Sunday, March 26, 2006
One of the talks today talked about how some other churches have "children's church". This is a service that goes on while church is going on. The speaker talked of how different it was to have the chatter of children in a church service. I think I understand why they would have such a thing, yet I think it is good to have kids learn to sit through a church service and also be able to have time for training at their level. Also I think there is value in allowing all members to have one meeting that they can go to. Those who would lead a children's meeting during services would not be able to go to an adult service.
We were asked to imagine that we were dead. We were then asked to reflect on what trials we had in mortality. What did we learn? How could we have used our time better? I think we got into talking about that as we talked of Joseph's trials.
Someone in class stated that Pharoah had dreams all the time, which is why he had people on staff to interpret them. This time no one had any idea what the dream meant.
It is interesting that Pharoah listened to the Joseph since he was in prison and since Pharoah did not believe in God.
Joseph bringing his family into Egypt to save them is how the children of Israel ended up in Egypt before Moses had to get them out of there.
We got to talking about Joseph laying up food for the famine and lean times. We also talked about how important food storage will be for us and how the prophets have told us that food storage may be as important to us as building the art was to Noah.
What matters most lasts the longest.
Someone talked of a family in Lawrence township not wanting their kid to read a book that they considered offensive. The family ended up pulling the kid out of school as the school said that they were going to continue to use the book. I think they said that the school did say that the kid did not have to read it. I got to thinking about people who pay taxes to buy those books. I should think that some of them should be upset whether they have kids in school or not. Their money is paying for those books.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The theme today was on prayer. The following points were brought out:
- We have to want to talk to him if we want him to talk to us.
- Prayer is the way that the will of the child is brought to the will of the Father.
- We should not ask for anything that we are not willing to help accomplish.
- Point 1 - Is it sometimes difficult to feel like praying? Maybe we don't feel like talking to anyone. If we want to have personal revelation we have to be in the get ourselves in the mood to have a conversation.
- Point 2 - Prayer teaches us to want what Father wants.
- Point 3 - To get an answer we need to do something.
- I got to thinking about the Lord's prayer. Many use this as a prayer they can recite to give them power or bring about what they need without asking for it. I'm speaking from what I have observed. I recognize that I may be over simplifying this.
- The Lord's prayer is not something to recite, but a pattern to follow to learn to pray.
Joseph given the birthright when he was the eleventh. As I looked into this after church I found the following in Ellis T. Rasmussen, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Sept. 1980, 51.
"Jacob, also known as Israel, married at least four wives in the following order: Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, and Zilpah. From these wives Jacob had twelve sons (listed in the order of their birth, with the name of the mother in parentheses): (1) Reuben (Leah), (2) Simeon (Leah), (3) Levi (Leah), (4) Judah (Leah), (5) Dan (Bilhah), (6) Naphtali (Bilhah), (7) Gad (Zilpah), (8) Asher (Zilpah), (9) Issachar (Leah), (10) Zebulun (Leah), (11) Joseph (Rachel), and (12) Benjamin (Rachel)."
"As the firstborn son of the first wife, Reuben was the birthright son. When Reuben proved to be unworthy by committing adultery with Bilhah (see Gen. 35:21–22; Gen. 49:3–4), the birthright went to the firstborn son of the second wife—Joseph, the son of Rachel (see 1 Chr. 5:1). Although Joseph was the eleventh-born son in order of birth, he was second in line for the birthright because he was the firstborn son of the second wife. Jacob had a special coat made for Joseph so that the other brothers would recognize Joseph’s right to preside over the family upon his father’s death."
In commenting about the unfairness of the situations that Joseph was placed in and how they eventually worked out for his good some one quoted someone I can not remember right now. "Irony is the hard crust on the bread of adversity."
If we do not have the Holy Ghost, we have no business teaching.
I am not capable, nor is any man capable of teaching the children of men and edifying them in the Gospel of Jesus Christ without the Holy Spirit, without revelation, without the inspiration of Almighty God. (Teachings of Wilford Woodruff p.59)
Some get into speculating and expressing opinions rather than teaching by the spirit. Speculating is a source false doctrine comes from. It can get passed down as fact. Many of the traditions religion have today are not founded on anything more than someone speculating and it getting picked up as doctrine.
When we teach we need to prepare. Students must prepare too. Someone today pointed out that lessons are caught not taught. The teacher prepares something by the spirit and throws it out. It can be a perfect throw, but if the student is not prepared to catch it then it is gone. Only the student can prepare themselves.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
The speakers talked about the importance of the temple. One of them made the statement that the temple should be sacred second only to our homes. I think I have heard similar things before, but it always makes me think about what goes on in our homes.
We talked about Abraham's servant going to get Isaac a wife.
The servant postponed eating until he had told why he was there. He also hastened to go rather than rest and partake of the festivities that the family wanted to put on.
Why was it significant that Rebecca offered to water the camels. We talked about that each camel needed 30 gallons of water and Abraham's servant had ten camels with him. That would be 300 gallons of water for her to dip out of the well and deliver to the camels.
The Holy Ghost and Personal Revelation
We had a good discussion on how recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
I have often thought that it might be a rather personal thing, which is why it can be so hard. It is different for each person much like different people people feel loved in different ways (some like touch. Some like words). Maybe it is, but it is probably more like figuring out how you body works. Like when you learn how to play a sport of some kind. You have to figure out how to make your muscles do what you want them to. It is probably even more basic than that. Maybe like walking or potty training for a child.
What was brought out in class was that the more we are obdient the more we feel the spirit. In addition, the more times we act on what we are prompted to do or not do and pay attention to the fact that we received a prompting, the more we will understand what the promptings feel like.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
I have been thinking a lot the last few months about the talk entitled Pure Testimony that was given by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the October 2004 session of general conference. He talked about what a testimony is and what it is not. More recently Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy talked about this in his Ensign article titled Bearing Testimony in October 2005. I have included below some points that these two brethren made.
What a testimony is not:
- A list of things that we are thankful for.
- A list of things that we love.
- Story, travelogue, lecture, talk, or sermon.
- A testimony can be identified by the use of powerful verbs such as know, testify, believe, certify, declare, affirm, bear witness, bear record.
- An admission ("I have a testimony").
- An exhortation.
- A public confession.
- Not a long explanation of how you know.
- A testimony is a witness or confirmation of eternal truth impressed upon individual hearts and souls through the Holy Ghost.
- Simply stated, testimony—real testimony, born of the Spirit and confirmed by the Holy Ghost—changes lives.
- Anchored very early to the first principles of the gospel.
- Centered on the Savior, the doctrines of the gospel, the blessings of the Restoration, and the teachings of the scriptures.
- A declaration ("I know").
- Brief and concise.
We talked about Abraham and sacrafice. Being saved by Jehovah prepared him to trust the Lord later in life.
Arab nations are decendants Ishmael. Israelis are decendants of Isaac. With the way that the Arabs and Israelis fight with each other the thought occurred to me of how similar that is to the Lamanites and Nephites. Both brothers were blessed with great blessings, but the younger brother was given the blessing to be a leader.
The lesson was on prophets having words for their day. We talked about some of the messages President Hinckley has given to us. One of them included his cousel to stay away from gambling.
We considered the billboards that talk of casinos being good for Indiana due to the number of jobs that it creates. What it doesn't mention is the damage to families while fathers and mothers waste their families money and partake of things that could put their marriages at risk.
I got to thinking about day trading being a form of gambling. You don't necessarily get all the trappings that usually accompany gambling, but it can be addictive and waste or tie up money that could be used elsewhere.