Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Roots and Branches

Hello Everyone!

So this week I thought that I would share a scripture that caught my eye during my most recent read-through of the Book of Mormon.  I think that most of us know of the great allegory of the tame and wild olive trees in the 5th chapter of Jacob.  Some of us love the chapter and the great insights into the mind of our Heavenly Father.  Others look at it as a trudge though a never-ending series of grafting, digging, pruning, and dunging.  I personally love this allegory, and so does Jacob as it appears.

After relating this 77 verse parable to the Nephites, Jacob continues his address by expounding upon the tale in the 6th chapter of Jacob.  This is where my focus will be.  More specifically I would like to focus on the 4th verse in this particular chapter, which reads:

"And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long; and they are a stiffnecked and a gainsaying people; but as many as will not harden their hearts shall be saved in the kingdom of God."

As I was reading through this verse, a tie in to recent activities in the church stood out to me.  The phrase that hit me was that our merciful god remembereth the house of Israel "both the roots and branches".  In line with the allegory, we can see how we as current house of Israel are the branches.  We are currently flourishing and giving life to the tree of which we are a part.  In missionary work, at least the sort that I am partaking in, our focus is generally on the 'branches'.  But I would like to make a push, in line with the recent "Temple Challenge" for the youth of the church, to find and to do missionary work for those in the 'roots' category.

I would like to echo Elder Anderson's challenge to the youth of the church.  To see the video of this challenge if you haven't already, feel free to check out the link below.  But I would like to extend this challenge to all people.  Temple work, and work in the church in general, are not age specific.  Temple work is for all of the church, and I would encourage each of you to find just one name from your 'roots' that you can bless by preparing to take it to the temple.

I would encourage all of you to gain the Spirit of Elijah, and see the great worth in temple work and completing temple ordinances.  Remember the scripture in the15th verse of the 18th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, which reads:

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
Find that one soul, living or dead, that you can help bring into the kingdom of our Father.  I hope that you will all partake in the joy of temple work.  And I pray that you all have a great week, it truly is a blessing to be able to write to you all.

Love, Elder Gailey

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