testimony

Humble Thoughts Concerning the Second Coming and the End of the World

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The Second Coming of Christ

Humble Thoughts Concerning the Second Coming and the End of the World

With all the chaos and confusion that is happening in our world today, it is of little wonder that so many people are asking the same questions that the disciples asked of the Master centuries ago, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). The Master’s response to them still applies to us during these often turbulent, confused, and chaotic times:

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:4-14)

There are many good hearten people, including some Christians, who are anxiously anticipating the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, even to the point of making futile attempts at guessing the day and the hour when He shall appear. However, scriptures emphatically teach us:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Mathew 24:36-39)

Scriptures also remind us, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. . . .Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2,6)

While there are some people who put their trust in chariots, and some who put their trust in horses, I will continue to remember the name of the Lord our God (See Psalm 20:7) and strive to endure to the end.

Therefore, I will no more put my confidence and trust in the speculations of man about the Second Coming of Christ than I will in those who purport that the four “blood moons” signal the end of the world. Instead of being overly concerned and feeding into much of the frenzy of the false and nonsensical teachings about the Second Coming and the end of the age, I choose to make sure that my house is in order, and that I am ready to meet the Savior at any day, at any moment or hour of the day. I choose to keep my lamp filled with oil to be ready when the Bridegroom comes.

Instead of heeding the vain teachings and babbling of men, we would be wise to follow the teachings of the Master Himself as in the “Parable of the Ten Virgins:”

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1-14)

O be wise; what can I say more? (Jacob 6:12, Book of Mormon)

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Latter-day Saint Youth Testimonies

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From a very early age, youth who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints learn to live their lives according to the precepts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. From the examples of their parents, they learn to set high moral standards realizing that they are a light unto the world, and therefore, they need to set good examples before the world.

As they mature, they begin to develop and nurture their testimony of who Jesus Christ is, and how following His commandments helps to strengthen them as they strive emulate Him in their daily lives. They are able to share their testimony with anyone who asks them why they believe what they do, and it is through the power of their testimony that many of their non-member family and friends come to learn about the truthfulness of the restored gospel, enter the waters of baptism, and become members of the Church themselves.

Miles Batty – Making Each Mile Count

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Miles Batty - BYU

Miles Batty is a 27-year-old (born 1 June 1987) track runner who specializes in middle-distance disciplines. Middle-distance running events are track races longer than sprints, and up to 3000 meters. The standard middle distances are the 800 meters, 1500 meters and mile run, although the 3000 meters may also be classified as a middle-distance track event.

He graduated from Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah in 2005. During his high school tenure, he was considered one of the most prolific cross-country and distance track runners in the state of Utah which earned him such accolades as state champion of Utah in cross-country with a personal best time in the mile of 4 minutes and 22 seconds.

After high school, Batty served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the country of Brazil. During his time as a missionary, he was not able to take part in any competitive running events. As a result, when he returned to Brigham Young University (BYU) after his mission, he struggled to get back in shape and even questioned being able to succeed as a college runner.

In 2011, he qualified and won the NCAA track championship, and received the title of Men’s Track Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field (USATF). Also in 2011, he helped BYU’s distance relay team win the national championship. And by August 2011, he was ranked number 9 in the United States in the 1500 meters discipline.

In February 2012, at the 2012 Millrose Games, Batty broke the indoor collegiate mile record by almost half a second with a time of 3:54.54. In February 2013, His record time was beaten at the 2013 Millrose Games by Chris O’Hare with a time of 3:52.98. Batty dropped to number three on the NCAA all-time mile list in 2014 when Lawi Lalang clocked a 3:52.88 at the Millrose Games. He finished 10th at the 2012 US Olympic Trials for the 1500-meter race.

Batty is currently studying neuroscience at BYU and has aspirations of going to medical school.

Other Media Files of Interest:

Life’s Various Platforms

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Build Your Life on a Solid Foundation

There are political platforms on which our country stands and bases its principles of governance to support enacted laws. There are also other platforms on which people build their lives such as religion, friends, social media, marriages, and relationships with various people. We put a lot of trust and confidence in various platforms in our lives, but when those platforms begin to collapse, we find that we begin to lose our footing and our safety nets are not as secure as we thought.

