"Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the
Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth"
So reads verse 7 in the 2nd book of Nephi, chapter 2. This was today's inspiration at the Ilford Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was a pretty cold start to the day, where some might have preferred the sloth of lying in bed and keeping warm; but it turned out a beautiful, bright morning, pretty mild for winter, with bright sunshine lighting up the town.
There were two visiting speakers today, and I quote firstly from the talk given by Brother Adam Barron.
"Every time I am here, I feel very glad to be here with some very good people (that is you). I hope you had a great Christmas, and wish you a very Happy New Year. Presidents Barter, Peake and Bickley all have you in their thoughts, although they may not know everyone here by name at first glance.
As my wife says, Adam, if you fast without purpose, it is just starving. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, who pull their faces to show they are fasting, and suffering hunger pains.
The Lord wants us to fast in secret; it is a sacred ordinance, between ourselves and the Lord.
He has given us the Commandments and ordinances to benefit us. (He quoted something from Helaman, a King of old in the Book of Mormon, a man of majestic wisdom). It is a humbling experience to really fast. We have sleepless nights, it pains really when you can't sleep but still count sheep.
(Quoted Mosiah, another verity from the Book, known as 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ')
Here was someone who's child was wayward. He fasted to bring his child into line. Not only he, but his church friends also fasted. And the child came into line.
Fast and pray many days...not many consecutive days, but many days.
If you feel Heavenly Father is not listening to your supplications, just ponder on the fact Are you listening to the supplications of the sick, the poor, and the lonely around you? Are you doing something to relieve their suffering?
Brothers and sisters, it is our obligation to give a generous fast offering each month, so the money collected can go to the needy in the families here, and then to the people in need beyond.
I testify this Church is true, and it administers relief to the poor, here and beyond.
In the name of our Saviour. Amen."
The second speaker was Brother Smith, who chuckled at the remembrance of his friend. "I don't know if you know Brother Arthur Brooks died. He was 94. I asked him to speak about Welfare, and he said he'll speak about Temples. So I said, but Arthur, could you speak about Welfare? And he said I'll speak about Temples, and people will still think I am talking about Welfare." The Church, within its means, is generous, and does care about the welfare of people. (I personally have witness to the fact that many people have been helped by our Bishop Onoalapo, and everybody who came to our church in their hour of need were provided some help and guidance and all benefitted, spiritually as well as for their temporal needs.)
Turning to the Bible, Brother Smith retold some folklore. "A young lawyer asked the Rabbi, 'Master, what shall I do to inherit the kingdom of earth?' And our Master replied 'Love thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind, all thy soul, and all these things shall be added unto thee.' "
The young lawyer asked for clarification as to how. "That ye love one another as I have loved you."
Brother Smith gave some very inspiring words : "I know for a certainty that He is coming back".
Ponder these points, all ye who would be Kings, and the fullness of the Saviour's message shall dawn on you. The kingdom of God is within, in your heart, and you will discover the joy there is in giving, sharing, understanding, living. When you find the kingdom of God that is within, you shall not look for it outside. The experience is of unbounded joy, that you already have what you might have been looking for outside.
In a private conversation, I heard from Sister Carla Corbit, who has just returned from Barcelona, that people are not too happy in Spain at the budget cuts, people feel the pinch. Here my inspiration to the government in Spain is to try to reflate their economy, by giving a little bit more rather than cutting the welfare....Soon the empty houses and shops can start to fill up, and crime (to which some people resort in desperation) can come down. If the people have a little bit more money, and jobs are created, the happy circumstances can herald a growing Recovery. This would be the sure path at any time, why not start it now?
Sharing all this with you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Heavenly Host, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
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