Sunday, 31 July 2016

Sermon: Scriptures

Dear brothers and sisters.
 
I really struggled with this talk for today, although I was given half a week to complete it, I Procrastinated. I admit it; I found numerous other things to do other than start on my talk and that included watching TV. So last night I sat at the table and though what can I do my talk on, I thought, how about procrastination? Nope I've done a talk on that before. I looked through the friend for inspiration, none came. Matthew came down and said just read something from one of your books; I said nope cant do that as I told Levi that he had to write his from scratch. I thought how about Levis chores that we chose, how we wanted to keep his mind, body and spirit active during the holidays, nope to boring. I'll have a look at the personal progress online for some more ideas for Levis chore list, which was me procrastinating again. Do you know they have changed it so much, there used to be 'find and name a certain number of constellations' 'learn how to tell the time using the sun' and so on, now its boring, I cant think of another word for it, they want the women to learn homemaking skills, how to clean the house properly, how to clean clothes properly, to write about our feelings with regards to certain scriptures and to memorise hymns... so obviously I wont be using that for too much inspiration for levis chore list.
 
So in the end I came back to one of my first thoughts, its not one I mentioned before.
 
Pokémon Go...
 
There are so many people outside at this very moment with their phones in their hands looking up, looking down, looking left, looking right and missing the whole world around them, their aim is to catch Pokémon and train them. Imagine if they had to catch or find scripture characters and complete a task for them instead, would the game be as great, no, not because it would be boring because it wouldn't be, anything can be made exciting if you advertise it right but it wouldn't be as great because of that one word 'scriptures', scriptures mean God, scriptures mean rules, scriptures mean loads of text that is sometimes difficult to understand.
 
I read a book recently and it took me two days to complete it from start to end but I struggle to read the scriptures, on a Sunday during Sunday school I am fine but during the week on my own, I really struggle, to be honest I don't even think about them, I've lost count how many times I've read 1st Nephi.
 
But Heavenly Father never said that he wanted us to read it all in a few days or even a few weeks, he didn't say that we had to start at first Nephi, although it is a good starting point, what he did tell us was to search, ponder and pray. If we have to read the same verse 5 times over before we understand it then we have to read it 5 times over. Instead of saying to ourselves I'll read a chapter a day or 10 verses a day instead we should say that we are going to read for 30 minutes a day, if that means that we've only read 2 verses in that 30 minutes then so be it. I remember when I was little and my mum was even more busy than she usually is, she used to read her scriptures whilst eating breakfast, 10 minutes, but that 10 minutes she was not only nourishing her body but also her soul.
 
I am going to task you all to read 5 minutes of scriptures per day and try to build it up so that by the time you get to the end of august you are reading 30 minutes of scriptures per day. I am. Let's give Pokémon Go a run for its money.
 
I leave these words with you in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
 
Sister Vicki Gill

Sermon: The Garden of Eden

Most Bible and religious commentaries state that the site of the Garden of Eden was in the Middle East, situated somewhere near where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today, but what does scripture actually tell us? Based on the description given in Genesis 2:8–17:
 
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. . . . Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon. . . . The name of the second river is Gihon. . . . The name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]. . . . The fourth river is the Euphrates.
 
Even the great theologian John Calvin struggled over the exact location of the Garden of Eden. In his commentary on Genesis he states: Moses says that one river flowed to water the garden, which afterwards would divide itself into four heads. It is sufficiently agreed among all, that two of these heads are the Euphrates and the Tigris; for no one disputes that . . . (Hiddekel) is the Tigris. But there is a great controversy respecting the other two. Many think, that Pison and Gihon are the Ganges and the Nile; the error, however, of these men is abundantly refuted by the distance of the positions of these rivers. Persons are not wanting who fly across even to the Danube; as if indeed the habitation of one man stretched itself from the most remote part of Asia to the extremity of Europe. But since many other celebrated rivers flow by the region of which we are speaking, there is greater probability in the opinion of those who believe that two of these rivers are pointed out, although their names are now obsolete. Be this as it may, the difficulty is not yet solved. For Moses divides the one river which flowed by the garden into four heads. Yet it appears, that the fountains of the Euphrates and the Tigris were far distant from each other.
 
Calvin recognised that the description given in Genesis 2 concerning the location of the Garden of Eden does not fit with what is observed regarding the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. God’s Word makes it clear that the Garden of Eden was located where there were four rivers coming from one head. No matter how one tries to fit this location in the Middle East today, it just can’t be done. Interestingly, Calvin goes on to say: From this difficulty, some would free themselves by saying that the surface of the globe may have been changed by the deluge.
 
This is a major consideration that needs to be taken into account. The worldwide, catastrophic Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the surface of the earth. If most of the sedimentary strata over the earth’s surface (many thousands of feet thick in places) is the result of this global catastrophe as creationists believe, then we would have no idea where the Garden of Eden was originally located, the earth’s surface totally changed as a result of the Flood.  Not only this, but underneath the region where the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are located there exists hundreds of feet of sedimentary strata, a significant amount of which is fossiliferous. Such fossil-bearing strata had to be laid down at the time of the Flood, this is nit a debatable issue.
 
