MY PERSONAL NEW YEAR’S INVITATION TO YOU. JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE HOLY MESSIAH, WHO SOON WILL COME, AND HE HAS RESTORED HIS original Church of Jesus Christ through living prophets and apostles. See www.ChurchofJesusChrist.org for access to a free Bible and Book of Mormon and details about this wondrous restoration of Christ’s true Church. If you are not a baptized member or if you are a baptized member and you are not presently active, simply call 1-801-240-1000 and an operator will connect you with missionaries so you can join and be active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. Click the red Translate button to translate into another language!! May God be with you and your family, Richard Linford

My painting. Richard W. Linford

See https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/?lang=eng

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Christmas is about the resurrected living God the Father’s resurrected living Beloved Son Jesus Christ, Jesua, The Great Messiah, who soon will come in power and great glory to rule and reign in Millennial joy and splendor.

You can translate this post into multiple languages. Just click TRANSLATE and click the flag of the country language. If you would like to talk to me or to missionaries and be baptized and join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, jot me a note at Richard Linford, editor, r.linford@comcast.net and take a few minutes to explore https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/?lang=eng

My painting of Jesus smiling on a family.

Question. What is The True Nature of God the Father?

Answer. Jesus Christ was [and is] the perfect manifestation of the perfect Father’s person, personality, and his loving kindness and care.

After generations of prophets had tried to teach the family of man the will and the way of the Father,

usually with little success,

God in His ultimate effort to have us know Him,

sent to earth His Only Begotten and perfect Son,

created in His very likeness and image,

to live and serve among mortals

in the everyday rigors of life.

  1. Question. What is Jesus Christ’s assignment from The Father?
  2. Answer. To stand in the place of and represent Our Heavenly Father to us His children.
  3. To come to earth with such a responsibility,
  4. to stand in place of Heavenly Father
  5. —speaking as He would speak,
  6. judging and serving,
  7. loving and warning,
  8. forbearing and forgiving
  9. as He would do
  10. —this is a duty of such staggering proportions
  11. that you and I cannot comprehend such a thing.
  12. But in the loyalty
  13. and determination
  14. that would be characteristic of a divine child,
  15. Jesus could comprehend it
  16. and He did it.

  1. Question. Who gets the honor and glory?
  2. Answer. The Son did and does all he saw and sees the Father do, says all the Father asks Him to say, and gives all praise and honor and adulation to the Father.
  3. Then, when the praise and honor began to come, Jesus humbly directed all adulation to the Father.
  4. “The Father … doeth the works,” He said in earnest.
  5. “The Son can do nothing of himself,
  6. but what he seeth the Father do:
  7. for what things soever [the Father] doeth,
  8. these also doeth the Son likewise”
  9. [John 14:10John 5:19].
  10. On another occasion He said:
  11. “I speak that which I have seen with my Father”
  12. [John 8:38]. …

  1. Question. But aren’t we estranged from Our Heavenly Father and the Son?
  2. Answer. No. Our Father is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, as is His Beloved Son.
  3. … Some in the contemporary world
  4. suffer from a distressing misconception
  5. of [God our Eternal Father].
  6. Among these there is a tendency to feel distant from the Father,
  7. even estranged from Him,
  8. if they believe in Him at all.
  9. … Through a misreading
  10. (and surely, in some cases, a mistranslation)
  11. of the Bible,
  12. these see God the Father
  13. and Jesus Christ His Son
  14. as operating very differently,
  15. this in spite of the fact
  16. that in both the Old Testament
  17. and the New,
  18. the Son of God is one
  19. and the same,
  20. acting as He always does
  21. under the direction of the Father,
  22. who is Himself the same
  23. “yesterday,
  24. today,
  25. and forever.”1 …

  1. Question. What did and does the Father do?
  2. Answer. Feed the hungry, heal the sick, rebuke hypocrisy, plead for faith.
  3. What did and does the Son do?
  4. Answer. That which the Father does.
  5. So
  6. feeding the hungry,
  7. healing the sick,
  8. rebuking hypocrisy,
  9. pleading for faith
  10. —this was Christ
  11. showing us the way of the Father,
  12. He who is
  13. “merciful
  14. and gracious,
  15. slow to anger,
  16. long-suffering
  17. and full of goodness.”2 
  18. In His life
  19. and especially in His death,
  20. Christ was declaring,
  21. “This is God’s compassion
  22. I am showing you,
  23. as well as that of my own.”
  24. In the perfect Son’s manifestation
  25. of the perfect Father’s care,
  26. in Their mutual suffering
  27. and shared sorrow
  28. for the sins
  29. and heartaches
  30. of the rest of us,
  31. we see ultimate meaning in the declaration [and summary]:
  32. “For God so loved the world,
  33. that he gave his only begotten Son,
  34. that whosoever believeth in him
  35. should not perish,
  36. but have everlasting life.
  37. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
  38. but that the world
  39. through him
  40. might be saved”
  41. [John 3:16–17].

