Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sunday December 31, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
The home is the only place that compares to the sacredness of the temple. Things that we let into our homes can decrease how close our home is to being like the temple.

Setting goals keeps us focused and moving in the right direction.

Sunday School
Intro to the study of the New Testament for next year.

A Testament is a covenant with mankind and deity.

The teacher handed out a handout on Study Skills.

Study Skills
Before Reading
  1. Prayer
    1. Ezra 7:10
  2. Get Background Information
    1. Bible Dictionary
    2. Section Headings
  3. Ask Questions
    1. Who wrote these verses?
    2. To whom?
    3. Why is this teaching includes in the scripoture?
    4. What do I want to know or learn as I read today?
    5. What would the Lord have me know or learn as I read today?
  4. Read the chapter headings.
During Reading
  1. Don't be afraid to stop
    1. Don't be so caught up in getting through a chapter that you don't take time to stop or slow down in order to understand.
  2. Look up the meaning of words you don't understand.
    1. Also, looking up words that you do know can show you alternate meanings or giving you perspectives on words that you had not thought of before.
  3. Use the study helps in the LDS editions of the scriptures.
  4. Liken the scriptures.
    1. Ask yourself how the fits in your own life or how the scripture possible is speaking to you and not just about others.
    2. Example, Moses 1:39 - Insert your name in place of the word man.
  5. Visualize
  6. Look for connecting words (and, but, because, therefore, and nevertheless).
  7. Look for patterns
    1. If then patterns (Leviticus 26:3-4, 18, 23-24, 40-42).
  8. Look for lists (Ten Commandments, Beatitudes).
  9. Ask questions.
  10. Questions in the scriptures and their answers.
    1. 3 Nephi 27:27 - What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am.
  11. Look for types and symbolic meaning.
    1. Parables
    2. 1 Nephi 11-14 - Lehi's vision
  12. Write
After Reading
  1. Ponder
    1. Joshua 1:8
    2. D&C 76:15-20;138:1-11
  2. Liken the Scriptures to Yourself.
    1. What Principles of the gospel are taught in the scriptures I just read?
    2. How do those principles relate to my life?
  3. Reread
  4. Write
  5. Apply
    1. "Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3
The instructor said that the New Testament is arranged by type of book and not Chronologically.

Third Hour
For the fifth Sunday third hour meeting the bishop talked about things he wanted to see changed in the ward. Points he covered were as follows:
  • Not bringing food into the chapel.
  • Be in seats ten minute early.
  • Bear testimonies properly and end testimony meeting on time.
  • Keeping our homes clear. Not that there aren't toys on the floor or something, but clean like not dirty.
  • Stay in seats during sacrament. Very rairly should one have to leave the meeting. He talked about exceptions being people with health problems or people that have to take small children out to quiet them.
  • Sit in the chapel and only open the overflow when necessary.
  • The need to contribute to the ward mission fund since we have some many missionaries out and getting ready to go out.
  • Dressing modestly.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday December 24, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
The first councilor in the bishopric wrote a Christmas program again this year. He read from the scriptures. He also read some stories. One of the stories was about a boy who showed up for an auction every time to bid on bikes. He always bid one dollar and was always out bid. The auctioneer noticed that he got especially excited when the racer bikes came up. On one occasion the bidding went to eight dollars. The auctioneer called out, "Do I hear nine. Sold to the buy in the corner for nine dollars." He then took eight dollars out of his pocket and laid it on the counter and took the dollar from the boy. He gave it in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. He then rushed away. Suddenly he paused, carefully parked his bike, and ran up to the auctioneer and gave him a big hug.

The primary sang a song and the ward choir sang some too.

Sunday School
The Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord
Prophecy fulfilled:
-Malachi 4:5-6 -
5 ¶ Behold, I will asend you bElijah the prophet cbefore the coming of the dgreat and dreadful eday of the LORD:
6 And he shall aturn the bheart of the cfathers to the dchildren, and the heart of the echildren to their fathers, lest I come and fsmite the gearth with a hcurse.
-Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland temple on April 3, 1836 and restored the keys of sealing families together for eternity. D&C 110:13-15

Prophecies yet to be fulfilled:
Zachariah 12:2,3,8,9 - A battle will take place at Jerusalem. Jews will be under siege. God will show his power and deliver them.
D&C 45 -
Zachariah 14 - The Lord will stand on the Mount of Olives and it shall split in two. The Jews will flew into the passage that is created from that.
Zachariah 12:10 - The Jews will recognize the Lord.

We met with the high priests since the elders' quorum presidency was out of town. We had the same lesson as last week, since the high priests were a week behind us.
Chapter 24 in the Wilford Woodruff manual.

My son gave scripture in primary, so I went there for post of this hour. He gave John 3:16 as his scripture on the topic of showing that God fulfilled his promise to send a savior.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sunday December 17, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
The Relief Society president shared several stories of compassion.

The Bishop detailed the birth of the Savior through Luke and Isaiah and other scriptures. He then went on to summarize the rest of his life.

Sunday School
The teacher said that she grew up in another church and always felt that it was unfair that people in the bible had prophets to lead them and we didn't.

The teacher presented a time line of events:
721 BC - Assyria the greatest empire in the world.
612 BC - Had been since been destroyed by the Babylonians.
562 BC - Nebuchadnezzar died.
539 BC - Babylon fell to the Medes and the Persians under the leadership of Cyrus.
Cyrus commanded the temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Possibly after seeing his name in one of Isaiah's prophecies, which was 150 years before Cyrus was born.

The Samaritans were in Jerusalem when the Jews returned. Samaritans were Jews that had intermarried with Gentiles. They wanted to help rebuild the temple, but the Jews refused because they felt that they were not true Israelites.

Chapter 24 - Teachings of Presidents of the Church Wilford Woodruff.
Preparing for the Second Coming
What is the Church doing to prepare for the second coming? It is preparing us as individuals.

You get out of the gospel what you put into it.

President Woodruff said that the time was near, but he was still planting cherry trees. We still need to live our lives and continue to progress and do good.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sunday December 10, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
We visited my parent's ward this week.

Santa tells us to be good. Christ tells us what good is and to do it. Christ also tells us what bad is and how to avoid it.

Sunday School
Daniel 2
Daniel prayed to prepare to interpret the king's dream. He didn't just jump into it without seeking guidance.

Nebuchadnezzar went to his wise men to get answers. Daniel went to God. President Kimball, a modern day prophet gave an interpretation of the dream in a talk he gave in 1976. A summary of the interpretation follows.

Stone cut without hands - means it was not made by man.
Gold Head - Nebuchanezer, a world power.
All the pieces under that were the kingdoms that would take over and follow after.
The stone is the kingdom of God on earth and will break to pieces the worldly kinddoms.

Chapter 23 of the Wilford Woodruff manual - Unity
The godhead is one in purpose, even though its members are individuals.

