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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Scripture Marking!!!

I absolutely love the scriptures!!  They provide a lot of insight on my faith and how I can come closer to my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ.  To be honest, I see no downside to reading scriptures.  But it can be a struggle sometimes.  Scriptures are written in a style of writing we don't normally use in today's society.  "And it came to pass.....thou shalt not..... verily I say unto thee...."  It can be hard to get into and understand the scriptures sometimes.  But there are many tips and tools available to us  to help us get more out of our scripture study.  One of those tools is by marking your scriptures.  I'd like to share with you how marking scriptures has helped me understand God's word even more.

First we need to understand why scriptures are even important in the first place.  2nd Nephi 25:26 offers some insight, "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies  that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."  2nd Timothy 3:16-17 also says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." The scriptures are an essential source of faith in Christ.  The ultimate goal of scriptures is to teach us of Him and help us grow our faith in Him.  No wonder God asks us to "Feast upon the words of Christ." (2nd Nephi 31:20, 32:3)  Marking our scriptures is a tool we can use to help us more better feast upon His word.

There isn't one right way to mark your scriptures.  Each person has a unique and individual way of doing it that makes the most sense to them.  However you mark your scriptures, do what works for you!  Here is a system that works for me that I'd like to share with you. 

There are 10 different colors I use.  Light blue, dark blue, light green, dark green, red, orange, purple, pink, yellow, and gold.  Each one represents a different gospel topic or doctrine.  Here's how it's organized.

Faith – Light Blue

Christlike Attributes, Service, Charity, Love – Pink

Prayer, Answers to Prayers, Personal Revelation – Purple

Jesus Christ, Atonement, Gospel of Jesus Christ – Red

Commandments, Obedience, Counsel – Dark Green

Repentance, Forgiveness – Gold

Holy Ghost, Spiritual Gifts – Yellow

Plan of Salvation, Resurrection – Orange

Prophets, Prophecy, Priesthood, Scriptures – Dark Blue

Baptism, Missionary Work, Temple, Fasting, Tithing, Covenants, Miscellaneous but Important Topics - Light Green

Whenever I come across a verse or passage of scripture that talks about one of these topics, I either color the whole verse that color or just the portion of that verse that talks about that specific topic.  Sometimes you'll come across a verse that has multiple topics discussed and you can highlight those portions their respective color  Sometimes you'll have a verse that talks about two or more topics all together and you might question which one to color it.  Use your best judgement and do what you feel is best.  The whole purpose of marking scriptures is to help you in your personal study of the scriptures.  

Whatever works for you, do it!!  As you develop a pattern of marking your scriptures, your desire to read and study them will increase.  You begin to study more intently as you contemplate each verse and how it should be marked.  You'll start seeing things and understanding things you haven't before, and your faith in Christ will grow.  I know this is true because I've experienced it myself and continue to do so each day.  I know the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of Jesus Christ, and as we feast upon His word in the way that we learn the best, we will be filled and blessed!!

Scriptures on Scriptures!!!:
  • 2nd Timothy 3:14-17
  • 2nd Nephi 25:26
  • 2nd Nephi 31:20
  • 2 Nephi 32:3
  • John 5:39
  • John 20:31
  • 2nd Peter 1:20-21
  • Luke 24:32
  • Psalms 19:7
  • 2nd Nephi 4:15
  • Alma 37:8
  • Alma 37:44
  • Preach My Gospel Chapter 2

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Moses for Our Day!!!

Moses parting the Red Sea
So hopefully you all know about the story of Moses from the Bible.  He was a prophet called by God and given the special assignment to lead the captive House of Israel out of bondage from the Egyptians and take them to the promised land in Canaan.  Moses was given the power and authority of God (priesthood) to perform many miracles and wonders to help him fulfill this sacred task, including parting the Red Sea, enabling the Israelite's to escape from the pursuing Egyptian armies.  After their escape from Egypt, Moses became the Israelite's connection with God.  Moses received divine revelation from God concerning where they needed to go in the wilderness, how long they should stay, and even what they were to eat when food was scarce.  

Moses and the 10 Commandments
Among some of the most amazing feats of Moses was the revelation for what later became known as the Law of Moses.  Written upon stone tablets, it was the word and Law of God after the order of the Aaronic Priesthood, with specific rules, guidelines, and ordinances which were types and shadows of the Savior Jesus Christ's future sacrifice and Atonement.  Moses was and is one of the greatest examples of a prophet.  Through him we have so much revelation from God about Jesus Christ and His gospel.  

Moses called to be a Prophet 
Prophets are righteous and faith filled men, called by God to act as His spokesmen for His children here on earth.  They receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ through revelation from God and in turn teach that to God's children.  They warn people of dangers of things to come and blessings that are promised through obedience to God's laws and commandments.  Prophets hold all the keys of the priesthood (the power and authority to act in God's name for the salvation of His children) and use them to love and serve others as Christ would.  There are many examples of prophets throughout history.  Moses, Abraham, Noah, Isaiah, Jeremiah  Peter James & John, and Paul.  We even have Book of Mormon prophets like Lehi, Nephi, Alma the younger, Mormon and Moroni.

Our Savior Jesus Christ
Without prophets, were would our scriptures be?  Where would the Bible be?  How would we know anything about God or Jesus Christ?  We wouldn't!!  But God loves us, He wants us to be successful in this life and return to live with Him.  In order to do so, we need revelation from Him to understand His will.  He gives us the opportunity to live with Him again through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Through prophets, we gain all the understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we need to obtain salvation and exaltation in this life.  Giving us prophets is a sign that shows God really loves us.

Joseph Smith and Restoration of the Priesthood
So God loves and us He sends us prophets.  Sometimes His children don't listen to the prophets and even persecute or kill them.  As a result, people end up in spiritual darkness.  When they are ready again to listen to God's word, He calls another prophet.  In our day and age, He has done the same thing.  He loves us just as much as He loves His children in times of old!!  He doesn't leave us to tread this journey of life alone.  He has given us prophets in our day just like times of old!!!  In 1820, a young New York farm boy named Joseph Smith, was called to be the next prophet of God, called to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it had been given during the Savior's ministry.  How exciting and amazing is this!!!

Modern day Prophets
I know Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet in our day and age.  I have come to know the truthfulness of his calling through the divine witness from God that the Book of Mormon is true.  After Joseph Smith died, prophets weren't gone from the earth.  An unbroken line of succession has followed him, each man afterward called of God.  They are the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Presidents of the Church.  We believe and know that these men are called of God as was Moses and they act as prophets, seers, and revelators in our day.  Along with the prophet, we have 12 Apostles who function in the same capacity, teaching people and maintaining the purity of the doctrine just as in days before.

Current Church President Thomas S. Monson and Counselors
We have our own Moses for our day!!  A man of great spiritual strength, who receive direct revelation from God, who leads and guides us through the sin stained world of our day.  His name is Thomas S. Monson!!!  He is our living day prophet.  Having a prophet however doesn't eliminate the need for us to receive our own personal revelation.  The prophet simply receives revelation from God for the whole Church as a body.  God still wants us to talk to Him through prayer and listen for the still small voice for answers.  But through the Prophet, He has given us another wonderful tool to better our lives, learn more of the Savior, and became more like Jesus Christ.  By listening and heeding the words of our living prophets, we can be blessed abundantly.

General Conference
Every six months we have the opportunity to hear from our beloved Prophet.  This even is called General Conference and believe it or not, it's this weekend!!!  If you don't know or don't believe that we have prophets in our day, I invite you to listen to this upcoming session of General Conference, with a prayer in your heart and learn for yourself from God is the men that speak are truly prophets of our Lord and God.  If you have a testimony already of living day prophets, I invite you to strengthen that testimony by listening and heeding the words of the Prophet.  By doing so, we will not be lead astray.  As a former Prophet, President Wilford Woodruff said "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News,October 11, 1890, p. 2.)"  

President Thomas S. Monson
I know that we have our own Moses today.  He is not the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Jesus Christ is.  President Monson simply speaks for Him, as His prophet, as His Modern Day Moses!!!