Friday, December 27, 2013

Week 65: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! WAIT!!! ITS CHRISTMAS ALREADY!!!!!

I thought we just celebrated Thanksgiving that's just so weird I really have no idea I still feel like I was just in the MTC. Its sort of weird haha. But MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

This Christmas Season is full of Peace love and lots of joy isn't it? I remember being at

home watching the snow fall softly on the ground its a birth different that the heat of the Christmas season here haha but as I watch the snow fall in my head and so many Christmases before with loved ones surrounding me hoping for a more Christ centered Christmas. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXXwtFWpAI8&list=PL564596438ACBFE44)

President Monson invites us to have a more Christ centered Christmas by taking off the last syllable of Christmas and it becomes the spirit of Christ. So what made the bells ring on Christmas day? or what is the meaning of angels "echoing their joyous strain" well let me tell you it all started by Revelations to the prophets of old.  

Isaiah 7:14  - “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Helaman 14:2-8 “And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem a

ll those who shall believe on his name.

“And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.

“Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.

“And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.

 “And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.

“And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.

“And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.”


Two Prophets Isaiah and Samuel received the revelations of the Christ child. And it all started to come forth with a heavenly visit to a young woman named Mary.


Luke 1;26-32, 34-35, 37-38 “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

“To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

“And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the bhrone of his father David:

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”


Gabriel an angel of god sent to bring good tidings of great joy to a young woman. here in the Americas a man named Nephi had faith that one day the lord would come

3 Nephi 1 4, 8-14 “And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.

“But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

“Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

“Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

“And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

“And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be  spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

“Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.”
 

His faith had made him rejoice because like it says joy to the world the carol did sound that night  

3 Nephi 1 15-16  “And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

“And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.

“And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.

“And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.”

Luke 2 6-7 “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”


Away in a Manger:
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

Silent night:
Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace;
Sleep in heavenly peace.


Luke 2;8-17 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

 “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”

It Came Upon a Midnight clear
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heav'n's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still thru the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav'nly music floats
O'er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hov'ring wing,
And ever o'er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

For lo! the days are hast'ning on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heav'n and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.


Far. Far Away on Judea’s plains
Far, far away on Judea's plains,
Shepherds of old heard the joyous strains:

Sweet are these strains of redeeming love,
Message of mercy from heav'n above:

Lord, with the angels we too would rejoice;
Help us to sing with the heart and voice:

Hasten the time when, from ev'ry clime,
Men shall unite in the strains sublime

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest;
Peace on earth, goodwill to men;
Peace on earth, goodwill to men!


But there were some wise men too weren’t there? They followed the star as it says in this hymn.

With wond'ring awe the wise men saw
The star in heaven springing,
And with delight, in peaceful night,
They heard the angels singing:


Matthew 2:1-2.11 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Jud├Ža in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OcQXpZwRKY&list=PL564596438ACBFE44)

The truth of this first Chrismas story is what we can get out of it. The Son of God was born to the virgin Mary who laid him in a manger. Being a missionary we watch a Christmas film a lot its called Joy to the world. If you have it, watch it if you don't then ask your neighborhood Missionary if they can give it to you so you can give it to a friend; then watch it with that friend. But the best part is a scripture they share.

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Wow I just about stood up I thought I heard the hallelujah chorus wow! That would have been embarrassing haha!  

Writing all of this I am remembered of a cartoon called a Charlie Brown Christmas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YjbnSghLV8>) Here Linus tells Charlie what Christmas is all about. But its a pretty good reminder that the whole meaning is about a boy born in a manger in Bethlehem. One of my favorite stories started in a manger and well its the one that never ends because the person is still living. That's my favorite story the one that goes on and on.

May God bless each and everyone of you this Christmas season and well I’ll receive my Christmas Present tomorrow well that or my Mom will haha. I get to call home over SKYPE and well what more can I ask? Hope you all have a very marry Christmas!!!

Love you all!

Elder Jaymes Monson

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 64: Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Nativity in our apartment
Isn't the greatest time of the year I just love it!!! Every one is just happy and frustrated a bit but it’s just awesome to see all the lights and all the Christmas cheer within the families.