When changes in programs and leadership come it may take us out of our comfort zone. That doesn't make it wrong. We are to stretch and grow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday December 3, 2006

Fast and Testimony Meeting
Lots of people in the ward seem to be having trials right now. Several are health related and several are home and family things. It is a hard thing to say, but it seems to be working as a catalyst to draw our members closer and also to bring people back to the church. Much like the trials my parents had when I was a kid caused them to seek out a church.

Sunday School
Daniel refused the king's meat because it violated the law of Moses and he then asked for things that were more healthy. Could this have been a precursor to the Word of Wisdom? Could this have been a part of the preparatory law preparing the people for the Word of Wisdom? The Word of Wisdom talks of hidden treasures of knowledge. The people talked of how Daniel was mentally sharper after the ten days.

Our lesson was based on the first presidency message from the December Ensign - Treasured Gifts - by President Thomas S. Monson.

The talk quoted a Christmas story about O. Henry. It was about a wife that sold her hair to pay for a chain for her husbands watch and her husband some his watch to pay for a comb for her hair. This story was contrasted against all of the things we see and hear about buying these extravagant gifts for people. I hear all year round commercial for jewelry and how buying these expensive jewelry pieces will "show her your love."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday November 26, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Thomas Edison was deaf by the time he was a teenager. He was self taught from the time he was a young age. Einstein had education, but Edison persevered to get his knowledge. He invented the phonograph in spite of being deaf.

In England Solitaire is called Patience. Buddhism has patience as one of the six things needed to attain. As time went on, the scriptures has more references per author on patience. Do we have more problems with impatience in our day?

Patience is not indifference.

Impatience may indicate that out timetable is more important than the Lord's.

Sunday School
Whenever a temple is dedicated we do a hosanna shout. It is because it is a grand spiritual event when a new temple is operating on the earth.

Ezekiel says that the lord walks in his temples.

Ezekiel 47 - The water is the Gospel. It is the truths that come out of the temple. Truth will heal that war torn land.

M Russel Ballard's talk from last conference on being wise.

Jacob, brother of Nephi - wants to know if his people are going to reject the words like the Lamanites did. He tells them, "Oh be wise. What can I say more?"

Focus on people not the programs.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday November 19, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
As the speaker spoke today about gratitude and the fact that the topic was inspired by it being the week of Thanksgiving, I thought about the excitement of the holidays and even gathering with friends that I have lost over the years. Holidays have become just time off of work. Gatherings with friends use to feel like I was going to miss something if I was not there. Now gatherings with friends feel mostly like work.

One speaker took parts of his talk from an article written by President Faust. It talked of how he grew up during the Great Depression. He said that they had homemade soap made from ashes. He said that they bathed once a week, so they were cleaner than when they got in the bath, but smelled worse and the soap was gritty and uncomfortable to use. Because of that he appreciates the soft soaps we have today that smell good. I don't ever want to go through something like the depression, but I do want to appreciate what we have more and not have an appetite for "better" things.

The speaker went on to talk about miracles that are around us every day. He talked of counting the miracles we see every day and giving thanks for them. There are a lot of things we don't pay attention to as miracles.

Sunday School
We talked of good shepherds and bad shepherds. Bad shepherds are self serving and do not have the welfare of the sheep in their minds and hearts. The difference between the good and the bad is is loving the sheep and just being there for the money. It came to my mind about our employment. Are we just there for the money or do we honestly do our best. This scripture is about teaching God's people, but it brought out other interesting thoughts to me.

Lesson 22 in the Teachings of Wilford Woodruff manual.
President Woodruff taught that those who labor with their education should also find ways to work manually. He said that we should not look down at manual work as being beneath us.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday November 12, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
We have two young men leaving on missions this week and they spoke today.

One of the them related a survey of returned missionaries about what they felt they should've done before leaving on their missions that would've better prepared them. Many of them said they would've studied more and become more familiar with the scriptures.

It was stated that missionaries should focus less on prepared lessons and more on teaching by the spirit. That does not mean to go in blind and not prepare, but to not focus on getting through a lesson plan.

One of the speakers talked of having gone to the temple for the first time recently. I believe he said that he went through a couple the last week or so. He testified of the sacredness of the temple and that all should become worthy and attend often.

Our new stake high councilor spoke. He introcduced himself. He said that he and his family are new to the area. He said that his wife is an actress and has been in several, now syndicated, television shows.

In his talk he said that in the scriptures the Lord does not use the word mission. Instead he uses the phrase to gather. He also expressed tht the measure of a successful missionary is the degree to which they obey the mission rules. A successful life could be measure in much the same way.

Sunday School
I was mistaken. We did not get through all of Jeremiah last week.

We talked about the miracles Israel had seen and yet built a golden calf. Turn that around and what if they saw our day and how foolish would we seem to them with foolish things we do with all the miracles that are done around us?

Do we fish for men as seriously and passionately as fishermen and hunters do for game?

Chapter 21 Wilford Woodruff
Why does God allow suffering?
1. Sometimes it is caused by others or ourselves and we and they have our agency. God will not remove that.
2. Also our purpose here is to be tried. We are to prove that we will be faithful. God knows what we will do, so we are mostly proving it to ourselves.
3. We are strengthen by doing. We learn by overcoming. Learning is another of our purposes.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday November 5, 2006

Fast and Testimony Meeting
We have had a lot of trouble with irreverence in the chapel. Our new bishop has implemented some things to try to help with that. He has had the elders' quorum set up ushers to make sure the overflow curtain stays closed until a few minutes before the meeting starts, so that the chapel fills up more before going to the overflow. The ushers are also supposed to keep people who come late from entering the chapel during sacrament meeting.

We have also had trouble with testimony meeting running over every month. People would not only run long with their testimonies, but they would also get up when the meeting was already supposed to be over to sit in line on the stand. They announced today that they would like people to respect that they want the meeting to wrap up by five till the hour.

Sunday School
We did the entire book of Jeremiah today.
It was pointed out that different prophets have different missions. Each of us also have different missions. We should not be jealous of the callings that other people get. Jeremiah and Mormon were called to give an apostate people one last change, but not succeed in getting them to repent. Others have been called to be successful. Some prophets prosper. Some live in poverty. Some are tortured. Some are killed.

The lesson was based on a April 1996 conference talk given by Thomas S. Monson. The talk was titled Duty Calls.

Where does the path of duty lie? First is the duty to prepare. Second is the duty to serve. You must know your duty and learn what it is. Then you must do it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday October 29, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
The primary gave the program today.

At the end the Bishop reiterated his challenge to become a unified ward. He also quoted from Matthew where he states to become like a little child.

Sunday School
We finished up Isaiah today.

Someone share that when you set up a tent the further your stake are out the stronger the tent becomes. This was related to the statement in Isaiah 54:2 to enlarge the habitation and strengthen stakes.

If we strengthen ourselves we will then beable to lengthen the cords and strengthen and add to the stakes.

