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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beautiful, Wonderful, and Incredible

You're a beautiful being full of light from above,
Can't you see what I'm seeing you were formed by His love!

You're a beautiful being full of faith in His Son,
Can't you see what I'm seeing you we born to have fun!

You're a wonderful being full of hope and desire,
Can't you see what I'm seeing a walking testimony of fire!

You're a wonderful being full of smiles and cheer,
Can't you see what I'm seeing as you cast out all fear!

You're an incredible being full of hard work and dedication,
Can't you see what I'm seeing as you bless this whole nation!

You're an incredible being full of humble obedience,
Can't you see what I'm seeing as you pledge your allegiance!

I hope when you read this you will know that it's you,
Not because you need it, but to say what is true!

Because of you... I've grown closer to Christ, 
Because of you... I've been reminded why.

***Thank you to the person that I thought about as I wrote this poem. You will forever be somebody I remember as a living disciple of Christ***

By: Daniel Thomas Armstrong
December 17th, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Testimony to the World

I feel impressed to share with you my deep and abiding love for the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Great I Am, the Mighty High Priest, the Risen Lord, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him I am made free. Because of Christ I am cleansed from past sins and transgressions. I love my Savior. I really do love Him.

I think of Him as my Elder Brother, I picture Him as my Best Friend, and I regard Him as the most Sacred Being, next to God the Father. He is the reason I can still smile after failed attempts to be perfect. Without His Infinite and Eternal Sacrifice, I would cease to ever have a chance at being completely cleansed and sanctified. Oh how my soul rejoices when I think of Him! If I could, just for a moment, be wrapped in His arms......what joy would fill my soul. Just simply picturing Him walking towards me puts me in tears. I love Him, I have loved Him long before this life, and I will FOREVER LOVE HIM!

This Christmas time is a great way to show Him my love. So I do, in a small way, share this testimony. Maybe somebody will someday read it, and as a result, become more aware of His sacred role as the Only Begotten of the Father. When you do (person who reads this testimony), be it unto you that I, Daniel Thomas Armstrong, know of a surety that Jesus Christ lives. That He is an Infinite and Eternal Being, full of grace and truth. That He not only knows me, but He also knows you. He loves us, and because of that love for us and His complete obedience to the Father, He came to earth as a humble babe, "wrapped in swaddling clothes." Might you find Him, and if you have found Him, never lose sight of Him. Ultimately, all who will reside in the Celestial Kingdom someday, will be those who have chosen to be there; by their works, their faith, their repentance, and their obedience to the ordinances and covenants they have received.

I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

"The Atonement is Infinite and Eternal"

 Christ is everything to you, Christ is everything to me, 
Where would we be,
If it weren't for He?

The great I am,
The Mighty High Priest,
Through Christ our Lord,
All fears do cease.

At peace... I am,
At peace I'll be,
For Thy love Thou gives to me.

How can it be?
Thou didst die for me!
I do cry to Thee,
Thou whispers silently...

(paraphrased...)

"Come unto me...
Ye are my friends.
 Come unto me...
Ye who've sinned."

"I have suffered and bled for Thee,
I have given My life you see?
In my palms I've engraven Thee,
In that garden I made thee free."

"Will you flee, flee from sin?
Repent and change, 
To start again?"

"A brand new day,
A glorious morn.
To begin once again,
To be reborn!" 

The Atonement is Infinite and Eternal
***Alma 7:11-16***

By: Daniel Thomas Armstrong (December 6th, 2014 @ 1:00pm)




Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Weakness is Not Sin"

It's been one of those weeks. Yes, a weak week! As I've recently drawn closer to my Savior, He's been showing unto me so many of my weaknesses. Some of these include; my impatience, my lack of charity towards others, and beating myself up for things long past. For this reason, I would like to share some of my thoughts with you on weakness.

As we go throughout life God has a way of "show[ing] unto [us] [our] weakness[es]" (Ether 12:27, moderately changed and emphasis added). It's a very true principle behind the doctrine "becoming like God." Part of this same verse in Ether 12 we read that these weaknesses come as a result of us "coming unto [Him]" (by Him, we mean our Savior). The equation: we come unto Christ = He shows unto us our weaknesses. The interesting part of the next sentence though, is that God gives "unto men weakness that they may be humble." Humility and weakness are so very much connected. Let me explain...

