Monday, 30 January 2017

Sundays Sermons: Home is A Refuge & My Son

Home the refuge in the storm.

Ever since our first Parents came into this world with  it's Pitfalls & danger's, man has sought a place of security where he could live unmolested.  His desire for protection from the hot son (they did have it in those days), or the cold wind, the maraud animals,  has caused man to use his talents & inventiveness, until to-day we have the wonderful dwellings of this age. 
Not for us the cave with it's dripping roof & hard & often dusty floor, where if it was left for a long while one hunted for food, it stood a good chance of being occupied by animals, brought there by the remains of the last meal eaten there.  Nevertheless, it gave man in this age, the comfort of limited security & led by his inventiveness, to the construction of more habitable structures designed  better for the elements. Whilst the danger of wild animals no longer exist for us in this modern age, the longing for security and a place where all  things begin & end, still is a great force in our lives.  I am reminded of the Cratchit family in, Christmas Carol although       they  were relatively poor.  One feels the glow of warmth that rest's over it, & an assurance of the well-being of the family. We are led to think, “would that all of our homes could posses it's   virtues and enjoy it's blessings. But we remember that this is a description of a London home in
bleak London in 1843, over 100 & odd years ago!  This was a time when the simple virtues, characterised most homes, and when the gaining of material things beyond the ordinary needs of  life did not fill the lives of the family members as it does today. Tremendous changes have taken place in the world during these past 100 odd years ago.
Much that was sacred & traditional seems to have gone out, and new & different patterns of living and other interests of family members have taken over.  The physical aspects of the home are demanding more & more attention.  The traditional roles of the mother as the home -maker the father as the bread winner have almost gone. In many of the homes to-day the father & mother are both wage earners & both house - keepers, deemed necessary to meet the social & economic conditions. 
Children are being called upon to assume new responsibilities as compared with the things, children did in the past generations. All too many children now have too much unsupervised time, lacking in careful parental planning & firm wise guidance and direction.   The social activities we see or know about in the Cratchets home, have largely been taken outside of the home. The fulfilment of these divine purposes is not dependent upon things within our homes which yield to change, but rather to the simple constant virtues which need no alteration  because they are founded on eternal truths.
A few of the more important of these virtues........  A home founded on eternal marriage. 
The Father holding the priest-hood, by divine decree the head of the household, The Mother the home maker. Some one once said:  “A home is a roof over a good woman”. Another said: “A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes one woman to make a home. Where the home is ruled according to the word of God, angels might be asked to stay and they would not find themselves out of their element.  Love must abide in a good home – whether it be the cave dwelling of our ancestors, the simple crotchets home, or the sophisticated home of today. Discipline too, discipline founded on righteous principles – no home without discipline can be a truly good home.
Loyalty:  Unity, & a willingness to share in the home responsibilities. Unity is one of the foundations stones of strength, & the strength of a nation depends on the strength of it's homes. Fortunate are the occupants of a home where the gospel is lived and taught, where there is complete love & harmony, where it is expressed  in word & deed by the Father & the Mother, the Mother to the Father, & they to the children ( and of course, the Father to the Mother – he slips .)  And the children to one to to another.  To hear “please”, “Thank you ”, “I love you”, “I love your hair,” “I like your dress,”  “ your talk was very good today” “I was very proud of you today.”
As with the early man, the cave provided the best ground on which to meet the animal adversaries, affording as it did the situation where he had only the entrance to guard, his back being protected for him by the cave .  So in to - days complex society, home becomes the haven that we fly to naturally. As little children, it's home & Mother we fly to when we come to grief in tackling that world and it's problems, to  receive the  sympathy, direction & encouragement to try again. To try to master riding our bikes when it's easier to fall of than to stay on. To go back to school again when bullies pick on our deficiencies and impediments, to ridicule & deride us.  As grown ups, it's to the family we take our mistakes, our reverses in business, and here we receive ( or should receive) the encouragement to pick up the pieces & the strength to go out and succeed. In closing, may I read this saying. 
“Home is not merely four square walls
Though hung with pictures and gilded,
Home is where the affection calls