Joint Priesthood/Relief Society
We had a presentation from LDS Family Services. They reviewed what they do and some new things that they do or at least changes in policy. They do adoptions, family counseling, 12 step programs for addiction (the 12 steps are free and based on LDS doctrine and values), and ecclesiastical consultations.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Richard Neitzel Holzapfel - BYU Sperry Symposium 10-28-2006

Notes from an address given at the BYU Sperry Symposium on How the New Testament Came to Be.

Richard Neitzel Holzapfel - Professor Emeritus of Ancient Scripture - Brigham Young University
The Da Vinci Code, the Gospel of Judas, and Other Bad Ideas
He listed some bad ideas and then went on to discuss them:
1. We can learn something about Jesus Christ and early Christianity from The Da Vinci Code.
2. The Dead Sea Scrolls are proto-Mormon documents that can help us prove the Church is true.
3. The Gospel of Judas, along with other Gnostic texts such as the Nag Hammadi Library, provides insights into the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament apocrypha contains the “plain and precious things” removed from the Bible.
The 1611 King James Version is a new revelation from God and is superior to the original Hebrew and Greek texts on which the translation was based.
New Testament scholars are evil, they are atheists (agnostic at best), and they deserve to go to you-know-where.
Past Latter-day Saint scholarship is the best scholarship.
The Joseph Smith Translation is only a footnote to the King James Version text.

He recommended David Daniell's book, The Bible in English as the best book on the history of the English Bible to that date.

Robert J. Matthews - BYU Sperry Symposium 10-28-2006

An address given at the BYU Sperry Symposium on How the New Testament Came to Be.

Robert J. Matthews - Professor Emeritus of Ancient Scripture - Brigham Young University
Joseph Smith and the New Testament
The current dispensation is conducted in the same way as previous dispensations. The ordinances are the same as well.

Men do not appoint themselves, but must be called of God by revelation.

"...if one man cannot understand these things but by the Spirit of God, ten thousand men cannot; it is alike out of the reach of the wisdom of the learned, the tongue of the eloquent, the power of the mighty." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 205;See reference sited in the later work - Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith Chapter 33: The Spiritual Gifts of Healing, Tongues, Prophecy, and Discerning of Spirits 379–89)

The natural man does not have the Holy Ghost, so he can not understand the things of God.

e [Elder Pratt] mentioned that as Joseph used the Urim and Thummim in the translation of the Book of Mormon, he wondered why he did not use it in the translation of the New Testament. Joseph explained to him that the experience he had acquired while translating the Book of Mormon by the use of the Urim and Thummim had rendered him so well acquainted with the Spirit of Revelation and Prophecy, that in the translating of the New Testament he did not need the aid that was necessary in the 1st instance." (Minutes of the School of the Prophets, Salt Lake City, 14 January 1871, Family and Church History Department Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Joseph understood much about previous dispensations since he had been visited by the leaders of those dispensations. He had been schooled by them and the Lord to restore that which had been lost, so he had to understand what had been before.

The complete gospel plan was preached in every dispensation beginning with Adam. The new testament dispensation was unique since it contained the Savior's birth, life, and ministry, but the doctrines were the same.

Men were saved by this great plan of redemption as much before the coming of Christ as since.

Our current New Testament is marvelous, but it is just a hint of what it once was.

The Book of Mormon does not lessen the New Testament or the holy land, but enlarge of view of an active and caring savior who is God of the whole world.

The Topic Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide in the Latter-day Saint scriptures contains 19 pages of scriptures supporting many subtopics about Jesus.

1 Nephi 13 talks of the Book of Mormon restoring the plain and precious things that have been removed from the Bible.

There are places in the Bible where there is ambiguity, which has caused some confusion. Mark 15:2 states "And aPilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, bThou sayest it." Some have stated that Jesus did not answer that he was the Son of God, but with, "That's what you say."

Joseph Smith's translation of this verse states,
3 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
4 And Jesus answering, said unto him, I am, even as thou sayest.

The ten commandment, the beatitudes, and the articles of faith all start with our relationship with God and they end up with out relationship to man, which matches with what the Savior said in Matthew 22:
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt alove the Lord thy God with all thy bheart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy cmind.
38 This is the first and great acommandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt alove thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the alaw and the prophets.

The first four beatitudes are missing from the New Testament and if we know the pattern we can immediately see that something is missing. The Savior teaches us about our relationship to God and then our relationship to man.

One o fthe purposes our scripture is to keep the Lord's commandments in front of our eyes.

Robert L. Millet - BYU Sperry Symposium 10-28-2006

An address given at the BYU Sperry Symposium on How the New Testament Came to Be.

Robert L. Millet - Department of Ancient Scripture - BYU
The Closed Canon: Blessings, Challenges, and Prospects
He talked of a canon of scripture being authoritative and books are included because they are deemed authoritative. There was a lot of discussion about books to be included in the Bible. There was a lot of Christian writings at the time, but they tried to determine which were authoritative.

Luke 24: 44-45
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be afulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their aunderstanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Jesus continued to teach His people from the Law of Moses, the words of the prophets, and other sacred writings. Those records testified of him to and it was of continued importance that the people learn and understand those scriptures too.

He described some of the history of how we got the Bible in the form we have it today. There was much debate of the the books to be included Old Testament and even the entire Old Testament itself. There were also disputes over what to include in the New Testament. There was also much that was removed and attempted to be removed that didn't match what some people wanted to believe. For example Martin Luther not like the Epistle of James because it talked so much about the need for works.

Some books were removed from the canon because they were not in narrative form. They didn't tell a story. They were trying to make Christianity more palatable to the rest of the world.

Professor N.T. Wright, a bishop in the Church of England stated, "The canonization of scripture, both Jewish and Christian, was no doubt complicated by all kinds of less than perfect human motivations."

Some writers in the early Church add titillation to their writings to make them more palatable to non Christians often taking liberties with the doctrines. The canonized books of the Bible helped keep some of that in check.

On the other hand too much reliance on the canon can shut off people to being open to further instruction from God. It can also lead to complacency if a point of doctrine is not dealt with directly in the Bible some may assume that God doesn't care how we deal with it. It can border on scripture worship.

Scripture points away from itself and toward God and delegated to Christ.

One Protestant scholar has inquired tellingly into the erroneous doctrine of a closed canon. He writes: “On what biblical or historical grounds has the inspiration of God been limited to the written documents that the church now calls its Bible? . . . If the Spirit inspired only the written documents of the first century, does that mean that the same Spirit does not speak today in the church about matters that are of significant concern?”(Lee M. McDonald, The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon, rev. ed. (1995), 255–56.)

Who authorized the canon to be closed?

2 Nephi 28:26-31
26 Yea, wo be unto him that ahearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we aneed no more!
28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are aangry because of bthe truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the crock dreceiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we aneed bno more of the word of God, for we have enough!
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon aprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn bwisdom; for unto him that creceiveth I will give dmore; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
31 Cursed is he that putteth his atrust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the bprecepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Didn't the apostles in New Testament times declare that the canon was no more closed .

The Bible is a wonderful tool in the hand of God, but horrible when used as a weapon.

We do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, but we do believe that what we have today is what God intended for us to have.

