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.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Focus on the Savior

                Celebrating the birth of Jesus the Christ is the purpose of Christmas; therefore, He is the reason for the season.  Our focus should be on the Savior of the world, particularly at this time as we celebrate His mortal birth.

                Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, explained:  “When our focus is on Jesus Christ, we clear away the rubble that obscures the path, and we build a foundation for our families on the rock of our Redeemer.  The winds will blow and the mighty storms will beat upon us, but we will not fall.”

                Sister Wixom and her counselors, Sister Jean A. Stevens and Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, suggested three building blocks to help us focus on the Savior and strengthen the foundations of our homes.  Those three building blocks are prayer, scriptures, and temples.  

                Sister Esplin explained, “Our Heavenly Father isn’t concerned with how clever, brilliant, rich, or famous we are.  He loves us because we are His children.  He has given us a lifeline to Him – it’s called prayer.”  She continued, “Prayer is essential in building a Christ-centered life and a Christ-centered home.”

                In explaining the power of searching the scriptures, Sister Wixom quoted Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve:  “Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high.”  She continued, “Those packets of light illuminate minds and help build a foundation upon the `rock of our Redeemer….  They testify of Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Ghost, individuals come to know Him as they read.
                “When reading the scriptures becomes a daily habit, we are drawn to searching them and we love them….”

                Sister Stevens discussed the power of the temple and explained that the temple and family history work are central to accomplishing the Lord’s work of salvation.  “I can imagine that the Lord, with His infinite power, could design a way to bring salvation to all His children without directly using our help….  But for whatever reason, He did not.  Could it be that our participation in temple and family history work is designed to not only save our ancestors, but to save us and our children as well?”

                Individuals receive great blessings by focusing on temple worship and family history work, and even little children can receive great blessings.  Some ways to teach children about the importance of temples is having a picture of a temple in each child’s bedroom, singing songs about the temple, sharing stories about ancestors. 

                Sister Stevens continued, “The blessings of the temple are available to us all – young and old and everybody in between….  It is in the temple that we remember who we really are and see with clarity who we really can become.  In this we will feel the Lord’s love for us in a personal way.  It draws us to Him.”

                We all have our priorities in how we spend our time, energy, and resources.  We can see our priorities clearly by determining where our focus is.  If our priorities are prayer, scripture study, and the temple, we will focus our time, energy, and resources on those three priorities.  We may think they are our priorities, but we will be mistaken unless we focus on them.   If our focus is on the Savior, we will put Him first in our lives.  He will be the center of our lives, and everything else will revolve around Him.

                I have personally discovered that my life runs much more smoothly when I focus on the Savior.  My days run smoother when I start them with prayer and scripture study.  My weeks go better when I attend the temple.  In order to focus on the Savior, I must write prayer, scripture study, and temple into my daily and weekly schedule. 

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