Filled with shrines the heart has built,
Home is not merely roof and room
It needs something to endear it,
Home is where the heart  can bloom,
Where there is some kind heart to cheer it,
What is home without none to meet,
None to welcome, none to greet us,?
Home is sweet and only sweet
Where there is one we love to meet us.
There is no substitute for a home -
it's foundation is as ancient as the
world, and it has been the work of God,
from the earliest times.  From Abraham
sprang two ancient races.”
In The Name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Sister Alyson Gill
My son
My son, my servant, mine anointed, and my friend are terms the Lord uses in referring to Joseph Smith. And the Lord commanded, “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ.”
Born in Sharon, Vermont, December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, Jr., was only thirty-eight years old when martyred at Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. But in his relatively brief life on earth he served as the Lord’s agent, receiving visitations from God the Father and Jesus Christ themselves, and from many other heavenly messengers.
Through him, gospel truths, the holy priesthood, and the administrative kingdom were again restored to earth for the benefit of all mankind and in initial preparation for the upcoming millennial reign of Jesus Christ. With unfailing care, “Brother Joseph” guided thousands of new entrants into succeeding growth epochs, until at last the infant Church stood on strong legs of understanding and faith.
“And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him; And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming
And it has been as the Lord said, “The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee; While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.”
Following the visits of the angel Moroni to young Joseph and his acquisition of the plates, Joseph commenced the difficult assignment of translation. One can but imagine the dedication, the devotion, and the labor required to translate in fewer than 90 days this record of over 500 pages covering a period of 2,600 years. I love the words Oliver Cowdery used to describe the time he spent assisting Joseph with the translation of the Book of Mormon: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom!” 4 The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us diligence—by example.
 1. An angel came to Joseph Smith,
And from the ground he took
A sacred record hidden there,
A precious, holy book.
2. It tells of people long ago,
Led by the Lord’s own hand,
Who left their homes and crossed the sea
To reach a favored land.
3. The Nephites and the Lamanites,
And all who came to dwell,
Had peace when they obeyed the Lord,
The sacred records tell.
4. And now I’ll read the sacred book,
And then I’ll understand
That Heav’nly Father loves us all
In each and ev’ry land.
With regard to josephs character probably the most damning is the inference and forthright accusations that he lived an immoral life pertaining to polygamy, this was and still is a complete lie and fabrication spread by Brigham Young and other false prophets to lead man astray and blacken Josephs name.
For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ; they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me. (LDS History of the Church 6:409)
Unfortunately, Joseph's carefully laid plans to prove his innocence were thwarted by Brigham Young and his followers—for they took Joseph's papers with them to Utah and kept them from the public.
There are a number of references in the Inspired Version of the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants which condemn polygamy, and none which command it to be practiced—but the most scathing denunciation of polygamy in Joseph's writings is found in the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. There the Lord gives an inspired message through His Nephite prophet, Jacob, more than three pages in length, which definitely forbids polygamy. It prophetically warns the Nephites that if they do not choose the Lord as their commander, they will choose to do otherwise—the otherwise being that they would degenerate into the sinful practice of polygamy.
It is important to review the circumstances under which the Prophet Jacob received this divine revelation forbidding polygamy. Years earlier, under God's direction, Jacob's older brother, Nephi, had directed the Nephites in building a temple. After Nephi's death, Jacob became the prophet-leader. The Lord commanded Jacob to go into the temple where the Nephites would be at worship, and bring to them a revelation condemning polygamy. In that revelation Jacob gave a stern condemnation of that dogma—and since Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon and proclaimed that it contained the fullness of the gospel, the Lord's denouncement of polygamy through Jacob is also Joseph's testimony against that false doctrine. Jacob declared:
the people of Nephi ... began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old, desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.... Wherefore, I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having firstly obtained mine errand from the Lord
I close in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Elder Philip A. Gill

