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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE General Conference! I know I’m not alone when I say I love our leaders, love the uplifting lasting spirit that they bring, love their encouragement that permeates my being. I love that each conference there is something totally unexpectedly directed personally for my ears and heart! And that is true for each of us who choose to make the time to enjoy the feast!general conference

There may not be any brand new teaching in the words of the speakers, however as each expresses the message the Lord has impressed on their heart, truth is magnified and anyone, Latter Day Saint member or not, cannot help but be edified and filled with sweet morsels of truth to carry on until next time.

I would never be able to choose which my favorite talk was. I delight in feeling the depth of each speaker’s spirit, their genuine desire to communicate truth, matters of great importance impressed on their hearts by God, and their fervent love of the gospel. They teach and help us prepare for the days ahead. We are filled with hope and faith and each buoyed up with courage and truth eternal which will never pass away.

Not because I deem them favorites but because their messages did resonate with me, I’ve chosen to list the promises I heard from two of the talks.

 “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” Doctrine and Covenants 38:30

I believe we are living in the longed for end days prophesied since the beginning. I recently have renewed my interest, passion and desire to be as informed as possible regarding the coming days so that I may be prepared.

Elder Bruce Porter addressed these turbulent, uncertain, and difficult times. Feel free to ponder the meanings that these promises hold for you. 🙂 May each one serve to uplift and be an encouragement to you.

  1. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world
  2. If they seek prayerfully for help and guidance they shall be given power over adverse things
  3. We need not fear the future nor falter in hope and good cheer because God is with us
  4. Be of good cheer and do not fear for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you
  5. The Lord will stand by His church and people and keep them in safety until His coming
  6. There will be peace in Zion and in her stakes for He has proclaimed that the gathering together upon the land of Zion and upon her stakes may be for a defense and for a refuge from the storm and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth
  7. The church stands as a bulwark of safety for its members
  8. Though conditions in the world may become very vexing at times faithful Latter Day Saints will find sanctuary in the stakes of Zion
  9. The stone cut without human hands shall roll forth until it has filled the whole earth and no human power can stay its course for God is the author of this work and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone
  10. In the last days the power of the lamb of God will descend upon the covenant people of the Lord and they will be armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory
  11. Every one of us and our families can be armed with the power of God as a defense if we will but remain true to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and let the Spirit be our guide
  12. Trials may come and we may not understand everything happening to us or around us, but if we humbly and quietly trust in the Lord He will give us guidance and strength in every challenge we face
  13. When our only desire is to please Him we will be blessed with deep inner peace

“When surrounded by mobs with death and destruction threatening on every hand

I am not aware but that I felt just as joyful and well  in my spirit as I do now.

Prospects might appear dull and very dark but I have never seen a time in this gospel

but what I knew that the result would be beneficial to the cause of truth” Brigham Young 

14. Even in a darkening world we as Latter Day Saints may sing with joy knowing that the powers of heaven are with God’s church and people

15. We may rejoice in the knowledge that a beautiful morning lies ahead-the dawn of the Millennial Day when the Son of God shall rise in the east and rein again on earth

 

Which of Elder Porter’s promises do you feel is most comforting?

 

As I began to list the promises in President Henry B. Eyring’s talk, I realized that so very much of it is promises-more than one per minute! Can you find more?

  1. I will draw near unto you
  2. Ye shall find me
  3. Ye shall receive
  4. It shall be opened unto you
  5. In our service to Him He comes to us
  6. I will encircle thee in the arms of My love
  7. We will feel our love for Him. It will increase because we will feel His power and His drawing near to us
  8. I will go before your face
  9. I will be on your right hand and on your left
  10. My Spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels around about you to bear you up
  11. As we give devoted service to Him, He draws closer to those we love in our families
  12. I will do for (your families) as seemeth me good for in Me there is all power
  13. The prayers of those who exercise their faith will bring the Lord’s servants to help your family members
  14. They will help them choose the way home to God
  15. I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best
  16. You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer of His drawing closer as you reach out your arms in giving service
  17. The Lord’s power will sustain you
  18. There is a glorious homecoming prepared for us
  19. We will then see fulfilled the promises of the Lord we have loved
  20. If ye keep my commandments and endure to the end ye shall have eternal life which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God
  21. Those that live shall inherit the earth
  22. Those that die shall rest from all their labors
  23. They shall receive a crown in the mansions of my Father which I have prepared for them
  24. Every covenant servant of His within His Kingdom on earth and in the spirit world will receive His guidance by the Spirit as they bless and serve others for Him
  25. And they will feel His love and find joy in being drawn closer to Him
  26. (The judgement) will be a time of joy for those who have drawn close to Him in His service in this life

What did you most like about this General Conference?

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”, www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”,
www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

Last weekend, at a friend’s funeral our stake president warmly and sincerely addressed her family promising them that whenever they faced struggles and endured difficult times, their beautiful wife and mother would be nearby.

“Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us”  E. T. Benson

And then in our Sunday lesson (The Restoration of the Priesthood) we discussed the authority and blessings that have been restored with the Aaronic Priesthood, one of which is ‘the keys of the ministering of angels’.

So, I’ve pondered some this week about the role of angels in our lives.

Here are a few quotes that may give you some insight about these special beings who minister to those on the earth.

