By Alan on Aug 21 in Blog tagged actions, Alan Osmond, blessings, chicken out, child, children, choice, choose, creator, Father, fatherhood, Fathers, forgiveness, get married, glory, God, good example, Grandfather, Heavenly Father, high standards, home, hysband, it takes two, Jesus Christ, lead, light, man, man and a woman, marriage, married, men need to be men, moral values, mother, multiply and replenish, nail scarred hands, ordained of God, out of the world, principles, protect, provide, rather see a sermon, relationship with God, repent, responsibility, righteousness, sacred name, sin, solid foundation, spirit body, spirituality, The Family, the power to choose, The World, thoughts, top priority, truth, values, work | 1 Comment
Fathers Need To Provide, Protect, and Lead The Family!
So, you are a Father! Congratulations!
I hope you are pleased!
Do you know what responsibility that name, “father”, places upon your shoulders?
The name “Father” is a powerful and sacred name because it reminds you that you are a ‘creator’ and responsible for every life that you make, or take. Make sure in how you use your sacred creative powers because you will be responsible for all of your actions and even your thoughts.
To bring a child into this world is an amazing miracle. It’s marvelous and good and it fulfills ‘God’s work and Glory’, “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”. (Moses 1:39) You should be grateful to your Mother and Father who gave you life because that’s how we all got here and what we are commanded to do. We are “to multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1), but it must be done in an orderly and sacred fashion.
We must return to the high standards of moral values of this world because if you should bring a child into this world wrongly or bring one who is unwanted, and you don’t step up and take care of that child and set a good example for them to follow or abort them, then you will be a held accountable and judged for your actions. There is a law: “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” If you don’t protect and teach your children correct principles, then the blame and punishment will fall upon your own head. Who said so? God did, who is our Heavenly Father and who created us all. Yes, in the case of abortion, there are some exceptions and special cases should the mother’s life be in jeopardy.
And how about your wife?
I hope you were married. If not, you should be! Get married and fix any problems, spiritually, emotionally, and do it quickly. Why? Because, marriage is ordained of God between a man and a woman. God is not the author of confusion. If you don’t start your marriage out right, then that’s how your children will become . . . . confused! He or she needs to know and feel that they are loved and that they belong and have purpose and place in life with roots grounded in a home built upon a solid foundation of love. Everyone that has ever lived had a Mother and a Father in order to get into this world. Why should their parents be separated or be taken away from them? It takes two to make a marriage and one to break it. Stay together and work things out, unless sin gets involved then again, repent.
Your best gift to your children and wife in this life will be in how you choose to live your life. Your greatest achievement in this world will be filled with work and serving your family and it will be tough because nothing good comes easy, but oh, what great memories and powerful and strong secure feelings of joy you will have inside with a peace of mind knowing that you have chosen good values and principles and have lived them from the very start. If you have not, and have made mistakes or were born into such circumstances, then you also have the power to seek forgiveness and to change, which is made available to all through your Savior, Jesus Christ. He did not come to this world to get applause from us clapping our hands, but to rescue us with His nail scarred hands! Let Him!
The name Father is the greatest title you will ever have but do you realize that with it, you are not the only father to your children? The Father of your spirit body inside your physical body and of every child that was ever born came from our Heavenly Father! He is our Creator. What a great heritage it is to be a descendant and a child of God! We don’t remember who we are and where we came from for a very wise purpose. We will someday! But until then, we do know we lived with our Father in Heaven as spirit children before we came to earth and that we can return back home again if we do the right things.
We are all literally children of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life. As His children, we can be assured that we have divine, eternal potential and that He will help us in our sincere efforts to reach that potential.
God our Father is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”. (D&C 130:22)
As the Father of your children and co-creator with your wife, you now have important responsibilities along with major blessings that will extend throughout life and for all eternity if you follow ‘The Way’ that Jesus Christ has shown us and taught us to live.
Father’s are to provide, protect, and teach their children and they do it best by example, as expressed in one of my favorite poems.
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely point the way.
The eye’s a better pupil, more willing than the ear.
Fine council is confusing but, example always clear.
And the best of all the preachers is the one who lives his creed.
For to see good put in action, is what everybody needs.”
