I am now reading the Book of Revelation for my religion class. I found a principle in
Revelation 3:15-16 that I would like to share with my readers today: “I must not be lukewarm in my devotion for Christ but stand firm in my testimony with faith and good works.” The referenced scripture says that God knows whether we are “cold” or “hot” in our devotion to Him. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
This scripture sounds to me that Jesus Christ is comparing faith to food. I personally want my hot food to be hot and my cold food to be cold. When food that is supposed to be hot is merely lukewarm, it just does not taste good, and I often want to “spue [it] out of my mouth.” I suppose that Jesus Christ feels that way about members of His Church who profess to believe in Him and try to follow His teachings but who are not devoted in their commitment.
President Gordon B. Hinckley says that we have no middle ground – “either the Church is true, or it is a fraud.” If we want to be in the Lord’s territory, we must learn for ourselves that the Church is true. I can testify that this knowledge makes a huge difference in my devotion to God.
In his last address to us President Monson counsels us to study the Book of Mormon: “The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated…. If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.”
We were taught last conference to study the Book of Mormon. This conference we were taught the importance of receiving personal revelation. Did you notice that the entire First Presidency spoke about the importance of doing the “small and simple things” in order to qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost? The small things include personal and family prayer and scripture study, weekly family home evening and attendance at sacrament meeting, regular temple attendance, small acts of service, and many other “small and simple things.” President Russell M. Nelson went through a step-by-step process to teach us how to gain personal revelation. Apparently, the Brethren feel this to be important to our spiritual survival!
I believe that the prophets are telling us that things are going to get rough in the near future. We must have our own testimony and keep it strong in order to withstand the buffetings that will come shortly. This conference is the first in my memory where all three members of the First Presidency spoke in the same session – other than the priesthood session – and literally spoke on the same topic. I think that we would be wise to pay particular attention to their words of counsel.