Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Have Value

Recently I have been thinking of why God would care enough to know me or hear and answer my prayers. There are so many more important things going on in the world that he has to deal with, does he really care about me? Moses when he was shown the creation of this earth said: “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing..” (Moses 1:10) William Lund spoke to the students at BYU about the number of galaxies that the Hubble telescope has captured:

“The Pinwheel Galaxy, which is 25 million light years from us, contains 100 billion stars, smaller than the 300 billion of our own galaxy. Pointing Hubble Telescope to what seemed to be a minuscule vacant region of the sky it captured 5,500 galaxies that are about 3.2 billion light years from us. We imagine that these images are similar to what we can see from any other view of the universe, the number of galaxies and the number of stars in those galaxies. I feel very small.  How is it that a planet as small as ours orbiting a single star orbiting among billions of galaxies that seem endless can attract the attention of the creator?” (“For God So Loved You”, William B. Lund, BYU Devotional, August 05, 2014)
In the vision Moses saw of the creation the Lord said to him:

And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:33, 38-39)

Back to Bro. Lund’s question: “How is it that a planet as small as ours orbiting a single star orbiting among billions of galaxies that seem endless can attract the attention of the creator?” We lean in the last verse of the scripture above that our Heavenly Father’s work is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. The world we live on and the entire universe was created for us.  President Uchtdorf speaking in a General Conference address talked about how much we matter to our creator:

“But even though man is nothing, it fills me with wonder and awe to think that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

“And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind.8 In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters.

“This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it.” (“You Matter to Him”, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference, October 2011)
Former President of the Logan Utah Married Student 1st Stake, Ray Reutzel, shared his thoughts about how God is involved in the intimate details of our lives:

“How is it that the God of Heaven who is without sin has set his heart on something as menial as us. He has graven our image on the palm of his hand and weeps for us. What does that tell us of our God? Does he live in a realm that is untouched and unblemished to our suffering and pain? Is his willingness to weep for us evidence of his love and the nature of being a God?

He is involved in the intimate details of our lives and he makes himself vulnerable to those things that hurt us and make themselves vulnerable to pain because they love us.” (President D. Ray Reutzel to Logan Utah Married 1st Stake Council, November 28, 2012)

I have had many experiences that have taught me that my Heavenly Father knows me and is there to help me when needed.  I shared one example at the beginning of this blog on July 7th, 2013. It was titled “TheTender Mercies of the Lord”. I related how I was struck with pancreatitis and was very ill for some time. I was given a blessing by my bishop at the time and was told that it was not my time to depart this life that the Lord had other things for me to do.  That bishop is now the stake president of the student stake that I serve in and he is the one that called me to be the bishop. I asked him when he extended the call to me if he knew when he gave me that blessing 10 years ago that serving as a bishop to the students of Utah State University was what the Lord had in mind. He said: “Not only did I not know that, but that I would be the person to call you to be a bishop”.  I know that call came from God and that he extended my life to be able to serve at this time. There have been many other reasons that I was not taken at the time of my illness, but serving as a bishop has been a great blessing to my family and me.

In another one of our stake council meetings, President Reutzel spoke about the how the Savior’s Atonement though infinite and eternal is also a personal atonement. He taught that somehow the Savior was able to step out of time and space and have each one of us personally come to him and allow him to take all of our sins from us and free us from those sins. What a wonderful concept; the Savior was able to make the atonement a personal thing for each one of us and we are all able to be clean before our Heavenly Father because of the love that our Savior has for each one of us.

Bro. Lund shared with the BYU students that one the members of his ward speaking in sacrament meeting said that we all know that we call 911 when we need help in an emergency. She said that we should remember the number 991 as it relates to service. The Savior spoke of leaving the 99 to go rescue the one lost. In those parables, the Savior has extended the challenge to us to leave the 99 and go in search of those who are lost.

Sometimes as we wander in the chaos and storms that rage around us, we get lost and think we have little or no value. Even though Moses said that “man was nothing” he also learned that to God we mean everything. The Apostle John wrote:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God loves me (and you) enough to send his only begotten Son so that I (and you) could have everlasting life. That is the greatest of all the gift of God and that is worth giving up all my sins for.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Believe In God

Have you ever wondered if God is real? If he is real does it matter if we believe in him? If he is real and we don’t believe in him does that matter? The answer to all these questions is YES.

