Look At The Beauty

Look at all the beauty God has sent to Lake Elsinore California and other parts of California. For the last 10 years California has been in a drought, the land was drying out. In August we had major fires and many homes were lost and now some homes have been lost or damaged from the floods because of so much rain these last few weeks. But when I look at these Beautiful California Poppies I can feel the love my Father in Heaven has for all of us. He knows us and he knows the hard times we may be going through, he will never leave us, he is our Father in Heaven. When I look at these Poppies I can feel the love He has given me. With a grateful heart, I want to thank my Father in Heaven for all his love and caring for all of us.❤️

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Faith

The prophet Joshua lead Israel to the Jordan River. Like in the scenario of Moses, the waters parted. However, the water parted only after their feet were immersed. The water parted AFTER they showed their faith that it would part. Do we continue to trust in the lord when our feet are wet? Do we continue to have the faith even after he makes us swim? Even after he expects us to swim the whole way?

“Faith without works is dead” – James 2:26 We hear this phrase so often as Christians, I think it has become rather numb. Do we really consider what this phrase actually means? Faith without you doing something about it, is not actually faith. “Faith” is just a belief without our efforts. Just as much as scrambled eggs taste nasty without cooking them first.

Are we willing to do the works? More importantly, are we willing to do the works even when we see no blessings? Can I forgive that person, even when they continue to hurt me? Do we pray, even when our specific requests aren’t fulfilled? The Lord wants to bless us, and he will bless us in his own time whether we see it or not; but we refuse those blessings, not because we don’t believe, but because we refuse to work.

Heavenly Father wants us to learn and grow, that’s why he requires the work. He requires us to go to church. He requires us to read our scriptures. He requires us to love, forgive, and not cast judgment, but we don’t do it. There are those who expect the seas to part, but do not have enough faith to go to church or pray. Almost as if the Lord needs to prove himself before they prove themselves to him.

I know if we show the works, by following the commandments, and notice the blessings that come as a result, our lives can be so happy. We will find ourselves doing, rather than sitting around, upset at God for not helping us move. I know this is true and so important to understand.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I’ve been thinking a lot about faith lately. I sure do love you guys! All is well! All is well! Erik Johanson

Does anyone recognize this picture?

Does anybody recognize this picture? This is the “Jesus the Christ” painting by Del Parson. This picture by Del Parson is one of the most famous paintings of Christ I know of, however, in this scenario it has obviously been changed. I’ve been thinking about this picture a lot the past week, as I’ve been thinking about what it really means to recognize the savior.

In this picture, only 3 things have been changed from the original painting. Christ’s beard has been removed, his hair has been made short, and he has been placed in a suit, rather than a robe.

Christ did not wear a robe or have a beard because he was Christ. He had those features because that was simply the way people dressed and looked in his time.

The only way to recognize Jesus Christ during his time was not by his appearance. You could not recognize him by the nail prints in his hands. The way you recognized Jesus was by having the humility, the faith, and patience to recognize him and know him.

He did not always perform miracles, he was not always teaching in parables. He ate, he slept. He came into this world as a normal person. He looked like a normal person. He was and is the son of God, and the only way to our salvation. Yet, there was nothing extraordinary about him to an outside perspective. People failed to recognize him. People mocked him. People nailed him to a cross, and crucified him. His coming was fortold and prophicied in the Old Testiment, but the very followers of those teachings and prophecies did not recognize the Son of God himself.

We knock on a lot of doors as missionaries. We tell people of the wonderful message we have regarding Jesus Christ; and all the time we get responses such as “I already know Jesus.” “I already have Jesus.” and they will not let us share even a scripture or video about Jesus Christ. Perhaps they are afraid. Perhaps they feel at peace of where they stand. I don’t believe that they necessarily reject our message, but they fail to recognize it.

The Jews knew who Christ was. They knew he would come into the world, his coming and character are painted all over the pages of the Old Testiment.

They knew Jesus. They did not recognize Jesus.

The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is a way we can recognize Jesus. But many people today do not recognize his gospel. They do not recognize the prophet as the prophet. They do not recognize missionaries as missionaries. I know we can recognize Jesus Christ; but our own willingness has to be involved. I know that this is true, and I know our lives can be blessed if we try our best to recognize Jesus because I have seen it in my own life.

