From: Francis Harper
Idolatry - from Francis 5/19/17
I have written, and sent, several messages of congratulations to graduates recently. Words of counsel were invariably included.
Solomon, noted for his great wisdom, was better at sharing words of wisdom than abiding by the wisdom he shared. I fear that the same could also be said of me! In spite of Solomon’s failings , our youth—and the aged too—can be blessed by following his good words of counsel: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth . . . let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13).
There is a tendency in all of us to put God and the establishment of his kingdom on hold until we get our fill of the world and all of its enticements. The common thought is that God can wait until I grow up, get an education, get a job, get married, have a family and “settle down,” then I can get serious about a relationship with God. This is not the scenario God has chosen for us.
He wants us to establish our relationship with him at the beginning of our lives. Too often people wait until their lives are a mess before they awaken to their need for the Lord. David, the shepherd boy, could face Goliath as a youth because he had already become acquainted with God, and had developed an unwavering faith in him. Joseph Smith, Jr., at age 14, turned to God in prayer and was given a testimony that gave him a rock-solid foundation for his life.
The best counsel was given by the Lord long ago: “I love them that love me and those that seek me early shall find me” (Proverbs 8:17). Our youth should be urged and challenged to seek the Lord early in their lives. Ask them if they have a foundational testimony. Urge them to seek one. The native American youth were encouraged to go on a Vision Quest to help them establish a relationship with the Great Spirit. It is best to establish a relationship with God early in life, but it is never too late to seek a more intimate relationship with him. As it is said, “It’s better late than never!”
Believe and be Satisfied
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God to a Christian says, “No, not until you are satisfied and content with living, loved by me alone. Not until you are satisfied with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me; to have an intensive, personal and unique relationship with me alone.
“I love you, my child, and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect, human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing . . . one that you cannot imagine.
“I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you. Keep watching me, expecting great things. Keep that satisfaction, knowing that I am. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you, and you must wait. Don’t be anxious and don’t worry. Don’t look around at things others have or that I have given them. Don’t look at the things you think you want.
“Just keep looking up to me, or you will miss what I have to show you. And then when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love more wonderful than you would ever dream of. You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have planned for you is ready, you have to wait. I am working this very minute to have both of you ready at the same time. And until you are both satisfied exclusively with the life I have prepared for you through me, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me, for this is a perfect love.
“And, dear one, I want you to have the most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me, and enjoy the everlasting beauty, perfection and love that is offered to you.
“I love you utterly. I am God Almighty. Believe and be satisfied” (Author Unknown).
Likewise, before we choose a vocation or seek for wealth we are counseled to seek for the kingdom of God and a hope in Christ: “But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ, ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them, for the intent to do good; to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” (Jacob 2:23-24).
I send my love to all,