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.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The 7 Rules of Life - A New Perspective

I give so much thanks to a kind Sister from the Niagara Falls Ward for the inspiration behind this next post.  She and her husband came down to our ward in Lancaster about 2 months ago or so and both gave amazing talks in our Sacrament meeting.  But this Sister's talk really was amazing!!  One of the things she shared was this, 7 Rules of Life.  I don't know where it came from or who created these, but for the last few months, they've really blessed my life.  I have a copy of these rules on my desk where I see them every day as I study.  As I'm been doing my studies in the scriptures, I've looked at these rules many times and each time I see more and more how applicable these are to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1)  Make Peace with your past so it won't screw up the present:  The Lord has always expected us to forgive each other.  In D&C 64:9-10, it says "Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin."  The Lord also states in D&C 58:42 "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more."  We all make mistakes in this life.  some harm others, some harm us.  Sometimes other people's mistakes cause us harm.  Whatever the harm done is, we can be forgiven, we can forgive, and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can make peace with our past and move gracefully on into our present and future without interruption.

2) What others think of you is none of your business:  So true!!  We get caught up so much about what we think what other may think about us.  Does it really matter?  Who is the only one qualified to judge us?  That would be the Savior Jesus Christ because He's been through it all.  D&C 137:9 says "For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works of their hearts."  I myself stress get so stressed out about what others may think of me in terms of my appearance  mannerisms, personality, or anything I say.  But it really doesn't matter, we have no business poking around in that state of mind.  You are who you are and you are loved by Him who created you and Him who is our Father.

3) Time heals almost everything, give it time: I came across this quote from President Thomas S. Monson on page 120 of Preach My Gospel.  It says "Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such
challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required."  Sometimes we are required to wait before we can receive the necessary aide from Heaven.  I find this scripture a big help for times like this.  Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God:"  If somebody has wronged us and we can't forgive immediately  give it time and with the Lord's help, you'll get there.  Never forget to wait for some things.

4) Don't compare you life with others and don't judge them.  You have no idea what their journey is all about:  This kind of goes back to rule 2 about judging.  Remember, the Lord states in Matthew 7:3-5 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye."  We each have our own unique challenges, obstacles, strengths and weaknesses.  We are all God's Children though, and we are all trying to reach the same place.  Give yourself and others some slack, "Do your best and forget the rest." - P90X

5 ) Stop thinking so much, it's alright not to know the answers.  They will come when you least expect it:  Most of us are used to the instant answer, google it type society where we get answers to our questions almost instantly.  And when we don't get an answer as quickly as we would like, we freak out and get very stressed, anxious, sometimes even angry and frustrated.  But we have to remember, our thoughts are God's thoughts, nor are our ways His ways (Isaiah 55:8)  And sometimes He wants us to wait before we receive an answer.  It took me 3 to 4 months before I got an answer from God as to which Univesrity I should attend.  It took Brigham Young 2 years before he came to know by the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was true.  Be patient, keep studying it out, and be ready for when answers come because they will.  No stressing :)

6) No one is in charge of your happiness except you:  There is one scripture about our life on earth that really gives me comfort.  It's 2 Nephi 2:25 " Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."  You see, God's whole purpose for us being here is to be happy!!  The Savior didn't have a very easy life during his mortal ministry, but I bet He was a pretty happy and joyful guy to be around.  You decide if you are happy, not your external circumstances.  If you need help being happy, turn to Him who can lead you too that of happiness and fulfillment.

7) Smile :)  You don't own all the problems in the world:  Simple, yet effective.  Simply smile, it'll make others feel happier and it will trigger your brain into a happier state of mind.  In my opinion (and this is strictly my opinion) clean, wholesome humor is an amazing tool to get smiling and living a more abundant and fulfilled life.

Just remember, He is the one who can help us live a better life.  These 7 Rules aren't there to replace Him in anyway shape or form.  They are here to help us draw closer to Him.  They are to help us apply His Atonement more in our life.  They are in a way, His tips for comfort and counsel in this life.  I love Him with all my heart and strive to do my best to serve Him.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter - He is Risen!!!

