Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Light - my talk.
Light - I want to talk to you about light. I've been pondering these messages for a few weeks. This is such an exciting time to take our mortal journey!! We were saved for this time...each one of us. I used to feel like the awkward, athletically challenged kid that the coach keeps on the bench until the 3rd or 4th quarter and only puts in the game because he has to, but waits until a time when we're ahead by a lot and I couldn't mess anything up. Now that Im older, I know better. Now I know that God put me and you here in the final part because of our strength. When I was 16, I received my patriarchal blessing that assured me that I actually was saved for these times because I was valiant in the pre mortal existence. We that are here were all valiant spirits. We fought against the opposition. We stood up and defended Father's plan. We were saved for the time when Satan would use his might and forces to try and wreak havoc on Gods plan. He will fail, but he will take as many casualties as he can with him. I think Heavenly Father is so perfectly wise, that even Satan's attempt to foil God's plan is actually part of the plan, for there must needs be opposition in all things. There is nothing that God doesn't know. If we stay close to God and follow the Savior and have the Holy Ghost as our constant guide..lighting our way, we will make it all the way. We have a living Prophet, the scriptures, leaders, and our own 6th sense, and I don't mean the ability to see dead people. Our 6th sense is the enlightenment or personal revelation. We as baptized and confirmed members have the gift of the Holy Ghost, but every man and woman born into this world was born with the Light of Christ or the Spirit of Christ. D&C 84:46 the spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world and the spirit enlighteneth every man through the world that hearkeneth to the voice of the spirit. There's a story, and I don't know if it's true or not, but it tells of a woman that lived on the coast of Ireland. She was quite wealthy and when electricity was made available to private residences, she was one of the first in area to have it installed in her home. After it was all connected, some time passed, someone from the power company came to see her at her home. There was very little usage and so they came to make sure she knew how to use it and if she was happy with it, and mostly to know why she wasn't using it. When they asked her if she was using it, she answered happily, "oh yes, I use it every day at sundown. I turn on the light long enough to light all of my candles, and then I turn it off." - are we like that in the sense that we choose to live on lesser light when we have so much greater light and power available to us? God is light. The beginning of the Creation began with "god said let there be light and there was light and god saw the light that it was good and god divided the light from the darkness." The opening of this last dispensation when truth was again restored to the earth began with this event.."I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head above the brightness of the sun..." In today's world the only way to survive not being consumed by the influences and constant infiltration of the things that pull us away from Zion or that dim the light is to make sure we are charging our spiritual batteries, nourishing ourselves spiritually everyday... Everyday...everyday. Feast upon the word! Fill our lamps! 10 virgins had oil in their lamps..Was it the oil that was the most important or was the oil of conversion necessary so that they could have light of testimony to shine during the darkness while awaiting the Bridegroom? So, how do we keep the light bright? We must Pray..and not just say our prayers. Study the scriptures. Get to know the prophets and their experiences and how God helped them and what he said to them. We can Apply them to our lives and find answers to our prayers in them. If we study them and learn them, on those occasions when we need answers or want to share a scripture with somebody, they will be brought to our minds. Clint and I have been invited to attend a bible study group in our neighborhood. It's hosted by people that are of another faith. We go so we can share what we believe and plant seeds and because we love discussing the things of God. Some people there don't believe that there is just one true church and have a hard time with people that claim to belong to the only true church, so we look for ways to share what it is that this church has that makes it so true. Don't just know the church is true..know WHY and HOW you know the church is true. Dont just simply know that the Book of Mormon is true, but know what's in that wonderful book which testifies of Jesus Christ and confirms and clarifies everything in the Bible. Know the bible too. Read about Gods dealings with men throughout the ages. Make the light of your testimony be as a neverending fire kept bright by the light of the Son...S-O-N- and not just a candle. In my life, when young I lived on borrowed light from my family until I had my own candlelight of a testimony and as I got older, I wanted more and more and before I went on my mission, I fed that fire until it was strong and during that time, I felt so happy. That's what the gospel does, it brings joy and fulfillment and peace and perspective. There were other times later that I didn't nourish my testimony and again I was walking around with just a flicker at times. Trying to move through mists of darkness with just a flicker is not recommended. The first or second time Clint and I went to Bali, we stayed in an area near a surf beach that was not very developed. To get to our room we had to go down about 100 or more steps that were uneven, rocky, and they wound around this very dense tropical vegetation. One late afternoon we went for a walk up the steps to look for a place to eat. I was worried about not getting back down those steps before sundown. I knew that a small light from a phone wasn't going to cut it and that's all we had. Well, I had a prayer in my heart and we may have even said a vocal prayer together because when we got to the top of those steps, guess what. It. Was. Dark.! Now what? Clint is way more adventurous and brave than me and he was sure that we could do make it but me...well, I absolutely hate pain and try to avoid breaking my ankle or neck and falling down steps as much as possible, so I was worried. I think I must have been sending out major help messages to heaven, because within a few minutes somebody more prepared than we came along with their hands full but with a beautiful bright headlamp on. They went ahead and must have felt sorry for us poor foreigners because every few steps, they would turn around and light our way to come down the steps. What a miracle! I was so grateful. How in the world are we supposed to be in this world and not of this world unless we have a bright consistently well lit light. We are living in dark times as far as how much negative