Moroni saw me daily
Elder Ballard counseled in his 2009 talk that fathers should LISTEN to their sons. He did not counsel to do so passively, but actively listen and show them that they are heard and understood. This counsel applies to both sons and daughters, all children. If parents, both mothers and fathers, do not listen, they will miss important things the children are trying to communicate.
Losing family members to immorality, whether it is gangs or poor friend choices or drugs and more, parents need to reassess and repent, change to open up to their children by listening to them. The most important step in the repentance process, acknowledging a committed sin, helps to avoid allowing the failings of life to negatively color sensitive and important relationships.
The Gospel Is About Relationships
Everything is about relationships—with God and with each other. Looking at the commandments in the scriptures, the two most important commandments according to Jesus Christ describe relationships: love of God and love of each other. [Matthew 22:37–40]
Speaking generally about love, Robert Orton of the Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in his talk entitled “The First and Great Commandment”:
"Our eternal progression leans heavily on the degree to which we love. Webster defines love as the “unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another; an affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests” (Longman Webster English College Dictionary, overseas edition).
And Moroni treats as synonymous the terms “pure love of Christ” and “charity” (see Moro. 7:47). We can best demonstrate our love to God by keeping His commandments. And we can show our love to God and neighbor by charitable acts of service."
The most charitable act that parents can do for their loved ones is by keeping the commandments, which is to honor family relationships.
Three Pillars of Relationship
I have developed my own hierarchical interpretation of relationship importance. Three relationships in my estimation are the most important:
Those three pillars of emotional attachment stand as eternal beacons of necessity for happiness to reign supreme in life. However, there is a caveat to the three pillars. Relationships evolve and are meant to change.
The relationships between parents and children change over time as they find their spouses with whom they will link in their own triad of connections. At that point, parental relationship with them becomes extended family (which is number four, though it is not listed). Until that point, it is parental privilege to foster strong connections of love, trust, and respect.
Family for Eternity
As a Saint, the knowledge that family relationships can last for eternity brings with it certain psychological truths and obligations that may not seem as apparent to those who do not espouse a belief that family relationships, the love from those relationships, can transcend time.
Popular culture depicts broken families, dysfunctional as the abyss, are relationships from which to escape into associations (new families) of our choosing with friends or organizations. Gone are the days where society commonly held the value of family, a group that cannot be chosen.
Now, family is only who you choose and only those who accept your actions no matter how wrong—invalidating the birth family who may question your life choices. Constantly bombarding the societal psyche with that view in television, movies, and written material eventually filters into the collect sense of human normalcy. The divorce rate being what it is and the lack of men and women who commit to marriage is bound to affect the relationships of parents and children negatively.
Dissonance with a spiritual understanding of what God wants for families and what the world shows what family is supposed to be, creates anxiety that perniciously hacks at the eternal truths about parent/child relationships. Lot begged for Sodom, I beg for the world to be spared if there are ten good people who remember the true importance of family.
Satan has a plan that is so perfectly balanced and methodical that it tears at the fabric of humanity without most knowing. He can influence how the family plays into life by playing down the value of familial relationships. Once he destroys the family, all else fails with it.
Family. It's About Time.
"There is no other relationship quite like that which can and should exist between a boy and his dad. It can be one of the most nurturing, joyful relationships in life, one that can have a profound impact on who boys become and also on who dads become."
Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship
M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Young women, your mothers adore you. They see in you the promise of future generations. Everything you accomplish, every challenge you overcome brings them pure joy. And likewise your worries and heartaches are their worries and heartaches.
Mothers and Daughters
M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Nephi instructed us in his farewell message about the importance of feasting upon the words of Christ through the ministration of the Holy Ghost.
He shared in his record, "Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?" [2 Nephi 32:2]
Angels Speak by the Holy Spirit
He instructed us that "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ." [2 Nephi 32:3]
After receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and having been granted the gift by God to speak with the tongues of angels the words of Christ by the Holy Ghost, we must feast on those words.
If speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost constitutes the words of Christ, then reading the scriptures is not all we must do to feast on His words. We must also prepare ourselves spiritually to hear His words through the Holy Spirit, feasting on those words.
Reading is Not Enough to Feast
Passively reading the scriptures for hours is like eating only one food item on the feasting table. Yes, it is good, but we must feast on the words of Christ to us also. He still speaks.
That means we must consume them, His Words, in large quantities because the Holy Spirit "will show unto you all things what ye should do. [2 Nephi 32:5]
Moroni teaches what we must do to feast
Wrote he, "I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing." [Moroni 10:30]
"If ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness," he continues "and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ." [Moroni 10:32]
Nephi and Moroni show us that we must feast upon all the words of Christ through the Holy Spirit so that we may receive His grace and be made Perfect in Christ through His atoning blood.
The Feasting of Revelation
That means we must prepare ourselves to receive revelation, as President Nelson has instructed us. "My beloved brothers and sisters," he appeals in the April 2018 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation."
"If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth," he warned in that April meeting, "we must learn to receive revelation." We must feast on the words of Christ by revelation and through the words of the prophets.
After We Have Feasted We Must Pray!
It should comes as a natural conclusion tot he spiritual feasting process, but Nephi felt it important to reiterate it to us just in case there is any doubt in our minds. He wrote, "Nephi instructed us in his farewell message about the importance of feasting upon the words of Christ through the ministration of the Holy Ghost.
He wrote "if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray." [2 Nephi 32:8]
Nephi sends with emphatic truth "I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." [2 Nephi 32:9]
Ye shall have eternal life!
When we feast upon the words of Christ in every manifestation thereof His words, we pray to God that He would consecrate our feasting so that our feasting, our performance, may be for the welfare, the benefit of our souls. God wants us to gain revelations, read the scriptures, use the Spirit to speak the words of Christ, and pray that we may do it all well. He then intends to answer our prayers to help our actions benefit our eternal salvation.
Nephi reveals the beauty of God's loving plan when he wrote, "Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
People say that often.
"Jesus is the Answer."
No one really explains why He is the answers that I have seen. So taking a queue from my morning devotions for this second day of March 2020, I give my estimation of why Jesus is the answers. I also posted an adaptation of this on my social media, which is the inspiration of this blog post today.
He is the Answer because His grace is with us even as we make mistakes as long as we strive daily to overcome them without giving into the despair the unholy spirit tries to throw at us for have weakness.
He is the Answer because he suffered for our sins and all of our infirmities, as Isaiah teaches.
He is the Answer because he died to pay for those sins that he suffered for receiving our wages for sin, which is death. Because of that price He paid, when He resurrected he made it possible for ALL of humankind to be resurrected no matter our faiths or religion or ir-religion.
He is the Answer because He did what He did out of love and obedience to the Father. The only thing He wants of us is to follow the plan He revealed to us so that we can return to our Father in Heaven to continue with Him in glory and progression.
What king do you know who is willing to share his kingdom with each of his subjects as equal inheritors?
Jesus is the only one.
He is the answer because He is real and true and not just a good way to live or believe. He is the answer because if we followed His teachings all of the ills of society as they now exist would cease!
Life would still have trials, but they would not be due to the wickedness that now blinds so many of us away from true joy.