FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

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ROMANS 1:16

For I am not aashamed of the bgospel of Christ: for it is thecpower of God unto dsalvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

When it comes to living your religion there is one phrase which I love. Going to McDonald’s does not make you a hamburger any more than going to church makes you a Christian. I have known many people who profess being Christian or LDS within the church that are anything but. From home teachers that took me to strip clubs to friends that would throw drinking party’s while claiming membership in the church. These people I spent time with in my younger days would never acknowledge there membership in the church outside of church meetings. They knew they were not living the gospel.

These people were like the ones described in Lehi’s vision of the tree of Life found in 1 Nephi 8 vs 26-28

“And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the aother side of the river of water, a great and bspacious building; and it stood as it were in the cair, high above the earth.

And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the aattitude of bmocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.

And after they had atasted of the fruit they were bashamed, because of those that were cscoffing at them; and they dfell away into forbidden paths and were lost.”

So what does it really mean to live your faith without shame. How can we do this in the modern age of political correctness. Can we stand for truth and righteousness without being ashamed of our faith?

As Christians there is a lot of pressures and objections to our doctrine and life style. The devil is waging war on those of christian faith. If he cannot get us to reject our faith he can at least get us to be ashamed of it. By doing so he can convince us to remain silent and even side with those who persecute us by shaming us for speaking to our faith and promoting those standards which the world hates.

This is no more evident than in our public spheres. you wont find the mention of God anywhere in our public offices, government buildings, schools, and other public services. Terms like Merry Christmas have all but been eliminate in favor of saying “season greetings” or “happy holidays”. Our holidays have become secular and religion has all but been expunged from our public life. Children are being sent home from school for daring to bring a bible to school to read in there spare time. I have had teachers tell my daughter that she needs to read something other than the book of Mormon as part of her nightly reading. While they have not stopped her from counting that as her nightly reading they have in the past encouraged her to read something else. Some teachers don’t like kids reading books that would go against the secular education they are providing.

I myself have been attacked and criticized for my christian beliefs and views. I have been told that I am a bigot, Right wing fascist, Radical and even the spawn of Satan by some. All this because I dared to share my thoughts or opinion on a matter derived from my Christian and LDS faith. There are many who cower in the corners when opposition strikes. They fear the persecutions of men. They fear what man can do and they don’t fear God the father of us all.

Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Ask yourself these questions. If you answer no to any of them you might be.

1 Do you willingly live your religion both publicly and privately?

2 do you speak out against those things which go against the gospel of Christ?

3 Do you publicly acknowledge that your are christian?

4 When asked about your faith do you openly talk about your faith even if it is surrounding controversial subjects?

5 Do you actively promote the things of God and not hide your faith in all that you do?

If you answered yes to all these questions your are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.  Perhaps now you can start asking yourself what are you doing to share your faith in God?

It is really quite amazing what simply living your religion can do to spread the word of Christ. I have been asked on numerous occasions about the church, what we believe, and even for copies of the book of Mormon, not because I brought up the topic but because others have noticed how I live, talk and act. They have seen the light that radiates from me and have asked. “No man, when he hath lighted a acandle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33. When we live our religion we show that we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. We let our light shine forth that others may see it. When other see that light they will naturally be curious about it and want to know more.

When we show we stand for something others will want to know what it is we stand for and why. If we shy away from stating that Christ’S gospel has declared this or that. God has said, Or I believe through my faith in Christ or other such phrases we show that we are ashamed of Christ’s gospel. We must be strong in our convictions and not shy away from the truth of God’s gospel. We must be completely justified in our convictions, We must be completely committed to our God and his gospel.

God has given us his gospel so that we may have the opportunity to “choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil;” (2 Nehpi 2:27). Because we have been given this opportunity we have been given the charge to warn our neighbor. “And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:41), “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:81)

How can we effectively warn our neighbor if we are ashamed of the gospel of Christ and fear publicly living it, sharing it and talking about it. The simple answer is we can’t. God has asked us to do so, we must not fear sharing it.

