January 16, 2005
While attending my several meetings at church today I was given a challenge by one of the speakers, “If you were to give a talk in these turbulent times, and the subject was, “I Have A Dream”, what would you include in that talk?” That is a fairly straightforward line drawn in the sand. I love a good challenge, it must run in the blood or something.
I took notes and heard some interesting thoughts and they all kept pointing in the same direction; take that challenge and put it to task. A little later in my block of meetings I heard from someone I admire and consider well balanced, “The purpose of a religious discussion is served best when we clearly and courteously present our beliefs”. I have been taught that the spirit of contention has no place in any discussion regarding religious beliefs; something which is in line with what our Savior taught throughout His ministry.
During the Sunday School lesson I also heard that, “One of the keys to faith is knowing the true nature of God”, which is attributed to Joseph Smith Jr., the first Prophet of The Church of Latter Day Saints. Most Christians have been taught that God is all powerful and is everywhere, can dwell in your heart and in general, remains a foggy or nebulous image as far as his physical description goes. We are taught in the Bible that we are created in His image and so somewhere in our mind we attempt to put all this together, without much success, as we attempt to justify and join those ideas. For the Non-Christian I can only point the way to my own set of Scriptures, invite you to read them and evaluate the information that is provided therein. We, all members of the human race, are indeed fortunate that a young boy knelt down in prayer one day and sought answers to many questions he had regarding religions of his day. On that particular day he was given the opportunity to see the Father and the Son, embodied in flesh and bone in their individual bodies. Joseph Smith’s testimony of this meeting is recorded for anyone with a desire to have a better understanding regarding the true nature of God. A complete version of this is available in the Scriptural account as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith – History. http://scriptures.lds.org/js_h/1
When I pray to my Father in Heaven I find it ever so important to understand that I am indeed created in His likeness; having been given valuable information that was gained because of the strength and faith of young Joseph Smith. I am grateful that my Father in Heaven has provided wise council for my benefit through the Scriptures; to include the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, the Doctrine and Covenants and through living Prophets who continue to plead for us on a daily basis. I am humbled by my understanding and my acceptance of knowing that there is a Plan of Salvation large enough to include each and every member of the human race; from the first man, Adam, all the way until all of the Scripture’s promises have been fulfilled. I am thankful that Father has shown compassion on us all by permitting His Only Begotten Son to intercede for us, an atonement for any sin that we relinquish unto Him and repent of, even Jesus Christ, to walk among us; knowing full well the terrible injustice that would befall the Savior of this world at the hands of corrupt men.
When Dr. Martin Luther King shared his vision, “I have a Dream”, it was intended to reach all of mankind, to enter the soul of each person so that they would understand that each one of us is a child of our Heavenly Father, that we are responsible for each other’s well being and that the power of faith is a powerful tool in bringing about those changes necessary for God’s children to live in peace. What a beautiful vision of how it could be, how it should be, if we but live the way our Savior, Jesus Christ, taught in his short time here on Earth. I have included the URL to take you directly to the original speech as it was recorded along with its transcript.
The challenge of “What would I put into a talk on, “I have a Dream”, can be found here in my answer. It is my challenge to anyone who comes upon this short essay to ponder it’s meaning, it’s content and to investigate those ideas which I have shared. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.