Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sunday's Sermon: The Priesthood

Dear Brothers and sisters, it is an honour to be standing up here today for the first time as a conducting Elder and been given the chance to give this sermon. Today my talk will be about the priesthood.
 
The priesthood is the power and authority of God given to man, to act in the name of God within his church. The priesthood is the power of God on earth given to worthy males and females it includes the power Jesus gave his apostles to perform miracles such as the casting out of devils and the healing of sick (Luke 9:1). As Latter Day Mormons we believe that the Biblical miracles performed by prophets and apostles were performed by the power of priesthood, including the miracles of Jesus, who holds all of the keys of the priesthood. Priesthood is the authority by which a bearer may perform ecclesiastical acts of service in the name of God. Latter Day Mormons believe that acts performed by one with priesthood authority are recognised by God and are binding in heaven, on earth, and in the afterlife. In addition, Latter Day Mormons believe that leadership positions within the church are given with the aid of priesthood authority. For the most part of the history of the Mormon movement, only men have been ordained to specific offices in the priesthood. However we know that this is not what God wanted for his people. The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ in accordance with the will of God and the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842 allow all women under revelation the privilege of holding the Aaronic Priesthood of God and holding all the offices with that priesthood office. We do this not because it is popular or because it is easy but because it is what the Lord wishes and is what has been revealed to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Lord. What follows is an explanation on how the Priesthood blessings were conferred upon the women of the early church and in turn have now been conferred upon the women of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ.
 
Two weeks after he organised the Relief Society of Nauvoo, Illinois, and gave them complete autonomy in running this organisation Joseph Smith announced his intention to confer the priesthood upon women. He told the gathered sisters at Relief Society on the 30 March 1842 that “the Society should move according to the ancient Priesthood” and that he was “going to make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch's day and as in Paul's day.”  It must be remembered that the early Mormon sisters did not request the priesthood; however the Prophet Joseph Smith would soon confer it upon them as part of the restoration of the gospel. His private journal, called the Book of the Law of the Lord, specified the priesthood promise in his instructions to the women on 28 April 1842 it states, “gave a lecture on the priesthood showing how the Sisters would come in possession of the privileges & blessings & gifts of the priesthood & that the signs should follow them. Such as healing the sick casting out devils & that they might attain unto these blessings. By a virtuous life & conversation & diligence in keeping all the commandments.”  It is clear for all to see who wish to see that our dear and much beloved Prophet Joseph Smith clearly intended that Mormon women in 1842 were to be bestowed  the “gifts of the priesthood”  upon them not merely as simply ministrations of faith but as actual holders and partakers of the gifts of the priesthood. The conferral of the priesthood on individual women occurred on 4 May 1842, six days after his remarks to the Relief Society. Emma Smith the wife of the Prophet became the first women to receive the “fullness of the priesthood”. Thus Emma Smith began the fulfilment of the Prophet's promise to make the Relief Society “a kingdom of priests”. She was anointed to become a “queen and priestess” and was ordained to the fullness of those offices by the Prophet himself. Joseph Smiths first counsellor and friend Sidney Rigdon later commented on this event in his history of the church when he stated, “Emma was female to whom the priesthood was first given.”  Unfortunately over time many Mormon have relegated the role of women in their churches and have made every attempt to whitewash this from the history of Mormonism. However today The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ not only recognise the importance and independence of the Relief Society program but that the women of the church have the right given them by God to have bestowed upon them the Aaronic Priesthood of God.
 
I am so grateful that I have a chance to hold the priesthood of God and that I am now ordained an elder in his church. I have been blessed with the Melchizedeck priesthood to do a duty to God to help others to bless them and to fulfil my role within his kingdom. I pray that I may be able to live up to the standards that God has asked of me. Thank you for listening to me today, sorry if I was a little nervous but I have many years left to improve. God bless you all in his holy name Amen.
 
Elder Levi M. Gill

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunday's Sermon: The Sciptures Hold The Answers

Today we live in an age that has yielded some of the most spectacular scriptures known to man. We have the Book of Mormon, The Book of Jeraneck, soon to be added upon and we have the D&C. These books along with the Bible have allowed us to more fully understand the mind of God and what he wants of us. At the start of this year we are studying the Inspired Version if the Bible and it is to that book that I want to focus my sermon on today. Throughout the history of recorded scriptures we have been told that God is the same yesterday today and forever. He gives us commandments and a code of ethics to live by. In the restoration some of these things were forgotten or misunderstood, that is why we needed Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon to help us more fully understand what our place was and what God wanted for us. However even in this time of great enlightenment there came those who wished to do things their own way and as a result practices were introduced in to the church like polygamy for example. I know that you know that God forbids such things and that Joseph himself fought tirelessly all his life to stop the church from falling in to this sin. Josephs fight ended with his death.
 