  1. Question. What then is Our challenge and opportunity?
  2. Answer. Do what Our Savior did!
  3. FEED THE HUNGRY
  4. HEAL THE SICK
  5. REBUKE HYPOCRISY
  6. PLEAD FOR FAITH
  7. BE MERCIFUL
  8. BE GRACIOUS
  9. BE SLOW TO ANGER
  10. BE LONG-SUFFERING
  11. BE FULL OF GOODNESS
  12. BE COMPASSIONATE
  13. CARE PERFECTLY
  14. SUFFER MUTUALLY WITH THEM
  15. SHARE SORROW WITH THEM FOR THE SINS AND HEARTACHES OF THE WORLD
  16. TEACH MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN TO BELIEVE ON THEM
  17. DIRECT ALL HONOR AND GLORY TO THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST

  1. Question. Is God the Father the Supreme Being, the ultimate Creator, Ruler, Preserver of all things?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. Our Heavenly Father is the Supreme Being
  4. in whom we believe,
  5. whom we worship,
  6. and to whom we pray.
  7. He is the ultimate Creator,
  8. Ruler,
  9. and Preserver
  10. of all things.
  11. He is perfect,
  12. has all power,
  13. and knows all things.

  1. Question. Does Heavenly Father have form and substance?
  2. Answer. Yes. Like His Son, He too has a glorified body of flesh and bones.
  3. He “has a body of flesh
  4. and bones
  5. as tangible as man’s”
  6. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).

  1. Question. Is Heavenly Father the literal father of our spirits?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. He is The Father of Our Spirits.
  4. He is your Father and my Father.
  5. One of life’s great questions is “Who am I?”
  6. A beloved Primary song helps even little children answer this question.
  7. We sing,
  8. “I am a child of God,
  9. and he has sent me here.”
  10. The knowledge that we are children of God
  11. provides strength,
  12. comfort,
  13. and hope.

  1. Question. Did early Christians know  and teach anthropomorphic doctrine about God The Father?
  2. Answer. Yes. And as His children, thru the power of the resurrection we shall become like Him.
  3. Scholars have long acknowledged
  4. that the view of God held by the earliest Christians
  5. changed dramatically over the course of centuries.
  6. Early Christian views of God were
  7. more personal,
  8. more anthropomorphic,
  9. and less abstract
  10. than those that emerged later
  11. during Christianity’s creedal stage.

  1. Question. What happened to change the doctrine held by early Christians?
  2. Answer. Apostolic authority was lost and in grave error Christian doctrine about the anthropomorphic doctrine of God the Father was merged with Greek philosophy.
  3. The key ideological shift
  4. that began in the second century,
  5. after the loss of apostolic authority,
  6. resulted from a conceptual merger
  7. of Christian doctrine
  8. with Greek philosophy.
  9. Latter-day Saints believe
  10. the melding of early Christian theology
  11. with Greek philosophy
  12. was a grave error.
  13. Chief among the doctrines
  14. lost in this process
  15. was the nature of the Godhead.
  16. Latter-day Saints hold that God the Father is
  17. an embodied being
  18. with the attributes
  19. ascribed by the earliest Christians.
  20. That belief is consistent
  21. with the early Christian views of God,
  22. yet it differs from the later creeds.

  1. Question. So we are literal children of God?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. We are all literally children of God,
  4. spiritually begotten in the premortal life.
  5. As His children,
  6. we can be assured
  7. that we have divine,
  8. eternal potential
  9. and that He will help us
  10. in our sincere efforts
  11. to reach that potential.

