Brothers and Sisters,
On this date in 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed with Union soldiers in Galveston Texas announcing that the institution of slavery in the United States had been ended by way of the Emancipation Proclamation. He announced by “General Order 3” (actually signed January 1, 1863), that the relationship between slaves and slave owners was to change to that of hired laborers and employees. For whatever reason, it took over two and a half years for news to finally reach Galveston.
Learn more about Juneteenth here: http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/547/text
As we continue on a course of healing and reconciliation in our nation, it is important that we seek to learn about our history in its entirety. It is important that we steer clear of contentious agendas and understand that we don’t have to be AGAINST something or someone to be FOR Jesus Christ. A person who examines their own heart, willingly submits themselves to the skillful, healing hands of the Master and asks “what lack I yet?”-acting on what they learn- can have peace no matter what is happening in the world. They will truly progress, for that is the plan.
Remembering this day in United States history during these times provides us an opportunity to recognize that there is still work to be done in this choice land- to complete a process that began over 155 years ago, but is still left unfinished. We can connect individual events together creating a clear picture of our shared history. Then, with focused intent and purpose, finally establish first and foremost in our hearts, that ALL are alike unto God. This is an opportunity to work diligently to eradicate and reject any and all barriers in our hearts, no matter how small, that conflict with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ or its ability to be shared unfettered with ALL of Israel.
Brothers and sisters, on this Juneteenth, recognize that this is an amazing time to be present on the earth and gain a clear understanding of who we are:
To each other
To this Nation
To our Heavenly Parents
To our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
To not just BECOME, but to BE ONE…
“I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine.” D&C 38:27
Brothers and Sisters, progression is part of Heavenly Father’s plan for ALL of His children. We do not displease Him when we examine our hearts and our traditions and continue our conversions as our contribution to gathering Israel in preparation for the Savior’s return. I testify that the power and truth of this restored gospel, not incorrect traditions, is the reason I am here today sharing this message with you and it is enough for me to love, serve and work diligently as an instrument in the hands of the Master. It is my most ardent prayer that you are seeking to experience a similar sure knowledge of the transformative power of the Gospel. I invite each of you to take this opportunity to become more than you are; to become who you were designed to be; to become one and to love one another in a manner that honors the atoning sacrifice of our beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In His name I pray, amen.
Robin W. O’Bannon, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Retired