Saturday, 20 April 2013

SERMON: Enduring to the End

A Sermon by Matthew P Gill

The fourteenth Article of Faith reminds us that we, ‘hope to be able to endure all things,’ whatever life brings us. And although our challenges may be different, enduring to the end simply means enduring each day well, and faithfully. Endurance knows no time or season. It is a concern of both the elderly and the young. We are tempted at all ages, and none of us know when we will die. Each day we must make the right decisions that will keep us on the road to eternal life.

Enduring life well requires positive action. We must consciously act to improve ourselves if we are to ‘do good’ and ‘hold out faithful to the end’ (D&C 8:5; 6:13/Utah). If we truly follow Christ, our endurance will be productive, not passive. Enduring well means developing faith, devotion, patience, long-suffering, cheerfulness, love, and selfless service. These are the qualities that we as Latter Day Mormons should always be striving for as we endure righteously.

By being baptised into the Gospel and becoming a member of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ shows positive action, but the road to eternal life does not end with baptism or membership. Whether we receive the blessings of all principles and ordinances of the Gospel depends on our continued faithfulness. Baptism and membership are important parts of the endurance process because it places us on the right path to eternal life. Both of these things can and should give us ‘a determination to serve him to the end’ (D&C 2:7; 20:7/Utah)

The Prophet Joseph Smith is a great example to us as Latter Day Mormons of enduring to the end. The Prophet never let any trial stop him in the pursuit of his ultimate goals, and even when his life was in risk never gave up. We. like Joseph Smith, must follow the Saviour to the end, through trails and persecution, through wealth and ease, through periods of tiredness, and through all other hazards of mortality. Regardless of the adversities and the difficulties we encounter in striving faithfully to endure, success can be achieved. This, we can and must do if we would enjoy the blessings promised to us as Latter Day Mormons.

From the Lectures on Faith in the Doctrine & Covenants, we are taught that those who sacrifice all for the sake of the Gospel, “will have the testimony that their course is pleasing in the sight of God, and those who have this testimony will have faith to lay hold on eternal life, and will be enabled, through faith, to endure unto the end, and receive the crown that is laid up for them that love the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (D&C Lecture 6, 6:10)

Latter Day Mormons, having the witness of the Book of Jeraneck, learn from it many great feats of endurance and faithfulness to Almighty God.

The Prophet Hadjaneck, for example, said to God’s People of Light, “The Lord has promised through revelation that if we, his people are faithful and obedient that we shall become one with him,” and this is true for us today.

So, let us remember that even though our contributions seem small, they are a significant part of enduring to the end. If we follow Christ, enduring well to the end, we can say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.”

Let us brace ourselves, therefore, to our duty and endure with faithfulness and determination to the end.  

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