I guess Easter hasn't been that exciting of a time for me in my life.  I always remember waking up in the morning, searching around the house for fake Easter eggs filled with candy and a basket filled with candy.  We'd go to Church, come back, and either have our own family dinner or go to a large family gathering at my Grandparent's.  Either way I guess the real meaning of my we celebrate Easter has never really sunk into me.  I've always known it was about Jesus Christ, but not until I've been out serving a mission for nearly 20 months have I come to know who He really is.  As I've come to know the Master more, Easter has started to take on a new meaning for me.  Not just a time of festivities and fun, but something much more than that.

I guess the only way I can really describe the events of Jesus Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection  is from one of the most famous talks modern day Apostles have ever given.  Elder Bruce R. Mckonkiee gave this talk during the April 1985 General Conference.  It was his last and final testimony before he passed away about Jesus Christ.  I quote an exerpt from his talk.  "We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.  We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him. We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death. We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.  We know that he lay prostrate upon the ground as the pains and agonies of an infinite burden caused him to tremble and would that he might not drink the bitter cup.  As near as we can judge, these infinite agonies—this suffering beyond compare—continued for some three or four hours. 

After this—his body then wrenched and drained of strength—he confronted Judas and the other incarnate devils, some from the very Sanhedrin itself; and he was led away with a rope around his neck, as a common criminal, to be judged by the arch-criminals who as Jews sat in Aaron’s seat and who as Romans wielded Caesar’s power. They took him to Annas, to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod, and back to Pilate. He was accused, cursed, and smitten. Their foul saliva ran down his face as vicious blows further weakened his pain-engulfed body. With reeds of wrath they rained blows upon his back. Blood ran down his face as a crown of thorns pierced his trembling brow. But above it all he was scourged, scourged with forty stripes save one, scourged with a multithonged whip into whose leather strands sharp bones and cutting metals were woven. Many died from scourging alone, but he rose from the sufferings of the scourge that he might die an ignominious death upon the cruel cross of Calvary. 

Then he carried his own cross until he collapsed from the weight and pain and mounting agony of it all. Finally, on a hill called Calvary—again, it was outside Jerusalem’s walls—while helpless disciples looked on and felt the agonies of near death in their own bodies, the Roman soldiers laid him upon the cross. With great mallets they drove spikes of iron through his feet and hands and wrists. Truly he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. Then the cross was raised that all might see and gape and curse and deride. This they did, with evil venom, for three hours from 9:00  Then the heavens grew black. Darkness covered the land for the space of three hours, as it did among the Nephites. There was a mighty storm, as though the very God of Nature was in agony. And truly he was, for while he was hanging on the cross for another three hours, from noon to 3:00, all the infinite agonies and merciless pains of Gethsemane recurred. And, finally, when the atoning agonies had taken their toll—when the victory had been won, when the Son of God had fulfilled the will of his Father in all things—then he said, “It is finished”, and he voluntarily gave up the ghost.  As the peace and comfort of a merciful death freed him from the pains and sorrows of mortality, he entered the paradise of God. When he had made his soul an offering for sin, he was prepared to see his seed, according to the messianic word. After some thirty-eight or forty hours—three days as the Jews measured time—our Blessed Lord came to the Arimathaean’s tomb, where his partially embalmed body had been placed by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. 