influences are surrounding us. God wants a powerful people. As we learned in our lessons last week, He wants us to be lighthouses built on solid rock shining through the dark to guide others to safety. He doesn't want us to be half-hearted and mediocre in our gospel living. He wants us to be anxiously engaged in the building of his kingdom. We want to be ready when he comes again. How do we do it? How do we keep from being overly distracted by the unimportant things and neglecting our lights? Elder Richard G. Scott taught us: “Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It is distraction. He would have good people fill life with ‘good things’ so there is no room for the essential ones. Have you unconsciously been caught in that trap?” Elder Neal A. Maxwell said: “Many individuals preoccupied by the cares of the world are not necessarily in transgression. But they certainly are in diversion and thus waste ‘the days of [their] probation’ (2 Ne. 9:27). . . . Some proudly live ‘without God in the world’ (Alma 41:11).” Do we try to live without God too much of the time? Satan is so astute and cunning that among the elect, he doesn't focus on getting us to kill or steal or lie or cheat or commit sins that we have to go to the bishop about, but he is also using not so bad and harmless things to take the place of better things with the justification that We're not doing anything wrong. The Lord said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), and, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15–17). God has to be first in our lives. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Are our eyes single to His glory, or do we put him in the "when I have time" category? If we want to be worthy to live in the Celestial kingdom, we should be trying to prepare to be celestial residents now while on this earth. We won't just wake up on the other side deserving of exaltation if we aren't really striving to be fit for the kingdom. We can't just be less wicked than everyone else. We can't have virtue garnish our thoughts a lot of the time. Christ never said, "if ye love me keep most of the commandments or As I have loved you, love those that are loveable. Pay your tithing if you think you'll have enough money and remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy until you get home from church. We have been told to put off the natural man. Don't be distracted by materialism. You won't be judged by how much money or what kind of car or how popular or if you were the best at some sport. You'll be judged by how you took care of those around you. The greatest of all is charity. If we gain the whole world and have not charity, we missed the point of this life. Since the heavens have reopened and the gospel has been restored, more advances have been made in discovery of science, technology, inventions. The knowledge is expanding..our knowledge of God and of things of this world that he would have us know to progress. We live in an age of technology. Theres no denying it. Our children are bilingual in this second language, a cyber language... youth, am I right? idk rofl btw omg jk brb BFF ASAP FYI tmi ttyl. They can't text at the speed of sound. Everything is at the swipe of the finger. It's all on google YouTube spotify Facebook Instagram twitter and Pinterest. So Now, we not only have to be vigilant and careful to not be of this world, but we have to not get lost in cyberspace!! To the youth, you are under siege everyday by people from the great and spacious building. You would be mocked for keeping the commandments, doing what right, and standing up for truth and righteousness. Don't be ashamed. Easier said than done, I know. the world wants you to believe that you are defined by your appearance and your accomplishments and your status and coolness. just remember as I said in the beginning of my talk...you have been saved for this time. If the veil were to disappear for a moment and you could see yourselves and who you were and how strong you were in the pre-existence and how determined you were to fight for righteousness, you would be in awe at yourselves. Don't let anyone or anything convince you otherwise!! Fill yourselves with light everyday to give yourselves strength to resist and stand tall. Jesus Christ is the light of this world. His word is a lamp to our feet. He is the antidote to the distractions of this world and the lies of the adversary. He makes clear our vision of who we are and our purpose of our mortal journey here on earth. Satan tries to blur this vision by making us feel scared and insecure and overwhelmed and worthless and like we just can't do it...so we might as well quit. We have to trust in The Lord and he will bless us...if we have faith in Him, we can overcome. 2 Tim 1:7-8. He wants to bless us too, but we have to give him our hearts, we have to love him and trust him and do as he asks. We have to be as good as we can be and repent and keep going. The atonement, the perfect atonement of the Savior helps us get through, with it's healing power. It heals our sufferings and sorrows and keeps us from spiritual death. Prophets throughout history have looked to our day with rejoicing because the last days signify the long foretold coming of the Son of God in power and great glory and the commencement of the thousand years of peace upon the earth. They saw our day. They saw us and what we would have to go through. And aren't we fortunate to have all the scriptures and words of the prophets to help us see and recognize the signs and give us faith and courage to thrive during this time of chaos and turmoil in the world? When we do things that make our lights brighter, we have more hope, more happiness, an increased desire to be good.... more charity...less fear, less despair.. Some of my top 1000 scriptures are -Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. -Jacob 6:12 Oh be wise! what can I say more? Both of those are only 8 syllables long but say so much. I also love sections 76, 88, and 93 read them today while you're keeping the Sabbath day holy :) but my favorite scripture is in D&C 50:24-25 the perfect day is when the Savior comes and I can kneel at his feet and he will know me because I have tried to be like him. I know Jesus Is the Christ. He is the son of God and he lives. He is the Savior. I know Heavenly Father loves us and has provided this gospel as a perfect plan for our progression and growth. I know the scriptures are true, the bible and the Book of Mormon together testify of Jesus Christ. I know the truth in its pure form has been restored and that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and was the prophet of the restoration. I know we are lead by a living Prophet and 12 apostles. I know the Savior is going to return and we must have enough light in our lamps to make it through the dark night until he comes. I testify that by study and prayer and by the Holy Ghost I have come to know that this gospel is complete and it is true and has everything we need to return to live with Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.