So, what is faith in God?

  1. Question. What is faith in God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost?
  2. Answer. In the Lectures on Faith, it is defined and described as follows.

Faith Defined

LECTURE FIRST

1 Faith being the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness, necessarily claims the first place in a course of lectures which are designed to unfold to the understanding the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

2 In presenting the subject of faith, we shall observe the following order:

3 First, Faith itself—what it is:

4 Secondly, The object on which it rests; and

5 Thirdly, The effects which flow from it.

6 Agreeably to this order we have first to show what faith is.

7 The author of the epistle to the Hebrews, in the eleventh chapter of that epistle, and first verse, gives the following definition of the word faith:

8 Now faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

9 From this we learn, that faith is the assurance which men have

of the existence of things

which they have not seen;

and the principle of action

in all intelligent beings.

10 If men were duly to consider themselves,

and turn their thoughts and reflections to the operations of their own minds,

they would readily discover that it is faith,

and faith only,

which is the moving cause of all action, in them;

that without it,

both mind and body would be in a state of inactivity,

and all their exertions would cease,

both physical and mental.

11 Were this class to go back and reflect upon the history of their lives,

from the period of their first recollection,

and ask themselves,

what principle excited them to action,

or what gave them energy and activity,

in all their lawful avocations, callings and pursuits,

what would be the answer?

Would it not be that it was the assurance which we had

of the existence of things

which we had not seen, as yet?

—Was it not the hope which you had,

in consequence of your belief in the existence of unseen things,

which stimulated you to action

and exertion,

in order to obtain them?

Are you not dependent on your faith,

or belief,

for the acquisition of all knowledge,

wisdom

and intelligence?

Would you exert yourselves

to obtain wisdom

and intelligence,

unless you did believe

that you could obtain them?

Would you have ever sown

if you had not believed that you would reap?

Would you have ever planted

if you had not believed that you would gather?

Would you have ever asked

unless you had believed

that you would receive?

Would you have ever sought

unless you had believed

that you would have found?

Or would you have ever knocked

unless you had believed

that it would have been opened unto you?

In a word, is there any thing that you would have done,

either physical

or mental,

if you had not previously believed?

Are not all your exertions,

of every kind,

dependent on your faith?

Or may we not ask,

what have you,

or what do you possess,

which you have not obtained

by reason of your faith?

Your food,

your raiment,

your lodgings,

[your properties,]

[your knowledge,]

[your talents,]

are they not all

by reason of your faith?

Reflect,

and ask yourselves,

if these things are not so.

Turn your thoughts on your own minds,

and see if faith

is not the moving cause

of all action

in yourselves;

and if the moving cause in you,

is it not in all other intelligent beings?

12 And as faith is the moving cause of all action in temporal concerns,

so it is in spiritual;

for the Savior has said,

and that truly,

that he that believeth 

and is baptized,

shall be saved.

(Mark 16:16)

13 As we receive by faith,

all temporal blessings

that we do receive,

so we,

in like manner,

receive by faith

all spiritual blessings,

that we do receive.

But faith is not only the principle of action,

but of power, also,

in all intelligent beings,

whether in heaven,

or on earth.

Thus says the author of the epistle to the Hebrews. (11:3):

14 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God: so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

15 By this we understand

that the principle of power,

which existed in the bosom of God,

by which the worlds were framed,

was faith;

and that it is by reason of this principle of power,

existing in the Deity,

that all created things exist

—so that all things

in heaven,

on earth,

or under the earth,

exist by reason of faith,

as it existed in HIM.

16 Had it not been for the principle of faith

the worlds would never have been framed,

neither would man have been formed of the dust

—it is the principle by which Jehovah works,

and through which he exercises power

over all temporal,

as well as eternal things.

Take this principle or attribute,

(for it is an attribute)

from the Deity

and he would cease to exist.

17 Who cannot see,

that if God framed the worlds by faith,

that it is by faith that he exercises power over them,

and that faith is the principle of power?

And that if the principle of power,

it must be so in man

as well as in the Deity?

