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|Posted on November 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM||comments ()|
Remembrance Day at the Ilford chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was marked by the Bishop and congregation paying respects to the memories of the heroes and heroines who gave their lives in the quest for freedom from tyranny and injustice.
How great a freedom we enjoy today as citizens of England is all due to the heroes and heroines who laid down their lives, as well as those valiant men and women who helped negotiate peace and brought forward this day into being.
Brother Jeremy Boyden : "We remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, like our Saviour, and we mark this day when peace was first agreed between all nations, on 11th November 1918".
The President's wife Sister Saltzman read a poem about Flanders Fields.
The Bishop's son, Brother Michael Onaolapo Jnr : "Greater love hath no man then He who gave up His own life so that others may live."
Sister Shannon Pickering, who was baptised in the Ilford ward two weeks ago, spoke a few words about the loving atmosphere that prevails in this land, thanks to people like her gransparents who did their bit during the war.
Sister Joanne Boyden read a famous poem, starting The glory shines upon my tears....She read the bit about hopes and expectations and stars and then became very emotional. (I asked her later; she explained that her Mother lost two brothers in the war). (For the Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon).
Brother Michael Lighten paid tribute to the great example of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, recounting events in the Captain's life in the Royal Army Medical Corp, who had to combine civilian with military duties at the front, where he saw within a few hours 189 casualties out of 600. Captain Chavasse worked behind enemy lines for four hours, just 500 yards to safety. On another occasion just 25 yards from enemy trenches. Altogether, Captain Chavasse saved the lives of approximately 20,000 men.
On another occasion, he worked with protection against an attack of mustard gas.
Noel picked up his torch, and rose up in his time, working against impossible conditions of mud, blood and water. Captain Chavasse was decoated with a rare second Victoria Cross. Such men are rare indeed, and we all recall his courage with awe and celebration.
"For their tomorrows, we give our today" John Maxwell Edmonds. That was the spirit of the unknown solider, great soul who's memory we salute today.
We stood and paid our respects to the memories of the men and women who have won the freedoms that have greatly contributed to the enjoyment of peace and peaceful life that England enjoys today.
Bishop Onaolapo made these closing remarks : "We are here because of the sacrifices the soldiers, male and female, have made for us. That is why the great atmosphere of stability and safety, friendliness and love prevails in this nation. I am sure this country will go from strength to strength because of that, and I am proud to be a citizen of this great country of ours."
I believe this sums up the congregations sentiments on this day, when we salute those whose lives were lost, as well as those who brought about peace.
May God's blessings be upon all.
(written by Duru-darshan
LDS Ilford ward)
|Posted on September 8, 2013 at 3:30 PM||comments ()|
On this glorious autumnal Sunday morning, Brother Jeremy Boyden opened the Sacrament Meeting, with Bishop Onaolapo presiding.
The opening Innvocation was by Sister Munden, followed by some words from President Akkune's family.
First of all, their son Ike : My brother does not like to share, but he is still my brother. I love my family. I love my father, because he keeps us all together.
Sister Akkune : I am aware that not every household has a Priesthood Holder in the house.
God has assigned to the Priesthood Holder the duty of fellowship, for the benefit of the entire human family, to build up and uplift.
I am happy and lucky to have a Priesthood Holder in the house, so how should I support him? I have to be patient and willing to support him, when he has to go to his Home Teaching meetings. I have been fortunate to always have a Priesthood Holder in my house. My Father instilled in me a testimony that I received at 13, and it has always been with me ever since.
President Akkunne (A-Ku-nay) : The family is central to God's plan of salvation for His creation.
Parents have a sacred duty to bring up children. The Lord is not pleased when children quarrel.
President Hinckley had a simple 4 point plan :
3) Pay tithe
4) Attend the church meetings.
When we pay the Tithe, there is a blessing upon our families.
Then Brother Chima (as President Akkune is also known) related the very touching story of how after
21 years of marriage he one day took out another woman on a dinner date, the lady in question being his beloved Mother. She had been a widow for 19 years, and was so thrilled to go out for dinner with her son. "Son" she wrote to him. "You don't know what it has meant to me going out on this dinner date with you. You are a wonderful son, and I love you very dearly."
