Dave and I put on our latest Ward Party tonight. Thanks to everyone's help, it was a huge success and a really spiritual evening. I decided to post some of the narration from the program for those interested in reading it. Dave compiled it from several different conference talks, Ensign articles and scripture. We also showed the Reflections Of Christ slide show and were really blessed to have Freddie Ashby, who sings on the DVD and CD there with us to sing live. It was a really awesome night! (A snippet of Freddie's version of "Come Thou Faunt" at the bottom of the blog page)
Narration Part 1:
" Jesus Christ commanded us to love one another, and to bear one another’s burdens. He commanded us forgive others there trespasses against us. He commanded us to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to be meek and humble.
In today’s world, how do we do these things? How do we make time in our busy schedules to watch over each other, and take care of our families? How do we put away bad feelings, and strong emotions? How do we make peace with the world, with others, with our spouses… with ourselves?
We will never be happy or feel peace; we will never deal well with life’s ambiguities; we will never live up to who we are as children of God until we overcome out mortal identity crisis by understanding who we are, who we have always been, and who we may become.
When we harden our hearts, gospel counsel looks unrealistic or impossible. But when we soften our hearts, amazingly, we begin to ask different questions of ourselves and allow the Lord to comfort us in our search for peace.
When Enoch was shown a vision of the fate of those in the Flood, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted. Enoch had to learn that to refuse to be comforted is to consciously spurn the comfort of God. The Lord said to Enoch, “Lift up our heart and be glad.” Enoch’s refusal to be comforted and his bitterness went hand in hand. Yet the Lord did not abandon him. He showed Enoch that the descendants of Noah would all be given the possibility of sanctification and eternal life.
If the Atonement is applicable to Enoch, who repented of his bitterness of soul, then persons suffering their own bitterness can similarly repent and receive the comfort of the Lord. We gain greater understanding by asking ourselves the following questions:
Have I refused to be comforted by the Lord?
Have I truly sought through prayer in meekness and lowliness of heart to be comforted by the Lord?
Am I willing to cast my burden on the Savior so that I can get on with life and be at peace?
The adversary would destroy any hope we have in overcoming our mistakes. He would have us feel that we are lost and that there is no hope. In contrast, Jesus reaches down to lift us up, and gives us a brightness of hope.
Song: "Hope Hiding There" by Michael McLean (Sung by Gordon Garner at our program)
(I have it on my playlist on the bottom of my blog page)
What ever you do, don't look down.
That's all the advice they can give.
But you keep looking down,
Because you think that's where everything is.
It's harder to see things can change.
That night can be conquered at dawn.
Because the darkness you feel,
Is unbearably real, and strong.
It's just how it goes,
No matter what you do.
The way through the fog
Has been hidden from view.
But around every corner,
Though you're unaware.
Protected by Grace
In the Face of Despair.
There is Hope Hiding There.
You might think it's strange hope would hide.
It seems like a cowardly deed.
But it's saving it's power
For your desperate hour of need.
And all of that strength,
And good it can do
Awaits being found, safe and sound
Just for you.
And Ears cannot hear it,
And eyes cannot see.
But hearts are drawn near it,
If they choose to be.
Narration Part 2:
" Our Redeemer took upon Himself all the sins, pains, infirmities, and sicknesses of all who have ever lived and will ever live. No one has ever suffered in any degree what He did. He knows our mortal trials by firsthand experience. He suffered more than any other mortal could.
The Atonement not only benefits the sinner but also benefits those sinned against-that is, the victims. By forgiving those who trespass against us, the Atonement brings a measure of peace and comfort to those who have been victimized by the sins of others. The basic source for the healing of the soul is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is true whether it be from the pain of personal tragedy, or calamity on a national scale.
The injured should do what they can to work through their trials, and the Savior will succor his people according to their infirmities. He will help us carry our burdens. Some injuries are so hurtful and deep that they cannot be healed without the help from a higher power and hope for perfect justice and restitution in the next life. Since the Savior has suffered everything that we could ever feel or experience, He can help the weak to become strong.
We long for the blessing if the Atonement-to become one with Him, to be in His divine presence, to be called individually by name as He warmly welcomes us home with a radiant smile, beckoning us with open arms to be enfolded in His boundless love. How gloriously sublime this experience will be if we can feel worthy enough to be in his presence. The free gift of His great atoning sacrifice for each of us is the only way we can be exalted enough to stand before Him and see Him face-to-face. The overwhelming message of the Atonement is the perfect love the Savior has for each and all of us. It is a love which is full of mercy, patience, grace, equity, long-suffering, and, above all-forgiving.
Song: "Daughter (Child) of a King" by Jenny Phillips (Sung by Whitney Smith at our program)
(I also have this on my playlist at the bottom of the blog)
Do you wonder if he knows who you are?
Do you wonder if he knows the secret pleadings of your heart?
He has numbered every sand of the sea.
And he longs to you to know that he believes in you
Can you feel a quiet power from above?
Can you feel his strength surround you
When your own is not enough?
He has blessed you with His Spirit from on high.
And he longs for you to know it lives inside of you,
Oh be true.
Daughter (Child) of a King
The Father's royalty
Heir to his divinity.
He's calling your name
To come and take your place before his throne.
He has always known what he created you to be,
A Daughter (Child) of a King.
You hold the promises of all eternity.
Rights to claim the noble birthright
You were sent here to receive.
He has loved you since you lived with him before.
Let him lead you to the gifts he has in store for you.
Oh be true.
Narration Part 3:
"We all want to go to the Celestial Kingdom. We want to be with our Father in Heaven. But no matter how hard we try, we come up short. At some point all of must realize, “I can’t do this by myself. I need help.” Then it is that the Savior says, in effect, “All right, you’re not perfect, but what CAN you do? Give me all you have, and I'll do the rest.”
He still requires our best effort. We must keep trying. But the good news is that having done all we can, it is enough. We may not be personally perfect yet, but because of our covenant with the Savior, we can rely on His perfection, and His perfection will get us through.
In 2 Nephi chapter 2 verse 8 it reads: 'There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.'
There is no other way. Many of us are trying to save ourselves, holding the Atonement of Jesus Christ at arm’s length and saying, “When I've perfected myself, then I'll be worthy for the Atonement.” But that’s not how it works. That’s like saying “I won’t take the medicine until I’m well. I'll be worthy then.”
We must try to do His works with all that is in us, but then having done all, we can trust in His redeeming blood to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
If we will enter into that glorious covenant Jesus offers us and give Him all that we have, holding nothing back, trusting his ability to make up for what we lack, He will exalt us. With Him pulling with and for us, we can move forward in confidence toward our Celestial home. "
We then showed the slide show and ended with another beautiful musical number sung by Freddie Ashby.
It was so great!