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.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

True Principles of Freedom

                For this Freedom Friday I would like to introduce a series of correct principles that can bring the greatest of all liberties into our individual lives.  This liberty is the ability to live as though Jesus Christ were walking beside us.  We can obtain this liberty by following the principles taught by our Savior and His prophets and apostles and written in the scriptures.

                Elder Richard G. Scott suggested some principles that can help us learn how to be guided by the Holy Ghost (21 Principles – Divine Truths to Help You Live by the Spirit).  He stated that “obedience to true principles” has always benefited mankind.  He reminded his readers of a statement made by the Prophet Joseph Smith when he was asked how he governed so many people.  He told his questioner, I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves” (quoted by John Taylor, in Millennial Star, 15 Nov. 1851, 339, as quoted by Elder Scott).

                “Principles are anchors of safety.  They are like the steel anchors a mountaineer uses to conquer otherwise impossible cliffs.  They will help you have confidence in new and unfamiliar circumstances.  They will provide you protection in life’s storms of adversity….
                “As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles.  Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances.  A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and challenging circumstances….”

                The first principle is to follow the Savior’s counsel to “ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 3 Nephi 27:29).  When we ask God for spiritual guidance, He answers with promptings through the Holy Ghost.  If we pay attention to those first feelings, they can be followed by specific thoughts.  “Detailed direction comes when we readily respond to the initial promptings of the Spirit.”  The Holy Ghost most often speaks to us through our feelings and thoughts. 

                Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bestow upon us much knowledge and many blessings; however, He withholds knowledge and blessings until we exercise our agency and ask for them.  Since communication with God is sacred, we should do everything in our power to show reverence for the great opportunity to petition our Heavenly Father.  We can prepare ourselves for this communication by praying, by studying the scriptures and the words of living prophets and apostles, and by pondering what we read.  Fasting from food and drink can help us as we invite communion with God.  Sacred music can also help us prepare ourselves to speak with God.

                Elder Scott suggests that we also be aware of our emotions because “yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost.”  He stated that we should also “be cautious with humor.”  Even though a sense of humor can invite revelation and release pressures, loud laughter offends the Spirit.  Other suggestions to enhance spiritual communication are good health habits and humility.

                By following the promptings of the Holy Ghost we can enjoy the freedom of knowing that we are doing as God commands.

By seeking guidance from Heavenly Father and following the promptings from the Holy Ghost, we can achieve the type of freedom that is enjoyed only by true followers of Jesus Christ. There is no greater freedom or liberty. 

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