Friday, December 30, 2011

My New Year's Resolutions

 "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than talking about behavior."
--President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1997, 9

Christmas is gone and past, but we can still keep the Spirit of Christ burning within us. A new year is coming up along with the usual new year's resolutions. I thought, "What a great time to make some goals!" To me there's no better way to getting what you want than making a goal and a plan and working to you achieve the goal.

Everyone has their own set of goals and things they hope to accomplish, but I thought I would share some of my own. Maybe to share ideas, maybe to hold myself accountable by posting them on a blog, but mostly to help me be the kind of person I want to be.

I'm going to write my dad a letter every week on my P-Day (Preparation Day)

I'm going to take time and have my own personal vocal prayer to my Heavenly Father. At least once a week. Praying for specific friends and loved ones and their needs. (Should be interesting seeing that I'm a missionary and private time doesn't happen too often.)

I'm going to seize opportunities to do something good for someone instead of second guessing myself and not doing anything at all.

I'm going to remember the example of Jesus Christ, because no matter what happens in life be it good or bad there is always something He did or some way He reacted to life that we can follow and be blessed for it.

Some of these ideas are easy to tell if you accomplished or not, and others are a little bit more difficult being more focused on the quality of your character. Either way, these are my resolutions and I'm hoping to see them accomplished!

Now its your turn to make your own resolutions and have a great New Year's Celebration!!!

BYOF (Bring Your Own Fireworks) Its gonna be a big party!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mr Grinch You're a Grouch...but You Do Have a Point!

Just recently I was able to have an exclusive interview with one of Christmas's most notorious Christmas hater, The Grinch. We had a good long conversation and I asked him what his thoughts were on Christmas and what it was all about and this was his reply:

The Grinch: That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been *about*. Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage. You see what I'm saying? In your *garbage*. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice...
[shouts]
The Grinch: The avarice never ends! "I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue." Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this *whole* Christmas season is
[shouts]
The Grinch: stupid, stupid, stupid!

Hmm...Mr. Grinch...you furry green Who...you've got a point. Ever since I was young I remembered that quote around Christmas time and it would always make me feel a little...Grinchy.
It's so hard around Christmas time not to prove the Grinch's point. We can so easily get distracted by all the gifts, the food, the decorations, the parties, and of course the ugly neckties.
However, there's a simple solution to our greatest Christmas distractions. Slow down, take a step back, get a view at the bigger picture, and remember the Christmas Story. Once that happens you'll have no problem feeling the spirit, but being the only one that gets it can be lonely. So, share it with everyone, and if you don't know how to...be a little Grinchy.

I know that seems like a crazy idea. I mean after all he was the one that tried to ruin Christmas! Isn't that a spirit we shouldn't have. Well, I'll admit his intentions may have been a little off, but through ruining Christmas he really saved it.

Here is a comment by one member of the town of Whoville:

Lou Lou Who: I'm glad he took our presents. You can't hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, beacuse it isn't about the... the gifts or the contest or the fancy lights. That's what Cindy's been trying to tell everyone... and me. I don't need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.
Here we have the words of one man that says the Grinch's actions helped him better feel the Christmas spirit and better appreciate the gift of his family.

I ask you to reflect on those words and if needed get a little Grinchy and do what it takes to bring the Christmas spirit into your life and the lives of those around you. the "mas" part of Christmas is great, but if you keep that number two on your priorities I promise you'll a much more meaningful and special Christmas.

Celebrating This...




 
...more than that.
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Numberless as the Sand on the Seashore"

Over this weekend Elder Foster and I went to a stake conference in Great Falls, and while there we received a lot of nuggets of truth to fill up on. One such truth was shared by Brother Gibbs. He shared a scripture that touched on the magnitude of God's creations and how we are still so important to Him. The scripture says:

"And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore." (Moses 1:28)


This was when our Heavenly Father showed Moses every single soul that was ever created, and at first I felt like "wow I was just compared to sand. I sure feel great now..."


Then, Brother Gibbs shared this about what is seen when you get a real good look at sand. When sand is magnified this is what you would see...

Before: Here's sand. Bland and
exactly the same as any other grain of sand.

After: When grains of sand are magnified you see these
brilliant images. Completely unique from any other grain
of sand. 




























So often we may see ourselves as "bland" or "common". No more different and unique than a grain of sand. However, when we get up close and look down deep into our souls we see what our Heavenly Father sees.
My message today is that we are all special in God's eyes. Though we are "numberless as the sand on the seashore" our Heavenly Father knows us personally and loves us individually.

