FASTING, PRAYING, STUDYING, AND LIVING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD
NOVEMBER 18, 2021
Greetings to the Saints Around the World,
Here in the United States of America, we are into the season of year in which weobserve and express Thanksgiving for those who came to settle this country, especially a group known as the "Pilgrims." A group of people who were willing to sacrifice by leaving their home land in England and come to the "New world" which became known as the USA. They came with the main desire to settle in a place where they could worship God as they chose without being subject to the dictates of Government. The Pilgrims were another group God directed to the "Chosen Land," to bring about His purposes for all of mankind.
We, of the Church, are well acquainted with the story of the Jaredites and Nephites as they followed God's plan for them and settled in the "Choice Land," yet years later fell way and became extinct. When we consider the many sacrifices, trials, struggles that all these groups went through only to seem to lose it all. What will become of us? We see the world, at large, seemingly falling apart and we wonder, maybe, will our efforts, like so many before, be in vain.
What is the sacrifice that God wants and asks of each of us? We find the answer in Psalms 50 and 51.Psalm 50:5 " Gather my Saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart."Every Saint must ask themselves the same question, "Have I made a covenant with God by sacrifice? Is my heart broken and my spirit contrite, that is have I totally submitted my life, in its entirety to God?
The spiritual disciplines of fasting, praying, studying and others certainly lend themselves to that purpose, if we are motivated by God's Spirit. In a Saints Herald article by Sister Elva Oakman, October 26, 1959, she asks "What is sacrifice for Latter Day Saints? Is it not conquering ourselves, through our love for the Master, to help bring about the Kingdom of God? To be "broken and contrite" is to conquer ourselves for Jesus Christ.
While we should be and hopefully are, regardless of where we live, thankful for all those who have gone before us to light the way for us, let us remember that we too are "Pilgrims." We are called to face the struggles of daily living in obedience to God's commandmentsthat one day we, with fellow Saints and peoples of the world will share in that Kingdom with the Father.
Take time this week to review the stories of the Jaredites, Nephites, and the founders of your country to renew and strengthen our own "Pilgrim" journey toward Zion.