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     As a young man starting my working career, I have encountered both happiness and times of challenges. In those times of hardships, I sometimes questioned whether to continue to stay with my job or leave and look for other work opportunities. Yet, the Spirit always reminded me to stay firm and not to give in to the negativities. Today’s scripture begins from the gospel of Mark 1:9-15 where we begin the start of Jesus’ ministry.

     We start off by talking about the baptism of Jesus from John the Baptist, followed by being led to the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days, to the beginning of his ministry in Galilee. The most important part of this scripture comes from verses 14-15 where Jesus came to proclaim the good news of God and that the kingdom of God has come. The people at this time was going through Roman oppression and wondering if God was going to deliver them from their enemies. Instead of getting a warrior, Jesus was born to proclaim peace and forgiveness for all and to tell others that he was the good news.

     We often face temptations that seemed to divert us from our journey in life. These temptations often seem good and exciting, yet the outcome is the opposite. But Jesus reminds us that we can overcome anything if we trust in him and have a firm foundation. D&C 158:11a reminds us “Therefore, continue to be strong in faith. To you who hear my voice and know my promises I will reveal myself and give my peace, even in the midst of your uncertainties.” To my brothers and sisters, let us push onward and forward toward the goal to make the kingdom of God possible, Amen.
                (Travis Watanabe,, Waianae Congregation)