Tuesday, August 31, 2010


"Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith: Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:" - Hebrews 3:7-8

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." - Hebrews 3:12

In Hebrews 3 we see two wrong conditions of the heart - a hard heart and an unbelieving heart. In the wilderness, a hard heart caused the Israelites to rebel.  A person with a hard heart cannot believe God easily, which is a major problem because everything we received from God comes through believing.  To receive from Him, we must come to Him in simple, childlike faith and just believe.

The atonement of Jesus Christ cannot work in us if we have a hard, unbelieving heart.

We call ourselves believers, but the truth is, there are a lot of "unbelieving believers."  For some reason when we ponder on the promises made to us through covenants we think that we are unworthy and so we don't believe or trust in Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ.

Even Moses arrived at the place in the wilderness where he was slow of heart to believe God.  That's why we have to stay sharp spiritually if we are going to be quick to believe and to walk in faith day by day.  We must be careful to go from faith to faith and not begin to mix in any doubt and unbelief.

It is amazing to watch friends and family come to a point in their lives when they become a believing believer.  Victor's sister, Sandy and her children Nico and Raquel have been taking the discussions.  I have watched as they have grown and progressed.  Sandy and her children have become believing believers and trust that Jesus Christ will redeem them.  Because of their faith they have decided to become members of the Church.

Their baptismal date is September 18th at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

Our older brother, Jesus Christ, longs to be the restorer of our souls.  We need to trust and believe in Him; letting him into those areas of our lives that no one else can ever reach.  Ask Him to change you into the person after His heart, a person who has the same kind of heart that He has. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."  -- Genesis 6:5-8

The story of Noah tells us that many people today are being destroyed for the simple reason that their hearts are wrong.  There were three heart issues concerning the people of Noah's day that displeased God:  wickedness, evil imaginations, and evil thinking.  But Noah had a right heart and found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

We can not imagine how many areas of our lives would be straightened out if we would just get our hearts in the right place.  Our hearts may not be filled with the exact same evil thoughts and imaginations of the people in Noah's day, but a bad attitude or wrong thinking can also be labeled evil imaginations and evil thinking.  If we have a bad attitude and "stinking thinking" we are going nowhere in life.

This is why we must guard our heart  --  out of our heart flows the issues of our life.  Our problem is that if we let garbage in, garbage will come back out.  Allowing negative, evil thinking in our hearts cannot produce a life that glorifies God.  We have to be careful not only about our actions but also about our imagination, our intent, our motivation, our attitude.  If we fail here, we may end up with an evil heart.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."   - Proverbs 4:12

When Heavenly Father speaks to us about our heart, He is asking for our entire life, the entire personality, character, body, mind, and emotions in the spirit of a person.  The heart is the real person, not the person everybody sees.

The heart is the most important aspect of the spiritual body, and the heart attitude should be the major issue of every Latter-Day-Saint and Christian in the world.  It is not lack of ability or potential that prevents most people from making progress and enjoying fulfillment in life.  It is wrong heart attitudes that negatively affect our minds and thoughts.

There are many conditions of the heart.  Some are positive, and some are negative.

"Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart."  -- 2 Chornicles 25:1-2

King Amaziah is noted for having a negative condition of the heart.  He did all the right things, but his heart was not right.  Therefore, God was not pleased with him.  That's a scary thing.  We can do the right thing, and yet have it not acceptable to God because we do it with a wrong heart attitude.

Some of us accept callings out of duty, but dread the responsibilities and try to find ways to get out of it.  Some of us may only pay tithes and offerings because it is a commandment, thus never experiencing the true fruits of obedience:  gratitude for the things that we have.  Some of us read our scriptures daily because we should, yet we haven't feasted upon the words to learn of Christ and to learn of Heavenly Father's will for us.

Doing the "right thing" is not enough.  Doing the "right thing" with the right spirit is great!

Heavenly Father is more concerned about our hearts than He is about what we do, because if our hearts are right, what we do will eventually catch up with that.  Who we are in our hearts is reflected in our thoughts and attitudes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit"  --  Matthew 12:33

For the believer, right thinking is something that is so important that one simply cannot live without it -- like a heartbeat is vital, or blood pressure is vital.  There are things without which there is no life.  Our life source, our source for right thinking, is regular, personal fellowship with Heavenly Father in prayer and regular study of his Word found in the standard works.

The Bible says that a tree is known by its fruit.

The same is true of our lives.  Thoughts bear fruit.  Think good thoughts, and the fruit of your life will be good.  Think bad thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be bad.

Actually, you can look at a person's attitude and know what kind of thinking is prevalent in his life.  A sweet, kind person does not have mean, vindictive thoughts.  By the same token, a truly evil person does not have good, loving thoughts.

Remember Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:"

As Mom pointed out in her blog today, our appearance also reflects our thoughts.  When we present ourselves civilly we show others respect.  When we take the time to make ourselves lovely for worship each Sabbath we are showing respect for our Heavenly Father.

