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A Defense and A Refuge

“We speak of the Church as our refuge, our defense. There is safety and protection in the Church.  It centers on the gospel of Jesus Christ” – Boyd K. Packer.

Many people recognize the importance of attending church. It helps us to stay vigilant against the temptations and evil things of the world.  Attending church helps us to learn of the Savior, and his gospel, and his love for us, manifested by his great and infinite atoning sacrifice.

A typical LDS church service begins with a meeting called Sacrament meeting.  This is where members of the congregation have the option to partake of the Sacrament, or the bread and water blessed as emblems of the Saviors body and blood which were shed for all of God’s children during the Savior’s Atonement at Gethsemane and Calgary. This meeting is opened and closed with prayer, hymns are sung throughout the service, and members from the congregation will give talks and share their personal tesimonies with everyone present. There is also, in most cases  a Sunday School section of the service following the sacrament meeting, usually split into groups between youth and adults, which  consists of scripture study and other lessons about Jesus Christ and his Gospel.  Its a really great experiance, I would encourage anyone who wants to know more to stop by your local LDS ward or branch on a sunday morning and find out for yourself!

I know that attending church has blessed me in my life, and can bless you in yours!

Go here to find a meetinghouse near you!

http://lds.org/maps/index.jsf?lang=eng#x=find&m=google&lat=42.61880201144831&lng=-77.01587677001953&z=2&t=3

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How Great a Gift

As a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have found that I have been asked some of the same questions over and over. One of which is “What makes your church different from everyone else’s?”  What a great question this is!  It is also one that you can answer in many different fashions.  The answer I like to give most is that we have access to modern-day revelation, and a Prophet of God on the earth today, just like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and all of the other servants of God in the scriptures, and that they do the same job now that the Prophets of old did back then. They receive guidance from the Lord on how best to protect, guide, and lead his children.

 In an address by Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander he says that Apostles, both ancient and modern, have a job to first, ” bear witness of the name of Jesus Christ because ‘ there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.’ (Mosiah 3:16) Secondly, prophets, seers, and revelators teach the word of God in clarity that all His children may benefit and be blessed through obedience to their teachings.”

 I say to you that is exactly what they do. Every six months our church holds a global “general conference” where the modern-day prophet and apostles and other church leaders gather and speak to church members worldwide and give guidance to help them find true happiness.

Elder M. Russell Ballard shared the following story,

“Brothers and sisters, have you ever had the experience of driving around and around the streets of a city with the driver saying, “I know where it is; I’m sure I can find it”? Finally, in frustration, he stops and asks someone for directions. I can tell you sisters have experienced this! How much easier it is to find our way when we follow the directions of someone who knows how to locate our destination.

Many of us may find ourselves in a similar situation as we make our way through life’s challenging thoroughfares. These are difficult times, and the world’s cultural and sociological landmarks of propriety, honesty, integrity, and political correctness are constantly shifting. Just when we think we know the way to happiness and peace, some new ideology comes along which can lead us down a path that will only heighten our confusion and intensify our despair. At such times, we might well ask, “Is there one clear, unpolluted, unbiased voice that we can always count on? Is there a voice that will always give us clear directions to find our way in today’s troubled world?” The answer is yes. That voice is the voice of the living prophet and apostles.”

I testify to you that following the teachings of the present day prophet and apostles is the way to be happy and safe in todays world. Just as in Abrahams time when all you had to do was turn and look towards the brazen serpent to be healed, if we turn to the Lord and look upon the words of the  modern-day prophets we too can be healed and kept safe. The words they share have led us, do lead us, and will continue to lead us closer to the Savior and eternal happiness. These things I share in the name of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen.

http://lds.org/ensign/2008/05/my-words-never-cease?lang=eng#footnote4-02205_000_032

http://lds.org/ensign/2000/11/living-prophets-seers-and-revelators?lang=eng

http://lds.org/ensign/2001/05/his-word-ye-shall-receive?lang=eng