HONORING OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN


     This Father's day I was assigned to speak on honoring our 
Heavenly Father.  When one speaks of 'honor' one thinks of respect, 
integrity, virtue, regard and devotion.  Each of these words are 
synonyms of one type or another for the word "honor."   To honor is 
to respect, regard and to be devoted.  In regards to devotion and 
honor, the highest form of honor is discipleship -- being a true 
believer and follower of the one honored.


     To be a disciple of God we must honor him by having love.  
As Christ said:


St. John 13:35

     By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
     have love, one to another.


     Not only is love a test for discipleship, it is a commandment.  
The Lord told us:


St. John 15:12

     This is my commandment, that ye love one
     another as I have loved you.


     We are commanded to love each other with the same love that God 
shows to us.  This is a commandment that is essential to our salvation.  
If we are to be saved in the kingdom of God we must press forward 


Alma 13:29

     Having faith on the Lord, having a hope that ye shall
     receive eternal life; having the love of God always in
     your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day
     and enter into his rest.


     If we do these things, we will have the Spirit of God, and 


Galatians 5:22

     *** fruit of the Spirit is love ***
     And, of course, life eternal.


     As I have reflected on showing our Honor to God through being 
his disciples and seeking his Spirit, I came to understand that we 
could judge whether we were disciples of Christ, whether we honored 
our Heavenly Father, by whether we were motivated by love or whether 
we were motivated by something else.


     We choose to honor God or to honor Satan by whether we choose to 
love.  If we love, we are the Children of God.  If we love, then Heavenly 
Father is our Heavenly Father and God is our God.


     The question we should then ask is what is that love that honors 
God and makes us Children of God?  It is love that


1 Cor 13

4}   vaunteth not itself
     is not puffed up
5}   is not easily provoked
     thinketh no evil
4}   is kind


     It is the love that grants the fruit of the Spirit in our lives 
and the fruits of love.  We can thus know whether or not we have the 
Spirit of God by the fruits our lives show.  St. Luke 6:44


     In our homes and at work, are we easily provoked, do we think evil 
or good of people, are we puffed up -- vaunting ourselves -- or are we 
humble, and over all, are we kind?  These are questions we need to ask 
ourselves.


     Does the Spirit make known the truths of God in our hearts, teaching 
us love and kindness or do we nourish something else?  Do we live our 
lives honoring God by love, or do we do God dishonor by rejecting love 
and holding to something else?  


Remember D & C 76:116 concerning the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, 
the mysteries of God:

     Neither is man capable to make them known,
     for they are only to be seen and understood
     by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God
     bestows on those who love him and purify
     themselves before him.


     Do we love God, honor him and purify ourselves before him?  Are we 
kind and Godly or harsh and devilish?


Alma 5:40-41

     For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh
     from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.
     Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works, he
     hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd,
     and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth
     forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the
     devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth
     follow him.


     Of all the people we look at, of all the people we judge, the most 
important person to evaluate is ourself.  Looking at someone else and 
jumping to conclusions about them is an act of pride.  Instead, we need 
to look at ourselves and ask if we are kind or if we are prideful -- 
looking inward is the only direction of judgment that will further our 
salvation.

     We need to ask if we hearken unto the voice of God and do the things 
that would honor God, remembering him as our Father.


Alma 5
6-7}      And now behold, I say unto you, my brethern
     you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently
     retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers?
     Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance
     [God's] mercy and long suffering towards them?  And 
     moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance
     that he has delivered their souls from hell?
          Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened
     them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God.
     Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless
     their souls were illuminated by the light of the ever-
     lasting word; ***


     When the day of judgment comes


19-20}I say unto you, can you look up to God at that
     day with a pure heart and clean hands?  I say unto you
     can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon
     your countenances?


27-28}Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before
     God?  Could you say *** that ye have been sufficiently
     humble?  ***
          Behold, are ye stripped of pride? ***


30}  ***  is there one among you that doth make mock of
     his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?
     
37}  
39}  
54-56}If ye persist in wickedness
54}  supposing you are better one than another
55   turning your backs upon the poor and the needy
     withholding your substance from them
56   [then ye] shall be hewn down and cast into the fire ***


     Are we humble, filled with memories of the goodness of God and his 
love or are we filled with pride?  Are we fit to remain the children of
God or are we fit to be hewn down and cast into the fire?


     Are we children of God?  For


Alma 5:39

     And now, if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold
 are ye?  Behold, I say unto you that the devil is your shepherd and ye 
are of his fold; and now, who can deny this?  *** whosoever denieth this 
is a liar and a child of the devil.


     Are we disciples of God?  Have we been born again as his children.  
Do we honor God by our love?  Are we kind, patient, charitable and easily 
entreated?  Are we patient and loving?  Do we find assurance or worry in 
the words of Alma, when he says:


Alma 34:28

     And now behold my beloved brethern, I say unto you, do not suppose 
[prayer] is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away 
the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart 
of your substance, if you have, to those who stand in need -- I say unto 
you, if ye do not any of these things, behold your prayer is vain, and 
availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.


     Can we look and see that our Faith is made alive by our works 
(James 2)?  Are we made manifest as the children of God who honor their 
Father?


1 John 3:10-11

     In this the children of God are manifest, and the children 
of the devil:  whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, 
neither he that loveth not his brother.

     For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, 
that we should love one another.


TO REPEAT


     For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we 
should love one another.


1 John 4:7-8

     Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and 
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

     He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.


     We are the children of he whom we honor and obey.  If we love one 
another, in word, in thought and in deed, then we are the children of God.


     By honoring our Father in Heaven, by being born again in Christ and 
then feasting on the fruit of the love of God, we become heirs of 
salvation (cf I Nephi 8:10-35; 15:36).


St. Luke 6:35

     But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend hoping for 
nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be 
the children of the Highest: for he is kind ***


If we do this, then


Romans 8: 16-17

     The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that 
we are the children of God:

     And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs 
with Christ;


     Brothers and Sisters, we must seek to honor God and to love our 
fellowmen.  In our patience, our thoughts, our kindness and our love, 
as we are of one mind, having compassion one of another, being tender-
hearted, courteous, seeking peace (cf 1 Peter 3: 8-11) we sanctify the 
Lord in our hearts, (vs 15) and our hearts in the Lord, (1 Peter 4:8) 
and through our charity prevent or cure a multitude of sins.


     Without love, we have no faith and our hope is vain (Moroni 7:44).  
But inasmuch as we are meek, suffereth long, and are filled with the 
power of God through the Holy Ghost, we will have love, and it will 
be well with us in the last day (Moroni 7:44-47).


Moroni 7:48

     Wherefore, my beloved [brothers and sisters], pray unto 
[our] Father with all energy of heart, that ye may be filled 
with this love, which [God] hath bestowed upon all who are true 
followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the 
[children] of God *** that we may have this hope, that we may 
be purified even as he is pure,


     This is my hope, my prayer and my testimony, 


     In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


[adrr.com (mediation)] [Ethesis] [Surviving Loss] [©1996-1998 Stephen R. Marsh All Rights Reserved] [e-mail]
Link to Books and Music
Link to Nauvoo Forum
Link to FAIR Roundtable