March 6, 2023
Dear friends and family. Our prayers are that this message finds you in good health, full of peace and happiness, and especially that your hearts are full of the Light of Christ and full of the Love of Christ.
It seems that as of late the messages that I feel most impressed to share deal more and more with trials, turmoil, and hardships. Perhaps that is because this world more and more is going into a tailspin. It seems that the line drawn between the two opposing forces of Good and Evil is becoming more defined day by day.
Which side have we chosen? This country is quickly losing the protection promised to ancient prophets of protection and prosperity as long as we worship the God of this land even Jesus Christ the Son of God.
I’m encouraged to see the “revivals” that have sprung up on a few college campuses. The youth stepping forward testifying of Jesus Christ. The series of “The Chosen” has helped to awaken millions to the existence of this Jesus. I’ve read that many have opened their hearts to the spirit as he testifies of Jesus Christ. This series gives us the interpretation of the writer's thoughts about the life and teaching of the Savior, his chosen apostles, and the many who “followed him”.. so many of those early saints literally gave their lives to follow this Jesus of Nazareth.
Peace in Christ
We fast forward to the 1800s and a 14-year-old boy Joseph Smith “Hears Him” and prays
First Vision song. Joseph Smith's First Prayer
The early saints of this dispensation went through tremendous trials. Forced to flee their homes at gunpoint. Extreme weather, destitute, starving. Leaders falsely imprisoned. Their families struggle to survive.
I especially think of Emma Smith. Loyal to her last breath. She Loves Joseph, she believed and received her own witness. She lost children at birth or shortly thereafter. She pulled feathers one by one off of Joseph's skin after being tarred and feathered. She opened her home to all. The Lord even called her an “Elect Lady”.
On So Great a Cause. About 9 minutes. Video
The prophet's life was full of trouble and turmoil and adversity. Yet during all of this, he took upon himself more and more the “Character of Jesus Christ”. Always reaching outwards to help others before his own needs. Piece by piece or rather precept by precept line upon line he became more and more like the Savior Jesus Christ, The Son of God!
Finally, he along with his faithful brother Hyrum was asked to seal their testimonies with their very lives.
A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
All 7 verses of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief are sung at Carthage Jail in Illinois!
We all have mountains to climb in our lives. We might have family relationship problems, addictions, and wayward family members. Our own testimonies are weakened by all that is going on in the world. Death, war, poverty, riches. So many mountains to climb.
Mountains to Climb Henry B. Eyring. About 5 minutes. Video
Even though we might have “Deepening Trials” do we press on? Do we fall to our knees and talk with our Heavenly Father? Do we move forward with faith and keep moving toward the Light and Love of Jesus Christ? What spirit do we listen to?
Though Deepening Trials
You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, you attend the temple and you serve others. When faced with a trial of faith—whatever you do, you don't step away from the Church! Elder Neil L. Andersen
Elder Neil L. Andersen “Trial of Your Faith”. About 15 minute GC Talk video
And finally, do we look to the Light? Do we look to Jesus Christ the Son of God? Have we sufficient faith to withstand the fiery darts of the adversary? Do we little by little let our testimonies weaken by the influences of the world? How do we spend our time? Do seek to make more time with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ: Do we spend more and more time seeking after this world, sports, work, recreation, the riches of the world? Are we looking for the Second Coming of the Lord? or, are we listening to voices saying he is not coming, Joseph was a fallen prophet, and we don’t have a prophet here today? The book of Mormon is a fabrication of Joseph's imagination. Our church leaders are corruptly seeking only to get rich from our donations. So many false efforts lead us and our youth astray.
Or, are we making every effort to strengthen our testimonies until we become converted? Are we converted to the Lord Jesus Christ? In every way shape and form. Do our lives emulate Him more and more each day? Do we repent daily? Do we love Him? Do we love our Family no matter what their choices are? Do we love our neighbors enough to “Minister” to them as we have been asked to do? Do we Love Him?
Look to the light. Video About 10 minutes
It is our witness our Heavenly parents and the Savior Jesus Christ the Son of Man is our lord and redeemer. He is our advocate with the Father. It is through Him and no one else that we might return home to our Heavenly Parents. Listen to our prophet. He will guide us to this Jesus Christ. Listen to the Holy Spirit and you shall rise above the evil influences of this earth and Zion will become you and you inturn will become part of Zion.
We love each of you and pray for you.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.