Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas talk 2011

I wondered what I could say regarding Christmas that hadn’t already been said, or regardless of that, would be inspirational to you who have come to hear and feel the word of the Lord in Sacrament meeting. I did a search on Google for Christmas messages. Then I added LDS and the Christmas Devotional last week came up on the Church’s website. I clicked on Pres. Eyring’s talk.

As I listened to him speak, I had a number of thoughts I wrote down. God’s gifts to us include our life and His Son. Christ’s gifts to us include the resurrection and the atonement. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him (or through making use of the atonement He provided) might be saved (or find joy and eternal life).

Jesus sacrificed more than all the money in the world to provide the atonement. He literally sacrificed effort, blood, and pain to provide it. And what is the atonement? It is only partly forgiveness. The atonement is a process of continual cleansing coupled with covenants that give strength sufficient for obedience that changes us gradually to become as he is, thereby becoming able to live in His presence and experience the joy and power that he enjoys.

About halfway through his talk, Pres. Eyring said that Pres. Monson had directed that we should watch an overview of some of the Bible scene videos recently made by the Church, which were being made as a gift to all free of charge. He said that they would provide light to us. As I watched them I had perceptions that were new given to me.

I was amazed to consider what Mary must have felt as the angel told her that she was to be the mother of the Savior of the world, the great Messiah that all Israel had been looking for, for so many generations! Would that not scare you? What a responsibility to bear and raise the Son of God! And consider her response, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.” There was none of this, “I’m not a good speaker.” “I’m not good enough.” Even the great prophets of Enoch and Moses protested when they were called, but not Mary. She just humbly said OK.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds, some of the lowest, I suppose, in social status back then, to announce His birth, he said, “And this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager.” The sign was that they would find the Savior of all mankind wrapped in rags in the lowliest of places to be born! I wondered then at the love that was shown to us, and those shepherds, that He would be born in this way both as proof that He was sent to all and as a directional pointer for us to think on.

After the video Pres. Eyring said that we can learn many lessons from this video of the birth and early life of the Savior.

"Most of those lessons came as you watched and listened, not so much from the pictures and words as from the Spirit. You recognized and felt truth. You felt the love of the Savior and for the Savior. And you surely felt an increased desire to love as He loved.

"You felt your faith grow in prophets and in the servants of God, both the angels He sends to bear us up and those He calls to His service to guide us. You surely have felt greater faith that God is the same, without change, over time or space."

I felt each of those manifestations of the Spirit, just as he said, while watching it. Pres. Monson said, “To catch the real meaning of the “spirit of Christmas,” we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the “Spirit of Christ.” I believe that we can get that Spirit of Christ by watching those video clips, indeed by watching on our own those talks by the First Presidency in their Christmas Devotional, which are easy to find online at the Church’s website. I invite you to watch some or all again before Christmas.

Finally Pres. Eyring, referring to the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” said that, “You can have a Merry Christmas if you remember the gifts God has given you and as best you can offer them to others.” Combined with the gift of service and kindness, perhaps the best gift you can give to someone this year, or even to yourself, is the gift of forgiveness by means of the Savior’s gift to us.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Obedient and Humble

Moses was not great because of who he was. He became great, because he was both obedient and humble - the most humble man alive at that time according to scripture. That roughly coincides with justice and mercy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Most Important in Life

The most important thing we can do in this life is come to know God's way of living (indeed to know Him), and to get our lives, through the atonement of Jesus, in line with that way of living. This will bring peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Living the law of consecration

I wanted to pass on a few points from Elder D. Todd Christofferson, talk in the October 2010 Conference entitled “Reflections on a Consecrated Life.”

“…the consecrated life is a pure life.” “Consecration therefore means repentance.”

“A consecrated life is a life of labor.” “By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience.” “Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service….”

“A consecrated life respect the incomparable gift of one’s physical body, a divine creation in the very image of God.” “As our body is the instrument of our spirit, it is vital that we care for it as best we can.”

“…a consecrated life is a life of service.” “Those who quietly and thoughtfully go about doing good offer a model of consecration.”

“A consecrated life is a life of integrity.” “One who lives a consecrated life does not seek to take advantage of another, but, if anything, will turn the other cheek…”

“A consecrated life is a beautiful thing.” “…future generations will take courage from your consecrated life….”

“May we consecrate ourselves as sons and daughters of God, ‘that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope,’ I pray….”

This is what is meant by living the law of consecration and is my hope also.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sleeping habits

On the Morning of the First Resurrection, some of you may miss it, because you will be sleeping in, since your body isn't used to anything else!

"Teaching" each other a lesson

I would be very careful about, and even avoid "teaching your spouse a lesson." That also goes for siblings too. You probably do not see the collateral damage you may be doing. More than that, it is likely the beam is in your own eye. Find and first cast that out before taking the mote out of your spouse's (sibling's) eye!