Prepare Yourself For The Kingdom
The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins, by one holding the proper priesthood authority; fourth, the Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, also accomplished through one holding the holy priesthood authority.
Faith is belief put into action. It is only belief if it is not practiced and acted upon. Faith that Jesus Christ has the power to save, forgive, and renew light and life in you, and that partaking of His gift of love and wisdom will bring you hope, happiness and eternal salvation, is acting on the doctrines and commandments He set forth in His gospel.
This creates in us a newness, and changes our bodys and spirits, through taking the next steps in the process of the gospel, namely repentance, baptism, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Upon acting on the substance of our faith, a creative process, we first bring things to pass of a new creation, first spiritually, and then manifesting physically, all made possible through the fruits of the atonement.
Faith in Christ, and all good, real things, are all fruits of Christ’s atonement, for we can do no good thing without Him. Everything else is counterfeit, and cannot bring happiness, nor can they last.
Belief that Jesus Christ will help us in all we do and face, and then relying on His promises, while acting our part of faithful obedience in Him, upon inspiration from the Holy Spirit, is faith.
Repentance, is recognizing the error of our ways and actions, and feeling the necessary and helpful godly sorrow, rather than worldly sorrow, for what we did wrong. Worldly sorrow is sorrow for being caught or exposed. Godly sorrow is sorrow for doing the wrong thing and hurting God and His son Jesus Christ.
As part of godly sorrow, we must feel pain, sorrow and remorse for what we did wrong, for this is an important and necessary part of the repentance process. Godly sorrow works in us unto repentance, through the power of the Holy Ghost and prayer.
If the sin is of a certain seriousness, it must be confessed to a bishop, who is your local priesthood leader. He will help you on your pathway and road to repentance and recovery.
To receive the miracle of forgiveness, wherein God, through His Son, applies through the Holy Ghost, through the source of the atonement, the gift of forgiveness, is a process in which we are restored and made clean. We are also healed of any emotional and spiritual deficit incurred as well. We are purified through the cleansing fire of the Holy Ghost, both spiritually and physically, and made new and whole, being fully restored from the damage we suffered, from the sin we abused ourselves and others in. This is why we are also commanded to forgive all people, so we too can be forgiven. In this there comes a change of mind and heart, which change will also give us a fresh view about God, ourselves, and the world around us. It includes constantly turning away from sin, and turning to God for everyday forgiveness.
Repentance is motivated by a love for God, a deep desire to be clean, and a sincere desire to obey all His commandments.
Baptism, is the first saving ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and must be preceded by faith and repentance. It is necessary to be prepared and ready for baptism, to exercise proper repentance, and understand the covenants we will make at baptism.
Baptism symbolizes the old man of sin being buried in a watery grave, and the new man in Christ coming forth, or resurrecting unto a new creature alive in Him.
Baptism is only made sanctifying and efficacious for our physical as well as spiritual body, when it is performed by the proper priesthood authority, for as we must again accept our Savior in the flesh, as we once did in the spirit before being born in the flesh, we thus have the privilege of purifying our physical bodies as well.
Baptism is our physical and spiritual manifestation, that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and follow Him. The ordinance of baptism is the first of a two part requirement to enter God’s kingdom or church on earth.
Receiving The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the second requirement, and is a reception, wherein as we receive Him (The Holy Ghost), we can then be purged and healed both physically and spiritually.
Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost is a higher reception of the Holy Ghost, more so than is available to all other people, and gives the recipient entrance into the Lord’s kingdom. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we can supplicate God for the other spiritual gifts we need, to repent, and overcome all our weaknesses. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit can also be a continual companion, and give us an even stronger and growing influence of God and His Son Jesus Christ in our lives.
Through this gift, we can have full access to the atonement, along with having all the other saving ordinances of the gospel made available to us.
In short, these steps in becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are amazing, and just the beginning. We can all receive these blessings and more, which come from taking these first few steps.
There Is But One God
The Lord boarded the ship with the Twelve apostles on their way to minister and preach. The apostles were new to their call, learning much from the Lord about who He was, and what His church should be made of.
It was easy for them to have disputes common among them, about the words Jesus taught to them in private, intimate gatherings with Him. Often, the Father would use object lessons to help them with their learning, as Jesus did His part to minister and teach them.
On this occasion, as they sailed to the shore of their destination, Jesus, weary from His constant travels and travails over His learning disciples, lay down for a brief respite. It wasn’t long however, before His disciples disputed among themselves, concerning the many teachings they were receiving, most of which we do not have in the sacred Bible text. Teachings difficult to understand, without the proper worthy aid of the Holy Spirit.
As the disputes turned to anger and contention one with another, the Father used a lesson of urgency, to enlighten the duly called twelve apostles, who were to be charged to take the gospel to all the world.
Their actions and tempers were not appropriate, and were then reflected in the actions and tempest of the climate around them. As apostles they were not to behave this way. When they finally gathered their wits about them, by way of need, and feeling guilty about their unruly quarreling, they awoke the Lord, whom they knew was their only source of help for anything.