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sermon: Today

What is meant in Scripture by the word “today?” Today, is a time for repentance and salvation. Tomorrow, is a time of judgment and burning. A fear that was expressed by writers in past Church journals was that today would cease before they had completed their mission and duty to the world.
“It affords us no small consolation to witness the slow but steady increase of the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints. The fulfilment of the prophecies, and the natural evidence of the fruit of righteousness, are sufficient signs for those that believe, and we rejoice that it is yet today, praying that many may hearken to the everlasting gospel. We hope, knowing that great things await us in this generation; we have faith because the promises of God are sure, and we pray for the faithful labourers in the Lord’s vineyard: they send us good tidings and we glory with them at the prospect before us.” (Messenger & Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 10, p. 153)

“Today,” is that brief time between the beginning of the dispensation to the Gentiles in 1830, to the day of the coming of our Lord. Those who fail in their spiritual duty while it is still today will have to face the judgment of our Lord who will come, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” (2 Thess.1:8)
“Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.....Hearken, O ye people of my church, and ye elders listen together, and hear my voice while it is called today, and harden not your hearts;” (D&C 45:2-3)

“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming. For after today cometh the burning, this is speaking after the manner of the Lord, for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labour while it is called today.” (D&C 64:5)

We live in the last generation of man between the time the dispensation to the Gentiles was closed and the time of the second coming of Christ. When the master of the vineyard comes to prune His vineyard for the last time, what will he do with those servants who failed to care for His vineyard according to His commands? “And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire.” (D&C 63:14)

Those who do not worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and do not obey the gospel of Christ can expect the baptism by fire (without repentance) that has been decreed by God upon the whole earth. There is nothing more certain than every person that has ever lived upon the earth has their own free moral agency to choose. We must never allude that another man must believe as us. Every person must make their own decisions concerning life and religion. Of course, each person must answer for the works in the flesh. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) There is no salvation except through the God of Israel. Those who know not this living God, that have received no revelations from Him, can have no faith in Him. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) “And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Ex. 3:15) All other gods are idols which the mind of man conceive of in their own vain imagination.

There is also no salvation except through obeying the gospel of Christ. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15) “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) No man can receive baptism except through one called of God as was Aaron and commissioned by Jesus to perform those ordinances in His name (authority/commission). “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (Isa. 61:1) “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” (Luke 4:18) “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:2) “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom 10:15) Man cannot send himself to preach the gospel. He would be acting in his name without God’s authorization. Such ministers profane the name (authority) of God and are subject to severe judgment. The apostle Paul said, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:9)

The gospel must be understood as the greatest opportunity in life. Obeying the gospel of Christ carries the only promise of eternal life. Soon, it will no longer be today. Tomorrow is the day of the Lord. Tomorrow will be a day of tribulation and destruction for all those that do not obey the gospel. Only the saints of the Most High are to be preserved. The prophet Isaiah said, “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” (Isa. 1:9) We must prepare, watch, and be ready. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Matt. 24:49)

“1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. 4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isa. 24)

Satan has set a trap for the unwary. He leads men to believe that Christ delayeth His coming that they do not have to fear the day of the Lord and spiritually prepare for it while it is still today. He leads man to believe that all is peace. “And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well, and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none, and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!” (2 Nephi)

Do not assume that as one of the sheep that you will be counted among the Lord’s flock when He comes to gather His sheep. “25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 26 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 27 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 28 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matt. 16) “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:33) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:30)

“For any person to suppose that it will be his privilege to sit down in the kingdom of God, in peace, with Peter and the rest of the apostles, who has not obeyed the gospel, and kept the faith of the same, unto the end of his days, will eventually find that the way of the transgressor is hard.” (Messenger & Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 3, p. 239)

