Monday, 7 December 2015

Winter General Assembly 2015

The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ held our Winter General Assembly on the 6th of December 2015. It was a great occasion which we all enjoyed. The video is now available on our website!church-video/ca58 and you can also read the sermons here on our blog page. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

My Christmas Traditions
CHRISTMAS was always a tradition within my family and extended family in my home through my childhood, I never remember seeing a Christmas Tree up until a few days before Christmas day in our road and surrounding area. I remember the religious part of Christmas, when I used to be in church and at school Nativity plays, how my parents used to make the costumes for both and attend both on different days. 
These are just some of the scripture and verses that were read out in the Nativity plays that I was in. Luke chapter 2: verses 4 – 7.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.) To be taxed, with is espoused wife, she being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought fourth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was none to give room for them in the inns.
I was an angel dressed all in white, with some tinsel for my headdress and a cotton bed sheet for my dress, with the rope from my dressing gown to tie a round my waist. For my wings my Dad made some out of card board with tinsel around the edges and then some cotton tape to tie them on with. Then once at another time I was a Shepherd with a tea towel with a rope around my head (from a dressing gown) a cotton bed sheet for my robe and more dressing gown rope to go around my waist, my Dad made me a shepherd’s crook with brown wrapping paper and tape that is used to rap around a parcel. 
Leading up to Christmas! I always remember the weather being really cold and snowy. I remember having to wear wellington boots, woolly hat, scarf, mittens, and a thick winter coat, I also remember that we went out side to play and make snowmen. I also remember how diligent my parents were in getting to church on the Sunday leading up to Christmas, my family tried to get to church on two buses in the snow with five children in tow, so we could worship the Saviours birth and to sing Christmas Hymns and read from the scriptures. How cold it was on the buses, because they didn’t have doors on them, we heard the bus conductor shouting move along the bus Please so my youngest brother Christopher and I would always try to go and sit at the front of the bus where the engine was to keep us warm and pretend to drive the bus, with the bus driver in his little cabin next too us.
When I was a lot older, and had children of my own, I remember the time my Mother told me of the Christmases we had, when I was quite young, after our Christmas dinners, we would all get our coats wellington boots and coat and gloves and go on a walk through the deep snow, with my Dad carrying me on his shoulders down to is Moms house at 9 Perton Grove. I tried to instil that tradition in my own family and we had many wonderful walks after Christmas dinner. I remember when I was a child on those walks with y mom and dad, It must have taken a couple of hours with five children in tow.  Once there I would see my little old Nan sitting in her armchair, surrounded by my fathers brothers and sisters and there families, we must of filled her living room. We would sit and play games, sing Christmas songs and have a great time. I remember when I was about six or seven when I got up to do my party piece, it was a song that I had learnt in church, it was called 'Jolly Old Saint Nicolas'.  Then later on in to the evening we would hear the loud church Christmas bells ringing outside, so the children  would start to singing Jingle Bells, and in walked Father Christmas. He would sit down on a chair, handing out to each child, Bags of Cadburys Milk Tray waste in a pea green paper bag. So I think buy know that you have guessed what my talk was about. 
Now I have children of my own and they have had children of their own, who have done the same Nativity plays within school and church, and as a Mother and Nanny I have seen them all however, I think it’s better as a Nanny you don’t have to make the costumes for them. I find now in this world we live in today outside of my family and the church, that Christmas doesn’t seem to have the same meaning as it does to me.  Nobody seems to want Christ in there lives especially at Christmas. The world in which we live in a cold and hard place. There are things happening in the world, people fighting other people over religion and intolerance and I wonder what they will do, when Christ comes knocking on their door? 
For me Christmas in a time to reflect on Christ, it is a time for me to spend with friends and family who like me love the Saviour. I will strive always to live my life in accordance with the laws of the Saviour and at this festive time of year when our minds are turned to Him, let us remember that His light needs to live with us not just for one day but every day of the year, in many ways we need to be like we were as children, full of excitement and anticipation because one day soon He will return and when he does it will be Christmas everyday.
God bless you my brothers and sisters. I pray that you all have a very merry Christmas and that the light of Christ is with you on Christmas day and in the new year to come.
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Sister Alyson Gill

