My name is Elder Kyle Rasmussen. I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The message of the Church is one of joy and happiness. This message has given me this great joy and happiness in my life and now I want to share that same joy with everyone else. I know it can bless everyone's life and that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Christmas Blog Post

Temple Square at Christmas
It's the Christmas season so therfore it is required to make a blog post about Christmas.  So in order to prevent myself from becoming a Scrooge or a Grinch, I shall do such.

Living only 20 miles from down town Salt Lake City and having a dad that works in the office tower across the street from the temple have a couple of benefits.  One of which is the opportunity our family has almost every year to go and see the Christmas lights at temple square.

Temple Squre from Above
As you can see there are many attractions on temple square.  One of which is the visitors center which is circled in red.  It's an amazing building with so many pictures of Christ and various displays of Bible and Book of Mormon prophets.  It even has a very large model map of the city Jerusalem back when Christ was on the earth and where everything is.

After walking around with my family, looking at all the lights and all the buildings, our final stop is usually this same visitor center.  Then after looking at all the various cool displays and models do we reach my most favorite part of the building.
Jesus Christ in Visitor Center

In the main circular room stands an amazing statue of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The walls of this room are of the celestial heavens, of stars and the earth and the glories of the night sky.  He stands there pure and magnificent, with open arms waiting to receive those who will come unto Him.  His hands bear the imprint of the nails which peirced His hands as He willingly gave His life for us on the cross.  Every time I enter that amazing place, tears fill my eyes as I look into His eyes and see the love that He has for me and all of us.
This is what Christmas is about, Jesus Christ.  It's as simple as that, it's about the Savior.  It is our the time of year we have to celebrate His magnificent birth.  Without His coming into the world and His suffering we wouldn't be able to return to our Father in Heaven.  May we remember through all the hectic hussle and bussle of the Christmas season that we reflect on that marvelous event. 

"For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all - for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people." - Alma 7:7

Nativity Scene at Temple Square Reflection Pool

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Salt Lake Temple

I was born and raised in Utah and have been there all my life. For fourteen years my family lived only twenty miles north of Salt Lake City. My dad works in down town Salt Lake so I have had many opportunities to go down there. Temple Square was and still is one of my favorite spots to go in the city. I have always grown up so close to the Salt Lake temple and it has a special place in my heart. Here's a little bit more information on the Salt Lake Temple.

Salt Lake Temple Time Line:

1847 July 28: Salt Lake Temple site is identified.
1853 February 14: Ground-breaking ceremony is held. April 6: Cornerstones are laid.
1855 July 23: Foundation is completed.
1857 June: First basement floor stones are laid.
1858 May: Foundation is covered to resemble a plowed field.
1860 Foundation is uncovered.
1862 Portions of foundation are replaced.
1867 Salt Lake Temple walls appear above ground for first time.
1873 April 4: First train brings stones from quarry for Salt Lake Temple.
1892 April 6: Capstone is laid.
1893 April 6: Salt Lake Temple is dedicated.

It took 40 years to build this amazing structure! It required a lot of sacrifices from the Saints. Why did they go to such lengths to build it? Becuase the blessings of the temple are real. The temple is built in a way that it resembles a fortress. That's symbolic because the temple is a fortress, a sanctuary from the things of the world. It's the Lord's house and within the Lord's house we can find comfort and peace from the things outside. I love the temple and the blessings they hold. I know this Church is true and the Savior Jesus Christ is real.

Photo's of Salt Lake Temple:

(East Towers)

(Assembly Hall)

(Celestial Room)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Comfort of the Gospel

This is why I love modern day prophets. Through them God can say to us what we need to here in this day and age. We live in a time where the demands of life press down upon us more than they ever have before. At times I feel that I'm stretched to the point where I feel like breaking. But we aren't alone in this endeavour. Having faith in the eternal perspective gives me such great hope and comfort in my life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ carries me through these difficult times. It is what gives me the peace and comfort I need to live in this world and be who I am and become who I need to be. Through learning and living this Gospel, we will find the strength to overcome any challenge life may throw at us. I know this to be true.

"Perfection comes not in this life, but in the next life. Don't demand things that are unreasonable. But demand of yourself improvement. As you let the Lord help you, through that He will make the difference." - Elder Russell M. Nelson

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Steps to an Answered Prayer

I love formulas, or step by step equations that can be used to solve every kind of problem. It's how my mind works I guess. So for me it's so cool to see God give us these kinds of equations or formulas to help us in every day life.

