How do I accept faith
Embrace the future with faith!
It was an unforgettable evening. My dear sisters, it is an honor to be with you! I have thought of you a lot in the past few months. You are over eight million sisters. You don't just have that numberbut also about the spiritual strengthto change the world. I watched you do just that during this pandemic.
Some of them suddenly ran out of supplies or had to look for a new job. Many have taught children and looked after the neighbors. Some missionaries have returned home earlier than expected, while others have turned their home into a missionary school. They have used technology to stay connected with family and friends, to take care of those who feel isolated, and to collaborate with others in studying teaching materials Come and follow me! to dedicate. You have found new ways to make the Sabbath a bliss. And you made protective masks - millions of them!
My heart is full of compassion and love for the many women around the world whose loved ones have passed away. We cry with you. And we pray for you. We praise and pray for all who work tirelessly to protect the health of others.
You young women are also remarkable. Although the social media has been flooded with malicious comments, many of you have found ways to encourage others and to spread the light of our Savior.
Sisters, you all are and have been truly heroic! I am amazed at your strength and your faith. You have shown that you can carry on bravely in difficult situations. I love you and I assure you that the Lord loves you and sees the great work you are doing. Many Thanks! Once again you have proven that you are literally the hope of Israel!
You represent the hope that President Gordon B. Hinckley had for you when he presented the proclamation on the family to the general Relief Society meeting in September 1995, 25 years ago.1 It is significant that he chose to introduce this important proclamation to the sisters in the Church. In doing so, President Hinckley underscored the irreplaceable influence of women in the Lord's plan.
I would very much like to know what you have learned this year. Have you come closer to the Lord or do you feel further removed from him? And how do you see the future in light of current events?
Yes, the Lord has spoken sobering about our time. He warned that people would "expose the heart"2 and that even the chosen ones run the risk of being deceived.3 He told the Prophet Joseph Smith that "peace has been taken from the earth"4 and that calamity will befall mankind.5
Yet the Lord has also given a vision of the remarkable nature of this dispensation. He inspired the Prophet Joseph Smith to proclaim: "The work ... in these last days is a work of vast proportions ... His glory is indescribable and nothing can be more sublime."6
Now, Grandeur may not be the word that would describe the past few months! So how should how to deal with the sobering prophecies and glorious announcements about our time? The Lord explained it to us with a simple but impressive assurance: "When you are ready, you will not be afraid."7
What a promise! It's a promise that can literally change how we see our future. Recently, a woman with a strong testimony said that the pandemic and an earthquake in the Salt Lake Valley made her realize that she is not as well prepared as she thought. When I asked if they were taking their groceries or her testimony said, she smiled and said, "Yes!"
If preparation is key to accepting this dispensation and the future in faith, how can we best prepare?
For decades, the Lord's prophets have urged us to stockpile food and water, and to set aside financial reserves for times of need. The current pandemic has underscored the wisdom of this council. I urge you to take steps to be prepared in time. But I care even more about your mental and spiritual preparation.
In this context we can learn a lot from Captain Moroni. As a general of the Nephites, he faced enemies who were stronger, outnumbered, and extremely devious. Therefore, Moroni prepared his people in three decisive ways.
First he helped it create areas where it would be safe. He called them "places of safety"8. Secondly he prepared "the minds of his people to be faithful to the Lord"9. And third he never stopped preparing his people, physically or mentally.10 Let's look at these three principles.
Principle # 1: Create a place of safety
Moroni fortified every Nephite city with ramparts, forts and walls.11 When the Lamanites approached, they were “utterly amazed because the Nephites were preparing their Places of safety had been so wise "12.
Likewise, we have to, if to us chaos is raging around, creating places where we are safe - both physically and mentally. When your home becomes a private sanctuary of faith where the Holy Spirit dwells, it is the first line of defense.
Likewise, the stakes of Zion are "a refuge ... from the storm"13because they are led by those who hold the keys of the priesthood and exercise priesthood authority. As you continue to follow the counsel of those the Lord has authorized to lead you, you will feel more secure.
