About Me

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I am studying Psychology and Sociology at Utah Valley University, and working at a treatment center for troubled teens. I love life, being with people from all cultures, speaking Spanish, and traveling all over the world. I will never stop laughing, dancing, singing, enjoying, appreciating, and just being.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obtaining Christlike Attributes

I recall one particular Sunday school meeting I attended a few months ago in Heber, Utah. As about 15 people walked in the Sunday school class of all ages of men and woman, we all sat tentatively prepared to hear and be given a lesson. The teacher of this class walked in with a calm and very precise spirit about him. He sat in a chair at the front, which seemed very different to me, if he were really to be teaching a lesson, and asked someone at the front of the room why they came to church that day. In the back of my mind I was thankful that I was not only visiting this ward that day so the teacher didn’t know me personally to be able to call on me, but I was also in the back. As the person gave their answer to him, he looked at them with a pondering look on his face and said okay now-why did you come to church today to the person next to them. As he went down row by row there was a repetitive answer for each person. A lot of people said they came because it was routine, the right thing to do, make their week go better, or wanted to please their spouse. As this teacher got to me he looked at me and said “now sister, why did you come to church today”. For me, I felt it would have been easier to just agree with the person before me to hurry along so I would not have to be put on the spot but then as I looked at this man in the eye I felt an overwhelming power of the spirit overcome me and I began to cry. I then went on describing the pure truth and strongest feeling of love that I feel every time I come to church and that is what pushes me to be there each week. I feel the love of Christ so immensely with each coming Sunday that I want to be like, emulate, and mirror that perfect and true love of Christ. This overpowering and definite feeling that I had that day continues each week, and the one we all feel in spiritual life experiences is the love of Christ. I can begin today by testifying to you brothers and sisters that this is the most wholesome, absolute, and exact emotion that moves my soul and heart with each waking day of my life. It is the understanding of who Christ is, what he has done for me, the love he has for me, and if I choose to follow him, the promises he can give me.
As members of this church, how do we begin to obtain and cherish Christ-like attributes? Now as I continue to ask and bring up this question, throughout my talk, I want each of you today to pick at least one attribute of Christ that you feel that you need to work on the most and ponder in your heart what you can do to develop and strengthen that one attribute fully. In preach my gospel it states that “the restored gospel enables you to become like your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.” The Savior has shown the way. He has set the perfect example, and he commands us to become as He is. Learn of Him and seek to incorporate His attributes into your life. Through the power of His Atonement, you can achieve this goal and lead others to achieve it also”. It is vital for us, as his children, to seek and desire to follow and become like him. In order to accomplish this we need to practice and experience the Atonement in our every day lives. Christ-like attributes are true gifts from God and they can only come to us if we use our agency righteously in this earth life. The first thing we need to do to become more like Christ, is to pray to our Heavenly Father to help us recognize certain qualities, ask that He will bless us and give us the strength and opportunities to gain them. It is very important that we are recognizing our weaknesses, and that we are willing to improve and become better individuals. As we have an open mind from praying to our Heavenly Father, we need to then develop a faith in Christ. Having faith in Christ means that you trust in him and have complete surety that he does love you. Once you develop that faith, it will lead to action such as repentance, obedience, and service. When you have faith in the Lord you trust the Savior to follow his commandments. Once you obtain personal faith in the Lord, you are truly able to see miracles happen in your life as well as the lives of others, according to the Lord’s will. As you learn to become better acquainted with him and his teachings, you will learn of his ways and his love for all people. As we prepare to receive these attributes of Christ, it is just as important to acknowledge what they are and how we can obtain them. The first attributes that overpower all and are the most important are charity and love. In a talk by President Uchdorf he states, “Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be the center of all and everything we do in our family, in our church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships…when we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as Disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. -in 1 Corinthians chapter 13: 2-7 it talks of the importance of charity “and though I have the gift of prophesy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity enviteth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not believe itself, unseemly, seeketh not her own is not easily provoked thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth for all things, endureth all things”. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden”. These powerful words testify to me the complete pureness and true love that Christ has for us. When we are obedient to him and love our brothers and sisters as he would love them, we lose ourselves in their lives and feel the vast and unconditional love our Savior has for them as well as ourselves. -Share Ghana story about my three boys Another attribute we need to obtain from Christ is knowledge. Seek for help, asks questions, look at challenges, and special opportunities through personal study and prayer. Studying diligently and prayerful with pure intent, the holy ghost will enlighten your mind, teach, and help understand the meaning of the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets today. In 2 Nephi chapter 4:15-16 it states “my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them…behold my soul delighteth in the things of the lord; my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.” Once we learn and fully understand the savior and his plan for us on this earth, we will live enriched and promising lives full of gratitude and continuous learning