I was reading in 1st Nephi of the Book of Mormon and I found this simple yet powerful formula for receiving an answer to your prayer. In 1st Nephi 11 verse 1 we read

"For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot."

Nephi wanted to see the things his father saw in visions. So he asks God in prayer if he can have this desire. And as a result his prayer was answered, through the use of this formula.

Step 1: Have a desire to receive an answer. Nephi had a desire to see the things his father saw. Simple enough but important enough.

Step 2: Believe and have faith God will answer your prayer. As it says in that verse, you need to have faith, God can't answer you if you believe He can't.

Step 3: Ponder, or put forth the effort to study things out. Nephi pondered what his dad said about his visions. He tried to make sense of them in his mind and probably did some study to help him understand.

Desire + Faith + Effort (pondering, study) = Answered Prayer

Nephi applied this principle and received a glorious answer (read 1st Nephi 11 to find out). We can all find answers to our prayers. God is willing to bless us and communicate with us, we just need to talk to Him. If we really have a desire to know something, develop faith in His ability to answer us, and put forth all the effort we can into our answer, God will answer you. I know this to be true. I know God loves each and everyone one of us and we all can receive answers to our prayers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Puzzling Thoughts

"A testimony is a witness or confirmation of eternal truth impressed upon individual hearts and souls through the Holy Ghost, whose primary ministry is to testify of truth, particularly as it relates to the Father and the Son." - Elder M. Russell Ballard

I tried to describe a testimony at it's basics and Elder Ballard really nailed it. But sometimes I wonder how do you gain a testimony. I don't believe anybody wouldn't want such a testimony and witness of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. So how does one gain such a testimony?

My dad taught me this simple truth in many different ways. Imagine your testimony is like a puzzle. How do you put a puzzle together? Well obviously piece by piece. Step by step you place the pieces together one at a time to construct an entire picture. Our testimonies are built the same way. You don't gain a testimony all at once, but rather over time and piece by piece.

Those pieces you add to your testimony puzzle come from many different things. Reading the scriptures, you add a piece. You pray sincerely to your Father in Heaven, there's another piece. You pay tithing, there's another piece. You attend sacrament meeting, another piece. The list goes on and on. It's not the acts themselves that provide a piece, it's the Spirit that is felt that confirms the truthfulness of what happened. The the Spiritual things you experience as you keep and live God's commandments and diligently seek Him out are those pieces you add to your testimony puzzle.

For example, my father owned a motorcylce when he was in his youth. He was riding home one day on this motorcycle and was going pretty fast down the road. As he was riding a quite but powerful voice filled his mind and heart. It said "Slow Down". He thought about but really didn't listen to it. He heard it again, "Slow Down". This time he listened to the prompting. As he began to slow the bike's back tire blew. Huge chunks of rubber went flying and one of them caught in the chain. The bike started to fishtail and swerve all over the road. However my dad was able to maintain enough control of the bike and was able to stop on the side of the road. If he hadn't of slowed down, I don't think I would be here.

The Spirit is real and you can experience such promptings. But those experiences don't give you a testimony all at once. This thing that happened to my dad added a huge piece to his testimony puzzle. We can add such pieces to our testimonies if we do the right things. May we strive to do all the rights things so we can add more and more to our testimony puzzle.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It Will Get Better Once it Stops Hurting

That statement always makes me laugh. It's one of my Grandpaisms my Grandpa Hess always likes to say. He always says funny things like "Kill to stones with one bird", or if you fall down "Come over here and I'll help you up". But the saying "It will get better once it stops hurting" really has some truth if you think about it.

Life's tough sometimes. There's nothing really around that fact. Sometimes during life we experience some pretty hard times. Trials and tribulations are to be expected, but that doesn't make them anymore less painful. We face so many different kinds of trials like sickness, death, depression, loneliness, guilt, family issues, finance problems, learning problems, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on and on. At times we seem to be thrown a never ending string of them that doesn't look like it will let up. Each of us individually face our own personal demons that turn life into this gauntlet of pain. Life isn't fair; it's not a cake walk; life is hard. In Matthew 5:45, the Savior says "he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Good things happen to bad and good people, bad things happen to bad and good people. Life is hard. But there is hope.

We have a loving Heavenly Father and we are His children. He loves each and every one of his children. That is why we are here on earth. He wants for us to receive all that He has. His purpose is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." He has provided us this opportunity to learn and progress so we can be more like him. We are here on earth to be tried and tested, and that means sometimes things aren't going to be very pleasant.