This is the testimony

of all the sacred writers,

and the lesson which they have been endeavoring to teach to man.

18 The Savior says, (Matthew 17:19-20),

in explaining the reason

why the disciples could not cast out the devil,

that it was because of their unbelief:

“For verily, I say unto you,”

said he,

“if ye have faith

as a grain of mustard-seed,

ye shall say unto this mountain,

Remove hence to yonder place!

and it shall remove:

and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

19 Moroni,

while abridging and compiling the record of his fathers,

has given us the following account of faith

as the principle of power:

He says, in Ether 12:13,

that it was the faith of Alma and Amulek which caused the walls of the prison to be wrent, as recorded in Alma 14:23-29;

it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi which caused a change to be wrought upon the hearts of the Lamanites, when they were immersed with the Holy Spirit, and with fire, as seen in Helaman 5:37-50;

and that it was by faith that the mountain Zerin was removed, when the brother of Jared spake in the name of the Lord. See also Ether 12:30.

20 In addition to this we are told in Hebrews, 11:32-35,

that Gideon,

Barak,

Samson,

Jephthah,

David,

Samuel,

and the prophets,

through faith

subdued kingdoms,

wrought righteousness,

obtained promises,

stopped the mouths of lions,

quenched the violence of fire,

escaped the edge of the sword,

out of weakness were made strong,

waxed valiant in fight,

turned to flight the armies of the aliens;

and that women received their dead raised to life again, etc.

21 Also, Joshua,

in the sight of all Israel,

bade the sun and moon to stand still,

and it was done. (Joshua 10:12)

22 We here understand,

that the sacred writers say,

that all these things were done by faith

—It was by faith that the worlds were framed

—God spake,

chaos heard,

and worlds came into order,

by reason of the faith there was in HIM.

So with man also

—he spake by faith

in the name of God,

and the sun stood still,

the moon obeyed,

mountains removed,

prisons fell,

lions’ mouths were closed,

the human heart lost its enmity,

fire its violence,

armies their power,

the sword its terror,

and death its dominion;

and all this by reason of the faith which was in them.

23 Had it not been for the faith

which was in man,

they might have spoken to the sun,

the moon,

the mountains,

prisons,

lions,

the human heart,

fire,

armies,

the sword,

or to death

in vain!

24 Faith, then,

is the first great governing principle

which has

power,

dominion,

and authority

over all things:

by it they exist,

by it they are upheld,

by it they are changed,

or by it they remain,

agreeably to the will of God.

Without it,

there is no power,

and without power

there could be no creation, nor existence!


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON THE FOREGOING PRINCIPLES

Question 1: What is theology?


It is that revealed science

which treats of the being and attributes of God,

his relations to us,

the dispensations of his providence,

his will with respect to our actions

and his purposes with respect to our end.

(Buck’s Theological Dictionary, page 582)

Question 2: What is the first principle in this revealed science?


Faith. (1:1)

Question 3: Why is faith the first principle in this revealed science?


Because it is the foundation of all righteousness. 

Hebrews 11:6: Without faith it is impossible to please God. 

1 John 3:7: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness, is righteous, even as he [God] is righteous. (1:1)

Question 4: What arrangement should be followed in presenting the subject of faith?


First, Should be shown what faith is: (1:3)


Secondly, The object upon which it rests; and (1:4)


Thirdly, The effects which flow from it. (1:5)

Question 5: What is faith?


It is the assurance of things hoped for,

the evidence of things not seen: 

Hebrews 11:1. That is, it is the assurance we have of the existence of unseen things.

And being the assurance which we have of the existence of unseen things,

must be the principle of action in all intelligent beings. 

Hebrews 11:3: Through faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God. (1:8-9)

Question 6: How do you prove that faith is the principle of action in all intelligent beings?


First,

By duly considering the operations of my own mind;

and secondly,

by the direct declaration of scripture. 

Hebrews 11:7: By faith Noah, being warned of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 

Hebrews 11:8: 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. 

