Tag: Jesus Christ

5 Ways To Identify a Disciple of Christ

5 Ways To Identify a Disciple of Christ

To be a disciple of the Savior… what does that mean? The word disciple and the word discipline both come from the same Latin root – discipulus, which means pupil. To be a disciple means to be obedient  to the Savior,. It means to have  self-discipline in what we choose to do and who we choose to become.  How do we know when someone is a disciple of the Savior? Below are 5 characteristics from the scriptures  that help us to understand.

  1. A disciple will be learning.

    Matthew 5:1-2 Jesus  “went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him  And he opened his mouth, and taught them..” We don’t have the luxury of climbing that mountain and listening to Christ in person, but we have the next best thing: the words and testimony of those that have written the gospel of Christ  over the millennia.   A disciple of Christ will be actively searching His teachings. He will not be making excuses that there is no time to read scriptures in his busy day. A disciple spends time daily reading and pondering the words of Christ. Those scriptures have one purpose: for us to read and gain a testimony of Christ. It is through reading the words of Christ and listening for His voice that we become a true disciple.

  2. A disciple will be seeking conversion by ‘doing’.

    He will be trying to be more than he is now through obedience to the laws of God. Jesus told Simon Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). This is Peter He is talking to! Peter the rock, the one who did miracles in His name, who was a teacher and apostle- and yet Jesus tells him he is not yet converted. A testimony of Christ means ‘knowing’ who He really is. Conversion is what happens when testimony becomes so much a part of one that he is a ‘doer’ of the word, not just one who knows the words of Christ. Being a disciple means not only seeking the gospel and learning what Christ would have him do, but seeking to convert himself to become like Christ by doing those things.  A true disciple will be serving others, loving his neighbor as himself, and making preeminent his duty toward God over personal or worldly demands.

  3. A disciple will have charity

    The apostle Paul taught us that “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”  Charity is the pure Love of Christ. To have charity is not an act, it is state of being. Charity is not only giving one’s old coat to the poor, but giving of oneself unselfishly for the good of another child of God. Charity is not only donating money to a good
    cause, but giving kindness without reward to those who are in need. You will see a true disciple of Christ love others as Jesus loves you. The disciple of the Savior will be doing the right things for the right reason- for the Love of Christ.

  4. A disciple will be a missionary

    A disciple may not have a badge that says he is a missionary, but he will be teaching by word and by example in many ways. A disciple is “The light of the world.”  He will “…Let <his> light so shine before men, that they may see <his> good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 . A disciple of Christ will take opportunities to share the love of Christ with all who will listen. They will demonstrate that love in the choices they make, the attitudes they take, and the feeling of love and optimism that they exude. They will teach faith, baptism, and the need for the gift of the Holy Ghost. The true disciple of the Savior will be someone a good person wants to be around- they have a quality that lifts others despite the circumstances.

  1. A disciple will be actively developing strong family relationships

    The conversion that a disciple seeks requires us to be a loving, charitable husband or wife, father or mother, son or daughter, brother or sister. The most important things we will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes. To identify a disciple of Jesus Christ, look at the way he or she treats family. Leading with kindness, disciplining when needed and then showing afterwards an increase of love to the one that was disciplined, speaking with love and consideration to every member of the family, and teaching each member of the family to have faith and trust in God. These are the ways that a true disciple of Christ treats his or her family.

How do we become disciples ourselves?

By being obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.  We must learn from the words of Christ by reading the scriptures and listening carefully to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. We should be an example of a true Christian by doing His will, and by being a missionary that takes time to teach others. We must have charity and take the time to serve others. We must keep the Sabbath day holy, and help in His church. As we seek to become true disciples of Jesus Christ, we should seek the good part- and then do the things we know are right.

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Two questions to ask yourself: 1. what is the difference between being a ‘Christian’ and being a disciple of Christ?  2. What do I need to do today to become a disciple of Christ?

Moroni 7:48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. 

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Who is Jesus Christ?

Who is Jesus Christ?

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Jesus Christ, by Greg Olson

On the title page of the Book of Mormon, Moroni says that the purpose of the book is to convince the Jews and the Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ. So just who IS Jesus Christ?