Before we can write the Gospel in our own book of life we must learn the Gospel as it is in the books of scripture. - Bruce R. McKonkie 1982

We read the Bible through the lenses of restoration scriptures. Christians have been likewise taught to read the Old Testament through the lenses of the New Testament. They would probably rather read the book of John or other writings of the apostles than the book of Leviticus they nonetheless confess a love for the entire Bible. The same is true for Latter-day Saints. We would most like modern scripture, but we love all scripture.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday October 22, 2006

Our meeting schedule was reversed today due to needing to change our bishop. In order for the stake presidency to be there they needed to have Sacrament meeting last.

The instructor talked of a time when he knew of a minister that was studying with the missionaries. He commented on the sacrifice that would be required of that man to accept the gospel. He probably went to college to be a minister. If he choose to join the Church he will still be able to be a "minister", but he will have to get a different job and possibly start his education over again in order to get that job.

The instructor pointed out that Nephi's brother Jacob was eye witness to many miracles. He quoted from a conference talk or a scripture the phase, "Oh be wise. What can I say more?" If we are being wise in our behaviors we will be obeying the commandment. If we think about the things that we do. How many of them are foolishness and if we thought about what we were doing and tried to be wise would we be wetter off?

The instructor pointed out that we should focus on principle and people rather than on programs.

A phrase was used today that I know I have heard a while ago. "Catch others doing something right." We often catch others doing wrong or what we perceive to be wrong, but how many times do we recognize the good that others do? When they do a good parenting thing. When they go out of their way to help someone else.

We talked of motivating others with love and sincere appreciation and not with guilt.

Sunday School
I was reflecting back recently on illnesses my kids have had and how they have wanted to be held by me when taking medicine or cleaning a wound. It has made me think about the story of Joseph Smith getting his leg operated on. I have often thought about how hard that surgery would be for him and for his father to watch, but now I see a new perspective. How it is to have built a relationship with your children where just being held by you gives them comfort as they have pain and allows them to shoulder the pain.

Sacrament Meeting
They released Bishop Brown today and called Bishop Wagner. Everyone was saying good bye, so there was little to really document.

Sunday October 15, 2006

7am Priesthood meeting
President Alexander was released since he is moving due to his work.

Sacrament Meeting
Prophets are more important than scripture. The scriptures told the Jews that they were the chosen people. Paul told them that the Gentiles were to be given the opportunity to be chosen as well.

Sunday School
I missed Sunday school today.

Agency makes us responsible for our actions. We fought in the war in Heaven for our agency. Why was it so important that it would cause a war.

Someone stated that evil is not a paying job. They quote President Woodruff in saying, "I have never committed a sin that didn't cost me more than what it was worth."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday October 8, 2006

Fast Sunday
Sacarment Meeting
Many expressed gratefulness for having conference last week.

One brother expressed an interesting thought. He said that his sister had told him before, in trying to teach him to be a better listener, that if you listen long enough, even to a fool, you will learn something.

Sunday School
We watched a video called Touch of the Master's Hand that was a video representation of the story about the beat up old violin at an auction. It was being auctioned for only a few dollars. Then someone came from the back and cleaned and tuned it. They then played a song on it. After that it was auctioned for thousands.

The short video was all we had time for since the testimonies given in sacrament meeting ran us way long, but the teach gave us a handout that I have entered below.

"The Wonderful Things the Savior has Done for Us."
  1. The Savior opens the door to Heavenly Father's presence (Isaiah 22:22).
  2. The Savior shows mercy for those in Spirit Prison (Isaiah 24:21-22).
  3. The Savior is a strength and a refuge (Isaiah 25:1-4, 32:1-2).
  4. The Savior will prepare a feat and destroy the vail (Isaiah 25:6-9).
  5. The Savior wipes away our tears (Isaiah 25:8).
  6. The Savior will bring the resurrect (Isaiah 26:19).
  7. The Savior is our sure foundation (Isaiah 28:19).
  8. *The Savior will restore the gospel to the earth (Isaiah 29:4, 9-14, 18, 24).
  9. The Savior knows our trials and directs our paths (Isaiah 30:19-21).
*Isaiah 29:4 -> Moroni 10:27
Isaiah 29:9-10, 13 -> Joseph Smith - History 1:18-19
Isaiah 29:11-12 -> Joseph Smith - History 1:63-65
Isaiah 29:14 -> Doctrine and Covenants 4:1, 6:1

We went over Chapter 10 of Teachings of the Prophets, Wilford Woodruff titled Following the Living Prophet.

We talked about that different prophets seem to have a theme or something that they particularly drive. President Bensen's theme many would say was to read the Book of Mormon. We asked what President Hinckley's would be. He seems to be focused on getting temples to the people, but also on strengthening the youth. Examples of this would be the statements that missionaries need to prepare better before their missions. They should no longer live a wayward life and then repent before going on their mission.. They should also no longer gain their testimony after they are on their mission. They need to have a testimony before they leave.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September 30 - October 1, 2006

General Conference
Transcripts, audio, and video of conference can be found at,5161,7050,00.html

Saturday Morning Session
Topics covered in this session
-Sacramento Temple
-First Generation members. They are important to their posterity. They must be valiant.

Saturday Afternoon Session
Topics covered in this session
-The importance of the scriptures
-Elder Hales stated - "When we want to speak to him we pray. When we want him to speak to us we read our scriptures."
-Elder Wirthlin talked about the resurrection and those of his family who have passed on. The Lord was killed on a Friday and rose on a Sunday. Elder Wirthlin testified that many things will happen on this earth. Our friends and family will day, but Sunday will come.
-One speaker talked of air ports that were built over landfills. He said that if he went to those airports and started digging up the runways to find his old garbage they would be cross with him and perhaps ask why he would want to dig up some so beautiful and useful to get to his old garbage.
-Elder Uckdorf spoke on righteous motives and testimonies. A testimony give proper perspective and motivation.
-Elder Scott talked about peace and happiness.

Priesthood Session
-Elder Eyring talked about the importance of strong priesthood quorums. He also talked about Deacon's quorum presidents stepping up and being a quorum leader and not just a 12 year old kid.
-Many of the talks talked about what it means to be men. President Hinckley closed the session and talked about the men of the church rising up. He talked of being men of God in our dress and in our speach. He talked about being men of God in getting education to provide for our families. It appears that as time goes on the plainess and blodness with which our leaders are addressing us is increasing. Just like the standard for young men serving missions it seems that just showing up for church is not enough. Many of the men of the church are letting pieces of the world take home in us.

Sunday Morning Session
-President Monson - Service
-Elder L. Tom Perry - Lots of media and technology that can confuse us with their messages. He also talked about the purpose of life and the restoration.
-Edgerly talked about honesty.
-Primary president talked about protecting children.
-Elder Nelson talked about the apostasy, the scattering of Israel, the gathering of Israel, and the restoration. He said that if there was no Book of Mormon then the gathering of Israel could not occur.
-President Hinckley talked about his health. He seemed positive and seemed to just want to address all of the speculation. He also talked about the pioneers.

