Monday, November 21, 2016

The Savior's Return

The New Testament offers great insight into the return of our Savior from the Savior himself.  I am taking an online class at BYU-Idaho and we studied about this event in our readings this week.

As the Savior sat on the Mount of Olives his disciples came to him and asked about the signs of his second coming.  He started to share what some of those signs would be:

·         *There shall be wars and rumors of wars (Matt 24:6)
·         *Nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom (Matt 24:7)
·        *There shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (Matt 24:7)
·        *Many shall be offended, and betray and hate one another (Matt 24:10)
·        * False prophets shall rise (Matt 24:11)
·         *Iniquity shall abound, love of many shall wax cold (Matt 24:12)
·         *Fearful sights and great signs shall be from heaven (Luke 21:11)

As scary as some of these signs may be, Jesus also gave words of comfort to those whom he taught with the following:

·        * Settle it therefore in your hearts (Luke 21:14)
·        * But there shall not an hair of your head perish (Luke 21:18)
·         *Be not troubled: for such things must needs be (Mark 13:7)
·        * He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matt 24:13)

In Doctrine and Covenants 2:1 the Lord speaks about the priesthood being restored “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”  I know that we are living in this time.  The Savior himself told us what the signs would be before his triumphant return.  As we watch for these signs, we can take comfort as we prepare to see him again so that day can be a great day for us.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

To be not deceived...

This week in class, one of my classmates brought up something very interesting.  She shared something her professor had shared in his instructor notes and she shared it with us at our Pathway meeting. It was something I made notes of in my studies this week, so it was interesting that she should brought it up.

In Alma Chapter 30 of the Book of Mormon, we read about a man named Korihor, an antichrist, who tried to lead many away from the Gospel by spreading half truths and false-teaching. As Moroni was guided and directed to compile the Book of Mormon, I have no doubt that he knew exactly what we would need for our day to help us combat the antichrists we see all around us. Our Institute study guide quotes President Ezra Taft Benson who said: "The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means.  First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and his gospel....

"Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ.....God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time." President Benson said this in 1975, and I feel it has such meaning for us now 40 years later.

As the manual continues "By studying how Korihor sought to destroy the faith of the Nephites, you will better recognize those same destructive arguments in our day.  By studying Alma's response to Korihor, you will be better prepared to defend yourself and others from those who would destroy your faith."

I don't have time to share all the strategies that Korihor tried to use in trying to persuade the Nephites away from the Gospel, but I wanted to share what I gleaned as I finished reading this chapter. The adversary will tempt and try us and he will do all in his power to get us to stumble, but he will NOT be there for us when we fall. He doesn't care what happens to us after we make our mistakes, all he wants is for us to fall. I imagine him laughing when he feels he has been successful. In contrast, The love of our Savior is immeasurable! He has done and will all in His power to help us.  He loves us more than we can imagine!  He will be there for us every time we need Him,every time we stumble with open arms.

I hope that we can always live to be close to the Spirit, to have Him as a guide as we live in these times with so many "Korihors" around us and that we can recognize them for who they are.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Repentance and the power to change

In this weeks lesson there was a lot about repentance and being clean and the power to change.  We all know from the 4th Article of Faith that repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel.  We all at some point are going to have to repent.  The Savior is our key to repentance because it is through the Atonement that we can receive forgiveness when we repent and our sins are washed away and we become clean. Those of us who have gone through the repentance process can attest that it is one that can be very painful but is worth it.  Elder Holland said "Repentance of necessity involves suffering and sorrow.... In the process of repentance we are granted just a taste of the suffering we would endure if we failed to turn away from evil.... We learn that when repentance is complete, we are born again and leave behind forever the self we once were."

I find so much comfort in those words.  Additional comfort is that our Heavenly Father remembers our sins no more.  What most of us have a hard time with is we think that there are scars left after we have repented, that they are there to remind us of what we did in our past to help us not repeat those mistakes.  While I think that we will have times when we might think for a moment about our past, which we have been counseled by our Lord to not do, we can take comfort in the fact that those scars do not exist.  Elder Holland reminds us again with these words "To me, none of the many approaches to teaching repentance falls more short than the well-intentioned suggestion that 'although a nail may be removed from a wooden post, there will forever be a hole in that post.'..... where repentance is possible, and its requirements are faithfully pursued and completed, there is no 'hole left in the post' for the bold reason that it is no longer the same post.  It is a new post."

It is through true and honest repentance that we can be made clean through the Atonement and are given the power to change.  Elder Christofferson reminds us that "without repentance there is no progress."  Just as in the days of Alma, we live in a time when the Lord calls all to repentance and to be born again.  As we heed that call we can all take comfort in knowing we are on the path to returning to our Heavenly Father.