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.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

How Can We Nourish Others by the Good Word of God during COVID-19?

             For my Come, Follow Me lessons this week, I studied Moroni 1-6. These chapters give instructions on some of the ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For my discussion tonight, I will go to Moroni 6, where Moroni wrote about preparing to be baptized. He stated that no one should be baptized without bringing forth “fruit” showing that they were worthy of being baptized (Moroni 6:1).

            Other conditions necessary before baptism are to have “a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” “truly repented of all their sins,” and “having a determination to serve him to the end” (Moroni 6:2-3). When anyone meets those conditions, then they are baptized and “numbered among the people of the church of Christ” (Moroni 6:4). This verse also states that “their names were taken,” and the reason why their names were taken was to make sure that they were “remembered and nourished by the good word of God” (Moroni 6:4).

            What does it mean to be “nourished by the good word of God?” The Book of Mormon Student Manual for Religion 121-122 tells us that this “phrase is symbolic and has reference to what occurs when the Spirit works on and changes a convert.” It continues by explaining that “The atoning sacrifice of Christ makes the remission of sins possible, but it is through the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost – the baptism of fire – that sins are actually purged or removed.” These truths are taught in the following scriptures.

… For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 31:17).

Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence… (Alma 13:12).

Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day (3 Nephi 27:20).

            After referring to the above scriptures, the Student Manual continued: “It is also through the workings of the Holy Ghost that we gain the enabling power of the Atonement to help us become faithful Latter-day Saint. President Gordon B. Hinckley mentioned this scripture in a memorable General Conference address in April 1999.

Every convert must be “nourished by the good word of God” (Moro. 6:4). It is imperative that he or she become affiliated with a priesthood quorum or the Relief Society, the Young Women, the Young Men, the Sunday School, or the Primary. He or she must be encouraged to come to sacrament meeting to partake of the sacrament, to renew the covenants made at the time of baptism….

I am convinced that we will lose but very, very few of those who come into the Church if we take better care of them” (“Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep,” Ensign, May 1999, 108-9).

            Moroni 6:4 continues by telling us why new converts must be “nourished by the good word of God.” The verse continues, “… to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith” (Moroni 6:4).

            The United States is nine months into a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. I have not been inside a meetinghouse or a temple since March 2020. I have not had a personal visit from any representative from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because my husband and I are in strict isolation due to health problems. Yet, I have been nourished by ministering sisters and brothers who call or text to check on us. Others have brought groceries to us.

My nourishment with the good word of God comes over technology. I watched General Conference in April and October over the Internet. I “meet” with brothers and sisters in the ward for Sunday School and with sisters for Relief Society with Zoom connections. During each week, I am taught by YouTube video from professors at Brigham Young University, and I can study the scriptures for myself. I, in turn, can minister to my sisters through technology – phone calls, Zoom meetings, etc. I teach a Relief Society lesson once each month and do my part to nourish others.

The pandemic has created difficulties in many areas of our lives, but it has not stopped us from nourishing each other by the good word of God. This nourishment keeps my spirit strong and helps me to stay close to the Savior in my thoughts and actions.

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