Bishopric Message – Restoration

The theme in Sacrament Meeting this month is the Restoration.  I am so grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It has absolutely impacted every aspect of my life.  It has brought me and my family immense happiness, joy, and opportunities.  The marvelous truths that I know because of the restoration include the knowledge that I can live with my family forever, that I can progress eternally, that the atonement is infinite, that God and Jesus Christ aren’t just faceless beings similar to a cloud, instead they are a loving father and older brother – with an eternal body.  They know me and my family and watch out for and bless me daily.  I’m so grateful for this gospel.

I love church history.  I love reading about the pioneers, the early restoration, and the trials that the saints faced and overcame.  April and May are great months for me to reflect on the sacrifice that many people have made so that I can have the gospel in my life.  I marvel that Joseph Smith was able to accomplish all that he did at such a young age.  At 14, Joseph Smith received the first vision, at 17 Joseph Smith received the earliest revelation that is included in the doctrine and covenants.  The gospel provides such strength, that people are able to accomplish amazing things – even at a young age.

This is true for our youth in the Mount Pleasant Fourth Ward.  We have nine seniors in high school that will graduate this month.  Cade Davis, Ryker Erickson, Mariah Hafen, Jentry Ison, Dani Jallath, Christian Johansen, Natalie Jorgensen, Jared Lee, and Abigail Walker.  Each of these young people have accomplished many great things.  I have enjoyed watching this group participate in athletics.  I have loved listening to their musical talents.  I have loved watching them perform in plays or the band.  They are all great students.  Just like Joseph Smith accomplished a lot at an early age, this group of seniors have accomplished a lot.  They have made Mount Pleasant better.  I can’t wait to watch them as they move on to their next endeavor.  I love each one of them and really appreciate the impact each of them have had in my life and the lives of my family.

I also would like to publicly thank Jeff and Angie Parish for their great service.  I love Jeff and Angie and want them to know that they are both amazing examples to me.  Jeff has the ability to reach out to those in need.  He has a great sense of knowing who needs help and how to help them.  Angie is always happy, always ready to help, has been a great Relief Society President, and makes a really good carrot cake.  Both Jeff and Angie put others first and have served the ward well.  I’m excited that they will be close by and look forward to their continued friendship.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  It will continue to assist these nine young people and all of the members of the Mount Pleasant Fourth Ward as we seek to progress and improve our situations, the situations of our families, and the situations of all those around us.  I’m so thankful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Applegarth

Bishop’s thoughts on The Atonement

For me, April is a good time to reflect on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  As winter’s grasp starts to give way to spring and the flowers begin to poke their head out of the soil and the grass starts to green up, it is a great reminder of how the atonement works in our lives.  Just like winter gives way to spring, sadness can give way to happiness, despair can become hope, hate can turn to love, and pain can become joy.  Spring rejuvenates my soul and is an amazing time of year.

Starting on Palm Sunday, I try and follow the last week of the Saviors life day by day.  It is interesting to see what events transpire each day, with the most important events happening on Friday before Easter with the atonement and of course Easter Sunday with the resurrection.  I encourage each member of the Mount Pleasant fourth ward to study the Saviors last week during the Easter season.  It is a great opportunity to get a little closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I want each of you to know that I believe Jesus Christ died for each of us.  He conquered spiritual death in the Garden of Gethsemane when he took each of our sins and beat them.  I cannot even pretend to comprehend how the atonement works, I only know that it works.  Can you imagine a life without sin?  Someday, we will experience this all because of the atonement.  Jesus Christ conquered physical death for us on Easter Sunday when he was resurrected with a perfect immortal body.  Can you imagine what our perfect immortal bodies will be like?  No sickness or disease, no need to find the cure to cancer or worry about your blood pressure.  What greater gift can be given then conquering these two deaths?

I love my Savior and hope that in some small way I can emulate some of his qualities.  I hope I can make Mount Pleasant just a little better.  Thanks for each of you and your support.  Have a Happy Easter season.

Bishop Applegarth

Memories of the Atonement

I grew up in upstate New York. Occasionally during the winter we would have ice storms. Everything would be coated with a thick layer of ice. The year when I was in kindergarten or first grade, we had one of those storms. The school bus dropped me off at the end of our driveway. Our driveway was a fairly steep hill. I tried to walk up the driveway to the house, but every time I did I slipped on the ice and slid back down.  It didn’t take long for me to become frustrated and scared. I didn’t think I would ever get to the house. My older brother came to my rescue.  He knew if he stayed where the snow was deep he could break through the ice crust and get where he wanted to go. He scooped me up and carried me to the house. To me, this is a lot like the atonement. We all have things in life that we can’t handle by ourselves – sin, grief, pain, etc. – and our Savior, (our big brother) is there to help. He carries us over and helps us through the things we can’t navigate by ourselves.

