Monday, 30 January 2017

Sundays Sermons: Home is A Refuge & My Son

Home the refuge in the storm.

Ever since our first Parents came into this world with  it's Pitfalls & danger's, man has sought a place of security where he could live unmolested.  His desire for protection from the hot son (they did have it in those days), or the cold wind, the maraud animals,  has caused man to use his talents & inventiveness, until to-day we have the wonderful dwellings of this age. 
 
Not for us the cave with it's dripping roof & hard & often dusty floor, where if it was left for a long while one hunted for food, it stood a good chance of being occupied by animals, brought there by the remains of the last meal eaten there.  Nevertheless, it gave man in this age, the comfort of limited security & led by his inventiveness, to the construction of more habitable structures designed  better for the elements. Whilst the danger of wild animals no longer exist for us in this modern age, the longing for security and a place where all  things begin & end, still is a great force in our lives.  I am reminded of the Cratchit family in, Christmas Carol although       they  were relatively poor.  One feels the glow of warmth that rest's over it, & an assurance of the well-being of the family. We are led to think, “would that all of our homes could posses it's   virtues and enjoy it's blessings. But we remember that this is a description of a London home in
bleak London in 1843, over 100 & odd years ago!  This was a time when the simple virtues, characterised most homes, and when the gaining of material things beyond the ordinary needs of  life did not fill the lives of the family members as it does today. Tremendous changes have taken place in the world during these past 100 odd years ago.
 
Much that was sacred & traditional seems to have gone out, and new & different patterns of living and other interests of family members have taken over.  The physical aspects of the home are demanding more & more attention.  The traditional roles of the mother as the home -maker the father as the bread winner have almost gone. In many of the homes to-day the father & mother are both wage earners & both house - keepers, deemed necessary to meet the social & economic conditions. 
 
Children are being called upon to assume new responsibilities as compared with the things, children did in the past generations. All too many children now have too much unsupervised time, lacking in careful parental planning & firm wise guidance and direction.   The social activities we see or know about in the Cratchets home, have largely been taken outside of the home. The fulfilment of these divine purposes is not dependent upon things within our homes which yield to change, but rather to the simple constant virtues which need no alteration  because they are founded on eternal truths.
 
A few of the more important of these virtues........  A home founded on eternal marriage. 
The Father holding the priest-hood, by divine decree the head of the household, The Mother the home maker. Some one once said:  “A home is a roof over a good woman”. Another said: “A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes one woman to make a home. Where the home is ruled according to the word of God, angels might be asked to stay and they would not find themselves out of their element.  Love must abide in a good home – whether it be the cave dwelling of our ancestors, the simple crotchets home, or the sophisticated home of today. Discipline too, discipline founded on righteous principles – no home without discipline can be a truly good home.
 
Loyalty:  Unity, & a willingness to share in the home responsibilities. Unity is one of the foundations stones of strength, & the strength of a nation depends on the strength of it's homes. Fortunate are the occupants of a home where the gospel is lived and taught, where there is complete love & harmony, where it is expressed  in word & deed by the Father & the Mother, the Mother to the Father, & they to the children ( and of course, the Father to the Mother – he slips .)  And the children to one to to another.  To hear “please”, “Thank you ”, “I love you”, “I love your hair,” “I like your dress,”  “ your talk was very good today” “I was very proud of you today.”
 
As with the early man, the cave provided the best ground on which to meet the animal adversaries, affording as it did the situation where he had only the entrance to guard, his back being protected for him by the cave .  So in to - days complex society, home becomes the haven that we fly to naturally. As little children, it's home & Mother we fly to when we come to grief in tackling that world and it's problems, to  receive the  sympathy, direction & encouragement to try again. To try to master riding our bikes when it's easier to fall of than to stay on. To go back to school again when bullies pick on our deficiencies and impediments, to ridicule & deride us.  As grown ups, it's to the family we take our mistakes, our reverses in business, and here we receive ( or should receive) the encouragement to pick up the pieces & the strength to go out and succeed. In closing, may I read this saying. 
 
“Home is not merely four square walls
Though hung with pictures and gilded,
Home is where the affection calls
Filled with shrines the heart has built,
Home is not merely roof and room
It needs something to endear it,
Home is where the heart  can bloom,
Where there is some kind heart to cheer it,
What is home without none to meet,
None to welcome, none to greet us,?
Home is sweet and only sweet
Where there is one we love to meet us.
There is no substitute for a home -
it's foundation is as ancient as the
world, and it has been the work of God,
from the earliest times.  From Abraham
sprang two ancient races.”
 
In The Name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Sister Alyson Gill
 
My son
 
My son, my servant, mine anointed, and my friend are terms the Lord uses in referring to Joseph Smith. And the Lord commanded, “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
Born in Sharon, Vermont, December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, Jr., was only thirty-eight years old when martyred at Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. But in his relatively brief life on earth he served as the Lord’s agent, receiving visitations from God the Father and Jesus Christ themselves, and from many other heavenly messengers.
Through him, gospel truths, the holy priesthood, and the administrative kingdom were again restored to earth for the benefit of all mankind and in initial preparation for the upcoming millennial reign of Jesus Christ. With unfailing care, “Brother Joseph” guided thousands of new entrants into succeeding growth epochs, until at last the infant Church stood on strong legs of understanding and faith.
“And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him; And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming
And it has been as the Lord said, “The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee; While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.”
 
Following the visits of the angel Moroni to young Joseph and his acquisition of the plates, Joseph commenced the difficult assignment of translation. One can but imagine the dedication, the devotion, and the labor required to translate in fewer than 90 days this record of over 500 pages covering a period of 2,600 years. I love the words Oliver Cowdery used to describe the time he spent assisting Joseph with the translation of the Book of Mormon: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom!” 4 The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us diligence—by example.
 1. An angel came to Joseph Smith,
And from the ground he took
A sacred record hidden there,
A precious, holy book.
2. It tells of people long ago,
Led by the Lord’s own hand,
Who left their homes and crossed the sea
To reach a favored land.
3. The Nephites and the Lamanites,
And all who came to dwell,
Had peace when they obeyed the Lord,
The sacred records tell.
4. And now I’ll read the sacred book,
And then I’ll understand
That Heav’nly Father loves us all
In each and ev’ry land.
With regard to josephs character probably the most damning is the inference and forthright accusations that he lived an immoral life pertaining to polygamy, this was and still is a complete lie and fabrication spread by Brigham Young and other false prophets to lead man astray and blacken Josephs name.
For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ; they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me. (LDS History of the Church 6:409)
Unfortunately, Joseph's carefully laid plans to prove his innocence were thwarted by Brigham Young and his followers—for they took Joseph's papers with them to Utah and kept them from the public.
There are a number of references in the Inspired Version of the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants which condemn polygamy, and none which command it to be practiced—but the most scathing denunciation of polygamy in Joseph's writings is found in the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. There the Lord gives an inspired message through His Nephite prophet, Jacob, more than three pages in length, which definitely forbids polygamy. It prophetically warns the Nephites that if they do not choose the Lord as their commander, they will choose to do otherwise—the otherwise being that they would degenerate into the sinful practice of polygamy.
It is important to review the circumstances under which the Prophet Jacob received this divine revelation forbidding polygamy. Years earlier, under God's direction, Jacob's older brother, Nephi, had directed the Nephites in building a temple. After Nephi's death, Jacob became the prophet-leader. The Lord commanded Jacob to go into the temple where the Nephites would be at worship, and bring to them a revelation condemning polygamy. In that revelation Jacob gave a stern condemnation of that dogma—and since Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon and proclaimed that it contained the fullness of the gospel, the Lord's denouncement of polygamy through Jacob is also Joseph's testimony against that false doctrine. Jacob declared:
the people of Nephi ... began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old, desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.... Wherefore, I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having firstly obtained mine errand from the Lord
I close in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Elder Philip A. Gill
 

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