Archive for March, 2015

The Divine Gift of Repentance

Friday, March 27th, 2015

In the October 2011 General Conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called repentance “a divine gift”, meaning that repentance is not something that is inherent within the natural man, and that in order to obtain it, we must seek it from God. “Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen!” 3 Nephi 9:2 Repentance is a part of our road to salvation. Without it we cannot be saved.

But why can’t we just repent on our own and it be acceptable to God? The prophet Jeremiah stated, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23. The fact is, true repentance is a change of our very nature. “And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” Mosiah 5:2.

This change must be wrought of the Spirit of God. It is a gift of God. We cannot bring about this change on our own. We of ourselves cannot save ourselves. We need a Savior. “And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” Mosiah 27:26. This is a miracle of God which must be sought after with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, for God has said except we do this, we shall in no wise be saved.

I testify that true repentance is a gift, one that should be carefully sought after, asked for, fully appreciated and cared for, and recognized as only coming from our Heavenly Father through his Son, Jesus Christ, and by no other means do we receive it, this to his honor and his glory, leaving you this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Craig Fujisue

Feeling, Acting, Knowing

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Bro. Prestwich, an instructor for the BYU Idaho Pathway Book of Mormon class, presented a video this week that he had made concerning the book of Enos. In the video, Bro. Prestwich asked a question, “Can you change your feelings, and if you can, how?” He states that Enos tells us, after explaining about his father who nurtured and admonished him in the Lord, how apparently he was feeling some sort of guilt as he remembered the words of his father and how he allowed those feelings to sink deep into his heart. (Enos 1:3) Next Bro. Prestwich explains that those feelings caused Enos to act by kneeling down in prayer and in mighty supplication unto the Lord. (vs. 4) Once Enos felt what he needed to feel, and acted as he needed to act, the Lord spoke to him, and he came to know what he needed to know, which was that he was going to be ok. (vs. 5, 6)

Once Enos knew this, he began to have feelings for his family, the Nephites. He again acted by pouring out his soul before the Lord. (vs. 9) Once again after feeling what he needed to feel and acting as he needed to act, the Lord spoke to him and he knew what he needed to know. (vs. 10)

This pattern is repeated as he then began to feel feelings for his brothers, the Lamanites. (vs. 11) The feelings caused Enos to act and to know. (vs. 12)

Bro. Prestwich explained that this pattern repeats itself throughout the scriptures, and that by following this pattern we become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

It was interesting because shortly after viewing this video, I got to apply the lessons I learned in a real world situation. After I had felt what I needed to feel, and acted as I needed to act, the Lord did indeed respond with a miracle and with the help that I needed.

I can testify that as we follow this pattern of feeling and then of acting by going to the Lord in mighty supplication and prayer, the Lord will respond to any righteous petition we present before him, and we will know what we need to know. In D&C 6:36, the Lord commands us to look to him in every thought. As we fulfill this commandment, we in essence also fulfill Christ’s commandment of John 15:4, which is to abide in him. It is my prayer that as we go through the day feeling our feelings, we should never forget to act and to turn to the Lord in every thought.

As we become more dependent upon him, we will become more like him. Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bro. Craig Fujisue

The Miraculous Power of the Atonement

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The atonement of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most difficult for man to fully understand or appreciate. The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob, under divine inspiration, attempts to help us to appreciate more fully exactly what was accomplished through Christ’s coming to this earth and giving the ultimate sacrifice for us as is reflected in 2 Nephi 9.

We know from the scriptures that when God created this earth and all the things upon it, including man, that “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen. 1:31. Our parents, Adam and Eve, walked in perfect harmony with our Creator, and He walked with them. But when they partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed God’s commandment, a separation occurred between God and man. God, being holy, and who “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (D&C 1:31) separated himself from man and no longer walked with him.

Jacob tells us that man became fallen because of the transgression, and that “…because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.” (vs. 6)

But, Jacob tells us that God had a plan whereby we could be saved from the fall and return to Heavenly Father’s presence. He states that due to the fall, our bodies must waste away and die, but that in our bodies we shall see God. (vs. 4)

He further states that God will manifest himself in the flesh to those at Jerusalem and that it was expedient for him to do so (vs. 5, see prophecies of Zechariah 9:9) and that it behooved God “that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.” (vs. 5)

Jacob explains that had it not been for this sacrifice, and this great atonement, “the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.” (vs. 7) He also stated that “if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.” (vs. 8)

Had we remained with the devil, our spirits would have become like the devil, and to have become devils, or angels to the devil, to be shut out from the presence of God eternally, in misery forever. (see vs. 9)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Not just any atonement would have sufficed to rescue man from his fallen state. Jacob stated that it needed to be “an infinite atonement” (vs. 7) otherwise “this corruption could not put on incorruption” and “the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration.”

Christ in his infinite love and mercy offered himself up as the ultimate sacrifice and provided that infinite atonement necessary to save both you and me. Because of his great sacrifice, we now have power over physical and spiritual death (which Jacob calls hell – see vs. 12) through the resurrection. Jacob tells us, “…the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.” (vs. 13)

It is with great reason Jacob sings the praises of God for such an unspeakable gift. Shouldn’t we too?

I testify that due to the unfathomable love that God has toward us, and in his infinite wisdom and mercy, God has provided the only way out of death, hell and misery through his beloved and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. We do well to heed his counsel and obey his instructions for our salvation.

In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Craig Fujisue