Blaine J. Ruby is the stake president for the Gillette stake for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

 

As one year passes away and we begin a new year and decade, it seems natural that we reflect upon things of the past and contemplate what lies ahead. The past holds memories and experience gained. The future however, is filled with anticipation, and many marvelous unknowns.

Many look to the new year with excitement and hope. Others are filled with worry and trepidation. Yet others long to return to a prior time of simpler days and loved ones passed.

Amid the future’s uncertainty, there is one certain constant in it for each of us. That is the reality of the existence of a loving God and a blessed savior, Jesus Christ.

The life of the savior is an example to us all. His matchless works, including his atonement provides salvation and hope to all mankind. He is the Son of God. The stainless lamb, sacrificed to save all who exercise faith in him. In words penned by Cecil Frances Alexander, “There is a green hill far away without a city wall, where the dear Lord was crucified, who died to save us all.”

We rejoice in the understanding that because of Him, salvation from both death and sin is available to all.

The apostle Paul spoke of our day in his epistle to the Ephesians.

“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”. (Ephesians 1:10).

This is indeed the prophesied dispensation of the fullness of times and the Lord has set forth his hand to gather all things together in Christ. As followers of the savior, may we love one another as he taught us. May we serve one another as he did. May kindness and charity be manifest in our words and actions. Finally, can we exercise the principle of faith in the savior Jesus Christ so that our righteous desires align with his. By so doing we will come closer to God and feel of his love and goodness.

As we look forward to this new year and decade it’s hard not to reflect on our recent celebration of the birth of the savior Jesus Christ. In so doing, it’s hard for me not to rejoice in the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Christmas anthem, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Especially the fourth verse stating, “ God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.”

The destiny of the righteous is to live in glory with God. This is made possible by the sacrifice of the sinless Savior. Of these truths I witness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.