It was at this time, that the Lord, following through with the Father’s lesson, told them, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”
These words reflect the message they were to learn. “Ye can only understand His words by obedient faith.” Shane R. Brown
The words spoken by our Lord in love and chastisement, were meant to encourage and refine His disciples, with His perfect love and understanding.
A Fictitious Exchange In The Spirit of Giving
A scientist is at a dinosaur dig site, and approached by a young man of 30 years in age. The young man begins to ask the scientist questions about the dig site, the dinosaur species and science in general. The young man then says:
Young Man: Is this science your religion?
Scientist: Pardon me? Religion? No, this is science. My views are not closed in by religion.
Young Man: But Sir, according to definition, religion is a set of beliefs, attached to a specific field. Is this not so?
Scientist: I suppose, but with science, I work with evidence, to answer questions and find truth about the earth and universe.
Young Man: Yes, but according to definition, can it not also be said that science is your religion?
Scientist: No, I don’t believe so. Religion keeps man in ignorance.
Young Man: Well, let me ask you this question. If I were a foolish youth, who looked at you and your work and said, “You weren’t there millions of years ago. How in the world can you know anything about the dinosaurs? This is utter nonsense!” And when you tried to explain such things to me such as proof, and the scientific method, along with other truths and research, I denied and walked away saying, “Sounds far fetched!” What would you say?
Scientist: I would say that you are not open minded and foolish, but you can’t get rid of the evidence.
Young Man: Great response! Now this is a religion, a system of beliefs, wherein you can research, ask questions and get results.
Scientist: When you put it that way, than yes.
Young Man: OK. So it is with other types of religion. We may look at them and say, “How superstitious! This is far fetched!” But still, you can’t get rid of the evidence. The only difference between your religion, and the foolish youth, is that he scoffed at science, and you scoff at religions. You may think you are being open minded, but when you deny looking into the reasoning, methods and steps of religion, just as the foolish man didn’t want to explore, or even listen to your religion of science, we all can be more open minded. Let’s try to be so, whatever the field of religion.
Science and true religion work together, as long as both are correct. For some however, even evidence isn’t enough.
Finding Strength In The Master
For the Past Two Months I have been unemployed. As I have stretched myself through this learning and growing experience, I came across a video by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Lord in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In this, I came to know that there is a reason for this particular time and season in my life.
It is not just a test of my trust and faith, to learn to rely more on the Lord, but my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, has set up this time, to have us experience this effect of Him drawing me in, closer, and healing me while I partake of His presence and being. In this I have grown, and I am now prepared for a new look at life with a new and becoming job. One that will be a place where I can minister to others, and be His influence for them.
As I fully experience my life with my Lord, He takes the world out of me, and gives me His eternal world and kingdom in return. I can take my place as His special son, and become His sacred steward for what He would have for me.
As I prepare in this manner, for the job He has for me, I will be the man He makes of me, even to be as He. I bear my testimony, that as I embrace and access the fullness of the atonement of our Savior, in my relationship with Him, I will become closer to becoming more like Him.
This Kind Cometh Out Only Through Fasting
As I have the opportunity to fast for members of my family, I am reminded of at least three reasons why fasting and prayer are more efficacious than normal prayer. For one, as we are obedient to something that is a physical challenge, the Lord has more room to bless us. This because we are allowing our spirits to be in control over our physical bodies. Second, because while we go without food or drink, we are driven to consider our need, and in this, Christ is the resource of our aid, not food or drink. As we come unto Him for our needed spiritual and physical strength, we open up the door for a greater communion and unity with Him.
Because of our submission to the Holy Spirit, our wills are more aligned with God’s, and we recognize and honor Him as our sustainer and law giver. We promise to do His will, and yield ourselves unto Him. It is all three of these reasons and more, that give fasting a more purifying, purposeful and effective result.
And third, when I am struggling to get through and keep my fast, the actual suffering itself, with the persons or situations in mind, will experience a relief of their suffering, as the trials they are experiencing are then transferred with love, onto the one(s) fasting for their relief. The fact is, the faster or fasters, are drawing unto the Lord, and it is Christ who takes the pain and burden, as it is He who does so through the atonement for everyone anyway. Our part is to let Him. If someone is in need of extra help, we can be the means for them, of sharing the load, bringing us closer together, and letting Christ do His part.
It is a communal effort, in which loved ones combine, to cover an ailment of the one or many, and give them the strength to make it through. In other words, it is a labor of love.
Seek To Know The Savior & Understand His Atonement
The biggest half of accessing the atonement comes first, as we faithfully study the Lord, his commandments, and all things pertaining to faith, hope, trust, charity, purity and repentance. In essence, the gospel. As we do this, we are already using the atonement in this regard, to heal and make changes in our lives, hearts and minds. Then will come part B.
First, let me explain to you that it is the Holy Ghost, which administers every bit of the atonement in our lives, to our souls and bodies. When you have the Holy Spirit with you, granted as a gift from God, which He disposes of in degrees at His discretion, depending on the heed which we give to Him, you can have His presence stronger.
You can also have the Holy Spirit even stronger, and as a constant companion, if you are baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, becoming the recipient of The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This bestowal is different than just having the Holy Ghost.
