Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pure Religion - August 11th

Hello Family

It has been another crazy week! No time for us to stop! It as a busy week full of branch business. Helping people move, meeting with people that need welfare assistance, and meeting with those that need spiritual assistance. Saturday was the only day we had to somewhat time to breath. We got some new elders in Coshocton on Thursday so that has been another thing we have been dealing with as well. But all and all it has been a good week! People are slowly progressing but that is the way it is.

One of the many things that has been on my mind recently is the phrase "pure religion". What does this phrase mean?  Well here are some of my thoughts on pure religion.
Religion is a hot topic throughout the world and throughout time. Religion has been the cause that wars have been fought. It is the reason that marriages have fallen apart. Religion has been the cause of uprisings among groups of people for the sake of the God they worship. Religion has probably been the reason for more deaths in the world than any other thing. For the sake of ones religion they feel justified in killings, mocking, and destroying. Religion in itself sounds gruesome. Many people have asked me, why does there have to be so many denominations? Why do I have to join a particular religion, can't I just worship God the way I feel He should be worshipped? Why does the cause of religion cause people to not live the principles their religion preaches? Now many of these questions can be answered but we would be here all day. But I believe there is a difference between religion and pure religion.

Religion is a common belief in which people come together for. Religion is a traditional cultural practice that people say they are apart for they sake of feeling a belonging to a group of people similar to them. Religion is going to church on an appointed day so you feel you have satisfied your God and you spiritual health. Religion is usually self-aggrandizing.  I believe religion does not usually define your personal beliefs,  but defines the group you associate with based on tradition. On the other hand someone can be apart of pure religion. I believe being a part of the pure religion is not associated with any certain denomination. I believe a Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic, and a Mormon can all be apart of a personal pure religion.  Pure religion is taking the governing principles of the doctrine of Christ and putting them into action. Pure religion is putting your faith into action towards one another. Pure religion is compassion. You can sit in your pew all Sunday and pray all day long, but the actions for the rest of the week say more about your personal religion then the prays you offer. We need to exemplify the life and ministry of Christ by our actions. We need to not only help those that come to us for assistance but seek out the one that needs our faith. Passively waiting the time for us to help will bring no opportunities to be disciples and will not produce salvation. The meaning of Christ doctrines and teaching are this, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Galatians 5:14). Pure religion can best be defined by the Apostle James, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27). Now what we have to ask ourselves in 2 things. Is the church I belong to a religion or is it pure religion? Next is, does my actions on a day to day basis reflect pure religion or just religion? This is how I have come to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's true church on this earth because it is pure religion.

Hope you all have a good week! Pray for those with Ebola!

President Baird

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