Sadly, a few days later, Chima's Mother died, but he has the glorious memory of how happy she felt with his show of respect and affection for her.
The Sacrament was followed by Bible Class, in which the topic of Priesthood and fellowship continued.
Later this afternoon, we had the blessed Baptism of Benjamin, son of Nana and Sister Aggrey. This was celebrated with immersion of Benjamin in the water, singing of hymns and invocations of blessings.
There was a feast, with several varieties of rice, dumplings, salads, fish, meat and a variety of drinks.
This glorious autumnal day augers well for the love and respect people have for one another. A great day for this gathering of kindred spirits, may blessings be upon all.
(written by Duru-darshan,
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
|Posted on August 25, 2013 at 2:03 PM||comments ()|
I was glad to see Terry at the church today. He has been to the hospital. Last time he said he was going for a cancer operation. Today he looked fine.
Eleven-year old Brother Joseph Omuroyi was asked to give a talk on Prayer. He had just been asked this morning, so he gave an impromptu speech : "How can we talk to our Heavenly Father? Prayer is the basic thing we do, when we get home and at the end of the day." I am sure we all pray for safety for all our loved ones. "I know my Father loves me. Without prayer I wouldn't feel that protection".
Today, we were joined by four new missionaries. Sister Stoja is from Tirana, Albania. She stood at the pilpit and made her introductory speech : "I know this Church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is a blessing for me to be here. I love you."
This is a great, democratic aspect about the Church of Latter-Day Saints, all members are allowed, indeed encouraged, to stand at the pulpit and give their testimonies.
Brother Judy (all missionaries are normally addressed by their surnames, unless they choose to tell us their first names) comes from Utah. He says "When I was little, I didn't like the rules. But when I came to this Church, I learned that the two great commandments were these: That we should love God our Lord with all our hearts, and all our souls, and all our minds. The 2nd that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves. If we obey these two rules, and have love in our hearts, the other commandments become automatically understood by us." My sentiments precisely.
President Saltzman's daughters are visiting from Utah. "I feel privileged for the chance to address you. We are all capable of receiving revelations. The first revelation is that we all have a physical as well as a spiritual identity." Then he gave the analogy of children learning to ride a bicycle. " We are all capable of receiving revelations. We have to be prepared to do what the Lord tells us (like the subconscious, me thinks) If we are not sincere in following through, He will not tell us.
He is sometimes going to Let Go as we try to ride the bicycle."
Later, in the Gospel study class, we all sing Happy Birthday to Sister Grace Patterson, who is here all the way from New Zealand. It's her 21st. Happy Birthday, Grace!
Sister Kathy Su, who was from Singapore, has gone somewhere else. Sister Kathy, you were missed. Also missed Elder Botcha from Andhra Pradesh.
I am very impressed by the young missionaries, who have travelled from far and wide, to come and spread the message of our Saviour and Redeemer, whose example of Divine love and understanding has brought all of us together.
In His name, I ask for blessings upon us all.
(Written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
|Posted on August 17, 2013 at 5:35 PM||comments ()|
Brothers and Sisters, I have been asked to give a brief talk on the subject of Obedience.
This is a subject which is very relevant, for late in life, I have found that it gives joy to parents to find their offspring are obedient. By this I imply that children listen to parents' guidance, and do what would find approval in the parents' hearts and minds. And so it must be with our Heavenly Father. And what can be more joyful than to know that we do according to God's wishes, which are known to each one of us according to the dictates of our nature and our conscience. Just as when we are mature and realize that it makes our parents happy if we do that which they would approve, that we are dutiful and obedient children, similarly, I realise that our God in Heaven looks upon with pleasure when we do what he would have us do.
There are rich rewards as fruits of obedience, in the form of good health, good life, good guidance, good nature. To see what our elders have found true, I read President Lorenzo Snow saying that "ever feeling grateful for our earthly being, and more especially for the Spirit of God we have received through obedience to the Gospel." That is really a message of good faith, that we receive the Spirit of God in our hearts when we are obedient. That is such a precious gift.
For such approval and such guidance, the method of following the Gospel is quite straightforward. When I was 13, the love of Christ found a place in my heart, and somehow automatically I have most of my life followed the gospel, without consciously thinking about it.
When Jesus was on Earth, a lawyer asked Him "Master, what is the great commandment in the law?"