Pam Allen

SnowHill

My testimony of the Atonement was strengthened and solidified as I studied my scriptures and was able to bear testimony of the purpose of the Atonement on my mission. I acquired a picture which is now inside the front cover of my scriptures. It is of the Savior standing by a door without a handle. This has brought many thoughts to my mind. First, the Savior is standing at our door, but if we fail to open the door at His knock He will not be able to help us. I testify that the Savior will never leave our door.  He will always be there; it is our responsibility to invite Him into our life. The Atonement is the same. The Savior has paid the price for you and me. We need to make the Atonement effective in our lives by inviting Him in and applying those principles of the Atonement. The Atonement is not only for our wrongs, but for the wrongs people commit against us, and for every pain and suffering we may have. It is truly a blessing to have a loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, to turn to and always know that they are there to help us and comfort us in any trial we may face.

Kevin Allen

jesus-at-the-door

Inspirational Thoughts – Atonement

“When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us. While we do not fully understand how the Atonement of Christ was made, we can experience the peace of God which passeth all understanding.”

 Boyd K. Packer

“We all depend on the Savior; none of us can be saved without Him. Christ’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others. . . Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive. Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Elder Applegarth – April 2017

Elder Applegarth Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer recently celebrated his 19th birthday.  He said his birthday party included some awesome food that he has no idea what it was.  The people of Sierra Leone are so kind to Spencer.  They always greet him with a smile.  Spencer said Friday’s are an interesting day as most of the people in Sierra Leone are Muslim.  They worship on Friday, so the Mosques are full and there are a lot of people praying.

Spencer is excited that he will get to watch a couple of sessions of general conference live.  He is really enjoying his area and enjoys living in an apartment with 4 missionaries.  He is the only American missionary, his companion is from Ghana and the other two missionaries are from Nigeria.

Spencer continues to get more and more comfortable in Africa.  Although, he did tell us this week, he is really grateful for the small fan Kathryn sent him for his birthday.

Bishop Applegarth

Elder Ison – April 2017

Elder Ison Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

He is keeping busy in Missoula.  They have several investigators as well as less actives that they have been working with lately and are excited about the progress that they are all making.  He is asking that everyone keep the missionaries & those they are working with in their prayers!   He loves Missoula and loves serving as a Zone Leader.  He loves that it is starting to warm up and that they can get out and ride their bikes to find people.   I thought I would share with all of you his testimony that he shared with me in his email this week….

I just want you to know that I KNOW this is Christ’s church restored again upon the earth, the Priesthood power of God is restored and it’s real, I have personally felt it bless and help change me, and with that Priesthood power we are able to receive the saving ordinances which will get us to exaltation. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father, and his son Jesus Christ, they did speak to him and that they called him to be a prophet and Restored Christ’s Gospel through him. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon we will grow closer to our Father and that he teaches us through that book, how we can return to live with him some day. I know our Prophet President Thomas S. Monson is the Lords mouth piece on the earth today and that he is truly a prophet called of God. I am grateful we get the amazing opportunity to hear from him, the apostles, and other General authorities and leaders of the church this weekend. I invite you all to write down specific questions you have and listen and watch Conference and your questions WILL be answered. I Love the Gospel, I Love our Savior, I know he suffered and died for us and that his Atonement is infinite and eternal and provides us a way to be forgiven and return to our Heavenly Father. I Love being a missionary, even when it’s hard the blessings are still amazing and it’s truly been an amazing blessing in my life, I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen. 

 Kristy Ison

Missionary Update – April 2017

Elder Jessee Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea

Elder Jorgensen North Carolina Raleigh Mission Office Address 5060 Six Forks Rd Raleigh NC 27609-4428

Elder Wheeler Australia Perth Mission Office Address PO Box 185 Tuart Hill WA 6939 Australia

Elder Talbot Trinidad Port of Spain Mission Office Address PO Bag 543 Valsayn Trinidad and Tobago

Current Address 243 ceder court lamaha gardens, georgetown, guyana

Elder Seely California Redlands Mission Office Address 7000 Central Ave Highland CA 92346              

April Class Schedule

April 2nd: General Conference

April 9th :Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 13: “This Generation Shall Have My Word through You”, Relief Society/ Priesthood – Chapter 7: The Whisperings of the Spirit

April 16th :Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 14: The Law of Consecration, Relief Society/ Priesthood – Chapter 8: We Look to Christ

April 23rd :Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 15: “Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts”, Relief Society/ Priesthood – Repentance:  A joyful choice  Elder Dale G. Renlund

April 30th :Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 16: “Thou Shalt … Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day”, Relief Society/ Priesthood (Combined) – Under Bishop’s Direction

The Inquisitor’s Tale

This month’s selection is a work of fiction called “The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog” by Adam Gidwitz. It is a story of 4 unlikely companions and how they learn to be tools in God’s hands as they overcome social, political, and religious barriers. I like how it shows no matter who we are, where we come from, or anything else – God can use us to bless others’ lives.  It is somewhat a light read, since it is meant for young adults, but it addresses ideas that we all deal with like why do bad things happen to good people, the reason for life, and the death of loved ones. I really enjoyed how the author was able to treat these deep thoughts with respect, but humor as well. The Mt Pleasant Public Library has a copy in its children’s section and I suggest everyone read it and make their own judgments.

    Calvin Zundel