Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Eternal Plan of Happiness

The plan of Salvation is referenced so many times in the scriptures as being the plan of happiness. I truly testify that it is a plan of God. He was the architect, and has made this plan specifically for each and every one of us. We often wonder where did everything come from? But our Father wants us to know that we came from Him.

We believe before the creation of this earth, we were created spiritually as children of our Heavenly Parents. We lived with him in the premortal existence, and learned from them. But our Father knew that we couldn’t progress in that state. It was like a child in preschool. That child could only learn so much before that child would stop progressing and stop learning new material and our Father knew that. He created this plan for us to keep progressing and keep learning. But He knew that it would come with a price. He knew that if we had free will, we were going to make mistakes. He knew that we were going to sin and we wouldn’t have a way of being free from this sin.

So, imagine that God had all his family in a meeting and explained this plan but has asked who will be the Savior “Whom shall I send?” I imagine that at that moment we all looked at our elder Brother Jesus Christ. “Here am I, send me.” He said. I testify that our Savior Jesus Christ was preordained or in other words, He was chosen even before this life to be our way back to the Father. And so, the Father knew that we had to keep progressing so he created the Heavens and the Earth. I have sought revelation because I had doubts about the creation. But through study I realized God is the architect of this earth.

This plan is amazing and this creation is phenomenal. When God was finished with the creation He knew that He had to put man on earth and so Adam was placed in the garden of Eden and realizing that man shouldn’t be alone, but should have an eternal companion and family, He placed Eve, our Mother, in the garden too. They were in a state of innocence like little children. They partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This opened the way for all of us to choose to get a body and come to earth to become as our Father in Heaven.

Eventually, our Savior was born (see The Living Christ). He lived His life filled with love and charity. He fulfilled the mission He was given to do. He was truly the Son of God. No one else could possibly atone for all our sins unless that person was without sin. That person needed to be perfect. He lived a perfect life without the debt of sin upon his shoulders. He took our sin with love and empathy for each one of us. He truly suffered for all our sins and felt everything we have felt and will feel.

The only thing that he asked in return is to “Follow Him”. I love him for that, and I know with all that I am that He suffered and died for us. Not only did He die for us, but He came back for us. He lived a perfect life and made the pathway for us to follow his footsteps to reach our heavenly home. This life is for us to follow his steps and make covenants with him. In other words, promises that we make to follow Him. If we do these things we will have what we were intended to have: Joy. My life is filled with joy; a kind of joy that makes a twenty-one-year-old have smile wrinkles. I love this gospel and the joy that comes with it.

I’m so grateful for the restoration of the True Gospel and the Living Prophets that receive guidance for us. My favorite knowledge is the truth of what happens after this life. When death occurs, the grave has no victory. When we pass on we go to a place of rest or of teaching for those of who didn't have the opportunity of hearing and accepting the gospel. Imagine those millions upon billions of people that were never able to know the true gospel and how loving our Father in heaven is for letting us have the opportunity to be able to perform by proxy the covenants for them in temples that are scattered throughout the world. I testify of the truth of what occurs in the temple. I have felt the power in those holy places, and I know it’s the Lord's house.

I testify that He is there for us and if we have any questions He’s there for us. I know that He lives and that God lives and I know this is His Plan in the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Click Here to learn more about the Lord's plan of Happiness for each of us.

Posted by C.J. Kemp- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Doctrine of the Word of Wisdom

I have found that God is always waiting to bless us as soon as we are humble enough to trust in Him. The Word of Wisdom, or the Lord’s law of health is a perfect illustration.
On February 27th 1833, the prophet Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord about the use of tobacco and received a revelation that outlines the Lord’s views on health. This is recorded in Doctrine & Covenants section 89. The Lord warns against the use of harmful substances including alcohol and tobacco while encouraging the benefits of fruits and vegetables.
The Lord warned us not to use tobacco 130 years before science had proven its harmful effect. This is one of many evidences that the Lord loves us, and wants us to be happy.
Perhaps an even greater lesson is that the Lord wants us to abstain from habit forming substances to teach us how to govern ourselves. Addiction is slavery. Freedom comes from self-mastery.
I am so thankful the Lord cares for us enough to give us guidance. I have always enjoyed good health, and would be ungrateful not to acknowledge that Lord has been happy to bless me as I have shown a willingness to obey His law of heath. It saddens me to see friends and co-workers deal with the consequences that come when the Lord’s law is violated.
 Luckily, He continues to cheer us on and always extends the blessings if we are willing to live by His law.
From section 89 He promises:
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
 19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
 20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
 21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

God loves us and wants us to be happy. I know this because I have put this law to the test and can testify of its truth. What a blessing that everyone willing can also enjoy these blessings.

Posted by Nathan McConkie- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


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