My intent with this blog is to share my thoughts, understanding, and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the events that are currently unfolding and will soon come to pass, with my family and friends (anyone who wants to read these musings). We are living in a time that has been seen and prophesied by all the prophets from Adam till now, it is an exciting and tumultuous time. In the scripture references I use there are two citations; one is referenced with "RE" meaning Restoration Edition scriptures, the other is "LE" meaning LDS Edition scriptures. Jeff Carter

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Sunday, July 30, 2023


Come Unto Me

“Then spoke Jesus, saying, Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavily loaded, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. And you shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 6:8 RE; Matt. 11:28-30 LE)  The Lord has asked us to “Come Unto Him”, what does He mean by that?

I think sometimes it is easy to believe the Lord is being figurative in His invitation, however, when reading the following excerpt from the Teachings and Commandments we gain a little more clarity.  “The Book of Mormon is to convince the gentiles, and a remnant of Lehi, and the Jews, of the truth of the words of my ancient prophets and apostles, with all the records agreeing that I am the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, and I was sent into the world to do the will of the Father, and I am the Savior of the world. All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto me? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the holy ghost, to then show you all things you must know.

 If the gentiles, unto whom the Book of Mormon was given, had hearkened unto the holy ghost, they would have come unto me in Hyrum and Joseph’s day. But they did not hearken, and would not allow me to abide with them in word, and in power, and in very deed.” (T&C 157:21-22)

The Lord instructs us to “come unto me” through “faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the holy ghost, to then show you all things you must know.” What do we need to know?  Perhaps it is to know how to hearken to the Holy Ghost so that we can allow the Lord to abide with us in word, power and very deed.  Those in Joseph and Hyrum’s day were given what the Lord wanted them to do, and to be, but they would not hearken, therefore missed the opportunity presented to them to build Zion.

The Lord further instructs us: “Be of one heart, and regard one another with charity. Measure your words before giving voice to them, and consider the hearts of others. Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity and come unto me, and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and knowledge. Therefore, if you regard one another with charity, then your brother’s error in understanding will not divide you. I lead to all truth. I will lead all who come to me to the truth of all things. The fullness is to receive the truth of all things, and this too from me, in power, by my word, and in very deed. For I will come unto you if you will come unto me. “ (T&C 157:53) If we can somehow at this time listen, do and be what the Lord is instructing us we have the opportunity to receive the fullness, to receive the truth of all things, and to have Him abide with us in power, word and deed. In order to have Him come unto us individually and collectively we need to turn toward Him and each day walk in His path and think His thoughts while letting go of the distractions of this world.

I think sometimes we have overlooked the word “deed” in the scriptures.  A deed is an action, something that you do.  I think the Lord is telling us that He will abide with us in person. So when He says “in very deed”,   I think He means right there with us physically.  

“And behold, I have given unto you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you and the law is fulfilled. Therefore, come unto me and be ye saved. For verily I say unto you that except ye shall keep my commandments which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” (3 Nephi 5:23 RE; 3 Nephi  12:19-20 LE)  The Lord has given us all that we need.  I think as soon as we as a covenant people can listen and obey what He has given us we will then be eligible to receive more.  But it may be a vain effort to want and ask for more until we are humble and contrite and are individually received into His presence.

Let’s take a look at how the phrase “come unto me” is used in other situations.  Perhaps that will give us some additional insight into what the Lord is really asking us to do.  In 1st Nephi we see how Lehi used the phrase to beckon to his family to partake of the fruit that was “desirable above all other fruit”. “And as I partook of the fruit thereof, it filled my soul with exceeding great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also… I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi, and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go. And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. And it came to pass that they did come unto me and partake of the fruit also. And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river that perhaps I might see them. And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.” (1 Nephi 2:9 RE; 1 Nephi 12:18 LE)  Lehi wanted his family to come to the place where he was standing.  We sometimes think that we may be able to be in Christ’s presence sometime in our existence but the Lord means for us to be in His presence now.

“And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them; but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them and said, Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luke 10:9 RE; Luke 18:15-16 LE) What do we learn? The Lord is inviting us just as He did the little children, to come unto Him that He may bless us and physically touch us and be close to us.

