What's New?

We witness tender mercies and mini-miracles every day as we find joy in pressing forward. We are immensely grateful for our time of service as missionaries in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Life and opportunities continue. See our missionary and life story in pictures by clicking here: http://rayc.shutterfly.com/

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We love Thanksgiving - the sentiment, the action, and the holiday. We are truly grateful for all the bounteous blessings that our Lord gives to us individually and to all of His children. This beautiful world, family, the Gospel, health, friends, music, learning, salvation, comfort, forgiveness.....the list is long and heartfelt.

We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with our family.  Mike and Wendy were the hosts to her family and to Ray and me, 30+ in all. Dave was heading out for his traditional Thanksgiving camping, so he stopped by to visit before dinner. We enjoyed good company, cooking and cleaning, and visiting together. It was a lovely day. On Friday we served in the temple, and today we set up outside decorations for Christmas under blue skies and mild temperatures.  Tomorrow Linda shares a "favorite" hymn as part of the Orchard 6th Ward's sacrament meeting centering on sacred hymns - another tradition. We're grateful for our sacred hymns and their teachings.  Some snippets from Linda's message:

So much of my understanding and testimony of the Gospel comes from the words of our hymns and sacred music.  I know I feel a special joy whenever we sing hymns with the word “alleluia.” And in reviewing hymns with those words, I found they are all among my favorites and for particular relevant reasons.  Alleluia, isn’t that a wonderful word?  Surely it has heavenly roots; it always conjures up in my mind a vision of heavenly choirs and the feeling of joy. The word means “Let us Praise or Praise Ye the Lord.”  It’s a shout of joy, praise, and gratitude. 

The alleluia song I’m particularly grateful for today is Hymn #81, Press Forward Saints.  I love its positive message; I love its harmonies and energy. Its words lay out a clear and simple path for righteous living. As Ray and I been preparing for a mission call, its message is particularly meaningful to us. The Lord blesses us when we show our faith and move forward. He has made such wonderful promises to us if we will trust in Him and follow Him. 

In the 2nd Book of Nephi, Nephi prophesies of things to come; testifying of Christ in a manner he describes as “plainness.” He foretells the ministry of the Savior among the Nephites, warns of destruction, and describes events of the last days. In the final chapters, he encourages us to gain personal knowledge of his prophecies through scripture and prayer. Centuries ago, in Chapter 31 of 2nd Nephi, Nephi summarized the Gospel in five steps: follow the Savior, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.* 

Nephi penned a true alleluia message, and we find it preserved in the Book of Mormon. The song Press Forward Saints sets Nephi’s message about the plain and precious path to eternal life to music: 
“Press forward, saints, with steadfast faith in Christ, with hope’s bright flame alight, and love of all mankind. Press forward, feasting on the words of Christ; receive His name, find everlasting light. 
Press on, enduring; His love proclaim.” 

2nd Nephi, Chapter 31, Verse 20:

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Note:  Nephi's counsel in Chapter 31 is now restated as the purpose of missionary work in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and introduces Preach My Gospel:

Your (My) purpose as a full-time missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment