A Joyful Walk with Christ – A 14 Day Christmas Advent

 

Come, Joyfully Walk with Christ

“Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude…and thus find JOY in the journey.” Thomas S. Monson

Tissot Jesus & Man

Introduction – Your Fourteen Day Walk with Christ

The only way we can really know and love another person is to walk in the their shoes; think what they think, learn what they know, say what they would say, do as they would do.

Each day leave enough time to read the scriptures and other items for that day. Read and PONDER what is written. Try to keep what you read in your mind throughout the day and make a conscious effort to improve in that particular area.

Record your thoughts and feelings as you go through the next 14 days.  The closer we get to the Savior the more He can teach us the things He needs us to know. Recording our experiences will bring clarity and confidence that will be needed for the journey ahead.

Day 1

I am a child of God. I will trust in Him and have faith, knowing that He will never lead me astray.

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”Psalms 82:6

Read:

“Tonight I ask you ‘How does the Savior see your faith?’ Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright. It is, as the scriptures say, “substance…. the evidence of things not seen.” Faith emits a spiritual light, and that light is discernable.  Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil.  By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.”  – Neil L. Andersen

“Fear not….the future is as bright as your faith.” – Thomas S. Monson

“When we choose to believe, exercising faith unto repentance, and follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, we open our spiritual eyes to splendors we can scarcely imagine. Thus our belief and faith will grow stronger, and we will see even more.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Everyday each of us faces a test. It is the test of our lifetimes; will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of His gospel to grow within us, or will we refuse to believe and insist on traveling alone in the dark? The Savior provides His gospel as a light to guide those who choose to believe in and follow Him. “ – L. Whitney Clayton

“We once knew well our Elder Brother and our Father in Heaven. We rejoiced at the prospects of earth life that could make it possible for us to have a fullness of joy. We could hardly wait to demonstrate to our Father and our brother, the Lord, how much we loved them and how we would be obedient to them in spite of the earthly opposition to the evil one. Now we are here. Our memories are veiled. We are showing God and ourselves what we can do. Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us.” –  Ezra Taft Benson

Day 2

“Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?” – Hymn

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.Matthew 6:6

Read:

Prayer

I got up early one morning

And rushed into the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems came tumbling about me

And heavier came each task

Why doesn’t God help me? I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day dragged on, gray and bleak,

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “You didn’t see.”

I tried to come into Gods presence

I used all the keys at the lock

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

So I woke early this morning

And paused before entering the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

“Lift up your soul in prayer and explain to your Heavenly Father what you are feeling. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Pour out your heart and express your gratitude. Let Him know of the trials you are facing. Plead with Him in Christ’s name for strength and support. Ask that your ears may be opened, that you may hear His voice. Ask that your eyes may be opened, that you may see His light.”  –  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer is vital. We cannot afford to neglect these things, for the adversary and his hosts are relentlessly seeking for a chink in our armor, a lapse in our faithfulness. Said the Lord, ‘Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.’ ” –  Thomas S. Monson

Watch: “Prayer”

Day 3

Being obedient allows us to be guided and comforted by the Holy Ghost. It also preserves and protects us from Satan’s attempts to discourage and distract us.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15: 10

Read:

“Let us plant our feet upon the highway that leads to happiness and the celestial kingdom, not just occasionally, but every day, and every hour, because if we stay on the Lord’s side of the line, if we remain under the influence of our Heavenly Father the adversary cannot even tempt us.” –  George A. Smith

Faith Obedience

“In this world in which we live, things are not always what they appear to be. We sometimes are unaware of the powerful forces pulling on us. Appearances can be very deceptive.

A few years ago I had an experience with deceptive appearances where the results could have been tragic. My wife’s cousin and family were visiting us from Utah. It was a calm summer day on the Oregon coast, and we were fishing in the ocean. It was pleasant, and we were having a good time catching salmon, when for some reason I turned around to see a huge eight-foot wave bearing down upon us. I only had time to shout a warning before the wave hit us broadside. Somehow the boat stayed upright, but Gary, our cousin, was thrown overboard. We were all wearing life jackets and with some difficulty maneuvered the boat, half filled with water, to where he was floating and pulled him aboard.

We had been hit by what is called a sneaker wave. It doesn’t happen often, and there is no way to predict an occurrence. Later we found that up and down the Oregon-Washington coast, five people had drowned that day in three separate boating accidents. All were caused by the same sneaker wave, which for no apparent reason had welled up off the ocean surface. At the time we went out over the bar, the ocean was flat and calm and gave no sign of any danger. But the ocean turned out to be very deceptive and not at all what it appeared to be.

