Lord, Increase our Faith

Those who follow Christ with real intent understand the importance of faith. The scripture teach “without faith no man pleaseth God” (D&C 63:11). Why? “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them” (Ether 12:12). In other words, God cannot intervene in our lives without faith being present.

The apostles said to the Savior, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). The Savior’s answer came in two parts. First he said: “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6). This is a straightforward answer. He taught that even with the smallest amount of faith a man can do mighty works. This parable also teaches that faith being compared to a seed can grow and increase if properly nourished (Matthew 13:32).

In the second part, the Savior used another parable to explain how faith is increased. It isn’t as straightforward, and easy to understand as the parable of the mustard seed. In this parable there is interaction between a servant and his master.

7 But who of you, having a servant plowing, or feeding cattle, will say unto him when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? Continue reading

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What is the Great Destroyer of Mormon Faith?

Hardly a week goes by without hearing of another church member losing their faith. There is even a lawyer who, for no legal fee, will help members remove their names from church records. He may even think of himself as a good Samaritan.

“The internet era is taking a toll on the faith of many church members”. This is a frequent explanation for what’s happening. Meanwhile, the Tribune and Mormon Stories increase revenue with each account of lost faith they publish.

Question: is the internet really the primary cause for loss of faith? Or is there something else at the heart of the internet generation’s dissent? I think there is.

Here’s how I see it. The Lord set up a way for his people to acquire a testimony. This is taught in Moroni 10:4-5. Those who have paid the price to gain a testimony in the Lord’s way are not the one’s dissenting from the church. They have built their faith on the rock of their redeemer (Helaman 5:12). Continue reading

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Gifts of the Spirit Are Awesome

  From beginning to end, the Book of Mormon testifies of the gifts of the Spirit. It would be interesting to know the number of times the concept of gifts of the Spirit is portrayed in the Book of Mormon. A computer search of the word “spirit” shows it appears 234 times in the Book of Mormon, and 880 times in the Standard Works. Without doubt Heavenly Father wants church members to be informed about things of the Spirit.

  Whenever a manifestation of the Spirit occurs it can be considered a gift from God. We’re taught that the gifts of the Spirit come through the Holy Ghost to men and women as they seek to follow Christ.

  The following verses explain how the four sons of Mosiah were able to acquire the gifts of the Spirit:

 “They had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” Alma 17:2-3 Continue reading

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Satan Desireth to Have Thee

Note:  All of the scriptural references below are active links.

Who is satan?

He is a son of God, and one of his names is Lucifer. D&C 76:26

Where does he come from?

He lived in the pre-mortal world before being cast down to earth.   D&C 29:36-37, Revelations 12:4

Why was he cast down? Continue reading

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A Miraculous Conversion to the Mormon Church

The following account was written by Bobby Van Rooy. It details why Bobby decided to join the Mormon church after studying, pondering, and praying for nearly two years.    

My conversion took about two years, but I’ll take it from the last 8 months. I was 27 years old and divorced already. Living in Hawaii and a professional musician/entertainer.

While performing in San Diego I decided to go to the LDS church in Mission Bay where I was staying. I was very depressed and feeling guilty about things in my life. I was a bit late and the church service was packed. I noticed the front pew was open, so I walked down to the front and sat down. I didn’t realize I came in on what they called their once a month “fast & testimony” meeting.

I had not slept much lately and was a bit exhausted, I was listening to an attractive young woman talking and, to tell you the truth, can’t remember one word she said. But as I listened, something funny happened; I started seeing an aura, a golden aura around her. Continue reading

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A Few Thoughts About Faith An Obtaining Answers To Our Prayers

I don’t know if everyone is born with some degree of faith or not. But I think it is safe to say that some are born having the gift of faith, and others can develop it.

When I refer to faith, I mean faith in God. The following list expresses a few things we know about faith as Latter Day Saints:

1.   Because faith is wanting, the fruits are

2.  The fruits of faith are the gifts of the Spirit

3.  Faith comes by hearing the word of God Continue reading

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Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Savior of the World, A Personal Friend

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My intended audience, those who I think of when I write, are members of the Mormon church.

Many years ago (1966, that is fifty years now), the Lord left the ninety and nine and reclaimed me. I was lost and He found me. As a result, I am a witness of His tender mercies and I hope to help others who can be lifted by my witness.

The Savior is a friend of mine.The Savior refers to His followers as friends (D&C 50:41, D&C 84:63, John 15:14-15). I am a follower, therefore I think it’s reasonable to call Him, my Friend. I hope that all of us feel the same way.

Friendship is a two way street. Friends do things for one another. They help each other and share in the joy of their friendship. My friendship with the Savior has brought me great joy. I hope, in small ways, I’ve done the same for Him. Continue reading

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Keeping the Commandments without Making Covenants has no Power to Sanctify

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For those who have made covenants to follow Christ there is a simple plan that needs to be obeyed in order to realize the promised blessings. The following scripture clearly describes the plan and promise:

Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. 3 Nephi 27:20

In forty words the Savior succinctly explains the gospel plan. Receiving the Holy Ghost is the focal point of the gospel plan. In other words, the purpose of repentance and baptism is to receive the Holy Ghost. Without the Holy Ghost, repentance and baptism have no power to sanctify. And without becoming sanctified we cannot stand spotless before the Lord.

As Latter-day Saints we have many responsibilities. Following is a brief list of some of the things expected of us. There is no particular order to this list: Continue reading

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Thoughts On Faith, Doubt, and Unbelief

I’ve read that for most of human history, mankind whatever their circumstances, maintained some sort of belief that they were created by a “god”.  This was true for those living in the jungles or on main street. The vast majority of mankind believed that they were created. Of course, that didn’t mean all attended church or strived to keep the commandments, but the notion that God didn’t exist wasn’t widespread.

The era we live in today is unique because unbelief is wide spread and acceptable. Atheism is a growth industry, particularly among some in the ivy league crowd who declare like Korihor, that God is “a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be”. He further taught that  belief is ” the effect of a frenzied mind”. Korihor would have fit right in on many college campuses throughout today’s world.  

Mormonism is an American faith. It has been around less than 200 years. For most of that time it has been a Utah church. In 1947 there were about 1 million church members. Today there are roughly 16 million members. It is now a world wide church. It is estimated that about 50% are considered active. In other words, as the Book of Mormon points out, church members “were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small”.

In the internet era new problems have emerged for Mormons. These problems are fueling doubt among some faithful church members, particularly the young. They’re learning things about the history of the church that are new and troubling. Continue reading

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Satan Desireth to Have You, That He May Sift You as Wheat

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The Savior warned His followers about the power and influence of Satan saying:

Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. 3 Nephi 18:18

Sifting wheat or winnowing is accomplished by throwing wheat into the air and allowing chaff to be blown away, leaving just the grain. From Satan’s perspective, he’d like the good, that is, the spiritual part of men winnowed out leaving just the evil, fallen part of us. That way he can have full power over the hearts of men and women.

The Book of Mormon tells of just such a time. A time when the Jaredites had become so wicked that Satan had full power over the hearts of the people. Continue reading

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