Elsewhere in the book of Corinthians we see Paul talking to those in Corinth expressing his desire that they welcome Timothy if he comes to their town and then assist him to come to where Paul would be.  “Now if Timothy come, see that he may be with you without fear, for he works the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him, but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me, for I look for him with the brethren. (1 Corinthians 1:17 RE; 1 Corinthians 16:10-11 LE) These invitations from Lehi, Jesus, and Paul are directives to come to where they are in the flesh and personally.  Obviously we cannot just go stand in the Lord’s presence we must be invited.  However, by faith, repentance, baptism and then doing as the Holy Ghost directs us, we demonstrate our readiness and willingness to be in His presence.

In section 93 of the T&C (also section 93 in the D&C) the Lord has instructions for us: “It shall come to pass that every soul who forsakes their sins, and comes unto me, and calls on my name, and obeys my voice, and keeps all my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am…”  Later in the same section He clarifies: “I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fullness,…” (T&C 93:1,7; D&C 93 1:19 LE) Throughout the scriptures the Lord is pleading with us to come to Him in thought and very deed.   I think I would like to explore some of the depth on section 93 of the T&C in my next blog.

Sunday, March 26, 2023



For years there has been talk about fleeing Babylon, we are not of the world but in the world, etc. And today as there is speculation and talk about the impending coming of the Lord and the building of the New Jerusalem, there is again focus on the idea of fleeing Babylon.  I think, however, that we don’t have a very complete understanding of what Babylon is.  We are under the assumption that if we have property somewhere and grow our own food and raise our own meat that we have left Babylon.  But what about the power we use, the food storage we buy, the furniture we use, the taxes we pay, do we use a phone, or watch tv?  All of that is part of Babylon.  But, there is a much more deeply ingrained aspect to Babylon that we often don’t thing about.

My friend Sarah shared with our Fellowship some things she has been struggling with and pondering on. With her permission, I would like to share with you some of what the Lord had taught her and I think this is a great expose into the depth of Babylon that we must leave behind.

“It is because of the false teachings of Babylon that you are so hard on yourself, and cannot accept the unconditional love that I offer to you. You shrink from me because you have been taught according to the economy of Babylon. Things such as; you have to earn everything that you get, and have to prove yourself; failure is not allowed, and a reason to feel shame -even your perspective on what constitutes success vs. failure and perfection vs. imperfection are not correct. You have been taught that weaknesses and flaws are unacceptable, and make you un-loveable; and that appearances must be kept for everyone else’s pleasure and comfort. You have been taught that you have to be the best, and if you’re not, you are at the bottom; inequality is the normal pattern, and all must compete. In Babylon faith is scorned, and I am viewed as distant, not approachable; full of wrath, anger, and punishment. You have been taught justice must be served, rather than compassion and mercy being extended. You have been taught that repentance is hard, that you deserve to suffer, and a deep sense of inner shame, and that by feeling those things, you somehow redeem yourself.


Because of this, you are in a constant barter system with me based upon the economy of Babylon, and you do not understand the economy of God. You have adapted the program of doing, hoping that in the doing, you can earn my love and a place in my kingdom, using an impossible measure of perfection to decide if you are worthy, when what I ask of you is a broken and pure heart, a contrite spirit, and for you to have righteous intentions and desires, even if your actions sometimes fall short. You don’t know how to love yourself, so you decide by default that I don’t love you. It causes the Heavens to weep.


The construct of Babylon is so far reaching and so destructive to my ways, it is truly a design of Satan to keep my children from hope and belief in me, and distracted from all things that really matter. It has infiltrated every aspect of your existence, and after generation upon generation of this corruption, it is in your very DNA. You make Satan’s lies your truth, and are miserable like unto himself. I offer freedom from those chains, but you must learn of me and deconstruct Babylon. In so doing, you flee from those cares and longings.”


Sarah continues: “Again, those were my own words to try and explain what the Lord has been teaching me, for lack of a better way to express what has come to my mind. And it all makes so much sense! The more I contemplate the structure we have been in and all of the rules of our completely corrupt society, the more I see how foreign the ways of God must truly be to us, and how it is so hard to wrap our brain around how far we are from where God intends. It also makes sense that He would be willing to exercise a great amount of patience knowing that we have a lot of work to do to get away from the traditions of our fathers and become the type of people that could help to establish Zion.”


I appreciate Sarah being willing to share with us the very personal things the Lord has been teaching her.  Babylon has infiltrated the very way we think, process information, make choices and decisions, and perceive the world around us. For example, I love sports.  I think there are things that we learn in sports that are much more difficult to learn elsewhere.  In sports we can learn that decisions can have immediate consequences, that if we work hard our skills will improve, and especially in team sports we learn the benefits and joys of team work.  But sports are so tied up in competition.  To be successful you have to win, if you win you are better than those that lost, they are inferior.  Today it has become so commonplace to “trash talk,” in other words you are putting someone down by the words you are saying in order to gain an advantage.  So, it is ok to lie and mock?  We see the same in business and even in casual conversation.

The Lord has given us instruction about getting out of Babylon, but it is as much about reintroducing the concept of purity of heart to the world as it is getting rid of Babylon in our hearts and in our behaviors.  Hearken, O you people of my church, says the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you… prepare yourselves, prepare yourselves, O you my people, sanctify yourselves, gather yourselves together, O you people of my church upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry. Go out from Babylon, be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Call your solemn assemblies and speak often one to another, and let every man call upon the name of the Lord.

Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go out of Babylon, gather yourselves out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other. Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off, unto the islands of the sea. Send forth unto foreign lands, call upon all nations, firstly upon the gentiles and then upon the Jews. And behold and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about. Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom. Behold and lo, the Bridegroom comes, go out to meet him; prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord. Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Let them therefore which are among the gentiles flee unto Zion, and let them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord’s house. Go out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon. But verily thus says the Lord: Let not your flight be in haste, but let all things be prepared before you; and he that goes, let him not look back, lest sudden destruction shall come upon him. (T&C 58:1-2 RE; D&C 133:1-15 LE)

Not only is the Lord inviting us to flee “from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon” , but He is telling us to be Zion and to invite all people to also be Zion.  I know there are many who read the scriptures quoted above and think the Lord is telling us to send missionaries to encourage people to come to the land of America but I think the Lord is inviting all to become a Zion people to be prepared to “meet the Bridegroom”.  A lot has been written about the 10 virgins and what the 5 who were able to go meet the bridegroom had verses the 5 that were left out.  There is much to be internalized in those writings about where we should be spiritually.  We must have a personal connection with the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the answer to the prayer for covenant the Lord instructs us that His “peace” is how we release the bindings of Babylon.  “Now, hear the words of the Lord to those who receive this covenant this day:  All you who have turned from your wicked ways and repented of your evil doings, of lying and deceiving, and of all whoredoms, and of secret abominations, idolatries, murders, priestcrafts, envying, and strife, and from all wickedness and abominations, and have come unto me, and been baptized in my name, and have received a remission of your sins, and received the Holy Ghost, are now numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel… And I, the Lord your God, will be with you and will never forsake you, and I will lead you in the path which will bring peace to you in the troubling season now fast approaching.”  (T&C 158:9-10,12 RE)

Denver talks about a new society: “The Lord is equal to the challenge. He will establish a new civilization. It will be founded on the fullness of His gospel. Lost truths will be restored. The path of righteousness will be returned.  Society is broken. Everywhere we see corrupt cultures based on corrupt laws, corrupt religions, corrupt values, and ultimately corrupt thought. Beginning again requires re-civilizing people. To be free from corruption requires a change in thinking.” (Denver Snuffer “Civilization” talk 2018)

The Lord has given us a recipe for how we should behave toward one another.  Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen, and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson — that the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven…. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood; only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned, by kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul… your bowels also being full of charity toward all men, and to the household of faith; and virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly. Then shall your confidence wax strong in the presence of God, and the doctrines of the Priesthood shall distill upon your soul as the dews from heaven. The holy ghost shall be your constant companion, and your scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth, and your dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto you for ever and ever.” (T&C 139:5-6 RE; D&C121:34-36, 41-46 LE)  The attributes listed above are the opposite of what Babylon encourages. In fact one would be ridiculed for employing any of them among current society.

I would like to take a moment and share my personal definitions of the above highlighted attributes: persuasion, presenting reasoned and documented thoughts; long-suffering, allowing someone to have their own ideas and live according to their own beliefs; gentleness, being softspoken and cognoscente of another’s feelings; meekness, choosing to have peace rather than needing to be right, not disputing; love unfeigned, your love doesn’t change based on behavior; kindness, being considerate of others; pure knowledge, that knowledge and understanding that only comes directly and personally from the Lord; charity, being able to see someone as the Lord sees them; virtue, doing good for the sake of goodness.

In summary, we come out of Babylon by leaving behind the behaviors, attitudes, world view, and perceptions associated with Babylon and adopt the behaviors and attitudes associated with Zion, namely those listed above and by seeking the gift of peace the Lord is offering. Is this an easy task, no, but this is what the Lord has asked us to do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


The Path

The Prophet Joseph Smith instructed us that in order to be saved we must become just like our Savior. “Where shall we find a prototype into whose likeness we may be assimilated, in order that we may be made partakers of life and salvation? Or in other words, where shall we find a saved being? For if we can find a saved being, we may ascertain without much difficulty what all others must be in order to be saved — they must be like that individual or they cannot be saved… We ask, then: Where is the prototype? Or where is the saved being? We conclude as to the answer of this question there will be no dispute among those who believe the Bible that it is Christ.” (Teachings and Commandments section 110 Lectures on Faith, 7:9) Then if we are to become like Christ how do we do that?

The purpose for the Lord coming to this world in the flesh was to be our exemplar, to show us the path that we are to follow to become like Him, which included His teachings, power, atoning sacrifice, death and resurection.  “As many as perceived the Light in Him, to them He gave knowledge to enable them to follow the path to become like Him, begotten children in the family of the Most High God. This is only possible for those who believe through His name. Those who believe through His name are no longer born of blood to follow the appetites of flesh, nor the ambitions of man, but are able to become, like Him, the offspring of God.” (Teachings and Commandments, Section 171-Testimony of St John (TSJ): 1:3) “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Therefore, the world knows us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 1:13 RE; 1 John 3:1-2 LE)

The Lord refers to the path as being straight and narrow.  Nephi is instructed by the Lord on how to enter the path:  “And now I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfill all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he sheweth unto the children of men that according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. Wherefore, after he was baptized with water, the holy ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it sheweth unto the children of men the straitness of the path and the narrowness of the gate by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men, Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said, Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. And also the voice of the Son came unto me, saying, He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the holy ghost like unto me. Wherefore, follow me and do the things which ye have seen me do.” (2 Nephi 13:2 RE; 2Nephi 31:6-12 LE)  The Lord set the example for us in how to follow the path, we must repent and be baptized then shall we receive the holy ghost, then follow Him and do what He does.  Baptism is the first step onto the path.  What do we do now?

His primary instructions on following the path were given to us in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon at Bountiful.  As I was praying one morning and asking about the path the Lord has asked us to follow, the Sermon at Bountiful came strongly into my mind.  I think in the past we have seen these sermons as nice attitudes to have but maybe not essential. We have considered the 10 commandments as our blueprint to follow.  As I, again, read the Sermon at Bountiful the importance of these instructions seems more clearly stated.

The Lord prefaces the sermon by stating His doctrine:  “Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me… and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men everywhere to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved, and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father. And whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also, and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the holy ghost. And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the holy ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me, for the Father and I and the holy ghost are one. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Verily, verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine.” (3 Nephi 5:9 RE; 3 Nephi 11:31-39 LE) Notice how He repeats His doctrine three times in this one paragraph?  It must be important!  His doctrine is how we enter the path and are His commandments to us, to repent, be baptized in His name, become as a little child, then the Father will bear record of Him by visiting us with “fire and with the holy ghost”.

Herein lies part of my struggle, if all I have to do is repent, believe and be baptized why have I not yet received the baptism of fire and the holy ghost?  Maybe there is a little more.  After the bulk of the sermon He tells us that the Law of Moses has been fulfilled in Him and we must live the commandments that He is giving at this time.  “And behold, I have given unto you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you and the law is fulfilled. Therefore, come unto me and be ye saved. For verily I say unto you that except ye shall keep my commandments which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (3 Nephi 5:23 RE; 3 Nephi 12:19-20 LE)  So, now I also have to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. All I need to do is believe, repent, be as a little child, and approach Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, anything else?  Simple, right? Where does the sermon play into this?

He parenthesizes His sermon to the people in Bountiful with His doctrine and the law and commandments of the Father which I believe is placing focus on the elements of the sermon as the means by which we  become as a “little child” and have a “broken heart and a contrite spirit”.  In the sermon is He not telling us to be teachable, humble and meek, to be empathetic toward those who are suffering in body mind and spirit, and to hunger and thirst after righteousness?  Doesn’t He encourage us to be merciful by forgiving our brothers (and sisters) their trespasses and by doing so we will obtain mercy (forgiveness) from Him? Isn’t He asking of us to be pure in heart or in other words to true, honest, just, and conduct our lives with integrity and honor? Can we see ourselves being peacemakers and choosing not to contend or intentionally cause hurt or affliction?  Should we not be concerned with fitting in to the world’s mold and hold true to our Lord and Savior? What does it mean for us to be the “salt of the earth”? or to be a “light” to His people? Do we know people whose very presence and example give flavor and texture and light to the lives of all those around them?  I’m wondering if these instructions are to guide our walk once we enter the path through repentance and baptism.

 The path that I refer to is not new to this creation, it is the path that all have followed who want to be as God is.  “Truly, truly I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever things he does, the Son likewise does these also, for the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that he himself does.” (John 5:4 RE; John 19:-20 LE)  Much has been said and written about learning to love one another and become precious to each other. Do you think we have become so precious to the Lord that He was willing and indeed desired to fulfill His role as Christ to help us along our journey to become like Him?

The Lord assured His apostles that He would be with them as they continued their journey along this path and helped them to understand what the end destination is.  “Do not allow your heart to be troubled. You are devoted to God and are also devoted to me. In the journey through my Father’s realms are many stages with temporary abodes. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare an abode for your upward journey. And when I arise, I will prepare places for you, but I will be your companion again and visit each of you, so that where I travel, you may journey to also. And the path I follow upward you know, and the way of ascent you also know. Thomas said to him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going; how can we know the way? You have not told us. Jesus said to him, I am the way, the record of the truth, and the means for Eternal lives, worlds without end: no man comes to the Throne of the Father without me. If you follow me, you will come to the Father’s Throne through me and will thereafter be like him forever.” (T&C 171 (TSJ) 10:9) Our journey is through many realms and worlds without end if we desire to come to the Father’s Throne. However, it is only possible through the Lord Jesus Christ and following Him along the path that leads there.

Friday, November 18, 2022


Love One Another

I think I have mentioned the assignment the Lord has given me to share with everyone I meet.  Just to recap He asked me to tell them “The Lord Loves You, He Wants You to Turn toward Him, and He wants Us to Love One Another”. 

The Lord has asked us repeatedly to love one another but we are not doing a very good job.  We have people in our community who are injuring each other. We are a people who are all hurt, wounded and broken. Yet, we find the time and the energy to continue to wound each other by our backbiting, criticism, gossip, accusations, injustice and unfairness one toward another.  In addition there are those among us who spend their time rehashing old wounds and slights, like the Guide and Standard.  As Denver has reminded us we have a lot of work to do and the more time we spend on things that are done, even if not to some people’s satisfaction, the less time we have to focus on the next assignment from the Lord. 

