The church offers a place to partake of the sacrament. I can witness unto the Father that I am willing to take upon me the name of His Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments, which he has given me; so I may always have the Spirit of Jesus Christ to be with me.
I am grateful for organized religion, leaders who are called, and the opportunity to participate in fellowship with members. I acknowledge church leaders, who are sustained by common consent, are authorized by our sustaining vote, and have the right to direct the affairs of the church. Leaders have a tremendous task at hand. Sometimes they make wise choices and at other times make foolish ones.
I am an imperfect, flawed, and deficient human. I am in the learning process, ridden with errors, and seeking redemption. Leaders are human too. I appreciate their good faith, personal sacrifice, and desire to serve the Lord. I feel many are more capable to lead than myself. I sustain, encourage, and pray for those called to positions in the church. I do not question their right to lead and make decisions, even when I disagree with some of those decisions.
One of the most liberating doctrines taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is found in the eleventh Article of Faith, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
That’s one of the beauties of agency. All members of the church are not required to hold the same viewpoint, think the same thoughts, or advance identical beliefs. One person is not better than another. Everyone, who has not been redeemed from the fall, is lost and fallen.
We are warned not to worship one another, our self, or anything else, only God. We don’t have to fit the same mold, look alike, or be someone else. Just be the true and real YOU. Freedom of thought, space to speak, and open enthusiasm to listen, carefully consider, and seriously study matters of question are very helpful in the process of obtaining additional truth and resolving doubts and concerns.
I believe whatsoever is spoken when moved upon by the Holy Ghost to be scripture, which is the will, mind, word, voice, and power of God unto salvation. D&C 68:4 I accept the commandments of God, His laws, ordinances, pronouncements, and the church He claims. The church possesses priestly authority to perform the ordinances of the gospel and holds the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel. I seek to understand and live the truths preserved in the temple ceremonies, respect the rites, honor them, and trust in God’s promises to me.
It is a blessing, indeed, to have his church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I believe Joseph was called of God, translated the Book of Mormon, communed with heaven, and was chosen to restore much of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles, who will carry it to the remnant of Lehi’s seed in this last dispensation. 1 Nephi 15:13
Joseph had the gift to be able to ask God a question and receive an answer. There was no guessing or relying only on best personal judgment concerning the questions and matters he encountered. He received answers from heaven and divine binding revelation from Deity. When God speaks, whether by His own voice or by the voice of His servants, we are held accountable. When Joseph spoke in the name of God, it meant exactly that, and none of his words fell to the ground.
“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” D&C 1:38
As the head of this dispensation, Joseph revealed much light and knowledge, received the power of God directly from the source (God), possesses the keys of the kingdom, and offers the fullness of the gospel to the gentiles (us).
One hundred and sixty eight years ago today, Joseph was killed. In January 1841, he offered his life to buy additional time for the saints, hoping to persuade them and bring them into the presence of God so they could obtain Zion. God accepted Joseph’s offering and set up the contingencies for blessings and cursings. D&C 124
Instead of taking advantage of this extra time, the saints rejected God and forfeited Zion. Joseph was taken from them, and they were cursed. They were afflicted and driven into the wilderness without obtaining the fullness of the gospel.
This is a re-run of Moses and the children of Israel. Here is a series of posts for further reference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it still under condemnation and the judgment of God has not been removed.
“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.” D&C 84:54-58
The key occupant (Christ) doesn’t reside in His condemned and defiled house, but watches it carefully and warns his people. He wants us to connect with heaven and come unto Him. Jesus loves us and pleads in our behalf, “Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” D&C 45:5 Mormon declared, “And it came to pass that the Lord did say unto me: Cry unto this people—Repent ye, and come unto me, and be ye baptized, and build up again my church, and ye shall be spared.” Mormon 3:2
We must take the messages from God seriously, recognize our awful situation Ether 8:23-25, and not treat lightly the things we have received. The Book of Mormon is a handbook to help us gentiles to avoid deadly minefields surrounding us and to bring forth fruit Jacob 5:77 meet for our Father’s kingdom.