Saturday, March 17, 2007

"12 Ways to Share the Gospel on the Internet"

From the More Good Foundation blog (see post here):

  1. Answer a Question at Yahoo! Answers
  2. Blog your testimony in your mission language
  3. Blog what you learned in Sunday School
  4. Edit or
  5. Link to good websites (not just
  6. Podcast your parents and grandparents
  7. Post mission and wedding photos on Flickr
  8. Post your testimony on
  9. Post your video testimony on YouTube
  10. Share your beliefs in a Facebook Note
  11. Tell someone in Second Life about the Church
  12. Volunteer with the More Good Foundation

Thursday, March 15, 2007

General Conference

Just as I have posted my thoughts and feelings about the living prophets, I listen to a wonderful talk about the importance of heeding those living oracles. After writing the Mosiah 2 post, I decided to do something about my lack of studying the conference talks.

Today's technology has blessed us with so many ways of accessing the living prophets. The General Conference pages on have each talk in varous formats ... text, audio and visual. The audio component of each talk is downloadable. So I downloaded all the talks (except the Priesthood session because they don't have .mp3s for those) and I burned them onto a CD. My car stero plays .mp3s and so now I instead of listening to talk radio or music, I listen to the prophets. And what a blessing it has been these last couple of weeks. The Spirit has been in my life a lot more now because of me listening to those talks.

This morning I finished listening to all the talks. Elder Holland's talk was a perfect bookend to the October General Conference. He spoke of how General Conference is not only for members of the Church but for the entire world. He said of the General Conferences,

they declare eagerly and unequivocally that there is again a living prophet on the earth speaking in the name of the Lord. And how we need such guidance! Our times are turbulent and difficult. We see wars internationally and distress domestically. Neighbors all around us face personal heartaches and family sorrows. Legions know fear and troubles of a hundred kinds. This reminds us that when those mists of darkness enveloped the travelers in Lehi's vision of the tree of life, it enveloped all of the participants—the righteous as well as the unrighteous, the young along with the elderly, the new convert and seasoned member alike. In that allegory all face opposition and travail, and only the rod of iron—the declared word of God—can bring them safely through. We all need that rod. We all need that word. No one is safe without it, for in its absence any can "[fall] away into forbidden paths and [be] lost," as the record says.4 How grateful we are to have heard God's voice and felt the strength of that iron rod in this conference these past two days.

I am looking forward to listening to General Conference again in a couple of weeks. The Spirit indeed fills our lives when we listen to General Conference.

As I listented to Elder Holland and then President Hinckley conclude the October 2006 conference, my heart strings were pulled a little bit ... much like they are pulled when you have to go home from a family reunion ... you are sad to leave your loved ones, but you know you'll see them again. But again, technology saved the day and my mp3 player looped my CD as I listened again to President Hinckley's opening remarks!

As a side note, there are many, many talks on the Internet in mp3 format. BYU Speeches has many devotionals in mp3 format ... if I just take the time to rip and burn these files to CD, I doubt I'll ever listen to the radio in the car again!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My Testimony About Prophets

I just finished posting over on my Book of Mormon Inspection blog (Mosiah 8) in which I referred to my feelings about the hymn "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" and the time President Hinckley visited Guatemala. As I wrote that post and thought about those experiences I've had, my heart was full and the Spirit bore testimony to me again of the truthfulness of our living prophets.

My earliest interaction with a prophet was with Bruce R. McConkie when he visited our town to organize a new stake. I remember reaching out to shake his hand, along with all the other people trying to do the same thing. It was exhilerating to shake the hand of a prophet of God. Why did I want to shake the hand of a prophet? Because as a young child, I was taught that prophets are men of God meaning they speak with God and they know His will concerning us. I am grateful to my parents for instilling within me a solid understanding of the valuable mission or the living prophets.

Years later as a young freshman at BYU preparing to depart on a mission to Guatemala, I was watching General Conference in the lobby of one of the dorms (DT). For a long time, President Benson was sick and subsequently did not speak in General Conference. He passed away May 30, 1994. In the October 1994 conference, we were able to listen to the Prophet speak again. I don't really remember the topic, but what has always stood out in my mind was how wonderful it was to have the prophet speak to us. President Hunter's service as President was short and he passed away March 3, 1995.

President Hinckley became president of the Church and Elder Eyring was called to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve. A few months later in the summer of 1995, Elder Eyring spoke to us missionaries in the MTC. I was sitting to the left of the podium about 5 or 6 rows back. Elder Eyring delivered a powerful sermon at the end of which he bore his testimony. As he bore his testimony, he voice became very emotional. I noticed his wife, at this point, lowered her head, overcome with emtion as well. The Spirit was strong and at that point I knew that Elder Eyring was a true witness of the Living Christ. I have never forgotton that day nor will I ever forget it. The Spirit touched my spirit in such a way that I will never forget those feelings I felt.

Towards the end of serving a mission, President Hinckley visited Central America. He went to Guatemala in December 1996. It was a historical occasion. The members in the area in which I was serving were very excited. We worked hard with the local leadership to arrange for buses to transport the members to Guatemala City to listen to the prophet.

The day before he spoke to the members, President Hinckley spoke to the missionaries. The day was gorgeous ... big billowy clouds with rays of sunlight shining. We met in a stake center and the building was filled to capacity. President Hinckley spoke of John O'donnal and his efforts in establishing the Church in Guatemala. It was inspiring to sit at the prophet's feet and learn from him. Elder Nelson also spoke to the missionaries.

The next day we attended the meeting where all the members of Guatemala had a chance to listen to a prophet's voice. It was a happy and sad moment seeing President Hinckley wave his white handkerchief as he exited the stadium.

As a student at BYU, I had a many opportunites to listen to the Apostles and Prophets. But the stories I've related have always been special to me and have defined my testimony with regards to the living prophets.

I know that President Hinckley is truly called of God and he is a prophet today. My life has been blessed by following the counsels of the prophets. If the whole world would listen to the prophet and obey his counsels, there would be more love, peace and spirituality in our societies and less hate.

I truly am thankful for a prophet!