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." (

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"