A vibrant and healthy fellowship and community is place where we all are able to come and know we belong. Where there is kindness, empathy, charity, compassion, forgiveness, willingness to be honest, discreet, share with confidence, and keeping in confidence those things we share one with another. All of us are walking our own spiritual paths and experiencing our own spiritual journey - however, it is not meant for us to do so alone. We strive to be complete, unified, and in harmony because of the pure love of Christ.
As we seek after the Kingdom of Heaven - seek after the righteousness of God, we do so through love of our Heavenly Father and love toward others. The Savior expresses that these two teachings are the main commandments: Love God and love others (Mark 12:28-31). It is the call to allow our Heavenly Father to rule in our hearts, in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
Meaningful and mindful worship begins when we are authentic and accurate in our attitude toward Heavenly Father. He is pleased by our thoughtfulness toward Him. Reflecting on his nature, desiring to become more like Christ, sanctified and holy. We are called to be holy as he is holy, perfect as he is perfect, and through Christ, we are perfected unto God.
We are fashioned with eternal spiritual bodies. It is then that our Heavenly Father breathes into our mortal bodies the breath of life so that we become a living soul. Scripture also declares unto us the promise that those who come to faith in Jesus Christ - by the miracle and gift of the infinite atonement - will have a new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)
Again, the phrase appears in my mind, lingering like an unwanted specter. To be or not to be; that is the question. My soul groans and cries out - What is the answer? Only silence. The barren desert appears again. The warmth from the day lingers in the twilight hours. Long after the sun descended over the horizon. Only the moon glows against the velvet canopy of sky. Stars blinking in chorus for some cosmic audience. The desert wind becomes a cold talon. The desert's friend is loneliness.
Today, we may feel empty, without form and void - meaningless, unassuming, empty, and desolate. However, the power of creation reveals unto us the magnificent power our Heavenly Father has in taking something that is unorganized, unassuming, and creating something magnificent and beautiful. Through the plan of salvation, we are to become creators in building
The faith Moses called the Hebrews to exercise was one that had to come prior to the miracle they were about to witness. Such faith called them forth to be ready and go forward despite the great opposition they were facing. Pharoah's army behind them and the sea before them caused the children of Israel to murmur and complain. And it was their only viable option to trust in God that they would cross over to the other side.
King David marveled at the power and testimony of God’s creation in Psalm 19. Here, he proclaims that the heavens declare God’s glory and that the firmament sheweth his handiwork (See, Psalm 19:1). The Apostle Paul also shared his insights by stating how we are without excuse because of how creation clearly reveals the eternal power and Godhead by what is manifested and clearly seen (see Romans 1:20). The Prophet Alma also commented on how all things denote that there is a God (See, Alma 30:44). When our Heavenly Father revealed unto Moses the workmanship of His own hands - Moses marveled and wondered at such a glorious work. The great patriarch Abraham also saw the endless and glorious workmanship of God’s hands (See, Abraham 3:12).
As we go forward with faith and purpose, we do so with the mindset that this life is a test. That there is a purpose for our mortal existence, and that we are called and assigned to endure those conflicts and challenges. To live for God through service and obedience, placing our hope and trust on Jesus Christ, and striving to be perfected so that we are able to say with conviction: I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course and now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.
When we seek first God's Kingdom, we shall be blessed with those things we stand in need of temporally. As our faith increases, so does our ability to seek God and conform to his will and desire for our lives. In doing so, we will be blessed through our obedience to the teachings and commandments that he has given us.
Our call to go forward with faith and purpose in the new year is meant for us to examine ourselves and determine whether or not we truly place full confidence in who Christ is, in the teachings of the pure doctrines of Christ, and trust in those personal revelations he has given us. Trust in Christ means we go forward with faith, despite any doubts we may have. Despite our perceived inadequacies. For if we go forward in faith, with purpose, we are blessed to accomplish those things we are called to accomplish. For if we go forward in faith, with purpose, we are able to do the things our Heavenly Father has commanded us to do.
Our mortality is a test where we are to gain a vision and understanding of who Christ is, thereby gaining understanding of who our Heavenly Father is. Having this vision helps us go forward in faith and purpose because we know who we are and where we are heading.
Today, our religious worship requires something more. It requires our sincere reverence and gratitude. It is a sacrifice of our own self and will. Such sacrifice comes when we call upon God, through Jesus Christ on a daily basis
Our purpose in this life is to repent and to come unto Christ. To humble ourselves and walk faithfully in seeking after the will of God. We are to be perfected in Christ. To deny ourselves and put off the natural man. And to make the most of our life meaningful and live with purpose toward our promised land of glory and hope.
Much like the Israelites, we are wandering in the wilderness and desert of life. Seeking freedom from those things that have us bound. Sin enslaves us, pressing upon us, and the more we resist, the weaker we seemed to become. Our Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son to free us from the snares of sin and death. The Apostle Paul writes to the Romans wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin so also does life come from the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12-19).
