It is time once again to make a new beginning. We have a new month and a brand New Year. What are we going to do with them? Will we keep doing the same old things, or will we make a change? The choice is ours – as individuals, as citizens of this great nation, and as people of the world. What are we going to do?
Glenn Beck recently asked his audience “to decide who they are and what kind of country they want to live in.” He then gave some examples – true stories - to show our choice. The first example told the story of an employee in a Detroit-area Post Office who stole as many as 2,000 pieces of mail just because she was bored. The second example told the story of a widow who donated her wedding ring to the Salvation Army with the hopes that it could be used to purchase toys for needy children. The third example was the story of Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare architect, who was grilled by Congress for saying that Obamacare was passed because of the “stupidity of the American voter.”
Then Beck asked what we were going to choose – light or dark, life or death, good or evil. “Which are we?” Are we going to tell the truth? Are we going to treat other people with respect whether or not we agree with them? Are we going to lie, cheat and steal? Will we choose to be better people today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are today?
A Canadian city and area gave a good example of how people are supposed to treat other people. After terrorists flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and tried to crash a fourth airplane into the Capital Building or White House, the United States air space was closed to all traffic. Delta Flight 15 was flying over the North Atlantic Ocean about five hours out of Frankfurt, Germany, when the pilot received word that he needed to land the aircraft as soon as possible at the nearest airport. The nearest airport was Gander, New Foundland.
The pilot landed his aircraft at Gander along with more than fifty others. The city with approximately 10,400 people all of a sudden had approximately 10,500 people to house and feed. Brittney Cox tells the experience of the passengers and crew members of how the Canadians made them feel at home and took care of them on the day the world turned upside down. The Canadians set a good example of how we should treat people in good times as well as emergencies.
As the world becomes more and more wicked, Christianity is attacked more and more often. Faith and spirituality are considered to be consumer items to be purchased or sold. The more Christianity is put down, the more wicked the nation and world become. I believe the world will continue its downward slide until the majority of the people come to believe in Jesus Christ. The answer to all of our problems can be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians must stand firmly and testify boldly of Jesus Christ.
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: “The best-recorded fact in all history is the account of the birth and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ on the earth. His mission was prophesied from the days of our first parents….”
Elder Perry quoted President David O. McKay (1873-1970) as teaching: “The responsibility of showing to the world that the gospel of Jesus Christ will solve its problems rests upon the men who make the claim. … I believe, too, that every world problem may be solved by obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The solution of the great world problems is here in The Church of Jesus Christ. Ample provision is made not only for the needs of individuals, but also for the nation and groups of nations. … I grant that we may seem to be arrogating to ourselves superior wisdom, but we are not. It is simply the application of God’s plan to the world problems. You who hold the priesthood have greater responsibility today, now that you live in this creative moment in the world’s history, than ever the Church has had before. I repeat it. If we make the claim to hold the truth, it is obligatory upon every Latter-day Saint so to live, that when the people of the world come, in answer to the call, to test the fruit of the tree, they will find it wholesome and good.”
Elder Perry continued: “The great message we carry to the world is that the gospel of our Lord and Savior has been restored to the earth. His Church is again on the earth with the power and glory of the holy priesthood.
“To those so ordained is given power to act for Him as His agents to bring the doctrines, ordinances, principles, and powers to bind on earth as will be done in the heavens. This is the Savior’s Church. He directs the affairs of His Church through His chosen prophets. His prophets in turn teach the gospel to others and testify of Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer. This day and age is the dispensation of the fulness of times, which has been spoken of by the prophets from the beginning of time. It is the time of fulfillment of all that has been spoken of by the Lord’s prophets and recorded in the holy scriptures. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a new church but the restored Church to the world in this day and age.
“You are the generation the Lord has saved for this day. You came out of the waters of baptism with a covenant and a promise to the Lord to represent Him in helping people throw off their worldly ways and return to the blessings promised us if we would follow Him and live His gospel. You can help your Heavenly Father’s children return to their Christian foundation, develop faith in Him, and return to His ways.”
Elder Perry then suggested four things we can do to improve the world around us by helping people come back to their Christian faith.
(1) “Pray daily…. Hold your daily prayers and help others to return to their Christian faith by encouraging them to get on their knees and pray to God.” (2) “Study the scriptures daily…. Be certain you have daily scripture study. Then help others return to their Christian faith by encouraging them to also study the scriptures daily.” (3) “Remain worthy to attend the temple…. Live in such a way that your righteous example will demonstrate how to be worthy of temple blessings.” (4) “Give daily acts of service…. Be an example of Christlike service, and help others return to their Christian faith by encouraging them to serve others….
“I challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment. I challenge you to help God’s children return to their Christian faith and to the strong religious foundation that is so essential for peace of mind and real happiness in this period of mortal probation.”
What do you choose? I choose to follow the counsel given by Elder Perry and many prophets before him. I choose to keep my faith in Jesus Christ strong and help others to strengthen their faith in Him. I choose to pray daily, to study the scriptures daily, to attend the temple often, and to give Christlike service. Please join me in changing the world by changing ourselves and those in our spheres of influence. We can make a difference one person at a time.