Easter Message from President Harrott.
Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Ashton Stake. I hope you are all well and staying safe. Happy Easter to you all.
Just a few words, I would like to share.
As Jesus made the decision to go to Gethsemane, he knew His decisions would impact eternity.
He also knew, there was no other way.This is one of the reasons I believe He ‘fell on his face,’ praying, wanting to know, if there was another way?
He knew this was not a decision just for the here and now but for all eternity.
What about our decisions? We won’t go to Gethsemane or Golgotha but our decisions will impact eternity. They will make an impact on our families, our children and our grandchildren. Our eternal family! Is there another way?
For the Saviour, there was no other way but for you and me and because of Him, we can repent and turn closer to Him because He gave us another way!
Luke 22:46. This scripture to me Is amazing. He knows exactly what we need. In our times of most despair, we need to pray. Even in His moment of deepest agony and despair, He asked those who knew him best to pray but not for him.. to pray that they do not enter into temptation.
He knew what was to come and so He again puts aside His own despair and agony and asks them, even tells them to pray for themselves. Ever loving, ever caring, ever knowing.
This pandemic that has impacted all of our lives and will be difficult for some. Feelings of loneliness, worry of all kinds and maybe some days are better or worse than others? Some may even ask “O God, where art thou?”
In March 1839 our beloved Prophet, Joseph Smith, was taken away from His family and friends and taken to Liberty Jail. Put in a cell for several months with no bed to sleep on, food not fit for rats to eat, cold, damp and not even enough space to stand and stretch.In this place he had to listen to vulgar talk and terrible stories of those who held him captive.
How could the spirit ever be in such a place? How could revelation come in a place like this? Surely he felt lonely, desperate and worried and even asked, ‘O God, where art thou?’
It was here that he wrote Doctrine and Covenant sections 121,122 and 123.
Even in our loneliness, darkest and deepest despair, Heavenly Father will give us inspiration and light. He will never leave us. He will say, ‘my son (or daughter) peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment.’
Revelation and answers to your prayers will come to you in the very hour you need help because our Saviour loves you and because He made the right decisions, regardless of how difficult they were.
So this Easter time, keep praying, ‘that ye enter not into temptation.’
There are many thoughts and verses in the scriptures that I could share about our Saviours last few hours but I particularly want to share these. He was taken to Pilate, then to Herod, then to Pilate again. Barabbas is freed.
Jesus is crucified between two thieves.
During all of this He still teaches His Fathers plan and above all He loves everyone and cares for everyone.
Who can ever forget John 19: 25 – 27. Seeing His mothers agony, He still cared for her. The love of a mother is infinite and eternal. He knew what that was and protected her.
In all the days since the beginning of this worlds history, that Friday was the darkest.Is there any wonder that when He suffered and died we have these verses?
3 Nephi 8 : 5 – 7, 20 -22. These verses talk about a world in chaos and complete darkness upon the face of the land.’But the doom of that day did not endure. The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord, burst the bands of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously and triumphant as the Saviour of all mankind.’ (Joseph B Wirthlin)
Matthew 28 : 6. He is resurrected, He lives, He made the decision in Gethsemane to take upon himself all our sins and He knows you personally.
John 20 :16. As the dark clouds of a storm pass us by, the light of the resurrection will fill our souls with ever lasting joy.
‘I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me. I tremble to know that for me he was crucified, that for me a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me, oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me …’
So this Easter time lets all make the right decisions that will bring us closer to Him.
The decisions that will impact our families throughout eternity.
We can do that by following 3 Nephi 11: 14 – 15. As we arise and come forth unto Him, we won’t need to ask, ‘My God where art thou?’Our lives are a little different right now.
When I go for a walk near my house, as I come near people, we move at least 2m apart and always smiles are exchanged and a friendly greeting is said.
Maybe it’s a time of reflection?
How wonderful Good Friday was, as we followed the Prophet. Whether we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or not, we have all joined together in fasting and prayer.
We all stand on doorsteps and clapping and clanging of pans can be heard for the heroes in our lives.We have many of those heroes in our Stake. We THANK YOU and maybe give an extra stronger, more vigorous clap just for you!
As a Stake let us continue to pray for those we know who are suffering with this illness or the effects of it and their families.
Study each day from the scriptures. Study the words of a living Prophet of God and faith will be strengthened and worries put behind us.
Thankyou for all you do. As a Stake Presidency we love you and look forward to the time when we can all be together again. That time will be soon!
For now continue to pray, ‘that ye enter not into temptation,’ and ‘stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers you.’
In the name of Jesus Christ. amen.
All the presidency messages can be viewed HERE