Lovest Thou Me More Than These?
- It is customary for H.C. speakers to convey the love & mindfulness of the Stake Presidency. On June 21st I was visiting Our Savior in His home when I was Sealed to my Eternal Companion, H.R.H. C.P. Kathy. He wishes me to convey His love & to assure each of you that He is personally mindful of you, advocating for you with His Father. It is customary for recently returned full time missionaries to be companion speakers. I recently spent 15 years serving full time in the prison ministry mostly here in Ontario. Like Paul & Abinadi I was blessed to serve as an ambassador in bonds for Christ that I may testify plainly as I ought because I love Him more than the treasures of this world. I am a Physicist by training. You already know that sometimes radiation can be both diagnostic & therapeutic. You may not know that there are definite daily, yearly & life-time dosage limits after which it is toxic or deadly. After this point it is no longer diagnostic or therapeutic, only toxic. Similarly criticism can be diagnostic & even therapeutic to me. My tender delicate precious wife has already exceeded her life-time limits of criticism, & insults before we met in the year 2,000. For her they are only toxic, therefore I choose to see only her virtues. If my wife has any faults, I will never know what they are. Many of our noble sisters have already been exposed beyond their life-time limits to criticism, insults & exposure to unchaste images & communications, & having their loved ones view them. Brethren please examine your lives. Ask your wife if she is already beyond her life-time exposure limit to any of these things. Many tender precious women need to be continually built up, continually protected & continually cherished by you. Brethren, Lovest thou any of these evil things more than Christ?
- My wife HRHCP Kathy is the perfect typification of the true church, His Pure pride; once suffering, persecuted, faithfully waiting for the return of Her Bridegroom, she loved Christ more than anything, now the glorious & victorious Heavenly Queen received by Her Bridegroom. The brother of Jared had faith like unto hers. Jesus tells us we must be as little children to be in the Kingdom of God. She prays as a little child talks to her daddy. When adults pray over their labors they might ask that the log-splitter function safely & effectively. She prayed that the Chopper would chop suey all those naughty stumps that made our yard ugly. When she prays her Heavenly Daddy is near & we are in His kingdom in the heavens. She is the angel God sent to me to be my Eternal companion & my Helpmeet. As help meets they help us to meet Christ. I am called to listen to her counsel & to serve her sacrificially as Jesus serves His church giving His life for her. If she has any faults, I will never know what they are.
- (If any of you know me) (Some of ) you may have noticed that I am always excellent. There is a reason why: I once had a Stake President with a son attending what is now BYU-Idaho. He listened to a Basketball game his son was in. They were losing badly & he fell asleep. A phone call woke him. It was his son ecstatic about the game. The father was confused. The game was not over & they were losing badly. He did not know that he was listening to a delayed broadcast. The son assured him that they came back in the final moments to tie the game and won in overtime. When the father returned to the game he was delighted that they were so far behind! He actually cheered when the other side scored! He knew that the worse it seemed, the more glorious the final victory would be! The difference was that he knew the end while the contest still continued. The reason why I am always excellent is that like Paul I have heard from the Son, I have already won. When I am most afflicted it only makes my ultimate victory all the more glorious & beautiful. I know the final results though my conflict, called life, continues. Each of you can also hear from the Son, & know that you have already won. To do this we must love Christ more than the things of this world and our trust in Him must overcome our fear. It is an accurate knowledge of what God has done for us, is now doing for us & will yet do for us that forms the foundation- the why- for our love for Him. Attitude & Fortitude are two of the most important Christian virtues that will determine our eternal destinies.Lovest thou me more than these? Read: John 21: 15-17.
- This poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox reminds us that
- But to every mind there openeth, A way, and way, and away, A high soul climbs the highway, And the low soul gropes the low, And in between on the misty flats, The rest drift to and fro. But to every man there openeth, A high way and a low, And every mind decideth, The way his soul shall go. One ship sails East, And another West, By the self-same winds that blow, ‘Tis the set of the sails And not the gales, That tells the way we go. Like the winds of the sea Are the waves of time, As we journey along through life, ‘Tis the set of the soul, That determines the goal, And not the calm or the strife.
- Tis The Set Of The Sail — Or — One Ship Sails East
- A. 15: “…” Agapas – Philo-lambs: If we truly have celestial love for God we can be trusted with His precious, tender fragile beloved lambs.
- B. 16: “…”Agapas-Philo (as in Philadelphia also known as the city of brotherly love.)-sheep: If we have only Terrestrial love for Him we can be trusted with His less vulnerable yet still beloved sheep.
- C. 17: “…”Phileis-Philo-sheep: When we are deeply & genuinely grieved by our present spiritual condition…conscience of our spiritual need…aware that we are poor in spirit, God will give us a new mind & a new heart filled with His Agapeo Love. The pure Celestial love of God.
- D. All physicists are mathematicians. I particularly love integers & sets: An integer has integrity, meaning that it is completely within a group or a set. It also has wholeness or holiness. These words mean the same thing. It is not on the fence, nor a fraction, divided within itself. An integer is whole & completely a part of a set. In prison it is very important to be part of a group or set. Jesus taught that it is better to be whole & completely in an evil set than to be a fraction, divided or on the fence. Rev. 3:15-16 states plainly “I would that thou wert cold or hot.” I learned why this is true while in prison. It is much easier for a complete, decisive person to move from an evil kingdom into a righteous one as Paul & Alma did. It is much easier to change loyalties based upon evidence than to develop loyalty in the 1st place. To which set will you belong? Will you be in the set completely? Will you be an integer or a fraction? Lovest Thou Me More Than These?