Today I want us to look at what the Bible says about polygamy. I often thought whilst studying that Joseph must have had such a hard time trying to teach unreachable wilful people and he must have quoted these scriptures time and time gain along with the new revealed word of God to try and get the people to be righteous. So for our own sake as we study the Bible lets see what it says about polygamy and what we can do to strengthen our testimonies that this is not a policy given to us by God but by corrupt men.
 
1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober–minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach . 
 
As we look at the Bible, it is clear that polygamous relationships are presented in the Bible. But, does that mean that they are acceptable in God’s eyes? We also see instances of lying, murder, and rape in the Bible, but these are clearly not acceptable. Just because the events are described does not mean they are condoned. There is no passage in the Bible that condones polygamy. From the beginning in Genesis it is clear that God intended marriage to be between one woman and one man. Genesis 2 records the creation of one woman for Adam, and in verse 24 we see that because of this “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” If two makes one flesh, then three or more cannot also make one flesh. This is confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:3–9 as He is being questioned about divorce. Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24 as support for the idea of marriage being between one man and one woman “from the beginning.” God’s plan, from the beginning, was not for polygamous relationships. As the Israelites were in the desert after the Exodus, God announces a prophecy through Moses. The Israelites will eventually call for a king to be set over them (Deuteronomy 17:14). Following that, God pronounces standards for the kings to come. In Deuteronomy 17:17 we see the command that the king shall not “multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away.” God clearly commands that the king should not practice polygamy. So, why would He condone its practice for anyone else?
 
Many Jewish leaders and patriarchs, including kings, were recorded to have polygamous relationships. However, these relationships brought about judgment and hardship. David was punished for his relationship with Bathsheba; Abraham’s relationship with Hagar brought strife into the family; and other examples would also bear out this point. Some may argue that Jacob’s polygamous lifestyle was blessed by God, but just because God used a sinful relationship to fulfil His plan does not mean that that action was right. Likewise, Jesus’s lineage can be traced back to Bathsheba. Polygamy was popular in many cultures, and still is today but that does not mean that it was or is right in God’s eyes. Divorce was also allowed because of the hardness of the hearts of the Israelites (Matthew 19:8), but it was not part of God’s “very good” creation. Jesus called the Jews of the day an “adulterous generation” who chose to live outside of God’s rules and, instead, made their own. Just because the Jews (or any other peoples) tolerated polygamy does not mean that God condoned it. We must never lose sight of what is important. We must realise that God has given us scriptures to help us in our lives to help us walk the paths that the Lord wants us to walk. We must never allow ourselves to think that we know better than God or that social sins that have become acceptable are right in his sight. Even if the law of the land allowed the practice of polygamy God doesn't not and never will, and so it is up to us as his chosen people to always look to what he wants for us and then to the scriptures for in them is our salvation, in them lies Zion and if we are ever to be able to be ready to build Zion we must be one in thought an din spirit.
 
So study the word of God, only God has the answers and he is and was and will always be our God.
 
Matthew P Gill

Monday, 7 December 2015

Winter General Assembly 2015

The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ held our Winter General Assembly on the 6th of December 2015. It was a great occasion which we all enjoyed. The video is now available on our website http://www.latterdaymormon.co.uk/#!church-video/ca58 and you can also read the sermons here on our blog page. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


My Christmas Traditions
 
CHRISTMAS was always a tradition within my family and extended family in my home through my childhood, I never remember seeing a Christmas Tree up until a few days before Christmas day in our road and surrounding area. I remember the religious part of Christmas, when I used to be in church and at school Nativity plays, how my parents used to make the costumes for both and attend both on different days. 
 
These are just some of the scripture and verses that were read out in the Nativity plays that I was in. Luke chapter 2: verses 4 – 7.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.) To be taxed, with is espoused wife, she being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought fourth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was none to give room for them in the inns.
 
