I would like to delve right into the subject at hand this morning, but I feel I must address a side matter briefly. Humor me.
Giving one’s article a title is a lot more difficult than you might expect. Frequently there are numerous topics addressed in so many words, and the title will direct the reader’s perceptions initially to that way of thinking. Now I am not saying that a title makes or breaks an article, but I am saying it can have a tremendous influence. And what is true for words on a page (or nowadays pixels on a screen) is also true for a life. There are amazing technology breakthroughs, modern wonders, and life-changing opportunities all around us.
But if we are not careful, so much that is incredible can seem run-of-the-mill and even ordinary. I suppose it is similar to the colloquial anecdote about a frog in a pot. If you turn up the temperature one degree a minute, when does the frog know it’s time to jump out? Never! It’s cooked before it realizes the time to act has passed. Life was going along just swimmingly until it was too late. And that leads me into today’s topic of the incredible, prolific blessings of our day.
To do that, I want to go back more than fifty years (1947) to a time when my father was interviewed for his missionary service. Strange as that may sound to go back in history to discuss the miracles of today, the reason this is so significant is the person who interviewed him was then Elder Spencer W Kimball. This was many years before Elder Kimball was called to be a prophet, and as a newly called member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he was asked to interview my dad for a mission.
Apostles used to interview missionaries back then. Can you imagine that? An apostle of the Lord interviewed my dad prior to his serving a mission. Imagine if that were still done today. With all the Apostles have to do and the number of missionaries serving now, these leaders of the Church could do nothing else. Roughly that’s more than thirteen interviews every day including weekends for each of the brethren within a two year period perpetually. Aren’t we glad they don’t still do it the way they once did?
But the amazement doesn’t stop there. When my father got to the mission field, he learned that he would be serving without purse or script. Do you even know what that is? That’s a practice, which was followed long ago when missionaries depended on those they taught for a warm meal and place to sleep. He was among the few that were still doing it. That continues to amaze me.
Well. Let’s not miss the greater point that things are changing so quickly in just one generation of time! So with that in mind, let’s discuss some of the incredible blessings all about us that are becoming common place today. I only have room enough to briefly mention a point or two on each topic and have left dozens of others out of the article completely only because there are so many they can’t all be addressed here. But as you read about these miraculous blessings of our day and the multitude of others you know and enjoy, think about how you are using your good fortune to further his work and edify those around you.
- Electronic scriptures – I remember back in when the topical guide was introduced, linking all four standard works together for the first time ever
- Bible videos – 100+ bible videos depicting the life of Christ
- Patriarchal blessings online – personal blessing and those of ancestors available online, so Church members can read their blessings frequently almost anywhere, anytime.
- FamilySearch – the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world receiving more than a million hits every day
- Online donations, scheduling, records and study material available to all Church members
- More than 150 temples in operation all around the world. I remember when there were 14. When I was born, there were ten.
- Websites – dozens of websites testify of Jesus Christ and further his work. Thousands of individual pages witness of the influence of his gospel, and millions of hits promote this work
- Word of Wisdom revealed more than 180-years-ago and fulfillment of its promise
- Church magazines, media, and online reproduction of conference talks since 1976
- Young men and women programs, children’s resources, employment, missionary, online videos and media of every sort testify of Christ, and help both men and women come unto him daily
- Worthy Black male members receive the priesthood in 1978 and temple blessings extended to all worthy members
- Nationally syndicated Meet the Mormons movie is released – New Stories / New Faces
- Gordon B Hinckley 60 Minutes interview and Larry King Live, which claims over one million viewers nightly and national exposure
- Worldwide seminaries and institutes enjoy a curriculum that covers all four Standard Works
- Blogs of all kinds wherein we can witness of the Savior and testify of the influence of the gospel in our lives and that of our families, friends, and associates
Whether these technologies and modern revelations amaze you or not, they are only a sampling. The greater truth is that they all have been revealed for the proliferation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in due course to promote and bring the Great Plan of Happiness to its ultimate fruition.
Truly, the words of John are still accurate today just as they were two-thousand years ago when he wrote:
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25
The Internet and electronic media and printing presses promote the gospel and testimony of witnesses. We have the unmatched blessing of using these technologies to know and share the gospel. Fortunately, because of technology, we have many records preserved and can easily share them with our family and loved ones and the world. When I was just a young man, Sterling W Sill came and spoke to our seminary and the Church members in our town. It was a life changing experience for me. Since that time the total Church membership in the world has tripled and the missionary force is twice the size it was then. He later wrote the following:
“Though Christ’s active ministry of some three and a half years was relatively brief, we have a lifetime to apply these principles. And John says that if all the things had been recorded which Jesus said and did, the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. But if you should put together all of the direct statements made by Jesus recorded in the Bible, they could be read in approximately thirty minutes. Likewise we wish we had more of the facts of some of his important teachings and more details about such momentous events as the resurrection.”
Especially now, the Lord Jesus Christ wants us to witness of him and testify of the gospel truths with our mouths, laptops, cell phones, and text messages. To further his Kingdom on Earth changes lives and directly benefits those that testify, follow and obey him. And that plan has all been fashioned for you and for me because he loves us. In a few weeks it will be Christmas, and we will be celebrating the birth of the Savior of mankind. As Isaiah so eloquently recorded…
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Jesus Christ wrought the Atonement—the most significant event in time or eternity—when he followed his Father’s will in life, in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary to bring to us an opportunity that would otherwise be unavailable. And now Because of Him, all things are possible for you and for me and all our loved ones.
9 For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish.
Let me say it again. Jesus Christ successfully completed the Atonement for us. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, completed all that His Heavenly Father sent Him to do because He loves us.
No matter His title, He is still fighting for me.
About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.