One thing I love about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it teaches us that no one is better than another person.
I was reading this week in the book of James in the New Testament, in chapter 2, where it says that we should not be a respecter of persons. This does not mean that we should not respect them; it only means that we should not rate them based on the silly idea that one person is better than another. It is so easy to think of people on a scale of beauty, wealth, power, athletic ability, etc. But the worth opf each individual is the same.
It does not matter if you are the king of England, a poor college student or the homeless person on the side of the road. We all have the same potential to become like God, because we are all His children. God is only a respecter of righteousness; He loves it when we make good choices that bring us closer to Him, and He is hurt when we choose to reject Him. But He still loves us no matter what! If we wish to become more like God, should we not do the same? (more…)
This is part of an email I wrote to my brother who, as far as I know, has not read the scriptures in a pretty long time.
I have been taking a New Testament class, and today we read and talked about the book of James. As you probably know, this is the book that has the famous verses that Joseph Smith Jr. looked at which brought about the restoration of the gospel and the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When we talked about the book of James as a whole, my professor mentioned how many good little pieces of advice can be found there. And this is true; there are dozens and dozens.
However, after we talked about that, I thought about how all scripture can have just as many good bits of advice as the book of James has, even if it is not as obvious. We can all have experiences like Joseph Smith’s where we come across a piece of scripture, and it changes our lives. Of course, it probably will not be as dramatic as having Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ themselves come down to talk with us, as they did with Joseph Smith. Even in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, or the really confusing verses of Isaiah, we can find ways to relate something to our lives and have it teach us something important. (more…)
More than half of the students at Brigham Young University Hawaii are from outside the United States, making it the most diverse undergraduate school in the United States. Although the school has just 2700 students, seventy countries are currently represented in the student body. Preference is given to students from outside the country in order to encourage the diversity that is considered an essential part of the school’s learning experience.
The dream of this school began in the 1950s, when David O. McKay, a church leader was visiting Laie, where the school is now located. He watched as a group of ethnically diverse children participated in a flag ceremony and began to envision an environment in which people from all over the world could come together and learn about each other. They could then return home to use the wisdom they gained from the experience in business, in government, and in church service. (more…)
Each year, 22 April is set aside as the day for the observance of Earth Day, a day on which people around the world through different events and venues demonstarte their support for environmental protection. Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 countries, and is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Individuals view the significance of this day, and celebrate the day in various ways. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to by the media and others as the Mormon Church), Earth day becomes another day to celebrate God’s magnificent creation.
History of Earth Day
The following information was obtained from Wikipedia.
The date of 22 April was officially designated as International Mother Earth Day by a consensus resolution in 2009 which was adopted by the United Nations.
The name and concept of Earth Day, however, is credited to John McConnell who pioneered the idea in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, California. He proposed that the 21 March 1970, the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere that year, to be designated as Earth Day. A month later another Earth Day, first held on 22 April 1970, was founded as an environmental teach-in by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. Although the United States was the focus of this 22 April Earth Day, Denis Hayes, the original national coordinator in 1970, took it to an entirely different level. In 1990 the observance of Earth became an international event in 141 nations. (more…)
Brigham Young University’s Men’s Chorus, which is considered the largest collegiate men’s choir in the U.S., is accustomed to recording and performing. In fact, they were part of the BYU Men’s Choir that provided the music for the Saturday afternoon session of the April 2013 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly called the Mormon Church).
The Men’s Chorus also “create music videos” and “perform acts of service” and perform throughout the U.S. Now they have created an album as a “gift to all who share in the love of missionary work.” Over 60 percent of the 180 singers have served full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ and a large number of the other 40 percent are currently waiting to receive their mission assignments.
“‘If any group in the whole world should make a missionary CD, it’s the BYU Men’s Chorus,’” said Rosalind Hall, who has been the director of the chorus for twelve years. “‘You feel that tremendous power coming from them when they sing and the enormous collective goodness that they emanate. There’s nothing in the world that could be a stronger power for good than that.’”
The album, which is a collection of beloved missionary hymns such as “Called to Serve,” “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” was created for current and prospective missionaries, but those behind the album hope that the collection will be enjoyed by anyone who would like to download the music. It is available at setapartalbum.com. (more…)
Many people think of sacrifice as an old-fashioned thing. In the Bible it seems to be something confined to the Old Testament, done away with in Christ’s “new law.” When the ancient Israelites failed to qualify to “enter into God’s rest,” He gave them a “schoolmaster law,” which was a law of outward ordinances. Rituals, and practices, and patterns of religious behavior were all symbolic of the Christ, a preparation for the higher law to come. When Jesus was offered up, He became the great and last sacrifice by the shedding of blood, and asked us to come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and to place our sins upon the altar. As we progress, we are also able to place our will upon the altar, and to surrender our lives to His service.
What then of sacrifice? Sacrifice means giving up something for a higher good. When one considers the two levels of priesthood, the Aaronic or lower priesthood, and the Melchizedek, or higher priesthood, sacrifice couples with repentance as Aaronic principles. They are foundational—the floor of the eternal, precious edifice that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon them, we build on a sure foundation, adding the Gift of the Holy Ghost, our desires to reconcile with God, and our surrender to His will.
In Mormonism, which is the Church of Jesus Christ restored in it’s fullness in these last days before His Second Coming, Latter-day Saints exercise the principle of sacrifice in many ways.
Tithing is by definition one tenth of one’s increase, and has always been a law of the gospel. A person who pays tithing in the proper spirit realizes that all he or she has comes from God, and that all He requests is one tenth in return as an offering. By living this law, followers of the Savior reap the blessings He has promised to the obedient. In fact, He blesses us so much, that we are again in His debt. The paying of tithing is ennobling. Tithe payers increase in humility, sensitivity to the Spirit, faith, and patience, even as they are blessed line upon line with the doctrines of the kingdom, and even with worldly sustenance. This is not a prosperity gospel, but a sustenance promise. Those full-tithe-payers who have faced financial emergencies have been rescued time after time by miraculous means. (more…)