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Lasting Gifts

Why Gift-Giving? What Gifts Last?

"Life is God's gift to man. What we do with our life is our gift to God." - President Harold B. Lee (1899-1973)

President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has written about "Treasured Gifts"(Liahona, December 2006, Pp. 3 – 8). Addressing the LDS, he directed their thoughts to "God-given gifts that endure." He delimited these gifts into four: the gift of birth, the gift of peace, the gift of love, and the gift of life eternal.

On the first gift – the gift of birth. It is the "divine privilege" of everybody to leave his "heavenly home" to "tabernacle in the flesh" and to return to Heavenly Father, to a precious loved ones, and to a kingdom called celestial after living worthily. This is the job of everyone's mother and father, who have been bestowed of this "marvelous gift."

On the second gift – the gift of peace. In the world we live today is full of problems that "cause headache, inflict pain and sap our strength to cope." In a  certain verse of unknown author, Monson cited, that says "There is never a life without sadness, There is never a heart free from pain; If one seeks in this world for true solace, He seeks it forever in vain."

He also cited John 14:27 – "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." He further qualified that the Lord has made "His gospel of good tidings and salutation of peace" through the missionaries all over the world.

It is noteworthy to mention when he wrote "The passport to peace is the practice of prayer. It is the feelings of the heart, humbly expressed rather than a mere recitation of words, provide the peace we seek."

On the third gift – the gift of love. This is appropriately illustrated in a true meaning of love. Love is love "'til you give it away" as what a few lines from the favorite musical The Sound of Music:

"A bell is no bell 'til you ring it, A song is no song 'til you sing it, And love in your heart wasn't put there to stay– Love isn't love 'til you give it away."

The Book of Mormon teaches that "charity is the pure love of Christ" (Moroni 7:47). Another worth mentioning on this gift is a sincere concern with the elderlies. Monson cited a line from the article of Elder Richard L. Evans (1906-71) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles some years ago. This tells on how we could treat our olds especially on their state of loneliness "back the morning hours of their youth... by our thoughtfulness, by our provision, and by our active and unfeigned love."

And on the fourth gift – the gift of life – even immortality. It is pointed out here that our heavenly Father’s plan contains the ultimate expression of true love. All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our knowledge, our testimonies would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. More importantly, let us consider the “divine statement of truth” as Monson put it as it is written in the John 3:16 of the Bible. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

As also mentioned, a prophet from the Book of Mormon, Nephi tells on what to do to gain an eternal life.

"Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men... If ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

"And now, behold,.... this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given  under heaven whereby man can be saved in the God." (2 Nephi 31:20-21).

Posted 5 December 2006
by Gil camporazo


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