Friday, June 26, 2015

WEEK 97: Connecting with Christ

May 25, 2015

Hey all!

If there's one thing the Lord has been able to teach me, it's what matter most. It's Him and His Son. It's His Atonement. His Plan of Salvation. His Gospel. If we can learn and adapt our lives around these central doctrines, we will find true joy.

Since I've been in the field, I've noticed that a lot of (if not, all) people are searching out true happiness in life. When we go to the world for this contentment, we will never be satisfied. Nothing the world has to offer will ever be enough. The only way to find righteous contentment is through Him. Unfortunately, most people in the world never reach Him only because "they know not where to find [Him]". We must learn to connect with Christ. How can we do this?

Connecting With The Father

Our ultimate goal is to connect with the Father. All glory is to the Father. In order to do this, we must first understand the nature of God. D&C 130:22 states:

"The Father has a
 body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

God and Christ are men, just as we are. We were "created [us] in His own image"! We must not be fooled by the false doctrine of the adversary. God is not a Spirit. He's not unknowable as the world teaches. He's our Father and wishes to shed the light and understanding of His nature to us.

In the Epistle of John we learn:

 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

Therefor, in order to connect with the Father, we must connect through Christ.

Connecting With Christ

Elder Nelson wrote an Ensign article back in 2003 entitled "Divine Love", of which the header says:

"While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional." - (

There are numeral instances in the scriptures that enlighten us to the fact that connecting with God and Christ, and feeling God's love, is conditional upon our obedience, love for God, and our "seeking of him", etc.

• “If ye keep my commandments, [then] ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)

• “If you keep not my commandments, [then] the love of the Father shall not continue with you.” (D&C 95:12)

• “If a man love me, [then] he will keep my words: and my Father will love him.” (John 14:23)

• “I love them that love me; and those that seek me … shall find me.” (Prov. 8:17)

• “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34–35)

• The Lord “loveth those who will have him to be their God.” (1 Ne. 17:40)

• “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

If we wish to connect with Christ, we must obey His laws. Christ stated to his Apostles:

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (john 7:17)

In order to connect with God, through Christ, we must live the doctrine taught. We can gain testimonies and knowledge by living the principles provided by a Divine Creator.

So, what commandments must we be obedient to in order to fully come to connect with Him? Let's see what the Lord says:

"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." (D&C 130:20-21)

If we wish to obtain all blessings, love, light, knowledge, and joy, we must live every law that has been made known unto us. That's why learning of His Gospel is so important. The more laws we know of, the more laws we can keep, and the more blessings we can obtain. That's why the Temple is so important. It's God's university. If we want selective blessings, then we should be selectively obedient. But unfortunately, we don't get to choose which blessings we receive. 

To connect with Christ, and ultimately connect with the Father, we must love them. Love is the great motivator. Charity must drive us, "for all [other] things must fail". We must love them enough to keep their commandments. How much do you love them? And how do you show your love? Shakespeare rightfully said:

"They do not love that do not show their love"

An Invitation

If we wish to "abide in His love", we must be willing to sacrifice our will. Total surrender. The only real thing of our possession we have to put on the sacrificial altar, is our will. This includes daily scripture study, meaningful prayer, family home evenings, attending all church meetings and partaking of the sacrament, regularly attending the Temple, magnifying our calling, serving others, paying tithing and a generous fast offering, etc. etc. 

"Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.
He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen." (D&C 107:99-100)

“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary [to lead] unto life and salvation.” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, p. 58.)

Don't feel overwhelmed by this. "[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]." The Lord would never require something of us that He would not provide for us the means of obtaining it. 
"The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)

The Atonement is real. Use it. Rely on it. Repent everyday, and know that God is pleased with your efforts. Eventually, God wants every part of us. He wants and requires a willing mind and heart, to do whatever it is that He asks of us. He needs total submission. That is when He can truly make something out of us. It's up to us when and if that is to happen.

My suggestion, start now. "Lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you". Choose to follow Him completely, today.  Choose to love Him. Choose to feel His love. Choose to learn exponentially. Choose to obtain Eternal Life. Choose to discover everlasting and eternal joy in His rest.

Although it's not always easy, I know the Lord will be our support, as we give Him our all. And when we slack, I know that if we will just repent, He will forgive and forget. God is no respecter of persons, and doesn't care about your past, if you would repent.

I know God lives, and that by obeying him, we can find joy. I know Jesus walked the earth and is the literal Son of God. He is the Christ. Through connecting with Him, we can connect with the Father. Through connecting with the Father, we can become as He is.

Stay close to Him.

~Elder Carroll

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