Life is a refiners fire. Trials are those hot flames that lick and scourge us. But through those flames we melt off the imperfections we possess. We burn off the portions of our lives that need to be removed. It's not fun, it's not pleasant, and it hurts at times. But the end result is something pure and sweet, beautiful and incorruptible. Orson F. Whitney said "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility....It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire." And we aren't suppose to go through them alone.

2nd Corinthians 1:3-5 says "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."

God is there and so is His Son Jesus Christ. Just like any parent or sibling, they want to help their sons and daughters, brothers and sister get through anything that they are struggling with. We can find hope and comfort in our afflictions in our Savior. I know this to be true. Through them we can get through anything.

So what do we need to do to receive this help? First we need to ask for it. Prayer is essential for help during trials. I remember one experience in my life that really helped me out. I was on a scout river kanoing trip in Wyoming. All of our equipment was stored in these five gallon buckets and tied down in the middle of the kanoe. Due to bad planning on my part the sleeping bag I chose wasn't quite the right size for the bucket so the lid didn't close all the way. Despite my most desperate attempts, our kanoe got swamped as our leaders and fellow scouts had fun trying to sink everybody else while going down the river. When we finally got to shore to camp the night I inevitably found my sleeping bag soaked with water. I tried to let it dry out before the sun set but still it was pretty damp by the time night came. A cold Wyoming night in the wilderness in a wet sleeping bag didn't exactly add up to a good nights sleep. I crawled into my bag and immediately the cold sapped the heat from my body. I shivered and shivered and things got colder and colder. I was out of options that night, I had no where else to turn. "I could potentially die tonight" was what I was thinking. I needed help. In my cold, damp sleeping bag I rolled over and offered a silent prayer to my Father in Heaven. I asked Him so desperately that this would seem so insignificant to everything else that was going on in the world but I really needed to be warm so I could sleep. After I ended my prayer immediately warmth ran throughout my body. The shivering stopped and I relaxed. I was able to sleep that night so peacefully and warmly than I ever thought possible. I know God answers prayers. During our times of affliction, I promise that if you call upon God for aide He will answer.

Along with prayer, your scripture study can be such a source of inspiration and strength to you. Christ when he was on the earth was always healing those who were in needed. Any sort of affliction or sickness he healed. He could heal people miles away, just by His words. Christ's words have the power to heal. So why should the scriptures be any different? Scriptures have the power to heal and strengthen us. There are so many good things hidden in the scriptures that will speak just to you for exactly what you might be going through. So when in doubt, scripture it out!!

As I've said before, trials are tough, but they are necessary. The Lord hasn't designed these trials for you to go through alone. Christ gave up His life to give us the greatest gift of the Atonement. He has gone through all our pains, sorrows, afflictions, and sins. He knows what you are going through more than we can imagine. That makes Him the only one who can really comfort us in times like trials. When we need Him most, He will come and bear us up. Push forward through whatever life throws at you. Doctrine and Covenants 122 is so famous for whatever we face in life. Remember whatever we face is for our own good and will give us experience.

I hope that this will help anyone who is going through anything hard in life. Remember prayer and scripture study. By small and simple things are great things come to pass. And remember, it will feel better once it stops hurting.

President Uchtdorf said "Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can't see the Lord's Hand in our lives until long after trails have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understand, and happiness."

Here are some tips from Elder Wirthlin that will help through trials.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 Things to Help Conference be Not So Boring

I had this problem as a kid, and I still do have this problem today.  General Conference is great but I've always noticed something that's made it hard to listen all the time.  A bunch of old guys standing at a pulpit, speaking in very monotone voices without nothing to look at but their faces from different angles isn't exactly Hollywood cinematics.  Let's face it, sometimes conference is boring.  It's hard to stay awake at times and understand what the speakers are talking about.  I missed most of April 2011 because I fell asleep for most of it.  I know many others suffer with this same problem as well.  However I found a story in a talk from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that really put things into perspective for me about conference. 

The story goes:
A fine member of the Church was talking with a neighbor who was not of our faith. When the topic of discussion turned to general conference, the neighbor asked, “You say you have prophets and apostles? And twice a year in a worldwide conference they reveal the word of God?”
“Absolutely,” the member replied with confidence.
The neighbor thought about that for a moment. He seemed genuinely interested and then asked, “What did they say in the last general conference?”
At this point the good member of the Church went from feeling excited about sharing the gospel to feeling embarrassed. Try as he might, he couldn’t think of the details of a single talk.
His friend found this troubling and said, “You mean to tell me that God speaks to man in our day and you can’t remember what He said?”
The brother felt humbled by this exchange. He vowed that he would do better to remember the words spoken by the Lord’s servants in general conference.

