This is the place where I talk about my thoughts, feelings, and impressions about life. Too often as human beings we forget who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. My goal is to help others take a step back and see life through someone else's eyes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Special Type of Soldier

A Special Type of Soldier-Hugh B. Brown

            At the request of the First Presidency, I had gone to England as coordinator for the LDS servicemen.  One Saturday afternoon in 1944, I sent a telegram from London to the base chaplain near Liverpool letting him know that I would be in camp the next morning to conduct Mormon church services at 10:00 a.m.
            When I arrived at the camp, there were 75 Mormon boys, all in uniform and quite a number in battle dress.  The chaplain to whom I had sent the wire proved to be a Baptist minister from the southern U. S.  He, too, was waiting for my arrival.  As these young men ran out to greet me not because it was I, but because of what I represented, and as they literally threw their arms around me, knowing I was representing their parents as well as the Church, the minister said, Please tell me how you do it.           Do what?           Why, he said, I did not get your wire until late this morning.  I made a hurried search.  I found there were 76 Mormon boys in this camp.  I got word to them.  75 of them are here.  The other is in the hospital.  I have more than 600 Baptist in this camp, and if I gave them 6 months notice, I could not get a response like that.
          And then he repeated, How do you do it?
          I said, Sir, if you will come inside, perhaps you will see.
            We went in to the little chapel.  The boys sat down.  I asked, How many here have been on missions?  I think a full 50% raised their hands.
            I said, Will you and you and you and I pointed to six of them please come and administer the sacrament?  And will you and you and you and I pointed to six others please come and sit here and be prepared to speak.
            Then I said, who can lead the music? A number of hands were raised. Will you come and lead the music?  And who can play this portable organ?  There were several more hands, and one was selected.  Then I said, What would you like to sing, fellows?  With one voice they replied, Come, Come Ye Saints!

            We had no hymnbook.  The boy sounded the chord:  they all arose.  I have heard Come, Come Ye Saints sung in many lands and by many choirs and congregations.  Without reflecting adversely on what we usually hear I think I have only heard Come, Come Ye Saints sung that once when every heart seemed to be bursting.  They sounded every verse without books.
          When they came to the last verse, they didnt mute it; they didnt sing it like a dirge but throwing back their shoulders, they sang out until I was fearful the walls would burst.  And should we die before our journeys through, happy day, all is well; I looked at my minister friend and found him weeping. 
          Then one of the boys who had been asked to administer the sacrament knelt at the table, bowed his head, and said, Oh, God, the Eternal Father.  He paused for what seemed to be a full minute, and then he proceeded with the rest of the blessing on the bread.  At the close of that meeting, I sought that boy out.  I put my arm around his shoulders, and said, Son, whats the matter?  Why was it so difficult for you to ask the blessing on the bread?
          He paused for a minute and said, rather apologetically, Well, Brother Brown, it hasnt been two hours since I was over the continent on a bombing mission.  As we started to return, I discovered that my tail assembly was partly shot away, that one of my engines was out, that three of my crew were wounded, and that it appeared absolutely impossible that we could reach the shore of England.
          Brother Brown, up there I remembered Primary and Sunday School and MIA, and home and church, and up there when it seemed all hope was lost, I said, Oh, God the eternal Father, please support this plane until we reach a landing field.  He did just that, and when we landed, I learned of this meeting and I had to run all the way to get here.  I didnt have time to change my battle dress, and when I knelt there and again addressed the Lord, I was reminded that I hadnt stopped to say thanks.
          Brother Brown, I had to pause a little while to tell God how grateful I was.
          Well, we went on with the meeting.  We sang.  Prayers were offered, and these young men, with only a moments notice, each stood and spoke, preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to their comrades, bore their testimonies, and again I say with due respect to the various ones with whom I have associated and laboredthey were among the finest sermons I have ever heard.
          Then the time was up and I said, Fellow, its time for chow.  We must dismiss now, or you will miss your dinner.  With almost one voice they cried, We can eat grub any time. Lets have a testimony meeting!
          So we stayed another hour and a half while every man bore witness to the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Each one in turn, and in his own way, said, I know that God lives.  I know that the gospel is restored.  I know that Joseph was a prophet of God.  Again I looked at my friend, and he was weeping unashamedly.
          At the close of that meeting, this minister said, I have been a minister for more than 21 years, and this has been the greatest spiritual experience of my life.

Whether on or off the field of battle, these men knew who was their greatest support. May we each have the enthusiasm that these great men had to hear the word of Christ.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter's Real Identity

Back in the day when Harry Potter was the cool thing to read, and not just to watch, I read just about all the books I could get my hands on. As I look back now, each new Harry Potter book had a reoccuring theme. Harry goes to school, gets in trouble, finds out more about himself, and has to overcome great evil.

Our lives are not much different. We come to this earth, get in trouble, we find out more about ourselves, and we can overcome great evils. Like Harry Potter, we each have our own evils to overcome. This life is all about learning how to overcome that opposition. Will we shrink when the battle turns our way? Or will we turn and face live's challenges? Everyday we make one of those 2 decisions.

