Let Nothing Turn Us Away

At one point in His ministry that marked a turning point, Jesus taught doctrine about our needing to eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6:51–58). Some who followed Him found this doctrine hard to swallow. They said, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” and then many “walked no more with him” (vv. 60, 66).

Some turn away from Christ for less than a lack of understanding or difficulty accepting His teachings. For some, it takes more, but still they turn away.

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A Discussion on the Royal Marriage Feast

In last week’s general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the parable of the royal wedding feast from Matthew 22. He reviewed the purpose of parables in general and then discussed the meaning of several elements of this particular parable. I recommend it to you as this week’s parable.

“Put On Thy Strength, O Zion”

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

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By Our Side for the Journey

How do you feel when you’re about to embark on a new journey or experience? This year, I volunteered to help with events hosted by a local foster care agency, and I attended an information meeting at the beginning of the summer. On my way there, my stomach felt unsettled, but I understood the source of the discomfort: I was going to a place I hadn’t been to before, meeting with people I didn’t know, and trying something new. I acknowledged the feeling and moved on. So far it’s been a great experience to be involved.

Of course, this wasn’t some significant undertaking. Not like leaving home for two years as a young adult to preach the gospel in a foreign country. The funny thing is that I don’t remember feeling nervous or anxious to do that, though I’m sure I was. I do remember being excited to go, in spite of the fact that I was leaving behind everyone and everything familiar to me, and I was still a very shy person.

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The Name by Which We Are Called

In two recorded instances in the Gospels, Jesus referred to Himself as the Bridegroom or spoke in parables about marriages, implying that the children of Israel are the bride. As revealed to John later, in the Savior’s Second Coming, He will arrive to unite with His Church: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7–8).

At the same time as He invites His Church to come to Him collectively, Jesus invites us individually to enter a covenant relationship with Him that can be compared in many ways to that of marriage. One of those ways is professing willingness to take His name upon us when we are baptized and thereby join His Church.

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