Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Sermon: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (10 June 2012)

Sermon by The Prophet Matthew Gill
10 June, 2012

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that we need to know “that the course of life we are pursuing is according to the will of God” (Lectures on Faith: - Third Lecture, Section 3) having confidence that we are pleasing God is a way for us to exercise our faith in him, and it becomes a motivating force toward righteous living.  This provides us with the hope of eternal life. Faith is a gift of God based upon our personal righteousness and the knowledge that God lives. Thus, the greater our obedience to the gospel principles, the greater will be our faith, and the greater or faith, the greater will be the hope and knowledge we posses.

We are told in the scriptures that “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17).  We need such faith as this. We cannot see the future. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. Its takes faith, unseeing faith, for young people to proceed with their responsibilities in the face of such hard financial uncertainties that we have today, it can be hard to focus our faith and understanding when faced with such trying times, but it is that faith that will see us through. It takes great faith for a young women to raise a family instead if accepting employment, especially when she can see how hard times are for her young husband.

It takes great faith to observe the Sabbath when you could be working, when profit can be made, when merchandise can be sold. It takes great faith to pay tithes and offerings when funds are scarce and demands are great as is the case to often these days. It takes great faith to fast and have family prayers and observe the word of wisdom. It takes faith to do our teaching assignments, missionary work, and other service, when sacrifice is required. But remember that all these are the planting, while faithful, devout families, spiritual security, peace, and eternal life are the harvest.

Moroni taught that when miracles cease among the children of men it is because people have dwindled in unbelief and do not know God (Mormon), In the Book of Jeraneck the Prophet Hadjaneck exercised faith and the Lord bore him up to speak to the people and in doing so, he said this about his faith: “It is only through his power and the faith of my heart that I am able to stand here today….The Lord has promised though revelation that if we his people are faithful and obedient the we shall become one with him” (Jeraneck  5: 9-10) We, too, can show faith just as Hadjaneck and stand with God, having faith, and God will bare us up unto the end just as he did with one of his ancient Prophets.

One of the great blessings of having faith in the Saviour is hope of eternal life. Hope grows out of our faith and knowledge of Christ, enhanced by our assurance that we are sons and daughters of God and can become like him. Hope is earned through obedience to the commandments and gives us substance and focus to ones faith. No one need doubt the reality of eternal life. Having faith, we are given hope that we can enjoy eternal life with our Father in Heaven.

Let this be clear to us all: we do not mean to say that those of us who die in the fellowship of the Lord, and are true and faithful un to him, must be perfect in all things when they go and journey onto the next sphere of existence. There was and is only one perfect person, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Father is God.

Now what we are saying is that when the followers of God, his saints, do as commanded, when they are obedient to the commandments, when they gain a sure testimony of the truth and divinity of the Lord and his work, and they depart form this mortal world, though they have not become perfect, they shall gain eternal life with God in his kingdom and then they shall be perfect with God in his Kingdom, standing with the Father and the Son.

It is therefore important that we study the scriptures, put into practise the principles learned, heed the counsel of his servants and pray always to gain a greater knowledge of God’s existence, personality, and purpose.

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