Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God's Words...Never Cease

The following video contains excerpts from a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland entitled, "My Words...Never Cease." This article has been featured and referenced in a number of previous posts and this video is a great reminder and testimony builder of the fact that God does love us and therefore still speaks to us in our day.

I know that God the Father speaks to us through His holy prophets. The Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the words of the living prophets are all God's word, for, "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:38).


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finding Forgiveness

I had the choice opportunity this past week of being a counselor at one of the Church's youth camps called EFY, or "Especially for Youth." At this camp, speakers and counselors instructed the youth on various gospel subjects including repentance, the Atonement, and how to live the Lord's standards in a world where standards are increasingly dissolving.

During one of the talks, the director of the camp Brother Devin Toma, displayed a quote about repentance and forgiveness by the apostle Elder Richard G. Scott. I wrote down the reference and read the whole talk today and decided to make it the article of the week.

The talk is entitled, "Finding Forgiveness," and was given by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the April General Conference in 1995.

In this talk, Elder Scott very clearly explains repentance and the need for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He outlines the steps of repentance, teaching about Godly sorrow, confession, abandonment of sin, restitution, and faith.

This teachings contained in this article give hope to all of us. By virtue of living in a fallen world and not being perfect, we all sin and we are all unclean. We make mistakes no matter how hard we try. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can make us clean if we do our part, i.e., repent which includes the steps Elder Scott describes. The miracle of forgiveness, the miracle of the Atonement, is that when we are constantly striving to do better and keep the commandments more faithfully, we are cleansed by the atoning blood of Christ. The Lord teaches, "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).

I know this promise is real. I know that through the Atonement of Christ, all may be saved. Moreover, the feeling of being forgiven takes a great weight off our shoulders and brings both relief and comfort.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joseph Smith-The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration

In the spring of 1820, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a fourteen-year-old boy in a grove of trees. In time, They called him to be a prophet, the first since the fulness of the Gospel had been lost almost two millenia earlier. Through him, Jesus Christ restored the fulness of His gospel, His church, and most importantly the priesthood. Joseph Smith became the prophet to open this, the last dispensation. The Lord once again called twelve apostles, seventies, and other general and local authorities who all received the priesthood.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1972-1985 gave a powerful talk about the Prophet Joseph in the April 1976 General Conference. This talk, entitled, "Joseph Smith—The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration," is a strong witness of the Prophet's divine calling and work.

In the words of the John Taylor, third prophet in this dispensation:

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated! (D&C 135:3.)

I am so grateful for the Prophet Joseph and I know that he was indeed a prophet of God.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Prayer for the Children

I happened to come across the article when I was getting ready one morning this week and wanted a talk to listen to. I love listening to Elder Holland so I just chose a General Conference and listened to his talk. It turned out to be incredible, of course; it's very powerful.

The talk is entitled, "A Prayer for the Children," and is from the April 2003 General Conference. The link to the audio/video is here.

Elder Holland is very specific as he describes the duties of parents and their relationship with the Lord, the gospel, and their children. If you have children, this is a good opportunity to reflect on your personal life and the strength of your relationship with the Lord and to make goals to change and improve. For those of us without children, we can reflect on our lives and figure out what we need to change in order to be the parents the Lord expects us to be that the generations after us may be blessed with good gospel-centered habits.

Think about it. Pray to know how the Lord would have you improve. Elder Holland is a living apostle of God and his words are the will of the Father for us in our day.