I was an angel dressed all in white, with some tinsel for my headdress and a cotton bed sheet for my dress, with the rope from my dressing gown to tie a round my waist. For my wings my Dad made some out of card board with tinsel around the edges and then some cotton tape to tie them on with. Then once at another time I was a Shepherd with a tea towel with a rope around my head (from a dressing gown) a cotton bed sheet for my robe and more dressing gown rope to go around my waist, my Dad made me a shepherd’s crook with brown wrapping paper and tape that is used to rap around a parcel. 
 
Leading up to Christmas! I always remember the weather being really cold and snowy. I remember having to wear wellington boots, woolly hat, scarf, mittens, and a thick winter coat, I also remember that we went out side to play and make snowmen. I also remember how diligent my parents were in getting to church on the Sunday leading up to Christmas, my family tried to get to church on two buses in the snow with five children in tow, so we could worship the Saviours birth and to sing Christmas Hymns and read from the scriptures. How cold it was on the buses, because they didn’t have doors on them, we heard the bus conductor shouting move along the bus Please so my youngest brother Christopher and I would always try to go and sit at the front of the bus where the engine was to keep us warm and pretend to drive the bus, with the bus driver in his little cabin next too us.
 
When I was a lot older, and had children of my own, I remember the time my Mother told me of the Christmases we had, when I was quite young, after our Christmas dinners, we would all get our coats wellington boots and coat and gloves and go on a walk through the deep snow, with my Dad carrying me on his shoulders down to is Moms house at 9 Perton Grove. I tried to instil that tradition in my own family and we had many wonderful walks after Christmas dinner. I remember when I was a child on those walks with y mom and dad, It must have taken a couple of hours with five children in tow.  Once there I would see my little old Nan sitting in her armchair, surrounded by my fathers brothers and sisters and there families, we must of filled her living room. We would sit and play games, sing Christmas songs and have a great time. I remember when I was about six or seven when I got up to do my party piece, it was a song that I had learnt in church, it was called 'Jolly Old Saint Nicolas'.  Then later on in to the evening we would hear the loud church Christmas bells ringing outside, so the children  would start to singing Jingle Bells, and in walked Father Christmas. He would sit down on a chair, handing out to each child, Bags of Cadburys Milk Tray waste in a pea green paper bag. So I think buy know that you have guessed what my talk was about. 
 
Now I have children of my own and they have had children of their own, who have done the same Nativity plays within school and church, and as a Mother and Nanny I have seen them all however, I think it’s better as a Nanny you don’t have to make the costumes for them. I find now in this world we live in today outside of my family and the church, that Christmas doesn’t seem to have the same meaning as it does to me.  Nobody seems to want Christ in there lives especially at Christmas. The world in which we live in a cold and hard place. There are things happening in the world, people fighting other people over religion and intolerance and I wonder what they will do, when Christ comes knocking on their door? 
 
For me Christmas in a time to reflect on Christ, it is a time for me to spend with friends and family who like me love the Saviour. I will strive always to live my life in accordance with the laws of the Saviour and at this festive time of year when our minds are turned to Him, let us remember that His light needs to live with us not just for one day but every day of the year, in many ways we need to be like we were as children, full of excitement and anticipation because one day soon He will return and when he does it will be Christmas everyday.
 
God bless you my brothers and sisters. I pray that you all have a very merry Christmas and that the light of Christ is with you on Christmas day and in the new year to come.
 
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Sister Alyson Gill



The Childhood of Jesus

 Dear Brothers and Sisters.
 
As we come close to the end of the year and close to another Christmas I wonder how many people truly think about the Christ in Christmas.
 
We all know the story of Christ's' birth, how his mother and earthly adoptive father travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, how Jesus was born in a stable with a manger for a bed and how wise men and Sheppard's came to visit him. Little children hear this story every year when the nativity plays are on and they all want to be Joseph or Mary. But what happened afterward, we have the story of Jesus' birth and before we know it he has disciples, heals many people and teaches many more and then he dies. We don't know much about his childhood, was he good? was he intelligent? and the question that I always ask is, was he naughty? We know from the Gospel of Thomas that the baby Jesus healed people and that while in Egypt he healed a prince. We know that as a chided he healed the foot of a lame boy saying 'Arise, return to your work, and as you do so, remember me' Jesus also healed his brother James who was bitten by a viper snake, he healed him as well.
 
