Thursday, September 18, 2008

Prepare for the Coming of Christ

Pres. James E Faust: (New Era Mar 01) 2 Questions:

1- “Who Do You Think You Are?”
How would we respond? Husband, wife, father, mother, child of god, priesthood holder, member of the church. Do we define ourselves by occupation or hobby?
2- Who Are You (really)? Is the answer the same to both questions?
Pres Faust observes that “who you think you are and who you REALLY are can be 2 different versions of yourself”. He also says “you will be happier when the person you think you are is the person you really are”.

To be happy we must have a match between our true selves and the person we think we are. To do this we must have a clear understanding of our father in heaven and our relationship to Him. We must be pure in heart and unified with Him and His purposes.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves”. Knowing who we are- who we really are, is tied closely to knowing God, because we are His Children.

I believe the 2 most important things we can know about God are…

1- He knows each of us personally
2- He loves each of us and has provided a way for us to be happy

When we know these 2 things we can trust and love our Father in Heaven. We can have faith in Him and those He sends to do His work.

Story of Widow Woman & Elijah: 1Kings 17:8-16
Why did the Lord send Elijah to this woman? The Lord sent Elijah because He knew her need and wanted to bless her. She is a GREAT example of faithfulness, even in the face of personal distress. She is a GREAT example of how to accept a calling from a priesthood leader. She was obedient and as a result she & her son were blessed with oil and meal that did not fail. They were saved. The woman was also blessed when Elijah used his priesthood to raise her son from the dead. Heavenly Father knew her and loved her, and gave her great blessings for her faithfulness.

Sometimes it feels like we live in a world of distress & commotion… disease, plagues, famines, wars, terror, natural disasters. It has been prophesied these will occur with greater frequency prior to the 2nd coming.

D&C 45:26 “Mens hearts shall fail them”
Disease, plagues, wars, natural disasters are all out of our control, but heart failure of this kind is in our control.
Luke 21:26
Hearts fail for fear of things coming on the earth but we have been promised by the Lord in D&C 38:30 that “if we are prepared we need not fear”. If we are prepared we need not fear and if we have no fear, our hearts will not fail us.

Remember, the Lord knows each of us individually, & he loves each of us. If we know these things, we also know we can trust the Lord, and we need not fear. We can be true disciples, pure in heart and seek to sustain His will. If we do this we will have security and peace.

We must keep the commandments & serve the Lord. To do this we Must know & Trust God. We also must know our selves, our strengths & weaknesses.

The person we think we are must match the person the Lord wants us to be. He knows our true potential. We must honestly evaluate ourselves, note our strengths and weaknesses, and make the necessary changes.

We all know the parable of the 10 virgins. All were waiting for the Bridegroom but only 5 made it into the wedding party. I wonder if the 5 foolish virgins considered themselves to be unfaithful, after all they were eagerly awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom.

The 5 wise women were like the widow who served Elijah and had her “cruse of oil filled & it did not fail.”

My prayer is that our hearts will not fail us, that we will know our selves and that we will know, love and trust God and keep his commandments, that we will be prepared with oil when the Lord comes again, and that we will be counted among the 5 wise women, accepted to commune with the Lord.

Helaman 14
30 And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.
31 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death;

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