Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

During the winter time, the clouds often hide the sun from view. Likewise, we may have cloudy days where the clouds of life sometimes cover up the Son in our lives. However, just as the sun is always there behind those clouds, so too is the Son of God always there when we are experiencing our clouds of life.
Today, I really realized that you don’t have to look at the sun in order to know that its’ there. Even without looking at it, you can feel its’ warmth and see everything around you that is illuminated by its' light. Likewise, we can know the Son of God, Jesus, is really there. We can feel His warmth and see everything around us that is illuminated by His light. We don’t have to see Him or look at Him directly to know that He is there, for all that we do see, hear, feel, and discern testifies that He is the Christ, that He lives, and that He lives and is here for us. I know that He lives, just as clearly as I feel the sun’s warmth and see it illuminate everything around me, I know that Christ lives. It is by the power of the Holy Ghost, that I know He lives. This cannot be taken away from me, I can only give this away. Whenever there have been times where I have doubted, feared, rebelled, etc. it has been because I hardened my heart, that I could not feel, and closed my eyes, that I could not see. In a sense, I hardened my senses so that when the sun was shining, I could not feel it, and while it still shone, my eyes were closed and I would not see. Often, the reason we will not, or cannot believe is because we will not open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts. Let us always strive to keep our minds, our hearts, and our eyes and ears open so that when God speaks, when Christ shines His light around us, we will ever be aware of His presence, and will have no need to fear nor doubt. I love my Savior because I feel His Love around me.
He Lives! This is true in every sense of the word.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Marriage: where does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stand

These are perilous times. The nation is shifting its values and morals much as a young toddler wavers on a shaky foundation. As McKenzi and I, Jonathan, experience this shift in values and morals, we cannot help but cry out to our God in thanks for the firm foundation he provides... for those who choose to stand on it. For this reason, McKenzi and I have felt a need to address an issue that is at stake in America. Marriage.

Our Father in Heaven has a purpose to all of his creations. He especially has a grand purpose for His children. This is something that many God-fearing people understand and believe. One thing that we cannot forget is that Satan is just as real. He seeks to confuse the purposes of God, and he does so very persuasively.

How, in times of change and uncertainty, can we stay firm on the foundation that God has made? The Bible provides us with an understanding and a partially firm foundation. I say partially, because there are churches using the same Bible who conflict in their teachings. Some churches teach of the sanctity of Marriage between a man and a woman. Other churches teach that a homosexual lifestyle is just as good, just as important, and just as equal to that of a traditional heterosexual marriage. "After all," they say, " we are all God's children and he has made us different ways for different reasons."

Neither will the Book of Mormon alone establish this firm foundation we desire. For this reason, I turn to a passage in the Bible that also is an important source that will provide us with a more firm foundation. Ephesians 4:11-15 -

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (why?)
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

I place an emphasis on portions of this scripture for a reason. The Lord gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Why were these men given? To help us come to a unity of the faith... that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

It is no wonder that the church began to be divided when the ancient apostles and prophets were killed and were no more. After they died, there was no longer unity among the faith, and men were easily led, tossed to and fro by every word of doctrine. Efforts were made to unify the faith by Constantine and others, but there was still division, which division is still sadly here today.

So why were apostles and prophets so important? (I know I'm on a tangent, but this is a very important tangent:-) Apostles were special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world. They were witnesses of Christ's Divinity and of his bodily resurrection from the dead. Though there were others who were witnesses of Jesus Christ, these apostles were chosen and ordained by Christ Himself to be these special witnesses of Him. It was these men who received revelation from Christ for the whole church, to ensure that the truth was taught in its' purity, that all disciples of Christ would be unified in Him (as he prayed for so beautifully in John 17).

We bear witness that Christ has called prophets and apostles today just as He did anciently. These men are special witnesses of the the divine reality of Jesus Christ. The Lord has called them, among many reasons, to bring unity among the followers of Christ, "that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." Of many things that these prophets and apostles of the Savior, Jesus Christ, have done, they recently have written a proclamation to the world on the family. For reference to the entire proclamation, it may be found at this website -,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html

Among many things, these men teach of the Eternal and unchanging truths that "Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.... Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.... We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.... The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."

Isn't it wonderful that God still speaks to us today, and reveals truths that apply to us in our day!?

