Today I had the opportunity to instruct our Elder's Quorum lesson. I chose to discuss a talk given by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles titled Obedience through our Faithfulness
SEE VIDEO AT BOTTOM ~
I began the lesson by sharing one of my favorite scriptures found in The Book of Mormon teaching us about the purpose of this earth life:
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
I also drew this illustration below on the chalkboard showing the Plan of Salvation for each of us as God's children.
We have each been given gifts from our Heavenly Father. The first of which is the gift of agency which we received prior to coming to this earth to receive a mortal body. Because each of us chose to follow the Savior, Jesus Christ's plan in the pre-mortal existence, we have progressed spiritually and temporally to receive a mortal, physical body of flesh and bone. That is our 2nd gift. The third gift is the gift of the Holy Ghost once we enter in at the strait and narrow gate of baptism by immersion. We then can receive the gift of endowment and sealing within one of God's Holy temples. And the final gift, which is the greatest of all, is the gift of eternal life to return back to the presence of our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, to live forever after.
The talk that Elder Perry gave had many great points and takeaways to remind us to exercise faith unto obedience in this life and to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I will share some excerpts from his talk:
Our third article of faith teaches us about the importance of obedience: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
The Apostle Paul taught, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Then Paul used the examples of Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham to teach about faith. He dwelled on the story of Abraham, for Abraham is the father of the faithful:
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country. …
“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:8–9, 11).
We know that through Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac, a promise was given to Abraham and Sarah—a promise of posterity “so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable” (see verse 12; see also Genesis 17:15–16). And then Abraham’s faith was tested in a way that many of us would consider unimaginable.
Too often we think of obedience as the passive and thoughtless following of the orders or dictates of a higher authority. Actually, at its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even God. When Abraham demonstrated his unwavering faithfulness and obedience to God, even when commanded to sacrifice his son, God rescued him. Similarly, when we demonstrate our faithfulness through obedience, God will ultimately rescue us.
We must certainly remain proactive in our Faith and path of progression. Another favorite scripture of mine and great reminder to never be idle as a disciple of Christ is the following:
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
In closing, here is a powerful true story of a young man whose faith in fasting and prayer changed his "night to day..." ENJOY this powerful message...
~ C. J. Poulsen