President Marion G. Romney’s talk was titled: “Your Gift from God,” where he described to us what Peter taught in the New Testament. It inspired me to read 1-2 Peter for myself. Sure enough, I found eight gifts from God. These gifts of truth will polarize evil and shower blessings from heaven.
1) BE OBEDIENT AND HAVE FAITH–1 Peter 1
The first thing Peter talks about is being obedient and having faith through our trials. In fact, we will be “tried with fire” and the only way to survive is through our obedience and faith. I think, in this instant world of ours, we often fall short, unable to sustain our faith for any amount of time, especially when things get difficult. His counsel, of “receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” reminds us that there is eternal safety in committing to the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2) ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS –1 Peter 2
He is speaking to us “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” We must abstain from worldly lusts and make Jesus Christ our chief cornerstone. Peter actually laments on how mortal beings have a bad habit of following the crowd. If we are sheep, why is it so hard to follow our Shepherd then? Today, Satan revels in our weakened state, but we must remember, we are sheep, are made of stronger stuff.
3) HUSBANDS AND WIVES HAVE A MARRIAGE CONTRACT–1 Peter 3
The world has taught women to be insulted when they hear words like “subjection” and “weaker vessel;” words that Peter uses. The Family: a Proclamation states:
“THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. … By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
This is beautiful, fulfilling, sound doctrine; a contract made for happiness with God, our Eternal Father.
4) THE RIGHTEOUS WILL BE TRIED WHILE GIVING THEIR WILL TO GOD–1 Peter 4
Our day is a battle of the wills. Where the world cries “Be true to yourself!” the real magic begins when we lose ourselves in Christ (see Matt. 10:39).
We came down to earth to prove ourselves through “fiery trial.” Each of us have been given a weakness to bring us to Christ that He may heal us (see Ether 12:27), yet too many of us hold tight to our trials (weaknesses) and refuse to give them to the Lord when by giving up our will, and giving our trial to the Lord we are set free.
5) PRACTICE HUMILITY–1 Peter 5
So many people think they are in charge of their own lives and are accountable to no one. Suicide, Depression, and addictions are rampant because people are searching for their own happiness. But it’s all a lie and they will never find it on their own. They must give in to God in all humility.
We must allow ourselves to be completely dependent upon Him. God is the only one who cares enough about us. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Do we believe this truth? Think about it. He careth for us because He died for us; every single one of us. What more proof do we need in order for us to come unto Him on bended knee?
6) SEEK OUT YOUR DIVINE NATURE AND MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE–2 Peter 1
God is the one who “call[s] us to glory.” If we accept and live these five previous truths we will have the Holy Spirit with us. His constant presence in our lives is our armour against the destroyer. “Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape” (D&C 132:50). Does your heart sing at these words?
7) GUARD AGAINST APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH–2 Peter 2
In spite of the safety of the Comforter, we must still be on our guard. Peter says,
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (vs. 20-21).
We can still fall away from our testimonies even after seeing the glories of God. Members of the church cannot sit back in comfort–ever. We must guard our precious testimonies and not allow ourselves to become tricked, despondent, or proud.
8) LOOK TO THE COMING OF THE LORD THOUGH OTHERS SCOFF–2 Peter 3
There are many worldly people in the throes of wild partying, drinking, and fornications. What if some got it in their heads to actually kill those who watched for the signs and wonders of the coming of the Lord, as in Book of Mormon times (see 3 Ne. 1)? Peter tells us that the Lord “will come as a thief in the night,” when those too busy partying will be caught unawares.
The world will be burned of all its iniquity and those left standing will be those who already burned out their own iniquity through daily righteous living. Only they will be found “without spot, and blameless.”
Pres. Romney quotes Joseph Smith, who said, “Peter penned the most sublime language of any of the apostles.” I think I understand what that means. His advice, which is true, is simply metaphoric for the one and only gift from God, His Son. This gift is our only defense against the adversary. I testify that these eight gifts of truth will polarize the evil around us, as they protect us, and shape us for heaven, all because of the gift of our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
A profound and inseparable connection Marilyn Nielson