Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ezra Taft Benson

I saw this on YouTube and knew I simply must post this on my own little Blogspot in the great Blogosphere. This is such a great evidence that President Benson is a true prophet. He prophesied that the Book of Mormon would flood the earth and that is taking place today. He warned us of the importance that we needed to place in studying the Book of Mormon, and instructed us to read it everyday. This has been council that we must heed.

In his landmark talk of 1992, "The Keystone of our Religion", President Benson stated these facts:
"In 1829, the Lord warned the Saints that they are not to trifle with sacred things. (See D&C 6:12.) Surely the Book of Mormon is a sacred thing, and yet many trifle with it, or in other words, take it lightly, treat it as though it is of little importance.

In 1832, as some early missionaries returned from their fields of labor, the Lord reproved them for treating the Book of Mormon lightly. As a result of that attitude, He said, their minds had been darkened. Not only had treating this sacred book lightly brought a loss of light to themselves, it had also brought the whole Church under condemnation, even all the children of Zion. And then the Lord said, “And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon.” (D&C 84:54–57.)

Has the fact that we have had the Book of Mormon with us for over a century and a half made it seem less significant to us today? Do we remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon?"

He gave us three reasons why we should make the pursuit of a lifetime.
1)The first is that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.
2)The second great reason is that it was written for our day.
3)The third reason that the Book of Mormon is of such value to Latter-day Saints is given in the same statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith cited previously. He said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon.)

I love the Book of Mormon. I know that it is exactly what it professes to be, "Another testament of Jesus Christ."
I am thankful for this wonderful prophet who acted as a "Watchman on the Tower."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mormon Solemn Assembly Thomas S Monson - 178th Conference

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we had a wonderful opportunity to witness personal revelation at work. This happened while we were in attendance at General Conference, on Saturday morning April 5, 2008, either in our own homes or in the Conference Center itself, it did not matter. This sacred event was one in which, by quorum, each member of the church was asked to sustain the Lord’s choice for His prophets, seers, and revelators. We were also asked to approve of the general governing body of the church, each as a separate unit, providing that system of checks and balances which makes up the functioning governmental agency of the church. This special meeting is known as a Solemn Assembly of the Church.
To me it was just another witness or evidence to the truthfulness of the church as it is established on the earth today. Individually we have the responsibility to learn for ourselves, the mind and will of the Lord for His church, through our sustaining vote of His called and anointed authorities. It was told to our minds and to our hearts by the spirit and then ratified by the raise of the right hand for all to witness. It was such an exhibit of beauty in unity, shown on such a special day. It is a day that we as a church will never forget.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Section 8- Revelation is Great!

D&C 8: 2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
4 Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it, and blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction.
5 Oh, remember these words, and keep my commandments. Remember, this is your gift.

The Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we could ever receive. It is through the Holy Ghost that we can receive revelation. Revelation is the key to bring the scriptures to life as we read them for ourselves.

Upon studying this incident that is referred to as the crossing of the Red Sea, it is interesting to note how revelation plays a part in the salvation of the Children of Israel.
In Exodus 14 we find a wonderful illustration of the power that can be received by listening to the “word of the Lord.”

Moses has a grand task ahead of him of leading this gnarly group of “Saints” to safety as they leave the rigors of Egypt. The Lord makes sure that they take the long route, to avoid the Philistines. At this point in their conversion, they were just not ready for that much opposition, reminding us that the Lord will only allow that which we are able to withstand to be put in front of us. This further proves that the short cut is not always the best way. By taking the “road less traveled” the Israelites were able to witness the power of the word, and that made all the difference.

I find it interesting that after all the miracles that they have just witnessed at the hand of the Lord; they are still slow to understand the part Moses has to play as his mouthpiece. As soon as they come up against opposition they are quick to blame Moses and question his authority. Now, stuck between a huge body of water and an approaching angry army with chariots might be a tough spot to be in, but opposition rears its ugly head every day in our own lives... how do we respond?

