This movie is a story about the men who created the well-loved Christmas song, Silent Night. Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber collaborated on December 24th, 1818 to write it for a service that night!
Christian Vuissa is the producer and director. It is a quiet, inspiring movie that makes the audience want to be better in their own personal lives.
Apologies due to the poor quality of this clip, but it is the moment when they sing it for the first time in Austria 1818 at midnight mass.
The Mormons won a Catholic film award for this movie. :D
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
If you were dropped out in the middle of nowhere and someone told you to walk for a couple miles in one direction to see if you could make a fairly straight line, you could do it if you had something to focus on, right? For instance, in this picture with a tree, you could fix your eyes on the tree and walk directly toward it. As long as you could see the tree, you could walk toward it and your path would be fairly direct.
With love, I wish for you only the best, and comfort when you need it. I may not be there with you right now in person, but if my words ring true to you, then please pray that our Father in heaven will send to you a way to get those landmarks you need to return to His presence. Remember to close your prayer "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Jesus is our way back home.
Suppose you were dropped out in the middle of a field and told the same thing. How would you make sure that you walked a straight line for miles?
It would be very difficult if there were no landmarks of any kind. In fact, there was a study done by researchers* where people were dropped in the middle of nowhere on a cloudy day and told to walk in a straight line. They ended up walking in circles, and even crossed their own paths at several points. There were others who were dropped off on a sunny day with a clear landmark in the distance and told to walk a straight line toward that landmark, They were able to walk almost a straight line toward the landmark.
If we have landmarks in our vision, we are able to walk toward them. If we have nothing to set our sights on, we can wander around aimlessly for a long time.
For spiritual growth, we have been given landmarks by the Lord. He gave The Ten Commandments to the people of ancient days. He gave the Holy Bible for us to use. We have a church with inspired leaders to help guide us. We can ask in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can pray directly to God, our Heavenly Father and close our prayer "in the name of Jesus Christ." We can seek other holy writings. These can be our landmarks to help us walk a straight path.
I testify to you that God lives. His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is the Savior of us all. He is the light and the way. He is the only way that we can return to our Father's presence in heaven. Whether we believe it, or see it right now, or not, this is fact and we cannot alter that fact no matter what we do. It is our responsibility to follow Him and do those things He has asked of us so that we can eventually become clean enough to enter into His presence. This is more of a reality than what we see around us every day. I promise.
*Sorry I cannot cite the study, but I heard this report from Elder Bednar, a very reliable source.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
If you have left the Lord's church, I would like to extend this invitation: Won't you please come back and re-jon us? We are not perfect, but we love you and we miss you! We also need the wisdom that you have gained by leaving and hopefully returning.
Here is President Gordon B. Hinckley's very last time he shared his testimony. How appropriate that he served his mission in the British Isles and he was permitted to share his last public testimony on earth in the British Isles!
Click here ------> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noDM2zmNy2c
We all loved President Hinckley. We know we could trust him and he would never be dishonest.
I know there have been things that you have found on the internet and by talking with other people. Many of you feel that even if the church started out on the right foot that now it is not being led by Jesus Christ.
If this is you, consider two things. Let's recognize that the the world is managed by the Lord. In our miniscule understanding of the world, we cannot assume that our view is what is really going on. As we learn more, our new perspectives help us gain greater understanding of what is real. I testify to you that when Jesus said he is the light of the world, and he is our savior, that He was telling the absolute truth, We cannot wrap our heads around that. It's way bigger than we are. We have no clear understanding why we even need a savior. Yet, that is all true.
Over the past few years, I have been watching videos of the near-death experiences of people who were atheists. They talk about Jesus and describe him the same way he talked about Himself as was recorded in the Bible. You can find these yourself online. Some of the ones on Christian shows seem hokey, but there are some that make you say "wow!"
Another thing is that there is a girl named Akiane who was a young child of atheist parents when she started drawing and painting pictures of a man she said was Jesus. You can also search her art to see the pictures. She had never been taught about Jesus and started these art renderings at a very young age. Pretty credible.
There are evidences all over the place that Jesus is who he claimed to be. Let's first recognize that he is the Master, and is on the same team with God, our father. They have the same purpose - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
So, if Jesus and God are in control of the world, then most likely they will make sure that faithful followers of a church with his name will not be lead astray.
What is the second thing to consider? Maybe you messed up. Maybe you disobeyed and then the Holy Spirit had to leave you as a constant companion. So, maybe everything you are trying to figure out now is just made-up stuff. That is not a good place to be in. Some people say that they felt like they were in a bubble when they lived the Gospel. Well, yes, that bubble was your protection. It was meant to be a blessing. What is real IS the eternal perspective. Every thing else is mortal and has an ending. So, may I please remind you of what you need to do? Repentance. Four steps: 1) Recognize that you messed up and are now walking away from the Lord instead of toward Him. 2) Ask forgiveness. 3) Make things right. 4) Make a sincere vow to change your ways. Is any of that easy? Oh no, it sure is not. It may take time and a series of trials and errors until you get it right. But please walk toward your Savior and not away from him. He loves you enough to sacrifice his life for you. Isn't that just too much to comprehend?