To be married and exceptionally busy with raising a family in today’s world can be very challenging. Marriage itself is often side stepped ignored, or doesn’t happen at all and “stuff” that money can buy seems to be the top priority with what people want the most. Yet, a loving partner and a family with children that depends on you as a father, is one of the most fulfilling jobs a man can ever do. It’s not easy raising a family but the blessings are ‘out of this world’! When you are about to leave this world and die, you won’t look back and wish you had spent more time at the office or calculate all the things you’ve acquired in this world because they will be worthless. But, you’ll count your many blessings and those tender and loving words and expressed moments and life-changing times you spent with those you love. The only things you will take with you when you die and go to your heavenly rewards in paradise is yourself and those you love. In the Bible, John 14:2 says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you so. I go to prepare a place for you.” Whichever “mansion” or place we will be assigned, it will be based upon our works and whether or not they were good or bad.
So since you are still alive today and you want to make a difference in your life, find out who you are and why you are here. Learn what you are supposed to do and to become in this life in order to prepare for a better life in the world and to live in the highest mansion in heaven after this world is through.
Start today by taking a good hard look in a mirror and decide that you are going to make the best choices in choosing good versus evil. What we choose in life says a lot about a person and it is one of the most important reasons why we came here. We came here to be tested to see what we are really made of and what we are worthy of becoming. Let’s pass the test with flying colors by remembering who we are. We are God’s kids! Our ‘Father’ wouldn’t have us go through all of this hard work of experiencing and learning, bumping our noses and being tested without good reasons or a wise purpose!
Study and pray in order to understand your relationship with God. Take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and always remember Him because you will not get anywhere after this life without His forgiveness and help in paying the price for our mistakes and sins; unless of course you enjoy sin and want to dwell in everlasting darkness with the devil, the father of all lies.
Life can become very honest and real. ‘Truth is light’, and there is a plentiful amount of truth in this world. But there are also opposites in all things as well which means there’s a lot of evil and darkness, too! There are false truths or lies with passions of darkness that appeal to “the natural man” which is ‘an enemy to God’. Just because if feels right and everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right! Sin is easy. Anyone can do it. It takes a man with principles to stand up against temptations. Each of us will have our critics, but we each must decide our own destiny! They problem is we must act now as the signs of the times are upon us and we are living in the last days.
We were all born with free agency to choose good or evil and to be what we wish to become. Yes, sometimes there are situations where our freedoms have been challenged by vises or by ‘wicked and conspiring men’ but when it comes to making correct choices of character and values, you still will have the power to choose. (By the way, this also applies to being a good woman, as well!)
Do yourself a favor and put away the ego and pride and save your macho self a whole world of hurt by standing up for the good in this world by doing what’s right instead of choosing wrong and evil things! They all are here and available and you must choose. One is worth it and the other is worthless. It reminds me of a verse in a song lyric that I wrote called,
“Men Need To Be Men”.
“Men, need to be Men. Have the guts to be their creation.
Every where, in every nation be a family!
Men, need to be men. Love their wives and never leave them.
Raise their kids, cause they conceived them, be men!”
“The Savior has always been the protector of those who would accept His protection.
He has said more than once, “How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth
her chickens, and ye would not” (3 Ne. 10:5).
Now, go back and look at the image above that I chose of the rooster who so boldly steps forward on the wooden plank over the running stream below him as an example to his family of hens who watch intently and carefully from behind. They will follow! When a man knows what he wants in this world and steps up to the challenges of life, raising the bar of goodness and righteous and with courage chooses well as a husband and father, those who look up to him, his wife and family, will feel secure and will follow him all the way! So it is with you! This is why you were born a male, a man, and a father . . . to lead, to protect, to nurture and to provide. Work hard at it! Sometimes thoughts will come into your mind and then you start to question yourself. But remember, that just as a flock of birds may be flying in the sky, you can’t stop them from flying over your head but you CAN stop them from making a nest on your head!
Live your life righteously, spiritually, and with joy and enthusiasm with the desire to become all that you can be. By doing so, you will know and feel life’s greatest rewards because you will be doing the right thing and that spirit will confirm so within you and will let you know by the ‘warmth you feel inside and within your heart’ knowing that you are doing the right thing. And after all of the challenges and tests that can be placed upon you have beaten you down and seem to leave you hopeless, remember that the Lord who suffered all knows and remembers you well and it is then that those ‘tests’ become a ‘test’-imony of all that is right and good. You then will deserve the love and the confidence of those who bless your name because of your faith and desire you have to become the best man, husband and father that any guy could ever be!
May God Bless you fathers!
A husband, father and grandfather,
By Alan on Apr 18 in Blog tagged attack, body, commandments, eternity, Father, female, forgiveness, gender, Glory of God, God's plan, heritage, House of the Lord, Jesus Christ, male, marriage, mother, priesthood, proclamation, Proclamation To The World, responsible, selfishness, sexual purity, society, spirit, Strengthen, temple, The Family, together, transgression, under attack, warning, work | 1 Comment
YES! The Family Pulling Apart!
YES! “All across the world families are pulling and falling apart. The place to begin to improve society is in the home. Children do, for the most part, what they are taught. We are trying to make the world better by making the family stronger”, said President Gordon B. Hinckley at the general Relief Society meeting in September 1995 who explained why we have been given “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” now! Since that time, it has been reprinted in many languages for families throughout the world. It has also been presented to government leaders in many lands.
Look around at our communities and nation today and you will understand why we need to heed the counsel and warning from our prophets and the scriptures and remember that “The Family is central to God’s plan.”
Is this happening in your family?
The proclamation states that marriage and family are “ordained of God” and “central to [His] plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. Why is the family central to God’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children? (See D&C 131:1–4; 1 Corinthians 11:11.)
The proclamation also states that we are all spirit children of God, created in His image (see also Genesis 1:26–27). When a Mother and Father create a body for a child, one of Heavenly Father’s Spirit children enters that body. Everything is created spiritually before it is created physiclally. We are taught from the scriptures about our potential and reminds us that we all are members of Heavenly Father’s family which should affect the way you feel about our earthly families and give us the desire to become stronger families.
Sacred ordinances or promises with God make it possible for families to be together eternally.
Knowing that we will live forever after this life should help us understand that the experiences we encounter in this life will help us in our eternal progression. It helps us understand why marriage is necessary for the family to be eternal together. The Holy Temples, the House of the Lord, is where marriages are performed for time AND for all eternity and where promises or covenants with the Lord are made so that families may be together forever. Knowing this forever purpose of the family will help parents prepare their children to follow in the same like manner and affect the way we treat family members now.
The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen, and bless our families, our friends, and our neighbors—in other words, to do the things that the Savior would do if He were ministering among us today. And the primary purpose of this priesthood power is to bless, sanctify, and purify us so we can live together with our families in the presence of our heavenly parents, bound by priesthood sealings, participating in the marvelous work of God and Jesus Christ in forever expanding Their light and glory. This-is-my-work-and-my-glory.
The power to create mortal life is sacred.
God has spoken through our Prophets declaring the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations. This is why obedience to God’s commandments is so important.
God is “the same yesterday, today and forever” and so are His commandments. With His ‘Plan of Happiness’, our spirit bodies will one day return back to heaven. The body cannot live without the spirit and so when it’s time to return, we will physically die; but, we continue to live spiritually. Jesus is the way and reason we all will be resurrected because of His atonement. When we do, our spirits will be reunited once again with our physical bodies never to be separated again.
Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Children are the inheritance of the Lord to us in this life and also in eternity. Marriage and Eternal life is not only to have forever our descendants from this life. It is also to have eternal increase.”
Marriage is ‘ordained of God’ and a partnership with God and is most important. When the union of man and a woman co-create a life, one of God’s spirit children enters that child’s physical body as well giving it life. This brings responsibility and accountability for that spirit. The misuse in causing or terminating a life has serious responsibility and consequences!
We can understand why our Heavenly Father commands us to reverence life and to cherish the powers that produce it as sacred. If we do not have those reverential feelings in this life, how could our Father give them to us in the eternities?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apolstes taught: “The body is an essential part of the soul. We declare that one who uses the God-given body of another without divine sanction abuses the very soul of that individual, abuses the central purpose and processes of life. In sexual transgression the soul is at stake—the body and the spirit.”