Then, in a way incomprehensible to us, he took up that body which had not yet seen corruption and arose in that glorious immortality which made him like his resurrected Father. He then received all power in heaven and on earth, obtained eternal exaltation, appeared unto Mary Magdalene and many others, and ascended into heaven, there to sit down on the right hand of God the Father Almighty and to reign forever in eternal glory. His rising from death on the third day crowned the Atonement. Again, in some way incomprehensible to us, the effects of his resurrection pass upon all men so that all shall rise from the grave.  Now, the atonement of Christ is the most basic and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and it is the least understood of all our revealed truths. Many of us have a superficial knowledge and rely upon the Lord and his goodness to see us through the trials and perils of life. But if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived. May I invite you to join with me in gaining a sound and sure knowledge of the Atonement. We must cast aside the philosophies of men and the wisdom of the wise and hearken to that Spirit which is given to us to guide us into all truth. We must search the scriptures, accepting them as the mind and will and voice of the Lord and the very power of God unto salvation. 

Bruce R. Mcconkie
As we read, ponder, and pray, there will come into our minds a view of the three gardens of God—the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden of the Empty Tomb where Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

This Easter time, let us reflect on the amazing power of the Atonement and the immense sacrifice Jesus Christ has made on our behalf.  I love Him dearly and strive to be like Him each day.  I know I'm not perfect, I make mistakes just like everyone else.  But this much I do know.  I know He Lives, He is Risen, He is the Christ, He is my King, He is my Friend.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Humility - A Spiritual Strength

Jesus Christ in Garden of Gethsemane
I stumbled upon this Christlike attribute this morning while I was reading from the Book of Mormon.  I was touched by the verse in Alma 37:33 which reads "Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart;"  I began to ponder the meaning of humility and what it all entails.  I ended up studying humility for almost an hour, and it has forever changed my life.  Let me show you how powerful humility really is.

Jesus Christ washing Apostle's Feet
In Preach My Gospel Page 120-121, we find an awesome definition of humility.  "Humility is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished. It includes gratitude for His blessings and acknowledgment of your constant need for His divine help. Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of spiritual strength. When you humbly trust Him and acknowledge His power and mercy, you can have the assurance that His commandments are for your good. You are confident that you can do whatever the Lord requires of you if you rely on Him. You are also willing to trust His chosen servants and follow their counsel. Humility will help you as you strive to be obedient, to work hard, and serve selflessly."

So humility requires us to accept God's will, give Him the honor, rely on His help, obey the commandments, and follow His chosen servants.  I also love how it says humility is a Spiritual Strength, not a weakness.  In Ether 12:27, the Lord says "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."  The Lord gives us weakness so we will humble ourselves and rely upon His help and His grace.  Through His grace and Atonement, He can help us make those weak things about ourselves become strong.  We have to be humble and willing though in order for Him to help us.

However, as in all things, there is an opposite to humility.  That would be pride.  Preach my Gospel defines pride as "The opposite of humility is pride, which is condemned in the scriptures. To be prideful means to put greater trust in oneself than in God or in His servants. It also means to put the things of the world above the things of God. Prideful people take honor to themselves rather than giving God the glory. Pride is competitive; those who are prideful seek to have more and presume they are better than other people. Pride usually results in feelings of anger and hatred, and it is a great stumbling block."

Blessings of Humility
There are so many blessings in being humble.  As you are humble you can become teachable.  Just like little children are humble and are teachable, so we must be as well in learning from our Father in Heaven.  The Savior says in Matthew 18:3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."  The Savior also states in Doctrine and Covenants 67:10 "that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am - not with the carnal neither the natural mind, but with the spiritual."  The greatest example of humility is that of our Savior Jesus Christ.  While in the Garden of Gethsemane, with the weight of the world's sins and pains upon his shoulders, he cried out to His Father, asking if there was another way.  But in a supreme act of humility, He humbly states, "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."  He was able to do it, He completed the Atonement.  He has shown us the way, and we can be healed physically and spiritually.  All we have to do is humble our selves sufficiently and we can access a power greater than ourselves.  He knows and loves each one of us.  Of this I so testify :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Cradle of the Restoration Part 7 - The Peter Whitmer Farm - The Church of Jesus Christ is Organized!!!!