This message I share in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Some Prescriptions for Your Problems

Fall is coming to a close and I'm starting to feel it. For the past several days I've had this really irritating cold. Its just one of those things you have to deal with in life. Everyone gets it eventually. Maybe a sore throat or a stuffy nose or a head that feels like its about to explode! No matter who you are you're going to have to deal with it eventually, and if you're like me you get colds a lot more often than you'd like.
Cayenne: Those that have tried it
know its power
   Luckily, with all the colds and flu bugs there are also things you can take to help get through the sickness faster and easier. For me its usually Cayenne capsules, Echinacea and Goldenseal capsules, and a pretty heavy dosage of vitamin C tablets. For normal people its probably NyQuil and cough drops.

   The same idea applies in our day to day lives. When you're going through a difficult time there are some simple things you can do to get through it faster and easier. From what I've seen in my life the simplest solution is often the one most forgotten. That is turning to The Lord and asking for helping and guidance through prayer and reading the scriptures. There are so many answers and solutions to problems we face that can be found in the scriptures. Most important though is the feeling of peace and warmth that can be felt as we seek The Lord out for guidance.
Scriptures: Those that have read them
feel its power

   I know that as we diligently seek for answers to our problems, just as we would with getting over a cold or the flu, then we will get those answers and make it through our difficulties. In the end its better to do something than nothing. I leave this simple yet powerful solution to life's problems in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Call to Serve

Elder Holland addresses the need for young men to prepare themselves to serve missions.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Standard to Life

This is a quote I got last summer from my young men's president back home. Its something that has helped me on the hard days throughout my mission. I hope it helps you as well. (Sorry, no pretty pictures this time)


"I am part of the fellowship unashamed; the dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still.

"My past is redeemed, my presence makes sense, my future is secure. I am done with low living, small talking, colorless dreams, tamed visions, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven.

"My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few. My guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ.

"I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me, and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear."


The greatest thing I take from this is, remember who you are and who you work for. Who are you? A child of God! Who do you work for? Jesus Christ of course.

I love you all. Keep working through the hard times.
--Elder Aaron George--

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Treasure Maps! A Perilous Journey With a Great Reward!

Alright, so this blog post was kind of put on the back burner for a few weeks because of the recent transfer. Things got a little crazy, but now I have some time to sit back and reflect on some cool personal experiences in my mission so far.

A few weeks ago, while Elder Brunson and I were serving together, we had a dinner with a family in Lewistown. As we waited for dinner to be served I grabbed a napkin and started doodling. To get the kids involved I asked "Hmm, what should I draw?" One thought for a moment and replied, "I don't know." Then I with my child-like randomness said "Oh, I know!! Let's draw a treasure map!"

As we drew our treasure maps a thought came to my mind about our Heavenly Father's plan for us and how we are given our own treasure maps. Sometimes we find our map in an old basement or dusty attic, and sometimes a friend may already have found it and asks us to go on a crazy wild adventure with them to find the treasure. In the end though its our choice whether we follow the map or not.

So, where did this map come from anyway. We have this most amazing treasure, which is life in our Heavenly Father's and Jesus Christ's presence, but who mapped it all out for us? Who showed us the way to our treasure?
...Jesus Christ did
He went through this life, full of its dangers and booby traps, just so He could show us the way. Getting to the treasure wasn't easy for Him. He had to deal with betrayal, loss, hunger, pain, hardship and trials of every sort. Why though? Why would anyone choose to live that kind of life and follow that kind of map?
The answer is simple. When it all comes down to it, the hard times were worth it because the treasure is priceless. After you finally dig up the treasure, all those trials and hardships fade away and are swallowed up in pure joy and happiness...
So, next time you face trials and ask "Why me?" remember this. It will all be worth it. The journey may be hard and full of danger, but you have your map and Christ, the one who got that map for you, suffered through it all not to keep the treasure for Himself, but to give it to all those that follow the map, have the courage to take the first step, and make it to the end.















Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Potter's Wheel

   Last night during my personal prayer before I went to bed I received some inspiration on this blog post. I was on my knees last night trying my hardest not to go through the motions of prayer and actually have a good one on one conversation with God. I was feeling a little anxious and excited because of the responsibility I was about to receive to train a new missionary. As usual I questioned whether I was worthy of that trust and whether or not I was ready for it. This is just one of the thoughts and feelings I received from that prayer...