It is still today; but, soon it will be tomorrow, the day of the Lord. There is little time left to prepare. It is our duty to make every effort, today, to secure our family in the gospel of Christ before tomorrow overtakes us as the flood. It is always the darkest before the dawn. There is a quiet before the storm. Even in the days of our late prophet Joseph it was understood, “ Sanctify yourselves, O ye servants of the Lord, for much is required at your hands: the blood of souls will cry against you except you hasten on your mission: yes, let all raise their warning voice, in meekness and in mildness, for SOON WILL THERE BE A FAMINE FOR THE WORD OF GOD.” (Messenger & Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 204)

Our first duty in the gospel is to our family. “Those who are favoured with light are bound, more or less, to communicate, at least a portion of their fellow men; and as we are required to respect our own flesh, the kindred ties which bind the human heart are inseparable, in the bosoms of men of God, and have the first claim in all cases where their salvation is concerned.” (Messenger & Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 252)

Tomorrow may be too late. “45But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 46 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that, in the last days. 47 Two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 48 Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 49 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 50 But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. but would have been ready 51 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 52 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 53 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 54 And Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 55 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24)

It is my hope and my dream that our family will be together for the Sabbath of Creation. No man should be an island to himself. It is only through the shared love of all that we can have hope. There is a great opportunity before us, today, if we control the future rather than the future controlling us. We know what is going to happen to the saints and to the wicked (in general terms). We may even know how close it really is. Consider for a moment why so many events have happened in the last year. Why have we been afforded spiritual understanding of these last days that has not been enjoyed since the days of our late prophet Joseph? Every sermon I teach brings to you a new understanding of our times and of our scripture. You have learned much since our restoration. But please my brothers and sisters do not assume that because you have been baptised that you will be counted among the worthy. The Jews will not accept their Saviour until He appears to them on Mt. Olives. It is written when the seed of Joseph “begins to come to an understanding” of their lineage the hour is nigh. Only those who are actively preparing, keeping their lamps lit by being actively involved in spiritual affairs will be counted. Read Matthew 25. Jesus was talking about you. Light is brought into our lives through prayer, reading, corresponding, and diligently seeking the truth. Those foolish virgins who were idle relative to spiritual things, had no oil, they had lost the spirit of prophecy and revelation. “11 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 12 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 25) “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” (1 Thess. 5:2) We must not let TODAY pass us by as if married to the world and to the inventions of hands.

Ponder for one moment why you have become privy to understanding such prophecies. You have stood and witnessed this year of signs. You learned much. What is the next major event to happen in this generation? Those who believe in the rock of revelation, have unwavering faith, and ask in prayer are promised to have such questions affecting their understanding, protection, and faith in eternal things revealed. Some of Mormons teachings “Wherefore take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil. For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that they may know good from evil; wherefore I shew unto you the way to judge: for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge, it is of God; but whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil, for after this manner doth the devil work: for he persuadeth no man to do good, no not one; neither doeth his angels; neither do they which subject themselves unto him.

“And now my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully: for with that same judgment which ye judge, ye shall also be judged. Wherefore I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ. And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing. For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing. And God also declared unto prophets by his own mouth, that Christ should come. And behold there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good, cometh of Christ, otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them. Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing: and thus it was until the coming of Christ. And after that he came, men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith they become the sons of God. And as suredly as Christ liveth, he spake these words unto our fathers, saying, Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased, because that Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath set down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men? for he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those that hath faith in him; and they that have faith in him, will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. And Because that he hath done this, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither hath angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, shewing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind, in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is, to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him; and by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof: and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. And Christ hath said, if ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said, Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.

“And now my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will shew unto you with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true; and if they are true, hath the day of miracles ceased? or hath angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? or hath he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you Nay, for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain: for no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man: for they are as though there had been no redemption made. But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ, because of your meekness: for if ye have not faith in him, then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church. And again my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you, that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal; and this because of your faith in him according to the promise; wherefore, if a man have faith, he must needs have hope: for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again: Behold I say unto you, that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart: if so, his faith and hope are vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly of heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity: for if he have not charity, he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail; but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with them. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is, that we may have this hope, that we may be purified even as he is pure: Amen.” (Evening & Morning Star, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 60

Above all things we must remember to love one another. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34; John 15:12) “ For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11) If we do not love one another, even as we are commanded to love God, the love of God is not in us and we do not share in the promises of God. How can we love one another when we seldom either see, or hear from one another? Communication is the life blood of understanding. Take it away and soon Satan brings strife and contention. Love without active involvement is love unrealised, no love. How do we know if we love God. “ 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14) How do we know if we love each other? By truly knowing each other, communicating with each other, and caring for each other as much as we care for ourselves, by having faith, hope, and charity for one another. We must trust one another, believe one another, and pray for one another. Let Satan come between us and we have lost. If enmity ever enters your heart, take it to God in prayer.

Soon, the dispensation to the House of Israel will be opened and those saints found worthy will be gathered to the city of God, the New Jerusalem. there, we will rejoice with Enoch and his city, the remnant of the seed of Joseph, build a temple for our Lord, and have Him for our God on a restored earth. We must be as one, for, if not, we are simply a part of the world and must share in the judgments decreed upon them. The real questions are: How much do we love each other and how much are we willing to sacrifice to realize such a dream? There are no blessings without sacrifice. The greater the sacrifice the greater the blessing. Many men have given their lives for an opportunity to share in this great event. You are among the very few that have been afforded such an opportunity in the flesh. When tomorrow comes, there may not be another chance. If we miss this opportunity, it may never return. How many times have the people of God been consumed by the world and lost? You can understand today, tomorrow, and eternity. You have the promise through the Holy Spirit to be able to learn and experience the eternal for yourself. Once tasted, you will never want to lose such a blessing. Drink deep of the eternal spring, join together in a love we knew before the foundation of the earth, obey the gospel and the commandments of God, and we have the promise to meet the Lord in the New Jerusalem, the city of God. It may be a dream today; but, it can become reality tomorrow.

Prophet Matthew P. Gill

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday Sermons: Our Spirits, Sonship of God

