This year, our course of study for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of the month in Relief Society comes from the lesson manual titled Gospel Principles. It is a very basic lesson plan. At first glance, it is easy to say, "I already know this." But as much as we know the basics, it is wise to be reminded so that those plain and simple truths are fresh and foremost in our minds. It is the basics that are given to us so that we have a clear map on how to return to our Heavenly Father. We must come to understand the Nature of God. Here are some of the things we believe:
We are told in the scriptures that we are created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27; Moses 2:26) This tells us that He has a body and that ours is alike in form. Ours are subject to mortality, or death. Our Heavenly Father's body is perfected and glorified.
God is perfect. He has the qualities of righteousness that we need to emulate, like charity, love, patience, faith, knowledge, mercy and goodness. He has all power, all knowledge – He is the one that can judge us with a perfect judgement, because He knows the intent of our hearts. All good things come from God. This earth and our lives are for us to prove ourselves, that we can keep God's commandments…that we can exercise our agency to follow Him. As any parent that loves their children, our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed. In Moses 1:39, it reads:
"Behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
When we, as His children, live righteous lives, when we have faith and follow His commandments, when we choose the right, it is in this way that we give glory to our Heavenly Father. But we can't do this until we come to know Him. How do we come to know Him?
First, we have to believe that He exists. Believe that He is our Heavenly Father and that He loves us.
Next, we need to study scripture. Whether it comes from prophets in the past, or living prophets, the fact that God gives us direction on how to be happy is important to know. We can't know God's commandments unless we study His words and the words of the prophets.
Pray always. Understanding that there is an actual Being that hears our prayers, that knows us personally, that knows our struggles and wants us to be happy – this makes it easier to have a conversation, knowing that someone is listening. We also need to listen for answers.
Finally, we need to be obedient. In John 14: 21 – 23 it reads:
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepteth 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.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Our Heavenly Father knows of the hazards of mortality. He knows that we will sin. He provided a Savior, His only Begotten Son, who interceeds on our behalf with the Father. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can repent and be forgiven of those sins. Again to John 14, in verse 6 it reads:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
How grateful I am to have this knowledge! With this knowledge comes the realization that there is much to do. So…click on the following link and press the play arrow: Press Forward Saints
Have a righteous week!