Our Saviour said unto him : "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind."
That impressed me greatly at age 13, and it has been a great comfort and delight to me, in good times as well as when I have faced difficulties in life.
And the second commandment, "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is a great promoter of understanding of our fellow human beings. If I am fair to myself, I cannot be mean towards my neighbour if he says a few nasty things about me, after all, unless I don't love myself and would not excuse any shortcomings on my part. Before I developed this realization, I always took on faith what our Saviour said : "Love thine enemy". I realized that this is a great formula to save our hearts from burningwith hatred towards anyone who has wronged us. We don't call Christ our Saviour for nothing.
Those who follow these two great commandments are probably likely to love themselves so much and have such a pleasant life, they are likely to follow the rest of the ten commandments even if they were not aware of them. That I do believe.
When one is absorbed in living a joyful life in the assurance of receiving the Spirit of God in one's heart here on earth, and today, not some date in the future, then one simply cannot do ill or fall prey to temptations. I simply would not wish to have God disapprove of any of my actions, I have such love and respect for our Heavenly Father.
I share my testimony and ask for God's blessings for continued guidance in the name of Jesus, our teacher and Saviour.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
|Posted on August 4, 2013 at 2:18 PM||comments ()|
This marks the 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Lancashire, where the oldest stake is at Chorley. The Temple there in Chorley is the venue where the British Pageant is being staged.
It is a potted history of the spread of the Book of Mormon, which is another account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Bridge in Liverpool is the theatrical backdrop to this musical extravaganza, with nearly 200 actors, enacting various episodes from personalities connected with the spread and growth of this Church, known as the true church. "For any man who lacks wisdom, let him ask of God" and God thus inspired the wondrous 14 year old farmer's son called Joseph Smith junior to go to an open field in Wayne County, New York, in 1820, where he kneeled down to ask God for wisdom and was blessed with the visitation by two beams of light which bore the personages of God and His Son.
Thus the period known as the Apostasy (meaning the absence of God's Light from Earth after the death of the original twelve apostles of Christ) ended and the Light was restored to Earth, through the 14 year old who subsequently was entrusted with the Golden Plates which he translated and published and distributed, known as The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.
Subsequently Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred at Carthage Jail, and their Mother, the blessed Lucy Smith, held steadfast in the face of massive opposition and held the integrity of this inspired book, The Book of Mormon. Is this book true, did it save a continent from the venom of intolerance and bring peace and understanding to what was then the Wild West? I understand so.
The steadfast holding of these words of wisdom for which that enlightened family paid so great a price was not without its blessing. Rightly so is Joseph Smith today known as our blessed Prophet, and the spreading of this Church with temples being built in more and more cities around the world testify to the growing love people have for his wisdom and Light.
Do we wait for the second coming of Christ? Or did he come in the night, restoring the Gospel of Christ and so graciously leaving this bright burning Light who some call the Church of Mormon?
(Melchizedek Priest at the
|Posted on July 28, 2013 at 4:34 PM||comments ()|
Today we had the Firesdie Evening meeting at the Ilford chapel of the LDS, otherwise known as the Mormons.
Brother Nana Aggrey quoted some very inspiring quotes from the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Before Christ left, at His last supper, he told his apostles : "I am going to my Father. I will leave you with a Comforter, who will be your companion."
What example should we follow ? "Be an ambassador or representative of Christ. Be the best. Be learned and do as He would do."
"I trust you have not set your desire on riches". This of course refers to material riches above one's needs, for those who may have become avaricious with Satan's temptation.
On Trust : "I trust according to the spirit of God that is within me."
"The only way we can have testimony is by fasting and going on our knees."
What don't we have to be grateful for. "I am grateful we have something precious. Sometimes we forget. If we reflect on our blessings one by one, we all realize how blessed we all are."
The Bishop is a living example of the message of Christ. His name is Bishop Michael Onaolapo. He has great understanding for the young single adults in the congregation, and everybody else.
"The Lord in His immense mercy knows what difficulties and challenges you face. But through all our difficulties and challenges, let the gospel of Jesus Christ be your foundation."
Brother Paul Stevenson closed the remarks by adding that the Romford Stake is to form a Single Adult Committee, chaired by President Saltzman with two representatives. The purpose will be to plan and organise activities. Finding marriage partners will not be the main purpose, although if that happens, it would a happy situation.
