Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Another Witness of Jesus Christ

This week I am reading from 3 Nephi 11-17 and it is one of the most wonderful parts of the Book of Mormon; the Savior comes and teaches the people of this land.  As I was reading I felt impressed by the quote, "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)  This is what Jesus taught the people in Jerusalem before his death and resurrection.

John 10:1–18, Jesus teaches about His sheep

The people did not understand what he meant and thought he was speaking about the Gentiles, and yet he wasn't.  In the Book of Mormon we read, "And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (3 Nephi 15:21)  So we have a second witness of the Savior visiting and ministering to a another people on this earth.

I want to share my testimony that I know the Book of Mormon goes hand in hand with the gospel.  Some might not understand why we would need a second witness, but it is so wonderful to read and feel the Spirit that comes from studying both scriptures together.  Together they confirm the truths and commandments of God.  Together they testify that the Savior did come and live and die for us and that through his atonement we can repent as we come unto Him.  We can be perfected through Him.

"The Prophet Joseph Smith said: 'I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.'" (Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

Through these witnesses, I was struck with the fact that Jesus Christ continued on and taught the people of the Book of Mormon "I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister.  For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them."  (3 Nephi 16:1-3)

Even more exciting is that some day we will be able to have the records of other nations as well.  Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Lost books are among the treasures yet to come forth. Over twenty of these are mentioned in the existing scriptures. Perhaps most startling and voluminous will be the records of the lost tribes of Israel (see 2 Ne. 29:13). We would not even know of the impending third witness for Christ except through the precious Book of Mormon, the second witness for Christ! This third set of sacred records will thus complete a triad of truth. Then, just as the Perfect Shepherd has said, “My word also shall be gathered in one” (2 Ne. 29:14). There will be “one fold and one shepherd” (1 Ne. 22:25) in a welding together of all the Christian dispensations of human history (see D&C 128:18)."  (God Will Yet Reveal, Oct 1986)

Some may be skeptical and feel we should only study the Bible, this is what our Savior said:

"Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written."  (2 Nephi 29:8-11)

I share this with all who may come upon it, that I believe "all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and all that he will yet reveal" because I believe in continuing revelation.  I know that the Lord will prove his word in all things, this is why we have a second witness of scriptures next to the Bible.  We have been so blessed with an abundance of His word.

Let us "feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."  (2 Nephi 32:3)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Into Eternity

Lately the cares of life seem to be creeping up and surrounding me and I find myself running to and fro and not spending as much time doing those things that would draw me closer to my Heavenly Father and the Savior.  As the first month of the year finished up, I lamented that I hadn't made an opportunity to get myself to the temple.  I felt terrible starting a new year where I didn't do something that was so important to me.

I miss the peace I find there in the temple.  Even just looking at a picture of it makes me remember how much I need that peace.

The front of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple in the early evening just as the lights have come on, with the fountains running near the entrance.
Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple

I looked at life and it seems to be swirling all around me making it hard to find time to make it down to our temple.  I feel a lot like the word from "Mater the Tempest is Raging" (words by Mary Ann Baker):

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high! 
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness.
No shelter or help is nigh.

 Sometimes it feels like we have to make it through the raging eye of the storm just to make it to the temple.  We don't have to do it alone, we can do our best and the Lord can help with the rest.  " I will go in the strength of the Lord God" (Psalms 71:16).
Why?  Why do I yearn to go to the temple so much?  President Gordon B. Hinckley explained, "Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sacred structures in which these and other eternal questions are answered. Each is dedicated as a house of the Lord, a place of holiness and peace set apart from the world. There truths are taught and ordinances are performed that bring knowledge of things eternal and motivate the participants to live with an understanding of our divine inheritance as children of God and an awareness of our potential as eternal beings."  ("Why These Temples?", Oct 2010)

Not only do we find the temple as a place to take ourselves out of the cares of the world for a moment, but it is also the center of making our family relationships last forever.  In my scripture reading this week, I read that Nephi--the son of Helaman--received a revelation where he was blessed with the Priesthood power to seal.  "Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people." (Helaman 10:7)

A Sealing Room in the Temple

I am thankful for the blessing of having my family sealed in one of these temples.  Years ago when my husband proposed to me we were standing in a building that overlooked the Salt Lake Temple.  When asked how far we could see, the reply was "Forever".  As we enter the temple and live Christ-centered lives, our perspective is moved from the "here and now" to an eternal perspective.

So, even though life is whirling around me, if I keep my eye on the temple and my heart on my Savior, I can have peace and the perspective to face all that life has in store.  Again from "Master the Tempest is Raging":

The winds and the waves shall obey thy will:
Peace, be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, be still; peace, be still.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, peace, be still.