experiences. Two other qualities that we can receive to be more like our savior are Virtue and patience. Patience is the capacity to endure, delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept his timing. It is so common for us as college students to become impatient with others or ourselves as we make plans for our future and want things to go our way. We sometimes try to force the results such as situations with our friends, our work, our career plans or expectations of parents or other important relationships in our lives. We learn patience as we have faith and turn this and everything over to our Heavenly Father rather than try to control everything. Two more qualities that are vital for us to obtain to be like him are Humility and Diligence. Humility will help you strive to be obedient, to work hard, and to serve selflessly. The last Christlike attribute I would like to address is obedience. In preach my gospel it states: “Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is an act of faith. You may sometimes be required to do things you do not completely understand. As you obey, you increase your faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom”. As we strive to be more like our Savior and obtain all of these attributes of him, we get to know him personally and understand that if we are obedient to him in the things we do, He will bless our lives continually and show us the light and pure joy we feel as we become closer to him. I believe that if we as God’s children can develop and depict these vital attributes of Christ, we show that we are following Him, we will hold onto that feeling, share it with others, receive a better understanding of ourselves and also of our Savior. As we become more like Him and strive to follow His ways, we understand the true purpose of our lives and feel true happiness that we all seek. His way is one we will see the light. Once we commit ourselves into following his path and understanding the importance of his teachings, our love for others and ourselves will increase large amounts and we will understand why we are here and what we need to do to get back to him someday. Right now, try to clear your mind and imagine seeing your Lord and Redeemer in front of you. Try and see yourself standing next to him and feeling his light and love around you. It’s empowering and even incomprehensible to try and feel that type of love but as we see and envision this path for ourselves, it is what will take us and push us to get there someday. Throughout history, we have very limited accounts and descriptions of those that have been in the presence of our Savior…..but the stories that have been recorded are similar and beautiful. At the end of the Pearl of Great Price there is a section where Oliver Cowdery describes his feelings of being in the presence of the Savior. “I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me when I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time, cannot begin to clothe language in as interesting and sublime a manner as this holy personage”. In Return to Love and other Life after Death accounts, each person describes being in the presence of intense light an incredible and overpowering love. In 3rd Nephi the Nephites describe being in His presence…and similar to other accounts, it is beyond description. “And no tongue can speak neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father….and so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.” (3 Nephi 17:17-18) I had the opportunity to see my parents perform in a production called savior of the world that is a depiction written by the church about christs life. It has been performed in salt lake city mainly but also has been spreading to other stakes of the church. My dad had the chance to be james, an apostle, and as the play went on it was moving and such a spiritual experience to see these people of my ward and my actual parents to be apart of a modernization of when Christ was on the earth and to see what it felt like and what the people experienced with him. One of my favorite scenes was after christs resurrection, after he had seen mary, when he went to the upper room to the apostles. As Christ walked into the room with light surrounding him, the apostles fell to their feet in awe. just to imagine and try to feel what they were given as Christ became in their presence was just surreal. As I looked into the eyes of my actual father as he looked to Christ and fell to his feet touching his hands and feeling his presence and unconditional love to all, I become overwhelmed with a very strong and pure spirit and testimony of Christ. Seeing my dad in a reenactment of being with Christ again made me believe with such a strong and personal understanding that one day Christ will come again to us and we will be able to surround him and feel his perfect love for us as his brothers and sisters. One of the most important things we can do on this earth is to feel the Profound Love of God and Christ for us, to strive every day to be more like them, and to emulate these qualities and this Love to all that we come in association with. Is there anything that brings us more happiness and joy than this? When we were baptized we made covenants and promises to take upon ourselves his name and become his disciples….his true followers. May we submit ourselves to His will, become more like Him …. “Have you received His image in your countenance… Does the light of Christ shine in your eyes…. Will He know you when He comes again, because you will be like Him When He sees you will the Father know His child… By His everlasting image in your eyes….” Brothers and sisters I hope that today you have felt a desire to become more like Christ and have had a reminder of how important it is to constantly be working on ourselves to become more like him. I testify to you today that Christ does live and he loves each one of us and if we strive to become as perfect as he is, we will feel emmense joy for this gospel, for others, and you experience Christ unconditional love for youself. Take the time to recognize what you need to work on with these qualities and keep them consistent throughout your life. I promise each one of you that if you continue to live righteously in this gospel and progress daily to become like Him, you will find and hold to a very powerful and true testimony of the church and you will see miracles and joy come to you to experience. I have no doubt in my mind that this is the living truth on the earth today and that Joseph smith did see a vision and restore this church. I know that Thomas s. monson is a living prophet today and the things he teaches are indeed correct. I know that with prayer and diligent scripture study we can expand our knowledge of the gospel and gain true testimonies.

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