Sunday Afternoon Session
-Elder Packer talked about standards and obedience. He said that if we are obedient we need not fear the things going on in the world around us.
-Elder Bednar talked of being offended. He talked about being offended is not something someone does to us, but a choice that we make. He said that there was a person that went inactive over milk, yet Brigham Young was publicly rebuked by Joseph Smith and he went on to be a Prophet. He quoted Neal A. Maxwell who said that the Church was not a rest home for the perfect.
-One of the speakers quote Neal A Maxwell when he talked of the song Ye Elders of Israel. The song says Babylon we bid thee farewell. Elder Maxwell said that too many leave, but keep a summer home there.
-Elder Holland talked about coming and listening to a prophet's voice. He became very emotional and fervent that he had never been associated with any group of men that were more in touch with what is going on in the world, in spite of murmurings by some that they are not. The same murmurings that have been had throughout time.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday September 24, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Brother Gill got his mission call. He is going to the New York Rochester mission.

The youth speaker talked about a girl he knows who didn't know who the missionaries were or what they did. He said that one day when they came to her door she though they were collecting money for charity. She said that she opened the door, handed them a dollar and then closed the door. She later found the dollar under the corner of the welcome mat, so it wouldn't blow away. The speaker then said that his brother was getting ready to go on a mission, "so if he knocks on your door don't give him a dollar."

Another speaker talked of thinking about missionary work when the Savior said, "Lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." They also touched on "Every man who has been warned must warn his neighbor."

We are missionaries in all ways and in all places. Do our lives make us missionaries for good or for evil? You may be the only standard works anyone will ever read. Will they read his image in you?

Sunday school
DnC 45:32, 87:8, 101:22 - Stand ye in holy places. AND be not moved.

Isaiah is quoted in the scriptures more than any other prophet. If they are quoted that much and the Savior said Isaiah's words were great, then we will probably be accountable for learning and understanding them.

The lesson was based on M Russell Ballard's conference talk from April 2006. Creating a Gospel Sharing Home.

Our families can be lessons for those that come in our home. They will see the gospel in our lives and the effect it has upon us.

One thing that I have thought about is praying for our food wherever we are. One as a way to be thankful for our food wherever, but also as a way to show a good example to those around us. I thought I read a talk that mentioned this at one time where they were recommending that we not do prayers in restaurants. I think it could have the opposite effect on those around. It could actually alienate them. Also prayers are sacred and doing them in a public place may not be appropriate.

We talked a little about the huge impact a well adorned dorm room can have. Most dorm rooms are a little irreverent and having one that shows the importance of the savior to you could really stand out and bring conversation.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunday September 17, 2006

This week we visited my parents' ward in Elkhart, Indiana.

Sacrament Meeting
Individual worth
Women's roles necessary to God's plan. To help spirits live and help souls be lifted is her divine mission.

One of the speakers noted that J Edgar Hoover said that the cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair.

Mission of the Relief Society:
To emphasize the divine worth of all women. To server and support each sister (active, inactive, or non member).

Sunday School
Stand ye in Holy Places. Take a holy place with you.

The lesson was on the first six chapters of Isaiah. The Savior said, "Great are the words of Isaiah." 3 Ne. 23: 1
Even though his words are great people avoid reading them, because they find them hard to understand.

When Nephi quoted the words of Isaiah the words were only about 150 years old. It would be akin to us quoting Joseph Smith or Brigham Young today.

A church leader once said that only the home can compare to the temple in sacredness.

In opening exercises the president of the South Bend, IN stake, Chester Gibson, spoke for a moment. He was my bishop when I was a teenager and when went on my mission.

President Gibson talked of how he saw worry on some of the face of the congregation today. He related the story of the Lord sleeping on the ship while it was storming. If the savior is resting calming through a storm, should we worry?

I think I have heard him say this before, but he said it again today. "Worry is interest paid on a debt before it is due." I like to add that it is interest paid on a debt that we may not owe.

The lesson in Elders' quorum was on Chapter 18 from the Wilford Woodruff manual.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday September 10, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Temptation is part of God's plan, but is not of God.

One of the talks was based on H Bruce Hafen's conference talk from the last general conference. They related the part of the talk where as a you boy he was hunting with his new bow and arrow. He lost an arrow and was very concerned because he only had three and his mom wanted him home by dark. He knelt and prayed and when he opened his eyes the arrow was right near him.

Heavenly Father doesn't consider such things too trivial to get involved in. Do we consider the little things our children ask for too trivial to deal with?

How do we keep the light of Christ? Scripture, temple, service, and missionary work. We use it and fuel it at the same time.

Sunday School
The book of Hosea.
They used stories and similitudes since many of the people were not educated. They used things they were familiar with.

Lesson 17 in the Wilford Woodruff manual

One missionary related a similar experience to President Woodruff. He said that even though he had lived in a town where he went by a temple all the time it still caught his eye and made him feel nice to see it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday September 3, 2006

Fast Sunday
Sacarment Meeting
The bishop bore his testimony and share a few thoughts. He said that he spoke with a friend of his and his friend said that he hasn't always gotten what he asked for, but always got what he needed.

A little boy got up and bore his testimony about that we all have trials in our lives. He must have been fix or six.

One lady got up and talked about how people watch us very closely, when we say that we are members of the church. They are curious about what a Mormon is. They will make judgements about the effectiveness of the church based on what they see and hear of us personally. We need to do better.

A black teenager got up and said that he was talking about going camping and such and some other kids said that he was being white. He questioned back if it wasn't okay for a black guy to go camping. He didn't say what the response was.

Sunday School
We talked about Jonah today. It was mentioned that Jonah being in the whale three days was in the similitude of Christ's death and resurrection.

The lesson quoted President Kimball:
“I believe the Lord can do anything he sets his mind to do. But I can see no good reason why the Lord would open doors that we are not prepared to enter” (“The Uttermost Parts of the Earth,” Ensign, July 1979, 9).

We also covered the book of Micah. I don't remember hearing much about Micah very often, but there are several prophecies about the temple and the last days.

The lesson was based on the September first presidency message titles The Father Who Cares by President Faust.

Veterat criminal court judge in the 50's wrote an article titled Nine Words That Can Stop Juvenile Delinquency. Those nine words are "Put father back at the head of the home."

There is no higher honor or responsibility that that of mother, but fathers need to do their job.

Fathers' first priority is to maintain their own physical and spiritual health.

If we do not discipline our children, society will in ways we will not like.

McArther said a soldier destroys in order to build, but a father only builds.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday August 27, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Brother Burton got his mission called to the Salt Lake City mission.

The sister who spoke said that she had completed her college education at BYU, but found that her education was far from over. She now has the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. She is now learning time management, first aid, and finance.

A recent convert spoke. He had just submitted his mission papers. He said that spritual knowledge is also necessary. We need to learn how to learn at the spiritual level and not just physical knowledge of spiritual things.