Sister Vicki Gill

Dear Brothers and sisters,
I was given a total of 2 days to prepare this talk so please forgive me if it isn't as great as usual.
Just before Christmas I had the pleasure and joy to take Levi to one of his football matches. I had to take the two youngest with me as well and my plan was to keep them in the car nice and warm. I took food and juice with us and had selected a wide range of DVD's to play on our lovely Portable DVD players.
We had travelled halfway to our venue when Leonardo asks me where the Players for the DVD's were. I told him they were in the boot, I then asked Levi 'where are the DVD's', I didn't remember putting them in the car but I remember giving them to Levi. Levi's response was 'on the side in the hallway'. We had brought the players with us but nothing to play on them, there was no way we could turn back and still make the match on time.
So we get to the match and the boys have to come out and watch. Whilst we are watching Levi, Leonardo started talking about Christmas and about Jesus, and said that when we are old we die and we go up to the clouds to live with Jesus. I said well... that the spirit world was all around us, this confused Leo, so I said that really when we die it is only our bodies that die, our spirits live with Jesus and our bodies get buried and that the spirit world was all around us but we just couldn't see it.
Leonardo still didn't quite understand what I meant about our spirits.
I told him that heavenly father created our spirits and that our mummies and daddies created the bodies and that when we are born the spirit goes into the body to make it move, when we die it is really our body that dies but the spirit lives on, without the spirit our body, our flesh and blood can't work.
Bless Leonardo as he still couldn't understand, he was getting there but not quite. Luckily we were wrapped up as it was cold and he had his gloves on, so I told him again
heavenly father created our spirits (show an ungloved hand) and that our mummies and daddies created the bodies (show the glove) and that when we are born the spirit goes into the body to make it move (put glove on and wiggle fingers), when we die it is really our body that dies (remove glove) but the spirit lives on (show hand), without the spirit our body, our flesh and blood can't work (flop the glove around trying to make the fingers wiggle).
Leonardo loved this idea and continued to put the glove on and off, whilst wiggling his fingers or flopping the glove around.
The things you discuss by the side of a football pitch.
In The name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Prophet Matthew Gill
Sons Of God
 When the gospel of Jesus Christ was ushered forth into the world, there was something beautiful and glorious, connected with it;--something which when rightly understood, had a tendency to enamour, and captivate the soul of man. There was a dignity, a glory, and a freedom associated with its principles, which the generality of men, and even the teachers of Israel knew little or nothing about. The Jews indeed had been taught "that to them belonged the promises, the giving of the law, and the service of God:" that "theirs were the Fathers," and that from them (according to the flesh) Christ was to come: but of the nature and office of the Messiah, of the kind of glory that should be revealed when he came, and of the dignity, glory, and fullness of those blessings that should accrue to the human family, when he made his appearance among the children of men, they seemed to be entirely ignorant, as well as of the union, and relationship to God which it would be placed within the reach of the children of men to obtain through the medium of his atonement, and the redemption wrought out by him. Long accustomed to types and shadows, to sprinklings, washings, sacrifices, and the observance of a law, that could never make the comers thereunto perfect, they understood not, and could not appreciate that more "excellent sacrifice," and the "better covenant," when it was revealed. They had long been "under a schoolmaster," and he had not taught them the glories of a celestial law:--the riches, glory, fullness and blessings of the gospel of peace, nor the freedom of the "sons of God;" consequently when the "true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world," made his appearance, "He was in the world, and the world knew him not." He came to his own and his own received him not; but to as many as did receive him to them gave he power to become the "sons of God," even to as many as believed on his name, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of man, but of God."
Not only were the Jews ignorant of these things; but the gentiles also, (who profess to believe the gospel) seem to be ignorant of the great principles that regulate the kingdom of God, and of the unspeakable privileges of the "sons of God." As the peculiar privileges of the gospel have long been banished from the church; as the light of revelation has long since ceased to dawn upon the professors of Christianity; and as the followers of Jesus have had no other landmark but that of the written word of God, perverted by the enthusiastic zeal of uninspired partisans and religious bigots; who however well meaning and sincere they might be, and however learned and intelligent in other respects, had no means of obtaining correct religious intelligence, nor a knowledge of the things of God. The world therefore must necessarily be ignorant, for "faith comes by hearing," (not by reading only,) and hearing by the word of God; and how can they hear without a preacher; and how can he preach except he be sent,"
“To as many as believed to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on his name," is the declaration of John. This declaration being made, it becomes us to enquire what peculiar blessings are connected with this sonship? and what is the nature of this heavenly boon referred to by John? "for says he, to as many as believed, to them gave he power" evidently showing that if they did not believe, they could not become the sons of God, neither could they without the "true light" referred to by John:--he might be in the world, and the world knew him not:--he might come to his own, and his own receive him not, but nevertheless he was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, as it is written by the prophet of the Lord, "the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. as also he is the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made. And the earth also, and the power thereof; even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings: which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God, to fill the immensity of space. The light which is in all things; which giveth life to all things; which is the law by which all things are governed: even the power of God, who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." Consequently, if in the world, there is any wisdom, any intelligence, any true principle it all proceeds from the "Father of Lights, in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning." All virtue, goodness, purity, righteousness that then may be in the world emanates from him, the great fountain of blessings, and the dispenser of every good; his blessings are scattered promiscuously over the universe; all the human family participate in his benevolence, "he sends his rain on the evil and on the good; and causes his sun to shine on the just and on the unjust yet he does not bestow his sonship upon all; nor introduce the whole of the human family to the nearness of that relationship.
To be a son of God, is to be born of God, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh but of God: to be related to, and be the son of God. Paul says in writing to the Galatians, now ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as have been baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ" . . . . `and if you be Christs, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." We may here pause--and ask, what we inherit? says Paul, "ye are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord." Consequently we inherit great blessings; we are conjointly with Christ the sons of God, and with him inherit like blessings from the father; he is our brother--God is our Father; and hence in Gal, iv:4-7, it is written, "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son made of a woman--made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.--And because ye are sons, God hath sent for the spirit of his son into your hearts crying, abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Through the atonement, and redemption wrought out by him, and obedience to the law of the gospel.
There is a depth, a dignity and glory connected with this subject that very few have had any idea of; but when rightly understood it has a tendency to enlarge the heart, expand the capacity, to give us just, and comprehensive views of the plans of Jehovah, and it justifies the ways of God to man. Narrow prejudice and bigotry flees at its approach, and haggard superstition hides its head in shame. It was a subject upon which the apostles loved to dwell; and Paul in writing to the Galatians concerning their departure from the simplicity of the gospel,--portrays the dignity, the freedom, the blessings, and the glory of the sonship in striking and vivid colours; and when contrasted with the folly, the weakness, and the absurdity of the gentile superstitions; and the `beggarly elements of the world' presents a thrilling discord.
It is an opinion that generally prevails in the religious world that all people who have united themselves to a religious body, if it is presumed that they have "got religion," are sons of God; an opinion than which nothing could be more absurd or preposterous. That many individuals have been serving God in different parts of the earth, and among different sects of professing Christians, with all sincerity, diligence, and faithfulness, we are free to admit; but to say that all those individuals, or all those churches were sons of God, would be saying that which could not be supported by the scriptures of truth: we doubt not their zeal;--we do not question their diligence, nor their desire to do good: but there are certain principles, which do not exist among them, which must necessarily be connected with the sons of God. If a man is a son of God, he can comprehend the things of God, enter into the designs of Jehovah, unravel the mysteries of the kingdom of God and contemplate the future designs of the Great I Am, as they shall roll forth in all their dignity, and majesty, and glory, and this they do not profess to enjoy. 
Did this principle universally exist sectarianism would fall and all the different systems of theology would crumble into ruin, idolatry would not have an existence, and Islam would be annihilated; Catholicism would be no more, the names of Presbyterian and Methodist would be blotted out, and all the different parties whether found among the Muslims, the heathens, or Christians all being taught of God; would possess the same principles of intelligence, and whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America, they would have the same system of theology; being taught by the same God, instructed by the same spirit, and led into the same truths; and there would be but the one church, which would be the universal church of the universal world. For if God teaches one man he will teach him the truth; if two churches were to receive his tuition they would no longer be two but one; and if he teaches the world the world will be one. There is a principle of intelligence connected with it that burns like a lamp in the bosom of its possessor:--chases away the "gross darkness" with which the human mind has been enveloped, and spreads a halo of glory around. Hence (says the apostle "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the `spirit of his son into your hearts." Persons thus situated are "therefore no more strangers; but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" possessing a union and relationship to him which nothing but the fullness of the gospel can impart; being no longer neither strangers nor servants, but sons.
