Eyes

Continued from "Trash to Masterpiece"

Although we may be a piece of trash, we have to look at ourselves through heaven's eyes, and not the eyes of the world. For the world will tell us we are a worthless piece of garbage, but heaven will tell us that we are a lovely piece of trash, that with some work we will soon be a beautiful masterpiece.

Here is an example of looking through heaven's eyes at trash.

These are examples of how men, looked at a pile of trash and did not see the worthlessness and uselessness of it as the world does, but they looked at that trash through  heaven's eyes, and saw the great potential it had. Yes, I am sure that it was a lot of work, that these men needed a lot of help and that there were many hard times. But look at it now, homes made of trash!

So it is with our lives, if we look through heaven's eyes we will see the great potential we have and with some hard work, and a lot of help from Christ and good friends, we can turn our lives into a masterpiece that is worthy to enter into God's kingdom.

I love the song, "Through Heaven's Eyes." Here are some lines from it:
"So how can you see what your life is worth
or where your value lies
ohhhh, you can never see through the eyes of man
you must look at your life
look at your life through heaven's eyes

"Should a man lose everything he owns
has he truly lost his worth
or is it the beginning
of a new and brighter birth
So how do you measure the worth of a man
in wealth or strength or size
in how much he gained or how much he gave
the answer will come to ya
to look at his life through heaven's eyes"

In the last several months I have had a lot of feelings of weakness and inadequacy. I got down on my self pretty bad, to the point where I was often depressed and discouraged. As I was in this state, everything seemed to be crumbling around me. My stutter was the worst it had been my entire mission, I didn't recognize the promptings from the Holy Ghost as much, and I began to think that I was failing! With the quite bold help of my mission president and a great companion, I was challenged to look at my life through heaven's eyes, and quit listening to the voice of the great deceiver. For I am of great worth, and although I make mistakes everyday, and slip and fall often, I am not and will never be worthless in the site of God, I will always have great potential in his eyes, if I but make the decision to change, and put some work into it. For Christ said, "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:10) As we try our best to continue to improve, but realize that we are not perfect and it will take time, we will be blessed! Don't ever give up on yourself!

Here are the words that my sister wrote to me, when I was in the midst of my discouragement, "Do not get hard on yourself. I have been kind of doing the same thing to myself. I know that I always need to try harder, and it is very important that I do so, but I need to also look at all the good things that I am doing. This last week was one of those weeks for me where I had to turn around how I was thinking, and then move on and continue to try harder while maintaining a positive outlook."

I know the blessings that come from doing that, trying to improve while still having a positive outlook. I have been trying really hard to do just that the last two weeks or so, and oh how much better I feel. I am happy, my stutter is almost unnoticeable now, I have peace in my life, and I feel the spirit much stronger than before. I know that God loves me. I know without a doubt that he answers my prayers. It does take hard work, but it IS WORTH IT!! Keep trying, never give up, and when it seems to get too hard, turn for help. Turn to God, and priesthood leaders. Beware, of the negative thoughts that come into your mind, for they are not of God. "Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually." (Moroni 7:12) Continue striving to do your best, and access the atonement the best you can, by going to church, reading the scriptures and praying. If you do these things you can become a masterpiece in the kingdom of God!!

Here are some resources that could be of help to you:
"Do Not Despair" - Ezra Taft Benson
"From the Valley of Despair to the Mountain Peaks of Hope" - Harold B. Lee
"'Awake My Soul!': Dealing Firmly with Depression" - Steve Gilliland
"Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy" - David S. Baxter
"Notwithstanding My Weakness" - Neal A. Maxwell
"LDS Family Services: Depression"

I love the Gospel, and I love happiness! I know that the gospel will bring us happiness. If there is anything that I can do to help you overcome depression, discouragement, or just a hard time, please let me know! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Siter's Sunday: Be Ye Therefore Perfect

Here is a post by Gayle Dye, Thanks Gayle!

