Friday, March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016 -- Last Days at the MTC, Easter Message

These are my last days at the MTC.  Next week I will be in Japan.   I'm so excited!   I have already done some packing.  

In this past choir:

It was a powerful experience.. So during choir, Brother Eggett, the choir director, always tells spiritual stories with the song that we practice. We were singing Lead Kindly Light (hymn # 97) and the story behind it is really neat. The lyrics are written by John Henry Newman.  He was sailing on the sea for a while and the ocean was calm for a while but the waves were very big so the boat would move up and down constantly. John Henry Newman had malaria and so he though he was going to die from his malaria being effected by the motion. Days had passed and fog rolled in and it was dark and gloomy. He was convinced he would die. He didn't want to, however. All his life he was prideful and followed his own ways instead of God. 

"If God can save me from dying then I will follow him the rest of my life." He felt he should write down this commitment, so he grabbed a paper and pen and this is what he wrote:

"Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene--one step enough for me.
 I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that thou
Shouldst lead me on. 
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.
So long thy pow'r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!"

My mom gave me an Easter message which I will share with you:





THE BEST PART OF EASTER IS CHRIST'S PROMISE TO THE RIGHTEOUS FAITHFUL:  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.   John 6:47    The word "verily" means [truely, it is true].    Baptism by immersion is a symbol of this promise, that the righteous faithful will be raised from the dead and return to the Father.

In the last few years, I spent more time trying to understand the atonement.  I could not understand why God the Father would require His perfect Son to give his life  -- after all, he didn't deserve it.   Doesn't that seem cruel?   When I was younger, any time there was a short video about Jesus, by the time they got to the part where he was crucified, I would turn my eyes away and try to block out the sound in my mind, for several minutes.   I just didn't want to face that part.  With time, age-experience, and study, I have come to realize that Christ had to die for several reasons.

1.  God the Father is just; he is the Creator of a perfect creation.  We messed up His creation, as well as ourselves.  Justice says that you just don't let the guilty go free without no punishment of some kind.   Otherwise, we would never learn from our mistakes and deliberate wrong actions.   We do pay part of the price.   We do in fact, suffer and die.  We are not capable of paying the full price though of what we have done to this world and to ourselves, and continue to do everyday when wrong is done.  Having become unclean and imperfect, we cannot go to where the Father is.   We could not bear his presence.  Had we had the full weight of the price, we would be completely turned over to Satan because we had followed him.    However, out of love, there had to be a way made possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father.  Jesus Christ made that possible.   
The terms were, that we would have to turn away from the Adversary, and from our own carnal desires, and turn towards Him.  We would have to repent (and continue repenting throughout our life, seeking to perfect ourselves).   We would also have to have Faith in Him and become like Him, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit.   We would also have to forgive others, but still support righteous principles.   We would have to be peacemakers.  We would have to keep His commandments, and also share the gospel with others.

2.  Jesus Christ also had to die in order to descend below all evil, in order to spiritually fight it and overcome it.   If we could see it, we would realize that our sinful thoughts and actions have real effects which can't just be wished away.  He fought against spiritual evil.  Jesus has the Keys of Death and Hell and he started the process of setting us Free.    Had he not come when he did, our outcome would be different and there would've been no chance for us humans.   The weight of our spiritual and physical corruption would crush us.   Our planet and we all, would die eventually.  Jesus' atonement was eternal, because it corrected present, past, and future.  We were not strong enough to make a full atonement for ourselves and everyone we affect.   Jesus Christ was strong enough.   When he was done fighting Satan, he said, "It is finished" and he departed his tortured body and went to the Spirit realm.   There was a great earthquake then and the veil of the temple in Jerusalem was torn.

3.  Jesus Christ didn't come just to vanquish the Roman emperor as many of his people wanted him to do as Messiah.   Jesus came to vanquish the enemy of all enemies, Satan, who is the source of all corruption, suffering, blood, and horror on this earth.

4.  Jesus Christ came to prove his love.   He proved by giving his life like a lamb, over to torture and death by Satan as well as by the Roman soldiers, that he eternally loves us.   Everything that he did, qualifies him to be our world leader, Savior, Redeemer, and friend when he returns soon with power and with glory.  The marks and his loving spirit will prove it is the same person that we have heard about for over 2000 years.

Time for me to go dear daughter.   I hope you feel the appreciation of the promises that Jesus Christ gave to you when you were baptized in His Name.

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