Recently, I read a post a lady shared about a road trip with her 90 year old father and it caused me to reflect on my own Grandfather, Nephi Anderson, who was 93 when he passed away just over 2 years ago.

He is a true inspiration to me and someone I will always look up to throughout my life. Hopefully some of what I share will be of inspiration and benefit for you.

Nephi Anderson age 18 as a soldier in World War II

Although he was a soldier in World War II, and part of the Greatest Generation, what he did after the War was even more impressive. He served a mission, married my Grandmother, started a small family business (dairy farm) in Southern Idaho, and successfully raised 8 amazing children (my 4 beautiful aunts, my wonderful father, and 3 excellent uncles), who went on to raise many amazing children (38 total), who are my siblings, and cousins (who are in turn, raising awesome families now).

I was blessed to have been raised next door to my Grandparents and work on the farm together alongside my Dad and Grandpa Anderson and I got to know my Grandpa very well as daily we would work together. He would often take time to teach me how to ride horses and we’d take rides together as well in the mountains behind our home in Southern Idaho.

One of the greatest honors of my life was when he approached me as he was planning his funeral and asked if I’d be the concluding speaker. It was an overwhelming thing for me, but I prayed often and took mental notes over the years about what I felt prompted to say. By the time his funeral actually came, I felt that Heaven had helped me prepare my thoughts.

Over the years, I’ve been very blessed to have had experiences with our Father in Heaven blessing me and lifting me up, answering prayers, and guiding me. But not many experiences compare to the spirit I felt as I was giving Grandpas talk.

Since some of our friends and family didn’t get a chance to experience the sacred experiences we all felt and shared at Grandpa’s funeral, I’ve included the talk below, which can also be found on his profile at familysearch.org online.

Walking like Grandpa: Talk Given at Grandpa’s Funeral

Hello friends and family. I’m grandpa’s oldest grandchild and as such, he would often call me his “firstborn in the wilderness”, referencing a verse from the Book of Mormon. On behalf of our family, I want to thank you all for being here. We love you all so much and I know Grandpa does too.

I grew up next door to Grandpa and would often come over to “help” him on the farm as a young boy. Being a farmer took a toll on his knees and by the time I was around 4-5 years old, and he was 60, his knees were already starting to give out on him.

One day, I was following him as he was walking on the farm. He turned around and caught me hobbling back and forth like he did with his bad knees. He asked me “why are you walking like that, my boy?” and I said “I’m walking like you Grandpa, but wouldn’t it be easier if you borrowed Elmer Andreason’s (the neighbor) cane?”

Today I’ve felt impressed to share the a few of the many ways throughout my life that I’ve been trying to walk in the footsteps of my Grandpa.

Being a Friend

Often, I would be with Grandpa as we would be driving around, checking on the fields and crops and he would get a thought about one of his fellow farmers and say out loud “I wonder how old “so-and-so” is doing..” He would then finish what we were doing and we would go over to visit that person. That person always left feeling better because Grandpa had a way of lifting people up and building up their confidence.

There are too many time to discuss how he did this for me personally, but I’ll share one example from when I was in high school. I was struggling early in high school with my self confidence and also from not having friends and Grandpa seemed to take notice of this and took me under his wing. Often, after school, he would spend time with me and teach me how to ride horses.

We would sometimes take horse trips up into the mountains behind our house. On those trips, the world seemed to slow down and we were just friends riding together on the trail. He would tell me stories about his adventures of his youth growing up in the desert on a ranch and of the fun he would have with his brother, Don Jr. he would always ride in front of me and I would watch carefully how he positioned himself on the horse, and how he would hold his body and put his arm on his leg. He would often smell in the smells of nature and talk about the “wonderful beauties of nature” that God has provided us.

On one of these trips, we were laying down next to a mountain lake (Independence Lakes) and we were eating our egg salad sandwiches. During this time, I looked over at Grandpa and thought about all the time we had been spending together and great conversations we’d had on the trail, and I said to him “Grandpa, I wish you were 14 years old too so we could hang out at school too. I think we’d be best friends.”

