Winning The War Against Evil
By Alan on Feb 17 in Blog tagged angels, armour of God, Christ, darkness, devil, dragon, evil, evil day, faith, flesh and blood, fought, God's kingdom, gospel preparation, high places, history, John the Revelator, last days, of God, peace, powers, Premortal life, principalities, righteousness, rulers, salvation, serpent, spirit, stand, the war, the whole, the whole armour, war, warriors, wickedness, Winning, world | Comments Off
You were entrusted to come to the earth in these last days to do again what you did before—to once again choose good over evil.
The flood of pornographic filth, the inordinate emphasis on sex and violence are not peculiar to North America. The situation is as bad in Europe and in many other areas. The whole dismal picture indicates a weakening rot seeping into the very fiber of society.
Legal restraints against deviant moral behavior are eroding under legislative enactments and court opinions. This is done in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice in so-called personal matters. But the bitter fruit of these so-called freedoms has been enslavement to debauching habits and behavior that leads only to destruction. A prophet, speaking long ago, aptly described the process when he said, “And thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell” (2 Ne. 28:21).
Good Versus Evil
You and I have come into the world at a most significant time. We are entering the final stages of a great war. This war commenced before the foundations of the world and has been pursued with awful consequence throughout the world’s history. I speak of the war between the followers of Christ and all those who deny Him as their God. 1
John the Revelator wrote concerning this war:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
“And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” 2
It was Satan who instigated this premortal war. He did so by rebelling against our Father’s plan of salvation for His children and rejecting the Christ, who was designated to effectuate the plan. Tragically, a third of our Father’s children followed Satan. 3 Yet two-thirds did not. You were among these, and with them have come to earth to pursue the Father’s plan of happiness.
Unfortunately, Satan’s war did not end with his expulsion from heaven. As John observed, Satan and his followers were “cast out into the earth” 4 and have come here with “great wrath.” 5 The evidence of their wrath can be seen in the blood and horror that has afflicted man from the beginning of time.
So profound and extensive have been the wounds suffered among men that God Himself wept as He surveyed man’s condition. 6
We now find ourselves in the last days of this earth’s temporal history. In a coming day, our Father’s Son will return to the earth from which He was rejected and reclaim it as His own. 7 In that day, He will subdue Satan and his legions and usher in a thousand years of peace and righteousness. 8 In anticipation of that day, God has restored His kingdom to the earth one last time.
While God’s kingdom has been established on the earth in times past, the people to whom the kingdom was previously committed were unable to keep it. This time, however, is different. The prophetic promise is that this time God’s kingdom will not be lost but will overcome the world. 10
To ensure its ultimate success, the final restoration of God’s kingdom has been commenced with unprecedented spiritual power 11 and is being sustained by that same spiritual power and something more. Reserved to come forth in these last days and labor for our Father and His Son are some of the most valiant and noble of our Father’s sons and daughters. Their valiance and nobility were demonstrated in the pre-earth struggle with Satan. There, “being left to choose good or evil,” they “[chose] good” and exhibited “exceedingly great faith” and “good works.” 12 Such are the traits that are now needed to sustain the work of God in the earth and to save the souls of men from the intensifying wrath of the adversary.
You are the strength of the Lord’s house, His warriors!
You are those who chose good over evil and who exhibited “exceedingly great faith” and “good works.” And because of your personal history, you were entrusted to come to the earth in these last days to do again what you did before—to once again choose good over evil, exercise exceedingly great faith, and perform good works—and to do so in behalf of the kingdom of God on the earth and your fellowman!
Satan knows that “he hath but a short time.” 14 Therefore, Satan is marshalling every resource at his disposal to entice you into transgression. He knows that if he can draw you into transgression, he may prevent you from marrying and securing your future children in the faith. He knows that nothing can overthrow God’s kingdom “save it [be] the transgression of [his] people.”15 Make no mistake about it—the focus of his war is now on you—you who seek to “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 16
The days that lie ahead are “perilous.” 17 In this regard, President Boyd K. Packer has observed:
“I know of nothing in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds in wickedness and depravity that which surrounds us now.” 18
In referring to the perils of our day, I do not intend to inspire fear, but soberness. Being sober means being earnest and serious in assessing your circumstances and careful and circumspect in weighing the consequences of your actions. Soberness therefore yields good judgment, as well as measured conduct.
So, as we enter the final climactic stages of the war against Satan, be sober. Understand that you cannot partake of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. You cannot participate in pornography or other immoral activity. You cannot lie, cheat, or steal. You cannot use false, demeaning, or dirty language. You cannot deface your body with tattoos and other piercings. You cannot do these things and be victorious in the battle for your own soul, let alone be a valiant warrior in the great struggle for the souls of all the rest of our Father’s children. 23
Understand that there is only one way to win the war against Satan, and that is to win it in the same way it was won in the beginning.
When victory was finally achieved in the War in Heaven, a loud voice was heard to declare:
“Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ. …
“For they [referring to Michael and his angels] have overcome him [referring to the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; for they loved not their own lives, but kept the testimony even unto death.” 24
Do not miss the significance of this declaration. Satan was overcome in the beginning by (1) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice, (2) testimony of Him that was steadfastly kept to the very end, and (3) consecration of oneself to the Lord and His work. If this was the means for defeating him in the beginning, you can be sure that this is the one sure way to defeat him now. 25
These are your days! Do not squander them! Be sober! Take “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall … quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” 31 Then “fight the good fight of faith.” 32 And when you have done all, “stand” 33 still and “see the salvation of the Lord.” 34 I assure you that His salvation will come, delivering you and yours from every evil.
