Tuesday, December 20, 2011

O' THAT I WERE AN ANGEL (Talk 12-18-11)

Simon Dewey "And His Name Shall Be Called"
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Recently I've been thinking about what it would have been like to be one of the shepherds? To hear the angel proclaiming the birth of the Savior? To see the star shining in the night sky? To kneel at the cradle of this sweet newborn boy who was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. How would I have felt? I have often longed for the opportunity to have been there on that glorious night. I think I would have felt like the Christmas hymn says, "Come let us adore him." I love these words come and adore. But how can I adore him when I was not there? I can remember Him. D&C 20:77 ... that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him  ... remember His words, remember His promises, the words and promises that are still true 2000 years later.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His names bear witness to us of what He is and what He promises. There are many names He is known by, but today I want to remember just a few, the promises they bring and how my life has been blessed by Him.

Jesus means "Jehovah is salvation." I've always known that is because of Him that we all can live again, but it was through the loss of my sister, that I began to be truly grateful for this promise.

I was blessed with a sister, just one. No brothers only the two of us. She was more than a sister, she was my best friend, my example, my cheerleader. We are only 14 months apart and so, close in age but also in spirit. We did everything together and people often asked if we were twins. We shared secrets, goodies, and trials, but most of all we shared a passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We heard the plan of salvation for the first time together. We were baptized the same day and served missions at the same time. So when she died unexpectedly it broke my heart and I felt very lonely, but at the same time grateful, very grateful for the promise of Jesus.
Alma 11:43 The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God…
I know that the child of Bethlehem is Jesus the Christ. Because he died and rose from the dead ... there is no victory for the grave, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

Prince of Peace -

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Anytime I would go to my grandmother for her direction on how to handle a problem in my life, her advice would always be "How do you think the Savior would handle this?" Then she would remind me of a small portion of the Sermon on the Mount. The world defines peace as the absence of disturbances, but the Prince of Peace does not offer a life without conflict. He is offering us a way to overcome conflicts. He is offering us "a more perfect way" to bring peace not only to our own lives, but to all around us.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt alove thybneighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, aLove your benemiescbless them thatdcurse you, do egood to them that fhate you, and gpray for them which despitefully use you, and hpersecute you;

I know it is through living these principles that we receive the peace that He offers. I testify that this child born in a manger among the "mean and lowly" is the Prince of peace, peace in this life and the one to come.

Redeemer and Savior

Mosiah 27:28-29
28 Nevertheless, after awading through much btribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an ceverlasting burning, and I am born of God.
29 My soul hath been aredeemed from the gall of bitterness andbbonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was cracked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is dpained no more.

This gift of redemption is not reserved for big sins, but it is a gift that gives us the opportunity to change. It is an opportunity to recognize within ourselves the things that separate us from God and to rid our lives of these things.  It gives us the opportunity to be “born of God” and to receive His image in our countenances. When we are tired, and fall short of what he knows we can be, does he send us away or leave us?  No, He calls us to Him.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that blabour and are heavy laden, and I will give you crest.
29 Take my ayoke upon you, and blearn of me; for I am cmeek anddlowly in eheart: and ye shall find frest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is aeasy, and my burden is light.

I echo his call with ... Come and let us adore Him.

His promises are sure. He will not fail us. We belong to Him and He will not forsake us. Nephi was a wonderful example of faith in His promises and he was rewarded.
3 Nephi 1:12-14
12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord aall that day; and behold, the bvoice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the asign be given, and on thebmorrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be cspoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
14 Behold, I acome unto my own, to bfulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the cfoundation of the world, and to do the dwilleboth fof the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

My kids have a nativity set that they love to play with. The manger  has a place on the top for an angel. While I was cleaning I noticed that it wasn’t the angel who had put on the top but one of the wise men.  As I thought about it I also realized I had seen one of the shepherds in the place of the angel as well. I was struck by the idea that the Magi and the shepherds had a turn to proclaim the birth of the Savior as did the angels. Most importantly, we all have the opportunity to declare like the angels the joy of birth of the Savior. I'm not sure that Alma sinned in his desire to be an angel. Although we may not have the voice that is the sound of a trumpet to declare the reality of his birth and life, we do have a voice. Our voice is the life we ​​live. When we share our testimonies, when we magnify our callings, when we love "one of the least of these" we are proclaiming to the world that He was born that He lived and that He still lives today. I leave these promises, His promises, the Child of Bethlehem; born long ago, now the King of kings and Lord of lords may we always remember him in his sacred name, even Jesus the Christ. Amen

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