We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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“The Lord created all things spiritually before he created them physically.” (Moses 3:5).
The fall of Adam and Eve was foreseen by God, our Heavenly Father, and “was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us”. We lived as spirit children before this world and accepted this condition when we supported Heavenly Father’s plan of life.
Because of the Fall, we are were blessed with physical bodies, the freedom to choose between good and evil, and a commandment to ‘multiply and replenish the earth’ with the opportunity to gain eternal life. None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden.
After Adam and Eve ‘fell’ from the presence of God and became mortal, we needed a Savior so we could live again and return to our Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior before the world was created.
In order to “choose between good and evil”, Satan, the father of lies who was denied a physical body, was allowed to exist here on earth and to tempt the souls of man to do evil and to live in everlasting misery with him thus completing the law of “opposites in all things”. He teaches that there is no sin, that it’s natural and if it feels good, do it.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”1 Corinthians 2:14
“Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.” D&C 67:12
“For the naturalman is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3:19
“And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe.” D&C 29:43
We are blessed to be living during these last days; often called “a great and dreadful day”. My brothers and I wrote a song for “The Plan” album called “It’s Gotta Be The Last Days.” The lyrics of what “some day it will be”, have now all been fulfilled! The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all righteousness has now been restored to the earth and so has the fullness of all wickedness!
This life is a TEST! Just as answers to a test at school must be hidden, our memory of our pre-exisence life was hidden ‘for a wise purpose’. Our ‘test’ in life is about our freedoms and in choosing good versus evil. We all will make mistakes and Jesus knew it. Thus, He gave His life to pay the price for our sins if we would but with faith come unto Him and repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and to endure to the end, controlling the natural man and woman.
Marriage is ‘ordained of God’ and a partnership with God. It 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 terninating a life has serious responsibility and consequences!
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. We will be judged by our hearts and those choices we have made and will be assigned to dwell in one of God’s mansions in heaven or sent to outer darkness or hell with Satan. Those who have taken upon themselves further binding covenants in the House of the Lord, will be reunited as families for all eternity.
I have enjoyed many years of sharing my music and talents with many people around the world. I have great memories of traveling with my family and making so many forever lasting memories and trusting friends. I still love and enjoy music, creating live events, productions and publishing, and feel it most important ‘at such a time as this’ to ‘not fear man, but to fear God’, and to be honest and share with everyone those truths that last forever that give purpose and reason for living. I have always promised myself to be ‘a publisher of truth’. To fear God is to love God; which I do!
Our success and careers in life are important but most importantly is the success of the eternal assignments of life from within the family as a mother and a father. We are born, nurtured, educated, we explore, experience and learn; we fall in love, marry, and with the proper union of a man and a woman and a partnership with God, we are able to bring forth life that lasts forever; a posterity. Besides being a commandment, this is ‘God’s work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’, of which we are. He is a Creator. As a pony always becomes a horse, a chick a hen, and ‘like father like son’; ‘like mother like daughter’, we become like our heavenly parents; even creators of life. This is why we are here.
We are not here by chance but by design. As God’s spirit children, we experience life now housed within a physical body so we can create; learn good from evil, choose the way we wish to live, and work at overcoming the world ever progressing forward becoming more like our Heavenly Parents. It is God’s Plan of Happiness. Some may have trials in life and not get all of these opportunities and priveleges or be able to enjoy them but, God is mindful of everyone and as only He can, He has ‘the way’ and ‘the plan’ for them and all of us if we but trust in Him. May we not lose our focus by only trying to succeed in life that we get caught up with the pleasures, honors, and greed of this world and forget why we are really here!
Ever since my brothers and I started performing music at a young age, we would always gather together and offer a word of prayer before we set foot on the stage and ask the Lord’s blessings to be with us and those in the audience. We prayed that they might feel the love that we had for them and sence our purpose as a family in sharing the great message of the Lord through our lifestyle and music. As Suzanne and I publish various ways to help “strengthen the family”, we ‘sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and are ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear’.