Log Cabin at Peter Whitmer Farm
The day has finally arrived!!!  Back in 1829, Joseph Smith Jr. and Oliver Cowdery received by the laying on of hands by Peter, James, and John (3 of Jesus Christ's original Apostles), the Melchizedek priesthood, and were revealed the exact date when God's Church we be established on the earth again.  According to God's commands, they did so.  That date happened to be April 6th, 1830.  Peter Whitmer Sr. offered his home as the meeting place for this historic occasion.

Living room of Peter Whitmer Sr. Log Home
So on April 6th, 1830, almost sixty people came to attend the formal meeting.  According to New York State law, you needed six original members to establish a religious society.  Those original six members were Hyrum Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Jr., Samuel H. Smith, David Whitmer, and Joseph Smith Jr.  Church History then tells us "After kneeling in solemn prayer, Joseph asked those present if they were willing to accept him and Oliver as their teachers and spiritual advisers. Everyone raised their hands in the affirmative. Although they had previously received the Melchizedek Priesthood, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery then ordained each other to the office of elder. They did this to signify that they were elders in the newly organized church. The sacrament of the Lord’s supper was administered next. The prayers used had been received through revelation (see D&C 20:75–79). Joseph and Oliver then confirmed those who had previously been baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ and bestowed upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Baptism of Joseph Smith Sr.
Joseph Smith said in his own words "after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ,’ organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament." After the meeting closer, many took the opportunity to be baptized and became members of the newly organized Church.  Two of those individuals was Joseph Smith Jr.'s parents.  When his father came up out of the waters, he exclaimed "I have lived to see my Father baptized into the true church of Jesus Christ!!"  He then buried his face in hi father's bosom and wept for joy.

20 sections of modern day revelation were received by the Prophet Joseph Smith while he was living at the Peter Whiter farm.  It was here the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was officially organized, on April 6th, 1830.  It was here the Book of Mormon was finished being translated.  It was here that the 3 Witnesses to The Book of Mormon received their miraculous vision of the gold plates.  The Peter Whitmer Farm is still very much in the middle of nowhere. ;Surrounding the property is miles and miles of farmland and open spaces. ;The only road to get to the chapel was once just a dirt road. ;But out of such an obscure place did so many great things happen.  Truly, this is what the Lord went in D&C 1:30 "And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power;to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church...."

Information Gathered at :

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Cradle of the Restoration Part 6 - The E.B. Grandin Building, Publication Site of The Book of Mormon

Grandin Building in Palmyra, New York
On June 11th, 1829, Joseph Smith Jr. was able to secure the copyright for The Book of Mormon.  Joseph first approached Egbert B. Grandin, a 23 year old printer in downtown Palmyra, New York, to negotiate for the first edition of the Book of Mormon to be printed.  However rumor's and slander proceeded Joseph Smith, and Grandin decided against project of printing this "golden bible".  Joseph traveled to Rochester and met with two other printers, one refused outright and the other accepted on very expensive prices.

Store portion of the Grandin Building
On August 17th, 1829, E.B. Grandin agreed with Joseph Smith Jr. to print 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon for a price of $3,000.  Martin Harris aggreed to mortgage part of his farm in Palmyra to cover the cost necessary for the printing.  Five thousand copies was an enormous order for a small town printer, but E.B. Grandin was up to the task.  With a revolutionary new printing press that few printers had, Grandin was able to print the requested amount of copies.  6 months later, the Book of Mormon was finished and went on sale on March 26th, 1830.  A few weeks later, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would be organized officially in nearby Fayette, New York.

Printing Presses in Grandin Building
In 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints purchased the building and restored it as a printing shop.  In 1998, it was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinkely as The Historical Publication Site of The Book of Mormon.  It is open to the public with free tours to experience what printing in 1830's was all about and how we got The Book of Mormon.  

