Thursday, February 9, 2012

Disneyland or the MTC?

On February 10th of 2012 I embarked on the most meaningful 2 years of my life! Although I was only 19 years old, I was ready to take on the title of "ELDER BUCKMAN" This is a title that missionaries get when the are on their missions as full time servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. I had started  a voluntary 2 year journey, I had been called to serve in the "Montana Billings Mission".
Before going to Montana I reported to the "Missionary Training Center" also known as the MTC. Here we learn how to take what we believe and teach it clearly The Spirit there is SO STRONG, you can't help but be happy! When I drove up I saw that everyone had the huge smiles on their faces...I thought to myself "This looks like "The Happiest Place on Earth"...kinda like Disneyland but not quite. I soon found out why everyone was so happy. As I joined in the fun I noticed that all of these people truly had the desire to help others become better teachers! I had a simple testimony of a few aspects of the Gospel. I knew that the Book of Mormon was truly another testament of Jesus Christ, I knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, I KNEW that I had felt the cleansing power of the Lord, and of course I KNEW that I wanted to share that with everyone. As I learned how to express what was in my heart I came to a better understanding of what I was teaching!
I was kind of feeling alone but then I got to see one of my very best friends Mike! He was a huge influence on me and my life! He helped me get back active in the church and always stuck with me. It was quite a blessing to be starting my mission and have my best bud to be there with me!
The MTC was not all fun and games. It was constant teaching, reevaluating, correcting, and reteaching! I was there for 3 weeks and everyday the desire to share what I knew increased! I knew there were going to be tough times ahead but that didn't phase me I was at a spiritual high! When March 3 came around it was time to get in the field and apply what i had learned! It was time to teach real people with real questions and concerns! ....GAME TIME BABY!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sins, Stains, and Salvation!

So the other day my missionary companion, Elder Miner, and I were sitting at our table planning what we were going to do the following day. That's when I realized that there was a drop of ink on my hand; almost instantly I remembered that I had just folded my arms to pray. Looking down at my white dress shirt, I saw it...there was a royal blue ink stain. Immediately, I thought "Oh no! this shirt is ruined...." assuming that it was beyond repair. I decided to try anyway! I tried rinsing the stain out myself in hot water; that just made it worse! I thought about it for a moment, and remembered that the lady with whom we live, Karla Larsen, is a mother of 4 children, maybe she could help me! So I ran up the stairs calling out and searching frantically for Karla! She responded to my plea for help and said "I am in here!" When I found here I asked her if she knew of someway to remove this seemingly permanent stain! She said simply "Hairspray!" I laughed in unbelief! She reassured me that it really would help. I put it to the test and you know what?....IT WORKED!!! The stain came out right away! I was shocked and relieved, both at the same time!!
Now, after all of this happened I thought of this scripture in the book of Isaiah! He tells us in Isaiah 1:18  "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet(Or as blue as your Ink Stain), they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Sometimes we feel like we have done something for which we will not be able to be forgiven, or for which we can not forgive ourselves. We may think that there is NO hope but the Lord tells us otherwise in the Book of Moroni 10:32-33
 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
 This is when we "Run upstairs to request help from somebody who has more experience than we do!" We need to go to our Father in prayer and ask for help! Now, because our Savior died for us His is the source to which we need to go. He is the hairspray... too often we forget that and/or we doubt that, just like I did! We must trust in Him and He will help us!
I know that He can and WILL help us, if we believe in Him! I love knowing that our Father in heaven loves us and is willing to forgive us of our sins, IF we let him! I testify of these things because I have witnessed it first hand! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


About 3 years ago I was at this camp with a bunch of members of my church. We were camping up in the woods in Arizona...Yes, there are trees in Arizona. One night one of my good friends Jordan, yearned so badly for cell phone reception. So at about 11 o'clock Jordan asked if anybody would go with him out into the forest in hopes to find a hill where he would be able to use his phone. Well of course I wanted to go, when I hear adventure I am there! Two others(David and Gabe) joined in this spontaneity search to find cellular service! Without telling any of the leaders we headed off. We walked pretty far out into the forest, I thought to myself "I'm a pretty experienced hiker...I GOT THIS" I figured I would be able to lead us back on my own! So we reached an opening where we could get reseption, Tyler made his call and while he was doing that we were all just walking around when all of a sudden David steps on this cactus and got poked pretty bad in the foot!
We then decided it was probably about time to head back to camp. We headed off into the direction that we thought was the way back to camp. After walking for about 45 minutes and not seeing any sign of tents or campfires we started to worry alittle. We still just kept on walking for about an hour. At this time it was starting to get alittle chilly out (Yes, It can get cold in AZ). We found a trail that had obviously not been used for quite a while this is when we decided to just sit and regroup. We found some wood and started a fire with a lighter and some Axe Body Spray. This wasn't  enough though. We needed to get back to camp! Then the thought came to us so clearly "We should say a prayer!" We all knelt down and desprately pleaded with God to lead us back to camp. Knowing that we recieve answers when we are on our feet and not being idle we headed out once more! Within a matter of minutes we found a barbed wire fence, which I vaguely remembered a similar fence near camp. We followed this fence for awhile not straying away from it for a moment! The story in the Book of Mormon came to my mind while following this fence! Nephi and Lehi saw a vision of people wandering in the darkness. Some of these people were holding on to a "Rod of Iron" which led them to the place where they needed to go! The Iron Rod represents the word of God. Well after walking parallel with this fence we soon found ourself in sight of camp. We rejoiced and I went to my tent and said a fervent prayer of gratitude then imediatly fell asleep! We had been in the woods from 11pm-7am!
What did I learn from this exhausting experience?
I learned that when we go through this life thinking that we can do it alone saying to ourselves  "I GOT THIS!" we are sadly mistaken! We need the Lord at all times! Especially when traveling through the dark mist of the world! I was humbled that night and this scripture sums up what I learned!

 Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

We need to remember to trust in the Lord and he will direct us to him!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Republic- Apologize

One Republic's first big hit was the song titled "Apologize". They released this song in 2007! It spread like wildfire! In this song there is a message that echoes the words of an ancient Book of Mormon prophet named Amulek!

One Republic talks to us about someone who has taken too long to apologize and because of that their apology is not accepted! Here are the lyrics:
I'm holding on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

 Amulek declares in Alma 34:32–34 that "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. . . . Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world."
Amulek tells us that we will not be able to fix things "Tomorrow". We must fix things TODAY! Good intentions only get us so far! Our Heavenly Father loves us and is willing to forgive us...if we ask!
Repenting is alot like apologizing to God. When we delay doing so it not only hurts us but it hurts him as well. The scriptures remind us of the importance and urgency of repentance! Repentance sometimes requires great courage, many prayers, living the commandments of God and repairing the wrongs we may have done to others.He promises us that we can be free from guilt, shame, and suffering if we do take action now!

I struggle with this too but then again who doesn't? Lets take this seriously and do something about it! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You're a JERK!

Somebody doing "The Jerk"

A little while ago there was this little dance craze started by the New Boyz called "The Jerk". I'm not gonna lie, I am guilty of doing this dance! For those of you who know me you have probably seen me doing this dance!  But now that I'm on a mission this song has a whole new meaning!

In this song, alot like other dance songs, there is a phrase that is repeated over and over again and that is the line that says  "You're a Jerk... I know!" How in the world can the New Boyz be related to us in the gospel?

We often recognize our sins but just to know is not enough! We must follow the counsel found in the Epistle of James where we are told "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves"(James 1:22)

The Sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger are a perfect example of changing for the better! The story of the Sons of Mosiah is found in the Book of Mormon. These men grew up with the gospel but chose to rebel against it! They went about trying to tear down the Church of God. They were even called the "Most Vilest of sinners!" Also known as JERKS! After a lot of prayer from Mosiah and Alma (their fathers) an angel appeared to them and told them to stop persecuting the church! The angel called them out and pretty much told him "You're a JERK..." They then realized their sins(...I know!) and decided to change and right their wrongs!  They went on missions and built up the kingdom of God!

I know that change can be hard but we must all do our very best to change for the better!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hot & Cold = Lukewarm!

If any of you have listened to the radio in the past 2 years you have heard Katy Perry's song "Hot and Cold" For some reason this tune got caught in my head the other day and stirred up a few thoughts! Now how in the world can a Katy Perry song relate to the Gospel ?

Now here are the lyrics that were stuck in my head:
"Cause you're hot and you're cold
You're yes and you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down

You don't really want to stay, no
But you don't really want to go-o
You're hot and you're cold
You're yes and you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down"

Obviously she is talking to somebody who just can't seem to make up there mind! Just sitting on the fence about a certain situation,  not being able to fully commit!  This is not always a good decision, especially when it comes to following the Lord. There are way too many people out there today that are just indifferent when it comes to being a true disciple of Christ!

John the Revelator tells us in:

Rev 3:15-16
 15I know thy aworks, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
 16So then because thou art alukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will bspue thee out of my mouth.

 Pretty intense huh? We are also told in:Luke 14:33
 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that aforsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my bdisciple

So when it comes to serving the Lord lets be HOT(active) and not COLD(dormant). I can promise you that as you do this you will see the Lords hand in your life so much more abundantly!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

God's work out plan!

What is Faith? Alma tells us that " is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." Now some may ask..."How do we have faith?" That's don't just get this, you already have it! We all have faith, some may not recognize it as quickly as others but its something that we are born with.
I like to think of faith as a muscle ! We all are born with muscle in our bodies. Although it my not be fully developed or useful when we are is still there! When a baby is trying to learn how get around on their own they don't just stand up and start running do they? Nope it is a longer process. After multiple attempts to stand and countless rump thumps the babies muscles are strong enough to help him stand!
How do we build muscle? Work out of course! Now what is happening when we work out? Our muscles are ripping and being pushed to there maximum capacity! Working out isn't always the most convenient or desirable but it is necessary for growth!
If Faith is like a muscle than how do we build it up? Work it out !! Some ways that we can test and build our faith in Jesus Christ are:
1. Prayer- This is the best way to communicate with our Heavenly Father is through prayer! This is the time that we can pour out our hearts to God. In the scriptures we are told to cry unto the Lord. To me this means to speak to him with emotion, he wants to here from us so that he can bless us more abundantly!
2. Questions- In the book of James we are told to ask God and he will answer!
3. Scripture study- He answers our prayer through the Holy Ghost and through the scriptures! The scriptures are the writings of the Prophets and the Disciples dealings and experiences with God! If we liken the scriptures to our lives we can see how the scriptures can guide us!
4. Experiences- As we go throughout our day we can recognize some events or answers to our prayers that are obviously of God! Once again it testifies of the power and divinity of God
5. Church- You are not alone on this journey through life in fact there are many like you who want to build a relationship with Christ as well! This is why we go to church it is to be surrounded by others who want to build their faith too! Not only that but church is where we can learn about the Gospel in more detail!

By doing all of these things we can all build our faith in Christ! As we do these things we can be assured that when the trials and tribulations come we will be STRONG enough to endure through them with the strength of God! I know this because I have seen it happen in my life as well as others lives! This is why I am sharing it with you! So what do you do NOW?