Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Steadfast and Immovable

                    Families grow stronger when they stand "steadfast and immovable" in living good principles and values.  When we use good principles and values to guide us, we are standing on "solid ground" and should not move just to please critics, fashion, or peers.  By being "steadfast and immovable" we can withstand the greatest storms of life.

                    Our ward conference was held a few weeks ago, and one of the topics of the conference came from this scripture:  "Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen" (Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Mosiah 5:15). 

                    One definition for steadfast is "loyal; unwavering; not changing; firm of purpose; firmly fixed; not moving; firmly settled; unchangeable; established" and immovable is defined as "that which cannot be moved; firmly fixed; immobile; not moving or changing; firm; steadfast; unyielding" (World Book Dictionary, Vol. 1, p. 1056, and Vol. 2, p. 2047).

                    Families who stand "steadfast and immovable" are firmly fixed, unwavering, firmly settled, and unchangeable on the good principles and values that they consider most important.  The "building" of a family can be likened to the building of a house.  There are certain requirements to assure that the "building" will be strong enough to withstand the "storms" that come upon it.

                    Anchorage, Alaska, has endured at least four hurricane-force windstorms in the past couple of months, and many homes and businesses were damaged.  A sister in our ward lives high on the mountain where the winds were the worst.  She said that she witnessed numerous homes that lost shingles, garages that "exploded," and sheds that were "flattened" during the storms.  Some of the homes were very expensive and were built by the most prestigious builders in the area.  The sister and her husband built their own home and while building it, they exceeded the requirements for builders.  If the requirement said studs had to be no further apart than 24 inches, they put their studs only 18 inches apart.  Where the requirement said to put "hurricane anchors" on every other stud, they put them on every stud.  Where the requirements said to put one anchor, they put two anchors.  They built their home as secure and as sound as they could possibly build it.  During the years when they watched other homes damaged or destroyed by storms, their home lost only four shingles.

                    The Savior taught this principle when He told his disciples about the man who built his house on a rock and the man who built his house on the sand.  When the storm came, the only house that was able to withstand the storm was the one built on a rock.

                    Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles answered the following question:  "How do we become steadfast and immovable?"  "A building or structure that is stable and immovable must be built upon a strong foundation.  If you and I desire to become steadfast and immovable disciples of the Master, we must build appropriately and effectively upon Him as our foundation" ("Steadfast and Immovable, Always Abounding in Good Works," New Era, January 2008.  

                   An ancient American prophet by the name of Helaman taught his sons, "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall" (Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Helaman 5:12).

                    After quoting the above scripture, Elder Bednar said, "The Lord Jesus Christ is the sure foundation, and you and I cannot and will not fall if we build upon Him as our foundation.  This is a truly remarkable and faith-promoting promise.
                    "The steps we must follow in building our devotion to and our character upon the foundation of Christ are identified simply and clearly in Helaman 15:
                    "`And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them -
                    "`Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free' (Helaman 15:7-8; emphasis added).
                    "Please notice the specific steps outlined in these two verses.  The first step is (1) belief in the teachings and prophecies of the holy prophets as recorded in the scriptures.  Such belief (2) fosters faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Faith in the Savior leads to
(3) repentance.  Faith in Christ and repentance bring about (4) the mighty change of heart.  As many as have diligently and faithfully followed these steps are (5) firm and steadfast in the faith.  That is the Lord's blueprint for becoming steadfast and immovable.  I testify that as we ponder and follow in faith the building blocks described in these verses, we will be strengthened and blessed to become steadfast and immovable."

                    Becoming steadfast and immovable takes time and effort.  It isn't something that can be done overnight or on a weekend.  It is something that we have to work at, practice, and make a habit of doing.  There are even times when we have to stand fast where we don't want to even be.  There have been times in my life where my first and strongest impulse was to run away - literally, but the promptings from the Lord said to stand firm.  There have been other times when I didn't want to accept the assignment or "mission" from the Lord, an example of which is writing this blog.  I write it because of a prompting from God, not because I want to do so or even consider myself capable of doing it.  I continue to write the blog because I feel that this task is a "mission" with some purpose of which I am yet unaware.  My husband and other members of my family think that I should accept advertisements on my blog to earn some money and "justify" the time and effort I put into it.  When I pray about continuing the blog, I always receive a strong positive feeling.  When I pray about earning money with the blog, I always receive a strong negative feeling.  I will continue the blog as is until I receive other information from the Lord. 
I receive powerful motivation in believing I am doing the will of the Lord and standing "steadfast and immovable" in doing what He wants me to do.  Families who stand "steadfast and immovable" on the foundation of Jesus Christ are strengthened and prepared to face the storms of life.   

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