Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March To The Miracle: Part 2

So how has March Madness been treating you so far? Any luck on picking the right teams and getting the rare, perfect bracket? I don't know about you, but I've never had a perfect bracket.. So do you remember the last blog I wrote and said to stay tuned? Well here's the continuation. Do you remember the second word that was in quotes that I was going to talk about next? If not, here it is. The word is "march". Let's first find out what "march" means. In relation to a marching band, they have one purpose and they work in unity to accomplish their goal. So we've already established that when we get mad about the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have to exercise our faith in Him unto repentance. How do we exercise our faith unto repentance? Baptism, which brings us to the word "march". We begin our march by washing our sins away through baptism by immersion. Just like those teams in the tournament, they have one purpose (to win the championship) and they have to be on the same page every second of every game, working together to reach that goal. When beginning our march, through baptism, we need to be on the same page with the teachings of our Savior and bring our lives in closer harmony with them. In John 3:5 we learn of the importance of being baptized:

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be 
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

In Matthew 3:13-17 it explains why Jesus Christ was baptized, keep in mind He was perfect, and how He was baptized:

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be
 baptized of him.

"But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
"And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

In 2 Nephi 31:9-10 it teaches us that we must follow Jesus Christ and His example He has shown us:

"And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the
 gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

"And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?"

The scriptures teach us about why baptism is so important and the example Jesus Christ set for everyone to follow. He wants us to follow Him because he loves us so much and wants us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. After we are baptized, one of the greatest blessings we can receive while we are here on earth from Heavenly Father is...

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March To The Miracle: Part 1

How psyched are you for March Madness? I don't know about you but that is my favorite time of the year. Printing out multiple brackets and guessing different scenarios, or going onto and having a family challenge. We love trying to guess who will win the national championship. It's exciting to watch the teams play and to give it all they've got to be the best team in the country. When the underdogs play the highly-favored teams, you want them to win, just so there's unexpected excitement. Just like what happened last year when Kemba Walker led a mediocre UConn team, during the season, to an undefeated tournament record with winning the national championship; Butler returning to the finals for a second year in a row; VCU making it to the Final Four by upsetting some of the best teams in the country. It's amazing to see what happens in March because you will never know what can happen. What kind of mindset do those teams have when going into the tournament? They get "mad" about playing the game and "march" towards the "miracle" of winning the national championship.

You're probably wondering why I have those three words in quotes aren't you? Before we get to that lets start by comparing March Madness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teams in the tournament as yourself, keep that thought in your mind. Okay now let's get to the first word that's in quotes.. MAD: What does it mean for the basketball teams to get mad about playing in the tournament? It means getting themselves prepared, focused, and hyped up to play. What does it mean to get mad about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Let's go to the scriptures to find this answer out. In Alma 34:17 of the Book of Mormon it reads:

"Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;"

  • Then in Moroni 8:25:

    "And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;"

    Finally Alma 9:27: 

    "And behold, [Jesus Christ] cometh to redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance, through faith on his name."

    These are the first steps that are needed that will get us prepared, focused, and hyped up to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is an amazing blessing to have faith in our Savior Jesus Christ that he can take away our sins through repentance and baptism by immersion for a remission of our sins. Which is what the next word in quotes is about, but you'll have to wait for my next blog.. So stay tuned!