Monday, February 27, 2012

Love One Another, As Jesus Loves Us

Today, I decided to do some studying of the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I started in the beginning in Matthew. I read Chapter 4, and really studied the meaning of this scripture and why it should be important. In this chapter it begins to talk about how Jesus was fasting for 40 days and how he was tempted by the devil. Although Jesus had great power, one can think that he must have started to become weak and hungry. Even then, he was able to withstand the temptations of the devil. He was able to so easily say no to the enticing of the Evil One, remembering the teachings of his Father. How was he so easily able to say no? Everyday we are given the choice to do right, or to do wrong, and how easily we are to do wrong. Jesus Christ is truly the perfect example of who we want to be like and dedicate our life to, and strife to be like him.

Another section I studied was chapter 5 of Matthew. This chapter is also known as the Sermon on the Mount. As I read, I though, "how could Jesus do this?" If someone were to hurt you, give them another oppritunity to do it again? If they steal your coat, give them also your cloak? They say walk a mile, walk even more? Says to love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite fully use you, and persecute you. The more I read this, I think back to times where people have done these things to me and how I reacted. So many times I was a jerk to them, I hated them, I did not forgive and I did not pray for them. Thinking about all of this gives me a better view of who Jesus was as a person. This man was wrongly persecuted and killed for doing nothing. As he hung on the cross in pain that no one on this Earth could even understand, he asked the Lord to forgive them. Could I have done that? Could you have done that? This shows the love that Jesus has for all of us. I ask that all of strive to be more like Jesus. To love one another. To help those who need help. Stand for those in need of comfort. Do not judge others. we all make our mistakes in this life and no one is perfect. All we can do is help them, and be a support for them to get to where they want to be so that they can return to our Heavenly Father. Love one another, as Jesus loves us.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Give No Place more, For the Enemy of My Soul

Life always throw's something new at you. It can be good, and it can be bad. What I do know is that all of it is for our benefit. As I sat in Sunday school today, I reflected on the life of Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Nephi was a great man and could do no wrong, but even he, one of my hero's in the Book of Mormon felt as if he could never return to Heavenly Father. This is a man who did everything that the Lord Commanded him to do, when he could have said no, he said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he comandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) He was a diligent servant of the Lord and a great man. Later on though, he begins to talk about how terrible of a person he is. Saying "my hear groaneth because of my sins." This made me really start to think. Even the Prophets of old had their struggles. I'm sure even Moses, Abraham, Joseph Smith, and Thomas S. Monson struggled with sin. But that's the Beauty of the atonement. All men, through Jesus Christ and his gospel can and will return to Heavenly Father. If we trust, and put our faith in him, he will make all things possible to us.

None of us are perfect. None of us will ever be perfect. We all have our faults. But that is why we have knees. We can always pray and as our Heavenly Father for help, even in the darkest of times. Pray for the spirit, pray for the help of Angles to protect you. The Lord would not give us commandments if we were unable to keep them. The worth of ever soul, is great in the eyes of our Lord.

For those who fall short of the glory of God, like myself, Think about and ponder this scripture and I hope you will find hope in it like I have:

 2nd Nephi 4: 26-35

  26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercy, cwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
 27 And why should I ayield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to btemptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my cpeace and afflict my soul? Why am Idangry because of mine enemy?
 28 Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul.
 29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
 30 Rejoice, O my aheart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the brock of my salvation.
 31 O Lord, wilt thou aredeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of bsin?
 32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my aheart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I maybwalk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
 33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thyarighteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine benemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
 34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
 35 Yea, I know that God will give aliberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I bask cnot amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the drockof my erighteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
Sorry it was kinda long but i didn't want to leave anything out. Brothers and Sisters, let us no longer droop in sin. Instead, let us rejoice, and give no place more, for the enemy of our souls.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Best two years of my life

One thing that I decided to do to help prepare for my mission was to start waking up at 6:30 in the morning. That's the time I'll be expected to wake up every morning on the mission. Now, pretty much all through high school, I had to get up at around 5. So I thought "Hey, this wont be that bad," But when you've been waking up at 10 o' clock every morning for the past 5 months, ya it is that bad.

So on top of waking up early, I've decided that I would Study the scriptures every morning as well. This already has been an amazing blessing in my life. What better way to start off the day than feasting upon the words of Christ? Just to be able to get up and read the words of his prophets is just such a blessing. I don't know why I haven't done this earlier.

After scripture study, I went to my neighbors, Brittney and Arielle, to wake them up so the three of us could work out. We were going to go run, but the tread mills were full and we swam instead. If you want to see how out of shape you are, swim a few laps, but all and all it was fun.