There are many around us that do not believe. Some say that God is something that man has created to help us through difficult times. They also say that we are a product of evolution and that everything has happened by chance over millions of years. If God is real and we do not believe does not make him not exist?

In the first chapter of Genesis the first verse it says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Later in that same chapter it says:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

We are not a product of chance or evolution. God created us in his image. Perhaps you will say that the scriptures are just stories made up by men to enslave us to the traditions of men and to guilt us into living according to their ideals. How can we really know the truth about God and can it be proven? If God does exist, why doesn’t he just show himself to us?

There is another scripture written by a prophet here on the American continent about 124 B.C (it is interesting to note that those who created our calendar believed in God) he said:

Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. (Mosiah 4:9)

We are here to develop faith in God and in his Son Jesus Christ. The first Article of Faith states: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost”. Why do we need to live by faith? President Wilford Woodruff, fourth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said:

“During our life on the earth, we are to walk by faith and not by sight.
“Faith is the first principle of the Gospel. What is faith? Paul, in writing to the Hebrews, undertakes to explain it. He says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;” and to prove this he goes on to tell what different men accomplished through faith [see Hebrews 11]. I look upon faith as one of the most important principles that God ever revealed to man.

“If we had correct understanding we should all see as the Lord does, and should understand how his purposes will be accomplished; but we are to walk by faith and not by sight.

“When we get to the other side of the veil, we shall know something. We now work by faith. We have the evidence of things not seen. The resurrection, the eternal judgment, the celestial kingdom, and the great blessings that God has given in the holy anointings and endowment in the temples, are all for the future, and they will be fulfilled, for they are eternal truths. We will never while in the flesh, with this veil over us, fully comprehend that which lies before us in the world to come. It will pay any man to serve God and to keep His commandments the few days he lives upon the earth.

“Brethren and sisters, you should live by faith, realizing every day that all power rests with God, and that it is through him that we are able to live in peace and enjoy plenty.

“The Gospel of Christ requires faith all the day long.” (TheTeachings of Wilford Woodruff, Chapter 15)

Alma, another American Prophet, who live about 75 years before Christ was born, told us that we could develop our faith by testing the word of God. He compared the word to a seed that if we plant the seed and nourish it and if the seed began to grow, then we would know the seed is good. He then said:

when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good. (Alma 32:28, 29, 32, 33)

The challenge for us is to develop our faith by keeping the commandments and seeing if we become better people. We are to follow the example of Jesus Christ and love all men, even our enemies and see if blessings come. As we do these things we will come to know it is right and our faith deepens and we know by the Holy Ghost the Gospel is true and that God does live and will bless us as we keep his commandments.

There are many who teach that there is no God or Satan, that whatever we do is ok as long as we do not harm others it does not matter how we live. That is the same lie that Satan has been spreading since he was cast out of heaven and sent here to the earth. His entire existence is spent trying to convince us that he is not real and if he is not real then there is no God. The Book of Mormon gives an example of this when an Anti-Christ came among the people spreading these lies. He was brought before the Prophet Alma to be judged. Korihor accused Alma and the priests and teacher of teaching the people to believe in silly traditions. Alma asked Korihor if he believed that there is a God to which he said no and asked Alma for proof that God existed. Alma said:

Now Alma said unto him: Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.
And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.

But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?

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. (Alma30:39-42)

I believe that there is as much proof that God is real as there are those that think they can prove that there is no God. It is up to us to choose faith and believe, to test the testimony of the prophets in the scriptures. As we live lives of faith we eventually come to know for ourselves what is true. If God were to come down and show himself, there would be no doubt; no room for faith. We must live by faith so we can prove ourselves worthy of his blessings. Having a sure knowledge ends the need for faith. Without faith we do not have agency and without agency then justice has no claim on us and mercy has no role for those who repent and seek forgiveness. The time will come when Jesus Christ will come again and reveal himself to the world. Then our faith will be no longer needed we will all know. We will all bow down on our knees and confess that Jesus is the Christ and that it was he who came in the meridian of time to his people and they rejected him.