The Childhood of Jesus

 Dear Brothers and Sisters.
As we come close to the end of the year and close to another Christmas I wonder how many people truly think about the Christ in Christmas.
We all know the story of Christ's' birth, how his mother and earthly adoptive father travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, how Jesus was born in a stable with a manger for a bed and how wise men and Sheppard's came to visit him. Little children hear this story every year when the nativity plays are on and they all want to be Joseph or Mary. But what happened afterward, we have the story of Jesus' birth and before we know it he has disciples, heals many people and teaches many more and then he dies. We don't know much about his childhood, was he good? was he intelligent? and the question that I always ask is, was he naughty? We know from the Gospel of Thomas that the baby Jesus healed people and that while in Egypt he healed a prince. We know that as a chided he healed the foot of a lame boy saying 'Arise, return to your work, and as you do so, remember me' Jesus also healed his brother James who was bitten by a viper snake, he healed him as well.
However two stories which I think outline the child in Jesus really well are found in the gospel of Thomas. In the first account Jesus is playing with his friends on top of the roof tops of the houses running and jumping between the houses. Why is he doing this? well like most children he is probably doing it against the wishes of his parents. Now during this dangerous game one of the boys falls and dies and all his friends scatter leaving Jesus alone on top of the houses. When the family of the dead boy come out they only see Jesus and they say to him 'you threw our son down from the housetop' Jesus of course denies having done this and says they shouldn't accuse him. The family of the dead boy shout out 'our son is dead and this boy, killed him.' Jesus then climbed down from the roof top and stood before them and said 'do not accuse me with a crime of which you are nor able to convict me. Let us go ask the boy himself. He will tell us the truth.' So Jesus went over to the boy and stood over the head of the boy and said with a loud voice 'Zeinunus, who threw you from down from the housetop?' Then the dead boy arose from being bead and answered saying 'You did not throw mew down, but someone else did' all those who saw and witnessed this and head the boys words fell down and worshipped God. In the second story the child Jesus is playing with his friends down by the river and they are drawing the water from the river in to small pools to have fun in. While they are splashing about and making trouble Jesus makes twelve birds out of the clay made by the water in the pools. The boys are having fun splashing throwing clay and water about when the son of Hanani who is a leading Jew sees them and says to them 'Why do you make noises and throw water and why are you making birds of clay on the Sabbath day?' He then goes to destroy the pools of water and the birds which Jesus had made and stop the boys having fun. Jesus seeing this runs to the clay figures clasps his hands over them and makes them fly away, as they do they fly away chirping. After this the boy Jesus shouts out to the man 'What have these pools of water and these birds ever done to you?'  I am often amused at these stories, they show us a human child side to the boy Jesus, they show us emotion, fun, mischief and real human feelings which I think are important when we think if the child Jesus. We also hear a little about Jesus' childhood in Luke Chapter 2 how when his family went on a trip to Jerusalem that he stayed behind... 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
well we've covered the Intelligence bit there...So to carry on...
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Jesus didn't tell his parents that he was staying behind to do his Fathers work, they didn't know where he was and he had to be told that he had done wrong, not for doing his fathers work but for making them worry.
I wonder how many other things did Jesus have to be corrected on? I'm sure there were many things, just as we have to teach our children not to touch fire or not to run out onto road, so would Jesus have to be taught too. Jesus was a child and we are told that children are innocent, that they have to learn and grow, that they need to be nurtured and shaped into the adults that they become. Just because Jesus was given the extra privilege of being able to talk to our Father above and was therefore able to learn of the spiritual rules does not mean that he knew the temporal rules, he needed a temporal family, a mother and a father, to learn those. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15 tells us that Jesus was tempted just as we are but that he was without sin.
So as we go forth into 2016 I would like you to think of Jesus the child and what mischief he would have gotten into, leaving his toys all across the floor, walking mud through the house and even asking for pudding without finishing his tea. Lets see if we can help our children learn the spiritual rules. Teach them the gospel, the 10 commandments, the word of wisdom and most of all that Jesus and Heavenly Father loves them very much, just like you do.
I leave these thoughts with you in the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Sister Vicki Gill
Discerning of Sprits