“Be ye therefore perfect even as your father which is in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Recently Brandon and I were asked to speak in sacrament meeting. We were asked to speak on Matthew 5; The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus Christ is the perfect example we have of perfection. His entire life was focused on teaching, serving, healing, loving and sacrificing all he had for His Father’s will. The whole point of The Book of Mormon is to bring men unto Christ. The scriptures are full of his teachings and experiences he had here on this Earth. I have three favorite moments from his life.
  1. In his early childhood when he was lost for three days. He was found by the temple teaching doctors or teachers about the gospel. The important thing in this story is that he was teaching them and they were asking Jesus questions. This young boy was closely in Heavenly Father’s hands as he began to learn and share the gospel with all those around him.
  2. When men brought an adulterous woman before Christ and said that she should be stoned for sinning in adultery because that was the law. Christ looked at each of them and said then he who is without sin, be the first to cast a stone. Each man left. This moment shows how merciful Jesus Christ is. He was able to tell the woman to “go and sin no more.” Christ loves each of us so perfectly he was able to look past the grievous sin of the woman, and give her a second chance.
  3. As he hung on the cross he had to give up his own life in order for each of us to live with the Father again. No other man could have done this. It was his job, but how selfless this was of him to give up his own life that we may live again.

As humans we know we are imperfect. We sin, we struggle, and most of all, each of us goes through trials. We are however, never alone in these trials. Heavenly Father sent his only begotten son for us; so that we could be happy and return to him again one day. Heavenly Father knows us so perfectly that anything we struggle with we can look to Him and Christ. He challenges us with new trials all the time. They are hard and they are trying. I know and am learning firsthand that life is not easy. I recently graduated with my degree in elementary education. I have been praying and searching endlessly for the right teaching job. It has not come. I’m learning patience and prayer are my two best friends. Every once in a while I can feel Heavenly Father’s arms around me telling me that everything will work out. As I prepared my talk on the atonement I came to realize that the reason the Lord gave us The Sermon on the Mount is to help us become perfect like him through Christ. What beauty is in those words. I have a testimony of the gospel. I know that the Savior lives and loves us. Heavenly Father gave us the Savior that we will be able to live with him again one day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trash To Master Piece

Usually when you see pictures such as these you think, well that's a bunch of junk! It's just worthless trash! But, is that true? Or is there hidden value in this piles?

How often do you feel like worthless trash? For Americans it must be pretty often. According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,  over 34,000 people die each year due to suicide. That's about 90 people a day that take there own life. People do such things because they have thoughts like they are worthless, no one loves them, they are gone beyond repair, or there is no other way out. These are all tools that Satan uses to weaken us and try to overcome us. We MUST NOT let Satan win!!! All of those thoughts are lies from Satan, for we are children of God! And Christ has said, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10) Our souls are of great worth, we have been sent here to this earth to do a great work. One of the purposes of the church is to "invite ALL to come unto Christ!" (D&C 20:59) not just a few, not just the ones that are rich, or educated or of high social status, but ALL! God wants all of his children to return to him, we are all worth it to him! We must not let the lies of Satan distract us from our goal to return to our Father in Heaven, we must maintain self-esteem, a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself.

So how do we maintain a healthy self-esteem? Well, President James. E Faust said, "A key to an adequate self-esteem is humility. I do not mean the breast-beating, sackcloth-and-ashes kind of humility. I mean the humility that comes with inner strength and peace. It is the humility that allows us to accept and live with our own warts, without cosmetics to hide them.” Being humble is something that God wants us to be, it is very important in our lives. But being humble does not mean that we are supposed to tear ourselves down. I love what President Uchtdorf says about humility. "Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman." (Pride and the Priesthood.)

So to me being humble is realizing that we are a piece of trash, but have great potential. Meaning that there is not much we can do alone, and that we mess up and make mistakes everyday, but that we are happy with who we are, because we know that God loves us and we are trying! We know that through the atonement of Christ we can be made whole!

Stay tuned for "Look Through Heaven's Eyes," 
for the rest of the story.
Debuting June 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Disaster Seems to Come!

There seems to be disaster at every turn. As I am sure you know, yet another tornado has caused much devastation, this time in Joplin Missouri. The devastation is just bewildering. The 198mph tornado tore a path a mile wide and six miles long straight through Joplin, Missouri devastating all in its wake.

Here are some of the before and after shots of the town!

No more Walmart!

As you can see, the destruction is severe! I know that many prays have been offered in behalf of the families effected. And much help has been offered. A member form the ward here who has ties to Missouri went there a few days after the tornado with much needed clothing, diapers, baby food and other necessities. It was a great sight, and a relief for the residents to see her pull up with her loaded car to help those in need. It was a relatively small act, but I know that it was received through deep gratitude and much love.

Natural disasters and destruction is imminent in this world, but there are some things that we can do to prevent spiritual disasters. I think the main things would to be obedient to God's commandments and when we do mess up, slip, or fall, we need to quickly access the atonement through repentance and much prayer, doing the things that we are then inspired to do. I know that as we are obedient to God's commandments... all of them, no picking and choosing, we will be blessed and be able to fight off any possible disaster! I know that the atonement is real, and as we access it, we can receive the spiritual relief needed!