When Joseph Smith let the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript get lost the Lord rebuked him. (Doctrine and Covenants 3:6-10)

” And behold, how aoft you have btransgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the cpersuasions of men.

  For, behold, you should not have afeared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and bdespise his words—

  Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and asupported you against all the fiery bdarts of the cadversary; and he would have been with you in every time of dtrouble.

  Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt afall.

But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art aagain called to the work;

Except thou ado this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift.”

Joseph Smith because of his fear of man nearly lost his gift from God. Luckily he repented so that the work could continue. Do we want to be as other men as God said we would become if we fear men more than God? Other men are the natural man. In Mosiah 3:19 we read

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

We must not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. We must be courageous in the face of the enemy and “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—” (Mosiah 18:9)

The expectations of the Lord could not be more clear in this matter. “And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.” (Doctrine and Covenants 24:12). God has promised us blessing if we will just stand up and speak his truth and not be ashamed of the gospel. He has warned us if we fear what man can do we will loose our blessings and become as other men.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will spread his message not just through words but actions and by living my religion. I will not be ashamed of what I am. I am a Latter Day Saint. I know it, I love it, I live it.

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What’s Wrong With Children Working?

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Look children working. Don’t be alarmed. Its ok. you see they are not being paid to work. So we are not doing anything wrong here. Its only wrong if you pay them. At least according to our warped sense of morals.

As adults we expect to get paid for the labor and work we perform. We work hard, have skills that are marketable and expect to be compensated for the work that we do, Yet if someone were to suggest a child younger that 15 or 16 should be treated the same way it is suddenly child labor and evil, wrong and immoral.

More and more young people are living at home. current reports indicate that over 50% of young people between the ages of 20-29 are still living with there parents as they are burdened with debt, no jobs and no work experience and poor financial management skills. some reports indicate only 47% of people living at home between 20-30 years of age are working in a paid position. So not only are the majority at home but the majority are not working and are living off there parents. The majority also have not had a job in the life I would wager. The majority that are not working are either unwilling to work menial jobs or have no skills so are unable to work menial jobs like McDonald’s.

We have created a culture of lazy, unemployed and unskilled young people that don’t understand or value hard work. We have created an environment where it is considered taboo and wrong to make a child work and be paid for it. If a business such as McDonald’s for example, were to employ a 10-12 year old kid they would be frowned upon, and face consequences for hiring someone who the state has decided is not old enough to do that work. A child is permitted to volunteer and performs tasks and labors for a variety of organizations but if you pay them the law has been broken.

Children are taking longer and longer to grow up. They take longer to get a first job, spend more time in school taking university courses and programs with little to no job prospects. They have less work skills and are often living at home.

So why is it that it is illegal to hire a child to work for you but if they volunteer to do that work without pay this is perfectly moral and OK? I confess I really don’t understand this bizarre double standard. The only time a child is permitted to work and be paid for there work is in the entertainment industry. Child actors and singers work all the time and they get paid to do so in some form. Yet if you hire them to work a cash register at a restaurant or hire them to clean tables or mop floors that is somehow immoral and wrong.

How do children learn the value of work if they are not permitted to do so. How can they gain important work skills if they are not given the chance to do so? But this goes beyond just learning valuable skills. If we permit younger children to work and earn money they will learn much more important skills than just marketable skills. They will learn that when you work for something you will value it more. They learn how to work with others, time management and can begin to build a strong work ethic that will serve them for life. They will learn the importance of responsibility and how failing to meet those obligations affects others, and will have consequences for themselves as well.

Are younger children really 2 immature to work and earn money at a part for full time job? Or are they only that way because  have we spent there whole lives telling them that and so they believe it as well? We have created the immature child who can’t handle a job and can no longer help provide for there family’s. Household chores are one thing, working in the world and learning the value of that work is another

J Richard Clark said: Work is a blessing from God. It’s a fundamental principle of salvation, both spiritual and temporal. When Adam was driven from his garden home, he was told that his bread must be produced by his physical toil, by the sweat of his brow. Note carefully the words: “Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake” (Moses 4:23; italics added), that is, for his good or benefit. It would not be easy to master the earth; but that was his challenge and his blessing, as it is ours.

