Friday, November 24, 2006

Pure Religion

Last night, I watched the news and was touched by the reports of several establishments throughout Central Texas which provided Thanksgiving dinner to the poor and needy. Is there a better definition of Christianity?

Jesus taught the people of ancient America, "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up---that which ye have seen me do." (3 Nephi 18:24).

I am certain that if Jesus were among us today, His Thanksgiving holiday would've been spent lightening the burdens of those around Him. But He isn't here, so we must do what He has done and would do.

May God bless all those who spent their holiday serving others, whether in the community or within their own homes.

The following are a few of my favorite scriptures about pure religion:

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27).

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath annointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3).

"And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our father, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish . . . .

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:14-16, 19).

"[B]ear one another's burdens, that they may be light ; . . . mourn with those that mourn; . . . comfort those that stand in need of comfort, . . . stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death . . . ." (Mosiah 18:8-9).

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