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Elder Joaquim J Moreira, Portugal Area Seventy

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”[1]

To be born of God is a unique, personal and unforgettable experience that enables us to overcome our lives’ challenges.

The experience of our first meeting with the missionaries is always a moment we will never forget, inasmuch as when we had our first spiritual experience in obtaining our testimony.

At these sublime moments is as if our “… sleeping dust …”[2] gains a new life, and we feel in our “nostrils the breath of life”[3]and are born again.

That's what happened to a 15-year-old named Telma Silva from Seixal Ward, Setúbal Stake. Although she was not a member of the Church she attended the morning seminary and developed the desire to be baptized for the love she could feel among the members.

At one point the Setúbal Stake challenged the young people to participate on a trip to the Temple of Madrid in April 2016.

Telma was sad because she could not make the trip to the temple with her seminary class, since she was not a member of the church. So she decided to put her faith in Jesus Christ to the test and made the decision to be baptized. But that was not enough for, since she was going to the Temple she also became involved in getting to know her ancestors in order to perform the ordinances for them in the baptistery´s waters.

Telma was not only born again, but also, due to her seminary attendance had learned about the difference she could make in her family, by taking the name of her ancestors to the temple so they could have the new birth experience, a glorious spiritual experience.

By this we know that we love the children of God, “when we love God, and keep his commandments.”[4] Our love for God is also shown when we love all of His children, both the ones who are among us, the ones who are still to come and the ones who have already departed.

One of the greatest acts of love demonstration is when we do something for someone who cannot do it for her or himself.

The most sublime act of love accomplished on this earth was the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. His atonement allowed us to obtain the remission of our sins, which we could not achieve for ourselves.

Similarly, our ancestors cannot dwell in God's presence without first receiving the ordinances of salvation.

Our ancestors live in very special circumstances, “when we die, our spirits go to the spirit world. Death does not change our personality nor our desire to do good or evil. (...) In the spirit world the gospel is preached to those who did not obey the gospel or have not had the opportunity to hear it here on earth.” [5]

The prophet Obadiah has prophesied that there will be “saviours…on mount Zion”[6] we can fit us in this context, of bringing salvation to those who want it but cannot get it by themselves.

One of the merits that we can get by performing the work for our ancestors is charity, for it is an act of sublime love and “except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.”[7]

“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”[8]

What a blessing it is that we can develop such love for those who we do not know personally but that are present in us when we need help, for they are like guardian angels who pray for us, worry about us and want us to do our best.

May we love to be loved, serve to be served and bless to be blessed.

In the name of Jesus Christ.
 


Amen.

 


[1] 1 John 5:1

[2] D & C 138: 17

[3] Genesis 2:7

[4] 1 John 5:2

[5] Preach My Gospel pg. 53

[6] Obadiah 1:21

[7] Ether 12:34

[8] 1 Peter 4:8