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Friday, January 17, 2014

MMM Sermons: A Matter of a Few Degrees



by Saint Mark:

This is a series of sermons that many Latter-day Saints love and believe. I hope these sermons promote and perfect your faith as they do mine. Read or watch this sermon here, or read previous MMM Sermons.

Who's our favorite pilot apostle? That's right. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf can't help himself from sharing his love of aviation and his 2008 April General Conference talk is no exception. Women swoon over his good looks and men want to transplant his healthy locks to their own shiny heads. I personally love President Uchtdorf because he is the only apostle in the quorum who is not a native to America. He's originally from Czechoslavakia and grew up in East Germany. Like me, he's a convert and I admire his approach to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As President Uchtdorf points out, it only is a matter of a "few degrees" that can separate us from God's kingdom and mislead us to Satan's:
Small errors and minor drifts away from the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring sorrowful consequences into our lives. It is therefore of critical importance that we become self-disciplined enough to make early and decisive corrections to get back on the right track and not wait or hope that errors will somehow correct themselves.
President Uchtdorf's words hit home for me. I have a friend who years ago struggled with the law of chastity. He was older and was finding himself slowly being moved out of the singles ward scene. He was lonely and worked with his bishop in trying to overcome his struggles. But, alas, months would go by and he would be disciplined and then he would give in to his carnal appetites. Because he couldn't give up on his vices, he slipped away from the rod of iron, impregnated a girl and now has nothing to do with the LDS church. It brings me great sorrow when I talk to this friend and know what could have been if he had not strayed away from the path just "a few degrees." I know that peace and happiness come from staying on the path and only eventual misery and pain await us if we stray off of it.

Have you known anyone you care for that has strayed away?

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Saint Mark is one of those oxymorons: a Mexican who speaks fluent Japanese, a bibliophile even though he did not grow up with a book, pen or paper in his home, and a mormon who grew up in the casino lights of Las Vegas. After becoming a modern-day Ammon in Kyushu, Japan, he returned to the States to become a lifelong student, literally. He has a bachelors from Brigham Young University, a masters from Georgetown University, and a juris doctor from Boston University School of Law. Mark is a husband of a wonderful woman who is done with Mark being a student, a father of two intelligent and rambunctious boys who beat him at chess and football, and an active participant in his ward and community. He identifies himself as someone who quickly tires of chit chat and wants to know "the five things you want to do before you die" when he first meets you.
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