   In pottery there's a special instrument in making clay pots and that is the potter's wheel. The wheel is a circular platform that spins so clay can be formed with slight effort and movement. The most important part of the process though is the beginning. Your clay has to be right on the center of the wheel, because if its not the clay is going to fly off the wheel or become impossible to work with.

   Our Heavenly Father works with us in the same fashion. We are the clay and He is the potter. He forms us to what he desires and we in turn desire to be shaped the way he wants us to. There is one condition though. For Him to begin forming and shaping us we must be in the center of His wheel. The wheel is the gospel of Jesus Christ...

As we continue to center our lives around Christ and His gopel we are able to be built up and be ready for the time when we are put into the fires of trial and struggle to be made into that which we are destined to become.

"But now, O Lord, thou art our afather; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the bwork of thy hand." (Isaiah 64:8)

The words of Isaiah are true. We are His clay and we are the work of His hand. We must let that work be a good work and center our lives upon the Gospel of Christ. I challenge everyone to bring your lives into allignment with God's will and receive the blessings He has in store for you. I leave this message in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

If you have any thoughts, feelings, or opinions about this post please feel free to share.

  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We Lived with God

A video of a renowned scientist sharing the evidences that God is our Creator.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What to do When a Dog "Marks its Territory" On Your Backpack

Ha, with a catchy title like that you can't help but read this post!

   One thing to start us off. I want readers to know that this is a true story and it all happened...yesterday. Last night, after finishing off all our Preparation Day chores and taking a much needed nap, Elder Brunson and I went to a family's house to see if they were home and up for a visit. Luckily they were and we were able to catch up with them after a month of not seeing them.
   We talked with each other outside enjoying the good summer weather. As we talked topics would change from this to that and their dogs would play fetch and enjoy playing with the new visitors, us. Apparently one of the dogs named Blue had a very "I own you" type of attitude and wanted my backpack for himself. So, he commenced to "marking his territory" on my backpack!
   ...Geez I get no respect...I mean really? Man's best friend? Sure, until you turn around and while you're not looking he takes everything you have for himself.
  Well, from that point a person only has one choice and that finally brings me to my point. When it all comes down to it you're only left with one option in life and that's the choice of your attitude and how you react to whatever comes your way.

Here's a Scripture to Apply to Life:
   In the Old Testament there is a man named Job. In his story there are two messages. First, when everything in life goes its absolute worst you still have the choice to be happy or not. Second, when everything in life fails you remember to love and thank God for all your blessings.
   The things that happened in Job's life would make any person feel as though they were hated, but Job knew he was not and so he chose to continue to love and not hate God for the things that happened to him.

If you really want to know what I'm talking about just read it in Chapter one of the Book of Job.


Finally, the last thing I want to share to put everything together is this quote from Elder Richard G. Scott


"When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to cause this? Will lead  you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?"


   When the world crashes down around you and when dogs pee on your backpack laugh it off and continue to smile. Happiness is home grown not bought.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ahh Doesn't That Just Tug at Your Heartstrings?

Alright here's a video that just came out on http://www.lds.org/ and I thought it had a great message to it. Basically, husbands and wives go above and beyond in expressing your love to your spouse. As for the rest of us that are not married. Here's a few tips on what you'll want to be doing and how you'll want to be viewing marriage when its your turn. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Put The Master in Charge...What's in Your Wallet?

Well everybody its been a while since my last blog post. By a while I mean well over a month. You'll have to forgive me on this one. Its been a mixture of trying to figure out how to blog, having writer's block, and not having the time to be on the computer.
Put all this aside though and look at the great new blog post. It has some personal history, a good spiritual lesson, and a little message of hope to brighten your day! Read and Enjoy!

   Anyone that remembers the good ol' high school days will agree with me that though they may not remember all the math, science, and english courses there were still a few lessons learned. One of the lessons I learned and still keep in the pocket of my wallet was a lesson on trust. What can be trusted, who can be trusted, and why is trust so important?

   In high school I did the same thing repeatedly day in and day out. I went to my classes, took notes, and did all those things that prepare you for college and a career. There was one class in the day though that was different. It was a class where you didn't have to take notes and homework wasn't all that important. It was a class where you could just sit and think and ponder what was going on in your life and how you felt. For me that class was Seminary.




