Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Thou art the Christ"

In the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Matthew is recorded a remarkable exchange between our savior, Jesus Christ, and His apostles.  He asks them, "Whom do men say that I the son of man am?".  The apostles give various answers reflecting rumors of the time, "some say thou art John the baptist: some, Elias (Elijah); and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets".  Through their own reasoning, men at the time of Christ came up with many theories about who Christ could be and how He had so much power to heal and perform the miracles He did.  These ideas were an attempt to explain, through man's intelligence how one man could have such power.

Christ then asked His disciples, "But whom say ye that I am?".  The apostle Peter then answered with the most pure testimony of Jesus anybody could give: "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God".  Peter knew his master and his master's role.  Christ is the son of God.  He is the savior of the world.  He is the long-awaited Messiah.  He is the Christ. 

Along with Peter, I know that Jesus is the Christ.  And that knowledge is available to all.  Christ tells Peter how he (Peter) gained that knowledge: "for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven".  That is how we all can know of Christ's divine role, through a personal witness from God.  In the world today, a lot of people believe different things about Jesus Christ.  A lot of really smart people have different ideas ranging from both positive and negative extremes.  But the way to know for ourselves is the way Peter knew almost 2,000 years ago, we must learn from God.

I know that Jesus is the Christ.  I know He is my savior and redeemer, my advocate with the Father.  I know this through the feeling in my heart through the Holy Ghost.

 "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things"(Moroni 10:5)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fulfil all Righteousness

Before Jesus Christ began His ministry on this earth a prophet was sent to "prepare the way" for the Savior of the world.  This man's name was John.  He is commonly known as John the Baptist.  He taught about repentance and he baptized his disciples unto repentance.  John the Baptist held the priesthood authority required to perform this saving ordinance. 

Early in the New Testament account of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry he traveled "from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him".  John recognized the sinless man coming forth to be baptized and didn't feel worthy to perform this act.  Our savior taught a glorious truth when he replied to the baptist, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:13-15).  (Also see 2 Nephi 31: 5-7 in the Book of Mormon)

I know that the words of Christ are true when he said "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).  I know that baptism is required of God to return to live with Him in His kingdom.  I know that God's priesthood authority is necessary in performing this sacred ordinance.  I also know that this priesthood has been restored "to fulfil all righteousness" in these latter days.  Jesus Christ lives and His church is restored.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Agency and the Atonement

I was thinking this morning about the atonement of Jesus Christ.  It is such an important part of our Father in Heaven's plan for us.  I was pondering today on the role of agency, or freedom of choice, in the atonement.  God freely chose His son Jesus Christ to perform the atonement and make salvation possible for all of God's children.  There were other plans presented but God chose to center His plan on His son Jesus Christ and the atonement.  In turn Jesus Christ accepted the call to be our savior.  In the New Testament, the record of Satan tempting Christ is described in great detail.  He could have yielded to the powers of the devil if he wanted to, but He didn't.  He freely chose to continue His mortal ministry.  Also, while suffereing in the garden of Gethsemane Christ uttered the words, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).  Our savior Jesus Christ chose to submit His will to the will of His Father.  Because of choices made by Jesus Christ salvation is available to all.

In following Christ's example, we are to choose to have the atonement in our lives.  As we righteously use our agency and repent of our sins we can return to live with our Eternal Father in Heaven.  I know that this is true.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Restoration

The central message that missionaries share with people is the message of the Restoration.  This restoration is referring to Christ's church on the earth.

When Christ was on the Earth He set up a church.  This was not the first time His church was on the earth (nor would it be the last).  But, as we know, Christ was rejected and crucified.  He left His twelve apostles to govern the church.  These men held the priesthood of God and through them Jesus Christ continued to run His church.  Over time, these twelve men were rejected and killed.  With them went God's holy priesthood.  Without the priesthood on the earth Christ's church was lost.  People set up their own churches and professed them to be the true church.  Many of these pepole were honest, truth-seeking people attempting to do God's work.  Much good has come and will continue to come from these churches.  But without the priesthood of God, they could not act in the name of our savior Jesus Christ.

After nearly 2,000 years, our Heavenly Father showed His love to us by restoring that original church.  God called a prophet through whom He restored that priesthood authority held by Christ's original apostles.  There is a prophet on the earth today.  He is assisted by twelve modern-day apostles.  God loves us.  He has restored His church.  I know this to be true.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

God is Our Loving Heavenly Father

God loves us.  He really is our Father in Heaven.  We truly are His children.  I am grateful for this knowledge.  We lived with Him before we came to this Earth.  We are separated from Him now, and we must walk by faith if we hope to return to live with Him someday.

In the Book of Mormon today, I read an example of somebody who has felt God's love.  The prophet, Alma, attempted to teach the wicked people of Ammonihah but was rejected.  He leaves Ammonihah without intending to ever return.  He is obviously pretty upset about the whole situation.  The scriptures recordthat while Alma was "wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul ... an angel of the Lord appeared unto him".  The angel comforted him and told him that he has "great cause to rejoice; for [he had] been faithful in keeping the commandments of God" (Alma 8: 14-15).  So it is with us.  God is happy with us when we do what is right.  He is unhappy when we disobey his commandments.  However he loves us equally either way.  I so bear witness in the name of my savior Jesus Christ.