Not to long ago in the history of this world it was not uncommon for children to be performing hard labor for the support of there families. Children still do this on farms for example. If that same child were hired out to another farm and paid to do the same work he does on his home farm that would be a violation of law. Does that make sense? Because it doesn’t to me.

How can we teach our children the value of work in the world if we bar them from the opportunity to gain that valuable work experience. The trends make it clear that we are failing our children as more and more of them fail to move out and get gainful employment. Is it any wonder so many young people are having trouble finding work when they have no marketable skills they could of spent 10 years acquiring if they had been permitted to have a job and a younger age?

CBC news had reported that in 1990 just over 50% of people under 30 had completed post secondary education compared to now over 75% have. Its interesting to note that in 1990 the amount of young people living at home was significantly less than it is now. People would actually go out of there way to get jobs and become independent and learn the skills necessary to support themselves and there future families. Now we have become so obsessed as a culture with getting and education that learning marketable skills through employment and work has become a secondary priority. The results speak for themselves. University graduates living at home with over 50% of them unemployed and carrying massive debts. Getting and education is a worthwhile goal but there are many ways to become educated without spending 10’s of thousands of dollars on post secondary education and no job. The Education we receive from real life work experience pays us in more ways than financially. I have learned more working for a living than any university ever taught me. And yes I did go to university and graduated in communications in 2010.

Much of the post secondary education that is taught today is out of date within only 1-2 years of graduating from the program, and in some cases before graduating what you learned in your first year is out of date by the time you get to your final year. No amount of education can replace or prepare you for real world experience. So why not start young. Get your real world experience and have marketable skills to back up your piece of paper than said you went to school to learn the theory. You can then say I know the theory from school and I know application from 15 years of work experience. How much better would the 25 year old university grad be if he could say that?

Education is a vital part of a child’s learning process and I would never advocate that children should work at the expense of there secular education but rather compliment it. Use work experience as integral part of there education and they will be more successful adults throughout there life. If these 20 something still living at home with useless university degrees had 10-15 years of work experience to compliment there education they would be a lot more successful obtaining employment even if it is not in the career field they had chosen.

We have effectively taught our children to go to school and  just expect to have a good job, lots of money, and have everything taken care of for them and given them this sense of entitlement but we have done nothing to help them acquire the skills necessary.

As a father I can only do so much in my home to teach the value of hard work. I can’t pay my children because I simply cannot afford to do so. The rewards I can offer them for a job well done can only go so far to teaching them the value of work. Teaching them responsibility and accountability can be challenging at times. When you are held accountable or lose the benefit of the work you are doing it becomes a much more effective teaching method. My children will always have a home with me, I can’t simply fire them from being my kids and they know it. Having a job and knowing they can be sent away and told not to come back can go a long way in teaching them to be accountable and responsible adults. That is something I just don’t have the luxury of doing in the same way. Doing dishes at home and vacuming at home are not exactly things prospective employers are looking for on a resume. In other words prospective employers don’t care what your chores are they care what your work experience is.

With God’s help me and my wife will succeed in teaching our children these things. With any luck we will succeed and prepare them for success in there future roles in our society. With God’s help we can teach them to be successful adults with a sense of responsibility to themselves and those that depend on them.

sources

http://business.time.com/2013/04/04/financial-independence-todays-young-people-dont-expect-it-anytime-soon/

http://www.canadianlabour.ca/action-center/minimum-age-campaign/minimum-age-laws-canada

http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2011/07/13/majority-of-canadians-aged-20-to-29-live-with-parents/

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2007004/10311-eng.htm

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/the-value-of-work?lang=eng

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By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals