Realizing that I am a mere traveler who is searching for his home is a soothing reminder not to get too comfortable and complacent. It is up to me to live my life and experience it for what it is worth. To live and enjoy the journey while maintaining an eternal perspective - to look forward with steadfastness of my eternal inheritance.
To come to know our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, is life eternal (John 17:3) where we shall partake of the resurrection of the righteous. Obtain our inheritance through Christ and receive unto us a crown of righteousness (John 5:19-29, and 2 Timothy 4:8).
Our vision is the purpose of immortality and eternal life. To faithfully endure and overcome as Christ endured and overcame (Revelation 3:21).
The harsh reality is this - there is no perfect healthy congregation - not until we pass on to the other side of the veil. In fact, what makes a truly healthy and vibrant congregation of believers? One that has individuals on their own spiritual journeys and growth. Mature members who are strong in the faith meeting with those who are new to the faith and are just starting out their own spiritual journey and growth. Investigators and visitors who are coming in to see how we worship and what we teach.
Today, our young men and women face those challenges. It is up to us to lead and guide them. Influence them toward understanding their true divine heritage, divine purpose, and divine destiny. Hold them accountable and give them the discipline they need to continue holding strong to the covenant path of righteousness.
Our priority is not to defend the Church or the Gospel. Our priority is to minister to them. Validate that they are hurt and broken. Understand that they are wounded. This is accomplished when we humble ourselves and meet people where they are at. To actively listen to what they are wanting to share. Give them space to sit with being vulnerable and raw. Because that is what they are seeking - to be heard, validated, and to have some kindness and compassion while they process and work through the things that brought about the crisis of faith, the wounds, and the discouragements.
To become the hero of my own personal story and life - I need to take up my own hero's journey and place my faith in God and trust in His will and divine providence. Through my faith and confidence, labor and toil, fellowshipping with others, being held accountable, seeking after wise counsel, and following the directions - my extraordinary adventure and story may be among many heroic journey's that inspire people.
My own spiritual journey and recovery has shown what true masculinity is all about. The character and integrity. Finding joy, since happiness requires right circumstances, means to come to a place of experiencing life - regardless of the good, bad, and those ugly moments.
The invitation for us to place our faith in Christ, repent and seek forgiveness for our sins and trespasses, and willingly to deny ourselves and lose our lives for the sake of Christ is an invitation to enter into sacred covenants through those true ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through Noah - there will come a brief period of rest from all that which bore wickedness. Through Christ, we come to find everlasting peace and rest from the carnal mind and vain imaginations of our own hearts.
Thus, to have the Lord's Spirit strive with us means that we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to rule over our hearts and minds. To judge us and guide us into those moral truths of our Heavenly Father. It is therefore to this end that we understand how the Holy Spirit is limited to how long it will strive with us - as we make our sojourn and pilgrimage through this mortal existence.
Noah and his family were saved of (or through) water from the spiritual decay and immorality surrounding them. The flood destroying the old life in order to bring about a newness of life. It is the very nature and covenant of our baptism.
By reading and studying through the scriptures, listening to those ordained by our Heavenly Father, teaching these things unto our families and others - we are to also engage in meaningful and sincere prayer. Through prayer and fasting, we are able to become conquerors and overcome Satan and those who uphold the work of the adversary (D&C 10:5).
As we submit ourselves, with willingness, to follow Christ and the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we are continually renewed, strengthened, and growing in faith. As we increase in our faith and knowledge of Christ, the power of His intimate atonement, and endure with patience and long-suffering - we shall stand ready to be cleansed and purified of all unrighteousness.
Christ will come and dwell on earth in righteousness. Today, we are asked to prepare our hearts and our minds to be ready when that day shall come. And it will come as a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10). For us - we look toward the peace and the glory of His return.
The essential truth of Christ’s infinite atonement - and the baptism for the remission of sins - means we are justified before God through Christ, sanctified through the Holy Spirit and our willingness to walk in humility and obedience, and are glorified through Christ’s resurrection and infinite atonement unto immortality and eternal life. Once we are baptized, we walk a path and journey where we are perfected unto Christ (Moroni 10:32) by the process of repentance and forgiveness.