Here is a talk about Spiritual Preparedness:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Gardener of our Lives!

Our lives are like a garden plot. At first we are plain and barren, just dirt. But we are not worthless, we have so much to offer. As our life goes on and we begin to learn and grow we begin to better our lives, and allow the Savior to work with us. Sometimes there are things in our garden plots like weeds or sins that cover us and prevent us from being beautiful and full of goodness. But as we work with Christ our plots become ready for planting.
This does not come with little effort, we have to work at it. We have to want to become a beautiful garden, and we have to clean up those things from the past, the weeds and thistles that plague the ground and prevent new growth!

Then, as the land is cleared, the seeds are planted and begin to grow! However, they won't grow on their own, they must be nourished and they will begin to turn into something simple and beautiful.

 The sprout shows progress but it's not all over yet, the continued care and nourishment must still take place!! As the process of nourishment and weed removal continues the simple sprout grows into a plant yielding much produce.

So it is with our lives. We are the plot, empty but with much potential. As we begin to have faith, repent and be baptized, our land is cleared, nourished and ready for planting! As we receive the Holy Ghost our seed is planted and we begin to grow. And as we endure to the end, constantly repenting and allowing the Holy Ghost to strengthen and nourish us, we yield great fruit to there by bless the lives of others!!!

I know that we must have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end, for "this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (2 Nephi 31:21)

I know that "[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us.]" (Philippians 4:13) As we allow him to do the gardening in our lives, I know that we will become big, strong and fruitful!

If there are any parts of your life gardening that you are struggling with, you are not alone, there are many people to help. Seek help from God, your bishop, or me!! We would all love to help you!!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sister's Sunday: A Women's Sacrifice

I know that all of you have sacrificed something in your life, whether it is sleep, time, money, the list goes on and on. So what does it mean to sacrifice? To sacrifice is to give up something of value for the sake of something of greater worth. Sacrifice is an everyday occurrence in the life of a woman, especially a mother. There are countless things that you mothers sacrifice for your children, to make sure their life is great, and that they are happy and have the things that they need! Sacrifice is a must in life, and especially in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to True to the Faith, "If we were not required to make sacrifices we would never be able to develop the faith necessary for eternal salvation."

Last night I learned more about and gained more respect for sacrifices given to bless our lives. As  you may know (from my last post) the Nashville Tribute Band performed here in Madison last night. It was an amazing show, and the Spirit was thick in that room. One of the songs they sang that I love is about Emma Smith. It talks about how strong Emma, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith was. I love and respect Emma and the great sacrifices that she gave so that we can be a part of this great church today.

Something that the group did after the show also touched my heart on their great sacrifice. So there were some sister missionaries who had investigators coming to the show. However, they did not get there until after the show had already ended. They had traveled over an hour, and missed it. So the members of the Nashville Tribute Band, even though they had families to get home to and things to do last night to prepare for another show today in McMinnville, played for them. They took another hour or so, to play just for these two investigators and sister missionaries. The spirit was so strong, and I know touched their lives. Such a great sacrifice that I know will make a difference in their lives. I am so grateful for such examples of sacrifice.

I know that all of you give great sacrifices in your lives, and I would encourage you to keep making them! For the blessings are promised and they will come!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Watch with Wonder Wednesday: Nashville Tribute Band

Who doesn't love music? Music brings great power to influence either for good or evil! There are many people that are blessed with the talent to play, sing or write music. Some of these people use their talents for evil, to drag us down to vanity, immorality and self doubt. However, as we know, there is opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11,) and their are those that bless us with their music. They build the desire in us to do good, praise God and keep His commandments through their inspired music. The Nashville Tribute band in one of these groups!!! Their music is wholesome, uplifting and spiritual!!

For those of you that live in the Nashville area, we will be blessed to have the opportunity to see them live!!! They will be having the following shows this weekend:

Friday, May 20 · 7:00 pm
Franklin, TN Stake Center
1100 Gray Fox Lane
Franklin, TN
Saturday, May 21 · 6:00pm
Madison, TN Stake Center
107 Twin Hills Drive
Madison, Tennessee
Sunday, May 22 · 7:00pm
McMinnville, TN Stake Center
562 Shangri La Lane
McMinnville, Tennessee
Check out more information about the Nashville Tribute Band: