And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
I believe of all the scriptures Nephi has given us this one contains the message of the greatest hope possible. The reason is very clear. It promises us that because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we have a source where we can turn to for a remission of our sins. Now, that’s very important to know because none of us … and let me repeat that … none of us will get out of this life without needing a remission of sins. The apostle John said this in the New Testament.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
- I John 1:8
So there you have it. Not the most encouraging news, but it’s a fact … we all sin. We all make mistakes. Those mistakes may be large or they may be small, but every single one of them will keep us from returning to live with our Heavenly Father if not for the Savior allowing us to receive a remission of our sins through repentance and His atonement for us.
We live in a very unrighteous world. The practices of our world make it harder and harder to follow the Savior. But the prophet of our day … the prophet who the Lord has sent to share the message you need has said this:
“We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position.
I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.” (President Thomas S. Monson – Priesthood Power - April 2011 Priesthood Session)
Now that sounds like a prophet of God, doesn’t it? I can imagine Noah, or Abraham, or Elijah warning the youth of their day that the standards of the Lord and the standards of the world were growing ever wider … after all, isn’t that the role of a prophet to warn the people? This is exactly what President Monson did in this recent conference talk. He even talked about specific practices and situations that the youth of today should guard against and stay away from.
“Many movies and television shows portray behavior which is in direct opposition to the laws of God. Do not subject yourself to the innuendo and outright filth which are so often found there.
The lyrics in much of today’s music fall in the same category. The profanity so prevalent around us today would never have been tolerated in the not-too-distant past. Sadly, the Lord’s name is taken in vain over and over again. Recall with me the commandment—one of the ten—which the Lord revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” I am sorry that any of us is subjected to profane language, and I plead with you not to use it.
I implore you not to say or to do anything of which you cannot be proud.
Stay completely away from pornography. Do not allow yourself to view it, ever. It has proven to be an addiction which is more than difficult to overcome. Avoid alcohol and tobacco or any other drugs, also addictions which you would be hard pressed to conquer.” (ibid)
Then, like a loving prophet, President Monson gives counsel on how to stay as far away as possible from the temptation and sorrow sin can bring into our lives.
“What will protect you from the sin and evil around you?
I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior and of His gospel will help see you through to safety. If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it. I will not ask for a show of hands. If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study. Attend church … attend seminary or institute if such is available to you.” (ibid)
And then, he also reminds us that if we have made mistakes, there is a way to overcome that mistake. Again, as a Prophet, his words lead us to the Savior, because He is the only one who can redeem us from our sins and mistakes and lift those burdens from our lives.
“Should there be anything amiss in your life, there is open to you a way out. Cease any unrighteousness. Talk with your bishop. Whatever the problem, it can be worked out through proper repentance. You can become clean once again. Said the Lord, speaking of those who repent, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow,” “and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” The Savior of mankind described Himself as being in the world but not of the world. We also can be in the world but not of the world as we reject false concepts and false teachings and remain true to that which God has commanded.” (ibid)
Right there the Lord’s prophet tells us we can, through the Savior, overcome the evil in our world world and find “peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.” (D&C 59:23) Isn’t it wonderful that the Prophet doesn’t just warn us, but he points out the only path we can travel to return to live with our Heavenly Father. That path is following the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Now, back to Nephi’s scripture:
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (II Nephi 25:26)
Isn’t this exactly what President Monson is also saying? Throughout the church - in our Sacrament Meetings, in our Sunday Schools, in our Priesthood and Young Women’s meetings, in our seminaries and institutes, in our General and Stake Conferences, in our Family Home Evenings and family prayers – we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, our leaders preach and prophesy of Christ … and again, what is the reason for this … that our Children may know what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” In other words, I believe we teach of the Savior in all these meetings so that you, the youth and future leaders of this Church may know where you can turn to when you’ve made mistakes or done things in your life that need to be resolved. We talk of the Savior so you, each one of you, will never forget the hope that can be found through repentance. And, of course, that repentance is only available because of the love and atonement of the Savior.
My wish is that we all can feel the incredible hope that comes from this message. Never forget that no matter what sins you have committed … no matter what mistakes you may have made in your lives … no matter where you have fallen short … the Savior will always be there to lift you, love you and embrace you with his spirit if you will just look to him for a remission of sins.
That is the “good news” of the Gospel. That is the reason why it’s probably even more important today to “talk of Christ and rejoice in Christ.”