Saturday, November 2, 2013

God hears EVERY prayer!

I am going to share another faith/testimony building story. As you read this story I would invite you to focus on prayer and the answers that God gives us. Also to think about someone whos life you could impact in the way this story portrays. This time I am going to tell you a story about a wonderful couple I know..... the Radcliffe's. And here is there story.....

I first met Harold and Natalie Radcliffe when I was serving as a missionary in Prescott Valley Arizona. I had been in Prescott Valley for almost 3 days when I saw there name on a piece of paper and had an OVER-WHELMING feeling that we needed to stop by there house at noon that day. When I told my companion he said "no we have been there 20 times and no one ever answers." I was pretty persistent not to ignore that prompting and we went at noon that day.

We knocked on the door and Harold answered. The first thing I noticed was the Boston Redsocks hat he was wearing and the football game on TV. They were both in the mid twenties and they had the cutest one year old son named Boston. Natalie had been a life time member and Harold was not. After a few minutes of small talk Harold told us that he had already met with missionaries and they couldn't answer his questions. Being persistent, yet again we convinced him to let us come back and have dinner with them a few days later.

We came back that Friday and we had a great meal. After dinner Harold proceeded to bombard us with thousands of questions. Amazingly ever question he had, was one that I already had. I was able to answer all of his question fairly easily and it was miraculous how similar we were and how our minds worked the same way. His last question was with the Word of Wisdom. He wanted to know why he couldn't drink coffee anymore. After giving him several answers, none that satisfied him, my companion simply said "Harold you will never know unless you try, just try not drinking it for the week." And we left with a return appointment for week later.

The second lesson we came back and Harold had reloaded with another thousand questions. Again all were questions I had and we answered them easily. At the end Harold told us, " Ya know I stopped drinking coffee this whole week so then I could feel horrible and tell you two to never come back...... I HAVE FELT BETTER THAN EVER!" That was the last time Harold Radcliffe drank coffee and questioned the Word of Wisdom. At the very end of the lesson with my heart racing, we invited Harold to be baptized....... To everyones amazement he said YES!!!!

The next several lesson went like a blur. The more we went the more his testimony grew. But still I never thought he would ever actually get baptized..... Then finally the day came and he asked me to perform the ordinance. Sitting in the room right before entering the font I looked at Harold and asked, "Well are you ready for this?" He looked right back at me and intently said, " You still don't think I am going to do this, DO YOU?" I said honestly nope and he walked right into the font without me. After the baptism he bore his testimony and rocked the entire building with his spirit.

Over the next several months I would grow to have a special relationship with this family. The next goal was for this young family to be sealed in the temple.... I never would imagine the amount of opposition they would face...... Trial after trial would come. The dealt with family issues, personal tials, discouragment, hardships, and MASS OPPOSITION! However through some hard work and perservirance, THEY MADE IT. Now this wonder couple was sealed in the House of God for not only time but ALL ETERNITY! Years of prayer from a loving wife, for her husbands heart to be softened, WERE ANSWERED. Months of trials produced a life time of growth. And now they get the blessed reward of eternity with there family and the presence of our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that prayers really are heard and answered. Not always quickly or in the way we expect. Natalie had to wait years for God to soften Harolds heart..... But I bet if you ask her now every second of waiting and praying was WELL WORTH IT. I promise that regardless of your situation or circumstance, GOD HEARS YOUR PRAYERS. And He is preparing a way for them to be answered, even as you are reading this blog! I would invite everyone who reads this to make a list of the prayers they see answered everyday, then to go be the answer to someones prayer. Reach out a helpig hand, rescue that lost soul, and invite those you know to "come and see". I would love to have anyone who wants to post a comment on this blog post about miracles they have seen in there own lives associate with patient and persistant prayer.

