Sunday, October 27, 2013

#122: My Name Used to Be Muhammad.

On Friday afternoon, I stumbled upon an LDS Living article about Tito Momen, a former Muslim who had since converted to Mormonism. Tito's story is one of the most amazing things I have ever read. After finishing the article, I immediately downloaded the full book "My Name Used to Be Muhammad" (available on Amazon or at Deseret Book) written by Tito and co-author Jeff Benedict. I couldn't put it down. I finished it just moments ago, and the book has changed my life.

In many ways, Tito's story is terribly tragic. He is disowned by his family, he loses the love of his life, he is repeatedly beaten and mocked, and he suffers fifteen years in prison for his beliefs before finally being released in 2006 for medical reasons--particularly diabetes, stroke, and heart problems. But at the same time, Tito's story is one of glorious redemption. Through all of his trials, Tito finds the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a greater gift than all of the wealth in the world.

Tito's experiences bring to my mind the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith while in Liberty Jail: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:7-8). Tito's life is a reminder to me that no matter how dark life may seem to be, Christ will never forsake us. He will ALWAYS be there.

One note: In the book, Tito does not mince words in his descriptions of abuse, drug and alcohol use, sexuality, and harsh prison life. Some of his descriptions are graphic and are obviously not meant for children. However, for adults of all Christian faiths, I offer my highest recommendation for "My Name Used to Be Muhammad". Download it. Read it. And change your life because of it. You won't regret it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#121: Real World Heroes: Ian and Larissa Murphy.

This morning my friend Karmen showed me a video about an amazing couple--Ian and Larissa Murphy. Ian and Larissa met in college and began dating in 2005. Ten months later, in September of 2006, Ian was in a terrible car accident, putting him into a coma and injuring his brain. After coming out of his coma, Ian could barely move, could not eat, and could not talk. But over the last seven years, miracles have happened in Ian and Larissa's lives. I'll let the video tell the rest of the story.

To learn more about Ian and Larissa's remarkable lives, check out their blog Pray for Ian. Also, if you are interested, Ian has begun selling some of his paintings to help pay for his daily therapy. You can see and purchase one of his paintings here. I know what I want for Christmas now.

Ian and Larissa's story remind me of how very blessed I am to be married to Diane. She is such a wonderful wife--she is loving, beautiful, and kind. I know that she would be just like Larissa if I were ever in an accident like Ian.

Most of all, Ian an Larissa's story reminded me that good things do still happen in this world. They may not be big. But they are real. And they are beautiful.