Paul in the New Testament gives us very good insights when it comes to weakness. As found in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, we read:

"8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

What a beautiful testimony by the apostle Paul. This man, a person who once fought against Christ, now converted, understands the power behind weakness. He understands that weakness brings humility, and humility brings the power of God into ones life. Let me define humility. Humility by definition is, "Recognizing gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is also an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. Humility is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous" (LDS.org, topic Humility, emphasis added). 

There you have it! Humility helps us remember why we are who we are, and to know that all that we have comes from God. When we know this, and have developed an attitude of humility, we can then greater appreciate the "thorns in our flesh" or in other words "our weaknesses." Having this knowledge, we can then see why Paul glories in his infirmities, reproaches, necessities, and persecutions. He glories in them because those weaknesses bring the power of God into his life, and with such power is Gods strength made perfect. Power comes from weakness that has humbly been recognized, and has obediently been transformed into a strength. Please, remember that for me.

Remember, remember that you will not be weak forever. Becoming perfect is a process, a process in which weak material is made into strong material. Take a moment and think about the creation of the world. God took all kinds of imperfect (weak) matter, and created this beautiful world out of it, and He'll do the same with you, but you have to let Him in. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). Open the door of your heart, will you? Let Him come in and remodel your home; let Him do what no other can, and let Him, through your weaknesses, make you strong.

I love you all! Don't give up!

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. 

 

Daniel





Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have

  October is a beautiful time of the year, and what a mighty month it was for me. Many miracles have occurred, and many changes came too. Being in the middle of the autumn season, we get to witness the very leaves changing colors, temperatures dropping, and sadly, baseball season coming to an end (still wishing that my L.A. Dodgers would have won the World Series, but life goes on). I love this time of the year; it was 5 years ago on October 1st, 2008, that I had a life changing knee surgery. This ACL reconstructive surgery was the change I needed in order for me to grow closer to my Father in Heaven. I love this month, I absolutely love it!

  So, with this past month of change, I'd like to express to you how much gratitude I have in my heart. Not only that, but The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have.

  Since being back in New Mexico, I have seen so much. I have seen smiles that have lifted me up when I was down, lives changed as they've entered the waters of baptism, and so much more. I've been able to both hear and see the testimony of so many faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Such testimonies which have fortified and strengthened my own. Oh, if I too were an angel, and could have the wish of my heart, I would, with a trump of God, let every soul know how precious they are in the eyes of their Father in Heaven (Alma 29 reference). Yet, I should be content with the things allotted unto me. And yes, the Lord has allotted unto me much. He's allotted a wonderful family so perfect for me. So imperfect, yet so absolutely perfect for me. They are everything to me. How I long to be with them eternally. How I yearn to see all of them happy.

  How grateful I am for these sacred allotments. He has allotted unto me friends, recent converts, a priesthood quorum, and my own home teachies. All He asks, is that I do all I can to love those He has given unto me. He asks that I focus on the one, sometimes leaving the ninety and nine just to find them. Which leads to my point: The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have. Such gratitude for all the Lord has both done for me, and given unto me.

  The Lord knows what He is doing here on this earth. He knows who we should meet, when we should meet them, what experiences we need, and what problems we have. He knows we're mortal and that we'll make mistakes. He sent His Son for that very reason. He also sends messengers to bless all of His children. Some are heavenly, but in my own experience, most of them have been earthly messengers. He makes us somebody else's "allotment", before giving unto us our own. He gives a mother and father children, asks that they raise them in righteousness, and then, once those children grow to a mature age, He eventually grants unto them their own "allotments" (Their own children). And this is how He "brings to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). One eternal round.

  How grateful I am for these allotments. For they are "a lot", and truly are "meant" to bless our lives.