The temple - the house of the Lord - is like no other a place of safety. There you, sisters, will be endowed with priesthood power through the sacred priesthood covenants you make.14 There your family will be sealed for eternity. Even this year, when access to our temples has been very limited, by virtue of your endowment you will have constant access to the power of God because you have faithfully kept your covenants with Him.
Simply put, it is a place of safety everywhere over therewhere one can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and be guided by the Lord.15 When the Holy Ghost is with you, you can teach the truth even when it runs counter to prevailing opinion. And you can ponder righteous questions about the gospel in a revelatory environment.
I ask you, my dear sisters, to create a home that is a place of safety. Again, I ask you to deepen your understanding of the power of the priesthood and the covenants and blessings of the temple. Having a place of security to retreat to will help you face the future with faith.
Principle # 2: Prepare Your Mind to Be Faithful to God
We are working on the big project to extend the lifespan and possible utilization of the Salt Lake Temple.
Some have questioned the need for such extraordinary measures. However, when there was a magnitude 5.7 earthquake in the Salt Lake Valley earlier this year, this venerable temple shook so much that even the trumpet of the statue of Angel Moroni fell!16
Just as the physical foundation of the Salt Lake Temple must be strong enough to withstand natural disasters, so must ours spiritual Be stable. If then, figuratively speaking, an earthquake shakes our lives, we can be "steadfast and immovable" because of our faith.17 stand there.
The Lord taught us how to increase our faith by doing to learn, "Yes, through study and also through faith"18. We will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ as we strive to keep His commandments and "Always Remember Him"19. Plus, our faith grows every time we believe in Christ exercise. This is what "learn by faith" means.
For example, every time we believe we obey God's laws - even if it is widely believed to ridicule ourselves - or every time we resist an amusement or worldview that glorifies covenant breaking, to practice we derive our faith from what this in turn enlarged.
Furthermore, there is hardly anything that strengthens the faith more than studying the Book of Mormon regularly. No other book gives such powerful and clear testimony of Jesus Christ. The prophets therein, inspired by the Lord, saw our time and chose the doctrines and truths that us would help the most. The Book of Mormon is our survival guide for the Last days.
Of course, we are safest when we come under the yoke of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. One life without God is a life of fear. One life With God is a life of peace. This is because the faithful receive spiritual blessings. Receiving personal revelation is one of the greatest of these blessings.
The Lord has promised that when we ask, "revelation for revelation"20 receive. I promise you that as you expand your ability to receive revelation, the Lord will bless you with increased guidance in your life and with immeasurable gifts of the Spirit.
Principle # 3: Never Stop Preparing
Even than anything Well ran, Captain Moroni continued to prepare his people. He never stopped. He was never complacent.
The adversary never stops attacking. So we can too No way stop preparing! The more independent we are - temporally, spiritually and spiritually - the more ready we are to thwart the relentless attacks of Satan.
Dear sisters, you are already trained in creating places of safety for yourself and your loved ones. God has also endowed you with the endowment that will enable you to convincingly build the faith of other people.21 And you never stop. You have proven this again this year.
Please go on! Your vigilance in protecting your home and planting faith in the hearts of loved ones will continue to be rewarded for future generations.
My dear sisters, we have so muchwhat we can look forward to! The Lord has brought you here now because He knew you had the ability to deal with the complex problems in the final section of these last days. He knew that you would understand the grandeur of his work and be anxious to bring it about.
I am not saying the days ahead will be easy, but I promise you that the future will be glorious for those who are prepared and continue to prepare to be instruments in the hands of the Lord.
My dear sisters, let's not just look at the present time bear. Let us embrace the future with faith! Turbulent times offer us the opportunity to grow tremendously spiritually. In these times, our influence can do far more than it can in quieter times.
I promise you that if we create places of safety, prepare our minds to be faithful to God, and never stop preparing, God will bless us. He will "set us free, yes, so that he [promises] peace to our souls and [grants] us great faith and [makes] us [put in him] the hope of our liberation"22.
As you prepare to face the future with faith, become Make you these promises! I testify to that. I love you and have complete confidence in you. In the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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