Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Theology — Jesus Christ is Central to Heavenly Father's Plan

Jesus Christ is Central to 
Heavenly Father's Plan

(February 2010 Ensign magazine)

Heavenly Father prepared a plan to help us become as He is and to receive a fullness of joy. He said, "This is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39)

As spirit children of our Father in Heaven, we lived in His presence in our pre-mortal life. This is called our first estate. We gathered together in a great Council in Heaven in which Heavenly Father presented His plan to us: We would come to earth, our second estate, and gain a physical body. We would also "prove" that "we [would] do all things whatsoever...God [would] command [us]" (Abraham 3:25). A Savior would atone for the sins of all mankind, making it possible for us to repent and become clean again (see Alma 42:23-26.)

We chose to accept our Heavenly Father's plan and Jesus Christ as our Savior. Because of the Savior's Atonement and Resurrection, we can return to our Heavenly Father's presence and live the kind of life He lives.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday's Word

"Thou has loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men. And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity." (Ether 12:33-34)

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote: "True charity has been known only once. It is shown perfectly and purely in Christ's unfailing, ultimate, and atoning love for us....It is as demonstrated in Christ that 'charity never faileth.' It is that charity—his pure love for us—without which we would be nothing, hopeless, of all men and women most miserable. Truly, those found possessed of the blessings of his love at the last day—the Atonement, the Resurrection, eternal life, eternal promise—surely it shall be well with them" (Christ and the New Covenant, 336).

Having experienced the love of God in our lives through his forgiveness and his divine enabling power, we are in a position to reach out, lift up, and liberate those who struggle with life's challenges. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another....We love him [and our brothers and sisters], because he first loved us" (1 John 4:11, 19).

(When Ye Shall Receive These Things, 380)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Visions of love

I apologize for not posting much the past few weeks. Life has been very troubling for me lately, and I'm working hard at keeping my feet under me. One thing that has helped me a lot during this time is reading the new book Daughters of My Kingdom about the history and purposes of Relief Society. After watching the video about this book, which I put in my last post, I found my copy I had received at church, and I started reading.

This book has given me a great spiritual boost of compassion and kindness towards others. I am so touched by how Relief Society sisters have, from the beginning, been motivated in all they do by love and mercy. There are so many stories told of how the Relief Society sisters, either in organized efforts or individually, found ways to love and serve their fellow sisters throughout the world, especially in times of famine, war, economic poverty, in widowhood, and when testimonies are tried and questioned. Relief Society has always been there.

As I read, I remember a vision I once had of my grandmother serving her fellow Relief Society sisters. There was a large Relief Society luncheon being held at church, and I had been asked to work in the kitchen that day, preparing and serving the food. As I worked alongside my sisters, I suddenly envisioned my grandmother, who had passed away several years before, working alongside us, laughing with the women, working hard at getting the food ready, all with a smile on her face. This 'vision' of my grandmother was so overwhelming (because I love her and miss her so) I had to step outside for a few minutes to cry.

My gramma - Alice Herker
Later, I was talking to my mother on the phone, and I told her about this experience. She said that if my grandmother (her mother-in-law) had actually been there at that luncheon, the kitchen is where you would have found her, because she was always finding something to do to help someone else. She hated to be idle. My mother also said my grandmother used to be a Relief Society branch president in Iowa (I'm guessing at least 50 years ago now) and she would drive for hours and hours all over the state to visit with the sisters and attend to their needs. Such dedication. 

It warms my heart to know that, as I read this book, I have personal ties to the heritage of Relief Society through my mother and my grandmother. It also warms my heart to think of all the Relief Society sisters throughout the world, converts to the church as my mother and grandmother were, who are learning about and teaching the mission of Relief Society to future generations of wives and mothers, strengthening the entire world one precious heart at a time.

God bless you my most beloved sisters, wherever in the world you live, whatever language you read this post in. I love you and I am thankful for you.