It is most important that parents help children understand the importance of moral cleanliness. They should review with their children the teachings of sexual purity.
Parents have a sacred duty to care for each other and teach their children.
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity.”
Children are blessed when they have parents who love and care for each other. Parents are responsible to teach their children. (See Mosiah 4:14–15; D&C 68:25–28; 93:40.) Parents should find effective ways to teach these principles as they were taught; perhaps in family home evenings, family prayer, mealtime, bedtime, traveling together and working together.
The role of the Church is a secondary role in teaching children with Sunday School and other activities.
Successful marriages and families are based on righteous principles.
The proclamation teaches that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings can bring happiness into your home. “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
What are the primary responsibilities of fathers? One responsibility is to “preside … in love and righteousness”. (See D&C 121:41–46.) Boys and young men can prepare themselves now to provide for their families by encouraging them to gain a formal education and learn practical skills. Young women can also prepare themselves to fulfill the responsibility of being mothers and returning to the old and sacred values which begin in the home. It is here that truth is learned, that integrity is cultivated, that self-discipline is instilled, and that love is nurtured. Mothers, guard your children. Nothing is more precious to you as mothers, absolutely nothing. Your children are the most valuable thing you will have in time or all eternity. You will be fortunate indeed if, as you grow old and look at those you brought into the world, you find in them uprightness of life, virtue in living, and integrity in their behavior. This is also important for fathers to nurture their children because as parents, you should help each other as equal partners.
The proclamation concludes by warning of the serious consequences of family disintegration and by calling upon all people to strengthen the family. Individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
President Gordon B. Hinckley told a gathering of mayors and other public officials: “To you men and women of great influence, you who preside in the cities of the nation, to you I say that it will cost far less to reform our schools, to teach the virtues of good citizenship, than it will to go on building and maintaining costly jails and prisons. … But there is another institution of even greater importance than the schools. It is the home. I believe that no nation can rise higher than the strength of its families.” Families must be strong in order for nations to survive.
The proclamation also warns that those “who abuse spouse or offspring … will one day stand accountable before God.” Church leaders have spoken out against abuse of any kind. The following quotation can be applied to both men and women:
“Never abuse your wives. Never abuse your children. But gather them in your arms and make them feel of your love and your appreciation and your respect. Be good husbands. Be good fathers.” Gordon B. Hinckley
Suzanne and I have both been blessed with “goodly parents” that put us first and taught us by example the way to become. We saw more sermons than we did in hearing them from our kind and hard working fathers and loving, nurturing and caring mothers who sacrificed their lives for us. It is now much easier for us as parents to know how to raise our children having watched our parents deal with the many challenges of raising a family today. Yes, it can be challenging in raising a family today but the blessings are literally “Out Of This World”!
For those who have wayward children and may have made mistakes themselves in the past, remember that a most important part of God’s plan of life through the atonement of Jesus Christ is that of repentance and forgiveness. To receive forgiveness through repentance, remember, Jesus is The Way.
When we were young as a nation, our forefathers promised to remember God and to keep His commandments. God in turn promised to protect us as a nation and to give us prosperity. We are concerned that the covenants or promises that we have made with God have been broken and are not being kept. If we see trubulation and hard times come into our lives and to our families, then it is only because we have broken our promises with God. He then, does not have to keep His covenants and promises either!
We are living during the last days, a “great and dreadful day”, when Satan is desperate to win as many souls of mankind and our families that he can. May we remember God, our Heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and put prayer and thanksgiving back into our homes, schools and nation. May we love one another and stop aborting innocent children who each have a spirit body within and keep God’s commandments so that we may be worthy of His love and blessings once again.