  The main point to today's blog entry, is to express the gratitude I have for an incredible Branch Presidency that were recently released after 5 faithful years of service in the University/Nob Hill Branch of Albuquerque. This change to our branch happened in that wonderful month of change, October. It's been very hard on them, but I know that the Lord has other things He's ready to "allot" unto them. He "allotted" a group of 20 or so active members in December 2008, and that turned into 200 or so active within a few years. The Lord always gives unto us small "allotments", because He trusts that "out of small things, great things come to pass". I was one of those 20 members of this little Branch in Albuquerque. I was away from church activity for 4 or so years, and the very day I decided to come back, was the very first day they were called as the new Branch Presidency. I was blessed to be apart of their little "allotment". I have since, grown immensely. It was through the atonement that this growth has occurred, and with the aid of such leaders, I continue to grow.

  President Brown became a father figure in my life and Sister Brown became a 2nd mother. Brother Hardy became one of the bestest friends I have, and his wife, Sister Hardy, one of the most influential people I have ever met. And finally, Brother Cobb, the man who taught me much by example. Throughout five years, I only can account a few conversations with this man, yet... All the words he ever could of said to help me, were spoken by and through his incredible example of faith. And, what great man is there without a great woman at his side? Sister Cobb was and is an absolute crucial part of my conversion. Her smile was and is a smile that has lifted me dozens of times when I've been down. How eternally grateful I am for these leaders, these my brothers and sisters (Words cannot express how I truly feel. My weakness in writing is evident as I try to profess the thoughts and feelings of my heart).

  I could write a book full of the many experiences I have had with these individuals. I could spend countless hours expressing the many miracles we all witnessed in that small branch. Someday I will, but for now, thanks be to God. I am so thankful. I am so overcome with joy as I ponder the lives of these leaders. I love all of them. I love them dearly. And I know... I absolutely, undoubtedly know... these individuals and their blessed families, LOVE THE SAVIOR. They love their Father in Heaven, and His Son. They love this gospel. They are consecrated members, and I hope to some day become like they are. The Attitude of Gratitude I Long to Have.


President and Sister Brown with their wonderful grandchildren


Brother and Sister Hardy with their beautiful family (Sister Hardy is in the light pink shirt in the back row right next to Brother Hardy in the light blue polo)


Brother Cobb (white collared shirt) and Sister Cobb (jean jacket), with their beautiful kids and grand-kids

  Might we all be a little more grateful as we approach the month when we celebrate our Savior's birth. The 2nd most incredible thing to ever happen, the 1st being the atonement He later performed. A small baby boy, born in a manger... A small and simple thing... Such great things that have and will come to pass because of Him.

P.S. My buddies and I won 1st place in the group costume contest at our Regional YSA Halloween 2013 dance...


Group picture of all the winners of the costume contest. There were roughly 11 different opportunities to win... best hero, best couple, most original, etc...


We were rock, paper, and scissors... Pretty original right??? haha






Sunday, October 13, 2013

Simply Beautiful, and Beautifully Simple

"I have a family here on Earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them, through all eternity." What a blessing it is to come to earth in families. Growing up in my family is something I would never change, EVER! There is not a single perfect family out there, nor is there any perfect person her on earth. For this reason, I rejoice. For God's glory is made perfect in weakness. Families are built upon a group of very diverse individuals, all who suffer from their own unique and personal weaknesses. Through it all, we never cease to love each other.

I'm so grateful for President Eyring's words from this last general conference, when he said, "God has devised means to save each of His children. For many, that involves being placed with a brother or sister or grandparent who loves them no matter what they do. Years ago a friend of mine spoke of his grandmother. She has lived a full life, always faithful to the Lord and to His Church. Yet one of her grandsons chose a life of crime. He was finally sentenced to prison. My friend recalled that his grandmother, as she drove along a highway to visit her grandson in prison, had tears in her eyes as she prayed with anguish, "I've tried to live a good life. Why, why do I have this tragedy of a grandson who seems to have destroyed his life?" THE ANSWER CAME TO HER MIND IN THESE WORDS: "I gave him to you because I knew you could and would love him no matter what he did."

What comforting words. President Eyring reminded me that the Lord has put me in my family because He knew I "could and would love them no matter what they've done" or what I've done. The countless mistakes I have made that have easily been forgotten by them; they have "loved me no matter what..." Our past should never define us, and our future is always as bright as our faith!

