Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015


As I have pondered on what to include in my final email from Texas, I thought about sharing stories but quickly realized that those are not important. There will be time tell stories and share experiences.
My mission was not about "stories", it was about "becoming". I also realize that even though the Lord has enabled me to become more than I ever was before, my 'path of becoming' has just begun.

The Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book on earth". It is the actual account of the literal civilization which anciently inhabited the Americas. It was divinely delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith. It stands today as an undeniable witness of the reality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has brought peace, faith, hope, and purpose to millions of people, including myself. I will always be thankful that I was privileged to share that most sacred book with many Texans!

The Authority of God which he bestows to man to further the salvation of His children, is the priesthood. That same priesthood was held in the primitive Church of Christ. When the Lord brought forth the Restoration of His church on the earth he sent heavenly messengers to restore the priesthood back to man. John the Baptist brought back the Aaronic Priesthood. Peter, James and John brought back the Melchizedek Priesthood. Both priesthoods were given to, and received by, the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have felt that Priesthood many times here in Texas. I have seen true miracles performed in the name of Jesus Christ. The Priesthood is on the earth, and it is here, in God's

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it" (D&C 135:3). Amen! I love the Prophet Joseph Smith. The world is in apostasy, and the only reason that we are not is because of what the Lord has revealed through Joseph the Seer. The world has no idea who God even is. Truly, without the Prophet,"[they] worship [they] know not what" (John 4:22). I have had engraved into my soul an unalterable testimony of the prophetic call of the Prophet Joseph Smith!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the plan of salvation. He is the gospel. He is "the way, the truth, and the life"
(John 14:6). He was born in Bethlehem. He was crucified on Calvary. He was placed in a tomb, but
no tomb can hold our Lord! He overcame death, assuring resurrection for all of mankind. He lives today as the Resurrected Redeemer of the universe. It is my conviction that our Savior, and His Father, appeared to Joseph Smith that sacred spring morning in 1820. This is His Church, and He is
in control. "I believe in Christ, so come what may" (Hymn #134)

Elder Giles

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

Y'all loved ones,

The heat is abundant in Texas. It's that time of year when you are never dry because of the mixture of humidity and sweat... I love it though. I have such a deep love for Texas and all the people here. I feel so humbled to have been able to be a part of these wonderful people's lives.

We visited with Charlie Houston a few times this week. He is such an incredible person! He gets along very well with all of the members here, and just loves the gospel. He already knows most of the doctrines and commandments, and is already living accordingly. He is getting baptized this Saturday!  It is so great to watch him get more and more excited as he gets more and more prepared.
Also, remember Jody and Tui? Well, they were in Salt Lake this past week visiting Tui's family, and on Saturday night they went to Temple Square.... Tui proposed!! They're engaged! Haha it is so amazing. I'm so happy for them. Jody got back to Texas early this morning and we are visiting with her this evening. She will be getting baptized really soon as well....

I really appreciate all of the comments y'all gave about how to best share our testimonies with out families. I am grateful that each of you have testimonies which have strengthened me at many times during my life. The influence a faithful person can have on all others around is much more than they might think. 

For The Strength Of Youth
Section: Sabbath Day Observance
-How can I more fully keep the Sabbath day holy?

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy... The Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8,11)
We hear interesting language in this commandment, "keep it holy". What does that mean?
Well, as we read, "the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it", 'Hallowed' means to consecrate or sanctify (set apart, make holy). 
So, the Lord sanctified the Sabbath. He consecrated it. He blessed it. He made it. The Sabbath was and is made holy by our Lord. We aren't commanded to make anything holy, or to create holiness, we are simply commanded to keep it holy.

How do we keep it holy?
"Holy" means to be 'dedicated to God'.
The commandment is to keep the Sabbath day dedicated to God. I wonder how many of us can honestly say that our Sabbath days are fully dedicated to God?

I'll say this much.. The Lord did not sanctify the Sabbath for the purpose of watching mind-numbing TV shows and eating the whole bag of Doritos. He did not consecrate that special day for us to watch as many YouTube videos as we possibly can, and level up on Guitar Hero. He did not bless that sacred day so that we can have more time to go shopping, or break our previous record for eating ice cream.

Verse 9 in Exodus 20 states, "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work". The significant phrase in the verse is "all thy work". It's true, we do all of our work during the week, SO THAT we can have the Sabbath wholly 'dedicated to God'. It's a day of rest from our labors, not simply a day of rest from everything. 

Now, don't get nervous. That doesn't mean that He expects us to always be sprinting around doing service to others. He doesn't want us to completely disregard our health, or needs. I'm just trying to help us all see clearly what the Sabbath Day is all about.
Sometimes, the greatest way we can dedicate the Sabbath to God is by spending time with our loved ones, and strengthening those relationships. 
The Lord made the Sabbath day holy, and we don't have the right to make it unholy. But, we have the privilege to help keep it holy

I am grateful for the joy that I have received! I am grateful for the gospel which helps me to see all things with clarity.
I have full reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving truths.

Love, Elder Giles

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Loved ones,  
The babies are going off to girls camp, huh? They'll do just fine! Those girls could survive in the jungle for years by themselves. They are both more intelligent, and stronger than me. That's fun that it is almost a full week long! They'll probably come home smelling a little peculiar. They are going to have a great time though!  
Charlie Houston is still doing really well. Charlie's mother was a member of the Church, and would take him to Church for a lot of his growing up years. His father, however, was against the Church and would refuse to allow Charlie to be baptized. Because he was never very close to the Church of the gospel, he has been through a lot of experiences in his life. He is now nineteen, and has "came to himself" (Luke 15:17). He reached out to us. He has been to Church the last two Sundays, and yesterday he introduced himself as, "Charlie, and I am getting baptized in two weeks!"
The gospel has already made a huge impact on his life. Each time we see him he is happier and more energetic. He is a really good person, and I'm grateful to be a part of his story.

For The Strength Of Youth:
Section: Family

-What are ways we can share our testimonies with our family?
-How does showing love to family members show love to the Lord?

The family is ordained of God. Parents are to raise their children in a married relationship. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage is much more than "love + commitment", that is very basic and elementary. Marriage is about progression, preparation and loyalty to God. Marriage on earth is between a man and a woman because that is the only way it exists in heaven. We must see marriage as God sees marriage. We didn't invent marriage, and we can not re-invent marriage either.
We live in days similar in comparison to the days of Noah. In those days, only those who were loyal to the prophet survived. Interesting how history repeats itself.
My prayer is that each of us will rise to a higher commitment to sustain and support President Thomas S. Monson. I have total reliance and trust that he holds and exercises all the keys of the Priesthood given to man. He is a prophet of God.
We thank thee, O God, for a prophet!

I love y'all
Love, Elder Giles