I then got to go to my first day at institute, which is a mission prep class. It wasn't exactly what I expected for the first day, but it was still good. We learned a lot about things that can get you sent home from a mission and personal purity and repentance. Some of it I already knew, and others was completely new. I can't wait to learn more on Wednesday. 

The next thing I got to do was write my older brother Danny, who is serving his mission in Independence Missouri. I'm not the best at writing people, but it really made me happy that today I set apart some time to write him. I miss him so much. Danny and I are only 15 months apart so we have been pretty much attached at the hip since I was born. He was someone i knew that I could always talk to. I'm nearly in tears right now thinking of him and how proud I' am of him and the example he has set for me. In some of the toughest of times, he was a rock for me, he kept me up, he kept me going. I'll never forget him cheering me on at all my football games, and being able to share the same stage as him as we performed countless plays for our school.

To me, a missionary is some one who leaves his family for a short period of time, so that others can be with their family for eternity. Knowing that my big brother is out there bringing together families and teaching others of the Gospel makes me so proud of him and excited to be right there with him serving the Lord. I'm also so very happy for my other two older brothers, Tony and Jimmy, for serving missions. I can promise that if anyone would ask them, "do you regret going on your mission?" They will firmly say, "No."

I know that a mission will help shape me into being the man I want to be and form me into being a great father and husband. But why wait til my mission to do that? Why not start now? Why not strengthen my testimony and get into the daily habits of a missionary? I know that through all these things and learning to work and to discipline myself into doing these things, the mission will be the fastest, and best two years of my life.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

He Himself Might Go Forth

Blogging and journal writing has never been my thing, but I felt that I should start at this critical time in my life. For those who don't know me, my name is Joseph Samuel Hall and I'am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I decided to start this blog to document the events in my life leading up to serving a two year mission for my church. 

A little about myself. I am from the small town of Sequim Washington. I lived there my whole life until just a few months ago I decided to move to Orem Utah where I attend Utah Valley University. So far its very different but I'm Loving it. I love sports, Music, Playing Guitar, Singing and I'm on the Drumline here at UVU. I have a family of 5 brothers, 1 sister, a mom, a dad, and three sisters-in-law. I love them all very much and they are all very near and dear to me.

Let me share an experience with you that is very dear to my heart. I have never been perfect or even close. I've made many mistakes that I'am not proud of. But through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his atonement, I feel that I have been able to be forgiven of my sins. The atonement of Jesus Christ has been such a blessing to me in my life. This past summer I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at a mission prep camp called Camp Helaman. I was very nervous and scared cause I had never gone before and didn't know what to expect. Would I make friends? Would I fit in? Would it be worth a week of my summer to be here? Within 30 minutes of being there, I was ready to go home.

But something told me I needed to stay, and i know that was the spirit telling me this because I would have an amazing experience that would help shape me to who I am and grow my Testimony.

The second day we were there I felt a lot better! I made friends and was having a lot of fun! We then did what was called the Enos experience. If your not familiar with the story of Enos from the Book of Mormon, he spent three days straight in humble prayer to the lord . Offering up the desires in his heart. Now, we weren't given three days to go pray, but we were given an hour, to go out into the woods, find a place where we can be alone, and pray to Heavenly Father. I found a place where I was alone, on top of a hill, underneath a huge tree over looking the lake. Now, all my life I knew I wanted to serve a mission, but I had never asked Heavenly Father if that's what I should do. In Alma 37:37 it says to "counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good." So that's what I did. I counseled with the Lord for about 45 minutes asking if that is what I was to do. If I should serve a mission. I didn't really get an answer yet, but I did have the feeling I needed to read the scriptures. So I did the old "open the scriptures randomly and read the first scripture you see trick." And what I read was the answer I was looking for. I opened to Alma 4: 19 and it reads:
"And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in rememberence of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing now way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them."

Once I had read this scripture, my eyes started to swell with tears. I knew that the Lord had answered my prayers and that the only way I could even come close to repaying him was to serve him and his children for two years.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints the the true, restored church of Heavenly Father. I know that he guides and directs a modern day prophet Thomas S Monson today.
I know that book of Mormon was translated by the power of God through his prophet Joseph Smith.
And most of all, I know that Jesus Christ Lives. The same Christ that walked on water, that raised the dead, and healed the sick, and who died on the cross at Calvary for my sins. Not only for my sins, but the sins of all mankind. Brothers and Sisters, If you are ever lost and feel that all hope is gone, get on your knees and pray to Heavenly Father. He hears our prayers everyday, and you are never alone. If you want to learn more about what I hold very dear to my heart, visit to learn more. 

I hope this blog won't only help me, but possibly help others to come to know of what I know. I will try to continue posting about my journey to my mission. And that someday soon, I myself, might go forth.