A clarification

Christ is not Jesus’s last name; it is a title. The word Christ means *messiah, or, anointed. Calling Jesus the Christ means that We acknowledge that He is the savior that was prepared from the foundations of the world to provide the atonement.

Mormons have a very clear belief in Jesus as the messiah, the literal Son of God, the Holy one of Israel, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the one and only path back to where we came from- His father, and our Father, in Heaven. We believe in no uncertain way that Jesus, through the atonement, made it possible for us to be forgiven of all the sins we have made and become clean as little children.christ-and-the-children

A little back-history…waaaaaaay back.

Jesus was prepared to be the Savior long before He came to earth. Let’s go back before the earth came to be. First, there was Heavenly Father (and Heavenly Mother). Then came their children. Jesus was the eldest, second born was Satan. Then came the rest of us. You, me, everyone around you, are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. That makes Jesus our eldest brother, and every person on earth a relative. It is why we refer to each other as Brother so-and-so, and Sister so-and so. Of course, Satan is in that mix as well, but that is a subject for another day, another post.

jesus-and-the-black-sheepSo, there we were, one big family in Heaven. The problem was that in order to keep progressing, we needed to get a body. Our spirits are wonderful things, but there are things that we cannot do without a physical body. To get that body, God prepared a way that we could take a journey to earth and be born in the mortal world. Just getting a body isn’t the whole story- there are things we have to learn while we are here, and if we want to continue to progress In the next life and be all that we can be, we have to prove ourselves by the choices we make here.

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O Jerusalem, by Greg Olsen

Now here was the problem.  Once we came to earth, we would  choose to make some serious mistakes (sins), which meant we would not be able to live with God again because only perfectly clean beings can live there. So, as part of the plan, Heavenly Father prepared a mediator to atone for all of our sins and make it possible for us to go back to our home in Heaven clean. Jesus, the eldest son, volunteered for that role. Satan also volunteered, but while Jesus was backing Heavenly Father’s plan (called the Plan of Happiness), Satan wanted all the power and glory for himself (the original power monger), he wanted us to worship him, and Satan wanted to control our every move so we would not be able to choose good or bad- we would be his puppets doing what he wanted at all times. Suffice to say at this point, Jesus got the job because His desire was to do God’s will, as well as secure our salvation and happiness.

Jesus’s mission was to create the world under the direction of Heavenly Father, and then to provide the atonement to save his brothers and sisters from the spiritual and physical death brought about by Adam and Eve’s Fall.

adam-and-eveA few relevant words about Adam and Eve and their choicejay-bryant-ward-studios

There is a lot of misconceptions among Christian denominations about Adam and Eve. When the two of them lived in the Garden of Eden, they were in a state of innocence, not knowing or needing to know good from evil. They also would not be having children there. They had to leave the garden in order that ‘man might be’. God knew perfectly well what would happen- He knew about the serpent, He knew what Eve would choose, He knew that Adam would choose to stay with her and cause ‘the fall’. Everything that happened was accounted for in the plan of Happiness, right from the beginning.  Adam and Eve made choices, and they were beguiled by the devil, but the devil cannot frustrate God’s plan- God is a step ahead of the devil, every foot of the way. Adam and Eve sacrificed their own happiness and security in the Garden of Eden so that we could get our turn on earth. Jesus was prepared to give the atonement after the fall so that we can go back to heaven.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught that “just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ…no one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon” (2).

So, Who is Jesus the Christ?

Jesus is our elder brother. He created this earth for us. He chose to follow God’s will and knows what we need to do to have happiness now and in the eternities. greg-olson-lost-no-more-600Jesus is part of the Godhead which includes Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost- three distinct personages. Heavenly Father and Jesus have bodies, the holy ghost remains a spirit so he can help us. Jesus was the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and Messiah of the New Testament. He loves us enough to have paid a terribly high price for us- and all He asks in return is that we follow Him so we can have the happiness we so desired before we came to earth. He asks us to repent of our sins, be baptized for the remission of our sins (so we can take advantage of the atonement), and do our best to follow His example of love, compassion, and service. He Lives! He is aware of each one of us, loves us and more than anything, wants us to return to him.

I testify to you that I know that He lives. I know that He is the Christ, our Lord, the Messiah, the Son of God and He is our elder brother who loves us.

~Margo

 Is there one question about what I have written that you would like to ask me? Leave me a comment and I WILL respond!

 

Note: Most of the pictures featured here are the work of Greg Olsen .  https://www.gregolsen.com/

(1). *Messiah is a Greek word translated from the Hebrew word messiah, meaning anointed.

(2). The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, Ensign, May 1987, 85).

( 3). The Plan of Happiness < https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/11/the-great-plan-of-happiness.p1?lang=eng  >

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Easter – Because He Lives! Пасха – Потому что Он Живет!

Easter – Because He Lives! Пасха – Потому что Он Живет!

We celebrate Easter because He lives!     Мы празднуем Пасху, потому что Он жив!

Jesus-with-Child-640 Palm-Sunday Easter is a very special time in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), as it is in most Christian churches.

Пасха это особенное время в Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней (Мормоны), так же как и большинстве Христианских церквей.

“Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and the Only Begotten Son of God the Father. We believe that He was born, lived a mortal life, taught and blessed thousands, suffered for our sins in Gethsemane, and died on the cross at Calvary. And, most importantly, we believe that after three days He was resurrected from the dead, and because He rose again—because He lives—we can also be resurrected after we die.   “Мормоны верят в то, что Иисус Христос – наш Спаситель и Искупитель и Единственный Единородный Сын Бога Отца. Мы верим в то, что Он родился, жил земной жизнью, учил и благословлял тысячи людей, пострадал за наши грехи в Гефсиманском саду и умер на кресте на Голгофе. И самое главное, мы верим что через три дня Он был воскрешен из мертвых, и потому что Он воскрес, потому что Он живет, мы тоже воскреснем после смерти.

Elder Russell M. Nelson said: “As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in these, the latter days, we have also been charged with testifying of the realities of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection. This Easter season gives each of us a personal opportunity to discover His sacrifice, embrace His teachings, and share His joy.”  Старейшина Рассал М. Нелсон сказал: “Как последователи Господа Иисуса Христа в эти последние дни мы получили ответственность свидетельствовать о реальности Искупления и Воскресения нашего Спасителя. Это Пасхальное время предоставляет каждому из нас возможность открыть для себя Его жертву, объять Его учения и поделиться Его радостью.”

For those that have not read previous blogs, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- I am a ‘Mormon’. I love the Savior. I am grateful for the atonement because I am a very imperfect person. I am grateful for the Easter season because, like Christmas, it is a time to refocus on Christ and on the things that are most important in life. Для тех, кто не читал мои предыдущие блоги, я – член Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней, я – “Мормонка”. Я люблю Спасителя. Я благодарна за Искупление, потому что я очень не совершенный человек. Я благодарна за Пасхальный сезон, потому что,  так же как Рождество, это время чтоб сфокусироваться на Христе и на вещах, которые самые важные в жизни.

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But, there are the family and cultural traditions of Easter as well. I often feel ambivalent about these traditions, as I do about Santa Claus at Christmas. Although they represent the fun part of the holiday, in many homes and many places around the country, the Easter bunny is often not connected to Christ and the atonement, including in the homes of some of my family and friends. Есть так же семейные и культурные пасхальные традиции. У меня часто есть смешанные чувства связанные с этими традициями, такие же как с Санта Клаусом во время рождества. Хотя они представляют веселую часть праздников во многих домах по стране, Пасхальный Зайчик часто не имеет ничего общего с Христом и Искуплением, включая дома некоторых моих друзей и членов семьи.

During the month before Easter, every department store in the United States has Easter eggs, Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, egg dye, toys and candies displayed close to the front. Walmart has had ‘Easter egg supplies’ on the shelves since the day after Valentines day, and hundreds of people every day since then have been buying the chocolate and toys. В течение месяца перед Пасхой каждый магазин по стране продает пасхальные яйца, пасхальные корзины, шоколадных зайцев, красители для яиц, игрушки и конфеты. В Волмарте пасхальные принадлежности были на полках начиная сразу после дня Святого Валентина и тысячи людей покупали шоколад и игрушки с тех пор.