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ” 2 Nephi 32:3

“When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants.

The ancient prophets who died were those who came to visit their fellow creatures upon the earth. They came to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; it was such beings—holy beings if you please—who waited upon the Savior and administered to him on the Mount. The angel that visited John, when an exile, and unfolded to his vision future events in the history of man upon the earth, was one who had been here, who had toiled and suffered in common with the people of God.

… In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.” Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970, pp. 435–36.)

“That means, as I interpret it, that if you live worthy of the priesthood, you have the right to receive and enjoy the very power of heavenly beings to guide you, to protect you, to bless you”. Gordon B. Hinckley

President Brigham Young taught that the postmortal spirit world is on the earth, around us. (Teachings: Brigham Young [1997], 279).”

The ministering of angels, available to all church members, can occur through personal appearances and can also be unseen. “Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind…Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen”. Dallin H. Oaks

“If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates” (Teachings: Joseph Smith [1977], 226).

“And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.” Moroni 7:35-37

Aren’t you deeply grateful that Heavenly Father has provided so much for our protection, guidance, comfort and to bless us with confidence in His tender mercies as we travel this mortal plane?! I am! I believe very  harsh times are coming soon and we will need all the help we can get.

What do you believe?

 

This post began with one thought that lead into another, that lead into another. You know how that is.

It began with something I was reading. “When the Lord has spoken through His servants, there have been at different periods of time many people in the earth who have said, “I do not believe in revelation.” This age is no exception to the rule.

The thousands, yes, the millions, of our Father’s children who live in the earth are but repeating the history of the past when they deny that God has revealed again His will to the children of men, and say that they have no need of any further revelation.” (George A. Smith, Improvement Era, Mar. 1949, 137)

Noah was a just man and perfect (Hebrew: complete, whole, having integrity) in his generations, and Noah walked (guided) with God.  Genesis 6:9 (KJV)

My first thought was of Noah and the days of the flood. Men had turned to wickedness. The earth was filled with violence and all flesh was corrupted. So God commanded Noah to build an ark, taught him detail upon detail how to accomplish this astonishing project and expounded on His plan for mankind.

“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain.” Genesis 6:5-6

Can you believe it possible that Noah was the only righteous man living on the earth at that time? That he alone chose to obey God’s commandments? The only person left in this world able to receive revelation-to hear the voice and instruction of the Lord?

Wow. Awfully near to 100% annihilation of humans off the face of this earth. What would have been the outcome had this one righteous man not been able and willing to hear and obey God?

I imagined Noah preaching and warning the people. Perhaps he had other children and even grandchildren that he supplicated with all his being. He would have had many other relatives-brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. His heart must have felt an awful burden of grief and sorrow for those he knew and loved.

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:22

As he explained what the Lord had planned, can you imagine people’s reactions as Noah built the ark? “Why would the Lord speak to you? What makes you so special?” “Who says you’re a prophet?” “We don’t believe in revelation.” “Go away-you’re wrong. God doesn’t speak to people anymore.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about Noah.”  “Ha, ha…he’s crazy!” “He’s losing his mind.”

Only 8 Were Saved

Once the door was sealed and the rain began, what was it really like for those eight people? They left behind people they loved and had shared their lives with. The scriptures don’t mention the state of their minds and their hearts at that time. What would they have felt? Despair? Anguish? Fear? Pain?

Not only was the world as they knew it a bit shattered, it was totally gone. Not a little at a time. It disappeared all at once. As the door slammed shut, each individual they had known and loved become only a memory of the past.

Each of them knew personally hundreds of people that perished. Heartbroken? Shocked? Scarred by the experience? I wonder how emotionally prepared they were for the future they faced.

And then perhaps, none of those torments would have lasted too long as they trustingly turned their hearts and their minds towards Heavenly Father.

I’ve always, because of a children’s song that ends with the phrase, “but only 8 were saved”, stopped at that thought. They were saved. But, what saved those 8 people?

Is it possible that they were the only people prepared to receive revelation? Did they hear a confirmation of the truth from the Lord, as they listened to Noah preaching? I believe they harkened to the Lord’s still small voice, humbly entered into covenant with God, and followed Noah into the ark.

Perhaps it’s possible that their hearts and their minds had long before been prepared as they received comfort, assurances, confidence and strength from the Lord for the choices they made.

There is none other but God that is capable of surrounding His children with a palpable comfort and peace that passes all mortal understanding. There is none other so capable of bathing broken hearts with His healing balm to make them whole again.

And then my thoughts rolled around back to the quote that began my musings. I thought of those I love. I pondered, if a prophet of the Lord came to this very town I live in, and told me it was time-right now- to leave everything-my kin, my home, my wealth-behind, how would I respond?

Am I ready to ask for and seek the Lord’s confirmation? Would I recognize and accept His true messenger? How would my neighbors react to our prophet? What would my family think? What would my family do? Would they come with me? Would I be able to go with the few and leave those most dear to my heart behind?

One day we will be dependent on the Lord’s direction to save our lives, perhaps even temporally. I wonder how many are truly prepared to recognize and listen to His voice, guidance and instruction. Or, will we be among the millions who say “We have no need of any further revelation”?

“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:37-38

Which scriptural characters-those who are obedient to God’s commandments and hear and obey His voice- come to your mind? Which one is your favorite? Why?