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Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord. www.kevinhinckley.com. Just one more thing to have to watch for…. Matthew 3 JST. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

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prepare ye the way of the lord

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

www.kevinhinckley.com

matthew 3 jst
Matthew 3 JST

And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.

Just what does it mean to “wait upon the Lord”?

elder eyring
Elder Eyring

President Harold B. Lee described that once in general conference. He said: "To become converted, according to the scriptures, meant having a change of heart and the moral character of a person turned from the controlled power of sin into a righteous life. It meant to 'wait patiently on the Lord' until one's prayers can be answered." (Conference Report, April 1971, p. 92.)

If we are going to do our duty, we are going to need the powers of heaven. And if we are going to be given access to the powers of heaven, we are going to have to learn to wait upon the Lord.

The word wait in scriptural language means to hope for or anticipate. Surely the great prophet Isaiah meant that, and I think he meant more, when he made us a glorious promise.

It's a promise I carved for my oldest son, Henry, when he had just turned twelve. I carved it on a board. The idea was that we would put the board on a wall for my son, and when certain things happened in his life, we would carve a record of that event.

I carved the board first after he turned thirteen. He had already received his Eagle badge, so the word deacon is not carved there. It begins with teacher. The plaque goes through teacher, priest, elder, mission, and marriage. When we started, it was empty. So I knew it needed something nice at the top; it needed a crest and a motto. Since he had just won his Eagle Scout badge, I carved an eagle at the top with a legend suggested by Isaiah-"On Eagles' Wings"-as his motto.

I wish there had been more room on the board so that I could have carved there the whole lesson. How would he be lifted as on eagles' wings? "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31.)

matthew 3 jst1
Matthew 3 JST

And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.

And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him.

And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.

slide6
And in those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

And the same John had his raiment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey. (Matt: 3)

Elijah “was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins” 2 Kings 1:8

John
matt 3 jst
Matt 3 (JST)

For I am he who was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah), saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them,

O, generation of vipers! who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Why is it that ye receive not the preaching of him whom God hath sent?

If ye receive not this in your hearts, ye receive not me; and if ye receive not me, ye receive not him of whom I am sent to bear record; and for your sins ye have no cloak.

Repent, therefore, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance;

And think not to say within yourselves, We are the children of Abraham, and we only have power to bring seed unto our father Abraham;

for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children into Abraham.

matthew 4
Matthew 4

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be with God.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, and had communed with God, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil,

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

elder holland
Elder Holland

The temptation is not in the eating. He has eaten before, he will soon eat again, and he must eat for the rest of his mortal life. The temptation, at least the part I wish to focus on, is to do it this way, to get his bread--his physical satisfaction, relief for his human appetite--the easy way, by abuse of power and without a willingness to wait for the right time and the right way.

It is the temptation to be the convenient Messiah. Why do things the hard way? Why walk to the shop--or bakery? Why travel all the way home? Why deny yourself satisfaction when with ever such a slight compromise you might enjoy this much-needed nourishment? But Christ will not ask selfishly for unearned bread. He will postpone gratification, indefinitely if necessary, rather than appease appetite--even ravenous appetite--with what is not his.

matthew 41
Matthew 4

Then Jesus was taken up into the holy city, and the Spirit setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple.

Then the devil came unto him and said, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

And Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

elder holland cont
Elder Holland Cont.

The temptation here is even more subtle than the first. It is a temptation of the spirit, of a private hunger more real than the need for bread. Would God save him? Would he? …

And shouldn't Satan be silenced with his insidious "If, if, if"? Why not get spiritual confirmation, a loyal congregation, and an answer to this imp who heckles--all with one appeal to God's power? Right now. The easy way. Off the temple spire.

But Jesus refuses the temptation of the spirit. Denial and restraint there are also part of divine preparation. He will gain followers, and he will receive reassurance. But not this way.

matthew 42
Matthew 4

And again Jesus was in the Spirit, and it taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.

And the devil came unto him again, and said, All these things will I give unto thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

elder holland1
Elder Holland

Now in some frustration Satan moves right to the point. If he cannot tempt physically and cannot tempt spiritually, he will simply make an outright proposition. From a high mountain where they might overlook the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, Satan says, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."

Satan makes up for lack of subtlety here with the grandeur of his offer. Never mind that these kingdoms are not ultimately his to give. He simply asks of the great Jehovah, God of heaven and earth, "What is your price? Cheap bread you resist. Tawdry messianic drama you resist, but no man can resist this world's wealth. Name your price." Satan is proceeding under his first article of faithlessness--the unequivocal belief that you can buy anything in this world for money.

president kimball s call to the twelve
President Kimball’scall to the Twelve

My weakness overcame me again. Hot tears came flooding down my cheeks as I made no effort to mop them up. I was accusing myself, and condemning myself and upbraiding myself. I was praying aloud for special blessings from the Lord. I was telling him that I had not asked for this position, that I was incapable of doing the work, that I was imperfect and weak and human, that I was unworthy of so noble a calling, though I had tried hard and my heart had been rightIf I could only have the assurance that my call had been inspired most of my other worries would be dissipated. . . .

I knew that I must have His acceptance before I could go on. I stumbled up the hill and onto the mountain, as the way became rough. I faltered some as the way became steep. No paths were there to follow; I climbed on and on. Never had I prayed before as I now prayed. What I wanted and felt I must have was an assurance that I was acceptable to the Lord. I told Him that I neither wanted nor was worthy of a vision or appearance of angels or any special manifestation. I wanted only the calm peaceful assurance that my offering was accepted. Never before had I been tortured as I was now being tortured. And the assurance did not come. . . .

president kimball cont
President Kimball Cont.

I mentally beat myself and chastised myself and accused myself. As the sun came up and moved in the sky I moved with it, lying in the sun, and still I received no relief. I sat up on the cliff and strange thoughts came to me: all this anguish and suffering could be ended so easily from this high cliff and then came to my mind the temptations of the Master when he was tempted to cast Himself down--then I was ashamed for having placed myself in a comparable position and trying to be dramatic. . . .

I was filled with remorse because I had permitted myself to place myself . . . in a position comparable, in a small degree, to the position the Saviour found Himself in when He was tempted, and . . . I felt I had cheapened the experiences of the Lord, having compared mine with His. Again I challenged myself and told myself that I was only trying to be dramatic and sorry for myself.

. . . I lay on the cool earth. The thought came that I might take cold, but what did it matter now. There was one great desire, to get a testimony of my calling, to know that it was not human and inspired by ulterior motives, kindly as they might be. How I prayed! How I suffered! How I wept! How I struggled! [Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball, Jr., Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1977), p. 192–95]