A few loads in the washer have faded it
 and made it a little hard to read.
Here's what is says: Put The Master in Charge
and on the bottom right: Good for Eternity
  
   One day in class Brother Holman, my seminary teacher, gave us a pretty handy credit card. He said it could be used at any time, in any place, for any reason, and it would never expire! That peaked my interest. Then I realized it was just a laminated piece of paper with a picture of Jesus on it. Yet, as I thought more about it I decided I would keep it in my wallet. It was one of the first things of actual worth that I put in there. Now its been a few years--and a few accidental loads in the laundry--and I still have my seminary credit card as a reminder of who should take care of all of my business.


The one key thing I learned from that experience is that when everything and everyone in this world fails us there is one person that will not fail us and that is Jesus Christ. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Twelve Apostles said this as he clarified the message of The Book of Mormon concerning Christ,"Sometimes people fail us, economics fail us, business or government fail us. But one thing in time and eternity does not fail us, the pure love of the Lord Jesus Christ as manifest in His Atoning sacrifice."
   That is truly the most powerful thing I have learned in my short time on this earth. I have learned that there IS someone I can trust and rely on no matter how small or great the need is. There IS someone that will ease my burdens. There IS someone that will never give up on me. That person in whom I can place my trust is Jesus Christ. He will never fail me.
Daily Interest, Unlimited Credit,
Guaranteed Security
Day & Night Teller Security
Elder Holland's Quote 3rd to last paragraph on the link:

For more Information go to:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What A Great Father's Day

   It has been a few days since Father's Day, but I've still been thinking about it. It seems that the time I can't celebrate Father's Day with my dad is when I think about him the most. I guess the old saying, "you don't know what you got 'til its gone" applies here. The longer I am away from home the more excited I am to see him and my family again.
   I appreciate my father so much more now that I have been gone from home for a while. Nothing could replace all the summer days working together or being out on family trips. I'll always appreciate the counsel and direction he gave me, often times it was without having to even say a word. Just watching him be him was enough to realize I wanted to be just like my dad.

There's my mom and dad,
but right now its about the man on the left.
   Its been a fast, but oh so long six months since I last seen the man known as Brett George. What I've come to understand during that time is that without him being my dad to help raise me and teach me what I needed to know I wouldn't be ready for this experience called "life".
   There's something even more important that I've come to understand! Without my Heavenly Father I wouldn't have been ready for the experience of life.

It will be two years until I can see my father and personally thank him for all he has done for me.

It will be many more years until I can see my Heavenly Father again and thank him for all He has done for me.

"O my Father, thou that dwellest In the high and glorious place, When shall I regain thy presence And again behold thy face?"

"may I  meet you in your royal courts on high? Then, at length, when I've completed All you sent me forth to do, with your mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you."
   O My Father hymn # 292

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Boil a Frog

   Alright, so has anyone else wondered about boiling frogs? I know it sounds like another one of those weird things that I think about, but trust me there's a point to this.
   Anyone that knows cooking would say that whatever you're planning on making involves a pot of water there is a process. You get a pot of water, heat it up until it starts boiling, and then put in whatever you're boiling. Sounds pretty simple right? Well, with boiling a live frog the process is switched around. If you were to throw a frog in boiling water it would jump out as soon as possible because it doesn't feel good being in boiling hot water! Its obvious to the frog that boiling water is no good for his health and he knows if he stays in much longer he's going to be cooked.
   However, when the frog is placed in a pot of water at room temperature over the stove top this is what happens...
Hmm I'm feeling good right now!
 This is pretty nice!
Ahh, some extra heat.

Ahh that hits spot!

Oh geez I'm not feeling so well.
Aaannd... *Croak*


 Ohhh Nooo!! Froggy what happened to you!!??

   See, what happened to our amphibious amigo is something that can happen to us as well. He was perfectly fine and comfortable as he sat in his nice cool water and as the water slowly got hotter it didn't bother him. It was just slow enough for him to get comfortable with the change and accept it. However, things did get worse and he couldn't handle it anymore...
   Our lives are also like this. Things can get worse for us if we let it. We can let ourselves slip into a sense of "whatever" and let our lives get out of control. That's why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is here in our lives. Its here to help us see if we might be in a pot of water thats ready to boil.
  
   As King Benjamin says in Mosiah 4:30 of the Book of Mormon,
"But this much I can tell you that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts,
and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue
in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the
end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not."