When my children were small- and even when they were quite tall- we would enjoy the ‘Easter bunny’ on Saturday with a a family Easter egg hunt, reserving Sunday for a celebration of Christ. Когда мои дети были маленькими, даже когда они уже были очень высокими, нам нравился Пасхальный зайчик с охотой за яйцами в субботу, чтоб посвятить воскресенье празднованию Воскресения Христова.

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Even as teenagers, my children loved the egg-hunt tradition. As they got older, I spread the eggs out and made them more difficult to find.  Даже будучи подростками, мои дети любили традицию охоты на яйца. Чем старше они становились, тем дальше я прятала яйца, чтоб их было труднее найти.

These photos were from 2004- Those teenagers are now grown and off on their own.Это фото 2004 года – эти подростки теперь взрослые люди и живут отдельно.

 

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Saturday is the day that I prefer to reserve for the ‘fun’ part of Easter. However, not all of my children have chosen to follow our traditions. My oldest son and his wife do not identify as Christians and are bringing up their children without any overt religious influences. I respect their wishes and do not talk about our religious beliefs to the children- which can be very difficult when our little 5 year old grandson asks questions about what I believe about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ…  Суббота – это день, который я предпочитаю использовать для “веселой” части Пасхи. Хотя не все мои дети решили поддерживать эту традицию. Мой старший сын и его жена не отождествляют себя с христианами и воспитывают своих детей без религиозного влияния. Я уважаю их желания и не говорю о религии с детьми, хотя это бывает очень трудно когда наш пятилетний внук задает вопросы о том, во что я верю о Небесном Отце и Иисусе Христе…

Although they do not focus on, or discuss religious beliefs, they are also extremely respectful of our beliefs, which is something I am so grateful for. I love them for their willingness to be non-judgmental or to try and force their beliefs on others. I am grateful that all my children are accepting and respectful of others, including their parents who made many mistakes in child-rearing over the years. И хотя мои дети не фокусируются и обсуждают религиозные убеждения, они относятся очень уважительно к нашим религиозным убеждениям, за что я очень благодарна им. Я люблю их за их желание не осуждать и не навязывать свои убеждения на других. Я благодарна, что все мои дети относятся с уважением к другим, включая их родителей, которые совершали много ошибок пока растили своих детей.

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My darling daughter-in-law made this Easter-themed  cake a few years ago, before she became a mother of 3 young children, and a full-time nurse as well. Loving, giving, caring- all those traits that you wish to have in your relatives are how I would describe this dear young mother. And, of course I must add- she is a talented cake-maker! Моя любимая невестка сделала этот Пасхальный пирог пару лет назад, до того как она стала мамой троих детей, а так же медсестрой на полную ставку. Любящая, щедрая, заботливая (черты, которые все бы хотели видеть в своих родственниках) – так я бы описала эту молодую маму. И, конечно, мне нужно добавить, что у нее талант делать торты!

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During the first weekend of April, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be focusing on Jesus Christ and will be tuning in all over the world to General Conference.   The women of the church attend the first session, held on the last Saturday in March. Five more 2-hour sessions are held the first weekend of April. I will be watching the conference on my computer, receiving  inspiration and instruction from Church leaders. Any talks that I must miss because of work or family obligations, I will watch in the coming week.

I wish  all my friends- both those I know and those I have not met yet- a blessed and wonderful Easter celebration. May you focus on Christ and receive all the blessings He has to offer you!

Во время первого выходного апреля, члены Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней сосредотачиваются на Иисусе Христе и настраиваются по всему миру на просмотр Генеральной Конференции. Женщины Церкви посещают первую сесию конференции, которая проводится в последнюю субботу марта. Еще пять двухчасовых сессий проходят в первый выходной апреля. Я буду смотреть конференцию на моем компьютере, получая вдохновение и поучения от руководителей Церкви. Все выступления, которые я пропущу из-за работы или семейных обязанностей, я посмотрю на следующей неделе.
Я желаю всем моим друзям (и тем, кого я знаю и тем, с кем я еще не знакома) благословенного и удивительного празднования Пасхи. Желаю вам сфокусироваться на Христе и получить все благословения, которые есть у Него для вас!

http://www.mormon.org/easter

http://www.mormon.org/rus/пасха

Christ-in-Gethsemane-Harry-Anderson

Why-Weepest-Thou-David-McClellan-229509

 Он Живет!

