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, March 11, 2023

Does the Lord Help Us When We Are in His Service?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Matthew 9-10, Mark 5, and Luke 9 in a lesson titled “These Twelve Jesus Sent Forth.” A suggestion prior to the lesson encouraged us to “find personal meaning in the scriptures.” We should not allow study ideas to “replace personal revelation” that we “might receive about what passage to study or how to study them.” The lesson was introduced by the following paragraph: 

Word of Jesus’s healing miracles was spreading quickly. Multitudes followed Him, hoping for relief from their sicknesses. But when the Savior looked upon the multitudes, He saw more than their physical ailments. Filled with compassion, He saw “sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). “The harvest truly is plenteous,” He observed, “but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37). So He called twelve Apostles, “gave them power,” and sent them to teach and minister “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:1, 6). Today the need for more laborers to serve Heavenly Father’s children is just as great. There are still twelve Apostles, but there are more disciples of Jesus Christ than ever before – people who can declare to all the world, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:7).

The scripture block contains many principles worthy of discussion, but I feel prompted to discuss this one: “When I am in the Lord’s service, He will inspire me with what to say” (Matthew 10:17-20). First, I will share the actual scripture:

17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Jesus Christ foresaw that His disciples would be persecuted and questioned about their faith. This is something similar to the experiences of His disciples in our day. However, Christ promised His disciples that they would know by the Spirit what to say. I had an experience where the Spirit told me what to say.

I was teaching a class of five-year-old children, and a grandfather had come into the class to sit with his non-member granddaughter to help her to feel more comfortable. As I remember  the situation, I was teaching a lesson about baptism. I came to a certain point in the lesson, and the Spirit whispered that I should ask the grandfather to share his experience with performing baptisms. His answer was much better than how I would have taught baptism. I know that the Lord does not leave us alone when we are in His service.

Jesus Christ chose twelve men to serve as His Apostles and to take the gospel to the world. Christ has also called Apostles in our day, and there are actually fifteen men who hold the office of Apostle. The three members of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and Henry B. Eyring – are all Apostles. Then there are the twelve members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. These fifteen men direct the Lord’s work on earth, and they often travel to share the gospel throughout the world.

The Church of Jesus Christ will hold its annual general conference on April 1-2, 2023. All fifteen Apostles will speak at least once during ten hours of meetings. Most of them speak only once, but President Nelson and possibly other members of the First Presidency speak more than one time. I encourage you to listen to or to watch any or all of the General Conference sessions. You can find more information about the conference at this site. 

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