Here are 3 things that I learned that I'm going to try to help me stay awake and learn at this conference.

1.  Take Notes - I know it doesn't sound fun but I've never done it before and I've heard a lot of people say it helps you stay focused and really allows you to grasp the message of what they are saying.  Don't just write down what they said.  You will get a copy in the Ensign a month from now.  Instead write down what you feel.  Write down any personal thoughts or spiritual promptings so that you can remember them later on.  This will make the talks really personal and dear to you, I promise.

2.  Take a Friend - If you are watching it at home via whatever means, invite someone, member or non-member, to come join you.  Having someone there will really keep you awake and focused.  You will be there to answer questions and you will have someone there to ask questions to.  Also, it would be really embarrassing to fall asleep during conference if your friend is there.

3.  Pray - Prayer always works.  God cares about you, even the very simplest of things.  God has helped me through personal trials that to others might seem small but meant a lot to me.  Pray to first stay awake and then ask to have the Spirit to be receptive to the messages that will be presented.  I promise you if you ask with sincere faith and real intent, God will make this conference one of the best you've ever experienced.

Remember the story President Uchtdorf told in his talk.  People might ask you about what you learned in conference and what the Prophet has said.  You want to be able to answer boldly and truthfully right?  You want to give an answer with conviction, power, and excitement right?  Then let's all make this conference the best one yet and we will all stay awake.  I promise you that you will learn so much.  You will learn things that will help you in your own unique life.  You will feel so much better, you will be inspired.  You won't ever regret what you experienced.  I know this Church is true and that we do have a living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Temple Trip

I finally got a chance to see the Palmyra temple this week. We were up there for a training and while a couple of our companions had to stay for more training I went with a couple of elders to walk around the temple. It was so great to see it and all the grounds. I loved the beautiful stain glass windows and the amazing stone work. I love temples!! I guess that's why I'm out here doing what I do. I want others to experience the joys and blessings I've felt while going to the temple. I have such a love for the temples because of the many great blessings that come as a result of temple work.

Because of the temple I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that I will be together with my family for all time and eternity. I know that someday I will see my Grandpa Rasmussen again and he is always with me. He had such a love for the temple as well. I remember something profound he told me about the temple. The greatest and most insightful study of the scriptures he has ever had occurred while in the temple. I know this to be true, I've experienced it myself.

I know this Church is true and that the temple is really the House of the Lord. I know that God's love and Spirit are always present there, and that we can feel that same love when we go. I know God really does love us and cares about us. He loves our families and through the temple has provided us with the only way we can be together forever with them. I challenge you all to attend the temple as often as you can. I understand this may be difficult. I grew up in an area where 10 to 13 temples were within a 3 hours drive. The closet one to us was only a 15 minute drive. But I know that so many blessings are available if we attend the temple. If you are unable to attend start preparing now so you can become worthy of a recommend. I promise you that will you not regret it. I have never felt bad after going to the temple. I promise you all that by attending the temple, we will have the courage to take on whatever life has to offer. That our testimonies will increase and our love for the Savior will be even greater. I know this Church is true and Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that my Redeemer Lives!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Only Two Short Years

I had this thought come to my while me and my companion Elder Tiechert were driving from a dinner appointment. I looked down at my shirt and saw my name tag there and this thought came to me. I only get to where this for two years then I won't be allowed to put it back on. Only two short years will I be able to wear this tag and say that it is my full-time job to be the Lord's represenative here in New York. That gave thought gave me a whole different perspective of how I look at my mission ahead of me. Two years seems long but it won't seem that way after it's over. So a renewed sense of vigor and determination swept over me as I pondered on this thought. I said to myself that I will do all that I can to be worthy of this honor of being the Lord's missionary here in this area. I will put forth all that I can do help those that I serve and give all that I have to this effort so that when I return, I can say I have no regrets. I know that my Savior lives and He suffered for me in the Garden. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today and he holds all the keys to the kingdom here on earth from an unbroken line of authority down to Jesus Christ. I love this gosepl and know this church is true.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Finally Working

Well after a few days I've finally got a working (hope it's working) blog. I hope to use it to answer anybody's questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Let me know what I can do to improve it. This is my first ever blog so it's going to take some time to work out the kinks. Thanks everybody!