It is our prayer that we all will be seekers of truth, pray always, and “overcome the world” as we prepare for the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, God is the same yesterday, today and forever and so are His Commandments. Let’s pass this “TEST” of life and turn this “TEST” into a “TEST imony” of Jesus Christ that we may live eternally with Him once again. God’s doctrines are true. If one does not agree, it’s only that they don’t understand them. May we each seek the Lord’s words and ways by reading the scriptures, knock on His door through prayer with any questions with humble tears asking for help with our challenges, and receive through the Holy Ghost those answers and guidance knowing that with faith all things are possible to those that love the Lord is my prayer.
May God be with you till we meet again,
“Strengthening The Family” – Spiritually
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:16
Can we talk? Are you prepared for this world and for the next?
In life, when we are young, our parents usually work hard to teach and train us so that we will be prepared to meet life’s challenges as we grow up in this world. It is a joy for parents to see their children learn and improve and have all the opportunities that they had, or didn’t have, and more. They send us to schools, help us develop our talents, do things with us and take us places and have fun. They are to teach us truths and principles of right and wrong and how to be organized, get a job, and learn to work for those goals we desire. They usually correct us in our mistakes and try to set good examples of how we should act and behave in order to help us ‘get on our feet’ and to become independent and to live full lives. They spend much time and hopefully pray for our success and happiness so that we can receive the blessings that this life has to offer, or at least should have!
Those parents and their children who have prepared and have planned for their futures have put forth the effort and investment of learning and working for success in this world will usually find those things for which they had planned. But have they learned for themselves and taught their children about the next life? Have we been prepared for life after death, how to deal with it; or do we even believe in such a thing?
This is a most important question that everyone must ask of themselves and to find their own answers which are available. I remember when I did and expressed it in a song!
I wrote in my journal about a song that I wrote expressing these feelings called, “Are You Up There.” My journal records:
“I was in my bed in California late one evening having read scriptures, prayed, and pondered for a great amount of time as to what it was that was in my bosom that I NEEDED to “say”. I could feel it as though it were a physical object inside of me trying to get out. I would stare at the piano keys that were located at the foot of my bed. I was wide-awake but totally still and quiet for around 4+ hours. At about 2 or three o’clock A.M., something happened.
It was an emotional experience as I asked myself . . . “What are you trying to say?” “What is it?” It was like a light turned on . . . and got brighter. Here I was sitting up in bed with my pencil and pad of paper in hand and I started to write. Not only did I write lyrics to an inspired song but also, as I looked at the piano keys, I could see what the music cords and melody were to be. I hardly ever went back to check what I had written or made changes! When I finished I re-read the song and started to cry. I will NEVER forget that experience as long as I live! Someone was helping me. “
Are You Up There?
It could all end tomorrow, and where would I be? Does life go on or will it be the end of me? Seems a bit unfair to think that all I’ve learned and done belongs to no one.
Why should I cherish living if there’s no so called plan?
Why, I would have no future if it were left to man.
I can’t believe that we just happened and don’t know what for. There must be more.
Why should I trust in a love that I can’t have forever? Does it seem right to live a game of take-away? Should I want for children if there isn’t any more for them to live for?
Maybe I’m a pessimist – then maybe I’m not. One thing that I’d like to know is what I’ve got. I don’t want a miracle or to see you in the air, but are you up there?
Are you everywhere? Do you really care? Are you up there?
“I prayed to my Heavenly Father giving Him thanks as I knew that I had been inspired from another source, a very, very good source, for I could NOT have written these words or music myself. I could hardly sleep the rest of the night. I would lie there for the next few hours and re-collect my experience and thoughts. I wanted morning to come very badly so I could share this experience and song with my Brothers!”