These men, as special witnesses of Christ, are humbly declaring these things as revealed truth from the Creator of us all. We know that for some, this is new news. Some have not thought of there being men like Peter, James, and John today, but we testify that there are, that the same Savior who felt it important to call apostles and prophets after his resurrection, has seen it fit, in His love, to call men for these same purposes today. The family is Eternal. God has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman. The fact of the way God has physically made us testifies of this. And we testify of this. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Wonderful Day

Well, today was a wonderful day. I (McKenzi) sang in church today, a wonderful song called "My Shepherd will supply my need," with another friend, while Jonny accompanied on the piano and another friend played the flute. I was nervous....sometimes in my efforts to sound good I strain my voice and it....well.... doesn't sound so nice. However, right before our time came to sing, I silently prayed for help....I didn't want this to be a performance about that others would remark how nice a voice I had....I wanted those who heard my friend and I sing to want to come closer to the Savior..and to feel of His peace from the Holy Spirit.
All went even better than could have been hoped for. I was able to relax, now that I had taken the limelight off of me and gave it back to the Lord, and sang better than I have in years. It was nice to find out later that others really did appreciate the words and the feel of the song. Music really is powerful. It soothes the soul and can make you want to be better. It really is a gift from God. :)
Here are the really is a beautiful song:

"My Shepherd will supply my need; Jehovah is His name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed, beside the living stream.
He brings my wand'ring spirit back, when I forsake His ways,
and leads me for His mercy's sake, in paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death, thy presence is my stay;
One word of thy supporting breath drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes, doth still my table spread;
My sup with blessings over flows, thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God attend me all my days;
O may thy house be mine abode and all my words be praise!
There would I find a settled rest while otehrs go and come,
No more a stranger, nor a guest, but like a child at home.
No more a stranger, nor a guest, but like a child at home."

- Psalm 23, Paraphrase by Isaac Watts (1674-1740)
Melody from "Southern Harmony" 1835, Arranged by Mack Wilberg

I know the Lord loves us. He really is our Father, and loves each and every one of His children. He will supply our need if we will but call out to Him from the depths of our hearts. We can all feel of that love: it's just up to us to come unto Him...He's always waiting.

All my love,
McKenzi Harrop

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bible vs. Book of Mormon


LDS, what's more important to you, the bible or the book of Mormon?


That's a really good question. One that a lot of people actually wonder.

Let me ask you, what's more important to you, the book of Revelations or the Book of John? Or perhaps the book of Deuteronomy or the book of Isaiah? How about the Old Testament or the New Testament?

Both are important and both help us come to know God, IF we study them with the same Spirit in which they were written - by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.

Just as the Bible is the record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Middle East, the prophecies given to prophets and apostles there, and of Christ's mortal ministry to the people there... the Book of Mormon is the record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the America's, the prophecies given to prophets and disciples there, and of Christ's post-mortal ministry to His people there shortly after His resurrection.

Isn't is amazing to have another record that validates and confirms the Bible's teachings, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and that mankind must be Saved through Him! If you have questions about it, feel free to ask us or another member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that you know. More importantly, I would recommend reading it to find out for yourself. Don't just read it though, pray about it and ask God. I would never recommend searching for truth without involving Him who is the Fountain of all Truth.

I have read the Book of Mormon, as well as the Bible, several times. I know that I have come closer to Christ because of the Book of Mormon and has truly helped me come to KNOW Him. Good luck and feel free again to ask if you have any other questions about the Book of Mormon.

Thank you for your honest question.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Reflections of Christ

McKenzi was emailed this link (if you click on the title, it will take you to it) - This is a composition of beautiful, reverent music ("Come thou Fount") along with some live photos that were taken to reenact different times of the Savior's life and ministry. Some of these pictures are so good, that I thought they were merely paintings, but no, they used real people.

In light of this video, we would like to testify of Jesus Christ. We believe in Christ. He is our God, our Savior, and our King. We know that He condescended from heaven to show us the way we must go to receive Eternal life. We know that he took the sins of all mankind upon Himself so that ALL can have the opportunity to receive Eternal life, which includes Eternal joy and happiness. He suffered and died so that we can receive this Eternal life, and become joint heirs with Him in heaven. We also know that He lives! Not only did Jesus die for us, but he was resurrected - and He lives for us! One of our hymns describes better than I can personally express how and why He lives.

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my everliving head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conuer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I KNOW that my Redeemer lives!"
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"

We know that our Savior lives. We have not seen Him in person, but more powerfully than any physical manifestation is the witness of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has born witness to us that Christ lives, he suffered for us, he died for us, and he lives for us. Of this we testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mormon people please!!!?

Another Yahoo Answers question and response -


I'm a Lutheran, and if I was to go out with a Mormon, would that be okay? Would the church get mad at him or anything like that? If we got married, could my parents go to the wedding?


