Saturday, October 04, 2008

Some personal essays // A talk

I've put them at:

As for something a little less personal, a talk I gave for Father's Day, years ago, follows:


This Father's day I was assigned to speak on honoring our
Heavenly Father. When one speaks of 'honor' one thinks of respect,
integrity, virtue, regard and devotion. Each of these words are
synonyms of one type or another for the word "honor." To honor is
to respect, regard and to be devoted. In regards to devotion and
honor, the highest form of honor is discipleship -- being a true
believer and follower of the one honored.

To be a disciple of God we must honor him by having love.
As Christ said:

St. John 13:35

By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
have love, one to another.

Not only is love a test for discipleship, it is a commandment.
The Lord told us:

St. John 15:12

This is my commandment, that ye love one
another as I have loved you.

We are commanded to love each other with the same love that God
shows to us. This is a commandment that is essential to our salvation.
If we are to be saved in the kingdom of God we must press forward

Alma 13:29

Having faith on the Lord, having a hope that ye shall
receive eternal life; having the love of God always in
your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day
and enter into his rest.

If we do these things, we will have the Spirit of God, and

Galatians 5:22

*** fruit of the Spirit is love ***
And, of course, life eternal.

As I have reflected on showing our Honor to God through being
his disciples and seeking his Spirit, I came to understand that we
could judge whether we were disciples of Christ, whether we honored
our Heavenly Father, by whether we were motivated by love or whether
we were motivated by something else.

We choose to honor God or to honor Satan by whether we choose to
love. If we love, we are the Children of God. If we love, then Heavenly
Father is our Heavenly Father and God is our God.

The question we should then ask is what is that love that honors
God and makes us Children of God? It is love that

1 Cor 13

4} vaunteth not itself
is not puffed up
5} is not easily provoked
thinketh no evil
4} is kind

It is the love that grants the fruit of the Spirit in our lives
and the fruits of love. We can thus know whether or not we have the
Spirit of God by the fruits our lives show. St. Luke 6:44

In our homes and at work, are we easily provoked, do we think evil
or good of people, are we puffed up -- vaunting ourselves -- or are we
humble, and over all, are we kind? These are questions we need to ask

Does the Spirit make known the truths of God in our hearts, teaching
us love and kindness or do we nourish something else? Do we live our
lives honoring God by love, or do we do God dishonor by rejecting love
and holding to something else?

Remember D & C 76:116 concerning the gifts and fruits of the Spirit,
the mysteries of God:

Neither is man capable to make them known,
for they are only to be seen and understood
by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God
bestows on those who love him and purify
themselves before him.

Do we love God, honor him and purify ourselves before him? Are we
kind and Godly or harsh and devilish?

Alma 5:40-41

For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh
from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.
Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works, he
hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd,
and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth
forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the
devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth
follow him.

Of all the people we look at, of all the people we judge, the most
important person to evaluate is ourself. Looking at someone else and
jumping to conclusions about them is an act of pride. Instead, we need
to look at ourselves and ask if we are kind or if we are prideful --
looking inward is the only direction of judgment that will further our

We need to ask if we hearken unto the voice of God and do the things
that would honor God, remembering him as our Father.

Alma 5
6-7} And now behold, I say unto you, my brethern
you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently
retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers?
Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance
[God's] mercy and long suffering towards them? And
moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance
that he has delivered their souls from hell?
Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened
them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God.
Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless
their souls were illuminated by the light of the ever-
lasting word; ***

When the day of judgment comes

19-20}I say unto you, can you look up to God at that
day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you
can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon
your countenances?

27-28}Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before
God? Could you say *** that ye have been sufficiently
humble? ***
Behold, are ye stripped of pride? ***

30} *** is there one among you that doth make mock of
his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?

54-56}If ye persist in wickedness
54} supposing you are better one than another
55 turning your backs upon the poor and the needy
withholding your substance from them
56 [then ye] shall be hewn down and cast into the fire ***

Are we humble, filled with memories of the goodness of God and his
love or are we filled with pride? Are we fit to remain the children of
God or are we fit to be hewn down and cast into the fire?

Are we children of God? For

Alma 5:39

And now, if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold
are ye? Behold, I say unto you that the devil is your shepherd and ye
are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? *** whosoever denieth this
is a liar and a child of the devil.

Are we disciples of God? Have we been born again as his children.
Do we honor God by our love? Are we kind, patient, charitable and easily
entreated? Are we patient and loving? Do we find assurance or worry in
the words of Alma, when he says:

Alma 34:28

And now behold my beloved brethern, I say unto you, do not suppose
[prayer] 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 you 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.

Can we look and see that our Faith is made alive by our works
(James 2)? Are we made manifest as the children of God who honor their

1 John 3:10-11

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children
of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother.

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another.


For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we
should love one another.

1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.

We are the children of he whom we honor and obey. If we love one
another, in word, in thought and in deed, then we are the children of God.

By honoring our Father in Heaven, by being born again in Christ and
then feasting on the fruit of the love of God, we become heirs of
salvation (cf I Nephi 8:10-35; 15:36).

St. Luke 6:35

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend hoping for
nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be
the children of the Highest: for he is kind ***

If we do this, then

Romans 8: 16-17

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that
we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs
with Christ;

Brothers and Sisters, we must seek to honor God and to love our
fellowmen. In our patience, our thoughts, our kindness and our love,
as we are of one mind, having compassion one of another, being tender-
hearted, courteous, seeking peace (cf 1 Peter 3: 8-11) we sanctify the
Lord in our hearts, (vs 15) and our hearts in the Lord, (1 Peter 4:8)
and through our charity prevent or cure a multitude of sins.

Without love, we have no faith and our hope is vain (Moroni 7:44).
But inasmuch as we are meek, suffereth long, and are filled with the
power of God through the Holy Ghost, we will have love, and it will
be well with us in the last day (Moroni 7:44-47).

Moroni 7:48

Wherefore, my beloved [brothers and sisters], pray unto
[our] Father with all energy of heart, that ye may be filled
with this love, which [God] hath bestowed upon all who are true
followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the
[children] of God *** that we may have this hope, that we may
be purified even as he is pure,

This is my hope, my prayer and my testimony,

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.