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).
In the fall of 1857, the now nineteen year-old young man was headed home to Salt Lake City, Utah, returning with honor. He wrote, “In southern California, just after the little train of wagons had traveled only a short distance and made their camp, several anti-‘Mormon’ toughs rode into the camp on horseback, cursing and swearing and threatening what they would do to the ‘Mormons.’
The Savior in his great intercessory prayer at Gethsemane, said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). In order to “work out our own salvation,” we must first come to know our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ who He sent to save us all. Knowledge of divine and spiritual things is absolutely essential for our salvation.
I anxiously watched for an opportunity to somehow warn Catherine. At times, after school was dismissed, I was assigned to stand in the hall to help insure the departure of the students was a little more orderly and safe. On one such occasion, Catherine and a group of friends came down the hall and stopped to talk to me. I was worried about her friends saying something, but my concern for her overcame my fear.
By entering into a covenant with the Lord, we become separated from the world. The righteous have always been called upon to leave the world and be a separate righteous people. Moses and the exodus from Egypt is an example and a type of the separation/exodus pattern. As we begin the Book of Mormon, we see again an exodus of a righteous family from a wicked environment. Through faithfulness, Lehi and Nephi were led to a "promised land."
While the four sons of Mosiah went to teach the Lamanites, Alma the younger became the Chief Judge in the land of Zarahemla, keeper of the records, and prophet of the Church. By forgiving Alma of his past and trusting in the new man he had become, the people of Nephi showed their faith in Jesus Christ’s power to change mankind. Faith expels fear and infuses hope and charity.