Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of exceeding joy of which I taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. ~ Alma 36:24







Monday, October 17, 2011

Developing a Closer Relationship with God and Jesus Christ

Developing a closer relationship with God and Jesus Christ
Farewell talk by Emily Kranendonk
September 25, 2011

C.S. Lewis talks about our need for God and people in our lives. “We come to something far more important. Every Christian would agree that a man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God….Our Need-love for God is in a different position because our need of Him can never end either in this world or in any other.” C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves page 15)

“My desire for you is to have more straightforward experiences with the Savior’s life and teachings. Perhaps sometimes we come to Christ too obliquely, focusing on structure or methods or elements of Church administration. Those are important and, like the tithes of mint and anise and cumin Christ spoke of (see Matt. 23:23), should be observed—but not without attention to the weightier matters of the kingdom, first and foremost of which is a personal spiritual relationship with Deity, including the Savior, whose kingdom this is.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, (Trusting Jesus, page 64)

Nephi and his brothers have just listened to their father Lehi speak of many great things. Nephi’s brothers had been arguing about what their father had said. Nephi made this observation about his brothers,

“…they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.” 1 Ne. 15:3

President Howard W. Hunter said, “We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him” (in Conference Report, April 1994, 84).

“Do whatever you have to do to come into the fold and be blessed. For some of you that is simply to live with greater faith, to believe more. For some of you it does mean to repent—right here. Today. For some of you it means to be baptized and come into the body and fellowship of Christ. For virtually all of us it means to live more by the promptings and promises of the Holy Ghost and to ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.’” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, (Trusting Jesus, page 66)

PRAYER

If we desire to have a closer relationship with God we must get on our knees and pray to Him. We must pour out our hearts and tell Him every little thing. We need to enjoy the time that we have to pray to Him.

SCRIPTURE STUDY

If we ever feel there is some distance between us and the Lord then to decrease the distance we must read our scriptures. We need to have conversations with our Father in Heaven as we read. My friend Chris shared this thought with me this past week. He said, “I just finished reading scriptures. I have a testimony of scripture study, prayer, and personal revelation. There are hours of detail I wish I could go into right now but I can’t. There’s not time. I simply say never settle for anything short of a spiritual experience as you read and pray about the scriptures, even if you read for two minutes. A two minute conversation with Heavenly Father can change a lifetime. A daily two minute conversation with Heavenly Father can change the world and many people’s eternities. Make every scripture study a conversation with God. That is my thought for the day.”

“No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.

“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Ensign Nov. 2009)

“He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.

“What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Ensign Nov. 2009)

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