What do you do to celebrate Easter? What are your family traditions? Do you think your culture or country is taking Christ out of Easter?

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I am a ‘Mormon’

I am a ‘Mormon’

Прочитайте это в русском языке

I grew up in a family that occasionally went to the Presbyterian and Congregational church. I enjoyed it as a youth- most of my friends went to the same church, and we had fun activities. I had believed in God, but never really understood or even questioned who He was or what role He should play in my life. Religion was a Sunday activity which a person forgot until the next Sunday, Christmas, or Easter came along.

 That changed rather dramatically when I was 24 years old.

A year or so  earlier I had been on a month-long cross-country road trip with a friend, and we stopped in Salt Lake City to see the sights. Of course, we ended up in Temple Square– the biggest attraction there, quite outstanding and interesting.  temple-square-mormon

Temple Square pictures of Christ

We spent several hours in the visitors center, and walking around the grounds.

I felt something there that I had never felt before- peace, understanding, and a knowledge that I had a place in this world and that there was a purpose to my life.

Temple Square visitors center

I had lived a pretty aimless life up to that time. I had few goals; I didn’t have any guidelines to my life other than to be a good person as best I knew how. I was not happy with my life- I knew there must be something more.

It would be nice to say that my life changed that day at Temple Square, but it didn’t. 

At least not THAT day. It was more like a seed planted within me.  Some missionaries knocked on my door months later, and I listened to a couple of their messages before I moved on. Those missionaries planted a few more seeds that were not ready to grow yet.

Fast forward a year or so… I found myself in difficult circumstances and on my own. I had a pet cockatoo, a car, and few belongings. I was drifting from place to place with no goals but to survive.  One day I was flipping through the phone book and came across the number for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints– the Mormons whose Temple Square I had visited. Without thinking, I dialed the number.  After a brief conversation, I hung up feeling strangely and inexplicably excited, and with an appointment to visit with the mMargo and Scriptures (4)issionaries a few days later.

 A few weeks later my questions had been answered.

I had learned to pray, had carefully considered all that I had been taught, and I made the decision to join the Church. It is a decision I have never regretted in the 33 years that I have been a member of ‘LDS’ church. Each year  of my life continues to be better than the one before. I am not ‘lucky’, I am blessed.

One thing you may be curious about: why ‘Mormon‘?

The correct name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That is often shortened to LDS, or, Latter Day Saints. The Church received the nickname ‘Mormon’  from the book of scripture called The Book of Mormon- Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is the religious history of the Americas, and goes hand-in-hand with the Bible as a witness of Jesus Christ.

Christ

Would you like to hear what it is like being a ‘Mormon’?

Here is a link to a page with the stories of hundreds of Mormons across the world: I’m a Mormon   This comment, from “Jarom” sums up how I feel about the Church:

“… I love this gospel! It fills my life with joy, gives me strength, and picks me up when I fall down. I AM living the way that makes me happy. God knows our nature and He knows what will bring us the greatest joy. We can spend all our lives looking for happiness our own way, or we can take a short cut right to true happiness, by following God’s teachings and His laws. I haven’t met anyone who is happier because they live contrary to the gospel! God’s laws only restrict us from harming ourselves and others, becoming slaves to addiction, and being distracted from true happiness by looking for it in places that can never offer real and lasting joy. The question is not ‘should we do what makes us happy?’ but rather, ‘what is true happiness and what truly makes us most happy?’ I feel like I have the answers to both those questions and that is both comforting and exciting all at once! ”  

What do you know about ‘Mormons’? Have you ever seen missionaries in your town? If you have seen them, were you curious about what they were doing or what they believed?

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