I have a brother, who is now on a mission for the LDS church, who was dating a Lutheran. She and he were in the same boat as you and this other guy. My parents were very supportive, and they trusted my brother and girlfriend in their decision to date, as did the rest of us (his family) and other friends and leaders that were members of the church. They dated for a time, but because of some differences and his eventual leaving on a mission, they decided to break up.

I have come to realize that the more unified a marriage is, the better. If religion is a big part of both your lives, and you do not feel unified as a couple, then this may present a problem. If both of you aren't very active in your religion or beliefs, then it probably won't be a big deal. However, I think there is a question here that goes a little deeper that would need to first be addressed:

Of all the Christian denominations, Why are you Lutheran? Do you belong to this church because your family is Lutheran and that's what you have been raised with and feel OK with? Or have you searched the teachings of your church deeply and discovered WHY you have chosen to be a part of this church? Likewise, does the guy you are thinking of dating know why he is Mormon? Is he Mormon because he was born into this church, or are there deeper meanings of his devotion to his religion?

If religion is really important for the two of you, it would be a good idea for you to talk about these things; talk about the doctrines, the similarities, the differences, and why you believe what you believe. There is a LDS primary song that teaches the children to "Search, Ponder, and Pray." I think this is good advice for anyone to do. Search and ponder your teachings, compare them to others, see why your friend believes what he believes. After you sincerely do all these things - then pray. Pray to know what is the truth, pray to recognize the truth, pray to know what Heavenly Father would have you do. Gather the information you feel you need to, and make it a prayerful process the whole way through. This is the most important part. You will get all sorts of information from all different sources, but the one source you can trust with complete confidence will be your Heavenly Father. I encourage you to search this all out more deeply, ponder about it, talk about it with others, but most importantly, talk about it with God. He will not lead you wrong, but will always lead you the right way.

Good luck to you and God bless you. Feel free to ask me if you have any more questions.



I have been responding to questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on "Yahoo Answers." I have decided to post them on here for anyone else to see what kinds of questions people are asking, and my responses to them. If you have any questions yourself, please, feel free to ask and I will respond.

Why do people dislike mormons?

Why did people come up with an idea that we dont belive in god or jesus Christ? i mean our church is called The Church Of JESUS CHRIST of the Latter Day Saints! Its funny how people come up with so many ways to make us think were wierd like "i thought Mormons arent allowed to eat pickels" how stupid is that i eat pickels all tha time! and at our church we do church we dont say hateful things about other churches, dont you think god is a little disapointed that some churches use there time at church to say bad things about other groups of people? and just because we found another sacred book called the Book Of Mormon doesnt mean we dont belive in God! And no, we dont think that our prophets is another god or something they are just important to us cause they teach us very good things. Another thing that bugs me is that people that dont know anything about Mormons make up stuff and think its real, and that perents teach there kids to be afraid of other people that have different beliefs


I understand your frustration. The bad news is that this is something you can expect throughout your life as a member of this church.The good news is WHY we will experience this.

Whenever there has been something good, something of God, something that improves mankind, Satan has always been there to try to thwart it. There has always been opposition. Think of Noah, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the many other prophets of the Old Testament. When they were upon the earth, they were revealing God's truths to all men and women that would listen. All Christians recognize them as prophets today, but so many people at that time were blinded to this reality and rejected them, persecuted them, and eventually killed them.

When Christ was on the earth, He too was rejected and persecuted by many. Many Pharisee and Sadducee leaders (the spiritual leaders of that time) taught against him saying that he preached against the law, against the scriptures, and that he was a Sabbath breaker, and many other things. Even Christ, the Son of God, experienced this opposition and persecution. Satan was truly at work to convince men that this man - who was purely good, the Son of God, and the Savior of Man kind - was blasphemous, a liar, and many other false things. These men were blinded to the truth. Yet we know today, that Jesus of Nazareth was truly the Savior of man kind.

So as for today, if God sets forth a work, a church, a people, or anything, you can expect that Satan will be in the picture too, deceiving as many as he can. He will convince people to not read the Book of Mormon or sincerely pray about its truthfulness. He will call us blasphemous, he will spread forth lies about our church to confuse and instill fear within man kind. However, this does not mean that the work itself is not good and true, if anything, this should show people that there must be something to this church and to this work that we are about that is worth looking into. If there is not any strong opposition to something professing to be of God, that is when I would become skeptical.

Even still, there will be this opposition. You can count on it. The best way to overcome this opposition is through the persuading influence of example. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Love and serve God and mankind. Seek to come to know your Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ, so that you might become more like them. This may not get rid of all the persecution, as Satan will still be around, but it will certainly soften the humble hearts and open people up to, at least, being willing to listen.

God bless you and keep you. Do not become frustrated, but pray for Charity with all the energy of your heart. I hope this helps.