Monday, April 13, 2015

His Hands

There are times in life when Satan has us feeling worthless. There are times when Satan has us feeling like we have nothing left, like we are at the end of our rope. I know I have felt the overwhelming sorrow and loneliness that comes from letting Satan have a grasp on me. Satan is very good at what he does. He's a master manipulator and he knows exactly what you're weaknesses are. Satan is powerful. There is no doubt about that. But the effect and influence he has in your life is all up to you. If you are living righteously and keeping the commandments, Satan will have NO power over you. The power that Satan has over us, is the power we give him. Now, I'm not saying that it's an easy thing to just keep Satan out of your life, because it is not easy. It's actually extremely difficult because when you begin living a life that resembles Christ, Satan will start working extra hard on you. But do not let him get you, don't even let him come close because he will overpower you if you let him. However, if you do let him in, if you do give him power, there is still hope. Satan can make you feel like you've gone too far. Like you've sinned too greatly. Like you've messed up too much. Like you're unworthy of the Saviors love. But they are all LIES. I promise you, that there is no sin or sorrow too great that the Savior's atonement does not cover. There is no place you can go where to Savior's love will not reach you. There is no path you can take that will make you unworthy of His love. No matter how far you stray, no matter how much you sin, no matter how far from Christ you find yourself, you can always turn back. He is always there, with his hands outstretched, waiting. In 2 Nephi 19, the Savior repeats the phrase "but his hand is stretched out still" multiple times. And when the Savior repeats something, that means it is extremely important. The phrase "but his hand is stretched out still" was always following an act of rebellion against God. Something that if you did, would make you feel unworthy of His love. But the Savior emphasizes the fact that His hand is stretched out still. He is still there and always will be NO MATTER WHAT. You are not the exception to this fact. Just because you have sinned over and over and over again doesn't mean that you're sins have surpassed the length of the atonement because that is impossible. I promise you, that if you will come unto Christ and turn to Him that he will carry you, guide you, comfort you, and protect you from the bond of Satan. I promise that if you will keep the commandments and strive to live a life that resembles the on that our Savior lived, He will make sure that Satan has no power over you. Satan may be powerful, but he is nothing compared to the almighty power of our God. His hands will crush Satan every time. His hands are eternal and hold more love than we could ever imagine. His hands have lifted me up and saved me, and they can do the same for you.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

He is Risen

The week of Easter is one of my favorite weeks. Not only does it mean general conference is coming up, but it also gives me the opportunity to really reflect on the divine sacrifice of our loving savior Jesus Christ. As I have been studying the Saviors atonement over the course of this week, there are very important details that I tend to forget, that I wish I'd always remember. One big one is that when Christ was performing the atonement in the garden, our Heavenly Father left Him alone so that he could truly feel every ounce of our pain. He felt it for me, he felt it for you. He knows exactly what we have all felt. There is no way to comprehend that pain He went through or the amount of suffering He endured. He's felt ever failure, but also every success. He's felt all your pain and all your joy. He knows you and your feelings perfectly. He didn't not have to, He was not forced, and yet He did not turn back. And because Christ did that completely alone WE DO NOT HAVE TO. We have our Father in Heaven and we have our amazing Savior. Christ didn't have to do what He did, but He did it so that we wouldn't have to go through the pain. He did it simply because He loves us. He loves us enough that he knew we would fail, He knew we wouldn't always choose the right, He knew we wouldn't always choose Him, but He still chose us. He loves us and He, a perfect being, was mocked, spit on, torn down, beaten, bruised, and crucified just to prove it. Don't ever forget that sacrifice, not just during the Easter season, but every day. Don't ever forget that not only did He die for us, but He now LIVES for us. He lives because on the third day He was resurrected and He walked the earth again. He lives and He is risen. And His ressurection and His sacrifice made it possible for us to live with our Heavenly Father for all eternity. We too can rise after death, we too can live again, because of Christ. He is in everything. He is everywhere. Christ conquered all and so can we if we are willing to come unto Him and rely on His atonement. He is always there for us. His love for us is infinite. Because He lives I can expericne life after death and live with my family forever. Because He lives there is always hope, there is always a way, and there is always a light in the darkness. Because He lives I can feel the joy, peace, and happiness that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings. Because He lives, I know He will always be here for me and that He will never leave me. Because He lives I always have someone there for me who I can rely on at any time. Everything is possible BECAUSE HE LIVES and HE IS RISEN!! 

Easter is also a great time to reflect on the way Christ lived His life and do our best to follow in His footsteps. As you look at Christ's life, you see many acts of love, kindess, mercy, and forgiveness, along with many miracles. He showed perfect faith, obedience, patience, and so much more. Our Savior is our perfect example and we should be striving every day to live as He lived and walked as He walked. Thomas S. Monson once said, "Physically walking where Jesus walked is less important than walking as Jesus walked." We must put forth our full efforts into modeling our lives after our perfect Savior and walking as He walked. We won't be perfect, but we can come close. 

So this Easter and during this session of general conference, I challenge you to reflect on the life of our Savior. Push yourself to do better, to live the way He lived and remember Him always. To follow his perfect example and become more like Him. I challenge you to remember His atoning sacrifice and the eternal love He has for you. Remember that no matter how alone you feel, there is always someone who understands you and truly knows what you're going through. Remember that one day we will be able to overcome death because He overcame it; we will be ressurected and lifted up to be with our Heavenly Father forever. Remember that there is life after death. And remember, He is Risen. 

{Isaiah 53:3-12}
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.