The talks ran short, so President Sinclair shared a few things with us. He said that as his daughter is leaving for college he finds himself thinking about what he hadn't taught her to prepare her to be on her own.

Temples are to houses of learning. He encouraged us to do what we can to get there more frequently. There isn't the opportunity to raise our hands and ask questions, so we have to go back repeatedly to understand what we need to.

He told us that our stake and ward are only going to make as much progress as we are worthy.

Sunday School
-Good man
-Wealth, but not caught up in it.
-Strengthened the weak.
-Concerned for his enemies - forgave them.

-Loss of property and income
-Loss of children
-Illness and pain
-Restless sleep and nightmares.
-Accussations and loss of support of family and friends.
-Mocked and others delighted in his misery.
-Felt that God had forsaken him.

We talked about Satan's telling God that Job was only faithful because he was so blessed. It made me think about why was Satan given an audience with God? Why was God persuaded by him?

When God gives riches or good times we just accept them. When he gives us trials we sometimes get angry. Romans 8:28 - 28 And we know that all things work together for agood to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The lesson was based on the talk by Elder Wirthlin - The Abundant Life.

My son was giving a scripture in Primary, so I didn't hear much of the lesson. He shared the firest sentance of Mosiah 2:41 - 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Post Church
I was watching BYU TV after church. I watched a talk by James and Colleen Harper titled Loving and Nurturing Teenagers given at the Family Expo on 4/5/1999. At the close of the talk Sister Harper comment that Grandchildren were our reward for not killing our teenagers.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday August 20, 2006

Stake Conference
It was held in the Pike Performing Arts Center. We have been doing that for several years. When we first got to Indy and all when I was growing up we had stake conference in the stake center. I'm not sure what has changed that makes that unfeasible anymore.

At last conference we were challenged to memorize the BOM seminary scripture mastery scriptures. The stake president showed a jar of candy where the young women had deposited a piece of candy for each scripture each young woman had memorize by the time girls' camp came along. They had, I think, 1390 pieces.

He talked of the blessings that we all have received in our families for being obedient. He then listed a lot of things that have been exceptional milestones. He said that he was not going to be bold enough to say that all these things were because we memorized the seminary scriptures.

-Stake has more than 4000 members.
-More perspective elders attending than ever.
-More people with endowments and current temple recommends.
-80% of primary children attend.

He related a story that a sister shared in testimony meeting. She got snowed in on a Sunday morning. Her husband had passed away years before and her kids were all grown. She didn't know how she would get to church. She then looked out and her home teacher and the missionaries shoveled the drive and sidewalk and so forth. She said that what they didn't know was she never uses that sidewalk. She put on her boots and coat and walked up and down that sidewalk in an expression of gratitude to them and to God.

He related 3 Nephi 17 to us. Specifically starting with the verses below.

5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were ain tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with acompassion towards you.
He talked of us being observant of those around us and having compassion on them and tarrying a little longer if necessary.

Sister Schultz spoke. She commented that the final judgment is not the sum total of the good things and bad things we have done, but who we have become.

Elder Schultz of the second Quorum of the 70 spoke to us on eternal love. He talked of being grandparents and still holding hands when they go to the mall. He talked of a doctrine that is being propagated in the world. He said some are teaching that our family love is temporary and our relationship with Jesus will do away with the need for such things. There is also a trend for people to get married later and later. They want to finish education or buy things before they take on family responsibilities.

He listed rough requirements for the various kingdoms of glory.
Telestial - born
Terrestial - be a good person
Celestial - be a complete person by being sealed to a spouse.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday August 13, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
One of the youth spoke on seminary and the things he has gotten out of it. He said he learned more about the scripture stories that he heard when he was younger.

One of the Seminary teachers talked of the importance of pondering the scriptures as well as reading them. She also said that reading them aloud can reveal emphasis.

It is our job to put the scriptures in us. It is the Holy Ghost's job to pull them out.

The other seminary teacher said that seminary is preparing our kids for church service.

Sunday School
Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are called wisdom literature. The writers were not prophets, but possibly inspired men.

Seek after the word of God like we seek riches to make a living and we will gain knowledge and understanding.

Living by Faith
We rely too much on borrowed light. We check what people say in talks against what we already believe rather than praying about it.

It is good to believe, better to practice it.

We have lots of knowledge, but how we use it is wisdom.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday August 6, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Someone bore testimony about the importance of having a ward family, especially when your blood family is away. He said he enjoyed the support that he received while his wife was out of town.

A black brother talked about joining the church in 1968 before he was able to have the priesthood. It seems to be a non issue for him, but I would still like to listen to a group of black brethren or even just one talk about joining the church in the 60's and before to find out what that was like for them. I would like to hear if they had trouble reconciling not having the priesthood. I would also like to know how white members of the church received them in comparison to how the rest of society was receiving them.

Another brother talked about how we should prove that we know things by our actions. At first I thought he was talking about proving that what we say we know is true to convince others, but then I caught on that he was talking about not having empty testimonies. About doing something with that testimony to show that we know it.

Sunday School
We covered 2 Chronicles 29–30; 2 Chronicles 32; 2 Chronicles 34 The subject that we explored in them was "Come to the House of the Lord".

Hezekiah, the king of Judah, reopened the temple. The priests and Levites are instructed to cleanse it and sanctify it. Another indication of the Levites special calling.

Some related that in the past someone had forced their way into the Washington DC temple and stayed in their for a couple of hours. Someone else said that after that they closed down the temple and redicated it.

The lesson was on the first presidency message for the month of August.

Pioneer - One who goes before to prepare or open the way for others to follow.

Moses literally opened the way for others to follow when he asked the Lord to part the Red Sea.
John the Baptist was a pioneer in that he prepared the way for the Lord.
John Tinsdale learned Greek and made the first translation of the Bible into English. Before then the general membership of the Catholic church was not allowed to read the Bible. Tinsdale stated to the Pope that he would cause the plow boy to know more about the scriptures than the Pope did.

Jesus is the greatest pioneer. He gave a new law and opened the way for repentance.

Sunday July 30, 2006

Nothing to report today. We were out of town and no meeting houses were close to us. We did a family home evening and had any of the kids bear their testimony that wanted to.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday July 23, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
With Pioneer Day coming up tomorrow we had a couple of people speak on Pioneers.

Both speakers found the story of a Sunday school class long ago where the class was talking about what a mistake sending out the Martin handcart company was. There was a brother in the room, who apparently had heard this sort of talk before and had had enough of it.
He was in that company and told of how close the people in that company had come to God after that experience.
He said that he had heard a lot of people complaining about sending out that company so late, but he had never heard a complaint from those who were in that company.

He told of having had occasion several times to be so exhausted and sick that he looked out ahead of him at a patch of sand or grass and determined that he could go only that much further and then he would have to stop. Once he got to those spots he could then feel the cart start to push him. He tried several times to see who was pushing and could never seen anyone.

The speakers also talked of first generation members being pioneers.

