Thursday, October 4, 2012
Elder Romney's Talk - Sept. 30th
BY THEIR FRUITS
By Elder Romney, Mesa, Arizona
This speech was delivered by Elder Romney of Mesa, Arizona at a sacrament meeting on September 30, 2012 in the Queenstown Ward, South Africa two weeks prior to his departure for home having completed a successful two year mission. I was so impressed by his speech I asked him for a copy of it. He gave me the actual transcript in his own handwriting that he used in the meeting. He had gleaned information from a variety of sources, one in particular, a written speech he came across in Grahamstown. I think I may have heard this speech before either by Elder Holland or Elder Oaks.
On October 2nd we received a text message asking us to "pray for Elder Romney and his companion." They were involved in a serious head on traffic accident. Today we heard that both are doing well and are expected to make complete recoveries. There are hundreds of miles of highway and dirt roads. Many not in good repair. There is also a lot of construction. There have been many accidents involving our young elders throughout this 200 mile area.
By their fruits ye shall know them. These few words spoken by Jesus at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, are just as meaningful to us, as when the Savior spoke them nearly 2,000 years ago. The Savior was warning his disciples, even us today, that we should beware of false prophets.
He said by their fruits, or in other words, who they are, how they act, and by what they bring forth, ye shall know whether or not they are a true prophet of God. Just as God called prophets in the Old Testament times, he too calls prophets in modern times. An Old Testament scripture says, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets.”
We also learn from the scriptures that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He gave his children prophets in the Old Testament. Why then would he not give us one today? Doesn’t God love us just as much as he loved them?
There is a reason why Jesus, over and over again, warns us about false prophets, because he knew more prophets would be called, his warnings would have been unnecessary if God was going to stop calling prophets. So just like Adam, Noah, Moses and Abraham God has again reached out to his children in love, and in the year 1820 he did just that.
God called a young man named Joseph Smith to open the last dispensation and to show the world that he had called a prophet. God gave Joseph Smith a fruit, or convincing evidence, that he had called a prophet in our day. That fruit is known as the Book of Mormon.
Attached to the Book is a Promise: That anyone who reads, ponders and prays about it will know that it is true by the Holy Ghost. So if the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was called as a prophet. Our Church either falls or stands with the Book of Mormon. The book is either true or not true, there is no in between. The enemies of the Church understand this so clearly. This is why they go through such great lengths to disprove the Book of Mormon for if it can be discredited, the prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our chain of Priesthood Keys, and Revelation, and the Restored Church.
But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon is true, and millions have now testified that they know it is indeed true, then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.
For nearly the past 200 years, men have been trying to prove the Book of Mormon to be false, but they had no success. So here is a challenge if someone you know claims that the Book of Mormon is false. They are basically saying that Joseph Smith just made it up, just created a story.
So if the Book of Mormon was written by a common man, then it can be duplicated right? Because what is produced by one man, can be duplicated by another. And so here is a list of conditions that Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon under. So the challenge is to see if you, or anyone else could duplicate the book under the following conditions:
# You are 23 years old, and you are a farm boy who has only had 3 years of formal education.
# This book you are going to write must be written on what you now know.
# There are no libraries, no internet, and no google. You can’t do any research of any kind.
# Your book must be 531 pages long and over 300,000 words in length covering 2,600 years of history.
# It must describe and contain a history of 2 distinct and separate nations
# And describe their religious, economical, political, and social cultures.
# And must describe their clothing, crops, customs, types of government, money and traditions.
# You must invent 280 new names that are culturally correct
# Write 54 chapters on wars
# 21 historical chapters
# 55 chapters on visions and prophecies
# 71 chapters on doctrine
# And 21 chapters on the ministry of Christ
# And must fulfill many Bible prophecies
# All of this while making sure there are no contradictions of any kind.
# It must all agree with the Bible.
# # Oh, and one last thing – you must do it all, not in the comfort of your own home, but under the most trying of circumstances which include:
# Being driven from your own home several times
# And receiving constant threats upon your life.
# And finally, all this must be done in 60 days.
But that’s not all:
# After you write this book in 60 days, you must publish it and give it to the entire world, now for free.
# Then convince over 50,000 missionaries to give up 2 years of their life to go around the world and give the book away for free.
# Then you gain no wealth or money from this book.
# But instead, watch those who follow you be hated, beaten, torched and killed.
# Then yourself give up your own life
# And your brother’s life for this book.
# And that is the challenge, a challenge of duplication, an impossible challenge that cannot be done because there is no other answer than that it came forth by the gift and power of God.
# As another testament of Jesus Christ, on average every 1.6 verses, Jesus Christ is mentioned.
I testify and bear you my witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that it is true. I know if we allow it to, it can be the foundation of our testimony, a foundation on if we build, we will not fall.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.