Everyone hopes and wants to believe that this life has purpose and reasons to live; that someone cares and is watching over us. Even the atheist when facing death cries out, “Oh my God, please help me.” We can fear death or prepare for it by asking and studying the Holy Scriptures which have God’s and Jesus Christ’s words recorded about these things. We also can pray and ask if God is there and if the things the scriptures teach are true. Will you be talking or praying in vain? No!
As the lyrics to the song asks, it makes reason to believe that ‘there must be more’; that we didn’t just happen and that there was a ‘PLAN of Life’. Well, there is!
According to my faith and beliefs, we all lived before this world was with our Heavenly Parents and were born with a spirit body. We were taught truths and learned many things. We were told about God’s ‘Plan of Life’ and the creation that would happen. We had free agency to choose to come to this world or not via our earthly parents in order for us to obtain a body of flesh and bones in which would house our spirit bodies and be able to create life. This was all very sacred.
Without getting into a lengthy doctrinal article here, we all as children of God were prepared before we came to earth to gain a physical body like God, learn truths and choose between good and evil, and to become more like our Heavenly parents and to be given the opportunity or not to be proven or tested; to become parents and co-creators ourselves with God in bearing children here on earth. We were taught the laws of chastity and marriage and “to multiply and replenish the earth” in order to fulfill “God’s work and glory in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” This is what God does as a creator.
The Lord Jesus, the Son of God , came to earth to teach us and show by example the way we must follow and become in order to redeem us from our sins. He knew we would make mistakes and that it would take a God, or son of God, to be able to pay the price for our sins, which He did for us! “God is not the author of confusion “and “our ways are not God’s ways”, but we are His children and must obey His laws; and if not, we will pay a price. As always, we have our free agency and the power to choose.
In today’s world, there is a tendency to ignore and even deny God’s existence and to choose evil versus good, which anyone can do. That doesn’t mean that He isn’t still there! “The natural man is an enemy to God.” It takes effort and good choices and work in order to do good. God has always shown to us those things we must do in order to return to live with Him once again. He taught Adam and Eve and has spoken to us through His prophets over time about those sacred things and His plan of life. He gave us the Ten Commandments through Moses and spoke through other prophets. Jesus Christ was born and came to fulfill those commandments and we now must follow His words and laws that He gave us.
We have been promised all that God has with posterity and the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through our various lineages of which we were born. Our lineage is important and our posterity will derive us blessings. Though God separated us into twelve tribes and confounded our languages at the time of the Tower of Babel, it was all done for a wise purpose. God has not forgotten us but remembered each of us and His various tribes that He gave His words and promises to and commanded them to be recorded as with The Bible and The Book of Mormon. He will soon gather all the tribes together once again along with their records which have been hidden up to come forth. Jesus will also be returning once again.
God has continually told us that we can all return to heaven after we die to come forth after the resurrection to be judged of our works. He also has told us that, “In my house are many mansions.” “There is a glory like unto the stars, the moon and the sun. So also is the resurrection.” We will live in one of His mansions above of which laws we are able to live, or in everlasting darkness; hell.
Now the question:
So, have you prepared yourself to dwell with God once again? “The next world?” Have you read His words and listened to His prophets so that you know those things that you must do while here on earth in order to achieve the highest degree of glory In His Kingdom after this life? We are to follow Jesus’s example and with faith, repentance, and baptism by one holding the authority from Jesus, (children under the age of 8 years of age are innocent and have no need to be baptized), and to receive the Holy Ghost. There are also sacred covenants that the Lord’s people take upon themselves in The House of the Lord and have since the beginning of time. These are most important promises between you and God. This knowledge has always been upon the earth since Adam and Eve.
These truths are not secret but sacred and are available today but you must be worthy of receiving them. They are performed in the Holy Temples or The House of The Lord. Without them, you will not be able to return to live in the Celestial Kingdom, the highest kingdom of Heaven where God dwells, without them. Yes, God has prepared other kingdoms for those who cannot or are not willing to live the higher laws yet promises that you will be happy. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Some records from the Bible with many precious parts have been taken out of it and were lost from the Bible during the time of Constantine about 3-400 AD. The Lord knew this would happen and “will not be frustrated”. Thus, He had the tribes in various parts of the world record His words as He visited them after He was resurrected. These records with those missing truths will come forth before we are to be judged.
Again, it is WE, who must choose. God’s blessings are available to ALL, if they but seek them, learn them, and live His laws and keep His Commandments.
THIS IS WHAT WE EACH SHOULD BE SEEKING TO LEARN AND PREPARED TO LIVE!
Have you ever done something that seems familiar as if though you have done it before?
With the history of this world, there is such a pattern that keeps reoccurring where certain conditions keep repeating. So it is with the laws and battle of good versus evil in the gospel or church of life. Ever since the creation of this world, the laws of ‘opposites in all things’, has offered us choices in this world.
From ancient records we read it having occurred over and over again and it is now happening with us again in these last days!
“For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness;”
And the converse:
” And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.
And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.
And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.”
We each have ‘the power to choose’. For this purpose, have we come to this world to be proven in all things and to make known unto ourselves and our God the way of life we desire to live. Of course, those who choose wickedness will seem this to be absurd where as the righteous will acknowledge its validity.
The important fact is that we are living in the last dispensation of the fullness of times when the forces of righteousness and wickedness are both raging in their fulness upon the earth. As recorded in the history books of God’s children on earth, there has been recorded over time the dealings with these choices. There is also being recorded at this time the final choices we each are making in the battle over good and evil. We each will be on record with those choices we make.
Because Jesus Christ paid the price for our mistakes, if we choose to come unto Him and seek repentance, we can be forgiven of our past and be found standing in good stead again.
At the conclusion of this war, Jesus Christ will once again return to the earth to rule and reign in righteousness for a thousand years.
Ask yourself, “With which of the two forces do you stand and choose to live?”
When we return to our God above, how will ‘your song’ be sung?
When we are not doing what we know we ought to be doing and when we are not living the way we know we ought to live, we have a tendency to be unhappy. And make no mistake about it, we know when we are not doing what we ought to do because every one of us has a conscience. We are born with the Spirit of Christ, and we know instinctively what is right and what is wrong when it comes to our personal behavior. It offends that spirit when we allow ourselves and our values and standards to be manipulated by aesthetic propaganda in behalf of Satan’s lies.
Not all film or television or publishing or music is evil, because you and I both know that that is simply not true. There is much that is good in the media, and it can be a wondrous and marvelous thing and a blessing in our lives. But some of it is evil; there can be no other word to describe it.
In the media today, I think we would have to say that evil influence has a far more dominant influence than has the good.
We are in a war!
Our Heavenly Father and his beloved Son Jesus Christ have given a plan for us and our children, and we have the responsibility as parents and leaders to teach and protect all children throughout the world. Success will come as we become more expert and more able to harness the wonderful technology that the media has given to us and our families.
When we watch media we engrave certain thoughts on your minds and we carry it with us as we walk through life. Lets give the Lord equal time and share our thoughts, our time, our talent, and our attention. I know that we are all very busy with school and work and social responsibilities. This is a critical time in our lives when we are establishing a foundation for our families and our careers. There are many demands for our attention, and our time is limited by a wide variety of constraints. But as we learn to manage our time, be sure that we give the Lord His portion.
Establish a time and place to study the scriptures on a daily basis, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time. Pray regularly. Serve others faithfully. Those of you who are beginning your families, start now–even when your children are infants–to spend meaningful time with your family at home where good lessons are taught and pleasant family activities are shared. In the great scheme of things, these things take so little time. But the long-term benefits to you and to your families are infinite and eternal, and they will do much to prepare you and your children for the steadily increasing challenges of the future.
