Welcome! I am Samuel Young, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This website, previously a blog about my experiences as a missionary, is about my post-mission life. If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask me! You can send me a Facebook message or leave a comment. The things that I write or post here are my own views and are not authorized or official statements of the Church. Make it a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Sometimes people ask us why baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is different from other churches. We believe in being baptized by immersion, just the way Jesus Christ was baptized, by proper priesthood authority. Something else we believe is that baptism by immersion is only half of the equation -- we must also receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. One without the other is sort of useless. After we are baptized, we receive the Holy Ghost during a normal Sunday meeting. Someone who holds God's priesthood authority will lay their hands on our head and confirm us a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and give us the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

What is the Gift of the Holy Ghost and why is it so important? The Holy Ghost is one member of the Godhead (which also includes Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; these three are separate beings but are one in purpose). Basically, all people can receive guidance from God our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost to help them in their lives and help them come closer to Him. Many people throughout all of history have prayed and received answers to their prayers this way.

But after we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we can have not only fleeting or occasional guidance from God but the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. If we try and follow Jesus Christ and pray and follow His commandments, we are not only allowed but entitled to have the Holy Ghost's influence in our lives.

Let me give an example. One time in school, I was doing an assignment for a math class. Part of the assignment was to write short computer programs that would show we understood the math, and even though I mostly understood the math, I would often make small errors on the computer and lose points for it. One week we had an assignment due a day earlier than I thought it was, so I was scrambling to get it done in time.

In the grand scheme of things, it probably wouldn't have made much difference to Heavenly Father whether I got an A on the assignment or not. But I really wanted to reach the right answers and make up for some bad grades earlier. I prayed multiple times at the computer and asked for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help me understand the problem and how to put it into the computer. Gradually, I was able to see what the professor wanted us to do and write the computer code the right way. At one point, I felt like I should look at a certain line of code and found an error I had made. Things worked as I had prayed. I ended up finishing that assignment much more quickly than previous assignments and I got a great grade on it.

Which tells me that Heavenly Father loves me. Although that assignment probably won't make the slightest difference in the big picture, He wants me to know that He loves me, and He can do that by sending guidance and revelation through the Holy Ghost.

As I've come to feel and understand the Holy Ghost, my view of life has changed and I'm able to see beauty in so many parts of my life, even those times that seem unbearable. I appreciate the sanctity of live and I'm  more grateful for my experiences. This gift is not something Latter-day Saints try to lord over people. We want all people to be able to have this in their lives. Jesus Christ's gospel and His Church give us so much happiness and we just want to share that with others.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A bad experience with pride

A few days ago we had to drive to the mission office to take care of some business. I was the assigned driver of the car, which means I am supposed to drive the car and my companion is supposed to give an extra set of eyes to watch for dangers on the road. Usually I am the only one to drive unless I am injured or impaired, in which case he would drive.

From the few times my companion had driven the car, I had quietly decided in my mind that he was an inferior driver. I didn't like the way he accelerated or turned or braked (notwithstanding the fact that he had been on bike his whole mission and didn't have the ample opportunity I did to practice driving). During our visit to the mission office, I was afraid he would ask me if he could drive the car and started thinking about his flaws and how he might get us into an accident.

I was fatigued that day because of lack of sleep while my companion was not. While driving on the way home, I myself zoned out for a minute and ran a red light with a camera. After spending about ten minutes stressed out after I additionally missed the freeway entrance, I finally pulled into a parking lot and acknowledged that in my state of mind there was no way I would be safer on the road than he would be and let him drive home. Had I not acknowledged my pride, I may have harmed my companion and other people as well.

To be prideful is to place more trust in ourselves than in the Lord or to put the things of the world above the things of God. Pride is competitive; those who have it presume they are better than others. It is strongly condemned in the scriptures and impedes our spiritual progress. (See Preach My Gospel [2004], p. 120 or the online version.) Proverbs 16:18 is a wonderful summary of this: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Weaknesses and shortcomings are part of life

One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is Ether 12:27:
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them."
In this scripture, Jesus Christ is speaking to the prophet Moroni. He is saying that all people will have some weakness or deficiency in this life. This is necessary because we must all humble ourselves before Him in order to return to His presence. The Lord also shows us how we can overcome our weaknesses: we must have faith in Him. Having faith in Jesus Christ means we must trust Him enough to follow His commandments even when we don't completely understand the reason for following them. It also means that we believe that He loves us.

Some people have difficulty in school. Some people struggle with significant physical limitations. Some people have addictions to drugs or pornography. Some people have trouble feeling that they are loved or worthwhile. But all of these weaknesses can be overcome through Jesus Christ's Atonement if we will humble ourselves and have faith in Him.


I am Elder Sam Young. I'm a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Orange County, California. We share the message that Jesus Christ lives and that the church He formed in His lifetime has been restored to the earth today by a loving God through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Through His restored church, we can come closer to God, find happiness in our lives and families, and come to personally know Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is convincing evidence that Jesus Christ's gospel has been restored. I know for myself that this message is true and we invite you to hear this message and come to know for yourself that it is true. One way to do this is by reading The Book of Mormon and asking God in prayer to know if it is true. I have done this and have received an answer that it is true.

My mission is using the Internet to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and help others to come unto Christ. This website is a place where I will share special experiences I have as a missionary and spiritual messages that can uplift others. Please feel free to comment on my posts, but don't post inappropriate or defamatory comments.

Everything that I write or say here is my own view and my posts are not authorized or official statements by the Church.