Sunday, November 8, 2015

I’m in Awe of You



After a week of being sick and nights of no sleep, I had firmly resolved not to go to church this morning despite some mild congestion, which would have been no big deal. I really wanted just to sleep. So, still wanting to keep the Sabbath day holy, I set myself up in the recliner with The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos queued up in the DVD player. I turned on my favorite segment called I am the Bread of Life, which is taken from a section of scripture in John 6.

The Savior taught his disciples some doctrine that was difficult for them to understand. “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
The Savior’s teachings were so incomprehensible to some that “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

The Spirit hit me powerfully with Peter’s words. “Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

In light of the recent events and new policies and the uproar in the LDS faith, I had my answer. Even though I didn’t question the brethren’s decision, I still prayed for the confirmation of the Spirit that this was correct, that this was doctrine from our Father in Heaven.

“Thou hast the words of eternal life” Where else would I go? Nowhere. Not ever.

With this confirmation, I rolled myself out of the recliner and dressed for church. No tired exhausted body would keep me from filling my cup today.

And boy did it run over.

Every single lesson and talk and comment strengthened my testimony and imbued in me a desire to want to do better. To be better.

Sunday school’s lesson was on obedience.

I thought, how timely. Many of our confused brothers and sisters need to hear this so they can fortify their testimonies. The brethren have declared something that is difficult for many to understand, so this stood out to me as a great example.

The Book of Mormon tells us that Nephi and his older brothers received a very difficult assignment from the Lord (see 1 Nephi 3:1–6). Nephi’s brothers complained, saying that the Lord required a hard thing of them. But Nephi said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). When we find it difficult to obey a commandment of the Lord, we should remember Nephi’s words.

The scriptures tell us over and over again what we must do. That’s why we should never put them down. I resolved in this moment to increase my gospel study and reading of the scriptures. How important it is to fill our minds with the truth of these words. How much confusion could slip away if we just turned to the Lord instead of complaining or outright exclaiming our vehemence! Make our matters, matters of prayer.

But my thoughts were, how great that we have a way prepared. How amazing that we have a Father in Heaven who will not leave us alone!

I must include the blessings of obedience.

The Lord counsels us, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).

The Lord has described other blessings that will come to those who obey Him in righteousness and truth until the end:

“Thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.

“Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.

“And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.

“Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.

“And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven. …

“For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man” (D&C 76:5–10).

I’ll repeat what Peter said, “Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

Now I must comment on the Women’s Sunday School class. The topic was pride, from a famous talk by President Ezra Taft Benson.

We talked about ways to overcome pride. Humility is the antidote to pride. We can be humble by doing service, loving others as Christ loves them, and showing gratitude. They all go hand in hand. The Savior is our perfect example of these things.

Every night when I go to bed, I fall to my knees and thank my Father in Heaven for my many blessings. I do this because I love him. I do this because I recognize his hand in all things. I serve my family and others because I love them. My Savior is my foundation, my motivation. He is who I build my faith on.

If we hold to this, our testimonies will remain strong.

I praised God the whole way home. I am so thankful for my solid foundation. The words of a radio song helped me raise my voice in gratitude.


“At The Cross”

There’s a place where mercy reigns and never dies
There’s a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide
Where all the love I’ve ever found
Comes like a flood
Comes flowing down

[Chorus:]
At the cross
At the cross
I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You
I’m in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
and my sin washed white
I owe all to You
I owe all to You Jesus

There’s a place where sin and shame are powerless
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness
Where all the love I’ve ever found
Comes like a flood
Comes flowing down

[Chorus]

Here my hope is found
Here on holy ground
Here I bow down
Here I bow down
Here arms open wide
Here You save my life
Here I bow down
Here I bow down

Truly I am in awe of my Savior. I owe all to Him.

So that’s why I go to church every Sunday. To feast upon the words of eternal life.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Regarding New Church Policies.



Okay, I can’t just say, “Follow the Prophet” and leave it at that.
I am downright appalled when I hear members of the church complain about new church policies. I’m sorry, if you stand and raise your arm to the square and sustain our prophet, you agree that he is the mouthpiece of God on earth.

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, just as Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures. We sustain the President of the Church as our prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire Church. We also sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.

Like the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God’s will and true character. They speak boldly and clearly, denouncing sin and warning of its consequences. At times, they may be inspired to prophesy of future events for our benefit.

You can always trust the living prophets. Their teachings reflect the will of the Lord, who declared: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).

Your greatest safety lies in strictly following the word of the Lord given through His prophets, particularly the current President of the Church. The Lord warns that those who ignore the words of the living prophets will fall (see D&C 1:14–16). He promises great blessings to those who follow the President of the Church:

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory” (D&C 21:4–6).

“Raising our right arm to the square when we sustain people is a physical demonstration that we promise to honor, respect, and support them as they seek to magnify their callings. Following the counsel of our leaders is one way we can sustain them. Leaders have wisdom and perspective, and their instruction is meant to help us live the gospel. By being obedient to their counsel, we will increase in faith and strengthen our testimony.”

President Wilford Woodruff declared that we can have full confidence in the direction the prophet is leading the Church: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty” (Official Declaration 1, “Excerpts from Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto”; emphasis added).

President Harold B. Lee taught this same principle: “You keep your eye upon him whom the Lord called, and I say to you now, knowing that I stand in this position, you don’t need to worry about the President of the Church ever leading people astray, because the Lord would remove him out of his place before He would ever allow that to happen” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 533).

President Gordon B. Hinckley gave similar assurance to Church members: “The Church is true. Those who lead it have only one desire, and that is to do the will of the Lord. They seek his direction in all things. There is not a decision of significance affecting the Church and its people that is made without prayerful consideration, going to the fount of all wisdom for direction. Follow the leadership of the Church. God will not let his work be led astray” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 68–69; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 46; emphasis added).

We also do not know the mind of our Father in Heaven nor can we see with his eternal perspective.

“Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

“For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.” D&C 58:2-4

We also have this promise:

“As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” Preach My Gospel, 52.

God WILL make everything right in the next life. This life is meant to try us, to teach us. Remember who you are. You are a child of God. Those who have to wait to receive their blessings, will receive them. That’s why we have temples to do the work. That’s why we have a whole millennium when Christ comes again to set every jot and tittle in order.


As for me, I will not be moved by man, nor will I be shaken by those who oppose God. My testimony is sure.