By Alan on Mar 04 in Blog tagged children of Christ, city of holiness, comfort, disobedient children, disputations, divorce, engaged in war, Enoch, financial problems, forgiveness, freedom from strife, gift of God, harmony, if untrue, in His hands, inner calm, inner peace, Joseph B. Whirthlin, live the principles, loss of self-respect, Millennium, no murders, no worry or fear, not afraid, not contention, of good cheer, of the Spirit, peace of heart, peace within, relationship with Jesus, righteousness, Satan be bound, second coming, The Family, the gospel, threatened, victory over Satan, wickedness, yielding to temptations, Zion People | Comments Off
In recent months, peace has been a very prominent topic on the minds of people throughout the world. When world peace was threatened, many countries found themselves engaged in war. The news media have shown vivid images of the ravages, suffering, and destruction of war and the turmoil it causes in individuals. It causes deep anxiety and disrupts families, employment, and schooling. It consumes resources that could be used to better advantage elsewhere. We pray now for a lasting peace when men “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: … neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isa. 2:4.)
In the scriptures, peace means either freedom from strife, contention, conflict, or war, or an inner calm and comfort born of the Spirit that is a gift of God to all of his children, an assurance and serenity within a person’s heart. The dictionary definition states that peace is a state of tranquillity or quiet, freedom from disquieting thoughts or emotions, and harmony in personal relations.
While we yearn for peace, we live in a world burdened with hunger, pain, anguish, loneliness, sickness, and sorrow. We see divorce with all of its attendant conflict and heartache, especially among the innocent children caught in the middle. Wayward, disobedient children cause their parents grief and anxiety. Financial problems cause distress and loss of self-respect. Some loved ones slip into sin and wickedness, forsake their covenants, and walk in their “own way, and after the image of [their] own god.” (D&C 1:16.)
The value of peace within our hearts cannot be measured. When we are at peace, we can be free of worry and fear, knowing that with the Lord’s help, we can do all that is expected or required of us. We can approach every day, every task, and every challenge with assurance and confidence in the outcome. We have freedom of thought and action, freedom to be happy. Even those incarcerated for lengthy periods of time as war prisoners can be at peace in their own minds. Many of them have learned from their captors that they cannot deprive them of freedom to think, even when the most harsh limitations are imposed. Few, if any, blessings from God are more valuable to our spiritual health than the reward of peace within. In modern-day revelation the Savior said, “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, evenpeace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (D&C 59:23.)
Despite dismal conditions in the world and the personal challenges that come into every life, peace within can be a reality. We can be calm and serene regardless of the swirling turmoil all about us. Attaining harmony within ourselves depends upon our relationship with our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and our willingness to emulate him by living the principles he has given us. He has extended to us an invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30.)
The phrase “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39), that the Savior uttered when he calmed the storm-tossed sea, can have the same calming influence upon us when we are buffeted by life’s storms. During the Passover feast, the Savior taught his disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) Referring to the teachings he had given to his disciples, Jesus said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.)
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul gave us one key to finding the peacepromised by the Lord. Paul taught, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6.)
One faithful mother of a large family learned to find peace by accepting the Savior’s invitation to come unto him and find rest. She lived in obedience to the commandments of God and had faith in the Lord, JesusChrist. Then she developed the practice of doing everything within her power to solve problems and meet challenges, and then, when she felt that she could do nothing more, she would cast her burdens upon the Lord and place the outcome in his hands.
LDS President David O. McKay said, “The peace of Christ does not come by seeking the superficial things of life, neither does it come except as it springs from the individual’s heart.” He said further that this peace is “conditioned upon obedience to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. … No man is at peace with himself or his God who is untrue to his better self, who transgresses the law of what is right either in dealing with himself by indulging in passion, in appetite, yielding to temptations against his accusing conscience, or in dealing with his fellowmen, being untrue to their trust. Peace does not come to the transgressor of law; peace comes by obedience to law, and it is that message which Jesus would have us proclaim among men.”
Earth life is a period of probation to provide an opportunity for choices. Two mighty forces are pulling in opposite directions. On the one hand is the power of Christ and his righteousness. On the other hand is Satan and the spirits who follow him. President Marion G. Romney said: “Mankind … must determine to travel in company with the one or the other. The reward for following the one is the fruit of the Spirit—peace. The reward for following the other is the works of the flesh—the antithesis of peace.” Further, he said: “The price of peace is victory over Satan.” We can know which one to follow because God has given everyone the Spirit of Christ to know good from evil and to protect themselves from sin. (See Moro. 7:15–18.) We sometimes refer to the Spirit of Christ as our conscience. If we follow its promptings, we can be free of sin and filled with peace. If we do not, but instead let our carnal appetites control us, we never will know true peace. We will be tossed “like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. … there is no peace, saith … God, to the wicked.” (Isa. 57:20–21.) If we damage or violate our conscience by ignoring it, we can lose that gift because we no longer are sensitive to it. We will be beyond feeling, beyond the influence of that Spirit. (See 1 Ne. 17:45; Eph. 4:19.)
