Saturday, 13 July 2013

SERMON: Be Thou Humble

At the Passover supper some of the Twelve were disputing over who was the greatest among them (see Luke 22:24). Christ reminded them that the greatest is the servant of all and then gave them an example by washing their feet. (See John 13:14-15).

Christ’s life is the greatest example of humanity. Latter Day Mormons, those who are members of the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ have always known that if the Lord was meek and lowly and humble, then for us to become humble we must do what He did in boldly denouncing evil and unrighteousness at every turn and gravely advance righteous works, courageously meeting every problem, becoming the master of our own selves and in the master of all the situations that we find ourselves in being oblivious to personal credit and aggrandisement.

Latter Day Mormons know that we follow the Lords example by accepting his commandments. We are humble to the degree that we are teachable and open to counsel. We know that in order to remain teachable we must listen to the counsel that has come to us from the Lord through his servants.

The saviour illustrated humility with this parable “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off…smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:10-13). In comparing the two men, Jesus said that the publican “went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

We must always remember that the whole plan and purpose of this mortal probation is to test us to see whether we will seek forth the things of the world or whether we will flee from pride, humble ourselves before God, and walk before him with an eye single to the glory of God. We know that without the basic virtue of humility there is neither spiritual progression here nor eternal life hereafter. The humble member of the Latter Day Church is the one who discovers the great power of the Lord and their dependence upon the power of the Lord. They seek the help and guidance of the Lord through prayer and they show their willingness to follow him by obeying his commandments. They do not think themselves above others and serve with humility and patience. To such humble and teachable people the Lord promises knowledge and strength (see D&C 1:28) He says 2If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men to humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)

Let us remind ourselves that if we are true followers of Christ and humble ourselves, we will be led by the Lord, receive answers to our prayers and receive the promise of exaltation (Luke 14:11).  

Saturday, 6 July 2013

SERMON: Joseph Smiths Home life & Family background

With the recent anniversary of the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith having just past, I thought that it would be a good idea for us to look back at the first family an dhow they lived and what character they each had and how they influenced each others lives and the family itself

Latter Day Mormons and members of the Latter Day Church know that there is a lot of known about Brother Joseph’s early life and the teachings of his home and the life of his family, much of which we try and instill in our own families. A lot of what we know is from his own writings and teachings and form his parents and siblings writing and diary entries.

Joseph’s Mother Lucy Mack Smith had many qualities that were displayed in her children especially Joseph. Many of the qualities Joseph displayed took the form of courage, vitality, dependability, with a life long trust in God. Lucy Mack Smith found God through prayer whilst sick and promised a life long devotion to his cause. Although baptised she never committed her self to any set denomination. She spent her time fluctuating between Methodism and Presbyterianism. Joseph would say of his mother “she was a pious woman who was devoted to the welfare of her children and read the scriptures to her children daily”. She was the mother of eleven children seven of whom were boys. She raised all of them to be god fearing and to love God and to be obedient to his wishes.

As a child Joseph was encouraged to be industrious and to shirk idleness, working with his family on the land. Joseph’s Father too was a devout believer in God but remained sceptical of traditional churches. Joseph Smith Sr was a visionary man accused often of being a dreamer. He did have a series of seven dreams receiving messages from heavenly messengers, many about the future endeavours of his children and the founding of the church. Joseph Senior was a man steeped in Gods love and was also a very loving man often showing his wife displays of affection. His cherry disposition lifted the spirits of his family especially Joseph Smith Jr at times of great persecution and hardship.

Joseph Smith Jr was a great lover of wrestling; he often played at wrestling with his children, and could often be found rolling around the floor of his family home with his children. This was a love passed down to him by his father who was famous for his inter county wrestling. Hyrum Smith would remake that his family often struggled in their endeavour to turn tracts of forest land in to working land to feed and sustain the family. Economy was a must and although Father Smith also taught at school and was a somewhat modest business man the land was and remained their mainstay.

In summing up, the family environment in which the young Joseph grew up formed his character in to an idealistic and religious man. His family, Parents and grandparents all helped form a family environment that although God fearing did not espouse a particular form of Christianity thus paving the way for Joseph Smith Jr to receive the first vision and to establish the restored church upon the earth.

As families of the Latter Day Church and followers of the teachings of Joseph smith it is incumbent on each and every one of us to be an example to our families and children and to follow the example of the first family.

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