When you have The Gift of the Holy Ghost, prompting you in some manner, whether in the form of testifying of Christ and His truths, or personally teaching you of a truth you need to know to heal, or reminding you of Christ and His loving ways and comfort, you can have this form of heavenly aid by your side always. The key is to obey every prompting and personal commandment the Holy Spirit providers. Utilizing this revelatory aid from heaven, is a source of great strength and healing.
God will use the atonement to help you have a higher path, brought about in your thoughts and feelings, all because the Holy Spirit, enabled through the atonement’s work, can assist you to have a higher, more elevated level of thoughts and feelings, thus providing healing and better outcomes in your life.
I will now explain the subject of this post in what follows, as it relates to the experience of accessing the atonement, in the case and needs of addiction.
There are many factors in line with addiction recovery, and many people’s experiences with it are different. Each proves to be a special, unique and specific road, wherein the Lord walks down each path individually with the individual.
Each person has specific needs, circumstances and trials, which need to be addressed. One thing is for sure though, even as a person is supposed to enter into daily personal prayer, scripture study and regular Temple attendance, as a member of Christ’s church, utilizing their knowledge of the gospel, they access the atonement and become better. Yet even so one thing is still missing – Part B.
One needs to personally invite the Savior Jesus Christ into their personal lives to help them. He needs to be their guide, and allowed to be the maker of all the calls and decisions, through the Holy Ghost, in their trusting, faith fulfilling pathway of recovery. Let Him in to do the work of preparing the way, and follow His lead in what he needs from and for you, with Him.
We need to actually be aware of Him in, and as a part of our lives, cognizant of the relations and interactions we are having with Him. To become truly converted through living with and for Him.
In this there is real life, the way God wants all of His children to live, with He as our guiding destiny.
Our Good Influence, Plus Faith & Priesthood
As we are literal children of our Heavenly Father and Mother, we too, as their children, can grow up to be like them. As such, we are Gods in the making, with their power and ability within us. As such, we, through their power and our faith and worthiness, can create things to be.
In our world, we see through our body’s physical eyes, the earthly things which are around us. Scripture tells us, all physical things are both physical and spiritual. The scripture states:
5 …all things were created spiritually before they were on earth. Moses 3:5
This means that every physical thing has its spiritual self, inside itself. However, there are spiritual things around us too, which must be considered.
This is where faith comes in. As stated before, everything is created spiritually before it is physically created. This means that through faith, word and deed, we can spiritually create things to be, through exercising our knowledge in Christ, and His will for our lives, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and under the sanction of heaven, and it will be physically manifested.
Generally speaking, I can have faith in Christ that I will be successful in school, living according to his plan and will for my life, outlined in the words and works of the prophets, and implement through the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, my studies and all aspects of my life. I will then do as God directs and have success, according to the nature and ways of God and His desires.
As I trust in God and His help and aid, it is then created and realized, through the process of faith and action to achieve that goal. For faith, is righteous belief, put into action. Or in other words, creation.
Be Happy In Your Trials
Have you ever been in a situation where you are feeling happy and content with yourself, when all of the sudden someone who doesn’t even really know you comes out and bitterly insults you right in front of others that you know and interact with directly on a regular basis? This happened to me yesterday, and is actually the inspiration for this post. Yes, this is proof that good, by nature is better, stronger, and always overcomes evil.
After this individual’s comment, I just basically ignored it and went on about my business working with, and interacting with my friends, and did what needed to be done. I didn’t add fuel to, or even feel very hurt by such a shocking comment by this bystander. I simply knew that I am alright in God’s eyes, and knew that this insinuation was false and a lie from hell. This person then left and went on his way.
My observation is this. Two forces, namely good, and evil. In this situation one was up against the other. My findings are as follows:
We all have an effect on each other, whether for good or evil. In this situation, my goodness and righteous light, came in conflict with this other person’s dark and unhappy form of misery. In an attempt to settle things down for his ends and means, this individual made those remarks, and the two forces met.
I was in my element, serving my Lord and God, and he was also in his unhealthy, untrue and selfish sin, trying to take down goodness and make his result mark.
The result, I was fine, went about doing my part, and the individual left. Here is the kicker, the point and reason for this whole post. He was effected. In what way? He was effected for good. He was not just left to go on his “merry” way trying to create misery. He was pierced by the truth, to know that he had lost to a superior power. He had to face the fact that his way had lost, and that it was not the ultimate force as he had been deceived to believe.
My point, don’t give up your light! Hold it up true and bright! It is the stuff love and truth is made of. It is and has the power to defeat all and every aspect of darkness. What happens when you turn on a light? We all know this. So don’t be afraid to be what needs to be, do what needs to be done. Say what needs to be said, and don’t what doesn’t. Sometimes silence speaks more truth than the intentionally closed ears for hearing. You will always be victorious!
Joseph Smith was victorious even in death. We are all victorious, as we do and follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in spirit and truth.
Let’s remember to never leave the path that leads us home. Let us be true disciples, vigorous in keeping the commandments, and being our true selves, true to our covenants. We are on the winning team, not only in the end, but now, in every single battle, no matter how small or big.
The Lord be with you and your family and life. Peace and blessings.