As we make our way through this life’s journey, we must continually be on guard and watch for those things which are deceptive and not what they appear to be. If we are not careful, the sneaker waves in life can be as deadly as those in the ocean.

One of the sneaky ploys of the adversary is to have us believe that unquestioning obedience to the principles and commandments of God is blind obedience. His goal is to have us believe that we should be following our own worldly ways and selfish ambitions. This he does by persuading us that “blindly” following the prophets and obeying the commandments is not thinking for ourselves. He teaches that it is not intelligent to do something just because we are told to do so by a living prophet or by prophets who speak to us from the scriptures.

Our unquestioning obedience to the Lord’s commandments is not blind obedience. President Boyd K. Packer in the April conference of 1983 taught us about this: “Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God. … We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see”.

Sometimes it is necessary to be obedient even when we do not understand the reason for the law. It takes faith to be obedient. The Prophet Joseph Smith, in teaching obedience, said that whatever God requires is right, though we may not know the reason until much later.” – R. Conrad Schultz

“The journey of discipleship is not an easy one.  It has been called a “course of steady improvement.” As we travel along the strait and narrow path, the Spirit continually challenges us to be better and to climb higher. The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion. If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home.”  – Larry R. Lawrence

Day 4

There is hope in Gods light and strength in the enabling power of the Atonement. Seek today to understand the infinite gift of grace better.

 “. . . grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”John 1:17

By J. James Tissot

Watch: “The Hope of God’s Light

Read:

“Thus, the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity. I testify and witness that the enabling power of the Saviors atonement is real.”  – David A. Bednar

“The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly. The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed. Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can dwell with God, but no unchanged thing will even want to.” – Brad Wilcox

“Yes, we will make mistakes. Yes, we will falter. But as we seek to increase our love for God and strive to love our neighbor, the light of the gospel will surround and uplift us. The darkness will surely fade, because it cannot exist in the presence of light. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.  And day by day, the hope of Gods light will grow within us, “brighter and brighter until the perfect day. To all who feel they walk in darkness, I invite you to rely on this certain promise spoken by the Savior of mankind: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling. The gift of the Holy Ghost becomes a brighter light in the emerging twilight.” –  Neil L. Anderson

Day 5

The temple is a holy place.  Strive to be worthy to stand in holy places.  Receive what the temple offers and go often to claim blessings that will bring knowledge and a peace that passes all understanding.

” And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.”Matthew 24:1

Tissot "Christ"

Read:

“As we enter through the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world. Inside this sacred sanctuary, we find beauty and order. There is rest for our souls and respite from the cares of our lives…as we attend the temple, there can come to us a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace which will transcend any other feeling which could come into the human heart. We will grasp the true meaning of the words of the Savior when He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let is be afraid.”  – Thomas S. Monson

“I know your lives are busy. I know that you will have much to do. But I make you a promise that if you go to the house of the Lord, you will be blessed; life will be better for you.”  –Gordon B. Hinkley

“A temple is a place in which those whom He has chosen are endowed with power from on high- a power which enables us to use our gifts and capabilities…to bring to pass our Heavenly Fathers purposes in our own lives and the lives of those we love.” – David B. Haight

“Adherence to sacred gospel principles will allow us to be temple worthy, enable us to find happiness in this life, and lead us back to our heavenly home. I promise you that living and maintaining temple-worthy lives will hold together all that really matters. Sweet blessings of peace, happiness, and joy, along with the blessings of eternal life and celestial glory with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ will be realized.”  – Quentin L. Cook

“How far is heaven? I testify that in holy temples it is not far at all – for it is in these sacred places that heaven and earth meet and our Heavenly Father gives His children His greatest blessings….  As we go to the holy house, as we remember our covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation.”  – Thomas S. Monson

Day 6

“It is not even enough for us to be convinced of the gospel; we must act and think so that we are converted by it. In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teaches us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something.” –Dallin H. Oaks

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”Mark 8:35

Tissot "Christ"

Read:

“The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This is the time to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation…. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow.  It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another… in other words, to become more Christ-like.”  –Gordon B. Hinkley

