The Atonement: Turning Sorrow into Joy

Because he lives ThursdayEach day this week, as part of the Church’s #BecauseHeLives Easter initiative, there will be a new question, meme, and/or video that members can share with their friends. Today is Thursday of the Holy Week and the focus of today’s devotional is the Last Supper and Atonement of Christ. You can find out more about Jesus Christ at

I always get a little bit weepy and contemplative on the Thursday before Easter. This day, along with Friday are big days in the course of the Holy Week.

On this night, Christ gathered with his friends and disciples one last time to teach them. During this Last Supper, Christ instituted the ordinance of the Sacrament. He explained to His disciples the meaning of the bread and wine, and how that will relate to what is about to happen to Him. Every week, as Latter-day Saints we repeat this ordinance, just as the Savior revealed it.

Christ also taught His disciples about the power of the Holy Ghost and He promised them that the Holy Ghost will be with them after He was gone. He taught again, that he is the Messiah, and gave the commandment to Love One Another. My favorite verse from this day is John 16: 20, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” Our sorrow shall be turned into joy! What a hopeful scripture. And so many other beautiful and important things were taught during this evening. Continue reading

The Teachings of Christ in Action

Because he lives Weds
Each day this week, as part of the Church’s #BecauseHeLives Easter initiative, there will be a new question, meme, and/or video that members can share with their friends. Today is Wednesday of the Holy Week and the focus of today’s devotional is the teachings of Christ. You can find out more about Jesus Christ at

One of the most touching events of the Holy Week for me is the Woman anointing Christ in preparation for his death. There is some discrepancy in the time line on this. In the Gospel of John, John states that Mary, the sister of Lazarus, is the woman, and that she performs this act of service on the day Christ raises Lazarus from the dead. Matthew, Mark and Luke do not mention who the woman is, and put this happening somewhere in Holy Week.

All of that aside, I think this day, and occurrence is the most touching event of Holy Week outside of the actual time Christ spends in Gethsemane. Here we have Christ, who has ridden into Jerusalem, has cleansed and taught in the temple, and knows of his impending death, and who is just working and serving and teaching others. Mary takes the time to serve him, because she loves him so very much. She also uses in her offering of service a very expensive vial of oil to anoint the Savior, her King. How very fitting that she serves him with a precious sacrifice.

Woman anointing ChristI also find it so interesting that Mary understood, I think more than Christ’s disciples, that he was going to die at the end of this week. I’m not sure why she got that, and they did not. But here she was in preparation for the death of her Master, and I’m sure she was heart broken as well, because not only was Christ her Master, but I’m sure he was her friend as well. I’d like to think as Christ was teaching his disciples thru this powerful act of service, that he took a quiet moment to thank her, and to bless her, as he did with most people that sought him out. “Suffer the little ones,” in the end, aren’t we all the “little ones” that Christ speaks of?

Scriptures for this event:
Matthew 26: 6-13
Mark 14: 3-9
John 12: 3-7

Christ Teaches in The Temple

Because he lives Tuesday
Each day this week, as part of the Church’s #BecauseHeLives Easter initiative, there will be a new question, meme, and/or video that members can share with their friends. Today is Tuesday of the Holy Week and the question that was shared is,

“On Tuesday, during the last week of His mortal life, Jesus Christ answered questions from accusers and disciples alike. What questions can we find answers to today because He lives? Find out at”

Last year on my personal blog I did a series of blog posts about the last week of the life of the savior. I wrote the following,

“Jesus Christ taught in the temple on this day, about the Last Days, His Second Coming, and the gospel. I have often wondered how Christ must have felt these last days trying to teach as many people and get them to understand. I’m sure it’s similar to how I felt the last weeks of my mission. I just did not have time to mess around and I worked! I have this memory of my companion and I running from blok to blok trying to share the gospel with whoever would listen to us — which was not many people, but we felt pressed to find as many people and try to teach them.”

