Friday, 22 August 2014

Sermon: Gods Creation

As a child living in London I would always be looking up at the night sky. I would wish I could visit the moon, planets, and stars. I would wonder if there was life on them, and what they looked like. I saw photographs of the Milky Way, and galaxies. However living in South London limited my ability to see some of these objects. However when I spent several weeks holiday in a village called Gellilydan in North Wales. I was able to see the sky with no light pollution. I was able for the first time to see into the Milky Way, there were millions of stars. The whole of my being told me, there is a God out there, and I tried to reason how I fitted into the scheme of things. Later in life when people would say to me "there is no God" I would reply. "Have you looked at the night sky lately?"

In the book of Mormon there was a person called Korihor. He was an antichrist. Korihor is directly referred to in The Book of Mormon as an Anti-Christ; because he claimed that there would be no Christ. Korihor was able to preach his views to the people because of the land's freedom of religion. These teachings alarmed the clerical government in Zarahemla, who felt that his views were dangerous to their society, as people had begun to ignore the laws of the land (which were based on the religious beliefs of their society). Korihor attempted to preach to the people of Ammon, but the residents had kicked him out of Jershon. He also tried preaching in Gideon and he was arrested. Before a high priest, during a hearing for his apparent blasphemy and for causing social discord, Korihor offered a speech in his own defence. Korihor was turned over to a higher authority and later got into an argument with the chief judge and governor, Alma regarding the existence of God. Alma responded to Korihor's arguments, stating that all things testified that there is a God. Korihor finally demanded that Alma show him a sign from God or he, Korihor, would not believe in God. This culminated in Korihor being miraculously rendered deaf and mute, upon which Korihor confessed, in writing: - “I always knew that there was a God. But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say”. (Alma 30:52-53)

Korihor begged for forgiveness, but Alma, sensing that Korihor would go back to his wicked ways, cast Korihor out. Korihor became a beggar and was later trampled to death by the Zoramites, a group who had separated themselves from the main Nephite society. We Read in Alma:-
"And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words. But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? And yet will ye deny against all these witnesses? And he said: Yea, I will deny, except ye shall show me a sign. And now it came to pass that Alma said unto him: Behold, I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed. But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldest be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by thy lying and by thy flattering words; therefore if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that thou shalt become dumb, that thou shalt never open thy mouth any more, that thou shalt not deceive this people any more". (Alma 30: 43 - 47)

Jesus Christ has always been associated with light. Sometimes that association seems symbolic of the idea that light is good and evil is darkness, and the message of Christ is referred to as the gospel of light (2 Cor. 4: 4-6) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4 - 6)

Other times it seems more literal. For example, the Saviour said that he is the "light and life of the world," (John 8:12, 3 Nephi 9:18,) and later "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25).

I pray that as we turn on the lights in our homes, as mentioned in my last sermon and now as we look to the sky, and see the sun moon, and stars. We are looking at God’s creations. We can look to God, His eternal plan, and live.

Elder Peter C. Barber

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