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Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Lesson 4 – “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”

My wife glad to see me in action again 🙂 I’m gonna buy new bed this week, haha. Generic cialis? There are a lot of legitimate mail-order pharmacies in this country.

January 23, 2011

When you left your home this morning, what was the condition of it? Were the dishes from breakfast left on the table or the sink?  Was your bed made?  Did drop your pj’s on the floor?  Did you leave your towel where it fell?

If your home teachers said they would be over straight from church, what would you need to do to be ready for them to come?

What would go through your mind if an old friend came by and wanted to see your whole house and wouldn’t take no for an answer?  As they walk from room to room, what would they find?

After the last big snowfall, did you shovel your walk or did you wait for your neighbor with the really awesome snow blower?

Why do you think I am asking these critical sounding questions?

Would anyone be willing to share any of their answers to my questions?

Are we afraid that others will be critical of you or can you find comfort that many of us are in the same boat?

Us?  Oh, our dishes made it into the dishwasher this morning, our bed isn’t made, the girls’ towels are on the floor in their bedrooms, their pj’s are on the bathroom floor and so are mine.  The laundry is partially folded and the rest is still clean but in the laundry baskets on the floor in our room.  If the home teachers were to come over, we would have to rush around and put away some of the toys lined up on the stairs from the girls’ game they were playing yesterday.  I would cross my fingers that the old friend wouldn’t want to look in my closet, the laundry room or my office.  But that’s today.  Other days are a different story.

Christ is coming a second time.  Are we going to have to scurry around picking up towels and putting away dishes?  Would we be making excuses for why we haven’t been to the temple this month? This year?  Could we welcome Him without feeling ashamed?

________________________

Many years before John the Baptist was born, his mission was prophesied.

Isaiah 40:3 says 3  The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

What does it mean to make straight in the desert a highway to our God?

It was the custom that if a visiting king or dignitary was coming that the king being visited would rally the troops to go and prepare the road and clean it so that there would be no cause for delay.

How was John preparing the highway for Jesus Christ?

Taught of Christ, taught the gospel, baptized people

What was the main message that John taught the people to prepare for Christ’s coming?

SCRIPTURE #1 Matthew 3:2

And saying, aRepent ye: for the bkingdom of heaven cis at hand.

Why was that the most important message John could teach?

QUOTE #1 Elder McConkie said in the Mortal Messiah:

“No one is ever prepared for the Lord until he confesses and forsakes his sins, until he repents, until he is baptized for the remission of sins. And the fact that John was to prepare ‘a people’ for the Lord means that a people–composed of a host of individuals–had to set their houses in order, be baptized by him, and await patiently the coming of Him who would give them the Holy Ghost.” (Mortal Messiah, 1:386-387)

QUOTE #2 He also said:

“No one is ever prepared for the Lord while remains in his sins.  The Lord does not save people in their sins, but from their sins.  The plan of salvation is designed to enable men to free themselves from sin so they can, as clean and spotless beings, enter the presence of him who is without sin.  No one is ever prepared for the Lord until he confesses and forsakes his sins.”  (Mortal Messiah, 1:386-387)

What do we have to do to repent?

–       Feeling godly sorrow for sin (2 Corinthians 7:9–10).

–       Confessing and forsaking sins (D&C 58:42–43).

–       Making amends, where possible, for wrongs done (Luke 19:8).

–       Obeying the commandments (D&C 1:31–32).

–       Turning to the Lord and serving him (Mosiah 7:33).

I believe we have all gone through repentance at varying degrees.  My hope is that each day, week, month that we have to repent that we go through each of these steps.

How can repentance and these steps help us draw closer to the Lord and our Father in Heaven?

____________________

While John was baptizing people, there were some that came and watched but would not enter into the waters of baptism.  John the Baptist scolded them.  He said…

SCRIPTURE #2 Matthew 3:7-8

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his abaptism, he said unto them, O bgeneration of vipers, who hath cwarned you to flee from the wrath to come?d

8 Bring forth therefore fruits ameet for brepentance:

What does it mean to “Bring forth fruits meet for repentance?”

