Scripture, Thought, or Quote of the Day

Strength comes in many forms, yet the only true strength that lasts is the strength of God.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Testimony



My Testimony
            I have tried to think of a better title than “Heroes,” but I cannot think of anything better. There are a few I would like to write about, mostly people within my own life and how they have influenced me. I am a religious man, one who has many heroes, one who has a limited understanding of how the world works. I know there is a great deal more I am meant to do and learn as I live each day. I feel it necessary to testify as to the divinity of Christ and the loving nature of our Father in Heaven. We may be attacked daily because of our beliefs and how they are contrary to the ways of the world, we may be criticized for our political and religious views, but this matters not to me. I testify of the atoning blood of our Savior and His eternal dedication for our return to Him and the Father.
            I testify there are miracles occurring daily upon this earth, though we may not see them they still happen. I am thankful for the opportunity to further my education and to become the person I am meant to be, or rather the person He wants me to become. I know I am a son of a loving Father in Heaven, and Jesus Christ is my Redeemer, He is mighty to save, the Everlasting One who will be there to carry me when I am in need. I testify of the Great Plan of Happiness; of all days, we need it in our day. We need that eternal hope it offers, we need the purity of heart it brings, and we need the forgiveness it gives. I know I do not understand the Atonement as well as others, but I do know it is there for us to take advantage of.
            I testify our prayers are heard and answered in ways we may not understand at this time, but we eventually will. I testify of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify Apostles and Prophets are again on this earth, and we may receive personal revelation as we commune with our Father in Heaven in the name of the Only Begotten Son. I know healings still take place; I know there are angels working the works of our Savior upon this earth. I know there are things we do not comprehend as of yet, but through the workings of the Spirit we may do so. There is not belief in this testimony; I know these things to be true because the Spirit has manifested it. If we will but kneel down in solemn and humble prayer we will be given the answers we seek. We only need to ask.
            To all those who are seeking some sort of peace in this life, it is here for the taking. You only need reach out and it will be offered without cost of money. The only requirements he would ask of us is a broken heart and contrite spirit. True, it may not be an easy task, but it is possible to make it through. We may have to go through our own personal torment as we repent, we may experience godly sorrow, or sorry for the things we have put our Savior through. It is up to us to see it to the end. If we desire to become whole again, to rise again to the call of our name when He calls it, it will happen. He will be there for us when we need him, even when we don’t need Him, He is there.
            Will we rise to the occasion? Will we be able to look our Redeemer in the eyes at the last day when He comes again? I hope and pray we will. I would pray that we are able to look and raise our hand when His hand is outstretched and we may be lifted up again into His presence as we once were. I implore you as you read this you pray for an open heart and you are able to become whole again, the pain may be washed away with faith and atoning blood. I testify this is possible and that we may become as He is and be filled with peace once again. If it has been far too long since you have felt the love, please open your hearts and minds. I would ask that you to be still and let the Spirit whisper to your hearts. I would exhort you to read the scriptures and know He is there, I would exhort you with all the love I possess you invite Him in when He knocks.
            May the storms of life pass you by and may the Father and Son be your shelter. May you find peace in these trying times, may you feel to sing the song of redeeming love. May you stand as a witness when others would persecute you, may you feel the Arms of Mercy wrapped around you during your times of distress and sadness. I pray you may find the answers you are seeking; I pray you are able to see the miracles around you each day. I pray you may be guided in the darkest of nights with the Light of Christ. I leave these things with you and testify of them in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Cost of Freedom



            I have contemplated the meaning of freedom and its cost.  I have pondered what it is today and what it was in the times of past generations.  When I hear the words “I can do what I want it’s a ‘free country,’” I cringe.  My heart sinks.  I don’t believe many of today’s rising generation realize the true meaning of the words “free country” and what it has cost to gain said freedom.  I write this not to criticize, but to invoke thought, reverence, determination, and sheer gratitude for what the cost of freedom is.  I also write this in response to several things that have occurred in recent history.  I write this not because I have a degree in political science, nor do I write this because I seek to be better than anyone else.  I write this because it has weighed heavily on my mind.  I am an American with a sincere and deep appreciation for what we have been given.
What is Freedom
            Freedom is used so loosely as a word today; to some it means they can do whatever, say whatever, and think whatever whenever they want.  I don’t believe this to be so.  I believe it to mean we are able live free from oppression, to be able to think for ourselves.  I could go on and on; however, the fundamental meaning of freedom is those God given rights we have as given in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  I do not claim to be a scholar on either document, yet I would hope I have a basic knowledge of what each stands for and why each was drafted.
            Freedom has been given a dogmatic appearance of evil for some.  It has come to mean some can infringe upon the rights of others, it has been given the appearance there will be no backlash or consequence for breaking laws or rules provided by the people for the people.  For example, there are laws given to us to protect us; and then there are laws deemed unconstitutional because they infringe upon the rights of others.  In my opinion, as a people take our freedoms for granted, and this has led to entitlement.  I mean to say there are those among us who think they deserve more freedoms than others when they have not paid for their freedoms, nor do they realize at what cost their freedoms have come.
The Cost of Freedom
            I recently asked someone what the cost of freedom was.  When I approached them with the question they had no idea what I even meant.  I could tell it had provoked thought and even discomfort in the individual(s) I had proposed this question to.  I would pose the question to the reader, “What is the cost of freedom?”  If I may extrapolate on this subject for a little while, I hope to get the point across freedom is not free.  There is one word that comes to mind: “sacrifice”.  Many images enter into thought as I think about what freedom has cost.  Countless lives.  There are so many of us who forget where our freedoms come and the devotion given in pure willingness.  The images of freedom within in my mind are the chains of oppression being broken, and individuals freed from the bonds keeping them from progressing and bettering their lives.  I see Arlington Cemetery, I see Gettysburg, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and the Revolutionary War; of course there are others I do not mention, but that does not make them any less relevant.
            When I think of freedom, I think of immigrants coming to America to make something of themselves such as Andrew Carnegie.  I think of George Washington Carver born into slavery to become a free man and one of the greatest minds of his generation.  I think of Dr. Benjamin Carson, his growing up and becoming one of most respected pediatric neurosurgeons.  I think of Chief Washakie of the Eastern Shoshone, Thomas A. Edison, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many others.  They were able to take action and make drastic changes in their lives.  They all made productive contributions to history and society; they went about things in a manner that set the stage for others to follow in a path that was less restrictive.  What was it they were willing to sacrifice?  In many instances it was life, it was sleep,  it was hopes and dreams, and even loved ones.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made it apparent he was willing to take a stand and make a change.  He gave up so much, but he gave so much too.  He didn't give or sacrifice with violence or even raising his voice in anger.  Could he have? Yes, but he didn’t.  He used the gifts and talents he was given to make changes in a legal and peaceful manner. There are so many others who sacrificed this and so much more.
Conclusion
            In closing I would bring the reader’s mind back to the beginning.  The cost of freedom is great, it is dear, and it is even sacred.  I would ask the reader to remember the sacrifice made by others and to what end it cost them.  Please remember the brave men and women who have given their lives and their own freedoms to secure this great nation.  Please take account of the people who set in motion history changing events securing the freedoms of others.  Last of all, do not forget He who laid down His life for us and performed the Ultimate Sacrifice that we may be free.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear to My Heart

Dear to My Heart

You are dear to my heart, my son
Within these hallowed walls you’ll be
Though you are no longer on this earth
I’ll always have your sweet memory
The love you gave in life
Was the purest that is known
In life you were a part of me
I hope through me your love may be shown.

I miss you clearly much
Much greater than words can express
Each night I kneel in solemn prayer
My feelings to confess
I’m offered peace and solace of soul
At times I refuse to be comforted
Only knowing the feeling of not being whole

It scares me to death
Not having you to hold
Within my arms laughing at the silly things you did
With a sparkle in my eyes, 
I know you’ll always be my kid
The hope and refuge I seek
Comes closer day by day
Comforting and giving me reason
To look forward each new day
Yet there seems so much more to look forward to
Somehow there seems a way
We will see each other again
Embracing in Eternity, never leaving together, forever to stay.

Nathan M. Wilkinson
January 26, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Creating Memories and Getting to Know Someone

To all of those out there who are feeling the pain of losing a loved one: I think it is normal for it to not really hit until a while later.  The timing is different for everyone.  I don’t know how to explain it other than last night was a happy time of gathering of friends and family, but it was hard too.  It was my dad’s birthday and I am so thankful for him and all that he has done.  He is still with us and I thank my Heavenly Father each day for lessons learned and time spent; however there is something that needs to be remembered.  Yesterday and tomorrow are gifts to have been received and to be given, what are you going to do with them?  For me, it is to cherish every moment I have with my family.  I don’t include friends because they are family.  I honor the love and friendship built up with each person.  I give thanks for every breath that was and is given.  I find the simple joys in having time to spend with my beloved wife and children.  Don’t miss out on these things because you don’t know when you might lose them.  It has taken me a year to finally have the recognition that I won’t be able to see some of these people for a while.  I believe in an afterlife and the possibility of seeing my loved ones again.  Some may call me a fool and others may say I am only being optimistic, but I tell you this it keeps me sane to have that foundation. 

