Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be True To What You Know!

This is just a personal insight from my New Testament class today. In our class right now we are just beginning the Pauline epistles and these are a couple of verses my teacher shared with us. Paul's epistle to the saints in Thessalonia he reminds them of how they came to know the truth of the Gospel. He says,

"For our agospel bcame not unto you in cword only, but also in dpower, and in the eHoly Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what fmanner of men we were among you for your sake.

And ye became afollowers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much baffliction, with cjoy of the Holy Ghost," (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6)

This is a reminder to the saints that the core of our testimony is made manifest through the Holy Ghost. Our testimony is not, and should not be, based on the word only, nor by the reasoning of the scriptures. We are to always remember the pure witness that we have each received concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If one has not received such a witness, then seeking it out and asking God for one is the step to take. As we remember the special moments in our lives when the Spirit has communicated with our Spirits of eternal truth we will be more confident in our faith. This faith will prevent us from being like the children described in Paul's other epistle to the people in Ephesus.

"...henceforth be no more achildren, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of bdoctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians 4:14)

This hope and faith provides an anchor for our souls as the tempest and storms of life rage on around us.

The Prophet Ether, from the Book of Mormon, taught this exhorting his people, and us today, to believe in God. I find a great deal of comfort in the words which he wrote.

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with asurety bhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which chope cometh of dfaith, maketh an eanchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in fgood works, being led to gglorify God."

Ether is talking about a sure hope for a better world at the right hand of God. Clearly, as is spelled out here, Ether is talking about the life to come and not this life. Ironically though as we have a hope for a better life in the world to come we will naturally go about "always abound[ing] in good works" in this life. As more and more of us have this anchor to our souls, fastened firmly to the faith in our testimonies, not only will we hope for a better world but we will create that better world here and now!

I know that as each of us has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repents, is baptized in the true church of Christ, receives the gift of the Holy Ghost by one having authority (see Act 8:12-17), and then endures to the end, that this better world that is so often hoped for and spoken about by politicians will become a reality. It will not be done through public policy, or government programs. It will be done as the children of God gain and are true to their personal testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ.