Monday, 30 November 2015

Sundays Sermons: Being Prepared To Meet The Saviour & God Is Love

Being Prepared to Meet the Saviour
One of the most repeated promises in scripture is the prophesised coming of The Great Day of The Lord. when Christ ( D&C 43:5) will return to the earth to reign. The Saviour's return has been prophesied from the time of Adam right down to our day. In this the last dispensation of the fullness of times the prophecies have become more frequent and more urgent. Many times we are reminded of the Lord coming(D&C 1:1)
Many of us, because of recent events in the world and the chaos and disharmony have been brought to realise we are not ready for His coming. I began to think of being prepared myself to meet the Saviour from a ME point of view. I don't deny, many people are prepared, but what about ME? When I stop and think about this I remember one of my favourite primary songs which in relation to my talk helped me as a little girl. let me read some of that to you. "I wonder when He comes gain, will I be ready there, to look upon His loving face and join with Him in prayer. Each day I'll try to do His will and let my light so shine that others seeing me, will seek for greater light divine. And when that blessed day is here, He'll love me and He'll say, You served me well, my little one, come until my arms to stay"
I am a child of God, and unless I become as a little child, I cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven. I must be as a little child, humble and teachable. the Lords choice of words! Not simply great or only dreadful, but great and dreadful, a seeming contradiction. Whether the Lords coming will be great or dreadful for me, on my personal readiness. If I'm prepared, it will be a great day, if I'm unprepared it will be a dreadful day.
What can I do?
Well I can strive to transform my life until it is perfected (it seems I've been working on that for quite a while) we came to earth to strive to be perfected and then find ways to influence others, perhaps by letting my light shine. I know that I must work hard on getting to know God and His Son, my Saviour, Jesus Christ. How can one be prepared to meet a person, who one hasn't seen in ones life? So to be worthy to live in the presence of the Lord, I must know Him (John 17:3) How do I get to know Him? Through study of the scriptures, through prayer, and through obedience to His commandments. Should we be yearning to be like Him and to know him? I think the first thing I must do is to nurture a testimony. I must build a personal testimony of God the Eternal Father and His Son, my Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It is my belief that each member of the gospel, to be prepared for the Millennial reign must receive a testimony, each for himself of the divinity of the work established by the prophet Joseph Smith. So my personal testimony must be, to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that we have a prophet at the head of our church today.
I cant borrow a testimony can I?
The light within myself must guide me, I need constant guidance from the Holy Spirit. Christ taught a prayed with the Nephites (3Nephi 19:9). As a church member I have completed the prerequisites of faith, repentance and baptism and have had authorised hands laid on my head to receive the Holy Spirit. So just as love between friends and a companion in marriage must be cultivated and nourished like a new seedling, so like wise must my companionship with the Holy Spirit be cultivated, for me to meet my Saviour again. I must be my best, I must be worthy of His presence, to be prepared, I must remain faithful and watch for Him. If I study the scriptures, I am told, to look forward to the great day of the Lord "To watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day or the hour" and if we are prepared, we shall not fear.
It is futile to try to determine the exact time of the second coming, many do and many will continue to do so, but I am not going to be able to prepare for my Saviour coming at a moments notice, no it requires a lifetime of effort. I shall need to be kept wondering, in order to be kept alert. It seems a bit like the wise manager of a shop, who, leaving his shop, is carful not to tell his workers when he will return, so that they will work constantly, what shall I do to remain faithful? and retain the Holy Spirit. Well attendance at sacrament meeting will add oil to my lamp, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, prayer, studying the scriptures and being loving and kind to others will go a long way in helping me.
I know that I am far from perfect, but I strive every day of  my life to live up to the promises that I made at my baptism. I am so blessed that I have been able to learn at the feet of my son, who in all my wildest dreams never thought would be called as a prophet, but he has been and as a prophet of God he has taught me so much already. I pray that I may be ready when the Lord comes that I will be able to stand with him as I have been promised.
In His Holy Name. Amen.
Sister Alyson Gill
Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build  our foundation; … (Hel. 5:12). Our saviour Jesus Christ, can deliver on this precious promise as well as on all other pronouncements he has spoken.