Offer the help even when you don’t think it is wanted because later on down the line you might not have another chance.  Say “I love you” when you can.  Give a hug and a smile because you may only have those things to hold on to.  Most of all take the time to get to know the person for who they are, not what they are doing.  I mean to come to an understanding that we have an opportunity to be to know other children of God and that they are royalty being descended spiritually from a Heavenly Father.  One final thought, one of my favorite scriptures are:

Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

My love and prayers to all this night and always.

Aloha

Nate

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Devotion

There is a form of love that comes in service rendered, loyalty, honor, integrity, and it comes from deep within.  It is exemplified through the ultimate Life and Light of the world.  The Savior has shown us time and time again how pure devotion is to be shown.  From birth to death, He was in the constant service of others.  He instructed his prophets and people to do the same.[1] The prophet Mormon, in an epistle to the Nephites tells them what pure love can do, “Behold I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.”[2]  The Savior knew His mission, and sought to show kindness and mercy through the ultimate act of service, that is the Atonement.  In the willingness to give up his life for us, he was a true friend that didn’t fear what “…man can do.”  He was a true friend unto us all[3] because He knows each of us, and he lived and died for us, and he lives for us today.  The question I would like us to ask ourselves is; “What and who do you show your devotion to by living for them?”
            There are many examples I would like to share to help illustrate this principle, but I will limit it to a specific few.  As my mother once told me, “Nate, you won’t understand this until you are a parent and have kids of your own.”  Now her words are not quoted verbatim, however, the content is.  She was referring to the love a parent expresses because that love runs so deep it hurts.  Now that I am a parent I have a small understanding of this.  I express this because as a parent, I have discovered for myself the ability for someone to sacrifice so much for those they love and care for.   My wife is a prime example of this very principle in every act she does and every word she speaks.
            There is a mother and father who watched their son pass through very great trials, and eventually they passed away.  They taught their son and other children all of the correct principles; love, honesty, integrity, charity, loyalty, and many others.  They followed the example of Mormon to Moroni when he said.  “I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.”[4] There are some who read this or hear the words and can relate to the heartache pain and sorrow of these parents.  They are those who are willing to serve through comforting, helping others gain some solace through consoling and healing of the wounded soul;[5] thus fulfilling the covenant of baptism.  These two wonderful people watched their son pass away after he had attempted to take his own life, and eventually accomplished his goal.  I call these parents every so often to see how they are, and with each year that passes the heartache will come and go.  It seems to be eased because of eternity and a hope of what may be. 
There are those would scoff, condemn, judge, and question these loving people; and the way they brought up their children.  It makes the torture and void almost unbearable and it takes all the strength they can gather to make it to the next day, even for strength to bear the burdens with patience and endurance. [6] Sometimes it takes greater strength than their own to press forward when they feel they cannot.          These and many others have displayed the devotion they have to others through their faith and reliance upon the Lord.  They constantly pray for strength amidst all of the chaos and tragedy.  They band together with family and friends in the Eternal bonds of love; thereby living for all still living and for a hope of what will be. They are true friends to more than those who have died, and those who are still alive.
            Zoram was an example of what true friendship is built upon.  Lehi, before he died, said this, “And now Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold though art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou has been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that you are a true friend unto my son, Nephi forever.”[7]  I make mention of Zoram because I know how difficult it is to find such a friend.  With the Lord’s help I have found many. The foremost is my beloved wife.  Through all of the hardships and all of my weaknesses she has stood by me.  As I watch my wife interact with our boys and as I reflect upon the past several years; she has given up so much of her own time and energy to ensure that others know they are loved and appreciated through those acts of loyalty and devotion.  She is a living testament of the power of the purest devotion.
            There are many others who are here with us on the Earth, and there are others who have passed on.  To all I thank you for showing others and me what selfless love is all about.  There are three that I would like to make mention of now.  The first comes from my hometown in Southern Utah.  He was always there when I needed him and he always knew when to make people laugh.  The second is from a town in Northern Utah.  He was a very loyal person to family and friend alike.  He would be willing to give it all and go all out.  These two, although they would never meet had so much in common.  Even to the point they ultimately met the same fate.  The bonds of friendship, brotherhood and devotion they forged with others would become self-evident at their funerals.  Hundreds if not thousands of people were, and are still touched by smiles, memories, and love.  We laugh, cry, and speak of their many Christ-like attributes.  They still bestow their blessings upon us, even though they are no longer with us.  Lastly, I have a friend who would defend the honor of all he held near as family, and even those he does not.  He has gone through many life changes and is venturing forward still.  This friend also shares many of the qualities of the two previously mentioned and he still holds himself as a humble servant.  All three knew this, and most likely will always hold these qualities most sacred.
            Just as these three have touched so many lives; past, present, and future; we too may have our hearts “turned unto the fathers,” [8] that we may live for those who are of yesterday, today, and tomorrow; thereby passing along the devotion unto others.  It is my solemn testimony that we may come closer unto our family and friends if we are faithful to them forever and stand as a testimony unto all who are yet with us.
            May the powers and the blessings of the Lord rest upon you as the dews of an early spring morn, and that whatever burdens you carry may be lightened and your hearts be not weary, or downtrodden.  Though your sorrow be great, it is possible that will only be for a small moment in the Eternities, even as a dream.[9]  I bear solemn witness that all things are accounted for in all situations, and that he will be the Fair Judge and Mediator for us all.
            Please stay true, and know that you are loved.  In the name of the Only Begotten Son, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

