David O. McKay, the ninth prophet, seer and revelator to be called in these modern times spoke eloquently of his testimony of Jesus Christ. The prophets of God have testified of this since the beginning of time. David O. McKay was no exception:
“No one can preside over this Church without first being in tune with the head of the Church, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our head. This is His Church. Without His divine guidance and constant inspiration, we cannot succeed. With His guidance, with His inspiration, we cannot fail. …
“… I know the reality of His existence, of His willingness to guide and direct all who serve Him.” Teachings of the Presidents: David O. McKay Intellectual Reserve Inc., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003 1)
This is something we have always been told. Jesus Christ is willing to guide and direct those who serve Him. But have we really internalized it? Are we constantly trying to better ourselves so that we may be more like Him? What an incredible idea, nay, not an idea but a gift, to know that God the Son is willing to guide and direct us through this thorny and often difficult journey we call life. For me, this is something I wouldn’t dare turn my back on . . . to have the balm of Gilead readily available, the loving comfort of my Savior poured out upon my bruised and broken heart. Why would want I want to even try?
President McKay goes on to say,
“Christ is the light to humanity. In that light man sees his way clearly; when it is rejected, the soul of man stumbles in darkness. No person, no group, no nation can achieve true success without following him who said: [Emphasis added.]
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12.)
“It is a sad thing when individuals and nations extinguish that light—when Christ and His gospel are supplanted by the law of the jungle and the strength of the sword. The chief tragedy in the world at the present time is its disbelief in God’s goodness and its lack of faith in the teachings and doctrines of the gospel. Teachings of the Presidents: David O. McKay Intellectual Reserve Inc., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003 1)
President McKay spoke plainly of the necessity of following Jesus Christ if we hope to attain any measure of success in this, our Second Estate (mortality.) “No person, no group, no nation. . .” and we have those in this world choosing to deny Jesus Christ as the resurrected and living God. They question His divinity, even His resurrection. What? Are we to completely dismiss the New Testament in its entirety? Certainly, the entire book of John must be ignored if we even entertain such heresy. What does this heresy bring us?
“… The human family has suffered from unrestrained expressions and manifestations of selfishness, hatred, envy, greed—animal passions that have led to war, devastation, pestilence, and death. If even the simplest principles of the Savior’s teachings had been observed, history would have been changed.
“When Christians throughout the world have this faith [in Christ] coursing in their blood, when they feel a loyalty in their hearts to the resurrected Christ, and to the principles connoted thereby, mankind will have taken the first great step toward the perpetual peace for which we daily are praying: Reject Him and the world will be filled with hatred, and drenched in blood by recurring wars. Teachings of the Presidents: David O. McKay Intellectual Reserve Inc., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003 1)
Look around at the world today, what do you see? Is our world filled with hatred, and drenched in blood by recurring wars? How many in this world deny Jesus Christ as God? More than accept Him, of this I know. The consequence of such a denial has been laid before us and still, the nations of the world turn from God.
And again, there are those would have us deny Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior and Redeemer. I cannot, for in this path lay madness. In becoming a disciple of Christ I enjoy peace, light, hope and happiness. My burdens are lighter, my trials easier to overcome and light fills my soul. Turn away from Him? Turn and deny my God? Never.
Yesterday, I wrote about the prophetic promise given to us by President Gordon B. Hinckley, the fifteenth called modern-day prophet. And President McKay told us if people, families, even nations will turn to Jesus Christ, peace will fill the world. Why must we continue down this destructive path of wars and rumors of wars, degradation of the human spirit, mind and body, criminals roaming our streets and filth on every corner. The peace we pray for awaits those who follow Jesus Christ. And what does Jesus Christ ask of us?
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holyHonour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:2-17)
These are the commandments given to Moses for the children of Israel after he returned to Jehovah (Jesus Christ) for the lesser commandments. The higher law which Moses had brought down the mountain the first time was in pieces because of the wickedness of the children of Israel.
The first thing the Lord says is: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” And then these ten commandments were presented. In the New Testament we find Jesus Christ fulfilling the law of Moses and teaching His followers to:
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)
Is that really so much to ask? Be nice to one another. Be good to one another. Love one another. President McKay tells us:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts as literally true the words of Jesus: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10.) We believe, however, that this abundant life is obtained not only from spiritual exaltation, but also by the application to daily life of the principles that Jesus taught.
“These principles are few and simple and may, if desired, be applied by every normal person. The first of these, and the foundation upon which a true Christian society is built, is: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. …” (Mark 12:30.) A belief in a Supreme Being who lives and loves his children—a belief that gives power and vigor to the soul. An assurance that he can be approached for guidance, and that he will manifest himself to those who seek him.
“Another is the acceptance of the truth that life is a gift of God and therefore divine. The proper use of this gift impels man to become the master, not the slave, of nature. His appetites are to be controlled and used for the benefit of his health and the prolongation of life. His passions are to be mastered and controlled for the happiness and blessings of others and the perpetuity of the race.
“A third principle is personal integrity. By this I mean plain, everyday honesty, sobriety, and respect for others’ rights, such as will win the confidence of one’s fellows. This recognition applies to nations as well as to individuals. It is as wrong for a nation, because it is powerful, to steal from another and oppress it as it is for an individual to rob and kill his neighbor.
“A fourth essential is social consciousness that awakens in each individual the realization that it is his duty to make the world better for his having been in it. Teachings of the Presidents: David O. McKay Intellectual Reserve Inc., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003 1)
President McKay also told us it is imperative there be a change in the behavior of mankind. And since his day those who sought to follow Jesus Christ have become stronger, better and more valiant in the fight for truth and righteousness. Those who have chosen to turn their backs on the Savior wallow in a life of hopelessness, darkness and degradation, slowly extinguishing that spark of divinity inside. Free agency was the basis of the war in heaven (Revelations 12) and it cost the salvation of Satan and one third of the hosts of heaven who were cast out of heaven. We have the right to choose our path, but we cannot choose our consequences. It is one of the first lessons we learn in life, but it is an eternal law that has existed for eons of time.
We have the right to walk away from God. But why would we?
“The gospel, the glad tidings of great joy, is the true guide to mankind; and that man or woman is happiest and most content who lives nearest to its teachings, which are the antitheses of hatred, persecution, tyranny, domination, injustice—things which foster tribulation, destruction, and death throughout the world. What the sun in the heavenly blue is to the earth struggling to get free from winter’s grip, so the gospel of Jesus Christ is to the sorrowing souls yearning for something higher and better than mankind has yet found on earth.
“What a glorious condition will be in this old world when it can truthfully be said to Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, “All men seek for thee.” (Mark 1:37.) Selfishness, envy, hatred, lying, stealing, cheating, disobedience, quarreling, and fighting among nations will then be no more!” Teachings of the Presidents: David O. McKay Intellectual Reserve Inc., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003 1)
I beg of you, the path the world is on right now is not the one we have to be on. President Hinckley gave us four things to do that would turn society around with a generation or two. President McKay has shown us in accepting Jesus Christ and walking in His footsteps it will bring peace to the nations of the earth.
Stand with me, shoulder to shoulder, and let us be standard bearers to the nations of the world of Jesus Christ, His life, His gospel and His eternal hope. I will always testify of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, our Lord, Savior and Redeemer. I work daily to walk in His footsteps and adhere to a standard He is proud of . . . I choose to follow Jesus Christ and gratefully accept that peace into my heart and life. Will you do the same?