  1. Question. So the living, resurrected, exalted, glorified man God the Father is the Supreme Creator.
  2. Yes. Through the living, resurrected, exalted, glorified man God the Son, Jesus the  Christ, Jesua, the Holy Messiah.
  3. Our Father is The Supreme Creator
  4. Heavenly Father is the Supreme Creator.
  5. Through Jesus Christ,
  6. He created heaven and earth
  7. and all things in them
  8. (see Moses 2:1).

  1. Question. So all things bear witness of the Father and of the Son?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. Alma said, “All things denote there is a God;
  4. yea, even the earth,
  5. and all things that are upon the face of it,
  6. yea, and its motion,
  7. yea, and also all the planets
  8. which move in their regular form
  9. do witness
  10. that there is a Supreme Creator”
  11. (Alma 30:44).

  1. Question. Then Our Heavenly Father is The Author of the Plan of Salvation for His children?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. Our Father in Heaven is The Author of the Plan of Salvation
  4. Our Father in Heaven wants us to dwell with Him eternally.
  5. His work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”
  6. (Moses 1:39).
  7. In order to make this possible,
  8. He prepared the plan of salvation.
  9. He sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
  10. to loose the bands of death
  11. and atone for the sins of the world:
  12. “For God so loved the world,
  13. that he gave his only begotten Son,
  14. that whosoever believeth in him
  15. should not perish,
  16. but have everlasting life”
  17. (John 3:16).

  1. Question. Is it true, then, that Our Heavenly Father’s sacrifice of His Beloved Son is the greatest expression of His love for us?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. This sacrifice of Jesus Christ by His Father
  4. is the greatest expression
  5. of our Father’s love for us.
  6. Question. How can we know Heavenly Father?
  7. Answer. Pray to Him. Know and obey and follow His Son.
  8. How can we Come to Know God the Father?
  9. As children of God,
  10. we have a special relationship with Him,
  11. setting us apart from all His other creations.
  12. We should seek to know our Father in Heaven.
  13. He loves us,
  14. and He has given us the precious opportunity
  15. to draw near to Him
  16. as we pray.
  17. Our prayers,
  18. offered in humility
  19. and sincerity,
  20. are heard
  21. and answered.
  22. We can also come to know our Father
  23. by learning about His Beloved Son
  24. and applying the gospel in our lives.

  1. Question. So once again, you are saying that we can know Our Heavenly Father by knowing His Son?
  2. Answer. Yes.
  3. The Savior taught His disciples:
  4. “If ye had known me,
  5. ye should have known my Father also.
  6. … He that hath seen me
  7. hath seen the Father”
  8. (John 14:7, 9).

Source – quoting Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 70–73.

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Love your enemies. Jesus is the Christ, the Holy Messiah.