Though we abhor war, peace nearly always has been more a dream than a reality. During most of the world’s history, strife, dissension, and conflict have flourished and displaced peace. The times when peace has reigned, it began in the hearts of righteous, obedient individuals and grew until it engulfed a society. We have at least two scriptural accounts of periods of absolute peace and a third that is yet to come.
The first of these periods of peace was among the people of Enoch, who lived before the great flood. They continued in righteousness, and “the Lord came and dwelt with” them. He “called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness.” They “built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion” that, in the “process of time, was taken up into heaven.” (Moses 7:16–21.)
The second period of peace followed the ministry of the resurrected Jesus among the Nephites. They abolished the works of evil and obtained the fruit of the Spirit. Quoting from the Book of Mormon: “The disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ. … And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost.” (4 Ne. 1:1.) Consequently, “there were no contentions and disputations among them” (4 Ne. 1:2) “because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness.” (4 Ne. 1:15–16.) “They were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.” (4 Ne. 1:17.) “And every man did deal justly one with another.” (4 Ne. 1:2.) “And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Ne. 1:16.)
Peace prevailed among the Nephites for almost two centuries. Then some of them deserted the teachings of Jesus Christ and turned to selfish pride and wickedness. Within another two centuries, the Nephite nation that had enjoyed this long period of perfect peace had destroyed itself in savage civil war.
A third period of perfect peace will come during the Millennium. “Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men.” (D&C 45:55.) As they live the gospel of Jesus Christ, the righteousness of the people will banish Satan from their midst. We look forward to that day of universal peace and justice, when Christ will reign upon the earth.
These three instances show that peace, whether in a city, a nation, or other society, develops from peace that begins within the hearts of individuals as they live by the precepts of the gospel.
Peace is more than a lofty ideal. It is a practical principle that, with conscious effort, can become a normal part of our lives as we deal with matters both large and small. One habit that prevents inner peace is procrastination. It clutters our minds with unfinished business and makes us uneasy until we finish a task and get it out of the way.
Can anyone’s mind be at peace if he or she is unfaithful in even the least degree to marriage vows? How much mental anguish results from a little lying, cheating, or stealing even if they are never discovered? Do we have peace of mind if we knowingly violate traffic laws? Or do we watch nervously for the ever-present policeman? Do we have peace of mind if we are not honest with our employers and do not give fair value for the pay we receive? Are we at peace if we are less than honest regarding our tax returns?
Church members are obligated to seek inner peace not only for the blessing it is to them but so they can radiate its influence to others to establish peace. They are to “manifest brotherly love, first toward one another, then toward all mankind; to seek unity, harmony and peace … within the Church, and then, by precept and example, extend these virtues throughout the world.”
If sin has deprived us of peace within, we can repent and seek forgiveness of our sins. The Lord said that he “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.” (D&C 1:31–32.) Elder Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “The essence of the miracle of forgiveness is that it brings peace to the previously anxious, restless, frustrated, perhaps tormented soul. In a world of turmoil and contention this is indeed a priceless gift.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, p. 363.)
My brothers and sisters, we can be at peace if we “let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly.” (D&C 121:45.) The power is in us as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. He and his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, have provided the way for us to be at peace. We can enjoy that peace of God which passeth human understanding. (See Philip. 4:7.) We can enjoy it personally, within our families, in our communities, in our nations, and in our world if we will do the things that produce it. This peace leads to happiness.
Our Heavenly Father lives and he knows and loves each one of us. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, and yes, the Prince of Peace.
JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
For The Family
By Alan on Apr 17 in Blog tagged confess, dangers of procrastinating, forgive others, forgiveness, forsake, make restitution, Mormon, principles of repentance, recognize our sins, repentance, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family, theFamily | Comments Off
What Is Repentance?
