Sunday, April 11, 2010

Standing Out in a Crowd

This week's blog post discusses the last two articles of faith.

12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we h
ave endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report ,or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we are encouraged to vote and educate ourselves on political standings and issues. In doing so we can vote for politicians and laws that support our values and do not violate our beliefs.

It is a part of our core beliefs to sustain the law and honor it always. We are a peaceful people and support peace in every measure however we also recognize that sometimes our government may become involved in war and send our troops over seas. Again we sustain our government leaders and laws and strive to live peacefully, and respectfully allow others to do the same.

President Gordon B Hinckley once stated:

"Why are we such a happy people? It is because of our faith, the quiet assurance that abides in our hearts that our Father in Heaven, overseeing all, will look after His sons and daughters who walk before Him with love and appreciation and obedience. We will ever be a happy people if we will so conduct our lives. Sin never was happiness. Transgression never was happiness. Falsehood in word or behavior never was happiness. Happiness lies in obedience to the teachings and commandments of God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ."

When I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago I went into a store to purchase some items I needed and immediately the employees approached me asking me where I was from. "You are not from around here." they said. "You seem too happy. People from around here are hardened and seldom smile. you have a radiant smile and you are beaming with happiness - where are you from?"

I told them I was from Utah. Not telling them that my outward happiness was a reflection of my inward testimony of Jesus Christ, my values and beliefs. I have to say I enjoy standing out. I enjoy being different from the crowd. I enjoy smiling at people that seem very unhappy and angry at the world. I like to give them hope that the world is not such a bad place. Life doesn't have to be hard, painful, difficult and lonely. Life is meant to be enjoyed. When we are free of sin and Satan's grip then we become free. Our mind, our body and our spirit are free of burden, illness, pain and sorrow. This freedom allows us to experience joy and happiness each day. When trials and challenges do enter our lives we call on our Father in Heaven to help us bear our burdens. It is then with our faith, that he carries us through our difficult times allowing us to focus on the greater purpose and eternal reward. This knowledge and hope sustains us in our life here and Earth and we can't help but feel joy and gratitude.

I know that God lives as does His son Jesus Christ. They want us to be happy and can help us find happiness when we call on them in prayer and faith. It has been my pleasure to share and discuss our core values and beliefs in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints through the 13 Articles of faith. I pray that they have touched you in one way or another and I testify of their importance and divine influence from above. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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