  1. Love Your Enemies
  2. By President Dallin H. Oaks (paragraphs 1-105)
  3. First Counselor in the First Presidency
  4.  
  5. Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a vision of the worth of others and the ability to rise above prejudice.
  6. The Lord’s teachings are for eternity and for all of God’s children.
  7. In this message I will give some examples from the United States, but the principles I teach are applicable everywhere.
  8. We live in a time of anger and hatred in political relationships and policies.
  9. We felt it this summer when some went beyond peaceful protests and engaged in destructive behavior.
  10. We feel it in some current campaigns for public offices.
  11. Unfortunately, some of this has even spilled over into political statements and unkind references in our Church meetings.
  12. In a democratic government we will always have differences over proposed candidates and policies.
  13. However, as followers of Christ we must forgo the anger and hatred with which political choices are debated or denounced in many settings.
  14. The Sermon on the Mount
  15. Here is one of our Savior’s teachings, probably well known but rarely practiced:
  16. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
  17. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).1
  18. For generations, Jews had been taught to hate their enemies, and they were then suffering under the domination and cruelties of Roman occupation.
  19. Yet Jesus taught them, “Love your enemies” and “do good to them that … despitefully use you.”
  20. Bring forth the record
  21. What revolutionary teachings for personal and political relationships!
  22. But that is still what our Savior commands.
  23. In the Book of Mormon we read,
  24. “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29).
  25. Loving our enemies and our adversaries is not easy.
  26. “Most of us have not reached that stage of … love and forgiveness,”
  27. President Gordon B. Hinckley observed, adding, “It requires a self-discipline almost greater than we are capable of.”2 
  28. But it must be essential, for it is part of the Savior’s two great commandments to “love the Lord thy God” and to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37, 39).
  29. And it must be possible, for He also taught, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7).3
  30. How do we keep these divine commandments in a world where we are also subject to the laws of man?
  31. Fortunately, we have the Savior’s own example of how to balance His eternal laws with the practicalities of man-made laws.
  32. When adversaries sought to trap Him with a question about whether Jews should pay taxes to Rome, He pointed to the image of Caesar on their coins and declared, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s” (Luke 20:25).4
  33. Jesus Christ. Tribute to Caesar
  34. So, we are to follow the laws of men (render unto Caesar) to live peacefully under civil authority, and we follow the laws of God toward our eternal destination.
  35. But how do we do this—especially how do we learn to love our adversaries and our enemies?
  36. The Savior’s teaching not to “contend with anger” is a good first step.
  37. The devil is the father of contention, and it is he who tempts men to contend with anger.
  38. He promotes enmity and hateful relationships among individuals and within groups.
  39. President Thomas S. Monson taught that anger is “Satan’s tool,” for “to be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan.
  40. No one can make us angry. It is our choice.”5 
  41. Anger is the way to division and enmity.
  42. We move toward loving our adversaries when we avoid anger and hostility toward those with whom we disagree.
  43. It also helps if we are even willing to learn from them.
  44. Among other ways to develop the power to love others is the simple method described in a long-ago musical.
  45. When we are trying to understand and relate to people of a different culture, we should try getting to know them.
  46. In countless circumstances, strangers’ suspicion or even hostility give way to friendship or even love when personal contacts produce understanding and mutual respect.6
  47. An even greater help in learning to love our adversaries and our enemies is to seek to understand the power of love.
  48. Here are three of many prophetic teachings about this.
  49. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “it is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind.”7
  50. President Howard W. Hunter taught: “The world in which we live would benefit greatly if men and women everywhere would exercise the pure love of Christ, which is kind, meek, and lowly.
  51. It is without envy or pride. … It seeks nothing in return. … It has no place for bigotry, hatred, or violence. … It encourages diverse people to live together in Christian love regardless of religious belief, race, nationality, financial standing, education, or culture.”8
  52. And President Russell M. Nelson has urged us to “expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family.”9
  53. An essential part of loving our enemies is to render unto Caesar by keeping the laws of our various countries.
  54. Though Jesus’s teachings were revolutionary, He did not teach revolution or lawbreaking. He taught a better way.
  55. Modern revelation teaches the same:
  56. “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.
  57. “Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21–22).
  58. And our article of faith, written by the Prophet Joseph Smith after the early Saints had suffered severe persecution from Missouri officials, declares, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12).
  59. This does not mean that we agree with all that is done with the force of law.
  60. It means that we obey the current law and use peaceful means to change it.
  61. It also means that we peacefully accept the results of elections.
  62. We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome.10
  63.  In a democratic society we always have the opportunity and the duty to persist peacefully until the next election.
  64. The Savior’s teaching to love our enemies is based on the reality that all mortals are beloved children of God.
  65. That eternal principle and some basic principles of law were tested in the recent protests in many American cities.
  66. Protests
  67. At one extreme, some seem to have forgotten that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
  68. That is the authorized way to raise public awareness and to focus on injustices in the content or administration of the laws.
  69. And there have been injustices.
  70. In public actions and in our personal attitudes, we have had racism and related grievances.
  71. In a persuasive personal essay, the Reverend Theresa A. Dear of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has reminded us that “racism thrives on hatred, oppression, collusion, passivity, indifference and silence.”11 
  72. As citizens and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must do better to help root out racism.
  73. Police and Rebels
  74. At the other extreme, a minority of participants and supporters of these protests and the illegal acts that followed them seem to have forgotten that the protests protected by the Constitution are peaceful protests.
  75. Protesters have no right to destroy, deface, or steal property or to undermine the government’s legitimate police powers.
  76. The Constitution and laws contain no invitation to revolution or anarchy.
  77. All of us—police, protesters, supporters, and spectators—should understand the limits of our rights and the importance of our duties to stay within the boundaries of existing law.
  78. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”12 
  79. Redress of grievances by mobs is redress by illegal means.
  80. That is anarchy, a condition that has no effective governance and no formal police, which undermines rather than protects individual rights.
  81. One reason the recent protests in the United States were shocking to so many was that the hostilities and illegalities felt among different ethnicities in other nations should not be felt in the United States.
  82. This country should be better in eliminating racism not only against Black Americans, who were most visible in the recent protests, but also against Latinos, Asians, and other groups. This nation’s history of racism is not a happy one, and we must do better.
  83. Ellis Island
  84. Ellis Island
  85. The United States was founded by immigrants of different nationalities and different ethnicities.
  86. Its unifying purpose was not to establish a particular religion or to perpetuate any of the diverse cultures or tribal loyalties of the old countries.
  87. Our founding generation sought to be unified by a new constitution and laws.
  88. That is not to say that our unifying documents or the then-current understanding of their meanings were perfect.
  89. The history of the first two centuries of the United States showed the need for many refinements, such as voting rights for women and, particularly, the abolition of slavery, including laws to ensure that those who had been enslaved would have all the conditions of freedom.
  90. Two Yale University scholars recently reminded us:
  91. “For all its flaws, the United States is uniquely equipped to unite a diverse and divided society. …
  92. “… Its citizens don’t have to choose between a national identity and multiculturalism.
  93. Americans can have both.
  94. But the key is constitutional patriotism.
  95. We have to remain united by and through the Constitution, regardless of our ideological disagreements.”13
  96. Many years ago, a British foreign secretary gave this great counsel in a debate in the House of Commons: “We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. 
  97. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests it is our duty to follow.”14
  98. That is a good secular reason for following “eternal and perpetual” interests in political matters.
  99. In addition, the doctrine of the Lord’s Church teaches us another eternal interest to guide us: the teachings of our Savior, who inspired the Constitution of the United States and the basic laws of many of our countries.
  100. Loyalty to established law instead of temporary “allies” is the best way to love our adversaries and our enemies as we seek unity in diversity.
  101. Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a divine vision of the worth of all others and the will and ability to rise above prejudice and racism.
  102. As I have lived for many years in different places in this nation, the Lord has taught me that it is possible to obey and seek to improve our nation’s laws and also to love our adversaries and our enemies.
  103. While not easy, it is possible with the help of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  104. He gave this command to love, and He promises His help as we seek to obey it. I testify that we are loved and will be helped by our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
  105. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Richard W. Linford, editor, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Is the Second Coming near?

