From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper Message for 1/5/2018
Every member of a combat operation of the U.S. Army, from the private to the commanding officer, is required to know the mission. Like-wise, as disciples and soldiers in the Lord’s army, entering the battle against the forces of evil in 2018, it is vital that every member know the mission of our leader and commander. His mission is also our mission.
Peter stated the mission of Jesus in these well chosen words: “For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just [Jesus] for the unjust [us], being put to death in the flesh, but quickened [made alive] by the Spirit, that he might bring us to God. Bringing souls to God is the Lord’s mission and ours. It is a mission of love.
John wrote: “Hereby perceive we [we understand] the love of Christ, because he laid down his life for us;…we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Jesus explained how his mission was, and will be, accomplished: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Jesus assured Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. He said, “if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence [the world].
And so we sing; “Lead on O King Eternal, the day of march has come; Henceforth in fields of conquest thy tents shall be our home. Through days of preparation thy grace has made us strong, and now, O King Eternal, we lift our battle song.
“Lead on, O King Eternal, till sin’s fierce war shall cease, and holiness shall whisper the sweet amen of peace; for not with swords loud clashing nor roll of stirring drums, with deeds of love and mercy the heavenly kingdom comes.
“Lead on, O King Eternal, we follow not with fears, for gladness breaks like morning when-e’er thy face appears. Thy cross is lifted o’er us, we journey in its light; the crown awaits the conquest; lead on O God of might. Amen. (Hymns of the Restoration, 149).
Every soul is precious in the sight of God. My father was still in his twenties when he suddenly became very sick with an infectious disease called Brucellosis or Undulant Fever. This disease causes a fever, chills, weakness, aches and pains and a very depressed feeling. Antibiotics were not available in the 1930’s. He was unable to work. The doctor told him the fever could persist for six weeks to seven years! He was facing a desperate situation. He promised God, if he was healed, he would make a special effort to study the Scriptures. He was healed. Keeping his promise, he started with the Doctrine and Covenants. He was deeply impressed when he read in section 16:3-c: “REMEMBER THE WORTH OF SOULS IS GREAT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD…” He said these words seemed to stand out from the page as he read them. The words of this scripture became like a lode-star; a guiding star and the central focus of his life.
Jesus prayed for his disciples that “none be lost”. He said, “I pray for them…I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me…while I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition [Judas]; that the scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:9-12).
Jesus prayed for Simon Peter: “…Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired you, that he may sift the children of the kingdom as wheat. But I have prayed for you…”(Luke 22:31-32). Surely he will also pray for us if we ask! Jesus told of leaving the ninety-nine and searching for the one which was lost (Luke 15:1-6). “For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost, and to call sinners to repentance…” (Matthew 18:11).
I challenge you to make a list of at least twelve you will pray for “that none be lost”. Let this be your resolve for the new year. Some on your list will likely be members of your own family. What will heaven be like if some of your family or other loved ones are missing?
With love and best wishes for the new year,
Testify and Warn the People
On the evening of July 9, 2015, I prayed for inspiration; an inspired message I could share with others. I remembered this prayer, when during the four o’clock hour the following morning I was awakened with these words being repeated to me again and again, “Go forth and testify and warn the people”. I tried to go back to sleep but due to the constant repetition of these words, sleep was impossible.
I felt that these words could be found in the Scriptures. I thought perhaps they could be found in the Doctrine and Covenants. I searched in my concordance of the Doctrine and Covenants under the word, Testify. This word is used only eight times in the revelations given to the church in these latter days. I was pleased to find nearly the same words, which had been repeated to me, in Section 85, paragraph 22: “Behold, I sent you forth to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned, to warn his neighbor; therefore they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads”.
Those who have been blessed with the knowledge of the consequences of unremitted sins and the way of salvation have an obligation to warn those who have not heard, or have not been taught the principles of the gospel. They need to be warned; “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Cain asked, “Am I brother’s keeper?” Jesus said to Peter: “…when you are converted strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32). What Jesus says to one he says to all. “And what I say unto you I say unto all, watch” (Mark 13: 37 KJV; 13:52 I.V.).
Paul understood his call to preach Christ: “whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man with all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28). Wisdom dictates that we should not use undue pressure or scare tactics to bring souls to the Lord. God never violates man’s freedom to choose. The father did not force his prodigal son to return (Luke 15). He uses the simple invitation: “come unto me” (Matthew 11:29).
Those who neglect to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all those who have “ears to hear”, will quite likely suffer for this dereliction of duty. Paul said “…necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16).
Ezekiel wrote: “Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,…he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword [of justice] come, and blow not the the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So then, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them for me” (Ezekiel 33:1-9).
Jacob, son of Lehi, wrote of his responsibility, “having firstly obtained mine errand from the Lord…taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins …upon our own heads, if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence…” (Jacob 1:17-20).
The Lord is calling his servants, the priesthood and non-priesthood of our day, to go forth to testify and warn the members of our families, neighbors, and others, that the day of judgment for all of us is near.