He was very touched by that and he said something to the effect of “My boy, I’m a little too old for high school now, but we can still be good friends now”.

I felt it in his actions and his words that he truly was my best friend.

Answer to a prayer

Later in life, in my late 20s I was struggling with depression and having very negative thoughts about myself. I didn’t know where to turn, so I turned to God in silent prayer and plead for an answer to show me he loved me and that my life had purpose and meaning.

Within 30 seconds after saying that prayer, my Grandpa Anderson called me on my cell phone. I answered and he said with his normal cheerful voice “Well, if it isn’t my grandson, Aaron. The firstborn in the wilderness. How are you doing?”

I proceeded to tell him of the depression I was feeling and he listened and then shared some very personal moments with me of a time when he was depressed for a number of months after my grandmother Faye’s death.

As he spoke, I remembered how sad he had been back then, and I also remember how he had used that sadness to empathize with many people who were down-trodden in life as he was a Church service missionary. Sometimes I would accompany him as we would deliver food to people in very poor circumstances, and he would lift them up and truly understand how they felt.

After our conversation, I knew that God loved me and cared for me because He had answered my prayer by having my Grandpa call me and speak words of love, comfort, and encouragement.

Relationship with God

Growing up, the joke between my brother and I was to have one of us say the prayer when we spent the night at Grandpas house because his prayers were so long!

It wasn’t until I was older that I truly appreciated his prayers and felt God’s presence as he prayed.

I was in a hotel room in Washington D.C. in 2015 with Grandpa on his World War II Honor Flight.

Grandpa Anderson and I at his WWII honor flight in 2015 in Washington D.C.

He was weak, and it was hard for him to kneel down, but he made the effort to do so. Then as he prayed, he poured out his heart in gratitude for the Savior and His atonement for us.

He thanked God for our family and prayed with the sincere love of a father for each of his kids and grandkids. As he was praying, I felt the love of God sweep over me and I opened my eyes to see if the room was full of angels. The only angel I saw was my dear Grandpa, who was ministering to me without even knowing it.

My chance to minister to him

The last time I saw my Grandpa Anderson is a moment I will treasure throughout my life. It was my chance to help him in a small way and try and repay him for everything he had done for me throughout my life. It was the summer of 2019 and we were both staying at my dad’s house.

I was in the kitchen and Grandpa had retired into his bedroom. I was about to go in and watch tv with my siblings and hang out, when I felt a distinct impression to go in and check on my grandpa.

Thankfully, I followed that impression.

As I opened the door, I saw my Grandpa Anderson struggling to reach down and take his socks off. He looked up at me and with a twinkle in his eye said “My boy! Never get old!” I laughed and asked him if I could help him take his socks off.

As I took his socks off, I noticed how weathered his feet were and he mentioned how they were sore. So I started rubbing his feet and asked him if that helped him. He told me that it did.

As I continued to rub his feet, we reminisced about all of the experiences we’d had in life. Riding horses, hearing cougars up in the mountains, our trip to Washington D.C.

As we talked and I looked at his feet, I realized these were the feet I had been following after all my life and that it was a sacred moment that my Father in Heaven had given me.

We talked for an hour or so until I could tell he was very tired and I went to leave, but before I left, Grandpa looked at me in the eyes and said: “My boy, one of the greatest joys in life has been watching you grow up. I love you more than words can express. Always remember that no matter what, I will always be with you.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this would be the last time that I would see my Grandpa in this life. He would pass away shortly thereafter.

Death, Suffering, and Spiritual Healing

The morning I received the phone call that Grandpa had passed away, I was heart-broken. I grieved deeply and felt empty inside. Tears flowed as I remembered someone who was like a father to me and who had been there for me many times in my life when I most needed someone.