Sometimes we want and look for a middle ground. We look for a way that we can have one foot on the one side, and our other foot on the other. Well I'm sorry to say that there is none. The natural of this earthly conflict is such that there can be no neutrals, just as Harry had to choose for himself which side to take. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

My first semester in College, I was invited to go with a couple of buddies of mine and go to the local dance. We were at my buddies dorm, when right before we could leave, one of the other guys we were with pulled out a Vodka bottle. He took a long swig and then offered some to me. I motioned that I would pass. He then looked at me weird and said,"Well I definitely can't dance sober, and I'll never meet anyone special if I can't dance!". I told him that I was sorry that he felt that way, and that if he truly needed alcohol to make him feel good about himself, then he had no game to start out with. We went to the Dance, and soon after entering I left. I knew as soon as I walked in there that I should have never went. As I rode home alone that night I knew I hadn't made any new friends, nor did I look cool to all those we went to the dance with me, but I knew that I had fought the good fight.
Choosing to stand up for the right things will never win us popularity, nor worldly recognition. But I know that when we decide to serve god with all our hearts, we can find true happiness. We also find our true identity, just like Harry Potter did. I know that we are children of God! There is no greater knowledge that a man can obtain. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hi, I'm Alex Boye and I'm a Mormon

Alex Boye is the man! Here is Alex explaining how he became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Questions of My Soul: "Lord I'm Grateful"

The Questions of My Soul: "Lord I'm Grateful": "My family is the greatest gift that God has given me. They are my best friends. In the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we belie..."

"Lord I'm Grateful"

My family is the greatest gift that God has given me. They are my best friends. In the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that the family can be together forever.

There have been several times on my mission that while walking around I have talked with great people who love their families dearly. I ask them,"Do you want to live with your family forever?". Most of them say yes, and my follow up question is "So do the words "until death do you part" scare you? Don't you want your family for more than just until death?". A lot of the time this catches these people off guard. Most people haven't ever thought of those 5 words in that way before. But today it is my goal to explain why this concept of eternal families is so important and true to me.

Almost a year ago now, my mom announced to the family that she was pregnant. It was a big shock to me, but I was stoked. When I read my mom's email explaining to me that she was pregnant I had the feeling rush over me like I already knew my soon to be sibling. With time we found out that the baby would be a boy. Several months went by and every week I would get an update about how my little brother was doing. Everything seemed to be going great, then one day his little heart stopped beating. There was nothing we or the Doctors could do. My kid brother was still born a day or so later.

When I first heard that my brother didn't make it to this life, I was at first devastated. Like I said before I felt as if I already knew him. But as I prayed for help and understanding, I will never forget the peace that came over me. I then remember thinking, "thank the lord for his temples!!".

For those of you who are not of our faith or don't know much about it, the temple is a sacred place where a man and woman can be sealed by the power of God for time and all eternity. In the temple we do not make a contract solly until death do us part iwth our spouse, but for time and all eternity. The same Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven that was given to Peter in Matthew 16:19, have now been restored upon the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.

I am grateful that my parents where sealed, or married, in the temple. Because of this I know, that even if I didn't have the opportunity to develope a close relationship with my little brother here, I WILL be able to in the life to come. How grateful I am to the lord for that knowledge! I know that my family is an eternal one.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong: 'Temple Mirrors Of Eternity' @ The 180th October L...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Forgive and Forget"

Growing up we have all heard the well known saying, "Forgive and Forget". I know I heard it quite frequently, but this last couple of days have given me a new perspective on the meaning of this phrase.

Yesterday, Elder Abbott and I were talking about dumb things we used to do in High school. We made each other laugh as we talked about the different pranks we used to play on friends and classmates. We joked about how naive we were and about how funny those things were to us at the time. After exchanging several stories the car got silent as we both reflected on what we used to be. Then Elder Abbott broke the silence by saying something to the effect of... I don't want to think any more about what I used to be and do.

His comment gave me a minute to reflect on a scripture talking about the sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ. A Book of Mormon prophet explains:"Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."(Alma 7:13)
You see the beautiful part of the Atonement(or the sacrifice) Jesus Christ is that it can blot out  our mistakes and sins. It is like a perfect white out, the stain left on us is removed as if it was never there. The Savior blots out the stain that we allow him to remove. I know that the Savior not only forgives us, but forgets what we have done.

Now this does not mean that he forgets you..... oh no..... oh contrar monfer(don't ask me what that means, but my dad used to say it a lot). He remembers you all the more because you are written on the palms of his hands. You are and can NEVER be forgotten.

One last scripture and I'm out. "And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him..?"(Jacob 4:12) Why not talk of Christ? Why not talk of the blood that was spilt on our behalf? His is the message that I share and there is no greater message. I testify that he lives!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our True Identity

I love this video because it helps me remember who I am. We are all children of God. It doesn't matter what our names are, what color we are, or where we come from. In the eyes of the Lord we are all his children.

This scripture shows to demonstrates to me the love of our Father in Heaven:"Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (3 Ne 14:9-11)

I know he knows each one of us as if we were his only child.