There was talk of how Joshua told the children of Israel that they live in cities they did not build and eat crops that they did not plant. In some ways we are like that as we look at those that went before us. Pioneers, Founding Fathers, and so forth. Do we forget the work that they did and what they went through? Do we forget the ways that God watched over them?

Sunday School
There is a story related by Thomas S. Monson 1st councilor in the First Presidency in the teacher's manual about a young man that was preparing to go on a mission. He said that Spencer W. Kimball received a letter about the young man stating that the mission would be a great financial burden for his family and he has only one possession, which was a stamp collection. He indicated that he was willing to sell the collection if necessary. President Kimball told them to tell him to sell his collection. He then set forth that all of the stamps from the thousands of letters that come into church headquarters each month should be collected and presented to the young man at the end of his mission. He would then have the finest stamp collection of any young man in Mexico.

We talked about that Elijah was told to go live by the brook and that birds would feed him. I wonder what that was like.

We also talked about the woman who had only a handful of meal and a little oil in a cruz who Elijah asked to feed him. The barrel didn't waste and the cruz didn't fail until the drought was over.

We talked about Elijah's competition against the 850 priests of Baal to make fire. I often wonder about the taunting Elijah did. Was it just a human weakness or was it to get the people's attention?

The lesson was on Elder Bednar's April 2006 conference talk on always having the Spirit to be with us.

If one is only baptised with water that is only half a baptism. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5) If one is baptized by water and has not received the Gift of the Holy Ghost then you have not completed the ordinance and have not entered the kingdom of God.

It was brought up that we separate ourselves from the Holy Ghost by our choices. He may still call after us, but the further we are away, the harder it is to hear him.

We talk at times like spiritual experiances are rare experiences, but the promise is "that they may always have his spirit to be with them.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday July 16, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Several of the youth were called upon to speak about their experience working for Habitat for Humanity. One girl talked about how neighbors sat outside and watched and how people driving by would circle around and look at what was going on.

A talk was given on kindness. She asked, "What if someone is offensive? Love them. What if someone is wayward? Love them. No matter the circumstance the answer is the same."

Another gave a talk based on a talk by N Lendon Tanner from 34 years ago.

Elder Tanner quoted Brigham Young, "We are not, in our current state, called to judge anyone else. If we were we would ruin everything."

We are quick to judge others by a standard that we ourselves are unwilling to be judged by.

Sunday School
We talked about the ten tribes breaking off from the rest of Israel.

We talked about the qualities of good leaders. The instructor proposed these five qualities based on 1 Kings.
  1. They give service.
  2. They trust and obey God.
  3. They have faith in God.
  4. They teach from the scriptures.
  5. They are followers of the prophet.
Hezekiah removed the high places and groves. The instructor said that the high places were holy places that had been desecrated. Groves were idolatry where immoral acts were also performed.

We studied from chapter 14 of the Wilford Woodruf manual.

We talked of Zion's camp. Many often think that they would've gone if they had been called upon to do the things the pioneers were. Yet we don't even do our home and visiting teaching.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday July 9, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
One of the speakers relayed ideas from a talk given by President Ezra Taft Benson given in 1987 General Conference.

Here are a few of the points:
The Constitution and Declaration of Independance were given by God for the whole world. (D&C 98:5 and D&C 101:77)

The Declaration of Independance ends with "...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor". This sounded a bit like the law of consecration to me.

In his talk he noted that John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31)

We should be reading the constitution to be able to defend it. We should also be familiar with what the prophets have said about the constitution.

Sunday School
We should magnify the spiritual gifts that we have and then ask for more gifts.

We talked about Solomon's wisdom and the dividing of the child between the two women. The teacher said that even if the child was given to the woman whose child it was not it was wise to give it to the one that had the child's best interest in mind.

We see the fall of Saul, David, and Solomon. It is not our job to judge them. It is our job to learn from their mistakes. One this we can learn is that our strengths can lead us to pride.

Someone pointed out that our journals give us accountability to ourselves to some extent. As we reflect on the day we can see where we have stumbled.

We also talked about that if Wilford Woodruff had kept a journal there would've been a lot of things that Joseph Smith said that would have been lost.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday July 2, 2006

Sacrament Meeting (Fast and Testimony)
The Lord doesn't always give us what we want, but he always gives us what we need.

Sunday School
I had it in my head that all of the psalms were written by David. Our instructor shared a chart with us today that showed a breakdown of who wrote how many. It was listed in Religion 301,Old Testament Student Manual Genesis–2 Samuel p. 310.
Psalms with no superscription .............................................. 18
Psalms attributed to David .................................................... 73
Psalms attributed to Solomon ................................................ 2
Psalms attributed to Asaph
(a musician in David’s court) ................................................ 12
Psalms attributed to the sons of Korah (Levites) ................ 11
Psalms attributed to Heman
(a leader of the temple music)................................................ 1
Psalms attributed to Ethan
(a leader of the temple music)................................................ 1
Psalms attributed to Moses .................................................... 1
Psalms with song titles............................................................ 4
Hallelujah (“Praise Ye Jehovah”) Psalms .............................. 18
Psalms of Degree (see Reading 28-4 for a definition).......... 15

I didn't find anything else to blog about in Sunday school, since Testimony meeting ran over and caused us to have limited time. Also, I have a tough time seeing the value of the book of Psalms.

The lesson was on the 1st Presidency message out of the July 2006 Ensign.

Out of every principle of our beliefs Joseph Smith picked to list the definition of the Godhead first when writting the articles of faith.

In our discussion today it was brought out that there is sometimes a discrepency about God's personality, since in the Old Testament we see a punishing God and in the New Testament we see a loving God. Some get caught up in God being one or the other. Are we as fathers punishing fathers or loving fathers. The answer is that we are both. Our punishing should be loving.
  1. 1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I alove I also chasten that their sins may be bforgiven, for with the cchastisement I prepare a way for their ddeliverance in all things out of etemptation, and I have loved you.
  2. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and achasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
  3. 43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
God the Father has only spoken to man a few times that we have recorded. Each time it was to introduce his Son.

We read the scripture John 4: 24
24 aGod is a bSpirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in ctruth.

Many people use this to prove that God does not have a body, but the same could be said for man. Man is a spirit. Man is also flesh and bone, but our spirit is who we are.

We also read Matt 12:32
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be aforgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
I had always read this scripture from the perspective of the unpardonable sin, which is obviously what it is all about. When I read it today I noticed the phrase "neither in the world to come." People often talk about people dying and going directly to Heaven or Hell, which goes against the idea of Christ returning and judging his people. This scripture's implication seems to support the doctrine of being able to repent to some extent after death.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday June 25, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Jesus' ministry started and ended with an ordinance. It started with baptism and ended with the sacrament.

Something else one of the speakers either said or maybe made me think about was that the sacrament is an offering. I haven't entirely put my mind around what all that means, but I guess it makes sense, since the sacrifice offerings of the Old Testament were a symbol of Christ. Now we offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I guess I thought about that being done in our nightly prayers and our daily lives, which it is, but it is also an ordinance.

