Tuesday, June 1, 2010


An insight came to me today about a story in the eighth to the fifteenth chapters of Book of Mormon while I was at a meeting. A man whose name is Zeezrom was briefly mentioned. Zeezrom was a lawyer living in the city of Ammonihah. He was a very wicked man who stirred up the people to have arguments and disagreements with each other so that he could get more money. One day a prophet named Alma came into the city. He and his partner, Amulek, a resident of the city, began to call people to repentance. Well, this made Zeezrom and his associates unhappy, because if the people were to stop fighting with each other Zeezrom would be out of a job. So Zeezrom stepped up and began to contend with Alma and Amulek, to try to discredit their words in the eyes of the people. Alma and Amulek, being prophets of God, knew what he was thinking and brought him to the realization that what he was doing was very bad and that he needed to repent. Sadly though, the damage was already done. Because of Zeezrom's words many good people died and many more were driven from their homes in Ammonihah. Alma and Amulek were cast into prison, and, when they finally got out, they found Zeezrom lying in a bed, dying of a fever caused by the enormous guilt of what he had done. Zeezrom begged for their forgiveness and "besought them that they would heal him. And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation? And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught. And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed. And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words. And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ. And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk" (Alma 15:5-11).

A question comes to mind as I ponder on this story. How could Alma have so easily forgiven Zeezrom? Did Zeezrom not cause the slaughter of many innocent people? Had his words not caused many to harden their hearts and refuse to believe in their Savior? At least part of the answer is that Alma had once been no better than he. At one point in his life Alma "went about... seeking to destroy the church of God" (Alma 36:6). Alma knew that if God was so willing to forgive him of his sins, which had been as great as those that Zeezrom had committed, he would be an unjust man if he did not forgive all of his brethren of their trespasses. We are not perfect, so we cannot condemn others for their shortcomings, no matter how great or small they may be. It is also remarkable to me that it doesn't matter how far we fall or how bad we become, God will forgive us of all that we do wrong if we repent. I know from personal experience the peace that comes from both forgiving others and being forgiven. All will be made right if we trust in God and in Christ's atonement. I know this. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stories of Jesus

I was reading Elder Neil L. Anderson's talk, Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, during my personal study today. This talk was one of my favorites in General Conference. Elder Anderson talks about how we need to teach our children to rely upon Christ and his example in their lives. He talks about how studying and thinking of and following Christ's example provides strength and protection through the storms of this life. King Benjamin taught that "under [Christ's] head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh" (Mosiah 5:8). I testify that this is true. Christ can and will make us free from all pain and sorrow, from everything that tries to drag us down and make us miserable, but we must first trust in him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Book of Mormon

Yesterday I had a rather unique opportunity. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Council of the Twelve Apostles was in Palmyra to shoot his testimony for a new DVD. Our mission president asked if he could come speak to some of the missionaries while he was out here. One of the things he talked about was the Book of Mormon. He said it is the most powerful written witness of Jesus Christ on the earth. He echoed the Prophet Joseph Smith's testimony that "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (introduction to the Book of Mormon). Nephi, the prophet who started the Book of Mormon, said that "the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved" (1 Nephi 6:4). Moroni, the last prophet who wrote in the book, invites us to "come unto Christ, and be perfected in him" (Moroni 10:32). I declare that the Book of Mormon is true, and that living what it teaches will bring us more happiness and more peace than anything else we can do. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

For a free copy go to www.mormon.org.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Well, transfers rolled around again. Every 6 weeks we missionaries go to a meeting where we are assigned a new companion and possibly a new area. Our mission president, the man who directs all the missionary efforts in the region I serve in (western New York), has called transfers one of the greatest expressions of faith in the Church. Not too surprising of a statement considering the fact that you don't know where you will be sleeping and you don't know who will be sleeping in the bed next to you, a person who you know nothing about, but are now required to stay within sight and hearing of at all times. This person could be someone who has similar likes and interests to you, or he could be as far away from your personality type as he could possibly be. Yet we are still commanded to go out, to work with each other to bring souls to Christ. I have served with 20 different people now in the space of 2 years, and a most remarkable thing has happened with each one. When both of us have served the Lord with all of our "heart, might, mind, and strength" (D&C 4:2), totally unified in purpose, we have found that no matter what our differences might be, we become the best of friends.

President Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th Prophet of the Church taught: “We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (Preach My Gospel pg. 2). I have experienced that unity that comes from living the gospel, I have felt that joy and happiness, and I will never stray from that. I know Christ lives, that he has called a prophet to lead us today, and that by following him with all that I have I will never fall. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Be Careful

I was reading 2 talks from General Conference today, one by Elder David A. Bednar and the other from Elder Jeffery R. Holland, Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a common theme that I saw from both is that of being careful. The "enemy of [our souls]", as Elder Holland put it, is always out seeking for some way to destroy us. It is our duty to stay as far away from evil as we possibly can. At the same time we must fill our lives with good things, such as diligent scripture study, sincere and frequent prayer, and unselfish service to our fellow men. When we do these things we establish a more personal early warning system than the one spoken of by Elder Bednar. We can see when we start to slip and often we are able to help others to stay safe as well.

I enjoy the words of King Benjamin: "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." (Mosiah 4:30)

Let us be careful.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Busy, busy...

People these days are busy. Very busy. Sometimes a little too busy. We are busy doing lots and lots of things that don't really matter. These things aren't necessarily bad, but they aren't really the best use of our time. I know that many times on my mission I found myself running many somewhat less important errands and accomplishing very little as far as preaching the gospel goes. I have spent many a study session reading the scriptures "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:7)

In our lives as children of a loving God, we must make sure we do what He and His Son Jesus Christ would do. We must always look for opportunities to share His love and His gospel. We must seek to live His commandments and prepare to meet Him, for we will all meet him someday. (see Alma 34:32-34)

May we always set our hearts on the most important things.

For more see a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a modern apostle.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unknown Waters

I am Elder Clyde, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Three days ago I had the opportunity of attending a meeting where I, along with 5 other young missionaries and 4 older missionary couples, was told that our Church was bringing the act of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the 21st Century. Since the Church was Restored in 1830 its organized missionary effort has remained largely the same. Every day we go out and share the good news by word of mouth. We talk to people on the streets and go from house to house, looking for someone who will let us in. While this still is an effective means of spreading the Gospel, an entirely new world has come into existence in the last few decades. The Internet.

I have the unique opportunity of testing the waters for this new initiative. I am doing something that has no manuals and I have no one to look to save God alone for guidance. What I do here may just shape how every missionary called by God to spread His Word uses this wonderful tool. Glory be to God for what he has given me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.