I'm reminded of our Savior's patience and love every time I see somebody walk into the waters of baptism. I have seen individuals who have been to prison, eventually change, and have since devoted their lives to Christ and this work. I have seen meth addicts (one for 25 years), turn their lives around by accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of them I recently met, soon to be sealed in the Holy Temple to his companion for time and all eternity. He now spends his days giving motivational speeches to troubled juveniles. "We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. They can bear the priesthood worthily. And they can serve the Lord diligently" (President Thomas S. Monson).

As a product of change, I testify that individuals and families can change. That through the Infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ, sin can be perfectly forgiven and forgotten by a perfect Savior. I know that He has the power to remember our sins no more. I also know that all of God's children matter to Him. That He is not a God who sits around in His Heavens hoping some of His angles will do all the work...NO...He is involved. This world is carefully watched over by His all seeing eye. He who know's when a sparrow falls, knows exactly when His children stumble. I know that families can be together forever. Our Father in Heaven desires that ALL His children be saved in His kingdom. He will never cease striving to make this happen. Though my family, myself included, be very weak... I know we can be made strong. The Lord has prepared us for these challenging times, and He is preparing our future eternal companions, families, and friends as well. I know that He has given us agency, the ability to choose. What will we choose and whom will we choose? The worth of souls are always great and precious in the sight of God. We are worth it! We can do it! Look up! Look forward! Rise up! Trust Him! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
 My wonderful grandma Ann with my two incredible uncles. Both mighty products of change. They've come so far! They are two men placed in the hands of this trusted woman, whom the Lord knew would always love them. They have had their down falls, but have risen triumphantly, becoming men of sound understanding.
 This is my mom's side of the family: Uncle Dave on the left, Uncle John, Aunt LeighAnn, Uncle Steve, then back up to Aunt Jacki, my beautiful mother Lani, and then finally Aunt Lori. I love them so much! Some of the sweetest, most charitable people I know!
My incredible father, sister, and niece. I love them so much. I could spend hours talking about how much they have changed. I have a family here on earth...Oh, how good they are to me!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh, the People In My Life



My good brother, Jeremy Grider, was baptized just a few weeks ago. Since his journey into the Saviors kingdom, he has received the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Aaronic Priesthood, and a Temple Recommend.  He has been called to be our sacrament coordinator as well. This young man is one of the most incredible people I know. I don't know how life would be without good ole Jeremy. He desires to serve a mission next September in 2014. The Lord gathers His elect, and Jeremy is certainly one of them!  Oh, the People in My Life.

That next week, Jeremy went to the temple for his first time. He mentioned the peace he felt in the Lords house. What sweet peace the gospel brings to seeking minds of truth. He's changed so much in the past few weeks, even to a point that he corrected me on an error I mentioned about the priesthood. He's taking the gospel of Jesus Christ and soaking it all in. What a blessing it is too see lives changed. Oh, the People in My Life.


A week after Jeremy's baptism was my great friend Lynsie Hojnowski's baptism. She has rapidly progressed, and her example continues to radiate light. I wish we had some pictures from her baptism. We're working on getting them from our Sister Missionaries. Lynsie Hojnowski is one special gal. Being invited to talk at her baptism about the Holy Ghost was such a humbling experience. Her family was there, which had a mighty impact on the words I shared. As I ended my remarks, I looked them all in the eyes and expressed from the depth of my heart that, "Families are forever." I showed them a picture of the temple on my phone and expressed that this blessing is available within the walls of the Lords House. What a mighty family! Oh, the People in My Life.


The week following Lynsie's baptism, was our good friend Mike's baptism. Mike is one of the most incredible people I know. The Sisters ran into Him on campus about a month ago, and now he stands as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He describes most of his experiences within the gospel as very peaceful. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost today, which was incredible. Mike is now a member of our Savior's Church here on earth. Brother Jeremy Grider was able to perform that baptism through the priesthood authority he has received. Can life get any better than this? Jeremy, Lynsie, and Mike... Oh, the People in My Life.



I testify that the smiles on their faces have came as a direct result of change, through Christ. We must go on in such great a cause! All God's children matter to Him, and the Church would not be the same without them, and it will only become stronger as more of His children enter into His fold! Share your testimonies, and change a life... In turn, your life will be changed. I couldn't imagine my life without these individuals. We are all part of a great big eternal family. 

Oh, the People in My Life!