   The last thing I have to say is this:
The gospel can and will bless our lives. On one condition though, we have to live it and do our best. The gospel is the one thing that will bring us true happiness and it is what gives our lives a sense of order and purpose. Once we stop living it things get out of control fast. So the last thing I beg you to do is...please don't be a boiled frog.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Skateboarding

   Recently, with all the beautiful weather and melted snow, I've been thinking of some of my past time hobbies. Now, it may not seem like it with a nametag, glasses, and part in my hair, but I used to skateboard! Ya, I know sounds like I'm just making stuff up, but its true I actually did...   There were a lot of things I learned from skateboarding. Such as it takes a lot of time and practice before you actually improve. It took me over a month of constantly trying a kickflip, one of the most basic tricks in skateboarding, before I could even land it. Even then I couldn't just do it on demand. Another thing I learned is that when I finally got to a certain point in my skateboarding ability I could rely on that to be something to keep me going when the world seemed to be falling apart.

Professional Skateboarder
Rodney Mullen
Doing a Darkslide
  
 When I felt so stressed and overwhelmed about school, work, my family, or my friends I would just go skate for a bit and all the stress I had would just melt away. It didn't matter what people thought about me or if I wasn't all that "skilled" anyway. It was something that could bring a peaceful calm feeling into my life.

When the gospel of Jesus Christ came into my life I had that same feeling. No matter what people thought or how much I was lacking I could still feel the peace the gospel brought into my life. No matter how hard life got I always had something to rely on and trust in.

It took a lot of time though, and a lot of effort, but the gospel and church became the thing that made me who I am. Just like the effort I put into skateboarding to have it be a part of my life, there is also an effort in living the gospel and receiving the rewards of doing so. Just like how after a lot of time and practice I was able to do some pretty awesome things with my skateboard, there is also a lot of amazing things we can do with the gospel as we continue to work at building our faith and testimonies.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!

   Well, Mother's Day is tomorrow and I feel like there are quite a few mothers I need to say "Happy Mother's Day!" to. I'm way excited to get to call my family tomorrow and talk to them, but there's a lot of extended families and moms that I adopted that I don't get to tell them how much I love and appreciate them tomorrow. So, here's a little blog post, a tribute to all my loving "mamas".
   The Good Lord blessed me with lots of moms looking over me as I grew up because he knew I would need a lot more than just one to keep me in line. "All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother", a quote from Abraham Lincoln that I very much agree with. Without my mom I would be nothing.

   One quick thought from the Book of Mormon to go along with our celebration of mothers. So, does anyone remember the Stripling Warriors? I sure do. Just imagine two thousand of these super buff and stalwart young men and ask yourself, "Hmm, how did they become so super buff and stalwart?" Well, there's a scripture in the book of Alma chapter fifty-seven when Helaman, the captain of the Stripling Warriors, reflects on what it is they had told him, "...they said unto me that their mothers had taught them".
   The stripling warriors of the Book of Mormon owed everything they were to their mothers. They had faith, they trusted in God, they fought bravely, they stood together, and miraculously none of them died from their many battles. Most of all they knew who the credit went to...their mothers. Happy Mother's Day!!!

  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Eternal Family

   Right now I would like to share something a little personal. It is something that comes deep in my soul. It is one of the desires I have had since I was a young child. It is hard for me to share this because it is so personal, and taking something so close to you and sharing it to the whole world--or at least on my blog--is a really big challenge. However, I've learned that you kind of have to put yourself out there and let yourself be heard and let others do what they will with what you've shared.
   What I want to share is not just the truth and reality of eternal families, but my own personal desire for an eternal family. I remember going to church when I was young and singing the primary song Families Can Be Together Forever and just getting this feeling like, "I really want that and I'll do whatever I need to to have that." That feeling has been with me since then. I don't know why, but that has been a major driving force behind all the decisions I've made.


