Celebrating the Good Things Jesus Has Done | Roxy Kimokeo

Celebrating the Good Things Jesus Has Done | Roxy Kimokeo April 8, 2023

Celebrating the good things Jesus has done by Roxy Kimokeo

My children amaze me constantly by the things they are learning and what they teach me, and I love my calling as primary music leader because I get to be with all the children and hear their sweet testimonies, and I really feel the truth of the scripture that “out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise” Matt 21:16 or in other words from honest and innocent children come truth and wisdom and we would be wise to listen. And it makes me feel even more deeply the responsibility I have to “shew to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he has done” Psalm 78:4 so that if I “train up a child in the way he should go” there is the hope that “when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.

Daughter and Father on the beach
Photo by lauren lulu taylor on Unsplash

Wonderful, Virtuous, Lovely

I love the commandment to teach them the wonderful works that he has done. Wonderful is one of the names that Isaiah used to describe Jehovah. Webster’s dictionary defines wonderful as “exciting wonder, marvelous, astonishing, like a sight wonderful to behold, (like the big, glorious, golden moon last night!!) unusually good, and admirable.”

This list makes me think of the 13th article of faith where we are told that if “there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things.” Christ is all of these! I love that the final admonition Joseph wrote in this list of 13 beliefs was to encourage us to seek these things, because they are of Christ, and he knew that in looking for them, we will find Him, and start to become like Him. If we want to be like Christ, start with those things that the Spirit whispers to our hearts are good, and lovely, and true.

Then the natural reaction, after being filled with those things that are miraculous and praiseworthy, is that we just can’t contain the jubilation we feel and we want to share them with our loved ones. I know I feel that way often! Sometimes people say I share too much but I can’t help it. I get so excited about something and I just have to share it with my loved ones! Look at this amazing thing that happened! Or this thing I read that inspired me so much! I want to celebrate just like the parable of the woman with the lost coin, who called all her neighbors and they came to rejoice with her.

And I love to celebrate those things for others too! I love to celebrate the good things Jesus has done and to learn of Christ and speak of Christ, and teach of Christ and rejoice in Christ.

Why do I feel that way? Because Jesus wants us to be happy and His perfect path leads to the greatest happiness, and once we taste of it, and feel the great love He has for us, we want that happiness for our precious ones too. Just like Lehi did, when describing the fruit of the tree of life, that it was “most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted…and it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy, wherefore I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.”

Sharing the Gospel Good News

Once we taste of the joy of the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ, we can’t help but want to share it with others, and that is when we become bearers of light and allow it to shine that “men may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” This scripture isn’t to say we are showing off what we are doing well, but rather to show the good that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have done for us, and to try to help be instruments in their hands in performing the work to labour to bring souls unto God.

And why do we do this? Because we know that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can be saved. He alone is the gate that leads to eternal life. He says “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” John 10:9 and again “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6.

God Is My Salvation

Review and Revise
Christ Rises Triumphant, Detail from a mosaic in the Rosary Basilica of Lourdes by
Lawrence OP

God is my salvation. This is also the meaning of Isaiah’s name, which is such a beautiful name to have. I confess I have never read Isaiah all the way through. I’ve only read the chapters and verses that have been quoted in the other standard works, but never all the writings as contained in the Old Testament. I’d always heard how intimidating it could be. In fact, one of the videos my kids watch introduced Isaiah by likening him to Shakespeare and quoted “to be or not to be…understood. That is the question.” It seems formidable.

But our Come Follow Me curriculum had us studying the book of Isaiah for 5 weeks! Of all 39 books in the OT, that have been planned out over the course of one year of study, we have been assigned over a month of our lives to devote to this prophet. What a powerful indicator of how important his words are! The Lord Himself commanded us in 3 Nephi 23:1 to read them. He said “and now behold I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently for great are the words of Isaiah.”

Resources for Understanding

We are so blessed to live in the dispensation of the fullness of times. We have so many sources of information we can turn to to help us understand. The links provided in the Come, Follow Me manual to different videos or quotes by church leaders or other scriptures, the Institute or Seminary manuals, the footnotes in the scriptures. There are podcasts and commentaries and study guides, some that even go verse by verse! Occasionally I use a different translation of the Bible that might say something in a way that I can understand easier and helps the picture become clearer to me.

But the most important tool we have available to us is the Holy Ghost. Nephi says “for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy,” 2 Nephi 25:4, and we have been taught that the testimony of Jesus Christ is the “spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10.

Moroni tells us that “by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things” Moroni 10:5. Seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost as we study will help us learn more, and quicker, than any other influence. He knows all things, and brings all things to our remembrance, and will tell us in our minds and hearts that they are true. We will feel it in the na’au.

Isaiah 6

I want to share one way that the scriptures came alive for me. Isaiah chapter 6, begins “in the year that king Uzziah died.” Now he was the 10th king in the kingdom of Judah and was only 16 years old when he became king and reigned for 52 years! He did a lot of good for his nation and his reign was very prosperous, and we read that mostly he did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord 2 Kings 15:3.

Now we can really put ourselves in this situation because of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She was only 25 years old when she became Queen and her reign lasted 70 years! And I feel a little sad about the ending of that era. So I can really understand something of what the people might have been feeling in mourning the loss of a mighty leader, who did much good for the people and was a respected symbol of unity among so many.