Hebrews 11:9: By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. 

Hebrews 11:27: By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. (1:10-11)

Question 7: Is not faith the principle of action in spiritual things as well as in temporal?


It is.

Question 8: How do you prove it?


Hebrews 11:6: Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved. 

Rom. 4:16: Therefore, it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed: not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. (1:12-13)

Question 9: Is faith any thing else beside the principle of action?


It is.

Question 10: What is it?


It is the principle of power, also (1:13)

Question 11: How do you prove it?


First, It is the principle of power in the Deity, as well as in man. 

Hebrews 11:3: Through faith we understand

that the worlds were framed

by the word of God,

so that things which are seen

were not made of things which do appear. (1:14-16)

Secondly, It is the principle of power in man also.

Book of Mormon, Alma 14:23-29: Alma and Amulek are delivered from prison. 

Helaman 5:37-50: Nephi and Lehi, with the Lamanites, are immersed with the Spirit. 

Ether 12:30: The mountain Zerin, by the faith of the brother of Jared, is removed. 

Joshua 10:12: Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 

Joshua 10:13: And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves of their enemies.

Is not this written in the book of Jasher?

So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 

Matthew 17:19: Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 

Matthew 17:20: And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 

Hebrews 11:32 and the following verses: And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Women received their dead raised to life again,

and other were tortured,

not accepting deliverance;

that they might obtain a better resurrection. (1:16-22)

Question 12: How would you define faith in its most unlimited sense?


It is the first great governing principle,

which has power, dominion, and authority over all things. (1:24)

Question 13: How do you convey to the understanding more clearly, that faith is the first great governing principle, which has

power,

dominion

and authority

over all things?


By it they exist,

by it they are upheld,

by it they are changed,

or by it they remain,

agreeably to the will of God;

and without it there is no power;

and without power

there could be no creation,

nor existence! (1:24)

So how about Love Your Enemies! Do good to those Enemies who harm you! At the same time, protect yourself and your family from Enemies!

Jesus is the Savior of the World.