The one sure platform or foundation upon which we can build our lives is the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament in 2 Samuel 22:32-34, David exhorts, “For who is God, save the Lord? And who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.” Hannah, in singing praises to the Lord, exclaimed, “There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). And David further exclaims, “He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:2).

Life is full of constant changes on many levels and platforms. Jesus Christ is Our Rock, and if we anchor our lives to the Rock, the strong winds of adversity that begin to blow, or the storms that begin to rage cannot shake us. Popular opinions will have no immediate effect on the decisions that we make. And as we face day-to-day challenges, we will not find ourselves always having to pull ourselves up from the ashes and brush away the rubble from platforms which have their foundations built upon the sand, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:27).

In my life I have stood on various platforms and have been shaken because of the many uncertainties connected with them. However, there are no uncertainties with the Lord Jesus Christ. For, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Until we meet again friends, keep your eye on the prize!

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
February 21, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

We Walk By Faith

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Walk by faith, Not by sight

In the Bible, in Hebrews 11:1 we read, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This verse of scripture is my favorite because of its  application in my life.

As early as seven years ago, I was living a life filled with utter chaos. If someone were to ask me about faith, I would have replied that the only faith that I had, was found in the chemical substances that I had become addicted to.

I am grateful, and give thanks to my Heavenly Father daily, that on 25 October 2007, my eyes became open, and I began to travel down an entirely different path on my life’s journey. I can honestly testify that my faith has grown stronger as I have remained clean and sober from all the drugs and alcohol that once plagued my life.

Albeit, that is not to say that my faith has not been tested. I believe that coping with the diagnosis of having Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.), a mental illness that I have had all of my life, is a test of my faith. The difference in my life today is that instead of turning to chemical substances for oblique answers to the trials that I face, I have learned to put my faith and trust in the Lord. Although I may not fully understand why I must suffer this illness, I can see the hand of God at work in my life, and I believe that He is using all things in my life for good – not only to bless me personally, but as a testimony to others who may suffer with the same or similar mental illnesses. The key, I have found, is to not lose hope and to stay true to the faith. The words of the prophet Moroni in the Book of Mormon as recorded in Ether 12:6 are a reminder that “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

I presently have 70 plus alters that I must deal with daily. Life for me in general gets really loud and noisy, and most of the time, it seems as if there is no real peace or comfort. However, I have the hope and assurance that the peace that I am seeking will come as I continue on my journey through life, walking by faith and putting my total trust and faith in the Lord.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
September 18, 2014
Founder of The Conqueror Foundation

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing the Gospel Via Social Media

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Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the “Mormon” Church by the media and others) has said:

Sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before. . . . Perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to ‘open [your] mouths’ might today include ‘use your hands’ to blog and text message the gospel to all the world! (Ensign, May 2011, “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”).

In the world in which we live today, technology continues to advance at a staggering rate with an increasing amount of electronic gadgetry being introduced. With each new development in technology, the size and weight of electronic devices decreases as the available functionality of the devices increases. With a single device a person is able to do tasks which at one time required the use of several devices, and in less time. Within those electronic wonders is the ability to reach the entire world through the various social media venues that are easily accessible without having to travel from place to place.

However, like most things in life, there are two sides to the technological coin as well. Technology and social media can be used in many positive ways to influence the world for good, but as time has proven, technological advances and social media can also be used in negative ways. Exactly how the power which technology affords is used in the social media world is a personal decision. Every person has their free agency, and therefore must decide for his or herself how they will use the social media tools that are readily available.

Using Social Media to Spread the Gospel

In an effort to help its members use social media as a positive influence in the world, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers the following guidance:

Social media can be a powerful influence in the lives of those who use it. It can provide ways to express our faith in Jesus Christ and strengthen relationships. The Church encourages the use of social media so long as it supports the mission of the Church, improves relationships, and facilitates revelation among children of our Heavenly Father. Church members are encouraged to be examples of their faith at all times and in all places, including when participating in the global conversations available through social media.

Several General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ have also commented on the use of technology and social media:

You live in a world where technological advances occur at an astounding pace. It is difficult for many of my generation to keep up with the possibilities. Depending on how technology is used, these advances can be a blessing or a deterrent. Technology, when understood and used for righteous purposes, need not be a threat but rather an enhancement to spiritual communication (For Peace At Home, by Richard G. Scott (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles). April 2013 General Conference).