But in the very first verse Isaiah says “in the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Right there, the Lord reminds us that He is the true king, His throne and power are forever. He is no mere mortal, His glory and authority fill every space and aren’t defined by national boundaries or earthly laws. Jesus is the one who saves His people and leads in perfect righteousness, and we never need to fear that one day His reign will come to an end.

Woe is me

Then Isaiah describes seeing the seraphim and the house filled with smoke, and he feels so out of place and unworthy that he cries out “woe is me for I am undone.” How many times have I felt this way? In assignments, in my callings, in my role as wife, mother, sister, friend, daughter? So often I have felt that same way, that I am out of place and unworthy. I am overwhelmed by my inadequacies and feel as though I don’t belong.

But the next scripture touched my heart.


“Then flew one of the seraphims unto me.” That one simple line made me stop to reflect and ponder and praise God’s goodness. He sent one of his angels to Isaiah in his time of need. And he sends them to us too. Sometimes we see them, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes they come in the form of our family or friends or neighbours. But they come.

In this scene of being in a room filled with smoke, which I think of as the prayers of people ascending into heaven, he heard Isaiah’s prayer, and sent help. And what that being did to help was take a hot coal off the altar and lay it on Isaiah’s mouth to purge his sin. I don’t know if Isaiah was expecting that, I know I wouldn’t, but then I don’t know what I would have expected.

But that’s part of the wonder of Christ, that He answers prayers in ways that we don’t expect, but in ways that are exactly what we need. Just like the story of Elijah laying down and saying “I can’t do this anymore, take my life” and the Lord sent an angel with a cake to say “eat.”

Both times they had a work to do, and both times they saw an angelic being, and both prayers were answered in unexpected ways, and both times something touched their lips, and both were then fortified to do the work the Lord had for them. The Lord hears even our quietest prayers and desires to save us from despair and doubt and sin, and sends that help in the way that will heal and strengthen us so we can perform the work He has for us to do.

His hand is stretched out still

Another thing I loved was how often Isaiah uses the phrase “for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” He says it 5 times and 3 of those are in chapter 9 alone! Each time he is describing the dark and wicked conditions of the covenant people, and the terrible destruction that will happen if they don’t repent.

But each time he concludes with the hopeful reminder that God’s hand is stretched out still! He stands there, arms open, waiting for us to notice Him, to see Him, and to turn His way, and run to Him. He wants His children back, safely encircled in the arms of His love. He offers the way of salvation even amidst the turmoil, and pleads with us to take it, reminding us that we are never too far gone, never too undone or unworthy, to be saved. We just have to choose Him, and accept the peace He is offering.

This peace is available to us now! It’s not conditional on how things are around us, on whether our lives are going smoothly or not. He offers to be our refuge in the storm, our safe haven, our protection, if we are but willing to trust Him and reach back to Him in prayer, and do our best to keep the commandments and be true to the covenants we have made. To show up and serve others even if some might say hurtful or unkind things about us. or they don’t say anything to you at all. To make right choices even if you feel you all alone. To encourage and lift another even if your own heart is breaking. To keep doing what we need to even when it feels we can’t take another step.

We can do all these things and more, and surprise ourselves in the process and witness miracles and mercies, because of the Prince of Peace, whose hand is stretched out still. He gives us strength beyond our own and comforts us in our times of sorrow. He give us peace that surpasses all understanding, even when it seems the storms are raging around us.

Here is hope lighthouse standing against waves
Image by Marcus Woodbridge on Unsplash

Isaiah 43

One of my favourite scriptures is Isaiah 43:1 “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.” I love knowing I belong to Him, and that He is with me.

He goes on to say “when thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee, For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour…Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.” Isn’t that so sweetly tender?

He knows us, and calls us precious, and tells us He loves us! What greater joy and peace can there be than to know the God of the universe, creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are, knows and loves me, a sinner, and offers to be my shelter, and to fill every part of me with His peace in the midst of affliction? The path we are called to take is hard. But we do not have to walk it alone. We can enjoy the warmth of His light, which brightens even the darkest nights if we choose to stay close to Him.

One of my favourite primary songs asks

If the Saviour stood beside me, would I do the things I do? Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true? Would I follow His example? Would I live more righteously, if I could see the Saviour standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Saviour stood beside me, would I say the things I say? Would my words be true and kind if He were never far away? Would I try to share the gospel, would I speak more reverently, if I could see the Saviour standing nigh, watching over me.

Then verse 3 is the one I think of most often.

He is always near me, though I do not see Him there, and because He loves me dearly I am in His watchful care, so I’ll be the kind of person that I know I’d like to be if I could see the Saviour standing nigh watching over me.

Celebrating the good things Jesus has done

I love to celebrate the good things Jesus has done and to learn of Christ and speak of Christ, and teach of Christ and rejoice in Christ.
Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

I testify that He lives. He is there. He loves us dearly. We are in His watchful care. He waits for us with His hand and arms stretched out still. He wants us to live with Him, and our families forever. He has provided all of the tools we need in order to return to live with Him.

He is our Wonderful Counsellor, our Mighty Lord, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace. There is no end to his peace, or his love, or his reaching.

He will send help when we ask. He hears and answers prayers in more astonishing ways than we could wish for. He wants our happiness and works endlessly to bring to pass our salvation.

In the words of Isaiah “Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” I know this is true.

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