However two stories which I think outline the child in Jesus really well are found in the gospel of Thomas. In the first account Jesus is playing with his friends on top of the roof tops of the houses running and jumping between the houses. Why is he doing this? well like most children he is probably doing it against the wishes of his parents. Now during this dangerous game one of the boys falls and dies and all his friends scatter leaving Jesus alone on top of the houses. When the family of the dead boy come out they only see Jesus and they say to him 'you threw our son down from the housetop' Jesus of course denies having done this and says they shouldn't accuse him. The family of the dead boy shout out 'our son is dead and this boy, killed him.' Jesus then climbed down from the roof top and stood before them and said 'do not accuse me with a crime of which you are nor able to convict me. Let us go ask the boy himself. He will tell us the truth.' So Jesus went over to the boy and stood over the head of the boy and said with a loud voice 'Zeinunus, who threw you from down from the housetop?' Then the dead boy arose from being bead and answered saying 'You did not throw mew down, but someone else did' all those who saw and witnessed this and head the boys words fell down and worshipped God. In the second story the child Jesus is playing with his friends down by the river and they are drawing the water from the river in to small pools to have fun in. While they are splashing about and making trouble Jesus makes twelve birds out of the clay made by the water in the pools. The boys are having fun splashing throwing clay and water about when the son of Hanani who is a leading Jew sees them and says to them 'Why do you make noises and throw water and why are you making birds of clay on the Sabbath day?' He then goes to destroy the pools of water and the birds which Jesus had made and stop the boys having fun. Jesus seeing this runs to the clay figures clasps his hands over them and makes them fly away, as they do they fly away chirping. After this the boy Jesus shouts out to the man 'What have these pools of water and these birds ever done to you?'  I am often amused at these stories, they show us a human child side to the boy Jesus, they show us emotion, fun, mischief and real human feelings which I think are important when we think if the child Jesus. We also hear a little about Jesus' childhood in Luke Chapter 2 how when his family went on a trip to Jerusalem that he stayed behind... 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
 
well we've covered the Intelligence bit there...So to carry on...
 
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
 
Jesus didn't tell his parents that he was staying behind to do his Fathers work, they didn't know where he was and he had to be told that he had done wrong, not for doing his fathers work but for making them worry.
 
I wonder how many other things did Jesus have to be corrected on? I'm sure there were many things, just as we have to teach our children not to touch fire or not to run out onto road, so would Jesus have to be taught too. Jesus was a child and we are told that children are innocent, that they have to learn and grow, that they need to be nurtured and shaped into the adults that they become. Just because Jesus was given the extra privilege of being able to talk to our Father above and was therefore able to learn of the spiritual rules does not mean that he knew the temporal rules, he needed a temporal family, a mother and a father, to learn those. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15 tells us that Jesus was tempted just as we are but that he was without sin.
 
So as we go forth into 2016 I would like you to think of Jesus the child and what mischief he would have gotten into, leaving his toys all across the floor, walking mud through the house and even asking for pudding without finishing his tea. Lets see if we can help our children learn the spiritual rules. Teach them the gospel, the 10 commandments, the word of wisdom and most of all that Jesus and Heavenly Father loves them very much, just like you do.
 
I leave these thoughts with you in the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Sister Vicki Gill
 
 
Discerning of Sprits
I am grateful beyond any measure, for the blessings the Lord has so abundantly showered upon me, upon my family, and upon this church. I now seek, most sincerely and devoutly, to be guided by the power of the Holy Ghost in bearing testimony of the truth. I pray also that the spirit of light and truth and edification so far present in this meeting may continue to rest in your hearts, so that you, being edified, will know of yourselves that those things about which I shall testify are true. I am pleased that I have been asked to speak again at General Assembly. This address will be my second and I am becoming accustomed to speaking at these events, which I hope not only fill me with the spirit but you as well. At this season time of year I have chosen to speak about the ability to discern spirits. Our Saviour Jesus Christ was a master of this and I believe that it was he who set the president for what we should be looking out for. Jesus Christ the Master was able to identify the nature of Nathanael to be able to identify his qualities before meeting him. Jesus had power to know the intentions of His betrayer Judas before he did what he did. We read:-
18  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
19  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am The Christ (Inspired Version New Testament John 13:18 - 19)
 
Although Jesus already knew who would betray him from teh start he still asked who would betray Him.
 
