Our Heavenly Father Loves Us.

There are not many things in this world that I know to be true, but this is one thing that I know to be true without a doubt in my mind. I’ve come to this knowledge through my own experiences, and because I have received this knowledge I feel impressed to share it with everyone. Who wouldn’t want to know the comforting and glorious news that we have a Heavenly Father who is watching over us and wants to bless us? We are his literal children! A scripture that comes to mind is one in the Book of Mormon, when Jesus Christ is ministering among the Nephites. He says:

“Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (3 Nephi 14:9-11)

This scripture clearly illustrates to me how much our Father in Heaven wants to bless us and give “good gifts” to us. And that’s something that I never really thought of before. That he wants to bless us. That he actually consciously thinks about us individually and cares enough to have a desire to give us things. He loves us enough to put forth the effort to help us and give us things we ask for. That’s so wonderful to me. The words to the song Amazing Grace come to mind as I think of this…

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. The Lord has promised good to me
. His word my hope secures;
 He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.”

The line that sticks out to me is “The Lord has promised good to me.” And he really, truly has. As we obey his commandments and do the right things, The Lord has promised good things to us. This promise is found in Doctrine & Covenants. I really love this scripture because it clearly outlines that the Lord wants to bless us, and is actually bound to bless us as long as we are obeying his commandments.

 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (Doctrine & Covenants 82:10)

My message today is simple: Our Heavenly Father truly, really, and eternally loves each and every one of his children. That’s us. We are his children. He wants to bless us and he has to bless us as we live righteously! That’s his job! Heck, he’s already blessed us with so many wonderful things. Some of these things are the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Prophets to guide us through life’s dark times, the Scriptures that have eternal truths within them that can benefit and bless us throughout our lives and beyond, and so forth. There are so many blessings God has already poured out unto us, and there is tons more waiting for us as we turn to Christ and choose to follow him.

I know that this is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


What is one thing you can do to strengthen your relationship with your Father in Heaven?


Gifts of the Spirit

After we are baptized, we have the opportunity and privilege to receive the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. This is the way we can be “baptized of the water and of the Spirit” as Jesus Christ once was, setting that perfect example for us. When we receive that Gift of the Holy Ghost and we are blessed to have that Spirit with us always, we can take advantage of what we call the “Gifts of the Spirit.” These gifts are given to us according to our faith and as we put forth an effort to have the Spirit with us. They are the ways that our Heavenly Father can bless us and how the Spirit is able to testify to us, comfort us, and give us strength.


I’ve broken this subject down into 4 different questions and I will be using the scriptures to try to answer all of them. These scriptures can be found in Moroni 10 and Doctrine & Covenants 46. These scriptures can help us more fully understand how the Spirit works, and how we can obtain and use these Gifts of the Spirit so that we can reach our full potential as children of a loving Heavenly Father.

But before I get into that, I must point out and impress upon you that all of these gifts are given to us from the grace and love of our Heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit, and by our faith. These gifts are for the use of the righteous and given to us so that we can do good things. As we work to bring to pass righteous things, we can use these gifts to help our efforts and make those righteous things happen. God will certainly bless us with gifts if we are trying to do His will.

“And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.” (Moroni 10: 24-25)

“Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given; For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts. And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church. For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.” (Doctrine & Covenants 46: 8-11)

We are all created differently, and as promised in the scriptures: “to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.” We all have at least one of these gifts, and they have blessed us all in our lives up to this point, but we don’t all have the same gifts. To some of us is given personal knowledge while to others is given greater ability to teach and guide others. God has created us all differently and given these gifts to us individually so that we may be able to support and help one another and use these gifts to bring forth His righteous purposes! This, in and of itself, is such a great and profound blessing to all of Heavenly Father’s children.

Listed below are many of the Gifts of the Spirit as found in Doctrine & Covenants 46 and Moroni 10. After reading this article, it would be good to go and study those two chapters and perhaps add your own insights to my thoughts that I am sharing with you now. Something to note is that all Gifts of the Spirit connect to one another in some way or another, but also are of great individual worth.

Knowledge & Wisdom | The gifts of knowledge & wisdom by the Spirit is not necessarily a gift of secular knowledge or a high IQ, but the remarkable talent of quick learning and great understanding that is given to many of God’s children is certainly included as part of this gift. I would definitely say that people like Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, etc., were definitely blessed with this gift. The important difference is if we use our knowledge and wisdom to given to us so that we can build up God’s Kingdom and help bring to pass His will!

