Dear family and friends, we hope and pray that this message finds you happy and healthy. Filled with the love and light of Christ! We live in perilous times. Our economy is fast turning to shambles. Our politics are polarized, there is so much hate and contention in the world. We seem to be drawn farther and farther away from Jesus Christ.
Politicians, new media and so many others are attacking Christianity. We have been told throughout history that this day would come. Immediately before the Second coming of Jesus Christ things would deteriorate and get ugly. We are told that even the very elect (faithful members of the church) could be deceived.
Our Prophet President Russel M. Nelson encouraged us to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. He said in effect it will be the only way we can survive the trials and tests that are coming our way. Indeed, some of this has already started.
First Vision song Joseph Smiths first prayer
In 2009, Tim Tebow felt inspired to put a scripture on the black paint under his eyes during a highly televised game.
He said, “The next six weeks leading up to the game, I was really agonizing and contemplating what verse God kept bringing up to my heart and my head John 3:16, which is the essence of our Christianity. It's the essence of our hope”
After winning the championship that day with John 3:16 under his eyes, he learned that 94 million people googled John 3:16.
But the story doesn’t end there. Exactly three years after that day, he had just played the Pittsburg Steelers in the playoffs and his PR representative stopped him, saying,
“I don't think you realize what happened. During the game, you threw for 316 yards, your yards per completion were 31.6, your yards per rush were 3.16, the ratings for the night were 31.6, and the time of possession was 31.06 and during the game, 91 million people google John 3:16 and it's the number one trending thing on every platform.”
Tim Tebow said, “I was just standing there in the hallway about to do this press conference just thinking that that night was about a football game. It really wasn't... we serve such a big God.”
Millions of people saw those stats that day and thought of them as more than a coincidence.
Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16
I love this one story of how one person put God’s light on a candlestick and watched it light up the whole house, allowing people to see his work and glorify God.
It inspires me to want to do the same.
We know that Christ is the way, the truth, and the LIGHT.
It makes me wonder—Are there areas of my life where I hide him under a bushel?
…and even football.
He wants to shine through it all.
He WILL shine through it all—if we just invite Him.
Secret Prayer 'Priesthood Choir"
I recently finished reading a book. It tells the story of an LDS family and how they survived world war II living in Berlin. This was several years from the buildup to the war until long after.
Several years ago a member of our ward. whose Mother was one of the authors who was a child and later a teenager who came and spoke to our young men and women? She told how her mother prayed and was shown that angels were actually guiding the bombs and she was shown where to go to be safe.
She told of experiences of asking to be invisible to the Russian soldiers to keep family members safe. The Father of the family early on refused to pledge allegiance to Hitler and only to Jesus Christ. As a result, he lost his employment and was forced to work elsewhere far enough away he could very rarely come home to visit.
They were always trying to find food. Through all of this, they kept their faith and reached out as the Savior would too help others. Always concerned about more than just themselves. Great lessons for each of us to learn
Sweet Hour of Prayer
I’m going to include a few quotes. I hope that I’m not breaking any copyright laws in doing so.
Did you think to pray
click on the link, it will open on a link at the bottom of the screen. At least on mine, it did.
Read through the experiences of this faithful family. How they put their trust in their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We must develop this same trust and faith for the days ahead in the not-too-distant future I would think.. that is solely my opinion
How important is prayer in your life? I’m now going to insert a quote from Elder Bednar.
“I don’t know exactly what tone of voice Jesus was using when he talked to Nicodemus, but this was a rebuke. It’s a reminder that in individual relationships, Christ is not afraid to give correction.
That reminds me of a story told by Elder David A. Bednar. “As the president of BYU-Idaho, Elder Bednar and President Henry B. Eyring, who was Commissioner of Church Education and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time, had differing opinions about how the university was to transition from Ricks College to BYU-Idaho. The two worked throughout the day to find a resolution but were unsuccessful. The next morning, President Eyring told Elder Bednar that he had been rebuked by the Holy Ghost and indicated that Elder Bednar’s plan for the transition should continue forward. “He then said to me something I have never forgotten,” Elder Bednar said. “‘President, if you have not been rebuked lately by the Holy Ghost as you are praying, then you need to improve your prayers.’” Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit are not afraid to give correction, and that includes Jesus correcting Nicodemus. “
Meekness vital to inspiring learning, Elder Bednar tells BYU employees
August 27, 2017
A child's prayer
Russell M. Nelson
“If we pray with an eternal perspective, we need not wonder if our most tearful and heartfelt pleadings are heard. This promise from the Lord is recorded in section 98 of the Doctrine and Covenants:
“Your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord … and are recorded with this seal and testament —the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.
“Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.”
The Lord chose His strongest words to reassure us! Seal! Testament! Sworn! Decreed! Immutable covenant! Brothers and sisters, believe Him! God will heed your sincere and heartfelt prayers, and your faith will be strengthened.”
Prisident Nelson Sweet Power of Prayer
We witness to you that Jesus is the Christ. God our Heavenly Father does live, he listens to each and every prayer. Do our prayers have true meaning to him? Do we pray with real intent having faith in Christ? Do we pray for miracles? Do we pray that our character will become like the character of Christ, always reaching outward toward others?
We have a prophet who guides us. Do we really listen to what he is saying? Do we let the Holy Ghost interpret his words so that we are truly Hearing Him? That is Jesus Christ through him.
Do we know Jesus Christ? Not know of him, but do we know Him? Have we received his countenance? Do we act as he would act? Do we speak as he would speak? Do we love as He loves? Are we like Him? I
I’m certain that most of you are more this way than I am. And each of these questions is directed at me. For I have so much to overcome to begin to even start to become like him.
Debbie and I love each of you. You are in our prayers and thoughts. At times our hearts ache for the trials that you are experiencing. But, we know in time the Lord will pull you through and teach you lessons of eternity.
God bless each of you.
We love you
Debbie & Steve Larsen