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The Light of Revelation

My adventure as a missionary has definitely brought many amazing and powerful experiences into my life.  As I have fervently prayed for the companionship of the Holy Ghost however, I can honestly say I have come to truly realize the reality of the influence of the adversary in our lives.  Choices are decisions that we face daily, hourly, and even minutely, and sometimes it can be very hard to discern what will help the work of the Lord progress and what will not.  I have found myself struggling to fully discern the difference between personal revelation, that is, revelation from God, and the natural man.

The brain is a tremendous and powerful super computer that processes and interprets what we see and hear, translating our experiences into opinions and ideas that ultimately make us who we are, and why our perspective is the way it is.  As a missionary, being set apart as one who has authority to teach and baptize in Christs name has opened my eyes and ears, as well as softened my heart to the reality that we truly learn through our mistakes, and that Christs atonement has an amazing enabling power that allows me to change.  In a sense my metaphorical aperture has opened wider, allowing more light into my life.  This light, this concept of a radiance that allows us to see, has brought me comfort and has helped me find an answer to my stuggle of knowing and discerning true revelation from the natural man.  A quote by C.S. Lewis has really stood out to me, and given my earnest desire to more fully understand true revelation, I found it very applicable.  He states, “I beleive in Christ like I beleive in the Sun.  Not becuase I can see it, but by it, I can see everything else.”  Let us take a second to note that C.S. Lewis is a convert to Christianity. I can almost feel the emotion in this statement as I can only imagine the enlightenment he received as he came to adopt and live Christs teachings!!  We are talking about a man whos ability to express his imagination on paper is far greater than most people, and yet he states that everything he sees and does comes from a foundation of faith in Christ!  What a testimony this is to me of the influence of Christ in peoples lives.IMG_3254

Now, taking a step back to my metaphorical aperture. The aperture on a camera is relatively simple in purpose, it opens to allow more light in, and constricts to allow less light. If for example, a person yields to the natural man and consequently sins, he or she is constricting their aperture, ultimately allowing darkness to begin to settle in.  They are literally separating themselves from God.  On the other hand, if a person yields to the teachings of Jesus Christ and turns outward, he or she is opening their aperture and more light enters. It is key to recognize that the aperture controls light. Light is the variable being controlled, not darkness. Light is light.  It immediatley takes over darkness, and even the smallest hint of light will chase the darkness.   No matter what. Let us look at the rising sun that is pictured above. What is it that appeals to the eye? The sun of course! As a byproduct the picture is enhanced with a beautiful array of colors due to the radiance of the sun. Well my friends, as a byproduct of allowing the light of Christ into our lives, we see a beautiful array of blessings. Closely knit families, stronger marriages, purpose in life, peace of mind, respect for ourselves and others.  As we allow his light in, guilt turns to peace, sorrow turns to joy, regret turns to hope, and fear turns to faith. I testify of this and as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I know with all of my heart that this Gospel is true, and that it changes lives. Open your aperture! Let light in! For the blessings that come with the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are eternal and they will create a picture that is spectacular.

Christmas at mormon.org

Christmas at mormon.org

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints absolutely loves celebrating the birth of our Savior and as a Mormon, I am proud to say that I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that I know He lives.  For Mormons, Christmas time is time spent with Family, spent serving others, spent loving others, and spent thinking about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Our church is centered around families, and families are centered around Jesus Christ.

As we come to recognize Christ in our lives, and that His hand is always outstretched to us, we find comfort in knowing that He loves and cares about us.  Although this life is hard, and although we often feel abandoned, or lonely, or exhausted, or even helpless, the Savior is always there for us. Always. If you have not had the chance to check out Mormon.org, then I extend the invitation to all who want to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I invite all to learn about Jesus Christ, and to feel the happiness that being a member of this amazing church brings.  God Bless!

A New Perspective

Life is a blessing. The fact that we can live and breath on this beautiful Earth is a blessing.  Thanks to a loving God each of us has talents, and thanks to this mortal life we can find immense joy from using these talents.  We must use these God given talents, and in fact in the Bible we are taught to “neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy…” (1 Timothy 4:14).  To be honest, I love technology, and I feel blessed with the talent and ability to easily understand and use technology and social media.  It has always been a passion of mine, and 6 weeks ago when I was called to be an online missionary, I was beyond excited to find my niche within this cyber world of flowing information, opinions, etc..

Being a Missionary, this call to work online did not suddenly give me the freedom to surf my Facebook news feed or to get lost in the advertisements and distractions of the media, but instead gave me the privilege of helping others find happiness through Christ by using this miracle of social media as a tool and resource. Because of this technology, I can now share spiritual thoughts, videos, and insights at the click of a button, sharing with the world this amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it is so amazing that I can fulfill my purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ through modern tools like Facebook and honestly it helps me recognize even more God’s hand in all things. I love the fact that I do not have to shy away from technology, but instead embrace it with a new perspective. Everything happens for a reason, technology, Facebook, the world of social media, and God intends for us to do amazing things with them, however it is up to us.

This is the inspiration and desire that I have for this blog. Everything is the way it is for a reason; trees grow towards the heavens with their roots firmly held, light chases dark no matter the environment, wind isn’t tangible even though we know its there. These undeniable truths are facts to the human mind, bound by the scientific laws of man, but what about the laws of God and Jesus Christ? “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Why do things really happen the way that they do? What is Christ trying to teach us through these analogies that are all around us, and how will changing our perspective help us recognize His message? I love photography and I have also been blessed with a keen eye while using a camera. Perspective is important to me, and in this life it truly correlates with joy as well as gives direction to every photographers hope for a picture. God has an all knowing perspective of love for us, while we have a limited perspective blurred by the effects of mortality. Christ is the lens on our camera and as we look through it, He guides our perspective, focuses our image, and then broadens our view. He is literally the perfect metaphorical lens and when we look through it, we more clearly understand God’s hand in all things.

My question to you, fellow photographer, reader, blogger, etc., is that if Christ looked through your camera and took pictures, what would He see and what would He take pictures of? How does He change our perspective?