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shield of Faith
- Sword of the Spirit
- Shoes of Peace and Gospel Preparation
- Helmet of Salvation
Turn The Heart Of The Children To The Fathers
By Alan on Mar 27 in Blog tagged agency of man, before we were born, between the fathers and the children, continue to progress, eternal life, Family History, firstborn, Heavenly Father's Plan, Jesus Christ, Kingdoms of Glory, life after death, Lucifer, mortal life, mortality, Newsletter, of the children, osmond.org, pass that legacy on to our children, plan of happiness, premortal, Premortal life, Son of the Father, The Family, The Plan of Life, The Plan of Salvation, to the fathers, turn the heart, welding link, Where did we come from, wherre do we go after this life, why are we here | Comments Off
…Turn The Heart Of The Children To The Fathers
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where do we go after this life?
Through family history work, we can learn about our ancestors and increase our love for them. We can be inspired by their stories of courage and faith. We can pass that legacy on to our children. All of the family history endeavors are directed to the need to form a “welding link—between the fathers and the children” (D&C 128: 18).
We are participants in Heavenly Father’s plan, and our eternal experience can be divided into three main parts:
Life after death.
As we come to understand the plan, we find answers to questions asked by so many: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after this life?
Before we were born on the earth, we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father as one of His spirit children. In this premortal existence, we attended a council with Heavenly Father’s other spirit children. At that council, Heavenly Father presented His great plan of happiness (see Abraham 3: 22-26).
In harmony with the plan of happiness, the premortal Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Son of the Father in the spirit, covenanted to be the Savior (see Moses 4: 2; Abr. 3: 27). Those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were permitted to come to the earth to experience mortality and progress toward eternal life. Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan and “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4: 3). He became Satan, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven and denied the privileges of receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality (see Moses 4: 4; Abraham 3: 27-28).
Throughout our premortal lives, we developed our identity and increased our spiritual capabilities. Blessed with the gift of agency, we made important decisions, such as the decision to follow Heavenly Father’s plan. These decisions affected our life then and now. We grew in intelligence and learned to love the truth, and we prepared to come to the earth, where we could continue to progress.
We are now experiencing mortal life. Our spirits are united with our bodies, giving us opportunities to grow and develop in ways that were not possible in premortal life. This part of our existence is a time of learning in which we can prove ourselves, choose to come unto Christ, and prepare to be worthy of eternal life. It is also a time when we can help others find the truth and gain a testimony of the plan of salvation.
Life after Death
When we die, our spirits will enter the spirit world and await the resurrection. At the time of the resurrection, our spirit and body will reunite, and we will be judged and received into a kingdom of glory. The glory we inherit will depend on the depth of our conversion and our obedience to the Lord’s commandments (see Kingdoms of Glory). It will depend on the manner in which we have “received the testimony of Jesus” (D&C 76: 51; see also D&C 76: 74, 79, 101).
Blessings through Knowledge of the Plan
A testimony of the plan of salvation can give us hope and purpose as we wrestle with the challenges of life. We can find reassurance in the knowledge that we are children of God and that we lived in His presence before being born on the earth. We can find meaning in our present life, knowing that our actions during mortality influence our eternal destiny. With this knowledge, we can base important decisions on eternal truths rather than on the changing circumstances of life. We can continually improve our relationships with family members, rejoicing in the promise that our families can be eternal. We can find joy in our testimonies of the Atonement and the Lord’s commandments, ordinances, covenants, and doctrines, knowing that “he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59: 23).
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.
Suzanne and I invite you to visit our Family History Site to see “Where We Came From” . . . and to see IF WE ARE RELATED!
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After Near-Death Experience, Boy Says, “Heaven Is Real”.
By Alan on Apr 08 in Blog tagged atonement, born, choice, creation, earth, eternity, heaven is real, Heavenly Father, home of the faithful, Premortal life, Satan, spirit children, the expanse around the earth, The Plan of Salvation, video | Comments Off
In the scriptures, the word “heaven” is used in two basic ways.
First, it refers to the place where God lives, which is the ultimate home of the faithful (see Mosiah 2:41).
Second, it refers to the expanse around the earth (see Genesis 1:1).
In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father prepared a plan to enable us to become like Him and receive a fulness of joy. The scriptures refer to this plan as “the plan of salvation” (Alma 24:14; Moses 6:62), “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8), “the plan of redemption” (Jacob 6:8;Alma 12:30), and “the plan of mercy” (Alma 42:15). The plan of salvation is the fulness of the gospel. It includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel. Moral agency, the ability to choose and act for ourselves, is also essential in Heavenly Father’s plan. Because of this plan, we can be perfected through the Atonement, receive a fulness of joy, and live forever in the presence of God. Our family relationships can last throughout the eternities.
We are participants in Heavenly Father’s plan, and our eternal experience can be divided into three main parts: premortal life, mortal life, and life after death. As we come to understand the plan, we find answers to questions asked by so many: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after this life?
Before we were born on the earth, we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father as one of His spirit children. In this premortal existence, we attended a council with Heavenly Father’s other spirit children. At that council, Heavenly Father presented His great plan of happiness (see Abraham 3:22-26).
In harmony with the plan of happiness, the premortal Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Son of the Father in the spirit, covenanted to be the Savior (see Moses 4:2; Abraham 3:27). Those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were permitted to come to the earth to experience mortality and progress toward eternal life. Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan and “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). He became Satan, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven and denied the privileges of receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality (see Moses 4:4; Abraham 3:27-28).
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14: 2
“Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.” 2 Ne. 10: 23