Nov 1, 2015

God is at the Helm

By Elder M. Russell Ballard

This talk was Part Two of Elder Ballard's October 2014 general conference talk, entitled Stay in the Boat.  I wrote my thoughts about it HERE.

In that talk, he discussed staying on and holding on to what President Brigham Young referred to as 'The Old Ship Zion'.

President Brigham Young said: “We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right.”

In this talk, he tells us what's in 'The Old Ship Zion' that we should be holding on to.

"Clearly, our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have outfitted the Old Ship Zion with clear and simple eternal truths that will help us stay the course through the troubled waters of mortal life. Here are just a few."

"The Lord directs His church through living prophets and apostles."

". . .Heavenly Father sends His spirit children to earth to learn and grow through experiences of earth life.  Because He loves His children, God sends heavenly messengers and Apostles to teach them about Jesus Christ's central role as our Savior."

". . .a map of where we came from, our purpose here on earth, and where we are going when we die."

"It was their charge—and, subsequently, the charge of their posterity—to create mortal bodies for God’s spirit children so they could experience mortality. By this process, Heavenly Father sends His spirit children to earth to learn and grow through the experiences of earth life."

"Please remember that commandments and covenants are priceless truths and doctrines found in the Old Ship Zion, where God is at the helm."

"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."

"All of us are blessed when the Sabbath is filled with love for the Lord at home and at church. When our children are taught in the ways of the Lord, they learn to feel and to respond to His Spirit. We will all desire to attend each Sunday to partake of the sacrament when we feel the Spirit of the Lord. And all, young and old, who are carrying heavy burdens will feel the spiritual uplift and comfort that comes from a Sabbath day of devoted contemplation of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Thankfully Christ is always near, waiting and willing to help us when we pray for help and are willing to repent and come unto Him."

". . . He is at the helm, His great and powerful ship flows toward salvation and exaltation. Remember that "we cannot get there by jumping out of the boat and trying to swim there by ourselves. . . Let us be grateful for the beautiful Old Ship Zion, for without it we are cast adrift, alone and powerless, swept along without rudder or oar.  Swirling with the strong currents of the adversary's wind and waves. Hold tight. . . and sail on within the glorious ship, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we will reach our eternal destination."

I ran across a beautiful poem by Rebekah Ann Stephenson.  You can read it HERE.  Her poem is all about remembering that God is at the helm.  He will steer us safely through the storms if we will simply let Him.