The world is full of the wonder and beauty of people, places and things. Each of us are blessed to live on this beautiful Earth. Each of us is a unique and special creation of the true master artist, the Eternal Father who created, loves and values each of us very personally.
My dad taught me that “If everyone in the world would live their religion, the world would be a loving and peaceful place”. I encourage everyone to be true to their faith, whatever it may be.
My faith is in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Christ taught in the Bible that the first great commandment is to love God with all your heart, might, mind and strength. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
It seems to me that we can’t go wrong by living these two commandments. And yet, I am aware that there are some who feel “commandments” limit their freedom and thus feel God is trying to control them, to restrict their freedoms. This is just a lack of understanding. The truth is that God is the one who “gave” us the agency to freely choose for ourselves. It is extremely important to Him that we are free to choose. He is the one who blessed us to be in this world where we are enticed by both good and evil, right and wrong.
The Devil cannot force us to be bad, and God will not force us to be good. Truly we are free to think, desire and choose what we want, and to act accordingly. What a great personal responsibility freedom is. There is no blaming the other guy, even if we want to think the other guy is God.
The sticky part comes in as we realize there are consequences for our choices. Joy, blessings and positive growth for good choices. Unhappiness, misery and a lack of positive growth with bad choices. God wants us to learn, develop and grow in good ways that will bring us joy. He gave everyone the Light of Christ so we each can discern between good and evil.
Our Heavenly Father is truly the father of our spirits, our creator, and like all good fathers, wants us to learn, grow and develop to be good and happy like himself… real goodness, with true and everlasting happiness.
God knows we are in an evil world (a place where the Devil can tempt us and strive to make us miserable), and he knew we would all sin and thus be unworthy of his presence. Therefore, his plan of happiness provided a Savior (Jesus Christ) to suffer for our sins. Through this infinite sacrifice Christ also gave us the gift of repentance, he made repentance possible, Thus we can, bit by bit, overcome our sins and bad desires etc… repentance doesn’t have to take long or be terribly difficult, it just requires sincere desire and effort to stop our bad behavior, commit to learning God’s will and strive to live by it.
I know from personal experience the joy that comes from this personal cleansing. It can bring such wonderful emotional and mental freedom from both guilt and the discomfort of being out of harmony with God’s ways. It can cause us to joyfully sing the song of redeeming love in gratitude to our Savior, to be grateful to Christ for getting us out of the messes we get ourselves into. This is one key way we come to appreciate and love God.
We can learn from both the pain of our past mistakes, and God's forgiveness, to appreciate, forgive and love both ourselves and others. To have compassion for all who struggle (and that is everyone). Forgiveness is one way we can learn to love our neighbor, and ourselves.
God’s way is freeing, not controlling, it is loving, not damning. The worth of souls is great in the sight of God. He loves you, he loves me, he loves us all. We are all children of God. He is our Father and our friend. Let's take him by his word and be good friends.
I know this can be difficult, that life is often hard even when things are going well, but it’s worth it. It’s worth turning away from the bad and giving this love a fresh try every day. We can read His word, we can talk to him, we can try to do good, and we can know he will help us.
I know that at times it seems there is no peace in this world, but let me assure you, there is peace in Christ. He is the son of God, he is our savior and redeemer, he loves us so very much. Because of God and Christ’s love, they again work through prophets and apostles to help us find our way in this life, and our way back to them. I choose to turn to them for truth and guidance.
If you have lost touch with your faith, or want to add to your faith, or are seeking a new solid foundation to build your life upon, I recommend the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I invite you to explore the blessings available to you in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by going online to comeuntochrist.org where you can talk with young missionaries who love the Lord, and who will share His gospel with you.
I wish you peace, joy and happiness. My prayers are with you.