- VI. There is a difference between Testimony & Conversion. Each of you can have a testimony that I am wearing a white shirt. When you faith wavers you can look up and see it. What difference does that make it your life? It makes none. When we are converted to the Gospel of Christ it changes everything: Our attitude, our actions, our priorities & our emotions.
- A. Are you converted to the unconditional celestial love of Jesus Christ? Lovest Thou Christ More Than These? Now is the appointed time to become so!
- Testimonies often come from being taught by one having authority. Matthew tells us that Jesus taught as one having authority. About 1973 I attended a Stake Priesthood leadership meeting as a 14 year old Teacher. Elder F. Enzio Bushe of the 70 taught The Father’s Great Plan of happiness. He asked if anyone had any questions. I asked him: “Where in the scriptures do we learn that the Endowment is the door to the 2nd kingdom within the Celestial Kingdom, I have taught this all my life, but cannot find scriptural authority.” After a long pause he said: “That is how Jesus taught it to President Kimball & how President Kimball taught it to me. He has asked me to teach it to his way.” President Kimball & Elder Bushe taught as ones having authority.I am grateful for a State Farm commercial. Not everything on the internet is true. Not everything that is true is on the internet. Some things, including seven most important things, can only be learned on the road to Emmaus.
- There are three Fundamental Laws & seven Fundamental Forces.
- Telestial Laws: The don’ts.1. Gravity: Don’t walk off a cliff.2. Chastity: Don’t have sexual relations outside of marriage.
- Lovest Thou Christ enough to keep these?
- Property: Don’t steal others property; that includes tithing, not paying it robs God.
VIII. Terrestrial Laws: Lovest Thou Christ enough to keep these? What many LDS-Christians are complacent having achieved.
1. Gravity: The pulley, lever & wheel barrel.
2. Chastity: Love you wife as yourself and remain with her throughout your life.
3. Property: Be honest & fair in all of your dealings.
IX. Celestial Laws: Lovest Thou Christ enough to keep these? They are as far above terrestrial laws as the sky is above the earth and their results seem like magic or a miracle to those who do not understand them.
1. Gravity: Orbital velocity that allows those who live that law to place metal things weighing thousands of pounds suspended high in the sky for years hanging upon nothing. This allows them & others to hear & be heard, to see & be seen all around the world.
2. Chastity: Love your wife as Jesus Loves His Church serving her sacrificially as Jesus serves His church giving His life for her. Loving your wife more & more each day throughout eternity. When I was much younger I noticed that many LDS men were selfish & lazy in their marriages. I though quite highly of myself because I made a real effort to be fair. I now know that it is only when we are unfair to ourselves in serving our wives that we can know the joys of celestial marriage. I now know that as head of the family it is my honor to sacrifice my preferences in things small & large to hers. We start to become spiritually mature when sacrificial service becomes a joyful quest of opportunity rather than a grudging obligation of duty. Speaking of Headship. I have also discovered that because we do not wish to hurt each other whenever either of us has angry or hurt feelings, including my own, it is always a failure to communicate, & as head of the family, that hurt or angry feelings are always my fault. I would challenge you to live this way for one day.
Lovest Thou Christ enough to keep these?
3. Property: Living the Law of consecration.
X. Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear. Things I would ask Him to tell me, if He were here. Scenes by the wayside, tales by the sea. Stories of Jesus, tell them to me. .. Tell how He visits in prison the meek. Tell how he strengthens the weak. Tell how he continues today to add to that great cloud of faithful witness of Heb. 11 who through their courageous faithfulness in affliction are now leading lives that eternally typify & testify of Christ; who have answered the question: Lovest Thou Me More Than These? I have suffered as Job & languished wrongfully in prison as Joseph who was sold into Egypt. If I languished the longest & suffered the most of all those in that great cloud whose lives testify continually of Him. I am grateful for that opportunity & it still cannot be compared to what Christ has suffered for me, nor for the glorious blessings He is revealing in me.
XI. Fear & discouragement often limit our ability to feel & show our love for God. These are also sins.
- The wharf rats: During WW II many solders & sailors drowned. The Pentagon conducted research with wharf rats to reduce the fatalities. They determined how long rats can swim, then at 90% of that time they rescued them. Returning them to the water the rats could then swim ten times longer! They had hope of being rescued again. Far more valuable than better life vests or better swimming lessons was instilling hope in the hearts of the men in trusted to their care. In a 2nd set of experiments one rescued rat was place in water with 99 others. All survived far longer because one had been rescued. Somehow the one had conveyed his hope to the others. By far the most important thing the Pentagon could do to save lives was to find & train officers who could convey & maintain hope in the hearts of those in trusted to their care. Brothers & sisters many of us are drowning in fear, loneliness & grief. All of us are surrounded by those who are drowning. Hope is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves & others. Never rob yourself or anyone else of hope! Find ways to main-tain hope & to convey it to everyone & especially those in desperate need. KEEP HOPE ALIVE! That He will gives us His gift of pure celestial agape love & hope & help us to share it with others is my testimony. That we will let Him do so is my prayer that I leave with you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.