One of the things the Savior taught this day is found in Matthew 23: 37-38, which reads, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

I don’t want to live in a desolate house, or a place without the Lord and the teachings of God. I also have this image in my mind, when I read this passage, of how very much our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, and want us to follow them. They are waiting right there for us. The question is, will we hearken their call and go? Accepting the invitation of coming unto Christ, is a active choice we make. We choose to follow Him. We choose to take His yoke upon us. We choose to enter into His rest, which is not just sitting around waiting for things to happen, but rather actively participating in the Gospel and actively reaching out to others and inviting them to come with us.

I invite you to find the answers to your questions by following Jesus Christ and learning of Him.

The things Christ taught on this day can be found in the following scriptures:
Matthew 23 & 24
Mark 12 & 13
Luke 20 & 21
John 12

Christ Cleanses the Temple

Because he lives monday

Each day this week, as part of the Church’s #BecauseHeLives Easter initiative, there will be a new question, meme, and/or video that members can share with their friends. Today is Monday of the Holy Week and the question that was shared is,

“How can the events of Monday, during the last week of Jesus Christ’s mortal life, give us strength today? To find out, visit

Today in our family’s morning “scripture-picture” discussion we talked about how Christ cleansed the temple, and how when we go to the temple we need to prepare to be reverent. My small children had so many questions, “Why were there noisy people at the temple? Why weren’t the people reverent? Was Jesus mad at those people?” I love that my six and three year old sons have these questions. I love the fact that we can sit and discuss them and that they are curious and want to learn about their Savior.

Happy Monday!

Jesus in the Modern World

whosayiamIn the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was praying alone with his Disciples when he asked what people thought of him. They answered according to Matt 16:14, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets,” with Luke 9:19 adding he might be, “one of the old prophets [who] is risen again.” He then asked what they thought, and one of his chief Apostles Peter answered boldly that he was the Christ of God (Luke 9:20) with Matt 16:16 adding “the Son of the living God.” Peter essentially was claiming that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah come down to save Israel. There was no rebuke, but an acknowledgement by Jesus that is exactly who he was, and praising his spiritual insight as coming from God. Considering the violent ending of those who claimed the Messianic mantle, Jesus warned them the same fate was coming. Peter rebuked him for saying such negative expectations, and Jesus rebuked back that Satan inspired rejecting the path he was destined to walk.

Who do men say that Jesus is? Today the question is no different than when Jesus and his Disciples walked the dusty road of Jerusalem. What might be surprising is the answers. They go from the mundane of lucky preacher who gained literate followers to the traditionally religious grandiose God and Savior of the world. Like the days of his life and death, he is both mocked and praised. It could even be said that while there is a sizable world wide number of believers in his Divinity, he is slowly becoming obscure or irrelevant. This is opposite the rival religion of Islam and some other Eastern faiths. The Western views that kept Jesus “alive” have changed over the last few centuries. He is in metaphorical fragments.

It wasn’t always like this. During the first great upheaval of arguments over his identity, the questions asked exactly how divine was Jesus in relation to God. The answer more than a millenium ago, that remains the cornerstone of most modern definitions of the Christian faith, proclaimed he was God in a different form. During his life, he was likewise both fully Man and fully God. The creed of Jesus was set and a catholic church dominated, until what came to be known as the reformation sprouted Protestantism. Despite serious disagreements, for the most part Protestants shared the same creed as the church they left. Whole countries developed around particular Christian identities and churches, defending and fighting among themselves for dominance. For centuries Jesus was a driving force for both good and evil actions of history.

That began to change a century after the “enlightenment” when people started to focus more on the mind than on the spirit. For the past two centuries views of who Jesus is and was began to be questioned in ways never before taken seriously. The answers have become so mixed and branching that one method employed actually used voting over a color scheme to decide the truth about Jesus. The colors represented the probability of what Jesus did or said, ultimately to determine who he was. Most likely these new questions and the modern views they inspire came from the relatively recent Western culture of skepticism. Answers have become less important than questions about history, authority, and existence itself. Science and academics, positive as they have been, is the new religion with scientists and professors the theologians; politicians the Priesthood authority. Jesus is quickly, to the ecstasy of many, becoming sidelined. Continue reading