exaltation

A church minister and friend that I admire for his gentleness, humility and Christian example, posts daily on Facebook- uplifting and encouraging words that serve to remind his readers of the countless ways Jesus Christ blesses our lives.

While I was away last week this was one of his posts.

“Last evening I said to the crowd that if this was my last sermon, and knew I would never preach another…this is what I would preach…then did so. So, what would you say? If God said you could say something that the whole world could hear and you had one shot at it…what would you say? Would love to hear it….”

Friend, what would your response be if you had one shot at it?

If I had only one shot at it, this is what I’d say.

I’d tell the world about Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation-where we come from, why we are here and where we are going. People crave deep in their hearts to know these truths.

Out of His great love for His children He is desirous that all progress and rejoin Him as His heirs in exaltation. To make this possible there had to be an atoning sacrifice.

He willingly sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be the atonement-to bear the weight of our sin and pain in exchange for an abundant life; to be blessed with the promise and hope of exaltation-to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father forever.

I’d tell how that Beloved Son-our Spirit Brother promised-and was willing to suffer and give up His precious life that ours might become immeasurably blessed, way beyond what this temporal life has to offer.

Christ loves you and me so much that He willingly walked the mortal path, was killed, buried and was raised three days later. Resurrected, triumphant and powerful He lives to save each and every soul willing to pledge obedience, to do His will and follow in His footsteps while there is yet time.

I’d be sure to mention that during His mortal ministry, Christ promised that He would build His church on the rock of revelation so that we wouldn’t have to travel alone.

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven…on this rock I will build my church”. (Matthew 16:16-18)

He promised that the gift and companionship of the Holy Spirit would be available to enable each of Heavenly Father’s children to know the truth, to receive guidance and personal revelation.

Jesus Christ lives. And He keeps His promise this day. He desires each of us to know Him intimately, to recognize and hear His voice and to follow His direction with our whole heart, mind and soul.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

I would share how that promised gift is priceless; His divine touch, His love, His kindness, His understanding, His comforting hand, His Spirit, His gentleness, His inspiration and direction. None else knows and fulfills the heart’s needs and desires so completely and perfectly.

Jesus Christ lives today, is exalted to the highest place and His name is above every name-

 “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

Today, we may choose to not bend our knees in faith and humble adoration. However once the veil of forgetfulness is removed, we will remember that we were privileged to be present when He promised to give His life as the atoning sacrifice.

We will know that He endured His mortal ministry to the very end and arose triumphant. And as foretold, remember-every knee will bow in reverence and with inexpressible gratitude and praise for His faithfulness and infinite love-our Savior and Redeemer.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”   Hebrews 3:7,15 4:7

The beauty and wonder of the restored gospel is that by the Spirit of revelation we can know this truth for ourselves today.

Do you know with all your heart and soul that Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son, is Lord and Savior of us all?! He lives to lead His church in these latter days.

 

Such a glorious and amazing weekend! We’ve been well fed, satisfied and grateful for our witness of the tremendous truths of the gospel and those lessons intended for our ears, at the 182nd Semi-annual General Conference! If you would like to know about the General Conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, click here.

Most of us received a spiritual feast, but not all– I’ve learned that our friends ‘down under’ wait another week yet.  Wow, you have patience!

Originally, I had planned to post my favorite quotes from each of the speakers. As I prepared my notes, I realized that you would not likely desire a tome of thousands of words, no matter how rich their meaning.

Here’s what I’m choosing instead. I’ll give you my overall basic view. Then, I’ve focused on one speaker for the purposes of my blog because his complete talk was about the Holy Ghost-a lot of important information! I’m reining in my enthusiasm-hard- to not give you the whole of His talk either! If you’d like to listen to it, click here.

For several months I have pondered-often wondered -why it is that the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today, are most sweet, loving and gentle in their approach, in particular when they are addressing the church or/and the world.

Not that I dislike this, however, in most of our scriptures, the language and speeches of the prophets and even of Jesus Christ can be forthright, blunt and certainly to the point- No mincing of words.

I do appreciate that perhaps, because they are this way, the Spirit is magnified and therefore we each can feel the messages the Lord intends for us.

This time, I felt a change- a definite seriousness, firmness and intensity in our leaders that I have rarely noted. (Let’s not include Elder Holland here, okay!) Throughout each session, I felt that the messages strongly impressed a sense of urgency-a feeling that we are running out of time and we must get our act together. Study and know our scriptures, communicate with and obey the Lord, and do whatever we must do before it’s too late.

Was it just me, or did this conference feel different to you than those in recent years?

We’ve been taught and counselled to ask questions of Heavenly Father in preparation for conference. He, knowing our heart’s desire responds during the tutelage of His servants. As has happened in the past, a couple of the talks felt directed to me, so powerfully did I feel the influence of the Spirit. Grateful, and with extra attention I intend to return to those for my own benefit.

Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy’s talk is perfectly suited to a post on this blog. If you get an opportunity you’ll no doubt enjoy hearing it again and again.

  • …deep sense of gratitude for this unspeakable gift from God-the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • The Holy Ghost … knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts.
  • The Holy Ghost wants us to be happy.
  • Since He knows the challenge we will face, he can guide us and teach us all things we must do to return and live with our Heavenly Father once again.
  • He communicates to our spirits true feelings and impressions.
  • He has the unique responsibility of being an agent through which revelation is received.
  • In scripture, the Holy Ghost is often referred to as the “Holy Spirit”, “the Spirit of the Lord”, “the Holy Spirit of promise”, or simply “the Spirit”.
  • The primary purpose of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of God the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ, and to teach us the truth of all things. A sure witness from the Holy Ghost carries far more certainty than a witness from any other source.
  • President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that the Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than that truth can be imparted by personal contact, even with heavenly beings.
  • The Holy Ghost is also known as the Comforter. During times of trouble or despair, or simply when we need to know that God is near, the Holy Ghost can lift our spirits, give us hope and teach us the peaceable things of the kingdom, helping us feel the peace of God which passes all understanding.
  • The Holy Ghost is a teacher and a revelator-enlightens our minds and quickens our understanding.
  • We all have experiences with the Holy Ghost even though we may not always recognize them. As inspired thoughts come into our minds we know them to be true by the spiritual feelings that enter into our hearts.