  1. Love Your Enemies
  2. By President Dallin H. Oaks (paragraphs 1-105)
  3. First Counselor in the First Presidency
  4. Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a vision of the worth of others and the ability to rise above prejudice.
  5. The Lord’s teachings are for eternity and for all of God’s children.
  6. In this message I will give some examples from the United States, but the principles I teach are applicable everywhere.
  7. We live in a time of anger and hatred in political relationships and policies.
  8. We felt it this summer when some went beyond peaceful protests and engaged in destructive behavior.
  9. We feel it in some current campaigns for public offices.
  10. Unfortunately, some of this has even spilled over into political statements and unkind references in our Church meetings.
  11. In a democratic government we will always have differences over proposed candidates and policies.
  12. However, as followers of Christ we must forgo the anger and hatred with which political choices are debated or denounced in many settings.
  13. The Sermon on the Mount
  14. Here is one of our Savior’s teachings, probably well known but rarely practiced:
  15. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
  16. “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
  17. For generations, Jews had been taught to hate their enemies, and they were then suffering under the domination and cruelties of Roman occupation.
  18. Yet Jesus taught them, “Love your enemies” and “do good to them that … despitefully use you.”
  19. Bring forth the record
  20. What revolutionary teachings for personal and political relationships!
  21. But that is still what our Savior commands.
  22. In the Book of Mormon we read,
  23. “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).
  24. Loving our enemies and our adversaries is not easy.
  25. “Most of us have not reached that stage of … love and forgiveness,”
  26. President Gordon B. Hinckley observed, adding, “It requires a self-discipline almost greater than we are capable of.”2 
  27. 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).
  28. 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
  29. How do we keep these divine commandments in a world where we are also subject to the laws of man?
  30. Fortunately, we have the Savior’s own example of how to balance His eternal laws with the practicalities of man-made laws.
  31. 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
  32. Jesus Christ. Tribute to Caesar
  33. 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.
  34. But how do we do this—especially how do we learn to love our adversaries and our enemies?
  35. The Savior’s teaching not to “contend with anger” is a good first step.
  36. The devil is the father of contention, and it is he who tempts men to contend with anger.
  37. He promotes enmity and hateful relationships among individuals and within groups.
  38. President Thomas S. Monson taught that anger is “Satan’s tool,” for “to be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan.
  39. No one can make us angry. It is our choice.”5 
  40. Anger is the way to division and enmity.
  41. We move toward loving our adversaries when we avoid anger and hostility toward those with whom we disagree.
  42. It also helps if we are even willing to learn from them.
  43. Among other ways to develop the power to love others is the simple method described in a long-ago musical.
  44. When we are trying to understand and relate to people of a different culture, we should try getting to know them.
  45. In countless circumstances, strangers’ suspicion or even hostility give way to friendship or even love when personal contacts produce understanding and mutual respect.6
  46. An even greater help in learning to love our adversaries and our enemies is to seek to understand the power of love.
  47. Here are three of many prophetic teachings about this.
  48. 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
  49. 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.
  50. 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
  51. And President Russell M. Nelson has urged us to “expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family.”9
  52. An essential part of loving our enemies is to render unto Caesar by keeping the laws of our various countries.
  53. Though Jesus’s teachings were revolutionary, He did not teach revolution or lawbreaking. He taught a better way.
  54. Modern revelation teaches the same:
  55. “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.
  56. “Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21–22).
  57. 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).
  58. This does not mean that we agree with all that is done with the force of law.
  59. It means that we obey the current law and use peaceful means to change it.
  60. It also means that we peacefully accept the results of elections.
  61. We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome.10
  62.  In a democratic society we always have the opportunity and the duty to persist peacefully until the next election.
  63. The Savior’s teaching to love our enemies is based on the reality that all mortals are beloved children of God.
  64. That eternal principle and some basic principles of law were tested in the recent protests in many American cities.
  65. Protests
  66. 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.”
  67. That is the authorized way to raise public awareness and to focus on injustices in the content or administration of the laws.
  68. And there have been injustices.
  69. In public actions and in our personal attitudes, we have had racism and related grievances.
  70. 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 
  71. As citizens and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must do better to help root out racism.
  72. Police and Rebels
  73. 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.
  74. Protesters have no right to destroy, deface, or steal property or to undermine the government’s legitimate police powers.
  75. The Constitution and laws contain no invitation to revolution or anarchy.
  76. 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.
  77. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”12 
  78. Redress of grievances by mobs is redress by illegal means.
  79. That is anarchy, a condition that has no effective governance and no formal police, which undermines rather than protects individual rights.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. Ellis Island
  83. Ellis Island
  84. The United States was founded by immigrants of different nationalities and different ethnicities.
  85. 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.
  86. Our founding generation sought to be unified by a new constitution and laws.
  87. That is not to say that our unifying documents or the then-current understanding of their meanings were perfect.
  88. 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.
  89. Two Yale University scholars recently reminded us:
  90. “For all its flaws, the United States is uniquely equipped to unite a diverse and divided society. …
  91. “… Its citizens don’t have to choose between a national identity and multiculturalism.
  92. Americans can have both.
  93. But the key is constitutional patriotism.
  94. We have to remain united by and through the Constitution, regardless of our ideological disagreements.”13
  95. 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. 
  96. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests it is our duty to follow.”14
  97. That is a good secular reason for following “eternal and perpetual” interests in political matters.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.
  100. 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.
  101. 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.
  102. While not easy, it is possible with the help of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  103. 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.
  104. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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

DO JUSTLY, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD!

Jesus is the Christ, Yeshua, The Holy Messiah who soon will some so repent and get your house in order, art by Richard W. Linford
  1. Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God
  2. By Elder Dale G. Renlund
  3. Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
  4. To do justly means acting honorably.
  5. We act honorably with God by walking humbly with Him.
  6. We act honorably with others by loving mercy.
  7. As followers of Jesus Christ, and as Latter-day Saints, we strive—and are encouraged to strive—to do better and be better.1 
  8. Perhaps you have wondered, as I have, “Am I doing enough?”
  9. “What else should I be doing?”
  10. or “How can I, as a flawed person, qualify to ‘dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness’?”2
  11. The Old Testament prophet Micah asked the question this way:
  12. “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord,
  13. and bow myself before the high God?”3 
  14. Micah satirically wondered whether even exorbitant offerings might be enough to compensate for sin, saying:
  15. “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten [thousand] … rivers of oil?
  16. shall I give my firstborn for … the sin of my soul?”4
  17. The answer is no.
  18. Good deeds are not sufficient.
  19. Salvation is not earned.5 
  20. Not even the vast sacrifices Micah knew were impossible can redeem the smallest sin.
  21. Left to our own devices, the prospect of returning to live in God’s presence is hopeless.6
  22. Without the blessings that come from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we can never do enough or be enough by ourselves.
  23. The good news, though, is that because of and through Jesus Christ we can become enough.7 
  24. All people will be saved from physical death by the grace of God, through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.8 
  25. And if we turn our hearts to God, salvation from spiritual death is available to all “through the Atonement of [Jesus] Christ … by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”9 
  26. We can be redeemed from sin to stand clean and pure before God.
  27. As Micah explained, “[God] hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”10
  28. Micah’s direction on turning our hearts to God and qualifying for salvation contains three interconnected elements.
  29. To do justly means acting honorably with God and with other people.
  30. We act honorably with God by walking humbly with Him.
  31. We act honorably with others by loving mercy.
  32. To do justly is therefore a practical application of the first and second great commandments, to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind … [and to] love thy neighbour as thyself.”11
  33. To do justly and walk humbly with God is to intentionally withdraw our hand from iniquity, walk in His statutes, and remain authentically faithful.12 
  34. A just person turns away from sin and toward God, makes covenants with Him, and keeps those covenants.
  35. A just person chooses to obey the commandments of God, repents when falling short, and keeps on trying.
  36. When the resurrected Christ visited the Nephites, He explained that the law of Moses had been replaced by a higher law.
  37. He instructed them not to “offer up … sacrifices and … burnt offerings” any longer but to offer “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.”
  38. He also promised, “And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.”13 
  39. When we receive and use the gift of the Holy Ghost after baptism, we can enjoy the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost
  40. and be taught all things that we should do,14 
  41. including how to walk humbly with God.
  42. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin and salvation from spiritual death are available to all who have such a broken heart and contrite spirit.15 
  43. A broken heart and contrite spirit prompt us to joyfully repent and try to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
  44. As we do so, we receive the Savior’s cleansing, healing, and strengthening power.
  45. We not only do justly and walk humbly with God;
  46. we also learn to love mercy the way that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do.
  47. God delights in mercy and does not begrudge its use.
  48. In Micah’s words to Jehovah, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, … will have compassion upon us,” and will “cast all … sins into the depths of the sea.”16 
  49. To love mercy as God does is inseparably connected to dealing justly with others and not mistreating them.
  50. The importance of not mistreating others is highlighted in an anecdote about Hillel the Elder, a Jewish scholar who lived in the first century before Christ.
  51. One of Hillel’s students was exasperated by the complexity of the Torah—the five books of Moses with their 613 commandments and associated rabbinic writings.
  52. The student challenged Hillel to explain the Torah using only the time that Hillel could stand on one foot.
  53. Hillel may not have had great balance but accepted the challenge.
  54. He quoted from Leviticus, saying,
  55. “Thou shalt not avenge,
  56. nor bear any grudge
  57. against the children of thy people,
  58. but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”17 
  59. Hillel then concluded:
  60. “That which is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor.
  61. This is the whole of the Torah; the rest is commentary.
  62. Go forth and study.”18
  63. Always dealing honorably with others is part of loving mercy.
  64. Consider a conversation I overheard decades ago in the emergency department of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.