Faith is the driving factor to us going forward into this new year with purpose and meaning. The Apostle Paul taught that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). And in Alma 32:21 we read that ...faith is not to have perfect knowledge of things;
Our purpose in this life is to grow, gain experience, knowledge, understanding, and to face those trials that help mold and shape us. Scripture teaches that when we come unto Christ and follow Him, we will become like Christ. It is through the plan of salvation that we experience a "fullness of Joy" and not the joy the world gives unto us (see, John 15:11). It is the joy of peace in our lives when we endure and overcome as Christ has endured and overcame (see Hebrews 12:2). And our purpose is to cultivate a rich, deep, and meaningful fellowship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. For Christ said that the purpose of eternal life is to know God and Jesus whom the Father had sent (see, John 17:3)
Knowing we are created with a divine purpose gives us pause to consider our understanding of who we are.
Trust begins with understanding who we are in relationship to others. In our relationship with our Heavenly Father, we come to know the absolute reality of our own divine nature and heritage. We are created in the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father (see Genesis 1:26-27). As we come to understand our divine heritage, the Holy Spirit works in and through us to become more like Christ. Our trust in God also includes understanding that we are in the similitude and likeness of His only Begotten Son - Jesus Christ (See Moses 1:6). And there is a real, deep, personal connection with God when we come to understand our divine heritage.
True, and authentic Christian faith and living, rests on the pure doctrine of Christ where life is about letting our Heavenly Father use us for His purpose and not for our own gain and sense of satisfaction. The Apostle Paul taught that for those who are carnally minded are set against the true things of God. However, those who are spiritually minded are such because they have set their hearts and minds on God for life and peace (Romans 8:6).
When our Heavenly Father called Moses - we are to understand that this prophet was one of the many noble spirits Abraham saw (Abraham 3:21-23). Abraham himself was also one of those noble spirits chosen before he was born. There are some practical spiritual truths and applications that are for our learning and understanding today.
Our faith in Jesus Christ also gives us the confidence in knowing that the Lord will strengthen us and help us face whatever challenges we are to face. We need not hesitate to do what our Heavenly Father calls us to do (1 Nephi 4:1-3). Thus, our attitude ought to be one of assurance and confidence in knowing that we will be successful in whatever the Lord calls us to do - and we ought to realize that we are constantly engaged in the Lord's work.
Have you personally experienced a mighty change of heart from reading, understanding, likening, and applying the scriptures to your life? If not, what is preventing you from experiencing this mighty change of heart? If you have, is this something constant or have you stopped experiencing a mighty change of heart from active scripture study?
When it comes to reading the scriptures, we are able to come to know of their worth and truthfulness. By careful study and understanding of the scriptures, we are able to come to know them. How we liken the scriptures unto ourselves is through visualization of the people, the events, and situations. What is the situation? How does it relate to my own circumstance? By likening the scriptures, we grow, learn, and receive personal insight and inspiration. Nephi shares this with us when he said: I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23). Through likening the scriptures - we also learn the principles and truths from our Heavenly Father. Finally, we want to ponder - or meditate - upon those things that are revealed through our scripture study. By meditating, we ask questions, look for the practical applications and solutions.
Are we willing to pay the cost of coming unto Christ and following him? Willing to pay the cost of walking in the process of repentance in order to be reconciled? Ready and committed in putting to death our former self? How does the rich young ruler represent you? What are some of the great possessions that you have whereby it may interfere with you committing to immerse yourself in following Christ?
As President Russell M. Nelson provided his opening remarks to the October 2021 General Conference - we learn that the focus of our attention is to understand three things: Pure Teaching, Pure Doctrine of Christ, and Pure Revelation. Reflecting on this message, how have you come to understand these three principle truths? What are you struggling with when it comes to your faith in Christ? Faith in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ? and where do you feel lacking when it comes to revelation and the ministering of the Holy Spirit? Knowing that personal revelation comes through our daily commitment to scripture study, prayerfully reflecting and meditating on teachings from Church Leaders and those within our own community, and through personal fellowship and service toward others: how does this help build up your faith and testimony? Please share your comments, thoughts, and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. Share this with others through your social media platforms as well.
Each one of us ought to devote our time and energy in studying the standard works every day. This is accomplished by establishing a study schedule that best serves our personal needs. And is something we are motivated and committed to following consistently. Developing an understanding and love for the scriptures will greatly help in the challenges and responsibilities we have in our lives. Helps us be of service toward others. Improve our ability to relate and communicate with others.
All these teachings helps us understand the central truth of the Gospel - Jesus is the Christ by whom we are saved. Salvation comes when we place our initial faith and trust in Him. It comes when we humble ourselves and enter into the waters of baptism for the remission of our sins. This is accomplished when we come to the awareness of our natural state and disposition. Through repentance, we receive the first principle ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The world offers us all the desires and appetites that leave our bellies full and our flesh satisfied. Unfortunately, it is only temporary and we continue to remain hungry and thirsty for more of those things of the world. When we are tempted, it may come in guise of satisfying some desire. We develop an appetite for it. Eventually, it leads us to experience death of our sense of self through Jesus Christ.
Genuine faith stems from genuine humility. Our humility and faith is shaped from those trials we face in our lives. We are richly blessed beyond measure. The challenge is to keep ourselves humble regardless of how blessed we are. I also want to add that humility is the means in which we shore up treasures in heaven and not here on earth (see Matthew 6:19-20). It is not one of many Christian Virtues. It is the root of all Christian virtues. Humility is the root of genuine faith in God.