In Denver’s recent post he says “A firm mind in every form of godliness is hard to find. But vanity and foolishness advertises itself openly, urging you to notice, clamoring for your attention.” (9/18/22 “September 23-25 Conference) The first sentence is from Moroni 7:6 in the RE addition of the scriptures where Moroni is reminding us angels will only minister to those “of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance…” Shouldn’t we be working toward being able to entertain Angels?  I guess some of our antics could be considered entertaining but I don’t think that kind of entertainment is what we are striving for.

I guess I need to apologize, we have so much work to do on ourselves to prepare for the next assignment, to warrant the ministering of angels as mentioned above that we should not have time to talk about and concern ourselves with what other people are doing and making uninformed judgments.  (I’m feeling a little snarky about it.)  We have much to do in order for us to become the people the Lord needs. We need to become His begotten sons and daughters. “And now, because of the covenant which ye have made, ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you. For ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name, therefore ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters...Therefore I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient…for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.” (Mosiah 3:2 RE; Mosiah 5”7-9 LE)  We have also received a covenant from God but to complete the process of becoming begotten sons and daughters we have to be born of Him, our hearts have to be changed.  I think when that happens we will no longer care about our petty differences or if an assignment from the Lord was completed to our standards. None of that will matter if we will choose only to follow His commandments.

Speaking of commandments; “And this is his commandment: that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in them. And hereby we know that he abides in us: by the spirit which he has given us.” (1 John1:17 RE; 1 John 3:23-24 LE)  The Lord said “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 10:23 RE; Matt 22:36-40 LE)  Stephanie Snuffer’s message from the last conference (Stand Independent March 2022) was all about this second commandment.  In order for us to love others we must first love ourselves.  That is part of becoming self-aware, asking the hard questions about ourselves. We may want to consider as part of that process to ask the Lord for the gift of charity, with an eye specifically toward ourselves.  Look at ourselves through His eyes.  The Lord Loves us without condemnation, we do all the judging and condemning to ourselves.

John expounds on the other part of the second great commandment to love our neighbor; “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not knows not God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us: because God sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another… If we love one another, God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us…” (1 John 1:19 RE; 1 John 4:7-12 LE)  John’s direction to the members of the church in his time is spot-on for us. Isn’t it our desire to know God and have Him take up His abode with us?  John’s solution is simple “love one another”. 

I had not seen the word “propitiation” before and so I looked it up in the Webster 1828 dictionary, which defines it as “the act of appeasing wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person…the atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to assuage his wrath…” God is not (in my opinion) wrathful as much as we are accountable to the laws of justice.  He suffers us to be accountable because He loves us. Just as parents should hold their children accountable so that they learn, we are held accountable so that we can grow.  However, because He knows that we cannot be perfect in obedience He offers His Son as atonement to propitiate the laws of justice and introduce us to mercy.

There was another sentence in John’s sermon that really caught my attention. “Whoever is born of God does not continue in sin, for the spirit of God remains in him, and he cannot continue in sin because he is born of God, having received that Holy Spirit of Promise.” (1 John 1:14 RE; 1 John 3:4-12 LE) Is this not also where we need to get to, to receive a promise from the Lord that we are redeemed from the fall?  In the above mentioned chapter of 1 John he talks about going from death to life, death meaning separation from the presence of the Lord to life which is being restored to His presence, in other words, redeemed, Him making His abode with you.

The Lord wants a “Godly People” to prepare to welcome Him when He returns and the Apostle Paul instructs us how to become godly: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like — of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Brethren, if a man should be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness — considering yourself, lest you also should be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself; but let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another, for every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word share with him that teaches in all good things.” (Galatians 1:21-23 RE; Galatians 5:19-Galatians 6:6 LE)  I know we are all, by reason of our mortality, list makers, so here Paul provides for us a list.  Let us love, have joy, be at peace and be peacemakers, be long-suffering, be gentle and good, have faith, be meek and temperate.  Then I think it might be easier for us to, believe on the name of Jesus Christ, obey His commandments, learn to love ourselves, love one another, have a strong faith and a firm mind, and become His begotten sons and daughters.  If we do this we may have a good chance to accomplish that which is before us. No worries!