Isn’t this a wonderful time of the year! So many things fill our hearts with the spirit of Christmas: the melody of Christmas carols, the lights, the decorations, and the happy greetings of “Merry Christmas!”

"Its the most wonderful time of the year", “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus”1and, of course, “Joy to the World!” “Away in a Manger,” and “Silent Night.”

There are other words, more cautionary, that are worthy of our consideration as well—words such as:

Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot . . .
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Who-ville,
Did NOT!2

The Grinch, that memorable character from a classic children’s story by Dr. Seuss, had a heart that “was two sizes too small,” and he hated everything about Christmas. Through the course of the story, however, he undergoes a dramatic transformation when he learns that there is more to Christmas than decorations and gifts.

Perhaps the Grinch’s story is so memorable because, if we are honest, we may be able to relate to him.

We know what the Christmas season ought to be—we know it should be a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, a time of celebration and of generosity. But sometimes our focus is so much on the things that annoy and overwhelm us that we can almost hear ourselves say in unison with the Grinch: “Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW?”

While it’s true that we can find materialism and anxiety in Christmas, it is also true that if we have eyes to see, we can experience the powerful message of the birth of the Son of God and feel the hope and peace He brings to the world. We, like the Grinch, can see Christmas through new eyes.

A couple years ago I saw a Mormon Message (http://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-12-0140-the-greatest-gift?category=mormon-messages/mormon-messages-2010) it’s called the greatest gift. But the funny thing was my mom did the exact same thing to me. it shows all t he young kids in a family opening up all these presents and toys and everything they were getting was col!! the oldest kid pens up a coupe of gifts and well they were socks and clothes and stuff like that. but the last present was a present for him and as he opens it its a picture of Christ as he looks at it he finds out the true meaning of Christmas, as he feels the Saviors love for him. like I said my mom did that to me like 2 years ago But as I opened it up the prince of peace sort of came into my heart s I felt the true meaning of Christmas and well what a peace I felt. My mom Might have seen it and wanted to see how it would work or i might have showed it to her who knows but it was an amazing feeling that I knew m savior lives and I knew and well still know that Christmas isn't about the material its about the birth of the son of god. 

President James E Faust told a story about an unforgettable Christmas in his December 2004 ensign article,

I would like to recount a story told by Kenneth J. Brown, who was serving as a U.S. Marine in Japan following the dropping of the bomb. His moving story about a Japanese Christian he met at Christmastime in Nagasaki is as follows.

“I watched him turn from the street and climb the path leading to our shelter. He was groping, hesitating. As he came near he folded his umbrella and stood quietly a long moment. His thin coat soon dampened from the cold rain that was falling from the same sky that had brought death to nearly half his townspeople three short months before. I concluded that it must take some special courage to confront one’s conquerors without invitation. It was little wonder that he hesitated.

“His polite bow to me was no bow of submission. Rather his squared shoulders and lifted head let me feel as if I were looking up at him even … though I towered over him a foot or more. I recall being disturbed that I hadn’t yet become used to the near sightless eyes of those who had looked heavenward that morning when the bomb dropped. …

“… I respectfully asked if I could be of service. [In his clear English] he introduced himself as Professor Iida. …

“‘I am Christian,’ he said. ‘I am told this is the head minister’s office. Are you a Christian? It is good to talk with a follower of Christ; there are so few Christian Japanese.’

“I took him to the inner office of the division chaplain and waited while the two men conversed. Professor Iida stated his request briefly. He was a teacher of music in a Christian girls’ college until it was closed by imperial command. … He had been imprisoned because of his professed Christianity. After being released he had returned to Nagasaki and continued his music instruction in his home even though it was forbidden. He had been able to continue a small chorus and would be pleased if … they [could] sing a concert for the American Marines.

“‘We know something of your American Christmases,’ he said. ‘We should like to do something to make your Christmas in Japan more enjoyable.’

“I felt sure the chaplain would give a negative reply. Our unit was one of hardened fighters, four years away from home, who had fought the enemy from Saipan to Iwo Jima. … Yet there was something about the man that bespoke sincere desire to do a good deed so that … permission was granted. The concert would be Christmas Eve.

