Mormon Sermon; Bona Fide example

Ex. 20: 8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy"

Is this fourth (4th) instruction out of the TEN COMMANDMENTS relevant in today’s world?

  • Yes, they are ALL relevant to all of God’s children
  • No, this Fourth Commandment is outdated, but the others still apply
  • Commandments are just guidelines, not regulations that come with penalties for breaking them
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Relevant Scripture, Joshua 24:15

This sermon (or Talk , as known by church members) has been composed and presented by Timothy Alexander Donnelly as a brief talk at my local church branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( This church is sometimes improperly known as the Mormon church.

Theme: “NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE” in relation to Joshua 24:15.

Question I was asked to answer: “Why should we choose today (to serve the Lord)?”

Presented in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday July 31, 2005.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Children of men, and Children of God: Matthew, chapter 5 verse 9 says: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

It is with great humility that I use this moment to minister unto you and bring you into remembrance of the Word of God.

My brief talk today refers to the Old Testament Gospel of Joshua, chapter 24 verse 15: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve”

I have been assigned to address the notion of Why should we chose today?

We are living our lives in the last dispensation of prophesies of mortal time. We are in the “latter days”, just as the name of this, our Lord's church, unmistakably declares.

I do not predict doom and gloom, as the book of Revelations prophesies somewhat. I do suggest vigilance of spirit, and vigilance of flesh, in these present, unfolding days.

For no matter how calculated or for that matter, how foolhardy we choose to live, the FACT of the matter is that we do not know at what moment any of us will meet our mortal end.

In fact, when we put off – or – procrastinate to choose today to serve the Lord, we are gambling with our very soul’s salvation – using it as collateral. Collateral is what we pledge as “security” when entering into binding contracts.

I quote: Matthew, chapter 18, verse 18: “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

And from Mark, chapter 13, verses 33 and 34: “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.”

Brothers and Sisters, as children of God, striving to live in the Spirit, we must realize that we are STILL merely children, in the midst of development, and as such, we must beware that “we that seek” to gamble, are inviting addiction.

Anything addicting demands more and more of our time. It grows day, by day, by day to become the center of all our pursuits and attentions.

So, why not choose to invite the Lord into the center of our lives?

I quote: 1st Corinthians, chapter 16, verse 15: “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,).”

The house of Stephanas did not gamble. Rather, they made “the Ministry of the Saints” their central pursuit – and by doing so, served the Lord.

When we choose to be led away from the Lord by some strange god, or habit which we serve, we take a chance , and gamble that tomorrow will come for us as yet another opportunity to repent. We actually wager on some degree of probability that:

· We won’t change our minds

· Or, we just won’t feel like it, and we end up spending our time otherwise

From the Book of Mormon record of Alma, chapter 46, verse 8: “Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.”

For support, I look to Matthew, chapter 6, verse 34: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I understand this to mean that we do not worry of things not yet seen, but defend ourselves according to our perspectives gained from our perch in these moments.

I have observed as well, WE BEST ACT in a conscientious way, for measurable results, to be “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone ”, as written in Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 20.

Just as found in John, chapter 15, verse 5, where we read the metaphor of Jesus being the vine, with us as the branches; we can do nothing without Him.

I now bring forward another metaphor:

Consider each of us as the cooling tubes in a car’s radiator. Jesus is the fluid that flows through us. If we allow a restriction to develop in the tubes, we are actually denying the passage of the coolant to the parts, or denying passage of Jesus to the people that need Him to function properly. We are thus as individuals enabled to prevent their breakdowns, or to facilitate their demise.

Although this is not a perfect analogy, we can see that “We do not have to wait until perfection is achieved to use today to serve the Lord.” If this were the case, the wonderful Spirit of us as “new creatures” would never spread to those still suffering. Remember the Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”? We can have an effect on our neighbours.

We may recall in Galatians, chapter 6, verse 10 it says: “As we have therefore, opportunity – let us do good unto all men , especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” And, I suggest, more-so for the inactive members. For indeed, they may have similar thoughts of King David, as we read in Psalm, chapter 31, verses 9 to 11: “Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea , my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without, fled from me.”

Brothers and Sisters, we are yet but fragile mortals, and as such, our only real security we have is, “the time in our hands right now.”

I now quote from the Book of Mormon record of Helaman chapter 13, verse 38: “But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the days of your probation until it is everlastingly too late”. And , it is written in Alma, chapter 34, verse 34: “Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.”

Hence, we cannot control what we will do tomorrow. If we are not inclined to do some things today, we will have the same inclinations tomorrow.

Moreover, we do not control tomorrow’s outcome, nor do we control tomorrow’s certainty.

We are reminded of this in many scriptures including, 1st Peter, chapter 4, verse 7: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

Therefore: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”

I would now like to conclude with an anecdote and suggest that: “The local farmer takes advantage of each day given to him to work his field”. He does this without any guarantee of what tomorrow may, or may not bring, including:

· Rain, hail, or fire

· Disease, infestation, or crime

· Or, his own malady, accident, or death

It mattereth not. The conscientious farmer sacrifices his best days for the welfare of his crop.

Finally, let me read the words of Jesus in Mark, chapter 1, verse 17: “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

I pray that we choose each to serve the Lord today, for the glory of God, under whom we strive to be “farmers of people” – so that children of men will BE Children of God, to redeem them under the law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons, and cry Abba, Father, to be accepted amongst the beloved, and praise the grace of God for His tender mercies and forgiveness, through the merits of His Son, who is the Christ. I say this humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, – our Lord, and Saviour faithful, Amen.



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a church where regular lay members are asked to speak before their local congregations. These speakers can be male or female, and are not necessarily members of the priesthood (Aaronic or Melchizedek). All General Authorities of the church however are ordained with the Melchizedek Priesthood, in various levels. This is the same priesthood found referenced in

· Gen. 14: 18 “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God” and,

· Ps. 110: 4The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

All speakers who are asked to minister (talk) at their local Sacrament Meetings are of course encouraged to diligently research their assigned topics, and sincerely pray for Spiritual guidance and inspiration during their preparation, and especially for their presentation. There are different speakers every week. Visitors are welcome.

Family Home Evening

Please feel free to use this talk as part of your Family Home Evening discussions.

God Bless.

Comments 12 comments

Jaques Lalonde 6 years ago

This was very well prepared Timothy. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on the subject. These words are very uplifting to me.

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Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you, and you are very welcome Jaques. I hope to do more in the future.

PastorAndrew profile image

PastorAndrew 6 years ago from Detroit

Thank you for giving us insite into what a message from your church might sound like. Very enlightening.

This is what I got. You have to choose the right thing because you do not have tomorrow. And if you die doing the wrong thing, you will die in that "spirit" that is condemned as being wrong. That "spirit" will control your eternity.

So, you are saying that we need to be good if we what an eternal peace with God. And we need to keep doing good or we lose that promise.

Well, are you not teaching that you earn your salvation? You do good to get eternal peace. If you stop doing good, you lose it.

I can't go for that because God says our salvation is not by works. Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

Also and just as important, Jesus said that it was finished on the cross. We receive His salvation or we don't, but we cannot buy or pay for it with our own works.

If we really have salvation and the presence of God in our lives, we will have good works. But I don't work because I am afraid of eternal condemnation. I work for gratitude that Jesus gave me the free gift of salvation.

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Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

PastorAndrew, Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my layman’s “church Sacrament Meeting Talk”. Allow me to expand on the above so that you may see a little deeper into our beliefs.

Let me start with a simple thought. When one dies in their sins, they fair worse off than if they die being one with God.

We believe that the personality resides with the spirit of man. That personality, or character, since part of man’s spirit, is the same personality which will be resurrected with an immortal body at time of final judgement (on judgement day). If this personality tends to waffle between righteousness and sin (like having two masters, or more correctly two masters of opposite ilks) then it is akin to the Bible scripture: Rev. 3: 16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Furthermore, from the Mormon scripture Doctrine and Covenants section 88: “(22) For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. (33) For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.” For brevity, I only included a couple of verses from D&C 88; I suggest the whole chapter is read, to be better understood.

Most importantly, let me also give another layman’s explanation of how Mercy overpowereth Justice. This is important to bring forward so that people can see that OF COURSE, we do rely on God’s Mercy and forgiveness, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. From the Book of Mormon record of Alma 34: 15-16, 33 “And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. (16) And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. (33) And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed”. HERE, I like to REFERENCE the parable of the ten virgins and their lamps of oil found in Matthew chapter 25 to this scripture. We have to get things done while there is opportunity, for tomorrow is never certain for any of us.

As far as working to gain our salvation, this is patently false. We do not believe our works gain us anything, for God is in need of nothing. We do believe however that one should “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” (Matt. 3: 8). From the Book of Mormon record of Alma 13: 12-13 “Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God. (13) And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest.” It’s all about repentance, my dear fellow. If one believes in Jesus and is a murderer, but does not cease to commit murders, he has not repented from that sin. This can be said of all the commandments.

PastorAndrew, when I say “layman’s” explanation (above) it is because I am no religious scholar. When I resort to drawing on scripture (and still consider myself a layman) it is because oftentimes, I think, even quoted scripture is insufficient to satisfy the initial query. More than not, additional scriptures must be referenced to gain a fuller understanding, until finally, PRAYER is necessary to gain that ultimate knowledge that what you search for may be given, in ways that man cannot express, albeit the truth. Appropriately, I would like to end this comment by offering my personal TESTIMONY that I know these things to be true, and that I am humbled by the truth, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I invite you to go to for a vast resource of scriptures, including the ones drawn from above, and encourage you to follow some of the links, or tagged wording, for (sometimes unique) cross-referencing purposes.

Thank you again for your comment, and with great respect, I hope this helps.

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Here are a couple of additional scriptures from the Book of Mormon record of 2nd Nephi explaining that the salvation of man is a free gift from God:

2 Ne. 2: 4 “And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.”

2 Ne. 26: 27 “Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.”

goldenpath profile image

goldenpath 6 years ago from Shenandoah, Iowa, USA

Great hub! The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has occurred in this, the last dispensation of the fulness of times.

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Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you for your support goldenpath. Please don't forget to vote on my poll, which I have moved to the top of the page.

dougmorrison 6 years ago

well thought and insiteful,Tim.If we have not yet chosen,whom we will serve,we need to choose today.Our life ripples into other lives.Well done.

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Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

You are so right, Doug Morrison, we must make a conscious and prayerful choice - conscious of our chosen leader and conscious of the ripple effect, for each of us has an expandable circle of influence. Thank you for your comment.

theawwwbutmum 6 years ago

Love the car analogy - some great quotes in there too. Just saw your comment on a forum post so came to see what you're about. I'll be following along. Thanks for sharing :)

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Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks to theawwwbutmum! You are very welcome to read all of my material, not just about what brought you here! Thanks!

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Timothy Donnelly 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Here's another thinker which will help the observer understand the simplicity of the Gospel message; I especially like the references to liberty and freedom.

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88:

86. "Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes."

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