The most important part of this gift is that of spiritual knowledge, or rather a knowledge of things that are of a spiritual nature. Spencer W. Kimball said: “Spiritual learning takes precedence. The secular without the foundation of the spiritual is … like the foam upon the milk, the fleeting shadow. … One need not choose between the two … for there is opportunity to get both simultaneously.” One of my favorite things about spiritual knowledge is that it is never-ending and you can always eventually understand, value, obey, remember, and expand on the knowledge you already have received. Remember, it is not so much about what gifts we can receive, but how we use those gifts to do the will of our Father in Heaven.

Belief & Faith | All of us need to develop and become strong in our faith as we move forward through our lives. By having a strong faith and belief in Christ and Heavenly Father, we are able to access other gifts of the Spirit. Faith is a basis and foundation for everything, and it is the first principle of the Gospel. As a Missionary, our purpose is to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ..”! Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Faith is the basis of testimony. Faith underlies loyalty to the Church. Faith represents sacrifice, gladly given in moving forward the work of the Lord.” As we act on the faith that we do have, we can build upon it and strengthen it.

All of us are given different levels of faith. Some of us are born with the ability and gift to have faith and belief come to us easily. But others of us struggle and get confused and worry. But we shouldn’t focus on what we do not have. We must focus on what we do have. This gift of the Spirit is a life-long endeavor and goal. Even if all you have is a tiny hint of belief, you should fan the flame of your faith, as Jeffrey R. Holland said:


Discernment | This reminds me of a scripture from 1 Samuel, 16:7. It says: “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” This gift is the way that we can discern through the Spirit what others need, what their intentions are, and see them for who they truly are. We can look deeper than just the outer shell and perceive the true character of others. It helps us to know what is truly good and what is truly evil. As Isaiah once said: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Let us remember to rely on the Lord and the Spirit to discern good from evil, rather than relying upon our own knowledge.

Teaching | Boyd K. Packer said that “The gift of teaching has to be earned, but it can come.” This is not something that comes naturally to us and is given to us regardless of what we do to earn it. This gift does not mean that you are a master teacher or that you have great wisdom and can speak boldly or with big words. To gain this gift, you must pray for it, and you must be in tune with the Spirit. Richard G. Scott related this story: “A humble, unschooled … priesthood leader struggled to communicate truths of the gospel. It was obvious how deeply they had touched his life. I noted his intense desire to communicate those principles. He recognized they were of great worth to the brethren he loved. He read from the lesson manual, yet his manner was of pure love of the Savior and those he taught. That love, sincerity, and purity of intent allowed the influence of the Holy Ghost to envelop the room.” We must recognize the great worth of what we are sharing with those that we love, and teach from that love and devotion and pure sincerity of our heart that will allow the Spirit to grace us with the Gift of Teaching.

Faith in Blessings & Miracles (Healing/Being Healed) | As we grow in our faith and exercise it, one way that we can be blessed is in the power of the Priesthood. As a Missionary, we are told to always explain to investigators that all blessings given are dependent on the faith of those receiving the blessing and upon those giving the blessing. Both sides are important. James A. Cullimore, in the October 1974 General Conference said: “[Melchizedek Priesthood holders] should always be ready to exercise this power in behalf of those who need a blessing. They should seek to have and develop the gift of faith, faith to heal and faith to be healed. ‘And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith,’ the Lord has said, ‘they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk.’ (D&C 35:9.)”


Prophesying | The gift of prophecy does not necessarily mean that we are going to be able to have visions of the future or receive revelation for other people. What this gift really is, is our testimony. As we strengthen and build upon our testimony of the Savior, the Spirit works through that testimony. Elder Maxwell said: “As we read in the Book of Revelation, ‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ (Rev. 19:10.) The Prophet Joseph Smith relied on this scripture in teaching that ‘every other man who has the testimony of Jesus’ is a prophet.’ Similarly, the Apostle Paul states that ‘he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.'” As we go about to edify, encourage, and comfort others through charity, we prophesy to them not only by our words but by our example.