“Whatever level of spirituality or faith or obedience we now have, it will not be sufficient for the work that lies ahead. We need greater spiritual light and power.  We need eyes to see more clearly the Savior working in our lives and ears to hear His voice more deeply in our heart.  This marvelous blessing comes when we open our hearts and receive, truly receive, the Lord Jesus Christ, His doctrine, and His church into our lives. We do not have to be perfect, but we need to be good and getting better.”  – Kim B. Clark

“Let me say to you, that many of you will see the time when you will have all the trouble, trial and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and his work. This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory…. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourself. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess his personal knowledge or witness will fall…. The time will come when no man or woman will be able to stand on borrowed light.”  – Heber C. Kimball

“The Lord has long anticipated this important period of history, He knows the end from the beginning. The Savior has assured us in our day, “Be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you.” As we find our way in a world less attentive to the commandments of God, we will certainly be prayerful but we need not be overly alarmed. The Lord will bless His saints with the added spiritual power necessary to meet the challenges of our day.”    – Neil L. Anderson

Day 7

“There are two important days in a woman’s life. The day she was born and they day she finds out why.” – Elaine Cannon

“The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.” John 4:25

Drawing of Madonna

“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth.” – Richard G. Scott

“President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, ‘God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.’ That future, a day at a time, comes alive when you do more than just exist; it comes alive when you live your life to fill the measure of your creation. This invites the Lord into your life, and you begin to let His will become yours.” – Rosemary M. Wixom

“How then do we, as women of God, fill the full measure of our creation? The Lord rewards ‘Them that diligently seek Him.’ We seek Him not only by studying and searching, by pleading and praying and watching always lest we enter into temptations, but by giving up worldly indulgences that straddle the line between God and mammon. Otherwise we risk being called but not chosen because our ‘hearts are set so much upon the things of this world.’ Consider the principle taught in the sequence of this scriptural injunction: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength’. What the Lord requires first is our hearts. Imagine how our choices would be affected if we loved the Savior above all else. How we would spend our time and money, or dress on a hot summer day, or respond to the call to visit teach and take care of one another, or react to media that offends the Spirit.

It is by letting the world go and coming unto Christ that we increasingly live as women of God. We are born for eternal glory. Just as faithful men were foreordained to hold the priesthood, we were foreordained to be women of God. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who rejoice in motherhood and in woman hood and in the family. We are not panicked about perfection, but we are working to become more pure. And we know that in the strength of the Lord we can do all righteous things because we have immersed ourselves in His gospel. I repeat, we cannot be women of the world for we are latter-day women of God. As President Kimball taught, ‘No greater recognition can come to [us] in this world than to be knows as [women] of God.’ ”  –  Sheri L. Dew

Contemplate blessings you have been given or seek to have blessings if you have not received any.  

Day 8

How does studying the word of God with the intent to be guided and changed, lead to the joy and happiness that comes from partaking of the tree of life?

” And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?”Mark 12:24

Story

“Tears of frustration filled my eyes, so I couldn’t make sense of the words I had been reading.

“And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward,” read the verses I was studying for seminary. “And they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree” (1 Ne. 8:24).

I was 14 and struggling. I didn’t have many friends. Those I had were beginning to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and immoral behavior. The pressure to participate was growing daily. I was struggling to stand up for my beliefs. I was struggling to find friends. I could understand why temptation was called “mists of darkness” (1 Ne. 12:17). I felt blind to the light of the Spirit.

I was trying to do what was right, doing my best to follow “the path which led to the tree” (1 Ne. 8:22). But I could relate to those people “who had commenced in the path” but were lost because of the “mist of darkness.” I felt like I had “wandered off and [was] lost” too (1 Ne. 8:23).

I rarely cried. But that night in my room, as I read those verses, I couldn’t keep the tears from spilling out. I really felt lost, and I wasn’t sure what to do. I wanted a solid metal handrail right there by my bed that I could grab on to and follow back to heaven. My seminary teacher had said the rod of iron symbolizes the word of God in the scriptures and given through the prophets today. But I couldn’t hold on to a symbol. I shut my scriptures and poured my heart into prayer: “Father, where is my iron rod?”

The question stuck in my head for days. Then one night, like Lehi, I “dreamed a dream” (1 Ne. 8:2). In my dream I was on my stomach on the seminary classroom floor. Something behind me held my legs so tightly that I couldn’t get free, and it was slowly pulling me backwards. Terror smashed me so I could hardly breathe. I was too scared to look back, but I knew I was being dragged into a darkness that would mean more than death. It meant spiritual destruction. I looked around desperately for anything I could grab on to. It was then that I saw in front of me the Book of Mormon resting on a chair. Somehow I knew that if I could just make it to the book, I would be safe. I woke up halfway between safety and destruction. I knew I had to go one way or the other. Suddenly, I was more interested in the Book of Mormon. But while the dream was my wake-up call to read the Book of Mormon, it was the actual reading that changed my life.  The Lord blessed me for being obedient. I found spiritual strength in the face of temptations. I found confidence to break ties with my old friends and reassurance that I was better off by myself until my prayers to find better friends were answered. Most important, I could feel the Spirit when I read the Book of Mormon. I could feel the love of God. It felt so good I never wanted to put the book down. I had found my iron rod. Soon after, tears again blurred the words I was reading. But this time they were tears of joy as I read Nephi’s promise to his brothers…

“And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree? “And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1 Ne. 15: 23-24) – Unknown

“The Book of Mormon will change your life. It will fortify you against the evil of our day…. There is a power in the book, which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find power to resist temptation. You will find greater power to resist deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life”, and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.” –  Ezra T. Benson

Day 9

The Sabbath reminds people of their need for spiritual nourishment and of their duty to obey God. When a nation grows careless in observing the Sabbath, all aspects of life are affected and its religious life becomes decayed.

 “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.”Matthew 12:8

Read:

“Another important doctrine we should cling to is to observe the Sabbath day. This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday. When we delight in the Sabbath day, it is a sign of our love for Them.” –  M. Russell Ballard

“Brothers and sisters, in the latter days the adversary succeeds when we relax our commitment to the Savior, ignore His teachings in the New Testament and other scripture, and cease to follow Him. Parents, now is the time to teach our children to be examples of the believers by attending sacrament meeting. When Sunday morning arrives, help them to be well rested, properly dressed, and spiritually prepared to partake of the emblems of the sacrament and receive the enlightening, edifying, ennobling power of the Holy Ghost. Let your family be filled with love as you honor the Sabbath all day long and experience its spiritual blessings throughout the week. Invite your sons and daughters to “arise and shine forth” by keeping the Sabbath day holy, that “[their] light may be a standard for the nations.” – L. Tom Perry

“I am intrigued by the words of Isaiah, who called the Sabbath ‘a delight.’ Yet I wonder, is the Sabbath really a delight for you and for me? What did the Savior mean when He said that ‘the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath’? I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief. In addition, we now partake of the sacrament on the Sabbath day in remembrance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Again, we covenant that we are willing to take upon us His holy name.

The Savior identified Himself as Lord of the Sabbath. It is His day! Repeatedly, He has asked us to keep the Sabbath or to hallow the Sabbath day. We are under covenant to do so. How do we hallow the Sabbath day? In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear. Though the doctrine pertaining to the Sabbath day is of ancient origin, it has been renewed in these latter days as part of a new covenant with a promise. Listen to the power of this divine decree:

‘That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;  For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High . . . And on this day . . .  let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect . . .  that thy joy may be full . . . And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances . . . the fulness of the earth is yours.’

Imagine the scope of that statement! The fulness of the earth is promised to those who keep the Sabbath day holy. No wonder Isaiah called the Sabbath ‘a delight.’ ”  – Russell M. Nelson

Day 10

Christ showed pure love as he went about always doing good.

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”Matthew 19:16

Read:

Following His Father’s plan, Jesus commanded us to “love one another”. Later, witnesses to Christ’s teachings would use the word “charity” to describe His pure love.

Read:

What is charity?

  •  It is long suffering.
  •  It is kind.
  •  It doesn’t envy, boast, have false pride, or exclude others.
  •  Is not easily provoked.
  •  It bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things.
  •  It NEVER FAILS.

.“Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have

the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through

life.” – Thomas S. Monson 

How do we embrace, develop and give charity, the pure love of Christ?

Read:

“… As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand, let them be enlarged towards others; you must be long-suffering, and bear with the faults and errors of mankind. How precious are the souls of men!” – Joseph Smith

“ . . .Empathy is looking on the heart—a deep understanding of the feelings of others. Empathy should not be confused with sympathy, which is sharing the same feeling . . . Empathy is enhanced and demonstrated by reaching out to others, by focusing on their unique feelings and needs. Empathy is enhanced by praying for the understanding of others’ feelings.”   – Elaine Walton

“All women in Relief Society can be filled with love, knowing that their small acts of charity have a healing power for others and for themselves. They come to know with certainty that charity is the pure love of Christ and never faith.”  – Sylvia Allred

Day 11

Heber J. Grant once said, “The best way in the world to show our love for our neighbor is to go forth and proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”Matthew 28:19

Read:

“No person who has been converted to the gospel should shirk his responsibility to teach the truth to others. This is our privilege. This is our duty. This is a command from the Lord.” – Spencer W. Kimball

“We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object.”  – Joseph Smith

“Every person who lives in this world wields an influence whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone, it is not what he does. It is what He is.  Every man, every person radiates what he or she is.  Every person is a recipient of radiation. The Savior was conscious of that…. He was conscious of the radiation from the individual. And to a degree so are you, and so am I. It is what we are and what we radiate that affects the people around us. “  –David O. Mckay

“When we as members make the decision to stand up and powerfully witness of Gods doctrine and His Church, something changes within us. We take His countenance upon us. We become closer to His Spirit. He in turn will go before us and be on “[our] right hand and on [our] left, and [His] Spirit shall be in [our] hearts, and His angels round about [us], to bear [us] up… Often it is not convenient or comfortable to stand up for Christ. True disciples of Christ are not looking to make excuses for the doctrine when it doesn’t fit the world’s current concepts… True disciples represent the Lord when it may not be convenient to do so. True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not just impress them.”  – Gregory A. Schwitzer

“One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds.” – Richard G. Scott

Day 12

The closer we draw to the Savior the greater our desire will be to reach out and “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”

“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” – Luke 23:32

"The Good Samaritan" by Tissot

Read

“Let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our Master, we are called to support and heal rather than condemn. We are commanded ‘to mourn with those that mourn’ and ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort’.” –  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Jesus provided us many examples of compassionate concern. The crippled man at the pool of Bethesda; the woman taken in adultery; the woman at Jacob’s well; the daughter of Jairus; Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha—each represented a casualty on the Jericho road. Each needed help.” – Thomas S. Monson

“Compassion means to feel love and mercy toward another person. It means to have sympathy and desire to relieve the suffering of others. It means to show kindness and tenderness toward another. The Savior has asked us to do the things which He has done, to bear one another’s burdens, to comfort those who need comfort, to mourn with those who mourn, to feed the hungry, visit the sick, to succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and to ‘teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom’ [D&C 88:77].” – Barbara Thompson

Watch: “Have I Done Any Good In the World Today?”

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”  –Marvin J. Ashton

Pray and ask who may need your compassion and/or service today.  As you go throughout your day take the time to really see people.

Day 13

“Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received. As we cultivate a grateful attitude, we are more likely to be happy and spiritually strong. We should regularly express our gratitude to God for the blessings He gives us and to others for the kind acts they do for us.”

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” – Psalms 30:12

Watch: Nature.Beauty.Gratitude – Louie Schwartzberg 

Read:

“The Lord has said, “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.” (D&C 59:21.) It is clear to me from this scripture that to “thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7) is more than a social courtesy; it is a binding commandment.” – James E. Faust

Said one well-known author: “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present-love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.””Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. We can be grateful!  It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.” –  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

In your prayers and in everything else you do today focus on the gratitude you feel for what you have been given and try to cultivate a feeling of thankfulness in whatever circumstance you may be in.

Day 14

By walking daily with the Savior we can live what the scriptures call “the abundant life” knowing that God is at the helm, that we are His children, and that joy will be ours now and forever if we remain faithful to the end.

” These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”John 15:11

Read:

“Above all else, ultimate happiness, and true peace, and anything even remotely close to scriptural joy are found first, foremost, and forever in living the gospel of Jesus Christ.”  –  Jeffery R. Holland

“… A vision of our Father’s incredible promised blessings must be the central focus before our eyes every day—as well as an awareness “of the multitude of his tender mercies” that we experience on a daily basis… Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trails are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?” –  Linda S. Reeves

To finish up this fourteen day walk that you have had with the Savior please read or watch the following:  “A Summer With Great-Aunt Rose.” 

We hope you have felt the incredible and infinite love our Savior has for you these past two weeks and will continue to walk joyfully with Him through the coming days, months, and years. 

“Our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.” –  Thomas S. Monson

Presented by Laurel Springs Relief Society 2015

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One thought on “A Joyful Walk with Christ – A 14 Day Christmas Advent

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