Harold, Natalie, and Boston Radcliffe. Sealed as an ETERNAL FAMILY on October 26, 2013.
 You know those videos you watch, the sories in seminary books; the ones that we think are really neat to read and hear but wonder if they ever happen......... I PROMISE THEY HAPPEN AROUND YOU EVERYDAY, and its your faith and action that causes them to occur. I hope this blog helps you see that! There is someone right now who's life you can impact and change for the better. I invite you to go find that person! -Love Elder Mark T. Knobbe

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Answer To Prayers

So this story is a little less personable but I think that is has some great moral. It is one of the revelations I received by watching this last General Conference. It was so powerful to come to this simple realization about prayer and how we receive answers, so lets walk through this.

Prayer is the direct communication between us and God. Revelation is the way that God speaks back to us, generally we receive revelation through feelings, thoughts, and ideas we receive.

Prayer is available because we have a God that loves and cares for each one of us a individuals. He has given us a commandment to pray to Him morning and evening, because he wants to hear from us. There is a pretty simple formula for receiving an answer to pray. All we have to do is ask our Heavenly Father through prayer and then have faith that He will answer. Faith is more than just believing He will hear and answer our prayer. Faith is ACTION, its acting on what you believe. To often we forget that is takes our action to have our prayers answered.

So with that being said think about this; God has the MOST VALUABLE gift available to mankind. He has the TRUTH, and is willing to give it to anyone that seeks it. Of course that gift is priceless but for this lessons sake lets say that is is worth 1 million dollars. God has told us, I will give you this million dollars and here are the tasks/actions you need to perform to receive it. There aren't very hard tasks, there pretty simple and easy to get done. Whats amazing is God asks SO LITTLE from us, to receive such a PHENOMENAL gift.

Lets switch to a real life situation..... Lets say you are going to hire someone to perform a simple task for you, such as mowing your lawn, and you are going to pay him a million dollars to do it. That is a lot of money, your going to make sure that he performs the task necessary to receive that money. You are probably not going to give him a million dollars and then walk away HOPING that he mows your lawn. NOPE your going to sit right there until your lawn in mown, THEN pay him his wages.

The same applies to GOD. The world tries to teach us to hold God to a different standard than we would ever hold ourselves. We would never pay someone and then trust/hope they do there part, SO neither should God. We need to do our part and then wait to receive our priceless payment of truth.

The world says......

God says.....

Prayers are answered every single day, but only after we follow the simple pattern God has given us to receive answers........

If you pray for a job, go look for one and God will answer your prayer. Don't pray and expect one to show up on your doorstep.

If you want to know if the Book of Mormon is the word of God, READ IT and then pray, don't pray and expect God to answer and tell him then you will read it

If you want to pass a test, STUDY and then pray, don'
t just go to the test expecting God to fix your problem


I hope you all see the point that I am trying to get at. I know God wants to help and bless us. It is just a matter of doing the work, and then receiving the reward. Pray is a gift from God to be able to communicate with a loving Heavenly Father.

Take this and apply it to your life. Search after the truths that you want to know and allow God to guide you. Teach others the power and importance of prayer. Prayer truly is a LIFELINE!

Stay tuned for the next post and I will share a personal story about the principle I just taught!

Love Elder Mark T. Knobbe

Friday, October 11, 2013


So here we go again. I would like to share with you another personal story, which I think is just a critical and important as my conversion story. The story is about how I came about serving a full-time  mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day saints.

 As you read the story focus on a few things that I am going to try and highlight. 1) The power of prayer 2) The importance/power of love 3) The importance/power of example 4) The importance of invitations 5)All young men need there missions.........

To start I will insert one of those fancy dancy hyper link things to take you to a page to learn more about Mormon missionaries in case you have questions.

Right after my miraculous return to church I felt lots and lots of pressure to serve a mission. The more people pushed the more I pushed back. Finally one day after our Sunday meetings, the hero from my conversion story, Tyler Searle asked me "Mark, are you going to serve a mission?" I told him no and proceeded to list all the reason why a mission wasn't right for me such as; family, football, schooling, timing, etc..... And guess what he had the nerve to look at me and simply say "Thats alright, I love you anyways."........ WHAT NERVE, and that's were it all began :)

Instantly I started to wonder what made Tyler so darn great and why he was determined to serve a mission. After pondering about it for several weeks, I came to the conclusion that I needed to follow the biblical scripture in James 1:5 and ask God what he wanted me to do. I began to pray.....