I cried to God asking for comfort. Soon after my prayer, I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace come over me and an impression and feeling of joy that is indescribable. I then received the revelation that this is was my Grandpa was experiencing and that is what I could experience along with everyone else on earth, if we do what my Grandpa did and stay faithful and endure to the end.

While Grandpa isn’t here on earth anymore, I’ve learned that trying to walk like my grandpa is doing my best to walk like the Savior. Grandpa wasn’t perfect, but he always tried to follow the Savior and I pray that we can all do the same.

I’m extremely humbled and grateful for the spiritual witnesses I’ve received throughout my life. Words can’t express how much of a blessing it is to have had the witness that Jesus heals and lifts us and frees us from death and it is through Him that I have hope and await being able to be reunited with my Grandpa Anderson again someday.

Today in our Easter Church service at the Castlewood Canyon Ward, a brother shared an excellent testimony and stories about ways he feels our Saviors love. One of the ways that he said he feels closest to the Savior that strengthens his testimony is through music. He then challenged us to go home and listen to each other’s favorite songs about Jesus and have a conversation about why it is our favorite and share testimonies of how we feel.

We did this today right after church and it was great!

Click on the links below to watch the videos that we all shared with each other:

I Stand All Amazed (Vocal Point version)

Our son chose this one and talked about how he has a testimony of Jesus through prayer and scripture study. He said this song helps him remember all Jesus has done for us.

Gethsemane

Two of our daughters chose this one. They said the lyrics help them feel the Saviors love and of His sacrifice for them.

I am a Child of God

Our youngest daughter chose this one and said this song helps her feel close to God.

Greater (Mercyme version)

My wife chose this one and she testified of how He is greater than any pain we will face and through His sacrifice, we can give anything over to Him and he’ll heal us.

Savior, Redeemer of my Soul (Jenny Oaks Baker, Dallyn Bales version)

This song is very special to me. I was getting ready to speak at one of our congregations when a brother sang this song. It was the first time I’d ever heard it and the Holy Spirit testified to me very powerfully that Jesus is my Savior. He took my sins upon him and has redeemed me. I felt it again today.

My prayer is that you might feel a portion of the Holy Spirit that we felt as we each listened to these songs, contemplated the words, and testified to each other.

Also, I’d like to pay it forward and encourage you to do the same thing within your families.

Happy Easter!

One of my favorite hymns has become to be Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy.  I loved the message of being a light along the shore to those who are tossed at sea, but after I watched this video by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir about the meaning and message behind how the song was written, I grew to love it even more.  I’ve included a link to the video for those who want to watch it:

Background of Brightly Beams our Fathers Mercy

As I pondered about the meaning and important message of being connected to the higher light of Jesus and as we are connected, we are an example by being the lower lights along the shore to help guide people to the Savior, I also considered a talk that President Thomas Monson gave a number of years ago called To the Rescue.

President Monson talked about a famous painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner where a group of men are in a rescue boat heading out towards a storm, leaving the comforts of the shore where a wife and child stands watching them.  He goes on to explain that when we are true disciples of Christ, we will feel a desire and act on it to go out and minister to those in need, leaving the comforts of our homes in many cases to do so.

to the rescue

http://www.nothingwavering.org/2010/03/08/18819-leadership-training-conference-with-elder-ballard.html

When I reflected on both the song, Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy and the lighthouse analogy of being an example, and President Monson’s inspired talk, I thought about another painting that captures both perspectives of being a light to others through our examples and leaving the comforts and security of home to minister to others.

Be an Example and Go to the Rescue

GraceDarlingA63http://www.gracedarling.co.uk/Paintings.html

The painting shown above is a depiction of Grace Darling and her father, who was a lighthouse keeper.  On an extremely stormy night, Grace noticed that there was a ship that had wrecked and urgently requested that she go with her father to save the stranded sailors.  Although the sailors could see the lights along the shore, it wasn’t enough.  They needed to be rescued and guided to the safety of the lights.  Grace and her father left the comforts of their home and successfully saved the sailors.