  65. A patient, Mr. Jackson, was a courteous, pleasant man who was well known to the hospital staff.
  66. He had previously been hospitalized multiple times for the treatment of alcohol-related diseases.
  67. On this occasion, Mr. Jackson returned to the hospital for symptoms that would be diagnosed as inflammation of the pancreas caused by alcohol consumption.
  68. Toward the end of his shift, Dr. Cohen, a hardworking and admired physician, evaluated Mr. Jackson and determined that hospitalization was warranted.
  69. Dr. Cohen assigned Dr. Jones, the physician next up in rotation, to admit Mr. Jackson and oversee his treatment.
  70. Dr. Jones had attended a prestigious medical school and was just beginning her postgraduate studies.
  71. This grueling training was often associated with sleep deprivation, which likely contributed to Dr. Jones’s negative response.
  72. Confronted with her fifth admission of the night, she complained loudly to Dr. Cohen.
  73. She felt it was unfair that she would have to spend many hours caring for Mr. Jackson, because his predicament was, after all, self-inflicted.
  74. Dr. Cohen’s emphatic response was spoken in almost a whisper.
  75. He said, “Dr. Jones, you became a physician to care for people and work to heal them.
  76. You didn’t become a physician to judge them.
  77. If you don’t understand the difference, you have no right to train at this institution.”
  78. Following this correction, Dr. Jones diligently cared for Mr. Jackson during the hospitalization.
  79. Mr. Jackson has since died.
  80. Both Dr. Jones and Dr. Cohen have had stellar careers.
  81. But at a critical moment in her training, Dr. Jones needed to be reminded to do justly, to love mercy, and to care for Mr. Jackson without being judgmental.19
  82. Over the years, I have benefited from that reminder.
  83. Loving mercy means that we do not just love the mercy God extends to us; we delight that God extends the same mercy to others.
  84. And we follow His example. “All are alike unto God,”20 and we all need spiritual treatment to be helped and healed.
  85. The Lord has said, “Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another,
  86. or one man shall not think himself above another.”21
  87. Jesus Christ exemplified what it means to do justly and to love mercy.
  88. He freely associated with sinners,
  89. treating them honorably
  90. and with respect.
  91. He taught the joy of keeping God’s commandments
  92. and sought to lift
  93. rather than condemn
  94. those who struggled.
  95. He did denounce those who faulted Him for ministering to people they deemed unworthy.22 
  96. Such self-righteousness offended Him and still does.23
  97. To be Christlike, a person does justly, behaving honorably with both God and other people.
  98. A just person is civil in words and action and recognizes that differences in outlook or belief do not preclude genuine kindness and friendship.
  99. Individuals who do justly “will not have a mind to injure one another,
  100. but to live peaceably”24 one with another.
  101. To be Christlike, a person loves mercy.
  102. People who love mercy are not judgmental;
  103. they manifest compassion for others,
  104. especially for those who are less fortunate;
  105. they are gracious,
  106. kind,
  107. and honorable.
  108. These individuals treat everyone
  109. with love
  110. and understanding,
  111. regardless of characteristics such as
  112. race,
  113. gender,
  114. religious affiliation,
  115. sexual orientation,
  116. socioeconomic status,
  117. and tribal,
  118. clan,
  119. or national differences.
  120. These are superseded by Christlike love.
  121. To be Christlike, a person chooses God,25 
  122. walks humbly with Him,
  123. seeks to please Him,
  124. and keeps covenants with Him.
  125. Individuals who walk humbly with God
  126. remember what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have done for them.
  127. Am I doing enough?
  128. What else should I be doing?
  129. The action we take in response to these questions is central to our happiness in this life and in the eternities.
  130. The Savior does not want us to take salvation for granted.
  131. Even after we have made sacred covenants,
  132. there is a possibility that we may “fall from grace and depart from the living God.”
  133. So we should “take heed and pray always” to avoid falling “into temptation.”26
  134. But at the same time, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do not want us to be paralyzed
  135. by continual uncertainty during our mortal journey,
  136. wondering whether we have done enough to be saved and exalted.
  137. They surely do not want us to be tormented
  138. by mistakes from which we have repented,
  139. thinking of them as wounds that never heal,27 
  140. or to be excessively apprehensive that we might stumble again.
  141. We can assess our own progress.
  142. We can know “that the course of life [that we are] pursuing is according to God’s will”28 
  143. when we do justly,
  144. love mercy,
  145. and walk humbly with our God.
  146. We assimilate the attributes of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ into our character,
  147. and we love one another.
  148. When you do these things,
  149. you will follow the covenant path
  150. and qualify to “dwell with God
  151. in a state of never-ending happiness.”29 
  152. Your souls will be infused with the glory of God
  153. and with the light of everlasting life.30 
  154. You will be filled with incomprehensible joy.31 
  155. I testify that God lives
  156. and that Jesus is the Christ,
  157. our Savior
  158. and Redeemer,
  159. and He lovingly
  160. and joyfully
  161. extends His mercy to all.
  162. Don’t you love it?
  163. In the name of Jesus Christ,
  164. amen.

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

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

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.

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.

Jesus is the Holy Messiah. Be of good cheer. He is the true source of peace in this world and eternal life in worlds to come.

Remarks: Be of Good Cheer

By President Dallin H. Oaks

First Counselor in the First Presidency

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Click here for the Temple Square Tabernacle Choir “Let Us All Press On” music https://www.google.com/search?q=let+us+all+press+on+by+the+tabernacle+choir&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS863US863&oq=Let+us+all&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j35i39j46i457j0l5.4028j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

If you want to talk to the missionaries, to get in touch and make an appointment and reach missionaries for a phone call or online face to face call 1-801-240-1000 or check out toll free numbers depending on where you are in the world at this internet link: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/help/support/toll-free-numbers-gsc?lang=eng/.

  1. Our unshakable faith in the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ guides our steps and gives us joy.
  2. In the final days of His mortal life, Jesus Christ told His Apostles of the persecutions and hardships they would suffer.1 
  3. He concluded with this great assurance: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
  4. That is the Savior’s message to all of our Heavenly Father’s children.
  5. That is the ultimate good news for each of us in our mortal lives.
  6. “Be of good cheer” was also a needed assurance in the world into which the resurrected Christ sent His Apostles.
  7. “We are troubled on every side,” the Apostle Paul later told the Corinthians, “yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).
  8. Two thousand years later we are also “troubled on every side,” and we also need that same message not to despair but to be of good cheer.
  9. The Lord has special love and concern for His precious daughters.
  10. He knows of your wants, your needs, and your fears.
  11. The Lord is all powerful. Trust Him.
  12. The Prophet Joseph Smith was taught that “the works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught” (Doctrine and Covenants 3:1).
  13. To His struggling children, the Lord gave these great assurances:
  14. “Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.
  15. “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:5–6).
  16. The Lord stands near us, and He has said:
  17. “What I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you” (Doctrine and Covenants 61:36).
  18. “For after much tribulation come the blessings” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:4).
  19. Sisters, I testify that these promises, given in the midst of persecutions and personal tragedies, apply to each of you in your troubling circumstances today.
  20. They are precious and remind each of us to be of good cheer and to have joy in the fulness of the gospel as we press forward through the challenges of mortality.
  21. Tribulation and challenges are the common experiences of mortality.
  22. Opposition is an essential part of the divine plan for helping us grow,2 and in the midst of that process, we have God’s assurance that, in the long view of eternity, opposition will not be allowed to overcome us.
  23. With His help and our faithfulness and endurance, we will prevail.
  24. Like the mortal life of which they are a part, all tribulations are temporary. In the controversies that preceded a disastrous war, United States president Abraham Lincoln wisely reminded his audience of the ancient wisdom that “this, too, shall pass away.”3
  25. As you know, the mortal adversities of which I speak—which make it difficult to be of good cheer—sometimes come to us in common with many others, like the millions now struggling through some of the many devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  26. Similarly, in the United States millions are suffering through a season of enmity and contention that always seems to accompany presidential elections but this time is the most severe many of the oldest of us can ever remember.
  27. On a personal basis, each of us struggles individually with some of the many adversities of mortality, such as poverty, racism, ill health, job losses or disappointments, wayward children, bad marriages or no marriages, and the effects of sin—our own or others’.
  28. Yet, in the midst of all of this, we have that heavenly counsel to be of good cheer and to find joy in the principles and promises of the gospel and the fruits of our labors.4 
  29. That counsel has always been so, for prophets and for all of us.
  30. We know this from the experiences of our predecessors and what the Lord said to them.
  31. Remember the circumstances of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
  32. Looked at through the lens of adversities, his life was one of poverty, persecution, frustration, family sorrows, and ultimate martyrdom.
  33. As he suffered imprisonment, his wife and children and the other Saints suffered incredible hardships as they were driven out of Missouri.
  34. When Joseph pleaded for relief, the Lord answered:
  35. “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
  36. “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–8).
  37. This was the personal, eternal counsel that helped the Prophet Joseph to maintain his native cheery temperament and the love and loyalty of his people.
  38. These same qualities strengthened the leaders and pioneers who followed and can strengthen you as well.
  39. Think of those early members!
  40. Again and again, they were driven from place to place.
  41. Finally they faced the challenges of establishing their homes and the Church in a wilderness.5 
  42. Two years after the initial band of pioneers arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, the pioneers’ grip on survival in that hostile area was still precarious.
  43. Most members were still on the trail across the plains or struggling to get resources to do so.
  44. Yet leaders and members were still of hope and good cheer.
  45. Even though the Saints were not settled in their new homes, at October 1849 general conference a new wave of missionaries was sent out to Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, and the South Pacific.6 
  46. At what could have been thought their lowest level, the pioneers rose to new heights.
  47. And just three years later, another 98 were also called to begin to gather scattered Israel.
  48. One of the Church leaders explained that these missions “are generally, not to be very long ones; probably from 3 to 7 years will be as long as any man will be absent from his family.”7
  49. Sisters, the First Presidency is concerned about your challenges.
  50. We love you and pray for you.
  51. At the same time, we often give thanks that our physical challenges—apart from earthquakes, fires, floods, and hurricanes—are usually less than our predecessors faced.
  52. In the midst of hardships, the divine assurance is always “be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.
  53. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:18).
  54. How does this happen?
  55. How did it happen for the pioneers?
  56. How will it happen to women of God today?
  57. By our following prophetic guidance, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against [us],” the Lord said by revelation in April 1830.
  58. “Yea,” He said, “… the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 21:6).
  59. “Fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:34).
  60. With the Lord’s promises, we “lift up [our] heart[s] and rejoice” (Doctrine and Covenants 25:13), and “with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:15), we go forward on the covenant path.
  61. Most of us do not face decisions of giant proportions, like leaving our homes to pioneer an unknown land.
  62. Our decisions are mostly in the daily routines of life,
  63. but as the Lord has told us, “Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33).
  64. There is boundless power in the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
  65. Our unshakable faith in that doctrine guides our steps and gives us joy.
  66. It enlightens our minds and gives strength and confidence to our actions.
  67. This guidance and enlightenment and power are promised gifts we have received from our Heavenly Father.
  68. By understanding and conforming our lives to that doctrine, including the divine gift of repentance, we can be of good cheer as we keep ourselves on the path toward our eternal destiny—reunion and exaltation with our loving heavenly parents.
  69. “You may be facing overwhelming challenges,” Elder Richard G. Scott taught.
  70. “Sometimes they are so concentrated, so unrelenting, that you may feel they are beyond your capacity to control.
  71. Don’t face the world alone.
  72. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding’ [Proverbs 3:5].
  73. … It was intended that life be a challenge, not so that you would fail, but that you might succeed through overcoming.”8
  74. It is all part of the plan of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ,
  75. of which I testify,
  76. as I pray that we will all persist
  77. to our heavenly destination,
  78. in the name of Jesus Christ,
  79. amen.