Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jesus Christ—Our Only Way to Hope and Joy

President Hunter taught that "Christ's way is not only the right way, but ultimately the only way to hope and joy."

"How often do we think of the Savior?  How deeply and how gratefully and adoringly do we reflect on his life? How central to our lives do we know him to be?"

For example, how much of a normal day, a working week, or a fleeting month is devoted to Jesus, the very thought of thee? Perhaps for some of us, not enough.
Every day of our lives and in every season of the year....Jesus asks each of us, as he did following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem those many years a go, "What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?"

We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him.  Then we will drink water springing up unto eternal life and will eat the bread of life.

Contrition is costly---it costs us our pride and our insensitivity, but it especially costs us our sins.  For, as King Lamoni's Father knew twenty centuries ago, this is the price of true hope. "O God," he cried, "wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give a way all my sins to know thee...that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day."  When we too, are willing to give away all our sins to know him and follow him, we, too, will be filled with the joy of eternal life.

What of the Meek?  In a world too preoccupied with winning through intimidation and seeking to be number one, no large crowd of folk is standing in line to buy books that call for mere meekness. But the meek shall inherit the earth, a pretty impressive corporate take over----and done without intimidation!  Sooner or later, and we pray sooner than later, everyone will acknowledge that Christ's way is not only the right way, but ultimately the only way to hope and joy.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that gentleness is better than brutality, that kindness is greater than coercion, that the soft voice turneth away wrath. I the end, and sooner than that whenever possible, we must be more like him...

In this age, as in every age before us and in every age that will follow, the greatest need in all the world is an active and sincere faith in the basic teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God.  Because many reject those teachings, that is all the more reason why sincere believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ should proclaim its truth and show by example the power and peace of righteous, gentle life....

How are we supposed to act when we are offended, misunderstood, unfairly or unkindly treated, or sinned against?  What are we supposed to do if we are hurt by those we love, or passed over for promotion, or are falsely accused, or have our motives unfairly assailed?

Do we fight back?  Do we send in an ever larger battalion? Do we revert to an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we com to the realization that this finally leaves us blind and toothless?....In the majesty of his life and the example of his teachings, Christ gave us much counsel with secure promises always attached.  He taught with a grandeur and authority that filled with hope the educated and the ignorant, the wealthy and the poor, the well and the diseased.  

Strive to build a personal testimony of Jesus Christ and the atonement.  A study of the life of Christ and a testimony of his reality is something each of us should seek.  As we come to understand his mission, and the atonement which he wrought, we will desire to live more like him.

I know enough about your busy and hectic lives to know that you sometimes get frustrated.  You might even worry a little bit from time to time.  I know all about that...

My message to you today is to "Fear not, little flock."  It is to encourage you to rejoice in the great blessings of life.  It is to invite you to feel the great thrill of gospel living and our Father in Heaven's love.  Life is wonderful, even in the hard times, and there is happiness, joy, and peace at stops all along the way, and endless portions of them at the end of the road.

Brothers and sisters, you have and will have worries and challenges of many kinds, but embrace life joyfully and full of faith.  Study the scriptures regularly.  Pray fervently.  Obey the voice of the Spirit and the prophets.  Do all that you can to help others.  You will find great happiness in such a course.  Some glorious day all your worries will be turned to joys.