The closing chapter of the Book of Mormon has a promise to all those who will read it and ponder what it means. The promise says:

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:4-5)

No other book has this promise. We are promised that if we read the Book of Mormon and ask God in the name of Christ if it is true, he will answer our prayers through the Holy Ghost. We can know the scriptures are true, that God does live and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. We are his children and if we keep his commandments we will prosper and be blessed.

I have tested that promise and have been given that witness to know that we are created in the image of God that Jesus Christ lived and died for our sins. I know that after three days he rose from the dead and lives today. Because I know these things, I know how to live and what I must do to be worthy of eternal life after I leave this mortal world.

It does not matter that there are those who deny that God is real. Their lack of belief does not change the reality that God lives and those who do not believe will in the end bow their knee and confess that he lives.

Your comments are questions are welcome. To post a comment, click on the "No Comment" link below.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Steadfast and Immovable

One of the great Book of Mormon kings was King Benjamin. At the end of his days he gave one of the greatest sermons on what it means to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and to be born again of him as we covenant to live the life that Christ lived, in the service to all of Heavenly Father’s children. The last thing he said to his people after they had entered in to this covenant was:

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen. (Mosiah 5:15)

What does it mean to be steadfast and immovable? Elder David A. Bednar speaking to the students at BYU-Idaho explained what it meant. He said:

“The word “steadfast” is used to connote fixed or secure in position, solid and firm in substance, unshaken, and resolute (Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Vol. VII, pp. 689-690).  The word “immovable” is used to indicate that a person or thing is not subject to change, unalterable, and firmly fixed; it also suggests the quality of being unyielding and incapable of being diverted from one’s purpose (Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Vol XVI, p. 589).  Thus, a person who is steadfast and immovable is solid, firm, resolute, firmly fixed, and incapable of being diverted from a primary purpose or mission.” (“Steadfast and Immovable”, David A. Bednar, BYU-Idaho Devotional, September 9, 2003)

He then uses Aesop’s fable “The Hare and the Tortoise” to teach the principle that slow and steady will always win the race:

“What is the implication of this simple but profound fable?  Slow but steady wins the race.  The tortoise made consistent and persistent progress on the prescribed course, displayed a determined sense of direction and discipline, and exhibited both strength and stamina.  This modest creature was a model of being firmly fixed and resolute in his strategy of steadiness in the race against the hare.”

How do we become steadfast and immovable? Elder Bednar outlined six things that we need to do:

1.              A solid foundation with Jesus Christ as our foundation
2.              Belief in the Prophets and their writings in the Scriptures
3.              Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
4.              Repentance
5.              A mighty change of heart
6.              Firm and steadfast in the faith

Elder Bednar then provides several examples of the blessings that come from being steadfast and immovable. He said:

Let me repeat and reinforce this first great blessing associated with being a steadfast and immovable disciple of the Savior; such a follower of Christ consistently is focused upon and striving to understand the fundamental and foundational doctrines of the restored gospel.

“Second, as we become more spiritually mature and increasingly steadfast and immovable, we are less prone to zealous and exaggerated spurts of spirituality followed by extended periods of slackness.  Recall the tortoise in Aesop’s fable to whom I referred earlier as an example of steadiness and persistence.  The hare, on the other hand, is a classic example of a “spurter”- one who is given to short bursts of spectacular effort followed by frequent and lengthy periods of rest.

“A spurt may appear to be impressive in the short run, but steadiness over time is far more effective, far less dangerous, and produces far better results.  Three consecutive days of fasting ultimately may not be as spiritually effective as three successive months of appropriate fasting and worship on the designated fast Sunday.  An attempt to pray one time for five hours likely will not produce the spiritual results of meaningful morning and evening prayer offered consistently over five weeks.  And a single scripture-reading marathon cannot produce the spiritual impact of steady scripture study across many months.”

Another blessing that Elder Bednar talks about is illustrated from the parable of the ten virgins. He quotes from President Spencer W. Kimball:

The foolish [virgins] asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant.  The wise had to go, else the bridegroom would have gone unwelcomed.  They needed all their oil for themselves; they could not save the foolish.  The responsibility was each for himself.

This was not selfishness or unkindness.  The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable.  How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge?  How can one share faith or testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity, or the experience of a mission?  How can one share temple privileges?  Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself.
The foolish virgins were not averse to buying oil.  They knew they should have oil.  They merely procrastinated, not knowing when the bridegroom would come.

In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market.  In our lives, the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living.  Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years.  Fasting,
family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures- each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store.  Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity-these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can, at midnight, refuel our exhausted lamps. (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 255-256)

Again he says, “consistent, reliable preparation and performance wins the race and provides the essential oil for our lamps”. There are two verses in the Hymn “How Firm a Foundation” that illustrate this principle:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
(Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, No. 85, v. 3, 7)

In today’s tumultuous world having a firm foundation based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continuing to be steadfast and immoveable in keeping the commandments of God and making and keeping temple covenants will help ensure that we along with our children will have an inheritance in the Kingdom of God here on the earth and the Kingdom of God when Christ returns to reign.

Your comments are always welcome.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What Manner of Man Out Ye To Be?

Last week I shared three parables of things that were lost and then found again. I ended with the parable of the prodigal son. One aspect of that parable was the reaction of the dutiful son. He resented the attention that the younger prodigal son was getting. The older son said:

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. (Luke 15:29-30)

The older son felt cheated; he had stayed and labored everyday with his father, he did not squander his inheritance like his younger brother. He was jealous that his father was so accepting and forgiving of his younger brother. Elder Richard Anderson spoke of the dangers of allowing feelings of jealousy and self-righteousness to fill our lives:

“What does the ending of the parable signify for the dutiful son? Perhaps he is like those of us who fill our assignments and attend our meetings, but fail to learn charity—that unconditional love the Father has for all his children and which he commands us to obtain and exercise. (See Moro. 7:33–48.) For those of us whose lives are similar to that of the dutiful elder brother, the challenge is to learn to welcome God’s repentant sons and daughters—our brothers and sisters—with godly love.

“Self-righteousness is a form of egotism that breeds intolerance and impatience. Lack of empathy is its major symptom. Since self-righteousness is an unhealthy inner pride, the cure for it is honest humility. Jesus, the most righteous of all, was the perfect example of humility. He said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matt. 11:29.) (“Parables of Mercy”, Ensign, February1987)

So what are we to do? How do we choose to live a life of obedience and still remain humble? How can we develop an attitude of acceptance of those that repent and come back? At one point in the Savior’s ministry here in the Americas Jesus asked those he taught: “What manner of men ought ye to be?” And then he gave the answer: “Verily I say unto you even as I am.” (3 Nephi 27:27). A few verses earlier he taught:

  20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; (3 Nephi 27:20-21)

If we are to be like him, he commands us to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and then we are to do the thing that he did. What was it that he did? He was there to do the Father’s will:

The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19)

President Howard W. Hunter spoke of how we can be like the Savior:

“Let us follow the Son of God in all ways and in all walks of life. Let us make him our exemplar and our guide. We should at every opportunity ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” and then be more courageous to act upon the answer. We must follow Christ, in the best sense of that word. We must be about his work as he was about his Father’s. We should try to be like him, even as the Primary children sing, “Try, try, try” (Children’s Songbook, p. 55). To the extent that our mortal powers permit, we should make every effort to become like Christ—the one perfect and sinless example this world has ever seen.” (“What Manner of Ne Ought Ye to Be?”, Howard W. Hunter, General Conference, April 1994).

One of the things that will help us do the things that the Savior did is to not become distracted by all the things that the world would have us do. Bishop H. David Burton talks about a lesson he learned from Arnold Palmer about focusing on the things that are important. Mr. Palmer’s caddy was giving him information on what was on the right and left of the fairway and Mr. Palmer told the caddy:

“Please don’t clutter my mind with what is out on the right, and I’m not terribly interested in what is on the left. The only piece of information that I require from you is the exact distance from this ball to the flag on the green.”

