One day for God.
Remembrance Day at the Ilford chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was marked by the Bishop and congregation paying respects to the memories of the heroes and heroines who gave their lives in the quest for freedom from tyranny and injustice.
How great a freedom we enjoy today as citizens of England is all due to the heroes and heroines who laid down their lives, as well as those valiant men and women who helped negotiate peace and brought forward this day into being.
Brother Jeremy Boyden : "We remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, like our Saviour, and we mark this day when peace was first agreed between all nations, on 11th November 1918".
The President's wife Sister Saltzman read a poem about Flanders Fields.
The Bishop's son, Brother Michael Onaolapo Jnr : "Greater love hath no man then He who gave up His own life so that others may live."
Sister Shannon Pickering, who was baptised in the Ilford ward two weeks ago, spoke a few words about the loving atmosphere that prevails in this land, thanks to people like her gransparents who did their bit during the war.
Sister Joanne Boyden read a famous poem, starting The glory shines upon my tears....She read the bit about hopes and expectations and stars and then became very emotional. (I asked her later; she explained that her Mother lost two brothers in the war). (For the Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon).
Brother Michael Lighten paid tribute to the great example of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, recounting events in the Captain's life in the Royal Army Medical Corp, who had to combine civilian with military duties at the front, where he saw within a few hours 189 casualties out of 600. Captain Chavasse worked behind enemy lines for four hours, just 500 yards to safety. On another occasion just 25 yards from enemy trenches. Altogether, Captain Chavasse saved the lives of approximately 20,000 men.
On another occasion, he worked with protection against an attack of mustard gas.
Noel picked up his torch, and rose up in his time, working against impossible conditions of mud, blood and water. Captain Chavasse was decoated with a rare second Victoria Cross. Such men are rare indeed, and we all recall his courage with awe and celebration.
"For their tomorrows, we give our today" John Maxwell Edmonds. That was the spirit of the unknown solider, great soul who's memory we salute today.
We stood and paid our respects to the memories of the men and women who have won the freedoms that have greatly contributed to the enjoyment of peace and peaceful life that England enjoys today.
Bishop Onaolapo made these closing remarks : "We are here because of the sacrifices the soldiers, male and female, have made for us. That is why the great atmosphere of stability and safety, friendliness and love prevails in this nation. I am sure this country will go from strength to strength because of that, and I am proud to be a citizen of this great country of ours."
I believe this sums up the congregations sentiments on this day, when we salute those whose lives were lost, as well as those who brought about peace.
May God's blessings be upon all.
(written by Duru-darshan
LDS Ilford ward)
On this glorious autumnal Sunday morning, Brother Jeremy Boyden opened the Sacrament Meeting, with Bishop Onaolapo presiding.
The opening Innvocation was by Sister Munden, followed by some words from President Akkune's family.
First of all, their son Ike : My brother does not like to share, but he is still my brother. I love my family. I love my father, because he keeps us all together.
Sister Akkune : I am aware that not every household has a Priesthood Holder in the house.
God has assigned to the Priesthood Holder the duty of fellowship, for the benefit of the entire human family, to build up and uplift.
I am happy and lucky to have a Priesthood Holder in the house, so how should I support him? I have to be patient and willing to support him, when he has to go to his Home Teaching meetings. I have been fortunate to always have a Priesthood Holder in my house. My Father instilled in me a testimony that I received at 13, and it has always been with me ever since.
President Akkunne (A-Ku-nay) : The family is central to God's plan of salvation for His creation.
Parents have a sacred duty to bring up children. The Lord is not pleased when children quarrel.
President Hinckley had a simple 4 point plan :
3) Pay tithe
4) Attend the church meetings.
When we pay the Tithe, there is a blessing upon our families.
Then Brother Chima (as President Akkune is also known) related the very touching story of how after
21 years of marriage he one day took out another woman on a dinner date, the lady in question being his beloved Mother. She had been a widow for 19 years, and was so thrilled to go out for dinner with her son. "Son" she wrote to him. "You don't know what it has meant to me going out on this dinner date with you. You are a wonderful son, and I love you very dearly."
Sadly, a few days later, Chima's Mother died, but he has the glorious memory of how happy she felt with his show of respect and affection for her.
The Sacrament was followed by Bible Class, in which the topic of Priesthood and fellowship continued.
Later this afternoon, we had the blessed Baptism of Benjamin, son of Nana and Sister Aggrey. This was celebrated with immersion of Benjamin in the water, singing of hymns and invocations of blessings.
There was a feast, with several varieties of rice, dumplings, salads, fish, meat and a variety of drinks.
This glorious autumnal day augers well for the love and respect people have for one another. A great day for this gathering of kindred spirits, may blessings be upon all.
(written by Duru-darshan,
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
I was glad to see Terry at the church today. He has been to the hospital. Last time he said he was going for a cancer operation. Today he looked fine.
Eleven-year old Brother Joseph Omuroyi was asked to give a talk on Prayer. He had just been asked this morning, so he gave an impromptu speech : "How can we talk to our Heavenly Father? Prayer is the basic thing we do, when we get home and at the end of the day." I am sure we all pray for safety for all our loved ones. "I know my Father loves me. Without prayer I wouldn't feel that protection".
Today, we were joined by four new missionaries. Sister Stoja is from Tirana, Albania. She stood at the pilpit and made her introductory speech : "I know this Church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is a blessing for me to be here. I love you."
This is a great, democratic aspect about the Church of Latter-Day Saints, all members are allowed, indeed encouraged, to stand at the pulpit and give their testimonies.
Brother Judy (all missionaries are normally addressed by their surnames, unless they choose to tell us their first names) comes from Utah. He says "When I was little, I didn't like the rules. But when I came to this Church, I learned that the two great commandments were these: That we should love God our Lord with all our hearts, and all our souls, and all our minds. The 2nd that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves. If we obey these two rules, and have love in our hearts, the other commandments become automatically understood by us." My sentiments precisely.
President Saltzman's daughters are visiting from Utah. "I feel privileged for the chance to address you. We are all capable of receiving revelations. The first revelation is that we all have a physical as well as a spiritual identity." Then he gave the analogy of children learning to ride a bicycle. " We are all capable of receiving revelations. We have to be prepared to do what the Lord tells us (like the subconscious, me thinks) If we are not sincere in following through, He will not tell us.
He is sometimes going to Let Go as we try to ride the bicycle."
Later, in the Gospel study class, we all sing Happy Birthday to Sister Grace Patterson, who is here all the way from New Zealand. It's her 21st. Happy Birthday, Grace!
Sister Kathy Su, who was from Singapore, has gone somewhere else. Sister Kathy, you were missed. Also missed Elder Botcha from Andhra Pradesh.
I am very impressed by the young missionaries, who have travelled from far and wide, to come and spread the message of our Saviour and Redeemer, whose example of Divine love and understanding has brought all of us together.
In His name, I ask for blessings upon us all.
(Written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
Brothers and Sisters, I have been asked to give a brief talk on the subject of Obedience.
This is a subject which is very relevant, for late in life, I have found that it gives joy to parents to find their offspring are obedient. By this I imply that children listen to parents' guidance, and do what would find approval in the parents' hearts and minds. And so it must be with our Heavenly Father. And what can be more joyful than to know that we do according to God's wishes, which are known to each one of us according to the dictates of our nature and our conscience. Just as when we are mature and realize that it makes our parents happy if we do that which they would approve, that we are dutiful and obedient children, similarly, I realise that our God in Heaven looks upon with pleasure when we do what he would have us do.
There are rich rewards as fruits of obedience, in the form of good health, good life, good guidance, good nature. To see what our elders have found true, I read President Lorenzo Snow saying that "ever feeling grateful for our earthly being, and more especially for the Spirit of God we have received through obedience to the Gospel." That is really a message of good faith, that we receive the Spirit of God in our hearts when we are obedient. That is such a precious gift.
For such approval and such guidance, the method of following the Gospel is quite straightforward. When I was 13, the love of Christ found a place in my heart, and somehow automatically I have most of my life followed the gospel, without consciously thinking about it.
When Jesus was on Earth, a lawyer asked Him "Master, what is the great commandment in the law?"
Our Saviour said unto him : "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind."
That impressed me greatly at age 13, and it has been a great comfort and delight to me, in good times as well as when I have faced difficulties in life.
And the second commandment, "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is a great promoter of understanding of our fellow human beings. If I am fair to myself, I cannot be mean towards my neighbour if he says a few nasty things about me, after all, unless I don't love myself and would not excuse any shortcomings on my part. Before I developed this realization, I always took on faith what our Saviour said : "Love thine enemy". I realized that this is a great formula to save our hearts from burningwith hatred towards anyone who has wronged us. We don't call Christ our Saviour for nothing.
Those who follow these two great commandments are probably likely to love themselves so much and have such a pleasant life, they are likely to follow the rest of the ten commandments even if they were not aware of them. That I do believe.
When one is absorbed in living a joyful life in the assurance of receiving the Spirit of God in one's heart here on earth, and today, not some date in the future, then one simply cannot do ill or fall prey to temptations. I simply would not wish to have God disapprove of any of my actions, I have such love and respect for our Heavenly Father.
I share my testimony and ask for God's blessings for continued guidance in the name of Jesus, our teacher and Saviour.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
This marks the 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Lancashire, where the oldest stake is at Chorley. The Temple there in Chorley is the venue where the British Pageant is being staged.
It is a potted history of the spread of the Book of Mormon, which is another account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Bridge in Liverpool is the theatrical backdrop to this musical extravaganza, with nearly 200 actors, enacting various episodes from personalities connected with the spread and growth of this Church, known as the true church. "For any man who lacks wisdom, let him ask of God" and God thus inspired the wondrous 14 year old farmer's son called Joseph Smith junior to go to an open field in Wayne County, New York, in 1820, where he kneeled down to ask God for wisdom and was blessed with the visitation by two beams of light which bore the personages of God and His Son.
Thus the period known as the Apostasy (meaning the absence of God's Light from Earth after the death of the original twelve apostles of Christ) ended and the Light was restored to Earth, through the 14 year old who subsequently was entrusted with the Golden Plates which he translated and published and distributed, known as The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.
Subsequently Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred at Carthage Jail, and their Mother, the blessed Lucy Smith, held steadfast in the face of massive opposition and held the integrity of this inspired book, The Book of Mormon. Is this book true, did it save a continent from the venom of intolerance and bring peace and understanding to what was then the Wild West? I understand so.
The steadfast holding of these words of wisdom for which that enlightened family paid so great a price was not without its blessing. Rightly so is Joseph Smith today known as our blessed Prophet, and the spreading of this Church with temples being built in more and more cities around the world testify to the growing love people have for his wisdom and Light.
Do we wait for the second coming of Christ? Or did he come in the night, restoring the Gospel of Christ and so graciously leaving this bright burning Light who some call the Church of Mormon?
(Melchizedek Priest at the