I am grateful beyond any measure, for the blessings the Lord has so abundantly showered upon me, upon my family, and upon this church. I now seek, most sincerely and devoutly, to be guided by the power of the Holy Ghost in bearing testimony of the truth. I pray also that the spirit of light and truth and edification so far present in this meeting may continue to rest in your hearts, so that you, being edified, will know of yourselves that those things about which I shall testify are true. I am pleased that I have been asked to speak again at General Assembly. This address will be my second and I am becoming accustomed to speaking at these events, which I hope not only fill me with the spirit but you as well. At this season time of year I have chosen to speak about the ability to discern spirits. Our Saviour Jesus Christ was a master of this and I believe that it was he who set the president for what we should be looking out for. Jesus Christ the Master was able to identify the nature of Nathanael to be able to identify his qualities before meeting him. Jesus had power to know the intentions of His betrayer Judas before he did what he did. We read:-
18  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
19  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am The Christ (Inspired Version New Testament John 13:18 - 19)
Although Jesus already knew who would betray him from teh start he still asked who would betray Him.
26  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.  And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the  son of Simon.
27  And after the sop Satan entered into him.  Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (Inspired Version New Testament John 13:26 - 27)
John the apostle also had a sound understanding of the gift, and to those he came in contact with gave the flowing  admonition  as we can also read in 1 John.
1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (Inspired Version New Testament 1 John 4:1 - 3)
Peter another Apostle of Christ also possessed this gift when he rebuked Simon the sorcerer a baptised member of the church as we can read in Acts 8:18-23
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. (Inspired Version New Testament | Acts 8:18 - 23)
The Book Of Mormon is also very informative concerning this gift. Alma when debating with Korihor discerned the spirit which motivated that antichrist. We read.
42  Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God. (Book of Mormon Alma 30:42)
3. When Amulek opposed  the wicked lawyer Zeezrom he testified that he discerned the lawyers thoughts through the gift of the spirit. Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit; (Book of Mormon Alma 12:3)
I think I speak for each one of you, I know I do for myself and my family, when I say that in this solemn general assembly with the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord that has been present as we have sustained the authorities of the Church, I think all of us desire to rededicate our lives to the principles of truth and righteousness. Let this then be our covenant, whatever the past has been, let this then be our covenant, that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless. Let this be our covenant, that we will keep the commandments of God and be living witnesses of the truth and divinity of this glorious work. I pray that God, may grant that I and my family and all the faithful members of the church near and far may walk in truth and light, that is found nowhere else on earth outside the Church.
Once again I am thankful for all the wonders of the gospel of Christ. I am grateful that I to have the gift of discernment and I know that the power to do these things comes from God. I pray that you all have a very Merry Christmas and in this most special time of year give a small thought to Him who made us all and has placed us in this church to do the work we are doing. I am so grateful for the privilege that I have of serving the Lord and being his Apostle here at this time and serving in His church. All of this I say humbly and gratefully, in the spirit of testimony and of thanksgiving, and in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apostle Elder Peter Barber
The Living Prophet
This is my first ever General Assembly sermon and I am a little nervous, but I hope that what I have to say today will touch your sprit and testify of the truth of the words that I have prepared. So here I go.
The Lord closed section 1 in the Doctrine and Covenants, with these words: “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.)
So I ask. What is a living prophet? His age? He may be young or old. He need not wear a tunic or carry a shepherd’s staff. His physical features are not important. A prophet does not need educational degrees nor does he need to come from any special social class. He may be rich or poor. He needs no credentials from men. What is it, then, that qualifies a man to be a prophet?
Well, foremost, God must choose him as his prophet! This is entirely different than for man to choose God. The Saviour, speaking to his apostles, said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit. …” (John 15:16.) 
Some may wonder at such power and authority being given to one man. Some might say “Could he not lead us astray?” I say in answer to that, the Lord will never permit the man who stands as prophet and first elder of this church to lead you astray. I say that if he were to attempt to do anything wrong then the Lord would remove him from being a prophet.
A prophet, then, is the authorised representative of the Lord. While the world may not recognise him, the important requirement is that God speaks through him. A prophet is a teacher. He receives revelations from the Lord. These may be new truths or explanations of truths already received. It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets of the past. Many people do. However for some mysterious reason there is an aura of credibility about them. It is not so with the prophet who lives among us, who must meet life’s everyday challenges. But it is a great thing to believe in the living prophet. Our salvation relies upon our belief in a living prophet and adherence to his word. He alone has the right to revelation for the whole Church. His words, above those of any other man, ought to be held with great care and considered by the Church as well as by the world. One day this truth will be understood. I know just how hard it is for a man to be a prophet. My dad is a prophet and I see just how hard he works and how much he feels the responsibility of his calling. My dad, the prophet. It sounds weird in a way to say it, but that is what he is. The Lord chooses to speak through him and chooses to direct his church through him and I appreciate the work he does. For most of my life my dad has been a prophet. He has brought forth new scriptures and has under direction from God established a church, this church The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ I have been baptised by him and I have been given the priesthood by him and now I stand as a priest in the kingdom of God because of him. I know that one day I too will be called by God to stand as his mouth piece upon the earth, I hope that its not soon because I still have lots to learn, but I know that if I follow the counsel of my living prophet here today then I shall be ready when the Lord calls me to stand as his prophet. I hope that I can lead as my father has done in the ways of God, I am proud that my dad is a prophet, sometimes its hard but I know that my dad is a prophet I can learn from him in a way that no other person can.
In closing I encourage us all to listen to the prophets voice and then we will hear the word of God in our day, I know that it can be hard sometimes, but I know deep down that if we will do these things that we will be blessed as a people and as a church.
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Priest Levi M. Gill
Prophets Address at Winter GA 2015
My dear brothers and sisters. As we now come to the closing of another great general assembly of the Church, I wish you to know that my heart is full of gratitude for the generous outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord which we have enjoyed today. I wish to express my heart felt thanks for those that have spoken to us today, to Elder Gill for conducting this meeting.
We sit here have been fed the bread of life, and our desires to serve the Lord and keep his commandments have increased. It has been good for us to be together today in solemn worship as we start this very special Christmas month.
May I express before you all today the profound appreciation I have for the faith, devotion, and service of the two great men who stand beside me in the Presidency of the Church. Apostle and Second Elder Philip A. Gill is a spiritual giant with faith like that of Enoch of old. He has the spirit of revelation and magnifies his calling as the Second Elder and Standing Apostle of the church.
Apostle and Third Elder  Peter C. Barber is also one of those great and noble spirits who was prepared from eternity to render the important service he is now performing in this, the Lord’s church. He is a man of great ability and integrity.
The First Council of the Church is united as one, and it is my prayer that we may forever be one, even as Jesus said that he and the Father and the Holy Ghost are one. This same oneness should prevail across the entire church and within everyone that holds the priesthood of God.
I am also very grateful for the labours and ministry of all the priesthood who help make this church continue to faith and strength, I want you to know that I love the priesthood of this church.
I also feel in my heart that I must bless the faithful and diligent members of the Church and all those that contribute to the church . Just as surely as they continue to walk in the paths of truth and virtue, they shall have the desires of their hearts in righteousness and shall go on to eternal reward in our Father’s kingdom in due course of time.
I have sought all my days to keep the commandments and to do those things which will please the Lord, and I desire to bear testimony of his goodness to me and likewise his goodness to all his children who have promised to keep his commandments. As I stand before you now, I am reminded that one day I shall be called upon to give an account of my stewardship, that one day I shall be asked to step aside in order for a new younger and more able man to fill my shoes. I bear testimony again of the truth and divinity of this great work. I know that God lives and that he sent his beloved Son into the world to atone for our sins. I know that Joseph Smith was and still is a prophet, moreover, that this is the Lord’s church, and that the gospel cause shall roll forward until he shall call in his Day.
I am sure that we all love the Lord. I know that he lives, and I look forward to that day when I shall see his face, and I hope to hear his voice say unto me: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34.)
And I pray that this may be the happy lot of all of us. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, enjoy this very special time of year with your families and loved ones and try in all the chaos to give a thought to Him who's birth we celebrate at this wonderful time of year.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prophet Matthew P Gill

Friday, 4 December 2015

Official Statement: Thank You To Our Friends

As the end of the year approaches we would like to extend the thanks of the first council of the church and the members to all our supports all over the world. We would like to thank our brother, Vijay Kumar in India, Brother Bruce Briones in the Philippines and Jose Costa in Brazil. Your support this year has been amazing. The work that you are all doing in the name of the church and the Lord is of vital importance, so we thank you for all your hard work and devotion. We pray that the Lord may provide the means for us to visit with each and everyone of you in the new year and thank you in person. Until then God bless each and everyone of you and may the Lord sustain your efforts and bless your lands. God Bless.

The First Council of the Church.

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