Character Building
The portrait  of character to be focused on in the precious process of character building are all proactive; development of one hastens the development of another. Paul notes one spiritual sequence Romans 5:3-4 “Tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope”  and hope brings the love of God.  Jacob wrote  that people so blinded and diverted “must needs fall” (Jacob 4:14) Ignoring the Saviour includes failing to build Christ like character in order to be more dependable ourselves. Of course, conversion to the gospel and the Church can happen all at once in a burst of recognition and through the testifying of the Holy Spirit. However, most of us grow in knowledge and enlightenment. Mercifully, the whisperings of the Spirit move us along the path towards greater knowledge. Through it all we will need to be strong enough for ourselves but also strong enough to help others.
Examples of Christ’s Character
A few examples of the character of Christ will illustrate what we are to emulate, even for the already conscientious. Because we view Christ as the Light of the World, it is by His light that we should see everything else. Disciples are the real realists, whatever irreligionists may say or think. Unlike God and Jesus, who are omniscient, you and I are not. We can be unsettled by the unexpected or made uneasy by the unknown.  Furthermore, whereas Jesus paid the ultimate price in order to ransom us, you and I may still hesitate over paying the full costs of discipleship, including developing the key attributes of a disciple. We also tend to shrug off the persistent reminders of our sins of omission, as if our avoidance of the super sins of transgression  were enough. It is my opinion that in the realm of the sins of omission we can make more major, though quiet, progress than in any other place.
Like His Father, Jesus exemplifies love perfectly. He so loved the Father and us that He meekly and submissively let His will be completely swallowed up in the will of the Father in order to accomplish the Atonement, including blessing billions and billions of us with  universal resurrection. What He did is staggering to contemplate.  So profound and comprehensive is Christ’s love that even during His infinite suffering, He still noticed and nurtured finite sufferers who endured so much less anguish than He had to bear. For instance, He noticed and restored an assailant’s severed ear in the Garden of Gethsemane. On the cross, He directed John to take care of His mother, Mary. He comforted a thief on a nearby cross. In contrast, when you and I let ourselves get stuck in the goo of our own self-pity, we fail to notice the needs of others.  we can become a little more noticing and a little more nurturing. Let us reflect on our circles of love. Are they increasing in size, or are they static?  It’s so easy to deal with people as functions and stereotypes instead of as individuals. Are we lovingly patient with others who are also striving to develop? Or do we,  impatient.
Patience and Long-Suffering 
Routine and repetition may bother us, may bore us. But God and His Son, Jesus, are never bored with Their “one eternal round” because of Their perfect love. God is patient with us (see 2 Thes. 1:4; James 1:3). As striving disciples, therefore, are we willing to be so mentored? Tutoringly, the Lord has said, “Ye cannot bear all things now; … I will lead you along” (D&C 78:4). He knows our bearing capacities. Though we ourselves may feel pushed to the breaking point. Even outstanding and courageous Jeremiah was once discouraged. Being mocked and persecuted, he briefly considered ceasing from speaking out anymore. But then he said God’s word was “as a burning fire shut up in my bones, … and I could not stay” (Jer. 20:9). Jeremiah reached a breaking point, but he did not break!
Meekness and Humility
Jesus also exemplifies meekness and humility. In the ebb and flow of life, can we meekly respond as did  John the Baptist? Unselfishly he said, “Jesus must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Seemingly small, positive adjustments can make large differences in process of time. In our families, in the Church, and in other relationships, will we stop letting yesterday hold tomorrow hostage? Will we reclassify others, knowing that forgetting is part of forgiving? So “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ.” Why? So that those we love the most “may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Ne. 25:26).
His Love Is total
Whether we are old or young, married or unmarried, and with full or empty nests, the love of atoning Jesus for us is simply inestimable! Mercifully, the Lord tells us, “Mine arm is lengthened out all the day long” (2 Ne. 28:32). He waits with open arms to receive us, and on a later day, says the prophet Mormon, we can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mor. 5:11). “Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him “Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; “Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life” (D&C 45:3–5).
He is always thinking of us! I so testify, In His Holy Name Amen. Apostle Elder Philip Gill

Monday, 16 November 2015

Official Church Statement: The Church and Same Sex Marriage

Since the leadership of the LDS church based in Utah in the United Sates have made clear their stance on same sex marriage and children our church have been inundated with emails and messages on our social media outlets about this subject. As the Prophet of the church this has led me to try again to clarify and make clear The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ's position on same sex marriage and relationships. While I welcome the LDS church standing firm on this very delicate subject and not giving any ground I must reiterate that we are not them and we have our own standing laws on this matter.
The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ have made it clear on numerous occasions such as in our summer general assembly that we do not condone or support same sex marriage and relationships in any way. We consider them to be an act of sin and would encourage those who are in relationships like those to seek forgiveness from the Lord as he has made it clear that he looks upon any sin and a serious problem. As Apostles of Christ it is our duty to make sure that we yield no ground on this matter and that we stand firm. I consider all those that affirm that they belong to the restoration movement have a duty and obligation never to allow the Gospel of Christ to be compromised in any way, especially on this subject.
I hope that this has made clear again where The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ stands on this matter.
Matthew P. Gill
Prophet & First Elder

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sundays Sermons: The Spirit of Healing & Priesthood Power

I frequently travel to North Wales on business. While driving along the A5 through Snowdonia there is a small town called Bethesda.  There is also a church in this town called Bethesda Chapel. I often park my car there, and have a walk around the shop, and ponder when Jesus visited Bethesda in the Holy Land. And the healings He performed there.
When the Saviour began His ministry at the age of thirty the general health at that time was very different to what has developed in today’s medicine. There were no x-ray machines, no ultrasonic scanners. No cross matching of blood groups for transfusions. No operations as we know them today. Life span was considerably shorter. The general health condition was poor in comparison.  With these thoughts in mind Jesus performed many healings.
In the book of John we read:
1  AFTER this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9  And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath.
10  The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11  He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12  Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13  And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15  The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16  And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. (New Testament: John 5:1 - 16)
And again we read in Luke
10  And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
11  And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12  And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14  And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.
15  The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16  And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?
17  And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
(New Testament: Luke 13:10 - 17)
Men and women who are ordained to the Priesthood, and have sufficient faith to heal others is a gift of the spirit. Jesus possessed the power to heal others. He promised his followers would be able to perform great works. Through the priesthood, and the exercising of faith we can receive revelation to matters other then the immediate condition of the person, and the will of the Lord in connection with the gift of healing. In closing, we can read in the Book of Mormon:
And there were great and marvellous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.(Book of Mormon: 4 Nephi 1:5)
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apostle Elder Peter C. Barber

The Power of The Priesthood
What is the power of the priesthood? For our younger members and younger ones reading this online lets liken the power of the priesthood to the power of the Jedi in Star Wars.  It is a force to be reckoned with.  God created the earth and the universe with the priesthood.  The scriptures tell us that faith can move mountains, but I think it is more than faith that moves mountains, it is the power of the priesthood.  The power of the priesthood is a live entity.  You have to feel the power in order to use it to its full extent.  Jesus used the priesthood to make the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear and the dumb to speak.  Likewise if we really had the faith and understood the power and felt it we could also make the lame walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.  We could move mountains.  But alas we are human with human traits and limitations so we need to be calm and at peace with ourselves and with God.  The priesthood we hold is a powerful friend, it is a power given us by God and we should use that power only for peace and good. Again  for our younger listeners and readers lets liken how we use the power of the priesthood to the Jedi fighting against the empire the good or the bad.  It would be a brilliant place if we used the priesthood  the way it was meant to be used and people would say “The force is strong with this one” . So I pray that we might magnify our callings and our priesthood, feel its power and use it for good.  That it might indeed be said “The force is strong with this one” .
I leave these thoughts with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sister Annette Barber

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Official Church Statement: Paris Tragedy

The leadership of  Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ would like to extend our deepest sympathises and condolences to all those killed and injured during the evil, wicked terrorist attacks in France last night. I call upon everyone to offer up prayers for all those effected. We condemn this wicked act carried out by evil, wicked men representing a wicked evil ideology. We hope and indeed we pray that peace may be found in this time of chaos and evil.

Prophet Matthew P. Gill

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sermon: The Gospel & The Church