Jesus said that as believers, we are lights on a hill and also that He is the light we should hold up.  He also said that He is in need of laborers to go out and find his lost sheep.

It isn’t easy to keep our lights burning and personally, I’m very scared of stormy seas and it’s much easier to stay inside the comforts of my home and just “shine my light” for people to see.  However, I’ve learned that if I make a habit of keeping my light burning by studying God’s Word daily, praying, and making a habit of serving others, that I have very personal and spiritual experiences and feel blessed to be able to help others come closer to the Savior.

What are your thoughts on how we can be a conduit of showing Jesus’ light to others while also seeking out and finding and ministering to His lost sheep?

Do you have any stories you can share about being the recipient of someone ministering to you or being a light/example for you to be guided from danger and towards Jesus’ light?

We had a great lesson and conversation that stemmed from Elder Nelson’s talk he gave a year or so ago about making a concerted effort to make the Sabbath a delight and to keep it holy.

The following video does a great job of highlighting how stressful life is and how keeping the Sabbath can be a blessing for us:

One of the things that stood out to me today from our discussion was that the way I observe the Sabbath is how I show God a sign of how committed I am and how much I love Him.  The Sabbath isn’t just a list of things I can’t do.  Rather, if I focus my energy on what I can do to show God my love, it will then become a delight and each person will approach it differently.  When we approach it this way, then it becomes less of a legalistic approach and more of an approach that Jesus discusses in the Bible of offering our hearts to God vs. keeping things because we are told to do it.

sunday-cans

There was a long list of Sunday “cans” that we looked at and the interesting thing is everyone is different and at varying levels in their approach to observing the Sabbath.

For me, I found that I have a greater abundance of the Holy Spirit when I don’t watch football on Sundays like I used to do.  I find I’m more patient with my family and spend much more time with my kids and hopefully bonding more vs. just shouting at the screen on Sundays and letting my kids run around wild.

Others in the group shared how they strive to make every day like the Sabbath and serve others, reaching out and loving as the Savior would have us do, etc.  I believe that is the ultimate level we should be striving for, but we also discussed starting small and working toward the best way possible.

What are some of the ways you choose to keep the Sabbath and how have you been blessed by doing so?

Our men’s group had a lesson on President Monson’s most recent article called “Learn of Me“.  Below is an excerpt from the article that stood out to me and was a significant portion of our discussion:

In the Church, the goal of gospel teaching is not to pour information into the minds of God’s children, whether at home, in the classroom, or in the mission field. It is not to show how much the parent, teacher, or missionary knows. Nor is it merely to increase knowledge about the Savior and His Church.

The basic goal of teaching is to help the sons and daughters of Heavenly Father return to His presence and enjoy eternal life with Him. To do this, gospel teaching must encourage them along the path of daily discipleship and sacred covenants. The aim is to inspire individuals to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles. The objective is to develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to become converted to His gospel.

One of the members of our group made the comment that when he is teaching his son, he can tell when he is “pouring too much information” into his kid’s head when his son’s eyes glaze over and roll into the back of his head.  He then knows that he needs to back off because effective teaching and learning isn’t happening.

dance_steps

This comment reminded me of a conference talk given by one of the members of the Quorum of the Seventy, Wilford W. Andersen, called “The Music of the Gospel“.  Below are some quotes from the talk:

Dancing without music is awkward and unfulfilling—even embarrassing. Have you ever tried it?

We learn the dance steps with our minds, but we hear the music with our hearts. The dance steps of the gospel are the things we do; the music of the gospel is the joyful spiritual feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. It brings a change of heart and is the source of all righteous desires. The dance steps require discipline, but the joy of the dance will be experienced only when we come to hear the music.

I thought about the things that we (my wife and I) do to teach our kids.  We pray every day, read scriptures together, have weekly Family Night where we include scriptures and Church songs, attend Church weekly.  Individually, we pray, read scriptures, serve in our community and Church.  However, I’m always praying that my kids learn to feel the gospel and Christ’s love in their hearts so they have that as a foundation.

