Healthy or Not…Here We Come

As a missionary and as a member of the Church, I eat really healthy.

My trainer and I (Sister Correia) in Naples, New York!

Well…at least I try to.

There are some things you just can’t resist! But overall, we have something called the “Word of Wisdom.” It’s a health code.  Jesus Christ set it up in order to keep our bodies consistently healthy so we can submit everything to our Father’s will at any given time. It makes sure that we aren’t addicted to anything–that we don’t need anything in our bodies in order to function. Because in reality, the only thing that we really need to function is Him. Then think about it, when we get to meet Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again and present our bodies to them(that They gave us by the way), are They going to be disappointed if They see it all torn up?

Basically, we stay away from any addictive substances–alcoholic drinks, tobacco, coffee, tea , illegal drugs and the misuse of perscription drugs. We don’t just not consume those things, but we do consume the good stuff: wheat, rice, oats, fruit, vegetables, and meat sparingly. read more about exactly what this all entails, check out: http://www.lds.org/topics/word-of-wisdom?lang=eng

I am a huge fan of this, not only because it keeps me feeling good all the time, but because I promised my Heavenly Father I’d do it. When I gave Him that promise, He gave me one too:

“And [ye] shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures…and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.” -Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-21

Last but not least…something that my companion said the other day that is SO TRUE that I just really want to include:

“It’s better to work out for an hour than to be fat all day.” -Sister Johnson

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Keeping our Treasures in Heaven

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” -Thornton Wilder 

This time, for me, is when I am in the temple.  The Spirit is unrestrained, so it flows freely and constantly through everyone who is there with me. But while in the temple, I get to think of my family that gets to be together forever, and be reminded that I have a sure knowledge that I will never have “till death do you part.”

The reasons that I am motivated to first, actually be worthy to go to the temple, and second, to keep coming back on a fixed schedule, is because it’s a place where heaven and earth meet. I am able to perform necessary ordinances for my ancestors that didn’t have the opportunity to hear the message of the gospel during their liftime. This gives me the hope that if they accept it, I will get to be with them forever. Joseph Fielding Smith said,  “Through the power of [the] priesthood . . . , husband and wife may be sealed, or married for eternity; children may be sealed to their parents for eternity; thus the family is made eternal.”

For more information on LDS temples, visit: http://www.lds.org/church/temples?lang=eng

God Still Speaks

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your task. –Phillip Brooks

This quote hangs in our aparment where we can see it every day. It has motivated me in those moments when stupid Satan tells me I can’t do anything because I’m not good or strong enough. I’m a huge question-asker, and that is my way of praying for powers equal to my task. Not only do I get the satisfaction of being surrounded by the Spirit of God at General Conference, but I get to find out in detail what powers I have, and what He wants me to do with them. Here are three of my questions from this time around.

Q: What are the rewards for the exact obedient? Now this one, I got millions of answers to. It seemed to be yelling at me throughout the whole Conference. Did anyone else notice that? I cheated, though…I asked this question a week previous…and studied it before. So, most of my answers did come from the Conference, but some are from this month’s Ensign. Elder Paul V. Johnson wrote, “Sometimes we become so focused on our quest for peace that we forget it is one of the fruits of a righteous life…peace can come only to an individual by an unconditional surrender.” Elder Quentin L. Cook on Saturday said, “Righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.” But then, ElderRichard G. Scott pointed out the scripture that topped it all for me, “…he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” Okay, okay, I get it already!

Q: How can I make sure to keep up my mission habits forever? My mission is part of my “blueprints” of life. It still add detail as I live, but what I learn here is what I base everything off of. With daily prayer and scripture study, as Elder Scott said, it is promised that “simple, consistent habits will lead to full and bountiful blessings.” Specifically however, I need to focus and pray about 1-2 people a week to invite to church and/or activities that we have when I return home…members are really the key to bringing others into the church. It’s part of Elder Andersen’s talk when he said, “Returned missionaries find your nametag…paint it on your heart…and put it where you can see it. In everyday conversation…speak of the light. Declare that we have found the Christ.” Every person coming into the Church needs a true friend, and that’s where we have to put all of our trust in someone that will live by them for a lot longer than us missionaries do.

Q: How can I pray with more real intent? I need to admit I do not know what I am, in fact, seeking to know. That’s what Joseph did–the preliminary feeling he had to asking God was admitting he didn’t know. Then, offer a sacrifice with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I need to give the Lord the reigns to my heart. Depending on how “broken-in” my heart really is, the Holy Ghost can teach me. Sacrifice means being open to the promptings of the spirit while living our daily lives. Being contrite means to be willing to act, or willing to change. Alma points out that we need to “humble ourselves even to the dust.” Dust is broken up particles of other things, and they are willing to go wherever. It’s not like I have to sacrifice my food and a warm bed every night…it “mostly refers to living day to day as a true disciple of Jesus Christ.” -Elder Erich W. Kopischke (Notice none of these answers have to do with being on my knees.)

When I ask questions, it’s not that I don’t already know some plausible answer that could work. Of course, those are the primary answers. Pray, read your scriptures, go to Church. But I am looking for the best answer, and the best possible way the Lord wants me to live my life accordingly. This isn’t my life though, I am just His vessel that needs to be apt to go wherever He needs me to go. I don’t let negative things penetrate into my mind, because it’s not about me anyway. My whole focus is positively building others, and the rest just falls into place.

Try asking Him questions sometime, if you haven’t, because answers can come at all times of the day…or night. (It happened last night.) It’s amazing what you can do when you let your “eye be single.” Because then, “thy whole body shall be full of light.” (-Matthew 6:22)

Study Series: The Power of the Priesthood

Let’s see if I can accurately put into words how much I’ve learned about this subject lately.

Being a full-proselyting sister (not currently working at the sites) we’re surrounded by only Elders.  It has motivated me to study their calling in great detail. As you can imagine, having the Kingdom of God on speed-dial is pretty great. Yes, the Kingdom of God on Earth is the priesthood. I know that is true, because I can feel it at Zone Conferences, District Meetings, while receiving blessings, and even stuff as little as playing basketball at the stake center on P-days.

The “Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” is to restore the proper authority straight from Jesus Christ back on the earth. Joseph Smith said, “That priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy…it is no other than the Priesthood of the Son of God Himself…It is a channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the Plan of Salvation, and every important matter is revealed from Heaven.” What does a baptism mean if your clergy just woke up that morning and decided he had power to baptize you? The whole idea of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to let the faithful, worthy men be called, by God, to bear His authority. They do not give the honor to themselves. It is a process by which the Lord has promised blessings to those who strive to live worthy.

The phrase, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” keeps ringing in my ear. Especially after personally hearing Elder Bednar speak recently, I noticed how much he must make himself available to the Spirit at all times. In Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage says, “Their inner natues, not their outward accomplishments, were taken into prime account in the Lord’s choosing.” The Lord can’t choose anyone who won’t give themselves up completely. Even before they were chosen, they had to become close disciples of the Lord. They had to openly confess Jesus Christ was the Son of God, with a sincere desire to serve. They physically could not be chosen unless they first dedicated themselves to His work.

Biblical apostles have spent time stating some of the duties and direct blessings of the priesthood–when these men fulfill their callings. If they are willing and ready to “feed the flock of God which is among [them,]” they will “receive a crown of glory that will never fade” (1 Peter 5.) If they are “true, honest, chaste, just, and pure,” they will be promised that “the God of peace shall be with [them].” (Phil 4.) If they “fight the good fight of faith…and lay hold on eternal life,” they will have “charge in the sight of God,” and a good foundation for the future. (1 Timothy 6.)

Now, keep in mind, that men aren’t the only one who have to fulfill these duties. Our job as women is to magnify what they’ve been given. For example, in order for me to access the atonement, I need to go through the priesthood. Joseph Smith said, it is a “channel through which…all important matter is revealed from heaven.” We have been created equally in order to fill every measure of the creation God has intended. God would never create anything without giving it the chance to receive all blessings He’s promised. Different talents in different people make up what we need to become gods ourselves. We each can’t pass “GO” and collect $200, unless we have the other side that balances it out. That means we all have to expand each talent we have been given so they will work together properly.

Okay, this isn’t even half of what I have learned. I hope you’ll all go study it and find some more duties and direct blessings the priesthood can receive. Having a dad, a brother, and best friends who hold the priesthood not only makes my life easier, but it makes it much more peaceful. And having peace in this insane world of ours…only comes from the One who gave it to us in the first place.