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Faith – The Seventh Hour

March 4, 2015

Luke 23:47

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

This was the centurion who witnessed Christ’s death.  I searched through the chapter to find any other reference to the centurion, as Luke says, “The” centurion, not “a” centurion, so that would indicate he had been mentioned before.  But I couldn’t find anything, unless he was one of the soldiers who had mocked him and gambled for his clothes.  That would seem out of character with his testimony of Christ.  So either he was a completely different person to the mocking soldiers, or he underwent a great change of heart.

The other alternative is that there were many soldiers and only one centurion in charge of the crucifiction, thus “The” centurion as there was only one there.

In other news, why is wordpress telling me that crucifiction is spelled incorrectly?  I’m pretty sure that’s how I was always taught to spell it.  But apparently there’s an x in there now?  WTH?

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Luke 22: 42

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Ok, this scripture.  Can I just tell you it tears at my heart?  I get all choked up.  Here is the Saviour, and he *knows* what’s coming.  He knows what it is he will have to bear.  I don’t think we’re fully aware of exactly what it was.

We can imagine – let’s start with all the physical pain we’ve experienced.  Then think about all the physical pain everyone has experienced.  You hear stories of torture etc – all that.  He experienced it all.

Then think about all the emotional pain you’ve experienced.  Man, that stuff is even worse than the physical stuff.  Oh it hurts so much.  And that’s just our stuff.  He suffered everyone’s emotional pain.

Then think about the spiritual pain you’ve experienced.  Oooh my good gracious gravy that one’s not pleasant.  Yeah, he suffered that too, not just for you, but for everyone.

All our pains and sicknesses and sins.  He suffered them all.  He atoned for everything.  I don’t think we really get that.  Cerebrally, yes, but I think when we really understand it’ll blow our minds.  Kablooie.

But Christ knew.  He fully understood what was coming.  And he was all, “Ooooohhhh boy that’s not going to be fun.”  And he asked, “Please. Please.  If there’s any other way.  Please can we do that?  But if not, I’ll do what you want.”

I mean! My gosh!

That’s how I want to be.  I want to be that faithful.  I want to be that humble.  And I want to be that obedient.

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D&C 18:11-13

For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.

And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!

Ok, so in my scriptures D&C 18 is lit up like Times Square in a variety of neon colours.  So we’re going to be here for a few minutes.

I think that after the Lord’s pain the least we can do is accept that sacrifice.  The least we can do is do our best to follow Him.  The least we can do is have faith in Him and trust Him and believe Him.  Not just believe in him, but believe him.  And know that He is there for us.  The least we can do is repent and keep trying.  What other gift can we give to show our gratitude?  We are unprofitable servants.  Oh my gosh I’m going to have to find that particular scripture and put it in here too.  It’s brilliant.

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D&C 18:14

Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.

My first craven response to this is, “Oh, that’s for missionaries.”  But, y’know, every member a missionary…. scary!

Not that I have to stand on a box on the street corner.  I need to live my life as well as I can, following as close to the example of the Saviour as I can.  In that way just by living I will be a missionary.  This is not an outward thing.  This is an inward thing.  If your heart and mind are aligned with the Lord’s, then being a missionary is as natural as breathing.

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D&C 18: 15-16

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Yeah.  That’d be kinda awesome. =)  I think about my Young Women a lot with this scripture.  I need to be a good example.  I pray for them.  I want so much for them to have a strong and fervent testimony of their Saviour, their Father in Heaven, and their own worth as His daughters.  I want so much for them to have a close relationship with the Saviour.  I want them to be happy – really happy.  I don’t know how to give this to them.  All I can do is choose lessons and activities that help them draw close to the Saviour and serve others, and hope and pray they will be open to the whisperings of the Spirit.

Oh those girls, those girls.  I worry about them so much.  I thought it was bad when I was just worried about my own children – but now I have a dozen more to love and fuss over.  I’m a chicken, clucking ineffectually around her chicks, ready to claw the eyes out of any fox that comes along. But what can I do when my beloved cute chicks go running headlong to the fox like Chicken Little?  The sky is not falling.  Stay close to safety.  Stay in the boat.  Or, in other words, stay close to the Saviour.  Read your scriptures.  Say your prayers.  Come to church.  Serve others. Hang on! Hang on to that Iron Rod and don’t let go.

Stay in the boat

Taken Boat

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D&C 18:18

Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.

I mean, exactly how many times and in how many ways does he have to say it?  Do you need something?  Do you want to know something?  Then ask.  If it’s right that you should receive it, or if it’s right that you should know it, the Lord will tell you.  Just ask, man.

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D&C 18:19

And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing.

Have faith in Christ.  Believe that He is.  Believe he can do what he says he can do.

Have hope in Christ.  Hope and faith together are uplifting, and fill you with “good cheer”.

Have charity.  If you believe Christ, and have hope that all will work out ok, then spread that “good cheer” to others.  Serve the Lord’s children.  Help them. Uplift them. Strengthen them. Ask the Lord to help you love them as He loves them.  Now that’s one gift he’s dying to give you. =)

That was not a deliberate pun.  It just happened that way.  Maybe I should say, “That’s one gift he’s living to give you.”

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D&C 18:20

Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil.

I mean to say!  Right there!  In black and white!  There it is, staring you in the face.  You’ve read it now so you’re responsible.  Don’t forget it.  Contend against no church.  Don’t you go around bad mouthing other churches and their beliefs.  You let them alone for the Lord to deal with.

Contend only against the church of the devil.  What is the church of the devil?  IMO, sin.  Particularly within yourself.

1 Nephi 13:4-9 says, “And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.  And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.  And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.  And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.  And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.  And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.”

So according to this the church of the devil is one who cares more about worldly things than helping others. Also, anything contrary to the commandments of God.  Also, those who sneer at and ridicule and seek to twist the church of God.

So, basically, the great and spacious building.

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D&C 18:21

Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness.

This doesn’t mean that a) don’t be drunk when you teach of Christ or b) never smile or be happy when you talk of Christ.  It just means to treat sacred things with the reverence they deserve.  Don’t make fun of it.  Testify with all sincerity and seriousness.

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1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

It would probably be a good idea to keep the commandments.  Would you go chuck paint at the temple?  Would you slash the chairs in the Temple?  Would you take a hammer to the walls?  Well then, why would you hurt your body?  Why would you graffiti on it? Why would you put harmful substances in it?  Is this liberation?  To bind yourself down with chains that will cause you misery and the deepest ache of regret?  Is this liberty?  To walk into a trap?  To look at a jail that everyone is telling you, “Don’t go in there!” and then walk into it and lock the door?

You are a precious daughter of God!  He loves you! Why would you defile the greatest gift He has given you?  Don’t put into your mind or body or on your body things that will cause you pain.  You are better than that.

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1 Corinthians 3:18-20

Let no man deceive himself.  If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, he taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Don’t be thinking, just because you’re educated, that you know everything and are so much smarter and therefore better than anyone else.  Be humble.  To be learned is good if you hearken unto the counsels of God.  But if you mock the things of God, then you’ll be taken in your own craftiness and oh boy that’s not going to be good.  Don’t be vain.  Be humble.  Everything you are and everything you have is given you from God, so be grateful for it.  How can you know better than the being who created you, everything you have, everything you are, everything you see, smell, hear, and touch?  You are dependent upon God for everything, and yet you mock and despise Him and those who believe in Him?  Well.  That’s not going to have a happy ending, is it?

Which is a good lesson to me to pay attention to my thoughts and attitudes and make sure I’m not thinking I’m better than anyone else.  Be kind.  Be humble. And trust the Lord.

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