“Ministering of Angels” | Although Moroni, Alma and Amaleki all list the beholding of angels and spirits among the gifts of the Spirit, the part of this gift that is most common and of most importance to us is the gift of personal revelation, by the ministering of angels. Our ability to learn things and understand things through spiritual revelation is part of this gift. Alma tells us of this: “And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.” (Alma 32:23)

When we struggle with personal needs/problems, we need comfort, or we need answers to questions, we are often told to get on our knees and pray. One of my favorite quotes is “when life becomes too difficult to stand, kneel.” As we do so, we are blessed with this gift of personal revelation or “the ministering of angels” as God answers our prayers and helps us through our deepest and most sincere thoughts. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Tongues (Interpretation & Speaking of) | About these two gifts, Elder Maxwell says:”These two gifts should always be manifest together because the purpose of spiritual gifts having to do with communication is to edify the people of God. If a person spoke in tongues without someone to interpret, there would be no edification.” There are many ways that we see examples of this. In times where we may not explain something quite as clearly as we wanted to, if the Spirit is present, those we are teaching can interpret and understand the principles we seek to teach them. Therefore they were blessed with the gift of interpretation of tongues. It can also apply  to the way that was discern others thoughts and desires, and how we can more fully understand their needs. As we interpret and understand and discern, we can more easily “edify the people of God” and do God’s will for them. This is how we can be servants unto Christ.

The other part of this gift is that literal speaking of and interpretation of languages (tongues). I don’t have any personal experience with this part of the gift as I haven’t tried very diligently to learn or understand foreign languages. But, it is evident throughout the church and especially in missionary work that this gift is very prominent and real. As missionaries, many of us are given at the very most 9 weeks to try to learn a foreign language that we will be speaking and teaching within the field. That is a remarkably small amount of time to be able to teach the gospel in! And yet, missionaries across the world are speaking, understanding, and proclaiming the gospel to all corners of the earth. It truly is amazing.


“And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit; He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh. And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit; And ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with. And ye must practice virtue and holiness before me continually. Even so. Amen.” (Doctrine & Covenants 46: 28, 30-33)

We must repent to gain the Gifts of the Spirit. Repentance means to change, and by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and allowing God to carry our burdens, we can make those changes more easily. As we make those changes and try to follow Christ, we can have access to the Spirit and all the gifts that it brings to us. So long as we are righteous, the Spirit will reside with us and therefore can bless us in everything that we do. As we seek to listen and understand the Spirit, we will!

Often times, we grow impatient and confused about how the Spirit works and how we can understand it. Instead of searching so hard and tiring our minds by our endless worry about if one thought is from the Spirit of not or if we are being impressed to do something or not, we need to understand that as long as we are striving to be righteous, the Spirit will guide us.

Learning how to recognize and be guided by the Holy Spirit takes time, and is a life-long learning process. The Gits of the Spirit come as we pray for them, but they often-times do not come immediately. Be patient and long-suffering in your relationship with the Holy Ghost

As we seek these gifts of the Spirit, the question arises: What can we do to continue to grow in our relationship with God and therefore increasing our ability to understand the language of the Spirit? First of all, we ought not deny these gifts or reject them when God so graciously tries to give them to us:

“And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.” (Moroni 10:7-8, 18)

So, we shouldn’t reject or deny these gifts. Have faith in them and His ability to give them to us through the Spirit. Know that they come from Him, and remember that “every good gift cometh of Christ.” To increase and strengthen our relationship with the Savior and with God so that we can access and more fully understand these gifts, we do things that would strengthen any relationship: Communication that is consistent, honest, and sincere (Prayer). Doing those things that we are asked and obeying (Church attendance, following the commandments). Being truly sorry and trying to resolve any problems that we may have caused (Repentance). The list goes on. So long as we are striving to be closer to our Heavenly Father, He will help us to know in what ways we can do so and He will gather us in close to Him. Let us be honest with Him, let us talk with Him and allow Him to be a part of our lives. We ought to do all we can to bring ourselves closer to our Father in Heaven. As we do so, we will certainly be given gifts, even the gifts of the Spirit.

“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10: 3-5)


Thoughts on Love

Today I just wanted to post some thoughts that I have on Love. Naturally, I would do this since it is Valentines Day. So first & foremost, Happy Valentines Day! As we focus on our loved ones today, perhaps we ought to take a moment to think about some people who love us: Our Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ. This is the first thing that we as missionaries teach new investigators is that their Heavenly Father LOVES them! We all need to know this, and we can all benefit from this knowledge because through God’s love we have received many blessings. Prophets, the Scriptures, the Plan of Happiness, and more. It’s amazing how much God has done for His children.

