Sunday, January 4, 2015

Remember, Remember

"But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not."
King Benjamin, ~120 B.C.
Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:30
Let this year be a year of more exact obedience. Let this year be a year of strengthening your faith to new heights. Let this year to be a year when you let go of the load that holds you back from having a fuller companionship of the Lord's guidance. Let this year be that year. Do not procrastinate any longer.

We have been given all the power and ability to choose for ourselves how we react to adversity, personal weakness and trials of mortality. That is why (because of that attribute) we should watch ourselves and be fully aware of what we do and why we do. Never should we lower our guard of self-awareness.

We are allowed to fall, fail and falter. That happens. It is a part of this life! No one is perfect here but when we do, we must suffer the consequences also. We just have to get up, try again and regain balance; that means to repent.

I know there is much more joy and happiness in being watchful of ourselves in all aspects of life. Pay attention and make the best choices. You can because your Father is a God and your Brother who is perfect in every way is there to help you all the way.

Godspeed, my friends!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Waiting for Christmas

I originally thought I would write about something else. Yet there is one thing that I have learned: follow your intuition (or what I call inspiration). I feel like I should share an experience I had not too many days ago.

A dear friend of mine had invited me and my beloved fiance to see an independence day celebration. Going there, I did not expect much. Little did I know that my feelings for the coming birth celebration of our Savior would be so much greater in the end.

In the end of the celebration after many wonderful numbers all who had taken part in the show came out on the stage and the soloist with a choir sang one of my favorite Christmas hymns. When O Holy Night sounded in the hall we were at, lights began to shine one by one. Everywhere in the audience people turned on a light.

I could not hold back the tears.

Travelling back home, my thoughts turned to a place far from here where long, long ago a beautiful baby boy was born. In the most humble of circumstances a Savior was born to us. From whom we have received the greatest gift of all, the gift of complete forgiveness on the conditions of repentance.

That Saturday afternoon set the tone for my Christmas season. I wish that you will find something that will set it for you.

Godspeed and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Political Blasphemy

Today I am going to address a subject that has been bothering me for a good while now. I don't believe that this single post is going to change much but an ocean is a collection of millions of drops, right?

The whole thing really got wind under it's wings on a summer two years back or so. I was a missionary walking the Swedish streets. My colleague told me that he had visited a locale of an other denomination and seen a poster with two men. Under was a text "Adam & Steve".

An other occasion caught my attention. On a Swedish newspaper I read a short article of how social democratic political party had marketed themselves with a slogan: "Jesus var sosse" meaning "Jesus was social democratic" in Swedish slang. According to them his teachings and the way of living corresponded with their ideology.

Enough of Sweden. In Finland where I live, one of the denominations has tried years to attract youth to become interested of faith and practice of religion. This was years ago but they used a campaign named "Jesse diggaa sua" meaning "Jesse (Jesus) thinks you are cool" in Finnish slang from Helsinki. I'm not sure if "Jesse digs you" translates exactly same way in English or American but it should be pretty close.

Not too long ago a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook. The picture is from United States I believe it could be from somewhere else too. It is a picture of a huge board. It would not fit in my room no matter how you would twist or turn it. It has a text that I felt was very offensive and hurtful. First it compares religion to a male sex organ which in itself was the most hurtful of things the board said. Then it continues to say:

"It's okay to have one. It's okay to be proud of it. HOWEVER, do not pull it out in public, do not push it on children, do not write laws with it, do not think with it."
 That was when I decided to write about this. This is what I call political blasphemy.

First, I do not sign under any circumstances that using religion in a political campaign  of any kind is right. Politics is and/or should be based on an individual's or a group's own, founded values and ideology. Religion might have an influence on them BUT never in any situation religion should be used as vote fishing tool.

Twisting religion and it's teachings is a very common practice when something does not seem to fit in the mind of the "masses". This has been happening for quite a long time now. Those who are willing to hearken the Truth and see the Reality will do it. The rest will not agree and it is their loss. It is sad but that is how it is. It is sometimes painful, sometimes frustrating and sometimes it makes me angry to see how denominations and their leaders who profess to be on God's errand in reality turn away from Him because of a public voice.

Using God, Christ and other sacred and revered people in a disrespectful context is not right. If we who claim to be their followers, talk about them in light manner, making fun of them, what does it show to the world? We who know them, we should show respect of highest decree.

Should those who follow a god be silenced from the voice of a nation? Should those that have found joy and happiness be stopped from sharing what took them there? Should those that have a religion stop considering their actions through a lens of faith an conviction? Should a parent be denied the right to teach their children what makes mom and/or dad happy?

In this age of freedom of speech, there has been an increase of voice to silence those who believe or have a faith. We are part of many nations all over the world. We are people with rights. We have values. We have ideologies. We have things to say. We have a right to make our voice heard.

Where would this world be if religion had not ever been?

What was the foundation of nations? What was used as a founding stone of law? What has made the western civilization "civil"?