26  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.  And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the  son of Simon.
27  And after the sop Satan entered into him.  Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (Inspired Version New Testament John 13:26 - 27)
 
John the apostle also had a sound understanding of the gift, and to those he came in contact with gave the flowing  admonition  as we can also read in 1 John.
 
1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (Inspired Version New Testament 1 John 4:1 - 3)
 
Peter another Apostle of Christ also possessed this gift when he rebuked Simon the sorcerer a baptised member of the church as we can read in Acts 8:18-23
 
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. (Inspired Version New Testament | Acts 8:18 - 23)
 
The Book Of Mormon is also very informative concerning this gift. Alma when debating with Korihor discerned the spirit which motivated that antichrist. We read.
 
42  Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God. (Book of Mormon Alma 30:42)
 
3. When Amulek opposed  the wicked lawyer Zeezrom he testified that he discerned the lawyers thoughts through the gift of the spirit. Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit; (Book of Mormon Alma 12:3)
 
I think I speak for each one of you, I know I do for myself and my family, when I say that in this solemn general assembly with the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord that has been present as we have sustained the authorities of the Church, I think all of us desire to rededicate our lives to the principles of truth and righteousness. Let this then be our covenant, whatever the past has been, let this then be our covenant, that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless. Let this be our covenant, that we will keep the commandments of God and be living witnesses of the truth and divinity of this glorious work. I pray that God, may grant that I and my family and all the faithful members of the church near and far may walk in truth and light, that is found nowhere else on earth outside the Church.
 
Once again I am thankful for all the wonders of the gospel of Christ. I am grateful that I to have the gift of discernment and I know that the power to do these things comes from God. I pray that you all have a very Merry Christmas and in this most special time of year give a small thought to Him who made us all and has placed us in this church to do the work we are doing. I am so grateful for the privilege that I have of serving the Lord and being his Apostle here at this time and serving in His church. All of this I say humbly and gratefully, in the spirit of testimony and of thanksgiving, and in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apostle Elder Peter Barber
 
 
The Living Prophet
 
This is my first ever General Assembly sermon and I am a little nervous, but I hope that what I have to say today will touch your sprit and testify of the truth of the words that I have prepared. So here I go.
 
The Lord closed section 1 in the Doctrine and Covenants, with these words: “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.)
 
So I ask. What is a living prophet? His age? He may be young or old. He need not wear a tunic or carry a shepherd’s staff. His physical features are not important. A prophet does not need educational degrees nor does he need to come from any special social class. He may be rich or poor. He needs no credentials from men. What is it, then, that qualifies a man to be a prophet?
 
Well, foremost, God must choose him as his prophet! This is entirely different than for man to choose God. The Saviour, speaking to his apostles, said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit. …” (John 15:16.) 
 
Some may wonder at such power and authority being given to one man. Some might say “Could he not lead us astray?” I say in answer to that, the Lord will never permit the man who stands as prophet and first elder of this church to lead you astray. I say that if he were to attempt to do anything wrong then the Lord would remove him from being a prophet.
 
A prophet, then, is the authorised representative of the Lord. While the world may not recognise him, the important requirement is that God speaks through him. A prophet is a teacher. He receives revelations from the Lord. These may be new truths or explanations of truths already received. It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets of the past. Many people do. However for some mysterious reason there is an aura of credibility about them. It is not so with the prophet who lives among us, who must meet life’s everyday challenges. But it is a great thing to believe in the living prophet. Our salvation relies upon our belief in a living prophet and adherence to his word. He alone has the right to revelation for the whole Church. His words, above those of any other man, ought to be held with great care and considered by the Church as well as by the world. One day this truth will be understood. I know just how hard it is for a man to be a prophet. My dad is a prophet and I see just how hard he works and how much he feels the responsibility of his calling. My dad, the prophet. It sounds weird in a way to say it, but that is what he is. The Lord chooses to speak through him and chooses to direct his church through him and I appreciate the work he does. For most of my life my dad has been a prophet. He has brought forth new scriptures and has under direction from God established a church, this church The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ I have been baptised by him and I have been given the priesthood by him and now I stand as a priest in the kingdom of God because of him. I know that one day I too will be called by God to stand as his mouth piece upon the earth, I hope that its not soon because I still have lots to learn, but I know that if I follow the counsel of my living prophet here today then I shall be ready when the Lord calls me to stand as his prophet. I hope that I can lead as my father has done in the ways of God, I am proud that my dad is a prophet, sometimes its hard but I know that my dad is a prophet I can learn from him in a way that no other person can.
 