I can picture the scene in my head as it might have played out, Moses up against the sea, trying to figure out what to do, and the “Saints” whining and complaining to him about it being his fault. At this point Moses, in his prophetic way bears testimony of what is in his heart (remember the process of revelation, mind and heart).

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”

How many times have we felt this burning testimony in our heart, but had our logical mind talk us out of it?

I think the best definition of revelation is given in the next line of written discourse from the Lord to Moses. The Lord simply says, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”

In other words, didn’t I just speak to your mind, and tell you all things what ye shall do? Use your priesthood (rod in hand thing) and move forward. You have just born testimony of this very thing that you have felt by your heart, now do it.

Boy, can I relate to this! If you feel it in your heart, your mind has already experienced it too. That crazy mind just seems to try and play tricks on us... making the possible seem impossible. It is such a good thing that the heart is the “dwelling” place of that given revelation, so that you can pull it up from that wonderful filing cabinet and bring it back to your mind once again, making it ready for us to reanalyze it when we really need to make those important decisions.

I really believe if you feel it in your heart, your mind already knows it is true... just retrieve it from that darned logical, illogical filing system we have created and apply what we know in our heart to be true. Thank goodness for that guidance that we can feel when we open our minds to the truth, and receive counsel from the spirit.

After all isn’t it really revelation that makes our church different from any other church in the world, right?

Oh yeah, and by the way... after this mind blowing incident, the Children of Israel now know Moses is the Lord’s servant.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and The Law of the Firstborn

Right now I have been studying the messages that the Lord has given to his children through the words in the Old Testament. I have found that there is profound wisdom to be learned from each and every word that is written upon those sacred pages.

In the book of Exodus, we come to know of the power that God has, and of his ability to save his children “by His strong hand.” This concept is taught to us through the “wonders” or plagues that Moses, His prophet, pronounces upon the Egyptians. A study of the plagues can bring us closer to understanding the wonder of the Lord himself, and learn of His power over all other gods that could become distractions in our lives today.

Presently I would like to focus a little on the tenth plague, or death of the firstborn, that was given by the Lord himself. In previous plagues the children of Israel were exempt from their harmful effects, but to realize the protection from this last one, they must now actively DO something to show their commitment. The instructions came directly from the Lord through Moses, His living prophet.

1) They must participate in the Passover Feast. There were specific instructions given as to the specifications of the actual lamb that was to be sacrificed. They were told that they were to celebrate this feast as a “memorial throughout their generation.” A memorial is simply a reminder or something to jog your memory. This feast was to remind them of the power that was needed to save them. It was to point to the ultimate sacrifice, or the last great sacrifice, Jesus Christ. This Passover Feast was in remembrance of the Law of Sacrifice. It was to end with the death of Jesus Christ, when the times of the Jews would be ended and the beginning of the times of the gentiles would be started. Their generation would come to a close, no more need of the feast.

2) Simultaneously to be celebrated with the Feast of Passover, was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Lord required His children to remove all yeast, representing sin, from their midst, and partake of unleavened bread for seven days. This particular feast would be as an “ordinance for ever.” An ordinance is “a sacred rite or ceremony performed by the power of the priesthood and intended to bless God’s children.” Today we partake of this in a different way, the way shown to the disciples by Jesus during the Last Supper. We call this the ordinance of the sacrament. It is a reminder that we have covenanted to live The Law of the Gospel.

3) Because of the mercy the Lord showed in saving all of the firstborn of Israel, He instituted the requirement or Law of the Firstborn for all of His covenant children. This law required that each firstborn child would be consecrated to the Lord, as payment for His saving grace. He stated to Pharaoh emphatically that “Israel was His firstborn.” This means that ultimately this directive or Law of Consecration was the requirement for any who desired entrance into the “church of the firstborn.”

I am amazed at the beauty and simplicity with which the Lord teaches us these three important laws, The Law of Sacrifice, The Law of the Gospel, and The Law of Consecration. All these are required for entrance into His kingdom, reminding us continually that salvation and exaltation will only be given “by the strong hand of the Lord.”