Our faith starts out small and seems quite insignificant. Yet it has a powerful potential to grow and develop into something that is formidable. This is evidenced with the contrast that such faith can move mountains. In other words - as we cultivate our faith in Jesus Christ. Nurture it from its germination. Cultivate it as it grows and maintain its active growth. Our faith becomes powerful enough to influence and change the course of our lives.
The purpose of a refiner's fire is to take ore and purge out all impurities through a process of refining. This is done with both fire and water. The ore is heated up and shaped into a metal object. It is thrust into the water. And it is a process repeated until the metal that is cleansed and purged. Here, the Prophet Malachi uses such imagery and symbolism that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we shall be purged and cleansed of all impurities and natural undesirable elements.
Our Testimony is the armor of God the Apostle Paul references in Ephesians 6:11-17 (See also, D&C 27:15-18). And it is vital to our faith, our progress toward maturing in our faith, and going forward with meaning and purpose.
The reality is that restoring broken relationships, to be reconciled with others, is quite a difficult task for us to undertake. Yet, it is significantly important to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are humble, sincere, contrite, and motivated by the spirit and love of God to go forth with faith and purpose to seek reconciliation.
A vibrant and healthy fellowship and community is place where we all are able to come and know we belong. Where there is kindness, empathy, charity, compassion, forgiveness, willingness to be honest, discreet, share with confidence, and keeping in confidence those things we share one with another. All of us are walking our own spiritual paths and experiencing our own spiritual journey - however, it is not meant for us to do so alone. We strive to be complete, unified, and in harmony because of the pure love of Christ.
So, the question stands do we truly know what happened prior to Genesis? From my point of view, studies, discussions, research, and personal revelation - yes, we do know exactly what happened prior to the creation of our world, the purpose behind the fall, and the plan of Salvation and purpose of the infinite atonement.
The call for us to go forward with faith and purpose is also a call for us to gather in small groups. This is the reason for Sunday school classes, weeknight youth activities, scripture study groups like those for single adults studying the Old Testament. Men gathering together in fellowship. Women gathering together in fellowship. Doing so, we experience the presence of Christ because when we are gathered in His name - he is there in the midst with us (Matthew 18:20).
As we seek after the Kingdom of Heaven - seek after the righteousness of God, we do so through love of our Heavenly Father and love toward others. The Savior expresses that these two teachings are the main commandments: Love God and love others (Mark 12:28-31). It is the call to allow our Heavenly Father to rule in our hearts, in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
If my life is in chaos, I want to look into myself for the cause and the cure and use a fellowship of others where I am able to safely expose my shortcomings through vulnerability and courage. I seek out a fellowship with a group of others where it is a living and functioning unit where each one of us come and sharpen ourselves in order to find the cure for our sufferings. Not only the fellowship of a weekly group of others engaged in finding solutions to their own sufferings but a connection with another to continue to learn and grow in faith, spirituality, and journey. I seek to be sharpened just as I hopefully am able to sharpen another.
Charity is the heart and soul of service and ministry. Without compassion and mercy, no other spiritual gifts have any purpose or meaning - not even our own faith in God. The Apostle concludes that there are three important things in our lives: Faith, Hope, and Charity. His conclusion is that Charity is the greatest of the three.
Meaningful and mindful worship begins when we are authentic and accurate in our attitude toward Heavenly Father. He is pleased by our thoughtfulness toward Him. Reflecting on his nature, desiring to become more like Christ, sanctified and holy. We are called to be holy as he is holy, perfect as he is perfect, and through Christ, we are perfected unto God.
We are fashioned with eternal spiritual bodies. It is then that our Heavenly Father breathes into our mortal bodies the breath of life so that we become a living soul. Scripture also declares unto us the promise that those who come to faith in Jesus Christ - by the miracle and gift of the infinite atonement - will have a new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)
The call for us to go forward in faith and purpose is a call for us to enter into a deep and intimate relationship with Christ. To come to know him and our Heavenly Father (John 17:3).