 Keep in mind that the whole time this is going on I am right in my senior football session. Having the best session of my career and am getting closer and closer to my dreams of collegiate football. So as more time passes and as my football session goes two things happened 1) On the outside it looked like I was getting closer and closer to playing college football. 2) On the inside I am getting further and further from football and closer and closer to a mission.

Here is the event that swayed it all. One day I was sitting in a room with my high school football coach and my high school AG teacher. I asked coach Kidd if he had served, he said no, and I talked to him a little about it. I asked Mr. Miller if he did, he said yes, and I asked him a few questions. Needless to say he encouraged me to serve, told me it was hard but an experience that he needed. And in that moment I KNEW that I needed to serve.....

 So there I was football session over, recruitment happening, signing day coming.... and I was going on a mission. I didn't tell a soul about my decision and then signing day passed and I didn't declare to any college. Several people wondering why, my simple answer was "I just haven't decided where to play yet." Tyler was the first person I told about my decision and he gave me the strength and encouragement to tell everyone else, starting with my family and then later all my friends. The several months leading up to turning my papers in where a little tough. Luckily I had a lot of support from friends and particularly from a nice young lady that gave me lots of motivation to go. Yet another person who played such a pivotal role in my life.

And now poof here I am serving am mission in Phoenix Arizona for the last 21 months of my life. A much better and more Christ-like person. The impact my mission had on my life and future rival the impact that my conversion had. Thats right I just said that MY MISSION WAS NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS MY CONVERSION!!!

So to point out the moral of this story, lets go back to our points I asked you to keep in mind from the begging.....
1) Prayer is how I received my answer and how I found the power to be able to stick with such a hard decision and preserve throughout my mission . Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is SOOO important and the best way to foster that relationship is by speaking with him morning, nite, and as a family.

2) Tyler's love is what was able to penetrate my hardened heart and help me open it to the idea of serving. I have come to learn that love is the best and most powerful motivating tool this world has. "Love conquers all"

3) My AG teachers example of being a righteous priesthood holder is what helped me make that important decision. Your example is more powerful than any word. "People will rarely remember what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel."

4) No one is every going to do anything unless you invite them to. Invite people to come to activities, make changes is there life, to read things, to develop a relationship with God. If you invite have faith that God will do the rest and I promise that the Spirit will do the work.

5) You really do need your missions. It is such a blessing for you to be able to come out here. Its hard, its tiring, and yes its a long time...... but its not a sacrifice. For every ounce you put in God give back 100 fold, I promise and testify of that. If you are considering whether or not to go..... pray and ask God and don't stop praying until you get an answer!

Please see in it the true miracle of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. See the power and impact you can have on other peoples lives through your example and the love you show to them. Take Elder Maynes advice from General Conference and apply the principles shared here. Reading this may bring a nice spiritual experience for you but don't stop there. Go out and invite someone to do SOMETHING related to the church. Improve yourself and become a better example. Most of all don't be afraid to share your witness that JESUS IS THE LIVING CHRIST!!!!! I KNOW THAT'S TRUE! and I know that the world needs to hear it :)

Love Elder Mark T. Knobbe

P.S. Stay tuned and next time I am going to share a key learning from General Conference about receiving
answers from God......

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Conversion Story

Well I thought, prayed, and pondered long and hard about how I could kick this blog off and use it to help bring people closer to the Lord, Jesus Christ. So I have come to the conclusion what better than sharing with everyone my own personal conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. So here is goes and forgive me for my poor writing skills :)

I grew up in a little town in southern Idaho, not knowing a whole lot about religion or really affiliating with any particular one. My understanding of God was limited and my belief in Jesus Christ was pretty non existent. As a young man I began to associate with great members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I quickly became so desirous of the feelings that I had when I was in there homes or with there family's. It brought these over-whelming feelings of peace, comfort, and most of all love. Things that I felt an absence of.......