I’m sorry this was so long. But it’s a long thought. I love you guys!! All is well, all is well! Erik Johanson

Here’s what watching general conference is like for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members around the world – LDS Church News

Church members living in New Zealand, India and hurricane-impacted North Carolina respond to the question, “What is general conference like where you live?”
— Read on www.ldschurchnews.com/living-faith/2018-09-30/heres-what-watching-general-conference-is-like-for-church-members-around-the-world-48080

It just amazes me how the Lord is bringing the world together through technology.

Facebook, Instagram and Church web pages are bringing the gospel to people around the world.

The Lord I know is also bringing the members of the church around the world together too.

As we get to know each other through Facebook and other social media the borders of our countries go down, we become one nation the Lords nation through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love all the members I have met in China, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Germany, Africa, Philippines, Honduras, Venezuela, Argentina, and the USA. They are now and forever part of our family.❤️

Positive Attitude

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Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude means being cheerful and setting our minds to look for and find the best in all situations. Be positive in your thoughts and words. Be cheerful. Look for the bright side of all situations. Keep a good sense of humor. Be optimistic..

Think good thoughts. Believe in yourself. Trust your friends, family, and teammates.

”We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline, and effort.”
Jesse Owens

http://www.jesseowens.com/about/

Faith

“If we have faith as small as a mustard seed, the Lord can help us remove the mountains of discouragement and doubt in the tasks ahead of us as we serve with God’s children, including family members, Church members, and those who are not yet members of the Church.
“Brothers and sisters, life can be filled with faith, joy, happiness, hope, and love when we exercise the smallest amount of real faith in Christ—even a mustard seed of faith.”
– M. Russell Ballard, “Precious Gifts from God,” General Conference April 2018


He Knows

Someone shared this and it hit me hard. It’s one of the most beautiful quotes Ive heard. Take a few minutes and read this, it’s a beautiful perspective. He knows, and He loves us…unconditionally.

“It’s our faith that He experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually.

That means He knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer — how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.

Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced … that He does not also know and recognize. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, “And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down Syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that. He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.” Chieko N. Okazaki

Prayer

A friend shared this with me today so I thought I would share too.

In truth, God doesn’t need our prayers. As an all-knowing Being, He already knows the thoughts, feelings and desires of our hearts and minds. So why do we pray? It clearly is not for Him, but for us. It is what prayer does for us. In verbalizing to God the things that trouble us, the feelings of gratitude in our hearts, and our petitions for heavenly help, we recognize who God is and who we are in relation to Him. You can know something, like that someone loves you, but it’s sometimes nice to hear the words spoken anyways. Is it any different with God? He is our Father. He desires to hear from us. He yearns to be with us as we are separated from Him for a season. May our prayers be a gift of communion and closeness to our Heavenly Father who has given us everything. May they reflect our desire to express love for Him, even though He may already know. #NationalDayOfPrayer

Face to Face

“What a wonderful experience I had watching this broadcast––I may not be a young single adult, but the messages are for all of us.

One of the messages here is dear to my heart. I worked as a hairstylist for over 27 years, and I owned my own salon. Then, I was diagnosed with a severe form of asthma. So, I went back to school. For those who know me, math is not my friend: I was scared of failing the math class I had to take. I prayed hard for the Lord to help figure out questions such as, “why do I need to know what X means?” Well, my answer came in a BYU devotional broadcast during which President Gordon B. Hinckley promised the students that if they would read their scriptures before they did their studies, and would never study on Sunday, they would be blessed in so many ways. In this broadcast, Elder Dallin H. Oaks shared his experience of not doing his studies on Sunday. Please take the time to watch his experience: it’s amazing, just as mine was. I got an A in that math class, and while your experience might not be like mine, I can promise you that you will be blessed if you make the Sabbath Day the Lord’s day.”

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/face-to-face/oaks-ballard?lang=eng

Never Apologize 

For those who know me I am a very emotional person. If someone is hurting my water works start coming. As a kid my dad would say “stop wearing your feelings” so I would try to keep them to myself.  Now that I am older I know that my feelings and how I show them do make me stronger and who I am. 

“Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength.” –Brigitte Nicole