These are the last days. As has been foretold by God’s holy prophets since the world began, they are challenging times, and they are going to become even more challenging. So wherein is our safety? Where is our peace? Where is our joy? Where is our inner security?
Safety, peace, joy, and security are found only in the life and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of Almighty God. We must embrace His teachings, give up all of our sins, repent and do all that is in our power to do to come unto Him in a true spirit of discipleship, knowing perfectly well that it is through His grace that we are saved, even after all that we can do. And as we give ourselves to Christ, fully and completely, we find safety, peace, joy, and security in Him.
Does that mean we will not have turmoil or personal problems or sickness or family challenges or employment difficulties? Not at all. But it does mean that if our faith is anchored securely in our testimonies of Christ, we will be able to cope with whatever adversity comes our way, and we will be able to do so in a positive, faith-promoting manner. If we keep the eye of faith focused on Christ, we gain a broader view and an eternal perspective, and with that we can understand adversity from within the context of God’s eternal plan for all of His children. And we can find comfort in this life in the eternal safety, peace, joy, and security that He promises.
“Train up a child in the way he should go;
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
As we begin this new year of 2013, I found myself reading the scriptures and was impressed with how God has spoken to us and told us how we can make correct choices and know what is good or evil; that there are opposites in all things and everything can fit into one or the other categories.
We are at a critical path in time of this world when correct choices are most important as they will deternine our lives success and destiny. We are being bombarded and marketed by forces from both sides of truth as we live in these “great and dreadful days”.
As a husband, a father and grandfather, and one who has been most blessed to have see the world and meet so many people of all nationalities, colors and creeds, and to have many of them become my friends, I feel the need to “open my mouth”. (D&C 60:2) Also as a publisher of truth for the family, which is the basic unit of society and of God’s children which we all are, I feel the need to speak out that it might cause you to ponder about the course of life that we each are taking and to help us all realize whether we are being led towards light and truth or towards darkness and misery. God told us how we can tell!
As recorded in the scriptures, God is speaking to those “that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hopeby which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.”
We must remember “the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also. For behold, God hath said a man being evilcannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. For behold, if a man beingevil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God. And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with realintent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such. Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.
For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.
Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.”
This has been the case since the beginning of time and it is the same today! Now, here is a warning!
“Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evilto be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil. For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.”
This is the way!
“Whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know thelight by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged. Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.”
As we make our New Year’s resolutions, may we look deeper into our lives and see if there are things that should be removed or things that should be included in our daily pursuit of happiness. Let’s ask of ourselves:
Am I spending more time with those that I love?
Is my home like a house of God, and is love spoken here?
Is my mind being filled with violent media and crude entertainment, or is it being uplifted with knowledge of truth and reighteousness?
Do I have faith, hope and charity and do unto others as I would want them to do unto me?
Have I told my spouse and children how much I love them?
Do I fill my body with stimulants and garbage instead of whole and healthy foods with excercise to making it stronger?
Do I know who I am, why I am here, and where I am going after this life?
Do I pray and give thanks for the blessings I receive and reach out to others with a charitable heart and time?
The only things that we take with us after this life is our knowledge, experiences, our works, and the family with those we love.
I know that God lives and that Jesus is The Way; The One who will bring us together to live in peace and harmony.
I extend my prayers and blessings upon all those who follow us here at TheFamily.com and though we gift it freely, we make many friends and pray that we may touch some lives and hearts for good.
You are always welcome here and we hope that you will feel like a second home for you. We will be here for you and will always leave the light on, for good.
In closing, I leave you with what God has said to us:
“How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— But charity is the pure loveof Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purifiedeven as he is pure. Amen.”
If we can teach our children to love themselves, by precept and example, we can build in them and in ourselves, spiritual strength. In today’s society, the very word spiritual is often met with suspicion and resistance. Yet it is fundamental to who we are and how we conduct our lives. Spirit is by definition the “breath of life.” Our thoughts can infuse, expand, and enlarge that spirit.