I was invited to meet with missionaries, became a part of the church's scouting program, and made friends with so many wonderful saints who loved me. I quickly made the decision to be baptized, still having a near to nothing knowledge of God or the Savior. All I knew is what I felt and I LOVED IT. After my baptism I quickly fell away from the church and slowly stopped going on Sundays and associating with those members that had shown sooo much love. I guess you could call me agnostic.....

For the next four years I lived a pretty riotous life. Being a teenager with little parental supervision and lacking a moral compass I did what I wanted and lived a "pleasure seeking" life. Through this period of time my life became bleak, dark, and lonely. I began to hate myself and saw no point in existence. I lived off the temporary rush that came from substance but lacked the constant happiness that can only come with the Spirit.

When I was 17 I came home after a new years eve party. Then following morning sitting in my bathroom, overcome with fear, despair, and hopelessness..... I found myself trying to decide how I would exit a world that I found no hope in, with a future that seemed like no joy could ever be attained. At that very moment I had the most overwhelming feeling of peace. Comfort reached out and surrounded me as though someone was giving me a hug, and in an instance I knew without a doubt that I was loved and something more than I could see existed. That is when my belief in God truly began.

At that point I decided that it was my time to began my search for the truth. I struck out on my search knowing only two things: 1) I wanted that feeling to come again 2) There was a God and HE LOVED ME! I searched from church to church but found problems with all. They preached things I just couldn't believe, and that feeling... the feeling that had SAVED MY LIFE, was no where to be found. Finally after a few more months I settle on a non-denominational christian church in Rupert, Idaho. I still didn't like some of the doctrine they taught and I only found a faint resemblance of that "life saving feeling". I was baptized and attend consistently for several months. I had abandoned the hope of finding that feeling again, I just assumed that God sent that extra strong feeling just to save my life on that particular occasion.

So here  was. A young man trying to change his life and become a better person. An "ex-Mormon" feeling so out of place in a high school surrounded by Mormons. Putting on my face everyday, no one really knowing the turmoil I faced in my high school years, just trying to survive and change. So discouraged because I saw who I was and never thinking that I could change or become anything different.

Luckily God sent angels to my path who helped me see that anyone can become anything through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. A great friend, Tyler Searle, invited me to come to a LDS worship service to listen to him give a talk. Begrudgingly I agreed to come, trying to be a better person and a better friend. The experience that would follow would change the course of my life and my eternity.

I left for that church that day upset by the fact that I had to spend any amount of time in a "Mormon" church. Arriving I quickly went inside and tried to hide before anyone talked to me. As I sat down tears began to flow and I was so confused..... that feeling, the one that saved my life, IT WAS BACK!!! For one of the first times in years I was happy and the peace was sooo overwhelming. Instantly I knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Jesus Christs church and that I would NEVER leave again. I was home, my search was over, I had found the TRUTH!

If only I could see then what would become of my life and the journey that I had begun. Now I am serving a full-time mission for the church. Taking this life saving gospel and sharing it with the world. My entire life being change because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So many people tried to share it with me along the way, and luckily they never gave up, the Lord eventually softened my heart.... And I am eternally grateful.
Lives are changed by invitations and through love and compassion.

Just like this picture depicts Christ was able to calm the storm that my life had become, and I am forever grateful....

This is only a small part of my story but if you take anything from it. Know that this story is meant to glorify the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. To help you see that no effort is wasted. And that there is hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you to everyone who played a part in this, I wish I could type out the whole story but this will have to do for now.

I testify of two things 1) Jesus is the Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his established kingdom on earth, and that the Atonement can change anyone into anything. 2) No invitation or missionary effort is wasted, you will change peoples lives.... just like Tyler did for mine.

Stayed tuned and in my next post I will tell  you how I came to the decision to serve a mission and how that changed my life!
Never give up and never stop inviting, as sons and daughters of God we have his power to change lives, I pray that some one reads this and it either inspires them to change there life or inspires them to change someone else's....

Love Elder Mark Terrill Knobbe