President Monson goes on to say:

Teachers who emulate the Savior’s example love and serve those they teach. They inspire their listeners with eternal lessons of divine truth. They live lives worth emulating.

It is interesting to think back on my childhood memories on how my parents influenced me.  What is interesting is that we had frequent prayer, attended church usually, didn’t read too many scriptures together, but did have family night regularly.  I’m sure that these experiences all added up and helped me in my life more than I realize.  But what stands out to me are moments that my parents taught me lessons through their examples.

One example was when I was a young man around the age of 12.  My parents were recently divorced and I was a very troubled child.  I had been making some poor choices and was heading down a pretty bad path at an early age.

While I was visiting my Dad, I was sitting at the kitchen table, watching him make breakfast (he was the king of home made cinnamon rolls and I think it was something good like that, that he was making).  As I watched him, I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace come over me and clarity in my mind.  An impression from God through the Holy Spirit that it was critical that I change my living situation and move to live with my Dad and step-mom.  I knew that the environment and living situation with a stable home where both parents were living the Gospel of Christ was where I needed-and wanted to be and I made the decision then and there, with the grace of God-to move in with my Dad.

That decision altered the course of my life and were it not for the example of my Dad and the grace of God, I am sure I would have had an even tougher road (life is never a bed of roses all the time) than I’ve had.

I’m curious to learn of your experiences with teaching and learning.

What experiences do you have with people teaching you the gospel and helping you feel it in your heart?

How do you effectively help your children and friends not only learn the dance steps, but hear the music as well?

We watched the following video in Elders Quorum (men’s group) about surfers who almost got into deep water with some sharks (if you prefer to read it, click here):

 

After watching the video we discussed various boundaries (commandments) that the Lord has given us to help us stay on the path to Eternal Life.  Some of the commandments we discussed included: Keeping the Sabbath Holy, Serving others such as missionary work, and paying attention to the media we allow into our homes.

The conversation turned to pornography and how if we aren’t careful as individuals and as fathers, either we or our sons could be overcome with this temptation.

We discussed that it isn’t a matter of if, but when we will be confronted with this and how to react with ourselves, our children, and friends who encounter this temptation.

Some men in our group shared examples of showing love for those and not judging others who encounter this.  Encouraging them to go to Church leaders and the Savior for the Atonement. Additionally, people shared information on resources online that people can go to.

For those who are leaders or struggling personally, here are some resources:

Personal: https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/?lang=eng

Leaders: https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/leaders?lang=eng

At the April 1980 general conference, Elder Howard W.Hunter, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told of joining a large crowd to watch the long-boat races in Samoa.

boat_Race4

“The crowd was restless,” he said,“and most eyes were turned toward the sea, watching for the first glimpse of the [boats]. Suddenly there was a roar from the crowd as the boats came into sight in the distance. Each of them had a crew of fifty powerful oarsmen dipping and pulling the oars with a rhythm that forced the crafts through the waves and foaming water—a beautiful sight.

“The boats and men were soon in full view as theyraced toward the finish. Even though these powerful men pulled with their might, the weight of a boat with fifty men moved against a powerful adverse force—the resistance of the water.

“The cheering of the crowd reached a crescendo whenthe first long-boat crossed the finish line.”

After the race, Elder Hunter walked to where the boats were docked and spoke with one of the oarsmen, who explained that the prow of the long-boat “is so constructed that it cuts through and divides the water to help overcome the resistance that retards the speed of the boat. He further explained that the pulling of the oars against the resistance of the water creates the force that causes the boat to move forward. Resistance creates both the opposition and the forward movement.”1

What would happen without adversity?

In order to have adversity, the men first needed to get into the boat.  Next, they needed water and a tool like oars to provide a way to create resistance.  If there were no oars and they sat in the water, they wouldn’t go where they wanted to go and would float aimlessly where ever the currents took them.  If there were no water and only oars, they wouldn’t even move anywhere.