Both the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day church of Jesus Christ are true and divine, and there is an essential relationship between them that is significant and very important. Understanding the relationship between the gospel and the Church will prevent confusion, misplaced priorities and failed expectations in the Church. Such understanding will prevent disaffection and will result in great blessings. As I attempt to describe the relationship between the gospel and the Church, I pray that a perspective will be developed that will enhance the influence of both the gospel and the Church in our lives.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a divine and therefore perfect plan. It is eternal, unchanging, and is universally applicable to every individual regardless of time, place, or circumstance. Gospel principles never change as they come from an unchangeable and perfect God.
The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ is the kingdom of God on earth, it is administered by the priesthood of God with a prophet at its head. The Church has authority given to it by God to teach the principles and doctrines of the gospel and to administer its essential ordinances.
The gospel is the divine plan for personal, individual salvation and eventual exaltation or oneness with God in his ascended state. The Church is divinely commissioned to provide the means and resources that implement this plan in the individual’s life. Procedures, programs, and policies are developed within the Church to help us understand the gospel and the blessing it brings according to our individual capacity to learn. Under the divine direction from God, those policies, programs, and procedures may be changed from time to time to fulfil gospel purposes.
It must be understood that almost every aspect of the Churches administration and activates revealed and have a place in the scriptures. As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we can more effectively utilise the Church to make our lives increasingly gospel centred. As we strive to live the gospel and participate in the Church, the conformity we require of ourselves and of others should be according to God’s standards and not our own. The orthodoxy upon which we insist must be founded in fundamental principles, eternal laws, and direction given by those authorised in the Church by God.
Our understanding of the Gospel grows by studying and pondering the scriptures. Reading the scriptures, will help us learn the gospel as it is taught by the prophets of old in a variety of circumstances, times, and places. As we study and read we will come to see the consequences as the gospel is accepted or rejected by individuals or nations and as its principles are applied or not applied. In studying the scriptures we discover that varying institutional forms, procedures, regulations, and ceremonies were utilised, all divinely designed to implement eternal principles. The practices and procedures change, but we see that the  principles do not. Through scripture study we learn eternal principles and how to relate them to the church and its programmes. As we learn the scriptures we can better utilise the restored Church to learn, live, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A best example of what I am talking about is found in the Old Testament in the book of Leviticus. Leviticus is basically a handbook for the Hebrew priests of the day and it contains rules, regulations, rituals, and ceremonies many of which seem very strange and impractical to us today. However it also contains eternal principles of the gospel which are familiar and very much applicable to everyone no matter the time in which we live. In reading the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus, let us take great care in noticing the principles and the rules and the practices. In the first two verses we read, “And the Lord Spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel.” (Lev. 19:1–2.) In this we see the principle of revelation. So we see that God speaks to his children through prophets, and he still does today. Continuing, the Lord said to Moses, “Say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2.) Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:50.) Here the Lord is giving us an eternal gospel principle to be like unto him and become perfect, for this reason are we here to belike unto him, this therefore a gospel principle not church one. There are lots of other eternal principles found in the scriptures, some from the Ten Commandments some from other sources, these are universal gospel principles. Also included in the scriptures are the rules and programs intended to implement these gospel principles among the ancient Hebrews. The best example of this is the divinely directed responsibility to care for the poor. This is a great example of a program being presented, namely, providing food for the poor by leaving the gleanings of the crops and not reaping the corners of the fields. (See Lev. 19:9–10.) Yet another principle is given in verse thirteen of Leviticus, the principle of honesty. This principle is taught and accompanied by a rule requiring employers to pay employees for their work at the end of each day(Lev. 19:13). The eternal principle of honesty is implemented by these rules and practices. Again another example of rules and programs can be found in verse 27 which contains a rule about personal grooming (Lev. 19:27).  You will notice that neither of these examples is an eternal principle but they are intended to help us implement and share gospel principles. The principle of forgiveness is set forth in the same chapter of Leviticus, verse 18, concluding the second great commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” with the added divine imprimatur, “I am the Lord.” (Lev. 19:18)
As members of the church of Christ we should always obey the commandments and counsel of church leaders, but also through study, prayer, and by the influence of the Holy Spirit, we should seek and obtain an individual, personal witness from Christ that the principle or counsels we receive are correct and divinely inspired. Then we can give enlightened, enthusiastic obedience, utilising the Church as a means through which we can give allegiance, time, talent, and other resources without reluctance or resentment. When we see the harmony between the gospel and the church in our daily lives, we are much more likely to do the right things for the right reasons when they are asked of us. We will exercise self-discipline and righteous initiative guided by the prophet and a sense of divine accountability. The role of the Church is to help aid us in our effort to use our freedom and agency to choose correct principle creatively, not to invent our own values, principles, and interpretations, but to learn and live the eternal truths of the gospel. Gospel living is a process of continuous, individual renewal and improvement until the person is prepared and qualified to enter comfortably and with confidence into the presence of our Father God and dwell with him in eternal ascension, after all that is the goal that we set ourselves before we came here and now we must do what the gospel teaches with the aid of the church to live the gospel principles and do whatever is necessary to reach that goal.
My brothers and sisters, I have strived since my twelfth birthday to live my life according to the principles of the gospel contained in the holy write of God, I continue to do so. However, that which I know most surely and which has most significantly and positively affected my life is that the Holy Spirit has witnessed to me and I know Gods lives and that he is the Son of our Father God and it is for that reason alone that I strive to live my life according to the principles of the gospel. In conclusion it is by that same Spirit that I testify that God is our Father, that he has ascended and attained celestial glory, that Jesus of Nazareth is his Only Begotten Son sent to dwell in the flesh, and that he is the Saviour and Redeemer of all mankind. Through his atoning sacrifice, redemption and exaltation are offered to us as a free gifts if we will accept by faith, repentance, and sacred obedience to the principles of the gospel that he is. It is my prayer that each of us will continue to learn and apply the eternal principles of the gospel, utilising fully and appropriately the resources of the divine, restored Latter day Church of Jesus Christ.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prophet Matthew P. Gill

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