Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wedding Date Is Set

Here is a quick update on my impending marriage. The wedding date has finally been set for January 8, 2011. Gone will be my days of bachelorhood. I am so grateful to my wonderful fianc'e and look to that special day when we will be sealed together for time and all eternity in the temple. This day will be the greatest day in my life. I love Beverli and cannot wait to be with her forever. The next few weeks are going to be absolutely crazy planning the sealing and brunch afterwards. More updates soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I Am Grateful For

With the holiday season here and Thanksgiving a week away I thought I would take this opportunity to blog about the things I am grateful for in my life. they are in no particular order.

1. My family. Without my family I would not be here today. They are not perfect, but they have helped me become the person I am today.
2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father and the sacrifice his son did for me. I love my Heavenly Father and his son. Without them, none of us would be here today.
3. My fiance. I am grateful for my wonderful fiance Beverli. She gives me strength when I need it most. She encourages me to new heights in my life and never gives up on me. I look to the future with her and on January 8, 2011 when her and I will be sealed in the temple.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This goes along with the gospel. I am grateful for the restored gospel on the earth and the role it plays in my life. Without the restored gospel we would not be able to return to live with Heavenly Father and temples would not dot the earth today.
5. My Education. I am grateful that I am currently receiving my education and I will someday be able to become a school teacher.
6. My future mother and father in laws. These 2 wodnerful people took a complete stranger in when they did not have to. Words cannot express my depth of gratitude and respect that I have for them.
7. My friends. My friends give me strength when I need it. I am grateful to have all of my friends in my life. I could not imagine my life without any of them.

These are just a few of the things that I am grateful for. I know I could add more but I do not want to make the list to long.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Soon to be Temple Marriage

Hopefully soon I will be receiving word from the First Presidency(Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf) that I will be receiving all of my blessings back that I lost when I resigned in October 2007. Once I receive word that everything is a go I will be able to marry my wonderful fiance Beverli in the temple for time and all eternity.

I know the Prophet and his counselors are very busy helping to guide the church but I cannot wait until the day comes when I receive the word that everything is a go. Not only will I get to marry Beverli, but I get the melchizedek priesthood(I get to become an elder) but I also get the blessings of the temple. These are all very important things to me.

I get the knowledge of having Beverli and our future family with me for time and all eternity. This is a very comforting thought for myself. Although getting married does not necessarily mean you get your spouse for time and eterity. You have to honor your covenants that you make in the temple and constantly work at your marriage in order to have your spouse for time and all eternity.

I know this decision is also up to the Lord. All of this is on his time, not mine. Even though I anxiously await the answer. This is helping me to learn patience. I love my church, I love the Lord and I love Beverli. All of this is definitely worth it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Resignation From and Return to the LDS Church

I have been living in my present location for almost 1 whole year now. Almost everybody knows what I am about to post, however there are a few people who do not know. Instead of telling them I figured I would make a blog about it. For those who do not know, it's not that I did not want to tell you, the timing I felt was just never right.

If I am going to explain this I need to start from the beginning. I grew up in a few different churches and religions. I can remember going to church with my aunt Judy and her children. I also remember going to a baptist church while I was a child. A pastor would drive down to the apartment complex where I lived in a van and pick us up for church and in the summer vacation bible school. I really enjoyed this church. At 8 or 9 years old I thought I knew who God was.

In 1987 when I was 9 years old my father suddenly pulled me out of my baptist church and took me to this new church called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints without any warning. Also known as the mormons. My father was baptized into the LDS faith in 1976. He had been inactive for several years and had decided at this point to start going back. Part of my problem is I did not understand why my father did this, he never made my mother and sister attend church, just myself. In some sort of way I resented him for this. Forcing me to leave a church which I actually enjoyed attending and not making my mother and sister attend.