Monday, August 23, 2010


"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."  -  Romans 8:5

In the King James Version, the eighth chapter of Romans teaches us that if we "mind" the flesh, we will walk in the flesh.  But if we "mind" the things of the Spirit, we will walk in the Spirit.

Let me put it another way:  If we think fleshly thoughts, wrong thoughts, negative thoughts, we cannot walk in the Spirit.  It seems as if renewed, godlike thinking is a vital necessity to a successful Christian life.  I think of the scriptures in the Book of Mormon that talk about "the natural man is an enemy to God" and the many scriptures that talk about man's carnal nature.  It takes a lot of study; practice and learning to change our natural state to that of a Godlike state.

Your life may be in a state of chaos becuase of years of wrong thinking.  If so, it is important for you to come to grips with the fact that your life will not get straightened out until your mind does.  You should consider this area one of vital necessity.

You cannot overcome your situation by determination alone.  You do need to be determined, but determined in the Holy Spirit, not in the effort of your own flesh.  The Holy Spirit is your helper  -- seek His help.  Lean on Him.  You can't make it alone.

Friday, August 20, 2010


"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."  - Luke 10:19

I love this scripture!  We have been blessed with the physical and mental strength and ability to overcome anything that may possess us.

Far too many of us are fainthearted, weak in determination, and diseased with an "I can't" attitude.  They are plagued with a lack of spiritual strength.

You and I don't have to beg Heavenly Father to give us power.  We just need to realize and accept that we have been blessed with the strength and power; and then walked in what is already ours.  We must develop and maintain a "power consciousness" -- an aggressive, power-packed attitude.

Heavenly Father has given us spiritual power for spiritual warfare.  Spiritual power is released when our faith is firm.  When we walk in faith we can approach every situation with an enemy-conquering attitude.

An attitude of confidence will exude from us when we know who we are; when we know our relationship with Jesus Christ; and when we believe in the power that the scriptures testify that is ours through faith.

Do you desire to be a powerful believer?  Try approaching every situation in your life with a simple childlike faith -- believing Heavenly Father is good, that He has a good plan for our lives; and that He is working in our situation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  - 1 Corinthians 10:13

Sadly, many people do not always accept the truth that God reveals to them.  It is painful to face our faults and deal with them.  We tend to justify misbehavior.  We allow our past and how we were raised to negatively affect the rest of our lives.

Our past may explain why we're suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.

Everyone is without excuse because Jesus Christ always stands ready to fulfill His promise to set us free.  The amazing miracle of the Atonement.  He will walk us across the finish line in any area if we are wiling to go all the way through it with Him.

We have the weapons to tear down the strongholds.  Heavenly Father doesn't abandon us and leave us helpless.  He promises us that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, but with every temptation He will also provide the way out, the escape.

You may have some major strongholds in your life that need to be broken.  Let me encourage you by saying, "Heavenly Father is on your side."  In the spiritual battle going on in your mind, Heavenly Father is fighting on your side.

No matter how great the temptation, Heavenly Father has promised us everything we need to walk in victory.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;"  -  Psalms 149:5-6

In David's Psalm 149, he gives us a picture of the position that the saints of God should take  -- with songs of praise and worship in their throats and the two-edged sword in their hands.  In the remainder of the psalm, he goes on to infer that this position is taken by the saints in order to defeat their enemies.

Praise defeats the devil quicker than any other battle plan.  Praise is a garment that we put on and that will protect us from defeat and negativity in our minds.  But it must be genuine heart praise, not just lip service or a method being tried to see if it works.  Also, praise involves the Word of God found in the scriptures.

Worship is a battle position!  As we worship Heavenly Father and strive to know Him, and to exemplify His attributes, and humbly recognize his abilities and might, we will see His great power and attributes released on our behalf.

I am sure your heart frequently fills up with love and worship for Heavenly Father.  Always remember to be greatful.  When we humbly seek the Lord in prayer and supplication our enemies have no power over us.  The chains of iniquity are shed and we are released from the grasp of the advesary.

God never loses a battle.  He has a definite battle plan, and when we follow it, we always win.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" - Ephesians 6:18

Prayer is another spiritual weapon God has given us to wage warfare.  Prayer is a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  It is coming and asking for help or talking to God about something that bothers us.  It also an opportunity to express our gratitude for the blessings and opportunities we have in our lives.

If you want to have an effective prayer life, develop a good personal relationship with the Father.   Know that He loves you, that He is full of mercy, that He will help you.  Get to know Jesus Christ our Saviour.  He is our Friend.  He died for each of us.  Get to know the special relationship that the Holy Spirit has with each of us.  He is with each of us all the time as a companion; comforter; healer and guide.  Let Him help you.

All kinds of prayer are to be used in our walk with God.  There is the prayer of agreement between two people and also the united prayer of a group of people.  There are prayers of thanksgiving, praise and worship, petition, intercession, commitment, and consecration.

Whatever kind of prayer your bring, learn to fill your prayers with the Word of God and offer them with the faith and assurance that God keeps His promises to the righteous. 

Monday, August 16, 2010


Aislyn has many new experiences this past summer with visiting family in Utah; going to Girl's Camp; and receiving her patriarchal blessing just two weeks before school starts.