   This photo (above) is just a glimpse of the happiness that can be felt in an eternal family. It's a picture of my sister Brooke, the one in the pretty white dress, and her husband Adam, the stud-man right beside her accompanied by the George and Crook families. (In case you were wondering I'm the big tall guy on the left.) This picture is really special because it was taken just hours after the two newlyweds were sealed together in the temple for all time and eternity.
   There is a sense of happiness that cannot be described or measured when two people, or better yet two families, that are sealed to one another. It is a happiness that continues from that point on, if we remain faithful. See, in the temple there are a lot of promises, or covenants, that are made with our Heavenly Father and we have to do all we can to keep those promises and remain faithful to them in order to be with our families for all eternity.
   That's something we should all want, an eternal family. I hope from reading this that you get that same desire to do all you can to have your own eternal family. Its such a wonderful blessing that should be sought after with all energy and effort to receive that special blessing of a "forever family".
   This special message I leave with you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Honor's Code

   Today I wanted to talk a little bit about honor. Mainly because through all of my years in high school english I still haven't quite figured out how to share its meaning with others. From what the dictionary tells us honor is a verb, a noun, and sometimes an adjective. I found twenty-four definitions for the word, and that still wasn't enough for me to understand. Sometimes to grasp the idea of honor requires a little more work than reading in a book. There's a bit more thought involved--for me at least.

   So, what is honor? Honor is something that composes your character. Its a quality you maintain by the actions you take. Some examples are doing good to your fellowmen and treating others and yourself with respect. Some people receive medals and recognition for honorable deeds done, such as saving a life or donating to charitable causes.However, once someone gets awarded doesn't mean they now have honor and will have it from that point on. They must continue and persisit in doing honorable things.
  

 Elder Robbins of the Quorom of the Seventy defines qualities like honor when he made a comparison between doing and being.
   "Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am." I just love that quote!
   There is one last thing that I want to share concerning honor. Honor is something that should be sought after in a celestial sense. "And thus if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life." (D&C 75:5) Honor is so important in our Heavenly Father's eyes that its even mentioned with immortality and eternal life. So, I hope and pray that you all strive to be honorable in the sight of our Lord. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
  
Multitudes of angels honoring Christ

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Testimony of the Book of the Mormon

   Just recently, this morning actually, I was reading from the Book of Mormon. I had just decided to re-read the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago and I finally started today! I can't count all the times I have read the beginning chapters of the Book of Mormon, but this time it was different. Instead of thinking I had learned everything there was to learn I accepted that I could go through the same thing over and over again and take something new from it every time.
   That's a frame of mind that can go with anything in life. No matter how many times you've done something, read something, heard something, it always has the potential to change you. There's one condition though. You have to be open to change.
   The biggest change that I've had in my life was from reading the Book of Mormon was gaining a testimony of it. I had read from it plenty of times, but it wasn't until I actually read it for myself that I gained that testimony.
   Why is having a testimony of the Book of Mormon the biggest change in my life? Because, like a good friend of mine said "You let your testimony guide your life and that's awesome!" Every choice I take and every decision I make will in someway be guided by my testimony.

  
   My invitation to those who read this is to read the Book of Mormon and gain a personal testimony of it. Let that shape your life and bring you down a road of happiness. I give these words in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

If you don't have your own copy or just want a quick convenient
 way to read the Book of Mormon click on this link
http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm?lang=eng

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Passing of a Friend

Recently one of my childhood friends passed away. I came to find this out on facebook. I don't really know how to express my feelings. It's just hard to imagine that he's gone. This is his obituary. A few paragraphs could never show the great things he accomplished and the great friend he was to me, but it will have to suffice.

Jordan James Kagie 1987-2011

Jordan James Kagie fought the good fight. At 23, he passed away unexpectedly at home early in the morning on March 22 due to complications related to congestive heart failure.

He overcame cancer at the young age of 12 and battled multiple life-long health problems. Though he never complained and all these never held him back. He earned his Eagle Scout and became a member of the Order of the Arrow and worked summers at Tomahawk. He went on to attend SLCC. When his health finally caught up to him in July of 2010, and the news that he had congestive heart failure came after a near death episode, he rallied again. He went on to live life more energetically than ever. He finished his Associates Degree just five months later and was entering the Business Program at Weber State. He had the best reason to become the person he'd been waiting to be and took more joy in looking after himself and surrounding himself with others. He felt better than he ever had, and everyone around him benefitted. He was a standard nerd; as a gamer, a sports fan, a tease, a slight curmudgeon, Jojo was a fantastic addition to our lives. We enjoyed every minute of our stolen time with him these last months, and only regret that he finished his work here in this life so soon.

He is survived by his mother Rebecca Kagie, brother John Ross (Natalie), sister Jessica Kagie and many other family members who will all miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his father John Clement Kagie. Till we meet again.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 28, 2011 at the LDS church at 311 North 800 West in West Bountiful, Ut. Friends may call there that morning from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. A viewing will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Sunday, March 29, 2011 at the Russon Brothers Bountiful Mortuary, 295 North Main.