Therefore, no one can logically suggest that the area where the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today is the location of the Garden of Eden, for this area is sitting on Flood strata containing billions of dead things (fossils). The perfect Garden of Eden can’t be sitting on billions of dead things before sin entered the world! This being the case, the question then is why are there rivers named Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East today? Many wrongly conclude that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in the Middle East based on the names of the rivers in Genesis 2.
 
In many places around the world that once belonged to the great British Empire, one will recognize many names that are also used in England (e.g., Newcastle, London, York). The reason is that when the settlers came out from England to their new lands, they used names they were familiar with in England to name new places/towns in their new lands. Another example is the names given to many rivers in the United States. There is the Thames River in Connecticut, the Severn River in Maryland, and the Trent River in North Carolina, all named for prominent rivers in the UK.
 
In a similar way, when Noah and his family came out of the ark after it landed in the area we today call the Middle East (the region of the Mountains of Ararat), it would not have been surprising for them to use names they were familiar with from the pre-Flood world (e.g., Tigris and Euphrates), to name places and rivers, etc., in the world after the Flood.
 
Ultimately, we have a march on the Christian world in as much as we have modern prophets and modern prophecy. In that great gift we have been told rough location of the Garden of Eden through the great restoration of truth and the great prophet Joseph Smith. The position of the Saints today, with respect to the much discussed location of the Garden of Eden is that its is located in North America in Jackson County Missouri. This is our firm belief given to us by the word of God and we stand by that. It is a fact that Adam, after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, lived in the vicinity of the great Missouri and Mississippi rivers. As his descendants multiplied, they would naturally settle along the fertile and climatically acceptable river valleys. When the flood came in the days of Noah, the Mississippi drainage must have increased to a tremendous volume, quite in harmony with the Biblical account. Noah's ark would be floated on the mighty, rushing waters, towards the Gulf of Mexico. With favourable winds, given by God it would cross the Atlantic to the Eastern continents. There the human race, in its second start on earth, began to multiply and fill the earth and settle in what is now called the Middle East.
 
So we state with a certainty that no other Christian faith can, that, the location of the Garden of Eden is in America, and at Independence, Missouri. This fact clears up many a problem which the Bible account of Eden and its garden has left in the minds of students for many years. Still today many men, great men of God do not know what we know concerning the location of the Garden of Eden and its location. However it must still be remembered and understood that no matter where you believe the Garden was located to insist that the Garden was located in the area around the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is to deny the catastrophic effects of the global Flood of Noah’s day, and to allow for death before sin, this is of major importance and something that we must never forget. The flood again played an integral part in the garden story and as it does in all our lives brings us closer to the living God.
 
Matthew P Gill
Prophet

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Testimony of the Saviour

Enquiring of the Lord about the topic of my talk and after receiving the direction that I should bear testimony that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God and he died for us. As I am entitled as a follower of Jesus Christ to know through the Holy Ghost that Jesus is my personal saviour and the saviour of all mankind I pronounce that he was restored to life following his crucifixion.
 
My, our testimony comes from the Holy Ghost. We know from modern day revelation the identity of the third member of the Godhead. Through the priesthood we receive the witness from the holy ghost that guides and directs our decisions. I desire to convey to all who hear or read this address that your hearts may be opened and that you will know that I speak of truth. The words of the Hymn “I BELIEVE IN CHRIST” we take from this that salvation begins and ends with our Heavenly Father, and he is offering to us a life akin to his to posses and enjoy his power for eternity.
 
In our pre existent state we learned of the plan of salvation this plan would allow us to come to earth and progress, and go back to our father in glory and knowledge. Because of sin we needed a mediator this came in the guise of Jesus Christ who without him we would be unable to satisfy our Father in heaven.
 
In the Book of Mormon we establish the position of the Saviour in our earthly progression. Joseph Smith was once asked about the principles of our faith, he answered "the fundamental principles of our faith are the testimony of our apostles and prophet concerning Jesus Christ and that he died for us"
(History of the church vol3,p30)
 
We must always convey to the world and our followers the message that the atoning sacrifice of our saviour is at the heart of our faith. Without this there would be neither immortality or exaltation.
 
As followers of the gospel as contained in the Bible , Book of Mormon, and the Book of Jaraneck  we are able to live the glorious thing that has happened in this the last days the windows of heaven are open and through our Prophet Matthew Gill we receive the direction of our Father who wants us to know of the great work of his son. My voice as a witness of the saviour is to testify that of the divinity and truthfulness of his works amongst the children of our heavenly father on earth. The testimony I bear is one who knows for a surety that Jesus is the Christ echoing the testimonies of countless followers down the years from 1820. We owe much to Joseph Smith who ushered in this special Message by being instrumental in the bringing to the human race the message contained in the Book of Mormon this message of course is simple,
"Be led by the holy ghost" without this we are like a ship without a compass.
 
In this day we as followers of the Saviour and adherents to direction of our Prophet Matthew Gill who talks with our saviour and receives commands for our benefit. I proclaim  the truths and desires in my heart to have  people believe and obey. The salvation of mankind is in the gift of Jesus Christ and wishes us to gain exaltation and once again walk in the steps of our heavenly father.
 
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Second Elder Philip Gill

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