Having resistance isn’t enough though.  They could be all the smartest, strongest, well-trained athletes and have the best oars and boat but if they didn’t communicate effectively and paddle together, they wouldn’t move forward towards their goal of the finish line.

Our Lives as a Boat Race

Each of us is on a journey.  We are all in the boat of life and have choices as we move through our journey.  Daily we have the choice to let adversity overtake us, or to use tools and communication strategies to use adversity to our advantage.

The tools we use to overcome our challenges may vary depending on our situation and struggle, but some tools and communication strategies will be universal.

These include tools and communication such as praying for strength, relying on friends and family, reading scriptures and other uplifting books for insight and understanding.  Cultivating deep relationships so we can have this communication is essential as well.  It is important to work and practice daily communication and relationship building with our Heavenly Father, Jesus, spouses, children, friends, members of our quorums, etc.  If we have been effective at this, it will make it so we can paddle through adversity and become stronger, rather than adversity overcoming us.

Questions to consider

How do you respond to adversity?

How has adversity and relying on God, family, and friends helped shape who you are?

Last week we had a great conversation in church about Lehi’s Vision in the Book of Mormon.  For those not familiar with the vision, you can find all the details of the vision in 1 Nephi chapters 8 and 11.

In the vision, there is a part where mists of darkness arise around people who are striving to reach a tree with fruit that is most desirable and fills ones soul with joy.  The tree, according to scripture, represents the love of God.

In the Church, I feel that when we discuss the mists of darkness that arise in Lehi’s dream, we often correlate that with temptations, sins, and distractions from Satan that take us off of our path to God and to wayward paths.

However, last week, as we discussed and read about the dream, I thought about times in my life when I have literally had mists of darkness arise when experiencing depression or discouragement.  I’ll paraphrase one experience that I wrote about in the book Discovering Light:

There was one day while I was experiencing extreme depression and doubt.  I was driving in the rain and crying from the heavy weight that I was feeling.  Thoughts were swirling around in my mind and I pulled over and offered a mighty prayer in desperation, asking God to intervene.

Within a couple of minutes, my Grandfather called me, out of the blue.  Hearing his voice as he said “my boy!” immediately snapped me out of my downward spiral of negative thinking and I smiled as I remembered the fun times I had with him growing up next door.  Images of riding horses together, working together, singing together, etc. came into my mind.

I shared with him my emotional state and how depressed I felt.  He opened up to me and shared with me how intimately he understood my situation and shared some very personal experiences of a time when he was depressed right after my Grandmother had passed away.

He then shared his testimony of how God carried him and helped him through and he knew God would do that for me too.  This conversation gave me hope for that day and was a testimony to me that not only did my Grandfather care for me, but my Heavenly Father did as well and had sent Grandpa as an angel to rescue me.

 

This experience reminds me of something Russell M Nelson, from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles recently wrote in his book “Accomplishing the Impossible”.  He writes:

…angels are at work. Often our members are “angels” to neighbors in need. Home teachers and visiting teachers, as ordinary people, frequently render service that seems angelic to grateful recipients….I am among the many who have often referred to the loving acts of an “angel mother” or an “angel wife,” or the priceless love of “angel children”.

Do we believe in angels? Yes! We believe in angels-heavenly messengers-seen and unseen; and earthly angels who know whom to help and how to help.  Gospel messengers, or angels, can include ordinary people like you and me (pg 25).

 

I’ll forever be grateful for my Grandfather who was close to the Spirit and listened to a prompting from God and acted as an angel to my prayer when I was in the middle of a “mist of darkness”.

From personal experience, I know that darkness, doubt, and depression can be overpowering and make one feel like it is impossible to accomplish the task of even getting through another day.  I know that with God’s help, we can all accomplish the impossible to either have strength to hold on while we are experiencing “mists of darkness” and eventually make it through.

Today in Elders Quorum we had a great lesson from the new Howard W Hunter manual entitled “My Peace I Give Unto You“.

