I was immediately 'given' to know the topic I should speak on. I entitled it "Ten Things I Know for Certain."
I asked the congregation to think of the things they KNEW for CERTAIN. And, that, perhaps, at the beginning of the New Year, they could make it something to work on in 2018, finding out some more things "for certain'.
I KNOW that the Spirit of the Lord teaches us truth. We find it out by searching, pondering, and praying with a sincere heart. And, we are promised that if we do so (with a sincere and honest heart), He WILL reveal it to us.
What greater gift can we have than from God? Direct and personal answers (revelation) from Him? And, it is open to ALL of us!!!
I share my talk with that same thought in mind and with much love to all of you out there.
|Our little apartment Christmas Tree this year|
My Talk in Church today:
Sunday, Dec, 31, 2017
Fort Walton Beach, First Ward, Florida
Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. It’s good to be back with you again after spending a week in Utah for Christmas and our daughters wedding. We love you and are grateful for you. It has been a great blessing in our lives to get to know you and to offer all we are in His work. We hope to be fit servants for His Kingdom and to bless and lift those around us as we have been blessed.
Today is the end of another year. As I pondered on what to share I was given the topic (from the Spirit) and have entitled my message: Ten Things I Know for Certain.
These are ten things I know of myself, independent of anyone else. For the Lord and His Goodness I am eternally grateful and pray that I may love Him, serve Him, and Keep all of His Commandments, so that I may one day again enter into His rest and be with him in our Heavenly Home and receive His eternal blessings.
Ten Things I Know for Certain:
1. That we have a very loving Heavenly Father who we knew before we came here. We walked and talked with Him. We knew Him well. And, we ‘shouted for joy’ when we heard His plan of happiness. We knew that in order to progress we needed to come to earth to receive a mortal body and have mortal experiences and learn to walk by FAITH, and not by sight. ONLY in this way could we would be strengthened in our Faith (which is the FIRST principle of the gospel) and become more like Him so that we could someday be worthy to return to His presence.
2. He knew we would make mistakes as we learned to walk by FAITH, so, in His perfect plan, He provided a SAVIOR, our beloved and elder Brother, Jesus Christ, to make it possible for us to repent and change. His Atoning sacrifice for us is the GREATEST Gift for mankind, and we should be eternally grateful for it and for His willingness to do this for us. We could NOT return to the presence of God with ANY stains at all. ONLY through the Atonement of Christ can we be made whole and perfect. IT is the GREATEST Gift we could have ever received and I am eternally grateful to them for providing this for us.
3. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead – and can be our constant companion if we are worthy and as we ask for it. I am so grateful for his role in my life. He has taught me, comforted me, testified of truth to me, taught me of Christ and of my Loving Heavenly Father. He constantly motivates me to do good works and helps and comforts me when I make mistakes or when I hurt others or others hurt me. He teaches me truth about myself and about the gospel plan and helps me forgive others. He helps me want to be better and has been my closest friend when I’ve had no one else. I always want to do what is right because of Him.
4. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the FIRST Principle of the Gospel. It is a principle of POWER. I have come to LOVE this principle of POWER which is MUCH more than we often may recognize it to be.
The Prophet Joseph taught us that: “Faith (is) the FIRST PRINCIPLE in revealed religion, and the FOUNDATION of ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS….. Faith is the (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. .…Faith is the principle of ACTION in all intelligent beings……We receive by faith, ALL spiritual blessings that we do receive. Faith is not only the principle of action, but of POWER also…. “Had it not bee for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed neither would man have been formed……
5. Repentance: The second principle of the gospel is repentance. As our FAITH in Jesus Christ grows – (the first principle) so does our desire to REPENT (the second principle) and change and come unto Him. I LOVE this principle of the Gospel. Repentance is one of our greatest GIFTS. It is a BLESSING to be able to Repent and a very good and wonderful and beautiful and holy thing. I hope that you will all come to love and appreciate the incredible GIFT of Repentance. It is one of the greatest blessings in life that we can recognize the error of our ways, that we can change and overcome and repent and also…. FORGIVE others. --------
Alma taught us that: “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. (Alma 34:32)
I am forever grateful for this sacred gift of repentance and our loving Heavenly Father who provided it through His beloved Son – for US. For Me. For YOU. We ought to praise them day and night for all they have done for us.
6. 7. Faith and Repentance (the First Principles of the Gospel) – lead to the First Two ORDINANCES of the Gospel. Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins is the First Ordinance. And the Second Ordinance is the Laying on of Hands to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. These TWO sacred and Holy Ordinances have been of the most incredible blessings and gifts in my life. I am forever grateful for them and the blessings that have come because of them.
I KNOW that THIS is the Lord’s Church and Kingdom here upon the Earth and that holy ORDINANCES (and covenants) are the keys to our progression. Baptism by immersion by proper authority is the key for ENTRANCE into His Kingdom here upon the earth. Who wouldn’t want that? I testify with all my heart and soul that this is, indeed, HIS True Church here upon the earth and that Baptism by immersion, by proper authority, is needful and WONDERFUL to be able to receive His further blessings and to then receive the GIFT of the Holy Ghost which can then be our CONSTANT companion and continue to teach us, guide us, comfort us, correct us and sanctify us – so that someday we can be worthy to enter into the presence of the Lord again.
8. Prophets and Apostles: From a young age I was taught to heed the words of Prophets and Apostles and that has forever blessed my life. I have listened to and searched their words – and when I had big decisions to make they have been where I have turned, not to the ‘wisdom’ of the world. And, that has made ALL the difference.
9. Scriptures: I love the Lord and have come to know Him through His own words in the Scriptures. The Scriptures have been my best resource for learning of Him, His truths, His plan, and to have found comfort and guidance in my daily life. I have come to love the scriptures with all my heart and soul and I can’t live a day without them. One of my favorite verses is found in Omni 1:26.
“And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.”
This is my great desire and blessing.
10. Prayer: Prayer to my Heavenly Father has been one of the most sacred gifts of my life. I KNOW he hears and answers our sincere prayers. As we seek to draw near unto Him so that He can draw near unto us – all the above things are a needful part of that process. He loves us and wants us back home with Him. THAT is His plan of happiness. He has provided ALL we need to be able to return to His presence but it is OUR CHOICE what we will do. (He will force no man to heaven). Will we soften our hearts towards Him and put off the natural man? Will we be humble and prayerful and seek Him always?
It is my most sincere prayer that we will do these things that lead to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. You are my beloved brothers and sisters and I love you. I share these things that I KNOW for certain – in hopes that it may benefit some of you so that we can all become better, holy and without spot, so that we can sit down again with Him someday and receive all the blessings He has in store for us.In the holy and sacred name of our Lord and Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus the Christ, Amen.