Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Power of God Given to Men

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He travelled many lands performing miracles including healing the sick, the afflicted and curing all manner of diseases. He gave hope to the down-trodden, relieved those who were bound by their burdens. But, most importantly He gave His life a Ransom, an act of the purest love ever known, in behalf of the children of men, that includes you and me. I would like to focus on another part of Christ's life that is shadowed by His atoning sacrifice, I would like to talk as the testimonies of Matthew and Mark describe Jesus as, "One having authority...".

What was this authority and why was it necessary? Well, let's compare this authority that Christ had in today's world. Suppose you were speeding ,not suggesting you do so in any way, and a brand new police officer pulled you over. Would you discredit him because he is inexperienced or because this is his first time authoritatively pulling someone over? Or would you comply with the authority he has to give someone a ticket? The correct choice here would be to comply with him because he has the authority. On the other hand, say a lawyer one who has meticulously studied law every point about it, one who knows absolutely everything about the law you have just broken and all the consequences, pulls you over and gives you a citation for breaking the law, is it in effect? Absolutely not. Yes, he may know the law, but he doesn't have the authority to enforce it.

This is exactly what was happening in Jesus' day. Pharisees, Scribes and Rabbi's in His day knew what to teach and how to live to almost precisely the T. Yet their exhortations and sermons were hollow. Why? Because they didn't have the authority Christ did. Especially the authority from Heaven to teach and minister to men. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews says this, "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." This is why that authority was important because it came from God. This authority is known as the holy priesthood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Evidence of Christ's Love: The Prophets

Christ has many ways of expressing His love for us. Through families, friends, and all of the many blessings He gives, but I would like to focus on a manifestation of His love most don't recognize and that is through His living servant's, the prophets. You are probably wondering how are they an expression of Christ's love? Well, we need to remember that it is the prophet's who are God's mouthpiece here on Earth. God speaks to them " Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, except he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7. So we can take from this that not only does God have prophets, but also that if there is no prophet He will do nothing with the children of men. But, the comforting thing here is that He always calls prophets. Besides prophets there is personal revelation or communication to God through prayer. He wants us to study Him out and learn more about Him and pray and talk to Him. But, learning about Him is something that can only come through prophets. Because it was by the prophets that scriptures were written. Prophets are always ministers. they give assistance to those in need I couldn't even begin to list the stories from the Bible that support this. They serve men because the hold the Priesthood, or the authority from God to work with His power and support. God only gives certain people His authority, Hebrews says "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." (Hebrews 5:4)

However, as is always the case a huge majority of the population rejects the prophets and discredits them as mad men which often leads to the loss of that prophets life through violent means 1 Kings 19:10 supports this. When this occurs God withdrawals His prophets and stops calling them, until a later time when people are more accepting and are more prone to heed the prophets voice, but it is not an irregular thing when a prophet is rejected.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In the Eternal Courts Above: The Blessings of the Atonement

Many people often refer to the Atonement as a healing agent. A way in which we are better able to become happier or a way for us to be made up for all the hardships that we face and yes the Atonement is all of these, but these are the tiniest outskirts on its capabilities. To answer several questions in one, What was the purpose of the Atonement? What is the purpose of our creation? What happens after this life? All of these questions are going to be answered in this blog. The simple fact of the matter is this, we were created to become like our Father in Heaven. Nothing more and nothing less.
God is our literal Father and if He is our Father then we are His offspring just like Acts 17:28-29 says. Now this is a bold claim, but it is true none-the-less. To believe that we cannot become like our Father in Heaven is to believe that Christ's Atonement is NOT capable of doing all things. It is to believe that either God can't do it or just doesn't want to. But, he does and He will. Does Paul not say in Philippians 2:5-6 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:" So being the same as God doesn't rob Him of anything it doesn't stop Him form being God or even lessen Him, if it does anything it glorifies Him further by showing the He has the power to truly do ALL things. Even Jesus Christ, said when He was being persecuted for saying that He was a Son of God in this sense, "Is it not written in your law ,I said, ye are gods?" It isn't a blasphemous thing, it's the truth. God is our Father and we are His children.
This is why we are here, that is why Christ suffered for us, this is what God has in store for us in the life after this. I know that this is true. This is why it is so important to keep God's commandments and to make and honor the covenants we made with Him at baptism and in the temple, because this is what is at stake. I testify that these things are true. God is our Father we are His children. Christ died for us and it is through Him we can gain Eternal Life. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that there is a prophet today living on the Earth. I leave this with you in the name of our Beloved Savior even Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Resurrection of the Master

The climax to Jesus Christ's ministry in Jerusalem was His Atonement which included His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His crucifixion and His resurrection from the dead three days later. I would like to blog today about His death and His conquering of the grave. Many people have different theories or ideas about what happened to Jesus Christ after His crucifixion, the period of three days following His death, and His glorious resurrection. I would like to focus today on the eternal importance of the resurrection and the everlasting blessings it brings.

Because he triumphed over the grave and broke the bands of death to give us an everlasting hope, He championed the way for us to live forever. Paul says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22) Because of the Fall, a necessity in bringing about God's eternal purposes, we consequently die. But, death was part of the plan in fact so was Christ's death, if it wasn't then why was He prepared before the foundation of the world to die for us then to be resurrected, if God hadn't already planned this out. But, because of the resurrection we get to have perfect glorified bodies for all eternity. Just like our Heavenly Father's body. But, ultimately if Christ would not have risen from the dead all that had been done prior to that, the suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and suffering and death on the cross, would have been a waste. But, it isn't a waste because He lives. And because He lives we will live and will live with Him in His courts above.

I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Living Son of the Living Father. I know that this is His kingdom once again established on the Earth preporatory to the Second Coming of Him who we worship. I leave these things with you in His sacred name, Amen.