Brother John Phillips made an eloquent closing prayer, observing that the church and congregation is a joyful place for people to meet. The Ilford ward is one of the fastest growing congregations, with many baptisms each year.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest at the LDS
|Posted on July 21, 2013 at 12:36 PM||comments ()|
The Chapter 9 Bankruptcy of Detroit last Friday is a stark reminder of what happens to an economy when trust breaks down between communities and disrupts the social fabric, leading to decline and decay and a sad breakdown of an economy.
I understand from cursory reading of books on Detroit that the 1967 riots sparked off a distrust between the communities, and may have been the turning point for the breakdown of the economy which has now resulted to this sad, sad decline.
No two children of the same family will be totally understanding or obedient to their parent(s), but if family members work in harmony and common objectives, they tend to be more successful. That rule of harmony holds true for organisations as well as for communities, there is no reason why it should not hold true for cities or even nations, hence last week I referred to Cario and Oakland but of course I should also have mentioned Miami.
Just imagine Detroit in the 1950s, which now appears to have been its heyday, full of harmony and enterprise, inspiring dreams, the American dream, contributing to its status as a city of great reputation worldwide, with its ballrooms, museums, theatres, skyscrapers....The industry and enterprise was there to give a livelihood to the 465,000 residents there, who soon grew to over a million and to nearly two million towards the peak. The infrastructure was added to as it served the citizens and visitors, and the town grew to a city.
The decline has seen people leave, mainly white people leaving the city to suburbs, leaving a ghetto at its core, the deserted buildings falling apart, now ready for demolition or refurbishment.
The population has fallen, leaving the municipality with an income of about $1 billion a year, when it probably needs at least a billion-and-a-half just to service the interest on the bonds.
A solution may be repopulation, with some company and a group of New Economy companies able to generate a lot of jobs and sustain the livelihoods of the citizens. Obviously there is a lot of talent and raw energy, that can be purposefully employed and will create wealth and sustain the people and regenerate the city. All that is now needed is for a few men and women of vision to locate their wealth generating companies there, and give a boost to the regeneration of the housing and public buildings.
The talent is there, you cannot stand and see a great city die. Hopefully, the government can make a special provision for a funding programme to regenerate this great iconic city with its beautiful landmarks.
As harmony exists between people, so will Recovery and Prosperity bloom in their midst. Today, I pray for restoration of faith in Detroit.
|Posted on July 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM||comments ()|
In church today at the Ilford LDS chapel, three speakers gave their ideas on the above topics, which I have briefly captured for you (briefly because they were going so fast that I was not able to jot everything down, mainly because the ideas were so fascinating that my mind was trying to understand them).
The first speaker was Sister Rubby Ofodile, whose speech was so beautifully written that I think it ought to be published in the Ensign.
She began by the mention of the motto on the U.S. currency : In God we trust, followed by 'Dieu et mon droit' the motto of the British Monarch, translated by Rubby as 'God is on my right'. "We as children of God should have trust in Him"
First we have to find someone trustworthy, and then we have to get to know
him. She seems a woman of innate faith. She recapped the story by Mary Stevenson of the footprints in the sand, sometimes two, at other times only one, when God was carrying the weary traveller, tired, sleepy, clueless but trusting.
The way Ruby gave her speech had most people spellbound.
The second speaker was Sister Julie Tavner, on the subject of Charity.
"Charity purifies us....Charity is a divine gift.... we need to have charity in our hearts, to be more Christ-like....to have compassion for the hungry and the sinner, like our Saviour.
Prophet Joseph Smith also practised charity. Charity is having patience; looking beyond the physical and looking at the other attributes. Charity is inclusive. It sanctifies us, making us more like the Saviour. It is not easy to do. A charitable heart rejoices not in inequity. Charity is the pure love of Christ."
The third speaker was Brother Mohammed Conteh, on the topic of Spiritual and Temporal Blessings of Service. He recounted from the Book of Mormon the passage where King Benjamin is speaking to his people. "I say unto you...."
Some well known verses from the Saviour : "If you turn away the needy, or don't visit the sick, then I say unto thee...." Guess what Jesus said. Similarly if you are muscular or gracious, then....
The Christ said many beautiful words, whose ideas are ingrained in the minds of humankind. I feel sure most people can fill in the blanks in the above passages.
In the fullness of time, these beautiful words of the Christ will bear fruit. May they increase our understanding.
It was a glorious, beautiful day filled with sunshine, and the Stratford Ward had a baptism, that of Chantal Gregoire, attended by a house full, celebrated with hymns and welcoming speeches, and a feast, with many dishes representing many cultures.
(Written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek priest at LDS Ilford)
|Posted on June 23, 2013 at 4:50 PM||comments ()|
There is something about the chemistry, about the language and communication of the mind and soul, which brings people together or drives them apart. It is this chemistry between people that I would blame for.....or, rather, a change in the chemistry between people that I would blame for separation and divorce.
I am surprised that Napoleon Hill was not given the Noble Prize, but then again there is no category in the Noble Prizes into which his work fits. Perhaps, on that point, I would suggest there should be another category created by the Trustees of the Noble Foundation. The Increasing of Human Understanding.
Napoleon Hill interviewed 500 of the most successful people in America in the 1920s, and from those interviews he wrote many articles, published in his Hill's Success Magazine. But a few people made a huge impression on him, viz Andrew Carnegie, Firestone, Henry Ford, Dr.Alexander Graham Bell, and Dr. Thomas Alva Edison. And yes, Mr Edwin Barnes, who said it could not be done, that is to say, the writing of a blueprint for success based on the interviews with successful people.
Napoleon Hill turned that into a questions: Who said it could not be done? and went on to publish his Think and Grow Rich, a book that sells well throughout the world, in many languages, in number just after the sales of the Bible, Koran and Bhagavad-Gita and other religious masterpieces.
In his research, Napoleon Hill says that the first three years of a marriage often have petty squabbles and friction, but the love that exists between the two will carry it through. The next fifteen years are those in which the lucky couple start to look alike in their eye movements and thinking, influencing their value judgements and expressions, meaning the happy couple have achieved understanding of one another, and a state of harmony exists between them that we attribute to the magic of chemistry.
A state of harmony, an instinctive understanding, an automatic understanding of mutual goals. It is like both have the same road-map, or at least complementing road maps.
Those for whom a partnership does not work, it seems are rather like a horse-drawn carriage where the horses want to pull in differing directions. Where it is not possible to bring harmony of direction, abandonment of the journey becomes the alternative. Such is what happens in business partnerships as well, and in politics as well.
A question that may help bring harmony back is : What was the road map that brought the partners together in the first place? Can it be modified and restored? If the answer is Yes, then hope still remains for reunion and success.
|Posted on June 22, 2013 at 1:06 PM||comments ()|
A reader from Saudi Arabia put in the search phrase, May Allah make Peace, and found my website.
Indeed, the Being, the Force, the Entity we call Allah, which translates into God for the Christians and Bhagvan for the Hindus, is the only one who can inspire people to restore peace, brining peace of mind, cessation of hostilities between brethren and kindred folks, and indeed to mankind at large.
May Allah bring peace, and inspire man and women to appreciate the wonderful nature of God's creation, and His gift of life to each and every one, which is so precious to us all...May we understand that it is equally precious to others.
May Allah in His mercy inspire us to understand that He has created the world with abundance, and may it be shared by all in a fair and just way.
Often people are fighting over dominance of something, a house, a piece of land, a family business or anything. Often people have died over such things, even over leadership, only to discover later that it was in vain, not worth the fight, and that the use or ownership of the same could have been achieved with fairness and just means - if such a subject had been opened up in words, and agreements made cordially.
In the Bible it says "Ask, and it shall be given to thee" (Of course, one has to be patient with faith, as things happen in the fullness of time).
Similarly, I liked very much what the Saudi Prince Al-waleed bin Talaal has suggested : "For whatever you seek, ask Allah....and when you get it, give thanks."
Allah the merciful, the magnificent, loves all mankind and living creatures, for we are all His creation.
In the fullness of time, Allah shall grant to each and everyone to their hearts content what they desire, as they live by His commandments and live in peace and allow others to enjoy peace.
Each has to ask : "What bring we into the world?" Other than God's name and good deeds, is there anything that He would like us to carry to Heaven?