It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation (The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn, by David A. Bednar (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles). October 2011 General Conference).

Whether a person is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or a member of a different faith, social media venues can be used for positive influences on the world. One of those positive influences is sharing our faith and beliefs with all whom we associate with, in person, as well as through the conversations that we engage in through the use of social media.

 

 

Matters of the Heart

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With All of My Heart

With Every Beat of Your Heart

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Human heart circulation

The heart is the organ that supplies blood and oxygen to all parts of the body making it one of the most important organs in the entire human body. It is about the size of a clenched fist, weighs between 7 and 15 ounces (200 to 425 grams), and is shaped like a cone. It is located between the lungs in the middle of the chest, behind and slightly to the left of the breastbone (sternum). A double-layered membrane called the pericardium surrounds your heart like a sack.

The heart is really nothing more than a pump. It is composed of muscle which pumps blood throughout the body distributing essential nutrients throughout the body and carrying away waste products to keep us fresh and comfortable. Blood is pumped away from the heart through arteries and returns to the heart through veins. If the heart ever ceases to pump blood the body begins to shut down and after a very short period of time will die. Like any other muscle in the human body, the heart contracts and expands.

Unlike skeletal muscles, however, the heart works on the “All -or-Nothing Law”. That is, each time the heart contracts it does so with all its force. It beats approximately 72 times per minute. By the end of a long life, a person’s heart may have beaten (expanded and contracted) more than 3.5 billion times, without ever pausing to rest. Infect, each day, the average heart beats 100,000 times, pumping about 2,000 gallons (7,571 liters) of blood. Like a pumping machine, the heart provides the power needed for life.

The Use of the Word “Heart” in Scripture

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever” ( Psalm 73:26).

Hily BibLe KJV

The word heart appears in the King James Version of the Bible some 830 times – 725 times in the Old Testament and 105 times in the New Testament. As used in Scriptures, the heart is more than just the organ that pumps blood through the body. It is a metaphor for a person’s innermost core or spiritual center. When the Scriptures speak of the heart, they are speaking of the total person or one’s whole soul. God sees, tests, and searches the hidden depths of the human heart. One who has a “pure heart “lives a life that is directed and devoted totally and unreservedly to God.

In the Old Testament, the phrase “hardness of heart” not only refers to the enemies of God’s people, like Pharaoh in Egypt, but it also refers to God’s people – Israel. In the New Testament it describes not only the scribes and Pharisees, but the disciples as well. A hard-hearted person is self-centered, typically prideful, stubborn, and resistant to what
God wants to do in his life. Thus, it is deep below the surface of our lives that God begins a work of renewing grace in us. The real action is rooted deep in the heart.

In Mark 6: 45-52 we read of an account where the phrase “hardness of heart” is used in reference to the disciples. The disciples had just witnessed the feeding of 5,000 with only five loaves and two fishes and the gathering of twelve baskets full of fragments and fishes afterwards. This is the account as recorded by Mark:

45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

What Type of Heart Do We Have?

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9.10).

Young Men Gathering Tithe Offerings

What type of heart do we have? Do we have pure hearts that seek after doing those things which the Lord has called us to do with willingness and gladness? Do we have a desire to live our lives completely directed by and dedicated to God’s will? Or, do we have hardened hearts? Are we self-centered and unreceptive to the will of God, believing that our own way is the best way?

Charles Dickens once said, “A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” And Sarah Ban Breathnach once said, “Whatever we are willing for–peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance–it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”

Having a pure heart brings with it the blessings of the Lord, whereas having a hardened heart pronounces a curse upon one’s own life. A hardhearted person lives a life that is full of misery, disparity, and woe. This is illustrated in the case of the captivity of Judah as recorded in Jeremiah 17:1-8:

1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

2 Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.

3 0 my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.

4 And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.

5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The Heart of the Matter

Everything that we do in life is a matter of the heart. Whatever we have a heart’s desire to do is normally what we will do, whether it be right or wrong. Our actions are governed by the type of heart that we have and the intents of that heart. The Lord judges us by the intents of our hearts. He reminds us in Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” And we are reminded in Matthew 6: 19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

I leave these thoughts with you humbly in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.