“My, that was a powerful learning experience for me. I suddenly realized the criticality of focusing on what is important and not being distracted by what may be on the left or what might be on the right. Focus is so essential in achieving our goals. Too many of us are concerned about what’s on the right and what’s on the left, and we fail to adequately focus on the principal objective that is right down the middle. When we fail to focus on the right things, it is difficult to become the manner of men and women that we desperately want to be. In this endeavor, remember that the Lord has promised: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88). (“What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”, H. David Burton, CES Fireside, November, 2, 2008)

Not only should we not be distracted by worldly things, but we should recognize that there are many good people all around us that are good people; people that are trying to live Christ-like lives. Chad Lewis, who played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, and is now the associate athletic director at BYU spoke of one person that was a great example to him of someone that was not afraid to tell the world of his faith in God. Emmitt Thomas, the defensive coordinator for the Eagles was inducted in the football hall of fame and at the end of his acceptance speech he said:

As I go to my seat I’d like to leave you with these final thoughts. Our talent is God’s gift to us. How we use that talent is our gift to him. My sincere hope and prayer is that God finds my gift back to him a worthy one. May God bless you, keep you and continue the good fight of faith. [Emmitt Thomas’ enshrinement speech, Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium, 2 August 2008,] (“The World Needs to See and Feel YourLight”, Chad W. Lewis, BYU Devotional, March 25, 2014)

Chad also spoke to the students about the importance of sharing gospel principles and stories with those you associate with. He said:

“The people you work with and associate with out in the world will be drawn to you because of your desire to be like the Savior. Let your love for Him shine from your eyes. Let there be no doubt that He is who you follow. You have an understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that the world needs to see and feel. 

“People will love to hear your stories. Don’t be afraid to reach out and share them. Your stories did not just happen for you; they are meant to be shared. Sharing them is a great way for you to let your light shine for others.” (“The World Needs to See and Feel Your Light”, Chad W. Lewis, BYU Devotional, March 25, 2014)

One of the hardest things to do is to stand up against the accepted standards and practices of the world and defend gospel principles even when those principles are seen as not politically correct or even illegal. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary spoke to the students at Brigham Young University about the importance of standing together in defense of religion and God’s commandments. He said:

“At the center of human society stands the most important of those structures — the human family. At the center of the family stands marriage. Every other structure, from government to schools to corporations to volunteer organizations stands upon the foundation of marriage and the family, and no structure can fully replace what is absent if the family fails or if marriage is not fully respected.

“The task of those now living is to defend these truths in a time of danger — and defend them we must and we will. But we are not called merely to defend them, but to fulfill them and to receive them and to find our joy in them. This means that our task is not only to defend marriage, but to live that commitment before the watching world. Our task is not only to point to the dignity due every member of the human family at every stage of development, but to defend the defenseless and to work for the affirmation of this dignity in everyone — from the elderly to the infirm to the child with Down syndrome. We are not only called to defend human rights but to contend for them, and to insist that these rights are non-negotiable only because our Creator endowed us with these rights, and allows no negotiation.

“This is why our conversation is really important, and why we need to stand together on so many urgent concerns. Most importantly, we are now called to defend religious liberty for each other, so that when they come for you, we are there, and so that when they come for us, you are there. We are learning anew what the affirmation of religious liberty will demand of us in this dangerous age.” (“Strengthen the Things that Remain: HumanDignity, Human Rights, and Human Flourishing in a Dangerous Age — An Address at Brigham Young University, Albert Mohler,

The Savior, Jesus Christ is the perfect example of how the dutiful son should have reacted in the parable of the prodigal son. He was completely obedient to the Father and he spent his life in service to the Father’s sinful children helping them come back. He never murmured or was resentful, he was forgiving and accepting of everyone who repented and wanted to come back to him and all that the Father has is now his. He stands with the Father in their work and glory to bring to pass the eternal life and exaltation of man (Moses 1:39).

I hope that the type of person I can be is to be like the Savior, always doing the Father’s will and if I do I know that one day I will hear him say: “Well done thou good and faithful servant….enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21) and I will be as the Savior is - like the Father.

Your comments and questions are welcome.