Talk, 18 Nov 2018

Outline:

  • A Testimony of the Gathering of Israel
    • Quote by President Nelson “The Gathering of Israel is the most important…”
    • “This gathering is ‘the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today’!”
    • “My dear young brothers and sisters, these surely are the latter days, and the Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty.”
    • Do you believe it? Do you and I understand what that means? Are we acting according to our beliefs?
    • My purpose is not to give a historical overview, but to discuss in a spiritual manner.
  • Historical Context
    • Amos 3:7, Prophets have foretold of the Gathering of Israel
    • A Brief History Lesson
    • Ezekiel 36 & Isaiah 52 are a good spiritual explanation of the significance of the Gathering.
      • (Ezekiel 36:17- 18) “when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they adefiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the buncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had ashed upon the land, and for their bidols wherewith they had cpolluted it:”
    • All of the Old Testament is a testimony of God’s covenant with Israel. To understand it, is to understand that God will restore the House of Israel according to the covenants that he made.
    • How will Israel be gathered?
    • Its about cleanliness, reconsilation to God, worthiness to return home to His presence.
    • (Ezekiel 36:26-28) “26 A anew bheart also will I cgive you, and a new dspirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony eheart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh 27 And I will put my aspirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the aland that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
  • Christ spoke of the Gathering of Israel
    • Gathered as chicks, and ye would not
    • So did Mary.
    • Parables:
      • Labors in the Vineyard
      • The Wedding Feast?
  • What invitations has President Nelson extended to us to participate in the Gathering of Israel?
  • To the women:
    • First, I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind.
    • Second, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year.
    • Third, establish a pattern of regular temple attendance.
    • My fourth invitation, for you who are of age, is to participate fully in Relief Society.
  • To the Youth:
    • First, disengage from a constant reliance on social media, in order to decrease its worldly influence upon you… by holding a seven-day fast from social media.
    • My second invitation is to make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord, for three weeks in a row, to let Him know that you want to be part of His youth battalion—more than you want anything else. For three weeks give up something you like to do and use that time to help gather Israel.
    • My third invitation is for you to do a thorough life assessment with the Lord, and perhaps with your parents and your bishop, to ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the covenant path.
    • My fourth invitation is for you to pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • My fifth invitation is for you to stand out; be different from the world. You and I know that you are to be a light to the world. Therefore, the Lord needs you to look like, sound like, act like, and dress like a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Yes, you are living in the world, but you have very different standards from the world to help you avoid the stain of the world.
  • Summary:
    • Hold a seven-day fast from social media.
    • Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord for three weeks.
    • Keep on the covenant path. If you are off, repent and get back on the path.
    • Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • Stand out. Be different. Be a light. Give to a friend one copy of the booklet For the Strength of Youth.
  • Do you believe it? Do we believe that the Gathering of Israel is the most important work that is happening on earth today? Do our actions reflect that priority?
  • President Nelson: “My dear sisters, we need you! We ‘need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices.’4 We simply cannot gather Israel without you.”
  • A sobering post note:
    • We know that Christ is coming, and we know that there will be a people prepared to receive him: Israel will be gathered, while Idumea will burn.
    • That the presiding councils of the Church feel that the Church is now strong enough to reduce the number of hours that we spend at Church and encourage us to replace it with a home-centered curriculum has sent me soul searching. Am I really able to make the Gospel the Center of my home life?
    • The Church is growing and thriving around the globe, especially in regions that are less encumbered with the distractions of the world. Will I be a part of it?
    • Perhaps a quote from Elder Holland sums it up well:

In John, Chapter 3, a ruler among the Jews whose name was Nicodemus, comes to Jesus by night and said:

Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:2-3

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