Aislyn followed the counsel of the Patriarch and read the scriptures that he assigned and she fasted the whole day yesterday.  Her appointment was at 4 p.m.

We love Patriarch Lassen and his wife Debbie.  Debbie was the Stake Young Women's President when I was the Young Women's President for Oxnard 1st Ward.  We are always warmly welcomed into their home.

Yesterday was especially warm.  The spirit in their home is very strong.  Aislyn was spiritually prepared and it was evident with her demeanor and her responses to Patriarch Lassen's questions.

I am very blessed to have been present when she received her Patriarchal blessing and I am thankful for her faithfulness.  Her blessing will be a light for her to follow her entire life.  Her love for Heavenly Father and her faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation that will keep her strong in the Gospel.  We were all deeply touched by the counsel and love given to her in her blessing.

What an amazing experience.  I hope each of by brothers and sisters are able to sit in the room when each of their children receives their patriarchal blessing.  What an amazing insight we gain into the spirit and lives of our children.

Friday, August 13, 2010


"And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God."  - Ephesians 6:17

"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples.  And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free."  -  John 8:31-32

The attacks of Satan against the church are more intense than ever before.  More people than ever are experiencing tremendous attacks against their minds and enduring great attacks of fear.

A person who learns to abide in the Word of God and lets the Word abide in him will have a two-edged sword with which to do battle.  To abide means to remain, to continue in, or to dwell in.  If you make God's Word a small part of your life, you will know only a partial truth and will experience only limited freedom, but those who abide in it will know the full truth and will experience complete freedom.

Several years ago we were counselled to read the Book of Mormon, cover-to-cover, before the year was through.  We were promised many blessings if we did.

I remember going through this exercise and I read very quickly, especially toward the end of the year because I had missed a few days of reading.

Shortly after completing the the Book of Mormon I received additional counsel to read it again and I have, several times.  Each time I begin I slow it down a bit.  I think I am on my 5th or 6th time and I am only on Chapter 2 of second Nephi.

I have not just focused my energies on reading the Book of Mormon.  I have found comfort in all the standard works and have been studying topics that are relevent to me in my life right now.
I can testify that the Word of God has caused me to be victorious over the devil.  I am able to combat dispair, depression and dispondency.  My life was a mess because I was ignorant of the Word.  I lacked direction because I had set my heart on those things that were less than divine.  I had been a Christian for many years who loved God and was active in church work.  But I had zero victory because I did not know the Word.

Knowing God's word is essential.  It is even more important to apply His word to our lives.  We should be living, eating, breathing the Gospel every moment of the day.  We should be devoting our time and energy to becoming like the Saviour.

"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." - John 8:31-32

Learn the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to wield it by speaking, singing, or meditating on the portions of Scripture that you feel He is placing on your heart.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up "strongholds" in our mind.  A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.  Strongholds are lies that are believed.

The aposlte Paul tells us that we have the spiritual weapons we need to overcome Satan's strongholds.  Using our weapons, we refute the enemy's lies, arguments, theories, reasonings, and every other thing that tries to exalt itself against the truth of God's Word.  We must take our thoughts captive and refuse to indulge in the fleshly luxury of receiving and meditating on every thought that falls into our heads.

The primary weapon with which we do battle is the Word of God used in various ways -- preached, taught, sung, confessed, meditated upon, written, and read.  We must get the knowledge of God's truth in us to renew our minds.  The Word of God has a cleansing effect on our minds and lives any way we use it.

No one will ever live a truly victorious life without being a sincere student of God's Word.


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  - Ephesians 6:12

A careful study of Ephesians 6 informs us that we are in a war, and that our warfare is not with other human beings but with the devil and his demons.  Our enemy, Satan, attempts to defeat us with strategy and deceit, through well-laid plans and deliberate deception.

Jesus called the devil "the father of lies and of all that is false" (John 8:44).  He lies to you and me.  He tells us things about ourselves, about other people, and about circumstances that are just not true.  He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at one time.

He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings, and theories.  He moves slowly and cautiously.  Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare.  He has studies us for a long time.

Satan knows what we like and what we don't like.  He knows our insecurities, weaknesses, and fears.  He knows what bothers us most and is willing to invest any amount of time to take to defeat us.  His strong point is patience.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


As many of you know, we had Ward Boundary changes.  The Gonzales Family is still in the Oxnard 1st Ward.

Victor was released from all his callings and so was I.  However, I have been re-called to the same callings that I had prior to the boundary changes with some additional instruction from the Bishop.

I am still the Activity Day Leader and the Primary Pianist.  I have been asked again to help support the music needs in the ward.  This time I was asked to support the choir since we now have a choir director.  I am really excited!  I love Sis. Jardin and she was the choir director when we were both in the Oxnard 3rd Ward.

I have not been asked to help out with the Organ, however, I am sure that when there is a need I will be asked.

I am glad that I can still offer service in the church.  I always enjoy the responsibilities that are given to me and I love the individuals that I serve.