Sunday School
The lesson today was primarily on David's fall. One question I have had is can David repent? Has his committed the unpardonable sin by committing murder? The Sunday school teach said that he may never attain anything above the Telestial. If he had not received any level of forgiveness he would have received no glory and yet to have fallen so far to not be able to reach beyond the Telestial. Also the statements in 2 Sam 11-12 about his wives being given to another. Is that in this life or in the resurrection? Does anyone know the history of David at all? Did he lose his wives in this life? The scriptures reference that the Lord would do this thing before the sun. That kind of spoke of Celestial things to me, but I have nothing authoritative yet.

This discussion also brought us to our own weaknesses and how to avoid them. Couple of interesting analogies were made.
1. Temptation is like a thread wrapped around your wrists. When you are first tempted it like on strand. You can easily break it if you choose to. If you continue to entertain the temptation then the thread is wrapped more times around you. If entertain it long enough you can't just easily break it, but might need to get scissors to cut it off of you.
2. Someone related hearing something by a preacher on the radio about each of us having two dogs fighting within us. One is good and one is bad. The one that we feed more wins more.

Again the topic of praying even for the little things was taught. It started with praying for things that you have lost and moved into praying for removal of your anger and to soften your heart. Many times we think about asking God to soften others, but most times the situation could be helped by softening us. It may not entirely resolve the situation, but many times it can be substantially made better by just changing our own heart.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday June 18, 2006

Father's Day
Sacrament Meeting
One speaker shared a poem or something that talked about God knowing about cars and being an accomplished musician and a master physician.

One sister talked about her father, the father of her children, and Heavenly Father.

Sunday School
Saul's jealousy was destructive. He was a man of strong character, but lost that by allowing his jealousy to consume him.

We compared Saul, David, and Jonathan.

We also talked about David respecting Saul's office, even though he was trying to kill him. It talks about that he behaved himself wisely. How do we behave ourselves wisely as we deal with those we work with in life?

We had pie and ice cream that was brought in by one of the sisters for Father's Day. And after that my daughter gave scripture in Primary, so I went and watched that. Thus, I missed most of the lesson in priesthood.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday June 11, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
What does it take for us to change our ways. Will we wait until something terrible happens? Until what we are doing kills us? Until our children have problems after our bad habits.

I myself put together ideas at one time for a talk that talked of something similar to this. My grandmother smoked for years. I would hide her cigarrettes, but she would not stop. Finally she was diagnosed with cancer. She then quit. It was too late.

Before you pray, pray for what you should pray for. Many times it is hard to pray because it feels like we are saying the same thing each time.

Sunday School
We discussed Saul's good characterists and how he lost them. When he first was king he would not allow those that opposed him to be put to death.

As his time went on Saul became prideful and relied on his own authority. An example of this is when he offered the offering to the Lord when Samuel was late.

When Saul offered the sacrafice of the animals of the people that they were to completely destroy it was not a sacrafice, because it was not their animals.

Make our wants known and leave it in his hands.

We should take all things to the Lord. This would include solving a problem you are working on at work, even though the work you are doing is temporal.

Sometime perhaps just thank and don't ask.

We should also make sure we pay attention to others' needs and pray for them.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday June 4, 2006

Sacrament Meeting (Testimony Meeting)
One person expressed that blessings are contingent upon work. Are there random blessings that he knows that we need? Perhaps. Are some of the blessings we receive trials or having things withheld from us. Many times, yes.

I think the statement that blessings are contingent upon work may be a little too specific, but I do think that work does bring us blessings and in many cases our blessings are contingent upon us doing something. I believe that sometimes when our prayers seem to not being answered that maybe we haven't sought out everything that is our responsibility in the matter or that until we reach out past ourselves we can't get the answer or the blessing.

Testimony: A testimony is not what we say, but what we express through our spirit. This is why it should be brief and to the point.

Sunday School
Thinking of ourselves causes our spirituality to decline. How many times do we not want to take the time or effort for Family Home Evening, Family Prayer, Family Scripture study, or even to fast?

We started the book of 1 Samuel today. We talked of Israel wanting a king because all the other nations had kings.

The lesson was taken from the First Presidency message from the June Ensign.

What types of voice are we hearing today? Political, profane, warring... Do we hear the voices of the spirit (love, peace...) much at work or on TV? Where will we or our kids hear them? Our kids will hear them from us or at church or in places where that is the primary concern. Our homes need to be places where that is the primary concern. We can here them at church, from our home teachers, at the temple, and so forth.

A couple of side points that were brought out in the lesson by class members:
  • Do we disrespect the gift of life by doing death defying things to get a rush or a high?
  • People act like a stampede at times. They get something in their heads and don't hear influences that would help them to be safe.
  • You can tell who you are by what you think when you don't have to think. (I think this one was from President Faust's talk.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday May 28, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
Agency - If we are given a box of legos and directions, we can follow the directions of build whatever we want. The speaker related that to if someone wrongs us we can choose to do what God would have us do or we can act out on our own.

Another speaker took his material from Elder Uchdorf's talk on Seeing the Beginning from the End. I have commented on this elsewhere, so I won't go into it too much, but the gist of it is that we have limited perspective and we can sometimes get lost in the trial at hand and can't see what the blessing is at the end of it. Elder Uchdorf talks of his lung disease that was healed due to the hard work he had to do as a kid to help provide for his family.

The speaker added the scripture Words of Mormon 1:7.
And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

Sunday School
What do we want spoken about us? What one thing can we do this week to make that vision come true?
Ruth became one of the children on Israel by marriage even thought Israel had been commanded to conquer her people.

The lesson was based on Elder Hales talk on Agency from last conference. I didn't catch all of the lesson since my foru-year old had gave a talk in Primary.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday May 21, 2006

Sacrament Meeting
The speakers talked today about serving others. The following points were brought out:
  • Even though we should encourage each other, we should avoid calling others to repentance.
  • Be friendly to everyone, even those that aren't like us. Sometimes it is hard to be close with someone that does not have our interests or is not in our social circle or is not at our education level. We must learn to be close to all mankind.
  • We should impart our substance to each other.
  • We will never acheive perfection so long as we are mostly concerned with our ours needs. We even do this with our own needs at church. I have seen people grumbling about having a hard time hearing a Sunday school lesson because a mother has a baby in the room and it is fussing a little. I agree that there comes a point that they need to be taken out, but the rest of us also should cut them some slack in order for them to be able to get some of the lesson.

    There were a couple of other key points brought out.
  • When you walk where he is going then you can talk about where you are are going.
  • We deny the Savior through our actions every day. We are sometimes judgemental of Peter for denying Christ 3 times before the cock crowed, but do our actions testify that the Church is true and that the atonement has power that others need?
Sunday School
After Joshua died the people were ruled by judges.

Some nations were not completely conquered to bring Israel into humility later.

Being born with gifts can be a great blessing to you and others, but it can also be a trial of your humility. We gain power by recognizing God's hand and asking for guidance in the use of our talents.