   It was hard having to read this and know that I had found out three days after his funeral. I couldn't be there to celebrate his life. I knew I would miss him for these two years, but I didn't know it would be longer.
The most important message I want to convey is the great knowledge of eternal life, eternal families, and the Atonement of Christ.
   I know that I will see my dear friend again. I know that he is sealed to his mother and father, brother and sister, for time and all eternity. Most of all, I know that Christ was there for him during his most difficult times and I know that Christ suffered all that he went through to be there for him. I know that because of the Atonement of Christ Jordan's family will be able to feel peace and comfort knowing that he is with his Father in heaven.
   I give this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Protecting Our Title of Liberty

   Recently I had the opportunity to talk to a veteran of the U.S. Army. We talked much on the history of wars and the moral dilemnas and burdens carried by those that served. This wasn't the first time I had talked with veterans about the struggles of service, but I had a deeper realization of the great sacrifices of service men and women throughout the world this time around.
   As we continued our conversation he shared his different experiences over his years of service. He was away from home and away from his wife and children as he served his country and protected the liberties of his people.
   There is a great price paid by those willing to serve. They are away from family and loved ones and are unsure of the outcome of their service, but they do it nonetheless. Whether you are just out of high school or have a family of your own its always a sacrifice.
   My freedom, my family, my life, my liberty, and all things important to me are protected and secured by those answering the call to serve, and there will always be a price for our freedoms and liberties.

   In the Book of Mormon there is an account of a man named Captain Moroni. He is the best example of what a man of God does when he is at risk of losing his family and way of life.
    Moroni raises the Title of Liberty to rally his people together to defend their freedoms. It reads, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."(Alma 46:12) This is what they fought for. This is what they protected.
   There is further scripture that shows the qualities of Moroni. "And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding' yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed a man whose sould did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery"(Alma 48:11)
These are the qualities I see in my friends and loved ones that chose to serve. I am honored to know that my freedoms are being protected, and I am humbled to see the sacrifices of the service men and women that serve and protect their countries. Because, the sacrifice is worth it. Because, God desires us to have the freedoms we so deserve. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Meaning of Our Work

   Recently I was reading through my first journal entries of starting my mission. There were a lot of changes I had to get used to, and I didn't know how to adjust. I just didn't know how to manage. So, I did what I had learned to do through much trial and error, I prayed and started to ponder the importance of what I had been set out to do.
   December 11, 2010 after being a missionary for ten days, and praying constantly for the strength to continue in my service, the Spirit had enlightened my mind.

"A great thing happened to me earlier tonight. We sang our last hymn as a district, The Spirit of God, and I already know the song pretty well so I was looking around. I look down and notice my tag, so I take it off and look at it and feel that amazing joy of being called to serve and having the Spirit of God with me.

 At that point I realized that would be the only time my name would be so close to my Savior in performing the same work and having the same purpose. This is a time in my earthly life that must be cherished. I will never have this opportunity to live in this capacity again." -My Journal Entry-

"It has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest by the power of the Holy Ghost..." Jacob 7:12
The Holy Ghost can enlighten our minds, give us a greater knowledge and understanding, but most important for me is He gives us comfort and peace. To know the importance of the work is what gives me comfort in offering my service to God.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What am I missing? Better Question! What have I gained!?

   So just recently I have been on facebook. As missionaries we try to use it as a means to share the gospel and bring the Spirit into others lives. However, having friends back home on facebook makes it so I peer through a window and see into the lives of loved ones back home.
   Last night was prom night back at my old high school and I noticed some pictures on my facebook wall. I see all these familiar faces and I say to myself "Oh, I hope they had fun!" Soon after I see a picture of my close friends back home and say to myself "Oh, gosh I really wish I was there with them" I realize how much I miss my friends, and begin thinking "Hmm, Elder George what did you do last night?"

Elder Sabin & me cleaning out the freezer

   It all hit me like a ton of bricks! I was being a missionary doing the Lord's work! I had one of the best and most memorable nights of my life. I looked at the things I had done and realized how great the work of being a missionary is. Elder Sabin and I were able to visit families and share the gospel with them. We shared how the gospel had blessed our lives and sought ways to help. We gave service to our fellow man just how the Lord would want us to. We even cleaned the inside of our freezer and somehow enjoyed the experience!


   Being a missionary means so much to me. It requires a little more effort and some helpful reminders, but the reward is amazing. I have been away from my family and life for three months, I have missed some good moments, but I have experienced some great ones. I have made my companion my friend0, I have given service to others, I have learned to cherish the little things in life, and most importantly I have shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Me, Elder Heywood, & Elder Sabin



Friday, March 18, 2011

The Power of Testimony...Words of the Apostles

   General Conference is coming up in the next two weeks and it will be my first general conference I get to watch as a missionary. I'm pretty excited for it, especially when I remember how inspired and uplifted I feel after watching and listening to our modern apostles speak and testify of the gospel and the blessing it is to us in our lives. That desire to become better and to have the Spirit with me is always expected. Who would have thought that inspired men, apostles of God, sharing their testimony could have so much power to strengthen my own.
   That is and has been the purpose of the apostles and prophets since the beginning of the world. Prophets were called by God to share the gospel and testify of Christ. When Christ came to the earth and ordained the original twelve apostles they also had the same purpose to share the gospel and testify of Christ.


Christ Ordaining the Original Twelve Apostles
    In my personal study I have been doing a little research on the New Testament in the Bible. I was studying just to see why it was written and why it was compiled the way it was. So, in the beginning of the New Testament there are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
   Matthew and John were apostles chosen by Christ to help lead His Church and spread His Gospel. These men were a part of Christ's ministry, they were eyewitnesses to what Christ had done and shared what they had seen through conversing with others and recording their words. Most importantly they testified that what they had seen, Christ's ministry, had truly happened and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
   Mark and Luke on the other hand were not apostles. For a long time I thought that kind of diminished the worth of their words, but I soon realized it magnified their worth instead of the former. They had such a strong belief in the gospel that they chose to follow the apostles and write their own testimonies, because even though they weren't chosen apostles from Christ they were still changed by His gospel.

The Current Twelve Apostles

   During general conference we get to hear from Christ's chosen apostles and let their words enter into our hearts and let the gospel change us just like it did for Mark and Luke. I love hearing Christ speak through his prophets and apostles, and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to listen and learn of Him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Venting Frustrations

   Alright I feel like I have to share an experience that illustrates the difficulties of being a missionary. Everyone knows that the work is hard and often stressful. There are responsibilities and duties involved that require much on a young man or woman. I knew that I should expect to be tired for two years, I knew that I should expect to walk a lot, and I knew that I would give up activities of my old life to be a missionary, but I wasn't ready for this...
   One day Elder Sabin and I were meeting with a sister of the church. She hadn't been to church for a long time, and we had been meeting with her for the past several weeks. I was feeling lost and didn't know what to share with her to gain the right perspective about going to church. I couldn't figure out how to show her the importance of it and why we are so blessed when we go. Then I thought to myself, "Elder George, why do you go to church every week?" I then remembered the great feelings of gratitude and happiness towards Christ and His Atonement when I take the sacrament. I have personally come to appreciate His wonderful gift, and so I felt we could talk about that.
   I asked her what Christ's Atonement means to her, but she wasn't sure. After hearing that, and I'm ashamed to write this, I became angry inside. It was a horrible feeling! I thought to myself, "you mean to say after everything Christ suffered for and went through for our sakes you aren't sure!? It doesn't pierce into your soul and make you feel eternally grateful for His sacrifice!?" These thoughts and feelings persisted throughout our visit and I held back hot tears of pain during our prayer.
   Finally, we went back into the truck and I had to pause for a moment and pray for my heart to be softened, and my compassion to be greater, and my understanding enlightened. If I hadn't I would have lost the Spirit and become a useless representative of Christ.
   Throughout my week I have had opportunities to reflect and ponder upon that experience. I felt that perhaps I hadn't asked the question in the write way, or maybe I hadn't shared the message right. I'm pretty sure that's the case. Yet, I also thought of Christ's infinite mercy, and how he forgave even those that crucified him because they knew not what they did.
   I have learned that my biggest fear has been to share those deep feelings of my soul and have it be completely discarded and tossed aside. Its scary to bear a heartfelt testimony to someone and not know if they will truly appreciate it or throw it in the trash. I have also learned that fear is not of God and when we are rejected we must forgive even as Christ did. If we don't we lose the Spirit, and without it how can lives be changed and the Atonement of Christ be accepted.
   I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.