In Section 101 of the Doctrine & Covenants, there is a parable that the Lord declares as His “will concerning the redemption of Zion.” As we consider the 2015 Philippines Area Goal to “feast upon the words of Christ,” the imagery in the parable takes on added meaning, particularly in light of the need for us to prepare to receive the teachings and testimonies of prophets, seers, and revelators during the upcoming October 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As I write this article I can see out of my office window the hustle and bustle of people moving along the road and sidewalk outside of the beautiful Manila Temple. Most of those passing by are oblivious to the importance of this sacred edifice and what it represents. You and I know the temple is a holy place where sacred ordinances are performed through the restored Holy Priesthood. What happens in the temple is yet another manifestation of God's love for us.
While serving as Mission President in the Spain Barcelona Mission, one of my favorite times was each six weeks on a Tuesday morning when we would go to the airport and pick up our new missionaries. They had made the short one hour flight from the Madrid Missionary Training Center (MTC) and were anxious to enter the life of a real missionary.
The 2015 Philippines Area Goals focus on four divinely appointed responsibilities that will help individuals and families qualify for eternal life and exaltation. “Gathering Israel through Missionary Work” is one of these four area goals.
Like me, you will have noticed that being a true disciple of Christ is demanding; there are commandments to keep, meetings to attend, tithes and offerings to donate, service to be given, lessons to be prepared, personal goals to be achieved, scriptures to be studied, and faith in Christ to grow to name just a few expectations.
A Book of Mormon scripture found in 2 Nephi 32:3 is set forth as a foundation for the 2015 Philippines Area Goals. In this scripture the prophet Nephi counsels his brethren to “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”
This is the fourth Area Broadcast that I have participated in and the first as your Area President. While my assignments in the Area Presidency have changed over the years what has not changed is my love for the people of the Philippines. Sister Ardern and I treasure our many friends throughout this country.