Address of Grandin Building : 
217 East Main Street
Palmyra, NY

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Cradle of the Restoration Part 5 - The Peter Whitmer Farm (3 Witnesses to The Book of Mormon)

Peter Whitmer Log Home

Peter Whitmer Sr. and his wife Mary moved to Fayette, New York in 1827 with them and their eight children.  David Whitmer, one of their sons, became seriously interested in the events surrounding Joseph Smith Jr. and the restoration of the gospel.  He became converted and gained a certain knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel  and the works being done in it's restoration.  He wanted to assist Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in anyway he could.  At this time in 1829, Joseph and Oliver were in Harmony, Pennsylvania, working on the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Chapel and Visitor's Center at Peter Whitmer Farm
Miracle at the Farm

In May of 1829, Oliver Cowdery wrote to David Whitmer about the work of the translation and about the continuing persecution they were experiencing which was delaying the work.  They discussed the possibility of them coming to live with the Whitmer's in Fayette and Peter Whitmer Sr. invited Joseph and Oliver to stay at their farm as long as was necessary to complete the translation.  Joseph and Oliver accepted the offer and made preparations for the 3 day trip from Harmony, Pennsylvania to Fayette, New York.  However May was an important time for farmers.

During this time, farmers plowed and prepared their fields for planting and an Autumn harvest and David's help on the family farm was essential.  Peter Whitmer Sr. told David that he could proceed with his journey to pick up Joseph and Oliver as soon as the fields were plowed and ready for planting.  So David went to work with determined zeal to accomplish this task as soon as possible so he could help Joseph and Oliver.  At the end of this first day, David discovered that he had accomplished the amount of work the usually would take two days to accomplish.  Peter Whitmer Sr. was much impressed with this and said in his own words "There must be an overruling hand in this, and I think you would better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is sown." 

Plaster of paris is something farms laid in their fields to reduce the acidity soil.  But next morning, David went out to fulfill this task when he discovered that the entire field had been spread already and the job was finished.  David asked his sister who had done the work already and she said she watched three strangers the day before spread the plaster with remarkable skill and assumed they were hired workers.  David thanked the Lord for this divine help and set off immediately to fetch Joseph and Oliver.  The three arrived at the Whitmer farm the first of June.

3 Witnesses to the Book of Mormon
The Three Witnesses to The Book of Mormon

Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer, each requested of Joseph Smith to inquire of the Lord if they could be witnesses of the gold plates and the translation.  The Bible teaches us that "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" 2nd Corinthians 13:1  The Lord gave them a revelation which is recorded as D&C 17 that through faith they would receive a testimony of these things and they would be witnesses to the world of their divine nature.  In our own historical records, 

Thereafter the four men retired to the woods and sought for the promised fulfillment of the revelation. After two unsuccessful attempts, however, Martin Harris felt that his presence was the reason for their failure to receive an answer. He withdrew a distance and offered his private prayers. The other three had no sooner resumed their prayers when Moroni appeared in glory holding the plates in his hands. Joseph recorded, “He turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly. … We heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying, ‘These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear.’

“I now left David and Oliver, and went in pursuit of Martin Harris, whom I found at a considerable distance, fervently engaged in prayer. He soon told me, however, that he had not yet prevailed with the Lord, and earnestly requested me to join him in prayer, that he might also realize the same blessings which we had just received. We accordingly joined in prayer, and ultimately obtained our desires, for before we had yet finished, the same vision was opened to our view, at least it was again opened to me, and I once more beheld and heard the same things; whilst at the same moment, Martin Harris cried out, apparently in an ecstasy of joy, ‘’Tis enough; ’tis enough; mine eyes have beheld; mine eyes have beheld.’”

Map of Waterloo and Fayette, New York and the Peter Whitmer Farm
The testimony of the three witnesses is recorded at the beginning of every copy of the Book of Mormon. Each of these three men, though all for a time fell from the Church, never denied their testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. And in the woods nearby the Peter Whitmer Farm, is where this marvelous manifestation took place. It was here the Book of Mormon was finished, it was here that the Lord allowed three ordinary men to become some of the greatest witnesses of the Restoration.

Information gathered at