“The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. While we speak of listening to the voice of the Spirit, one most often describes a spiritual prompting by saying ‘I had a feeling’. It is through these sacred feelings from the Holy Ghost that we come to know what God would have us do for this- is the Spirit of revelation.” Boyd K. Packer

  • Before baptism, all honest and sincere seekers of truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time, however the opportunity to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the fullness of all the associated blessings are available only to worthy baptised members who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands through those holding the priesthood authority of God.
  • Through the gift of the Holy Ghost we receive:
    •  added capacity and spiritual gifts
    •  increased revelation and protection
    •  steady guidance and direction
    •  the promised blessings of sanctification and exaltation in the celestial kingdom
  • All these blessings are given as a result of our personal desire to receive them and come as we align our lives with the will of God and seek His constant direction.
  • …the gift of the Holy Ghost is Heavenly Father’s precious and unspeakable gift to all who will come unto His Son, be baptised in His name and receive the Holy Ghost through confirmation in His church.

What was your favorite moment or quote at this General Conference? I truly would like to know.

It’s not enough that I’m new to blogging and still have tons to learn to get good at wordpress-well at least good enough to wing it on my own to avoid calling on my virtual support gurus every week- now I’m exploring Twitterland! Here I am!! Now what?!!

Oh dear! Can you imagine how tough it is to express anything-something within 140 characters for me?!! More than once a day?! What am I thinking! Another learning curve. Oh, yay.

It’s helping me make new ‘friends’. I’m reading a larger variety of topics per day than I ever have in my life. Words catch my eye and before I know it, 2 hours have vanished. No, I’m not addicted…just desperate to catch up with this social media and figure out the successful tips, tricks and Tweets of Twitter. And by the way, if you have tips and tricks, please do pass them on!

Twitter tweeted “The importance of building your list”.  I know it’s important to build a list. I’m curious to know how. I got introduced to the concept of a “marketing funnel”.

I read “you must learn how to market yourself if you’re ever going to sell an information product, or any product or service for that matter.”  Well, I’m not in the selling business but growing my “list” is key to inviting more readers to my blog. Right?  So I continued.

Here’s what a marketing funnel looks like:

The author continues, “The idea is that you generate the interest of your potential clients and customers, or your readers through offers.  You begin with a free offer or a freebie, which is something of value that you give away for free.”

 

Well, folks! I have soooo let you down!! That is not how I began my relationship with you! (Actually, it sounds like manipulation to me.)

I reflected and quickly it became apparent that I have no freebies to offer you. None! No checklist, no ebooks, no special report, no e-course or free audio. Not yet. Wow. I may as well quit, then. Right?

Without fail we all enjoy free gifts. There’s something at our core that derives pleasure and satisfaction when we walk away without paying for something we deem valuable.

All of a sudden, the biggest and best freebie to offer you materialized! Look!!! If I knew how to edit the funnel above, I’d change the words from the top down:

  • Freebie = Atonement
  • Entry level Product = Baptism and Confirmation (gift of the Holy Ghost)  A little is asked of us. See, at this level, Heavenly Father is still gifting.
  • Mid-range Product = Revelation (a relationship with the Godhead)  At this level there is a price to pay: obedience to commandments, reading our scriptures, prayer, keeping our covenants- we are still receiving gifts from Heavenly Father.
  • High End Product = Exaltation (The ultimate reward)

The first model gives freebies and then has expectations of the customer. “The more information that they receive from you and the better they get to know you the more likely they are to purchase from you in the future…Without the power of a list, you don’t have much chance to get your product out there…”

Examine briefly our model: We are all familiar with John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV) How many of Heavenly Father’s children are rejecting this most precious of gifts, freely given? Why?

And then-Jesus Christ promised the gift of the Holy Ghost. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things…” John 14:16 (KJV) Another gift has been offered! How many of Heavenly Father’s children are rejecting this marvelous gift? Why?

By the Holy Ghost we are given countless gifts, if we continue to live righteously and receive them. “God also bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will” Hebrews 2:4  (KJV)

Back to the author of the online article-she adds, “The reality is the power and often times the “money” is in the list.

Well, some of this may be true, however I was involved in business long enough to know that most people on ‘the list’ don’t give it their all. Some people get in with freebies and that’s all they’ll take. Some give/buy into the products –again, they only go part way. And then there are those who give it all they’ve got, striving for money, success and power.

Isn’t this just the way it is in the Christian world? Some believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept His atoning sacrifice, but deny the gift and power of Holy Ghost. Others believe in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost, but have little interest in paying the cost of discipleship. And then there are those who accept it all and give it all they’ve got- with exaltation as the ultimate goal. Yes, there is a cost: believe, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure faithfully to the end.

Heavenly Father has a plan for our happiness and salvation. We are loved, treasured and cared for very much. Matchless and priceless are the treasures already given and offered to us.  It certainly does not begin to compare with any freebie this world may offer. He has promised each of us eternal life and exaltation and asks comparatively little in return. His returns far outweigh anything that it might cost us. Anything.