Repentance is the way provided for us to become free from our sins and receive forgiveness for them. Sins slow our spiritual progression and can even stop it. Repentance makes it possible for us to grow and develop spiritually again.
The privilege of repenting is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In a way we do not fully understand, Jesus paid for our sins.
President Joseph Fielding Smith said of this:
“I have suffered pain, you have suffered pain, and sometimes it has been quite severe; but I cannot comprehend pain … that would cause the blood, like sweat, to come out upon the body. It was something terrible, something terrific. …
“… There was no man ever born into this world that could have stood under the weight of the load that was upon the Son of God, when he was carrying my sins and yours and making it possible that we might escape from our sins.”
Repentance sometimes requires great courage, much strength, many tears, unceasing prayers, and untiring efforts to live the commandments of the Lord.
What Are The Principles Of Repentance?
President Spencer W. Kimball declared: “There is no royal road to repentance, no privileged path to forgiveness. Every man must follow the same course whether he be rich or poor, educated or untrained, tall or short, prince or pauper, king or commoner.”
We Must Recognize Our Sins.
To repent, we must admit to ourselves that we have sinned. If we do not admit this, we cannot repent.
We cannot hide any act of our lives from ourselves or from the Lord.
We Must Feel Sorrow For Our Sins.
In addition to recognizing our sins, we must feel sincere sorrow for what we have done. We must feel that our sins are terrible. We must want to unload and abandon them. The scriptures tell us, “All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and … have truly repented of all their sins … shall be received by baptism into his church.”
We Must Forsake Our Sins.
Our sincere sorrow should lead us to forsake (stop) our sins. If we have stolen something, we will steal no more. If we have lied, we will lie no more. If we have committed adultery, we will stop. The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”
We Must Confess Our Sins.
Confessing our sins is very important. The Lord has commanded us to confess our sins. Confession relieves a heavy burden from the sinner. The Lord has promised, “I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts.”
We must confess all our sins to the Lord. In addition, we must confess serious sins—such as adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, spouse or child abuse, and the sale or use of illegal drugs—which might affect our standing in the Church, to the proper priesthood authority. If we have sinned against another person, we should confess to the person we have injured. Some less serious sins involve no one but ourselves and the Lord. These may be confessed privately to the Lord.
We Must Make Restitution.
Part of repentance is to make restitution. This means that as much as possible we must make right any wrong that we have done. For example, a thief should give back what he has stolen. A liar should make the truth known. A gossip who has slandered the character of a person should work to restore the good name of the person he has harmed. As we do these things, God will not mention our sins to us when we are judged.
We Must Forgive Others.
To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord. We are not fully repentant if we do not pay tithes or keep the Sabbath day holy or obey the Word of Wisdom. We are not repentant if we do not sustain the authorities of the Church and do not love the Lord and our fellowmen. If we do not pray and are unkind to others, we are surely not repentant. When we repTent, our life changes.
President Kimball said: “First, one repents. Having gained that ground he then must live the commandments of the Lord to retain his vantage point. This is necessary to secure complete forgiveness”
How Repentance Helps Us.
As we repent, the Atonement of Jesus Christ becomes fully effective in our lives, and the Lord forgives our sins. We become free from the bondage of our sins, and we find joy.
Alma recounted his experience of repenting from his sinful past:
“My soul was harrowed up [troubled] to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
“Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
“… So great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.
“… It came to pass that as I was … harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy … concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
“Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me. …
“And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more. …
“And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
“… There can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy” (Alma 36:12–14, 17–21).
The Dangers Of Procrastinating Repentance.
The prophets have declared that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32). We should repent now, every day. When we get up in the morning, we should examine ourselves to see whether the Spirit of God is with us. At night before we go to sleep, we should review our acts and words of the day and ask the Lord to help us recognize the things for which we need to repent. By repenting every day and having the Lord forgive our sins, we will experience the daily process of becoming perfect. As with Alma, our happiness and joy can be sweet and exquisite.
Steps To Repentance.
10 And again, believe that ye must of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in of heart that he would you; and now, if you all these things see that ye them.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have of his love, and have received a of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own , and his and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of , on the name of the Lord daily, and standing in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the of God, and always a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
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