The centerpiece of the Philippines Area Goals for 2014 reads: “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” This scriptural passage comes from the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 32:3).
It is a great blessing to have the words of Christ contained in the Book of Mormon, in addition to His words contained in other books of scripture. The Philippines Area Goals for 2014 invite us to have daily personal and family scripture study. As we “feast upon the words of Christ” found in the scriptures we will be able to make better decisions as we journey on the pathway of life. We will know what we should do to achieve happiness, and immortality and eternal life with our families.
In addition to the words of Christ found in the scriptures, we are blessed to also have the words of our modern-day prophets, seers and revelators tell us what Jesus Christ wants us to hear. Following the words of the Lord’s prophets will also guide us toward eternal joy.
I am a convert to the Church. I was baptized at the age of 14. Six weeks after my baptism, the missionaries who converted my family arranged for us to attend the General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I was looking forward to seeing the Lord’s living prophet, David O. McKay. Unfortunately, we did not arrive at Temple Square in time to get a seat inside the Tabernacle. However, we learned from talking with other people standing outside of the Tabernacle that President David O. McKay would exit a certain door after the General Conference session. I wanted to see the Lord’s prophet, but there were too many people crowded outside of the door.
With the help of my brothers I climbed the high wall around temple square to a place where I would be able to see President McKay when he came out the door of the Tabernacle. When he came out I saw for the first time in my life one of the Lord’s prophets. He looked up at me and smiled; then he waved at me. As I waved back, I immediately felt something very special. I knew and felt that he was truly a modern-day prophet.
Since then I have had many opportunities to be in the presence of the Lord’s modern-day prophets and apostles. On every one of these occasions I have felt something very special. The Spirit has witnessed to me that they are have been called by God to testify of the truth of the gospel in these latter-days.
On February 3, 2012 I was called to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. I was sustained at the Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference held on March 31, 2012. Soon afterwards I was assigned to accompany members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to stake conferences in the United States so that I could be taught by them how to preside at a stake conference. On one occasion I was seated on an airplane next to Elder Neil L. Andersen as we traveled from Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon. He was teaching me about the importance of feasting on the words of Christ. He counseled me about the importance of having daily personal scripture study. He then reached into his briefcase and retrieved a copy of the Ensign magazine that contained the talks given during the most recent General Conference. I noticed that there was something different about his copy of the magazine. He had colored tabs affixed to each talk of the 15 prophets and apostles. One color was used to mark the talks of the members of the First Presidency and another color for the Quorum of the Twelve.
Elder Andersen then opened the Ensign magazine and showed me that he had highlighted key phrases of the talks with a colored marker. He said: “I need to know what the Lord is trying to tell us through the voice of His prophets.” When he said this it made a great impression on me. I realized that we need to listen to the voice of our prophets, seers and revelators, and then we need to thereafter read and re-read their printed words. By doing this we can supplement our knowledge of the words of Jesus Christ contained in the scriptures, with the teachings of modern-day prophets.
In Section 21 of the Doctrine and Covenants we are taught that the words given to us by prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ are vitally important. Referring to the prophet Joseph Smith, verses 5 and 6 say: “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”
We live in perilous times when the adversary wants to deceive and mislead us on our pathway to eternal life and exaltation. We need to study the scriptures, and listen to and follow the words of our modern-day prophets and apostles.
During the upcoming April 2014 General Conference I pray that members in the Philippines will listen carefully to the spoken words of the brethren and then read and re-read their talks when they are printed in the Liahona. We need to truly “feast upon the words of Christ” by listening, reading and studying, and then following the voice of our prophets today.