Here I am now 9 years old. Attending a new church. My father did not tell me what kind of church this was or what they believed. A few months after I started attending I remember the missionaries coming over to my home to teach me lessons. I do not recall what kind of lessons they were teaching me or what they were even about. Nobody took the time to ever explain this to me. After these lessons I remember getting baptized. I do not know why this was happening, just my father wanted me to. Like any good child, I obeyed my father and went along with it. I stayed active in the church for 2 more years. I remember advancing in the priesthood and not knowing what this was about or what was going on. Men came into my class and put their hands on my head and spoke some words, shook my hand and left. I of course, just went along with it. Maybe I should have stopped and asked questions. I was not that kind of child. I was very shy and kept to myself.

Over the next several years of my life I was active and inactive. Going to church and not going to church. I went through my phases where I wanted to go and then I didn't want to go. Over the years I learned more about what the church stood for and what it believed in. In 2003 after my first visit to Arizona I came back home and once again came back to activity in the church thanks to my aunt and uncle. In 2005 I received the Melchizedek Priesthood.

In 2007 I was inactive. I had been for over a year. I was questioning a lot of things about the church. Was the Book of Mormon true? Was Joseph Smith a true prophet of God? The whole validity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints rises and falls with those two questions. I started to do my own research on the internet. You can now imagine what kind of websites I visited. I visited anti-mormon websites. The more I read these websites and the views expressed by these people I became fascinated by them and their views. A lot of these people are ex-mormons who hold nothing but hatred for the LDS church.

While reading these websites I began to think a different way. I will say these types of websites really had a profound effect on me. While visiting one of these sites I came across a letter in which someone had resigned from the church. This was news to me, I did not know you could ever do that. I had heard of excommunication before. After all of this, I felt I did not have a testimony. I felt the whole church was a charade. I copied the letter, word for word and mailed it into church headquarters in Salt Lake City. I remember before I put the letter in the mail my father was fighting me tooth and nail, screaming at me to not mail the letter. He told me to just stay inactive, this way if I ever wanted to come back I could. He told me that one day I would regret it. Of course being the prideful person I was I mailed the letter. Heck, What did I know?

In October 2007 I received my final letter from Salt Lake City stating I was no longer a member of the church. While I was away from the church part of me still kept the church close to me. I still read the ensign which I had a subscription to. I even watched Gordon B. Hinckley's funeral on television and actually cried at the thought of the leader of the church being dead.

My best friend Brian really helped me out with God while I was away. I started to attend his church. In this church I came to find what I feel is a new relationship with God. However, something kept nagging away at me. It felt like this voice kept telling me something. I just did not want to recognize it. Finally after months of this nagging feeling I felt like I needed to do something about it. I was reading the ensign one night and I decided I had to know for myself if the LDS church was true or not. I started to read the Book of Mormon again. Another key to this which I feel helped me along the way is that I started to once again meet with the missionaries from my local ward. I did this over a period of a few months.

The missionaries told me the only way I would find out for myself if all of this was true was to pray and ask God if all of this was true. What did I do? I started to pray. I cannot say my answer came over the first few times. In fact it did not. After a few months of praying and not receiving an answer I felt I was at my weakest. I decided I was going to try one more time. I got on my knees and started to pray. I asked God to answer my prayers once again. For him to let me know if The Book of Mormon is true. If Joseph Smith was his prophet and if we have a prophet on the earth today. I poured everything I had, my heart and soul into that prayer. Finally after the prayer was over I felt something I had never felt before. I felt inner peace. I felt like I was on cloud nine. This is the only way I actually know how to describe it.

I started attending church once again. The minute I walked through the doors again of my home ward with the missionaries I felt like I was home again. I finally had a true testimony of his church. I met with my local bishop for months and we talked about my situation. I know I repented. A wonderful event happened in my life on August 23, 2009. I was re-baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After my baptism I was confirmed a member and given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I will never forget that day as long as I live. After my baptism I truly felt like I had "come home." I gave up a lot when I left. The wonderful thing about this gospel, his gospel is that we can all repent and come back. I know where I truly belong. As a member of the Lord's true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I will always regret what I did. I live with that guilt everyday of my life. However, we are all human. Humans make mistakes. It is how we learn from those mistakes and apply them to ourselves to correct them. I have learned from my mistake. I am in the process of fixing it.

To those of you who are questioning I say go to the Lord. Pray to him and he will tell you in his time if this church is true. I know he did for me. For those of you I did not tell this to. I am sorry. I did not mean to keep it a secret. I still feel it is soemthing very personal to me. Now here it is, out in the open. I hope I have answered any questions you may have. If I have not, you know you can ask.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Visit Home and Continuing My Education

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I have been busy lately with a visit going home and of course as you can tell from the title of this post, I am now enrolled in school. More on school later.

It was wonderful being able to go back home to Pennsylvania after 8 long months. I loved being able to see my family and friends. The best part was being able to spend quality time with my 2 wonderful nephews, Bradley and Dylan. The longer I am up here in Alaska, the more I miss them. I got to spend some time with my parents and sister. My sister recently gave birth to twins. A boy and a girl. I will post more on the twins in a future post. I never thought I would say this however...My family is precious. You should cherish them while they are here. I guess I am saying this because I do not get to see them on a day to day basis like other people do. When I lived at home I was never one to tell my family how much I loved them. For some reason, we never did that. Maybe it was just the way we were all raised. Since I have moved up here to Alaska, I have told my family that I love them and I miss them tremendously. However, I know that where I am right Alaska...Is where I am supposed to be. I thank the Lord I am here, with my wonderful fiance Beverli. I know I take her for granted sometimes, but I am glad she is in my life. Not a day goes by that I do not thank the Lord for putting her in my life.

While I was home I got to catch up with my best friends Ellen and Brian. Brian and I chatted alot about various subjects. My favorite discussion with him was about faith. How each of us are growing stronger in our different religions. I value both of my best friends. I miss them dearly.
Hopefully, maybe someday, they can both come up here for a visit. I would love to show them the beauty that is Alaska.

As you can tell I am now contuing my education. I am now taking online classes through the University of Phoenix. I love being enrolled in this awesome school. Working 40 hours a week and planning for my upcoming wedding, this provides me with the perfect way to continue my education. I am able to move at my own pace, my own speed. I prefer it to being in a tradtiional classroom setting. For instance, If I am working on my assignments and get frustrated I can very easily take a break and do whatever I need to do to get my mind focused again. I can come hom from work, hop onto the computer and work on my school work. It is an awesome feeling knowing that thanks to the University of Phoenix, in a few short years I will have my degree and able to live out my dreams.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Love You

I love your expressions, the way your example move me to be a better person. Thank you for taking time from your busy day. Your words are miracles, your insight perceptive. The patterns of your life are life-giving; by your actions, you encourage progress in the world. You might not realize it, you might not know why, and you might not even believe me; but it is a fact. You are essential. You matter to me. I love you. I will listen and understand. I will see strength in you, where you see weakness. I will have faith in you, because I know where you came from. This is what I need you to hear, what I need you to believe; even though I know

it's not what is easy for you to believe. It takes you to make this world work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trusting In The Lord

Enduring to the end means enduring as much as God will have experience for the fulfilling of the wise purposes for his children. Whether or not we finish in life what we want to accomplish doesn't matter as much as just finishing as much as we can honorably. He knows if we haven't tried when we should have and He will be our perfect judge. We must pray that what he has in store for us is to accomplish what we will be able to do. Many Wonderful Blessings, Gar, "Christlike love can bring peace into any neighborhood." Marvin Ashton

Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant cvompanio. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, "You cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven't time to be concerned for others." Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls are dedicated to follow the example of the lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: "Be not weary in well-doing...Out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind."
Finding Peace, Ensign, March 2004

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Years Resolution

Happy New Year Everybody. This post will be dedicated to some of my New Years Resolutions(In no particular Order)

1. Finally decide on a career.
2. To become temple worthy
3. Read the scriptures and pray more often
4. Tell my family and friends how much I love them
5. To tell my fiance Beverli that I love her everyday(and show it)
6. To get married in the temple to Beverli
7. Start attending school
8. Spread the gospel
9. To call home more often
10. If this one is even possible, Make a visit back home to Pennsylvania.

This is just a few of my New Year's Resolutions. I am sure I could make more but I've decided that 10 is a good number to stop at.