“A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak, abject, and miserable by refusing to do so.”
To lift up our minds to noble and lofty thoughts is to acknowledge something outside of ourselves – some fundamental truth, be it Nature, God, the Universe, a belief or philosophy. Such ideals, thoughts, and values fill us with warmth and motivate us for good. From such comes the strength and resolve to do good, face any circumstance, and stand firm in our convictions.
Encouraging and building spiritual strength is at the core of strengthening families.
It is our goal at TheFamily.com to present uplifting, encouraging, and useful material in support of good thoughts, high ideals, virtuous action, and the Truth.
Through all the fast-paced changes occurring around us, we earnestly pray and work to ensure that the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ endure. Already some of them are in jeopardy of being lost. At the top of the list of these values and, therefore, prime targets of the adversary, are the sanctity of marriage and the central importance of families. They provide an anchor and the safe harbor of a home where each child of a loving Heavenly Father can be influenced for good and acquire eternal values.
Lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread. As we know, he is attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society—the family. In clever and carefully camouflaged ways, he is attacking commitment to family life throughout the world and undermining the culture and covenants of faithful and religious families. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions such as church and school can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), this responsibility ultimately rests on the parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is goodly parents who are entrusted with the care and development of Heavenly Father’s children.
The first instruction to Adam for his mortal responsibility is found in Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
“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. …
“… By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
We believe it is by divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation. But it is wonderful to see husbands and wives who have worked out real partnerships where they blend together their influence and communicate effectively both about their children and to their children.
The onslaught of wickedness against our children is more subtle and brazen than it has ever been. Building a strong family culture adds another layer of protection for our children, insulating them from worldly influences.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.
If not so, .. righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.
Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
And if ye shall say there is no law,
ye shall also say there is no sin.
If ye shall say there is no sin,
ye shall also say there is no righteousness.
And if there be no righteousness,
there be no happiness.
And if there be no righteousness nor happiness,
there be no punishment nor misery.
And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—
Behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.
Have you ever wondered why similar spiritual feelings permeate your soul whether you are reading the prayerful words of the Hebrew military commander Joshua . . . or General Washington? Or why your eyes get equally misty, and your heart similarly joyous, whether you are singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing . . . or the The Star Spangled Banner? Yes, you know it is a “choice land” given by God, but have you ever considered that perhaps there is a deeper connection — even deeper than you ever imagined — between Heaven and America?
Open your eyes to this deeper connection and learn how and why ancient prophets — from Jacob (Israel), Joseph, Daniel, Jeremiah and Isaiah — foresaw the United States and knew of its divine ordination. Besides the advent of the Messiah, there were few things that almost all ancient prophets saw. America was one of them!
More astonishing, perhaps, is the idea that the fathers of this nation — from the Pilgrims to the revolutionaries, to the patriots of the Civil War — knew they had been seen by the ancients!
Why else did the early settlers insist they were the “New Israel?” Why was George Washington’s scripture of choice an Old Testament prophecy about the gospel destiny of America? Why did John Adams seek a “Restoration,” and why did Jefferson directly prophecy that it would occur shortly after his death and that it would land upon the foundation of the Constitution? Why (and how) did Abraham Lincoln, like a prophet of old, fulfill ancient and modern prophecy? And how did God prepare him for the work he accomplished. Learn why history has repeated itself in the founding of latter-day Israel, and why the Founding Fathers felt such a profound connection (in life and death) to “temple” worship?
These are but samples that reveal the true nature and purpose of America. Other evidences include symbolic images on our dollar bill, miracles in war, a prophet’s warning, a president’s prayer, scriptures with cryptic meaning hiding in plain sight — pieces, clues, words and symbols that actually fit perfectly together. You may say, “How did I not see all this before?”
The key to assembling the pieces of unrest and in solving the puzzle, and to understanding the miracles that are found in an ancient promise from the God who created this nation is that there was and is The American Covenant.