April 2023 Sunday Morning Thoughts

Happy Palm Sunday!


I love the reminder that Elder Christofferson gave us about the City of Enoch, or Zion, where all are united. In our contentious world obsessed with labels and divisiveness, how can unity be achieved?   Only in Jesus Christ can we truly become One.  "By putting on Christ, it becomes possible either to resolve or lay aside differences, disagreements, and disputes." Perhaps, that is why we have been invited so many times to invite and gather others to come unto the body of Christ, rather than jump from one cause to another.  What if that’s what actually will finally bring unity…not sameness, but harmony? 🤔


The parable of the backpack is always relevant. Sister Johnson asked a very good question…Why are we stingy with our metaphorical backpack of rocks when there is someone there to offer relief?  The age-old vice of pride.  We can’t go at it alone and we don’t need to!  As we covenant with Christ, we can do ALL things with him.  Her talk goes so well with so many New Testament stories we’ve read over the last several weeks.


The message of Palm Sunday so far seems to be that of unity, charity, and avoiding contention.  Elder Soares continued to run so well with the theme of avoiding and ending conflicts raging in our hearts.  Disciples of Christ are slow to anger and seek first to understand.  May we today on this Palm Sunday spread out our robes of love and palm leaves of charity.


Thanks to inspired men like Elder Bennett yesterday and Elder Yamashita today, hopefully our Stake Patriarchs will be very busy!  The first Patriarchal Blessing recommend I gave as a bishop was to a 73 year-old woman.  Such a cool experience.  I hope every member with a blessing takes the time to read it more often and be inspired by it.


Elder Andersen crushed it with at least the second Alma the Younger reference of this Conference!  All our thoughts should be circumscribed in God's love. It doesn't have to be our only thought, but should influence all our thoughts.  Our love for Christ does not shield us from the sorrows and sadness of this life, but it does enable us to walk through it with strength greater than our own.  And what a tender story of a family who “caught hold” of Jesus Christ and the temple at a time they needed it the most.


Even those not of our faith recognize the majesty of what happens in the temple.  Elder Duncan’s story of "The good man (who) asked in all sincerity: ‘Do the members of your faith truly understand just how profound [the eternal plan of happiness] is?’ is a great thought-provoking question.  As temples and covenant keepers grow in number, the adversary grows weaker.


Ummm, “Stop throwing scalpels” should be a no-brainer.  Never throw anything in anger, objects, or words, or as President Nelson said, “pathetic and pithy barbs”.  “I am greatly concerned that so many people seem to believe that it is completely acceptable to condemn, malign, and vilify anyone who does not agree with them.”  True Disciples of Jesus Christ are peacemakers.  How we treat each other really matters! How we speak to and about others at home, at church, at work and online really matters.  Interact with others in a higher, holier way.  No one needs our judgment. Build bridges of understanding. Peace-making is a choice. Be a peacemaker!


Two funny tweets that I saw during this session…


"Glad President Nelson is finally putting those jerks in their place!" 😂


“Hey! The talks are already helping me. I saw a tweet on here I didn’t like and instead of saying something I just blocked and moved on.  I’m going to stop fighting and start ministering!“ 😂.


See you in a few hours for the last session!