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Faith – The Ninth Hour

March 6, 2015

Alma 34:18-27

Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.

Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.

Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

Pray to your Father in Heaven, for He has all power to help you.  Pray in your job, pray about your spreadsheets and your presentations and the food you are cooking.  Pray at home, at any hour.  Pray that He will help you deal with those around you trying to steal your business, or who are gossiping about you. Pray that he will help you not sin.  Pray that he will help you in your job, that you’ll get better at it and that your expertise will be recognized.  Pray quietly in your heart, and when you are suffering in affliction.  Pray all the time for you, and for those around you.

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Alma 34:28

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need – I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.

Always remember that you are a beggar before the Lord.  Everything you have is from Him, so why would you not share that with His children who are in need?

King Benjamin had some wise words about that….

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Mosiah 4:16-20

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just – 

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

Everything you have is given to you by the Lord, so be kind and compassionate and share your blessings with those who stand in need.  It is one of the greatest joys of life.

But what if you’re poor and don’t have enough money for yourself?  Read on…

Mosiah 4:24-25

And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I woudl that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.

And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covert that which ye have not received.

If ye can no more than *desire* to give, because you don’t have enough, then keep that desire in your heart.  One day you will have more, and then you can give to your heart’s content.

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Mosiah 4:12-13

Continue in faith then…

And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

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Mosiah 4:14-15

And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

It’s scriptures like this that cause me to reflect on my parenting.  How did I do?  How am I doing?

Did I feed my children? – Yes.

Did I clothe my children? – yes.

Did I teach them to obey the commandments? – yes.

Did I teach them not to yell and fight with each other? – yes.

Did I teach them to follow the gospel? – yes.

Did I teach them to love one another? – yes.

Did I teach them to serve one another? – I think so.  I may have done better on this though.

Ok, so I did ok in those things.  Phew.

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Mosiah 4:27

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

This is a great scripture!  King Benjamin, in his great address, gives us a great many thing we should be doing – those could be pretty heavy to bear if we’re not in a position to do them all.  But then he says, “Hey, don’t go nuts!  Do what you can – I mean, what you really can, not what your lazy self *thinks* it can.  Be wise.  Do the imperative things first, followed by the things that are important, and so on and so forth, on down the line.  Don’t do more than you can do, or you’ll get overwhelmed and explode.  Don’t get overwhelmed and explode.  Do as King Benjamin says and be wise.  Do what you can. Let the Lord take care of the rest.

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More King Benjamin.  I should have just quoted the entire chapter.

Mosiah 4:9-10

Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.

There is a Father in Heaven.  He created everything, and understands everything.  Way more than we do.  Believe that you must repent of your sins and ask for forgiveness.

And the greatest sentence of all…..”if you believe it, do it.”

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Seminary Scripture!!!  Sing along with me now:

Mosiah 4:30

But this much I can tell you, that if you do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish.  And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

Be aware all the time.  All the time be trying to do good.  All the time be thinking good things.  All the time say good things.  All the time do good things.  Follow the commandments, all the time.  Keep doing your best and endure to the end.

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Another Seminary Scripture! Just for fun.

Moroni 7:16-17

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

I think we’ve covered this before.  Every good thing comes from God.  Every bad thing comes from the devil.  Pretty simple.  By their fruits ye shall know them.

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Ether 12:11-12

Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given.  But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

First comes faith, then comes the miracle.  I think we’ve covered this before too.

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Ether 12:6

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

First comes faith, then comes the miracle.  First build the fire, then you get warm.

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John 20:30-31

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

The scriptures are written as a testimony of Christ, to teach you the things you need to know to live with Him again, and to show you by example how you should live, and to persuade you to believe in Christ.

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Luke 24:29

But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

As in 3 Nephi, when you plead with Him to stay, he always does.

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D&C 61:36-39

And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;

And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.

Gird up your loins and be watchful and be sober, looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for he cometh in an hour you think not.

Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or in death. Even so. Amen.

Cheer up!  The Lord is with us.  Keep the commandments always, and all will be well.

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Ether 2:9-12

And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

For behold, this is a land, which is choice above all other lands wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God – that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

The Lord gives the same message to several different people in several different times.  Here he is, again, declaring that America is a choice land.  If you live in America and serve God, all will be well.  But if ever the majority reject God, things are going to get a bit dicey.

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