In closing I encourage us all to listen to the prophets voice and then we will hear the word of God in our day, I know that it can be hard sometimes, but I know deep down that if we will do these things that we will be blessed as a people and as a church.
 
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Priest Levi M. Gill
 
Prophets Address at Winter GA 2015
 
My dear brothers and sisters. As we now come to the closing of another great general assembly of the Church, I wish you to know that my heart is full of gratitude for the generous outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord which we have enjoyed today. I wish to express my heart felt thanks for those that have spoken to us today, to Elder Gill for conducting this meeting.
 
We sit here have been fed the bread of life, and our desires to serve the Lord and keep his commandments have increased. It has been good for us to be together today in solemn worship as we start this very special Christmas month.
 
May I express before you all today the profound appreciation I have for the faith, devotion, and service of the two great men who stand beside me in the Presidency of the Church. Apostle and Second Elder Philip A. Gill is a spiritual giant with faith like that of Enoch of old. He has the spirit of revelation and magnifies his calling as the Second Elder and Standing Apostle of the church.
 
Apostle and Third Elder  Peter C. Barber is also one of those great and noble spirits who was prepared from eternity to render the important service he is now performing in this, the Lord’s church. He is a man of great ability and integrity.
 
The First Council of the Church is united as one, and it is my prayer that we may forever be one, even as Jesus said that he and the Father and the Holy Ghost are one. This same oneness should prevail across the entire church and within everyone that holds the priesthood of God.
 
I am also very grateful for the labours and ministry of all the priesthood who help make this church continue to faith and strength, I want you to know that I love the priesthood of this church.
 
I also feel in my heart that I must bless the faithful and diligent members of the Church and all those that contribute to the church . Just as surely as they continue to walk in the paths of truth and virtue, they shall have the desires of their hearts in righteousness and shall go on to eternal reward in our Father’s kingdom in due course of time.
 
I have sought all my days to keep the commandments and to do those things which will please the Lord, and I desire to bear testimony of his goodness to me and likewise his goodness to all his children who have promised to keep his commandments. As I stand before you now, I am reminded that one day I shall be called upon to give an account of my stewardship, that one day I shall be asked to step aside in order for a new younger and more able man to fill my shoes. I bear testimony again of the truth and divinity of this great work. I know that God lives and that he sent his beloved Son into the world to atone for our sins. I know that Joseph Smith was and still is a prophet, moreover, that this is the Lord’s church, and that the gospel cause shall roll forward until he shall call in his Day.
 
I am sure that we all love the Lord. I know that he lives, and I look forward to that day when I shall see his face, and I hope to hear his voice say unto me: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34.)
 
And I pray that this may be the happy lot of all of us. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, enjoy this very special time of year with your families and loved ones and try in all the chaos to give a thought to Him who's birth we celebrate at this wonderful time of year.
 
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prophet Matthew P Gill
 
 
 
 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Official Statement: Thank You To Our Friends

As the end of the year approaches we would like to extend the thanks of the first council of the church and the members to all our supports all over the world. We would like to thank our brother, Vijay Kumar in India, Brother Bruce Briones in the Philippines and Jose Costa in Brazil. Your support this year has been amazing. The work that you are all doing in the name of the church and the Lord is of vital importance, so we thank you for all your hard work and devotion. We pray that the Lord may provide the means for us to visit with each and everyone of you in the new year and thank you in person. Until then God bless each and everyone of you and may the Lord sustain your efforts and bless your lands. God Bless.

The First Council of the Church.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Sundays Sermons: Being Prepared To Meet The Saviour & God Is Love


Being Prepared to Meet the Saviour
 
One of the most repeated promises in scripture is the prophesised coming of The Great Day of The Lord. when Christ ( D&C 43:5) will return to the earth to reign. The Saviour's return has been prophesied from the time of Adam right down to our day. In this the last dispensation of the fullness of times the prophecies have become more frequent and more urgent. Many times we are reminded of the Lord coming(D&C 1:1)
 
Many of us, because of recent events in the world and the chaos and disharmony have been brought to realise we are not ready for His coming. I began to think of being prepared myself to meet the Saviour from a ME point of view. I don't deny, many people are prepared, but what about ME? When I stop and think about this I remember one of my favourite primary songs which in relation to my talk helped me as a little girl. let me read some of that to you. "I wonder when He comes gain, will I be ready there, to look upon His loving face and join with Him in prayer. Each day I'll try to do His will and let my light so shine that others seeing me, will seek for greater light divine. And when that blessed day is here, He'll love me and He'll say, You served me well, my little one, come until my arms to stay"
 
I am a child of God, and unless I become as a little child, I cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven. I must be as a little child, humble and teachable. the Lords choice of words! Not simply great or only dreadful, but great and dreadful, a seeming contradiction. Whether the Lords coming will be great or dreadful for me, on my personal readiness. If I'm prepared, it will be a great day, if I'm unprepared it will be a dreadful day.
 
What can I do?
 
Well I can strive to transform my life until it is perfected (it seems I've been working on that for quite a while) we came to earth to strive to be perfected and then find ways to influence others, perhaps by letting my light shine. I know that I must work hard on getting to know God and His Son, my Saviour, Jesus Christ. How can one be prepared to meet a person, who one hasn't seen in ones life? So to be worthy to live in the presence of the Lord, I must know Him (John 17:3) How do I get to know Him? Through study of the scriptures, through prayer, and through obedience to His commandments. Should we be yearning to be like Him and to know him? I think the first thing I must do is to nurture a testimony. I must build a personal testimony of God the Eternal Father and His Son, my Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It is my belief that each member of the gospel, to be prepared for the Millennial reign must receive a testimony, each for himself of the divinity of the work established by the prophet Joseph Smith. So my personal testimony must be, to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that we have a prophet at the head of our church today.
 
I cant borrow a testimony can I?
 
The light within myself must guide me, I need constant guidance from the Holy Spirit. Christ taught a prayed with the Nephites (3Nephi 19:9). As a church member I have completed the prerequisites of faith, repentance and baptism and have had authorised hands laid on my head to receive the Holy Spirit. So just as love between friends and a companion in marriage must be cultivated and nourished like a new seedling, so like wise must my companionship with the Holy Spirit be cultivated, for me to meet my Saviour again. I must be my best, I must be worthy of His presence, to be prepared, I must remain faithful and watch for Him. If I study the scriptures, I am told, to look forward to the great day of the Lord "To watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day or the hour" and if we are prepared, we shall not fear.
 
It is futile to try to determine the exact time of the second coming, many do and many will continue to do so, but I am not going to be able to prepare for my Saviour coming at a moments notice, no it requires a lifetime of effort. I shall need to be kept wondering, in order to be kept alert. It seems a bit like the wise manager of a shop, who, leaving his shop, is carful not to tell his workers when he will return, so that they will work constantly, what shall I do to remain faithful? and retain the Holy Spirit. Well attendance at sacrament meeting will add oil to my lamp, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, prayer, studying the scriptures and being loving and kind to others will go a long way in helping me.
 
I know that I am far from perfect, but I strive every day of  my life to live up to the promises that I made at my baptism. I am so blessed that I have been able to learn at the feet of my son, who in all my wildest dreams never thought would be called as a prophet, but he has been and as a prophet of God he has taught me so much already. I pray that I may be ready when the Lord comes that I will be able to stand with him as I have been promised.
 
In His Holy Name. Amen.
Sister Alyson Gill
 
GOD IS LOVE
Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build  our foundation; … (Hel. 5:12). Our saviour Jesus Christ, can deliver on this precious promise as well as on all other pronouncements he has spoken.
 
Character Building
 
The portrait  of character to be focused on in the precious process of character building are all proactive; development of one hastens the development of another. Paul notes one spiritual sequence Romans 5:3-4 “Tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope”  and hope brings the love of God.  Jacob wrote  that people so blinded and diverted “must needs fall” (Jacob 4:14) Ignoring the Saviour includes failing to build Christ like character in order to be more dependable ourselves. Of course, conversion to the gospel and the Church can happen all at once in a burst of recognition and through the testifying of the Holy Spirit. However, most of us grow in knowledge and enlightenment. Mercifully, the whisperings of the Spirit move us along the path towards greater knowledge. Through it all we will need to be strong enough for ourselves but also strong enough to help others.
 