Fruits = Results

Meet = Worthy or Appropriate

SCRIPTURE #3 Moroni 8:25-26

25  And the first fruits of arepentance is bbaptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth cremission of sins;

26  And the remission of sins bringeth ameekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the bHoly Ghost, which cComforter dfilleth with hope and perfect elove, which love endureth by fdiligence unto gprayer, until the end shall come, when all the hsaints shall dwell with God.

Who needs to be baptized?

Why?

When Christ came to John the Baptist to be baptized, John knew who he was and he was hesitant to baptize him.

SCRIPTURE #4 Matthew 3:14-16  (Let’s discuss after reading each verse)

14  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15  And Jesus answering said unto him, aSuffer it to be so now: for thus it bbecometh us to cfulfil all drighteousness. Then he suffered him.

16  And Jesus, when he was abaptized, went up bstraightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the cSpirit of God descending like a ddove, and lighting upon him:

14- Why did John feel like he needed to be baptized by the Savior?  He had already been baptized?  What did he mean by that verse?

15- Why did Christ need to be baptized?

16- Imagine for a moment that you were there.  What emotions and thoughts would be going through your mind?

_____________________

Following Christ’s baptism, the spirit took him to the wilderness.  According to Matthew 4:1 it says “Then was Jesus aled up of the Spirit into the wilderness bto be ctempted of the devil.”

When do you find that you are faced with the most temptation or trials?

Have you ever said “right now, everything is going fantastic, I don’t think things could get any better”?  What happens after you say that?  Are you faced with a big trial or is there temptation on every corner?

Why is that?

I have had to learn that I can never say that I am completely satisfied with my life.  I’ve learned that if I am always trying to improve in one area or another, things seem to go more smoothly or better.  Now, that being said, I don’t believe that Christ ever said, “Ah, things are good, I can relax.”  Yet, he was faced with great temptation.

I would like everyone to open their scriptures to Matthew 4 while we discuss the temptations that Christ was faced with.

Matthew 4:2-10

What were the temptations that Christ was faced with?  Appetite, Pride, Riches

What are some physical appetite desires that we might be faced with?

How can we recognize them as temptations?

How does he appeal to our prideful desires?

How can we recognize temptations of worldly riches?  Or how can we know that they are just good opportunities?

How did Christ respond to each temptation?

Raise your hand if you fit into either of these categories…

Who attended seminary or institute?

Who has had a child go through the seminary program?

Okay – so what was their or your experience with the Scripture Mastery Program?

Why is Scripture Mastery so important?

How does it help you to know that Christ was temptation?

For me, it helps me remember that he was indeed a man.  And it helps me even more to know that He had the strength to say “NO” to Satan.  Each day we are faced with temptations – some are large and some are small.  If I can remember that Christ was faced with major temptations by Satan himself and he was able to say no, then I too can have the strength to say no to my temptations.

In conclusion, I’d like to share a quote by Elder Wirthlin –

“The Lord is well aware of our mortality. He knows our weaknesses. He understands the challenges of our everyday lives. He has great empathy for the temptations of earthly appetites and passions” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 46; orEnsign, May 1996, 34).

Testimony –

I know that our homes may not be in perfect order – physically or spiritually.  I know our lives are not temptation, trial or sin free.  I know our testimonies can still be strengthened.  But as Elder Wirthlin said, “The Lord is well aware of our mortality.”  We all have weaknesses and trials.  But, most importantly, we know the path to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ is through true repentance and humility.  It is our responsibility to turn to our God every day and pray for forgiveness and to serve Him with all of our hearts.  I know that Christ forgives us from our sins.  I know that He was baptized as an example for all of us.  I know that our pride, just like the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ is what keeps us away from true eternal happiness.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to true and everlasting happiness.  I am grateful for the Savior and love Him and our Father in Heaven with all of my heart.

In the name of Jesus Christ – Amen.

*** Resources

LDS site, Beardall2000, LDSLiving

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