Our Savior Has Repeatedly Said that His Second Coming is near.

THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS NIGH AT HAND. D&C 1:12.

 “For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, the time is soon at hand that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory. D&C 34:7.

“And it shall be a great day at the time of my coming, for all nations shall tremble. D&C 34:8.

Therefore, We need to Listen, Pay Attention, Repent, and Be Prepared?

Listen to the voice of the Lord which is unto all men, saying, REPENT lest you are pierced with much sorrow. D&C 1:1-7.

  1. “Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
  2. “For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.
  3. “And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.
  4. “And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.
  5. “And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.
  6. “Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.
  7. “Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.

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Eat His Living Bread! Hungry because of COVID? Pray and Eat His Bread of Eternal Life.

“I am [HE IS] the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give [WHICH HE GAVE] is my [HIS] flesh, which I will give [HE GAVE] for the life of the world.” John 6:51.

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Try His Living Water!


10 
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:10-14.https://youtu.be/sma4o3mCPwA

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Have you seen this short amazing video? Thirsty from Covid? Drink the Living Christ’s “Living Water.” Jesus and the Woman at the well video link.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:10-14.https://youtu.be/sma4o3mCPwA

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Jesus Christ, the Great Jehovah, who soon will come in Power and Great Glory, said “As I Have Loved You, Love One Another.”

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Jesus Christ teaches Love Your Enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

  1. CLICK ON THIS LINK TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO THIS TALK IN VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KSd_ra5e7o
  2. Love Your Enemies
  3. By President Dallin H. Oaks
  4. First Counselor in the First Presidency
  5.  
  6. Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a vision of the worth of others and the ability to rise above prejudice.
  7. The Lord’s teachings are for eternity and for all of God’s children.
  8. In this message I will give some examples from the United States, but the principles I teach are applicable everywhere.
  9. We live in a time of anger and hatred in political relationships and policies.
  10. We felt it this summer when some went beyond peaceful protests and engaged in destructive behavior.
  11. We feel it in some current campaigns for public offices.
  12. Unfortunately, some of this has even spilled over into political statements and unkind references in our Church meetings.
  13. In a democratic government we will always have differences over proposed candidates and policies.
  14. However, as followers of Christ we must forgo the anger and hatred with which political choices are debated or denounced in many settings.
  15. The Sermon on the Mount
  16. Here is one of our Savior’s teachings, probably well known but rarely practiced:
  17. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
  18. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).1
  19. For generations, Jews had been taught to hate their enemies, and they were then suffering under the domination and cruelties of Roman occupation.
  20. Yet Jesus taught them, “Love your enemies” and “do good to them that … despitefully use you.”
  21. Bring forth the record
  22. What revolutionary teachings for personal and political relationships!
  23. But that is still what our Savior commands.
  24. In the Book of Mormon we read,
  25. “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29).
  26. Loving our enemies and our adversaries is not easy.
  27. “Most of us have not reached that stage of … love and forgiveness,”
  28. President Gordon B. Hinckley observed, adding, “It requires a self-discipline almost greater than we are capable of.”2 
  29. But it must be essential, for it is part of the Savior’s two great commandments to “love the Lord thy God” and to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37, 39).
  30. And it must be possible, for He also taught, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7).3
  31. How do we keep these divine commandments in a world where we are also subject to the laws of man?
  32. Fortunately, we have the Savior’s own example of how to balance His eternal laws with the practicalities of man-made laws.
  33. When adversaries sought to trap Him with a question about whether Jews should pay taxes to Rome, He pointed to the image of Caesar on their coins and declared, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s” (Luke 20:25).4
  34. Jesus Christ. Tribute to Caesar
  35. So, we are to follow the laws of men (render unto Caesar) to live peacefully under civil authority, and we follow the laws of God toward our eternal destination.
  36. But how do we do this—especially how do we learn to love our adversaries and our enemies?
  37. The Savior’s teaching not to “contend with anger” is a good first step.
  38. The devil is the father of contention, and it is he who tempts men to contend with anger.
  39. He promotes enmity and hateful relationships among individuals and within groups.
  40. President Thomas S. Monson taught that anger is “Satan’s tool,” for “to be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan.
  41. No one can make us angry. It is our choice.”5 
  42. Anger is the way to division and enmity.
  43. We move toward loving our adversaries when we avoid anger and hostility toward those with whom we disagree.
  44. It also helps if we are even willing to learn from them.
  45. Among other ways to develop the power to love others is the simple method described in a long-ago musical.
  46. When we are trying to understand and relate to people of a different culture, we should try getting to know them.
  47. In countless circumstances, strangers’ suspicion or even hostility give way to friendship or even love when personal contacts produce understanding and mutual respect.6
  48. An even greater help in learning to love our adversaries and our enemies is to seek to understand the power of love.
  49. Here are three of many prophetic teachings about this.
  50. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “it is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind.”7
  51. President Howard W. Hunter taught: “The world in which we live would benefit greatly if men and women everywhere would exercise the pure love of Christ, which is kind, meek, and lowly.
  52. It is without envy or pride. … It seeks nothing in return. … It has no place for bigotry, hatred, or violence. … It encourages diverse people to live together in Christian love regardless of religious belief, race, nationality, financial standing, education, or culture.”8
  53. And President Russell M. Nelson has urged us to “expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family.”9
  54. An essential part of loving our enemies is to render unto Caesar by keeping the laws of our various countries.
  55. Though Jesus’s teachings were revolutionary, He did not teach revolution or lawbreaking. He taught a better way.
  56. Modern revelation teaches the same:
  57. “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.
  58. “Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21–22).
  59. And our article of faith, written by the Prophet Joseph Smith after the early Saints had suffered severe persecution from Missouri officials, declares, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12).
  60. This does not mean that we agree with all that is done with the force of law.
  61. It means that we obey the current law and use peaceful means to change it.
  62. It also means that we peacefully accept the results of elections.
  63. We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome.10
  64.  In a democratic society we always have the opportunity and the duty to persist peacefully until the next election.
  65. The Savior’s teaching to love our enemies is based on the reality that all mortals are beloved children of God.
  66. That eternal principle and some basic principles of law were tested in the recent protests in many American cities.
  67. Protests
  68. At one extreme, some seem to have forgotten that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
  69. That is the authorized way to raise public awareness and to focus on injustices in the content or administration of the laws.
  70. And there have been injustices.
  71. In public actions and in our personal attitudes, we have had racism and related grievances.
  72. In a persuasive personal essay, the Reverend Theresa A. Dear of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has reminded us that “racism thrives on hatred, oppression, collusion, passivity, indifference and silence.”11 
  73. As citizens and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must do better to help root out racism.
  74. Police and Rebels
  75. At the other extreme, a minority of participants and supporters of these protests and the illegal acts that followed them seem to have forgotten that the protests protected by the Constitution are peaceful protests.
  76. Protesters have no right to destroy, deface, or steal property or to undermine the government’s legitimate police powers.
  77. The Constitution and laws contain no invitation to revolution or anarchy.
  78. All of us—police, protesters, supporters, and spectators—should understand the limits of our rights and the importance of our duties to stay within the boundaries of existing law.
  79. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”12 
  80. Redress of grievances by mobs is redress by illegal means.
  81. That is anarchy, a condition that has no effective governance and no formal police, which undermines rather than protects individual rights.
  82. One reason the recent protests in the United States were shocking to so many was that the hostilities and illegalities felt among different ethnicities in other nations should not be felt in the United States.
  83. This country should be better in eliminating racism not only against Black Americans, who were most visible in the recent protests, but also against Latinos, Asians, and other groups. This nation’s history of racism is not a happy one, and we must do better.
  84. Ellis Island
  85. Ellis Island
  86. The United States was founded by immigrants of different nationalities and different ethnicities.
  87. Its unifying purpose was not to establish a particular religion or to perpetuate any of the diverse cultures or tribal loyalties of the old countries.
  88. Our founding generation sought to be unified by a new constitution and laws.
  89. That is not to say that our unifying documents or the then-current understanding of their meanings were perfect.
  90. The history of the first two centuries of the United States showed the need for many refinements, such as voting rights for women and, particularly, the abolition of slavery, including laws to ensure that those who had been enslaved would have all the conditions of freedom.
  91. Two Yale University scholars recently reminded us:
  92. “For all its flaws, the United States is uniquely equipped to unite a diverse and divided society. …
  93. “… Its citizens don’t have to choose between a national identity and multiculturalism.
  94. Americans can have both.
  95. But the key is constitutional patriotism.
  96. We have to remain united by and through the Constitution, regardless of our ideological disagreements.”13
  97. Many years ago, a British foreign secretary gave this great counsel in a debate in the House of Commons: “We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. 
  98. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests it is our duty to follow.”14
  99. That is a good secular reason for following “eternal and perpetual” interests in political matters.
  100. In addition, the doctrine of the Lord’s Church teaches us another eternal interest to guide us: the teachings of our Savior, who inspired the Constitution of the United States and the basic laws of many of our countries.
  101. Loyalty to established law instead of temporary “allies” is the best way to love our adversaries and our enemies as we seek unity in diversity.
  102. Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a divine vision of the worth of all others and the will and ability to rise above prejudice and racism.
  103. As I have lived for many years in different places in this nation, the Lord has taught me that it is possible to obey and seek to improve our nation’s laws and also to love our adversaries and our enemies.
  104. While not easy, it is possible with the help of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  105. He gave this command to love, and He promises His help as we seek to obey it. I testify that we are loved and will be helped by our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
  106. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Do you want comfort despite Covid? Do you know that the Second Coming of Yeshua, Jesus Christ, the Holy Messiah, is near?Your comfort is found in Jesus Christ, your Savior.

Do you appreciate the fact that you could die any time and meet God? So isn’t it wise for you to accept Christ’s gospel and repent of your sins and pray and go to Church and read the scriptures and get ready? (Just a couple of thoughts for your consideration. Richard W. Linford, editor.)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is found in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27:

And how be it amy bchurch save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are ahewn down and cast into the bfire, from whence there is no return.

12 For their works do afollow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.

13 Behold I have given unto you my agospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the bwill of my Father, because my Father sent me.

14 And my Father sent me that I might be alifted up upon the bcross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the ccross, that I might ddraw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be ejudged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

15 And for this cause have I been alifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their bworks.

16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso arepenteth and is baptized in my bname shall be filled; and if he cendureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the ajustice of the Father.

18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.

19 And ano unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his brest save it be those who have cwashed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

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

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my agospel; and ye know the things that ye must bdo 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;

22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Preparation for the Second Coming is found in living according to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/ot/ex/20?lang=eng ) and Beatitudes (Matthew 5: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/5?lang=eng) found in the Old Testament and New Testament respectively.

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