Give Us This Day

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

These are sobering times, which may have led to some pondering and introspection.

When the Saviour gave us His example of how to pray, He instructed us

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Matthew 6:9-13

The outline given above is undeniably brief.  I remember repeating it frequently in early morning assemblies at primary school.  It carried little meaning to me at that time. Time and experience tend to hone our understanding if we are open to the Lord’s instruction.

After the Exodus from Egypt, the ancient Israelites found themselves effectively stranded in the uncompromising harshness of the desert.  Wanting for even basic sustenance, they ‘murmured against Moses’ and wished that they had died in Egypt. Moses explained that their mumurings were not against him, but ultimately against the Lord. 

In response, the Lord promised to ‘rain bread from heaven’, but He did this with certain conditions imposed that meant that the Israelites would be required to go and gather their bread daily from the ground.  There could be no stockpiling, for the bread would decay overnight.

In this way, the Lord offered to sustain His people, and by doing so the Lord would ‘prove them, whether they will walk in [His] law.’  Their faith would be tested daily, and they would be required to work to gather their blessing and live by it. The Lord told them that by doing this they ‘shall know that I am the Lord your God.’

Around us, faith has struggled to have a place in our modern world.  Enos remarked, I think perhaps he did so sadly, that alongside significant calamities and challenges “nothing save…. continually reminding them of death and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God…. would keep them from going down speedily to destruction.” (Enos 1:23) The need for daily bread is real.

What is the manner of our manna?  How are we sustained from day to day?

President Nelson recently and prophetically counseled us

“Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives

Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life.  This truth is reaffirmed in partaking the Sacrament as we are fed and filled through Him (see Nephi 18:1-9). In Christ, our Father in Heaven has provided for our safe return to Him and – as for the ancient Israelites – given us a way to know that He is our God.  

The prayers we offer, the study we undertake, the service we render, is in the name of Christ. His is the name we have taken upon us, and ‘the only name whereby man is saved.’  Because of this, the revelation we receive, the blessings bestowed, the empowerment to act, and the guidance, peace and fruits of the Spirit are all given us daily by virtue of the Bread of Life which is Christ. 

If it so be that we are required to live daily by faith, then this is an invitation to draw closer to the Lord, to know Him more deeply, to trust Him more fully.

“Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom; Lead thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home; Lead thou me on!

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

the distant scene – one step enough for me.”

Hymns 97

We are frequently reminded that we live in uncertain times, unprecedented in recent history.  However, the Lord has always encouraged his people to ‘walk by faith, not by sight’ (2 Cor 5:7).  To name a few, Noah, Moses, Lehi, Jared, Mormon, Moroni, the Pioneers, all had to live on ‘daily bread’.  Let us take the opportunity that is here in our days to do the same, strengthen one another and reach out to those who struggle without faith.

This is the Church of Jesus Christ, He actively leads and guides us personally through the Holy Ghost and through the living prophet. There is daily bread.

Remember one another, love one another. My love, prayers and concern for you all,

Bishop Batt.

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