I remember a few years ago I was at an EFY (Especially For Youth) Conference and I was to study in the scriptures for about 30 minutes. Our group all separated and found little places here or there in a field of grass to study alone and keep to their own thoughts and feel the Spirit. I struggled to know what I ought to study, so I said a quick prayer and I opened my scriptures to a random place. This place was John 4, and as some of you may know, this chapter is full of love.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (John 4: 7-8)

   The first thing I’d like to bring your attention to is that love is of God, and that as we show love to others we can come to know better who God is and what it means to strive to be like Him. Our Heavenly Father shows us love in many different ways, the greatest of which was the sacrifice that He made by giving up his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (John 4: 9-10, 14)

   This is the single greatest act of love in the history of the world, and we feel the effects of it today in our daily lives as we strive to become the best people we can be. We are given the ability to change and grow and ask for forgiveness because our Savior, Jesus Christ, atoned for our sins. At the same time, he suffered for our pains, our weaknesses, our sorrows & afflictions, our sicknesses, and all other types of pain. He even overcame death so that we can live with our Heavenly Father again and have the Spirit with us! (see Alma 7:11-13)

   In this we can receive comfort and joy at all times as we ask God to help us feel the effects of the Atonement whenever we are suffering. Since Christ knows all of our individual pains and sorrows, we can go through life knowing that we are never truly alone and that someone has felt the exact pain that we are feeling. He knows. And He cares. He wants to help us through our trials and suffering. As we feel these wonderful blessings and feel the love of God and take advantage of the Atonement, we become closer to Him and we have his Spirit with us.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (John 4: 16)


   So how can we take this love even further and share it with the world? This chapter tells us how, and it also shows us how we can show love back to our Heavenly Father for all that He has given us. We are told that the first and greatest commandment is to love God, and that the second is to love our neighbor. (see Mark 12:30-31) And that when we are in the service of our fellow beings we are only in the service of our God! (see Mosiah 2:17) So the next step is to Spread Love! We show our love to God by showing love to His children and serving one another.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; … Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another … If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us … If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (John 4: 7, 11-12, 20-21)

What can you do to love one another? How can we spread love, especially today on Valentines Day, but also for the rest of our lives? I promise as we love one another and show our love for God by our acts of service, we can receive even more blessings for ourselves. We will feel the joy that God feels when He blesses His children as we bless His children. We can learn to be more like him by following His example and being kind and patient and loving with others. Through these things we can come to know our Heavenly Father and develop a relationship with Him, and we can feel the true effects of the Atonement. This gospel is one of love, happiness, and hope. Spread those things to all who you come in contact with!


The Beginning

As I’ve been slowly figuring out the many wonders of WordPress and trying to decide how I would use this website to further my work/purpose as a missionary, I found that I had this page already created on here that is called “About.” I decided this would be a good opportunity to make sure that I know and whoever takes their time to read this blog would know my reasoning and purpose behind this. I thought I might as well post this statement on the front page of my blog as a starting point:

“This is a blog run by a Missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is serving in the New York, Utica Mission. The things posted here will be of a spiritual and religious nature, and will always be centered on the purpose of missionary work: To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the Restored Gospel through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. These things, coupled with personal experiences will hopefully prove of some worth to those who read.

   Consider as you read these things how they can apply to your life, and how they can help you form a greater relationship with your Father in Heaven, and help you to follow Jesus Christ by making the necessary changes in your life through repentance.

   I promise that as you read, consider, and pray about the truths that are shared here, that you will grow in your understanding of the Gospel through the Spirit. Not that I will be teaching you, but that God can teach you as you open your heart to the messages I share. You will receive a witness from that same Spirit that the things of the Gospel that I share are true and are of great worth.

– Elder Seth McCausland”

   So there you have it. This is what you can expect here. Whether or not you read is your choice. Whether or not you actually consider in your minds the things that I share is also your choice, and whether or not you pray to know if the Gospel that I share is true is also your choice. I hope that as you make these choices, it will lead to great things for you.

   With love from New York,

Elder McCausland