Before class though, we spent some time introducing ourselves: where we’re from and our favorite football team (most of us were Seahawks fans so we weren’t too thrilled about the outcome of the game today–one of us was a Steelers fan and that’s like a swear word here in the Seattle area! We determined we needed to pray for our brother’s soul : ).  It was interesting how many guys had great positive memories attached to their football teams.  For example, Steve Capps remembers watching Cowboys games with his Dad and laying his head down in his “squishy belly”!

After the introductions, there were some very good conversations about how we can obtain peace when things in our world seem to be in turmoil.

Danny Kim, the instructor, read some experiences about Howard W Hunter when his wife was going in for a serious surgery and as he prayed, he felt an overwhelming peace and comfort come over him. He then asked us to share stories of faith where we felt peace during a period of disaster or sickness.

Pres. Wolf shared a story about when his wife got some clots in her lungs and he was afraid for her life.  However, as he prayed with her and laid his hands on her to give her a blessing, he felt a strong sense she would be fine and peace filled his soul.

I shared a story of when we thought we were losing our baby, and as I gave the blessing to my wife, I felt a great sense of peace came over us and we knew things were going to be OK, which they were and are still.

Finally, Br Capps shared a story of the recent cancer that his wife had and is working on still.  It sounded like they are doing fine and that through the power of faith, prayer, blessings, and patience, they are doing well.

How does Jesus Give us Peace?

The question was then posed: How does Jesus Give us Peace?

Another Elder in our Quorum, Todd, shared a touching story to illustrate how Jesus gives us peace.

He shared a story about a time when he was living in Hawaii and one of the members of his ward (congregation) ran over and killed another ward member’s son due to speeding.

He described how the father, whose son died, got up publicly and forgave the person who did that to his son and that he felt a great comfort and peace knowing the Plan of Salvation and how he would be able to see his son again someday.

This story reminded me of a touching conference talk by Elder Faust a few years ago called “The Healing Power of Forgiveness“, where he shares a touching story of Amish community members who forgave one of their own who killed many of their friends and family.

The Atonement of Christ and the Plan of Salvation are the main things that give us peace, it was determined.

I left the meeting uplifted and felt closer to my fellow Elders as well as thankful for the Atonement and Plan of Salvation and the peace Jesus give us.

What are your thoughts on how Jesus gives us peace and what experiences do you have on how He has comforted you in times of trouble?

 

 

 

Last year during the Super Bowl, Deon Sanders interviewed Doug Baldwin, Wide Receiver of the Seattle Seahawks, and told him he wasn’t a “grown man” because he didn’t warrant double team coverage during a football game.

If you are a football fan, you’ll hear Deon talk frequently about what being a “grown man” means and it usually has something to do with being athletic, powerful, physical, etc.

In the world, being a grown man means all of this along with money, power, having a perfect body and everything else the world has to offer.

In Elders Quorum (men’s group) yesterday, we had a good conversation about how we can face the challenges the world brings us.  One of the Elders in the group said something that stood out to me, which I’ve been reflecting on since.  He said if we know Jesus, we can face the world as grown men.

resurrection_3_large

This is a very simple, yet profound thought that leads to more questions to consider:

Do we know Jesus?

If we do, where are we with our relationship with Him?

If not, how do we get to know Him?

How does He help us face the world and help us become “grown men”?

Additionally, I thought about how Jesus himself was the ultimate Man.  He showed us a perfect example of what it means to be a man.  Bold when he needed to be bold.  Humble and always giving honor to His Father.  Courageous too many times to count and ultimately on the cross.  Loving, kind, the list goes on.

I am curious to continue this dialogue with those of you who read this.

How have you come to know Jesus?

If you have ever strayed, how did you return?

For someone who doesn’t know Him, what advice would you give on how to get to know Him and why it is important?

 

 

 

Cleanse your Soul with Grace for Grace “Spiritual SOAP”

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