“The rains had stopped and a calm settled over the atomic bowl reminiscent of the calm that night long ago. The concert was well attended; there was nothing else to do. The theater … had been cleared of its fallen roof and men were sitting on the jagged walls. The usual momentary hush fell over the audience as the performers filed on stage. …

“The first thing we noticed was that they were singing in English and we became aware that they didn’t understand the words but had memorized them for our benefit. Professor Iida had taught his students well; they sang beautifully. We sat enthralled as if a choir from heaven were singing for us. … It was as if Christ were being born anew that night.

“The closing number was a solo, an aria from ‘The Messiah.’ The girl sang with all the conviction of one who knew that Jesus was indeed the Savior of mankind and it brought tears. After that there was a full minute of silence followed by sustained applause as the small group took bow after bow.

“Later that night I helped Professor Iida take down the trimmings. I could not resist asking some questions that propriety forbade but curiosity demanded. I just had to know.

“‘How did your group manage to survive the bomb?’ I asked.

“‘This is only half my group,’ he said softly, but seemed unoffended at my recalling his grief so that I felt I could ask more.

“‘And what of the families of these?’

“‘They nearly all lost one or more members. Some are orphans.’

“‘What about the soloist? She must have the soul of an angel the way she sang.’

“‘Her mother, two of her brothers were taken. Yes, she did sing well; I am so proud of her. She is my daughter.’ …

“The next day was Christmas, the one I remember best. For that day I knew that Christianity had not failed in spite of people’s unwillingness to live His teachings. I had seen hatred give way to service, pain to rejoicing, sorrow to forgiveness. This was possible because a babe had been born in a manger [and] later taught love of God and fellowmen. We had caused them the greatest grief and yet we were their Christian brothers and as such they were willing to forget their grief and unite with us in singing ‘Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.’

“The words of Miss Iida’s song testimony would not be stilled, ‘Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows.’ They seemed to echo and re-echo over the half-dead city that day.

“That day also I knew that there was a greater power on earth than the atomic bomb.”

That power has influenced for good the hosts of His followers on the earth for more than 2,000 years. It is the power in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, our Savior, our Advocate with the Father, the King of Kings, the Lord of lords, and the Prince of Peace. It is the power by which, through faith and obedience to His teachings, we can find joy and happiness, peace and comfort.

When we prepare for Christmas by pondering its real meaning, we prepare to experience the Christ and His message.  he says to come unto him what better time to come closer to him than by remembering his birth, we need to ponder His influence in our lives today. The more commercialized and busy the Christmas season becomes, the easier it is for the sublime message of the Savior’s life to get lost along the way. If we notice that planning for parties and scrambling for presents begin to detract from the peaceable message of Jesus Christ and distance us from the gospel He preached, let us take a step back, slow down a little, and reconsider what matters most.

Let this be a time of remembrance, of gratitude, and a time of forgiveness. Let it be a time to ponder the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it’s meaning for each of us personally.  President Faust says, It is the priesthood power by which the world was created and the plan of salvation and happiness was put in place to bless our lives eternally if we are true to our covenants. It is the power that was magnified by His agony on the cross, bringing the single most important blessing to mankind. The greatest of all acts in all history was the atoning sacrifice of our Savior and Redeemer.

We remember that sacrifice at this time of year when we celebrate His birth. It is only through the atoning sacrifice of the Prince of Peace that we may know the true power of peace in our own lives. By remembering his sacrifice, we honor Him far more than we ever could with lights, gifts, or parties.

The Grinch saw the good in Christmas when he learned to look past its worldly trappings. If we do the same, we can, with the Grinch, proclaim: “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”

Our heart may not grow three sizes as the Grinch’s did, but our heart will change. Our eyes will open to the miracles all around us—at Christmastime and throughout the year.

Well this was 2 talks sorry if its long but the peace we can feel the Christmas season is not found in boxes and bows its found in the one who was born the savior of the world who came to save us all 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. the prince of peace is his name we can find peace through him and his atoning sacrifice. He loves us and we love him bring peace into each of our homes at this time of the year jut come unto I'm and bring him into our lives.

I love this time of the season just put on a happy face and remember who's birthday we celebrate. I love this time of the season hope each of you do too.

Love you all!!

Elder Jaymes Monson 



President James E. Faust The power of peace http://www.lds.org/ensign/2004/12/the-power-of-peace