On Sunday 25th October, we had several speakers at the Ilford Ward Sacrament Meeting. The clocks had been adjusted back for one hour more, and on a beautiful warm day, people were in a sprightly
The first speaker was Christina Onaolapo (who is daughter of the Bishop). Her talk was on the Plan of Happiness. Some thoughts from Sister Christina : "Happiness is different for each one, depending on what stage we are at. In childhood, happiness was getting my coveted toy, or Mum cooking me my favourite food, which she did very often and still does. Life is like university, it prepares you for your future role. To me, true happiness can only be achieved through following the Saviour."
The second speaker was Brother Barry Osaghae, who is the Ward Executive Secretary. His talk was on Love and Faith. "I love everybody. I love you, my children and my family. I love the church and the congregation here. Love is a feeling of deep devotion." I like this one "Love is a feeling of deep devotion. We must show our love for our Heavenly Father by keeping His commandments."
Barry continued on Faith, saying "Faith is a principle of action and power". I suggest we could benefit from reading about Faith in the Bible (Brother Barry quoted quite extensively, but I was not able to jot it down.)
Then we all stood up to sing the intermediate Hymn, No. 92 For the Beauty of the Earth.
The concluding speaker was Brother Brian Beasley, who served as an engineer in Saudi Arabia before his retirement and gladly observes how the different religions are so similar, and how people of different faiths have so much in common. He spoke on the Power of Prayer. "You close your eyes and kneel down and say your prayer. Simple. But what is prayer? It is a communication, a discussion with our Heavenly Father. He only gives us what He wants to give us. To me, prayer is the means by which the thoughts and the deeds and the Heavenly Father are brought into correspondence. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God. The entire world, we are all children of our Heavenly Father (and we can all exercise our privilege of communicating with God through prayer). It took eleven years for my prayers to be answered, for a medication to be developed for a condition I was suffering from.
The world can benefit from prayers, and knowing this, our church sends out 80,000 missionaries to reach out to the millions of people who need guidance and prayer." (You may look up lds.org on the internet, or contact your local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).
Later on Sunday evening, we had the Evening Fireside at the Romford Stake. The featured speaker was Elder Cardell, who for 40 years was a journalist and broadcaster for the KSL channel in America. He served his mission in Samoa, where it rains bucketloads sometimes. On one occasion, our Living Prophet (President Thomas S. Monson) was visiting the church on the islands. In preparation, the faithful people had been fasting for a whole month, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, that it should not rain when the Prophet visited. And true enough, on the cloudiest days, the clouds lifted and light broke through when President Monson stood there to give his talk. This happened on every occasion. The Samoan people know that it is a reward for their faith.
Currently, Elder and Sister Cardell are serving their mission at the London Temple, on Exhibition Road, SW7. It is a joy to shake hands with such people, who have been witness to such wonderful events, and the scientific power of prayer.
I ask for our Heavenly Father's blessings upon us all, in the name of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ.