Here we are at the beginning of another year. There is anticipation of what the new year will bring. For me, it is a time to reflect on the year that has past and the year that lies ahead. The past year had experiences of pain, sorrow, and difficulties, but also joy, happiness, and wonderful memories.
Washington, fearing the worst, asked for a list of casualties. To his amazement, not one American soldier had been killed. He quickly took his prisoners and marched back across the river before British reinforcements could arrive. Washington had his first victory, and in the cold bitter reality of defeat and death, a nation was born.
He has given us records we call scriptures, that teach us the dealings of God with those who have gone before, and modern prophets to help us understand His dealings with us today. He has given us the opportunity to be born in families that serve as a model for what has been and will be. The family is where we experience our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows.
As a newly ordained deacon, Jacob was passing the sacrament for what I believe was only the second time. He is a fine, nice young man with the rare distinction of being very blond similar to myself at his age. I looked up and saw him coming down the aisle. Frustrated and angry, I thought to myself, “I don’t even have a family or a son, but if I did have a son, he would probably look a lot like him.”
We have the opportunity to take part in the great work of the Lord each day as we raise righteous families,support missionaries, pay tithing, share the gospel with others, teach nursery, attend to our temple work, and minister and serve those around us. Let each of us catch the vision of the Church through the eyes of Him whose Kingdom it is.
Since we all sin, we are all in debt to the Savior who has made it possible, through the atonement, for us to be forgiven for our sins. This is truth---all of us may be forgiven of our sins, no matter who we are, where we live, or our station in life. All of us sin, all of us can be forgiven. It is important that we teach ourselves and our children how to repent and how to forgive.
The feeling that I had in the presence of him who hath all things in his hands, to have his love, his affection, and his blessing was such that if I ever can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be, to feel what I then felt" (Exceptional Stories From the Lives of Early Apostles, p. 8).
We can assume from the language of the Book of Mosiah that Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni were part of "the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers" (Mosiah 26:1).
In striving to live our lives filled with good works, it is good, however, to be reminded that works do not save. Paul wrote, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration (baptism), and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).