Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy Palm Sunday

The semester is over and we are almost ready to start a new one. I still have not finished grading my finals or setting up my classes for next semester and I have no idea how I will ever be ready. I wish we had a longer break because I really feel I need a vacation. I guess I have to wait until July :-(

I came to Utah on Friday with the math department. We went to the MAA conference at Weber State University. It was great and I enjoyed it a lot. I got to grade my papers while we drove down and will take a shuttle back to Rexburg and so I can grade on the way back as well. This is the main reason I didn't bring my car, I just didn't have 8 hours to waste driving down.  The banquet we had at Weber State. It was good...

It snowed here last night! weird since it has been relatively warm. And we have some snow still on the ground which is even more strange.

Many are celebrating Palm Sunday today. As I look at the picture of the Savior entering Jerusalem I am surprised. Many in that picture are rejoicing welcoming the Savior into the city. You would think they are all dedicated disciples of the Master. Yet, only a few days after this event, some of those same people yelled: "Crucify Him". I wondered why that is, and I wondered how someone could have a change of heart that fast. Actually, when Christ stood to be judged by the people, no one stood with Him or defended Him. Even His very disciples had left Him. How could some people there deny that He was the Christ? He performed miracles, raised people from the dead...Could they not see?
In the book of Mormon we are told, "Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ...should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him—for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God.
For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their God." (2 Nephi 10: 3-4)

Is it that the people in Jerusalem were that wicked at the time? And are we getting to be as wicked as they are these days...
I look around me and I see the same kinds of people. Many are leaving the church these days, losing their faith, straying from the path. Even those who have had strong testimonies once and have been good disciples of the Savior.  

The darkness found in this world is so thick that many are letting go of the iron rod and leaving the path that leads them to eternal life. Just like it was said in the Music and the Spoken Word last week, we all are afraid of the darkness and we all like the light. It is natural for each of us to seek after light, yet we sometimes get overwhelmed by the darkness that we forget the light is there.

Br. Newell talks about one child who could not sleep because she was afraid of the darkness. So, what she would do is look into the dark night out of her window and look for some dim light. It could be a street light, or a star or the moon and focus on it. The light calmed her and helped her sleep.

I hope we all can focus on the light...the Savior is our light. If we keep our eyes on Him we will never go astray, we will never lose our path. Sometimes the clouds gather around us and the darkness seems so thick and we get scared, but if we focus on Him, the light of the world, all will be well. 

If the Gospel was true 10 years ago, it is still true today. If you have left the church and turned your back to the Son of God, please come back. He waits with open arms. He won't judge you, He won't chastise you, He will only love you and embrace you. 

Br. Newell said: "When the darkness around us seems overwhelming, when we can’t seem to find any light, it helps to remember that even when we can’t see it, the sun is always shining. It may be hidden by the shadowy clouds of daily living, but it is always there. Perhaps night has made light seem like a distant memory, but darkness is ever the herald of dawn. No matter the darkness in our lives, the light of God’s love still shines, and it can fill our hearts. It gives us hope in our suffering, joy in our sorrow, and light in our darkness.
Yes, there is much in this life that brings sadness and distress. But God has also filled the world with an abundance of His light and love. If we seek it and receive it, this light can fill our lives."

Just like the people of Jerusalem 2000 years ago, I hope that this Palm Sunday we can welcome the Savior into our lives and into our hearts. I hope that we will stand by His side even if we are mocked and even if we stand alone by Him. His second coming is closer than you think. When He comes again, those who stood by Him are those that He will take to be by His side forever to dwell in a state of everlasting joy and peace.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Elder Bragg's GC talk on Sat morn on this same subject.