Please come back, dear brothers and sisters. Nobody meant to offend you. We are all just doing what we can to be good. And we all know how hard that is!! We love you. We want you to come back. We don't care if you have done stupid things because we all have. Please come back to Jesus.
And by the way, if I didn't love you simply because you are my brother or sister, I wouldn't take my time to write this blog. I love you and I haven't met you in this mortal life. Can you imagine how much our elder brother, Jesus, loves you? He is giving you a gazillion chances to come back to Him. Please do it now.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Today at church the spiritual leader of my congregation (our Bishop) said that the most common problem our men and young men are struggling with is pornography. As most people are aware, pornography is often an addiction. Not only is it addictive, but can lead to some very serious problems and is often destructive for marriages and families.
One of my friends, Christine Dixon, helped two of her sons overcome a heroin addiction, but said the solution was the same for any kind of addiction. They used a 12-step program to overcome their addiction. Their story is here: http://familiesbattlingaddiction.com/
Here is a link for the 12 step program: https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/?lang=eng This program is the best thing out there so far and has literally saved lives. It deserves a try.
It is always best if the person who is caught up in an addiction has the support of their friends and family. But even without that support, it is possible to overcome a powerful addiction!
Best wishes to you and your loved ones! If you are overcoming the addiction, my best best wishes for your success! You CAN do this! <3 <3 <3
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Someone showed this link to me yesterday. I am very impressed with the quality of the productions and the script stayed true to the written word in the Holy Bible. These are good short videos for anyone learning about Jesus or anyone who wants to get a clear perspective on how the stories might have been in real life. Also, anyone who wants to learn English might benefit from watching these because the actors speak slowly and clearly.
Because they are so true to the Holy Bible, these videos could be used in teaching about Jesus in Sunday School or at any Christian services or meetings. They could surely benefit missionary work in all parts of the world.
The Lord Jesus Christ atoned for us so that we could all return to live with Him eternally. He must surely love us. Our Heavenly Father must also love us more than we can imagine, because He allowed His Son to come to earth and do that for us.
Enjoy learning more about Our Savior!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
In a movie made 60 years ago called THE ROBE, a fictional Roman is converted to become a Christian. The movie is a classic and it is very dramatic. It is seen through the point of view of the Romans, which in this movie represents "the world", as opposed to the kingdom of Christ. For the photo to go with this post, I chose the closing scene of the movie. In this scene, the Roman tribune who has been converted, a fictional character named Marcelus, goes before the Emperor Caligula who really lived and is not a fictional character.
Even today many people struggle with the idea of a kingdom of God. Is there a God that is over all the earth? If so, is he a loving god or a god to be feared? Who is this Jesus? If he is the Son of God, then why is there so much trouble in the world? SO many questions that seem to be left unanswered to people who will not take the time to study the scriptures and pray with faith.
Are we not all creating our own kingdoms by the choices we make? For instance, I choose to not drink alcoholic drinks. That's my choice. Do I have friends who drink? Yes, I do. Do I spend a lot of time with them drinking? No, I don't. Are they welcome into my home? Yes, of course. Will I offer them alcoholic drinks at my home? Nope. Do they expect to be served alcoholic drinks when they come over? No, they don't. And everybody is ok with that. That is an example of one aspect of my kingdom - no alcoholic drinks. Other examples include the humor I choose to laugh at, the level of modesty in the way I dress, the type of music I choose, the way I treat others, etc. All the choices I make create my kingdom.
Jesus Christ also has his kingdom. He chooses to do everything his Father wants him to do. He has chosen to ascribe to what his Father has done in the Kingdom of God and Christ continues to teach us how to be a part of that kingdom if we want to. It is totally up to us. He has given us the scriptures to use as a written manual. He has given us commandments to use as guidelines. He even promises that the Holy Spirit will reveal truths to us if we seek them.
Jesus Christ has given us an open invitation to be a part of his Kingdom. The doors of his kingdom are open to every single person who has ever lived or who will live on this earth. We can open the doors and come toward Christ, or we can choose to back away and do something different. He doesn't change. When he came to earth and taught his followers he was the same as he is today. He lives.
We are the ones who must choose. We can choose to be fully engulfed with the world and its empty promises or we can be fully engaged and make covenants to live in a kingdom that Christ has invited us to be a part of. He has even asked us to help him make it grow.
Who is on the Lord's side?
And yes, Jesus does love you. He always will. His love is not based on your behavior. He loves you unconditionally and waits with open arms for you to come to him. I promise you this.