Examples of Christ’s Character
 
A few examples of the character of Christ will illustrate what we are to emulate, even for the already conscientious. Because we view Christ as the Light of the World, it is by His light that we should see everything else. Disciples are the real realists, whatever irreligionists may say or think. Unlike God and Jesus, who are omniscient, you and I are not. We can be unsettled by the unexpected or made uneasy by the unknown.  Furthermore, whereas Jesus paid the ultimate price in order to ransom us, you and I may still hesitate over paying the full costs of discipleship, including developing the key attributes of a disciple. We also tend to shrug off the persistent reminders of our sins of omission, as if our avoidance of the super sins of transgression  were enough. It is my opinion that in the realm of the sins of omission we can make more major, though quiet, progress than in any other place.
 
Love
 
Like His Father, Jesus exemplifies love perfectly. He so loved the Father and us that He meekly and submissively let His will be completely swallowed up in the will of the Father in order to accomplish the Atonement, including blessing billions and billions of us with  universal resurrection. What He did is staggering to contemplate.  So profound and comprehensive is Christ’s love that even during His infinite suffering, He still noticed and nurtured finite sufferers who endured so much less anguish than He had to bear. For instance, He noticed and restored an assailant’s severed ear in the Garden of Gethsemane. On the cross, He directed John to take care of His mother, Mary. He comforted a thief on a nearby cross. In contrast, when you and I let ourselves get stuck in the goo of our own self-pity, we fail to notice the needs of others.  we can become a little more noticing and a little more nurturing. Let us reflect on our circles of love. Are they increasing in size, or are they static?  It’s so easy to deal with people as functions and stereotypes instead of as individuals. Are we lovingly patient with others who are also striving to develop? Or do we,  impatient.
 
Patience and Long-Suffering 
 
Routine and repetition may bother us, may bore us. But God and His Son, Jesus, are never bored with Their “one eternal round” because of Their perfect love. God is patient with us (see 2 Thes. 1:4; James 1:3). As striving disciples, therefore, are we willing to be so mentored? Tutoringly, the Lord has said, “Ye cannot bear all things now; … I will lead you along” (D&C 78:4). He knows our bearing capacities. Though we ourselves may feel pushed to the breaking point. Even outstanding and courageous Jeremiah was once discouraged. Being mocked and persecuted, he briefly considered ceasing from speaking out anymore. But then he said God’s word was “as a burning fire shut up in my bones, … and I could not stay” (Jer. 20:9). Jeremiah reached a breaking point, but he did not break!
 
Meekness and Humility
 
Jesus also exemplifies meekness and humility. In the ebb and flow of life, can we meekly respond as did  John the Baptist? Unselfishly he said, “Jesus must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Seemingly small, positive adjustments can make large differences in process of time. In our families, in the Church, and in other relationships, will we stop letting yesterday hold tomorrow hostage? Will we reclassify others, knowing that forgetting is part of forgiving? So “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ.” Why? So that those we love the most “may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Ne. 25:26).
 
His Love Is total
 
Whether we are old or young, married or unmarried, and with full or empty nests, the love of atoning Jesus for us is simply inestimable! Mercifully, the Lord tells us, “Mine arm is lengthened out all the day long” (2 Ne. 28:32). He waits with open arms to receive us, and on a later day, says the prophet Mormon, we can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mor. 5:11). “Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him “Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; “Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life” (D&C 45:3–5).
 
He is always thinking of us! I so testify, In His Holy Name Amen. Apostle Elder Philip Gill
 
 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Official Church Statement: The Church and Same Sex Marriage

Since the leadership of the LDS church based in Utah in the United Sates have made clear their stance on same sex marriage and children our church have been inundated with emails and messages on our social media outlets about this subject. As the Prophet of the church this has led me to try again to clarify and make clear The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ's position on same sex marriage and relationships. While I welcome the LDS church standing firm on this very delicate subject and not giving any ground I must reiterate that we are not them and we have our own standing laws on this matter.
 
The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ have made it clear on numerous occasions such as in our summer general assembly that we do not condone or support same sex marriage and relationships in any way. We consider them to be an act of sin and would encourage those who are in relationships like those to seek forgiveness from the Lord as he has made it clear that he looks upon any sin and a serious problem. As Apostles of Christ it is our duty to make sure that we yield no ground on this matter and that we stand firm. I consider all those that affirm that they belong to the restoration movement have a duty and obligation never to allow the Gospel of Christ to be compromised in any way, especially on this subject.
 
I hope that this has made clear again where The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ stands on this matter.
 
Matthew P. Gill
Prophet & First Elder

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