Nathan M. Wilkinson
November 21, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Love Unknown

To those who have experienced the loneliness of darkness and depression there is source of hope and light that brings comfort. It can be manifest through those we know, or those we don't. No matter the path it takes, it comes from the same source. Our Heavenly Father has let His children know the that they are needed and loved. From time to time, there are those who don't think that they can feel it. It is always there, it is a matter of opening our hearts, minds, and eyes. I don't say that this is an easy task. For some it is so difficult because they have been abused, abandoned, or have had the lack of love from those around them.

Sometimes it takes an act of humility to know that we are not alone. That love is eternal, and that there is a Father and Brother who are here to take upon them our sorrows. Even on bended knee. I bear solemn testimony that there are far more people who love us and wish for us to succeed in life. I know that not all of us are given the same gifts and talents, if we use them to share the Love of Christ, even Charity, then we can help uplift others. In turn we will be uplifted. The Angels of Heaven may attend us, and our prayers will be answered directly and indirectly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Healing Power of Love

Through faith the Powers of Heaven may be enacted upon the very souls of the children of men. How is this done? Why should we even be concerned about this? Well, maybe I can help illustrate the importance of this principle through the following story.

Hawai'i is a powerful place to be. The land is rich with history and spirit, and the people I met there are so special. They taught me what it means to love an outsider and take them in as one of their own. One such person helped me realize that no matter how painful an experience is or how distraught life can be, there is always room for healing and the power of faith ensues the healing power of the Priesthood.

There is a certain family that lives on the Big Island of Hawai'i. A member of this family had been hurt because of the actions of their father. This particular brother had been hardened because of the grudge that he harbored within his heart for thirty plus years. They lived in a partially built home, with plywood for walls and floors, and the deck had not been finished. To say the least there was not running water supply or roof over their heads. This beautiful family had one power cable to provide power for their basic necessities.

The father had sworn that he would never set foot in church again, nor would he let his family meet with the missionaries, however that would change one rainy afternoon. My companion and I were prompted to give this family a visit. I was unsure of how it would go, but the Spirit acted upon this Brother's heart and it was softened to the point he would let us come and visit. I cannot share full details because they are too sacred, however I will say this. We were prompted to perform specific tasks, and they were followed and there were great blessings that came forth.

This family's home was finished within a few days, and they were taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How wonderful it was to hear that they were all baptized because of the Father's love for them. They found a sense of self worth that was beyond mortal comprehension. They found themselves at a cross road beyond the mortal pains. They were healed through faith and the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My love goes out to them this night and always. I pray that we may find peace in these tumultuous times, and may we seek those things that will bring us greater happiness, even to its purest form...joy.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

About a year later I was transferred to another area and I saw this brother's father. He told me that this family was doing well and that he and his son were on speaking terms again.