There is a very material difference between a servant and a son; the ties that bind a father and son together are much more sacred, and binding than those which unite a master and servant. A father feels bound to his child by paternal ties, to his servant he does not: a father expects from his child a filial and an affectionate regard; but he expects a servant merely to do his work, and pays him for his services. A father reveals unto his son his purposes and designs, he does not acquaint a servant with them: a son inherits his father's property, a servant does not--having received his wages he has no further demand. Hence the reason of Paul's remark, "Wherefore thou art no more a servants, but a son, and if a son then an heir of God through Christ," and hence also the reason of our Saviour's remark. "Henceforth I call you not servants but friends" (they were his brethren, and God their father) "for the servants knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." I have revealed it. I have obtained revelations from the Father because I am his son: I have revealed them unto you because ye are his sons also; and my brethren and friends; "no longer strangers, nor aliens, but fellow-citizens." Christ had revelation, and they had revelation also; because he revealed his Father's will unto them, and they were placed in a situation to know the mind, the will, and purposes of God through the sonship. The great distinction was that a servant did not know what his Lord did, and a son did know; thus we see that a son of God has revelation, a servant has not, and this is the grand difference between the sectarians, and the Latter-Day Saints.
Take away the principle of revelation from the gospel and it is stripped of its beauty, robbed of its glory, and like Sampson when his locks were shorn, it is weak, feeble, destitute and powerless. Enoch understood something of the principles and nature of this sonship, for he walked with God and was not for God took him. Noah having revelations from God understood this principle; and Abraham also being a son of God was made acquainted with the designs of his master, he had revelations from God and knew what his master did. Isaac Jacob and Moses possessed the same principle, and claimed the same relationship, there were also numbers of them in Job's day, and we read that when the sons of God presented themselves before God, satan also presented himself and the Lord asked him, `from whence comest thou?' &c.; evidently shewing that the sons of God, in those days, came into the presence of God and had communion with and revelation from him. The Lord spake also unto Job and he answered and said, `I have heard of thee, by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee:' in fact we read of the sons of God before the flood and of their transgression with the daughters of men; Gen. vi. In fact it is through the medium of this relationship that men in different ages have had communicated unto them the will, purposes, and designs of the great Jehovah; or that they know anything of futurity, of God, heaven or hell. It is this principle that introduces men into the presence of God, draws aside the curtains of futurity, unveils the beauties of the eternal world, and enables man to gaze on the beatific sight, to behold the dignity and glory of God, and to contemplate the future purposes of Jehovah, as they shall roll forth in all their majesty, their dignity and glory. The Jews were, for a season, placed under a schoolmaster until Christ; but when he came he took all that would obey the gospel from under his tuition, took away the veil that had long been on their hearts, and came "to redeem those that were under the law that they might receive the adoption of sons."
When the gospel was restored, and this sonship again imparted, the heavens were again opened, and the visions of God unfolded; light burst forth upon the human mind, "and life and immortality were" (again) "brought to light by the gospel." Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured on the Mount, and Elijah and Moses talking with him; the sick were healed, the blind received their sight, the lame leaped as an hart, and the poor had the gospel preached to them; sectarianism trembled, and bigotry stood ashamed, hypocrisy was unscathed and narrow prejudice stood forth in all its native deformity; while truth stalked triumphantly and intelligence spread like the rays of the sun.
The spirit of God rested upon the people, on the day of Pentecost, "like cloven tongues as of fire;" men began to prophesy, to dream dreams, and to see visions. Paul was caught up into the third heavens, and heard things that were not lawful to utter. John on the isle of Patmos had the heavens opened to him; while prophesies and revelations were poured forth upon the church, which led John to exclaim "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not. Beloved now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is." How did they get in possession of this intelligence, but through the medium of this sonship, and the revelation and intelligence communicated thereby? What have we had from that time to this, but forms and theories;--the systems and dogmas of men without certainty, prophesy, or revelation? It is true that many have sincerely desiring to do the will of God; but they could only become his servants; because as the gospel has long since become corrupt and departed, it has not been in their power to become the "sons of God," however desirous they might be to avail themselves of that privilege. It was not until our Saviour made his appearance among men, that the Jews had "power to become the sons of God," and it was not till the Lord revealed himself from the heavens, restored the priesthood and the gospel in these last days, that men had power to become his sons; but as the kingdom of heaven is now preached all men may rush into it, and avail themselves of those glorious privileges which have long been forfeited in consequence of the transgression and apostasy of the church. Cornelius was a servant of God; he feared God together with all his house: he fasted, and prayed, and gave alms, and his prayers, and his offerings were accepted before God; and an angel was sent to him to tell him of it; he was as good, as virtuous, as moral, as sincere and devout, as any man could be at the present day; but he was not a son of God, he was only a servant; and it was necessary after all his piety, and virtue, and religion, that he should send for Peter, to tell him "words whereby he and his house could be saved," and so at the present day it will be found that however devout, and sincere the children of men may have been; that it is necessary that they should come to the standard that God has set up, for the salvation of the human family in these last days; repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and have hands laid on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, by those whom God has ordained, before they can receive the adoption of sons, participate in the glories of the gospel, and receive an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God.
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


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