Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Left Their Nets and Followed HIm."

It is always interesting to see people's reactions when we tell them about the guidelines that we as missionaries are to follow.  They feel that we are extremely restricted in our activities and in our daily lives.  Having to be home by 9:00 pm, getting up at 6:30 am, having study time, no television, and various other things.  But if you ask a missionary how much they wish they could do something else, most of them would say that they have never been happier!!  I know I can say that.  So why is it that we find joy when we are so restricted?

Thinking about this makes me think of Christ when he called the 12 Apostles.  He said to "Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother . . Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."  (Matthew 4:18-20)  It always amazes me how quickly Peter and Andrew obeyed the voice of Jesus as he asked them to sacrifice.  Well, he asks the same of us.  "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)   Those who "putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord" (Mosiah 3:19) will find that leaving their nets is the best thing that they will do.

So, does this mean that you have to serve a full time mission to qualify as someone who has "Left their nets"?  No.  "Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." (3 Nephi 27:19)  And when we are baptized we say that we are willing "to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in."  (Mosiah 18:9)  So by following the commandments, being baptized and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and fulfilling our baptismal covenant, then we show that we have put off our nets.

Well now your all set!!  But oops, you made a mistake.  You said as Peter said, "I go a fishing." (John 21:3)  You went back to your nets for a time.  You are no longer spotless.  But, there is still hope.  With a lot of faith and repentance, you can "Leave your Nets" once again and become perfected through the atonement of Christ.  "There is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God."  (2 Nephi 31:21)

It may be difficult to do all that God has asked of us.  But I promise that as we faithfully endure "and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon" (Mosiah 3:19) us, then we can be as "those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end." (3 Nephi 27:19)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jeremy Kunz

There is a man by the name of Jeremy Kunz.  He is a great guy!  Everyone that comes in contact with him knows right away that he is one of a kind.  His smile, his sense of humor, and especially his love for his family makes him grand!!  He loves the outdoors; running, hiking, rock climbing, you name it, he enjoys it.  But out of everything he has, his family is number one.  Anyone who comes in contact with him knows that his wife and three kids are his top priority.  There are many other things that make Jeremy the amazing role model that he is, but there is not enough room on the internet to fit it all in!!

Jeremy loves to do that which pushes him to new limits.  Things that make him stretch and that he has to give his all for.  Because of that, he became a long distance runner.  Jeremy was never one to do things alone.  He loves to do things with other people that he is close to, so thus he doesn't particularly enjoy the usual marathons, he would rather run in a relay team made up of close friends and family.  There was one relay in particular that he really enjoys, and spends much of his running time preparing for, the Wasatch Back.  This is one of many relay races that the Ragnar Relay Series has available.  It is a grueling race of 189 miles through the Wasatch Mountain Range located in northern Utah.

In 2009, Jeremy and his team decided that they would try another one of these magnificent races.  The Las Vegas relay.  Another rough race through the hot desert of Nevada.  The race was going well.  All the teammates were making good time, and it was a joyous time!  He was even able to enjoy the race with his wife, Melinda.  Even though she was in the team's other van, they kept in contact with one another through phone calls.

Early in the morning, during the race, on Saturday, October 10, 2009, Jeremy was hit by a drunk driver and killed.

Wow, that's pretty crazy.  Some of you may be wondering why I would put such a depressing story on my blog?  Well, let me tell you a not so secret.  Melinda Kunz, Jeremy's wife, is my sister.  Jeremy has been a part of my family for most of my life.  I don't really remember a time when he wasn't in it.  And even now, though his physical body is no longer present, he is still a big part of my family.

If you'll notice, I didn't use past tense verbs when I wrote the description of Jeremy.  That is because the most important part of Jeremy, the part that makes him who he is, is not gone.  "The spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed form this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life." (Alma 40:11)  But that isn't the end, "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body."(Alma 40:23)  So this life isn't all there is.  There will be a time when I can once again see not only Jeremy but all of my family!!  How grateful I am for that knowledge!

Now what is my purpose in all of this?  I just want you, not everyone else who is reading this, but you who at this time, right now, is reading these words.  I want you to know that trials are hard.  There is pain in life but there is also overwhelming joy.  Joy in the plain truth that Jesus Christ lives.  That he loves us.  That we can become clean through his atoning sacrifice if we but follow his commands.

If you want to know more of the Plan that our loving Father in Heaven created for us, please visit