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
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.
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

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